PHI 111 - Basic Problems of Philosophy
FYS 100 - Doing a Good Job: The Ethics of Professional
MW 3-4:15 p.m.
Work is an important aspect of most people's adult lives yet
professional training focuses on only one essential aspect of
doing a good job - technical competence. Making sure that the
job well done is also morally worth doing is the goal of professional
ethics. This seminar will be an opportunity to learn about the
principles of professional ethics and the many temptations to
violate them. Both standards of practice which apply generally
to professions as well as those which are unique to a single
occupation will be the subject of this seminar.
FYS 100 - Plato's Republic and Contemporary Moral Issues
TR 12-1:15 p.m.
TR 3-4:15 p.m.
Our main emphasis will be on questions in moral and political
philosophy. In the first half of the semester we read a number
of works by Plato: the Euthyphro, the Crito, the
Meno, the Gorgias, and the Republic. In
the second half of the semester we read Locke's A Letter
Concerning Toleration, Mill's On Liberty, and articles
on legal moralism, paternalism, and the duty of rescue. Questions
we address include the following: Is an act right because commanded
by God, or commanded by God because it is right? What is the
basis of our obligation to obey the law? Does anyone ever desire
something believing it to be evil? What is justice, and is acting
justly in the agent's best interest? What is the proper relation
between church and state? Should the law be used to enforce
morality as such? Are paternalistic laws legitimate? Should
the law require us to help strangers in need
PHI 221 - Symbolic Logic
TR 4-5:45 p.m.
This course serves as an introduction to first order logic (propositional
and predicate logic) and set theory. These are something like
a Must for anyone seriously interested in analytic philosophy
or in analytic thinking in general. If time permits we will
also be dealing with some meta-logical issues, like the completeness
and compactness theorems for first order calculi. The course
is based on the successful text-software package Language, Proof
and Logic, which is designed as an experiential logic course.
Through numerous exercises presented both in text and software,
the "study" of logic becomes the "doing"
of logic. Textbooks: Jon Barwise/ John Etchemendy: Language,
Proof and Logic, C S L I Publications; Package edition,
PHI 241 - Modern Philosophy
TR 12-1:15 p.m.
A survey of the major European philosophers of the early
modern period, including Descartes, Newton, Locke, Leibniz,
Berkeley, and Hume. Our emphasis will be on theories of ideas,
epistemology, and metaphysics; we shall also touch on theories
of time and space, theology, and ethics. Development of critical
reasoning skills through class participation and structured
writing will be emphasized. Students will take in-class quizzes
and write two papers. P-PHI
PHI 261 - Ethics
MWF 2-2:50 p.m.
Ethics has a broader scope than morality proper. Besides
questions concerning moral duties and the rightness and wrongness
of actions, ethics also covers other value issues such as those
concerning happiness, the good life and, indeed, even the meaning
of life. It also addresses questions about the relation of morality
to happiness, including psychological well-being, as well as
the conflict between morality and other aspects of life. Reasons
to be moral can make sense perhaps only in the larger context
of value. While it would be impossible to address all of the
major questions in ethics in one course, this course will attempt
to do justice to the broader scope of ethics while remaining
primarily focused on the study of the major moral theories such
as Utilitarianism, Deontological Theory and Virtue Theory. Attention
will also be paid to what is often known as meta-ethics. Under
this heading, the course will address questions concerning the
nature of moral and value judgments - questions such as, whether
moral and value judgments are relative and whether they are
non-cognitive. Readings will include both historical and contemporary
sources. Historical sources will include Plato, Aristotle, Hume,
Kant, Mill and Nietzsche. P - PHI 111
PHI 274 - Philosophy of Mind
George Graham & Ralph Kennedy
TR 1:30-2:45 p.m.
