Instructor: Cathay Liu. This course meets on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays from 8:00-8:50AM.
This course will introduce you to a few topics in metaphysics (the study of the ultimate nature of reality) and epistemology (the study of the nature, methods, and limits of human knowledge).
The general question we will investigate is, “What, or to what extent and degree, can the ways in which we come to have knowledge tell us about the nature of reality?” As part of our investigation of this question, we will explore some central issues, and problems that are slightly more specific formulations of the course’s general question. We will discuss various significant ideas and arguments for some subset of the following topics (as time permits): (a) the problem of induction, (b) the reliability of our basic reasoning faculties, (c) the reliability of our sensory faculties, (d) individuation of objects, (e) the nature of concepts and abstract ideas, and (f) the relationship and resolution, if any, of these issues with our scientific practices.
Cathay Liu’s webpage