Philosophy (PHIL)

PHIL 001 Introduction to Philosophy

Problems of Philosophy: The aim of this course is to introduce some of the major topics and methods of analytic philosophy. As the course goes on, the questions we consider will become more explanatorily deep. It begins with questions about what we should do (Normative Ethics). We then move to questions about how we can even do anything at all (Free Will). We then consider how we might know about any of this (Epistemology). Finally we ask what we even are and what it means for us to be at all (Mind and Personal Identity). This course will not assume any background in philosophy. For most students, it will be a challenging, though hopefully worthwhile, course. The course will push you to understand and communicate clearly about material that is often difficult to understand. Along with introducing you to analytic philosophy, this course will help students become better skilled in understanding and intelligently questioning sophisticated arguments, which can come in handy in a large number of pursuits.

For BA Students: Humanities and Social Science S

Taught by: Detlefsen, Singer, Weisberg

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

Notes: Also fulfills General Requirement in History Tradition for Class of 2009 and prior. Freshman Seminar sections offered

PHIL 002 Ethics

Ethics is the study of right and wrong behavior. This introductory course will introduce students to major ethical theories, the possible sources of normativity, and specific ethical problems and questions. Topics may include euthanasia, abortion, animal rights, the family, sexuality, bioethics, crime and punishment and war.

For BA Students: Society Sector

Taught by: S.Meyer, Tan, Lord, M.Meyer

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 003 History of Ancient Philosophy

This course is an introduction to philosopy in the ancient world. While today, philosophy is considered a branch of academic inquiry, many of the ancient Greeks and Romans, however, held a radically different conception of the discipline. For them, philosophy was nothing less than an entire way of life--not just a set of doctrines or arguments, but an orientation and set of lived practices, a conscious and continual reforming of the self in light of some principle or principles. In this course, we will examine the major movements and figures of ancient philosophy. Major figures will include Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, the Epicureans, and the Skeptics.

For BA Students: History and Tradition Sector

Taught by: S.Meyer

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: CLST 103

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 004 History of Modern Philosophy

This course is an introduction to a few central themes in philosophy in the 17th and 18th centuries, and to some of the crucial thinkers who addressed those themes. Topics to be covered may include, among others, the nature of the human being (including the human mind), the relationship between God and the created world, the nature of freedom, and the relations among natural sciences, philosophy and theology in this rich period of human history.

For BA Students: History and Tradition Sector

Taught by: Hatfield, Detlefsen, Chignell

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: GSWS 006

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 005 Formal Logic I

This course provides an introduction to some of the fundamental ideas of logic. Topics will include truth functional logic, quantificational logic, and logical decision problems.

Taught by: Domotor, Weinstein

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: LGIC 010, PHIL 505

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

Notes: This is a Formal Reasoning course.

PHIL 006 Formal Logic II

An introduction to first-order logic including the completeness, compactness, and Lowenheim-Skolem theorems, and Godel's incompleteness theorems.

Taught by: Weinstein

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: PHIL 506

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 007 Critical Thinking

This course will provide the student with informal techniques for identifying and analyzing arguments found in natural language. Special attention will be paid to developing the ability to assess the strength of natural language arguments, as well as statistical arguments.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 008 The Social Contract

This is a critical survey of the history of western modern political philosophy, beginning from the Early Modern period and concluding with the 19th or 20th Century. Our study typically begins with Hobbes and ends with Mill or Rawls. The organizing theme of our inventigation will be the idea of the Social Contract. We will examine different contract theories as well as criticisms and proposed alternatives to the contract idea, such as utilitarianism. Besides the above, examples of authors we will read are Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Mill and Marx.

For BA Students: Society Sector

Taught by: Freeman,Tan

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: PPE 008

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 010 Topics in Philosophy I

In classical Athens the question of how a government should work was an urgent one. They invented democracy, adopted it successfully for decades, and then it faced challenges, from oligarchs and others. At this time of tumult, the philosopher Plato set out to explore the question of the best form of government by framing it as a question of justice. Which mode of governing is the one that delivers justice? But to understand this question, a person first needs to understand what justice itself is. Coming up with an answer to this is a thorny and difficult prospect. By focusing on Plato's Republic, this course aims to explore how best to govern a society, what kinds of qualities one should expect in a leader, and how these questions are connected to very basic understandings about human nature, society, and the world in general.

Taught by: Tan, Taylor

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: CLST 005

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 015 Logic and Formal Reasoning

This course offers an introduction to three major types of formal reasoning: deductive, inductive (probabilistic and statistical), and practical (decision-making). The course will begin with the study of classical sentential and predicate logics. It will move on to elementary probability theory, contemporary statistics, decision theory and game theory.

For BA Students: Formal Reasoning and Analysis

Taught by: Domotor

Course usually offered in spring term

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 024 Philosophy of Biology

In this course, we will investigate whether or not there is such a thing as "human nature", and, if there is, what it comprises. We will begin by surveying the history of philosophical and scientific theories about the relationship between bodies and minds. We will then consider what, if anything, makes humans unique within the animal kingdom. Finally, we will examine (purported) racial, sexual, and ethical differences between humans. Throughout the course, we will come to understand and critically assess a variety of philosophical and scientific methods of studying human beings (and other animals).

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 025 Philosophy of Science

What counts as a scientific theory? What counts as evidence for a scientific theory? Are scientific inferences justified? Does science give us truths or approximate truths about a world that exists independently of us? How can we know? Does it matter? These are all perennial questions in the philosophy of science, and the goal of this course is to look at how philosophers have answered these questions since the scientific revolution. In addition to reading classic work by philosophers of science, we will read material from living and dead scientists in order to gain a deeper appreciation of the philosophical questions that have troubled the most brilliant scientists in Western science.

For BA Students: Natural Science and Math Sector

Taught by: Weisberg,Spencer

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 026 Philosophy of Space and Time

This course provides an introduction to the philosophy and intellectual history of space-time and cosmological models from ancient to modern times with special emphasis on paradigm shifts, leading to Einstein's theories of special and general relativity and cosmology. Other topics include Big Bang, black holes stellar structure, the metaphysics of substance, particles, fields, and superstrings, unification and grand unification of modern physical theories. No philosophy of physics background is presupposed.

For BA Students: Natural Science and Math Sector

Taught by: Domotor

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: STSC 026

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 028 Introduction to Feminist Philosophy

This course is an introduction to feminist thought, both in theory and in practice. We will consider how feminist thought emerged and evolved, as well as how feminist theories respond to various intellectual, social and political challenges. Questions we will address include: What exactly is feminism? How does one's gender identity impact one's lived experiences? How should we revise, reformulate, or rethink traditional answers to politial and ethical issues in light of feminist theories? How can feminist analyses contribute to the development of better science, and our conceptions of knowledge?

Taught by: M.Meyer

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GSWS 028

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Offered through the College of General Studies

PHIL 029 Philosophy of Sport

This is an introductory philosophy course that uses philosophical tools to understand and answer questions that arise in and about sports. The central question to be answered is what constitutes cheating in sports, especially by methods that enhance athletic performance. Other topics may include the nature of competition in sport, the appropriate competitors in sporting events, and the ethics of team loyalty.

Taught by: M.Meyer

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 032 Topics in Contemporary Philosophy

Transhumanists seek to extend the capacities of the human mind beyond the bounds of the human brain and body through technology. Indeed, for them, such an extension of human thinking and feeling represents the next big step in human cognitive evolution. In this course, we will examine the philosophical conception of a mind that underpins this movement to extend the human mind beyond human biology. Through an examination of the hypothesis that there can be non-biological thinking and feeling, we consider whether technologies that enable or enhance human mental faculties might one day completely supplant the biological machinery of the human body. We will also consider the moral issues surrounding the creation of transhumans. The questions that we consider in this course will get to the heart of what it means to possess a human mind and indeed to be a human being.

Taught by: Varying instructors

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 034 Philosophy of Religion

An introductory philosophical examination of questions regarding the nature of religious experiences and beliefs; arguments for and against the existence of God; the problem of evil; the relationships of faith, reason and science, the possibility of religous knowledge, the role of religious communities, etc. Readings from the history of philosophy, 20th century and contemporary analytic philosophy, and the European phenomenological, existential, and hermeneutic traditions.

Taught by: Steinberg

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: RELS 011

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 044 Introduction to Cognitive Science

Scope and limits of computer representation of knowledge, belief and perception, and the nature of cognitive processes from a computational prespective.

Taught by: Kearns, Liberman, Weinstein, Hatfield

Course usually offered in fall term

Also Offered As: CIS 140, COGS 001, LING 105, PPE 140, PSYC 207

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

Notes: Formal Reasoning Course. All Classes

PHIL 045 Animal Minds

In this course, we will examine philosophical issues in nonhuman animal cognition. We will consider questions such as the following: Do nonhuman animals use concepts? How do we assess different interpretations of their behaviour? What is the role of anthropomorphism in thinking about nonhuman animal cognition? How are intelligence and sociality related?

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 050 Introduction to Indian Philosophy

This course will take the student thorugh the major topics of Indian philosophyby first introducing the fundamental concepts and terms that are necessary fo r a deeper understanding of themes that pervade the philosophical literature of India--arguments for and against the existence of God, for example the ontological status of external objects, the means of valid knowledge, standards of proof, the discourse on the aims of life. The readings will emphasize classical Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain philosophical articulations (from 700 B.E. E. to 16th century CE) but we will also supplement our study of these materials with contemporary or relatively recent philosophical writings to modern India.

For BA Students: History and Tradition Sector

Also Offered As: RELS 155, SAST 050, SAST 152

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 051 Yoga and Philosophy

"Yoga" means to yoke in Sanskrit. Metaphorically, this is often interpreted as union, or integration. This course will explore central aspects of yogic philosophy and practice, and how they relate to, and might be integrated with, contemporary analytic philosophy, college life, and beyond. We will focus on three key issues: (1) What is yogic philosophy? How does it relate to the western philosophical tradition more commonly taught in philosophy departments in the U.S.? (2) What does the practice of yoga have to do with theoretical understanding? (3) Is it possible to integrate a yogic worldview and a scientific worldview? Is there scientific evidence that yoga "works"? What does that even mean? This course will contain both a theoretical component and a practice component. In addition to writing analytical essays on these topics, students will maintain a yoga practice and a reflective journal throughout the course. No prior experience with yoga is required.

Taught by: Miracchi

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 054 Contemporary Continental Philosophy

An introduction to 20th century continental European philosophy, focusing on the origins and development of phenomenology and existentialism and their influence on contemporary thought. The course will include an introduction to the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and examine the subsequent development of modern philosophic existentialism by critics of Husserl, such as Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre or Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Finally, the important influence of phenomenology and existentialism on contemporary trends in French, German, and American philosophy will be explored, including hermeneutics, deconstruction, post-modernism, and post-analytic philosophy. No previous study of philosophy is required.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 055 Existentialism

This course treats "existentialism" as an historical, philosophical, and literary phenomenon. In addition to close readings of philosophical texts by Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Camus, we will read literary works by Dostoyevsky, Ibsen, Kafka, Beckett, Knut Hamsun, and Richard Wright. There will also be semi-regular film screenings. Topics include death, anxiety, resentment, and will-to-power, authenticity, faith, the absurd, racism and sexism, sources of art and morality, and the nature of human existence.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 067 19th Century Philosophy

"God is dead." this famous, all too famous death sentence, issued by the 19th-century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche, also signaled the genesis of a radical challenge to traditional notions of morality, cultural life, and the structure of society as a whole. In this course we will examine both the "modernity" of Nietzsche's thought and the ways in which his ideas have helped to define the very concept of Modernity (and, arguable, Postmodernity) itself. In exploring the origin and evolution of Nietzsche's key concepts, we will trace the ways in which his work has been variously revered or refuted, championed or co-opted, for more than a century. We will survey his broad influence on everything from philosophy and literature to music and art, theater and psychology, history and cultural theory, politics and popular culture. Further, we will ask how his ideas continue to challenge us today, though perhaps in unexpected ways. As we will see, Nietzsche wanted to teach us "how to philosophize with a hammer."

Taught by: Jarosinski

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GRMN 248

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 071 Animal Ethics

We all face difficult moral decisions on occasion. This course introduces students to the idea that we face such a decision several times a day in deciding what to eat. How should facts about animal life and death inform this decision? Is the suffering involved in meat, egg, and dairy production really bad en0ough to make the practices immoral? How do our dietary choices affect local and non-local economies, the environment, and other people generally? Finally, given the deep connections between eating practices and various ethnic, religious and class identities, how can we implement a reasonable food policy for an expanding world population while also respecting these important differences? The goal of this course is not to teach some preferred set of answers to these questions. The goal is rather to give participants the basic tools required to reflect clearly and effectively on the questions themselves. These tools include a working knowledge of major moral theories developed by philosophers, and an understanding of basic empirical issues related to food. In addition to readings, lectures, and required sections, the course may involve trips to some local food-production facilities, as well as supplemental lectures by experts from Penn, Philadelphia, and beyond.

Taught by: Chignell

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: HSOC 171, STSC 171

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 072 Biomedical Ethics

This course is an introduction to bioethics, focusing on ethical questions arising at the beginning and end of life. Topics will include procreative responsibilities, the question of wrongful life, and prenatal moral status as well as questions of justice related to markets for sperm, eggs and gestation. We will also attend to dilemmas at the end of life, including the authority of advance directives, euthanasia and the allocation of life-saving therapies.

For BA Students: Society Sector

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: PPE 072

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 073 Topics in Ethics

This course examines some of the central theoretical and applied questions of ethics. For example, what is the good life? By what measure or principles do we evaluate the rightness and wrongness of actions? How does ethical reasoning help us understand and address real world problems such as world hunger, social injustice, sex and race discrimination, allocation of scare resources and the like. The course can be organized around an applied topic or practical issue such as global ethics, just war, biomedical ethics or environmental ethics.

Taught by: Gibbons, M.Meyer

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: ENVS 073, PPE 073

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 074 Business Ethics

In this course we will begin by examining practical ethical dilemmas facing businesses. Since usually people, not businesses, face ethical quandaries, we will consider how a business can face an ethical dilemma at all. Maybe it doesn't even make sense to attribute responsibilities, liabilities, or agency to corporations. If businesses do indeed have moral responsibilities, perhaps that means that employees have corresponding rights against their employers. With a better understanding of how the ethical world intersects with the business world, we can thoughtfully discuss the place of the corporation in society.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 076 Political Philosophy

An introduction to some central issues in social and political philosophy: liberty, equality, property, authority, distributive justice. Readings from Hobbes, Locke, Mill, Marx, Rawls, Nozick.

Taught by: Freeman

Course not offered every year

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 077 Philosophy of Law

This course is an introduction to the Philosophy of law. The central question of the course is this: why have law? Answering that question requires engaging with another question: what is law? We will approach those two questions in a variety of ways throughout the semester. In the first section of the course, we will begin by discussing one important feature of law: its close connection to coercion and punishment. Many have argued that the close relationship between law and coercion creates a demand for justification: what can or does justify law, given that law involves coercion? We will explore answers to that question. We will also consider a more general question: what good is law? (if we didn't have law, why might we want it?) The second section of the course engages with these same issues but in more concrete settings: the areas of criminal law and property law. We will consider what, if anything, is distinctive about those two areas of law, and we will consider whether the purported purpose(s) of law in general that we discuss in the first section make more or less sense when we consider these two specific areas of law. We will also consider distinctive aspects of the sources of law in these two areas of law: democratically enacted statutes, in the case of criminal law; and judge-made common law, in the case of property law. The third and final section of the course will consider an unusual and particularly significant kind of law: constitutional law. We will consider the purpose(s) of constitutions, how constitutionalism relates to democracy, and how constitutions ought to be understood and interpreted, in light of our answers to these first two questions. Throughout the course, we will engage with both classic and contemporary work, reading work by Michelle Alexander, Jeremy Bentham, Angela Davis, Ronald Dworkin, John Hart Ely, H.L.A. Hart, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Robert Nozick, Martha Nussbaum, Richard Posner, Jeremy Waldron, and others.

For BA Students: Society Sector

Taught by: Freeman, Tan

Course not offered every year

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 079 Environmental Ethics

In this course we will investigate some of the ethical issues that arise from our relationship with the environment. We will examine important issues in environmental ethics, supplementing our discussions by considering how the latest scientific results affect environmental thinking and policy. Topics covered will include (but not be limited to): What are our responsibilities toward the environment, as individuals and as members of institutions? How do our responsibilities toward the environment relate to other ethical considerations? Do non-human animals/species/ecosystems have intrinsic value? What should conservationists conserve (Conservation vs restoration, keystone species vs ecosystems)?

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 080 Aesthetics

This course examines philosophical issues centering on the nature and value of the arts. Some questions we'll consider are: What is art? What does it mean to have an aesthetic experience? How are aesthetic experiences different from non-aesthetic ones? What is the relation between art and truth? How do the moral qualities in a work of art affect its aesthetic qualities? Why are emotions important in our interpretations of artworks? What is the relation between art and expression? Do forgeries necessarily have less aesthetic value than original artworks? What are aesthetic judgments, and are they merely expressions of taste? Lecture and discussion will center on both classical and contemporary works in aesthetics.

For BA Students: Arts and Letters Sector

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 155 Continental Philosophy

In this course we read various texts in the Enlightment tradition and more recent ones critical of modern distortions of this tradition. We shall begin briefly with Kant and Marx, two exemplars of this tradition, and then we shall study in some detail the views of the Frankfurt School (especially the writing of Horkheimer and Adorno), Foucault, and Derrida. Background readings from Nietzsche and Saussure shall also be assigned to place the material from Foucault and Derrida in its proper context.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 202 Topics in Ethics I

As an account of the standard of right conduct, consequentialism is sometimes said to be the view that the rightness of an act is determined entirely by the value of its consequences. Since the 1970s, consequentialism and its most widely-endorsed version, utilitarianism, have been the subjects of a number of influential critiques. Philosophers have contended that consequentialism cannot account for the distinctive values of justice and fairness, for the significance of character, for the agent-relativity of some moral demands, and for the action-guiding function that moral theories are thought to possess. These critiques recommend a close study of the alternative, deontological ethical framework from which many of these critiques originate a framework contending that the right is prior to the good, in John Rawls words. But these critiques have also prompted spirited responses from consequentialists and sophisticated modifications to their theories; these responses are also worth exploring. The focus of this course is to consider and assess some of the important strands in this debate, including the suggestion that neither moral framework adequately captures human concerns about morality and value. We will begin by looking at some of the historical antecedents to the contemporary debate, starting with work by Bentham, Mill, and Sidgwick. We will then move forward to the contemporary debate, reading important critiques by John Rawls, Bernard Williams, Thomas Nagel, Philippa Foot and others, as well as responses by Peter Railton, Samuel Scheffler, and others. Finally, we will look at recent work by Susan Wolf that provides an alternative perspective on morality, value, and meaningfulness.

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 203 Thinking with Models

When a flu pandemic strikes, who should get accinated first? What's our best strategy for minimizing the damage of global climate change? Why is Philadelphia racially segregated? Why do most sexually reproducing species have two sexes, in roughly even proportions? These and many other scientific and practical problems required us to get a handle on complex systems. And an important part of deepening our understanding and sharpening our intuitions requires us to think with models. Students in this laboratory-based course will learn about the varied practices of modeling, and will learn how to construct, analyze, and validate models.

For BA Students: Formal Reasoning and Analysis

Taught by: Weisberg

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: OIDD 325

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 205 What is Meaning?

This course will survey several central topics in philosophy of mind and language, as well as investigate how these areas of philosophy interact with the scientific study of the mind. Among the questions we'll be asking are: What is it to have a mind? What is consciousness? What is it to think, to perceive, to act, to communicate, to feel emotions? What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? Can there be a science of the mind? Of language? What can it tell us? What can philosophy contribute to cognitive science? We will look for more precise ways of asking these questions, and we will study some canonical answers to them. We will also look for places where more precise ways of asking these questions build in hidden assumptions, and what that might mean for both a philosophy and a science of the mind.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: PHIL 294

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 209 Introduction to Plato

This course involves a close reading of the most important dialogues written by Plato, one of the greatest philosophers of all time. We will examine a wide range of topics in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics: What is the nature of the soul? Is there an afterlife? What are the fundamental entities in the world? What are Plato's "forms"? What is knowledge and what can be known? Are we born as a blank slate or is something innate in us? What is the good life? What is the best way for us to live our lives? We will see how Plato attempts to answer these quesitons in his early, middle, and late dialogues, and we will ask whether and how exactly he is self-critical and changes his views over time.

Taught by: S.Meyer

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 210 Introduction to Aristotle

Aristotle (384-323 BCE) was one of the most important philosophers in Classical Greece, and his legacy had unparalleled influence on the development of the Western philosophical thought through the medieval period. We will study a selection of his works in natural philosophy, metaphysics, epistemology, psychology, ethics and politics. All texts will be read in English translation. No background in Greek philosophy or knowledge of Greek is required.

Taught by: S.Meyer

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: CLST 210

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 211 Ancient Moral Philosophy

The Nicomachean Ethics is considered to be Aristotle's major ethical work, and it is still counted among the most influential ethical texts altogether. This course will focus on Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics with a special emphasis on questions that are systematically relevant for problems discussed in contemporary approaches to virtue ethics. These questions concern, for example, the Aristotelian conception of virtue, the scope and nature of practical wisdom, and the relationship between virtue and justice.

For BA Students: Society Sector

Taught by: S.Meyer

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: CLST 211

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 220 Proof in Mathematics, Philosophy and Law

Proofs are vital to many parts of life. They arise typically in formal logic, mathematics, the testing of medication, and convincing a jury. How do you prove that the earth is essentially a sphere (in particular, not flat)? In reality, proofs arise anywhere one attempts to convince others. However, the nature of what constitutes a proof varies wildly depending on the situation -- and on whom you are attempting to convince. Convincing your math teacher or a judge is entirely different from convincing your mother or a jury. The course will present diverse views of Proof. On occasion there may be guest lecturers.

Taught by: Weinstein

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: MATH 220

Prerequisite: MATH 103 or PHIL 005

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 221 Philosophy East and West

Our goal in this course is to bring Western Philosophy and Eastern Philosophy into dialogue. Topics we will cover include skepticism and knowledge, ethics and the good life, moral responsibility and personal relationships, and political obligations and justice. Do the Western and Eastern philosophical traditions approach these topics in the same way? Do they even share an understanding of what the problems and issues at stake are? And what can we learn from comparative philosophy? This freshman seminar does not presuppose prior knowledge of philosophy. Examples of authors we will study include Descartes, Aristotle, Mencius, and Confucius.

Taught by: Tan.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 223 Philosophy and Visual Perception

In this course, we'll use the biology, psychology and phenomenology of vision to explore philosophical questions abaout color, such as these: Color vision helps us get around in our environments, but in what sense is it a window onto reality, if it is? Are colors properties of objects, or are they inherently private, subjective properties of minds? What can non-human forms of color vision teach us about the nature of color, and how should we empirically study color vision? Do we need to see in color to understand it? How do our ordinary ways of talking and thinking about colors relate to the experiences we have in color? How does color vision figure in aesthetic judgment? And to what degree can it be influenced by learning, or by social biases like sexist or racist prejudices?

Taught by: Hatfield, Connolly

Also Offered As: PHIL 423, VLST 223

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 225 Introduction to Philosophy of Science

A discussion of some philosophical questions that naturally arise in scientific research. Issues to be covered include: The nature of scientific explanation, the relation of theories to evidence, and the development of science (e.g., does science progress? Are earlier theories refuted or refined?).

Taught by: Domotor

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: STSC 108

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 226 Philosophy of Biology

This course consists of a detailed examination of evolutionary theory and its philosophical foundations. The course begins with a consideration of Darwin's formulation of evolutionary theory and the main influences on Darwin. We will then consider two contemporary presentations of the theory: Richard Dawkins' and Richard Lewontin's. The remainder of the course will deal with a number of foundational issues including adaptation, the units of selections, the evolution of altruism, and the possibility of grounding ethics in evolutionary theory.

