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PHIL 181: Philosophy of Language (PHIL 281)

The study of conceptual questions about language as a focus of contemporary philosophy for its inherent interest and because philosophers see questions about language as behind perennial questions in other areas of philosophy including epistemology, philosophy of science, metaphysics, and ethics. Key concepts and debates about the notions of meaning, truth, reference, and language use, with relations to psycholinguistics and formal semantics. Readings from philosophers such as Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Grice, and Kripke. Prerequisites: 80 and background in logic.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

PHIL 181B: Topics in Philosophy of Language (PHIL 281B)

This course builds on the material of 181/281, focusing on debates and developments in the pragmatics of conversation, the semantics/pragmatics distinction, the contextuality of meaning, the nature of truth and its connection to meaning, and the workings of particular linguistic constructions of special philosophical relevance. Students who have not taken 181/281 should seek the instructor's advice as to whether they have sufficient background.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Repeatable 3 times (up to 12 units total)
Instructors: Crimmins, M. (PI)

PHIL 184: Epistemology (PHIL 284)

This is an advanced introduction to core topics in epistemology -- the philosophical study of human knowledge. Questions covered will include: What is knowledge? Can we know anything outside our own minds? Must all knowledge rest on secure foundations? Does knowing something require knowing that you know it? What are the connections between knowledge and rationality? Does 'knowledge' mean the same in the philosophy classroom as it does in everyday life? Prerequisite Phil 80 or consent of the instructor.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

PHIL 184C: Epistemology of Testimony (PHIL 284C)

Many of our beliefs come from others, and not from direct experience. Is testimony a source of fundamental reasons¿reasons that do not have to be supported or validated by other sources like perception or inference? What sort of responsibility does one have to one¿s hearers, when one gives testimony?
Last offered: Winter 2012 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

PHIL 184P: Probability and Epistemology

Confirmation theory and various ways of trying to understand the concept of evidence. Discuss a series of issues in epistemology including probabilism (the view that you should assign degrees of belief to various propositions), conditionalization, confirmational holism, reliabilism and justification, and disagreement.
Last offered: Spring 2010 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

PHIL 185: Theory of Understanding (PHIL 285)

This course will survey some of the ongoing work on understanding in philosophy and psychology. The questions considered will include: What exactly is understanding? How does understanding differ from knowledge of commonplace facts? What are the different forms understanding takes (e.g. scientific, social, historical, aesthetic, etc), and how are the different forms of understanding related? Is there such a thing as implicit understanding?
Last offered: Autumn 2016 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

PHIL 185B: Philosophy of Perception (PHIL 285B)

The nature of perceptual experience and the role it plays in securing empirical knowledge. Focus will be on what is sometimes called "the problem of perception": the question of how perception could provide us with direct awareness of the surrounding environment given the possibility of illusions or hallucinations. Topics, include the relationship between perception and belief, the nature of perceptual phenomenology, whether or not perceptual experiences are representational states, and the philosophical relevance of empirical research on perception.
Last offered: Winter 2012 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

PHIL 186: Philosophy of Mind (PHIL 286)

(Graduate students register for 286.) This is an advanced introduction to core topics in the philosophy of mind. Prerequisite: PHIL 80
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Taylor, K. (PI)

PHIL 186B: Inner Sense

Often the label "inner" is used to describe aspects of ourselves we believe are not immediately observable to another. Thoughts, feelings, sensations; these all happen on the "inside," whereas speech, mannerisms, and actions are "outward" expressions. But how useful is this way of thinking? And what does it assume about what is "inner" versus what is "outer"? How reliable are the various internal mechanisms that allow us to know ourselves? Do we have a special kind of direct access to our own inner lives? And what can we know about the inner lives of others? Readings from philosophy of mind and cognitive science.
Last offered: Autumn 2012 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

PHIL 187: Philosophy of Action

Contemporary research in the philosophy of action. Topics include: What is it to be an agent? Is there a philosophically defensible contrast between being an agent and being a locus of causal forces to which one is subject? What is it to act purposively? What is intention? What is the relation between intention and belief? What is it to act intentionally? What is it to act for a reason? What is the relation between explaining why someone acted by citing the reasons for which she acted and causal explanation of her action? What is the relation between theoretical and practical rationality? What is the nature of our knowledge of our own intentional activity? What is it to act autonomously? What is shared cooperative activity? Prerequisite: PHIL 80.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum
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