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Humanities and Creative Arts
This course is about major new discoveries and developments that have occurred in analytic philosophy during the recent decades - developments that have forever changed how philosophers will approach major questions in metaphysics, epistemology, the philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language. Topics covered will vary from year to year depending on student interest, but will typically include Quine's monumentally influential Two Dogmas of Empiricism, Saul Kripke's ground-breaking discoveries in Naming and Necessity, Hillary Putnam's writings about the strange planet of Twin Earth, David Lewis' infamously counterintuitive theory that all coherently imaginable possible worlds exist 'out there' as universes parallel to this one, a powerful new framework for analysing possibility called 'two-dimensional semantics', Thomas Nagel on the subject of the inner lives of bats, Donald Davidson's 'Swampman' thought experiment, and a mythical philosophical figure popularly known as 'Kripkenstein'.
Subject to approval of the Head of Department.