Instructor: Alex Worsnip. This course meets TR 12:30 – 1:45 p.m. in CW 105.
This class is an introduction to epistemology. Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that is concerned with the nature of knowledge and rational belief, so it is in many ways foundational to philosophy and indeed to intellectual inquiry in general: epistemological questions arise wherever we care about the pursuit of knowledge and truth. The material of the class is organized around four broad questions. First, what is knowledge – that is, what does it take to know something? Second, can we really in fact know anything? Third, what is the meaning and significance of our attributions of knowledge to ourselves and others? Fourth, what role do knowledge and the concept of knowledge play in our social practices and lives? We will mainly read contemporary texts, plus a few canonical “classics”, with the aim of critically evaluating their arguments.
Prerequisite: at least 1 PHIL course