Summer 2019 - PHIL 455W E100
Contemporary Issues in Epistemology and Metaphysics (4)
Class Number: 3266
Delivery Method: In Person
May be repeated for credit. Writing.
Selected Topics: PHENOMENAL CONCEPTS
[Note: this course is to be taught concurrently with PHIL 803.]
Phenomenal concepts are the concepts we use to think about the contents of our phenomenal consciousness, or so, at least, they are characterized in the literature They came into special prominence in the last quarter of a century in the central role they play in a physicalist response to Frank Jackson’s knowledge argument first articulated by Brian Loar, roughly: what Mary learns, when she sees colours for the first time are not new non-physical facts, but new concepts. There has been a deluge of literature on the topic, which seems to continue unabated to this day. But what is the nature of these concepts? Do they really exist? We will look at some of the historical roots (in the British Empiricists and their 20th century heirs, as well as elsewhere) and the objections raised against them by philosophers like Wittgenstein, Dennett, and others. Along the way, we hope to learn some things both about the nature and theory of concepts, and those of consciousness. Inevitably, we also will spend some time on the Knowledge argument and the phenomenal concept strategy or responding to it.
COURSE-LEVEL EDUCATIONAL GOALS:
This course may be applied towards the Writing Requirement (and the upper division Writing Requirement for Philosophy majors).
- Participation, including 6 reading summaries 15%
- Short paper(5pp) 25%
- Long paper with proposal 5%, draft (not graded) and final version (10-12pp 55%
MATERIALS + SUPPLIES:
All material will be available on Canvas
Department Undergraduate Notes:
Thinking of a Philosophy Major or Minor? The Concentration in Law and Philosophy? The Certificate in Ethics? The Philosophy and Methodology of Science Certificate?
Contact the PHIL Advisor at email@example.com More details on our website: SFU Philosophy
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