Department of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

42290 • Dogramaci, Sinan
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GSB 2.124
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Introduction to Philosophy

This course will introduce and critically engage with a variety of deep and intellectually challenging philosophical questions. The course will emphasize, in class discussions and in writing exercises, the primary philosophical method of evaluation: rigorous argument.

Topics include the following:

  • What is the nature of time and space? How come space travel seems so much easier than time travel? Is time travel logically impossible?
  • What is free will? How could free will be possible if the laws of physics fully govern the behavior of the atoms we’re composed of?
  • What is a person? What is the nature and significance of life, and death?
  • What is the evidence for and against the existence of God? How does modern science, both biology and cosmology, bear on the issue?
  • What are social groups and social identities? Are race and gender natural categories, or are they rather social constructions of some kind?
  • What are our moral obligations to other people? 
  • Is abortion morally permissible?
  • Is eating meat morally permissible?

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

42285 • Smith, Nicole
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM WAG 201
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A survey of principal topics and problems in areas such as ethics, theory of knowledge, and philosophy of religion. 

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

42280 • Christoff, Caroline
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM GAR 0.102
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The purpose of this course is to introduce a selection of the major problems in philosophy, to some of the solutions that have been offered to them, and to some of the arguments for these solutions.  These problems concern God, freedom, mind, knowledge, and ethics.  Does God exist?  Are we free? What is the mind? Do we know anything? Is value objective?

PHL 301K • Ancient Philosophy

42295 • Koons, Robert
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 308
(also listed as C C 304C, CTI 310)
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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 301L • Early Modern Philosophy

42300 • Proops, Ian
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM WAG 302
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An introduction to the philosophical achievements of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, concentrating on such figures as Descartes, Hume, and Kant. 

PHL 303M • Mind And Body

42310-42320 • Morgan, Jonathan
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 201
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This course examines the relationship of the mind to the body. Topics covered include whether a machine could think, the Turing Test for intelligence, the reduction of the mind to the brain, whether consciousness can be captured materialistically, and the nature of persons and personal identity.We'll be thinking about immaterial spirits, futuristic computers and robots, Martians who behave like us but who have an internal structure very different from ours, brains in vats. We will consider whether these strange characters have thoughts and feelings. The point is not to consider bizarre cases just for the sake of it, but to see what light we can shed on our own nature as beings with mental lives.

PHL 304 • Contemporary Moral Problems

42325-42350 • Krecz, Charles
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 101
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An introduction to ethics by way of an examination of a number of contemporary moral problems, including problems of abortion, sexual morality, capital punishment, pornography and hate speech.

PHL 304 • Contemporary Moral Problems

42355-42380 • Krecz, Charles
Meets MW 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 101
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An introduction to ethics by way of an examination of a number of contemporary moral problems, including problems of abortion, sexual morality, capital punishment, pornography and hate speech.

PHL 304 • Contemporary Moral Problems

42385 • Eaton, Daniel
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM SZB 370
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An introduction to ethics by way of an examination of a number of contemporary moral problems, including problems of abortion, sexual morality, capital punishment, pornography and hate speech.

PHL 305 • Intro To Philos Of Religion

42390 • Andrew, James
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM PAR 208
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 305)
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Philosophy of religion is the philosophical study of fundamental religious concepts and ideas.  In this course, we will survey some of the perennial questions in philosophy of religion.  We will focus primarily upon readings from the Western tradition.  Of particular interest will be (a) classical arguments for the existence of God, (b) the problem of evil (can the existence of evil be reconciled with the existence of God?), (c) the relationship between faith and reason (is religious faith rationally justifiable?), and (d) the relationship between religion and morality (is there any essential connection between the two?).

PHL 310 • Knowledge And Reality

42395 • Toole, Briana
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WEL 3.402
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On its face, it seems obvious that there are certain propositions we can know – for instance, that I am reading this syllabus right now or that I have hands. But can we discount the possibility that we are being deceived by an evil demon, or being stimulated by a neuroscientist in a laboratory, or are imprisoned in the Matrix? That we can’t definitively answer these questions should worry us. To avoid the despair of skepticism we’ll explore what conditions (if any) make knowledge possible and what sources of knowledge we can depend on (if any). We will consider some powerful arguments for skepticism that threaten to undermine our common sense assumptions, and we’ll end by exploring whether some evidence is available to some knowers and not others based on features of their social identity – a view associated with standpoint epistemology. Major topics will thus be:
(1)   The Analysis of Knowledge
(2)   Sources of Knowledge,
(3)   Skepticism, and
(4)   Standpoint Theory.

PHL 312 • Introduction To Logic

42450 • Saad, Thomas
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 302
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This is a course in the basic principles of logic. The student will come out of this course with an understanding of deductive inference and of argument generally, as wells as the notions of logical consequence, validity, soundness, and logical truth. Specifically, we will be looking at sentential logic (which treats the inferential relations among simple sentences) and predicate logic. Predicate logic is distinguished from sentential logic by its use of quantifiers.

PHL 312 • Introduction To Logic

42454 • Dalbey, Bryce
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 1
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Course Description

In most of your courses you engage with arguments for e.g. quantum mechanics being non-local, libertarianism being correct, gender being socially constructed, tarsiers being prosimians. Some of those arguments are good and some are bad. In this class we will not be as concerned with giving arguments so much as with examining what makes an argument good or bad. We will employ a special set of tools for evaluating arguments and build on those tools as the term goes on, to evaluate more complex arguments. Your ability to use these tools will give to an advantage in nearly every other academic (and many non-academic) field you might pursue. 

PHL 313 • Introductory Symbolic Logic

42455-42465 • Knab, Brian
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM SZB 296
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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 317K • Intro To Philos Of The Arts

42480-42505 • Higgins, Kathleen
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:00PM WAG 101
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This course will consider some of the answers given in the Western philosophical tradition to questions about the nature of art and beauty, with some comparison with the aesthetic traditions of other societies.  Particular attention will be given to the nature of aesthetic experience from the standpoint of both the artist and the observer, the relationship between art and reality, and the questions contemporary art raises about the purpose of art.

PHL 317K • Intro To Philos Of The Arts

42475 • Dill, Kimberly
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM WAG 302
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"In this course, we will evaluate a variety of texts in the Western philosophical tradition pertaining to the nature of beauty, art, and aesthetic experience broadly construed. We will also evaluate a selection of texts from Japanese and Indian aesthetic traditions. Some of the questions that we will evaluate include:
- What is the nature of aesthetic experience?
- What is the nature of art?
- What role does the artist play in determining the nature of the art that they produce? 
- Is there such a thing as ‘artistic genius’? 
- What is the difference between natural and artistic aesthetic experiences?
We will also examine the interplay between ethics and aesthetics: 
- Does ethical content determine (whether partially, wholly, or not at all) the aesthetic value of a work of art?
- For example, are works of art with morally reprehensible content less aesthetically valuable than works of art with praiseworthy ethical content?
With these questions in mind, we will examine a variety of art forms in more depth, including:
- Film as philosophy; film and philosophy 
- Painting
- Photography
- Literature
- Music
- Humor
Required Text:
Aesthetics: A Reader in Philosophy of the Arts, 3rd Edition, ed. Goldblatt and Brown."

PHL 321K • Theory Of Knowledge

42520 • Dogramaci, Sinan
Meets TTH 5:00PM-6:30PM WAG 210
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Theory of Knowledge

We’ll read about, discuss, and aim to critically evaluate arguments for different positions on some major debates concerning knowledge and justified (or rational) belief. Topics will include:

Knowledge, Justification, and Evidence.  Can “knowledge” be defined? It seems to essentially involve the notions of justification and evidence, but can these be defined themselves? Do they have a structure that we can usefully model? And what is the connection between justified beliefs and reliable beliefs?

Relativism, Pragmatism and Contextualism about Knowledge. What does it mean to say the truth, or knowledge, is relative? The position risks quickly turning out to be incoherent or self-defeating. How can it be defended by a compelling argument? Is knowledge dependent in any important way on the knower’s practical interests, that is, can your practical interests affect what you know? Are these relativist and pragmatist views best understood as views about how the world is constructed, or rather as views about the functioning of our language (leading to so-called contextualism about knowledge)?

Permissible Disagreement.  To what extent can reasonable people disagree after they’ve been exposed to all the same evidence and arguments? Is it that no difference of opinion at all is tolerable? Or, could any conclusion at all be rationally permissible? Or, if the answer is somewhere in between, where can we draw principled lines?

