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Are values distinct from facts?
Since Hume's complaint that reasoning from facts to values unjustifiably crosses an is-ought gap, we have, most of us, come to avoid the naturalistic and also moralistic fallacies, and to accept uncritically that facts are objective and values are subjective. We dispute facts, but accept values as private and individual. But much has happened since the Scottish Enlightenment, and especially in the last few decades, that calls into question this truism. In "The Collapse of the Fact / Value Dichotomy", Hilary Putnam argues that the is-ought gap is bridgeable after all. We'll read the introductory material and first two essays of this book.

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Philosophy 184 is a seminar devoted to academic philosophy, liberated from the academy itself. We meet weekly, as friends, at a cafe in San Francisco for a few hours to discuss assigned readings, and bravely peer into each other's intellect. We also tell jokes.

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