July 23 (Huemer)
· Huemer, Skepticism & the Veil of Perception, ch. II. Read sections 1-2 (rest optional).
· Huemer, “Foundations and Coherence.”
July 24 (Huemer)
· Huemer, “Compassionate Phenomenal Conservatism.”
July 25 (Tooley)
· G. E. Moore, “Hume's Theory Examined,” Chapter VI of Some Main Problems of Philosophy, pages 108-26.
· Michael Huemer, “Easy Answers to Skepticism,” Chapter III of Skepticism and the Veil of Perception, pp. 27-49.
· Hilary Putnam, “Brains in a Vat,” Chapter 2 of Reason, Truth, and History, pages 1-21.
July 26 (Tooley)
· Michael Huemer, “A Version of Direct Realism,” Chapter IV of Skepticism and the Veil of Perception, pp. 51-92.
July 27 (Monton)
· Bas van Fraassen, selections from The Scientific Image
Van Fraassen is the preeminent proponent of scientific anti-realism (you'll find out what that is when you do the reading). His version of scientific anti-realism is called "constructive empiricism".
· Paul Churchland, “The Ontological Status of Observables”
Churchland criticizes constructive empiricism. Churchland is a scientific realist ... maybe? The last section of his essay is intriguing.
· Bas van Fraassen, selections from his replies to critics
Here van Fraassen replies to Churchland.
· Bradley Monton, “Prolegomena To Any Future Physics-Based Metaphysics”
Even assuming that scientific realism is true, there are reasons to be careful regarding reading off truths about the world from science.
[Optional) For an encyclopedic discussion of constructive empiricism, see my co-authored SEP entry: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/constructive-empiricism/]
July 30 (Lee)
Some of the most important developments in ancient epistemology occurred in the Hellenistic period, with the Epicureans and the Stoics. We will examine the sharp debates between Stoics, who put forward an empiricist theory of perception and knowledge, and their Academic sceptical critics, under whose relentless pressure the Stoics were forced to revise and refine their views. We will spend Day 1 examining Stoic epistemology, and Day 2 trying to figure out what kind of ‘skeptics’ the Academics were. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me by email before the seminar starts.
· Long and D.N. Sedley, The Hellenistic Philosophers, v. 1: Translations of the principal sources with philosophical commentary. Cambridge UP 1987. Stoicism: Epistemology: Stoics and Academics, pp. 236-266.**
· Michael Frede, “Stoic Epistemology,” in The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy, K. Algra, J. Barnes, J. Mansfeld and M. Schofield (eds.) (Cambridge 1999) 295-322.*
· Vogt, Katja, "Ancient Skepticism", The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (Winter 2011 Edition), Edward N. Zalta (ed.).
This is a survey of ancient Greek skepticism—please read pp. 15-25, the section on Academic skepticism, in order to get a general idea of the contours of Academic scepticism.
July 31 (Lee)
· Long and Sedley, The Academics pp. 438-467
· Gisela Striker, “Sceptical Strategies,” in Schofield et al. (ed.), Doubt and Dogmatism, Oxford: Clarendon Press 1980, pp. 54-83.
· Schofield, Malcolm. “Academic epistemology,” in The Cambridge History of Hellenistic Philosophy, K. Algra, J. Barnes, J. Mansfeld and M. Schofield (eds.) (Cambridge 1999) 323-351.*
* Schofield 1999 and Frede 1999 were printed in a volume with a single bibliography printed at the end. I will post the bibliography soon.
** If anyone would like a copy of the original Greek/Latin texts for the readings in Long and Sedley, let me know, and I can scan a copy of those (from Long and Sedley v. 2).
August 1 (Pasnau)
· Robert Pasnau (2010), “Science and Certainty”
· Robert Pasnau (2010), ”Scientia for Mere Mortals”
August 2 (Pasnau)
· René Descartes, Discourse on Method pts. 1-4; First Meditation
· John Locke (1689), Essay Bk. IV excerpts
August 3 (Monton)
· Buchak, “Can It Be Rational to Have Faith?”
This paper gets a little technical toward the end, but it's really good. Don't get too bogged down in the technical stuff; the paper picks up again on p. 30 with "The upshot of this discussion...". (For the record, I love the technical stuff, but I recognize that not everyone does.)
· Garber, “Religio Philosophi”
Garber is an atheist, but clearly feels the pull of religious faith.
· Garber, “What Happens After Pascal's Wager?”
This is a beautifully written piece.
[Optional: For great background reading on Pascal's Wager, see Alan Hajek's SEP entry: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/pascal-wager/]
August 6 (Cleland).
· Carol Cleland (2002), “Methodological and Epistemic Differences between Historical Science and Experimental Science”
· Derek Turner (2005), “Local Underdetermination in Historical Science”
· Carol Cleland (2011), “Prediction and Explanation in Historical Natural Science”
· Aviezer Tucker (2011), “Historical Science, Over- and Underdetermined”
[Optional: Elliot Sober (2001), “Venetian Sea Levels” ]
August 7 (Morriston)
· Michael Bergmann, “Skeptical Theism and the Problem of Evil,” in Thomas P. Flint and Michael C. Rea, eds., The Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Theology (OUP 2009).
August 8 (Morriston)
· Alvin Plantinga, Warranted Christian Belief (OUP 2000), excerpts
August 9 (Oddie)
· Frederic B. Fitch, “A Logical Analysis of Some Value Concepts” Journal of Symbolic Logic 28 (1963) 135-42. [READ: pages 135-9, up to the end of Theorem 6.]
· W.D. Hart, “The epistemology of abstract objects II,” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society Supp Vol 53 (1979) 153-65. [The essential reading in Hart is contained on pages 155-56 starting "Quine's epistemology for mathematics ..." and ending "...I am an unreconstructed realist.” However you may want to read what precedes that and follows it to get the context. Essentially, Hart extracts the argument in Fitch’s article that is relevant to the viability of verificationism as a theory of meaning.]
· J. L. Mackie, “Truth and Knowability,” Analysis 40 (1980) 90-92. [A response to Hart.]