Philosophy 290-4

Spring 2016

Number Title Instructor Days/time Room
290-4 Graduate Seminar: Meaning, Understanding and Commitment Stroud W 4-6 234 Moses

An exploratory seminar on the conditions, or possibility, of understanding central aspects or domains of human thought “from outside” them, without accepting or commitment to what is held to be so within the domain in question. Particular topics to be explored in detail include: the use, meaning, and understanding of words; knowing and saying what a certain expression means; the relation between understanding an expression and competence in linguistic performance; taking something as a reason to believe, or to do, something; believing, or doing, something for a reason; making evaluative judgements; holding perceptual beliefs; having perceptual knowledge; believing that certain things are necessarily so. For further exploration are the philosophical implications of finding oneself unable to understand or explain a particular domain of thought “from outside” it, without presupposing competence and commitment within it.

Readings from the works of Nagel, Davidson, Wittgenstein, Dummett, Kripke, Quine, McDowell, Scanlon, Dworkin, Dretske, Stroud, and others.

Active participation is expected of those in attendance.