College of LS&A

Fall Academic Term 2003 Graduate Course Guide

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Courses in Philosophy


This page was created at 6:21 PM on Tue, Sep 23, 2003.

Fall Academic Term 2003 (September 2 - December 19)


PHIL 414. Mathematical Logic.

Section 001.

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

Prerequisites: PHIL 303. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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

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

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

PHIL 429. Ethical Analysis.

Section 001 — Contemporary Metaethics.

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

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

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This will be a course in contemporary metaethics. Metaethics is concerned with what ethical claims mean, and with the kinds of reasoning or evidence that justify ethical claims. The course will take up the ethical intuitionism of Moore and Ross, the emotivism of Ayer and Stevenson, Hare's universal prescriptivism, and recent proposals such as Rawls' theory of reflective equilibrium, Brandt's linguistic reform, new versions of "moral realism," and moral "expressivism" with "quasi-realism." Students should already have some background in moral philosophy in the twentieth century "analytic" tradition, preferably PHIL 361 or the equivalent. Three short (five page) papers will be required, and there will be a midterm and a final examination. Classes will consist both of lecture and of discussion.

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

PHIL 440. Philosophy of Film.

Section 001.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PHIL 463. Topics in the History of Philosophy.

Section 001 — Descartes.

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

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

PHIL 468 / CHIN 468. Classical Chinese Thought.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Eric Hutton

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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

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

PHIL 482. Philosophy of Mind.

Section 001.

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

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

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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

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

PHIL 492. Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein.

Section 001.

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

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

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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

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

PHIL 552 / LING 516. Pragmatics and Speech Act Theory.

Section 001.

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

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is designed to familiarize students with the role of context, speaker's intentions, and non-indicative uses of language (e.g., questions and commands) in the theory of meaning and in linguistic communications more generally.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

PHIL 596. Reading Course.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of instructor. (2-3). (INDEPENDENT). May not be repeated for credit.

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 department required.

PHIL 597. Proseminar.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Peter A Railton (prailton@umich.edu) , Jason C Stanley (jasoncs@umich.edu)

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (6). May not be repeated for credit.

Credits: (6).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The proseminar provides first-year graduate students with an opportunity to engage as a group with a range of issues.

In this first section of the Proseminar, we will study early analytic discussions (circa 1890-1920) of some of the central notions of philosophy, such as truth, goodness, and fact. We will focus in particular on the relation between these notions and judgments and their contents. In the works of Frege and the early Moore and Russell, we find a common picture of the relation between judgment, belief and their contents, and truth and facts. According to this classical analytical picture, each 'act' of judgment or belief expresses a relation between a person and the content of that judgment or belief, which is alternatively known as a thought (Frege), a proposition (Moore, Russell), or an objective (Meinong). On this picture, judgments and beliefs are only derivatively true; the primary bearers of truth and falsity are their contents. The judgement that p or the belief that p counts as true or false in virtue of the truth or falsity of its content. Furthermore, Frege and the early Moore and Russell held that "is true" expressed a primitive and irreducible property of propositions. Any attempt to define truth would itself presuppose appeal to the property of truth. The final piece of the picture was a deflationary doctrine about facts; a fact was held by these theorists to be nothing more than a true proposition (this doctrine is known as the identity theory of truth).

We will begin the academic term by looking at the details of this general view, as it is spelled out in the works of Frege, and papers by Moore and Russell. In the course of this, we will investigate the details of the different theories of content laid out in these papers. We will then turn to Moore's discussion of goodness, in his 1903 classic, Principia Ethica. Here, Moore propounds a theory of goodness similar to his view of truth (though he justifies it via different means). By 1910, Moore and Russell came to abandon their earlier view that judgement and belief were relations to extra-linguistic propositions, and that facts were simply true propositions. In so doing, they also adopted the correspondence theory of truth, where the truth of a belief or a judgment consisted in its referring to an existing fact. In chapters 14 and 15 of Moore's Some Main Problems of Philosophy (lectures given by Moore in 1910-11, though only published later) and Russell's "The Nature of Truth and Falsity", Moore and Russell explain their reasons for their rejection of the classical picture. In addition, in this latter paper, Russell introduces his "multiple relation" theory of judgment, which is meant to replace the classical theory's account of judgment, according to which an act of judgment always expresses a two-place relation between a person and a proposition.

