In all sorts of realms it matters to us whether something is real or not. To understand what we have in mind, we must first consider the question: Which real? Sometimes the real is contrasted with the insincere (crocodile tears are not real tears), sometimes with the fake (as in "fake news"), sometimes with the imaginary (as in "this really happened, it wasn't a dream"), sometimes with the merely possible (but we also speak of "real possibilities"). The course will examine conceptions of the real in science (are neutrinos real?), in ethics (is moral realism tenable?), and elsewhere, with the aim of understanding how and why those conceptions vary, and why being real matters (in some regions of thought it doesn't).
Philosophy 3991 must be taken by all philosophy majors who are not writing an honors project. Prerequisite: Senior standing, major in philosophy; preference given to those majors not pursuing Honors. Credit 3 hours.
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM