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Robert C Koons


ProfessorPhD, University of California at Los Angeles

Robert C Koons

Contact

Interests


Ancient and medieval philosophy, especially the Aristotelian tradition.

Biography


He specializes in philosophical logic and in the application of logic to long-standing philosophical problems, including metaphysics, philosophy of mind and intentionality, semantics, political philosophy and metaethics, and philosophy of religion. His book Paradoxes of Belief and Strategic Rationality (Cambridge, 1992) received the Aarlt Prize from the Council of Graduate Schools in 1994. He is the author of Realism Regained (OUP, 2000) and the co-editor (with George Bealer) of The Waning of Materialism (OUP, 2010). He is at work with Tim Pickavance on a textbook on metaphysics. He is working on analytic Aristotelianism and social ontology.

Courses


PHL 382 • Neo-Aristotelianism

42555 • Fall 2016
Meets TH 4:00PM-7:00PM SAC 5.124

Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

Course Description

A look at contemporary metaphysics (late 20th century to the present) in a broadly Aristotelian setting. Topics to be covered: immanent universals vs. individual forms, Aristotelian approaches to the problems of material composition and persistence, causal powers and processes, time and change, final and formal causes, actuality & potentiality, finitism in physics & mathematics, and hylomorphic accounts of the mind/body relation, The seminar will be held jointly (via cyberspace) with a seminar on the same topic, taught by Prof. Alexander Pruss at Baylor.

Grading  Policy

Students will have a choice between a single term paper (20-25 pages, due at the end of the semester), or two 10 page papers, one due before Thansksgiving and the second at the end of the semester.

Texts

Articles and chapters by: Loux, Lowe, Haldane, Feser, K. Fine, Rea, Marmodoro, North, Cartwright, Koslicki, M, Johnston, Jaworski, Chisholm, Brentano, Mumford, Stump, Ellis, Cartwright, Bird, Heil, Aquinas, and (of course) Aristotle.

 

This seminar satisfies the M & E requirement.

C C 304C • Ancient Philosophy

32155 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 308
(also listed as CTI 310, PHL 301K)

An introduction to the political ideas and theories of the ancient Greeks and Romans. We will focus on primary texts by Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and Augustine of Hippo, supplemented by some selections from the Greek historian Thucydides and the political school of thought known as the “Sophists”. About one-third of the course will be devoted to role-playing game, The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C.  This game is part of a “Reacting to the Past” method developed at Barnard College. Students will be assigned different roles, e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death. Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas.

The heart of each game is persuasion. For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents. Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the better. You have two ways of expressing your views: orally and in writing. Both will be graded.

PHL 327 • Contmp Christian Philosophy

41685 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CLA 0.106

We will examine recent work in philosophy that is written from a Christian point of view or that examines philosophical questions that arise within the framework of the Christian faith. The issues to be covered include the relationship between faith and reason, the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God, the problem of evil, the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge and sovereignty with human responsibility, and the relation of God to time. Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of Christian philosophy to foundational questions concerning reality, knowledge and ethics.

PHL 323K • Metaphysics

41580 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 306

An examination of the classic problems and questions of metaphysics (change, composition, time, space, existence, possibility, causation, universals), using the tools of contemporary analytic philosophy.

PHL 349 • Hist Of Medieval & Renais Phl

41682 • Fall 2015
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 302

An examination of the most significant and representative philosophers of medieval Europe and the Mediterranean, with a view both to their historical significance and their contemporary relevance. Topics include: faith and reason, proofs of God’s existence, free will, soul and body, and the problem of universals.

C C 304C • Ancient Philosophy

33600 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM MEZ 2.124
(also listed as PHL 301K)

An introduction to the political ideas and theories of the ancient Greeks and Romans. We will focus on primary texts by Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and Augustine of Hippo, supplemented by some selections from the Greek historian Thucydides and the political school of thought known as the “Sophists”. About one-third of the course will be devoted to role-playing game, The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C.  This game is part of a “Reacting to the Past” method developed at Barnard College. Students will be assigned different roles, e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death. Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas.

The heart of each game is persuasion. For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents. Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts andthe more cleverly you draw upon them, the better. You have two ways of expressing your views: orally and in writing. Both will be graded.

Grading Policy:

Your grade will be based on the following:

(1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the games: 10%

(2) four analytical outlines: 10%.

(3) pop quizzes: 10%.

