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Sunday Lecture: When is certainty justifiable?

Karl Popper would say that certainty is never justifiable. But there is a worthwhile line of thought in Wittgenstein, to the effect that some doubts would make your whole intellectual world fall apart. Broadening the theme to certainty about ethical and political matters, and the question of justification for rigid rules. We can also look at the tension in the fact that many people would argue against certainty in having a religious faith, but would be quite happy to be certain in their atheism.
Richard Baron is a philosopher living in London.
He is the author of Projects and Values and Deliberation and Reason.
He has published articles in Philosophy Now and in Ethical Record.
He has also had a career as an adviser on tax policy, both for the British Government and for the Institute of Directors.
This lecture will be free and on a first-come first-serve basis as part of the Philosophy Now Festival.

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  • terence f.

    Interesting propositions and follow up questions which rightly seemed to search possibilities where the lecture did not.

    September 9, 2013

    • Richard B.

      Yes, that is always the way. One makes some points, and then other points, some expected and some not, are raised in the discussion. But this a very valuable process. Many published papers record thanks to audiences who heard and commented on previous versions. And while the Ethical Record version of my talk will not differ greatly from what I said - although it will have to be shorter - I am very grateful to all those who asked questions or made comments.

      September 9, 2013

  • Mark G.

    Apart from an interesting talk, there were plenty of other talks as part of the "London Philosophy Now Festival". Good bonus!

    September 8, 2013

  • Bob

    Isn't the idea of justifying certainty a bit like advancing your progress or proving your proof? I'd say the mature Popper said that certainty (and justification) were both not achievable, and that neither are required for a thoroughgoing critical rationalism. Anyway, looking forward to hearing this talk and making awkward pedantic points like that.

    August 22, 2013

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