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 155, "The Nature of Science," will be offered Fall Term, 1989. It will be taught by a regular faculty member 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 organizations, 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 introduction and 181 vary in their approach to the issues, in their instructional format. Philosophy 202 (three 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 student teaching assistants in sections of approximately 25 students. Philosophy 231 (three hours) and 232 (four 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. Like Philosophy 231 and 232, Philosophy 181 is mostly concerned with contemporary discussion, but its format is different. It is smaller, limited to 50 students, and is taught in a combination lecture/discussion format three times a week.
The Department offers three elementary introductory courses in logic: 180, 201 and 203. 180 and 201 both cover some informal logic, while 203 introduces students to symbolic logic. 180 is taught by faculty in a section of 40-50, while 201 and 203 are 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. Two such courses will be offered Fall Term, 1989: Philosophy 365, "Philosophy of Religion," and Philosophy 375, "Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud."
155. The Nature of Science. (3). (HU).
What is the difference between a well-supported scientific theory, and a pseudo-scientific or crackpot theory? This course aims to give an answer to that question, by studying the nature of scientific reasoning and scientific method. Topics to be covered include the nature of theories, methods for testing theories, statistical inferences and probability, and the use of scientific information in making decisions. The course will be practically oriented, in that it aims to enable students to intelligently assess the evidence for scientific claims which they come across in the media or elsewhere. There are no prerequisites. Both humanities and science majors should find the course useful. There will be short quizzes or homework assignments most weeks, and two one-hour exams. An optional comprehensive final can be taken by students who wish to improve their course grade. Students will be encouraged to participate in class discussion. The text for the course will be UNDERSTANDING SCIENTIFIC REASONING, by Ronald N. Giere. (Maher)
180. Introductory Logic. Credit is granted for only one of Phil. 180 or 201. (3). (N.Excl).
This is a beginning, and rather slow-paced, course in formal logic. Following a brief introductory segment on logic in general, we will study the propositional (truth-functional) logic, and then the predicate logic for one-place predicates. If there is sufficient time, we may have some brief discussions of additional topics, such as the idea of a proof, modal logic, inductive logic, etc. The text will probably be Irving Copi, INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC. In the 7th edition of that book, the material to be covered is treated in chapters 1, 8, 9, 10 and appendices A and B. Grades will be based on one or more hourly exams and a final cumulative exam. (Mavrodes)
181. Philosophical Issues: An Introduction. No credit granted to those who have completed 182, 202, 231, 232, 234, or 297. (3). (HU).
An historical introduction to some of the main problems of philosophy, including the mind-body problem, skepticism, the nature of science and mathematics, the rationality of religious belief, and, finally, the nature of philosophy itself. Readings will be drawn from the great books of the 17th – 19th centuries, including Descartes' MEDITATIONS, Locke's ESSAY CONCERNING HUMAN UNDERSTANDING, and Hume's TREATISE OF HUMAN NATURE, as well as various contemporary sources. Three papers (two short, one moderate), take home midterm exam. (Rosen)
201. Introduction to Logic. Credit is granted for only one of Phil. 180 or 201. (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. (3). (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.
203. Introduction to Symbolic Logic. Credit is granted for only one of Phil. 203 or 296. (3). (N.Excl).
Common sense classifies arguments as good or bad according to a variety of formal and informal criteria. Roughly speaking, we count an argument good if it makes plausible assumptions which exhibit its conclusion as likely to be true. Though the common sense classification is familiar and useful, sometimes we want something more precise and more amenable to systematic investigation. Thus we idealize from the intuitive notion of a "good" argument and call an argument VALID if it is impossible for its assumptions to be true without its conclusion being true as well. Logic can now be defined as the study of validity. As it turns out, this study is best pursued by constructing artificial languages designed to replicate in purer form the logically relevant features of natural languages like English. Symbolic logic, the subject of this course, is the study of validity by reference to these formal languages. Students meet in sections of about twenty-five students each. Each section meets three hours per week and has a lecture/discussion format, with considerable student participation. Course requirements and grading vary from instructor to instructor, but normally there are weekly homework assignments and periodic quizzes.
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 an introduction to philosophical problems and methods through the study of the writings of great philosophers. We will study techniques of correct argument. We will critically analyze selected writings of great philosophers. We will study techniques of correct argument. We will critically analyze selected writings of Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Mill, Nietzsche and Marx. We will consider some of the most fundamental topics of philosophical reflection, such as the nature and existence of God, the nature and extent of human knowledge, and the nature of morality. Lectures will develop and explore various alternative conceptions on each topic. Discussions will give students the opportunity to work out their own ideas in discussion with other students and the section leader.
