BETHEL COLLEGE LECTURE Professor Speaks on Literary Knowledge and Justified True Belief

Dr. Scott DeVries, assistant professor of Spanish, will speak on "Literary Knowledge and Justified True Belief: Jorge Luis Borges' ‘Emma Zunz' as Counter-Example" on February 23, 2007 at 3:00 p.m. The lecture will take place in the Miller/Moore Academic Center room 342.

In his presentation, DeVries will discuss the way that renowned Argentine author Jorge Luis Borges' short story "Emma Zunz" anticipated philosopher Edmund Gettier's infamous denial that knowledge is necessarily justified true belief.  DeVries believes that his analysis is significant both for the study of Latin American literature and for doing philosophy. For the field of Latin American literature, he will attempt to show that Borges' stories are not just philosophical, but they also go against the grain of what literary scholars typically think about his writing. For the study of philosophy, DeVries suggests that a fictional short story can contribute just as effectively to philosophical debates as the more typical genre of philosophical writings such as essays, scholarly articles and monographs.

Finally, DeVries will tie his analysis of Borges to his own idea of an appropriate Christian response to post-modernism – not as an attitude of fear and loathing, but as a response that embraces post-modernism as a mode of thinking that yields knowledge and does not deny truth in a way that most closely fits with the way the Bible indicates that humans can know anything.  

Bethel College is an accredited Christian college of the arts and sciences offering associates, bachelor's and master's degrees in more than 50 areas of study. The current enrollment of more than 2,081 includes students from 29 states and Puerto Rico, 21 countries, more than 25 denominational affiliations and 16 percent from culturally diverse backgrounds. Scholarships are available based upon a variety of factors including academic
achievement, talent in the arts or athletics, ethnicity and church affiliation. Bethel offers classes at four locations: the Mishawaka campus, the Elkhart Campus and two satellite locations (in Nappanee and in Dowagiac, Mich.). The main Bethel campus is situated on 75 wooded acres in Mishawaka, Ind.