Philosophy 122

Fall 2009

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
122 Theory of Knowledge Stroud TuTh 11-12:30 213 Wheeler

An upper-division course on the philosophical theory of knowledge. Not a general, encyclopedic survey of the field, but an investigation and detailed discussion some of the central problems in the subject. Knowledge of many different kinds is obviously fundamental to scientific, cultural, social, and personal life. What is it about human perception, belief, and knowledge that makes it so difficult to find a philosophically satisfying general explanation of how human knowledge is possible? And how are those obstacles to be overcome?

We will spend about equal time on each of the three problems:

How do we come to believe and know things that we do not perceive to be so at the moment (e.g., the future)?

What exactly do we perceive, and how does it give us knowledge of the world around us at the moment?

How does one person come to believe and know anything about what another person thinks and feels?

Lectures and discussion sections will pursue these questions through close reading of assigned material in: Philosophy 122 Reader (available at Copy Central) Barry Stroud, The Significance of Philosophical Scepticism

There will be two lecture-discussion classes and a mandatory discussion section each week.

In addition to discussion-section requirements as assigned by the Graduate Student Instructors, students will be expected to write three five-page papers throughout the semester, one on each of the three questions. Possible paper topics will be suggested in each case.

Previously taught: FL07, SP07, FL05, FL04.