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 152, "Philosophy of Human Nature" will be offered this term. It will be taught by regular faculty 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 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 this term: Philosophy 356, "Issues in Bioethics," Philosophy 370, "Philosophical Aspects in Literature," Philosophy 375, "Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud."

152. Philosophy of Human Nature. Students are strongly advised not to take more than two Philosophy Introductions. (3). (HU).

In this course we will explore the topic of human nature, with special attention to the human mind, personality, and character. We will ask about the place of mind in nature. Is the mind a part of biological nature, a part of the human body (say, the brain), or is it an immaterial thing, capable of surviving the body and living an independent existence? What is the structure of the mind? Which plays or ought to play a more central role in human life - thought or emotion? Thought and emotion are commonly believed to be at odds with one another. Thought is assumed to be rational and emotion is assumed to impede rationality. Is this really so? What is the ideal human personality? What is human virtue? Is its basis rational thought or rather emotions like compassion and love? We will try to answer these questions by looking at the views of historically important philosophers and by reading some recent philosophy. There will be at least one paper and a final. The course readings are: Plato, MENO,PHAEDO, and SYMPOSIUM; Descartes, selections from THE PASSIONS OF THE SOUL; Spinoza, SHORT TREATISE ON GOD, MAN, AND HIS WELL BEING; Nietzsche, BEYOND GOOD AND EVIL; Churchland, MATTER AND CONSCIOUSNESS and Hume, selections from TREATISE OF HUMAN NATURE.

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.

181. Philosophical Issues: An Introduction. No credit granted to those who have completed 182, 202, 231, 232, 234, or 297. (3). (HU).

SECTION 001. 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 and 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)

Section 002. 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 something 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 003. We will start with the question: How well do we know the world? Do we only know its appearance or can we know what reality is? (The readings for this part will be from Descartes, but also from contemporary philosophers, and to a lesser extent from psychologists of perception, and physiologists of the brain). On this foundation we will then address questions about the nature of the self and the nature of the human mind. (The readings for this section will be from PHENOMENOLOGISTS and from SARTRE as well as from FREUD). After that we will deal with the issue of the evaluation of values and finally with some social and political matters. For these last parts much of the readings will be drawn from NIETZSCHE. The end of the course will focus on the meaning and nature of FREEDOM. Two papers and a final exam. (Bergmann)

201. Introduction to Logic. No credit granted to those who have completed 180, 203 or 296. (3). (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. Most likely the following issues will be discussed: (1) determinism, free will, and moral responsibility; (2) arguments for and against the existence of God; (3) the problem of skepticism; and (4) self-interest, altruism, and moral obligation. There will be a final examination and one midterm 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).

This course is designed to introduce students to the theory and methods of FORMAL (sometimes called symbolic or mathematical) logic. It is NOT primarily a "how to" course aimed at teaching HOW to think logically. Rather, it is a course aimed at familiarizing students with the formal study OF logical thinking in particular deductive reasoning, and of such concepts as the validity and invalidity of arguments, the consistency and inconsistency of sets of statements, entailment between sentences, and logical truth. Students will be introduced to a standard formal system of sentential (sometimes called truth functional) logic and of first order predicate logic. We will also discuss such properties of formal logical systems as consistency and completeness, and ask which branches of logic can be formulated as consistent and complete systems. A full appreciation of the formal approach to logic will require that students acquire considerable fluency in the application of various formal techniques for example, paraphrasing ordinary English statements into the appropriate formal notation, evaluating reasoning, and analyzing the logical status of propositions. The conscientious completion of (ungraded) weekly homework assignments should provide the required fluency. The grade will be based on four in-class quizzes, a midterm and a final. (Taschek)

