Courses for Fall 2018

  • Skepticism and Knowledge

    What is knowledge? What is the extent and basis of one's knowledge about physical objects, other people, oneself, the future, morality, and religion?
    PHIL 0030 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ackerman
  • Introduction to Buddhist Philosophy

    This course will introduce students to Buddhist philosophy through the lens of contemporary philosophical themes. We will look at questions of personal identity, ethics, metaphysics, and free will, among others. There will be two related focuses: one historical and one critical. We will first get clear on the various accounts, and then will evaluate the arguments offered. No prior knowledge of either philosophy or Buddhism is required; both will be introduced in tandem, so that students will leave the course with an introductory understanding of both Buddhist philosophy and the philosophical themes discussed.
    PHIL 0140 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Renaud
  • Language, Race, and Gender

    We will explore slurs, pejoratives, epithets and normative generics. Topics include: How do these expression express contempt? How can they be used to derogate social groups? Is the derogatory element and the contempt they express part of the meaning or is it implied when they are used in certain contexts? Is it a feature of semantics or pragmatics? Do they refer? What are their semantic values? Do they have an expressive content? This course will serve as an introduction to philosophy of language. The nature of linguistic meaning, how language represents the world, the interface between semantics/pragmatics will be discussed.
    PHIL 0200F S01
    Primary Instructor
    Bjurman Pautz
  • Philosophy of Death

    This course is about death: what it is, why it’s bad (and good?), and how we should approach our death, and others’. The course will be divided into three parts. In part one, we will consider questions regarding the nature of death. In part two, we will look at questions regarding the value of death and immortality. In part three, we will look at questions regarding the ethics of death.
    PHIL 0201 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Brinkerhoff
  • Introduction to Islamic Philosophy

    The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the major thinkers, schools, themes and concepts of Islamic philosophy. We will begin with the translation movement from Greek into Arabic and the influence of the Koran, then look at texts by and about al-Kindi, Farabi, Avicenna, Averroes, Suhrawardi, and Mulla Sadra, among others. Students are required to read the assigned texts, to submit weekly reading response, and to write three 4-page papers or one 12-page paper on a chosen topic. While all assigned texts are in English, interested students can attend meetings devoted to reading sources in Arabic.
  • Ancient Philosophy

    This course will introduce students to the major concerns of Greek philosophy, and how they are addressed by the Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics. We will have two related ends: historical and critical. On the one hand, we will get clear so far as we are able what it is that these thinkers thought; on the other, it is important to evaluate their arguments. This course will emphasize the identification of the problems and the solutions to them that seemed pressing to these thinkers, especially if such problems seem alien to us.
    PHIL 0350 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Gill
  • Marxism

    In the first part of the course, we will examine Marx's economic, political, and philosophical writings, focusing on his analysis of capitalism, his critique of liberal democracy, and his theory of history. Then in the second part, we will look at some recent attempts to renew and extend the Marxist tradition.
    PHIL 0400 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
  • Logic

    An introduction to perhaps the most fundamental tool of rational thought: deductive logic. Course begins with basic sentential logic, then moves on to deduction, quantification, and predication. Argumentation and reasoning may also be addressed at times. No previous experience with logic or philosophy is required.
    PHIL 0540 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Heck
  • Free Speech

    Freedom of speech is a challenging and controversial ideal. Legal questions are central, but the issues range into moral and political philosophy as well. We will study John Stuart Mill’s influential 19th century treatment of the idea, and then concentrate mostly on discussions within the last fifty years, including much that is on the cutting edge of current thinking about freedom of speech. Topics will vary, including such things as: political speech, art and offense, pornography, hate speech, protest, copyright, internet and new media, and campaign finance laws.
    PHIL 0550 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Estlund
  • Political Philosophy

    An analytic investigation of some central problems and topics in political philosophy, including political obligation and civil disobedience, liberty, rights, equality, and democracy. Readings are drawn from recent work in the field, along with a few classics.
    PHIL 0560 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Estlund
  • Perception

    Begins with a reading of some classic works, and then moves on to contemporary work. Topics include: naive realist versus representational theories of sensory experience, the possibility that sensory experience is massively illusory (so that we already occupy a kind of “virtual reality”), the role of the brain in shaping sensory experience, and the alleged foundational role of sensory experience in knowledge. The focus will be on vision but we will also discuss other sense-modalities
    PHIL 0990F S01
    Primary Instructor
    Pautz
  • Current Questions About Rational Belief

    We'll study some "hot topics" in epistemology. Some possible questions: (1) What's the relationship between rational belief and logic? (2) Is belief best thought as all-or-nothing, as coming in gradations, or both? (3) Can the same evidence support divergent belief-states? (4) Is rational belief completely determined by evidence, or also by values or practical interests? (5) Are graded beliefs best seen as coming in precise degrees, or as more "spread-out"? (6) Can I have rational beliefs I know are denied by others just as intelligent, unbiased, well-informed, etc., as I am? Enrollment limited to 20 juniors and seniors.
    PHIL 0990V S01
    Primary Instructor
    Christensen
  • Identity and Authenticity

