Knowledge, Justification & Humanist Epistemologies
From the time of the ancient Greeks, humans have contemplated the best way to understand the natural world, to comprehend truth, to build a just society and to live a good life without relying on supernatural explanations provided by religions. We will consider the contemporary state of these efforts in the context of modern humanism. In addition to considering the basic processes that lead us to this knowledge and understanding, we will review important advances in the physical, biological and social sciences that impact contemporary concerns with regard to the quests initiated by the ancients.
Each student will prepare a review contemporary case study of a topic covered in the course. Suggestions and reference sources will be provided, however subjects suggested by the students themselves will be welcome. There will be two conference calls a few months in advance of the course to discuss the goals of the class and to provide guidance in choosing case studies.