For BA Students: Natural Science and Math Sector

Taught by: Domotor, Spencer, Weisberg

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: PHIL 521, PPE 225, PPE 421

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 227 Conceptions of the Self

Investigation of such topics as the unity of consciousness and personal identity. Some attention will be given to the relations between conceptions of the self and conceptions of morality.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 228 Philosophy of Social Science

This course is about the foundations of contemporary social science. It focuses on the nature of social systems, the similarities and differences between social and natural sciences, the construction, analysis, and confirmation of social theories, and the nature of social explanations. Specific topics may include: What are social norms and conventions? What does it mean to have one gender rather than another, or one sexual orientation rather than another? Should social systems be studied quantitatively or qualitatively?

Taught by: Weisberg, Bicchieri

Course not offered every year

Prerequisites: PPE 008, ECON 001, ECON 002, PSCI 182, PPE 153, PPE 201

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 231 Epistemology

Two basic assumptions of academic research are that there are truths and we can know them. Epistemology is the study how knowledge, what it is, how it is produced, and how we can have it. Metaphysics, the study of the basic constituents of reality, the study of being as such. In this introduction to metaphysics and epistemology, we will ask hard questions about the nature of reality and knowledge. No philosophy background is required for this course.

Taught by: Singer

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 233 Philosophy of Economics

In this course, general philosophy of science issues are applied to economics, and some problems specific to economics are tackled. While analytical questions like "What is economics?" or "What is an economic explanation" must be pursued, the ultimate goal is practical: What is good economics? How can economists contribute to a better understanding of society, and a better society? How can we make economics better? Topics to be discussed include the following: specific object and method of economics as a social science; its relation with other disciplines (physics, psychology and evolutionary theory); values in economics (welfare, freedom, equality and neutrality); the role of understanding and possible limits of a quantitative approach to human behavior (purposefulness, freedom, creativity, innovation); prediction, unpredictability and the pretension of prediction; causation in econometrics and in economic theory (equilibrium); selfishness and utility maximization (cognitive and behaviorist interpretations); economic models and unrealistic assumptions (realism and instrumentalism); empirical basis of economics (observation and experiment); microeconomics and macroeconomics (reductionism and autonomy); pluralism in economics (mainstream economics and heterodox schools).

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: PPE 333

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 234 Philosophy of Religion

This course will focus on arguments for and against the existence of God. It will begin by examining the ontological, cosmological, and design arguments for the existence of God. Included will be a discussion of purported evidence for the existence of God from modern biology and cosmology. It will then examine arguments against the existence of God based on human and animal suffering, followed by arguments against the existence of God arising from the scarcity of credible miracle claims.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: RELS 204

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 242 Freedom of the Will

A discussion of various challenges to our self-understanding that arise from thinking about persons and their actions as part of the order of nature. Questions to be considered include: what it is to be a free agent and what it means to have a free will, the degree to which our beliefs about physical causality undermine our beliefs about agency, the nature and importance of moral responsibility, and the relationship between freedom and responsibility. Readings are drawn from both historical and contemporary sources.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 243 Topics In Metaphysics

In this class we employ science fiction thought experiments as a means of reflecting on questions like: What is reality? What is the nature of the self and mind? Might you be in a computer simulation (e.g., as in The Matrix)? Is time travel possible? Can your mind survive the death of your brain by uploading? Is time real or is it merely an illusion?

Taught by: Domotor

Course not offered every year

Prerequisites: PHIL 001 or PHIL 003 or PHIL 004, or permission of instructor.

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 244 Introduction to Philosophy of Mind

This course will survey several central topics in philosophy of mind, as well as investigating how philosopy of the mind interacts with scientific study of the mind. Among the questions we'll be asking are: What is it to have a mind? What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? Can there be a science of the mind? What can it tell us? What can philosophy contribute to a science of the mind? What is consciousness? What is it to think, to perceive, to act? How are perception, thought, and action related to one another?

Taught by: Domotor, Miracchi

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: PPE 244, VLST 221

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 245 Philosophy & Science Fiction

In this class we employ science fiction thought experiments as a means of reflecting on questions like: What is reality? What is the nature of the self and mind? Might you be in a computer simulation (e.g., as in The Matrix)? Is time travel possible? Can your mind survive the death of your brain by uploading? Is time real or is it merely an illusion?

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 247 Marx

Precious few, if any, communist states exist today as Karl Marx would have imagined them. Indeed, almost every part of the 19th-century culture Marx put under his philosophical microscope has in one way or another vanished or been radically transformed: the state, the school, even sex have been fundamentally altered during a long 20th century filled with revolutions of culture. This class asks: is there a future for a philosopher whose political projects seem so precarious--if they have not failed outright-in the face of global capitalism? We will try to answer this question by examining the origins and the implications of Marx's writings, but also his complex legacy, from Lenin through Guevara to Foucault and Zizek. The course will conclude with a consideration of the role of the radical in today's global politics and cultural sphere.

For BA Students: Humanities and Social Science S

Taught by: Jarosinski

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: COML 247, GRMN 247

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 249 Philosophy of Education

The philosophy of education asks questions about the foundational assumptions of our formal institutions for the reproduction of culture. It ranges therefore, from epistemology and philosophy of mind to ethics and political philosophy. For instance: What is the nature of learning and teaching? How is it possible to come to know something we did not know already--and how can we aid others in doing that? How, if at all, should formal institutions of education be concerned with shaping students' moral and civic character? What is the proper relation between educational institutions and the state? We also ask questions more specific to our own time and context. For example: how, in a multicultural state, should we educate students of varied social identities, like race, gender, and religion? What is the relationship between education and justice.

Taught by: Detlefsen

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: EDUC 576, GSWS 249

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 252 African American Philosophy

A new field has slowly begun to emerge within the traditional discipline of academic philosophy: African-American Philosophy. "African American Philosophy" refers here to conceptually and analytically rigorous philosophical studies of topics closely related to the social, legal, economic, historical, and cultural experiences of US peoples of African descent. The field has appeared in tandem with a striking increase in the number of professionally trained philosophers of African descent holding the Ph.D. in philosophy, and employed as full-time teachers and scholars. A recent estimate puts the number of philosophers of African descent working in the US at about one hundred; and about twenty of these are African-American women. A significant body of scholarship now describes, explains, critiques, and evaluates African American culture, slavery, oppression, discrimination, integration, segregation, equality, gender politics, labor, families, health, mental health, and the significance of race to identity, morality, ethics, politics, democracy, public policy, law, science, technology, the humanities and the arts. This unique lecture course will be a thematic introduction to African American Philosophy since 1960. Weekly topics will be chosen from among these clusters: Slavery, Colonialism, Oppression and Freedom; Segregation, Integration and Equality; Gender, Sex and Sexualities; Reproductive Rights and Responsibilities; Religion and Spiritualism; Rebellion, Protest, Social Movements and Citizenship; Economic Welfare, Labor and Inequality; Violence, Crime and Punishment; Education, Affirmative Action and Diversity; Reparations and Forgiveness; Identities and Stereotypes; Nature, Science and Health; Psychology, Psychiatry and Mental Health; Pragmatism; Existentialism; and the Sociology of Philosophy. We will read works by Cornell West, Adrian Piper, Charles Mills, Lewis Gordon, Anita Allen, Anthony Appiah, Lucius Outlaw, Naomi Zack, Lawrence Thomas, Bill Lawson, Michele Moody Adams and others. For most undergraduate students, evaluation in the course will be based on a mid-term and final exam with essay and objective components. Advanced students and graduate students enrolled in the course will have an opportunity to write a substantial supervised paper on a topic of their own choosing in lieu of the exams.

Taught by: Allen-Castellitto

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: AFRC 254, AFRC 552, PHIL 552

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 255 Topics in Continental Philosophy

Martin Heidegger is counted among the most controversial thinkers of the 20th century. He is best known, however, for his early book "Being and Time". This unfinished project was supposed to be completed by several works on major figures of western philosophy, one of which is Kant. In fact, only shortly after Being and Time, Heidegger published his first book on Kant: Kant and the Problem of Metaphysics. With this book Heidegger's so called metaphysical phase (which lasted at least until the mid 1930's) was initiated. In this course, we will read and discuss not only large parts of Being and Time but also a selection of these later works that are primarily concerned with the nature and object of Metaphysics.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GRMN 255

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 267 Kant and the 19th Century

After an orientation to Kant's philosophy, we will examine Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, and Nietzsche.

Course not offered every year

Prerequisite: PHIL 004

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 271 Global Justice

This course is an introduction to some of the central problems in global justice. Samples of these topics include: What are our duties to respond to world poverty and what is the basis of this duty? Is global inequality in itself a matter of justice? How universal are human rights? Should human rights defer to cultural claims at all? Is there a right to intervene in another country to protect human rights there? Indeed can intervention to protect human rights ever be a duty? Who is responsible for the environment? We will read some influential contemporary essays by philosophers on these topics with the goal of using the ideas in these papers as a springboard for our own further discussion and analysis.

Taught by: Tan

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: PPE 271

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 272 Ethics & the Professions

Since Louise Brown, the first so-called "test tube baby" was born in 1978, reproductive technologies have generated many new ways to "make" babies. These technologies mean that a number of difficult ethical questions are inescapable, not only for individuals who otherwise couldn't have children (due to biological and/or social constraints) but for the larger society. This course will consider the prenatal moral status and identity of the fetus. It explores prenatal (and pre-implantation) genetic interventions and their possible effects on the autonomy of the child later in life as well as the possible eugenic implications of such interventions. It examines the potential conflict between a mother's autonomy and an infant's prenatal harm in the larger context created by new kinds of parents and new forms of kinship. Finally, it investigates the market for sperm, eggs, embryos and gestation and reflects on the questions of justice they imply.

Taught by: Tan

Course not offered every year

Prerequisites: At least one of: PHIL 002, PHIL 009, PHIL 008 or equivalent.

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 273 Ethics in the Profession

This introductory course considers the ethical issues and challenges that arise in the professions. Topics may include Legal Ethics, Business Ethics, Medical Ethics, and Political Ethics. No prior background in Philosohpy or Ethics is presupposed.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: PHIL 473

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 277 Justice, Law and Morality

The course will focus on the philosophical background to the individual rights protected by the U.S. Constitution, including 1st Amendment freedoms of religion, expression, and association; the 14th amendment guarantee of Due Process and the rights of privacy, abortion, assisted suicide, and marriage; the Equal Protection clause and equal political rights and the legitimacy of affirmative action; and the Takings and Contract clauses and their bearing on rights of private property and economic freedoms. In addition to Supreme Court decisions on these issues, we will read works by political philosophers and constitutional theorists, including J.S. Mill, Ronald Dworkin, Cass Sunstein, Martha Nussbaum, Katherine MacKinnon and others.

Taught by: Freeman, Allen

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: PPE 277

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 279 Contemporary Political Philosophy

This course will examine contemporary theories of justice, including libertarianism, liberalism, contemporary Marxism and feminism. Examples of topics we will examine are distributive justice, liberty, human rights, republicanism, and global justice. Philosophers we will read include John Rawls, Ronald Dworkin, Robert Nozick, Michael Walzer, Martha Nussbaum, Susan Moller Okin, and G.A. Cohen.