    Identity and authenticity are typically thought to be closely allied in that being oneself (authenticity) presupposes and depends on a conception of what one is (identity). However, close scrutiny of the ideal of authenticity and of the nature and development of identity exposes significant tensions between the two concepts. Drawing on sources from philosophy, psychoanalytic psychiatry, and sociology, the course will examine these concepts and the tensions that arise between them.
    PHIL 0991E S01
    Primary Instructor
    Reginster
  • Heidegger

    This course focuses on Heidegger's masterpiece, Being and Time. Attention will also be given to the background in Husserl as well as to some of Heidegger's lecture courses in the 1920s. Prerequisite: Two courses in philosophy.
    PHIL 1001 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
  • Kant's Moral Philosophy

    An introduction to the central themes of Kant's moral philosophy, including autonomy, freedom, happiness, obligation, and virtue. Kant's position in the history of moral philosophy will also be considered. Readings to include all of Kant's major writings in this field, thus Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, Critique of Practical Reason, Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, and Metaphysics of Morals, as well as several essays and lectures. Work will include two short papers and one term paper.
    PHIL 1290 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Guyer
  • Ethics in the Novel

    Consideration of novels in terms of their treatment of such philosophical themes as death, courage, faith, betrayal, responsibility to others, and mercy. Focuses on themes in moral philosophy rather than themes in social and political philosophy. The course deals with contemporary American novels and also with Malory. No pre-requisites.
    PHIL 1400 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ackerman
  • Consciousness

    Topics will include: (i) the different features of various types of consciousness; (ii) dualist, physicalist, and representationalist theories of experience; (iii) the nature of pain and other bodily sensations; (iv) the nature of conscious thought; (v) the qualitative dimension of perception; (vi) introspection; (vii) the roles of attention and working memory in perceptual consciousness; (viii) blindsight, inattentional blindness, hemineglect, and related phenomena; (ix) the unconscious; and (x) what it is for a state of consciousness to be unified.
    PHIL 1520 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Hill
  • The Nature of Morality

    Investigates major theories and issues concerning the nature of moral value. Readings from 20th-century authors. Issues include naturalism, supervenience, moral motivation, subjectivity/objectivity of value, skepticism, moral relativism, and moral realism.
    PHIL 1640 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Dreier
  • 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
  • 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
  • Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Others

    A detailed study, both historical and critical, of central issues in Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. Topics include a selection from: innate ideas; substance; personal identity; abstract ideas; theory of language; perception, materialism, and idealism; induction and causation; and skepticism. Also includes some discussion of later critics of classical empiricism.
    PHIL 1700 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Broackes
  • Epistemology

    We’ll concentrate on several issues involving knowledge and rational belief: What is knowledge, and how does it relate to rational or justified belief? Does a person’s knowing something depend on non-evidential factors such as the practical importance of the person’s being correct? Does the justification of a person’s belief depend just on facts internal to the person—or might it depend on her environment? And what can we learn from thinking about the skeptical position which claims that we’re not justified in believing even the most ordinary things about the world around us? Pre-req: Must have taken one course in Philosophy.
    PHIL 1750 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Christensen
  • Theories of Truth

    Philosophers have been worrying about truth for just about as long as there've been philosophers. They've worried about what truth is; about what kinds of things are true; about what it is for one of these things to be true; about how its being true is related to our knowing or thinking that it is true; and so on. We'll discuss these issues and also the so-called Liar Paradox, which threatens to show that there's an inconsistency lurking in the very notion of truth.
    PHIL 1870 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Heck
  • 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 Psychology

    This seminar will examine in depth some problems associated with morality, rationality, and the human psyche. Possible topics: acting for reasons, moral responsibility, practical reasoning, moral character, love, modesty, being too good, moral luck, desire, weakness of will. Undergraduates require instructor permission to enroll.
    PHIL 2030A S01
    Primary Instructor
    Arpaly
  • Descartes, Boyle and Locke: Body, Mind, Essence and Quality

    What is the nature of matter and of mind--or indeed or of gold or lead, or trees or dogs? More fundamentally, what are natures? How can we hope to discover them? Descartes thought he had a good method (a meditation to clarify our ideas). Locke had a different view: we are completely ignorant of essences, and classify things according to groups of salient qualities that they have. We will study the ways that philosophers retained, rejected, reworked, or reinvented the Aristotelian notion of essence; and how the natural philosophy and medicine of the time offered, or seemed to offer, new possibilities.
    PHIL 2110N S01
    Primary Instructor
    Broackes
  • Inquiry

    Epistemologists have typically focused attention on the products of inquiry (e.g., knowledge and justified belief) more than on inquiry itself. In this seminar, we will discuss recent work on the nature and proper conduct of inquiry. Readings will largely be drawn from epistemology, but there will also be readings from related areas, such as psychology and the philosophy of science.
    PHIL 2140H S01
    Primary Instructor
    Schechter
  • Nietzsche's Genealogy of Morality

    Bernard Reginster graduate seminar. TBD.
    PHIL 2170J S01
    Primary Instructor
    Reginster
  • 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
    Dreier
  • Dissertation Workshop

    No description available. Course for graduate students during their 4th year or above.
    PHIL 2800 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Schechter
  • Thesis 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