X3655 Office Hours: Monday 10-11 (RH), Thursday 11-12 (All), Friday 1-2 (All) or by appt

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Joe Rouse Spring 2013

Offices: Russell House 202 (RH); Allbritton 219 (All)

Email:---jrouse@wesleyan.edu Phone: x3655

Office Hours:Monday 10-11 (RH), Thursday 11-12 (All), Friday 1-2 (All) or by appt (RH)
Texts (Broad St.): Harold Morick, ed., Challenges to Empiricism

Wilfrid Sellars, Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind

Saul Kripke, Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language

Texts (On Line):

Otto Neurath, “The Scientific Conception of the World” (Vienna Circle Manifesto)

W.v.O. Quine, "Language and Truth" (Word and Object, ch. 1)

Wilfrid Sellars, "Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man"

Donald Davidson, "Mental Events"

Daniel Dennett, "True Believers"

Donald Davidson, "Thought and Talk"

Donald Davidson, "On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme"

Hilary Putnam, "The Meaning of 'Meaning'"

Robert Brandom, "Freedom and Constraint by Norms"

Robert Brandom, Making It Explicit, pp. 586-601

Huw Price, “Truth as Convenient Friction”

Huw Price and Richard Rorty, “Exchange on Truth as Convenient Friction”

John Haugeland, "Truth and Rule-Following" sections 1-5

John Haugeland, "Authentic Intentionality”

Supplementary Texts on Feminism and Post-Analytic Philosophy:

L. H. Nelson and J. Nelson, eds., Feminist Interpretations of W.V. Quine, 24 hr Olin Reserve B945 .Q54 F46 2003

Sharyn Clough, ed., Siblings Under the Skin (notably papers by Sobstyl on Sellars and Clough on Davidson) — Olin Ebook

L. Antony and C. Witt, eds., A Mind of One’s Own, 24 hr Olin Res HQ1190 .M56 1993

Rebecca Kukla, “Objectivity and Perspective in Empirical Knowledge” E-Res
Selected Commentaries on Reserve or EBook: (This course presumes that students only need to read and think about the primary assigned texts. Experience shows, however, that students will sometimes consult secondary literature for guidance or further exploration. I have thus placed on reserve a few secondary sources that might be useful aids for first approaches to these particular texts, for those who choose to consult them):

Mario de Caro and David MacArthur, Naturalism and Normativity (E-book)

Willem deVries and Timm Triplett, Knowledge, Mind and the Given (Sellars)

Gary Ebbs, Rule-Following & Realism (Quine ch. 2,5; Putnam ch 7, Kripke, ch 1)

Peter Hylton, Quine

Jeff Malpas, Donald Davidson and the Mirror of Meaning

James O’Shea, Wilfrid Sellars

Bjørn Ramberg, Donald Davidson’s Philosophy of Language

Course Description: This course introduces some central themes and influential arguments in late 20th Century anglophone philosophy. Roughly mid-20th C. marks a significant historical divide: up to that point, the most influential approaches identified philosophy with the logical analysis of linguistic meaning, often conjoined with empiricist epistemology. This course examines prominent criticisms of that conception, and the ensuing re-consideration of how philosophy relates to the empirical sciences. The course begins with influential criticisms by Quine and Sellars of what had been a widely accepted sense of the relation between philosophy (as the logical analysis of conceptual meaning) and science (as empirically grounded knowledge of contingent facts). These criticisms brought philosophy into closer engagement with the natural sciences, in different ways. We then consider some accounts of the place of thought and language within a broadly scientific conception of the world. With a recognition that meaningful thoughts and utterances must involve rational normative accountability, the course concludes with attention to understanding the force and authority of semantic and epistemic norms.
Grading Options: This course may be taken for a letter grade, or on a CR/U basis; for a grade of CR all assigned work must be completed as "satisfactory" (roughly equivalent to a C or better).
Moodle: All course assignments should be submitted electronically in Word through the drop-boxes on the Moodle course calendar.
Course Requirements: 1) One mid-term expository essay (on assigned topics) providing succinct exposition of key concepts and issues in Quine and Sellars

2) Two short papers (~5-7 pp. each); topics open, but must be relevant to readings or class discussions.