(4) points earned (as part of a group) in “Reacting to the Past” simulation: 10%

(5) approximately three writing assignments -- speeches, newspaper articles, poems, or whatever written expression that enables you to persuade your fellow students in the context of the “Reacting to the Past” simulation -- totaling about ten pages: 20%

(6) two exams (the first 15%, the second 25%).

Timely submission of all work is essential.

Texts:

  • The Threshold of Democracy Athens in 403 B.C.  by Mark Carnes (Longman, 2005)
  • Plato, The Republic (Penguin Classics, 2007)
  • Thucydides, On Justice, Power and Human Nature: The Essence of The History of the Peloponnesian War (edited by Paul Woodruff, Hackett, 1993)
  • Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (trans. David Ross, Oxford World Classics, 2009)
  • Aristotle’s Politics and the Constitution of Athens (trans. Everson, Cambridge. 1996)
  • Cicero, Republic and the Laws (trans. Rudd, Oxford World Classics, 2009)
  • Cicero, On Obligations: De Officiis (trans. Walsh, Oxford World Classics, 2008)

PHL 327 • Universals And Particulars

43347-43349 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 302

We will examine recent work in philosophy that is written from a Christian point of view or that examines philosophical questions that arise within the framework of the Christian faith. The issues to be covered include the relationship between faith and reason, the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God, the problem of evil, the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge and sovereignty with human responsibility, and the relation of God to time.  Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of Christian philosophy to foundational questions concerning reality, knowledge and ethics. 

Prerequisites: no prior work in philosophy is expected.  Non-majors are encouraged.

Texts:

G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Francis A. Schaeffer, He is There and He is not Silent

Kelly J. Clark, Return to Reason

Phl 327 Supplemental Readings, available at UT Library electronic reserves. 

Evaluation:

• Three in-class exams (combination of essay and multiple choice): 25% each (including an in-class test on Dec. 7).  There will be an optional, comprehensive final that can be counted for 25% of the course grade, permitting a student to drop the lowest in-class test grade.

• Short papers (eight 2-page responses to the readings): 10%. Short papers are to be turned in at the beginning of class on Monday, responding to the coming week's reading.

• Class and section participation: 15%

• Optional term paper: due the last day of class.  2500-3000 words on a topic pre-approved by the instructor.  The term paper may be used to drop a low midterm grade, or in place of the third in-class exam, at the student's discretion.

 

Instructor: Prof. Rob Koons.  Phone: 471-5530.  koons@mail.utexas.edu

PHL 323K • Metaphysics

43045 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WAG 308

This course is an overview of some of the central topics in metaphysics.
Metaphysics, generally speaking, is the branch of philosophy concerned
with the nature of reality; metaphysicians seek an understanding of the
fundamental sorts of things that constitute the world, as well as of the
structure of the world itself.
We will begin by focusing on issues surrounding one particular sort of
thing: persons. In particular, we will be considering different views
regarding what it is to be a person and for a person to persist through
change. This will lead to more general discussions of the nature and
structure of time and the persistence of things through temporal change.
From there we’ll take up the issue of composition. In particular, we’ll be
concerned with the following question: Under what circumstances do
some things (parts) compose another thing (whole)? We’ll then turn to the
problems of universals and individuation – how do we account for (i)
similarities among distinct things and (ii) the distinctness of exactly
similar things? We’ll conclude the course with a discussion of possible
worlds.

PHL 327 • Cont Conservative Philosophy

43070-43080 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 420

We will examine recent work in philosophy that is written from a Christian point of view or that examines philosophical questions that arise within the framework of the Christian faith. The issues to be covered include the relationship between faith and reason, the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God, the problem of evil, the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge and sovereignty with human responsibility, and the relation of God to time.  Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of Christian philosophy to foundational questions concerning reality, knowledge and ethics. 

Prerequisites: no prior work in philosophy is expected.  Non-majors are encouraged.

Texts:

G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Francis A. Schaeffer, He is There and He is not Silent

Kelly J. Clark, Return to Reason

Phl 327 Supplemental Readings, available at UT Library electronic reserves. 

Evaluation:

• Three in-class exams (combination of essay and multiple choice): 25% each (including an in-class test on Dec. 7).  There will be an optional, comprehensive final that can be counted for 25% of the course grade, permitting a student to drop the lowest in-class test grade.

• Short papers (eight 2-page responses to the readings): 10%. Short papers are to be turned in at the beginning of class on Monday, responding to the coming week's reading.

