College of LS&A

Winter Academic Term '02 Graduate Course Guide

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Courses in Philosophy


This page was created at 4:42 PM on Fri, Mar 22, 2002.

Winter Academic Term, 2002 (January 7 - April 26)

Open courses in Philosophy
(*Not real-time Information. Review the "Data current as of: " statement at the bottom of hyperlinked page)

Wolverine Access Subject listing for PHIL

Winter Academic Term '02 Time Schedule for Philosophy.


PHIL 406. Aristotle.

Section 001.

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

Prerequisites: One philosophy introduction. (3).

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

In this course, we will study Aristotle's ethical and political writings, beginning with some similarities and differences between Aristotle's and his predecessors' doctrines, methods, and modes of presentation. Questions to be explored include: what is Aristotle's conception of human happiness and how does it relate to his conception of human nature? What is the source of his conception of human nature? What is valuable about the soul's activity over and above its condition? What is the relationship between reason, moral virtue, and happiness? What is Aristotle's method in ethics and how is it like or unlike his method in other fields? What is the relationship between Aristotle's ethics and politics? Students may elect to write either several short papers during the course or one long final paper.

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

PHIL 420. Philosophy of Science.

Section 001 Meets with Nursing 570.001.

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

Prerequisites: A course in logic, and either Phil. 345 or 383. (3).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

In this course we will explore some questions about the aims of science and the methods employed by the sciences to achieve these aims.

Scientists attempt to assuage our curiosity by offering explanations of the phenomena of the world. But what is it to offer an "explanation" in science?

Scientists often create theories in which they postulate new kinds of entities and properties to explain the observable world. What is the structure of a scientific theory? Should we believe in the reality of the postulated, often unobservable, features posited by a theory?

Scientists claim that we have good reason to "accept" or "believe true" their proposed theories. But in what ways can scientific theories be tested, confirmed, or disconfirmed?

Science evolves, with one theory replacing another. How are the older theories related to their successors? Is there a "reduction" of one theory to another, or is there, at least sometimes, a "revolutionary" replacement of theories?

There will be a midterm exam and a final exam. One term paper will be required.

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PHIL 423. Problems of Space and Time.

Section 001.

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

Prerequisites: One logic introduction and either one other philosophy course or 12 credits of science. (3).

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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's Space, Time, and Spacetime. There are additional readings from such authors as Reichenbach, Poincaré, Grunbaum, Smart, Wheeler, and others.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

PHIL 437 / MUSICOL 437. Philosophy of Music.

Section 001.

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

Prerequisites: An introductory course in philosophy; or previous course work in music. (3).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

A philosophical investigation of the nature and significance of music. What kind(s) of value does music have, and how is it important? Does its value lie merely in its structure, in the notes themselves? Does music have "meanings" of some sort? What is it for music to be expressive? What kinds of feelings or emotions does music evoke in listeners? Does it portray or represent feelings? Is music ever a source of knowledge or understanding or insight? Can it have (good or bad) moral effects on people? What are musical performances, and how do good performances differ from merely "correct" ones? What sorts of entities are musical works, and how are they related to performances and to musical scores? What is the role of music in song, opera, theater, film, dance? What functions does it serve in religious or cultural or social or political contexts?

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PHIL 455. Contemporary Moral Problems.

Section 001 Meets with Philosophy 355.001.

Instructor(s): Rebecca Walker (walkerrl@umich.edu)

Prerequisites: Not open to graduate students in philosophy. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phil. 355. (4). Does not meet the Philosophy Department's 400-level course requirement for Philosophy concentrators.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Intended primarily for graduate students outside the philosophy department. Course content is the same as in Philosophy 355. Philosophy 455 requires longer and more substantial papers than those expected in Philosophy 355.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 3 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

PHIL 458. Philosophy of Kant.

Section 001.

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

Prerequisites: Phil. 389, 461, or 462, or permission of instructor, or concentration advisor. (3).

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The class studies Kant's mature philosophical system with particular attention to Kant's metaphysics and epistemology. 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 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 if experience is to be possible for example, that every event must have a cause. 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.

Readings will be drawn both from Kant's works and from some of the more accessible secondary literature. Written work is three short (6-8 page) papers. Class participation is strongly encouraged.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

PHIL 462. British Empiricism.

Section 001 The British Empiricists & the French Enlightenment.

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

Prerequisites: One philosophy introduction. (3).

