Explore the Foundations of Knowledge with Harry Binswanger at Objectivist Summer Conference 2016

For the first time in five years, Harry Binswanger is confirmed to teach a course at the Objectivist summer conference. He will explore advanced topics in metaphysics and epistemology from an Objectivist perspective, drawing on material from his book How We Know: Epistemology on an Objectivist Foundation. Binswanger will address questions that deal with the nature of knowledge. What does it depend upon? And what are the means of acquiring it? 

The Foundations of Knowledge — Harry Binswanger

Class 1: Knowledge and Reality (Saturday, July 2, 8:40–9:40 a.m.)

Ayn Rand’s definition of “knowledge”; the fundamentals of all fundamentals: the axioms of existence and consciousness; the primacy of existence; the irreducibility of consciousness; consciousness and life: a biological perspective on consciousness.

Class 2: Perception as the Base and Standard of Knowledge (Sunday, July 3, 8:40–9:40 a.m.)

Perception as axiomatic; perception, not sensations, as the given; J. J. Gibson’s direct realism; perception as an ongoing achievement.

Class 3: Perception Defended (Monday, July 4, 8:40–9:40 a.m.)

The three basic attacks on perception, and the answer to each; Representationalism: public enemy #1; the proper understanding of appearance vs. reality.

Class 4: Concept-formation (Part I) (Tuesday, July 5, 8:40–9:40 a.m.)

What concepts are; the historical problem of “universals” and Ayn Rand’s solution to it; Realism vs. Nominalism: the false alternative dominating the history of philosophy; Ayn Rand’s new theory of abstraction; similarity and its metaphysical base: quantitative variation; “measurement-omission” explained; the “Conceptual Common Denominator” and its crucial role in concept-formation.

Class 5: Concept-formation (Part II) (Wednesday, July 6, 8:40–9:40 a.m.)

The “some but any” principle and the fatal consequences of its denial; integration and the role of words; the principle of unit-economy (“the crow epistemology”) and its ramifications in every field of human endeavor. The biological perspective on concepts.

Class 6: Course Q&A (Thursday, July 7, 8:40–9:40 a.m.)

Register for OCON 2016 taking place in the Greater Seattle Area, July 2–7, for access to this thought-provoking course from one of the leading minds in the Objectivist movement. No separate sign-up is required if you are scheduled to attend. At OCON, you may take the course in its entirety or drop in on individual sessions of particular interest. Learn more.

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