Spring 2018 - PHIL 455W D100
Contemporary Issues in Epistemology and Metaphysics (4)
Class Number: 2904
Delivery Method: In Person
May be repeated for credit. Writing.
Selected Topics: Philosophy of Philosophy
[Note: this course is to be taught concurrently with PHIL 802.]
Philosophy has had a long history of questioning its own nature and methodologies. But where has that questioning taken it? Is there anything yet agreed upon, even within our so-called ‘analytic’ tradition? What is so special about Philosophy? What does it contribute to the over-all Weltansicht? This course offers an opportunity to reflect critically on the nature, methods, and questions of Philosophy in the twentieth century and up to the present. If there can be Philosophy of Natural Science, Philosophy of Mathematics, Philosophy of Art, etc., then why not Philosophy of Philosophy? Timothy Williamson’s approach to this subject in our reading is modelled in part on philosophical approaches to non-philosophical disciplines, and is done in a very self-conscious way with respect to methodological issues. Particular recent philosophical issues examined include vagueness, analyticity, truth, modality, conditionals, thought experiments, knowledge, on many of which he has of course previously published. Does a coherent, unified, viable ‘self-image’ of Philosophy emerge from this exercise?
COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:
This course may be applied towards the Writing Requirement (and the upper division Writing Requirement for Philosophy Majors).
The general aim of the course is to help students develop an up-to-date and well-informed, reflective, critical perspective on the nature and methods of Philosophy.
- 2 shorter papers (about 1800 words each,) worth 25% each 50%
- A longer term paper (about 4500 words) 50%
The Philosophy of Philosophy, by Timothy Williamson, Blackwell/Wiley Pubs. (2008) ISBN: 978-1-4051-3396-8
Other related readings will be provided by the instructor.
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