Isaiah Berlin Visiting Professorship in the History of Ideas, 2013/14 ‘A Shaky Hold on Reality: Lectures on the History of our Epistemic Ideals'
Professor Robert Pasnau (University of Colorado) will deliver the Isaiah Berlin Lectures on Tuesdays of weeks 3-8 of Trinity Term at 5 pm on the following days, venue to be confirmed.
Lecture 1 (13th May)
Lecture 2 (20th May)
Lecture 3 (27th May)
Lecture 4 (3rd June)
Lecture 5 (10th June)
Lecture 6 (17th June)
Abstract: Between the end of the Middle Ages and the beginning of modernity, our conception of knowledge underwent a series of dramatic transformations, changing the way we think about philosophy, science, perception, and reality. With the decline of Aristotelianism came radically new perspectives on the prospects for certainty, our grasp of underlying causes, and the reliability of the senses. These transformations were in fact so central to our changing worldview in the seventeenth century that that might plausibly be thought to define the beginnings of the modern era. Ranging over the whole history of philosophy, but focusing especially on the transition from the later Middle Ages into the seventeenth century, these lectures will trace the rise of a new way of thinking about our cognitive aspirations and achievements.