Department of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy

Jeffrey C. Leon


LecturerPhD, University of Texas at Austin

Jeffrey C. Leon

Contact

Interests


Philosophy of science, applied ethics, ethical theory, human nature

Biography


Jeffrey Leon is a specialist in political science, metaphysics, and philosophy of science. His book, Science and Philosohy in the West, was published by Prentice Hall in 1999. He also has ten years of experience as a software systems engineer in research and development.

Courses


PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

42145 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM FAC 21

Description:

This course is a historical introduction to the major areas and figures in philosophy. We will study ethics, philosophy of mind and knowledge, and theories of reality by reading seminal works of major figures in throughout philosophical history.

 

Text:

Pojman (ed.), Classics of Philosophy, 2nd edition (Oxford, 2003).

 

Evaluation (+/- grades will be awarded):

Four in Class Exams: 22% each.

Weekly Postings to online forums: 12%

PHL 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

42475 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM WEL 3.502

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.

PHL 347 • Philosophy Of Law

42515 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 302

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.

PHL F325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

84895 • Summer 2016
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM GAR 3.116

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

 

*Ethics and Leadership flag*

PHL 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

41680 • Spring 2016
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM GAR 0.102

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.

PHL 329L • Early Mod Phl: Descartes-Kant

41710-41715 • Spring 2016
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM ART 1.110

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.

PHL 347 • Philosophy Of Law

41750 • Spring 2016
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM BUR 136

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.

PHL 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

41605-41615 • Fall 2015
Meets MW 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 420

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

PHL 329L • Early Mod Phl: Descartes-Kant

41635-41645 • Fall 2015
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM PAR 203

This course is an introduction to early modern philosophy.  The objectives of the class are to identify and analyze arguments in philosophical texts of the early modern period, and to become familiar with central themes and problems.  Topics include causation, substance, and the possibility of knowledge.  The relationship of philosophical theories to contemporary science will be an ongoing theme. 

PHL 346K • Aesthetics

41654 • Fall 2015
Meets MWF 3:00PM-4:00PM WAG 302

What is art? What is the relationship between the creative, interpretive, and appreciative aspects of art? How do answers to these questions affect the aesthetic experience? This class will explore these issues through primary readings by philosophers and artists, with special attention to visual and performing arts. We will also experience examples of artistic expression to help understand and appreciate these views.

PHL S325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

85795 • Summer 2015
Meets MTWTHF 11:30AM-1:00PM GAR 3.116

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 321K • Theory Of Knowledge

41890 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM CLA 0.122

What is knowledge? What are the principal types of knowledge, and what does a person's knowing a claim or proposition p amount to? Philosophers have commonly supposed that a person's having justification, or warrant, for
believing that p is a necessary condition of his/her knowing that p. Accordingly, this course will be concerned with theories of justification as well as of knowledge, along with the question of whether there can be knowledge without what is called epistemic justification. Views in ancient, early modern, and contemporary philosophy—also one Eastern view—will be surveyed.

PHL 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

41915-41940 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM CAL 100

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 347 • Philosophy Of Law

42000 • Spring 2015
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM BUR 136

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 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

43025-43035 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 9:30AM-10:30AM WAG 420

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.

PHL 329L • Early Mod Phl: Descartes-Kant

43060-43070 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 201

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 philsophical works from the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, including Descartes, Hobbes, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant. We will also read excerpts from Galileo and Newton. 

PHL 347 • Philosophy Of Law

43085-43095 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 3:30PM-4:30PM WAG 201

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 legal reasoning. 

PHL F325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

86655 • Summer 2014
Meets MTWTHF 1:00PM-2:30PM WAG 420

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

42970 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM WEL 2.246

A survey of principal topics and problems in areas such as ethics, theory of knowledge, and philosophy of religion. 