Taught by: Hussain, Tan

Course not offered every year

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 280 Topics in Aesthetics

What is beauty? What is the relationship between beauty and goodness? What does aesthetic judgment tell us, if anything, about the world? This course addresses these and other questions by focusing predominantly on Kant's highly influential aesthetic theory. It situates this text in the context of other works on aesthetics. We begin with Plato's view expressed in The Symposium that beauty is a form to which humans gain (some) access through love. We then turn to essays by Shaftesbury and Hume that introduce key aesthetic notions that Kant will elaborate (and revise) -- including those of taste, common sense, harmony, and aesthetic disinterest. We also read selections from the work of Friedrich Schiller, John Dewey, and A. K. Coomaraswamy who offer alternative accounts of the relationship between beauty and ethical life -- a relationship that Kant acknowledges but considers to be importantly limited. The question of the relationship between ethics and aesthetics will form the backdrop for this semester's reading overall.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: DTCH 330, DTCH 509, GRMN 280, GRMN 330

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 291 Philosophy of Race

Historically, philosophical questions about race have been about the nature and reality of race, the nature of racism, and social or political questions related to race or racism. In fitting with that history, the first part of the course will focus on the nature and reality of race, as understood in biology and as understood by ordinary people. We will begin by looking at biological race theories from Francois Bernier in 1684 to Pigliucci and Kaplan in 2003. Next, we will look at the philosophical work that has been done on the nature and reality of race as ordinarily understood in the contemporary United States. We will discuss racial anti-realism, social constructionism about race, and biological racial realism from well-known philosophers of race like Anthony Appiah, Sally Haslanger, and Joshua Glasgow. The second part of the course will focus on the nature of racism and social or political questions related to race or racism. In our discussion of racism, we will cover, at least, intrinsic racism, extrinsic racism, and institutional racism. In our discussion of social or political issues related to race or racism, we will look at whether any US racial groups should be used to diagnose, study, or treat genetic disorders.

Taught by: Spencer

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 294 The Human Animal

To ask "what is an animal?" entails wondering about what is being human. We have become increasingly aware that animals are not to be relegated to the category of pure otherness, can be disposed off and slaughtered at will, and that they may even have some rights. Taking a philosophical point of departure with Derrida (The Animal that therefore I am) and Agamben (The Open: Man and Animal), we will explore a literary corpus (with Aesop, Cervantes, Poe, Soseki, Ted Hughes, Marianne Moore, Kakfa, J.M. Coetzee) as well as a few films, (The Fly, Grizzly Man) so as to question our usual assumptions about the limits separating humanity from animality.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: ENGL 394

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 295 Identity

The content of the course may include the following, and related, themes: what makes a human the same human over time? What constitutes our identities? Are gender, race, sexual orientation, and the like essential features of our identities, and if so, how do they become so? How do ethics, politics and identity interact? After learning this philosophical content, Penn students will develop lesson plans for introducing this content to Philadelphia public high school sudents. Mid way through the semester, Penn students will start to prepare the high school students to present their own original work on the philosophy of identity at a conference to be held at Penn in May 2017. Penn students will be assessed on their own written and other work for the course, and in no way on the written or oral work of the high school students. Enrollment by permit only. Please contact Professor Detlefsen detlefse@sas.upenn.edu to schedule an interview for admission to the course.

Taught by: Detlefsen

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GSWS 205

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 299 Independent Study

Student arranges with a faculty member to pursue a program of reading and writing on a suitable topic.

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Independent Study

1 Course Unit

PHIL 300 Research Methods

An intensive research seminar for undergraduates, aimed at developing philosophical skills in the context of a supportive student community. Students will learn to present, discuss, and write philosophy, drawing on canonical texts in a range of philosophical areas and methods, along with readings which they identify in the course of articulating their own philosophical interests. The course may be taken alone or as part of a two-semester sequence, and with or without a stand-alone honors thesis. In addition to philosophy majors, the course is also suitable for less advanced students or majors in related fields who want to sharpen their analytic skills. Admission is by application only. Students should have demonstrated philosophical interest and ability, whether through past enrollment in upper-division philosophy courses or through other means; and should submit a transcript, the names of 1-2 supporting faculty, and a brief statement (300 words) describing how they expect the course to contribute to their philosophical and intellectual development, to Professor Karen Detlefsen (detlefse@sas.upenn.edu) by November 2, 2012.

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 301 Directed Honors Research

Open only to senior majors in philosophy. Student arranges with a faculty member to do an honors thesis on a suitable topic.

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Independent Study

1 Course Unit

PHIL 325 Topics in Philosophy of Science

The aim of this course is to explore the relationships between philosophy and physics, with a focus on prominent foundational issues in modern physics. The course is organized around four main areas. In the first part, we focus on the philosophy and (classical and relativistic) structure of space and time, including the proliferations of physical geometries (Lobachevskian and Riemannian) ofcurved space time. Are space and time real? If so, what kind of entities are they? Metaphysically, we have a choice between presentism and eternalism, and regarding the nature of physical objects in space-tme, there is a choice between endurantism and perdurantism. Is time travel possible? In the second part, we concentrate on the basic metaphysical and epistemological questions posed by physics: causality, determinism, randomnes, and the nature of physical laws. How is cause conveyed from one physical body to another? Are the laws of physics true? In the third part, we turn to the principal philosophical issues raised by quantum physics: structural realism and the interpretations of quantum mechanics, non-locality and Bell's theorem, the infamous Schrodinger cat paradox, hidden variables, and quantum measurement. What is primary -- particles or waves? Finally in the fourth part, we investigate the metaphysics underlying Big Bang and Ekpyrotic cosmological theories, and evidence for a parallel universe and baby universes. All these philosophical issues will be addressed by looking at some simple examples or episodes taken from modern physics. The bulk of the readings will come from two textbooks (available at the Barnes & Nobel University Bookstore) and articles in journals. PREREQUISTITES: The course is entirely self-contained: All topics in physics that are necessary for understanding the pertinent philosophical problems will be reviewed in class.

Taught by: Weisberg

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Department Majors Only

PHIL 330 Philosophy of Perception

Taking our perceptual experience as a given, what causes it? In a realistic mood, we accept that objects in the environment, or in the "external world," cause us to have the perceptual experiences that we do (as of a table with food, or as of a garden with flowers in it). Yet on this realistic view, our perception is the result of a causal chain that leads from object to eye to brain to experiences, and we are only given the last element: the experience. So how do we really know how our experiences are caused, and where do we get the idea that they are casued by an external world of physical objects? The seminar will focus on the problem of the external world as examined by David Hume, Thomas Reid, G. E. Moore, and Bertrand Russell, along with recent authors.

Taught by: Hatfield

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: VLST 222

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Department Majors Only

PHIL 331 Epistemology

A seminar for philosophy majors on some main problems of contemporary epistemology, with readings on justification, contextualism, non-conceptual content, normativity of rationality, and related topics. Student presentations are required as are regular attendance and active participation. There are brief written assignments on the readings and a final term paper on a topic approved by the instructor.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Department Majors Only

PHIL 342 Topics in Metaphysics

Various topics in Metaphysics.

Taught by: Weisberg

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Department Majors Only

PHIL 343 Philosophy of Mind

This majors seminar will closely read Susan Hurley's interesting and provocative 1998 book Consciousness in Action, along with some supplementary readings. This book touches on many central issues in philosophy of mind, including the relationship between the personal and sub-personal levels, the role of computation in understanding the mind, the relationship between the "inner" and "outer" world, the nature of mental architecture, and the relationship between perception, action, and consciousness.

Taught by: Miracchi

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Department Majors Only

PHIL 344 Wittgenstein: Mind and Language

In this class, we will engage in a close reading of Wittgenstein's major writings: the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and the Philosophical Investigations. Some of the main topics to be considered include: how languagerelates to the world; what philosophy is and what it can accomplish; the nature of understanding; what is involved in following a rule; and the phenomenon of seeing-as. A distinctive feature of Wittgenstein's approach to philosoph is his commitment to philosophy as an activity rather than a set of doctrines. In keeping with this, the main goal of this class is for you to learn to do philosophy: to read closely, to grapple with foundational questions, and to talk seriously with others. This class is very much a seminar, and I will avoid lecturing as much as possible.

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Department Majors Only

PHIL 359 Topics in Theoretical Philosophy

This is an undergraduate research seminar covering interdisciplinary research in psychology, philosophy, sociology and behavioral economics related to social norms. Social norms are informal institutions that regulate social life. We will devote particular attention to the following questions: 1. What is a good, operational definition of social norms? 2. Is there a difference between social and moral norms? 3. How can we measure whether a norm exists, and the conditions under which individuals are likely to comply with it? 4. Are behavioral experiments a good tool to answer question 3? 5. How do norms emerge? 6. How are norms abandoned? 7. What is the role of trendsetters in norm dynamics?

Taught by: Spencer

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Department Majors Only

PHIL 361 Ancient Philosophical Figures

A study of selected topics, texts, and figures from classical Greek philosophy.

Taught by: S.Meyer

Course not offered every year

Prerequisite: PHIL 003

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Department Majors Only

PHIL 362 Modern Philosophical Figures

This seminar is dedicated to Kant's critical philosophy. In particular, the Critique of Pure Reason, which is the first of three Critiques, ranks amongst the most important texts of modern philosophy. Even in contemporary debates, Kantian claims still play a crucial role and basic knowledge of Kant's critical philosophy is often assumed. In this seminar, we will deal with central passages from different works which, taken together, give a good picture of Kant's critical revision of classical metapjhysics. We shall discuss important conceptions and ideas of Kant's mature philosophy, such as the nature of transcendental aesthetics and the resulting distinction between a think-in-itself and appearance, the meaning and applicaiton of the categorires, the justification and determination of human freedom, and the role of the moral law for Kant's so-called practical metaphysics.

Taught by: Hatfield, Detlefsen

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GRMN 363, PHIL 565

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Department Majors Only

PHIL 367 Kant and Hegel

We will examine the main theses of Kant's theoretical and practical philosophy and the role of Hegel's criticisms in them in the development of the latter's system of philosophy. Subjects will include Kant's theory of space, time, substance, and causation; his transcendental idealism; and his analysis of the fundamental principles of morality and his defense of freedom of the will. We will then examine Hegel's attempt to overcome the dichotomies of Kant's theoretical philosophy in his objective idealism and his criticism of the formalism of Kant's practical philosophy.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Department Majors Only

PHIL 368 Topics in German Idealism

The course will start with a brief review of some features of Kant's philosophy, will focus on Fichte and Schelling, and will end with a discussion of the reaction to Idealism by Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.

Taught by: Horstmann

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Department Majors Only

PHIL 372 Topics in Ethics

This is a special course on topics in ethics. The content of the course will vary from semester to semester, but will focus on issues in applied ethics. Because of the interdisciplinary nature of the topics, readings may come from philosophy as well as other fields including sociology, public health, biology, and complex systems research. PHILOSOPHY MAJORS ONLY.

Taught by: Freeman.

Course not offered every year

Prerequisite: PHIL 002 (or consent of the instructor)

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Department Majors Only

PHIL 376 Justice

The course will focus on contemporary works on liberalism, democracy, capitalism, and distributive justice. Among the questions to be discussed: Which rights and liberties are fundamental in a constitutional democracy? What is equality and what requirements does it impose? Are economic rights of property and freedom of contract equally important as personal liberties of speech, religion, and association? Does capitalism realize a just distribution of income and wealth? What is socialism and is it potentially just, or necessarily unjust? Readings from works by John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Milton Friedman, and others.

Taught by: Freeman

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Department Majors Only

PHIL 377 Philosophy and the Constitution

The aim of this course is to investigate the philosophical background of our constitutional democracy. What is the appropriate role and limits of majority legislative rule? How are we to understand First Amendment protections of freedom of religion, speech, and assembly? What is the conception of equality that underlies the l4th Amendment's Equal Protection Clause? Is there a right of privacy implicit in the Constitution? Do rights of property deserve the same degree of protection as other constitutional rights? To investigate these and other constitutional issues, we will read from both Supreme Court opinions and relevant philosophical texts.

Taught by: Freeman

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: For Philosophy and Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Majors (PPE) Only

PHIL 379 Topics in Political Philosophy

Various topics in political philosophy.

