Courses for Spring 2017

  • 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
  • Introduction to Philosophy

    This course will introduce the student to the how, what, and why of philosophical enquiry through engagement with some of the major themes, and major figures, of the field. We will follow our wonder about the world around us, ourselves and about how we should act in it, using classical as well as contemporary writings. Through a combination of lectures, readings, class discussions, and assignments the student will develop their ability to understand and engage with philosophical texts, evaluate arguments, and express their critical and reflective opinions in writing.
    PHIL 0220 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Li
  • 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
    Broackes
    PHIL 0360 C01
    Schedule Code
    C: Conference
    PHIL 0360 C02
    Schedule Code
    C: Conference
    PHIL 0360 C05
    Schedule Code
    C: Conference
  • 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
  • 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. WRIT
    PHIL 0400 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
  • 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
  • Valuing Persons

    We all have notions of good, bad and ordinary people, but reality defies our concepts. Many otherwise "nice"people voted for Hitler. People with stupid views about morality are sometimes better "in practice" than their smart counterparts. The same person may be honest with her husband but dishonest with the IRS , brave in battle but scared of public speaking. This class will explore this complexity, touching upon topics like free will and rationality, through the work of contemporary philosophers.
    PHIL 0990L S01
    Primary Instructor
    Mason
  • Aristotle

    A close study of Aristotle's major works: his metaphysics, philosophy of nature, philosophy of mind, and ethics. Readings from original sources (in translation) and contemporary secondary material. (Students wishing to read the texts in the original Greek should make arrangements with the instructor.)
    PHIL 1250 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Gill
  • Philosophy of Mathematics

    This course provides an introduction to the philosophy of mathematics. We will discuss the nature of mathematical objects: Are they mental constructions, do they inhabit some Platonic realm, or are there no mathematical objects at all? We will also discuss the status of our knowledge of mathematics: How is that we are justified in reasoning as we do in mathematics? The first part of the course will be devoted to discussing the history of the philosophy of mathematics. The second part of the course will focus on contemporary debates in the philosophy of mathematics.
    PHIL 1300 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Schechter
  • 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
  • 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? WRIT
    PHIL 1750 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Christensen
  • Sense and Reference

    Introduction to issues in philosophy of language and mind relating to sense and reference, including: definite descriptions, proper names, rigid designation and the description theory of names, the internalism--externalism debate, demonstratives ("this", "that"), and indexicals ("I", "here"). At least two prior courses in philosophy strongly recommended. WRIT
    PHIL 1765 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Heck
  • Incompleteness

    Gödel's two incompleteness theorems are among the most important results in the history of logic. We will study these results, and explore related topics, by working through some of the classic papers on the subject. Authors to be read include Gödel, Tarski, Feferman, and Visser. Prerequisites: PHIL 0540 or PHIL 1630, or special permission from instructor.
    PHIL 1885 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
    Primary Instructor
    Emery
    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
    Primary Instructor
    Preiss
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S16
    Primary Instructor
    Brennan
    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
    Primary Instructor
    Emery
    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
  • The Philosophy of G.A. Cohen

    G. A. Cohen, who died in 2009, produced one of the most important bodies of work in political philosophy in recent decades. In this graduate seminar, we will study writings spanning the whole of Cohen’s career, from his early work in “analytical Marxism” (which he partly invented), through his influential critique of libertarianism (left and right) and of the idea of self-ownership, to finally his criticisms of Rawls' theory of justice and his last, seminal work, Rescuing Justice and Equality (2008).
    PHIL 2000 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
  • Moral Psychology

    We all have our notions of good people, bad people, and ordinary people, but reality tends to defy these concepts. Many otherwise "nice", family loving, church going people voted for Hitler. On the other hand, people with stupid or even evil views about morality sometimes turn out to be a lot better "in practice" than their smart counterparts who know Kant by heart. The same person may be very honest with her husband but very dishonest with the IRS, brave in battle but scared of public speaking. In this class we shall explore this complexity, touching upon topics like rationality, free will, weak will, character, and love. We'll look at attempts by contemporary philosophers to find some method in the mess. Undergraduates require instructor permission to enroll.
    PHIL 2030A S01
    Primary Instructor
    Arpaly
  • The Epistemology of Logic

    This seminar focuses on the justification of our logical beliefs and of our employment of deductive rules of inference. What explains our justification? How are we justified in endorsing one logic over alternatives? In this seminar, we will read work by Lewis Carroll, Quine, Carnap, Dummett, Putnam, Boghossian, BonJour, Field, Priest, Haack, Rumfitt, among others. No technical background will be presupposed other than a working knowledge of introductory logic.
    PHIL 2140G S01
    Primary Instructor
    Schechter
  • Fiction and Ethical Issues In Education

    This seminar uses fiction as a vehicle for discussing ethical issues in education. It also uses nonfiction by philosophers and other scholars. Topics include the following: What are appropriate aims and appropriate teacher-student relationships for various types and levels of education? How should the academic performance of students and teachers be evaluated? How much, if at all, should schools concern themselves with the non-academic side of students' and teachers' lives? How can fiction enrich the philosophical discussion of such questions? In order to include students with varied backgrounds and interests, this seminar has no prerequisites, despite the high course number.
    PHIL 2160O S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ackerman
  • Guilt and Shame

    We will examine recent work on (the feelings of) shame and guilt, with a view to understanding their nature, their difference, and their moral significance. While we will focus on contemporary philosophical literature (e.g., John Rawls, Bernard Williams, David Velleman, Cheshire Calhoun, John Deigh, Herbert Morris, and others), we will also consider works from the history of philosophy (e.g., Friedrich Nietzsche), as well as pertinent work from psychology (e.g., Sigmund Freud, Paul Gilbert, June Tangney, Andrew Morrison, and others).
    PHIL 2170I 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
  • 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
    Dreier
  • 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
    Primary Instructor
    Emery
    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