Courses in Philosophy (Division 442)

The Philosophy Department offers a series of 150-level courses that serve as introductions to specific areas of philosophical thought. Each probes a group of philosophical issues related to certain other fields or areas of human concern, and each is designed to show how questions in these fields or areas can lead naturally to larger philosophical matters. Philosophy 151, "Philosophical Dimensions of Personal Decisions," and Philosophy 154, "Law and Philosophy will be offered Fall Term, 1985. They will be taught by regular faculty members and will be limited to 50 students.

Philosophy 181, 202, 231, 232, and 297 are general introductions designed to acquaint the student with a representative sample of philosophical problems concerning the nature of reality, knowledge, the self, morality, religion, and society. They deal with such questions as: If a person's actions are causally determined by heredity and environment is he capable of free actions for which he can be held morally responsible? What is a person just a very complex machine, a combination of a mind or soul and a body, or what? How can such common sense beliefs as that other human beings are conscious, or that there exists an external physical world, be justified? What are scientific theories, and what kinds of considerations bear on whether they should be accepted? Are there good reasons for believing that God exists? Is abortion, or euthanasia, or suicide, morally permissible? Are value judgments (e.g., moral or aesthetic judgments) "objective" or "subjective"? What are the basic differences between the major kinds of social, political, and economic organization, and what reasons are there for preferring any one of them to the others? How should one live one's life? What is the "meaning" of life, and what does this question mean?

The 200-level philosophy introductions and 181 vary in their approach to the issues, in their instructional format, and in credit hours. Philosophy 202 (4 hours) approaches issues through a mixture of twentieth century writers (e.g., Bertrand Russell, A. J. Ayer) and seminal figures in Western intellectual history (Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant). It is taught by graduate teaching assistants in sections of approximately 25 students. Philosophy 231 (3 hours) and 232 (4 hours) are more concerned with contemporary debate about these issues than with their historical development; a faculty member delivers two lectures each week, and students are divided into groups of approximately 25 for discussion sections which meet one (231) or two (232) hours per week. Philosophy 181 is mainly distinguished by its format. It is smaller, limited to 50 students, and is taught in a combination lecture/discussion format 3 times a week.

The Department offers 2 elementary introduction courses in logic, 180 and 201. Their subjects and levels are essentially identical. 180, however, is taught by faculty in a section of about 40-50, while 201 is taught in sections of 20-25 by advanced graduate student teaching assistants.

Some 300-level courses do not have prerequisites and can serve as introductions to particular branches of philosophy. Three such courses will be offered Fall Term, 1985: Philosophy 356, "Issues in Bioethics", Philosophy 357, "Ecology: A Philosophical Perspective," and Philosophy 375, "Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud."

151. Philosophical Dimensions of Personal Decisions. Students are strongly advised not to take more than two Philosophy Introductions. (3). (HU).

Many of the considerations that arise in personal decision making are of a philosophical character, pertaining to questions about freedom and responsibility, autonomy, rationality and prudence, moral obligation, identity, and meaningfulness. This course is intended to provide an introduction to a number of basic concepts in philosophy and rational-choice theory through a sustained examination of the problems of making personal decisions. It is also hoped that this course will help clarify our thinking about choices and values, and students will be encouraged to apply concepts acquired to case histories in decision making. No background in philosophy is presupposed, although both the reading and class discussion will require a high degree of tolerance for philosophical inquiry. In addition to doing the reading and attending class regularly, students will be required to write several short papers and to take a final examination. (Railton)

154. Law and Philosophy. Students are strongly advised not to take more than two Philosophy Introductions. (3). (HU).

Philosophy 154 is an introduction to the basic issues in the philosophy of law. These include the nature of legal systems, the problem of responsibility, the justification of punishment, the foundations of the principles of justice, and the conflict between freedom and equality in democratic societies. Although the course is an introduction, very little of the material in these areas is written at an introductory level. Students should expect to devote a significant amount of time to the reading, which is likely to be difficult and challenging. Class discussion is emphasized, and very active participation in the course is required. There will be two papers and a final examination. (S. White)

180. Introductory Logic. No credit is granted to those who have completed 201, 203, or 296. (3). (N.Excl).

This is an introductory course in logic. We will begin with a study of some problems, fallacies, etc., which arise in informal reasoning. This will be followed by a study of some of the elements of formal (symbolic) logic. There may also be some brief considerations of induction and of probability. The course will be conducted by lectures, discussions, and demonstrations of problem-solving techniques. Students will be expected to do homework assignments regularly. Grades will be assigned principally on the basis of three hourly exams and one final. (Mavrodes)