PHL 316K • Science And Philosophy

43255 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM UTC 1.116

This course will examine the growth and development of science in modern times
through the history of certain crucial debates and breakthroughs that have taken place
since the beginnings of modern science in the 17th century. Topics considered will
include: what is the nature of science? Does it have a distinctive method (or methods)
that distinguish it from other forms of inquiry? What are its criteria of truth? Can science
ever achieve certainty, and if not, does it have any distinctive claims on our belief, and if
so why? What are the mechanisms of scientific progress and change? How does science
relate to, and differ from, other forms of intellectual inquiry?

PHL 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

43335-43345 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 3:00PM-4:00PM WAG 101

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

42762 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM WAG 302

A survey of principal topics and problems in areas such as ethics, theory of knowledge, and philosophy of religion. 

PHL 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

43065 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 302

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 347 • Philosophy Of Law

43120-43130 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 214

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 F325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

87000 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTHF 1:00PM-2:30PM WAG 420

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 323K • Metaphysics-Phl Majors

42695 • Spring 2013
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 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

42705-42715 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM WAG 201

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 347 • Philosophy Of Law

42756 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM CLA 0.102

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 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

42110 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM FAC 21

A survey of principal topics and problems in areas such as ethics, theory of knowledge, and philosophy of religion. 

PHL 329K • Hist Of Ancient Philosophy

42612-42614 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 201
(also listed as C C 348)

This course is an introduction to ancient Greek philosophy. We’ll focus on three major thinkers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle; and we’ll examine their views and arguments on some central questions about human conduct, the natural world, and our knowledge of both. We’ll begin with a brief look at some influential earlier figures known as Presocratics and Sophists, and we’ll end with a brief look at some enduring ideas of Epicurus. The emphasis throughout will be on analyzing both what these thinkers say and their reasons for saying it. The main goal is not to memorize information but to develop a critical understanding of some problems and arguments that remain very much alive today.

PHL F325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

87245 • Summer 2012
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM WEL 3.260

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

42410-42420 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM JGB 2.218

The aim of this semester is to introduce topics in epistemology and metaphysics, initially through the works of two major philosophers, Ren Descartes (f. 1640) and David Hume (f. 1745). They will serve to introduce two main themes: the nature of 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 Concerning Human Understanding 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 section on miracles, and his presentation of the problem of evil. 

PHL 321K • Theory Of Knowledge-Phl Majors

42470 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM WAG 308

What is knowledge? What are the principal types of knowledge, and what does a person's knowing a claim or proposition p amount to? Philosophers have commonly supposed that a person's having justification, or warrant, for
believing that p is a necessary condition of his/her knowing that p. Accordingly, this course will be concerned with theories of justification as well as of knowledge, along with the question of whether there can be knowledge without what is called epistemic justification. Views in ancient, early modern, and contemporary philosophy—also one Eastern view—will be surveyed.

PHL 329L • Early Mod Phl: Descartes-Kant

42535-42545 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM WAG 302

This course is an introduction to early modern philosophy. The objectives of the class are to identify and analyze arguments in philosophical texts of the early modern period, and to become familiar with central themes and problems. Topics include causation, substance, and the possibility of knowledge. The relationship of philosophical theories to contemporary science will be an ongoing theme.

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

41920 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM FAC 21

A survey of principal topics and problems in areas such as ethics, theory of knowledge, and philosophy of religion. 

PHL 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

42510 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 3:00PM-4:00PM GEA 105

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 347 • Philosophy Of Law

42550 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM WAG 308

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 F325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

87280 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM WAG 308

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

42565-42590 • Spring 2011
Meets MW 9:00AM-10:00AM CAL 100

A survey of principal topics and problems in areas such as ethics, theory of knowledge, and philosophy of religion. 

PHL 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

43025 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 201

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 329K • Hist Of Ancient Philosophy

43035-43045 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM WAG 302
(also listed as C C 348)

CC 348 / PH 329K: History of Ancient Philosophy

This course is an introduction to ancient Greek philosophy. We’ll focus on three major philosophers: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle; and we’ll examine their views and arguments on some central questions about the world around us, how to conduct our lives, and our knowledge or ignorance about both. We’ll also look briefly at some earlier figures known as Presocratics and Sophists, and at the influential later thinker, Epicurus. The emphasis throughout will be on analyzing both what these thinkers claim and their reasons for their claims. The main goal is not to memorize information but to develop a critical understanding of some issues and arguments that remain live options today.

