Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Patti Ross: Narratives and Knowledge

PHIL110-03 Narratives and Knowledge
Spring 2007

Course description

Literature can provide us with insight -- some would even argue knowledge -- about the world. Others deride this idea, claiming that nothing other than rigorous scientific method can produce such insights and knowledge. This course introduces philosophy throught examinations of what it means for something to be knowledge and of the role that science and literature have to play in producing objective claims about the world. We will approach these questions by focusing on a body of literature that can loosely be labeled `memoirs of mental illness'.
Topics to be covered include: knowledge, objectivity, perspectivalism and

Patricia Ross

Philosophy Department

Carleton College

Class Blog


The class discussions will be based on the indicated readings. Read them
before the lecture.

Mar 27

Course overview


Plato's Republic
(you will find the Allegory of the Cave at the beginning of Book VII)

Descartes' Meditations

(Meditations I, II and II will give you the Cogito argument)

Mar 29

Knowledge: Questions of knowing reality, how we know it exists and how we know its nature

Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy

Chapters 1, 2 and 3

Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Leibniz entry contains his account of idealism

Apr 3

Knowledge: Idealism, Knowledge by acquaintance vs. description, induction

Bertrand Russell, The Problems of Philosophy

Chapters 4, 5 and 6

Hume, Discourse

The problem of induction in discussed in section 4

Apr 5

Knowledge: What we can know, the problem of metaphysics

A. J. Ayer, Language, Truth and Logic

The Elimination of Metaphysics, Ch. 1

Monet's Haystacks

Apr 10

Knowledge: Induction, authority and Popper's solution to "what can be known"

K. Popper, Induction and Knowledge

The Problem of Induction, Knowledge without Authority

Apr 12


M. Hornbacher, Wasted

Apr 17

Objectivity: Pluralism and Knowledge

K. Popper, Objective Knowledge, Realism and Pluralism

Apr 19

Objectivity: Objective Knowledge: Why Science?

I, Lakatos, Science and Pseudoscience

Apr 24

Objectivity: Intersubjective Objectivity and Perspectivalism

H. Longino, Science as Social Knowledge, Chapter 4, e-reserve

Apr 26

Review of material so far

May 1

May 3

Multiple Personality

C. West, First Person Plural

May 8


I. Hacking, Rewriting the Soul, Chapters 1 and 2, e-reserve

May 10

Subjectivity: The relationship between objectivity and subjectivity reconsidered

J. Searle, Social Ontology:
Some Basic Principles.
(third article from bottom)

May 15


W. James, Principles of Psychology, Chapter 9,
and The Standford Encyclopedia entry on Self-knowledge

May 17

Subjectivity: Qualia and first-person experience

F. Jackson, Epiphenomenal Qualia,

T. Nagel, "What is it like to be a bat?"

May 22


K.R. Jamison, An Unquiet Mind

May 24

L. Slater, Lying

No comments: