Courses for Fall 2021

  • Independent Studies

    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
  • 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: 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
  • 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
  • Ethics in the Novel

    Consideration of novels in terms of their treatment of such ethical themes as love, friendship, envy, death, courage, faith, integrity, betrayal, responsibility to others, revenge, justice, and mercy. The course deals with twentieth-century and twenty-first-century novels and also with Malory. No prerequisites. This class will be conducted entirely as online synchronous sessions via Zoom. All sessions will be recorded for asynchronous access as well.
    PHIL 1470 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ackerman
  • Dissertation Workshop

    Course for graduate students during their 4th year or above.
    PHIL 2020 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Schechter
  • Perception

    Can we achieve knowledge of objective reality through perception, or does perception only put us in touch with subjective appearances? What is the relationship between perception and cognition? What is the nature of perceptual phenomenology? What is the nature of perceptual consciousness? Which of the general theories of perception is correct -- representationalism, Gibsonianism, adverbialism, or the acquaintance model? Representationalism is the most popular of these accounts among philosophers and psychologists, so we will consider representationalist models in detail, focusing on the question, What is it for a perceptual state to represent an external object? Readings from philosophers and psychologists.
    PHIL 0990F S01
    Primary Instructor
    Hill
  • 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 1825 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Hill
  • Contemporary Ethical Issues

    Are we morally obligated to reduce greenhouse gas emissions? Do we have moral obligations toward nature, animals and other people, for instance future generations and refugees? Is abortion morally wrong? Is legalization of drugs the right thing to do? In this course we will explore these and other contemporary ethical issues in the context of important moral theories; utilitarianism, virtue ethics, and the social contract theory. This course will serve as an introduction to applied ethics and normative ethics.
    PHIL 0200H S01
    Primary Instructor
    Bjurman Pautz
  • Food and Philosophy

    This course will deal with questions about the epistemology, metaphysics, aesthetics, ethics and politics of food: how we should reason about the things we eat, what makes them tasty or artistic, and what we ought and ought not to eat and how we ought to structure the environment in which food is produced and distributed. This seminar is meant as a general introduction to philosophy, in which you will familiarize yourself with long-standing kinds of philosophical questions and modes of reasoning. Food will be our anchor topic, the subject matter that gives us the occasion for such philosophical reflection.
    PHIL 0090A S01
    Primary Instructor
    Guindon
  • 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 1705 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Christensen
  • 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 1430 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Arpaly
  • 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 1240 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Guyer
  • 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 0640 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Schechter
  • Ancient Greek 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 0110 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Gill
  • Philosophy of Biology

    This course introduces philosophy of biology through engagement with historical and contemporary philosophical and scientific texts. We will ask epistemological questions about evolutionary biology, that seek a broader understanding of the status of biology as a science, and about fundamental concepts and categories of biological theory. We will ask whether and how biological knowledge (e.g. about health, “human nature,” or ecosystems) might be relevant to philosophical or ethical claims. Relatedly, we will ask questions about the roles of social values in biology. For example: How have concepts of ‘race’ and racial difference been theorized in philosophy and biology, and how has scientific racism mischaracterized human diversity? Students will leave the course with an appreciation for the relevance and importance of philosophical debates both within and about the life sciences.
    PHIL 1900 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Frank
  • Gorgias

    Plato's Gorgias begins with an investigation of Gorgias' rhetorical skill and its persuasive ability. It soon turns to questions about the nature of skills, justice, happiness, and much more—including the famous claim that it is better to suffer injustice than it is to do it. This class is a close reading of Plato’s dialogue, as well as Gorgias’ Helen and Palamedes, supplemented with relevant secondary literature.
    PHIL 1201 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Kress
  • Status Anxiety

    In this seminar, we explore three basic questions: What, precisely, is the status at stake in status anxiety? How are we to understand some of the typical manifestations of status anxiety, such as shame, resentment, and revengefulness? And when does status anxiety become harmful and pathological? As a particular focus, we will consider the relations between status anxiety, self-esteem, and (physical) self-preservation. Besides philosophical work on pertinent topics, such as standing, shame, resentment, respect, amour-propre, and revenge, we will also consider relevant materials from social psychology, sociology, and psychoanalytic theory.
    PHIL 0991 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Reginster
  • Measuring Value

    This is a seminar about the structure and aggregation of value, or good. How is what is good for a person related to what outcomes or states of affairs are good? How is what is good at a given time related to what is good over a long duration? How is what is good in one or another possible outcome related to what choices are good? Each question asks about the aggregation of good in a dimension (persons, time, possibility). As a preliminary question we ask what has to be assumed in order to make sense out of the main questions, and also of the idea of amounts of good. We will investigate some sticky problems in ‘population ethics’,especially the problem of how to compare alternatives when the identity and number of people who exist depends on which alternative is adopted.
    PHIL 2501 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Dreier
  • Love, Loyalty, Language, and Politics in George Orwell's Writing

    Many people think of Orwell in almost exclusively political terms. This makes them overlook his potentially life-changing insights into love and friendship and his devastating depictions of passion, commitment, deception, and betrayal in such intimate relationships. This seminar will focus on this often-neglected side of Orwell, although his political concerns will not be neglected. In order to include students with a wide range of background and interests, the seminar has no prerequisites. This class will be conducted entirely as online synchronous sessions via Zoom. All sessions will be recorded for asynchronous access as well.
    PHIL 1471 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ackerman
  • Rawls' A Theory of Justice

    On the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the publication of John Rawls' A Theory of Justice, this seminar will focus on the fundamental themes and arguments of this now classic work and on its enduring significance for political philosophy.
    PHIL 2502 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
  • Substance and Essence from Descartes to Hume

    The notions of Substance and Essence were huge in Aristotle--and by the time of Locke, a modern philosopher knew that those represented the old obscure philosophy that had to be dumped. And indeed in Locke's early drafts he dismisses the notion of Substance, and has no particular role for a notion of Essence. But over the next 20 years, he brings them both back (in different ways), convinced that they both play a crucial role in our thinking. (Hume will disagree.) 20th century philosophy has in different ways been embarrassed--or dismissive--of these same notions; and also in different ways (in Kripke, in Strawson, in Kit Fine) has brought them back. And the question arises, what is at stake, and what are the worries and the arguments that held sway in the 17th century, and which in the 20th century and today?
    PHIL 2503 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Broackes
  • Freedom and Equality

    In this class, we will explore perhaps the two most fundamental political ideas in modern liberal societies: that humans are (or should be) free, and that they are (or should be) equals. We will explore different conceptualizations of these two important but essentially contested concepts, reading a range of views of how freedom and equality are to be defined and what (if anything) makes them morally important, before applying these views to concrete questions like the role of race and gender in our society, how our political institutions should be organized, and whether economic inequities are morally permissible.
    PHIL 0011 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Schrepfer
  • Modal Logic

    Modal logic concerns the logic of necessity and possibility. In this course, we will look at formal systems that have been developed to handle these and related notions. We will cover three topics: propositional modal logic, quantified modal logic, and the logic of counterfactual conditionals. We will discuss philosophical issues, but the main focus of the course will be on the technical material. No official prerequisite. It is strongly recommended that students have taken PHIL 0540 or have a working knowledge of elementary logic.
    PHIL 1665 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Guindon