Taught by: Freeman, Tan

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Department Majors Only

PHIL 380 Topics in Aesthetics

This course will study particular periods in the history of aesthetics and the philosophy of art or particular current problems in the field. Examples of the former would be ancient, eighteenth-century, nineteenth-century, or twentieth-century aesthetics; examples of the latter would be the definition of art, the nature of representation and/or expression in the arts, and art and morality.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Department Majors Only

PHIL 405 Philosophy of Language

This course provides an overview of 20th century analytic philosophy of language. Here are some of the questions we will ask: How do words refer? How do they combine to express thoughts? How do words relate to ocncepts or to thoughts more generally? What do words and sentences mean? How do we use them to communicate with each other? How does word and sentence meaning depend on the contexts in which they are spoken or heard, or on stable features of environments of linguistic speakers? Prerequisites: This course will be most suitable for advanced undergraduates and graduate students in philosophy or linguistics; others need instructor's permission. Familarity with symbolic logic is highly recommended, but not required.

Taught by: Miracchi

Course not offered every year

Prerequisite: PHIL 005 or PHIL 505 or permission of instructor

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 407 Aristotle

A study of Aristotle's main writings on language, reality, knowledge, nature and psychology. All texts will be read in English translation. No background in Greek philosophy or knowledge of Greek is required, although previous work in philosophy is strongly recommended.

Taught by: S.Meyer

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 409 Plato's Selected Dialogues

A study of selected dialogues of Plato. All texts will be read in translation. No prior experience in Plato is required, but students should have some background in philosophy. The course will be run as a seminar. Topic for Spring 2017: Plato on Pleasure. We will read Plato's Gorgias, Protagoras, Republic (selections), Philebus, and Laws (selections). All these texts discuss pleasure, either its relation to the good or its role in human motivations.

Taught by: S.Meyer

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 410 Introduction to Logic and Computability

Propositional logic: semantics, formal deductions, resolution method. First order logic: validity, models, formal deductions; Godel's completeness theorem, Lowenheim-Skolem theorem: cut-elimination, Herbrand's theorem, resolution method. Computability: finite automata, Turing machines, Godel's incompleteness theorems. Algorithmically unsolvable problems in mathematics.

Taught by: Weinstein

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: LGIC 310, MATH 570

Prerequisite: Math 371 or Math 503

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 412 Topics in Logic

This course will examine the expressive power of various logical languages over the class of finite structures. The course beings with an exposition of some fundamental results about first-order logic in the context of finite structures and then proceeds to consider various extensions of first-order logic including fixed-point operators, generalized quantifiers, infinitary languages, and higher-order languages. The expressive power of these extensions will be studied in detail and connections with the theory of computational complexity and with combinatorics will be explored.

Taught by: Weinstein

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: CIS 518, CIS 682, LGIC 320, LGIC 499

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 414 Philosophy of Mathematics

The course will focus on the development of the foundations and philosophy of mathematics from the late nineteenth-century through the present day. Topics will include logicism, formalism, intuitionism, and the foundations of set theory. Ample consideration will be given to some of the fundamental results of mathematical logic, such as the Godel incompleteness theorems and the independence of the Continuum Hypothesis from Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory, that have had a profound impact on contemporary approaches to the philosophy of mathematics.

Taught by: Weinstein, Ewald

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 421 Philosophy of Biology

This course consists of a detailed examination of evolutionary theory and its philosophical foundations. The course begins with a consideration of Darwin's formulation of evolutionary theory and the main influences on Darwin. We will then consider two contemporary presentations of the theories of Richard Dawkins'and Richard Lewontin's. The remainder of the course will deal with a number of foundational issues and may include discussions of adaptation, what constitutes a species, evolutionary progress, the concept of fitness, the units of selection, the alleged reduction of classical genetics to molecular genetics, and the possibility of grounding ethics in evolutionary theory. The evolution of altruism will also be discussed, time permitting. PREREQUISITES: Either two philosophy courses OR Biology 101/102 (or equivalent)

Taught by: Weisberg

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: PHIL 226, PPE 421

Prerequisite: Either two philosophy courses OR Biology 101/102 (or equivalent)

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 423 Philosophy and Visual Perception

The course starts with some central issues in the philosophy of perception from the modern period, which many include what we perceive, the meaningful content of perception, and its relation to a mind-independent external world. It will then focus on two or three more specific topics, yet to be chosen. These may include: (1) color perception and color metaphysics; (2) object perception in its interplay between Gestalt organizational factors and background knowledge; (3) the role of ecological regularities in the formation of our visual system and in the ongoing tuning of the system to the environment; (4) the geometry of visual space and the phenomenology of visual appearances of size and shape; (5) the problem of how visual scenes are experienced by means of images and the representational relation between images and things imaged, including the characteristics of linear perspective and its status as arbitrary convention or optically and naturally based system. Readings from authors such as Bertrand Russell, R. W. Sellars, Tim Crane, Evan Thompson, Robert Swartz, Wolfgang Metzger, Nelson Goodman, Richard Wollheim, and William Hopp, among others.

Taught by: Hatfield, Connolly

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: PHIL 223, VLST 223

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 425 Philosophy of Science.

This self-contained course (presupposing no substantive prior background in philosophy nor any extensive knowledge of science) provides an advanced introduction to the central philosophical questions concerning the nature of scientific knowledge and its relation to experience, and the metaphysical assumptions underlying the natural sciences. Topics to be covered include: science versus pseudoscience, laws of nature, causation, determinism and randomness, theories and models in science, scientific explanation, underdetermination of theories by observation and measurement, realism and antirealism, reductionism and intertheory relations, objectivity and value judgments in science, hypothesis testing and confirmation of scientific theories, and classical paradoxes in scientific methodology.

Taught by: Domotor

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: STSC 325

Prerequisites: Background in elementary logic and some rudiments of science

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 426 Philosophy of Psychology

An examination of major trends of thought in experimental psychology in relation to philosopohy and the philosophy of science. Questions to be asked include: What is the subject matter and object of explanation of experimental psychology? What is the relation between psychology and neuroscience? How is scientific psychology related to traditional philosophical investigations of the mental? The course covers the classical systems and schools of psychology, starting with Wundt and James, and proceeding to behaviorism, Gestalt psychology, cognitive and perceptual psychology, and cognitive science. The second half of the course examines contemporary problems, including: introspection and consciousness; philosophical foundations of cognitive science (computation vs. information); theories of the extended and embodied mind; methodological and conceptual problems in investigating the evolution of mind, brain, and culture; and the relation between neuroscience and psychology, using cases from particular areas such as attention and memory. Readings will include works by Koehler, Skinner, Fodor, Shapiro, and others.

Taught by: Hatfield

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: STSC 426

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 428 Philosophy of Social Science

An examination of fundamental philosophical issues concerning forms of social organization. Consideration of philosophical critiques of society.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 430 Philosophy of Mind

This course studies particular topics in contemporary philosophy of mind and cognitive science. Examples include: the nature of consciousness, naturalistic accounts of intentionality, the nature scope of scientific explanation in studying the mind, the intersection of philosophy of mind and epistemology, and theories of agency. Typically, readings include both philosophy and empirical work from relevant sciences. Prerequisites: This course will be most suitable for advanced undergraduates and graduate students in philosophy or related sciences; others need instructor's permission.

Taught by: Miracchi

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 431 Theory of Knowledge

This course introduces students to the field of formal epistemology. Although some formal methods will be used, the principal objective is to explore various conceptual issues arising in modeling and representing knowledge. Topics include: bridging the gap between mainstream and formal epistemology by exploring various versions of the familiar tripartite definition of knowledge (knowledge as justified true belief) in light of folksy examples and counterexamples, basic logical and probabilistic models of knowledge (Hintikka, Aumann, and Bayesian) and their multi-agent variants, logical omniscience and other problems (including the epistemic closure principle), attempts at formalizing joint and common knowledge, resource-bounded knowledge, knowledge under limited logical powers, and empirical knowledge obstructed by system complexity. There are no prerequisites for this course, except some logical maturity.

Taught by: Domotor

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 436 Hellenistic Philosophy

A survey of the natural philosophy, ethics, and epistemology of the three major schools of post-Aristotelian philosophy in the West in the period up to approximately 200 CE: the Stoics (followers of Zeno of Citium), the Epicureans (followers of Epicurus), and the Sceptics--both the "Academics" (later members of Plato's Academy) and the "Pyrrhonists" (inspired by Pyrrho of Elis). Although l ess well known today, the Stoics, in particular, were influential in the development of early Christian philosophy, and all three schools were highly influential in the development of early modern philosophy. Authors to be read include Cicero, Seneca, Lucreetius, Sextus Empiricus, and Stobaeus. All texts will be read in English translation. No Latin or Greek is required.

Taught by: S.Meyer

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: CLST 436

Prerequisites: This course will be most suitable for advanced undergraduates and graduate students in Philosophy or Classics; others need instructor's permission.

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 441 Metaphysics

Fictionalism: There are fictionalist accounts of morality, possible worlds, mathematical objects, and even truth. In this course we wlil examine these accounts and the metaphysical repercussions that the fictionalist strategy commits us to. We will be covering various case studies of fictionalism, and assessing the validity of such accounts. Authors read will include Sainsbury, Kalderon, Everett, and Friend.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 442 Origins of Analytic Philosophy

This course will explore the history of analytic philosophy through the lens of two of its most influential figures: Gottlob Frege and Ludwig Wittgenstein. In the first half of the course, we will explore Frege's project in *The Foundations of Arithmetic* to ground the truths of mathematics in the truths of logic and the wider contributions to the philosophy of language and mind he made in attempting to carry out this project. In the second half of the course, we will explore Wittgenstein's *Philosophical Investigations* with particular attention to the skeptical worries about rule-following and its implications for the social basis of mental and linguistic representation. In addition to an in-depth study of these primary texts, secondary readings will be drawn from the work of Tyler Burge, Michael Dummett, Meredith Williams, Peter Hacker and others. The ultimate goal of the class is to both introduce students to the work of Frege and Wittgenstein, and to highlight the ways in which their different philosophical methodologies continue to animate debates in analytic philosophy.

Course not offered every year

Prerequisites: PHIL 005 and one other philosophy course, or permission of instructor

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 444 Wittgenstein

A study of the later philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 448 19th Century Philosophy

The aim of the course is to discuss major elements of Schopenhauer's and Nietzsche's philosophy, espcially their epistemological and aesthetic teachings and their relation to other philosophers in the 18th and 19th century. Texts will include Schopenhauer's The World as Will and Representation, Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy; Human, All Too Human; Beyond Good and Evil.

Taught by: Horstmann

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GRMN 548

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 450 African, Latin American and Native American Philosophy

This course is an introduction to philosophical work from Africa, Latin America, and the indigenous peoples of North America, coverning topics in ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, aesthetics, social philosophy, and political philosophy. The course aims to give work from these traditions greater exposure and to provide a chance for students to enounter work that might spark an interst in future research. We will cover in some depth views held by Akan, Axtec, Blackfoot, Dogon, Iroquois, Lakota, Navajo, Ojibwa, and Yoruba peoples. We will also read work by a number of philosophers, including: Kwame Anthony Appiah, Kwame Gyekye, Julius Nyerere, Sor Juanna Ines de la Cruz, Simon Bolivar, Jose Marti, Jose Vasconcelos, Enrique Dussel, Gregory Cajete, Anne Waters, and many others. Throughout, we will also engage with related meta-philosophical issues that emerge with work from all three areas, allowing for interesting cross-discussion. Are these really proper fubfields of philosophy? How do we make sense of the idea of African (or Latin American, or Native American) Philosophy as a field? Are there philosophically important differences between oral traditions and written traditions? How should we understand ethnophilosophy and cultural worldviews as philosophical contributions? How should we think of the "sage" figure in relation to philosophy? How do these traditions engage discussions of identity, autonomy, and post-colonialism? Should this work be incorporated into the mainstream philosophical canon?

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 460 Continental Rationalism

In this course, we will read closely some of the definitive texts of seventeenth century European philosophy, using the concept of the human being as our focal point. We will concentrate primarily on the human considered as a biological being (thus developing our understanding of the scientific advances of this century), as a conscious being (thus developing our understanding of theories of mind in this century), and (where relevant) as a moral being. We will focus our attention on Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz, but draw as well upon texts from other thinkers, particularly Elisabeth, Malebranche and Cavendish. There will be two lectures per week, and discussion is strongly welcome.

