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Institute Colloquium on 'Is love necessary for knowing'

The Indian Institute of Technology Bombay organised an Institute Colloquium on Thursday, January 11, 2018. The lecture on “Is love Necessary for knowing” was delivered by Professor Pol Vandevelde, Professor of Philosophy, Marquette University (Milwaukee, USA).

Pol Vandevelde, (PhD Université de Louvain, 1990) is Professor of Philosophy at Marquette University (Milwaukee, USA). He specializes in Contemporary French and German philosophy, theory of interpretation, critical theory. After studying in Belgium and Germany he received his “Doctorate” from the Université catholique de Louvain in 1990. He has authored, translated or edited 15 books and published 72 articles and book chapters.

Below is a brief abstract of the lecture:

Knowledge has long been understood as a set of beliefs that are true and verified. But what does it mean to believe and to acquire beliefs that are true and verified? Building on recent developments in the theory of knowledge, this lecture argued that the acquisition of belief should not be seen as something merely passive that knowers undergo by simply exposing themselves to the world and following the procedures of verification that common sense and the specific disciplines

of knowledge prescribe. Rather, the acquisition of beliefs that are true and verified requires not only certain qualities or “epistemic virtues” like rigour, acute perception, careful documentation but also individual and communal moral virtues that need to be consciously cultivated by the knower.

The lecture presented knowing as an active performance that involves agents and is, Thus, historically and culturally situated,  knowers as agents act in the public sphere, Influence decisions, and contribute to social welfare while also being blind to the prejudices and presuppositions of such community. Through examples the lecture specifically illustrated the role that the moral virtue love plays not only as a facilitator for believing truly, but also as a necessary part of the verification process.