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Fall Academic Term 2001 Course Guide

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Courses in Philosophy


This page was created at 7:01 PM on Wed, Oct 10, 2001.

Fall Academic Term, 2001 (September 5 December 21)

Open courses in Philosophy
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Fall Term '01 Time Schedule for Philosophy.

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Philosophy is about as broad a subject as one can find in a university curriculum. It addresses a wide array of questions, some quite familiar (Does God exist? Why be moral? What is art?), others less so (What is a thing? Is space a substance?). Philosophy includes the examination of its own methods, and its own history. It also falls within philosophy to examine the methods and practices of virtually all academic disciplines. Because of this breadth, a person can study philosophy in ways involving the styles and techniques of thought of most other fields of inquiry. For example, the work of a philosopher concentrating in logic is much like that of the student of mathematics. A philosopher primarily interested in the philosophy of religion will often be doing much the same things as a theologian or a student of the history of religion. Political philosophy is regarded by some as including political activity itself. Many other such examples exist. In addition, Philosophy examines the practices of other activities, such as the fine arts, that are sometimes thought of as different from typical academic disciplines. However, for the most part the activities characteristic of philosophy are peculiar to the discipline. The only way to know what it's really like is to give it a try.

The Department offers a number of courses that do not carry prerequisites: (A) general introductions designed to acquaint students with a representative sample of philosophical problems (181, 202, 232, and 297); (B) introductions that focus on a particular area of philosophy or of human concern e.g., Chinese philosophy or philosophical issues concerning the law or religion designed for students who, having no previous background in philosophy, want to study these areas in a philosophical way (263, 359, and 365); and (C) introductions to logic and reasoning (180, 201, and 303).

(A) The general introductions deal, for example, with questions concerning the nature of reality, knowledge, the self and the mind, freedom, morality, society, and religion, but they differ in their instructional format and staffing. Philosophy 202 is taught by advanced graduate students in independent sections of 25 students. Philosophy 181 is taught by faculty, in a combination lecture/discussion format, limited to 50 students. In Philosophy 232, a faculty member delivers a lecture two hours per week, and students divide into groups of 25 for discussion sections led by graduate students. Finally, Philosophy 297, "Honors Introduction," is taught by a faculty member to a group of 25 students.

(B) Fall Term courses not carrying prerequisites, but that are more specialized than the general introductions, include "Chinese Philosophy" (263), "Law and Philosophy" (359), and "Philosophy of Religion" (365). These courses do not require previous work in philosophy. In Philosophy 263, 359 and 365, a faculty member delivers a lecture two hours per week, and students divide into groups of 25 for discussion sections led by graduate students.

A number of Fall Term 300-level courses require only a single philosophy introduction as a prerequisite: "Language and Mind" (345), "Ethics" (361), "Existentialism" (371), "Knowledge and Reality" (383), and "History of Philosophy: Ancient" (388). Of these, 345, 361, 383, and 388 meet requirements for the concentration.

(C) Among the introductions to logic, Philosophy 180 is designed both to improve critical reasoning skills, and to provide an introduction to formal logic. Philosophy 201 is designed to improve critical reasoning skills, through an introduction to informal logic. Philosophy 303 is an introduction to formal or symbolic logic. Philosophy 414 is a more advanced course in formal logic, and is approved for (QR/1). Philosophy 180 and 303 are taught by faculty, in a combination lecture/discussion format, limited to 50 students. Philosophy 201 is taught by advanced graduate student teaching assistants in independent sections of 25 students.

There is additional information about the Department's curriculum in "The Undergraduate Program in Philosophy." This brochure contains information intended for students interested in taking philosophy courses, whether or not they are considering a Philosophy concentration. The Department also maintains a home page (http://www.lsa.umich.edu/philosophy/). Students considering a concentration in Philosophy are encouraged to make an appointment with a Philosophy concentration advisor. To request a copy of the undergraduate brochure, or to schedule an appointment with a concentration advisor, contact the Department Office [2215 Angell Hall, (734) 764-6285]. The Office can also provide information about the Department's Undergraduate Philosophy Club and undergraduate e-mail group.