181. Philosophical Issues: An Introduction. No credit granted to those who have completed 182, 202, 231, 232, 234, or 297. (3). (HU).
Section 001.
Philosophy 181 will be an introduction to some of the basic problems of philosophy. These include questions concerning: the nature of the mind is the mind (or soul) something distinct from the body? If so, how is this to be reconciled with a commitment to science and its methods? The nature of personal identity what makes something a person? And what is it for different stages of some thing to be stages of the same person? Freedom of the will is our sense of our own free agency defensible in light of modern science? The nature of knowledge can we be justified in holding some of our most fundamental everyday beliefs or must we simply accept them on faith? The nature of morality are moral judgments capable of truth and falsehood? Is there any reason why we should act morally? Course requirements: a midterm, final, and two short papers. Class meetings will have a lecture/discussion format and student participation will be encouraged. (Boghossian)

Section 002. The approach to philosophical topics in this course is partially historical. There will be some attention to the origins and evolution of central ideas in the Western philosophical tradition, and to their long term influence on Western culture. Students will read the writings of about five key figures in the history of philosophy, rather than a textbook of articles by contemporary philosophers. Lectures will explain the doctrines of the thinkers, and, in so doing, illuminate certain enduring problems in philosophy and types of answers to them. A partial list of these answers includes materialism and idealism with respect to questions about what exists; rationalism, empiricism, and pragmatism with respect to questions concerning what we know and the nature of truth, and hedonism with regard to standards of good and evil. In addition to learning about these problems and types of answers, students will examine and evaluate arguments in the texts. They will gain practice in writing a paper that draws upon skills in argumentation. Evaluation of course work will be based primarily on the paper and on three, one-hour examinations. There is no final examination. Lectures and discussion will be intermixed in the same classroom setting, the discussions focusing on the texts as illustrations of topics covered in the lectures. No previous philosophy course is required. (Munro)

201. Introduction to Logic. No credit granted to those who have completed 180, 203 or 296. I and II: (3); III a and III b: (2). (N.Excl).

This course aims to give the student a thorough understanding of the fundamental forms of reasoning and rational argument. Students will be expected to master some technical detail, but the emphasis in this course is on non-technical, informal logical techniques applicable to problem solving in any area of inquiry. Both deductive and inductive patterns of argument will be examined. Sections usually have about twenty-five students each. Each section meets three hours per week and is generally conducted with some informality and considerable student participation. Discussion and questions are encouraged, particular problems are analyzed, and students are required to demonstrate mastery of assigned material. Course requirements for grading vary from instructor to instructor. Normally there are weekly assignments frequently in written form and short, periodic quizzes.

202. Introduction to Philosophy. No credit granted to those who have completed 181, 182, 231, 232, 234, or 297. (4). (HU).

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with philosophical thinking on the great questions that have moved mankind throughout history, and to discuss possible solutions to them. The course is taught in independent sections of approximately twenty-five students. Each section is taught by a teaching assistant who selects the topics and readings. Some sections examine the systems of such major historical figures as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Hegel, and Nietzsche, while others employ primarily the writings of contemporary philosophers such as Bertrand Russell, A.J. Ayer, Ludwig Wittgenstein, and others. The subject matter generally includes ethics, free will and responsibility, philosophy of mind, epistemology and skepticism, and perhaps arguments for the existence of God. The text is either a book of readings or a set of larger selections from separate editions of well known philosophical works. During the term, each student is usually required to submit a total of at least fifteen pages of critical discussion through a series of short papers varying in length from three to five pages. Several short quizzes may also be given as well as a final examination.

231. Introduction to Philosophy: Problems and Principles. No credit granted to those who have completed 181, 182, 202, 232, 234, or 297. (3). (HU).

