Ginger Schultheis

Ginger Schultheis
Assistant Professor
Stuart Hall, Room 231-C
Office Hours: Spring Quarter: by appointment
Massachusetts Institute of Technology PhD (2018); Reed College BA (2011)
Research Interests: Epistemology, Philosophy of Language, Ethics

I started my appointment at Chicago in Autumn 2019. I received my BA in philosophy from Reed College and my PhD in philosophy from MIT. Before coming to Chicago, I was a Bersoff Fellow at the Department of Philosophy at New York University during the 2018-19 academic year.

Most of my research is in epistemology. I am particularly interested in belief. I have worked on the relationship between belief and credence, on whether epistemic rationality is permissive, whether we can believe at will, and whether it can be rational to have imprecise credences. I also have research interests in formal semantics, especially the semantics of modals and counterfactuals.   

 

Recent Courses

PHIL 24015/34015 Modality

(LING 24015, LING 34015)

Modal information—information conveyed by sentences such as ‘Mary might be at home’ or ‘Charles ought to give to the poor’—play an outstanding role in everyday discourse and reasoning. The goal of this class is to explain and evaluate contemporary semantic theories of modality by discussing a wide range of linguistic phenomena from the perspective of these theories. After introducing possible worlds semantics for modality developed in modal logic, we will consider current theories of modal semantics within linguistics as well as the most important empirical areas of research. Throughout, we will keep an eye on the relation between modality and other topics that are prominent in linguists and philosophy, including tense, conditionals, and discourse meaning. (B)

Knowledge of first-order logic with identity strongly recommended. Students will benefit most if they have taken classes in semantics or philosophy of language before.

2020-2021 Winter

PHIL 20100/30000 Elementary Logic

(HIPS 20700, LING 20102, CHSS 33500)

An introduction to the concepts and principles of symbolic logic. We learn the syntax and semantics of truth-functional and first-order quantificational logic, and apply the resultant conceptual framework to the analysis of valid and invalid arguments, the structure of formal languages, and logical relations among sentences of ordinary discourse. Occasionally we will venture into topics in philosophy of language and philosophical logic, but our primary focus is on acquiring a facility with symbolic logic as such.

2020-2021 Autumn
Category
Logic

PHIL 56707 Tim Williamson’s Knowledge and its Limits

A close reading of Timothy Williamson’s “Knowledge and its Limits,” along with some response articles from “Williamson on Knowledge.”

2020-2021 Autumn

PHIL 52961 Topics in Epistemology

(LING 52961)

This course will cover a variety of topics at the intersection of epistemology and the philosophy of language.  Some possible topics: the relationship partial belief and full belief; self-locating belief; what it is to believe (or know) that something might be the case or that something must be the case; probabilities of conditionals and conditional probabilities. (III)

2019-2020 Spring
Category
Epistemology

PHIL 22961/32961 Social Epistemology

Traditionally, epistemologists have concerned themselves with the individual: What should I believe? What am I in a position to know? How should my beliefs guide my decision-making? But we can also ask each of these questions about groups. What should we -- the jury, the committee, the scientific community--believe? What can we know? How should our beliefs guide our decision-making? These are some of the questions of social epistemology Social epistemology also deals with the social dimensions of individual opinion:  How should I respond to disagreement with my peers? When should I defer to majority opinion? Are there distinctively epistemic forms of oppression and injustice?  If so, what are they like and how might we try to combat them? This class is a broad introduction to social epistemology. (B) (III) 

2019-2020 Winter
Category
Epistemology
Social/Political Philosophy

PHIL 20100/30000 Elementary Logic

(HIPS 20700, CHSS 33500)

An introduction to the concepts and principles of symbolic logic. We learn the syntax and semantics of truth-functional and first-order quantificational logic, and apply the resultant conceptual framework to the analysis of valid and invalid arguments, the structure of formal languages, and logical relations among sentences of ordinary discourse. Occasionally we will venture into topics in philosophy of language and philosophical logic, but our primary focus is on acquiring a facility with symbolic logic as such.

2019-2020 Autumn
Category
Logic