Humanities & Social Sciences Seminar 3: The Dawn of Modern Philosophy

Updated: Aug 18

The third Humanities & Social Sciences seminar was led by Dr James Read, from Pembroke College, Oxford. This seminar introduced participants to the philosophical concept of 'knowledge', an idea that has been the cornerstone of much academic contention for centuries. Rene Descartes was a central figure within the discussion that these ideas prompted, but other key thinkers such as Ludwig Wittgenstein and Al-Ghazali were introduced and contrasted with each other. As we considered whether or not we can ever truly know something, and on what grounds, we were left with one somewhat disturbing query: how do we know that we are not just a brain in a vat?

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