PHIL 4387 Epistemology (Spring: 3 )
Philosophy is full of wonderfully perplexing arguments aimed at undermining our claims to knowledge. Like this one: If I know I have two hands, then I know I’m not just a brain in a vat. But, I don’t know I’m not just a brain in a vat. So, I don’t know I have two hands. Or this one: A claim is known only if it is justified. Claims cannot rest on themselves for justification, cannot depend on nothing for justification, and cannot be justified by an infinite series of propositions. But as those are the only options, we must not know anything. Or this one: I believe that God exists, but many of my epistemic peers and superiors believe that God does not exist. Therefore, I have a strong countervailing reason to believe God does not exist such that my belief is not justified. This course will examine these and other puzzling arguments about knowledge, justification, and disagreement.
Instructor(s): Richard K. Atkins
Last Updated: 23-Feb-16