Courses in Philosophy (Division 442)

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, 234, and 297); (B) introductions that focus on a particular branch of philosophy or area of human concern e.g., the human mind, religion, substantive moral problems, and modern art (focusing on film) designed for students who, having no previous background in philosophy, want to study these areas in a philosophical way (340, 355, 365, and 368); and (C) introductions to logic and reasoning (180, 201, 303, and 414).

(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 and 234, a faculty member delivers a lecture two hours per week, and students divide into groups of 25 for discussion sections led by graduate students. These two courses differ in that 232 is structured around the discussion of philosophical problems, whereas 234 is focused on major figures in the history of philosophy. Finally, Philosophy 297, "Honors Introduction," is taught by a faculty member to a group of 25 students.

(B) Fall courses not carrying prerequisites that focus on a specific area of human concern or philosophical thought include "Mind, Matter, and Machines" (340), "Contemporary Moral Problems" (355), "Problems of Religion" (365), and "Philosophy of Film" (368). These courses do not require previous work in philosophy. Philosophy 340 and 368 are taught by members of the faculty, in a combination lecture/discussion format, limited to 50 and 30 students, respectively. In Philosophy 355 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 300-level courses require only a single philosophy introduction as a prerequisite: "Language and Mind" (345), "Ethics" (361), "Existentialism" (371), and "History of Philosophy: Ancient" (388). Of these, 345, 361, 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 ( 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, 764-6285). The Office can also provide information about the Department's Undergraduate Philosophy Club and undergraduate e-mail group.

180. Introductory Logic. Credit is granted for only one of Phil. 180 or 201. (3). (HU). (BS).

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. The course gives 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. WL:4

181. Philosophical Issues: An Introduction. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 182, 202, 231, 232, 234, or 297. (3). (HU).
Sections 001 and 002.
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. WL:4

201. Introduction to Logic. Credit is granted for only one of Phil. 180 or 201. (3). (HU). (BS).

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 sections size (usually about 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. WL:4

202. Introduction to Philosophy. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 181, 182, 231, 232, 234, or 297. (3). (HU).

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. WL:4

230/Buddhist Studies 230/Asian Studies 230/Rel. 230. Introduction to Buddhism. May not be included in a concentration plan in philosophy. (4). (HU).

See Buddhist Studies 230. (Lopez)

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

This is a first course in philosophy assuming no background in the subject; it is open to students from all areas of the University at any stage in their studies. The course has two main goals. First, to provide a sense of what philosophers think about and why. This will be done through consideration of several historically important issues: the existence of God, skepticism about the external world, personal identity, freedom vs. determinism, moral relativism, and moral responsibility. The second goal is to assist those enrolled in developing their critical and argumentative skills. Philosophy 232 has two discussion meetings per week, and requires three short papers and a final exam. The course has two texts: Anthony Weston, Rulebook for Arguments (Hackett) and Joel Feinberg's anthology Reason and Responsibility (Dickenson). Cost:2 WL:4 (Haslanger)

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

This course is an introduction to philosophy through aspects of its history. Participants will be introduced to philosophical problems and theories via the close study of central passages from at least some of Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. The emphasis will be equally on trying to discover what these writers were arguing, and whether their arguments are cogent. The topics that will be covered will be selected from a list including among others: the nature of human knowledge; the freedom of the will; the relationship between mind and body; the nature of the good life; the source of authority of the state. The mode of instruction will be lectures with attendance at discussion sections. Students will be expected to write two short papers and to take midterm and final examinations. WL:4 (Rumfitt)

297. Honors Introduction to Philosophy. Honors students or permission of instructor. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 181, 182, 202, 231, 232, or 234. (3). (HU).
Section 001.
This is an Honors introduction to a sampling of contemporary philosophical problems. Topics might include determinism, freedom, and moral responsibility; skepticism and the problem of induction; mind and body; the nature of morality; the existence of God; perception and the physical world; and meaning, verification, and the possibility of metaphysics. Extensive and very careful reading will be required. There will be little lecturing, and we will expect to benefit from active discussion on the part of everyone. The other requirements for the course are four short papers (c. 5 pp. each) and a final exam. WL:4 (Gibbard)

