Meets Tuesdays in 65/1173 from 1-3pm and Thursdays in 65/2115 from 2-3pm SCHEDULE OF READINGS
For each week, the readings mainly divide into required and optional further readings. I include the optional readings just in case you find the topic especially interesting and would like to write a paper on it or simply learn more.
Required readings are available for registered students on this password-protected page; see the module outline on Blackboard for the password.
Part 1. Introduction
Week 1 – The Possibility and Nature of the Ethics of Belief
Required Reading There is none for this week. See Blackboard for notes and slides.
Part 2. The Normative Ethics of Belief
Week 2 – Evidentialism vs. Pragmatism
Required Reading Rinard, Susanna. “Against the New Evidentialists.” Shah, Nishi. "A New Argument for Evidentialism."
Optional Further Reading Clifford, William K. “The Ethics of Belief.” James, William. “The Will to Believe.” Leary, Stephanie. "In Defense of Practical Reasons for Belief.” McHugh, Conor. “The Illusion of Exclusivity.” Nolfi, Kate. “Why Evidence (and Only Evidence) Can Justify Belief.”
Week 3 – Pragmatic Encroachment
Required Reading Brown, Jessica. “Knowledge and Practical Reason.” Strongly Recommended Reading Stanley, Jason and Hawthorne, John. “Knowledge and Action.”
Optional Further Reading Brown, Jessica. “Impurism, Practical Reasoning, and the Threshold Problem.” Brown, Jessica. “Practical Reasoning, Decision Theory, and Anti-Intellectualism.” Brown, Jessica. “Subject-Sensitive Invariantism and the Knowledge Norm for Practical Reasoning.” Fantl, Jeremy and McGrath, Matthew. “Evidence, Pragmatics, and Justification.” Hawthorne, John. Selections from Knowledge and Lotteries. Lackey, Jennifer. “Acting on Knowledge.” Stanley, Jason. Selections from Knowledge and Practical Interests.
Week 4 – Permissivism vs. Impermissivism
Required Reading Schoenfield, Miriam. “Permission to Believe.”
Strongly Recommended Reading Cohen, Gerald Allan. “Paradoxes of Conviction.”
Optional Further Reading Feldman, Richard. “Reasonable Religious Disagreements.” Kelly, Thomas. “Evidence Can Be Permissive.” Sylvan, Kurt. “Illusion of Discretion.” Vavova, Ekaterina. “Irrelevant Influences.” White, Roger. “Epistemic Permissiveness.”
Week 5 – Epistemic Kantianism vs. Epistemic Consequentialism
Required Reading Sylvan, K. 'An Epistemic Non-Consequentialism'
Optional Further Reading Ahlstrom-Vij, Kristoffer and Dunn, Geoffrey. “A Defence of Epistemic Consequentialism.” Berker, Selim. “Epistemic Teleology and the Separateness of Propositions.” Berker, Selim. "The Rejection of Epistemic Consequentialism." Firth, Roderick. “Epistemic Merit: Intrinsic and Instrumental.” Fumerton, Richard. “Epistemic Normativity and Justification.” Sylvan, Kurt. “Reliabilism without Epistemic Consequentialism.” Sylvan, Kurt. “Veritism Unswamped.”
3. The Applied Ethics of Belief
Week 6 – Optimistic and Pessimistic Doxastic Attitudes
Required Prescott, P. ‘What Pessimism Is’ Preston-Roedder, R. ‘Faith in Humanity’
Strongly Recommended though Indirectly Relevant Material Marusic, B. Evidence and Agency, chs. 1 and 5-7
Optional Further Reading Alston, W. ‘The Inductive Argument from Evil and the Human Cognitive Condition’ Dienstag, J. ‘The Anatomy of Pessimism’ in Pessimism. Harris, G. ‘Pessimism.’ Schopenhauer, A. ‘On the Sufferings of the World.’ Schopenhauer, A. ‘On the Vanity of Existence’
Podcast and Text Interview Interview with Stephen Pinker on The Ezra Klein Show: MP3. There is also a separate text interview with Pinker here.