PHIL 180. Introductory Logic.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Credit is granted for only one of Phil. 180 or 201. (3). (HU). (BS).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is designed both to improve critical reasoning skills that could be of use in a wide range of disciplines and careers, and to provide an introduction to formal logic. The course examines some of the problems and fallacies which arise in informal reasoning, some of the elements of formal (symbolic) logic, and logical concepts used in the analysis and criticism of arguments. This course may also give some attention to issues in branches of philosophy germane to logic, for example, the theory of knowledge, philosophy of language, and metaphysics. There will be lectures, demonstrations of problem-solving techniques, and a variety of exercises. The course is limited to 50 students, which should permit opportunity for discussion. Texts and methods of evaluation to be determined.

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PHIL 181. Philosophical Issues: An Introduction.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phil. 182, 202, 231, 232, 234, or 297. (3). (HU).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course examines some of the main problems of philosophy, such as:

  • How do we know that anything exists, other than ourselves?
  • Are minds immaterial spirits, or are minds brains and hence nothing but complex physical objects?
  • If human actions are causally determined by heredity and environment, is there any free will or moral responsibility?
  • Is abortion, or euthanasia, or suicide, morally permissible?
  • Is the nature and extent of our moral obligations determined by our feelings, self-interest, social convention, Divine commands, or something else?
  • What are the different kinds of social, political, and economic organization, and what reasons are there for preferring one to another?
  • How should one live one's life?
  • What is the meaning of life, and what does this question mean?
  • Are there good reasons for believing that God exists?

Students will write papers discussing a number of these topics.

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PHIL 181. Philosophical Issues: An Introduction.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Rebecca Walker

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phil. 182, 202, 231, 232, 234, or 297. (3). (HU).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course introduces students to some of the main issues and topics in western philosophy. Students will learn skills associated with analytical thinking, speaking, and writing, as well as exploring central philosophical problems. Readings will represent major philosophical figures from ancient Greece to modern times. Some problems to be addressed include the existence of God, knowledge of the external world, determinism and free will, the authority of the state, and the nature of morality. Students will be evaluated on the basis of course participation, papers and exams.

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PHIL 196. First Year Seminar.

Section 001 Topic: To Be Announced

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is designed to provide first year students with an intensive introduction to philosophy in a seminar format. The content would be variable, depending upon the professor.

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PHIL 196. First Year Seminar.

Section 002 The Design Argument.

Instructor(s): Cameron Shelley (cshelley@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~cshelley/phil196um.html

The "design argument" purports to show that the universe is best understood as being arranged according to a divine plan, much as a house is best understood as being arranged according to an architect's blueprint. First treated in detail by Plato, this argument has been advocated and critiqued by many fine thinkers such as Aquinas, Leibniz, Newton, and Hume. It continues to be debated today in the form of "Intelligent Design Theory" and the "Anthropic Principle" of modern astronomy. In this course, we will examine the design argument throughout its history, from Plato to the present day, with special attention to the following questions: How, exactly, does the argument work? Is it convincing? What are the moral, religious, and scientific consequences of accepting or rejecting it? What does the argument tell us about our place in the world?

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PHIL 196. First Year Seminar.

Section 003 The Ethics of Information

Instructor(s): J David Velleman (velleman@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2001/fall/phil/196/003.nsf

The dawning of the "information age" has brought to the forefront various ethical issues that pertain to the gathering, storage, and exchange of information. What are our rights with respect to information about ourselves? What are our rights with respect to information that we gather and organize? What obligations do we have to disclose information or convey it truthfully? To what extent may we interfere with others' attempts to collect or communicate information? We will study philosophical theories relevant to these questions.

