Philosophy 290-7

Fall 2022

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-7 Graduate Seminar: Information and Knowledge Yalcin Th 2-4 Moses 234

This course will focus on approaches to the metaphysics of knowledge that give information a central place. We’ll start with Dretske’s classic work — both his idea that knowledge is information-caused belief, and his broader picture of the role of information in explaining behavior — and then move on to some contemporary developments and applications.

I am especially interested to ask what an information-centric model of knowledge has to teach us about what it is to possess probabilistic knowledge, about what it is to possess conditional knowledge, and about what it is to possess common knowledge.

Some further things we’ll probably get into: the idea that knowledge is relative; the idea that knowledge is contrastive; the metaphysics of belief; luminosity and the KK principle; the question to what extent knowledge ascription is normative or not fully factual; the interpretation of probability; factivity and presupposition; intentionality. Issues about the semantics and pragmatics of knowledge ascription will come up throughout. Readings will come from some or all of the following: Dretske, Lewis, Stalnaker, Greco, Berker, Lederman, Skyrms, Moss, Harman, MacFarlane, Holliday, Stanley, Schaffer.