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# Courses in Philosophy

This page was created at 7:36 AM on Mon, Jul 1, 2002.

## Summer Half-Term Courses

### PHIL 180. Introductory Logic.

#### Instructor(s): Gerhard Nuffer (gnuffer@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Credit is granted for only one of Phil. 180 or 201. (2). (HU). (BS).

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

This course is an elementary introduction to symbolic logic. No previous course in logic is required. It is designed to introduce the student to concepts and techniques that will greatly enhance the student's understanding of the structure of arguments. The main concept we will study is the concept of logical consequence. We will learn what it means to say that a sentence is a logical consequence of a given set of premises, how we can prove that a sentence is a logical consequence when it is, and how we can prove that it is not a logical consequence when it isn't. We will learn how to represent information in the language of first-order logic and how to draw conclusions from these representations. This will involve translating from ordinary language into the formal language and back, but also directly describing situations in the language of first-order logic.

The text is Language, Proof, and Logic by Jon Barwise and John Etchemendy. It comes with a software program, "Tarski's World 5.0", which contains a wealth of exercises and problems with solutions.

There will be frequent homework assignments, a midterm, and a final exam.

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### 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).

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

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

• The problem of free will: Are our choices and actions determined by past events? Is free action impossible if actions are determined? Can a person be held morally responsible for actions that are determined by past circumstances over which she had no control?
• The problem of our knowledge: How can we gain knowledge of the world external to our minds given that we have access to nothing but our thoughts and experiences? How can we gain knowledge about the future solely on the basis of information about the past and present?
• 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 empirical world?

Students will write papers and exams discussing a number of these topics.

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### PHIL 355. Contemporary Moral Problems.

#### Section 201.

Prerequisites & Distribution: No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Phil. 455. (2). (HU).

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. The topics discussed may include abortion, sex and sexual perversion, drugs, death and suicide, civil disobedience, punishment, pacifism, war, problems in medical ethics (eugenics, euthanasia, sanctity of life, organ transplants, defining death), environmental ethics, and the ethics of scientific research.

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### PHIL 365 / PHIL 365. Problems of Religion.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: (2). (HU).

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

In this course we will explore some questions concerning religious experiences, concepts, and beliefs using the methods of philosophical analysis. We will read a number of contemporary philosophers of religion, as well as thinkers like James, Aquinas, Kierkegaard, Hume, and others. Major topics:

1. Religious experience. Should we think of such experiences as feelings or perceptions? How is such experience articulated into religious concepts and doctrines? Do religious experinces provide a justification for religious belief?
2. Arguments for and against the existence of God. We will examine some of the most influential arguments and the responses to them, including the argument from design and the problem of evil.
3. Faith and reason. Is religious belief reasonable (i.e. rationally justifiable)? Should it be? What does the theory of knowledge have to say about the rationality of religious belief? What is the proper relation between faith and reason?
4. Religion and ethics. Does God's will define what is moral?

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### PHIL 499. Senior Honors in Philosophy.

#### Instructor(s):

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

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.

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## Spring Half-Term Courses

### PHIL 181. Philosophical Issues: An Introduction.

#### Instructor(s): Alexander Bradford Hughes (hughesa@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).

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

An introduction to the basic issues and methods of philosophy. Topics and readings are from both traditional and contemporary philosophy, and include discussion of such issues as the nature and foundation of knowledge, the source and justification of moral values, the relation of mind and body, and determinism and free will.

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### PHIL 303. Introduction to Symbolic Logic.

#### Instructor(s):

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 human reasoning. Its goal is to determine which forms of reasoning must produce true conclusions when applied to true premises. This course will introduce students to the two simplest, but most important systems of formal logic: the propositional calculus, which classifies forms of reasoning that involve the truth-functional operations of negation, disjunction, and conjunction ("not," "or" and "and"); and the monadic predicate calculus, which characterizes inferences involving the quantifiers "all" and "some." The first half of the course will focus on the propositional calculus. A system of inference rules will be developed, and students will be shown how it can be applied to the evaluation of ordinary arguments. A series of "metatheorems" will then be proved to show that the system developed indeed captures all and only the valid truth-functional inferences. During this portion of the course, students will also be asked to master proofs by mathematical induction. The second half of the course will be dedicated to the study of first-order logic. There will be regular homework assignments, assigned weekly, as well as a midterm examination and a final.

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### PHIL 340. Mind, Matter, and Machines.

#### Instructor(s): Stephen D Petersen (spetey@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (2). (HU).

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

A study of some central questions about the human mind and its place in nature. Topics will include: theories of the relation between mental states and physical states, artificial intelligence, the nature of mental representation, and the place of consciousness in a physicalistic worldview.

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### PHIL 356. Issues in Bioethics.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: No prerequisites; one philosophy introduction is recommended. (3). (HU).

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

In Phil 356, we will look closely at three issues, very emotional issues, in which moral philosophy applies to the concerns of the contemporary public debate - termination of pregnancies, mercy killing, and the asexual reproduction of humans. Our concern will not be with the feelings these subjects inevitably produce nor with how strong feelings influence our beliefs and our attempts to influence the beliefs of others. We will also not be concerned with practical issues of public policy. We will be almost entirely interested in considering how opinion in these areas can be rationally justified. Can we find genuinely compelling reasons, reasons that any rational person ought to accept, for some our positions?

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### PHIL 370. Philosophical Aspects of Literature.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: (2). (HU).

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

Course Homepage: No homepage submitted.

The central themes of the course are trust and tragedy, where tragedy, for our purposes, will be understood in terms of the impossibility of trust. What is the nature of trust? What factors make trust impossible? Is trust ever (really) possible? Through the works to be read in this course, we will explore the nature and conditions of trusting not only others but also oneself, and investigate how these issues inform our thoughts about the nature of morality and the individual's epistemic relationship with the natural world. We begin with two plays: Sophocles' Philoctetes and Shakespeare's King Lear. Next, we turn to Emerson's essays, "Self-Reliance" and "Experience", and to selections from Thoreau's Walden. Finally, we will look at Poe's detective story, "The Purloined Letter" and Melville's final novel, The Confidence-Man. Throughout the course, our interests will range from philosophical questions about the nature of trust, knowledge, responsibility, autonomy, morality, shame and integrity to questions concerning the intersection of literature and philosophy, and whether literature is or isn't a necessary medium through which to describe philosophical views. Focus will also be placed on the role and relationship between author and reader. Assignments consist in three papers, 5-7 pages in length. Please contact the instructor if you have any questions.

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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 498. Senior Honors in Philosophy.

#### Instructor(s):

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

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.

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## Spring/Summer Term Courses

### Graduate Course Listings for PHIL.

This page was created at 7:36 AM on Mon, Jul 1, 2002.