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Philosophy: The Problem of Knowledge


Fall 2024

Monday, September 9 – Friday, December 20, 2024


Fixed-Pace Course





Where exactly does knowledge come from, how can we be sure we have it, and who decides what counts as knowledge? The aim of this course is to explore some of the key problems encountered by such philosophers, through a close reading of primary and secondary literature related to epistemology, the study of knowledge. We will read excerpts from key figures in the modern history of this study, including Descartes, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Dewey, Wittgenstein, Kuhn, DuBois, Fanon, and Foucault, along with more contemporary figures, like Richard Rorty, Judith Butler, Audre Lorde, and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick. Along the way, we will ask how our quest for knowledge has changed, how that quest relates to our quest for truth, and what it means to make a knowledge claim.

Completion of this course requires regular access to a laptop or desktop computer with working microphone and webcam, as well as a reliable internet connection.

This Fixed-Paced course incorporates a blend of synchronous and asynchronous elements. Students and teacher meet live via zoom on a regular weekly schedule. In addition, students complete coursework including guided readings, interactive videos, text and video-based discussion threads, problem sets, individual and collaborative projects, and so on. While these activities are time-flexible, teachers sequence them with weekly deadlines to help students keep on track and encourage and support the development of productive time management skills.


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Fixed-Pace Course