Week 1: Introduction

Approaches to Philosophy

A priori speculation: Platonism, phenomenology

Analysis: logical or linguistic examination

Naturalism: reflection on central aspects of reality, knowledge, and values, in partnership with science.

Historical: study previous philosophers


Theoretical: what to believe.

Practical: what to do.

Applications: Everyday life, psychology, economics, etc.

Professional Skills

Develop a research program.

Write good papers.

Give effective presentations.

How to be a successful scientist (or philosopher).

Discussion Questions for Week 2

  1. What is the difference between theoretical and practical rationality? How might they be related?
  2. According to Audi, what are the major sources of rationality?
  3. Is testimony a source of rationality?
  4. What is the difference between coherentist and foundationalist approaches to rationality? Which do you think is more plausible?
  5. What are the limits of rationality?
  6. Why should people be rational?


PHIL 680

Computational Epistemology Laboratory.

Paul Thagard

This page updated Sept. 12, 2005.