dartmouth-paradoxes

puzzles and paradoxes

 

Course description. Paradoxes have formed a central topic of philosophical investigation, stretching back from Zeno of Elea up to David Lewis. Paradoxes figure both in influential arguments for philosophical theses and in famous (alleged) refutations of philosophical theses. This course provides an overview of a number of famous philosophical puzzles and paradoxes and important attempts to solve them. In so doing students will be introduced to some important issues in philosophy of language, philosophical logic, decision theory, and formal epistemology. The course will put emphasis on both methodology and philosophical content.

Professor: Brian Rabern

Office: 205 Thornton

Office hours: by appointment

 

Email: brian.rabern[at]gmail.com

Time/Location:

 

Dartmouth College

Tue/Thurs 10:10-12:00pm, 60 Carson Hall

 

Course Texts:

 

  • Sorensen (2005) A Brief History of the Paradox: Philosophy and the Labyrinths of the Mind.

 

  • Sainsbury (2009) Paradoxes.

 

  • Clark (2012) Paradoxes from A to Z.

 

  • Smullyan, What is the name of this book?

 

date

topic

read

present

 

Sainsbury: 1-3;

Sorensen: 1-18

 

 

 

6/27

The liar paradox

Sainsbury: 127-138;

Sorensen: 93-96;

Clark: 118-125;

SEP: Liar paradox

Allen

6/29

The liar paradox

Sainsbury: 127-138;

Sorensen: 93-96;

Clark: 118-125;

SEP: Liar paradox

 

7/4

NO CLASS

 

 

 

 

7/6

Russell's paradox

Sainsbury: 123-127; Sorensen: 316-332;

Clark: 211-216;

SEP: Russell's paradox

Emy

7/11

Russell's paradox

Sainsbury: 123-127;

Sorensen: 316-332;

Clark: 211-216;

SEP: Russell's paradox

 

7/13

Paradox of the question

Markosian (1997);

Sider (1997);

Clark: 194-196

Grant

7/18

The sorites paradox

Sainsbury: 40-68;

Sorensen: 96-99;

Clark: 86-93;

SEP: Sorites paradox

Kevin

7/20

 

The puzzle of future contingents

 

MacFarlane (2003);

SEP: Future Contingents

Sam & Geoffrey

7/25

Cartwright's paradox

Cartwright, Puzzle 4;

Kaplan, "Bob and Carol and Ted and Alice"

Jesssica

7/27

Use/mention

 

no reading

 

 

8/1

Surprise exam

Sainsbury: 107-120

Clark: 256-258;

SEP: Epistemic paradoxes

Brad

8/3

Muddy Children Puzzle

 

Clark: 144-147;

xkcd: blue eyes

 

Ayanda

8/8

Preface paradox

Sorensen: 100-110

Clark: 182-184

SEP: Preface paradox

Danny

8/10

Newcomb's paradox

Sainsbury: 69-82

Clark: 150-154

SEP: Newcomb's paradox

Luke

8/15

St. Petersburg paradox

Sorensen: 232-234;

Clark: 217-220;

SEP: St. Petersburg paradox

Joe

8/17

Knights and knaves

Smullyan: 3-35

 

 

 

8/22

The truth machines

 

watch this

 

 

Brian

 

 

 

 

 

Assessment:

 

Presentations: 20%

Guidelines

 

Creative project: 20%

Guidelines

 

Final essay: 60%

2000-3000 words