232. Problems of Philosophy. No credit granted to those who have completed 181, 182, 202, 231, 234, or 297. (4). (HU).
This course is an introduction to philosophical problems and methods through the study of the writings of great philosophers. We will study techniques of correct argument. We will critically analyze selected writings of Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Mill, Nietzsche, and Marx. We will consider some of the most fundamental topics of philosophical reflection, including the nature and existence of God, the nature and extent of human knowledge, and the nature of morality. Lectures will develop and explore various alternative conceptions on each topic. Discussions will give students the opportunity to work out their own ideas in discussion with other students and the section leader.
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, 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 three to four papers. No prerequisites. (Lipschutz)
SECTION 002. 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 science, work, morality, and religion. Can belief in God be justified? Are moral claims objective or subjective? What is the significance of work in human life? What methods should we use in investigating natural and human phenomena? We will read from works written by major figures in the history of philosophy (Plato, Descartes, Bacon, Hume, Marx, James) as well as from contemporary sources. There will be three papers and a final examination. (Anderson)
SECTION 003. We all have a common stock of basic beliefs that we accept without question: for example, that there is a world of objects external to and independent of ourselves; that some of those objects are persons such as ourselves. Can these beliefs be justified or must they simply be accepted on faith? What, in any event, does it mean for an object to be "external to and independent of oneself"? And what is it to conceive of an object as a person – i.e., as a locus of intelligence, consciousness, thought and responsibility? And to what extent can such a conception of objects be reconciled with a scientific conception of reality? An introduction to these and related questions will form the subject matter of this course. Class sessions will have a lecture-discussion format. Four short papers will be required. (Boghossian)
319(369). Philosophy of the Arts. Philosophy 202 or equivalent. No credit granted to those who have completed Philosophy 419. (3). (Excl).
This course will examine the arts from a philosophical perspective. It will investigate what art is, the nature of creation, criticism, interpretation, evaluation and appreciation and the ways in which the various arts are valuable and important, concentrating on specific art forms such as the novel, photography and film, representational painting and music. It will treat questions such as: What, if anything, is distinctive about art and aesthetic experience, and how they are related to their aspects of life and culture? In what ways are works of art expressive of feelings? Do they have cognitive content? What is fiction and why are people interested in it? Why and in what ways is photography more (or less) powerful than painting and drawing? What is it for a painting or a novel to be REALISTIC, and how is realism important? What is meant by indeterminate art, conceptual art, found art, performance art? In what ways are these forms of art interesting, and how do they compare with more traditional ones (e.g., do they deserve to be called "art"?) Written work for the course will consist of two short papers, two quizzes, and a final examination. This course is designed especially for students who have not had extensive work in philosophy although background in philosophy and the arts would be helpful. (Walton)
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. (Foulk)
356. Issues in Bioethics. No prerequisites; one Philosophy Introduction is recommended. (4). (Excl).
This course introduces major themes and theories of ethics by examining moral dilemmas that arise in the practice of medicine. The emphasis is on theoretical questions such as: 'What determines whether something is good for a person?', 'Can dying ever be good for someone?', 'What about being born?', 'Are we ever entitled to lie to a person for his own good?', 'Are we entitled to restrict a person's freedom by choosing to die?'. These theoretical questions are considered in the context of various medical cases that involve issues ranging from the treatment of pain to euthanasia and abortion. The course does NOT attempt to provide information about specific medical practices, new technologies, or court cases. Two five-page papers and a final exam. (Velleman)
361. Ethics. One Philosophy Introduction. (4). (Excl).
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, a midterm and a final exam. (Darwall)
365/Rel. 365. Problems of Religion. (3). (Excl).
This is an introductory course in the philosophy of religion. It is not a course in comparative religion, nor a survey of various religions, etc. The emphasis is on philosophical problems and philosophical treatments of topics which are generated by religious belief – particularly in connection with Christianity and religions that are somewhat similar to Christianity (i.e., theistic religions). The main topics to be considered are: the rationality of religious belief, attempts to prove (or to argue for) the existence of God, criticisms of such arguments, the significance of religious experience, revelation, and the problem of evil. One or two other topics may be added if there is time. Usually I will lecture for two of the three weekly class sessions, trying to reserve the third one for questions, objections, and general discussion. There will be weekly assigned readings from classical and contemporary writers on the philosophy of religion. Probably I will use an anthology of such selections, but the text has not yet been selected. There will be a final exam, and either one or two hourly exams during the course of the term. My present plan is to make all of these open-book, multiple choice exams, covering both the readings and the lectures. Sample exams from previous courses will be available for students to examine. Grades will be determined largely by the scores of these exams. (Mavrodes)
366. Introduction to Political Philosophy. One Philosophy Introduction. (4). (Excl).
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)
375. Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Freud. (3). (Excl).
