Academic year
Dan López de Sa
Department of Philosophy
Universitat de Barcelona
Itinerary 1 Theoretical Philosophy
Module 3. Research Seminar in Theoretical Philosophy
López de Sa 15:00-18:00//Willamson 11:00-13:00
López de Sa Seminario dept. de LHFC, Fac. Filosofia UB//Williamson room 412 Fac. Filosofia UB


Description of content and aim

The aim of the course will be to encourage students to engage in critical reflection on the aims and methods of philosophical inquiry, and in particular to appreciate how contemporary developments in philosophy present both new challenges to philosophy’s received self-understanding and new resources for improving that self-understanding. For example, recent trends in metaphysics and the philosophy of science are hard to reconcile with deflationary accounts of the nature of philosophical questions, and recent work in epistemology and the philosophy of language can be applied to develop an account of the nature of philosophical knowledge. Topics to be covered include: the linguistic and conceptual turns; knowledge of necessity and possibility; the distinction between a priori and a posteriori knowledge; philosophical ‘intuitions’, reflective equilibrium and philosophical evidence; the relation between philosophy and experiment. The issues will be treated by means of the detailed logical analysis of case studies. The reading for the course will include T. Williamson, The Philosophy of Philosophy (Oxford: Blackwell, 2007), and three recent symposia on the book in Analysis Reviews, Philosophical Studies and Philosophy and Phenomenological Research.

As a preparation for this, Dan López de Sa will convene intensive discussion of The Philosophy of Philosophy, with presentations by students, in January 2010.

Readings for Williamson's Course

1. Michael DePaul, "Why bother with reflective equilibrium?" in M. DePaul and W. Ramsey (eds.), Rethinking Intuition, (New York: Rowman & Littlefield, 1998).

2. Jonathan Ichikawa and Benjamin Jarvis, "Thought-experiment intuitions and truth in fiction", Philosophical Studies 14 (2009), pp. 221-246.

3. Jonathan Weinberg et al, "Are philosophers expert intuiters?", forthcoming in Philosophical Psychology.

4. David Chalmers, "Revisability and conceptual change", forthcoming in The Journal of Philosophy.