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Why Is It So Hard to Be Rational?

   This course is based on the hypothesis that there are three general impediments to being rational: ignorance or unconcern for the basic rules of logic; whatever prevents us from believing what is true; and/or whatever prevents us from acting in good faith.

   We will discuss these impediments in detail by trying to answer the following questions: What does the psychological view of the "self" reveal about impediments to being rational, knowing the truth, and acting in good faith? To what extent is rationality social? What trips people up in basic logic? And what is truth anyway? Can we know it, and can moral or value claims ever be said to be true? Prior knowledge of philosophy or logic is not required; students will be sent a pdf version of the material covered in this course, including a glossary and bibliography.

  Instructor Sara Shute received a Ph.D. in philosophy from Washington University in 1977. She was a professor of philosophy at Marietta College for most of her professional career. Since moving to Maine, she has taught philosophy at several U. Maine campuses and Colby College. She has also taught several philosophy courses at senior college in Belfast. Her main interests are in theories of knowledge and pragmatism. And, having taught introductory logic over 100 times, her interest in teaching good reasoning has been revived by recent political discourse.

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Wednesday, April 07, 2021, 9:30 AM until Wednesday, May 12, 2021, 11:00 AM
on Zoom
Zoom link will be sent by email close to the start of the first class.

Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Sara Shute
Spring 2021
Registration is required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
You must be an active CSC member to register for this course.
Cancellation Policy:
A member may cancel a course registration up to 3 days prior to the start of class and will receive a course credit that can be used for a future registration. No refunds will be given.
Available Slots: