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Fall Academic Term 2003 Course Guide

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Courses in Philosophy


This page was created at 6:50 PM on Tue, Sep 23, 2003.

Fall Academic Term, 2003 (September 2 - December 19)



PHIL 180. Introductory Logic.

Section 001.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (HU). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Credit is granted for only one of PHIL 180 or 201.

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

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~velleman/180/

This is a course designed to improve critical reasoning skills and provide an introduction to formal logic. We will analyze the reasoning in passages drawn from college-level texts in various fields, learn some formal systems for representing and criticizing such reasoning, and master the logical concepts used in the analysis and criticism of arguments. This section of Introductory Logic will be based on computerized exercises and tutorials. Students will do weekly assignments at public computing sites. No prior experience with computers is needed.

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PHIL 180. Introductory Logic.

Section 002.

Instructor(s): Theodore Korzukhin (korz@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (HU). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Credit is granted for only one of PHIL 180 or 201.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is an elementary introduction to logic. Topics include the basic concepts, such as validity, consistency, and truth. The basic principles of modern deductive logic will be covered, including an introduction to formal languages and the tree method.

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PHIL 181. Philosophical Issues: An Introduction.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Brian MacPherson (macp@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in PHIL 182, 202, 231, 232, 234, or 297.

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 002.

Instructor(s): Paula Watson (plwatson@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in PHIL 182, 202, 231, 232, 234, or 297.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course will provide an introduction to some of the basic questions in philosophy and canvas possible solutions to those questions through the use of primary texts — including work by Plato, Descartes, J.S. Mill, and John Perry.

Some examples of the problems to be covered include:

  • What is the nature of morality, and the source of moral obligation?
  • What is the relationship between morality and religion?
  • Is there a rational basis for belief in God?
  • What kinds of arguments could be offered to establish God's existence?
  • How do we distinguish certain knowledge from false belief?
  • What makes you you? In other words, what constitutes personal identity?
  • What ought to be the limits of government interference into person's lives?
  • What limits should be imposed upon persons' exercise of freedom?
  • What explains the oppression of women and what should be done about it?

Students will be required to take a midterm and a final exam as well as write two short papers. Class participation is required.

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PHIL 196. First Year Seminar.

Section 001 — Aesthetics, History, and the Value of Art.

Instructor(s): Claudia Moscovici (cmoscovi@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). May not be repeated for credit.

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This seminar is for students who enjoy art, and are curious about why they enjoy it. Aesthetics — a name derived from the Greek word aesthesis meaning "sense experience" — concerns itself with the study of art.

Aesthetic philosophy seeks to understand the principles that underlie our value judgments:

  • What is beauty?
  • Is it objective in any way?
  • How is aesthetic pleasure related to perception?
  • What is talent or genius?
  • What makes something be art?

Such philosophical questions also have a historical dimension, and cannot be answered only in the abstract. Thus, philosophy can benefit from art history.

Art historians attempt to answer such questions as:

  • What constitutes artistic value for a given period, group or set of artists?
  • What perceptual/aesthetic problems were specific artists working on?
  • Who sponsored them, and why?
  • How did critics respond to them?

This seminar introduces students to the question of artistic value from a dual perspective, informed by philosophy and art history. Perhaps in this way we can better understand our own responses to art.

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PHIL 196. First Year Seminar.

Section 002 — Thinking and Speaking about Speaking and Thinking.

Instructor(s): Greg Sax (gmsax@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). May not be repeated for credit.

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

First, think about language, for example saying that snow is white (perhaps by uttering the sentence, "Snow is white.") OK, now think about thought, for example thinking that snow is white (by...well, how DO we think, anyway?) There is an intimate connection between the two. Thinking feels a lot like speaking to oneself in a kind of inner language, and speaking in a public language like English feels a lot like giving voice to one's already formed thoughts. That suggests that the connection between thought and language has something to do with meaning. But it's surprisingly hard to explain how this meaning connection works. Here's one popular idea — words get their meaning from the meaningful thoughts of the speakers who use them. (But, then, how can communication through language be possible? Smith cannot look inside Jones' head; so if the meaning of Jones' words come from his inner thoughts, how is Smith able to understand those words?) Well, here is another idea — I'm only able to have any meaningful thoughts at all because I've learned a language with which I can frame those thoughts. (But that implies that babies and animals, who do not really speak a language, have no thoughts!) Hmmm, how puzzling.

