Current and forthcoming courses

 

Knowledge, Rationality, Belief (co-taught with Yuri Cath; La Trobe 2016; Undergrad):  a second year introduction to contemporary epistemology, covering a range of core topics including the nature and value of knowledge, rational belief and practical interests, contemporary responses to skepticism and experimental epistemology. 

Twentieth Century Philosophy (co-taught with Yuri Cath; La Trobe 2016; Undergrad):  a standard introduction to the early development of analytic philosophy, covering the work of major figures such as Moore, Russell, Wittgenstein, Ayer, Quine, Grice and Austin. Built around selections from Soames' two-volume Philosophical Analysis in the Twentieth Century

Philosophy of Science (La Trobe 2017; Undergrad):  Scientists engage in a remarkable collaborative effort to understand and predict the behaviour of the world around us, using a relatively limited body of data. This course off ers an accessible but rigorous introduction to some of the key issues and debates that arise in trying to make philosophical sense of their activities. In the first part of the course, we examine the goals of scientific inquiry, touching on topics such as prediction, causation and explanation. The second part of the course is devoted to a variety of issues surrounding the methods used in pursuing our scientific aims, offering an introduction to statistical and causal inference before wrapping up with a glimpse recent work on the social organisation of scientific inquiry  

  • Syllabus coming soon

Past courses

 

Here are some of the courses that I have taught/convened over the past couple of years.

Elements of Deductive Logic (Leuven 2012; Undergrad): A slightly `lighter' version of the logic course that I taught in 2011, cutting back on the modal logics.

Elements of Deductive Logic (co-taught with Lorenz Demey; Leuven 2011; Undergrad): an introduction to logic, providing an overview of basic propositional and predicate logic, as well as, time-permitting, a cursory glimpse of some more advanced topics (e.g. modal logic, many-valued logics,...). The course textbook will be Restall's Logic: An Introduction, possibly supplemented with selections from Priest's An Introduction to Non-Classical Logic. See the 2012 version above for course materials.

Modeling Rational Belief (Bayreuth 2010/2011; Postgrad):  a state-of-the-art introduction to the formal modeling of rational belief, which is a central concern to disciplines ranging from philosophy to AI, through economics and statistics. We will be covering (i) graded belief, (ii) full belief and (iii) the relation between the two. Regarding (i) we will examine the main tenets of what is known as 'objective Bayesianism'. We shall also review the debate on probabilities of conditionals. Regarding (ii), we cover some of the principal topics in belief revision theory, as well as the Ramsey test for conditionals. We wrap things up with (iii), and a look at the latest work on the lottery paradox. 

The Evolution of the Social Contract (Bayreuth 2010/2011; Postgrad):  a chapter-by-chapter examination of Skyrms' highly acclaimed work on the biological evolution of the social contract. We will be covering, back to back, both his Lakatos prize -winning The Evolution of the Social Contract and its follow-up, The Stag Hunt and the Evolution of Social Structure.

Paradoxes of Rationality (Bayreuth 2010/2011; Undergrad):  a tour of a large selection of fascinating puzzles and paradoxes that challenge commonly-held views on practical and theoretical rationality. Paradoxes covered range from the Two Envelope problem to the Doomsday paradox, through Pollock's Ever Better Wine. 

Decision Theory, with Applications to Epistemology (Leuven 2009; Postgrad): an introductory overview of classical decision theory, some of the associated difficulties and the potential points of contact with epistemology (Pascal's Wager, decision-theoretic accounts of acceptance,...).

Darwin in Philosophy (Glasgow 2008; Senior Undergrad / Postgrad): an overview of various points of contact between evolutionary theory and philosophy, with some basic philosophy of biology thrown in. Covers various evolutionary approaches to mind, epistemology and ethics.

Belief & Inquiry (Glasgow 2008; Senior Undergrad / Postgrad): an introduction to the literature on degrees of belief and the rational constraints thereon, with a focus on the Bayesian literature. The aim was to provide the student with basic tools to engage with some of the more formal work in contemporary epistemology and philosophy of science.

Metaphysics (Glasgow 2007; Postgrad): a seminar-based course in metaphysics, co-taught with Nikk Effingham.

Metaphysics I - The Nature of Being (Birkbeck 2006; Junior Undergrad): an introduction to some key issues in metaphysics, covering universals, substances, modality, causation, laws of nature, etc.

About me

Raised and educated in Toulouse, France I moved to the UK in 1995 to take a degree in... [+]

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