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“'THAT'S JUST YOUR OPINION' AND OTHER FAILURES OF UNDERSTANDING” WITH STEPHEN WALKER

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Kibbitznest Liberal Arts Discussions are a collaboration with The University of Chicago Graham School to host presentations and discussions of original research.


Often we criticize somebody’s view of things by saying it’s “just” their view of things, implying that our own view of things is something more than a view. If something is “only” a matter of perspective or opinion, it differs from things that can be known properly, perhaps by science or some other public standard.

The problem is that, since all knowledge and judgment proceed from some perspective or other, there’s nothing incomplete or inadequate about partial views and opinions. They’re counterbalanced not by something objective or context-free but simply by opposite views and opinions. Many people find this claim threatening, as though their own judgments couldn’t be valid unless they were objective and context-free.

Join us as we talk through why this claim doesn’t need to be threatening, why it makes no sense to posit absolutes we could check ourselves against, and why every perspective matters
as much (or as little) as every other.

Sponsor: McCarthy & Trinka Insurance


Stephen Walker is a PhD candidate at University of Chicago Divinity School studying philosophy and the history of philosophy across multiple traditions. His main research focuses on classical Chinese thought; his dissertation, Boundless Ways: Navigating Norms in the Zhuangzi, examines that text's pragmatic and pluralistic critique of value. 

FREE & OPEN to the public

Registration is not necessary, but appreciated
due to space limitations.

kibbitznest is a registered 501(c)3 non-profit organization and wifi-free zone dedicated to the preservation of quality face-to-face human communication.