PHI300.1 Truth and BS : A Critical User’s Guide (Spring)

Examine manifold senses of “truth”—objective and subjective, absolute and relative, metaphysical and existential—as well as the conditions by which some claim is established as “true.”  To do so successfully, you will have to distinguish the true from “truthiness,” from what seems or feels to be true but isn’t—or from what is sometimes known as “BS.” And, just as there are a variety of species of “truth,” so too is there an extensive taxonomy of BS to which you will be introduced. Through this course, you will develop a “critical toolkit” for identifying and responding to BS, in order to be better able to discern the “truth,’ be it in a philosophical sense, or more usefully, in pragmatic sense, allowing you to make better sense of the endless information flow in the world today. To this end, the course will read philosopher’s assessments of truth and BS, and apply these to contemporary social and political situations.

Department: Philosophy

Location: Florence

Semester: Spring

Credits: 3