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Instructor: Giulia Napolitano. This course meets MWF 1:25 – 2:15 p.m. in CW 105.

Epistemology is the branch of philosophy that deals with questions about knowledge, rational belief, evidence, and the like. This course investigates particular “knowledge problems” that emerge in areas of our social and political experience. For example: should we always defer to experts about complex policy questions, or are we justified in forming beliefs for ourselves? Can it ever be rational to believe a conspiracy theory? Should we try to break out of our “echo chambers”? Should the existence of widespread disagreement about politics, morality and religion make us less confident in our own views? Can we ever be epistemically justified in holding prejudices?  Through investigating these specific, applied questions, we hope to learn something about the nature of knowledge, evidence and rationality more generally.


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