.

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

42055 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM WEL 1.308

This course is an historical introduction to the major areas and figures in philosophy. We will study ethics, philosophy of mind and knowledge, and theories of reality by reading seminal works of major figures in Western philosophical history.

 Evaluation:

Five Quizzes: 10% for all five.

Two Midterm Exams: 25% each.

Final Exam: 40%

PHL 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

42470 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM WAG 302

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 322 • Science And The Modern World

43120-43130 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 302

Scientific discoveries have profoundly altered the way we see the world and our
place within it. Three branches of science that have dramatically changed the way humans see themselves
are cosmology, the science that deals with the large-scale structure of the universe, quantum theory, which
deals with the small-scale structure, and evolutionary biology.
In this course we will accomplish two main goals. First, we will learn the history and content of a
few of the most revolutionary theoretical developments in human history. Second, we will consider aspects
of the broader philosophical significance that these developments are supposed to have.
The first part of the course will concentrate on general philosophy of science issues. Then we will
study the Copernican Revolution, how it came about and some of its explosive consequences.
We will then briefly describe the revolutionary implications of Einstein’s theory of relativity.
Next will be an overview of the bizarre discoveries about the basic nature of matter, quantum theory. We
will study various relevant historical developments, and think about different interpretations of the theory
that have been proposed. A fundamental question will haunt us in this part, the question whether we are
doomed to ignorance about the ultimate nature of reality.
Next we will consider the work of a physicist who attempts to explain why, and in what sense,
science as we came to know it did not develop anywhere except in Europe. His view is that the ancient
Greeks invented the sort of logical, systematic thinking that science requires. Relevant facets of Chinese
culture, Hebrew culture and others will be examined and contrasted with Greek and later European cultures
with respect to their fostering scientific developments.
The last third to half of the course will focus on evolutionary biology since the nineteenth century.
We will first read some of Dawkins’ and then Dennett’s summary of the conceptual core of modern
evolutionary theory, from their own compelling, if perhaps disturbing, perspectives. Then we will spend
time on more recent developments and controversies that have swirled around evolutionary theory.
The matters that we will deal with in the course are fascinating at a purely intellectual level. But
these are not merely intellectual curiosities; they provide pictures of how we humans ‘fit into the cosmic
scheme’. Since matters of fundamental importance hinge on a proper understanding the universe and our
place in it, no thinking person can afford to neglect to examine these pictures with care.

PHL 329L • Early Mod Phl: Descartes-Kant

43185-43195 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 420

This course is an introduction to early modern philosophy. The objectives of the class are to identify and analyze arguments in philosophical texts of the early modern period, and to become familiar with central themes and problems. Topics include causation, substance, and the possibility of knowledge. The relationship of philosophical theories to contemporary science will be an ongoing theme.

PHL 347 • Philosophy Of Law

43210 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM WAG 201

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 304 • Contemporary Moral Problems

43030 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM MEZ 1.306

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 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

43385 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM FAC 21

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

41895 • Spring 2009
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM BUR 106

A survey of principal topics and problems in areas such as ethics, theory of knowledge, and philosophy of religion. 

PHL 313 • Introductory Symbolic Logic

42290-42300 • Spring 2009
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM 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 303 • Human Nature

43060 • Fall 2008
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM CAL 100

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 325K • Ethical Theories-W

43460 • Fall 2008
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 208

This course will consider three classic moral theories in detail, 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

43470 • Fall 2008
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GSB 2.124

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 304 • Contemporary Moral Problems

42915-42970 • Spring 2008
Meets MW 12:00PM-1:00PM ART 1.102

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 316K • Science And Philosophy

43190-43200 • Spring 2008
Meets MW 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 101

This course will examine the growth and development of science in modern times
through the history of certain crucial debates and breakthroughs that have taken place
since the beginnings of modern science in the 17th century. Topics considered will
include: what is the nature of science? Does it have a distinctive method (or methods)
that distinguish it from other forms of inquiry? What are its criteria of truth? Can science
ever achieve certainty, and if not, does it have any distinctive claims on our belief, and if
so why? What are the mechanisms of scientific progress and change? How does science
relate to, and differ from, other forms of intellectual inquiry?