Taught by: Hatfield, Detlefsen

Course not offered every year

Prerequisite: PHIL 004 or permission of instructor

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 463 British Philosophy I

A study of epistemology and metaphysics in classical British philosophy. Authors studied included Bacon, Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Reid, and Mill.

Course not offered every year

Prerequisite: PHIL 004 or permission of instructor

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 464 British Philosophy II

A study of moral philosophy, political philosophy, and aesthetics in classical British philosophy. Authors studied include Hobbes, Locke, Hutcheson, Hume, Kames, Adam Smith, and Reid.

Course not offered every year

Prerequisite: PHIL 002 or PHIL 004 or permission of instructor

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 465 Kant I

The course will concentrate on the Critique of Pure Reason and discuss in detail Kant's conception of knowledge and experience, his criticism of traditional metaphysics and the resulting project of a system of transcendental philosophy.

Taught by: Hatfield, Horstmann

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GRMN 551

Prerequisites: PHIL 004, one advanced Philosophy course, or permission of instructor

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 466 Kant II

This course is a study of Kant's moral and political philosophy. The central theme of the course is Kant's conviction that freedom or "Autonomy" is our most basic value, and that the fundamental law of morality as well as the more particular principles of both justice and personal virtue are the means that are necessary in order to preserve and promote the existence and exercise of human freedom. Central questions will be how Kant attempts to motivate or prove the fundamental value of freedom and the connection between this normative issue and his metaphysics of free will. Texts will include Kant's Lectures on Ethics, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, Critique of Practical Reason, Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, and Metaphysics of Morals. Written work for the course will include one short paper and one term paper.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GRMN 552

Prerequisites: PHIL 002, PHIL 004, or permission of instructor

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 467 Topics in History of Philosophy

In this course, we will study figures and themes from the 17th through the 18th centuries, an especially fertile period in the history of philosophy. Topics will vary from year to year. Please see individual course descriptions.

Taught by: Hatfield, Detlefsen

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GRMN 567

Prerequisites: Previous course in Philosophy or History and Sociology of Science

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 468 Hegel

Hegel is famous (or rather infamous) for entertaining and endorsing startling and obscure claims like 'Contradiction is the rule of truth'. 'The Truth is the whole', 'What is rational is real, and what is real is rational'. Before one is in the position to evaluate, to criticize (and to dismiss) these claims one has to become familiar with their philosophical background. The aim of the seminar is to find out what is meant with claims like these and why Hegel thought of them as reasonable. In order to achieve this aim one has to get acquainted with the basic metaphysical assumptions of his philosophy and with the problems these assumptions are supposed to solve. The seminar will focus primarily on some of Hegel's early Jena writings, his Phenomenology of Spirit, on passages from different versions of Hegel's Logic and (maybe) on aspects of his Philosophy of Right. Topics that are dealt with include: (1) Hegel's conception of philosophy, (2) the development of his system, (3) the problem of an introduction to his system (Phenomenology of Spirit), (4) Hegel's criticism of traditional metaphysics, (5) his notion of a 'concept' (Begriff), his theory of the Idea. Other topics might become of interest as well.

Taught by: Horstmann

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GRMN 583

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 472 Survey of Ethical Theory

Murder is wrong. Slavery is unjust. Everyone has reason not to torture their neighbor. Having inconsistent preferences is irrational. On these matters most agree. But what do we mean when we say these things? What state of mind are we in when we think these things? What, is anything, do these claims refer to in the world? Is it the same kind of things that we investigate when we do science? Do we know these things? If so, how? Are these claims even true? If they are ever true, are they true for everyone? These are some of the core questions of metaethics. This course is an investigation of the main questions and problems in metaethics since the turn of the 20th century. We will investigate questions about the metaphysics of morality, the philosophy of language of moral talk, the philosophy of mind of moral thought, the epistemology of morality, and the objectivity of morality.

Taught by: Lord

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 473 Topics in Ethics

Is abortion wrong? Or euthanasia? Are we justified in eating animals? Why, or why not? we will explore these and other "life and death" ethical problems in a systematic way, seeing how the reasons we give in answer to one question may influence what we can consistently say about others.

Taught by: Chappell

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: PHIL 273

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 475 Political Philosophy

This is a research seminar covering interdisciplinary research in psychology, philosophy, cognitive science and behavioral economics. Our focus will be on identifying and discussing issues of philosophical significance raised by recent work in moral psychology, experimental economics and behavioral decision making.

Taught by: Freeman, Bicchieri

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 477 Philosophy and the Law

This first half of the course will provide an introduction to the main currents of thought about the nature and function of law. It will consider, among other things, the classic problem of the source of law's authority, exploring whether an unjust law is still a law, and whether law does or ought to bear a close relation to morality. Should Nazi officials or East German border guards be punished if they were "just following orders"? What about the judges who enforced the implementation of such laws? Do the conclusions we would reach in the foregoing contexts apply to the conduct of Americans in dealing with suspected terrorists or other detainees? We will consider the divergent answers to these questions suggested by the work of J.L. Austin, H.L.A. Hart, Ronald Dworkin, Joseph Raz, and others. After addressing these traditional jurispruudential inquiries, we will turn to more recent philosophical inquiries in philosophy of law. What is the justification for punishment and how do the various debates in this area play out in specific controversial cases? Is torture ever permissible, whether as part of a scheme of punishment or as part of a system of law enforcement? Is targeted killing a permissible part of just war theory? What should be our stance to government officials who violate the law? As we shall see, each one of these applied topics divides into deontological theorists, on the one hand, and utilitarian, or economic, theorists on the other. We will raise the question of whether these two theories exhaust the possible moves one might make on these various topics, or whether other approaches, such as a contractarian approach, are viable options. The course will require a final, take home exam, as well as attendance, preparation and participation in discussion. The latter will count towards roughly 10% of students' grades. This course is cross listed with LAW 544.

Taught by: Finkelstein

Course not offered every year

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 479 Modern Political Philosophy

A survey of several works in modern political philosophy, including Thomas Hobbes's, Leviathan; John Locke's, Second Treatise on Government and Letter Concerning Toleration; David Hume's 'Of the Original Contract' and 'On Justice'; John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism, On Liberty, and The Subjection of Women; excerpts from Karl Marx's Capital and other writings; and John Rawls's A Theory of Justice.

Taught by: Freeman

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 480 Topics in Aesthetics

Walter Benjamin: Art, Philosophy, Literature. Walter Benjamin (1892-1940) is a philosopher whose writings on art, literature, and politics have had tremendous influence on cultural studies. He has been variously described as one of the leading German-Jewish thinkers, and a secular Marxist theorist. With the publication of a new four-volume collection of his works in English, many more of his writings have been made accessible to a wider public. Our seminar will undertake a survey of his work that begins with his studies on language and allegory, and continues with his autobiographical work, his writings on art and literature, and finally on the imaginary space of the nineteenth-century.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: COML 582, GRMN 580

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 485 Topics in Gender Theory

This course seeks to assemble some of the philosophical evidence for feminist claims that traditional political theories are fundamentlaly inadequate because they have not, and presumably cannot, deal with basic facts of gender and the oppression of Women. we will begin by examining the nature of the distinction between sex and gender. This will take us through discussions of: the meaning and significance of categories being socially constructed, the possibility that sexual differences (and inequalities) are in some sense natural and what normative force this has. We will then consider varous attempts to describe the nature of women's oppression. What is it? How does it manifest itself in the lives of women? This will take us through discussions of freedom, constrained choice, ideology, "consciousness raising", androcentrism and the relation between, and methodological importance of, ideal and non-ideal theory. Along the way we will be constructing a version of the feminist framework known as the dominance approach and seeing how it analyzes three presumed sites of oppression: sexuality, reproduction and work/family. Among the authors we will be reading are: Elizabeth Anderson, Marily Frye, Sally Haslanger, Rae Langton, Anthony Laden, Catherine MacKinnon, and Susan Okin. The prerequisite for UNDERGRADUATES taking this course is: two philosophy courses (ONE of which is in moral or political philosophy) OR ONE of the following Gender Studies courses: GSWS/PHIL 028, GSWS/PoliSci 280, GSWS 320. There will be one short paper (6-8 pages) with revision, a longer final paper (15 pages) and weekly one-page reflections on a topic from the previous week's discussion.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GSWS 485

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 488 The Idea of Nationalism

Nationalism has been the most important geo-political phenomenon of the past two hundred years. Its continuing power has been amply demonstrated by recent events in many parts of the world. This seminar course will explore the ideology of nationalism, what it means, its philosophical foundations, underlying assumptions about the nature of human identity, moral implications, and political consequences. In the process, we will explore such questions as: What is a nation? Does every identifiable ethnic or national group have a valid claim to a nation-state of its own? How are claims to national self-determination justified? How do nations differ from states, peoples, groups, communities, and citizenries? How does nationalism relate to notions of "chosenness" or ethnic and cultural superiority? Why do nationalist movements seem to so often engender political extremism and violent ethno-political conflicts? Is national self-determination compatible with our commitments to individualism, rationality, and universal human rights?

Taught by: Steinberg

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 489 Ethnicity, Identity and Nationhood

Contemporary public discourse -- in politics, in the media, on the Internet, and throughout our culture -- gives expression to intense, sometimes violent, disagreements and conflicts that often frustrate the solution of important public policy questions, curtail productive public deliberation and dialogue, and profoundly challenge our leaders and institutions. This course will deepen our understanding of the role that political and cultural ideologies -- such as liberalism, conservatism, nationalism, totalitarianism, fundamentalism, etc. -- play in these conflicts and the psychology of ideological thinking that makes them so difficult to resolve. We will begin by considering a series of case studies in contemporary political, social and cultural conflict, drawn from contemporary events such as the 2012 political campaigns, the 2011 debt ceiling debate in Congress, nationalist movements around the globe, etc. We will identify and examine the ideologies driving such conflicts, and from these we will draw out the common philosophical characteristics and psychological features of ideological thinking. Throughout, we will seek to understand the deep attraction of ideological commitments and why they tend to push public discourse and behavior to extremes and even violence. Finally, we will consider efforts to reduce or resolve ideological conflicts thorugh strategies of political compromise, dialogue, toleration, and democratic deliberation.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 505 Formal Logic I

This course provides an introduction to some of the fundamental ideas of logic. Topics will include truth functional logic, quantificational logic, and logical decision problems.

Taught by: Domotor, Weinstein

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: PHIL 005

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 506 Formal Logic II

An introduction to first-order logic including the completeness, compactness, and Lowenheim-Skolem theorems, and Godel's incompleteness theorems. UNDERGRADUATES NEED PERMISSION

Taught by: Weinstein

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: MATH 570, PHIL 006

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission.

PHIL 508 Early Plato

A study of Plato's earlier dialogues, from the Apology to the Republic, focussing on the moral and political background motivating the doctrine of Forms, and tracing the emergence of that doctrine first as a theory of essences (in the dialogues of definition) and finally as a metaphysical theory in the Symposium, Phaedo and Republic. UNDERGRADUATES NEED PERMISSION

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 510 Late Plato

Tracing the development of Plato's metaphysics from the Parmenides to the Timaeus, including key passages from the Theaetetus and Sophist.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 513 Plotinus

An introduction to the thought of the major philosopher of late antiquity, founder of Neo-Platonism. Readings will include generous selections from the Enneads.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 521 Philosophy of Biology

This course consists of a detailed examination of evolutionary theory and its philosophical foundations. The course begins with a consideration of Darwin's formulation of evolutionary theory and the main influences on Darwin. We will then consider two contemporary persentations of the theory: Richard Dawkins' and Richard Lewontin's. The remainder of the course will deal with a number of foundational issues including adaption, the units of selection, the evolution of altruism, and the possibility of grounding ethics in evolutionary theory. UNDERGRADUATES NEED PERMISSION

Taught by: Weisberg

One-term course offered either term

Also Offered As: PHIL 226, PPE 225

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates need permission

PHIL 522 Philosophy and Film

Taught by: Detlefsen

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: CIMS 502

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 525 Topics in the Philosophy of Science

For the last four centuries, scientific research has provided our most reliable understanding of the world. Although the scientific revolution started modestly with attempts to understand stellar movement, we now know the age and constitution of the universe, the basis of heredity, and we can make and break chemical bonds at will. By all appearances, science seems to have made substantial progress from the scientific revolution to the global scientific enterprise of the 21st centry. This course is about how science has generated this knowledge, and whether it has been as progressive and reliable as it seems. We will consider methodological issues such as the sources of scientific knowledge, objectivity, the growing importance of computation in the natural sciences, and the nature of modeling. We will examine products of scientific research: explanations, models, theories, and laws of nature. And we will discuss questions about science and values, including whether non-scientific values can and should enter scientific research, the relationship between science and religion, and the role of the public in guiding the scientific enterprise.

