Existential risk studies are a growing field that attempts to understand the greatest dangers to humanity from a scientific perspective. This course offers a comprehensive scholarly survey of the philosophical aspects of existential risks. The course will introduce the central concepts in the literature on existential risks, but also explore in some depth the most philosophically interesting topics. Here, the course will explore the normative aspects of extinction, but also ideas related to observation selection effects, the philosophy of risk and uncertainty, implicit and explicit assumptions in the “intelligence explosion” argument and how the philosophy of social science may be applied in the context of understanding existential risk. Course requirements include brief oral presentations and short written work.

Teacher: Karim Jebari

Course dates: November 25 – December 6.

Time and location: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday 10-12.


Literature: Articles in selection.