Ginger Schultheis

Ginger Schultheis
Assistant Professor
Stuart Hall, Room 231-C
Office Hours: Autumn Quarter, Tuesdays: 4:00 - 5:00 pm and Wednesdays: 5:00 - 6:00 pm
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 Vagueness

(LING 24015, LING 34015)

For each second of John’s life, consider the claim that he is young at that second. Many of these claims will be clearly true: he is young at all of the seconds that make up the first year of his life. Many of these claims will be clearly false: he is not young at all of the seconds that make up his 89th year. If all of these statements are either true or false, it follows that there was a last second at which it is true to say that he is young, and a first second at which it is true to say that he is not young. But that seems wild! One second can’t make the difference between a young person and an old person.

This is one of the central problems raised by the phenomenon of vagueness. This course will examine a variety of philosophical issues raised by the phenomenon of vagueness in the philosophy of language, philosophical logic, epistemology, and metaphysics. Among other things, we will discuss: the philosophical significance of vagueness, the relationship between vagueness and ignorance, decision-making under indeterminacy, and the question of whether vagueness is an essentially linguistic phenomenon. (B)

Elementary Logic (PHIL 20100/30000) or its equivalent.

2020-2021 Winter
Category
Epistemology
Logic
Metaphysics
Philosophy of Language

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