Blast Course: “What Is Knowledge?”


Course Title“What Is Knowledge?"

Dates: Tuesday/Fridays from July 13th through August 14th (5 weeks)

Class Type: 2 recorded videos per week (with one live group meeting TBD)

Course Description: In this world of Fake News, it can be difficult to sort out what we know. In this course, we will be asking ourselves the following questions about knowledge and more: How can I trust my beliefs? What is happening when I believe something false? Can I guess the right answer and still be said to know it? What if I have a lot riding on the answer, does this change what it takes to know? No previous coursework in philosophy is assumed.

The first two weeks is about skepticism, or the position that we do not know things that we think we know. Typically, knowledge is assumed to be a justified true belief. So, we will discuss false beliefs as well. Next, we will address counterexamples to this view. Guessing the right answer seems like an agent does not really know, but why? The final week will be about contextualism. Contextualists argue that if it really matters to you, then there is a higher standard for whether or not I know something. We will discuss Descartes, Plato, and some contemporary figures as well.  

On Tuesdays I will send out an email with that week’s reading, only 5-10 pages, and a link to that week’s lecture. You should do the reading before watching the lecture. Once you have viewed the lecture, you will send me your questions. On Fridays I will upload a video in which I answer all of your questions.

Instructor: Cara Cummings, Philosophy (she/her)

Open to the public

[image credit: Still Life: Milk Jug and Fruits on a Table by Paul Cézanne (© National Museum of Norway)]

 Event Date
Monday, July 13, 2020

Friday, August 14, 2020

Alexander Grass Humanities Institute

Status message

This class is now closed. Please email with your name and the title of this class if you would like to be added to the waitlist.