Philosophy 290-4

Fall 2008

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-4 Graduate Seminar: Fallibility in science and the courtroom Roush W 4-6 234 Moses Hall

Our belief-forming processes are fallible; even in our best epistemic states we still might be wrong. Fallibilism reassures us that our imperfect reliability doesn’t mean that any belief is as good as any other. Nevertheless, there are three areas of discussion where this point is not fully observed: the pessimistic induction over the history of science, worries about the use of fallible testimony and fallible jurors in the courtroom, and the debate over Intelligent Design “theory” in the public schools. This is because we do not fully understand how to take our fallibility into account. In this seminar, we discuss fallibilism and a proposal for a new rationality constraint, and apply these ideas to the debates above.