We'll look at some important work on this subject by modern philosophers and perhaps a few psychologists and biologists. Course work will consist of reading quizzes, a midterm exam and a small number of short papers.

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PHIL 196. First Year Seminar.

Section 003 — Political Philosophy: Democracy and Citizenship.

Instructor(s): Claudia Moscovici (cmoscovi@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). May not be repeated for credit.

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Today we tend to tend to take it for granted that out of all forms of government, democracy is the most desirable. This course asks: what is the basis for this belief? More fundamentally, what does democracy mean? In looking at theories of democracy, we will be attuned to the historical and conceptual differences among different models of citizenship: ranging from the Greek city-state to the Enlightenment models of elite liberal democracy (in England) versus more wide-spread French republicanism to today's different versions of democracy (such as parliamentary and electoral). We will examine both democracy's strengths — especially in relation to other existing forms of government — and its flaws. We will read classical works in political philosophy — by Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, and Condorcet — as well as contemporary discussions of democracy by Rawls, Dahl, Shapiro, and Nussbaum. Aside from tracing the historical changes in models of democracy, we will also assess democracy's value and desirability.

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PHIL 201. Introduction to Logic.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (HU). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Credit is granted for only one of PHIL 180 or 201.

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: (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in PHIL 181, 182, 231, 232, 234, or 297.

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 / ASIAN 230 / RELIGION 230. Introduction to Buddhism.

Section 001.

Instructor(s):

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

Foreign Lit

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2003/fall/asian/230/001.nsf

See Asian Studies 230.001.

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PHIL 232. Problems of Philosophy.

Section 001.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in PHIL 181, 182, 202, 231, 234, or 297.

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

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jasoncs/Coursepage.html

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the discipline of Philosophy. It is open to all students, with no prior background assumed. The purpose of the course is to provide a survey of many of the problems that have been discussed by philosophers over the centuries. We will begin with a close reading of Descartes' masterpiece, the Meditations. This will introduce students to a philosophical system, within which many of the central problems of philosophy will be addressed. Among the issues Descartes discusses are skepticism about the external world, free will, the existence of God, and the relation between mind and body. In the rest of the academic term, we will look more closely at different positions on these topics. We conclude the course with a discussion of ethics. The course work will consist of three short papers and a final exam.

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PHIL 263 / ASIAN 263. Introduction to Chinese Philosophy.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Eric Hutton

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

Foreign Lit

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

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2003/fall/phil/263/001.nsf

This course will survey the seven main thinkers of the "classical" period of Chinese philosophy (approx. 550-221 B.C.): Kongzi (Confucius), Mozi, Mengzi (Mencius), Laozi, Zhuangzi, Xunzi, and Han Feizi. Over time, these thinkers developed a complex and rich debate about ethics, human nature, moral psychology, and self-cultivation. The different positions established by these philosophers greatly influenced later Chinese history, including the development of Buddhism, and they influenced philosophical discourse in Japan, Korea, and Vietnam as well. Thus, understanding these early debates is an important stepping-stone for understanding East Asian thought generally. Readings will consist mainly of primary texts in translation, with some secondary literature. No previous knowledge of Chinese language or history is necessary. Course requirements include short homework assignments, short papers, and an exam.

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PHIL 296. Honors Introduction to Logic.

Section 001 — Symbolic Logic.

Instructor(s): Brain MacPherson (macp@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Honors students or permission of instructor. (3). (MSA). (BS). (QR/1). May not be repeated for credit. Credit is granted for only one of PHIL 203, 303, or 296.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This is a course in modern symbolic logic. The guiding idea is to use a symbolic language to examine such logical properties and relations as valid inference, consistency and inconsistency, and logical truth. We will study ways of reasoning about reasoning. There will be three in-class exams and a final exam. Homework will be assigned weekly, and satisfactory completion of the homework is a requirement of the course. Many good Honors students will find this course challenging, and working with course material should help students to develop skills in understanding concepts and methods of argumentation that are initially difficult.

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PHIL 297. Honors Introduction to Philosophy.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Ian N Proops (iproops@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Honors students or permission of instructor. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in PHIL 181, 182, 202, 231, 232, or 234.

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

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~iproops/practice/testpage.html

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, 11th 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.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 4

PHIL 297. Honors Introduction to Philosophy.