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

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2002/winter/phil/462/001.nsf

The content of this course will be considerably broader than the title suggests. In addition to studying the three classical British Empiricists (Locke, Berkeley, and Hume), we will also give nearly equal time to some of the leading figures of the French Enlightenment (Montesquieu, Voltaire, Diderot, and Rousseau). There will be three papers. For further details please consult the information available at: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~emcurley/.

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PHIL 469 / CHIN 469 / ASIAN 469. Later Chinese Thought.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Philip Ivanhoe

Prerequisites: Upperclass standing; no knowledge of Chinese required. (3).

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

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~ivanhoe/phil469.htm

See Chinese 469.001.

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

PHIL 477. Theory of Knowledge.

Section 001.

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

Prerequisites: Phil. 345 or 383. (3).

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

How can you search for truth in a rationally responsble way? How can you even start out? Do you have "a priori" knowledge or a priori reasons for beliefs about logic, or necessary truths and falsehoods, or definitions, or your own mind? And how can you proceed? Are there any basic methodological principles (e.g., choosing simpler, more explanatory, or more familiar beliefs over their competitors) that can be defended in a purely epistemic way (as guides to the truth), or are they all merely pragmatic at root (e.g., easy, pleasant, elegant)? How should the various principles be elaborated and weighed against one another? Can any of this persuade various philosophical skeptics? Can any of this help guide real ongoing research? Can any of this apply to searches for evaluative (ethical) truth? We'll answer these questions as follows (in no particular order): "no", "yes", and (pointing) "this way".

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PHIL 517. Topics in the History of Philosophy.

Section 001 Hume's Epistemology and Metaphysics.

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

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3).

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The seminar will be devoted to an intensive examination of Hume's epistemology and metaphysics, as developed in A Treatise of Human Nature, Book I, Parts i, iii, and iv. Topics to be covered include belief, causal inference and probability, causation and causal necessity, the belief in body, just and unjust belief-forming mechanisms, personal identity, and the destructive results in the conclusion of Book I (I.iv.7).

We will also be attentive to larger interpretive issues, the interrelations among various strands (or alleged strands) in Hume, e.g., his skepticism, his naturalism, his realism, his empiricism about meaning, his commitment to "the way of ideas," and his associationism. How do these strands fit together, or do they? These questions will be discussed with reference to significant interpretive positions in the secondary literature, such as (listed chronologically) Kemp, Smith, Stroud, Fogelin, G. Strawson, Pears, Baier, and Garrett. Time permitting (perhaps not likely), there will be some attention to aspects of Hume's treatment of moral judgment in Book III, Part iii, that have affinities with his Book I treatment of probability.

Since the course is a seminar, at least half the class time will be devoted to discussion; but since it is a 500-level seminar, as much as half the class time might be devoted to lecture. Three short papers and a fourth paper that revises and expands one of the short papers will be required. Some students may be permitted to substitute a single term paper for these requirements.

For undergraduates, there is a prerequisite: Philosophy 389 and/or Philosophy 462, or equivalent background. In addition, undergraduates must secure permission of the instructor to enroll. There is no prerequisite for Philosophy graduate students. Graduate students in other disciplines are encouraged to consult with the instructor before registering for the seminar.

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

PHIL 542. Topics in Problems of Human Action.

Section 001 Philosophy of Action.

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

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course will survey the philosophy of action by reading a mix of classic and recent contributions to the subject.

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PHIL 574. Topics in Normative Ethics.

Section 001 Moore's Principia Ethica and Moorean Problems.

Instructor(s): Donald H Regan (donregan@umich.edu)

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3).

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

G.E. Moore's Principia Ethica (1903) was the most influential work of moral philosophy written in the twentieth century. (That is not a particularly idiosyncratic claim.) In the opinion of the instructor, it also comes as close to the truth about moral philosophy as any work of moral philosophy ever written. (That is a highly idiosyncratic claim.) Anticipating the centenary of Principia Ethica, we will spend the first part of the term reading it closely, with other works of Moore's that shed light on it and some recent criticism. We will not spend the whole term directly on Moore. The last third-to-half of the term we will either (a) read additional recent articles on Moorean issues, or (b) read Tom Hurka's Virtue, Vice, and Value an attempt to develop a theory of virtue and vice rather different from standard current "virtue theory" out of an idea about the nature of virtue that virtue is loving the good that Moore shared with many other philosophers going back to Aristotle.

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PHIL 596. Reading Course.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of instructor. (2-3). (INDEPENDENT).

