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I am leading a discussion class at our church using a Veritas Forum dialogue at the University of Cincinnati between N.T. Wright and Philosophy professor Heidi Maibom. It is an interesting conversation – far deeper than it seems at first glance or listen. After giving an introduction to their respective worldviews Wright and Maibom dive into the first big question: How do we know what we know? You can find the whole Veritas Forum conversation here. The link should start at this question. The discussion of knowing runs from 22:45-35:38. An edited excerpt with Wright’s comments on knowing is also available. and embedded below.
Wright introduces his thoughts on this question using the concept of love. It seems a strange way to think about knowledge and knowing. It certainly struck me as a challenge to understand – but it makes sense. As they go on Prof. Maibom doesn’t agree with the language of love, but does agree with the general sentiment.
Wright - Video - Beginning - Excerpt
Wright (around 22:45 in full video, or the beginning of the excerpt above):
We are missing an element here and it is the element of love. Because the danger with talking about knowledge is that it either tries to get to an unobtainable objectivity where I get out of the picture entirely and I’m simply telling you objectively what is out there which is actually unobtainable, or it collapses into subjectivity to which somebody can say you only think that because it suits your interests, that it may be true for you but it’s not true for anybody else, etc. etc. And I want to say that in many philosophical traditions, and certainly in mine, the notion of love transcends that subject object divide because when I genuinely love somebody or something I celebrate what it is or what that person is...
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