Introduction to Practical Reasoning and Critical Analysis
10 | CCN: 77833
Instructor: David Bates
Date / Time: TuTh 11-1230P, 50 BIRGE
"The History and Theory of Human Reason"
This course will trace the nature of human reasoning, one of the defining features of what it means to be human, instead of a mere animal. We will begin with the very origin of humanity itself, the rise of "homo sapiens." We will then read important texts that try to explain (and systematize) human reason: some Greek philosophers, Descartes, Hume, Rousseau, and C. S. Peirce. The final part of the class will look at modern attempts to study reasoning, in humans but also animals and especially in machines. What is artificial intelligence in the age of the computer? What is the future of human reason?