Aggregatore Risorse Aggregatore Risorse

Epistemology. A priori knowledge, definitions, and mathematical knowledge (a.a. 2018/19)


After introducing the basic concepts of analytic epistemology, we will explore some essential features of a priori knowledge, and investigate how mathematical and logical knowledge can be obtained. The role of definitions in the acquisition of such kinds of knowledge will be emphasized, and a crucial kind of definitions – definitions by abstraction – will be discussed, also in their relation with metaphysical notions such as grounding.


January 15th , 14-17
January 22nd, 14-17
January 23rd, 11-13 & 14-16


Final Themes

  1. Sources and kinds of knowledge
  2. The traditional JTB definition of knowledge: origins and main features
  3. Gettier counterexamples to the JTB definition and alternative definitions of knowledge
  4. The causal theory of knowledge
  5. Essential problems for mathematical knowledge and the Integration Challenge
  6. Benacerraf's Dilemma
  7. Non-conservative responses to Benacerraf's Dilemma (main features and examples)
  8. Frege's Logicism and Neo-Logicism (especially the role of Hume's Principle)

Final Readings

  1. Pritchard, D. (2018), What is This Thing Called Knowledge?, Routledge;Chapter 1, 3.
  2. Linnebo, Ø. (2018), Philosophy of Mathematics, Princeton University Press, Chapters I-II.
  3. Panza, M., Sereni, A. (2013), Plato's Problem. An Introduction to Mathematical Platonism, §§ 3.2-3.3.

Further optional readings

  1. Benacerraf, P. (1973), “Mathematical Truth”.
  2. Panza, M., Sereni, A. (2013), Plato's Problem. An Introduction to Mathematical Platonism, § 2.1 and § 5.1
  3. Gettier, E. (1963), “Is Justified True Belief Knowledge”; Analysis:
  4. Benacerraf, P. (1973), “Mathematical Truth,”, The Journal of Philosophy 70:19, 1973, pp. 661-679, anche in Benacerraf e Putnam (1964), pp. 403-420
  5. Hale, B., Wright, C., (2002), “Benacerraf’s Dilemma Revisited”, European Journal of Philosophy.



The evaluation will be based on an oral exam.

Credits: 2

Andrea Sereni

Professore Associato di Filosofia e Teoria dei linguaggi

Ciclo : XXXIV

Tipologia corso : Tipo a

Periodo: Semestre I

Anno accademico: 2018-2019

Durata : 10 ore