This course is open to students from all areas of the University. No previous work in philosophy is required or assumed. First term undergraduates are welcome. The course has two principal goals. The first is to provide an introduction to fundamental philosophical problems drawn from a variety of branches of philosophy. The second goal is to develop the philosophical skills and, more generally, the critical and argumentative skills of those enrolled. The following issues will be discussed: (1) determinism, free will, and moral responsibility; (2) arguments for and against the existence of God; (3) the nature of mind and its relation to body; and (4) self-interest, altruism, and moral obligation. There will be a final examination and one (midterm) hour examination. Philosophy 231 and 232 share a common lecture for two meetings per week. Philosophy 231 carries three hours of credit, has one discussion meeting per week, and requires two short papers while Philosophy 232 carries four hours of credit, has two discussion meetings per week, and requires three short papers. Students who feel they would benefit from the additional hour of discussion or from the additional required writing, or who need the extra hour of credit are advised to enroll in 232 rather than 231. The course has a single text, an anthology: Joel Feinberg, editor, Reason and Responsibility, Dickenson Publishing Company. (Loeb)

232. Problems of Philosophy. No credit granted to those who have completed 181, 182, 202, 231, 234, or 297. (4). (HU).

See Philosophy 231. (Loeb)

296. Honors Introduction to Logic. Honors students or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed 180, 201 or 203. (3). (N.Excl).

Logic is valuable, first, as a tool for theoretical clarification. That makes it indispensable for many of the purposes of philosophy, particularly for the purpose of analyzing the structures of sciences, mathematics, and other systems of thought. Logic is valuable in the second place because it provides methods for the evaluation of reasoning, regardless of the subject matter with which the reasoning is concerned. This course is designed to introduce the student to the concepts and methods of modern deductive logic. It will deal with such key logical ideas as validity and invalidity of arguments, entailment between propositions, and logical truth. It will examine such properties of logical systems as consistency and completeness, and ask which branches of logic can be formulated as complete, consistent systems. Examples of the use of formal logic as a tool of clarification will be discussed. Students, it is hoped, will acquire considerable skill in applying various logical techniques for evaluating reasoning and for analyzing the logical status of propositions. There will be two or three exams, and satisfactory completion of homework will be required.

297. Honors Introduction to Philosophy. Honors students or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed 181, 182, 202, 231, 232, or 234. (3). (HU).
Section 001.
This course will examine some of the major philosophical problems: the existence of God, the nature and limits of human knowledge, the idea of freedom, the basis for ethical judgments, and the grounds of legitimate political authority. The readings will consist of a series of primary sources. Works by such philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Mill, and Camus will be included. Class sessions will follow a lecture and discussion format and students will be evaluated on the basis of two hour examinations and a final examination. No prerequisites. (Lipschutz)

Section 002. (Piper)

335/Buddhist Studies 320/Asian Studies 320/Rel. 320. Introduction to Buddhism. Buddhist Studies 220 or the equivalent. May not be included in a concentration plan in philosophy. (3). (HU).

See Buddhist Studies 320 for description. (Jackson)

345. Language and Mind. One philosophy course. (3). (HU).

In Philosophy 345 we will explore some of the traditional problems in the philosophy of mind and some of the connections between these problems and the problems in the philosophy of language. Topics in philosophy of mind include the mind-body problem, the first person point of view, consciousness and self-consciousness, and personal identity. Topics in the philosophy of language include meaning, causal and descriptive theories of reference, the private language argument, and language understanding and artificial intelligence. Although this course is an introduction to the specific problems under consideration, it is not intended as an introduction to philosophy. The course is primarily designed for philosophy majors and those who intend to do a significant amount of course work in the field. There will be two papers and a final examination. (S. White)

356. Issues in Bioethics. No prerequisites; one Philosophy Introduction is recommended. (4). (HU).

A discussion of ethical issues that arise in the life sciences and health care professions. Topics may include: abortion, euthanasia, and infanticide; the use of animals and humans in experiments; and the distribution and regulation of health care. Three short papers and a final exam. No prerequisite.

357/Env. St. 408. Ecology: A Philosophical Perspective. (3). (HU).

