Courses for Spring 2018

  • The Place of Persons

    We’ll concentrate on some fundamental moral and metaphysical issues concerning ourselves as persons: What (if anything) gives us a moral status different from that of other animals? Do we have the sort of free will required for us to be morally responsible for our actions? What makes you one individual person or self at a particular time? What makes you today the same individual person as that obnoxious 5-year old who went by your name a few years back? WRIT
    PHIL 0010 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Christensen
  • The Nature of Fiction

    This course is concerned with philosophical questions arising from the concept of fiction. Topics will include: What makes a story a fiction? What are fictional characters? Are fictions "created"? Are fictions physical things, like books? How do fictions make us care about things we don't even believe in? How do fictions affect our moral beliefs.
    PHIL 0110 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Bjurman Pautz
  • Topics in Feminist Philosophy

    This survey course is designed to introduce students to core issues of feminist philosophy. We will investigate foundational and topical questions of feminist theory, by both classic and contemporary authors. Topics include: the nature of gender, oppression, masculinity and femininity, objectification, and the relationship between social inequality and knowledge. Emphasis will be placed on understanding these issues in relation to social categories such as race, sexuality and (dis)ability.
    PHIL 0180 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Leadon
  • Contemporary Moral Problems

    Is it ever morally permissible to get an abortion? Is euthanasia morally permissible? Can capital punishment be ethical? Do non-human animals have the same moral status as humans? Is it morally acceptable to keep more resources than one needs? These are examples of questions that contemporary applied ethics attempts to answer. In this introduction to contemporary moral problems, we will discuss potential answers provided by contemporary philosophers to these and other controversial questions.
    PHIL 0190 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Marxen
  • Early Modern Philosophy

    An introduction to central themes in Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Major topics include: reason, experience, and knowledge; substance and the nature of the world as it really is; induction, causation, and the origin of our ideas; skepticism, realism, and idealism. Connections are made with the scientific revolution of the 17th century. There will be discussion and advice on ways to approach philosophical reading, research and writing. Students should register for both a section and a conference. WRIT
    PHIL 0360 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
  • Global Justice

    Is it unjust that people in some countries have less wealth, worse health, etc., than those in other countries? Does this depend on whether the better off countries partly caused the disparity? Does it depend on whether the worse off are poor, or is it enough that they are relatively worse off? If there are global injustices, what obligations are there, and on whom do they fall, to remedy them? We will study (mostly) recent philosophical work on such questions, including attention to special contexts such as immigration, climate change, poverty, colonialism, secession, intervention, and war.
    PHIL 0390 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Estlund
  • Moral Philosophy

    An introduction to ethics, the part of philosophy that is concerned with right and wrong, good and bad, virtue and vice. We will look at some central issues in the field as well as some of the main theories in it. Is an action good or bad because of its anticipated results or regardless of these results? Is it ever right to kill one person to save five? Is relativism true? Is abortion wrong? These would be some of the topics discussed. WRIT
    PHIL 0500 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Arpaly
  • Ethical Themes in the Contemporary American Short Story

    Consideration of contemporary American short stories in terms of their treatment of such philosophical themes as love, loyalty, envy, belief, despair, and charity. Focuses on themes in moral philosophy, rather than themes in social and political philosophy. This course has no prerequisites. WRIT
    PHIL 0880 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ackerman
  • Conditionals

    In this seminar we will look at different theories of what "if" means. Is it a truth-functional connective, like the material conditional used in logic? Do sentences of the form "If P, then Q" even have truth conditions? Some logic will be very helpful; some familiarity with philosophy of language also helpful. Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.
    PHIL 0990X S01
    Primary Instructor
    Dreier
  • Mental Representation

    Discussion of contemporary philosophical and scientific work on intentionality and mental representation. Topics will include: types of mental representation (language of thought, spoken language, perceptual states, images, cognitive maps, trees, object files, etc.), relations between mental representations and the world (reference, informational semantics, teleological semantics), the nature of perceptual content, the differences between perceptual representation and conceptually grounded representation, philosophical theories of concepts, psychological theories of concepts, theories of belief, ethological work on animal beliefs and concepts, and the nature of conscious thought (particularly, evidence pro and con the theory that thought consists of auditory imagery and articulatory imagery).
    PHIL 0991M S01
    Primary Instructor
    Hill
  • Ethical and Political Issues in George Orwell's Novels