Section 003 — Problems and Methods of Philosophy.

Instructor(s): Greg Sax (gmsax@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Honors students or permission of instructor. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in PHIL 181, 182, 202, 231, 232, or 234.

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:

  • God: Is it rational to believe that God exists? Doesn't the existence of evil in the world show that an all-powerful, all-knowing, and loving Deity does not exist?

  • Free will: Humans are parts of the universe and the universe is governed by natural law. So, it seems that every decision and action must be as determined as the directions and velocities of moving particles. How is human freedom possible then? If no acts are free, are we morally responsible for what we do?

  • The Mind: What is the mind? Is my mind (thoughts, feelings, etc.) just my brain (chemical reactions, etc.)?

There will be about 20-30 pages of challenging reading per week, two-three short papers, and a final exam.

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PHIL 303. Introduction to Symbolic Logic.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Richmond H Thomason (rthomaso@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (MSA). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in PHIL 203, 296 or 414.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~rthomaso/courses/phil303/

Symbolic logic uses mathematical methods to study reasoning. It creates and studies artificial languages and forms of reasoning that make use of the representations that these languages provide.

Symbolic logic began by studying mathematical reasoning, and is an important part of mathematics to this day. More recently, logical ideas have become an important part of philosophy, and also they form the basis for theoretical computer science.

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to the field, by studying two important systems of logic: (1) the logic of Boolean connectives (not, or, and), and (2) the logic of quantifiers (in which general statements like "Every triangle has three sides" can be formed). Unlike most symbolic logic courses, this course will stress connections to computational ideas; for instance, we will explain how Boolean logic provides a basis for the design of digital computers. We will also stress the art of formalization, and will develop general methods for representing reasoning in common sense domains.

There will be regular homework assignments, a midterm examination, and a final examination.

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PHIL 322. The Methods of Science.

Section 001.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (ID). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2003/fall/phil/322/001.nsf

PHIL 322 is an introduction to the philosophy of science meant for sophomores and juniors in all academic areas. It will focus on "epistemological" issues that arise in the sciences: the nature of the experimental method, the limits of observation, theories of inductive inference, and statistical reasoning. Philosophical points will be illustrated using examples from the history of science. In Fall 2003 special emphasis will be placed on the use of statistical methods in science, and most of the historical examples will be taken from astronomy and astrophysics.

Among the philosophical topics covered will be: differing views of the "scientific method," the nature of observations, differences between experimental and non-experimental sciences, the concept of evidence, the role of auxiliary hypotheses in testing scientific theories, the possibility of "crucial experiments", the legitimacy of using simplicity as a consideration in scientific reasoning.

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PHIL 359. Law and Philosophy.

Section 001.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2003/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, three short papers, a final examination, and class participation.

A likely text required for purchase will be John Locke, Second Treatise of Government.

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PHIL 361. Ethics.

Section 001 — Philosophical Ethics.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: One philosophy introduction. (4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

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). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: http://sitemaker.umich.edu/emcurley

This course will discuss the concept of God in the major monotheistic religions, the main arguments for God's existence (first cause, design, and ontological), the main arguments against God's existence (the problem of evil and the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge with human freedom), the relation between faith and reason, and the problems posed by the existence of many different religions. Unlike previous versions of the course, no attempt will be made to cover non-western religions. The only required texts will be William Rowe, PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION, An Introduction (Wadsworth), available at Shaman Drum, and a course pack, available at Excel Test Prep. Grades will be based on quizzes, a term paper, and a final. For more information consult the syllabus on the professor's personal website: www.sitemaker.umich.edu/emcurley/.

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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. (4). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~lormand/phil/teach/k&r/index.html

What exists? We'll start by asking what at root might make one answer better to believe than another? We'll think about how a bunch of candidate aims of belief balance against one another: truth, reliability, knowledge, certainty, rational justification, proof, theoretical fertility, practical usefulness, aesthetic pleasantness, ethical goodness, etc. For example, if you had to choose, should you prefer true beliefs or useful ones? Can we prove or at least rationally believe any method of reasoning to lead to true or useful beliefs, infallibly or at least better than the alternatives?

Next, we apply our best epistemological methods to answer what general kinds of things exist: only current inner experiences, or also experienced physical objects, theoretically posited physical objects, laws of nature, other minds, spiritual realms, moral facts, abstract objects, past and future events, alternate possible universes, etc.? And ultimately we'll ask: why is there anything, at all, rather than nothing?

