PHIL 2511: Paradoxes
Course Instructor: Dr. Michael Johnson
Meeting Location: CPD 2.14
Meeting Times: Fridays 9:30am to 11:20am
A paradox is an absurd proposition that we are invited to accept on the basis of (a) our accepting other propositions that seem clearly true and (b) logical reasoning that seems clearly correct. A paradox thus pushes us to do something radical: abandon propositions we thought were clearly true, abandon logical reasoning we thought was clearly correct, or accept the absurd. Many things have been called paradoxes in the history of philosophy. In this class, we will examine some of the most persistent paradoxes, ones that challenge our natural conceptions of knowledge, self, truth, and morality.
Four short essays, each 25% of the final grade.
Paradoxes of Knowledge
Timothy Chow, “The Surprise Examination or Unexpected Hanging Paradox”
NO CLASS: Lunar New Year
The Ravens Paradox
Fitelson & Hawthorne, “How Bayesian Confirmation Theory Handles the Paradox of the Ravens” (read only pp. 247-258)
NO CLASS: Reading Week
NO CLASS: Good Friday