PHIL 230.001 – Experience and Reality

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Instructor: Lindsay Brainard. This course meets MTWRF 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in PE 216.

In this course, we will consider questions about how (and whether) our experience of the world helps us learn about the nature of reality. We will begin by examining skeptical arguments about our ability to have knowledge of various aspects of the world. These arguments seek to answer questions like: Do I exist? Does the external world exist? Do other people exist? We will spend much of the rest of the course focusing on questions about the features of the natural world and asking how (and whether) the methodology of the sciences enables us to understand what is real. Topics in this portion of the course will include causation, induction, necessity and possibility, and whether the objects posited by the sciences correspond to some independent structure of the world.