Theory of Knowledge - Ásta Kristjana Sveinsdóttir



Theory of Knowledge - Ásta Kristjana Sveinsdóttir
Dr. Ásta Sveinsdóttir
24 janúar 2015
San Francisco State University
Department of Philosophy
Spring 2014
Phil 610: Theory of Knowledge
Tue and Thu 11.00am-12.15pm. HUM 115
Instructor: Dr. Ásta Sveinsdóttir (Dr. Ásta)
Email: [email protected]
Course website: iLearn
OHs: Tue and Thu 1-2pm in HUM 360
TAs: Dana Harvey ([email protected]) and Rachel Cooper ([email protected])
An upper division survey course in epistemology. Topics include knowledge, justification, structure of
knowledge, naturalized epistemology, epistemic justice and responsibility.
Course objectives: To introduce students to important problems concerning the nature and scope of human
knowledge, epistemic agency, and epistemic responsibility.
Main texts:
Epistemology: The Big Questions, ed. By Linda Martín Alcoff (Blackwell, 1998). All readings are in this volume, unless otherwise noted on syllabus. Those will be available on iLearn.
Requirements and Grading:
Midterm paper draft, 5 pages [1500 words; 5% P/F], due March 12 on iLearn and in class.
Peer review photo [5% P/F], due on iLearn, March 17.
Midterm paper, 5 pages [1500 words; 40%], due March 17 in class and on iLearn.
Take home final exam, 7 pages [2100 words; 50%], due May 14 in class and on iLearn.
Late assignments will be graded at the end of term and receive no qualitative feedback.
Active and thoughtful class participation and/or significant improvement can help your grade.
Be sure to come on time (and stay throughout the class period), have read the relevant material at least
twice, and be ready to participate actively in the class. It is your responsibility to get any assignments, revisions of the syllabus, etc. from the course website if you don’t show up in class. Please be considerate and respectful. No messaging, texting, checking email, webbrowsing etc in class. Be sure to check your SFSU
email account regularly or have email forwarded to the account to use.
All work submitted for the course must be your own. Plagiarism will result in disciplinary action. For more
details see:
Reasonable Accommodation for Disability:
Academic accommodation is available for students with disabilities. Please talk to me as soon as possible to
discuss any accommodation that you may need for the course.
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Dr. Ásta Sveinsdóttir
24 janúar 2015
Class schedule (subject to change):
Tue Jan 27: First day of class. Introduction
Part I: What is knowledge?
Thu Jan 29: Meditations: Rene Descartes.
Tue Feb 3: On Certainty: Ludwig Wittgenstein.
Thu Feb 5: The Right to be Sure: A. J. Ayer.
Tue Feb 10: Epistemology's End: Catherine Elgin.
Part II: How are beliefs justified?
Thu Feb 12: Internalism and Externalism in Epistemology: William P. Alston.
Tue Feb 17: The General Conditions of Knowledge: Justification: Carl Ginet
Thu Feb 19: What is Justified Belief?: Alvin Goldman.
Tue Feb 24: Contextualism and Knowledge Attributions: Keith DeRose.
Thu Feb 26: Taking Subjectivity into Account: Lorraine Code.
Tue Mar 3: The Practices of Justification: Alessandra Tanesini.
Part III: What is the structure of knowledge?
Thu Mar 5: The Myth of the Given: Roderick Chisholm.
Tue Mar 10: The Raft and the Pyramid: Ernest Sosa.
Thu Mar 12: Midterm paper peer review workshop. Draft due on iLearn and in class.
Tue Mar 17: The Elements of Coherentism: Laurence BonJour.
Midterm paper due on iLearn and in class. Peer review photo due on iLearn.
Thu Mar 19: The Hermeneutic Code: Hans-Georg Gadamer.
Tue Mar 24: Spring recess. No class
Thu Mar 26: Spring recess. No class
Tue Mar 31: Cesar Chavez Day. No class
Thu Apr 2: Instructor out of town. No class
Part IV: What is naturalized epistemology?
Tue Apr 7: Epistemology Naturalized: W. V. O. Quine.
Thu Apr 9: What is 'Naturalized Epistemology'? Jaegwon Kim.
Tue Apr 14: Putting Naturalized Epistemology to Work: Phyllis Rooney
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Dr. Ásta Sveinsdóttir
24 janúar 2015
Part V: How is epistemology political?
Thu Apr 16: The 'Maleness' of Reason: Genevieve Lloyd.
Tue Apr 21: Alternative Epistemologies: Charles W. Mills.
Thu Apr 23: Idols of the Cave: Mary Tiles and Jim Tiles.
Tue Apr 28: excerpts from Epistemic Injustice: Miranda Fricker. iLearn
Thu Apr 30: excerpts from Epistemology of Resistance: José Medina. iLearn
Part VI: Case study of how epistemology is political: the epistemology of ignorance
Tue May 5: White Ignorance: Charles Mills. iLearn
Thu May 7: The Epistemology of Ignorance: Three Types: Linda Martín Alcoff. iLearn
Tue May 12: The Power of Ignorance: Lorraine Code. iLearn
Thu May 14: Last day of class. Take home final exam due: hard copy in class, soft copy on iLearn
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