Splash Biography



SAM BERSTLER, doctoral student in philosophy




Major: Philosophy

College/Employer: Yale

Year of Graduation: G

Picture of Sam Berstler

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I'm a philosopher. I'm also a PhD candidate at Yale. I study language.

Giraffes are cool.



Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

H3700: Paradoxes and Dialethism in Splash Spring 19 (Apr. 06, 2019)
Surely, something cannot be both true AND false! And surely, there are no such things as true contradictions! Dialetheism is the view in the philosophy of logic that: (1) some claims are both true and false; (2) there are true contradictions. In this accessible lecture (no math or logic required), we'll work through some arguments for dialetheism and ask whether we can make sense of them.


H3362: Introduction to Metaphysics (or: How Does Reality Work?) in Splash Fall 2018 (Oct. 27, 2018)
Are there many things, no things, or just one thing? What does that question even mean? Can we inquire about the nature of reality independently of science? If not, why did so many great philosophers think that we can? This is an accessible introduction to a core area of philosophy called metaphysics, or the study of being. It's also a discussion based course, so come ready to talk! Please note that this class is *two hours.* (No philosophy background assumed.)


H3430: Who's Afraid of Infinite Regresses? An Introduction to Some Creepy Philosophical Puzzles in Splash Fall 2018 (Oct. 27, 2018)
When we have an infinite regress, we have a chain of facts, or things, or reasons, or beliefs that goes on forever. And ever. And ever. Certain kinds of infinite regresses are deeply spooky. Philosophers have used this spookiness to raise and solve all sorts of puzzles, including puzzles about knowledge, existence, and meaning. Get ready to learn some philosophy and feel incredibly creeped out. No philosophy background required.


H3451: Who's Afraid of Infinite Regresses? An Introduction to Some Creepy Philosophical Puzzles in Splash Fall 2018 (Oct. 27, 2018)
When we have an infinite regress, we have a chain of facts, or things, or reasons, or beliefs that goes on forever. And ever. And ever. Certain kinds of infinite regresses are deeply spooky. Philosophers have used this spookiness to raise and solve all sorts of puzzles, including puzzles about knowledge, existence, and meaning. Get ready to learn some philosophy and feel incredibly creeped out. No philosophy background required.


E3357: Introduction to the Philosophy of Science in Sprout Fall 18 (Sep. 29 - Oct. 13, 2018)
What's so special about science? Why do we label some disciplines, but not others, science? Why are we so sure science leads us to truth? This is an accessible introduction to these questions. This is a discussion-based course, so come ready to talk. No experience with philosophy or science assumed.


H3131: Introduction to Epistemology (Or: How Do We Know that We Know Things?) in Splash Spring 18 (Apr. 07, 2018)
This is a discussion-based introduction to theoretical philosophy. In particular, it is an introduction to epistemology, or the study of knowledge. We'll ask questions like: what is knowledge? do we know things? how do we know that we know things? is it even possible to know things? This course is primarily discussed based, so come ready to share your ideas, thoughts, and intuitions. You don't need any experience in philosophy to take this course.


E3080: What Makes Good Art Good? (or: Introduction to Aesthetics) in Sprout Spring 18 (Feb. 17 - Mar. 03, 2018)
This is a philosophy class on aesthetics, or the study of art and beauty. Many of us love the "arts"--painting, poetry, dancing, singing, and so on. A lot of people seem to think that some art is better than others. Are they right? Is Mozart better than Taylor Swift, Shakespeare better than J.K. Rowling? If so, what makes some art better than others? We'll debate this question and see what it tells us about why the arts matter.