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Winter Academic Term 2002 Course Guide

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Courses in Philosophy


This page was created at 5:28 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.


Philosophy is about as broad a subject as one can find in a university curriculum. It addresses a wide array of questions, some quite familiar (Does God exist? Why be moral? What is art?), others less so (What is a thing? Is space a substance?). Philosophy includes the examination of its own methods, and its own history. It also falls within philosophy to examine the methods and practices of virtually all academic disciplines. Because of this breadth, a person can study philosophy in ways involving the styles and techniques of thought of most other fields of inquiry. For example, the work of a philosopher concentrating in logic is much like that of the student of mathematics. A philosopher primarily interested in the philosophy of religion will often be doing much the same things as a theologian or a student of the history of religion. Political philosophy is regarded by some as including political activity itself. Many other such examples exist. In addition, Philosophy examines the practices of other activities, such as the fine arts, that are sometimes thought of as different from typical academic disciplines. However, for the most part the activities characteristic of philosophy are peculiar to the discipline. The only way to know what it's really like is to give it a try. The Department offers a number of courses that do not carry prerequisites: (A) general introductions designed to acquaint students with a representative sample of philosophical problems (181, 202, 232, and 297); (B) introductions that focus on a particular branch of philosophy or area of human concern - e.g., the mind and consciousness, the law, and literature - designed for students who, having no previous background in philosophy, want to study these areas in a philosophical way (196 and 355); and (C) introductions to logic and reasoning (180, 201, and 303). (A) The general introductions deal, for example, with questions concerning the nature of reality, knowledge, the self and the mind, freedom, morality, society, and religion, but they differ in their instructional format and staffing. Philosophy 202 is taught by advanced graduate students in independent sections of 25 students. Philosophy 181 is taught by faculty, in a combination lecture/discussion format, limited to 50 students. In Philosophy 232, a faculty member delivers a lecture two hours per week, and students divide into groups of 25 for discussion sections led by graduate students. Finally, Philosophy 297, "Honors Introduction", is taught by a faculty member to a group of 25 students. (B) Winter courses not carrying prerequisites that focus on a specific area of human concern or philosophical thought include first-year seminars (196) and "Contemporary Moral Problems" (355). These courses do not require previous work in philosophy. Philosophy 196 is taught in a seminar format by a member of the faculty. In Philosophy 355, 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 Winter 300-level courses require only a single philosophy introduction as a prerequisite: "Language and Mind" (345), "Political Philosophy" (366), "Experience and Reality" (383), "Continental Philosophy" (385), and "History of Philosophy: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century" (389). All of these courses 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 180 and 303 are taught by faculty, in a combination lecture/discussion format, limited to 50 students. Philosophy 201 is taught by advanced graduate student teaching assistants in independent sections of 25 students. There is additional information about the Department's curriculum in "The Undergraduate Program in Philosophy." This brochure contains information intended for students interested in taking philosophy courses, whether or not they are considering a Philosophy concentration. The Department also maintains a home page (http://www.lsa.umich.edu/philosophy/). Students considering a concentration in Philosophy are encouraged to make an appointment with a Philosophy concentration advisor; students considering an Honors concentration should consult with the Philosophy advisor for the Honors concentration. 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.

PHIL 180. Introductory Logic.

Instructor(s):

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

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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

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PHIL 181. Philosophical Issues: An Introduction.

Instructor(s):

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

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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

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

Students will write papers discussing a number of these topics.

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PHIL 196. First Year Seminar.

Section 001 Nature and Virtue in Chinese and Western Philosophy.

Instructor(s): Philip Ivanhoe

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

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~ivanhoe/phil196.htm

This course is an introduction to various views, taken from both traditional Chinese and Western philosophy, about the character of human nature and its relationship to conceptions of the virtues. Most thinkers who can be described as "virtue ethicists" ground their views about the virtues in an understanding of human nature. The idea is that in one way or another virtues are those traits of character that facilitate and encourage the flourishing of human nature and lead to the living of good human lives. In addition to exploring and comparing a number of examples of eastern and western philosophers who espouse different versions of virtue ethics, we will also examine more recent philosophical writings on virtue ethics.

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PHIL 196. First Year Seminar.

Section 002 Character.

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

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

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

When we judge that one person is friendly and another generous, are we merely summarizing their behavior, or also attributing certain character-traits to them? What is a character-trait? For example, is it a 'disposition,' and how should we understand a disposition? What is the relationship between having a disposition to behave in a certain way and actually behaving in that way? How broad is a character-trait should a person's character be described as 'honest' or 'honest on tests?' Does how you reason count as part of your character or not? What does empirical psychology show us about whether such things as character-traits exist? If they do exist, how do they arise, and can we alter our characters? If not, how ought we understand people's behavior what, for example, is the role of people's environments, both in the short and long run? Readings for this course will be in moral philosophy and social psychology. Students will be expected to write a number of short (approx. 2 pp.) papers and to participate actively in class discussion.