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PHIL 201. Introduction to Logic.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Credit is granted for only one of Phil. 180 or 201. (3). (HU). (BS).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course aims to give students a thorough understanding of the fundamental forms of reasoning and rational argument, and to improve critical reasoning skills that could be of use in a wide range of disciplines and careers. The course examines some of the problems and fallacies which arise in informal reasoning and logical concepts used in the analysis and criticism of arguments. Some elements of formal (symbolic) logic might be introduced. Though students will be expected to master some technical detail, the course emphasizes informal logical techniques applicable to problem solving and argument in any area of inquiry. Both deductive and inductive patterns of argument will be examined. The small section size (25 students) is conducive to informality and considerable student participation. There will also be lectures, demonstrations of problem-solving techniques, and a variety of exercises. Normally, there are weekly assignments and short, periodic quizzes.

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PHIL 202. Introduction to Philosophy.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phil. 181, 182, 231, 232, 234, or 297. (3). (HU).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course introduces students to philosophy through an examination of some central philosophical problems. Topics might include:

  • Are minds immaterial spirits, or are minds brains and hence nothing but complex physical objects?
  • If human actions are causally determined by heredity and environment, is there any moral responsibility?
  • Is abortion, or euthanasia, or suicide, morally permissible?
  • Is the nature and extent of our moral obligations determined by our feelings, self-interest, social convention, Divine commands, or something else?
  • What are the reasons for preferring one kind of social, political, and economic organization to another?
  • Are there good reasons for believing that God exists?
  • How do we know that anything exists, other than ourselves?

In addressing these questions, some sections focus on major historical figures, e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, and Kant; others focus on writings of twentieth century philosophers. Requirements usually include a number of short, critical papers.

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PHIL 230 / BUDDHST 230 / ASIAN 230 / RELIGION 230. Introduction to Buddhism.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Donald Lopez (dlopez@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (HU). May not be included in a concentration plan in philosophy.

Foreign Lit

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

See Buddhist Studies 230.001.

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PHIL 232. Problems of Philosophy.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Louis E Loeb (lloeb@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phil. 181, 182, 202, 231, 234, or 297. (4). (HU).

Credits: (4; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is open to students from all areas of the University. No previous work in philosophy is assumed. First-term undergraduates are welcome. The course will provide an introduction to some fundamental philosophical problems drawn from a variety of branches of philosophy. The course also seeks to develop, through written work and intensive discussion, skills in critical reasoning and argumentative writing. Topics will be selected from among the following:

  1. determinism, free will, and moral responsibility;
  2. arguments for and against the existence of God;
  3. skepticism about the existence of the material world;
  4. the nature of personal identity;
  5. the relationship between mind and body;
  6. egoism, altruism, and the nature of moral obligation; and
  7. the ethics of belief and nature of faith.

There will be two required papers, (possibly) as many as a half dozen one-page written exercises, and a midterm and cumulative final examination. Course readings will be drawn from an anthology, Joel Feinberg, editor, Reason and Responsibility, (10th edition). DO NOT PURCHASE THE 11TH EDITION.

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PHIL 263 / ASIAN 263 / CHIN 263. Introduction to Chinese Philosophy.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Philip J Ivanhoe (ivanhoe@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (HU).

Foreign Lit

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~ivanhoe/phil263.htm

This course focuses on the major philosophical schools of Classical China (through the unification of China in 221 B.C.). Special consideration is given to the ethical, religious, and political thought of the Confucian, Mohist, and Daoist schools. The doctrines associated with these early Chinese philosophical movements, along with Buddhism which came to China around the first century A.D., affected cultural developments in art, philosophy, religion, science, and politics throughout Chinese history. The course concentrates on the theories of human nature that were associated with these early Chinese thinkers and the ways in which these theories served as the foundation for their ethical, religious, and political views. No knowledge of Chinese is required. Readings are in translation. All students are required to write one page weekly reaction papers to the assigned readings and a final 10-12 page paper.

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PHIL 297. Honors Introduction to Philosophy.