Section 003. This course serves as an introduction to three of the perennial issues on which the finest minds in history have exercised their intelligence. The first topic is philosophical scepticism: the thesis that you are never correct if you say you know something. As with many philosophical issues, this one is hard to believe, but also difficult to refute. The second topic is the relationship of the mind to the body and its physical activity. Are mental events just physical events such as states of the nervous system, or do they have a distinctive nature of their own? Finally, we will take up the question of how (if at all) we can rightly be said to act on rational decisions, or on choices made by our free will when we are apparently physical organisms in a universe governed by brute, unreasoning laws of nature. There will be three short papers. WL:4 (Tappenden)

303. Introduction to Symbolic Logic. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phil. 203, 296 or 414. (3). (MSA). (BS).

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 both to the evaluation of ordinary arguments and to problems as "practical" as the design of computer chips and the simplification of electric circuitry in houses. 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. Basic concepts of the proof theory and model theory for first-order monadic languages will be discussed, and the important metatheorems theorems will be stated, among them the completeness, compactness, and Lowenheim Skolem theorems. There will be regular homework assignments, assigned weekly, as well as a midterm examination and a final. WL:1 (Joyce)

340. Mind, Matter, and Machines. (3). (HU).

This course is about the mind/body problem and related philosophical challenges to our understanding of human minds. The main aim is for students to understand the difficulties with a number of initially attractive models of mind as brain, computer, soul, and social construct and why this matters to our conceptions of ourselves. Each of these models has been the subject of some of the most lively and accessible works in contemporary philosophy; we will supplement these with some ingenious science fiction short stories. Some questions considered are: Could the brain be the seat of feelings? Could nonbiological beings think? Could machines have free will, creativity, or consciousness? Could souls interact with the physical world? Could talk of the mind be merely a useful fiction? We will also try to sketch a design for an intelligent robot. Your grade will depend on several short papers and class participation. WL:4 (Lormand)

344. Ethics and Health Care. Inteflex 101, 201, or 301, or an introductory philosophy course. (3). (HU).

Designed specifically for students who plan to practice medicine; the course provides a forum for discussion of problems in medical ethics within the wider context of philosophical ethics. Class meetings are a combination of lecture and informal discussion. In addition, students are required to do a term paper which explores in depth one of the topics under consideration and to take a final exam. The purpose of this course is two-fold: (1) to provide a general introduction to philosophical ethics drawing on both contemporary and historical courses; and (2) to investigate the problems and debates in contemporary medical ethics using tools of philosophical analysis. With regard to the first, the topics covered will be drawn from the following; the nature of moral reasoning, moral relativism, deontological and utilitarian theories of obligation, the nature of moral responsibility, theories of the intrinsically good, the distinction between facts and values, and metaethical theories concerning the nature of ethical justification. With regard to the second, the problems in medical ethics covered will typically include euthanasia, truth telling and confidentiality, paternalism, experimentation on human subjects, and problems of justice in health care policy. A general introduction to ethics will be assigned along with historical and contemporary selections from anthologies of writings on both philosophical and medical ethics. WL:4 (Noble)

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

This course is an introduction to some problems which overlap the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of language. The theme will be the general nature of intentional action, and the more particular characteristics of those actions in the course of which we speak to one another, write to one another, etc. We shall also see how the philosophy of language might contribute to solving the mind-body problem. The course will involve the study of a number of classic texts in philosophy of mind and philosophy of language, notably J.L. Austin's How To Do Things with Words, J.R. Searle's Speech Acts, Saul Kripke Naming and Necessity, the papers on intending and meaning by Paul Grice, and those by Donald Davidson on action. While these texts are not easy, we shall discuss them carefully, and every effort will be made to avoid unnecessary technicalities. The mode of instruction will be lectures, but with plenty of time for questions and discussion. Students will be expected to produce two 12-page papers, and to sit a final examination. A previous logic course would helpful. WL:1 (Rumfitt)