    You may be familiar with Animal Farm and 1984, but did you know that George Orwell wrote four other novels? These other four novels are much less well known nowadays than they should be. This seminar will consider Orwell’s six novels in chronological order and will discuss, not only the usual points about the evils of totalitarianism, but also his wide-ranging insights about people, language, and politics (such as “If you kept the small rules, you could break the big ones”). In order to include students with varied backgrounds and interests, this seminar has no prerequisites.
    PHIL 0991N S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ackerman
  • Philosophy of Mind

    Questions concerning the nature of mentality and its relation to the body. Selections from the following topics: mind and behavior, mind as the brain, mind as a computing machine, thought and language, action and mental causation, intentionality and consciousness. Prerequisite: at least one course in philosophy (2 or more preferred).
    PHIL 1770 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Pautz
  • Advanced Deductive Logic

    This course provides an introduction to the metatheory of first-order logic. We will prove the completeness of first-order logic. We then move on to the major "limitative" results, including the undecidability of first-order logic, the Gödel incompleteness theorems, and the undefinability in arithmetic of arithmetical truth. Prerequisite: PHIL 0540 or instructor's permission.
    PHIL 1880 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Schechter
  • Sartre

    The course will focus on Sartre's Being and Nothingness, one of the great works of twentieth-century philosophy. Attention will also be given to some of his literary texts (Nausea, No Exit) that complement this work.
    PHIL 1890G S01
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
  • Independent Studies

    An elective for students with at least six previous courses in philosophy. Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.
    PHIL 1990 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ackerman
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S02
    Primary Instructor
    Hill
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S03
    Primary Instructor
    Gill
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S04
    Primary Instructor
    Heck
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S05
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S06
    Primary Instructor
    Schechter
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S07
    Primary Instructor
    Reginster
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S08
    Primary Instructor
    Broackes
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S09
    Primary Instructor
    Dreier
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S10
    Primary Instructor
    Christensen
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S11
    Primary Instructor
    Estlund
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S12
    Primary Instructor
    Pautz
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S13
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S14
    Primary Instructor
    Arpaly
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S15
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S16
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S17
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S18
    Primary Instructor
    Guyer
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
  • Senior Thesis

    An elective for students writing a thesis. Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.
    PHIL 1995 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ackerman
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1995 S02
    Primary Instructor
    Arpaly
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1995 S03
    Primary Instructor
    Broackes
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1995 S04
    Primary Instructor
    Christensen
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1995 S05
    Primary Instructor
    Dreier
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1995 S06
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1995 S07
    Primary Instructor
    Estlund
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1995 S08
    Primary Instructor
    Gill
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1995 S09
    Primary Instructor
    Guyer
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1995 S10
    Primary Instructor
    Heck
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1995 S11
    Primary Instructor
    Hill
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1995 S12
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1995 S13
    Primary Instructor
    Pautz
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1995 S14
    Primary Instructor
    Reginster
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1995 S15
    Primary Instructor
    Schechter
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
  • Moral Epistemology

    This seminar will cover a number of related topics in contemporary work in moral epistemology, including: etiological debunking, the significance of moral disagreement, does moral ignorance exculpate?, moral perception, moral testimony, intuitionism, rationalism, naturalism, and reflective equilibrium.
    PHIL 2000B S01
    Primary Instructor
    Dreier
  • Kant and Mendelssohn

    An examination of the intimately intertwined intellectual careers of Immanuel Kant and Moses Mendelssohn. Topics will include their approaches to philosophy; their metaphysics, including attitudes towards proofs of the existence of God and immortality; their aesthetics; and their positions on religion and religious liberty. Readings from a wide range of sources, including Mendelssohn's Philosophical Writings, Jerusalem, and Morning Hours, and Kant's Critiques, Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, and Metaphysics of Morals.
    PHIL 2080J S01
    Primary Instructor
    Guyer
  • New Themes in Democratic Theory

    The course description will be the following: After a tradition of skepticism about democracy, and then a period mostly in the 20th century of virtually unquestioned approval of it, normative democratic theory recently is showing (collectively) more ambivalence. After an introduction to the period in which “deliberative democracy” was the most influential paradigm, we will look closely at developments beginning with the “epistemic” variant of that approach (Estlund, Landemore), an ensuing reaction on epistemic grounds against democracy (Brennan, Mulligan), and then two new approaches that are influential: the case for (and against) choosing “representatives” by lottery rather than voting (Guerrero, Saunders), and the idea that the model for democratic equality is nothing like majoritarianism or agents who act on behalf of constitutuents but the idea of a social and institutional world in which no class or category of citizens is generally above the others, increasingly called “relational equality” (Pettit, Anderson, Scheffler, Kolodny). This is a graduate seminar, and will be taught at that level. A small number of undergraduates with sufficient preparation may be admitted by consent of the instructor.
    PHIL 2100M S01
    Primary Instructor
    Estlund
  • Substance, Ancient and Modern

