Epistemology

How Do You Decide Who’s Right?

One of the ways the Greek rhetors of old used to classify arguments was under the headings of ethos, pathos, and logos.1 Ethos referred to character and credibility: arguments appealing to one’s reputation, standing, experience, expertise, and trustworthiness. 2 Pathos referred to longings, drives, appetites—and what we today call emotions. Logos had to do mainly with facts and reasoning.

Those skilled in rhetoric were able to use all three in the work of persuasion, emphasizing one or the other depending on the situation.

The three categories of rhetorical argument also work pretty well for analyzing how we tend to approach conflicting views—and how we decide who’s right. In turn, that can help us better understand one another and better discipline our own thinking toward wise discernment.

2083 reads

The Weakest Link in the Epistemological Blockchain is the Fallen Human Heart: Reflections on Jonathan Rauch’s The Constitution of Knowledge

"Where that Authority does not speak with specificity, I actually do look pretty much to the reality-based community for wisdom. But where he does speak, he outranks them all." - Mark Ward

536 reads

On worldview and presuppositions

"I’m sympathetic to the presuppositionalist reflex... That being said, in placing the epistemological accent so strongly on the Bible over against God’s 'general revelation' in the created order, Reformed-style presuppositionalism suffers from a degree of hermeneutical naivete. Surely, just as one never approaches the world without presuppositions, one never approaches a text without presuppositions." - John Ehrett

431 reads

The Solution to America’s Theological Salad Bar

"Americans assume that people will make the right choices and believe the right things for them given the right conditions. Human nature is sufficient to guide us into personal truth. Thus, at the salad bar of beliefs, objective claims about God or morality violate the fundamental principle that life is a salad bar, and you are the rightful creator of your plate." - LifeWay

480 reads

Science, technology, and why the west has become anti-historical

"Many people today understand science to be the only way to achieve objective knowledge. When we reject the notion that truth is available through Scripture or anything else, we are left only with the narrative of science, which assumes that the present is superior to the past and the future will be superior to the present." - Challies

1403 reads

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