Week 7 – Epistemic Injustice
Required Reading Fricker, Miranda. Selections from Epistemic Injustice.
Strongly Recommended Reading Fricker, Miranda. Further Selections from Epistemic Injustice. Optional Further Reading Anderson, Elizabeth. “Epistemic Injustice as a Virtue of Social Institutions.” Dotson, Kristie. "Conceptualizing Epistemic Oppression." Fricker, Miranda. “Epistemic Oppression and Epistemic Privilege.” Gendler, Tamar Szabo. “The Epistemic Costs of Implicit Bias.” Pohlhaus, Gaile. “Relational Knowing and Epistemic Injustice.” Gougen, Stacey. “Stereotype Threat, Epistemic Injustice, and Rationality.”
Week 8 – Ideology
Required Reading Shelby, Tommie. “Ideology, Racism, and Critical Social Theory.” Stanley, Jason. Selection from How Propaganda Works.
Optional Further Reading Althusser, Louis. “Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses.” Elster, John. "Belief, Bias, and Ideology." Geuss, Raymond. "Ideology." Haslanger, Sally. “Racism, Ideology, and Social Movements.” Haslanger, Sally. "Ideology Beyond Belief." Lippmann, Walter. Selections from Public Opinion. Marx, Karl and Engels, Friedrich. Selections from The German Ideology. Rosen, Michael. "The Forms of False Consciousness." Srinivasan, A. "Philosophy and Ideology." Stanley, Jason. Further selections from How Propaganda Works.
Week 9 – Knowledge and Trust in Epistemic Authorities
Required Reading Zagzebski, L. Selections from Epistemic Authority.
Strongly Recommended Reading Fricker, E. ‘Second-Hand Knowledge’ Jones, K. ‘Second-Hand Moral Knowledge’ McMyler, B. Selections from Testimony, Trust, and Authority. Faulnker, P. Selections from Knowledge on Trust.
Optional Further Reading Holton, R. ‘Deciding to Trust, Coming to Believe’ Jones, K. ‘Trustworthiness’ McLeod, C. ‘Trust’ Wanderer, J. and Townsend, L. ‘Is it Rational to Trust?’ Webb, M. O. ‘The Epistemology of Trust and the Politics of Suspicion’ 4. The Meta-Ethics of Belief
Week 10 – Doxastic Involuntarism and Doxastic Compatibilism
Required Alston, W. “The Deontological Conception of Epistemic Justification” Hieronymi, P. “Responsibility for Believing”
Strongly Recommended Reading Hieronymi, P. “Controlling Attitudes” Ryan, S. “Doxastic Compatibilism and the Ethics of Belief”
Optional Further Reading Bennett, J. “Why Is Belief Involuntary?” Feldman, R. “The Ethics of Belief” McHugh, C. “Exercising Doxastic Freedom” McHugh, C. “Epistemic Deontology and Voluntariness” Peels, R. “Against Doxastic Compatibilism” Steup, M. “Doxastic Freedom” Steup, M. “Belief, Voluntariness, and Intentionality” Steup, M. “Belief, Control and Intentionality” Williams, B. “Deciding to Believe”
Week 11 – The Source of Doxastic Norms
Required Reading Velleman, J. David. "On The Aim of Belief."
Optional Further Reading Enoch, David. “Agency, Shmagency: Why Normativity Won’t Come from What Is Constitutive of Action.” McHugh, Conor. “Belief and Aims.” Owens, David. “Does Belief Have an Aim?” Railton, Peter. “On the Hypothetical and Non-Hypothetical in Reasoning about Action and Belief.” Railton, Peter. “Truth, Reason, and the Regulation of Belief.” Shah, Nishi. “How Truth Governs Belief.”