Introduction to Practical Reasoning
10 | CCN: 21442
Instructor: David Bates
Reason has often been one of the defining features of what it means to be a human, as opposed to a mere animal. This class will explore the nature of human reasoning and the historical forms it has taken in the modern era. We will begin with the very origin of humanity itself – with the emergence of “homo sapiens” – then discuss some important attempts to explain (and sometimes systematize) the work of reason. We will read philosophers, psychologists, writers, and engineers, including texts by, for example, Descartes, Hobbes, Peirce, Poe, Turing, and Kuhn. The final part of the class will focus on the problem of reason in the digital age. What is the future of reason (and especially human reason) in the age of artificial intelligence and machine learning?