355. Contemporary Moral Problems. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in 455. (4). (HU).

Contemporary life faces us with many questions that have moral dimensions, some obvious, some less so. In this course, we will explore the moral dimensions of a range of contemporary issues, including abortion, equality, affirmative action, freedom of expression, justice across national boundaries and across generations, and the treatment of animals. In the process, we will also be examining competing conceptions of morality and justice, and the presuppositions about human nature, society, and value that underlie them. In one unit of the course we will focus on questions about race and gender, looking first at conceptual and empirical issues concerning these two categories including the various real or alleged differences and inequalities associated with them and then at the moral issues they raise for contemporary society. Three papers and a final examination. Cost:3 (est.) WL:4 (Railton)

361. Ethics. One Philosophy Introduction. (4). (HU).

This is a course in philosophical ethics. We will be concerned to see whether there is anything to be said in a principled way about what is valuable and what is right and wrong. But we shall also ask philosophical questions about ethics metaethical questions, as they are called. Here we will ask, not what is valuable, but what is value? And where do fundamental standards of right and wrong "come 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. 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. Cost:2 WL:1 (Darwall)

365/Rel. 365. Problems of Religion. (4). (HU).

This course will focus primarily on doctrines common to the major monotheistic religions (Judaism, Christianity and Islam): that there is one God, a personal being who created the universe, who has revealed himself to his creatures, and who requires certain conduct of them. We will explore various questions these doctrines raise: Are there good reasons to believe in such a god? Can his existence be reconciled with the existence of evil? Can we expect a life after this life? Is belief in such a god essential to morality? And how ought believers to treat those who hold very different religious beliefs? There will be some attention to non-western religions, of which Buddhism will be taken as representative. WL:4 (Curley)

368. Philosophy of Film. (3). (HU).

A philosophically careful exploration of the nature and significance of film art, informed by a viewing of memorable films from a variety of styles and periods. Film is one of our major modern arts; we need to examine its relation to older forms of drama, older forms of storytelling, and older forms of picture-making. Filming is a family of technologies for recording and reproducing sights and sounds; we need to examine the history of these technologies and their roots in commonsense thinking about seeing and hearing as such. Moviegoing is a pervasive and influential popular pastime; we need to look into its distinctive appeal and distinctive impact on private fantasy, personal aspiration, and communal custom. Written work for the course will consist of three short papers, due at intervals during the term. Some assignments will call for careful critical assessment of very general claims and distinctions; others will call on you to account for the power and interest of specific bits of business in specific films. WL:4 (Hills)

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

Although you very probably have read one or the other of the texts for this course (surely, at least, The Stranger), no previous acquaintance with any will be strictly speaking presupposed. Among the authors on which we will focus are Dostoevsky (The Notes from Underground and chapters from The Brothers Karamazov), Nietzsche (Zarathustra and On the Genealogy of Morals), Sartre (Nausea and Being and Nothingness) and Camus' most famous works. Writers like Heidegger, Kafka, Rilke and Hesse will also be discussed, but more briefly, and we will beyond this look for the expression of Existentialist themes and ideas in contemporary literature, as well as in film and more generally in art. Several short exercises leading up to one longer paper and the usual examinations. WL:4 (Bergmann)

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

This course is a survey of philosophical thought through the Hellenistic period. Though the course focuses on the philosophical systems of Plato and Aristotle, some attention might be paid to pre-Socratic thinkers, 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. Requirements will include a number of critical papers. WL:1 (Everson)

397. Topics in Philosophy. Permission of concentration advisor and instructor. (3-4). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice with permission of concentration advisor.

This course number is designed to permit philosophy concentrators, upon recommendation of a concentration adviser, to elect a course a second time for credit when it has a different instructor and covers substantially different material.

399. Independent Study. One Philosophy Introduction and permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be elected twice for a total of 8 credits with permission of concentration advisor.