    What exists? What entities are fundamental and for what reasons? Aristotle devoted the Categories and central books of the Metaphysics to these questions. 17th-century philosophers, while rejecting much of Aristotle's world-picture, in many cases kept a place for a notion of Substance. In Descartes it is a crucial part of his dualism; Locke (in early Drafts for the Essay) rejects the notion--much as Hume will do--but later finds that he cannot do without it. We will do a careful reading of central parts of Aristotle's Metaphysics, and then parts of Descartes, Locke, Hume and others.
    PHIL 2110L S01
    Primary Instructor
    Broackes
  • Theories of Self-Consciousness in Classical German Philosophy (Kant, Fichte, Hegel)

    Theories of consciousness and self-consciousness play an important role in the philosophical systems of the main representatives of classical German philosophy. In particular Kant, Fichte and Hegel share the conviction that without a convincing understanding of consciousness and self-consciousness a coherent conception of both mental and physical reality is unattainable. The aim of the course is to look more closely into their approaches to this topic and to discuss critically the metaphysical, epistemological and psychological claims these philosophers connect with their respective views concerning consciousness and self-consciousness.
  • Aristotle’s Analytics

    Aristotle’s Analytics formed logic and informed reflection on scientific knowledge for much of the history of Western philosophy. The Prior Analytics present the first formal theory of deduction, known as the syllogistic. The Posterior Analytics include heterogeneous material within the framework of a theory of demonstration, i.e. of knowledge-bearing deduction. The question of how Aristotle’s logic (Prior Analytics) and epistemology of science (Posterior Analytics) intersect remains contested, as is the relationship between logic and epistemology generally in philosophy since Kant. In this course we shall focus on this fraught point, beginning with a general introduction to the syllogistic.
    PHIL 2190I S01
    Primary Instructor
    King
  • Graduate Proseminar

    Will cover classics of philosophy from the end of the 19th century to the end of the 20th; including ethics as well as metaphysics, epistemology and philosophy of language.
    PHIL 2200 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Arpaly
  • Third Year Workshop

    Students will receive training and practice in writing papers for publication in philosophy journals. Each student will complete a paper that has significantly greater scope and depth than a normal seminar paper. The paper will normally have some relevance to an envisioned dissertation, but there will be more emphasis on the quality of work than on relevance to future projects.
    PHIL 2700 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Pautz
  • Dissertation Workshop

    No description available. Course for graduate students during their 4th year or above.
    PHIL 2800 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Christensen
  • Preliminary Examination Preparation

    For graduate students who have met the tuition requirement and are paying the registration fee to continue active enrollment while preparing for a preliminary examination.
    PHIL 2970 S01
    Schedule Code
    E: Grad Enrollment Fee/Dist Prep
  • Research in Philosophy

    Section numbers vary by instructor. Please check Banner for the correct section number and CRN to use when registering for this course.
    PHIL 2980 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ackerman
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 2980 S02
    Primary Instructor
    Hill
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 2980 S03
    Primary Instructor
    Gill
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 2980 S04
    Primary Instructor
    Heck
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 2980 S05
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 2980 S06
    Primary Instructor
    Schechter
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 2980 S07
    Primary Instructor
    Reginster
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 2980 S08
    Primary Instructor
    Broackes
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 2980 S09
    Primary Instructor
    Dreier
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 2980 S10
    Primary Instructor
    Christensen
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 2980 S11
    Primary Instructor
    Estlund
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 2980 S12
    Primary Instructor
    Pautz
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 2980 S13
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 2980 S14
    Primary Instructor
    Arpaly
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 2980 S15
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 2980 S16
    Primary Instructor
    Guyer
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
  • Thesis Preparation

    For graduate students who have met the tuition requirement and are paying the registration fee to continue active enrollment while preparing a thesis.
    PHIL 2990 S01
    Schedule Code
    E: Grad Enrollment Fee/Dist Prep