PHIL 383 - Knowledge and Reality
Spring 2016, Section 101
Instruction Mode: Section 101 is (see other Sections below)
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
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Requirements & Distribution:
Waitlist Capacity:
Enforced Prerequisites:
One Philosophy course (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better).
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:


This course will be an intermediate level introduction to some of the most engaging problems in metaphysics and epistemology. I will not presume any background on these topics. It is "intermediate" in the sense that I expect you to be willing to engage with a number of challenging research papers rather than reading from a textbook or anthology (by the same token, no textbook is required).

The class will be divided in to roughly three parts:

  1. metaphysics
  2. epistemology
  3. knowledge and society.

Each week will be an adventure exploring a different core idea from one of these parts. Some of the topics we will explore from metaphysics include time, space, identity, motion and causation. In epistemology, we will look at knowledge, justification, skepticism, learning and induction, uncertainty and probability. In the last part, we will cover statistical literacy, learning from experts and peer disagreement, and epistemic justice. As part of this section, we will talk about the use of statistical information in legal, political, and every day decision making (and the challenges associated with doing so). Additionally, we will watch several movies and shows throughout to illuminate the main concepts (e.g., Ex Machina, The Matrix, Futurama).

Course Requirements:

Course requirements will include homework, two short papers, and an in-class final exam.

Intended Audience:

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Class Format:

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PHIL 383 - Knowledge and Reality
Schedule Listing
101 (LEC)
 In Person
MW 1:00PM - 4:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

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