PHIL 273O: Objectivity and Subjectivity





Course Description:

What genre of items  (viewpoints, assertions, etc.) can or should fall under the categories “objective,” “subjective,” or “neither”? What functions do these terms serve? What would we lose or gain if we simply erased them from our thoughts? How have they been used historically and more recently? How is objective knowledge reconcilable with positional variation of observations?

We will review a broad literature devoted to these themes. We will also pick specific examples from contemporary economics, sociology, mathematics, philosophy, and physics. Students are expected to participate fully in classroom discussions. There are no formal prerequisites except for facility with formal reasoning.

Jointly with Professors Eric Maskin and Barry Mazur.