2a) With permission, students may substitute a term paper (~10-15 pp.) for the shorter papers; to write a term paper, a proposed topic area or issue must be submitted for advice and approval by Monday, April 8, and an abstract or detailed outline submitted for comments by Monday, May 6; otherwise the assignment reverts to the shorter papers. Senior Philosophy majors are encouraged to propose a term paper topic; sophomores need a very compelling case to substitute the term paper.
HONOR CODE: All course assignments are submitted under the Honor Code, as a commitment to the ethos of an academic community. Philosophical work is collaborative, but you must then take responsibility for your own contribution to that common conversation. Reference to or use of published or posted materials outside of the assigned readings must be properly cited. Please include the following pledge at the end of all graded assignments:

In accordance with the Honor Code, I affirm that this work is my own and all content taken from other sources has been properly acknowledged.
Course Expectations: The course material is conceptually challenging. Students should come to class having read the assigned passages carefully, to recognize the central themes and issues being addressed and pick out central concepts and claims. While the instructor will sometimes lecture, class time will often be directed discussion to elicit central issues and arguments. You should come prepared to respond to questions about the material and to pose your own questions. Students are strongly encouraged to reread assigned passages after discussion in class.

Th Jan 24 Reading: Otto Neurath, “The Vienna Circle, or the Scientific World-Conception”

Topic: Introduction to the Course

PART I: Empiricism and its Critics

Tu Jan 29 Reading: Carnap, "Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology" (Morick) p. 28-46

Topic: Empiricism within Linguistic Frameworks

Th Jan 31 Reading: Quine, "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" (Morick) p. 46-60

Topic: What is Analytic Truth?

Tu Feb 5 Reading: Quine, "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" (Morick) p. 60-68

Topic: Epistemological Holism

Th Feb 7 Reading: Quine, "Language and Truth" (OL)

Topic: Language as a Social Activity

Tu Feb 12 Reading: Quine, "Meaning and Translation" (Morick) p. 70-95

Topic: Translational Indeterminacy

Th Feb 14 Reading: Sellars, "Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man" (OL) p. 1-25

Topic: The Manifest and the Scientific Images

Tu Feb 19 Reading: Sellars, "Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man" (OL) p. 25-40

Topic: Reconciling the Images in "Stereoscopic Vision"

Th Feb 21 Reading: Sellars, "Empiricism and Philosophy of Mind" I-VII p. 13-64

Topic: Being Red and Looking Red

Tu Feb 26 Reading: Sellars, "Empiricism and Philosophy of Mind" VII-IX p. 64-85

Topic: Science Without Foundations

Th Feb 28 Reading: Sellars,"Empiricism and Philosophy of Mind" X-XVI p. 85-117

Topic: Mental Events as Theoretical Constructs—the Myth of Jones

Assignment: EXPOSITORY ESSAY QUESTIONS distributed

PART II: Mind and its Place in Nature

Tu Mar 5 Reading: Davidson, "Mental Events" (OL)

Topic: Mental Events as Physical Events

Th Mar 7 Reading: No new reading; reread "Mental Events"

Topic: Psychophysical Laws and Anomalous Monism



Tu Mar 26 Reading: Dennett, "True Believers" (OL)

Topic: Rationality, Belief Attribution, and Prediction

Th Mar 28 Reading: Davidson, "Thought and Talk" (OL)

Topic: Belief and Language

Tu Apr 2 Reading: Davidson, "On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme" (OL)

Topic: Scheme/Content—A Third Dogma of Empiricism?

Th Apr 4 Reading: Davidson, "On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme"

Topic: Truth and Interpretation


Tu Apr 9 Reading: Putnam, "The Meaning of Meaning" (OL) p. 215-245

Topic: Natural Kinds and Semantic Externalism

Th Apr 11 Reading: Putnam, "The Meaning of Meaning" (OL) p. 245-271

Topic: Whither 'Meaning'?

M Apr 15 Assignment: FIRST OPEN-TOPIC PAPER DUE 9 a.m.

PART III: Meaning, Normativity and Truth

Tu Apr 16 Reading: Kripke, "The Wittgensteinian Paradox," Kripke p. 7-62

Topic: A Skeptical Problem about Meaning

Th Apr 18 Reading: Kripke,86-113; Brandom,"Freedom and Constraint by Norms" parts I-II Topic: Facts and Normativity

Tu Apr 23 Reading: Brandom, "Freedom & Constraint... " part III (and re-read earlier parts)

Topic: Normativity, Freedom, and Constraint

Th Apr 25 Reading: Brandom, Making It Explicit, (OL) p. 586-601

Topic: Objectivity as Practical-Perspectival

Tu Apr 30 Reading: Price, “Truth as Convenient Friction” (OL)

Topic: Truth and Conversation

Recommended Reading: Rorty and Price, “Exchange” (OL)

Th May 2 Reading: Haugeland, "Truth & Rule-Following" (OL) sect 1-5, &"Authentic Intentionality” (OL)

Topic: Can Meaning Be Biologically Functional or Socially Instituted?

M May 6 Assignment: Abstract or outline of term paper topics due on Moodle, noon

Tu May 7 Reading: ""Authentic Intentionality" (cont.)

Topic: Objectivity and Responsibility; Course Wrap-up

Wed, May 15 SECOND or TERM PAPERS DUE, 5 p.m., on a "rolling admissions" basis

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