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PHIL 201. Introduction to Logic.

Instructor(s):

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

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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

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PHIL 202. Introduction to Philosophy.

Instructor(s):

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

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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

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

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

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PHIL 232. Problems of Philosophy.

Section 001.

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

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

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

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jjoyce/phil232.htm

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 experiences?
  • 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 freely perform?
  • The problem of our knowledge of the external world: How can we gain knowledge of the world external to our minds given that we have access to nothing but our thoughts and experiences?
  • The problem 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: It is possible to establish God's existence by argument alone? Is the existence of God confirmed by what we know about the world?
  • The problem of the state: On what is the state's authority based? Under what conditions can a government restrict individual freedoms for the purpose of securing collective benefits?

Students will be asked to read about 30 pages of material per week, to write two 7-8 page papers, and to take a midterm examination and a cumulative final exam.

TEXTS:

  • Feinberg, J. and Shafer-Landau, R. Reason and Responsibility, 11th ed. (Wadsworth Press, 2001)
  • Feinberg, J. Doing Philosophy, 2nd ed. (Wadsworth Press, 2002)

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PHIL 296. Honors Introduction to Logic.

Section 001 Symbolic Logic.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: Honors students or permission of instructor. Credit is granted for only one of Phil. 203, 303, or 296. (3). (MSA). (BS). (QR/1).

Full QR

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 two 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 Free Will, God, and Ethics.

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

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

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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

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PHIL 297. Honors Introduction to Philosophy.

Section 002.

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

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

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course will introduce the student to several major areas of philosophy, including ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind, concentrating on issues concerning values and morality, our knowledge of the external world, the nature of persons, and relations between the mental and the physical.

We will explore such questions as:

  • How are we to decide what we ought to do and how to live our lives?
  • Is there any such thing as "objective" morality?
  • What is value?
  • Is there a real world independent of our ways of thinking and talking about it?
  • What kinds of evidence do we have about the world?
  • How is a person's mental life, her thoughts, desires, intentions, etc., related to her physical and verbal behavior, and to her physiological or neurological states?
  • Can machines think?
  • Can we be mistaken about our own mental states?
  • How can we know about the mental lives of other people?

We will discuss what a number of philosophers have said on these topics, including important historical figures such as René Descartes, David Hume, and J.S. Mill, and a variety of recent and contemporary philosophers.

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PHIL 303. Introduction to Symbolic Logic.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Robert Mabrito (rmabrito@umich.edu)

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Symbolic logic is the application of formal, mathematical methods to reasoning. Its goal is to design logical languages which provide representations for the ingredients of reasoning and argument i.e., propositions or statements and to formulate methods employing these representations for determining whether a set of propositions is consistent. This course will introduce students to two classical systems of logic: the propositional calculus, which deals with negation, disjunction, and conjunction (not, or, and), and the logic of quantifiers, which deals with general forms using variables (like "x is larger than y") and generalizations (like "every x is larger than some y"). We will also be concerned with what is called metatheory i.e., proving that the logical languages and the associated methods of testing for consistency have certain desirable features. These metatheory proofs will involve the use of various forms of mathematical reasoning, particularly proof by mathematical induction.

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PHIL 345. Language and Mind.

Section 001.

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

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

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Ready for twenty questions? What do "mental" and "linguistic" mean? Is there a world independent of mind and language? How widespread are minds and languages (e.g., animals, plants, fetuses, ...)? Are there minds independent of language? Does thinking require talking to oneself? Are there thoughts that can't be expressed in language? Does one think in a special kind of "brain language"? How can one communicate more than "literal" meaning? Why can't we communicate better? Can two minds or languages share meanings exactly? Can our messy language use be studied scientifically? What makes an ink mark or sound wave "mean" stuff? Could machines really understand language? What makes a thought or brain state be "about" stuff? Could machines really think? What does "conscious" mean? How can we account for the "inner feel" of mental states? Could machines really be conscious? How can you resist taking this course?

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PHIL 355. Contemporary Moral Problems.

Section 001 Meets with Philosophy 455.001.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phil. 455. (4). (HU).

R&E

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

In contemporary life, we are faced with many questions that have moral dimensions only some of which may be obvious to us. In this course, we will delve into the moral dimensions of a range of contemporary issues, including biotechnology and modern medicine, 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 different conceptions of morality and justice, and the presuppositions about human nature, society, and value that underlie them. Throughout the course we will be concerned with issues of race and gender and how these categories interplay with the moral issues that we grapple with in contemporary society.

