Department of Philosophy
Department of Philosophy

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

40495 • Bonevac, Daniel
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM JGB 2.324
show description

COURSE DESCRIPTION

Course Number and Title                                     PHL 301, Introduction to Philosophy

Semester and Year                                               Fall 2020

Instructor’s Name and Academic Rank                   Daniel Bonevac, Professor

 

Description:

This course introduces the central problems of philosophy.

                What is there?

                How do I know?

                What should I do?

It considers solutions proposed by the greatest thinkers of the world’s philosophical traditions.

  • Metaphysics: What is there? What is a thing? Do things have essences? Is reality independent of our minds? Is there a God?
  • Philosophy of Mind: What it is to be human? Are we minds and bodies? Just minds? Just bodies? What difference does it make?
  • Epistemology: What is knowledge? How do we get it? What can we know? Can we know anything at all?
  • Ethics: What is it to lead a good human life? What is a good person? How should we make decisions?

List of Proposed Texts /Readings: Selections from

 Ancient Philosophy:          Confucius, Analects

                                    Plato, Laches, Republic

                                    Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, Categories, Metaphysics

Classical Philosophy:        Zhuangzi, Zhuangzi

                                    Sextus Empiricus, Outline of Pyrrhonism

                                    Gautama, the Nyaya-Sutra

                                    Augustine, Against the Skeptics

Modern Philosophy:          Descartes, Meditations

                                    Hume, Treatise of Human Nature

                                    Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, Critique of Pure Reason

                                    Mill, Utilitarianism

                                    Peirce, How to Make Our Ideas Clear

                                    Ortega y Gasset, The Modern Theme

All are included in Daniel Bonevac and Stephen Phillips (ed.), Introduction to World Philosophy. Oxford University Press, 2009.

Proposed Grading Policy:

 

Weekly Quizzes                                                           10%

Writing Assignments (10 pages)                                    50%

Midterm and Final Exams                                              40% (20% each)


PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

40500
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM RLP 0.106
show description

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


PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

40490
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PAR 304
show description

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


PHL 301K • Ancient Philosophy

40505
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM WAG 308
(also listed as C C 304C)
show description

An introduction to the philosophical achievements of the ancient world, concentrating on Plato and Aristotle. 


PHL 301L • Early Modern Philosophy

40510
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM GAR 0.128
show description

An introduction to the philosophical achievements of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, concentrating on such figures as Descartes, Hume, and Kant. 


PHL 303 • Human Nature

40515
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 201
show description

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 303M • Mind And Body

40520-40545 • Tye, Michael
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 101
show description

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

40570
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM WAG 302
E
show description

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

40550
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 302
E
show description

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

40555-40565 • Smith, Nicole
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 214
E
show description

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 310 • Knowledge And Reality

40575-40585 • Buchanan, Lawrence
Meets TTH 3:30PM-4:30PM WAG 201
show description

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 312 • Introduction To Logic

40650
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM WAG 302
show description

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

40655
Meets MWF 12:00PM-1:00PM WAG 214
show description

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 313 • Introductory Symbolic Logic

40660-40670 • Litland, Jon
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM WAG 420
QR MA
show description

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 313Q • Logic And Scientific Reasoning

40675-40685 • Dogramaci, Sinan
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM WAG 420
QR
show description
Logic and Scientific Reasoning

What logical principles dictate how a rational thinker manages their beliefs? What logical principles dictate how a batch of evidence confirms, or disconfirms, a given hypothesis to one or another degree?    In this course, we will study, and critically evaluate, the leading theory, called Bayesian epistemology. Bayesians use mathematical probability theory in order to explain when our reasoning is rational, from ordinary day-to-day inferences to sophisticated scientific theorizing. A Bayesian's focus is not on demonstrations or proofs of a conjecture's truth (as in so-called "classical" logic), nor is the focus on how we acquire knowledge (as in so-called traditional epistemology); rather, our focus is on the rational management of our degrees of confidence, that is, stronger and weaker opinions. The main question is this: when we cannot absolutely prove or know the truth about some hypothesis, how much confidence should we place in it?   For a fun snapshot of the kind of thing we'll study, check out the Wikipedia entry on "The Monty Hall Problem."  

This course carries the Quantitative Reasoning flag.

Succeeding in this course demands hard work, but anyone who puts in the requisite hard work can do well in it. No special talents or background skills or knowledge are required---just the hard work.

Text:

Ian Hacking, An Introduction to Probability and Inductive

Grading:

-   Four problem sets

-   Two Exams

About the Professor:

Sinan Dogramaci is Associate Professor in the department of philosophy. Most of his research and teaching concern logic and rationality in one way or another. He is especially interested in the ways in which logic and rationality can be properly distinguished from one another. His paper "Reverse Engineering Epistemic Evaluations" won the Rutgers Young Epistemologist prize, and can be found along with his other papers on his website, www.sinandogramaci.net. His favorite food items include the bean, the lentil, and the french fry.

_____________________________________

*This course is open only to Plan II students.*


PHL 315F • Philosophy And Film

40690
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM RLP 0.104
show description

Formulation, analysis, and criticism of philosophical ideas in selected films.


PHL 317K • Intro To Philos Of The Arts

40725
Meets MWF 3:00PM-4:00PM WAG 214
VP
show description

Classic issues in the philosophy of art and beauty, illustrated from the fine arts and contemporary media: literature, drama, music, painting, film, and television. 


PHL 317K • Intro To Philos Of The Arts

40695-40720 • Higgins, Kathleen
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:00PM WAG 101
VP
show description

Description: 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.

Text:

David Goldblatt, Lee B. Brown, and Stephanie Patridge, Aesthetics: A Reader in Philosophy of the Arts, 4th ed.

 

Grading:

Short papers             30% total (beauty, wall text, Landmarks, something toward end)

Exam 1                     15%

Exam 2                     15%

Final project              20%

Section presentation  10%

Participation              10%


PHL 318 • Introduction To Ethics

40730
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 214
E
show description

Study of basic principles of the moral life, with critical examination of traditional and contemporary theories of the nature of goodness, happiness, duty, and freedom.


PHL 321K • Theory Of Knowledge

40735 • Leon, Jeffrey
Meets MW 11:30AM-1:00PM RLM 5.116
Wr
show description

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 322 • Science And The Modern World

40740-40750 • Dunlop, Katherine
Meets MW 1:00PM-2:00PM WAG 302
show description

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 323K • Metaphysics

40755 • Montague, Michelle
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:30AM WAG 112
Wr
show description

Metaphysics 323K Fall 2020

Professor Michelle Montague

Metaphysics studies the ultimate structure of reality, and what the nature of reality is can make a profound difference to our lives. Does God exist? Which God, and why should we care? Are we free? If we’re not free, how can anyone be morally responsible for what they do? If no one is morally responsible for what they do, what kind of system of punishment (if any) is justifiable? Is morality objective? Who am I? Am I the same person throughout my life?


PHL 323M • Philosophy Of Mind

40760 • Strawson, Galen
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 208
show description

In this course we try to answer a stream of linked questions. What is mind? What is consciousness (is there a hard problem of consciousness)? Why do some people think that consciousness doesn’t exist? What is self-consciousness (human beings are said to be self-conscious, dogs aren’t)? What’s the relation between consciousness and matter, mind and brain? What, for that matter, is matter? Is panpsychism (the view that everything is mental) defensible? Are ‘behaviorist’ or ‘functionalist’ theories of mind defensible? How did mind begin? / What is a person? What is meant by ‘personal identity’ (what makes a person the same person at different times)? What is a ‘self’ (is there such a thing)? What is a soul (is there such a thing)? / What are memory, perception, imagination, desire and belief, and intentional action? / What sort of knowledge do we have of other people’s minds? (Is seeing the color red the same for all of us? Can we know this?) What sort of knowledge do we have of our own minds (to what extent are we subject to cognitive biases and illusions and unconscious impulses)? Can it be true, as some say, that we are constantly self-deceived, and completely wrong about why we do what we do? What is the will? Do we have free will?


PHL 325K • Ethical Theories

40800 • Smith, Nicole
Meets MW 2:30PM-4:00PM PAR 206
EWr
show description

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 329K • Hist Of Ancient Philosophy

40805-40815 • Evans, Matthew
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 420
GC (also listed as C C 348)
show description

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 332 • Philosophy Of Language

40825 • Dever, Joshua
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 208
show description

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 347 • Philosophy Of Law

40835-40845 • Leon, Jeffrey
Meets MW 10:00AM-11:00AM WAG 302
E
show description

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 356C • Contmp Christian Philosophy

40850 • Koons, Robert
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM WAG 308
show description

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 363L • Outer Limits Of Reason

40865 • Juhl, Cory
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM WAG 210
show description