Section 001 Free Will, God, and Ethics

Instructor(s): Jessica Wilson

Prerequisites & Distribution: Honors students or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phil. 181, 182, 202, 231, 232, or 234. (3). (HU).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

In this course, we'll focus on a central debate in each of three broad area divisions of philosophy. In metaphysics, we'll consider the question: Is there such a thing as free will? In epistemology, we'll consider the question: What evidence is there, or could there be, for the existence of God? In ethics, we'll consider the question: What serves as the ground for our moral judgments? These debates interestingly inform each other. For example, if we have reason to believe that an omniscient God exists, so that it is now known what I will be doing in the future, then how can any of my actions be free? And if none of my actions are free, then in what sense can I be said to be morally responsible? On the other hand, God has, throughout history, been looked to as the source of objective moral law. If God doesn't exist, then are there non-relativistic standards that can serve as such a source of morality? One of the meta-goals of this course will be for students to arrive at answers to these questions that sit well together.

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PHIL 297. Honors Introduction to Philosophy.

Section 002 Topic?

Instructor(s): Ian N Proops

Prerequisites & Distribution: Honors students or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phil. 181, 182, 202, 231, 232, or 234. (3). (HU).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course will provide an introduction to some of the main problems and methods of philosophy, through an examination of three central questions:

  1. The existence of God: Are there plausible arguments for the existence of God? How can the existence of an all-powerful, all-knowing, and loving Creator be reconciled with the existence of worldly evil?
  2. Free will: How can there be room for human free will and responsibility in a world governed throughout by physical laws?
  3. Ethics: Are there any plausible principles dictating how one ought to act? How might we construct a theory to explain our ethical intuitions?

There will be about 20-30 pages of (relatively challenging) reading per week, three short papers, and a final exam. The required text is: Reason and Responsibility, edited by Joel Feinberg and Russ Shafer-Landau, 10th edition, Wadsworth Publishers.

Overrides: Students seeking overrides should attend the first meeting of classes and give their name to the instructor. Eligibility for overrides will be decided only after that meeting. Please do not e-mail the instructor on this subject.

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PHIL 297. Honors Introduction to Philosophy.

Section 003 Topic?

Instructor(s): Jason Stanley (jasoncs@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Honors students or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phil. 181, 182, 202, 231, 232, or 234. (3). (HU).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The question, "What is Philosophy?" is one of the most difficult philosophical questions. Yet, in the normal Department of Philosophy, the only course whose central purpose it is to address this question is the introductory course. One reason that there are not more philosophy courses devoted to this question is that perhaps the best way to find an answer is to engage in the practice of Philosophy, to enter into philosophical issues, and see how philosophers dispute them. Since this is the best strategy to obtain a sense of what counts as a philosophical consideration, it is the one we will employ here to discover what Philosophy is. We will look at some traditional philosophical questions and some competing answers to them. Among the questions we will discuss are the nature of personal identity, the relation between mind and body, the nature of morality, and the existence of God.

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PHIL 303. Introduction to Symbolic Logic.

Section 001.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phil. 203, 296 or 414. (3). (MSA). (BS).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Symbolic logic is the application of formal, mathematical methods to human reasoning. Its goal is to determine which forms of reasoning must produce true conclusions when applied to true premises. This course will introduce students to the two simplest, but most important systems of formal logic: the propositional calculus, which classifies forms of reasoning that involve the truth-functional operations of negation, disjunction, and conjunction ("not," "or" and "and"); and the monadic predicate calculus, which characterizes inferences involving the quantifiers "all" and "some." The first half of the course will focus on the propositional calculus. A system of inference rules will be developed, and students will be shown how it can be applied to the evaluation of ordinary arguments. A series of "metatheorems" will then be proved to show that the system developed indeed captures all and only the valid truth-functional inferences. During this portion of the course, students will also be asked to master proofs by mathematical induction. The second half of the course will be dedicated to the study of first-order logic. There will be regular homework assignments, assigned weekly, as well as a midterm examination and a final.

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PHIL 345. Language and Mind.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Martin Davies

Prerequisites & Distribution: One philosophy course. (3). (HU).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course will provide students with a broad overview of contemporary philosophy of mind and philosophy of language.