In this course I hope to discuss a number of ways in which philosophical distinctions and religious considerations can enter into and (perhaps) benefit our thinking about ecology. I hope to discuss some distinctions relevant to ethics, such as that between teleological and deontological principles, and corporate vs. private duties. I will also discuss the ethics of risk and the ethics of situations in which all choices are bad. I hope also to consider various religious views of man's relations to nature, including Christian views of mastery and stewardship, a Buddhist approach, perhaps American Indian, etc. There will be a midterm exam, a final exam, and a term paper. Texts have not yet been selected. (Mavrodes)

361. Ethics. One Philosophy Introduction. (3). (HU).

The course begins by examining issues concerning individual responsibility and moral authority raised by Milgram's famous psychological study of obedience. Specifically, what does the authority of ethics derive from? The core of the course is an examination of three central traditions in moral philosophy, typified by Aristotle, Kant and Mill. Finally, we consider a critique of these traditional views by some recent writers who stress the role of personal relationship in ethics. Lecture and discussion. Three short papers of about five pages and a final exam. (Darwall)

366. Introduction to Political Philosophy. One Philosophy Introduction. (4). (HU).

Political philosophy is concerned not merely with the question of what sort of government (if any) we should have, but also with the most general questions about how people can and should live in society. We will undertake a systematic examination of the moral, philosophical, and empirical foundations of three of the dominant political philosophies of our times: social contract theory, utilitarianism, and socialism. Our goal will be to understand the conceptions of human nature, of value, of freedom, and of society and the individual's relation to it that underlie these political philosophies. Readings will include significant figures in the history of political philosophy (such as Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, and Marx) as well as controversial contemporary political philosophers (such as Rawls and Nozick). Lectures and discussion sections. A midterm and a final examination. A term paper. (Railton)

371. Existentialism. One Philosophy Introduction. (3). (HU).

This course will be an Introduction to Existentialism. In the main the course will probably concentrate on Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre and Camus. Some short pieces of Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Kafka and Buber may also be on the list.

388/Class. Civil. 388. History of Philosophy: Ancient. One Philosophy Introduction. A knowledge of Greek or Latin is not required. (4). (HU).

This course is a survey of Greek philosophical thought from its beginnings through Hellenistic times. The figures covered in detail are certain Presocratic thinkers, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, the Stoics, and the Sceptics. Stress is laid not only on the doctrines of these philosophers, but also on their arguments for holding them. Attention is also given to the non-philosophical background against which these thinkers worked, particularly in the case of their ethical views. There will be three papers, ranging from four to seven pages in length, two 30-minute quizzes, and a final. One of the chief aims of the course is to teach students to write a clear, well-organized philosophy paper. (N. White)

401. Undergraduate Seminar in Philosophy. Open to junior and senior concentrators and to others by permission of concentration adviser. (3). (HU).

This course will be organized as a seminar, with students writing a series of papers, and discussing them in class. Tentatively, the subject matter of this course will center on some of the later work of Wittgenstein and Saul Kripke's, Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language, although changes can be made to suit students' interests. Students who are interested in taking this seminar are encouraged to talk with the instructor beforehand. (Walton)

406. Aristotle. One Philosophy Introduction. (3). (HU).

This course will examine some of the major Aristotelian doctrines and Aristotle's defenses of them. Approximately one third of the course will be devoted to Aristotle's ethics. Another third will treat his metaphysics. And the remainder of the course will discuss another major area of his philosophy, such as his epistemology, his psychology, or his philosophy of biology. It is suggested that students take this course only if they have had at least two courses in philosophy (an introduction and one other). (N. White)

414. Mathematical Logic. (3). (N.Excl).

A study of the syntax, semantics, applications, and limitations of elementary logic. Among the topics included are: (A) truth-functions and sentential logic; symbolization of truth-functional arguments; completeness of sentential logic. (B) Syntax and semantics of quantification theory; symbolization of quantification arguments; completeness of quantification theory; limitations of quantification theory. (C) Elements of set theory and the foundations of mathematics; undecidability and Church's theorem. The text is Formal Logic by R. Jeffrey. (Sklar)

418. Philosophy of Mathematics. Phil. 414 or permission of instructor. (3). (N.Excl).

Topics and requirements for this course had not been settled at time of printing. Besides a background in mathematical logic (Philosophy 414 or equivalent), further mathematical and philosophical background is desirable. A student would be adequately prepared philosophically with a philosophy introduction and Philosophy 383 or 345. Topics in a course of philosophy of mathematics are likely to include the reality of mathematical objects, the nature of mathematical truth and knowledge, the three great programs of logicism, formalism and intuitionism, the relation of issues in the foundations of mathematics to more general issues in the philosophy of mathematics.