Topic 1: Philosophy of Biology

Topic 2: The Outer Limits of Reason

Topic 4: The Philosophy of Geometry


PHL 363L • Philosphy Of Biology

40860 • Sarkar, Sahotra
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 210
show description

Topic 1: Philosophy of Biology

Topic 2: The Outer Limits of Reason

Topic 4: The Philosophy of Geometry


PHL 375M • Philosophy Of Action

40870 • Buchanan, Lawrence
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM WAG 210
IIWr
show description

Topic 1: Philosophy and Feminism


PHL 380 • The Varieties Of Meaning

40880 • Sosa, David
Meets M 12:00PM-3:00PM WAG 310
show description

 

TBD


PHL 381 • Aristotle: Metaphysics 4/6

40885 • Hankinson, Robert
Meets T 6:30PM-9:30PM WAG 310
show description

Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required. 

 

Course Description

This class will work through, reasonably slowly and carefully, Books Z and H (VII and VIII) of Aristotle’s Metaphysics which been described, if not very felicitously, as the ‘Mount Everest of philosophy. In them, Aristotle tries to get to grips with his central notion of substance, and its relations to form, matter, essence, definition, universals and particulars, subject and attribute, genus and species – among other things. Whether, and if so how and with what results, he succeeds in doing is another matter altogether. Our task will be try to see if he does.

 

Grading  Policy

1 term paper, (90%); class participation (10%) 

 

Readings

Bostock, D., Aristotle’s Metaphysics Books Z and H Clarendon Aristotle Series. 1994. ISBN 0-19-823947-5.


PHL 382 • Mind

40890 • Montague, Michelle
Meets W 12:00PM-3:00PM WAG 310
show description

Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

 

Course Description

This course will be divided into two parts. The first part will be concerned with the metaphysics of properties and relations. The second part will be concerned with the metaphysics of intentionality, and in particular whether or not intentionality is a relational phenomenon. 

 

Grading  Policy

One 20-page paper and two short presentations

 

Readings

We’ll read a number of philosophers including Michael Loux, David Armstrong, F.P. Ramsey, P.F. Strawson, Gareth Evans, Quassim Cassam, Tim Maudlin, Kati Farkas, Laurie Paul, Mika Martin, Laura Gow, and Adam Pautz.

 


PHL 383 • Problems Of Induction

40895 • Schoenfield, Miriam
Meets TH 12:30PM-3:30PM WAG 310
show description

Instructors:  Miriam Schoenfield and Sinan Dogramaci

 

Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

 

Course Description

We'll discuss various epistemological issues concerning induction and also explanation. The weekly topics and readings will remain more on the epistemology side and less on the technical math and science side. However, students will have a chance to become comfortable with some formal tools, especially Bayesian epistemology, if they wish, by concurrently doing a crash course of assigned textbook exercises the first half of the term.

 

Grading  Policy

TBD

 

Texts

Likely authors we'll study: Goodman, Lipton, Lange, Norton, Bacon, Rinard, Berker.

 

 

 

 


PHL 384F • First-Year Seminar

40900 • Sainsbury, Richard
Meets T 1:30PM-4:30PM WAG 316A
show description

Prerequisites

This seminar is restricted the first-year graduate students in philosophy PhD program.

 

Description:

This seminar is required for and restricted to the first-year PhD students in the philosophy department.

The aim of the course is to practice doing analytic philosophy at the professional level through seminar presentations, discussions, and written work, in a constructive environment.

 

Grading:

Students must write a term paper, lead a seminar meeting, actively participate in weekly seminar discussions, and write up a brief comment or question each week prior to the meeting.

 

Texts:

We'll read a mix of influential articles/chapters from the last few decades of analytic philosophy.


PHL 387 • Nietzsche's Phil/Style

40909 • Higgins, Kathleen
Meets T 3:30PM-6:30PM WAG 310
show description

Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

 

Course Description

Nietzsche is unusual among Western philosophers in the variety of his stylistic techniques and the genres in which he writes.  We will explore his philosophy, taking the role of style and aesthetic matters in his work as a focus.  We will consider his explicit discussions of aesthetics, art, and style; the relationship between his consideration of aesthetic value and his critique of reigning moral values; the way his stylistic strategies contribute to what he communicates; and the role artistic and aesthetic images play in his discussions of other things.  Guiding questions will be: what is the philosophical significance of the way that Nietzsche writes, and what is his conception of the work of philosophy?