Taught by: Weisberg, Bicchieri

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: COML 525

Prerequisites: Familiarity with behavioral game theory and psychology.

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 526 Philosophy of Psychology

Where is mind to be found in nature? Is it revealed by end-driven behavior, by mental contents, by the ability to perceive an external environment? This seminar will consider these and related questions as they arise in selected spisodes from the history of philosophy and in contemporary discussions of the evolution of minds, brains, and behavior

Taught by: Hatfield, Steinberg

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GRMN 527

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 527 Conceptual Foundations of Quantum Mechanics

Quantum theory provides the fundamental underpinning of modern physical science, yet its philosophical implications are so shocking that Einstein could not accept them. By following the historical development of 20th century quantum science, the student should gain an appreciation of how a scientific theory grows and develops, and of the strong interplay between scientific observation and philosophical interpretation. Although students will not be expected to carry out mathematical derivations, they should gain an understanding of basic quantum findings. Students enrolling in 527 must register for the recitation section that is reserved for that number, which is for graduate students.

Taught by: Hatfield, Steinberg

Course not offered every year

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 528 Philosophy of Social Science

Taught by: Bicchieri

Prerequisites: Familiarity with behavioral game theory and psychology.

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 530 Philosophy of Mind

Agent Architectures: In philosophy of mind, we spend a lot of time asking about particular kinds of mental states--about the nature of perception, belief, desire, intention, etc. But what about how it all fits together? How do you put the pieces together to get an intelligent agent out of it. And what does that in turn tell us about the nature of mental states? We will spend the first part of the course discussing some of the classical positions in philosophy of mind and artifical intelligence--especially functionalism and the classical "sandwich model" of Al. Then we will explore some new alternatives. We will investigate the possible role of the body, the environment, competences, and emotions in determining agent architectures. Of particular interest to us will be the question of whether we can understand the architecture of intelligent agents in a way that helps to explain how they might be improved upon and made more sophisticated (e.g. by evolution). UNDERGRADUATES NEED PERMISSION.

Taught by: Hatfield, Miracchi

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 531 Social Norms

This is a graduate research seminar covering interdisciplinary research in psychology, philosophy, sociology and behavioral economics related to social norms. Social norms are informal institutions that regulate social life. We will devote particular attention to the following questions: 1. What is a good, operational definition of social norms? 2. Is there a difference between social and moral norms? 3. How can we measure whether a norm exits, and the conditions under which individuals are likely to comply with it? 4. Are behavioral experiments a good tool to answer questions 3? 5. How do norms emerge? 6. How are norms abandoned? 7. What is the role of trendsetters in norm dynamics?

Taught by: Bicchieri

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 532 Topics in Epistemology

This is a graduate seminar intended for graduate students in Philosophy. It will cover some topics of interest to contemporary epistemologists, at the discretion of the instructor. Possible topics may include skepticism, accounts of knowledge and justification, virtue epistemology, formal epistemology, social epistemology, feminist epistemology, meta-epistemology and epistemic normativity.

Taught by: Singer

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 536 Stoicism

A study of some major texts in Ancient Greek Scepticsm. We will begin with Plato's Academy, more than a century after the death of its founder, when the head of the school Arcesilaus (315-240 BCE) advocates a turn away from "doctrinal Platonism" (that is, working out and defending the tenets of Plato's philosophy) and a return to the critical stance of Socrates in many Platonic dialogues, who advances no doctrines himself but criticizes the claims of others. Much of the intellectural activity of the so-called "Sceptical Academy" is directed at contesting the doctrines of their contemporaries in Hellenistic Athens: Stoic, Epicurean, and Peripatetic philosophers, with particular emphasis on the Stoic doctrine of the "cognitive impression", which the Stoics invoked as the foundation of all knowledge. Many of these debates are reported in Cicero's On Academic Scepticism, which is the first text we will study. By the late first century BCE, the Academy departed far enough from this "skeptical stance" that in reaction, the Academic Aenesidemus left that institution to found Pyrrhonism, which takes the fourth-century figure Pyrrho of Elis (360-270 BCE) as its symbolic figure head. The fullest account of Pyrrhonist Scepticism is in the writings of a 2nd century CE physician, Sextus Empirucus, whose Outlines of Pyrrhonism and Against the Ethicists will be the other major texts studied in this course. All readings will be in English translation. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

Taught by: S.Meyer

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 540 Topics in Philosophy of Language

Expressivism: Emotions, Evaluations, and Linguistic Meaning: In this seminar, we will explore the virtues and drawbacks of expressivism, broadly construed. Most contemporary philosophers of language analyze meaning in terms of truth-conditional content: how the world would have to be for an assertion or other speech act to be satisfied. But in many cases, it's unclear just what ontologically rrespectable facts could make our utterances true. Further, much of our communicative activity appears to be aimed at affecting our iinterlocutors' hearts and actions as much as their minds. If some aspects of conventional linguistic meaning involve the expression of evaluative or emotional attitudes rather than (just) truth-conditional content, how should a theory of meaning analyze this? We'll begin with classic discussions of moral emotivism (e.g. Ayer, Hare) and more recent versions of expressivism in ethics (e.g. Gibbard, Blackburn), paying special attention to the Frege-Geach problem. Next, we'll turn to recent discussions of epithets, especially racial slurs, in the philosophy of language (e.g. Williamson, Brandom, Hornsby), tracing out similarities and contrasts with moral expressivism.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 547 Leibniz/Locke

This course focuses on topics in philosophy of the 17-18th centuries. Topics may include one of the following, according to the interests of the class. An examination of the development of a few topics in natural philosophy in the early modern period, such as: method (the evolution of hypotheses and their reception, the relation of theory to empirical work, and the importance of different kinds of empirical work, e.e. observation, experiment, use of instruments); the relation of metaphysics to the 'sciences' (including what is meant by "metaphysics", and what falls under the scope of the various sciences); and the special role played by the life sciences.

Taught by: Detlefsen

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission.

PHIL 550 Topics in Philosophy of Education

In this course, we will examine some of the most pressing problems in contemporary philosophy of education. These problems include: how much control over a child's education ought to be allocated to parents and how much to the state; what role, if any, ought religion to play in education; how do race and gender impact individuals' educational experiences and how should such issues should be addressed in the classroom; what sort of (if any) civic education ought to be taught in schools (especially in wartime such as in the post 9-11 USA); and how should schools be funded? We will deal with a number of case studies, mostly recent, but some crucial historical cases as well. Our readings will be primarily philosophical texts, supplemented with those from other fields, such as psychology, history and sociology, in order to provide empirical context to the theoretical problems facing education today. As a seminar, the instructor welcomes student participation, including students bringing their own interests in educational theory to the classroom. At the same time, the instructor will lecture to the extent necessary to make classroom discussion espcially rich.

Taught by: Detlefsen

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission.

PHIL 551 Topics in Early Modern Philosophy

A seminar on Kant's religious thought in the context of his metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and philosophy of history. Topics include: theistic arguments; non-classical conceptinos of God; radical evil; grace, forgiveness, and moral revolution; belief, faith, and hope; rational approaches to scripture and miracles; the threat of counterfeit service and priestcraft; religous community versus ethical community; the prospects for moral progress. Primary readings come from the pre-critical period, the Critiques, Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone, and various lectures and secondary sources. Some prevous formal study of modern philosophy (17th-19th century) or Kant is recommended as preparation.

Taught by: Detlefsen, Chignell

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GRMN 560

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 552 African American Philosophy

A new field has slowly begun to emerge within the traditional discipline of academic philosophy: African-American Philosophy. "African American Philosophy" refers here to conceptually and analytically rigorous philosophical studies of topics closely related to the social, legal, economic, historical and cultural experiences of US peoples of African descent. The field has appeared in tandem with a striking increase in the number of professionally trained philosophers of African descent holding the Ph.D. in philosophy, and employed as full-time teachers and scholars. A recent estimate puts the number of philosophers of African descent working in the US at about one hundred; and about twenty of these are African-American women. A significant body of scholarship now describes, explains, critiques and evaluates African American culture, slavery, oppression, discrimination, integration, segregation, equality, gender politics, labor, families, health, mental health, and the significance of race to identity, morality, ethics, politics, democracy, pulic policy, law, science, technology, the humanities and the arts. This unique lecture course will be a thematic introduction to African American Philosophy since 1960. Weekly topics will be chosen from among these clusters: Slavery, Colonialism, Oppression and Freedom; Segregation, Integration and Equality; Gender, Sex and Sexualities; Reproductive Rights and Responsibilities; Religion and Spiritualism; Rebellion, Protest, Social Movements and Citizenship; Economic Welfare, Labor and Inequality; Violence, Crime and Punishment; Education, Affirmative Action and Diversity; Reparations and Forgiveness; Identities and Sterotypes; Nature, Science and Health; Psychology, Psychiatry and Mental Health; Pragmatism; Existentialism; and the Sociology of Philosophy. We will read works by Cornell West, Adrian Piper, Charles Mills, Lewis Gordon, Anita Allen, Anthony Appiah, Lucius Outlaw, Naomi Zack, Lawrence Thomas, Bill Lawson, Michele Moody Adams, and others. For most undergraduate students, evaluation in the course will be based on a mid-term and final exam with essay and objective components. Advanced students and graduate students enrolled in the course will have an opportunity to write a substantial supervised paper on a topic of their own choosing in lieu of the exams.

Taught by: Allen-Castellitto

Course usually offered in spring term

Also Offered As: AFRC 254, AFRC 552, PHIL 252

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 554 Contemporary Continental Philosophy

This seminar course is an introduction to 20th-century continental European philosophy, focusing on the origins and development of phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, and deconstruction. The centrality of phenomenology (and its interpretation) to an understanding of these movements and other contemporary trends in European thought will be emphasized throughout. No previous background in philosophy is required. Human beings live in a world permeated and defined by meanings. How we create, communicate, and comprehend meaning has been one of the central questions of continental European philosophy over the past century. In this course, we will explore why meaning plays such a central role in all attempts to understand human experience and how this insight has profoundly influenced major trends in contemporary thought. We will begin the semester with an introduction to the phenomenology of Edmund Husserl and the contemporary debate over its proper interpretation. This will be followed by an examination of three existentialist critics of Husserl, whose philosophies have influenced much of recent continental thought: Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Maurice Merleau-Ponty. Finally, we will examine the important influence of phenomenology and existentialism on contemporary trends in continental philosophy as exhibited in works by Paul Ricoeur, Hans Georg Gadamer, Jacques Derrida, Hannah Arendt, and Emmanuel Levinas.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GRMN 580

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 558 Truth & Concealment

This course is an exploration of traditional philosophical questions concerning objectivity in science. We will start by addressing central questions in feminist philosophy of science, such as what is objective reality and what is objective knowledge? Next, we will explore whether science discovers objective real entities or relations, which is a central topic in the scientific realism debate. We will also explore whether scientific knowledge is objective. We will read mostly 20th and 21st century philosophers of science, such as Goodman, Kuhn, Psillos, and Longino. We will also apply what we learn to at least one case study. UNDERGRADUATES NEED PERMISSION

Taught by: Spencer

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates need permission.

