PH 1000 Introduction to Philosophy, or PH 1001 Practical Reasoning

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1 DEREE COLLEGE SYLLABUS FOR: PH 3118 THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE (previously PH 2118) (Updated SPRING 2016) PREREQUISITES: CATALOG DESCRIPTION: RATIONALE: LEARNING OUTCOMES: METHOD OF TEACHING AND LEARNING: UK LEVEL L5 UK CREDITS: 15 US CREDITS: 3/0/3 PH 1000 Introduction to Philosophy, or PH 1001 Practical Reasoning Systematic and analytic approach to the major issues in the theory of knowledge. Emphasis on the most recent discussions in contemporary epistemology, including justification, scepticism, externalism, rationality, epistemic virtues, Bayesian theories and theories of truth. An indispensable course for any student interested in contemporary philosophy, especially for philosophy majors. Particularly useful for those who want to pursue the study of metaphysics, philosophy of science and philosophy of language. The course is also very useful for students of psychology, sociology and history, as it leads one from the classical empiricist and rationalist traditions to contemporary approaches in the theory of knowledge. As a result of taking the course, the student should be able to: 1. Demonstrate exact and comprehensive knowledge on traditional problems in the theory of knowledge. 2. Analyze and evaluate contemporary alternative solutions that have been proposed to epistemological problems. 3. Identify, define, distinguish contradictory results and evaluate a number of epistemological puzzles and their proposed solutions, using full range of resources. 4. Discuss effectively specific epistemological issues and reflectively illustrate relations between the theory of knowledge and other areas of philosophical inquiry, or other disciplines. Construct research paper on selected topics utilising discussion and analysis of sources. 5. In a creative way assess contemporary epistemological issues in the areas of perception, truth and human rationality in general, and confidently apply for their solution knowledge, tools and skills provided by the course. In congruence with the learning and teaching strategy of the college, the following tools are used: -Class lectures, interactive learning (class discussions of philosophical texts, contemporary philosophical positions 1

2 and interpretations). -Research paper requiring selection of topic and in depth examination of arguments. -Office hours: students are encouraged to make full use of the office hours of their instructor, where they can ask questions, discuss their research paper, and/or go over lecture material. -Use of a blackboard site, where instructors post lecture notes, assignment instructions, timely announcements, as well as additional resources. -Use of library facilities: Students are encouraged to make use of library facilities for assignments, their research paper, further reading of recommended texts and preparation for the final exam. ASSESSMENT: Summative: Research paper (2000 words) Literature review/ interpretation of texts/ evaluation Final examination (2-hour, comprehensive) summative - Essaytype questions (choice: 2 out of 4) Formative: Class presentation (individual or group)/ or home assignment 60% 0% 40% The formative test aims to prepare students for their examinations. The research paper tests Learning Outcomes 2, 4, 5. The final examination tests Learning Outcomes 1, 2, 3, 5. INDICATIVE READING: REQUIRED READING: Morton, Adam, A Guide Through the Theory of Knowledge, Third Edition, Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Mass., USA, Oxford, UK, Extract from Scientific, Moral and Religious Knowledge, Ch.9 in Audi, R., Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge, 2nd Ed., Routledge, London and New York, 2003 (Book on reserve). Handout on Perception and Sense Datum Theories of Perception, from Ch.1, in Audi, R., Epistemology, 2003, 2

3 above cited. Reason and History, Ch.7 in Putnam, H., Reason, Truth and History, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 1981, (Book on reserve). References to Quine s Epistemology Naturalized and Two Dogmas of Empiricism (in Sosa and Kim, Epistemology: Contemporary Readings, and in Huemer, Epistemology: Contemporary Readings, cited below). Reference to Tarski s theory of Truth in Musgrave, A., Common Sense, Science and Scepticism: A Historical Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, RECOMMENDED READING: Audi, R., Epistemology: A Contemporary Introduction to the Theory of Knowledge, 2nd Ed., Routledge, London and New York, Dancy, J., An Introduction to Contemporary Epistemology, Blackwell, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA, Huemer, M. (ed.), Epistemology: Contemporary Readings, Routledge, London and New York, Moser, Paul, The Theory of Knowledge: A Thematic Introduction, Oxford University Press, Oxford, Greco J., Sosa, E., (eds), The Blackwell Guide to Epistemology, Blackwell Publishers Ltd., Mass., USA, Oxford, UK, Sosa, E., Kim, J., (eds.), Epistemology: An Anthology, Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Mass., USA, Oxford, UK, INDICATIVE MATERIAL: (e.g. audiovisual, digital material, etc.) RECOMMENDED MATERIAL: International Journal of Philosophical Studies Southern Journal of Philosophy American Philosophical Quarterly European Journal of Philosophy Journal of Philosophical Research COMMUNICATION REQUIREMENTS: SOFTWARE REQUIREMENTS: WWW RESOURCES: Research paper submitted in Microsoft Word. Class discussions require academic/professional English and debating speech skills. Microsoft Word earch.htm Epis 3

4 INDICATIVE CONTENT: 1. Basic questions in the theory of knowledge. 1.1 Beliefs. 1.2 Epistemic ideals. What does it mean to know? 1.3 Basic Concepts and extreme views. 2. Perception and related issues. 2.1 Information and our environment. Perceptual beliefs. Empiricism. Naturalized Epistemology. 2.2 Evidence without Certainty? 2.3 The special position of perception. 3. A priori Beliefs 3.1 A priori, Analytic, Necessary. 3.2 Kant and the Synthetic A priori. 3.3 Quine on the Analytic/Synthetic Distinction. 3.4 Conceptual Truths. The Web of beliefs. 4. Inductive Reasoning. 4.1 Simple Induction. Hume s problem. 4.2 Goodman s problem. Solutions. 4.3 Justifying Induction. Inference to Best Explanation. 5. Fallibilism. 5.1 Error versus Ignorance. 5.2 Foundationalism versus Holism. 5.3 Different Fallibilisms and the change of the Web. 6. Effort to define Knowledge. 6.1 Justified True Belief and Gettier s examples. 6.2 Lehre s principle. 6.3 Reliability. Defeaters. 6.4 Knowledge and Trust. 7. Externalism, Internalism and Epistemic Virtues. 7.1 Avoiding Justification and accepting Externalism. 7.2 Skepticism on knowing and on what you know. 7.3 Epistemic Virtues and the 4

5 Externalist Attitude. 8. Knowledge of Minds. 8.1 Psychological Beliefs. Selfcentred theories. 8.2 Folk psychology. Behavioral and Materialist Theories. 8.3 Errors of self-attribution. 8.4 Dispositions. Occurrences, Reliability. Indispensability of psychology. 9. Moral Knowledge. 9.1 Knowing Right and Wrong. 9.2 Cognitivism, Relativism, Non- Cognitivism. 9.3 Issues of Meta-Ethics. 10. Bayesian and Naturalist Theories Probability. Theory of Probability The Bayesian Picture of Evidence. Objections Rationality Naturalized. Bayesianism versus Naturalism Current Debates and the Future of Epistemology. 11. Further Topics Scientific Knowledge (Audi) 11.2 Ayer s Linguistic view of the a priori and Quine (Cramley) Quine: "Epistemology Naturalized", "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" 11.4 Tarski s theory of Truth Putnam's views on Rationality and Hist 5

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