Courses for Spring 2021

  • 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
  • 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
    Primary Instructor
    Miller
    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
  • 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: Graduate Thesis Prep
  • Thesis Preparation

    For graduate students who have met the residency requirement and are continuing research on a full time basis.
    PHIL 2990 S01
    Schedule Code
    E: Graduate Thesis Prep
  • Dissertation Workshop

    No description available. Course for graduate students during their 4th year or above.
    PHIL 2800 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Reginster
  • Philosophy of Law

    Philosophical examination of the chief classical and contemporary theories of the nature and function of law. Topics include the definition of law, the nature of legal systems, the logic of legal reasoning, the analysis of basic legal conceptions (e.g., of right and duty), legal rules and principles, law and justice, and law and morality.
    PHIL 1600 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Estlund
  • Philosophy of Language

    How is language used both to express and to communicate our beliefs and other thoughts? What is the relation between the meaning of a sentence and the meanings of the words that comprise it? We will discuss philosophical work on these and related questions including, potentially: the meanings of metaphors; the way meaning depends upon context; the nature of slurs and hate speech.
    PHIL 1760 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Johnson
  • Psychology and Philosophy of Happiness

    The course explores four fundamental questions about happiness: What is happiness—pleasure, life satisfaction, something else? How is happiness achieved—what are the myths and realities about what conduces to happiness? Can happiness be achieved—are we naturally well suited to be happy? Why pursue happiness—is it sufficient, or even necessary, for a good life? The course examines classic contributions from philosophy and psychology, the two disciplines that have studied happiness most extensively. Team-taught by professors from both philosophy and psychology, it invites students to compare and combine both approaches.
    PHIL 0650 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Reginster
  • 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.
    PHIL 0360 S01
    This course will have synchronous lectures online with dispersed meetings in person. Instructor will consult with class once enrollment begins.
    Primary Instructor
    Broackes
  • Metaphysics

    A survey of some major topics in metaphysics, with a particular focus on radical metaphysical arguments – arguments that call into question our most basic beliefs about the world. Topics covered may include: What is personal identity? Does personal identity matter? Do personal identity and consciousness matter? Is there right and wrong and objective value? Is there free will? Are there any good arguments for God? Prerequisite: at least one course in philosophy (2 or more preferred).
    PHIL 1660 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Pautz
  • Descartes Meditations

    This seminar will focus on the main arguments and overall goals of Decartes' Meditations, read in conjuction with the Objections and Replies and some of Decartes' other writings. Also discussed will be some philosophically engaging studies of the Meditations by contemporary writers such as Harry Frankfurt and Bernard Williams.
    PHIL 0990M S01
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
  • Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics

    An examination of philosophical issues informed by elementary quantum mechanics; topics include the measurement problem, superposition, non-locality, and competing "interpretations" of the textbook formalism.
    PHIL 1283 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Miller
  • Moral Theories

    A systematic examination of the main alternative normative moral theories: consequentialism; moral rights; moral duties; moral virtues. Focuses on the principal issues in the formulation of the different theories, on the main points of conflict between them, and on the critical evaluation of each. Readings are drawn mainly from contemporary work in moral philosophy.
    PHIL 1650 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Arpaly
  • 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?
    PHIL 0010 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Bjurman Pautz
  • The Metaphysics and Epistemology of Modality

    In this seminar, we will discuss the nature and epistemology of facts about possibility and necessity. The aim of the course is to discuss interesting work on the subject, including classic texts, under-discussed older texts, and recent contributions. Topics include (i) Can modal properties be reduced to non-modal properties? What is the relationship between different kinds of modal properties? (ii) What is the correct semantics for modal language? (iii) How should we account for our knowledge of modal facts? (iv) What, if anything, do we need modal notions for?
    PHIL 2140J S01
    Primary Instructor
    Schechter
  • Moral Responsibility and Free Will