In philosophy of mind, we shall start with the metaphysics or ontology of mind. What are minds? Is talk about minds talk about a special immaterial kind of substance, or about patterns in our behaviour, or about physical processes in our brains? Then we shall move on to two philosophically challenging aspects of our mental lives: intentionality (or 'aboutness' or 'content') and consciousness. In the case of intentionality, the challenge is to understand how our thoughts (especially if they are conceived as physical occurrences in our brains) come to be about things in the world. In the case of consciousness, the challenge is to understand how neural states and processes can give rise to the subjective aspects of our experience and thought.

In philosophy of language, our starting point will be the nature of meaning and its relation to the intentionality of thoughts. Is linguistic meaning to be explained in terms of thought content or does the explanation run in the opposite direction, from language to thought? Then we shall turn to the 'compositionality' of meaning the extent to which the meaning of a sentence is determined by the meanings of words and the way that the words are put together. Is it right to credit ordinary language users with knowledge of compositional meaning rules? Finally, we shall consider how what is communicated in the use of language goes beyond the literal meanings of the sentences uttered. The study of literal meaning is semantics; the study of language use is pragmatics. We shall be looking at both semantic and pragmatic factors in communication, and especially at some pragmatic phenomena such as metaphor and irony.

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PHIL 359. Law and Philosophy.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Elizabeth S Anderson (eandersn@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (HU).

R&E

Credits: (4; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2001/fall/phil/359/001.nsf

This course analyzes law and legal institutions from the perspective of moral and political philosophy, with particular attention to U.S. civil rights law in historical context. Topics studied in this course may include: methods of legal interpretation, equality and discrimination, democracy and voting rights, the tension between property rights and distributive justice, the tension between social control and liberty (including specific liberties, such as free speech), and the justification for punishing lawbreakers (or for imposing specific punishments, such as the death penalty). Readings will be drawn from historical figures (Locke, Hume, Bentham, Mill); from contemporary legal philosophers; from texts in legal history, criminology, or sociology; and from statutes and court decisions. Requirements include substantial readings, 3 short papers, a final examination, and class participation.

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PHIL 361. Ethics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Stephen Leicester Darwall (sdarwall@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: One philosophy introduction. (4). (HU).

Credits: (4; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~sdarwall/Phil361.html

This is a course in philosophical ethics. We will explore questions of what is called "normative ethics": What has value? What are our moral obligations? We shall also study philosophical, "metaethical" issues about ethics. Here we shall want to know not just what has value, but what value is. And not just what we are morally obligated to do, but what moral obligation is and where it "comes from." The core of the course will be an examination of three central traditions in ethical philosophy in the west, typified by Aristotle, Immanuel Kant, and John Stuart Mill, followed by a radical critique of these traditions by Friedrich Nietzsche. We will also do a section on metaethics with readings from classical and contemporary sources, including the existentialists. And we shall end the course by considering a recent critique of traditional moral philosophy inspired by the work of the psychologist Carol Gilligan on gender and moral development. Lecture and discussion, with an emphasis on student participation. Two papers of 5-7 pages in length, a midterm, and a final exam.

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PHIL 365 / PHIL 365. Problems of Religion.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Edwin M Curley (emcurley@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (HU).

Credits: (4; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~emcurley/365syl01.htm

A standard introductory course in Philosophy of Religion would focus on arguments for and against the existence of God, the relation between faith and reason, or between religion and morality. We will discuss all these topics, but we will not concentrate on them exclusively. The text we will use, Keith Yandell's Philosophy of Religion, also devotes considerable attention to three non-monotheistic religions: Advaita Vedanta Hinduism, Jainism, and Theravada Buddhism. For more information please consult the professor's web site: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~emcurley/

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PHIL 371. Existentialism.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Michelle K Kosch (mkosch@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: One philosophy introduction. (3). (HU).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The course will focus on an examination of three central commitments of existential philosophy:

  1. to an ontology that posits a radical difference between human being and the being of objects,
  2. to a phenomenological account of the structure of human existence, and
  3. to a non-cognitive account of value and to the central role of human activity in the creation of value.

