Course Detail
Course Components:
Science is often held up as the standard bearer of knowledge-generation. What distinguishes science from non-science? Is economics a science? What separates a legitimate theory from a conspiracy theory? What makes Keynesian economics a legitimate theory? What makes the theory that 9/11 was an 'inside plot' to hide business transactions and steal gold a conspiracy theory? is the theory that climate change is being propagated by a cult of environmental religious fanatics a conspiracy theory? Is the theory that the reality of climate change is being obfuscated by 'big business' a conspiracy theory? This class will draw on classic figures and theories from epistemology to address epistemological issues that arise in our contemporary time and place. In Particular, the class will explore the epistemological issues of demarcation, skepticism, and explanation as they apply to modern day debates surrounding pseudoscience, conspiracy theories, and climate change, with specific attention to how these debates play out in the world of business. Ultimately, then, students will become familiar with both the history of influential ideas in epistemology and also develop the tools to apply those ideas to pressing problems encountered in everyday life.