Mon, Mar 14
In this class, we will consider whether some important philosophical truths are best learned through observing tradition, trusting authorities, and cultivating a more deferential kind of intellectual humility.
By the end of class, you will:
- Understand how cultural evolution selects for successful practices
- Understand why the functions of traditions are usually opaque to their practitioners
- Explain why a reflective attitude toward tradition can undermine its function
Chap. 7: The Secret of Our Success, by Joseph Henrich
APPLICATION ARTICLE (Access on "Perusall" via Canvas):
Book Review: Seeing Like a State (Slate Star Codex)
Complete these steps before you come to class
Consider the following prompts (you may want to write responses to these in your journal or talk about them with a friend):
- Do you think traditions can persist even if they are not successful?
- Given Henrich's justification for tradition, do you think we are ever in a position to reform traditions?
After you've finished today's reading, make sure you complete the reading quiz, which you can access through your section's Canvas page.