PHIL C1010x Methods and Problems of Philosophical Thought 3 pts. Critical introduction to philosophical problems, ideas and methods.
PHIL V1401x Introduction to Logic 3 pts. Explicit criteria for recognizing valid and fallacious arguments, together with various methods for schematizing discourse for the purpose of logical analysis. Illustrative material taken from science and everyday life.
PHIL V2101x The History of Philosophy I: Presocratics to Augustine 4 pts. Corequisites: PHIL V2111 Required Discussion Section/ 0 points Exposition and analysis of the positions of the major philosophers from the pre-Socratics through Augustine. This course has unrestricted enrollment. Recitation Section Required.
PHIL V2201y History of Philosophy II: Aquinas to Kant 4 pts. Corequisites: PHIL V2211 Required Discussion Section 0 points PHIL V2101 is not a prerequisite for this course. Exposition and analysis of the metaphysics, epistemology, and natural philosophy of the major philosophers from Aquinas through Kant. Authors include Aquinas, Galileo, Gassendi, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. This course has unrestricted enrollment. Recitation Section Required.
PHIL V2301x History of Philosophy III: 19th and 20th Century Philosophy 4 pts. Corequisites: PHIL V2311 Required Discussion Section 0 points PHIL V2101 and V2201 are not prerequisites for this course. Exposition and analysis of major texts and figures in European philosophy since Kant. Authors include Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Heidegger. Required discussion section. Unrestricted enrollment. Discussion Section Required.
PHIL V2702x and y Contemporary Moral Problems 3 pts. In this class, we will discus the moral dimensions of several contemporary issues, including (but not limited to) affirmative action, abortion, poverty, the treatment of non-human animals, punishment, and pornography. As we delve into these specific issues, we will also explore different conceptions of morality and justice, and the presuppositions about human nature and value that underlie them.
PHIL V3251x Kant 3 pts. Explores the connections between theoretical and practical reason in Kant's thinking with special attention to the Critique of Pure Reason and the project of "transcendental" philosophy.
PHIL V3301x Twentieth Century Philosophy 3 pts. A survey of the precursors and founders of the five major movements of 20th century philosophy.The survey includes the three movements of analytic philosophy that is Pragmatism, Logical Positivism and Linguistic Analysis. The course reader contains selected texts of Pragmatism including James, Peirce and Dewey as well as selected texts of Logical Positivism including Russell, Carnap and Ayer, and selected texts of Linguistic Analysis from Moore and Wittgenstein to Ryle and Austin. This survey is followed by an exposition of the Continental movements of Phenomenology and Existentialism with readings from Husserl, Heidegger and Sartre. A concluding review of some postmodernist tendencies that focuses on selected texts of Jacques Derrida, Michael Foucault and Isaiah Berlin.
PHIL V3411x and y-G4415 Symbolic Logic 4 pts. Corequisites: PHIL V3413 Required Discussion Section 0 points Advanced introduction to classical sentential and predicate logic. No previous acquaintance with logic is required; nonetheless a willingness to master technicalities and to work at a certain level of abstraction is desirable. This course has unrestricted enrollment. Recitation Section Required. Science Requirement: Partial Fulfillment.
PHIL V3552x Philosophical Problems of Climate Change 3 pts. The debate about climate change, its impact, and the implications for policy raise many philosophical questions. What is the evidence for anthropogenic global warming? Why does debate persist? How should we assess the risks of various options? What are our obligations to distant people and to future generations? In what ways does climate change require us to assess our economic, social, and political institutions? By taking up these question, the course will explore a range of important issues in philosophy of science, philosophy of economics, ethics, and social and political philosophy. Open to Juniors and Seniors.
PHIL V3601x Metaphysics 4 pts. Corequisites: PHIL V3611 Required Discussion Section 0 points Systematic treatment of some major topics in metaphysics (e.g. modality, causation, identity through time, particulars and universals). Readings from contemporary authors. Discussion Section Required.
PHIL V3701x and y Ethics 4 pts. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy Corequisites: PHIL V3711 Required Discussion Section 0 points Prerequisites: One course in philosophy. Introduction to the three central theories of normative ethics: consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics; introduction to selected topics in meta-ethics. Required Discussion Section. Recitation Section Required.