This course will introduce you to the most arresting, and influential and still alive ideas of these four master thinkers. This includes, for instance, Hegel's mythic treatment of the Master/Slave relationship, Marx's diagnosis of the Psychopathology of the Bourgeosie, Nietzsche's probing analysis of the prejudices which gave rise to Morality, and Freud's discussion of our discontents with culture. The ambition of this course, however, will be more than this: the hope is to gain some comprehension of how the work of these great writers COHERES, and to distill from their thinking a deep critique of the basic assumptions on which our political and cultural theories have so far largely rested. Ultimately the goal is to put into place the alternative foundations they envisioned. A possible subtitle could therefore be: Philosophical Foundations for the Next Phase of our Culture. There will be lecture AND discussion; required will be a number of short "exercises" and one longer (15-18pp.) paper, as well as a Final Examination. (Bergmann)
383. Knowledge and Reality. One course in philosophy. (3). (Excl).
This course is an introduction to modern epistemology. Its aims are twofold. First, to review progress in the philosophical analysis of knowledge from justified true belief accounts, via the celebrated Gettier counterexamples to causal accounts and their reliabilitist and Nozickian descendants. Second, to reappraise some of the classical and not so classical skeptical arguments purporting to show that knowledge of the material world, of other minds, of the past, of laws of nature and of a priori truths are all possible. The two projects interact insofar as the analysis of knowledge ought to assist at least in clarifying what exactly has to be accomplished if the knowledge skeptic is to be held at bay. Basic texts for the course will be A.J. Ayer: THE PROBLEM OF KNOWLEDGE (Penguin) and J. Dancy: INTRODUCTION TO CONTEMPORARY EPISTEMOLOGY. (Blackwell, 1985) (Wright)
388/Class. Civil. 388. History of Philosophy: Ancient. One Philosophy Introduction. A knowledge of Greek or Latin is not required. (4). (Excl).
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)
406. Aristotle. One Philosophy Introduction. (3). (Excl).
This course will be a survey of some of the major aspects of Aristotle's philosophy. It will include an overview of the outlines of his thought, and a close examination of particular parts of it, notably his ethics and his metaphysics. (White)
409. Philosophy of Language. One Philosophy Introduction or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
This is an advanced undergraduate course on some of the principle issues in contemporary philosophy of language. The aim will be to cover a relatively small selection of central topics in some depth. These will include meaning-skepticisms, with reference to arguments of Quine, Putnam, and Kripke's Wittgenstein; analyticity, the idea of a systematic theory of meaning, and the notion of tacit knowledge; the Sorites paradox; singular reference; and Davidson's program. Some previous experience with at least some of these issues would be useful. An elementary formal logic course basic quantification logic is a prerequisite. The class will meet twice a week for a seminar of one and one half hours. Evaluation will be by one term paper and a take home examination. (Wright)
411. Philosophy of Social Science. One philosophy course or social science background. (3). (Excl).
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 strongly recommended. (Anderson)
414. Mathematical Logic. (3). (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). (Excl).
This course will aim to treat in reasonable depth a number of central
topics in modern philosophy of mathematics. These will include whether pure
mathematical theories should be regarded as having a special "platonistic"
subject matter, whether a purely logical foundation can be provided for
any nontrivial parts of pure mathematics, the significance and treatment
of the paradoxes of classical set theory, whether mathematical knowledge
is A PRIORI, a controversy between classical and intuitionistic mathematicians, and special problems raised by the notions of infinity and mathematical
truth by the meta-mathematical results of Skolem and Godel. Every effort
will be made to keep technicalities and presupposed philosophical background
to a minimum. But he philosophy of mathematics is undeniably one of the
more difficult areas of philosophy, and it is probably students with prior
experience of 300 or 400 level courses in epistemology and philosophy of
language, and some knowledge of at least elementary formal logic, who will
derive most from the course. Undergraduate mathematics, though useful, is
not essential. The course will concentrate on no single author or text, and most of the assigned reading will consist of articles from periodicals.