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

Section 001.

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

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

Foreign Lit

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

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2003/fall/phil/388/001.nsf

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.

The textbooks for the course are: The Complete Works of Plato (ed. Cooper, Hackett), Basic Works of Aristotle (ed. McKeon, Random House) and Hellenistic Philosophy, 2nd ed. (eds. Inwood and Gerson, Hackett)

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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 credit. Repetition requires permission of the 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): Eric P Lormand (lormand@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Open to Honors concentrators in Philosophy and others by permission of instructor. (3). (Excl). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

A Fall Term seminar for assisting students in writing an Honors thesis in Philosophy by the end of the subsequent Winter Term. The seminar goes through stages of discussing fundamental methodological issues in philosophy, of individualized reading, of writing and presenting a brief prospectus of the thesis, of consulting with prospective Winter-Term thesis advisors, and of drafting key elements of the thesis. Since successful theses almost always require more than nine months of preparation (Sept-May), each student intending to take this Fall Term seminar is encouraged to contact the instructor as soon as feasible after the prior Winter Term, to gauge what they might be able to do in the summertime to be in an excellent position to complete their thesis.

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PHIL 402. Undergraduate Seminar in Philosophy.

Section 001 — Ethics.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: Open to junior and senior concentrators and to others by permission of concentration advisor. (3). (Excl). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This seminar will study some classic questions of ethics. What makes a person's life go well? What reason, if any, do we have to be moral? Are moral standards relative to the worldviews of different people or cultures? Because this is a seminar, students will be expected to take primary responsibility for presenting materials and initiating discussion.

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PHIL 402. Undergraduate Seminar in Philosophy.

Section 002 — Benedict de Spinoza.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: Open to junior and senior concentrators and to others by permission of concentration advisor. (3). (Excl). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2003/fall/phil/402/002.nsf

This course will be devoted to the 17th-Century Dutch philosopher, Benedict de Spinoza, concentrating on his THEOLOGICAL-POLITICAL TREATISE and his ETHICS. For brief accounts of his thought see the Spinoza section on my personal website, www.sitemaker.umich.edu/emcurley/.

This will be a small, discussion-oriented course, with a number of very short papers, and a term paper. The only required texts will be A SPINOZA READER, ed. by E.M. Curley, Princeton Univ. Press, 1994, available at Shaman Drum, and a course pack available at Excel Test Prep. A more detailed syllabus for the course is also available on my personal site.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 4

PHIL 414. Mathematical Logic.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Lawrence Sklar (lsklar@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: PHIL 303. (3). (Excl). (BS). (QR/1). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Phil. 303 is not required to enroll in this course.

This course is an introduction to the basic elements of mathematical logic. Propositional logic and first-order quantification theory are the central topics. We will discuss the concepts needed to frame these basic logics, the interpretation of formulas in the logics, the semantics of the theories, and methods of proving such things as the validity or invalidity of arguments framed in these logics. We will also looks at important meta-mathematical results such as the soundness and completeness of the proof systems developed and the undecidability of any proof system for quantification theory, and will touch on some more advanced topics such as the foundation of mathematics and its relation to logic. The text will be R. Jeffrey, Formal Logic: Its Scope and Limits.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 4

PHIL 429. Ethical Analysis.

Section 001 — Contemporary Metaethics.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: PHIL 361, 363, or 366. (3). (Excl). May not be repeated for credit.

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 PHIL 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: 4

PHIL 440. Philosophy of Film.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Daniel Alan Herwitz (herwitz@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: One of the following: a philosophy course at the 300-level or above, once course in History of Art, or one course in Film and Video Studies. (3). (Excl). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2003/fall/phil/440/001.nsf

Film quickly became, and has since remained, a central form of art and communication in contemporary life. Coming to understand film and its nature leads us naturally into a number of philosophical problems. How is film similar to or different from other arts or forms of communication? How does film appropriate and reshape elements of these other forms as it creates its own special character and range of possibilities? Characters and images from film have entered our everyday lives, and have framed the ways we think of ourselves — as men and women, and as a society and nation and even seem to take on a netherworld existence of their own. A century of sophisticated film theory and philosophy has attempted to find words to describe and explain film, its characters, and its images, and our relation to it. Indeed, film has been involved in self-reflection and "speaking philosophically" about itself ever since its outset. This course will integrate the weekly viewing of films with reading a variety of writings on films in order to explore these questions in the philosophy of film, and in philosophy generally.

