LANGUAGE AND KNOWLEDGE I
Learning outcomes of the course unit
To deepen the philosophical reflection on the topic of language and its relationship with knowledge by testimony.
To acquire the ability to present and critically discuss philosophical texts.
To acquire the ability to write an essay on a philosophical topic.
Evolving an ability to analyze the presented texts and discuss them in the light of different interpretations.
Evolving the ability to produce a written text on some aspect of Wittgenstein's philosophy and to present it critically in a well-argued way.
Acquiring some degree of autonomy of judgment and a good level of clarity in communication.
Becoming able to integrate the lectures and the texts with a personal examination of the secondary literature on the relevant topics.
Course contents summary
Language and testimony I
Module 1 Language and Contemporary Philosophy
Title of the course: "Language and testimony I".
Testimony plays a crucial role in the acquisition of knowledge--from linguistic to historical knowledge, from the reconstruction of evidence in court to mathematical and scientific knowledge. Its epistemological status, however, is subject to intense debate. For isntance, whether testimony is a basic source of knowledge (like perception) or not, and if and to what an extent it undermines the ideal of a subject's epistemic autonomy.
The course will comprise also some methodological classes on how to write a philosophical essay.
Hume, D. 1777 “Dei miracoli”, in Ricerca sull’intelletto umano, Roma-Bari, Laterza, 1992, sez. 10, pp. 115-141.
Reid, T. 1764 “Come la percezione è simile alla fiducia che abbiamo nella testimonianza umana”, in Ricerca sulla mente umana in base ai principi del senso comune, Torino, UTET, 1975, parte VI, sez. 24.
Fricker, E. “Against gullibility”, in S. Bernecker (a cura di) Reading Epistemology, Oxford, Blackwell, 2006, pp. 95-106.
Burge, T. “Content preservation”, in S. Bernecker (a cura di) Reading Epistemology, Oxford, Blackwell, 2006, pp. 109-118.
Vassallo, N. Per sentito dire. Conoscenza e testimonianza, Milano, Feltrinelli, 2011.
Bernecker, S. (a cura di) Reading Epistemology, Oxford, Blackwell, 2006, pp. 93-95, 107-110, 119-121.
- S.Schroeder, Wittgenstein, Polity Press, Cambridge, 2006.
- L. Wittgenstein, Tractatus logico-philosophicus, Einaudi, 1995.
- L. Wittgenstein, Ricerche filosofiche, Einaudi, 1995.
- L. Wittgenstein, Filosofia, Donzelli, 1996.
- Paolo Tripodi, Dimenticare Wittgenstein, Il Mulino, 2009.
- P.M.S.Hacker, The Development of Wittgenstein's Philosophy of Psychology, in id. Wittgenstein: Comparisons and Context, Oxford University Press, 2013 (pp.78-110)
Lectures, videoconferences (BLECS) and seminars (which require previous reading of assigned material).
The course will mostly consist of lectures. In addition, topics will be suggested for written papers and oral presentations, to be discussed in class
Assessment methods and criteria
For those who attend the course (at least 75% of classes): 1 essay, on a topic of one's choosing, *among the ones dealt with in the course*, of 3000 words, bibliographical references excluded.
For students who do not attend at least 75% of classes: an oral examination on the whole programme.
A paper (3000 words) and an oral examination on one of the topics from the module 1 of "Language and Contemporary Philosophy".
Final evaluation will reflect
- command of the course contents,
- ability to critically elaborate on them,
- expository and argumentative abilities
1. Knowledge and understanding of the philosophical texts in the syllabus, and of the main themes dealt with during the course.
2.Ability to apply knowledge and understanding so as to be able to explain the texts and main themes dealt with during the course.
3.Judgement autonomy: learn to evaluate the soundness of the arguments put forward by the authors to support their philosophical theses.
4. Communicative abilities: they will be improved with respect to (i) the ability of clearly and concisely presenting the main themes dealt with during the course;(ii) the ability to assess the soundness of the arguments put forward by the authors to maintain their philosophical perspectives; and (iii) the ability to present one's own point of view with resepct to the course topics.
5.Learning abilities: acquisition of the main methodological tools to be employed in the study and the analysis of philosophical texts and themes, as well as in the production of philosophical texts.