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

401. Undergraduate Honors Seminar. Open to Honors concentrators in Philosophy and others by permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

A seminar which is conceived for the purpose of assisting students in writing an Honors thesis in Philosophy. The seminar begins with several weeks discussing fundamental 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, and (4) write a term paper dealing with some central ideas for the thesis. 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 an excellent position to write a successful thesis. Cost:1 WL:1 (Railton)

403/Amer. Cult. 403/Rel. 403. American Philosophy. One Philosophy Introduction. (3). (Excl).

This course will deal with American philosophy from its beginnings in Jonathan Edwards and Ralph Waldo Emerson to twentieth century philosophers. The emphasis of the course will be on the classical pragmatists: Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, and John Dewey. Among the texts will be James' Pragmatism and Dewey's Reconstruction in Philosophy and The Public and Its Problems. The section on contemporary philosophy will include readings from W.V.O. Quine, Hilary Putnam, and Richard Rorty. Two term papers will be required, one handed in at approximately the middle of the term and the other handed in at the last class of the term. Cost:2 WL:1 (Meiland)

412. Philosophy in Literature. One course in philosophy or permission of instructor; not open to freshmen or sophomores. (3). (Excl).

In this course we will study the philosophical content of some relatively recent great philosophical novels (and to a lesser extent poetry and plays). Among the authors we shall be reading are Dostoevsky (sections from The Brothers Karamazov, and Notes from Underground), Tolstoy (The Death of Ivan Illitch), possibly Gogol or Checkov. We will spend some time on Nietzsche (Thus Spoke Zarathustra, On the Genealogy of Morals, Twilight of the Idols) since a great deal of the literature that is now alive can be understood far more deeply if one knows his thoughts. In that spirit we will be reading some Rilke, some Hermann Hesse (The Steppenwolf), possibly some Thomas Mann, and Milan Kundera (Unbearable Lightness of Being). Beyond this we will discuss some of Kafka's parables, Sartre' novel Nausea, Camus' The Fall, and finally Paul Auster's The Invention of Solitude. You will be writing two exploratory papers intended to lead up to one longer (approx. 18 page) term paper. There will be the usual midterm and final examinations. WL:1 (Bergmann)

414. Mathematical Logic. (3). (Excl). (BS). (QR/1).

A mathematical study of formal languages, with an eye to their philosophical relevance. We will study artificial "languages" whose logical features are rigorously defined, and which are intended to distill logical characteristics of natural languages like English. These will include propositional, predicate, and modal logics. We will explore proof algorithms and model-theoretic semantics for these languages, and prove various adequacy results about the proof algorithms, including soundness and completeness theorems. This course provides useful background for advanced study in linguistics and in nearly all fields of analytic philosophy, including especially philosophy of language and metaphysics. Written work will consist of extensive problem sets and midterm and final exams, and will require detailed mathematical proofs. WL:1 (Crimmins)

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

This course will chart a path through some less-discussed topics in the philosophy of mathematics: What is it about mathematics that makes it such a powerful aid in both theoretical physics and also engineering applications, like the mechanics of moving parts or the strength of building materials)? How can mathematics promote the unification of apparently diverse subjects, and what constitutes a "good" and "fruitful" unification? What is the significance of the apparent distinction between different "styles" (e.g., "algebraic" or "geometric") of mathematical reasoning? Students will have to pick up some mathematics as the course unfolds, but every effort will be made to keep examples (mostly drawn from the more elementary parts of Euclidean and projective geometry and straightforward parts of abstract algebra) accessible. Students should have taken at least one philosophy course and one course in mathematics or formal logic. Others should obtain permission from the instructor. WL:1 (Tappenden)

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). (BS).

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 space-time, spatio-temporal order and causal order, and the so-called problem of the direction of time. This course can 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 this course to introduce the fundamental ideas of both philosophy and science at a level which can be understood by those without 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 such authors as Reichenbach, Poincaré, Grunbaum, Smart, Wheeler, and others. Cost:2 WL:1 (Sklar)

428/Pol. Sci. 428/Asian Studies 428/Soc. 426. China's Evolution Under Communism. Upperclass standing. (4). (Excl).