However the following books are likely to be useful:
Frege, FOUNDATIONS OF ARITHMETIC, (translated by J.L. Austin) New York, 1950., ELEMENTS OF INTUITIONISM, Oxford, 1977., THE NATURE OF MATHEMATICAL KNOWLEDGE, Oxford, 1983., FREGE'S CONCEPTION OF NUMBERS AS OBJECTS, Humanities Press, 1983. and Puttnam, PHILOSOPHY OF MATHEMATICS: SELECTED READINGS, 2nd edition, Cambridge, 1984.
419. Philosophy of the Arts. No credit granted to those who have taken Phil. 319. Will not satisfy 400-level course requirement for concentration in philosophy. Not open to philosophy graduate students. (3). (Excl).
See Philosophy 319. (Walton)
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). (Excl).
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). (Excl).
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)
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 .
458. Philosophy of Kant. Phil. 389, 461, or 462, or permission of instructor, or concentration adviser. (3). (Excl).
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) chiefly from the contemporary sources (Russell, Moore, Quine, Carnap, Chisholm, Davidson, Kripke, Plantinga, et al.),although some historical material will also be included.
461. Continental Rationalism. One Philosophy Introduction. (3). (Excl).
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 its 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).
465. Contemporary Continental Philosophy. Phil. 412 and two other courses in philosophy; or graduate standing. (3). (Excl).
The main writers we will study in this course are Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus, the authors of the Frankfort School (esp. Adorno and Habermas) as well as Foucault and Barthes. The emphasis will not be on sampling small bits of the output of these thinkers, but on forming as far as this is possible a coherent picture of how the works of these writers fit together, and of the intellectual enterprise in which they are engaged. This means that some of the background in Hegel and Marx and Freud will be explored, and it also means that contemporary feminist and Marxist writers will figure in this course. As preparation it is very useful to have had one elementary course in European philosophy and in addition one general introductory course in philosophy. If you do not have these prerequisites you must obtain permission of the instructor to register for this course. There will be one short and one longer paper as well as the usual examinations. (Bergmann)
477. Theory of Knowledge. One Philosophy Introduction. (3). (Excl).
Philosophy 477 is devoted to an intensive examination of central issues in twentieth century theory of knowledge. The core of the course consists in an extended evaluation of three competing theories of epistemic justification - foundationalism, coherentism, and externalism. These theories are discussed against the background of three major problems that motivate the bulk of recent literature in the theory of knowledge: Cartesian arguments for radical skepticism, the infinite regress argument, and the analysis of knowledge (the Gettier problem). The course concludes with a discussion of programs for providing a "naturalized epistemology." Time permitting, some attention is paid to other possible directions for epistemology, e.g., epistemics, and "death of epistemology" views. Readings will include articles or selections by such authors as: Alston, Armstrong, Austin, Ayer, Bonjour, Chisholm, Dretske, Firth, Goldman, Goodman, Harman, Lehrer, C.I. Lewis, Neurath, Nozick, Pollock, Popper, Quine, Quinton, Reichenbach, Russell, Schlick, Sellars, Stroud, and M.Williams. UNDERGRADUATES ARE CAUTIONED THAT SATISFACTION OF THE FORMAL PREREQUISITE DOES NOT CONSTITUTE ADEQUATE BACKGROUND FOR THIS COURSE. An optimal background would include Philosophy 383 (Knowledge and Reality); a satisfactory background would include either Philosophy 345 (Language and Mind), or at least two, 300-level philosophy courses that themselves carry prerequisites. (Loeb)
481. Metaphysics. One Philosophy Introduction. (3). (Excl).
SECTION 001. THE VARIETIES OF NECESSITY. An intensive study of some of the problems presented by our distinction between what is and what must be. Topics include: causal necessity, laws of nature, metaphysical necessity and logical necessity. Further topics may be determined by the interests of the participants. One paper (20-25 pp.) (Rosen)
482. Philosophy of Mind. One Philosophy Introduction. (3). (Excl).
Philosophy 482 will look at central problems in the theory of mental content. Sample questions include: Are content properties naturalistic properties? Are they, for example, reducible to causal/teleological properties? Do they supervene on purely internal properties? If not, must we, and can we, introduce a notion of content that does? What role, if any, do content properties play in the causation of behavior? Can content properties be eliminated from our most refined accounts of the aetiology of behavior and cognitive activity? (Boghossian)
University of Michigan | College of LS&A | Student Academic Affairs | LS&A Bulletin Index
This page maintained by LS&A Academic Information and Publications, 1228 Angell Hall
The Regents of the University of Michigan,
Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA +1 734 764-1817
Trademarks of the University of Michigan may not be electronically or otherwise altered or separated from this document or used for any non-University purpose.