Kant tried to solve Hume’s skepticism with the intuitions of space and time. He thought that “synthetic apriori” knowledge was the special kind of knowledge that made certainty possible. Mathematics,

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Kant tried to solve Hume’s skepticism with the intuitions of space and time. He thought that “synthetic apriori” knowledge was the special kind of knowledge that made certainty possible. Mathematics, for example, doesn’t need to be experienced. You don’t need to experience 38976+45204. Your sensory organs don’t take in that level of detail anyway. Yet, we can still know it equals 84180 because math necessarily works in a single way, and it applies to the world synthetically. These intuitions are, ultimately, innate ideas, and many reject Kant’s solution specifically on that premise. However, these same people now must deny that 7+5=12 is necessary. If we only learn mathematics from experience, then we must be open to changing our answers based on experience. Perhaps 7+5=12 most of the time, but perhaps it equals 29 other times? We’d never know until we experience it.James tries the other direction, and he gathers his inspiration from Locke. Truth is what works. Truth is what accurately explains the world. Right now we believe in gravity, but this is a relatively new idea, only popularized after the 1700s. Perhaps in 2700AD, they’ll make fun of us for thinking that gravity. However, James is not bothered by this. Gravity is the best explanation for the data we have now. Do we live in a simulation? James says it doesn’t matter because, even if we did, it wouldn’t help explain the world. For James, the justification of our beliefs comes from the consequences of such beliefs and actions. Hume denies cause and effect, but clearly, the water boils when I place it on the stove. James’ concept of truth is about functionality. If it functions predictably, then it’s true. However, it could be that our predictions are based on faulty reasoning, or perhaps we’re just misinterpreting data as a happy accident? James has his weaknesses too.What is the best way to deal with skepticism? Please write one original post and comment on two classmates’ posts.

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