PHL 303 • Human Nature

43820 • Fall 2007
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 214

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 310 • Knowledge And Reality

44085 • Fall 2007
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM JES A218A

This course is an advanced introduction to philosophical issues concerning the nature of
belief, truth, and knowledge with an emphasis on the latter. Topics to be discussed include,
but are not limited to, the following:
• What is knowledge? For example, what is the difference between knowledge and
mere true belief?
• What are the basic sources of knowledge (i.e., perception, memory, testimony of
others)?
• Why, if at all, should we value the acquisition of knowledge?
• Is it really possible to know anything at all?

PHL 322 • Science And The Modern World

42915 • Spring 2007
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 302

Scientific discoveries have profoundly altered the way we see the world and our
place within it. Three branches of science that have dramatically changed the way humans see themselves
are cosmology, the science that deals with the large-scale structure of the universe, quantum theory, which
deals with the small-scale structure, and evolutionary biology.
In this course we will accomplish two main goals. First, we will learn the history and content of a
few of the most revolutionary theoretical developments in human history. Second, we will consider aspects
of the broader philosophical significance that these developments are supposed to have.
The first part of the course will concentrate on general philosophy of science issues. Then we will
study the Copernican Revolution, how it came about and some of its explosive consequences.
We will then briefly describe the revolutionary implications of Einstein’s theory of relativity.
Next will be an overview of the bizarre discoveries about the basic nature of matter, quantum theory. We
will study various relevant historical developments, and think about different interpretations of the theory
that have been proposed. A fundamental question will haunt us in this part, the question whether we are
doomed to ignorance about the ultimate nature of reality.
Next we will consider the work of a physicist who attempts to explain why, and in what sense,
science as we came to know it did not develop anywhere except in Europe. His view is that the ancient
Greeks invented the sort of logical, systematic thinking that science requires. Relevant facets of Chinese
culture, Hebrew culture and others will be examined and contrasted with Greek and later European cultures
with respect to their fostering scientific developments.
The last third to half of the course will focus on evolutionary biology since the nineteenth century.
We will first read some of Dawkins’ and then Dennett’s summary of the conceptual core of modern
evolutionary theory, from their own compelling, if perhaps disturbing, perspectives. Then we will spend
time on more recent developments and controversies that have swirled around evolutionary theory.
The matters that we will deal with in the course are fascinating at a purely intellectual level. But
these are not merely intellectual curiosities; they provide pictures of how we humans ‘fit into the cosmic
scheme’. Since matters of fundamental importance hinge on a proper understanding the universe and our
place in it, no thinking person can afford to neglect to examine these pictures with care.

PHL 347 • Philosophy Of Law

43020 • Spring 2007
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM 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 303 • Human Nature

43510 • Fall 2006
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 214

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 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

44110 • Fall 2006
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM WAG 302

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

41555 • Spring 2006
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM CAL 100

A survey of principal topics and problems in areas such as ethics, theory of knowledge, and philosophy of religion. 

PHL 323K • Metaphysics

42075 • Spring 2006
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM GAR 5

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 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

42130-42145 • Spring 2006
Meets MW 2:00PM-3:00PM WAG 302

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 303M • Mind And Body

41490 • Fall 2005
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 201

Introduction to philosophical issues about the nature of the mind and its relation to body: What is mind? Do people have free will? How does psychology relate to neuroscience? 

PHL 323K • Metaphysics

42195 • Fall 2005
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 2.124

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 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

42215 • Fall 2005
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM UTC 4.110

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 303 • Human Nature

41065 • Fall 2004
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 302

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 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

41710 • Fall 2004
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM UTC 4.110

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern 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.

