This course addresses issues about the nature of knowledge, justification, and truth, issues that arise from questions like, "How do you know?" and "Can you be sure?" Epistemology has largely been driven by skeptical worries as to whether knowledge is really possible, whether human reason can discover the truth. Under the influence of Quine, many contemporary philosophers dismiss the challenge of skepticism and recast epistemology as a natural science, allied with psychology. Yet skepticism underlies many currents in the humanities, influencing post-modernism, relativism, social constructionism, deconstruction, and even feminism. In examining these developments, the course addresses works by such philosophers as Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Wilfrid Sellars, W.V.O. Quine, Alvin Goldman, Nelson Goodman, Catherine MacKinnon, and John McDowell.
Prerequisites: One previous course in Philosophy.