Philosophy 290-7

Fall 2023

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-7 Graduate Seminar: Cognition, Rationality and Philosophical Naturalism Lee Th 2-4 Philosophy 234

According to Quine “normative epistemology is a branch of engineering. It is the technology of truth-seeking………like any technology, it makes free use of whatever scientific findings may suit its purpose.” In this seminar we will use Quine’s controversial vision of a “naturalized epistemology”, as an inspiration to look at work on rationality and belief-formation at the intersection of epistemology, philosophy of mind, and cognitive science.

Specific topics we may touch on include : the idea of naturalized epistemology as “non-ideal epistemology”; reliabilism and epistemic consequentialism; the idea that beliefs and belief-forming processes “aim at truth”; the relationship between rationality and adaptiveness/optimality; “rational explanation” as an explanatory strategy in psychology (including the debate about “Bayesian” explanation); bounded rationality and ecological rationality, including philosophical work on “heuristics and biases”; the evolution of belief-like and desire-like states; the evolution of reasoning and reason-giving.

The class will include special guest presentations from Verónica Gómez-Sánchez and Thomas Icard.