A wide-ranging lecture-and-discussion course on the nature and prospects of a Kantian or “transcendental” metaphysical investigation of the necessary conditions of the possibility of human thought and experience. Can some such conditions be discovered, and can metaphysical conclusions about how the world is or must be drawn from them? Particular topics to be explored in this setting include: the problem of metaphysics, the independence of physical objects, the objectivity of causal modality, mind and body, persons and first-person thought, self-consciousness and thought of an objective world, conditions of the attribution of psychological attitudes, agency and the attribution of value, perceptions of colour and the colours of objects. Familiarity with the history of modern philosophy, especially the philosophy of Kant, is recommended. Required course work includes extensive reading of sometimes difficult material and careful writing of focused critical papers. Not for beginners in philosophy.
A reader containing required and supplementary readings will be available. Required books: P. F. Strawson, Individuals: An Essay in Descriptive Metaphysics P. F. Strawson, The Bounds of Sense: An Essay on Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason B. Stroud, Understanding Human Knowledge B. Stroud, The Quest for Reality
Previously taught: FL03.