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PHIL 360(475) / CHIN 360 / ASIAN 360 / RCHUMS 375 / HISTART 387. The Arts and Letters of China.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Shuen-Fu Lin (lsf@umich.edu)

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

Foreign Lit

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: https://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2002/winter/asian/360/001.nsf

See Chinese 360.001.

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PHIL 366. Introduction to Political Philosophy.

Section 001.

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

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

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Political philosophy is concerned not only with questions about how political authority might be justified, but also with broad questions about the nature of a just society, the moral foundations of our conceptions of justice, and the basic characteristics of humans and their social relations. We will examine key texts by a number of important figures in the history of political philosophy (including Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Bentham, Mill, and Marx) as well as influential works by contemporary writers (including Rawls and Nozick), with the goal of reaching a critical understanding of central issues and concepts. Final exam and two papers, one 4-6 pages, the other 8-10 pages.

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PHIL 383. Knowledge and Reality.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Imogen Dickie

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

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course will provide students with an introduction to metaphysics and epistemology.

Metaphysics is the study of what there is in the world. Traditional metaphysical questions include: Does the world contain material objects (like trees and tables and chairs) independently of our thinking that it does? Are color properties real? Are numbers objects? What is it for one event to cause another? Is time-travel possible? Can there be minds without bodies? In the metaphysics part of this course we will focus on the question about causation. We will also consider how what you say about causation influences what you can say about some of the other questions.

Epistemology is the study of how we are able to know about what there is in the world. Epistemologists have thought about questions like: Does knowing something require that you be certain about it? Can we know what other people are thinking or feeling? What is the relationship between knowledge and justified belief? Do we really know anything at all? A sceptic is somebody who says 'No' to the last of these questions. In the epistemology part of the course, we will think about why someone might be a sceptic, and try to find a satisfactory answer to the sceptical challenge.

Students will be asked to read an article or extract from a book each week. The method of assessment will be negotiable.

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PHIL 385. Continental Philosophy Since 1900.

Section 001.

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

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

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The course will cover the recent history of social and political thought on the continent, with emphasis on the early Frankfurt School, Habermas, and Foucault. Readings will also include selections from Nietzsche, Freud, Weber, and others.

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PHIL 389. History of Philosophy: Seventeenth and Eighteenth Centuries.

Sections 003, 004 ONLY satisfy the Upper-Level Writing Requirement.

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

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

Upper-Level Writing

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course examines the development of modern philosophy in Europe during the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Considerable attention is devoted to each of Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. The primary emphasis is placed upon philosophical and interpretive issues that arise in conjunction with the philosophers' works. The philosophical issues addressed are drawn from epistemology and metaphysics: skepticism about the existence of the material world, theories of perception and of the nature of material objects, the problem of induction, the nature and limits of a priori knowledge, innate knowledge, empiricist theories of meaning, analytic and synthetic truth, necessary and contingent truth, God, substance, causation, free will and determinism, the self, the relationship between mind and body, and personal identity. Students are evaluated on the basis of two or three papers and midterm and final examinations. There are three hours of lecture and one hour of discussion per week.

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PHIL 399. Independent Study.

Instructor(s):

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

Credits: (1-4).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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

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PHIL 402. Undergraduate Seminar in Philosophy.

Section 001 The Self.

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

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

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The seminar examines a variety of philosophical questions relating to the concept of the 'self' or the 'person'. We will examine such questions as: What makes someone the same person over time? Were you already a person before you were born? Can you cease to be a person before you die? Does the notion of a multiple personality make sense? Can the self be observed? Is the concept of a person culture-dependent? Do I choose who I am? The required text is John Perry ed., Personal Identity. Other readings will be assigned as the course progresses.

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PHIL 406. Aristotle.

Section 001.

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

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

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.

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PHIL 420. Philosophy of Science.

Section 001 Meets with Nursing 570.001.

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

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

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 & Distribution: One logic introduction and either one other philosophy course or 12 credits of science. (3). (Excl). (BS).

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.

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PHIL 437 / MUSICOL 437. Philosophy of Music.

Section 001.

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

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

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?

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

PHIL 455. Contemporary Moral Problems.

Section 001 Meets with Philosophy 355.001.

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

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

R&E

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

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

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/.

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

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

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Philip Ivanhoe

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

Foreign Lit

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

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".

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. (3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

hopwood-eligible course

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

Students who wish to elect the Philosophy 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 Instructor

Graduate Course Listings for PHIL.


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