Probability Theory and Paradoxes from the Philosophy of Science. We’ll spend two weeks studying the basics of mathematical probability theory. This topic will involve a problem-set as a homework assignment. This part of the course requires no special mathematical background at all—I’ll teach it all as painlessly as possible. Our purpose in studying probability will be to apply our mathematical tools to some puzzles and paradoxes concerning the relationship between observational evidence and the scientific theories that evidence is supposed to support.

Skepticism.  A paradox is created by the existence of an apparently strong argument that we have little to no genuine knowledge. Since we surely do have knowledge, the argument must be have a false assumption, but there is a big debate over exactly which assumption is the false one.

PHL 323K • Metaphysics

42525 • Koons, Robert
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM WAG 208
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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 323M • Philosophy Of Mind

42530 • Tye, Michael
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 2.128
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This course is an introduction to many of the central issues in philosophy of mind. Some of the questions we will discuss include the following. Can computers think? Is the mind an immaterial thing? Or is the mind the brain? Or does the mind stand to the brain as a computer program stands to the hardware? How can creatures like ourselves think thoughts that are "about" things? (For example, we can all think that Aristotle is a philosopher, and in that sense think "about" Aristotle, but what is the explanation of this quite remarkable ability?) Can I know whether your experiences and my experiences when we look at raspberries, fire trucks and stop lights are the same? Can consciousness be given a scientific explanation?

PHL 325K • Ethical Theories-Phl Majors

42535 • Dancy, Jonathan
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 206
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This course will consider three classic moral theories, those of J. S. Mill, W. D. Ross and I. Kant – otherwise known as Utilitarianism, Intuitionism and Kantianism. We will do this by studying one classic text by each author in detail.

PHL 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

42540 • Leon, Jeffrey
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM GAR 0.102
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Medicine, Ethics, and Society

Spring, 2017

PHL 325M

Jeff Leon, Ph.D.



The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern medicine and public policy. We look at several approaches to ethics and several areas of medicine to gain insights into medical ethics. This course carries the ethics and leadership flag. Consequently, a substantial portion of the grade will involve ethical issues and reasoning.



Steinbock, Arras, London (eds.), Ethical Issues in Modern Medicine, eighth edition (McGraw-Hill, 2013).


Evaluation (+/- Grades will be recorded):

Five Quizzes: 10% total for all five.

3 Midterm Exams: 20% each.

Final Exam: 30%.

PHL 327 • Analytic Tradition

42545 • Bonevac, Daniel
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM CLA 0.106
(also listed as CTI 335)
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This course introduces analytic philosophy, the primary style of doing philosophy since roughly 1900 in the English-speaking world. We will examine some of the key thinkers and texts in that tradition and evaluate their arguments and theories.

Analytic philosophy focuses on themes and methods with a long philosophical history: Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Hume, Bentham, and Mill are all in a sense analytic philosophers. But the contemporary analytic tradition began with a rebellion against the idealism of Kant, Hegel, and other thinkers, which had dominated the 19th century.       Bertrand Russell used logical tools to undermine idealist accounts of mathematics, language, and logic while posing new philosophical puzzles. Ludwig Wittgenstein and the philosophers of the Vienna and Berlin Circles soon joined the attack. Russell defended realism, the view that some things are independent of mind, and developed comprehensive philosophical views. The Vienna Circle, in contrast, tended to think of philosophical problems as arising from misuses of language, and saw the analysis of language as the key to their solution. They took scientific language as their model. Hume was their hero. Metaphysics became a bad word, and epistemology became the philosophy of science. Ethics sank into disrepute.

Around mid-century, a group of philosophers centered at Oxford focused instead on natural language, and developed philosophical perspectives granting it center stage. Around the same time, Carl Hempel recounted the difficulties the philosophers of the Vienna Circle faced in making their ideas about meaningfulness precise. W. V. O. Quine began his attack on the central theses that Moore, Russell, and Vienna Circle thinkers shared. Wilfrid Sellars launched a more general assault against their atomism. Wittgenstein dramatically reshaped his earlier views on language.

Saul Kripke and David Lewis, finally, introduced ways of understanding necessity and normativity that brought basic questions of metaphysics back to the fore.

