Between Certainty and Doubt: Logic and Knowledge

Spring
Spring 2019
Olympia
Olympia
Evening
Evening
Freshman-Senior
Freshman–Senior
Class Size: 25
8
Credits per quarter

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Taught by

Stephen Beck
philosophy

Is there anything that we can know for certain? Are there methods of thinking that can guarantee truth? If not, does this mean that when we form our beliefs about the world, “anything goes”?

In this program we will study formal deductive logic, a method of reasoning still widely held to be the “royal road” to knowledge and truth. We will study enough formal logic to come to appreciate both its value and its limitations.

Alongside our study of logic, we will inquire into theories of knowledge itself: What does it mean, really, to say that you know something to be so? Do we need certainty in order to know? Since uncertainty is ubiquitous in our lives, how can we cope with it while still being responsible critical thinkers?

A major emphasis of our work will be applying our studies of logic and theories of knowledge to practical matters, be they personal, political, or social. By developing skills of reasoning, we will learn how to support our positions and decisions and to develop a nuanced attitude to the confidence we have in those positions and decisions. This program will further students’ abilities to think critically and to communicate their ideas effectively. This program will provide an excellent foundation of skills for study of law, natural or social sciences, or any area of study or employment where precise reasoning and expression are crucial. 

This offering will prepare you for careers and advanced study in:

Education, Law, Psychology, Philosophy

8

Credits per quarter

Fields of study: 
Prerequisites:

No previous experience in philosophy required.

Online learning:
  • Enhanced Online Learning - This offering requires access to web-based tools, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.
Freshman-Senior
Class Standing: Freshman–Senior
Class Size: 25
Evening

Scheduled for: Evening

Advertised schedule:

Mon/Wed 6-10 pm

Located in: Olympia