24.805 Topics in Theory of Knowledge: A Priori Knowledge

As taught in: Spring 2005

Black and white portrait of Rene Descartes.

René Descartes, 1596-1650. Engraving by W. Holl after painting by Franz Hals. (Image courtesy of the Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [reproduction number: LC-USZ62-61365 (b&w film copy neg.)].)

Level:

Graduate

Instructors:

Prof. Sally Haslanger

Course Description

The seminar will explore the phenomenon of a priori knowledge. We'll consider some notable attempts to account for a priori knowledge in the history of philosophy (e.g., by Plato, Descartes, Hume, and Kant), some influential critiques of the notion; we will end by considering some contemporary approaches to the a priori.