423. Problems of Space and Time. One Logic Introduction and either one other philosophy course or 12 credits of science; or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

Traditional philosophical questions about the nature of time and space have been strikingly influenced in the twentieth century by the results of contemporary physical science. At the same time, the important current physical theories of space and time rest explicitly or implicitly on deep-rooted philosophical assumptions. The purpose of this course is to study the mutual interaction between science and philosophy as illustrated in problems about space and time. Typical topics to be considered include the status of knowledge about the structure of space and time, substantial versus relational theories of spacetime, spatio-temporal order and causal order, and the so-called problem of the direction of time. This course can best be appreciated by students who have either a background in philosophy especially logic and philosophy of science, metaphysics, epistemology or background in physical science or mathematics. An attempt is made in the course to introduce the fundamental ideas of both philosophy and science at a level which can be understood by those without an extensive background so students need not be proficient in both science and philosophy to benefit from the course. The primary text is L. Sklar, Space, Time and Spacetime. There are additional readings from authors such as Reichenbach, Poincare, Grunbaum, Smart, Wheeler, and others. (Sklar)

431. Normative Ethics. One Philosophy Introduction. (3). (HU).

An examination of fundamental issues in normative ethical theory. Students in the course should normally have taken Philosophy 361 or the equivalent. The emphasis will be on theories of moral obligation and of justice; utilitarian, intuitionistic, and Kantian theories will be considered. Readings will be from a variety of sources, mostly contemporary. Three papers of about five pages each, a midterm, a final exam, and perhaps a few one page discussion notes and in-class exercises will be required. For students who seem ready to tackle a longer paper, a ten-page paper may be substituted for the second and third short papers. (Darwall)

458. Philosophy of Kant. Phil. 389, 461, or 462, or permission of instructor, or concentration adviser. (3). (HU).

The course focuses exclusively on Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. The entire text will be analyzed, with a view to understanding Kant's epistemological doctrines of the Aesthetic and Analytic, as well as the metaphysical critique of the Dialectic as a foundation for Kant's later moral philosophy. (Piper)

468/Chinese 468. Classical Chinese Thought (To A.D. 220) Upperclass standing; no knowledge of Chinese required. (3). (HU).

Philosophy 468 focuses on the major philosophical schools of the Chou-Han period, which was roughly equivalent in time and intellectual fertility to the classical ages of Greece and Rome. Among these schools, special consideration is given to the Confucian and Taoist schools, since the doctrines associated with these were the sources of the two major philosophical traditions in China for the next 2000 years and affected very significant cultural developments in the arts, religion, science, and politics. The course concentrates on Chinese social and political philosophies (with notable exceptions in the case of certain Taoist thinkers) and on the theories of human nature that were associated with them. Among the more interesting political theories discussed are those pertaining to social control or the most desirable and effective ways of mobilizing the population for goals determined by the rulers. Chinese philosophers have been somewhat unusual in occupying political office and in having an opportunity to test their ideas in practice. This fact has affected the character of Chinese philosophy from the beginning, and it makes the study of Chinese political philosophy especially intriguing. There is some background consideration of the social and living conditions of the periods in which the various philosophies emerged. No knowledge of Chinese is required. Readings are in translation. All students are required to prepare an annotated, critical bibliography of secondary readings. Other course requirements include a midterm and a final examination. (Munro)

471/GNE 487. Muslim Philosophy. May not be included in a concentration plan in Philosophy. (3). (HU).

See General Near East 487 for description. (Mir)

481. Metaphysics. One Philosophy Introduction. (3). (HU).

Metaphysics is one of the most active fields in philosophy today, and this course is intended to introduce students to some of the fundamental issues and principles in contemporary metaphysics, and to familiarize them with important research tools currently used in the field. To this end, we shall first develop (1) some basic concepts and principles regarding existence and modality, such as logical and metaphysical necessity, possible worlds, essential and contingent properties, necessary and contingent beings, and individual essence. We shall then turn to particular topics such as these: (2) causation, supervenience, and other determinative connections; (3) the persistence of material bodies over time (the problem of the "Ship of Theseus"); (4) the unity and persistence of persons; (5) the existence and nature of Platonic objects. e.g., properties and sets; (6) the "supervenience" of wholes on their parts, and (7) the structure and individuation of events, changes, and facts. The course will emphasize systematic treatment of the problems rather than their historical backgrounds. Two medium-length papers (on suggested topics) will be required, as well as a final examination on a pre-announced set of questions. Readings will be chiefly from the contemporary sources (Russell, Moore, Quine, Carnap, Chisholm, Davidson, Kripke, Plantinga, et al.), although some historical material will also be included. (Kim)


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