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. "In daily life, we assume as certain many things which, on a closer scrutiny, are found to be so full of apparent contradictions that only a great amount of thought enables us to know what it is that we really may believe" (Bertrand Russell). Philosophy is where this thinking happens; in fact, Russell once characterized philosophy as "an unusually persistent attempt to think clearly." But to think clearly about what? The issues philosophy deals with are so fundamental that they rarely come up for explicit consideration; but so important that they can't be ignored. In this course, we will concentrate on issues about KNOWLEDGE and MIND. Do our everyday beliefs constitute knowledge? In particular, can we justify what we say about the external world, about the future, about causes and effects, about ourselves? What after all ARE we? Just our bodies, or something more? Or perhaps something entirely separate from our bodies, say minds? What is the relation between mental aspects and our physical aspects? Are we free to act as we choose to, or are our actions determined by brute mechanical forces? These are some of the questions to be considered. Readings will be free from historical and modern sources. Classes will involve both lecture and discussion. Grading will be on the basis of two papers, a midterm exam, and a final exam. No prerequisites. (Yablo)

Section 002. 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, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Mill, Marx, and Camus will be included. Class sessions will follow a lecture and discussion format and students will be evaluated on the basis of several brief papers and a final examination. No prerequisites. (Lipschutz)

Section 003. Philosophy investigates fundamental questions which arise in the course of our practical and intellectual pursuits. In this course, we will consider some basic questions concerning morality and its relations to human reason, emotion, and desire. And moral claims founded on reason or on the emotions? Are our desires subject to rational criticism and reform, or is reason powerless to influence our desires? What is it to act rationally? What difference does it make to our lives how we answer these questions? Readings will be taken primarily from a few philosophical classics (Hume, Kant, Aristotle) supplemented by contemporary sources. Classes will involve both lecture and discussion. There will be three short papers and a final exam. No prerequisites. (Anderson)

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.

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

"Language and Mind" is a rigorous and demanding introduction to a range of contemporary issues at the interface of the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind. The overarching concern is the relationship between thinking and speaking the extent to which our understanding of one requires and informs our understanding of the other. The course has been designed especially to prepare undergraduate concentrators in philosophy for serious upper division and perhaps eventually graduate level work in the areas discussed, but should be of interest to any serious student interested in the relation between thought and language. The reading consists in a number of seminal papers (collected in a course pack) by twentieth century philosophers working primarily in the Anglo-American analytic tradition (e.g., Frege, Russell, Donnellan, Kripke, Perry, Grice, Davidson, and Burge) and sections of two books (by Kripke). Besides the reading, which is essential, each student will be expected to write three 10 page papers. Topics will be assigned, though students can write on a topic of their own with permission. Class participation is very strongly encouraged. Although the only official prerequisite is one previous philosophy course, a stronger background in central philosophical areas (metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind) will be the most useful, as will a familiarity with (the notation of) symbolic logic. (Taschek)

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

This course introduces the major themes and theories of ethics by examining moral dilemmas that arise in the practice of medicine. The issues discussed include: drug addiction; the artificial heart; socialized medicine; euthanasia and "living wills"; the use of placebos; and abortion. No pre-requisites. Three five-page papers and a final exam. (Velleman)

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

The course begins with an introduction to fundamental questions of moral philosophy: What is ethics about? Are there truths ethics can hope to discover? If there are, are these relative only to cultures, or even to individuals, or are they universal? The core of the course is an examination of three central traditions in moral philosophy typified by Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, and John Stuart Mill. We shall be interested in the different approaches these writers take both to the questions raised in the first part of the course, and to the substantive questions of ethics: What is good? What is right? The course ends with a recent critique of traditional moral philosophy raised by those who would stress the role of personal relationship in ethics. Lecture and discussion. Three papers of about five pages in length 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)

370. Philosophical Aspects of Literature. (3). (HU).

This course will consist primarily of an examination of the philosophical content of selected works of literature. We will consider what these works have to say, in one way or another, about questions of morality, freedom, human nature, knowledge, reality, and so forth. To a lesser extent we will examine philosophical problems concerning the nature, function, and the value of literature itself, including questions about the manner in which literary works express or communicate philosophical ideas, compared to the ways in which philosophical essays do. The readings will include (tentatively) literary works by John Barth, Samuel Beckett, Jorge Luis Borges, Albert Camus, Dostoevsky, Kafka, Sartre and perhaps others. We will also study various philosophical writings which treat the philosophical issues we find in the literary works. Two short papers will be required, and there will be a midterm and a final examination. There is no prerequisite, but an introduction to philosophy and some background in literature would be helpful. (Walton)

375. Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. (3). (HU).

This course will introduce you to the thought of the four listed authors, but I hope that it will do more than this. It will be an attempt to develop in detail a coherent conception of philosophy quite different from and in some ways opposed to those which are now most current. The intention is to show that Hegel initiated a tradition that is founded on a new set of assumptions, and that addresses new questions which require new answers. The readings will be mainly from Hegel's PHENOMENOLOGY OF THE SPIRIT, Marx's early manuscripts and CAPITAL (Commodity Fetichism), Nietzsche's GENEALOGY OF MORALS and ZERATHUSTRA, and Freud's CIVILIZATION AND ITS DISCONTENTS. Some additional authors, esp. Max Weber (THE PROTESTANT ETHIC) will also be dealt with, though more briefly. Special attention will be given to the issue of Work. Two papers and a final exam. (Bergmann)

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).

REALISM, CONCEPTUALISM, NOMINALISM. Metaphysical problems arise when it isn't clear what certain ordinary ways of talking are getting at. "This tree is the SAME THING as the sapling planted here thirty years ago." I COULD have been a contender." "This coin will PROBABLY come up heads." "Not only did the explosion precede the fire, it CAUSED the fire." Supposing that claims like these can sometimes be true, what MAKES them true? There have been three main lines of response; realists say that they are true because of something about the world; conceptualists say that they are true because of something about the mind; and nominalists contend that this isn't the sort of question one should be trying to answer. Take the example of causation. Realists about causation say that causal claims are true because one external event MAKES another external event happen (the mind has nothing to do with it). Conceptualists about causation find the idea of real causal connections in nature problematic; and so they say instead that causal claims are true, when they are, partly because of the ways in which we THINK of events. Nominalists agree that causal claims are sometimes correct, but they question whether there is anything interesting to be said about WHY they are correct, beyond repeating the claims themselves. In this seminar we will compare realist, conceptualist, and nominalist perspectives on a small number of key metaphysical issues (maybe identity over time, essential properties, probability, and causation). Part of the idea is to learn something about these specific issues, and part of the idea is to look at some of the ways in which metaphysics and epistemology interpenetrate and inform one another. Readings will be from Plato, Aristotle, perhaps medievals, Hume, Kant, Russell, Quine, Carnap, Kripke, Geach, Wiggins, and perhaps others. Since this course is a seminar, the emphasis will be on discussion, and this means reading the material in advance and coming prepared to talk about it. Requirements are: an in-class presentation on one of the reading assignments; a ten-page paper, due in the middle of the term: and a fifteen-page paper, due at the end of the term. (Yablo)

411. Philosophy of Social Science. One philosophy course or social science background. (3). (HU).

This course will explore a number of questions which arise in the attempt to study human beings. Do social scientific theories depend on value judgment? What counts as an adequate explanation of human behavior? What role does the concept of reason play in theories of human behavior? How should we choose between rival theories of behavior? These issues will be investigated through an examination of the economic theory of rational choice and some of its challengers. Philosophical texts will be read in close conjunction with texts in economics, anthropology and psychology. Familiarity with introductory micro-economics is desirable but not required. (Anderson)

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)

416. Modal Logic. Phil. 414 or permission of instructor. (3). (N.Excl).

This course will provide an introduction to the possible worlds of semantics for modal logic. It will include an account of the major systems, both from a technical and a philosophical point of view. The instructor will use his own text, but the students may consult AN INTRODUCTION TO MODAL LOGIC by Hughes and Crosswell and MODAL LOGIC by Chellas. (Fine)