Writing assignments: two short papers on assigned topics; a one hour midterm exam; a final, longer paper.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 4

PHIL 463. Topics in the History of Philosophy.

Section 001 — Descartes.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: PHIL 388 or 389. (3). (Excl). May not be repeated for credit.

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course will investigate the philosophy of Descartes, based upon a careful reading of his major philosophical works and selected secondary literature. For course prerequisites, see below.

Topics for the course include: epistemology and metaphysics before the Meditations, skepticism with regard to the senses, clear and distinct perception, the causal arguments for the existence of God, the Cartesian circle, error and the will, the ontological argument, sense-perception and the nature of body, the real distinction between mind and body and the mind's essence, interactionism and the substantial union, animal minds and the human intellect, laws of nature and scientific explanation, occasionalism, necessity and the eternal truths, innateness, and dissimulation theories. It is possible, however, that time constraints will not permit coverage of all these topics.

Primary source readings will include the Meditations and selections from the Rules for the Direction of the Mind, The World, Treatise on Man, Discourse on the Method of Rightly Conduction the Understanding, Optics, Objections and Replies to the Meditations, Principles of Philosophy, Passions of the Soul, and Descartes' correspondence. There will be extensive reading in the secondary literature on Descartes.

There is a prerequisite for the course: either a one-term survey of seventeenth and eighteenth century European philosophy (e.g., PHIL 389) or a one term course in seventeenth century European Philosophy or Continental Rationalism (e.g., PHIL 461). Background at the intermediate in epistemology and metaphysics (e.g., PHIL 345 or 383) would also be helpful.

Undergraduates will be expected to write two seven- to ten-page papers, a longer paper revising one of the short papers, and to take a midterm and final examination. Requirements for graduate students are to be arranged.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 4

PHIL 468 / CHIN 468. Classical Chinese Thought.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Eric Hutton

Prerequisites & Distribution: Upperclass standing; no knowledge of Chinese required. (3). (Excl). May not be repeated for credit.

Foreign Lit

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course will examine debates about the nature of virtue, moral agency, meta-ethics, and moral reasoning in ancient China, with special focus on how these issues play out in the thought of the early Confucian thinker Xunzi (fl. 3rd. ctry. BCE), who is arguably the most sophisticated Confucian of the classical period. Readings will include primary texts in translation as well as essays by contemporary philosophers and Sinologists. The course will be run seminar-style. Required coursework includes a presentation, a paper, and exams (for undergraduates only). Extra sessions for students with competence in classical Chinese will be arranged. Previous work in either Western philosophy or Chinese studies is strongly recommended.

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

PHIL 482. Philosophy of Mind.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Peter Ludlow (ludlow@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: PHIL 345 or 383. (3). (Excl). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is an advanced introduction to several topics in the philosophy of mind, beginning with early discussions of those topics in ancient and early modern philosophy and following their development in contemporary philosophy and contemporary cognitive science. The topic areas to be covered include the mind-body problem, the problem of mental causation, the nature of mental imagery, the nature of phenomenal consciousness, and the question of whether we have innate ideas. The philosophers and psychologists we will read range from Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, and James, to Fodor, Dennet, Chomsky, and Kosslyn.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 4

PHIL 492. Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Ian N Proops (iproops@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: PHIL 414. (3). (Excl). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

An examination of the work of three major figures in the development of analytic philosophy, paying special attention to their views on the nature of language and logic. Topics include: Russell's conception of the proposition, his theory of descriptions, his logical constructivism; Frege's distinction between sense and reference, logicism in the philosophy of mathematics, the set-theoretic and semantic paradoxes, the early Wittgenstein's critiques of Russell and Frege, his logical atomism and his views on the inexpressibility of semantics and the nature of nonsense.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 4

PHIL 498. Senior Honors in Philosophy.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: By departmental permission only. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May not be repeated for credit. Continuing Course. Y grade can be reported at end of the first-term to indicate work in progress. At the end of the second term (PHIL 499), the final grade is posted for both term's elections.

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: 5, Permission of instructor/department


Graduate Course Listings for PHIL.


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