Philosophy | Theory of Knowledge
P562 | 3413 | Kaplan


This will be a course about knowledge: why philosophers have worried
about whether we have any knowledge about the world around us, and why
they--and why we--should care whether we have any such knowledge.  Key
to the enterprise will be figuring out what is involved in knowing
something to be true.  We will seek guidance in the writings of some
of the best known epistemologists of the last quarter century,
including Robert Brandom, Stanley Cavell, Keith DeRose, Alvin Goldman,
Hilary Kornblith, David Lewis, John McDowell, Robert Nozick, Barry
Stroud, Michael Williams, and Timothy Williamson.  But we will accept
help from anyone who will provide it, whether it is Gerd Gigerenzer
and his cognitive psychology group, or Bob Seger and his Silver Bullet
Band.  (What can we learn about knowledge from Seger's plaintive line,
about a love affair gone wrong: "I wish I didn't know now what I
didn't know then"?)   In the end, however, it will turn that it is one
paper, written by a philosopher over forty years dead--a once
influential paper that is now rarely read, infrequently cited, almost
never anthologized--that will provide us with the most important
guidance.  It will not only help us to answer our questions about
knowledge, but it will help us see what epistemology can and cannot
be.  That is to say, this course will provide the occasion for a
serious re-appraisal and appreciation of  J. L Austin's brilliant 1946
paper, "Other Minds".