• Class and section participation: 15%

• Optional term paper: due the last day of class.  2500-3000 words on a topic pre-approved by the instructor.  The term paper may be used to drop a low midterm grade, or in place of the third in-class exam, at the student's discretion.

 

Instructor: Prof. Rob Koons.  Phone: 471-5530.  koons@mail.utexas.edu

C C 304C • Ancient Philosophy

33145 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 308
(also listed as PHL 301K)

An introduction to the political ideas and theories of the ancient Greeks and Romans. We will focus on primary texts by Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and Augustine of Hippo, supplemented by some selections from the Greek historian Thucydides and the political school of thought known as the “Sophists”. About one-third of the course will be devoted to role-playing game, The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C.  This game is part of a “Reacting to the Past” method developed at Barnard College. Students will be assigned different roles, e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death. Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas

The heart of each game is persuasion. For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents. Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the better. You have two ways of expressing your views: orally and in writing. Both will be graded.

Grading Policy

Your grade will be based on the following:

(1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the games: 10%,

(2) four analytical outlines: 10%.

(3) pop quizzes: 10%.

(4) points earned (as part of a group) in “Reacting to the Past” simulation: 10%,

(5) approximately three writing assignments -- speeches, newspaper articles, poems, or whatever written expression that enables you to persuade your fellow students in the context of the “Reacting to the Past” simulation -- totaling about ten pages: 20%,

(6) two exams (the first 15%, the second 25% ).

Timely submission of all work is essential.

 

Texts

The Threshold of Democracy Athens in 403 B.C.  by Mark Carnes (Longman, 2005)

Plato, The Republic (Penguin Classics, 2007);

Thucydides, On Justice, Power and Human Nature: The Essence of The History of the Peloponnesian War (edited by Paul Woodruff, Hackett, 1993)

Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (trans. David Ross, Oxford World Classics, 2009)

Aristotle’s Politics and the Constitution of Athens (trans. Everson, Cambridge. 1996)

Cicero, Republic and the Laws (trans. Rudd, Oxford World Classics, 2009)

Cicero, On Obligations: De Officiis (trans. Walsh, Oxford World Classics, 2008).

 

PHL 323K • Metaphysics

42580 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WEL 3.402

This course is an overview of some of the central topics in metaphysics.
Metaphysics, generally speaking, is the branch of philosophy concerned
with the nature of reality; metaphysicians seek an understanding of the
fundamental sorts of things that constitute the world, as well as of the
structure of the world itself.
We will begin by focusing on issues surrounding one particular sort of
thing: persons. In particular, we will be considering different views
regarding what it is to be a person and for a person to persist through
change. This will lead to more general discussions of the nature and
structure of time and the persistence of things through temporal change.
From there we’ll take up the issue of composition. In particular, we’ll be
concerned with the following question: Under what circumstances do
some things (parts) compose another thing (whole)? We’ll then turn to the
problems of universals and individuation – how do we account for (i)
similarities among distinct things and (ii) the distinctness of exactly
similar things? We’ll conclude the course with a discussion of possible
worlds.

PHL 327 • Contemporary Christian Philos

42600-42610 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WAG 420

We will examine recent work in philosophy that is written from a Christian point of view or that examines philosophical questions that arise within the framework of the Christian faith. The issues to be covered include the relationship between faith and reason, the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God, the problem of evil, the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge and sovereignty with human responsibility, and the relation of God to time.  Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of Christian philosophy to foundational questions concerning reality, knowledge and ethics. 

Prerequisites: no prior work in philosophy is expected.  Non-majors are encouraged.

Texts:

G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Francis A. Schaeffer, He is There and He is not Silent

Kelly J. Clark, Return to Reason

Phl 327 Supplemental Readings, available at UT Library electronic reserves. 

Evaluation:

• Three in-class exams (combination of essay and multiple choice): 25% each (including an in-class test on Dec. 7).  There will be an optional, comprehensive final that can be counted for 25% of the course grade, permitting a student to drop the lowest in-class test grade.

• Short papers (eight 2-page responses to the readings): 10%. Short papers are to be turned in at the beginning of class on Monday, responding to the coming week's reading.

• Class and section participation: 15%

• Optional term paper: due the last day of class.  2500-3000 words on a topic pre-approved by the instructor.  The term paper may be used to drop a low midterm grade, or in place of the third in-class exam, at the student's discretion.

