511 - Modal Logic
Hardegree, 363 Bartlett
This course is intended to follow Philosophy 310 (Intermediate
Logic), and examines various modal logical systems including
alethic modal logic, epistemic logic, deontic logic, tense logic,
and the logic of propositional attitudes. Emphasis will be on
quantification, identity, descriptions, scoped singular terms,
and actuality. Text: Hardegree, Introduction to Modal Logic (available on-line). Prerequisite: Philosophy 310, or consent
of the instructor. For more information, consult http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~gmhwww/511.
593E - Epistemology
Schaffer, 359 Bartlett
This course will focus on the nature of knowledge, its
relation to other mental states, its connection to evidence,
practical reasoning, and social practices like assertion.
We will read through Timothy Williamson's book Knowledge
and its Limits, and John Hawthorne's book Knowledge
and Lotteries. Requirements: Seminar paper. Prerequisites:
Graduate students and advanced undergraduates only.
593 -- Philosophy of Language
M 3:35 - 6:05
Bricker, 356 Bartlett
This is a course in contemporary analytic philosophy of language
focusing on theories of meaning and reference, especially
for names and descriptions. It is geared towards graduate
students and advanced philosophy majors. The material is often
difficult, and requires strong analytical skills on the part
of the student. Prerequisite: At least two philosophy courses
including elementary symbolic logic.
701 – Selected Philosopher: Descartes
Chappell, 380 Bartlett
Critical study of the major philosophical works
of Descartes. Emphasis on topics of current interest, e.g.
skepticism, the cogito, ideas and perception, proving
the existence of God, mind and body, free will, the passions.
Texts: The Philosophical Writings of
Descartes, tr. By Cottingham, Stoothoff, Murdoch, and
Kenny. 3 vols. (Cambridge University Press, 1985-91); Descartes,
ed. by John Cottingham. Oxford Readings in Philosophy. (Oxford
University Press, 1998). Requirements: short
papers, class presentations, a term paper. Prerequisite:
Graduate status, or permission of the instructor.
Phil 750 -- Metaphysics
Baker, 366 Bartlett
This seminar will focus on the nature of ordinary things --
objects that we encounter in daily life. Such mundane objects
include: organisms, inanimate natural objects, artifacts,
artworks, people and other medium-sized objects. How are such
objects related to, say, particles in physics? Are some or
all ordinary things identical to aggregates of particles to
which we apply our concepts, or do any of them have ontological
significance? There are numerous metaphysical issues that
we may consider: for example, the nature of vagueness, the
nature of persistence, the usefulness of mereology.
791 -- Aristotle’s Ethics
Matthews, 368 Bartlett
A close reading of Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, plus
a discussion of some of the most interesting recent secondary
literature on Aristotle’s Ethics, including several
pieces by former students in this course. Course requirements:
two or more seminar presentations, a short paper and a longer
paper. Prerequisites: graduate status, or permission of the
793 -- Animal Minds
Kornblith, 360 Bartlett
Many non-humans animals have a complex behavioral repertoire.
Must we appeal to mental states in order to explain the behavior
of these animals? What is the evidence for attributions of
mental states to non-human animals, or, for that matter, to
pre-linguistic humans, and how strong is this evidence? If
non-human animals and pre-linguistic humans do have mental
states, what kinds of mental states do they have? Do they
have propositional attitudes? Do they have second-order propositional
attitudes? We will examine both the empirical literature and
the philosophical literature on these questions. Readings
will include work by Colin Allen, Marc Bekoff, Robert Brandom,
Tyler Burge, Susan Carey, Donald Davidson, Jerry Fodor, Daniel
Dennett, Ruth Millikan, Daniel Povinelli, Elliott Sober, Kim
Sterelney, Michael Tomasello, and others. One short paper
and a seminar paper will be required.