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

PHL 329K • Hist Of Ancient Philosophy

42550-42555 • Evans, Matthew
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM WAG 201
(also listed as C C 348)
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Western philosophy owes its birth to the ancient Greeks. In their care many of the fundamental questions in ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, and the philosophy of mind were raised for the first time and developed in striking and sophisticated ways. We will try to determine which questions they asked, what their answers were, and whether we should accept their answers as correct even now. Readings will be drawn primarily from the works of Plato and Aristotle, but will also include material from some important Pre-Platonic figures.

PHL 329L • Early Mod Phl: Descartes-Kant

42560-42565 • Leon, Jeffrey
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM PAR 1
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Early Modern Philosophy: Descartes to Kant

PHL 329L

Jeff Leon, PhD


New developments in modern philosophy were part of the modern revolution in western thought in general, from science to politics and beyond. This course is a study of some of the most influential philosophical works from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including Descartes, Hobbes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. We will also read excerpts from Galileo and Newton.


Requirements (+/- grades will be awarded):

Ten weekly reader response postings: 10% for all te 

Two 5-7 page papers:                         20% eac 

Take Home Midterm:                         20%

Take Home Final:                                20%

Attendance and participation             10%



Ariew and Watkins, eds., Modern Philosophy: An Anthology of Primary Sources, Second Edition (Hackett, 2009).

PHL 332 • Philosophy Of Language

42570 • Buchanan, Lawrence
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 310
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The course focuses on various philosophical issues concerning language. Topics to be discussed include, but are not limited to, the following: speaker-meaning, conversational implicature, sentence/expression-meaning, reference, modality, and propositional attitude ascriptions. 

PHL 342 • Natural Law Theory

42575 • Budziszewski, J
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM PAR 304
(also listed as GOV 335M)
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GOV 335M / PHL 342:


Professor J. Budziszewski



Unique numbers:      GOV unique number 38625, PHL unique number 42575

Class meets:               MW 2:30-4:00pm in Parlin 304

Prof's office hours:    MW 12:30-2:00pm in Mezes 3.106

Prof’s email:    

Prof’s office phone:   232-7229; phone does not record messages; email strongly preferred

Course website:         Canvas

Prof’s website:           The Underground Thomist,

Course policies:           See the FAQ at the “Other Things My Students May Need” section of the Teaching page at my personal website.




The course can be taken as either GOV 335M or PHL 342.  It carries a writing flag and fulfills part of the basic education requirement in writing.  If taken as a government course, enrollment requires six semester hours of lower-division government.  The subfield is Political Theory / Political Philosophy.




“Natural law” refers to moral law – in particular, the fundamental moral principles that are built into the design of human nature and lie at the roots of conscience.  Natural law thinking is the spine of the Western tradition of ethical and legal thought.  The founders of the American republic also believed in the natural law -- in universal and "self-evident" principles of justice and morality which the Declaration of Independence called "the laws of Nature and of Nature's God."   For generations afterward, most Americans took the reality of natural law for granted.  Thomas Jefferson appealed to it to justify independence; Abraham Lincoln appealed to it to criticize slavery; Martin Luther King appealed to it to criticize racial discrimination. You would hardly guess any of this from the present day, because belief in natural law has come to be viewed as "politically incorrect."  Nevertheless, the tradition of natural law is experiencing a modest renaissance.


Is there really a natural law?  What difference does it make to society and politics if there is?  Is it really "natural"?  Is it really "law"?  To consider these questions, we will read a variety of influential works on natural law from the middle ages to the present.  Probably, most of your liberal arts education has implicitly rejected the whole idea, but in this course, for a change, you have an opportunity to hear the other side.


We will focus on the classical natural law tradition, not the revisionist version which was popular among the social contract writers.  The first two units of the course focus on the ethical and legal thought of the most important and influential classical natural law thinker in history, Thomas Aquinas.  He is a difficult writer, but we will work through his Treatise on Law carefully and I will provide lots of help.  In the final unit, which is about the continuing influence of the classical natural law tradition, we will read a number of authors including Thomas Jefferson, U.S. Supreme Court Justice John McLean, Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King, C.S. Lewis, a contemporary theologian, and two contemporary philosophers.




Unit 1, Foundations of Law:  Analytical outline (25%).

Unit 2, Natural and Human Law:  Take-home essay (25%).

Unit 3, Legacy of the Classical Natural Law Tradition:  Whole-course journal (25%).