 

Instructor: Prof. Rob Koons.  Phone: 471-5530.  koons@mail.utexas.edu

C C 304C • Ancient Philosophy

33040 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 308
(also listed as PHL 301K)

C C 304C Topics in the Ancient World:

An introductory survey of the highlights of Greek and Roman civilization and early Christianity. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

PHL 323K • Metaphysics-Phl Majors

42490 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM JES A203A

This course is an overview of some of the central topics in metaphysics.
Metaphysics, generally speaking, is the branch of philosophy concerned
with the nature of reality; metaphysicians seek an understanding of the
fundamental sorts of things that constitute the world, as well as of the
structure of the world itself.
We will begin by focusing on issues surrounding one particular sort of
thing: persons. In particular, we will be considering different views
regarding what it is to be a person and for a person to persist through
change. This will lead to more general discussions of the nature and
structure of time and the persistence of things through temporal change.
From there we’ll take up the issue of composition. In particular, we’ll be
concerned with the following question: Under what circumstances do
some things (parts) compose another thing (whole)? We’ll then turn to the
problems of universals and individuation – how do we account for (i)
similarities among distinct things and (ii) the distinctness of exactly
similar things? We’ll conclude the course with a discussion of possible
worlds.

PHL 323K • Metaphysics

42490 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM WAG 208

An examination of some of the classic problems and questions of metaphysics – including existence, ontology, similarity, universals, relations, number, change, possibility and necessity -- using the tools of contemporary analytic philosophy.

 

TEXTS:

Required text:

Robert Koons and Tim Pickavance, Fundamentals of Metaphysics (Wiley/Blackwell, under contract)

The Koons/Pickavance text will be available (in MS Word files) on the course Blackboard page.

Students will be expected to read relevant articles in philosophy journals, as needed.

 

EVALUATION:

Ten short (1-2 page) chapter reports                                                                           20%

Two in-class essay exams (20% for the first, 30% for second)                                   50%

Attendance and class participation                                                                               20%

In-class “disputations”                                                                                              10%

Optional term paper (10-20 pages) (rough draft due Nov. 23rd; final draft due Dec. 9th), which may be used to replace one or both of the exam grades.

More detailed instructions for the paper and for the disputations will be provided as the semester progresses.

PHL 382 • Universals

42615 • Fall 2011
Meets M 3:00PM-6:00PM WAG 312

Universals and Tropes

Prerequisites:

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

Description:

An examination of some contemporary accounts of properties, with the aim (of course) of finding the One True Theory. We will begin by looking at the arguments for and against 'ostrich' and resemblance nominalism. We will then look at the following questions:

• Should we adopt universals, tropes, or both?

• What would universals or tropes have to be like? • Is any form of the Truthmaker principle true?

• In addition to universals and tropes, are there states of affairs or nexuses (instantial ties or trope-attachers)?

• Can realists avoid Bradley's regress, and if so, how?

• How do we account for the relation of determinate properties to determinables? What accounts for varying intensities and quantities?

• What is the correct theory of relations, especially non-symmetrical relations? How are things ordered in the world?

• Does realism lead to a 'problem of individuation'? If so, can it be solved?

Grading Policy:

A twenty-something page term paper, with a 4-5 page précis due by Thanksgiving. Texts: We will rely almost exclusively on recently published papers, available online. The Oxford anthology of classic papers, Properties, edited by D. H. Mellor and Alex Oliver, is recommended.

 

This course satisfies the M&E requirement

 

 

 

C C 304C • Ancient Philosophy

33295 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM WAG 302
(also listed as CTI 310, PHL 301K)

An introduction to the political ideas and theories of the ancient Greeks and Romans. We will focus on primary texts by Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and Augustine of Hippo, supplemented by some selections from the Greek historian Thucydides and the political school of thought known as the “Sophists”. About one-third of the course will be devoted to role-playing game, The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C.  This game is part of a “Reacting to the Past” method developed at Barnard College. Students will be assigned different roles, e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death. Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas

The heart of each game is persuasion. For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents. Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the better. You have two ways of expressing your views: orally and in writing. Both will be graded.

Grading Policy

Your grade will be based on the following:

(1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the games: 10%,

(2) four analytical outlines: 10%.

(3) pop quizzes: 10%.