PHIL 560 Descartes

In this course, we will undertake an intensive study of the thought of Descartes, one of philosophy's most important figures. We will read his major works - Rules for the Direction of the Mind, The World, Discourse on Method, Meditation on First Philosophy, Principles of Philosophy, and Passions of the Soul - as well as some less well-known works and some of his correspondence. We will study his ideas on method and epistemology, metaphysics, physics and the life sciences, medicine, the nature of the human being, and value theory. While our primary aim will be to understand his philosophy as a whole and how his thoughts developed and changed through his life, we will devote some time to evaluating his legacy.

Taught by: Hatfield

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 562 MLA Proseminar in Philosophy

In sixteenth century Europe, what we now think of as philosophy, science and religion were all part of a single integrated way of studying the world. By the late eighteenth to early nineteenth century, these three areas of study had, to a large degree, diverged into distinct disciplines. In this course we will study this separation of disciplines in order to come to some understanding about how and why this radical shift in western thought occurred.

Taught by: Detlefsen

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 565 Kant's Critique of Metaphysics

A study of Kant's critique of metaphysics and theory of regulative ideas in the"Transcendental Dialectic" and related texts such as CRITIQUE OF JUDGEMENT, ONLY POSSIBLE PROOF OF THE EXISTENCE OF GOD, and LECTURES ON PHILOSOPHICAL THEOLOGY. Collateral readings in such authors as Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Wolff, Baumgarten, Mendelssohn, Bayle, and Hume.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: PHIL 362

Prerequisite: PHIL 465 or permission of instructor

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 567 Development of German Idealism

This course will start with a brief review of some features of Kant's philosophy and will focus on Fichte and Schelling, and will end with a discussion of the reaction to Idealism by Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.

Taught by: Horstmann

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GRMN 525

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 568 Hegel

Hegel's "Lectures on Aesthetics" are a seminal work in the philosophy of art. They conceptualize the different kinds of art, and they understand art in the context of a philosophy of history that is centered on the concept of freedom. We will explore the intellectual background of Hegel's thinking, especially Kant, Schiller, and Schlegel, and investigate the conceptual articulation of art with which Hegel provides us.

Taught by: Horstmann.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: GRMN 568

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 572 Contemporary Ethics

A venerable idea throughout the history of ethics is that rationality is a fundamental or foundational part of the metaphysics of the normative. The course will be an investigation of several different strains of this rationalist idea. We'll disucss four rationalist views of the nature of normative reasons (Kantian, Humean, Aristotelian, and new-fangled constructivism). Our aim will be to investigate the plausibility of these rationalist views against the backdrop of a more recent hypothesis about the metaphysics of the normative--viz., the claim that normative reasons themselves are the fundamental constituents of the normative.

Taught by: Freeman, Meyer

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 576 Rationality, Morality and Law

This class will be dedicated to investigating topics related to rationality in its many forms. Potential areas of study are metaethics, epistemology, moral psychology, and the philosophies of mind, language and action. UNDERGRADUATES NEED PERMISSION.

Taught by: Freeman, Lord

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates need permission.

PHIL 577 Topics in Philosophy of Law

This seminar will examine leading academic theories of constitutional interpretation, starting with classic texts by (for illustration) Thayer, Wechsler, Ely, Bobbitt, Dworkin, and Scalia, and emphasizing current debates within originalism and between originalists and their critics. While the focus will be on American constitutional interpretation, we will also see how that literature is currently running up against, and possibly contributing to, more "philosophical" or "jurisprudential" accounts of the contents of law. Consistent with the nature of the material, the reading load is likely to be somewhat heavier and more demanding than in the average seminar. Students will be expected to read the assigned material carefully and to participate actively in class discussions; they will have the option of submitting either a single research paper or several shorter papers.

Taught by: Perry, Berman, Finkelstein

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: LAW 918, LAW 949, LAW 992

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 578 Topics in Political Philosophy

Three Liberalisms: In this course we will investigate and compare three types of liberalism: (1) the Classical Liberalism of classical and modern economists such as F.A. Hayek and Milton Friedman; (2) the Libertarianism of Robert Nozick and similar advocates of absolute property and contract rights, and (3) the High Liberal Tradition of John Rawls and other advocates of progressive economic systems and egalitarian justice.

Taught by: Freeman, Tan

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 579 Social Philosophy

During the last dozen years there has been an explosion of interest in empirically informed moral psychology. In this seminar, we will review some of the cutting empirical and theoretical work that is being done in moral psychology and explore its philosophical implications. About half o the sessions of the seminar will be led by Professor Bicchieri, Professor Harman or Professor Stitch. The other half will be led by leading philosophers and scientists from other departments and other universities.

Taught by: Bicchieri

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Undergraduates Need Permission

PHIL 600 Proseminar.

An intensive seminar for first-year doctoral students, with readings drawn from recent and contemporary eistemology and metaphysics, broadly construed. Students will develop their abilities to present and discuss philosophical texts, and to write and revise their own papers.

Course usually offered in fall term

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

Notes: Graduate Students Only

PHIL 601 Consortium Course

For graduate students taking courses at other institutions belonging to the Philadelphia area Philosophical Consortium.

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

Notes: Graduate Students Only

PHIL 607 Presocratic Philosophy

Close study of fragments and doxography for the earliest Greek philosophers in the original texts.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 609 Plato's Republic

A close reading and discussion of Plato's work. As much as possible of the text will be read in Greek.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: COML 609

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 610 Plato's Symposium and Phaedrus

A close reading and analysis of Plato's two major dialogues on love.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 611 Plato's Philebus

A close reading of the text of one of Plato's latest and most difficult dialogues. Questions to be discussed include: the unity of the dialogue, relation to other late dialogues (such as the TIMAEUS), relation to the doctrine of Forms, relation to the "unwritten doctrines". Knowledge of Greek is not required.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 612 Topics in Hellenistic Philosophy

The ancient Stoics famously rejected the tripartite psychology of Plato and the Aristotelian division of the psyche into rational and non-rational parts. Everything we think, say, feel, and do is an exercise of reason, specifically, an assent to an impression. This includes the pathe--emotions such as fear, anger, and pity and love. According to the Stoic doctrine of apatheia, we should eradicate the pathe from our lives. But there are some emotions of which the Stoics approve: the so-called "good feelings" (eupatheiai) which include joy, reverence, and goodwill. We will examine the difference between the pathe and the eupatheiai in the context of their Stoic doctrine of "impulse" (horme), and of their ethical theory more generally. All texts will be read in translation, and will include selections from: Cicero: Tusculan Disputations, On Ends, On Duties, Epicctetus: Discourses, Seneca: Letters, Stobaeus: Eclogues, Galen: On the Doctrines of Hippocrates and Plato.

Taught by: S.Meyer

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 613 Topics in Medieval Philosophy

Close reading of selected texts in medieval philosophy.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: LAW 618

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 625 Contemporary Metaphysical Problems

An examination of selected problems at the intersection of philosophy of psychology, philosophy of mind, and metaphysics.

Taught by: Hatfield

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 626 Topics in Philosophy of Psychology

We will investigate the notions of function, adaptation, and teleology as found in biology and as analyzed in the philosophy of biology; we will then apply these notions to selected problems in the philosophy of psychology pertaining to representation and content.

Taught by: Hatfield

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 630 Topics in Philosophy of Mind

Topics will vary, and may be historical or contemporary.

Taught by: Hatfield

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 633 Colloquium in American History

HIST 610 is a topics course. When the subject is appropriate, the course will be cross-listed with Philosophy. Please refer to the current timetable.

Taught by: Kuklick, B.

Course not offered every year

Also Offered As: HIST 610

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 642 Contemporary Metaphysics

This course will deal with the nature of necessity, essentialism, idealism and the concept of truth from a contemporary perspective.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 643 Carnap

A survey of Carnap's writings, with special attention to The Logical Construction of the World and The Logical Syntax of Language.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 644 Quine

A survey of Quine's philosophy with special attention to the critique of analyticity, truth and reference, indeterminacy of translations, ontological relativity, and physicalism.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 645 Reference

Contemporary discussions of reference with special attention to referential inscrutability, first person authority, and anti-individualism. Readings from Quine, Davidson, Putnam, Field, Wallace, Burge, and McDowell.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 646 Topics in Early Analytic Philosophy

Selected interpretive and philosophical issues from Frege, Russell, and early Wittgenstein.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 662 Hume's Philosophy of Mind

An examination of Hume's theory of mind, focusing on the Treatise and first Enquiry.

Taught by: Hatfield

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 665 Kant's Theoretical Philosophy

This course will study not Kant's system of philosophy but his philosophy of system, that is, the role of the concept of systematicity throughout his philosophical work. Special topics will include the role of systematicity in empirical knowledge and science, practical reasoning, and meta-philosophy, where systematicity functions as the criterion of the adequacy of philosophical theories themselves. Some prior acquaintance with the main themes of Kant's theoretical and practical philosophy will be assumed.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 672 Topics in Ethics

Phil 672 will be a workshop on writing papers for submission to either conferences or journals. Papers may address any topic in value theory, broadly construed, and some participants may choose to revise papers written for previous seminars. All participants will be responsible for generating short bibliographies and then leading class discussions on their topics, providing drafts of their papers for critique by the class, and presenting their papers to the class. Students who have passed their prelims are encouraged to participate as auditors.

Taught by: S.Meyer

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 674 Topics in Bioethics

Topics will vary.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Lecture

1 Course Unit

PHIL 678 Advanced Topics in Political Philosophy

In this course, we will examine various problems and questions in political philosophy. The focus will be on contemporary topics. This is an advanced seminar for graduate students who want to develop a professional-level paper on a particular subject, and the course will consist of readings on selected topics (selected by students) and students presenting their own papers (in various stages) on these topics. For graduate students in Philosophy only.

Taught by: Tan

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 679 Liberalism and its Critics

This course will examine some of the fundamental these of liberalism and some of the criticisms they have encountered. In particular, we will examine the classical formulation of liberal theory in Immanuel Kant as well as his near-contemporaries Moses Mendelssohn and Wilhelm von Humboldt, and criticisms of this view by writers like G.W.F. Hegel and F.H. Bradley; we will then examine modern versions of liberalism in John Rawls and Ronald Dworkin, and its criticism, especially by "communitarians" like Michael Sandel, Charles Taylor, Alasdair MacIntyre, and Michael Walzer. We will be concerned with differences between the classical (Kantian) and contemporary (Rawlsian) foundations of liberalism as well as with the validity of the criticisms which have been made of each.

Taught by: Freeman

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 680 History of Aesthetics

A study of 18th century aesthetics focussing on Kant, his contempories, and successors.

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 681 Philosophy of Literature

This course will begin with a survey of current topics and writings in the philosophy of literature: what is a narrative? what makes literary language expressive? what can we learn from fiction or poetry? The text here will consist largely of selected readings from the new Blackwell Companion to the Philosophy of Language. We will then explore the relation between philosophy and literature in more depth by discussing Eva Dadlez's new book, "Mirrors to one another: emotion and value in Jane Austen and David Hume."

Course not offered every year

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 699 Independent Study

Directed readings in consultation with individual faculty members.

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Independent Study

1 Course Unit

PHIL 700 Dissertation Workshop

Registration required for all third-year doctoral students. Fourth year students and beyond attend and present their work in the Dissertation Seminar. From time to time, topics pertaining to professional development and dissertation writing will be discussed.

Taught by: Freeman, Hatfield, Singer

Two terms. student must enter first term.

Activity: Seminar

1 Course Unit

PHIL 990 Masters Thesis

Taught by: Staff.

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Masters Thesis

1 Course Unit

PHIL 995 Dissertation

Ph.D. candidates, who have completed all course requirements and have an approved dissertation proposal, work on their dissertation under the guidance of their dissertation supervisor and other members of their dissertation committee.

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Dissertation

1 Course Unit

PHIL 998 Teaching Practicum (Independent Study)

Supervised teaching experience. Four semesters are required of all Doctoral students in philosophy.

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Independent Study

1 Course Unit

PHIL 999 Independent Study

One-term course offered either term

Activity: Independent Study

1 Course Unit

Notes: May be repeated for credit