Philosophy 290-5

Spring 2010

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-5 Graduate Seminar: Probability as Constraint and Representation Roush Th 2-4 234 Moses Hall

This is a course about the use of probability in epistemology. Probability imports assumptions about and imposes constraints on any subject matter you use it to describe. Some of these constraints are well-known, but their implications are not always known or observed. In others it is an open question how much leeway probability allows. We discuss the fate of holism, foundationalism, introspective access, self-knowledge, and objects of belief under a probabilistic description. We consider the consequences of the globality of the P function and of extreme probabilities. Cases that are illuminating include the preface “paradox,” evidential support, re-calibration, justified belief, and the epistemology of logic. We discuss artifacts of representation and how to think about idealization in philosophy.