(4) points earned (as part of a group) in “Reacting to the Past” simulation: 10%,

(5) approximately three writing assignments -- speeches, newspaper articles, poems, or whatever written expression that enables you to persuade your fellow students in the context of the “Reacting to the Past” simulation -- totaling about ten pages: 20%,

(6) two exams (the first 15%, the second 25% ).

Timely submission of all work is essential.

 

Texts

The Threshold of Democracy Athens in 403 B.C.  by Mark Carnes (Longman, 2005)

Plato, The Republic (Penguin Classics, 2007);

Thucydides, On Justice, Power and Human Nature: The Essence of The History of the Peloponnesian War (edited by Paul Woodruff, Hackett, 1993)

Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (trans. David Ross, Oxford World Classics, 2009)

Aristotle’s Politics and the Constitution of Athens (trans. Everson, Cambridge. 1996)

Cicero, Republic and the Laws (trans. Rudd, Oxford World Classics, 2009)

Cicero, On Obligations: De Officiis (trans. Walsh, Oxford World Classics, 2008).

 

PHL 327 • Contemporary Christian Philos

43030 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM BUR 112

We will examine recent work in philosophy that is written from a Christian point of view or that examines philosophical questions that arise within the framework of the Christian faith. The issues to be covered include the relationship between faith and reason, the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God, the problem of evil, the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge and sovereignty with human responsibility, and the relation of God to time.  Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of Christian philosophy to foundational questions concerning reality, knowledge and ethics. 

Prerequisites: no prior work in philosophy is expected.  Non-majors are encouraged.

Texts:

G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Francis A. Schaeffer, He is There and He is not Silent

Kelly J. Clark, Return to Reason

Phl 327 Supplemental Readings, available at UT Library electronic reserves. 

Evaluation:

• Three in-class exams (combination of essay and multiple choice): 25% each (including an in-class test on Dec. 7).  There will be an optional, comprehensive final that can be counted for 25% of the course grade, permitting a student to drop the lowest in-class test grade.

• Short papers (eight 2-page responses to the readings): 10%. Short papers are to be turned in at the beginning of class on Monday, responding to the coming week's reading.

• Class and section participation: 15%

• Optional term paper: due the last day of class.  2500-3000 words on a topic pre-approved by the instructor.  The term paper may be used to drop a low midterm grade, or in place of the third in-class exam, at the student's discretion.

 

Instructor: Prof. Rob Koons.  Phone: 471-5530.  koons@mail.utexas.edu

PHL 323K • Metaphysics

42450 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 208

This course is an overview of some of the central topics in metaphysics.
Metaphysics, generally speaking, is the branch of philosophy concerned
with the nature of reality; metaphysicians seek an understanding of the
fundamental sorts of things that constitute the world, as well as of the
structure of the world itself.
We will begin by focusing on issues surrounding one particular sort of
thing: persons. In particular, we will be considering different views
regarding what it is to be a person and for a person to persist through
change. This will lead to more general discussions of the nature and
structure of time and the persistence of things through temporal change.
From there we’ll take up the issue of composition. In particular, we’ll be
concerned with the following question: Under what circumstances do
some things (parts) compose another thing (whole)? We’ll then turn to the
problems of universals and individuation – how do we account for (i)
similarities among distinct things and (ii) the distinctness of exactly
similar things? We’ll conclude the course with a discussion of possible
worlds.

C C 304C • Ancient Philosophy

32480 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 302
(also listed as PHL 301K)

C C 304C Topics in the Ancient World:

An introductory survey of the highlights of Greek and Roman civilization and early Christianity. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

PHL 306 • Srch For Happiness Mid Ages-W

42180-42190 • Spring 2009
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 214

Empiricists claim that our knowledge is based on the sensory-perception experience. Rationalism defends a rational justification of our knowledge. Traditionally empiricists have constructed their arguments to explain the formation of ideas and concepts with different kinds of evidence, scientific observation, and experience. Rationalists have defended that we can explain concepts from notions such as innate ideas, a priori reasoning, or traditions. Beyond the epistemic considerations of these theses, we will also explore the logic, semantic and metaphysical implications of these polemics, attending specifically to questions such as the potential/actual distinction, the problematic of universal concepts, the existence of abstract objects and the inductive/deductive and analytic/synthetic dichotomies.

