Courses for Summer 2021

  • Critical Reasoning

    Critical reasoning is the art of recognizing, analyzing, composing and evaluating arguments. In this course, students will acquire skills that are needed not only to understand and evaluate complex arguments, but also to construct strong arguments themselves. Topics that will be covered include: validity and soundness, argument decomposition and construction, deductive and inductive arguments, and fallacious reasoning. After solidifying their critical reasoning skills, students will apply those skills to a number of challenging philosophical debates, touching on themes such as free will, skepticism, and morality.
    PHIL 0100 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Guindon
  • 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
  • Modern Science and Human Values

    Modern science has taught us surprising new things and modern technology has given us extraordinary new abilities. We can now prolong life in extraordinary ways, artificially enhance our physical and cognitive abilities, and radically reshape the natural environment on local and global scales. This course is an introduction to philosophical reasoning with a focus on philosophical questions that have been raised or informed by this newfound information or these newfound abilities. In particular, we will give special attention to questions arising in connection to recent developments in computer science and artificial intelligence.
    PHIL 0060 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Miller
  • Philosophy of Sex

    Sex is an important part of human experience, and questions about it have been central to literature, politics, religion, etc. It also gives rise to characteristically philosophical questions. What exactly is sex? How are sexual activities, desires, interests, and attractions related to one another? What makes such things ‘sexual’? What sorts of ethical considerations arise in the case of sexuality? Is consent always required if sexual activity is to be ethical? Is sex between consenting adults always guaranteed to be morally unobjectionable? What exactly is wrong about rape? And is fantasizing about rape itself wrong? How do disparities due to race, gender, disability, and the like affect the ethical character of sexual interactions? Does pornography objectify or otherwise demean women, members of certain racial groups, and/or disabled people? And what exactly is objectification? Why should it be thought problematic?
    PHIL 0575 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Heck
  • Classic Results of Mathematical Logic

    The 1930s saw extraordinary advances in logic, including Gödel's two incompleteness theorems, Church's theorem on the unsolvability of the decision problem, and Tarski's theorem on the undefinability of truth. 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, and Feferman. The course has no specific prerequisites, although some exposure to logic (such as PHIL 0540) will be helpful. More important is a general comfort with mathematical proof.
    PHIL 0690 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Heck
  • Philosophy of Socrates

    In this class we will read and discuss various ancient portraits of Socrates (in Aristophanes' Clouds, Plato's Apology and Symposium, and Xenophon's Apology) and several Platonic dialogues representing Socrates in action discussing moral questions, including the Crito, Laches, Charmides, Lesser Hippias, Protagoras, and Gorgias. We will focus on questions about the historical Socrates (as distinct from the portraits), his avowals of ignorance, irony, methods of argument, and interest in definition, as well as the moral questions explored in the dialogues. All readings will be in English translation.
    PHIL 0359 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Gill
  • Modern Political Philosophy

    The course aims to provide an introduction to some themes and thinkers in modern political philosophy. Many of the philosophers we will read are engaging in a debate about important political questions: What reasons do people have for establishing or submitting to the authority of a state? Does participation in a political community limit our freedom or enhance it? What rights do agents have in a pre-political state of nature and within a state? We will discuss the influence this discussion had on philosophical attempts to understand the Enlightenment, Karl Marx’s critique of capitalism, and arguments supporting the rights of women.
    PHIL 0211 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Damstra
  • 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
    Heck
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S02
    Primary Instructor
    Gill
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research
    PHIL 1990 S03
    Primary Instructor
    Johnson
    Schedule Code
    I: Independent Study/Research