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)

429. Ethical Analysis. Phil. 361, 363, 364, or 366. (3). (HU).

This will be a course in contemporary metaethics. Metaethics is concerned with what ethical claims mean, and with the kinds of reasoning or evidence that justify ethical claims. Can moral statements be true or false? Or are they perhaps nothing more than the expressions of feelings? Can there be good and bad reasons for moral convictions? Might what is right vary from culture to culture? The course will attempt to deal with such questions in a systematic way. It will take up the ethical intuitionism of Moore and Ross, the emotivism of Ayer and Stevenson, Hare's universal prescriptivism, and recent proposals such as Rawls' reflective equilibrium theory, Brandt's linguistic reform, and new versions of "moral realism." Students should already have some background in moral philosophy in the twentieth century analytic tradition, preferably Philosophy 361 or the equivalent. Classes will consist of lectures with discussion. Three short (five page) papers will be required, and there will be a midterm and a final examination. (Gibbard)

433. History of Ethics. Phil. 361 or permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

A study of the origins of modern moral philosophy in the writings of David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and some of their 17th and 18th Century predecessors: Hutcheson, Butler, Locke, and Hobbes (among others). Particular attention will be paid to how the contemporary scene in moral philosophy has been shaped by these origins how current debates about consequentialism and deontology, fundamental ethical justification, the relation between justification and motivation, and the nature of moral obligation derived from philosophical concerns and positions first formulated in this period. Also, an attempt will be made to understand the considerable impact that the intellectual and political contexts had on the approaches these writers take. Three short papers, or one long paper (and a draft to be handed in at least three weeks before the end of the term), and a final exam. (Darwall)

457/Asian Studies 480/Buddhist Studies 480/Religion 480. Problems in Buddhism. Buddhist Studies 320 or the equivalent. May not be included in a concentration plan in philosophy. (3). (Excl).

See Buddhist Studies 480.

461. Continental Rationalism. One Philosophy Introduction. (3). (HU).

This course will investigate the philosophical systems of Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, based upon a careful reading of selections from their major philosophical works. We will focus on the epistemology and metaphysics in these systems. The principal goal will be to understand the philosophical systems of each of the figures in their own right. To this end, there will be assigned reading in a number of secondary sources, selected to reflect major interpretive controversies. There will be some attention to the question of whether and in what sense "Rationalism" constituted a philosophical movement or genre. Time-permitting, some attention will be devoted to the "minor" Rationalist, Malebranche. The formal prerequisite for this course, one introductory course in philosophy, does not, in fact, constitute adequate preparation. A one term course in the history of modern philosophy (Descartes through Kant), or the equivalent, would provide a much more suitable background. Undergraduate concentrators are strongly discouraged from taking this course IN LIEU of Philosophy 389. Ideally, undergraduates who enroll will have taken at least one 300 or 400 level course in epistemology or metaphysics (e.g., Philosophy 383) (Loeb)

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. (Mir)

480. Philosophy of Religion. One Philosophy Introduction. (3). (HU).

The course this term will focus on the question of whether belief in God is JUSTIFIED,RATIONAL, IN VIOLATION OF OUR INTELLECTUAL DUTIES, etc. We will begin with a consideration of some nineteenth and twentieth century treatments of this topic (e.g., William Clifford and William James) and spend most of the time on comparatively recent arguments (e.g., Alvin Plantinga, Nicholas Wolterstorff, Kai Nielsen, Antony Flew, etc.). There will be a midterm exam, a final exam, and a term paper.

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

We shall deal with some of the central topics in metaphysics. These may include: personal identity, the identity of events and material things, the problem of universals, essentialism, and the nature of ontology. Students will be expected to write two or three short papers and one long paper. (Fine)


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