This course concerns the theory of knowledge – epistemology in both the analytic and psychological-social sense.
This course will examine the history of justified beliefs from the ancient Athenian context through the middle ages, the European Enlightenment, and up through the postmodern turn and “Post-Truth” in the 20th century. As we examine each historical epoch we will examine how and why beliefs were acquired, held, justified, and rejected. Then we will compare and contrast the different historical epochs vis-a-vis and attempt to make some authoritative claims about the nature of beliefs and truth.
Of particular interest will be the social dynamic within the theory of knowledge from the psychological and sociological perspectives. We will also examine how knowledge is shaped by social actors, campaigns, and institutions who bend or compromise basic epistemological rules in order to create outcomes some of which may be socially damaging.