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2013 IOS Fall Seminar Update


Just a reminder: the due date for applications for the 2013 IOS Fall Seminar in Philosophy is this Monday, July 15.

I’ve made one very slight change to the readings: Reading 2 for Session 3 is still all of D.M. Armstrong‘s Universals: An Opinionated Introduction, but if you can’t make it through the whole of Armstrong’s bite-sized book (being the anti-mind, anti-effort sluggard that you are), focus on chapters 1 and 3. Chapter 1 is where Armstrong sets up the problem of universals; his set-up contrasts interestingly with Rand’s set-up at the outset of Introduction to Objectivist Epistemology, and we’ll need to discuss whose set-up is better and why. Chapter 3 presents Armstrong’s discussion of resemblance nominalism–a theory which bears some resemblance (so to speak) to Rand’s preferred solution to the problem of universals. But Armstrong also presents some objections to resemblance nominalism, so we’ll need to discuss whether Rand’s theory really is a resemblance nominalism, and if so (or even if not so), whether Armstrong’s objections apply to it.

Of course, you might think that Rand was a trope theorist, or a trope nominalist, or some such. Armstrong discusses tropes in chapter 6–which is why you really ought to read the whole book.

Incidentally the Gotthelf-Lennox edited volume on Objectivist epistemology has just come out, Concepts and their Role in Knowledge: Reflections on Objectivist Epistemology (Pittsburgh, 2013). I just got my copy in the mail about a week ago. It’s not an official IOS seminar reading only because the publication date of the book was uncertain when we were planning the seminar. But I highly recommend your getting hold of a copy and reading as much of it as possible in advance of the seminar. (Feel free to read it even if you’re not coming to the seminar, actually.) I’ve only just had the chance to browse it, but it looks really good.



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