Portland-State-University 2023-2024 Bulletin

UnSt 239 Knowledge, Values, and Rationality

The theme of the cluster is the nature of rationality and its emergence from the interplay of knowledge and values. The curriculum explores the major forms that human rationality takes in the acquisition of knowledge, logical inference, moral reasoning, decision making, and societal organizations and policy. Individual courses focus on models of rationality as such and conceptualizations of rationality in areas such as logic and inference, natural and social sciences, biomedicine and psychiatry, social and political theory, low, educational policy, societal value conflicts, and moral theorizing including everyday ethical dilemmas. Human rationality is also approached from a comparative perspective that includes machine and animal learning including broader evolutionary perspectives. Finally, cluster courses offer critical perspective on perennial and popular doctrines that endorse non-rational or irrational approaches to existential and ethical questions, politics, and scientific inquiry.


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