Class participation (25%).


Absences also affect your grade.  Please read the attendance policy in the Frequently Asked Questions section of my personal scholarly website.


I do not use plusses and minuses.




Even if you prefer to use the PCL Reserve Room or read online, you must bring physical copies of the readings to class, even if only photocopies or printouts.  Electronic devices such as laptops, cellphones, sound recorders, and smart pens must be powered down and stowed away during class.  There are no exceptions except for pacemakers.




J. Budziszewski, Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law (Cambridge, 2014).  This is a paperback.


Additional shorter readings, which will be made available on Canvas or online.




J. Budziszewski, Companion to the Commentary (Cambridge, 2014).  This will be available through Canvas.

PHL 346K • Aesthetics

42580 • Phillips, Stephen
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM WAG 302
show description
Aesthetics in late classical Indian thought is sophisticated by any measure. The first part of the course will be concerned with a theory of emotions (bhava) and "aesthetic responses" (rasa) that is interwoven with linguistic theory in late texts. We shall read *Meghaduta* by the poet Kalidasa (seventh century) and a couple of classical plays along with stanzas of court poetry to see the theory in application to works the classical aestheticians themselves addressed. In the second part of the course we shall try to develop our own classical style of criticism with respect to a few modern Hindi films including Slumdog Millionaire and *Paheli*.
Translations of key works such as the *Natya-sastra* ("Treatise on Dramatics'') and Abhinava's commentary on *Dhvanyaloka* ("Illumination of Poetic Suggestion''). *Meghaduta* ("Cloud Messenger") by the classical poet Kalidasa. Selected secondary literature by Edwin Gerow, B.N. Goswami, Lawrence McCrea, etc. Three movies: *Slumdog Millionaire*; *Paheli*; *Jodhaa Akbar*.

PHL 347 • Philosophy Of Law

42585 • Leon, Jeffrey
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM WAG 214
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Spring, 2017

Jeff Leon, Ph.D.



What is Law? What is the relationship between law, politics, and ethics? We will address these questions and elucidate some of their implications for issues in such areas as legal reasoning, civil disobedience, rights, and justice.



Schauer and Sinnott-Armstrong, The Philosophy of Law (Oxford, 1996).

Other material to be made available via handouts or posted to the canvas site.


Evaluation (+/- grades will be awarded):

Ten weekly reader response postings: 10%

2 Midterm Exams: 30% each

Last Essay: 30%

PHL 354 • Hist Christian Philosophy

42595 • Bonevac, Daniel
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM CLA 1.108
(also listed as CTI 335)
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Philosophy courses often jump from Aristotle to Descartes—a two-thousand-year gap—with hardly a word about what went on in between. This course fills in the gap.

From its beginnings in the words of Jesus and the letters of Paul, Christian thought has struggled with fundamental philosophical questions concerning the nature of God, the self, the world, and the good life.  Christianity arose from Judaism in a Hellenistic world.  Christian thinkers immediately began developing their theological views in the context of Greek philosophical thought.  Starting with Paul, and continuing through the Reformation, we’ll look at philosophical contributions of central thinkers of the Christian tradition.  Among the thinkers we’ll discuss are Tertullian, Origen, Athanasius, Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, Luther, and Calvin.  We’ll focus on a variety of philosophical issues, falling into three main categories:

Ethics: What is virtue?  How do we tell right from wrong?  Can our conscience be our guide?  What does the Fall imply about ethical knowledge and conduct?  What is sin? What is weakness of will, and why do Christian thinkers from Paul onward consider it central?

Epistemology: How is it possible to know anything about God?  How should Christians interpret the Bible?  What epistemic authority does it have?  How does epistemic authority arise in religious matters, and how can it be transferred?  Are religious experience and testimony legitimate sources of religious knowledge?  What is the relationship between faith and reason?  To what extent are we capable of understanding God?

Metaphysics: Are there arguments for God’s existence?  What is God’s nature?  How can God be both three and one?  What is substance?  What are essences?  Are there forms or universals?  If so, what are they?  Did God create the universe?  If so, how?  Do human beings have free will?  Is freedom compatible with divine foreknowledge?

Prerequisite: Upper-division standing.