The main purpose of this course is to explore the basis and skeptical challenges postulated by Empiricism through the analysis of the works of three of its most representative thinkers: Aristotle, David Hume, and Rudolf Carnap. We will read various texts by these authors to understand what it means to be an empiricist, how the empiricist theses have been developed for centuries, and how their arguments challenge some common-sense intuitions. We will also attend to possible criticisms of the ideas by these particular empiricists. 

PHL 327 • Contemporary Christian Philos

42390-42400 • Spring 2009
Meets MW 11:00AM-12:00PM JGB 2.218

We will examine recent work in philosophy that is written from a Christian point of view or that examines philosophical questions that arise within the framework of the Christian faith. The issues to be covered include the relationship between faith and reason, the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God, the problem of evil, the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge and sovereignty with human responsibility, and the relation of God to time.  Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of Christian philosophy to foundational questions concerning reality, knowledge and ethics. 

Prerequisites: no prior work in philosophy is expected.  Non-majors are encouraged.

Texts:

G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Francis A. Schaeffer, He is There and He is not Silent

Kelly J. Clark, Return to Reason

Phl 327 Supplemental Readings, available at UT Library electronic reserves. 

Evaluation:

• Three in-class exams (combination of essay and multiple choice): 25% each (including an in-class test on Dec. 7).  There will be an optional, comprehensive final that can be counted for 25% of the course grade, permitting a student to drop the lowest in-class test grade.

• Short papers (eight 2-page responses to the readings): 10%. Short papers are to be turned in at the beginning of class on Monday, responding to the coming week's reading.

• Class and section participation: 15%

• Optional term paper: due the last day of class.  2500-3000 words on a topic pre-approved by the instructor.  The term paper may be used to drop a low midterm grade, or in place of the third in-class exam, at the student's discretion.

 

Instructor: Prof. Rob Koons.  Phone: 471-5530.  koons@mail.utexas.edu

PHL 382 • Neo-Aristotelianism

43550 • Fall 2008
Meets T 6:00PM-9:00PM NUR 5.176

Past topics include basic issues in metaphysics; particulars and universals; identity and individuation; realism and antirealism; mind-body issues. 

C C 348 • Hist Of Ancient Philosophy

33155-33170 • Fall 2007
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 201
(also listed as PHL 329K)

C C 348 Topics in Ancient Civilization:

The development and progress of ancient civilization, including history, philosophy, literature, and culture. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

 

PHL 382 • Metaphysics Of Space And Time

43110 • Spring 2007
Meets W 3:30PM-6:30PM WAG 307

Past topics include basic issues in metaphysics; particulars and universals; identity and individuation; realism and antirealism; mind-body issues. 

C C 304C • Ancient Philosophy

32616-32619 • Fall 2006
Meets TTH 12:30PM-1:30PM WAG 201
(also listed as PHL 301K)

C C 304C Topics in the Ancient World:

An introductory survey of the highlights of Greek and Roman civilization and early Christianity. No knowledge of Greek or Latin is required.

PHL 313 • Introductory Symbolic Logic

43970-43985 • Fall 2006
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WAG 302

This is a first course in deductive symbolic logic. We'll study formal languages for representing sentences
in logically precise ways, we'll study algorithms for evaluating arguments as logically valid or invalid, and
we'll get an introduction to some of the surprising discoveries logicians have made about what tasks no
algorithm can possibly do.

PHL 347 • Philosophy Of Law

42215-42250 • Spring 2006
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:00PM CAL 100

This course, intended to introduce students to certain basic issues in philosophy of law, will be organized around the question: What should a legal system be? What are the fundamental features that are vital to a proper legal system, and what are some of the competing understandings of what these are?

By reading both historical and contemporary authors, we will examine the theoretical bases of proper law as well as the appropriate practical implementation of key ideals in legal systems today. Correspondingly, along the way, we will consider the meaning of several concepts that are arguably crucial to a proper legal system, such as rights, freedom, representation, popular sovereignty, democracy, and republic. 

PHL 313 • Introductory Symbolic Logic

41965-41980 • Fall 2005
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 214

This is a first course in deductive symbolic logic. We'll study formal languages for representing sentences
in logically precise ways, we'll study algorithms for evaluating arguments as logically valid or invalid, and
we'll get an introduction to some of the surprising discoveries logicians have made about what tasks no
algorithm can possibly do.

PHL 387 • Philosophy Of Religion

42370 • Fall 2005
Meets TH 12:30PM-3:30PM WAG 210

Past topics include contemporary ethical theory; theories of justice; philosophy of law; social contract theories; political philosophy. 

