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First-Year Seminar in Philosophy (109-6-20)


Skepticism & Common Sense


Sean Christopher Ebels Duggan
Kresge 3-443

Meeting Info

Locy Hall 303: Mon, Wed, Fri 1:00PM - 1:50PM

Overview of class

Sometimes it feels right to ask "But how do you know?" and to seek ever more stringent standards for knowledge. Other times it seems right to stick to everyday standards, which--we insist (or hope?)--are good enough. And sometimes we waffle between the two: the more we ask for extraordinary proofs, the more we seem to deal in abstractions. But the more we focus on "common sense", the more we feel the pull of wanting something to underwrite it. This seminar is an introduction to philosophy through an investigation of how these two forces battle, and of how (or if) they make peace.

Learning Objectives

Careful reading of philosophical texts. Faithful and charitable treatment of others' arguments. Precise and enlightening written presentation of one's own thoughts.

Class Materials (Required)

Class materials must be purchased.

Penelope Maddy, What do Philosophers Do?
Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy

Class Attributes

WCAS First-Year Seminar

Enrollment Requirements

Enrollment Requirements: Reserved for First Year & Sophomore only