PHIL 371 - Scottish Philosophy and the Fact-Value Distinction (Study Group)
The distinctions between fact and value, reason and emotion, and objectivity and subjectivity, have long and varied histories. Students examine the role those distinctions played in two thinkers of the Scottish Enlightenment: David Hume and Adam Smith. The motivations for and benefits of these distinctions are explored, with special attention paid to Hume’s concerns about religious “enthusiasm.” Rigid versions of these distinctions have, however, been criticized for their serious costs in both epistemology and ethics. Students engage with recent major criticisms, and then consider whether Hume or Smith might have had a more nuanced understanding of the distinctions they worked with than their many followers did.
Major/Minor Restrictions: None
Class Restriction: None
Area of Inquiry: Human Thought and Expression
Liberal Arts CORE: None
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