The Philosophy Department has adopted new designations aiming to identify courses that are either relevant to issues of diversity and inclusion, or focused on them. Courses relevant to issues of diversity and inclusion (designated as RDI) are on problems, theories, or ideas that play an important role in framing any inquiry on the topics of diversity and inclusion. Courses focused on issues of diversity and inclusion (designated as FDI) are on problems, theories, or ideas about diversity and inclusion.
Courses Relevant to Issues of Diversity and Inclusion (RDI)
- Philosophy of Economics - Fall 2016
In this course, students will investigate the historical and contemporary overlap between philosophy and economics, from the writings of Adam Smith and Karl Marx to recent works in philosophical and economic theory. We will consider the following questions: Are economists committed to a particular theory of ethics or well-being? How should economists and philosophers understand the welfare of individuals? What is the link between free markets and important conceptions of individual freedom? How might moral and political philosophy benefit from economic analysis? How might philosophy inform or enrich economic analysis? Finally, how can economic analysis and philosophy together inform public policy?
PHIL 0580 S01
- Marxism - Spring 2017
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
- The Philosophy of G. A. Cohen - Spring 2017
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
Larmore & Estlund
Courses Focused on Issues of Diversity and Inclusion (FDI)
- What is Free Speech? - Fall 2016
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. WRIT
PHIL 0550 S01
- Global Justice - Spring 2017
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 SO1
- Philosophy of Language: Slurs and Hate Speech - Fall 2016
We will read some of the recent literature on slurs and hate speech, looking for connections between them. Students not graduate students in philosophy must have had a prior course in philosophy of language.
PHIL 2120K S01
- Bioethics Through Fiction - Spring 2017
This course uses fiction as a vehicle for philosophical discussions of disability, illness, and death. Topics include the following: What is disability? What is illness? What do healthy people owe sick, disabled, or dying people, and vice versa? Should we fear death? Should we prolong the lives of the terminally ill? Should we support research aimed at greatly extending the human lifespan? How can fiction enrich philosophical discussions of such questions? Readings include novels and short stories as well as writings by philosophers and bioethicists. In order to include students with varied backgrounds, this course is open to all Brown students and has no prerequisites.
PHIL 2160F S01