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Inaugural lecture Prof Bart Streumer: De eeuwige vragen van de filosofie

When:Fr 03-06-2022 14:15 - 15:00
Where:Aula Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Groningen
Bart Streumer
Bart Streumer

Philosophers have been asking the same questions for centuries without agreeing on the answers. What is truth? What is knowledge? What is the relation between our thoughts and reality? What are norms? And so on.

What explains why philosophers don’t reach agreement on the answers to these questions? Perhaps it’s because the questions are too abstract, or because they contain hidden assumptions that are incorrect, or because we only ask them because we are confused by our language.

In his inaugural lecture Bart Streumer will investigate a different possibility: that there are correct answers to such perennial philosophical questions, but that we cannot believe these answers. This may explain why philosophers don’t reach agreement on what the correct answers are. There’s something wrong with all the answers we can believe, while we cannot believe the answer that’s correct.

Streumer will focus on cases in which we may be unable to believe the correct answer to a philosophical question for a specific reason: because if we try to believe the correct answer, this automatically makes us believe a different answer to the same question that is incorrect. He will apply this to the views of George Berkeley, who denied that matter exists and argued that the only things that exist are minds and ideas, and the views of Simon Blackburn, who argues that claims about the objectivity of norms are expressions of non-cognitive attitudes.

The inaugural lecture will be a plea to keep trying to answer the perennial questions of philosophy, even if we may never agree on the answers.

More information

Inaugural lecture: Prof Bart Streumer

  • Title: De eeuwige vragen van de filosofie
  • Chair: Ethics
  • Faculty: Philosophy

Registration no later than 27 May via the registration form .

Livestream on 3 June, see:

Full-text open access version of the lecture:

View this page in: Nederlands