24.211 | Spring 2014 | Undergraduate
Theory of Knowledge

Readings

The table below features the assigned readings for the course.

For suggestions on how to read philosophy more effectively, see Jim Pryor’s Guidelines on Reading Philosophy.

SES # TOPICS READINGS
1 The Skeptical Problem Descartes, René. “First Meditation: On what can be called into doubt.” In Meditations on First Philosophy in which are demonstrated the existence of God and the distinction between the human soul and body (PDF). earlymoderntexts.com.
2–3 What is Knowledge?

Gettier, Edmund L. “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge?Analysis 23, no. 6 (1963): 121–3.

Zagzebski, Linda. “The Inescapability of Gettier Problems.” Philosophical Quarterly 44, no. 174 (1994): 65–73.

4–5

Skepticism and Common Sense

Moore, G. E. “Proof of an External World.” Chapter 9 in Selected Writings. Edited by Thomas Baldwin. Routledge, 1993. ISBN: 9780415098533.

———. “Certainty.” Chapter 10 in Selected Writings. Edited by Thomas Baldwin. Routledge, 1993. ISBN: 9780415098533. [Preview with Google Books]

Stroud, Barry. “The Problem of the External World.” Chapter 1 in The Significance of Philosophical Skepticism. Oxford University Press, 1984. ISBN: 9780198247616.

6–7 The Closure of Knowledge

Dretske, Fred. “The Case against Closure.” In Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. 2nd ed. Edited by Matthias Steup, John Turri, and Ernest Sosa. Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. ISBN: 9780470672099. [Preview with Google Books]

Optional

Hawthorne, John. “The Case for Closure.” In Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. 2nd ed. Edited by Matthias Steup, John Turri, and Ernest Sosa. Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. ISBN: 9780470672099. [Preview with Google Books]

8–9 Sensitivity and Safety

Nozick, Robert. “Knowledge and Skepticism.” Chapter 3 in Philosophical Explanations. Belknap Press, 1983, pp. 172–85 and 197–217. ISBN: 9780674664791. [Preview with Google Books]

Sosa, Ernest. “How to Defeat Opposition to Moore.” Noûs 33, Supplement: Philosophical Perspectives, 13, Epistemology (1999): 141–53.

10–11 Dogmatism and Bootstrapping

Pryor, James. “The Skeptic and the Dogmatist.” Noûs 34, no. 4 (2000): 517–49.

Cohen, Stewart. “Basic Knowledge and the Problem of Easy Knowledge.” Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 65, no. 2 (2002): 309–29.

12–13 Default Entitlement

Wright, Crispin. “Scepticism, Certainty, Moore and Wittgenstein (PDF),” st-andrews.ac.uk. 2004.

Optional

Jenkins, C. S. “Entitlement and Rationality.” Synthese 157, no. 1 (2007): 25–45.

14–15 Inference to the Best Explanation

Vogel, Jonathan. “The Refutation of Skepticism.” In Contemporary Debates in Epistemology. 2nd ed. Edited by Matthias Steup, John Turri, and Ernest Sosa. Wiley-Blackwell, 2013. ISBN: 9780470672099.

Russell, Bertrand. “On Induction.” Chapter 6 in The Problems of Philosophy. ditext.com.

16–17 Knowledge and Certainty

Unger, Peter. “An Argument for Skepticism (PDF).” Philosophical Exchange 1 (1974): 1–10.

Stanley, Jason. “Knowledge and Certainty.” Philosophical Issues 18, no. 1 (2008): 35–57.

18–19 Contextualism and Practical Interests

Cohen, Stewart. “Contextualism, Skepticism, and the Structure of Reasons.” Noûs 33, Supplement: Philosophical Perspectives, 13, Epistemology (1999): 57–89.

Stanley, Jason. “Introduction.” In Knowledge and Practical Interests. Oxford University Press, 2008. ISBN: 9780199230433. [Preview with Google Books]

20–22 The Lottery Paradox

Hawthorne, John. Knowledge and Lotteries. Oxford University Press, 2006. ISBN: 9780199287130.

23–26 Semantic Externalism

Putnam, Hilary. “Meaning and Reference.” Journal of Philosophy 70, no. 19 (1973): 699–711.

———. “Brains in a Vat.” Chapter 27 in Knowledge: Readings in Contemporary Epistemology. Edited by Sven Bernecker and Fred Dretske. Oxford University Press, 2000. ISBN: 9780198752615.

Chalmers, David J. “The Matrix as Metaphysics,” consc.net.

Horgan, Terence, and John Tienson. “The Intentionality of Phenomenology and the Phenomenology of Intentionality,” u.arizona.edu.

Course Info
As Taught In
Spring 2014
Learning Resource Types
assignment_turned_in Written Assignments with Examples