PHL 354 • Mistranslating Latinos

42590 • Colomina-Alminana, Juan
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 306
(also listed as LIN 373, MAS 374, SPC 320C)
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This course is about semantic translation and its issues. Is there a way to literally translate what one says in a language to another conserving what was originally said? In other words, this course deal with how people mean things with their words, and how this meaning is translated from one language to another. Briefly, we will analyze what is in “other people’s mind,” what they mean or try to say when they speak, and how and why different theories have given different answers to this issue. We shall mainly focus on the question of semantic or literal translation. Is there a way to translate word by word what one says in whatever language? Do culture and context matter at all, or translation is mainly a linguistic matter?

This course carries two different flags: Global Cultures and Cultural Diversity in the United States. Check with your adviser to figure out what flag will count on your records.

PHL 356 • Yoga As Philos And Practice

42600 • Phillips, Stephen
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM GAR 1.126
(also listed as ANS 372, R S 341G)
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This course surveys the origins of yogic practices in early Indian civilization and traces the development of Yoga philosophies through the Upanishads, BHAGAVAD GITA, YOGA-SUTRA, Buddhist, Jaina, and tantric texts, as well as works of neo-Vedanta. We shall try to identify a set of claims common to all classical advocates of yoga. We shall look at both classical and modern defenses and criticisms, especially of alleged metaphysical and psychological underpinnings of the practices. No previous background in Indian philosophy is necessary, but students with no previous course work in philosophy or in psychology should contact the instructor.

PHL 365 • Health And Justice

42605 • Smith, Nicole
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 302
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Mass disparities exist in the health of humans across the globe. It may seem obvious from a moral point of view that if we can do something to alleviate the global and local disparities in health and access to healthcare, that we should do something about it. Once we scratch the surface of this apparent truism, however, we find a number of assumptions in need of defense. What would ground such an obligation after all? Do humans have a right to health? If so, do they also have a right to healthcare? It may seem that these two concepts are intertwined, but consider an analogy. Someone’s right to life makes it impermissible to kill that person (unless you would be justified in doing so, say, in a case of genuine self-defense). Nevertheless, the right to life plausibly does not entail that you are obligated to protect or preserve the life of everyone who has such a right. Similarly, if humans have a right to health, then it would be impermissible to undermine their health. But it is a different question whether individual’s are obligated to protect and preserve the health of others by, for example, ensuring their access to healthcare. The course will evaluate rights-based arguments, among others, that aim to show the injustice of current disparities in health. Proponents contend that we do have a moral obligation to secure health and access to healthcare across racial, gender, socio-economic, as well as national boundaries.

PHL 365 • Intro To Cognitive Science

42615 • Van Der Feest, Suzanne
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM CBA 4.324
(also listed as CGS 360, LIN 373)
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The Study of Mind. An introduction to the study of mind known as cognitive science, focusing on key areas such as vision and language, cognition and problem solving, artificial intelligence. Three lecture hours a week for one semester.

May be repeated for credit when the topics vary. Prerequisite:Upper-division standing.

PHL 365 • Leadership And Ethics

42610 • Teets, Brian
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM CLA 5.402
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Topic 2: Introduction to Cognitive Science

Topic 5: Contemporary American Social Theory

Topic 6: Process Philosophy and Pragmatism

PHL 365 • Process Phil And Pragmatism

42620 • Krecz, Charles
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM WAG 210
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An examination of process philosophy, one of the major metaphysical movements of the twentieth century, including philosophers such as James, Dewey, and Whitehead.

PHL 366K • Existentialism

42625-42650 • Higgins, Kathleen
Meets TTH 3:30PM-4:30PM WAG 101
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“Existentialism” was hardly a philosophical movement in the traditional sense, for few of its major figures would have described themselves as existentialists.  And yet the existentialists do represent a movement in the sense that they sharing certain concerns, such as emphasis on how reflective thought relates to our actual lives, skepticism regarding reason, reevaluation of traditional approaches to ethics, and insistence on passionate engagement as essential for a meaningful life.  Among the figures we will consider are Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Martin Heidegger, and Simone de Beauvoir.

PHL 375M • Kant's Moral Theory

42655 • Dunlop, Katherine
Meets M 10:00AM-1:00PM WAG 210
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This course will be an intensive study of Immanuel Kant's moral theory, which remains one of the most influential ethical theories in the Western tradition. The primary text will be Kant's _Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals_, which Kant himself intended to be the most accessible presentation of his views. It will be supplemented with readings from secondary sources and other writings by Kant. In addition to presenting this content, an objective of the course is to enable students to complete an independent research project. The assignments will be designed to qualify the course for the Writing and Independent Inquiry flags; in particular, students will be required to complete a 15-20 page term paper on a topic of their choosing.

