Read What Fall 2020 instructor Brian Wermcrantz has to say about the course:
This course will introduce students to philosophy by focusing on the topic of peer disagreement.
What is peer disagreement? Suppose you find yourself in the following situation: you are confident in your belief about some topic, but then you learn that a peer of yours (perhaps an intelligent, well-informed classmate) disagrees with you. When this happens, what should you do? Any responsible thinker would first make sure to carefully review all the evidence available to them and their peer (seeking out additional information about the topic if necessary). But suppose you and your peer have done that and the disagreement persists. How should the fact that you disagree with an intelligent, well-informed peer of yours affect your belief?
All too often we find ourselves faced with peer disagreement, even with respect to our most deeply held beliefs about religion, politics, and morality.
In this course, we will tackle the problem of peer disagreement by working through important, recent research on this topic within the branch of philosophy known as epistemology. For many of our “case studies," we will draw from the 2020 congressional and presidential elections. Students will be introduced to the fundamentals of academic philosophy (especially epistemology) and they will leave equipped with a “philosopher’s toolkit” which will aid in any future work involving analytic reasoning (academic or otherwise).