 

Grading  Policy

Final Paper 85%

Participation 15%

 

Texts

 “On Truth and Lie in an Extra-Moral Sense”

The Birth of Tragedy

The Gay Science

Beyond Good and Evil

On the Genealogy of Morals

The Case of Wagner

Ecce Homo


PHL 391 • Grounding And Essence

40925 • Litland, Jon
Meets W 3:00PM-6:00PM WAG 310
show description

Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

 

Course Description

When we ask for the grounds for a fact we ask in what the existence of that fact consists: we ask why or how the fact obtains. When we ask about the essence of an item we ask for the properties that makes that item what it is: we ask what the item is. In the last 25 years or so both the notions of essence and ground have received a lot of attention in metaphysics. In this course we will consider how ground and essence relate to each other, paying particular attention to how these notions are used in debates in meta-ethics. (Depending on interest we may also consider how these notions are used in social ontology.) Questions that we will discuss may include: is ground reducible to essence or vice versa? Can facts about ground be explained in terms of facts about essence? How do ground and essence relate to real definitions and theories of "generalized identity"? Should metaethical naturalism be formulated as a claim about the essence of normative properties or as a thesis about what grounds normative properties? What is the relationship between supervenience and essence? How should normative principles be formulated (supposing there are any)? What is the relationship between basic and derivative normative principles?  

 

Grading  Policy

The grade will be based on a term paper (80%) and a presentation to the class (20%)

 

 

Texts

 

Readings may include articles by: Fine, Rosen, Schaffer, Berker, Leary, Bader, Shumener, Glazier, Leary, J. Wilson, A. Wilson, Correia, Skiles, Ditter, Lange, Litland, Koslicki, Enoch, Bennett, Thompson, Dasgupta, Koslicki, Maguire. 

 


PHL 610QA • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

40590-40600 • Sainsbury, Richard
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WAG 302
show description

Course overview The aim of the course is to reflect on moral problems, and try to work our way to some moral theories. The starting points will be discussion of fictional scenarios in which characters are presented with difficult choices. In the first instance these will be drawn from the course text (The Moral Life: An Introductory Reader in Ethics and Literature, Sixth edition by Louis Pojman). Subsequently students will be invited to suggest other excerpts from fiction for discussion. Towards the end of the semester we will consider ethical theories, reading David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and J. S. Mill among the classics, and Peter Singer and Joshua Greene among our contemporaries. We will also consider whether recent developments in psychology and neurophysiology throw any light on the problems.

 

About the Professor Mark Sainsbury taught at the Universities of Oxford, Essex, and London before coming to the University of Texas at Austin in 2002. His books include Russell, Paradoxes, Logical Forms, Departing from Frege, Reference without Referents and Fiction and Fictionalism and, with Michael Tye, Seven Puzzles of Thought and How to Solve Them). His most recent book, his eighth, is entitled Thinking About Things (OUP 2018).

 

Assignments Your work for grade is as follows: 

  • two short essays  (about 1200 words each): 25 points each
  • a term paper abstract (about 500 words): 5 points
  • the term paper itself (about 2500 words): 35 points
  • a quiz in every class, from which the aggregated points will contribute 10% of the total points for grade.

PHL 610QA • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

40635-40645 • Evans, Matthew
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM WAG 302
show description
There are a few questions we should all ask ourselves at least once before we die, and many of them are philosophical. In this semester we'll pick out some of the most pressing of these questions, and try to answer them as best we can. Among them will be: Is there any compelling evidence that God exists? If not, is it still OK to believe that He does? What is knowledge, as opposed to mere true belief? How much can we know about our own minds, about the minds of others, and about the world outside of both? What is the relationship between our minds and our bodies? What makes each of us the same person across time? What is it for each of us to be (or not to be) of a particular race or a particular gender?
 

PHL 610QA • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

40620-40630 • Deigh, John
Meets MW 4:00PM-5:30PM WAG 302
show description

The course will cover major questions of ethics, politics, and human psychology in ancient and medieval philosophy: what is a good life?  must one live justly and honestly to achieve happiness in life?  what is the place of love and friendship in a good life and what are the best kinds of friendship or relations of love?  what is death and can the soul survive it?  what is freedom?  how is it realized?  is democracy the best form of government? does a citizen of a democracy owe allegiance to its laws?  We will study these and other questions through examination of great works of Plato, Aristotle, Paul, and Augustine.