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Spring/Summer Academic Term 2003 Course Guide

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Courses in Philosophy

This page was created at 8:20 PM on Mon, Jul 14, 2003.



Spring Half-Term Courses

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PHIL 180. Introductory Logic.

Instructor(s): Alex Hughes (hughesa@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Credit is granted for only one of PHIL 180 or 201. (2). (HU). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is designed both to improve critical reasoning skills that could be of use in a wide range of disciplines and careers, and to provide an introduction to formal logic. This course aims to introduce students to the theory and (rigorous) practice of reasoning by introducing basic symbolic logic. There will be lectures, demonstrations of problem-solving techniques, and a variety of exercises. The course is limited to 50 students, which should permit ample opportunity for discussion. Coursework will involve both regular homework and exams. The text has yet to be determined.

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

PHIL 181. Philosophical Issues: An Introduction.

Instructor(s): Hanna Kim (kimhz@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in PHIL 182, 202, 231, 232, 234, or 297. (2). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course provides undergraduates with a broad overview of modern philosophy. Topics to be covered will include at least some of the following:

  • The problem of knowledge: How are we able to know things about aspects of the world that go beyond facts about our immediate experience?
  • The problem of free will: Do we choose our actions freely, or is what we do determined by past events? Can a person be held morally responsible for actions that s/he did not perform freely?
  • The problems of morality: What features of actions make them morally right or morally wrong? Is there any reason for us to act morally?
  • The problem of God: Is it possible to establish God's existence by argument alone? Is the existence of God confirmed by what we know about the world?

Students will be asked to write two 5-page papers, and to take a final exam.

Text: Feinberg, J. and Shafer-Lanfdau, R. Reason and Responsibility, 11th ed. (Wadsworth Press, 2001)

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

PHIL 303. Introduction to Symbolic Logic.

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

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Symbolic logic is the application of mathematical methods to forms of human reasoning. Its goal is to determine which forms are "valid," i.e., are guaranteed to lead to true conclusions when applied to true premises. This course will examine the two simplest but most important systems of logic. The first third of the course will focus on the "propositional calculus" which codifies "truth-functional logic" — inferences involving the expressions 'and,' 'or,' not,' 'if…then,' and 'if and only if.' We'll study an artificial language adequate for expressing these inferences and then develop a system of proof with which to test their validity. In the second third, we'll take up "meta-logic" — the mathematical study of logical systems. We'll prove by mathematical induction that our language is "expressively complete" and that our system of proof is both "sound" and "complete." In the final third, we'll expand our language and proof system in order to study the "predicate calculus," the system that codifies "first-order, quantificational logic" — inferences involving the expressions 'all' and 'some.' Grades are based on weekly homework, a midterm, and a final exam.

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

PHIL 340. Mind, Matter, and Machines.

Instructor(s): Bruce Lacey (blacey@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (2). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

In this course, we will examine some fundamental questions about the mind and its place in nature. Models of the mind as brain, computer, social/behavioral construct, and part of the soul will be considered. Problems addressed will include: What is the relation between mental and physical states? Should we think of the mind as a computer or a computer program? How is it possible for any part of a purely physical world to be "about" another part, as thoughts are "about" things? How can thoughts (or other mental processes) cause physical events, like actions? Is consciousness itself something physical? If not, what is it and how does it relate to the physical world?

There will be two short papers and an exam.

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

PHIL 356. Issues in Bioethics.

Instructor(s): Steve Daskal (sdaskal@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: No prerequisites; one philosophy introduction is recommended. (3). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is an introduction to contemporary problems and issues in bioethics. We will spend some time exploring philosophical investigations of the good life and the demands of morality, and then apply these considerations to specific cases. Topics covered will likely include issues regarding the beginning and end of life, appropriate practices for experimentation on both humans and animals, and the allocation of scarce medical resources. The purpose of the course is to develop the ability to think analytically in the context of difficult, pressing questions in medical ethics. Class time will be divided between lecture and discussion. There will likely be two exams and one paper.

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

PHIL 359. Law and Philosophy.

Instructor(s): Kevin Toh (ktoh@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (2). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course consists of philosophical investigations into the nature of law and its various relationships to morality. We will look at several philosophical proposals regarding the nature of law and of legal judgments. We will ask: Is an immoral law a law? Is there a necessary or conceptual connection between law and morality? Is it possible to describe the workings of a legal system without morally evaluating that system? In attempting to answer these questions, a special emphasis will be placed on understanding H.L.A. Hart's proposals contained in his 1961 classic The Concept of Law.

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

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.

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

PHIL 498. Senior Honors in Philosophy.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: By departmental permission only. (2). (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 Department


Spring/Summer Term Courses

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Summer Half-Term Courses

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PHIL 180. Introductory Logic.

Section 201.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: Credit is granted for only one of PHIL 180 or 201. (2). (HU). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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

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

PHIL 181. Philosophical Issues: An Introduction.

Section 201.

Instructor(s): James Bell (jmab@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in PHIL 182, 202, 231, 232, 234, or 297. (2). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

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.

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

PHIL 340. Mind, Matter, and Machines.

Section 201.

Instructor(s): Bruce Lacey (blacey@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (2). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

No Description Provided. Contact the Department.

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

PHIL 355. Contemporary Moral Problems.

Section 201.

Instructor(s): Anna Gotlib (agotlib@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in PHIL 455. (2). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The purpose of this course is to explore the moral issues confronting us in our daily lives and in our special disciplines. Some topics that may be discussed include abortion, euthanasia, our obligations to people near and far and our obligations to nonhuman animals. It is also likely that we will consider some issues related to sex and race equality such as justice and the family, sexual harassment, gay and lesbian rights, pornography, affirmative action, or hate speech. Course requirements include papers and exams.

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

PHIL 365 / PHIL 365. Problems of Religion.

Section 201.

Instructor(s): Robert Gressis (rgressis@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (2). (HU). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The subject of this course will be contemporary analytic philosophy of religion. That is to say, it will not be a "Religions of the World" course, focusing on the nature, practice, and history of the world's major religions, but rather a course that focuses on topics such as, but not limited to: arguments for and against the existence of God; articulation of the concept of God, and analysis of whether it is coherent; the relationship of God to morality; investigation into the tenability of various doctrines concerning the afterlife; and seeing whether belief in God even needs justification at all.

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

PHIL 499. Senior Honors in Philosophy.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: By departmental permission only. (2). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Students who wish to elect the PHIL 498-499 sequence should consult with the departmental Honors advisor by the end of the preceding academic year.

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


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This page was created at 8:20 PM on Mon, Jul 14, 2003.

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