PHIL 990.001 – Current Research Group Seminar
Instructor: Alex Worsnip. This course meets W 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. in CW 213.
This class is a “research reading group” on my draft book manuscript, Fitting Things Together. The book is about structural rationality: that is, the kind of rationality that distinctively has to do with how one’s mental states cohere or fit together. It bridges topics in (meta)ethics, epistemology, and related parts of philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. We’ll work through the manuscript slowly, chapter by chapter. (Since I plan on revising chapters in response to your feedback, we may read more than one version of some chapters.) Most likely, I will sometimes supplement the manuscript with some readings from philosophers that I am directly engaging with and responding to (with particular attention to two recent books that take polar opposite views to mine: Benjamin Kiesewetter’s The Normativity of Rationality, and Errol Lord’s The Importance of Being Rational). As well as introducing you to some of the newest work in lively and current debates about reasons and rationality, the course is also an opportunity to see a book-length project unfolding in real time, as I undertake the process of revising and improving an imperfect draft – and to play a direct role in helping to shape those revisions.
Note: per the conventions of the department, although Phil 990 can be taken for credit, it does not have an official writing component for a grade. However, the department also suggests that, in order to be permitted to enroll in the class, first and second year graduate students organize with the instructor to produce a piece of written work on a topic connected to the theme of the class. Please contact me to discuss this further. Enrolled third years need not produce a piece of writing, but may do so if they wish. I will read and comment on any writing on the topics of the class that anyone sends me. Additionally, I will ask everyone enrolled in the class to take turns leading discussions of the material from week to week.