PHIL V3716x and y Topics in Ethics 3 pts. Classic justtifications of normative ethical positions through appeals to Nature in Aristotle, Reason in Kant, Sentiment in Hume, and History in Hegel. Twentieth-Century Analyses of ethical statements from G.E. Moore's intuitionism through A.J. Ayer and C.L. Stevenson on Logical Positivism, J.P. Sarte's Existentialism, John Dewey's Progmatism, and cognitive rationality in Stuart Hampshire and Philippa Foot. This course will be capped at 40 students.
PHIL V3751x and y Political Philosophy 3 pts. Six major concepts of political philosophy including authority, rights, equality, justice, liberty and democracy are examined in three different ways. First the conceptual issues are analyzed through contemporary essays on these topics by authors like Peters, Hart, Williams, Berlin, Rawls and Schumpeter. Second the classical sources on these topics are discussed through readings from Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Marx, Plato, Mill and Rousseau. Third some attention is paid to relevant contexts of application of these concepts in political society, including such political movements as anarchism, international human rights, conservative, liberal, and Marxist economic policies as well as competing models of democracy.
PHIL V3752x Philosophy of Law 3 pts. This course explores philosophical reflection on the relationship between law, society and morality. We discuss the nature of law, the nature of legal reasoning, the relationship between law and social policy, and central concepts in civil and criminal law. Readings are drawn from such sources as the natural law tradidion, legal positivism, legal realism, and Critical Legal Theory. Readings will be supplemented by analysis of classic cases.
PHIL W3852x Philosophy of Literature 3 pts. The course reviews and analyzes five topics in philosophical commentary on works of literature. The relationship between literature and truth is developed from Plato and Aristotle to analytical and existential philosophies of the twentieth century, including Graham Hough and J.P. Sartre. Theories of interpretation of literary writing are examined from classical rhetorical authors through medieval commentators including Dante and Maimonides to Northrop Frye's theory of myth and a critique of Jacques Derrida's views on deconstructionism. The question of the universality of works of literature or of the claims for pluralism are analyzed through accounts of classicism and enlightenment through interpretations of romanticism. The relevance of theories of the genesis of literature for the understanding of literature is discussed including Marxism, Freudianism and Modernism. The relationship between literature and morality is examined ranging from the thesis that art is necessarily moral to the thesis of art for art's sake. This course will be capped at 40 students.
PHIL C3912y (Section 003) Seminar: Ethics 3 pts.
PHIL C3912x (Section 005) Seminar: Metaphysics 3 pts. Prerequisites: Required of senior majors, but also open to junior majors, and junior and senior concentrators who have taken at least four philosophy courses. There has traditionally been much interst in the notion of substance. Substances are often said to be fundamental, independent, unified, and the bearers of properties. But the very notion of substance has raised many questions through the medieval, early modern and contemporary eras. For one thing, there is little agreement as to whether substances have all these characteristics. For another, there is little agreement about which things are substances (particles? rocks? organisms? God?) And some have even questioned whether the notion of substance is intelligible. In this seminar we will discuss major works from each of these eras. Our goal is to understand how authors such as Aquinas, Scotus, Ockham, Descartes, and Spinoza thoguht about the notion and then discuss the bearing of their work on contemporary metaphysics.
PHIL C3912x (Section 014) Seminar: Liberalism & Its Critics 3 pts. Contemporary liberal political philosophy presumes that governments should protect a fair distribution of liberties and material resources so that autonomous individuals may live as they choose. This course will examine some influential examples of this view, in the work of philosophers such as Rawls, Dworkin and Rorty, along with important criticisms of the values and assumptions that underwrite the view. For instance, does liberalism rest on a mistaken conception of the person? Does it emphasize the soverign individual at the expense of community. Does its commitment to toleration embody an unrealizable and even morally problematic ideal? This course will consider influential versions of these critiques, and ask whether any genuinely liberal political philosophy can accomodate them.
PHIL C3912x (Section 018) Seminar: Analytic Philosophy 3 pts. The course aims at equipping the students with basic concepts and tools of analytic philosophy and to show how the analytic approach applies in different areas. Among the basic tools are the type/ token distinction, intensional/ extensional, sense and reference, the concept of a proposition and propositional attitudes, Intentionality, the De re/ De dicto distinction. The plan is to cover examples from philosophy of language, epistemology, philosophy of mind (the mind body problem), and ethics.