Moore and Russell's adoption of the correspondence theory of truth, and their concomitant acceptance of a substantial metaphysic of facts, paved the way for the rich investigation of the nature of facts presented in Russell's classic work, The Philosophy of Logical Atomism. We end the first section of the Proseminar by a close reading of this text, the first classic work in pure metaphysics of the Twentieth Century.

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. Permission of instructor required. (3). (INDEPENDENT). May not be repeated for credit.

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 department required.

PHIL 599. Candidacy Reading Course.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and permission of instructor. (2-3). (INDEPENDENT). May not be repeated for credit.

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 department required.

PHIL 600. Advanced Studies.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. Permission of instructor required. (3). (INDEPENDENT). May not be repeated for credit.

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

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 department required.

PHIL 602. Seminar in Philosophy of Science.

Section 001 — Interpretive Problems in Newtonian Dynamics.

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

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

For 200 years Newtonian dynamics was the fundamental theory of physics. Even now its concepts transformed are the core of contemporary physical theories. But for all that time it has been replete with interpretive problems. Is force "real?" Do space and time exist over and above the things and events in them and their relations to one another? What is the status of the varied modes of explanation that arise in different forms of the theory, especially of "extremal principles" that looked to many like the reintroduction into physics of explanations by "final causes?" We will look at the historical origins of these interpretive problems and at how they are treated in contemporary science and philosophy. Our aim will be not just some understanding of this particular theory, but of what it is to "interpret" a foundational theory in physics. We will try to get along with a minimum of the technical apparatus of the theory.

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

PHIL 610. Seminar in History of Philosophy.

Section 001 — Stoicism. Meets with Greek 830.001.

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

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2003/fall/phil/610/001.nsf

In "Stoicism," we will discuss a number of topics in Stoic ethics (with attention to Stoic physics and logic where necessary). Topics will include, first, moral psychology: what is Stoic intellectualism, and why were the Stoics intellectualists? Here, we will pay particular attention to Stoic accounts of motivation, the emotions, and moral development. Second, value theory and its implications for practical conduct: what does the Stoic thesis that virtue alone is good, vice alone bad, and everything else indifferent, amount to? What are our guides to conduct, and in particular, what kind of guidance does nature provide? How can living according to nature make us happy? Third, so-called "applied" ethics: what are our duties to others, and how are these influenced by our various relationships to others? For example, do we have duties to human beings as such, and what are they? Are we in some sort of community with (or do we in some way belong together with) other human beings as such? And finally, determinism: what are the implications of the Stoic view that everything that happens is fated, or ordered by providence, for our freedom, responsibility for our actions, and practices of praise and blame and punishment?

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

PHIL 618. Seminar in Aesthetics.

Section 001.

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

Prerequisites: Graduate standing. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This seminar will address a collection of related issues concerning values of various kinds and the arts. We will investigate the nature of aesthetic value, how (and whether) aesthetic value differs from value of other kinds (e.g., moral value), how it is related to other kinds of value (e.g., Do moral failings of a work of art affect its aesthetic value?), and what other-than-aesthetic values works of art, or some of them, might be especially well suited to serve.

Along the way we are likely to consider more specific questions about the kinds of emotional responses works of art elicit in appreciators, the "paradox of tragedy" (Why do people let themselves in for the "negative" emotions they can expect to experience from tragic works of art?), forgery, the "test of time" for aesthetic greatness, differences between "high" art and "popular" art, etc.

Interested students are invited to contact me (klwalton@umich.edu) for more information about the seminar.

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

PHIL 697. Candidacy Seminar.

Section 001.

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

Prerequisites: Restricted to Philosophy Candidates and Philosophy Doctoral students nearing Candidacy. Graduate standing. (2). May not be repeated for credit.

Credits: (2).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~gibbard/casemf03.htm

Seminar for Philosophy graduate students achieving candidacy.

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

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.

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

PHIL 993. Graduate Student Instructor Training Program.

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

Prerequisites: Must have Teaching Assistant award. Graduate standing. (1). May not be repeated for credit.

Credits: (1).

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

A seminar for all beginning graduate student instructors, consisting of a two day orientation before the term starts and periodic workshops/meetings during the Fall Academic Term. Beginning graduate student instructors are required to register for this course.

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

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 department required.


Undergraduate Course Listings for PHIL.


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