The Metaphysics of Objectivity: Science, Meaning, and Mattering|
Fall 2009 not offered
Objectivity is often understood epistemically, as a stance, attitude, methodology, or relation to the world that is conducive to or even necessary for adequate knowledge. Such epistemic conceptions of objectivity have been widely criticized. Yet some philosophers now argue that these very criticisms uncover a more basic commitment to objective accountability as the condition for meaningful thought and understanding. This advanced seminar in philosophy and science studies will explore three attempts to reconceive objectivity as a condition of intelligibility rather than of knowledge: Robert Brandom's neopragmatist conception of objectivity as socially constituted, John Haugeland's understanding of objectivity as an "existential commitment" constitutive of scientific understanding, and Karen Barad's poststructuralist feminist conception of objectivity as constituted "intra-actively" in ways that invoke ethical as well as epistemic responsibilities.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: None
Rorty, "Solidarity or Objectivity?" and "Science as Solidarity"; Brandom, ARTICULATING REASONS; Haugeland, HAVING THOUGHT; Barad, MEETING THE UNIVERSE HALFWAY
|Examination and Assignments: |
Weekly seminar presentations and participation in discussion; one, two or three short expository essays; final term paper.