The Metaphysics of Objectivity: Science, Meaning, and Mattering|
Fall 2013 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. We shall be especially attentive to how these approaches might change how we think about the sciences.
||Gen Ed Area Dept:
|Course Format: Seminar||Grading Mode: Student Option|
||Fulfills a Major Requirement for: (PHIL-Philosophy)(PHIL-Social Jus)(SISP)(SISP-ScieDblMjr)
Robert Brandom, ARTICULATING REASONS; John Haugeland, HAVING THOUGHT; Karen Barad, MEETING THE UNIVERSE HALFWAY, and essays by Christine Korsgaard, Arthur Fine, Richard Rorty, Donna Haraway, Brandom, Haugeland, and Daniel Dennett
|Examinations and Assignments: |
Weekly seminar presentations and participation in discussion; one or two short expository essays; final term paper.
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