All seminars are taking place online - please ask for the according link
Introduction to Metaphysics and Epistemology
In the first part of this course our main interest will be in philosophical questions about the nature of time, the identity of persons across time, and the conditions for free will. In the second part of this course our main interest will be in questions about the nature of human knowledge: what is knowledge, what are our sources of knowledge, and how–if at all–we can show that we have knowledge and deal with the problem of skepticism. Throughout the course there will be various introductory lectures on inductive and deductive logic.
Classics in philosophy of language
We are going to read and discuss the works of Frege, Russell, Quine, Grice and others on meaning. Our topics of investigation will include: (a) the relationship between truth and meaning, (b) the difference between implicature, entailment and presupposition, (c) the semantic contribution of singular terms, i.e. names and definite descriptions, to the meanings of complete sentences and (d) the analysis of belief-ascriptions (as well as other propositional attitudes).
Naming and Necessity
A deep dive into Kripke's classic 'Naming and Necessity'. Important distinctions such as the following will be explored: (a) a priori vs. a posteriori propositions, (b) necessity and contingency, (c) the analytic vs. synthetic distinction.
Knowledge and the Brain: Topics in Empirical Epistemology
This seminar explores the number of ways in which the findings and experimental methods of empirical sciences, especially psychology and neuroscience, might inform our answers to fundamental philosophical questions about the nature of knowledge. In addition to exploring what empirical sciences can tell us about the nature of knowledge, the seminar is particularly interested in methodological questions raised by the use of empirical findings and techniques in epistemology—Does this constitute a genuine way of doing philosophy, or are empirical findings and techniques in fact largely irrelevant to the kinds of philosophical questions epistemology seeks to address?
Recent Issues in Epistemology
We will examine a range of topics/ problems/ issues in contemporary epistemology. These will include the puzzling nature of human knowledge, the lottery paradox, the preface paradox, the problem of epistemic circularity, the nature of belief and its relation to credences, faith, and pragmatic encroachment. We will spend time investigating the nature of philosophical knowledge and the nature of intuitions and their epistemic value. We will conclude by looking at issues regarding ignorance and its implications for human rationality.