Credits: (2-3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

A faculty-directed independent study.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of Instructor

PHIL 598. Independent Literature Survey.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3). (INDEPENDENT).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

An independent literature survey in which a student reviews basic literature in a given area of philosophy and writes an extended bibliographic essay that sets forth a range of major positions within that area, indicates how various philosophers fit within this range of positions, and provides critical commentary on the positions, indicating, for example, the chief advantages and disadvantages of each, resulting in a critical bibliographic essay. Students must seek guidance from a faculty member in selecting a reasonable range of works for study. Students are encouraged to carry out such surveys during the summer months. If the ILS is to commence in the Spring/Summer or Fall, initial guidance should be sought the preceding April; if it is to commence in the Winter, initial guidance should be sought no later than the preceding December. The bibliographic essays will be evaluated by the faculty member and may, if appropriate, be certified for distribution

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of Instructor

PHIL 599. Candidacy Reading Course.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of instructor. (2-3). (INDEPENDENT).

Credits: (2-3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

A faculty-directed candidacy reading course in which a student having already successfully completed an independent literature survey in the area of his or her projected dissertation works toward identifying a specific thesis topic and writing a dissertation prospectus, and begins to write material which can be expected to represent some component of the dissertation. If the reading course is to commence in the Fall, students should arrange for faculty direction the preceding April; if it is to commence in the Winter, students should arrange for faculty direction no later than the preceding November. Faculty service in this capacity does not commit the student to asking the faculty member to serve on his or her dissertation committee, nor does it commit the faculty member to agreeing to do so. A student wishing to elect Philosophy 599 must submit a proposed plan of study no later than the beginning of the term for which the course is elected. (Students are urged to consult with their advisors and prospective faculty sponsors as early as possible during the planning of their Reading Course). The plan must be accepted by the faculty sponsor of the course within a week of the beginning of the term. A plan will normally not be acceptable if it overlaps significantly with a departmental course. When the plan of study has been approved by the faculty sponsor, the student will ask the sponsor to sign a Reading Course Approval Form (available from the department office). The student's advisor must countersign the form. The course approval form will be placed in the student's file.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of Instructor

PHIL 600. Advanced Studies.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3). (INDEPENDENT).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Independent study program arranged between instructor and student.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of Instructor

PHIL 607. Seminar in Metaphysics.

Section 001 The Metaphysics of Properties.

Instructor(s): Jessica M Wilson (jwils@umich.edu)

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

In this course we'll investigate into the nature and existence of properties, understood pre-theoretically as ways substantial particulars are (or can be). We'll survey motivations for admitting properties, as distinct from substantial particulars, including the so-called "One over Many" problem (the need to explain how different particulars can be the same way), the seeming need for properties in accounts of causation and events, and the fact that we accept statements seeming to quantify over properties as true. We'll then lay out and assess the accounts of properties arising from these motivations, including properties as repeatable universals, as sets or pluralities of particulars, and as unrepeatable tropes. We'll then consider various criteria of ontological commitment (for example, that proposed by Quine), and see how properties, in their various guises, fare as existing by these criteria. We'll be particularly concerned with whether nominalist and fictionalist strategies for rejecting commitment to properties succeed.

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

PHIL 610. Seminar in History of Philosophy.

Section 001 Topic?

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

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This seminar will focus on history of philosophy. For further information please contact the instructor at mkosch@umich.edu.

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

PHIL 640. Seminar in Ethics.

Section 001 Moral Relativism and Practical Reason.

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

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This seminar will study recent work on moral relativism and practical reason. We shall begin with standard moral relativist arguments, depending on a background assumption of irreducible cultural diversity, and then consider postmodernist versions of moral relativism, which depend on substantially different assumptions about the self in relation to "culture." Readings will be drawn from Harman, Thompson, Moody-Adams, Nussbaum, Moon, Fish, and B.H. Smith, among others. We shall then consider rival conceptions of practical reason, focusing on instrumentalism and its critics, and on the relations of emotions to cognition. Readings on this topic will be drawn from Blackburn, Millgram, Vogler, Velleman, and Korsgaard, among others. Students must write 30 pages of substantive philosophy, in any combination of short or long papers.

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PHIL 990. Dissertation/Precandidate.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Election for dissertation work by doctoral student not yet admitted as a Candidate. Graduate standing. (1-8). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (1-8; 1-4 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Election for dissertation work by doctoral student not yet admitted as a Candidate.

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PHIL 995. Dissertation/Candidate.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate School authorization for admission as a doctoral Candidate. Graduate standing. (8). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit.

Credits: (8; 4 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Graduate School authorization for admission as a doctoral Candidate. N.B. The defense of the dissertation (the final oral examination) must be held under a full term Candidacy enrollment period.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, Permission of Instructor


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