The mind is so fascinating and complex, that it's no wonder
that the philosophy of mind is one of the most active fields
in philosophy today. This course introduces the field. Among
topics to be discussed are: the power of consciousness, death
and personal identity, mind as mind versus mind as brain, the
ills of mental illness, and the minds of non-human animals and
machines. The required books for the course include: George
Graham Philosophy of Mind: An Introduction (Blackwell
1998, 2nd edition) paperback ISBN 0-631-20541-1 and Daniel Robinson,
ed., The Mind (Oxford, 1998) paperback ISBN 0-19-289-308-4.
Interdisciplinary applications to neuroscience and psychology
will be discussed. The teaching format will combine lectures
with open and interactive discussion. P -
PHI 290 - Readings in Philosophy: Hume
TR 7-8:15 p.m.
A study of Hume's ideas on knowledge, ethics, and religion.
Topics will include causation, induction, skepticism, freedom
of the will, the nature of moral judgment, the design argument
for the existence of God, and the problem of evil. Readings
will be from the Treatise, the Enquiries, and
the Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion. P-PHIL
111. This course satisfies the Group IV major requirement.
PHI 332 - Aristotle
TR 9:30-10:45 a.m.
We acquire tools for reading Aristotle's texts from learning
some of the language of his logic and categories (the ten different
kinds of questions we ask about things). Then we apply these
tools to selected works from his biology, (Physics, Generation
and Corruption), physical science (Generation and Corruption,
Meteorology), psychology, (On the Soul), metaphysics
(Metaphysics), ethics (Nicomachean Ethics), politics
(Politics) and poetics (Poetics) (the study of
how to understand tragedy and other arts). The unity of his
thought on these very different topics is emphasized. We study
recurrent ideas such as causation, the status and origination
of knowledge, the relation of nature to the First Cause, the
nature and motivation of actions, the nature of social institutions,
and the nature of art and artifacts.
In terms of grading, there is a midterm and final exam. Also
a term paper is required, and it can be on any topic in Aristotle.
PHI 352 - Hegel, Kierkegaard & Nietzsche
TR 3-4:15 p.m.
Is there a way to think about the natural world that also
makes sense of human life and history? Is anything gained, or
lost, by thinking holistically about the world as a whole? Is
a life dedicated to thinking about the world (and living accordingly)
a way of avoiding an authentic human life? What does it mean
to live authentically? Does nihilism provide the answer or is
it a form of avoidance? What motivates avoidance and is there
PHI 353 - Heidegger
MW 3-4:15 p.m.
The course will be devoted to the study of Martin Heidegger's
early masterwork, Being and Time. In that book, Heidegger synthesizes
elements of Kant's transcendental philosophy, Kierkegaard's
existentialism, and Husserl's phenomenology, together with many
insights of his own, to produce a profoundly original and detailed
conception of what it is to be human and of the nature of our
relationship to - better, involvement in - the world. The work
is a difficult one, but should be rewarding to anybody interested
in questions about the nature of human life, the nature of mind,
the basis of meaning, and the structure of the everyday world.
There will be two papers and a take-home final. Prerequisites:
One 200-level philosophy course or permission of instructor.
Required texts: Martin Heidegger, Being and Time (Macquarrie
& Robinson translation); Hubert L. Dreyfus, Being-in-the-World:
A Commentary on Division I of Heidegger's Being and Time. Recommended
texts: Martin Heidegger, Basic Problems of Phenomenology.
PHI 362 - Social & Political Philosophy
MWF 10-10:50 a.m.
This course will focus on contemporary political philosophy,
especially on liberalism and related topics. In order to develop
an understanding of liberalism before moving on to a variety
of related issues in political philosophy, we will begin with
John Rawls' A Theory of Justice and Robert Nozick's Anarchy,
State, and Utopia. Political philosophies such as libertarianism
and communitarianism will be studied as responses to liberalism.
Other topics such as multiculturalism, the relationship between
metaphysics and politics, the role of religion in politics,
feminism, and the place of individuals and nations in the international
setting will be studied with regard to their impact on liberalism.