We will examine competing accounts of the nature of human freedom, the meaning of contingency in the human situation, and the nature and possibility of 'authenticity'. Readings will include selections from the philosophical works of Sartre, Ortega y Gasset, Heidegger, Jaspers, Kierkegaard, and perhaps others.

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PHIL 383. Knowledge and Reality.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Eric P Lormand (lormand@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: One course in philosophy. (3). (HU).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~lormand/phil/teach/98f-383/syllabus.htm

This is an in-depth introduction to philosophical attempts to find a method for reaching justified beliefs, and philosophical attempts to use it to answer questions, that science seems to leave unanswered, about the way the world is. The former task is part of "epistemology," or the most general study of knowledge and good reasoning; the latter is part of "metaphysics," or the most general study of what exists. We'll ask: What could make a view reasonable? What could make it knowledge? What could make it certain? And: Is there anything other than minds (e.g., an external world)? Is there anything other than matter and energy around us (e.g., souls, numbers, physical laws, abstract objects, alternative worlds)?

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PHIL 388 / CLCIV 388. History of Philosophy: Ancient.

Sections 003 and 004 ONLY may be elected to satisfy the Upper-Level Writing Requirement.

Instructor(s): Rachana Kamtekar (rkamteka@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: One philosophy introduction. A knowledge of Greek or Latin is not required. (4). (HU).

Upper-Level Writing Foreign Lit

Credits: (4; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

What should an education provide for its students? This question, of continuing interest, was debated in the 4th century BCE by Plato and his contemporaries. Different answers, and the programs of study that resulted, defined philosophy in opposition to other disciplines, and later defined the different philosophical schools in relation to one another. In this course, we will study works on the goals and content of education by the major philosophers of Greek and Roman antiquity: Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistics (Epicureans, Stoics, and Skeptics). Beginning with the question of what an education should offer students, posed by Plato in the Gorgias, we will explore related questions: what is the relationship between knowledge and living well? Is knowledge necessary and/or sufficient for living well (how?) or do we also need certain non-rational dispositions, external goods, etc. to live well? What is it to live well? What subject matter(s) should one seek to know, and why? How does a student make progress in knowledge? What is the value of such progress (e.g., how does it benefit one to acquire true beliefs)? By the end of the course, students should be able to understand the motivations for the ancient philosophical schools' differing answers to these questions and the different answers' implications for what counts as philosophy, its methods, and its goals.

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PHIL 399. Independent Study.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: One philosophy introduction and permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be elected twice for a total of eight credits with permission of concentration advisor.

Credits: (1-4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Independent study of a topic not otherwise available through a regular departmental offering.

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PHIL 401. Undergraduate Honors Seminar.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Louis E Loeb (lloeb@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Open to Honors concentrators in Philosophy and others by permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The course is open to seniors who are declared Honors concentrators in Philosophy and to others by permission of the instructor. The aim of the seminar is to provide advice, discussion, and support for thesis writers, so that they will be able (1) to identify and begin a thesis project that genuinely engages them and (2) to enter the Winter Term in a good position to write a successful thesis. The seminar begins with several weeks discussing research methods and methodological issues in philosophy, and then enters a sequence of stages, each lasting several weeks, in which students successively:

  1. propose a general area for a thesis;
  2. develop and explore a list of basic reading in that area;
  3. write and present a brief prospectus of the thesis;
  4. write a critical survey of literature relevant to the thesis; and
  5. write a term paper dealing with some central ideas for the thesis.

Each student will give one or two presentations of their work during the course of the seminar.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

PHIL 402. Undergraduate Seminar in Philosophy.

Section 001 Concepts of Imagination

Instructor(s): Kendall L Walton (klwalton@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Open to junior and senior concentrators and to others by permission of concentration advisor. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Tentatively, this course will center on concepts of imagination, and their employment in philosophical theories in a wide variety of areas, including ethics, epistemology and metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and aesthetics. The specifics will depend heavily on the interests of the students. Prospective students are encouraged to contact the instructor with ideas and suggestions. Written work for the course will consist of fairly frequent short writing assignments, and a term paper.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

PHIL 402. Undergraduate Seminar in Philosophy.