PHIL W3953y Philosophy and Literature: Shakespeare 3 pts. The seminar will consider seven plays by Shakespeare, devoting two sessions to each, and pairing each with other textsw (typically with philosophical texts). Among the plays considered will be Merchant of Venice, All's Well that Ends Well, Midsummer Night's Dream, Henry IV Part I, and King Lear. The readings will also include extracts from the writings of Edmund Burke, Adam Smith, Anthony Appiah, Plato, Camus, Schopenhauer, and Stanley Cavell. Open to studnets majoring either in Philosophy or in English and Comparative Literature.
PHIL W3960y Epistemology 4 pts. Corequisites: PHIL W3963 Required Discussion Section 0 points What can we know? What is knowledge? How is it different from belief? Are there irrational beliefs? Are false beliefs a mark of irrationality? These are just some of the topics that we will explore as we read various classical works in epistemology. Discussion Section Required.
PHIL C3996x and y-C3997x an Supervised Senior Research 3 pts. Supervised research usually with the goal of writing a senior thesis, under the direction of individual members of the department.
PHIL W3996x and y-W3997x an Supervised Senior Research 3 pts.Supervised research under the direction of individual members of the department.
PHIL W3997y-W3998y Supervised Individual Research 3 pts.
PHIL G4089x and y Aristotle 3 pts. Prerequisites: Undergraduate students must get permission of instructor. On each occasion when it is offered, the course will be devoted to one major area within, or a major work of, Aristotle's philosophy. These include ethics, natural philosophy, and metaphysics (and works such as the Nicomachean Ethics, the DeAnima, and the Metaphysics.
PHIL G4095x Medieval Hebrew Philosophical Texts 3 pts. Selected readings in major medieval Hebrew philosophic texts. Works discussed include: Maimonides' Book of Knowledge, Shemtob Falaquera's Epistle of the Debate, Gersonides' War of the Lord, Hasdai Crescas' Light of the Lord, and joseph Albo's Book of Principles. Focus will be on basic problems concerning reason and religion; ethics, politics, and law.
PHIL G4170x Medieval Philosophy 3 pts. Latin, Arabic, and Hebrew philosophy from the 4th to the 14th century, including Augustine, Alfarabi, Avicenna, Anselm, Ibn Gabirol, Averroes, Maimonides, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and Crescas.
PHIL G4260x Kant's Ethics 3 pts. The course will trace (and evaluate) central themes in Kant's ethical theory through his major texts, the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, The Critique of Practical Reason, the Metaphysics of Morals, and relevant parts of Religion within the Bounds of Mere Reason. Themes include the role of reason in moral evaluation and decision, freedom and autonomy, moral egalitarianism, moral idealism, moral dilemmas, and Kant's idea of the good.
PHIL G4455x (Section 001) Special Topics in Logic: Modal Logic 3 pts.
PHIL G4490x Language and Mind 3 pts. This course will survey some fundamental issues about the relation between language and thought, and whether and why the former is necessary for the latter. Readings will consist of selections from Descartes, Frege, major pragmatists, Wittgenstein, Quine, Davidson, Kripke, Chomsky, McDowell, Burge and others.
PHIL G4561y Probability and Decision Theory 3 pts. Examines interpretations and applications of the calculus of probability including applications as a measure of degree of belief, degree of confirmation, relative frequency, a theoretical property of systems, and other notions of objective probability or chance. Attention to epistimological questions such as Hume's problem of induction, Goodman's problem of projectibility, and the paradox of confirmation.
PHIL G4675x The Direction of Time 3 pts. A survey of the various attempts to reconcile the macroscopic directionality of time with the time-reversibility of the fundamental laws of physics. The second law of thermodynamics and the concept of entropy, statistical mechanics, cosmological problems, the problems of memory, the possibility of multiple time direction.
PHIL G4900 Topics in Early Modern Philosophy 3 pts.Not offered in 2013-2014. Prerequisites: Open to undergraduates with previous work in the history of philosophy and to graduate students. Focuses either on an important topic in the history of early modern philosophy (e.g., skepticism, causation, mind, body) or on the philosophy of a major figure in the period (e.g., Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Gassendi, Conway).
ECPH W4950y Economics and Philosophy Seminar 3 pts. Prerequisites: ECON W3211, W 3213, and STAT W1211 Explores topics in the philosophy of economics such as welfare, social choice, and the history of political economy. Sometimes the emphasis is primarily historical and sometimes on analysis of contemporary economic concepts and theories.
Study Abroad: Reid Hall, Paris
PHIL H3550 Aspects of Contemporary French Thought Not offered in 2013-2014.
PHIL H3551 Aesthetics: the Arts In a Comparative Perspective Not offered in 2013-2014.