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

38650 • Spring 2004
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM GAR 1

A survey of principal topics and problems in areas such as ethics, theory of knowledge, and philosophy of religion. 

HIS 329U • Persp On Sci And Math-Uteach-W

36523 • Fall 2003
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM GAR 203

Course Description

Perspectives on Science and Math explores the intellectual, social, and cultural history of science and math from the Renaissance to the present. It is designed for students in UTeach Natural Sciences. The course has four interlocking goals: to give you an overview of the history of science and mathematics, for your general education and to help you reflect on your own reasons and goals for teaching science or math; to enable you to put this broader history and context to work in science and mathematics pedagogy; to improve your writing skills to competence or mastery; and likewise to improve you research and information analysis skills to competence of mastery. This is a writing flag class

 

The readings and lessons explore the why, how, and what of the history of science and math. We will attempt to identify and analyze the goals of natural philosophers, scientists, and mathematicians—why did they think the knowledge they made was important? We will investigate the practices by which people have established thecredibility or authority of knowledge—how did people agree on what was true? And we will study the content of theories—what did people know? While exploring these historical questions, we will pay especially close attention to the changing roles of science and math education. “We” is not a figure of speech here. This is a team taught class, and you are on the team. Nearly a third of the lessons will be developed and led by students. These lessons will focus especially on answering the last question; that is, what did people know?

 

There is a weekly discussion section connected to this course which students are required to attend.

 

Readings are posted on the course’s blackboard site. 

 

Grading Policies

 

Unless an extension is granted well in advance, the grade will drop a full letter for each day an assignment is late. “Sundry assignments” will not be accepted late. Plus/minus grades will be assigned. 

 

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from Services for Students with Disabilities: 471-6259.

 

University policies on plagiarism and academic dishonesty will be enforced. 

 

 

 

Assignments

 

Participation: 15%

Attendance will be taken and factored into your grade. One unexcused absence is allowed. In addition, active and insightful engagement in the lessons will be rewarded—everyone is expected to participate in discussions. Attendance and participation in sections are included here.

 

Sundry Assignments: 10%

These are ungraded or plus-check-minus assignments completed in class or at home. Most are connected to a reading and are designed to improve comprehension and assure that students have completed the reading. They may include unannounced quizzes. 

 

Short Research Paper: 10%

This paper is closely linked to the 5E Lesson Plan (see below). Before preparing the 5E Lesson Plan with a partner, each student will research and write a three to four page essay exploring the subject of his/her lesson. 

 

5E Lesson Plan: 25%

Working in pairs, students will prepare, present, and revise one 5E Lesson Plan integrating a historical topic into a science or math lesson. These lessons are considered part of the class, and should focus on an interesting or important historical idea or method. The 5E Lesson Plans will be critical for providing the intellectual (as opposed to the social and cultural) history component of the course. Handouts, examples, rubrics, etc. will explain the assignment and establish clear expectations. 

 

Peer Review: 5%

Students will provide feedback to peers on 5E Lesson Plans and selected writing assignments.

 

Unit Reflections: 15% (5% each)

Two to four page written reflections on the readings, lectures, and discussions for each of the first three units. Due the Monday after the end of the unit.

 

Midterm Exam: 10%

The midterm will consist of identifications and short answer questions

 

Final Exam: 10%

The final exam will consist of identifications and short answer questions.

 

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy-W

39445 • Fall 2003
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM WAG 302

A survey of principal topics and problems in areas such as ethics, theory of knowledge, and philosophy of religion. 

PHL 312 • Introduction To Logic

39945-39960 • Fall 2003
Meets MW 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 302

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 303 • Human Nature

38715 • Spring 2003
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM WAG 420

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 304 • Contemporary Moral Problems

39323 • Fall 2002
Meets MWF 8:00AM-9:00AM CBA 4.344

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

39324 • Fall 2002
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM WAG 302

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.

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