Presentation at Reading, Jan. 2013

Presentation at Reading, Jan. 2013

2011年5月5日 星期四

Fall 2011 Schedule: Epistemology and Biology (and Much More)

Spring has been extremely busy, given that I attend totally eight classes, and many many events around. I went to Harvard four times this semester so far, and there will be another one at the end of this month; Putnam's birthday, you know. And I started to spend more time at Rutgers. Hopefully next semester I can do even more, and perhaps Princeton as well.

Now, fall 2011. Of course I haven't made the final decision, but it will be even crazier; that's for sure. Officially I will take this three:

Epistemology, Michael Levin
Philosophy of Biology, Peter Godfrey-Smith
Theory of Mind in Animals and Infants, Robert Lurz

They fit perfectly with my future project: philosophy of mind informed by psychology, biology, and epistemology. In the spring I have spent considerable time in psychology, and I will spend more during the summer, and of course, throughout my career. In the fall, I will concentrate on epistemology and biology. Again, it is not as though I can manage them quickly, but at least I need to start, and those three classes fit my purpose perfectly.

Now for those I might sit in on:

Epistemology, Alvin Goldman
Carnap's Aufbau, Ralf Bader
Kripke's Philosophy of Semantics, Nathan Salmon
Materialism, Mark Johnston and Frank Jackson
Metaphysics, Carol Rovane
Metaethics, Sharon Street
Quine and Sellars on Thought and Language, David Rosenthal

Okay, I am insane, and I know that. I must admit that this is extremely tiring, and I sometimes cannot really focus during classes. But I still learn a lot from this kind of schedule. I don't care how people look at me about this. I mean, most of them do not understand my background, and I don't blame them. The simple story is that in my home country western philosophy is not good enough, so in the past my education did not help me too much (let alone high schools and elementary school). On top of that, it is highly possible that I will need to have my career back there, and I will not have this kind of stimulating environment there. So I have to get as much as possible when I study abroad. There are much more details about this miserable story, of course.

Tell you what, Yu Guo, possibly the best Asian student in this ballpark (apart from native English speaker Asians, of course), works much harder than myself, though in a very different way; he often concentrates on his work virtually by himself. I take it as only a matter of style, reflecting our different personalities. At one point I will need to do something like he is doing now, but as a first-year (OK, second-year soon), I still want to learn to philosophize by attending a lot. It's hard to say what the balance is, but I will keep trying and at the mean time find the best way for me.