John Haugeland, "Truth and Rule-Following" sections 1-5
John Haugeland, "Authentic Intentionality”
Course Description: This course introduces some central themes and influential arguments in late 20th Century Anglophone philosophy. Roughly the middle of the 20th C. marks a significant division within the history of Anglo-American philosophy. The first half of the century was dominated by a conception of philosophy as the logical analysis of linguistic meaning, often conjoined with empiricist epistemology. This course examines some prominent criticisms of that conception, and the associated re-thinking of how philosophy relates to the empirical sciences. The course begins with some prominent criticisms (notably by Quine and Sellars) of what had been a widely accepted conception of the relation between philosophy (as the logical analysis of conceptual meaning) and science (as empirically grounded knowledge of contingent facts). These critics brought philosophy into closer engagement with the natural sciences, in different ways. We therefore move on to consider various accounts of the place of thought and language within a broadly scientific conception of the world. With the recognition that meaningful thoughts and utterances must involve rational normative accountability, the course concludes with various attempts to understand the force and authority of semantic and epistemic norms.
Course Requirements: 1) One mid-term expository essay (on assigned topics) providing succinct exposition of key concepts and issues in Quine's and Sellars's criticisms of linguistic empiricism and their alternative constructive programs.
2) EITHER two shorter papers (~5-7 pp. each) or one final term paper (~10-15 pp.) on topics of students’ choice; sophomores are encouraged to write shorter papers, while senior Philosophy majors are expected to write the term paper (an abstract or outline of the topic for term papers is due two weeks before the paper itself).
Grading Options: This course may be taken either for a letter grade, or on a CR/U basis; however, in order to receive a grade of CRt all assigned work must be successfully completed as "satisfactory" (roughly equivalent to a C grade).
Moodle: All course assignments should be submitted electronically in Microsoft Word through the drop-boxes on the Moodle course calendar.
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 gone over the assigned reading carefully, to articulate for yourself the central themes and issues being addressed, and pick out central concepts and claims that need to be understood and assessed. While the instructor will sometimes lecture, much class time will be devoted to directed discussion to elicit the central issues and arguments. You should come prepared to address the instructor's questions about the material, and to pose your own questions and responses. Students are strongly encouraged to reread assigned passages after discussion in class.
SCHEDULE OF READINGS AND ASSIGNMENTS
Th Jan 20 Reading: Otto Neurath, “The Vienna Circle, or the Scientific World-Conception”
Topic: Introduction to the Course
PART I: Empiricism and its Critics
Tu Jan 25 Reading: Carnap, "Empiricism, Semantics and Ontology" (Morick)
Topic: Empiricism within Linguistic Frameworks
Th Jan 27 Reading: Quine, "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" (Morick) 46-60
Topic: What is Analytic Truth?
Tu Feb 1 Reading: Quine, "Two Dogmas of Empiricism" (Morick) 60-68