Courses for Fall 2019

  • 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? No overrides will be granted for this course.
    PHIL 0030 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ackerman
  • Existentialism

    An introduction to philosophical thinking through the study of existentialist themes, including being oneself, loving others, the limits of morality, and the meaning of life in the face of suffering and death. Readings are drawn primarily from Schopenhauer, Dostoyevsky, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus.
    PHIL 0080 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Reginster
  • 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
  • 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
  • Causation

    A topic of interest to philosophers has been the existence and nature of causal relations. Philosophers have asked what sorts of causal relations, if any, there are in the world and how human beings come to have knowledge of them. In this course, we examine the main answers to these and other questions that have been proposed by philosophers throughout the history of philosophy to the present. Throughout the course, students will be taught the principles of careful textual analysis, some of the basic presuppositions of analytical philosophy, and how to present philosophical arguments clearly, both orally and in writing.
    PHIL 0202 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Moore
  • Philosophy of Attention

    This course is meant to provide and introductory exploration into the concept of attention, with special focus on methods of phenomenology, conceptual analysis, and interpretation. We will give special consideration to the role of attention in relation to self-understanding, morality, and aesthetic experience. We will consider questions such as: What is attention? How is attending related to consciousness, awareness, and the unconscious? What role does attentiveness play in agency and embodied action? How can attention be cultivated and shaped? Can we attend too much or too little, too narrowly or too widely, or even in the wrong ways?
    PHIL 0204 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Hodges
  • 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 0207 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Guindon
  • 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
    Kress
  • 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.
  • 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
  • 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. Suggested prerequisite: at least one course in philosophy (2 or more preferred).
    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
  • Aristotle's Ethics

    An investigation of Aristotle’s ethical views as they are expounded in the Nicomachean Ethics, with an emphasis on the place of virtue and what (if anything) might make Aristotle’s account distinct from others on offer, including consequentialism and deontology. Topics include happiness and human flourishing, moral education, the virtues of character (including details of specific virtues), the nature of human action, the virtues of thought, weakness of will, pleasure, and friendship. Readings from Aristotle will be supplemented with selections from contemporary accounts of virtue ethics and scholarly work on Aristotle’s writings.
    PHIL 1200 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Kress
  • Issues for Feminism in Ethics (GNSS 1712)

  • 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 pre-requisites. No overrides will be granted for this course.
    PHIL 1400 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ackerman
  • Philosophy and Poetry

    An examination of philosophy and poetry as rival avenues to the apprehension of truth, as well as an introduction to the basic problems of aesthetics. Philosophical readings will range from Plato to Hegel to contemporary writers. The focus of the course will be three philosophical poems: Lucretius' On the Nature of Things, Wordsworth's Prelude, and Eliot's Four Quartets. One previous course in philosophy is recommended.
    PHIL 1420 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
  • 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
  • Philosophy of Science

    Some very general, basic questions concerning science. Can evidence justify belief in theories which go beyond the evidence? What is the nature of good scientific reasoning? Is there a single scientific method? What is a scientific explanation? Does science reveal truths about unobservable reality, or merely tell us about parts of the world we can measure directly?
    PHIL 1590 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Christensen
  • 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
    Primary Instructor
    Guindon
  • 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
  • 17th Century Continental Rationalism

    The course will focus on the principle of sufficient reason and involve a close reading of Spinoza's Ethics, along with other texts from Leibniz, Schopenhauer, Heidegger, and some contemporary writers.
    PHIL 1710 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
  • Schopenhauer's Ethical Thought

    The course offers a detailed survey of Schopenhauer's ethical thought, including his views about the character of moral agency (e.g., free will), about practical reason and deliberation, about philosophical psychology (e.g., the nature of egoism, the nature of pleasure), and about substantive ethics (e.g., compassion, resignation, and the ethical significance of artistic contemplation). It is recommended that students have at least one other course in ethics.
    PHIL 1910F S01
    Primary Instructor
    Reginster
  • 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
  • Reductionism

    Exploration of reductive approaches in contemporary metaphysics and philosophy of science. The question of whether there is a deep sense in which all the complexity of reality reduces to some more limited class of fundamental features.
    PHIL 2011A S01
    Primary Instructor
    Miller
  • 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
  • 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
    Heck
  • Dissertation Workshop

    No description available. Course for graduate students during their 4th year or above.
    PHIL 2800 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Dreier
  • 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 residency requirement and are continuing research on a full time basis.
    PHIL 2990 S01
    Schedule Code
    E: Grad Enrollment Fee/Dist Prep