The Process of Knowing


welcome to the table podcast where we
discussed issues of God in concert to you by Dallas Theological Seminary welcome the table I’m Darrell Bock
executive director for culture engagement at the Rec Center at Dallas
Theological Seminary in our topic today is knowing in the process of knowing in
our special guest is Esther me he is from Geneva College is that correct yes it’s a philosopher and has spent her
life delving into helping people discover how
they can reality is that a fair summary of what you’re about figured out first and now you can help
us help so and then I’ve got to Basilan here on my left who is in our media arts
department they are hosting the media arts we carried out seminary that Esther
is the primary election reform and then over here is bill hendrix who is my
cohort and crime and the Hendrick center he is executive director for Christian
leadership and so the four of us are going to engage in discussion with
Esther about coming to know so my simple question is how to someone like you get
into detailed philosophy in the issue of knowing how did you how did you start
off with an interest in this area well I had some hard questions when I was in
middle school and and in particular growing up knowing the Bible and knowing
what I was supposed to know about God but then finding out that I wondered how
I could whether he existed so it’s like I knew all there was to know that I was
supposed to believe but the question was how do I know you grew up in a Christian
high did and then I also wondered how I could be sure that there actually was a
world outside my mind and I was sure that the questions were weird and
probably soon I’m saying you sound like a normal middle gallon there when I was growing up ok started from there yeah I think so
just seemed to me that I I needed proof I I was lacking proof in both of those
you know i i knew i was supposed to believe the Bible to tell me about God
but that that was an odd thing you know that you would actually believe what a
book told you about some reality it seemed to me and and and you know how
can I be sure those those kinds of things so so I it was later in high
school that I learned that my questions were philosophical I learned that from
reading the work of Francis Schaeffer and and realized that also that
responses to those questions had shaped hole cultural epics and shape them
across disciplines and so my love of things interdisciplinary came at that
point so you did your training whereas as you learn as you work on philosophy
yeah when I figured out that you could study philosophy I transferred to
Cedarville college and study but the philosopher whose reputation I had only
heard of and you know that my life changed with that decision and so I from
getting that it was a master’s be an interdisciplinary studies with a
concentration in philosophy and then I did the Masters in humanities at Western
Kentucky and then wanted to stay interdisciplinary but you have to do to
PHD’s for that so when I thought if I could do that I’d be doing good doing
well and then I was also interested in doing more theological work too so I had
been being trained in the Reformation all tradition the mentally and tradition
and I so I went to Westminster seminary to get some more from the horse’s milk
so so other than some work I’ve also done a
covenant similar that’s kind of the way where I did all the training that I did
but really the philosopher that I did my dissertation on Michael Polanyi that is
not somebody I read in any course it actually was a young man at church that
asked me if I’d read personal knowledge and I was looking for a dissertation
area that would be cross-disciplinary and when I looked I read Pilates work I
love I thought it might hold some prospect for a dissertation but then
when you look at the secondary literature Pilati was being connected
with every discipline so he seems like he does connect to a lot of disciplines
and yet he seems like one of these shadowy figures at least I’m not a
philosopher but I’d heard of him in preparation for today a deal research I
didn’t realize for instance that he had come to faith at one point converted to
Christianity and I wondered how much is faith in ya acted his thinking and vice
versa and is this somebody who we need to sort
of pull out from the shadows and really go to school on yes well so wilford
McClain is a public intellectual said to me that Pilati was the greatest
under-rated public intellectual the 20th century and he influenced lots of people
who are way more well-known than he is and what it was was a premier scientist
at the beginning of the 20th century and Khan in conversation with orange dying
and that set and then really left science migrated eventually to
philosophy of science because he felt that in the Western philosophical
tradition there was no account that made sense of scientific discovery so
actually coming to know what you do not know know and he argued that if knowledge is
you know exhaustively explicit information no scientific discovery
could ever happen but it does therefore we need a new epistemology wrote a
couple of quotes from scientists the preps open that up a little bit of
Aragon broaden the physicist wrote research is what I’m doing what I don’t
know what I’m doing and Einstein himself said that when I examine myself in my
methods of thought I come close to the conclusion that the gift of imagination
has meant more to me than any talent for absorbing absolute knowledge and
apparently the whole notion of relativity came to him he said through
music yeah yeah so personal knowledge which is
Pilates Gifford Lectures really starts with Einstein and and well starts with
it’s called the lesson of the Copernican revolution and so he’s really exploring
the the Miss perception that we have all been led to believe about how science
works where you collect data and then make a tentative hypothesis test

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