Section 002 Causation and Mental Causation

Instructor(s): Jessica Wilson

Prerequisites & Distribution: Open to junior and senior concentrators and to others by permission of concentration advisor. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The first 2/3 of this course will overview several of the main philosophical accounts of causation. We'll start with Hume's influential analysis of cause in terms of regularities of association, and then lay out and assess several contemporary accounts of causation (including covering-law, singularist, counterfactual, primitivist, transference, and pragmatic accounts). In the last 1/3 of this course, we'll turn our attention to a particular problem involving causation; namely, the problem of mental causation. This problem consists of two threats: first, the threat that the effects attributed to mental causes are systematically causally over determined by physical causes, and second, the threat that the only way of avoiding the first threat is to deny that mental goings-on are causally efficacious. Can some accounts of causation do better than others at avoiding one or both threats? Tune into this course and see.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

PHIL 409. Philosophy of Language.

Section 001 http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~rthomaso/phil-lang/

Instructor(s): Richmond H Thomason

Prerequisites & Distribution: Phil. 345 or 383. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

An intensive introduction to issues in the philosophy of language, concentrating on corresponding problems and phenomena in language itself.

Topics to be covered will include: Compositionality and phrasal meaning, the psychological reality of semantic representations, speaker meaning and pragmatics, intensionality, perception and verbs of perception, speech acts, aspect and eventualities, logical form, indexicals, focus and presupposition, and semantic primitives. Students who take this course should be prepared for extensive reading and in-class discussion. Course requirements: Either (1) a short paper (to be commented on and rewritten) and a final examination or (2) an extensive paper (with a draft due in in mid November). For more information, see the web page for this course at http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~rthomaso/phil-lang/.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

PHIL 414. Mathematical Logic.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Jamie Tappenden (tappen@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (Excl). (BS). (QR/1).

Full QR

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~rthomas/phil414.html

This course is an advanced introduction to symbolic logic, intended to provide a foundation for understanding current research in philosophical logic and related areas of cognitive science. The course will concentrate on the theory of logic, and will cover the following topics:

1. Proof techniques and proof theory,
2. Models and validity,
3. Semantic completeness of propositional and quantificational logic, and
4. Incompleteness and undecidability

Written work will consist of problem sets and midterm and final exams. You must have completed philosophy 303 or some equivalent course. Students who are uncertain about their mathematical background should consult with the instructor before taking this course. Go to the following web site for more information about electing this course: http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~rthomaso/phil414.html.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

PHIL 428 / POLSCI 428 / ASIAN 428 / SOC 426. China's Evolution Under Communism.

Section 001 Politics and Development in China.

Instructor(s): Mary Gallagher (metg@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Upperclass standing. (4). (Excl).

Foreign Lit

Credits: (4; 3 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2001/fall/polsci/428/001.nsf

See Political Science 428.001.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 3 Waitlist Code: 4

PHIL 429. Ethical Analysis.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Allan F Gibbard (gibbard@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Phil. 361, 363, or 366. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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. The course 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' theory of reflective equilibrium, Brandt's linguistic reform, new versions of "moral realism," and moral "expressivism" with "quasi-realism." Students should already have some background in moral philosophy in the twentieth century "analytic" tradition, preferably Philosophy 361 or the equivalent. Three short (five page) papers will be required, and there will be a midterm and a final examination. Classes will consist both of lecture and of discussion.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

PHIL 442. Topics in Political Philosophy.

