Saturday, October 29, 2016

Friday, October 28, 2016

We will finish Schwitzgebel on Tuesday and move on to Cassam's "Knowing what you believe," which you will find on BB.  Study questions, quiz and discussion questions on the latter will be available by Sunday, but not due until Wednesday.

Remember rough draft for Analysis 2 is due Tuesday and final draft is due Sunday.

Thought question for Tuesday:
Jim sincerely expresses the following opinion: Jury duty is a huge pain in the rump and if people don’t feel like doing it they should just ignore the summons because the county can’t enforce it anyway. 
Marie sincerely find Jim's opinion repulsive and expresses strong disagreement, arguing that jury service is a very strong civic responsibility and Jim's view is positively shameful. 
Interestingly, Jim has served on many juries and has never failed to respond to a summons. On the other hand, the three times Marie has received a summons, she has not shown up. Once she called in sick when she thought she might be coming down with a cold, and once she just couldn’t because she got a last minute chance to go to Disneyland for free and once she just somehow, sort of, you know forgot. 
Does Jim know what he believes in this case? Does Marie? Explain.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Finish the following dialogue in light of your current thinking on the reliability of introspection. Does your completed dialogue tend to support or deny Schwitzgebel's views on the reliability of introspection?

Thought question for Thursday:

Sahar: Is that a sheep out there in the field?
Sherman: Uh...yep. Appears to be.
Sahar: Are you sure? Maybe it's just a rock that looks like a sheep.
Sherman: What? No. It appears to be moving.
Sahar: Hmmm, well it could be like a little motorized decoy sheep or something.
Sherman: Is there something wrong with you? Look, it could be a lot of things. But it appears to me to be a sheep. I am quite certain of that.
Sahar: Interesting. Why are you more sure that it appears to be a sheep than that it is a sheep?

Monday, October 24, 2016

I've moved the analysis due dates back a week. (See schedule) Sorry for the late notice. It is partly to accommodate my schedule but I think most of you wont' mind the extra time.  We've got room so that the last one won't be rushed.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

We'll finish up Sartwell the first 10 minutes of Tuesday, then move on to Schwitzgebel's "The unreliability of naive introspection." Study questions will be posted by Friday and test/discussion link by Sunday, due Monday night.

Thought question for Tuesday:

Can you be happy or unhappy without knowing about it?
If not, why not? If so, how?
Write an answer that shows a reflective awareness of whether you are answering as an internalist or as an externalist.

Tuesday, October 18, 2016

We'll finish Sartwell's piece on Thursday. Don't forget to do the test and post a discussion question by Wednesday night.

Thought question for Thursday:
Most philosophers agree that it is possible to choose to do (or not do) something, such as get out of bed or order a pizza, and, as consequence, do that thing. This is not the claim that such actions are free as opposed to determined, but simply the claim that our actions do often arise from our choices.
Far fewer philosophers agree that it is possible to choose to believe (or not believe) something. We often say "I choose to believe ___," but this does not appear to be a realistic description of the phenomenology of belief. For example, if you currently believe that Guyana is in Africa, and then you notice on a map that it is actually in South America, you do not choose to change your previous belief. It just happens.
  • Question 1: Produce a counterexample to the claim that you cannot choose to believe something.
  • Question 2: Do you think it is possible to choose to have a particular thought? e.g., Can you choose to think about bacon?
  • Question 3: You will now perform a task. Your task is to choose not to think about bacon for as long as possible. Imagine that as soon as you think about bacon you will receive a very painful shock to a sensitive area. Clear your mind and begin in 15 seconds. Write down how long you lasted, and any subsequent thoughts that you have about your performance or bacon.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

The target article for your next analysis is "Epistemic agency," by Catherine Elgin. It is available here, and there is also a link to it on the schedule page under week 6 supplementary readings. First draft due 10/25. Final draft due 10/30.

Also, you will find this week's reading "Why knowledge is merely true belief," on Blackboard at the very bottom of the supplementary readings. The schedule originally looked like it linked to the article, but this was an error.

Friday, October 14, 2016

We will finish Pritchard's article fairly quickly on Tuesday. Please read Sartwell's "Why knowledge is merely true belief."  I will have study questions, quiz and discussion thread available by Sunday, but they will not be due until Wednesday night.

For your thought question, please read this post. 
  • What is the strongest reason for rejecting the view advanced there?
  • Do you reject the view for this reason?  Why or why not?

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

We will finish Hannon's article on Thursday and get started on Pritchard's "Anti-Luck Virtue Epistemology."

Thought question for Thursday

Virtue epistemology holds that one knows that P only if ones true belief that P is produced by the exercise of a cognitive virtue.
  1. What do you think is the strongest objection to this view?
  2. What do you think is the strongest reply to this objection? 
  3. Do you think this reply is adequate? Why or why not?

Thursday, October 6, 2016

We're going to skip "Elusive Knowledge," and read Pritchard's "Anti-luck Virtue Epistemology" for next week.  However, we will start on that article on Thursday and questions and quiz won't be due until Wednesday night.

For Tuesday we will finish Hannon's article.

Thought question for Tuesday:

There are hundreds of religions in your world, all fervently believed by millions of people. However, you are lucky enough to have been born into the correct one: Önism. Everything in your holy book, The Önid, is in fact the word of the Supreme Being, Ön, dictated by Ön through a perfectly reliable process. You learned the precepts of Önism as a child and have never seriously questioned them. 
Everything in the holy books of the other religions relating to creation and the afterlife is false. But the Önid is no more convincing to members of other religions than the holy books of other religions are to Önists. Atheists exist in large numbers, and they find the Önid to be puerile nonsense, just like all the other religions. 
Do your Önist beliefs count as knowledge? Explain. Does your explanation incline you to internalism or externalism?

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

For Thursday we will be starting on the Michael Hannon article "Fallibilism and the value of knowledge." Quiz and discussion question are due tomorrow night.

Thought question for Thursday"

Watch this TED talk by Rebecca Saxe on the false belief task. Explain how it might be brought to bear on questions about the nature of knowledge. If you don't think it raises any such questions, explain why.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Thought question for Tuesday is on previous post. Study questions, quiz and discussion question thread covering the next article have all been posted. Quiz and discussion question are due Wednesday night.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Thought question for Tuesday:

You study hard for your psychology exam and you go to class confident that you are going to do well. When you sit down to the test, you begin to read the questions. They sound familiar, but for some reason you are just drawing a blank. You begin to get nervous, and this makes it even worse. As the time passes, nothing improves. You almost get up and leave, but you realize that's stupid and you at least need to try. So you just start guessing. You turn the test in at the end of the period sure that you have done poorly. But when the test is returned it turns out you got an A: 94%.
Question: Did you know the answers to the test? Explain why or why not in a way that shows what your answer implies about your views concerning the nature of knowledge itself.  
In consideration of the fact that you do not have extra reading or a quiz to take for Tuesday I have postponed the Analysis due date until Monday.

I will post a thought question for Monday shortly, however.