See Political Science 428. (Lieberthal)

430. Topics in Ethics. Phil. 361. (3). (Excl). May be repeated twice for a total of 6 credits.

This course will study three topics in ethics. (1) Consequentialism and its critics: do we have a moral obligation to make the world as good as possible? Does morality constrain what we may do toward this end? (2) Reasons for action and for morality. What, exactly, are our reasons to be moral, and how do these reasons fit with nonmoral reasons for action? (3) The moral significance of the place of humans in nature. What is the moral significance of the fact that we are animals? What is the moral standing of animals and nature as a whole? Readings will draw primarily from contemporary sources. Classes will consist in lectures with discussion encouraged. The course is designed to be at the level of someone who has some substantial prior background in moral philosophy. Philosophy 361 is an excellent background. Anyone taking the course is in for a lot of difficult and demanding reading. There will be three papers and a final examination. WL:1 (Anderson)

450. Philosophy of Cognition. Two courses in Philosophy. (3). (Excl).

In philosophy, science, and everyday life we continually form educated guesses (theories, hypotheses) about conditions we cannot literally demonstrate by indubitable observation or indubitable deduction. This course is about a central method of educated guessing, "inference to the best explanation". This method involves weighing competing guesses in terms of various "virtues" such as comprehensiveness (how much "data" a guess would explain if true), simplicity (with how little a guess would do so), conservatism (how little change would accepting the guess involve), and analogy (how similar the guess is to previously accepted guesses). We will ask which virtues there are, why they are virtues, exactly how they should be understood, and what their relative weights, trade-offs, and priorities are. According to the interests of the class, we may extend the discussion into such topics as abduction, certainty, history of science, holism, irrationality, observation, paradoxes of induction, reflective equilibrium, and skepticism. WL:1 (Lormand)

455. Contemporary Moral Problems. Not open to graduate students in philosophy. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phil. 355. (4). (Excl).

Intended primarily for graduate students outside the Philosophy Department. Course content and requirements are the same as Philosophy 355 (see above), except that the papers of those enrolled in Philosophy 455 are expected to be more substantial. Does not meet the Philosophy Department's 400-level course requirement for Philosophy concentrators. Cost:3 (est.) WL:4 (Railton)

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

A detailed introduction to Kant's mature philosophical system. We'll look at Kant's effort to work out the scope and limits of possible human knowledge, his effort to sum up morality in a single categorical imperative, and his effort to give a purely moral basis and significance to religious faith. But the bulk of our time will be devoted to the account of human experience and human factual knowledge in the Critique of Pure Reason. There Kant argues that the world of our experience must possess certain very general features by tracing those features to a source in us. And he argues that behind the familiar world of our experience is a second, more fundamental world about which we can know next to nothing. Most of the required reading is from Kant's own major works. Written work is three short papers. Class participation will be strongly encouraged. Cost:2 WL:1 (Hills)

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

See Chinese 468.

486/WS 486. Topics in Feminist Philosophy. Two courses in either Philosophy or Women's Studies, or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

The topics for this term are feminist epistemology and philosophy of science. Is rationality gendered? Are scientific conceptions of objectivity "masculine"? What could it mean to make such claims, and how could they be justified? What should a feminist conception of knowledge look like? In addressing these questions we'll explore the numerous ways that gender, gender roles, and gender identity influence the construction of knowledge and the representation of objectivity. We will investigate competing views about knowledge construction specifically, empiricism, standpoint theory, and postmodernism by considering, among other things, how they have informed empirical research in the social sciences, biology, and medicine. There will be a research paper, two short papers, and a final examination. Classes will be conducted as interactive lecture/discussions. Students should have a background (at least 2 courses) in either philosophy or women's studies. Cost:3 WL:1 (Haslanger)

498. Senior Honors in Philosophy. By departmental permission only. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

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.

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