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On Our Beliefs: About The Cognitive Structure Of Contemporary Culture

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Chapter Summary

One of the most important elements of our whole cultural tradition originates in Greece, in the early fifth century BC, when Parmenides drew a fundamental distinction between episteme and doxa, between the Way of Truth or Knowledge and that of Opinion or mere Belief. The distinction drawn between knowledge and belief is, of course, not merely a matter of philosophy. Though a matter of reflection, it is for us enshrined in the everyday language and fundamentally orients our cognitive activities. It presents a way we need to and do reflect upon what we quite ordinarily and unreflectively do: making assertions which others either accept as reasons for further assertions or actions, or challenge making us to give reasons for them.

Keywords: contemporary culture; cultural modernity



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