Courses for Spring 2019

  • 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?
    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
  • An Introduction to Pain and Suffering

    What are pain and suffering? Do they matter, and if so, why? What can we do about them? What should we do about them? The goal of this course is to answer those three central questions – what we might call the ‘what?’, ‘who cares?’, and ‘now what?’ – of pain and suffering. The course is designed to give an introduction to the philosophy, neuroscience, and psychology relevant to answering those questions, as well as to how they are addressed in Buddhism.
    PHIL 0160 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Gularte
  • College Ethics

    As college students, you face a number of ethical decisions. Should you use cognitive-enhancing drugs? If there is a speaker you oppose, is it okay for you to engage in disruptive protest? Should you support calls for the university to take political positions, or should a university be politically neutral? In this course we'll be looking at these and other issues relevant to your lives as college students. There are no prerequisites for the course.
    PHIL 0170 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Chalmers
  • Personal Identity and Moral Responsibility

    First year seminar on personal identity and moral responsibility.
    PHIL 0200G S01
    Primary Instructor
    Arpaly
  • 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.
    PHIL 0360 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Broackes
  • 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
  • The Meaning of Life

    This is an introductory course in ethics, with a focus on the question of what is the nature of the human good, or of a life lived well. Readings will be from classical sources (Aristotle, Epicurus, Kant, Nietzsche, Camus) as well as from contemporary authors. In investigating this question, the course will also introduce students to some of the main problems and positions in moral philosophy. Central concepts such as obligation, responsibility, pluralism, and moral knowledge will be discussed, but in the larger context of what is the nature of the good life. No prior work in philosophy will be presupposed.
    PHIL 0450 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
  • Psychology and Philosophy of Happiness

    The course explores four fundamental questions about happiness: What is happiness—pleasure, life satisfaction, something else? How is happiness achieved—what are the myths and realities about what conduces to happiness? Can happiness be achieved—are we naturally well suited to be happy? Why pursue happiness—is it sufficient, or even necessary, for a good life? The course examines classic contributions from philosophy and psychology, the two disciplines that have studied happiness most extensively. Team-taught by professors from both philosophy and psychology, it invites students to compare and combine both approaches.
    PHIL 0650 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Reginster
  • 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.
    PHIL 0880 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ackerman
  • Mental Representation

    Discussion of contemporary philosophical and scientific work on intentionality and mental representation. Topics will include: types of mental representation (language of thought, spoken language, perceptual states, images, cognitive maps, trees, object files, etc.), relations between mental representations and the world (reference, informational semantics, teleological semantics), the nature of perceptual content, the differences between perceptual representation and conceptually grounded representation, philosophical theories of concepts, psychological theories of concepts, theories of belief, ethological work on animal beliefs and concepts, and the nature of conscious thought (particularly, evidence pro and con the theory that thought consists of auditory imagery and articulatory imagery).
    PHIL 0991M S01
    Primary Instructor
    Hill
  • Conditionals

    In this course, we will look at different theories of what "if" means. Is it a truth-functional connective, like the material conditional used in logic? Do sentences of the form "If P, then Q" even have truth conditions? Some logic will be very helpful; some familiarity with philosophy of language also helpful.
    PHIL 1100D S01
    Primary Instructor
    Dreier
  • 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
  • Late Plato

    This course investigates Plato’s response to difficulties posed in his Parmenides about the theory of Forms. To flesh out the theory we will look back at the Phaedo and Republic, and to understand his revisions we will read a series of dialogues responding to the Parmenides: Theaetetus (on knowledge), Sophist (on truth and falsehood), and Statesman (on method and politics). These dialogues present themselves as philosophical exercises to train the audience in philosophy and promise a final member to complete the series, but the Philosopher is missing. A question: can we find Plato’s philosopher in the series we have?
    PHIL 1260A S01
    Primary Instructor
    Gill
  • Philosophy of Law

    Philosophical examination of the chief classical and contemporary theories of the nature and function of law. Topics include the definition of law, the nature of legal systems, the logic of legal reasoning, the analysis of basic legal conceptions (e.g., of right and duty), legal rules and principles, law and justice, and law and morality.
    PHIL 1600 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Estlund
  • Philosophy of Language

    How is language used both to express and to communicate our beliefs and other thoughts? What is the relation between the meaning of a sentence and the meanings of the words that comprise it? We will discuss philosophical work on these and related questions including, potentially: the meanings of metaphors; the way meaning depends upon context; the nature of slurs and hate speech.
    PHIL 1760 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Heck
  • Philosophy and Psychoanalysis

