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Fall 2022 Reading Group

What should we believe?

Prerequisite: None

Exam Type: No Exam

Common sense would suggest that we should believe what the evidence shows? If the evidence shows that my friend did something bad, then I should believe that she did something bad. But am I a bad friend if I do? In other words, do moral obligations affect what we should believe? And can we wrong people by believing certain things about them? For example, do racist or sexist beliefs wrong others, or do we only wrong others when we act on these beliefs? Conversely, do we act wrongly by failing to believe the testimony of people because others like them have been doubted in the past? Think here of the “Me Too” movement’s insistence that one should: “Believe Women.” How should we understand that command and is it justified? The reading in this class will be philosophical but we will relate that reading to current controversies.

Note: This reading group will meet on the following dates: 9/6, 9/20, 10/4, 10/25, 11/8, 11/22