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REL592: Epistemology

Epistemology is a philosophical term meaning "the study of knowledge," or the question of how we know what we know about the world around us and within us.

Epistemology is a philosophical term meaning "the study of knowledge," or the question of how we know what we know about the world around us and within us. Our readings include sources in the Western philosophical tradition of reason (Plato, Aristotle, Descartes and Kant), the scientific revolution (Galileo, Newton and Einstein), the multiple expressions of "postmodernism" in art, philosophy and literature (Dostoyevsky, Virginia Woolf, David Abram and Patricia Hill Collins), and the contemplative or meditative tradition (including practices known as "mindfulness" or "mind-body work" with Zen Roshi Jan Chozen Bays). The interdisciplinary class is jointly taught by a member of the Religion Department and a member of the Science Department, with visits to the visual and performing arts and a night trip to the Observatory. We will consider how different modes of inquiry and experience can be distinguished from each other and then integrated in our understanding of knowledge.