    The course proposes a philosophical examination of a variety of psychoanalytical theories beginning with classical Freudian theory and including ego psychology, various relational theories (object relations, intersubjectivity, and attachment theories), and self psychology. The course might also consider some of the philosophical sources of psychoanalytic theory, its interaction with recent developmental research, and its applications in literary and cultural studies.
    PHIL 1820 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Reginster
  • Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy

    This course provides an introduction to major philosophers and movements within the analytic tradition. Our focus will be on the groundbreaking work done in the first few decades of the 20th century. We will read selected works of Gottlob Frege, G. E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and A.J. Ayer. We will discuss central issues in the philosophy of language, metaphysics, epistemology, and metaethics. One recurring theme will be the nature and correct methodology of philosophy itself.
    PHIL 1830 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Schechter
  • 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 1855 S01
    Primary Instructor
    Schechter
  • Wittgenstein

    This course will focus on the Philosophical Investigations and its treatment of various questions in the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. Some attention will also be given to his Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics. Prerequisite: Two courses in philosophy.
    PHIL 1890B S01
    Primary Instructor
    Larmore
  • 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
  • Epistemology

    What’s the rational way to respond to evidence that one’s beliefs are formed unreliably? (Examples involve biases, drugs, hypoxia, or the disagreement of reliable thinkers.) Theorizing about this is complicated by one’s having to judge one’s own reliability from within one’s own (possibly unreliable) perspective. And it relates to some other topics of current interest in epistemology: Can rational requirements can come into conflict? Can it be rational to be epistemically akratic–to have one doxastic attitude toward P while thinking that some (particular) other doxastic attitude would be more rational?
    PHIL 2050H S01
    Primary Instructor
    Christensen
  • Introspection

    This course will examine the nature of our introspective access to our sensory experiences and to our non-experiential mental states (e.g., propositional attitudes.) Topics covered will include: the Cartesian idea that we have "special access" to (or "direct acquaintance with") our mental states; empirical and philosophical arguments questioning the reliability of introspection; the transparency model of introspection, in the case of experience (Tye, Dretske, Byrne) and in the case of propositional attitudes (Evans, Byrne); Peter Carruther's interpretive sensory access theory of our knowledge of our non-experiential mental states; and recent empirical work that involves combining introspective testimony with fMRI readings.
    PHIL 2060I S01
    Primary Instructor
    Pautz
  • Philosophy and Architecture

    One of the most ancient human practices, answering to the need for shelter, architecture also counts as a fine art in modern times. Is there tension between the functionality of architecture and the disinterested contemplation seen as the hallmark of aesthetic experience? Taught by a philosopher and an architectural historian, the course is interdisciplinary and collaborative. Students work in multi-disciplinary teams to prepare seminar presentations and papers. Case studies will draw on texts and buildings from a diversity of sources, historical periods, and geographical regions.
    PHIL 2080K S01
    Primary Instructor
    Guyer
  • Speech and Pornography

    Is pornography misogynistic or morally or politically objectionable in other ways? Many feminists have thought so. We will consider the arguments of such writers as Andrea Dworkin and Rae Langton and then seek a better account of what is problematic about much pornography, using queer and feminist pornography as a contrast. Along the way, we'll consider questions about what sex is and about what ethical sex might require, paying special attention to the limitations of the notion of consent for a theory of sexual ethics. Instructor's permisson required. No permission will be given during pre-registration. Interested students should attend the first meeting.
    PHIL 2120L S01
    Primary Instructor
    Heck
  • Philosophy, Ethics, and Politics in George Orwell's Novels

    This seminar will begin with 1984 and Animal Farm but will go on to discuss Orwell's other four novels as well, focusing not only on the obvious political issues but also on his varied, stimulating, and debatable ideas about self-deception, language and thought, romantic and sexual relations, betrayal, money, and many other exciting topics. In order to include students with varied backgrounds and interests, this seminar has no prerequisites.
    PHIL 2160P S01
    Primary Instructor
    Ackerman
  • Kant and the Development of German Idealism

    The purpose of the course is to give a survey of the development of German idealistic thought from Kant to the early Schelling. It will deal mainly with the metaphysical and the epistemological aspects of this movement and focus primarily on those aspects that are related to Kant’s theoretical philosophy. Topics that are dealt with include: (1) Kant’s criticism of metaphysics and his epistemological program, (2) reactions to Kant’s approach by F. H. Jacobi, K. L. Reinhold and G. E. Schulze. (3) Fichte’s ‘subjective’ idealism, (4) Schelling’s search for ‘lacking premises’.
    PHIL 2190J S01
    Primary Instructor
    Horstmann
  • 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
    Arpaly
  • 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
    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