PHL 303 • Human Nature

40145 • Spring 2005
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM GSB 2.124

Theories of human nature, such as those of Plato, Christianity, Marxism, and existentialism. Modern phsychological and biological theories are included, as the interplay of nature and nurture in determining human conduct is explored. 

PHL 347 • Philosophy Of Law

41765-41780 • Fall 2004
Meets TTH 9:30AM-10:30AM PAR 1

This course, intended to introduce students to certain basic issues in philosophy of law, will be organized around the question: What should a legal system be? What are the fundamental features that are vital to a proper legal system, and what are some of the competing understandings of what these are?

By reading both historical and contemporary authors, we will examine the theoretical bases of proper law as well as the appropriate practical implementation of key ideals in legal systems today. Correspondingly, along the way, we will consider the meaning of several concepts that are arguably crucial to a proper legal system, such as rights, freedom, representation, popular sovereignty, democracy, and republic. 

PHL 384F • First-Year Seminar

41890 • Fall 2004
Meets T 12:30PM-3:30PM WAG 210

Prerequisites

 

This course is restricted to first year graduate students in philosophy

 

 

PHL 327 • Contemporary Christian Philos

39195 • Spring 2004
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM UTC 3.102

We will examine recent work in philosophy that is written from a Christian point of view or that examines philosophical questions that arise within the framework of the Christian faith. The issues to be covered include the relationship between faith and reason, the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God, the problem of evil, the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge and sovereignty with human responsibility, and the relation of God to time.  Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of Christian philosophy to foundational questions concerning reality, knowledge and ethics. 

Prerequisites: no prior work in philosophy is expected.  Non-majors are encouraged.

Texts:

G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Francis A. Schaeffer, He is There and He is not Silent

Kelly J. Clark, Return to Reason

Phl 327 Supplemental Readings, available at UT Library electronic reserves. 

Evaluation:

• Three in-class exams (combination of essay and multiple choice): 25% each (including an in-class test on Dec. 7).  There will be an optional, comprehensive final that can be counted for 25% of the course grade, permitting a student to drop the lowest in-class test grade.

• Short papers (eight 2-page responses to the readings): 10%. Short papers are to be turned in at the beginning of class on Monday, responding to the coming week's reading.

• Class and section participation: 15%

• Optional term paper: due the last day of class.  2500-3000 words on a topic pre-approved by the instructor.  The term paper may be used to drop a low midterm grade, or in place of the third in-class exam, at the student's discretion.

 

Instructor: Prof. Rob Koons.  Phone: 471-5530.  koons@mail.utexas.edu

PHL 347 • Philosophy Of Law

39265-39280 • Spring 2004
Meets TTH 9:30AM-10:30AM WAG 302

This course, intended to introduce students to certain basic issues in philosophy of law, will be organized around the question: What should a legal system be? What are the fundamental features that are vital to a proper legal system, and what are some of the competing understandings of what these are?

By reading both historical and contemporary authors, we will examine the theoretical bases of proper law as well as the appropriate practical implementation of key ideals in legal systems today. Correspondingly, along the way, we will consider the meaning of several concepts that are arguably crucial to a proper legal system, such as rights, freedom, representation, popular sovereignty, democracy, and republic. 

PHL 347 • Philosophy Of Law

40245-40260 • Fall 2003
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 302

This course, intended to introduce students to certain basic issues in philosophy of law, will be organized around the question: What should a legal system be? What are the fundamental features that are vital to a proper legal system, and what are some of the competing understandings of what these are?

By reading both historical and contemporary authors, we will examine the theoretical bases of proper law as well as the appropriate practical implementation of key ideals in legal systems today. Correspondingly, along the way, we will consider the meaning of several concepts that are arguably crucial to a proper legal system, such as rights, freedom, representation, popular sovereignty, democracy, and republic. 

PHL 382 • Causation

39570 • Spring 2003
Meets T 12:30PM-3:30PM WAG 210

Past topics include basic issues in metaphysics; particulars and universals; identity and individuation; realism and antirealism; mind-body issues. 

PHL 327 • Contemporary Christian Philos

40345 • Fall 2001
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM WAG 302

We will examine recent work in philosophy that is written from a Christian point of view or that examines philosophical questions that arise within the framework of the Christian faith. The issues to be covered include the relationship between faith and reason, the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God, the problem of evil, the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge and sovereignty with human responsibility, and the relation of God to time.  Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of Christian philosophy to foundational questions concerning reality, knowledge and ethics. 