    Introduction to the free will debate through 20th century classics (is freedom compatible with determinism? What kind of freedom, if any, is required for moral responsibility?). Exploration, through more contemporary discussions, of issues relating to credit and blame for actions, among which are: the significance and nature of autonomy, the significance of desert, the relationship of all that to character, challenges from scientists to the existence of pretty much all these things, how to think of addiction, and such meta-questions as the place in the discussion of empirical results and of extremely artificial examples.
    PHIL 2030B S01
    Primary Instructor
    Arpaly
  • 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 1890H S01
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
  • Hellenistic Ethics

    Seminar on Hellenistic Ethics
    PHIL 1282A S01
    Primary Instructor
    Kress
  • Feminist Philosophy

    This course uses the tools of analytic philosophy to investigate a diverse range of feminist issues. The course begins by asking metaphysical questions. What is gender, sex, sexual orientation, disability? Second, we investigate topics in feminist epistemology. What is the relationship between social identity and knowledge? Can this both constrain and enable what one is in a position to know? Third, we consider issues in feminist philosophy of language. What can speech act theory tell us about consent? Last, we consider feminist issues in moral and political philosophy. What is bodily autonomy? Should sex work be legal? Is abortion morally permissible?
  • Mathematical Logic

    This course provides a rigorous introduction to the metatheory of classical first-order predicate logic. Topics covered include the syntax, formal semantics, and proof theory of first-order logic, leading up to the completeness theorem and its consequences (the compactness and Lowenheim-Skolem theorems). There will be some discussion of philosophical issues, but the focus of the course will be on the technical material. This course provides a more rigorous and mathematical treatment of material covered in PHIL 0540. No previous familiarity with logic is required, but it may be taken after 0540.
    PHIL 1630 S01
    If enrollment exceeds in-person meeting limit of 19, enrolled students will be on a bi-weekly rotating meeting schedule.
    Primary Instructor
    Guindon
  • Relativism (In Ethics and Epistemology)

    The term “relativism” is used to talk about a cluster of views, which claim that what is the case in a given subject matter depends on the culture, community, or agent that is assessing the subject matter. The term is often used loosely in contemporary debates, though it shows up in arguments to controversial conclusions. Throughout this course we will (A) informatively and precisely characterize possible relativist doctrines, making sure to distinguish between them and (B) critically evaluate them and assess their plausibility in light of arguments for and against them.
    PHIL 0212 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Zormpalas
  • Fiction as a Vehicle for Considering Ethical Issues in Education

    This seminar uses fiction as well as philosophy and sociology as vehicles for discussing ethical issues in education. Topics include: What are appropriate aims and methods for different types of education? What are appropriate student-teacher relationships? How should selective schools select students? How much, if at all, should schools concern themselves with students’ and teachers’ non-academic lives? How should schools handle allegations of misconduct? How does the pandemic affect such matters? In order to include participants with varied backgrounds, this seminar has no prerequisites. It is entirely online via synchronous Zoom sessions all recorded for asynchronous access as well.
    PHIL 2160T S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ackerman
  • Heidegger and Iris Murdoch

    Iris Murdoch was, with Anscombe, Midgley & Foot, one of the great ‘Quartet’ of women philosophers in the second half of the 20th century in Britain. Heidegger was, along with Plato, Kant, Wittgenstein and Simone Weil, a constant reference point for Murdoch—and she left unfinished at her death a book on Heidegger that is now edited for publication by Justin Broackes. We will study Heidegger’s Being and Time, and a series of his later essays, with Murdoch and other recent commentators: and we will examine the sympathies and disagreements between these two strong but very different philosophers.
    PHIL 2110P S01
    Primary Instructor
    Broackes
  • Advanced Topics in Philosophy of Physics

    A focused, in-depth exploration of contemporary work in or related to the philosophy of physics. Possible themes include scientific ontology, explanation, reduction, time, chance, and laws. At least one previous philosophy course, ideally in metaphysics or epistemology, is required.
    PHIL 0991Q S01
    Primary Instructor
    Miller