Since the scientific revolution, a growing number of people have turned to science to answer fundamental questions about the nature of our world and our place in it. Not surprisingly, this shift as produced a centuries-old tension between science and religion. Today, this confrontation between approaches to understanding our world is as lively as ever, with flash points in many areas of contemporary culture. Through careful examination of both classical and contemporary philosophical writings, including Blaise Pascal, David Hume, William James and Daniel Dennett, this class will explore the ideological sources of this long simmering dispute. Among the questions we will consider are the following: What is the nature of religious belief? Is religious belief irrational? Can science provide a satisfactory account of the meaning of life? Are science and religion really conflicting world views, or can they be reconciled?
Jennifer Fisher received her PhD from the City University of New York in 2003. Her philosophical interests include the theory of knowledge, logic, philosophy of logic, and normative meta-ethics. She is the author of On the Philosophy of Logic (Wadsworth Philosophical Topics, 2007).