Section 001 Eequality, Freedom, and Community

Instructor(s): Elizabeth S Anderson (eandersn@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Phil. 363, 366, or 441. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2001/fall/phil/442/001.nsf

This course will explore controversies surrounding three prominent ideals in modern political philosophy: equality, freedom, and community. What forms of social and political organization best embody these ideas? Is equality a matter of distributing external goods equally among persons, or does it more centrally concern eliminating relations of domination among persons? Can freedom be realized through role differentiation? Are community rights inimical to freedom, or necessary for its full realization? These and other questions will be considered by confronting liberal theories with feminist, socialist, and communitarian theories. Likely authors include Mill, Rawls, Sandel, Herzog, Walzer, Habermas, MacKinnon, Okin, and Hooks. Classes will combine lecture and discussion. There will be two papers and a final examination.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 3 Waitlist Code: 1

PHIL 443. Foundations of Rational Choice Theory.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): James M Joyce (jjoyce@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Two courses in philosophy, economics, or psychology (or some combination thereof), and satisfaction of the quantitative reasoning requirement. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jjoyce/phil443.html

Philosophy 443 is a philosophically sophisticated introduction to the theory of rational choice that underlies orthodox treatments of decision-making behavior in economics, political science, and other social sciences. The course will investigate the strengths and weaknesses of the "standard" expected utility model of practical reasoning, and will explore some of the more popular alternative models. Its main focus will be on decision theory for the individual agent, but topics in game theory and social choice theory will be covered as well. There will also be a short section on the use of game-theoretic reasoning in evolutionary biology. Readings will be drawn from the literature in economics, psychology, political science and biology as well as philosophy. The course should be interesting and assessable to students from all five of these disciplines. Students should expect to take a midterm examination, a final, and to write two 12-20 page papers.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 3

PHIL 457 / BUDDHST 480 / ASIAN 480 / RELIGION 480. Topics in Buddhism.

Section 001 Theories and Practices of Buddhist Meditation

Instructor(s): Luis O. Gomez (lgomez@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Phil. 230. (3). (Excl). May not be included in a concentration plan in philosophy.

Foreign Lit

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2001/fall/buddhst/480/001.nsf

See Buddhist Studies 480.001.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

PHIL 461. Continental Rationalism.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Edwin M Curley (emcurley@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: One philosophy introduction. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~emcurley/461syl01.htm

"Continental Rationalism" is usually taken to refer to a philosophical movement in the 17th Century, whose most important representatives were Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, and who are supposed to have shared an epistemological program which was overly optimistic about what could be known by pure reason, independently of experience.

This course will not focus as firmly on epistemology as is common in courses which bear this label. Instead it will be a broadranging course, which will pay attention to moral and political philosophy as well. We will look in detail at Descartes and Spinoza. But we will also give equal time to Hobbes (who is not usually classed as a rationalist). We will also examine critically the idea that the 'rationalists' did share an epistemological program of the kind they are usually thought to share. As background to the 'rationalists,' we will look briefly at other figures: Machiavelli, Erasmus, Luther, Montaigne, and Galileo.

This course is intended as the first installment of a sequence of two courses, the second of which will be offered Winter Term. Phil 462, British Empiricism, is a subject normally conceived to involve an exclusive focus on Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. 462 will look in detail at Locke and Hume, but pay only passing attention to Berkeley. It will, however, deal with various of the French Enlightenment figures: Voltaire, Montesquieu, Diderot, and (in some detail) Rousseau.

Between them the two courses are intended to provide a good survey of European intellectual history from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment. But the courses are independent of one another. 461 is not a prerequisite for 462, nor must students who enroll in 461 go on to 462.

The formal prerequisite for these courses is only one introductory course in philosophy. But students who have only that minimal requirement may find the course difficult. We will be covering a lot of ground. I recommend that students have at least some philosophy at the 300-level (345, 361, or 383, would all be very helpful). If you have doubts about your preparation for the course, check with me by email: emcurley@umich.edu. For more information about the course, check my web site: www-personal.umich.edu/~emcurley/

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

PHIL 474. Nineteenth-Century Philosophy: Hegel and Marx and the Origin of Social Science.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): James P Tappenden (tappen@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Phil. 389. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course will cover Nietzsche's early writings. Contact the instructor for more detailed course description.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

PHIL 498. Senior Honors in Philosophy.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: By departmental permission only. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course number is to be used for those students who are in the process of writing a philosophy Honors thesis. Anyone wishing to write an Honors thesis in philosophy should consult the Philosophy Honors Advisor.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Graduate Course Listings for PHIL.


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