PHIL 383 - Knowledge and Reality
Winter 2021, Section 001
Instruction Mode: Section 001 is  Online (see other Sections below)
Subject: Philosophy (PHIL)
Department: LSA Philosophy
See additional student enrollment and course instructor information to guide you in your decision making.

Details

Credits:
4
Requirements & Distribution:
HU
Enforced Prerequisites:
One Philosophy course (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better).
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Description

Maybe by now you’ve grown accustomed to or disappointed by philosophers’ approaching issues via their “intuitions” or via various “isms” assumed for argument’s sake. Here we’ll try to work out instead how things go if we start thinking about epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics from scratch. None of the familiar intuitions or competing isms allowed as assumptions. I hope that quest strikes you as a fun and refreshing challenge, poised to help find common ground even among extremely distant disputants.

I think we can get shockingly far from shockingly close to scratch. Maybe you’ll decide not to go where starting from scratch would lead. Even if so, imaginatively proceeding from scratch enables you better to locate the nature and operation of your countervailing presuppositions, and of their alternatives. It is very worth trying, once in your busy and short life. This may be your best chance to declutter and refurnish your mind.

Here are the main questions we’ll try to answer, from as close to scratch as possible. (Compare with this term’s Phil 450. It has ~25% overlap, but it may usefully be taken jointly.)

  • Why pursue true theories rather than useful ones, if those are different? Is anything known with complete certainty?
  • If you start out without a method for testing theories, how can you best reach an initial method? What method? Can it outcompete skepticism, e.g. about the external world or the distant past?
  • Why is there something rather than nothing? What even is it for something to be? What is it for something to have a function?
  • What is it for something to be ethically good, or bad? Which things (if any) are which?

    Class Format:

    The lecture will meet synchronously online.

Schedule

PHIL 383 - Knowledge and Reality
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 Online
36528
Open
15
 
-
TuTh 4:00PM - 5:30PM
002 (DIS)
 Online
36529
Open
9
 
-
F 10:00AM - 11:00AM
003 (DIS)
 Online
36530
Open
6
 
-
F 11:00AM - 12:00PM

Textbooks/Other Materials

The partner U-M / Barnes & Noble Education textbook website is the official way for U-M students to view their upcoming textbook or course material needs, whether they choose to buy from Barnes & Noble Education or not. Students also can view a customized list of their specific textbook needs by clicking a "View/Buy Textbooks" link in their course schedule in Wolverine Access.

Click the button below to view and buy textbooks for PHIL 383.001

View/Buy Textbooks

Syllabi

Syllabi are available to current LSA students. IMPORTANT: These syllabi are provided to give students a general idea about the courses, as offered by LSA departments and programs in prior academic terms. The syllabi do not necessarily reflect the assignments, sequence of course materials, and/or course expectations that the faculty and departments/programs have for these same courses in the current and/or future terms.

Click the button below to view historical syllabi for PHIL 383 (UM login required)

View Historical Syllabi

CourseProfile (Atlas)

The Atlas system, developed by the Center for Academic Innovation, provides additional information about: course enrollments; academic terms and instructors; student academic profiles (school/college, majors), and previous, concurrent, and subsequent course enrollments.

CourseProfile (Atlas)