PHL 375M • Wittgenstein

42660 • Deigh, John
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM WAG 210
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The seminar will be a study of Wittgenstein's later philosophy.  The main focus of the study will be his Philosophical Investigations.  The seminar will also cover The Blue and the Brown Books, as preliminaries to the study of the Philosophical Investigations, and Wittgenstein's last works On Certainty and Remarks on Color.

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

42415-42425 • Sainsbury, Richard
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 302
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This semester we will discuss a range of issues in contemporary philosophy. (1) Appearance and reality: might we be brains in vats? (2) The mind-body problem: are we just our bodies? (3) Free will: is what we do up to us? (4) paradoxes of space, time and motion; paradoxes of vagueness.


Descartes: Meditations §§1, 2, 6. Kripke: Naming and Necessity Ch 3. Jackson: "What Mary didn't know" Hume: Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding §7 Libet, B. 1985: "Unconscious cerebral initiative" Kane: Four Views on Free Will. Sainsbury: Paradoxes



Grades will be decorated, based on written work, quizzes and attendance. The highest grades for written work require meticulous analysis and imaginative and well-presented argumentation.

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

42430-42440 • Proops, Ian
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM WAG 214
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We will study two classic texts written about a century apart: Descartes’ Meditations and Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. The mains themes are: knowledge and skepticism; and the nature of the human mind and action.

Descartes is known for two highly influential ideas. His skepticism arises from his reflection that we might be deceived by an “evil demon” who makes it seem as if our ordinary world exists whereas in reality there is nothing. Although Descartes hoped to defuse skepticism, it has lived on, inspiring not only generations of philosophers, but also leaving its mark in such movies as Matrix and Solaris.

Descartes’ dualism is his view that mind and body are entirely distinct. This view has been supported by religious thinkers, by many philosophers impressed by the distinctive character of consciousness, and by some defenders of free will.

Hume’s Enquiry is famous for supposedly arguing for a form of skepticism that Descartes did not explicitly consider: skepticism about whether the future will resemble the past. His discussion of this issue is closely intertwined with a remarkable theory of causation, a theory which led him to hold that an action can be free, and so can merit praise or blame, even though it is causally determined. We will also discuss some aspects of Hume’s philosophy of religion, notably his discussion of miracles, and his presentation of the problem of evil.

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

42400-42410 • Strawson, Galen
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 302
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Description (one to three paragraph description of course content):

This course focuses on questions in metaphysics, epistemology and the philosophy of mind. It begins with some general introductory remarks, some basic philosophical terms and methods of philosophical analysis. It goes on to consider some issues in ‘early modern philosophy’ in the writings of Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume, together with some present-day treatments of these issues: issues concerning knowledge and scepticism, the relation between mind and body, the nature of color, color words, and color concepts, personal identity and the self. These lead to questions about agency and responsibility, and free will, these lead in turn to a consideration of ‘situationism’ and cognitive biases and illusions, and even, perhaps, to the question of the meaning of life

 List of Proposed Texts /Readings (N/A, TBD, and Course Packet are not acceptable responses):

 no course book [readings drawn from the following] Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics), Descartes (Meditations 1, 2, 6), Elizabeth of Bohemia (letters), Locke (Essay 2.27, 4.3.6), Hume (Treatise 1.4.6 and Appendix, Enquiry §8), Kant (Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals), Emerson (Essays), Nietzsche (passim), William James (Principles of Psychology vol 1); A. Camus, P. & P. Churchland, D. Davidson, D. Dennett, J. Doris, H. Frankfurt, F. Jackson, D. Kahneman, C. McGinn, I. Murdoch, T. Nagel, D. Parfit, G. Ryle, M. Schechtman, J. Smart, G. Strawson, J. Searle, R. Taylor, M. Tye, G. Watson, B. Williams, L. Wittgenstein, S. Wolf, V. Woolf

Grading Policy:

(1) section attendance and participation: 10%

(2) mid-term exam: 25%

(3) in-class final exam: 25%

(4) 7-8 page paper: 40%