Prerequisites: no prior work in philosophy is expected.  Non-majors are encouraged.

Texts:

G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Francis A. Schaeffer, He is There and He is not Silent

Kelly J. Clark, Return to Reason

Phl 327 Supplemental Readings, available at UT Library electronic reserves. 

Evaluation:

• Three in-class exams (combination of essay and multiple choice): 25% each (including an in-class test on Dec. 7).  There will be an optional, comprehensive final that can be counted for 25% of the course grade, permitting a student to drop the lowest in-class test grade.

• Short papers (eight 2-page responses to the readings): 10%. Short papers are to be turned in at the beginning of class on Monday, responding to the coming week's reading.

• Class and section participation: 15%

• Optional term paper: due the last day of class.  2500-3000 words on a topic pre-approved by the instructor.  The term paper may be used to drop a low midterm grade, or in place of the third in-class exam, at the student's discretion.

 

Instructor: Prof. Rob Koons.  Phone: 471-5530.  koons@mail.utexas.edu

PHL 303 • Human Nature

38405-38420 • Spring 2001
Meets TTH 12:30PM-1:30PM WAG 101

Theories of human nature, such as those of Plato, Christianity, Marxism, and existentialism. Modern phsychological and biological theories are included, as the interplay of nature and nurture in determining human conduct is explored. 

PHL 327 • Contemporary Christian Philos

40015-40030 • Fall 2000
Meets MW 3:00PM-4:00PM WAG 302

We will examine recent work in philosophy that is written from a Christian point of view or that examines philosophical questions that arise within the framework of the Christian faith. The issues to be covered include the relationship between faith and reason, the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God, the problem of evil, the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge and sovereignty with human responsibility, and the relation of God to time.  Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of Christian philosophy to foundational questions concerning reality, knowledge and ethics. 

Prerequisites: no prior work in philosophy is expected.  Non-majors are encouraged.

Texts:

G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Francis A. Schaeffer, He is There and He is not Silent

Kelly J. Clark, Return to Reason

Phl 327 Supplemental Readings, available at UT Library electronic reserves. 

Evaluation:

• Three in-class exams (combination of essay and multiple choice): 25% each (including an in-class test on Dec. 7).  There will be an optional, comprehensive final that can be counted for 25% of the course grade, permitting a student to drop the lowest in-class test grade.

• Short papers (eight 2-page responses to the readings): 10%. Short papers are to be turned in at the beginning of class on Monday, responding to the coming week's reading.

• Class and section participation: 15%

• Optional term paper: due the last day of class.  2500-3000 words on a topic pre-approved by the instructor.  The term paper may be used to drop a low midterm grade, or in place of the third in-class exam, at the student's discretion.

 

Instructor: Prof. Rob Koons.  Phone: 471-5530.  koons@mail.utexas.edu

PHL 327 • Contemporary Christian Phl-W

38450 • Spring 2000
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM RAS 313A

We will examine recent work in philosophy that is written from a Christian point of view or that examines philosophical questions that arise within the framework of the Christian faith. The issues to be covered include the relationship between faith and reason, the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God, the problem of evil, the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge and sovereignty with human responsibility, and the relation of God to time.  Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of Christian philosophy to foundational questions concerning reality, knowledge and ethics. 

Prerequisites: no prior work in philosophy is expected.  Non-majors are encouraged.

Texts:

G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Francis A. Schaeffer, He is There and He is not Silent

Kelly J. Clark, Return to Reason

Phl 327 Supplemental Readings, available at UT Library electronic reserves. 

Evaluation:

• Three in-class exams (combination of essay and multiple choice): 25% each (including an in-class test on Dec. 7).  There will be an optional, comprehensive final that can be counted for 25% of the course grade, permitting a student to drop the lowest in-class test grade.

• Short papers (eight 2-page responses to the readings): 10%. Short papers are to be turned in at the beginning of class on Monday, responding to the coming week's reading.

• Class and section participation: 15%

• Optional term paper: due the last day of class.  2500-3000 words on a topic pre-approved by the instructor.  The term paper may be used to drop a low midterm grade, or in place of the third in-class exam, at the student's discretion.

 

Instructor: Prof. Rob Koons.  Phone: 471-5530.  koons@mail.utexas.edu

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