Mind, Body, and World: Conceptual Spontaneity and Worldly Constraint|
Spring 2009 not offered
This advanced seminar critically assesses some influential contemporary treatments of a perennial philosophical question: How is the spontaneity of thought and talk accountable to and/or constrained by perceptual and practical interaction with the world? With a brief introduction to Quine's and Davidson's criticisms of semantic empiricism as background, we will examine John McDowell's attempt to develop a post-Davidsonian empiricism, Robert Brandom's social inferentialism, Hubert Dreyfus/Samuel Todes's phenomenological dualism of bodily coping and linguistic articulation, and John Haugeland's account of embodied "existential commitment." The course will conclude with some reflections on how language use might itself be understood as practical and perceptual.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
We will read a subset of the following :
Quine, "Two Dogmas of Empiricism"
Davidson, "Thought and Talk" and "On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme"
Rorty, "Non-Reductive Physicalism"
McDowell, MIND AND WORLD
Brandom, ARTICULATING REASONS (selections) and "No Experience Necessary"
Dreyfus, APA Presidential address
Todes, BODY AND WORLD (selections)
Noe, ACTION IN PERCEPTION (selections)
Haugeland, HAVING THOUGHT (selections)
|Examination and Assignments: |
Informal seminar presentations; one 5-7 page paper; one 10-12 page paper; participation in seminar discussions.
|Additional Requirements and/or Comments: |
The seminar presupposes the ability to do advanced philosophical work, and some familiarity with at least one of the following fields: philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, epistemology, philosophy of science or early modern philosophy.