Tag Archives: epistemology

Writing Strategies session #6: Friday, May 28th, 2010

The Christmas Robin...:O)
Image by law_keven via Flickr
  1. Returned last week’s homework. List of C.S. Lewis books in the DWC library – list ALL the books which are in English AND the books which are in Japanese in the library. If your homework has an X on it, please do the assignment again CORRECTLY.
  2. Chapter 4 and 5 discussion questions.
  3. Write a summary of chapter 5 (dictation).
  4. Mini-lecture: how do we know what we know?
    1. A key point in the story “The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe” is the matter of knowledge and belief.
    2. Some things we can know, some things we cannot really know, we must believe them (or not); we must either rely on and believe other people, or we mus rely on and believe our own heart or conscience.
    3. What can we know and what cannot we know? What can we know and what must we believe? How can we tell the difference?
    4. For example, is it raining now? We can know by looking out the window or opening the window. We do not need to believe. It would be stupid to believe when we can know for ourselves. We should not believe or rely on other people when we can confirm facts for ourselves.
    5. On the other hand, where are you now? In Japan? In Kyoto? How do you know? In fact, you do not know, you cannot know, you can only believe. This is Japan because everyone agrees that it is Japan. In such a case, we would waste a lot of time if we insisted on confirming for ourselves; we can save time by believing, by relying on other people.
    6. To know something for ourselves means to check, using our own 5 senses (seeing, hearing, feeling, smelling or tasting).
    7. Another way to know something instead of believing, is to use logic, as the Professor does.
    8. In chapter 6, Edmund asksPeter, “How do we know which side [the robin] is on?” It is an intelligent question. In this case, logic is not the answer. It is impossible to know, to confirm for oneself. The only thing to do is to trust one’s instinct or listen to one’s heart.

Homework:

  1. Read C.S. Lewis. “It All Began With a Picture”. Of Other Worlds. Ed. Walter Hooper. Orlando: Harvest, 1975. 42
  2. Answer the questions for chapter 6 and chapter 7.
  3. If you were absent on Friday and did not hand in your homework for last week, you must either email me your homework or give it to me next Friday. Next Friday is the last day I will accept it.
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