511 – Modal Logic
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://people.umass.edu/gmhwww/511.
551 – Metaphysics
582 – Philosophy of Science
TuTh 1:00 - 2:15
This class will explore topics regarding the nature of space and time. Possible topics include: (1) Classical conceptions of space and time, (2) Relativistic conceptions of space and time, (3) Whether space and time are substances, or just convenient ways of encoding spatiotemporal relations (Substantivalism vs. Relationism), (4) Whether spatiotemporal relations are intrinsic or extrinsic, (5) Whether objects inhabit regions of spacetime, or are identical to regions of spacetime (Supersubstantivalism), (6) Whether objects are spatially and temporally divisible (Perdurantism vs. Endurantism), (7) Whether space and time are infinitely divisible, (8) Whether the present is special in some way (Presentism vs. "Moving Spotlight" view vs. Externalism), (9) How time is different from space, (10) The source and nature of the `arrows of time', (11) And the tenability and implications of time travel.
594W - Propositional Attitudes
The course will be an advanced introduction to a central area in contemporary philosophy of language—the semantics of propositional attitude reports, i.e., claims of the form ‘Lois believes that Superman flies.’ The focus will be on the various attempts to solve Kripke’s Puzzle, which runs as follows: Paderewski, a famous Polish statesman, was also an accomplished pianist. Suppose that Peter believes that Paderewski, the pianist, is a gifted musician but, not realizing that one and the same person is both statesman and pianist, does not believe that Paderewski, the statesman, is a gifted musician. Then it is unclear whether the sentence ‘Peter believes that Paderewski is a gifted musician’ is true or false. We will begin with a quick review of the pre-Kripkean history of the topic, proceed with a close examination of Kripke’s own statement of the puzzle, and then consider a variety of proposed solutions: semantic, pragmatic, as well as approaches that don’t fit comfortably in either category. Topics to be discussed include: the logical form of attitude reports, the semantics of that-clauses, the nature of propositions, the semantics/pragmatics divide. Time permitting, we will discuss Kit Fine’s treatment of Kripke’s Puzzle in his recently published Locke Lectures. Text: Matthew Davidson, On Sense and Direct Reference (McGraw-Hill).
The course is for graduate students, or advanced undergraduates who have taken either Phil 110 or its equivalent, or a course in Linguistics. Requirements: For graduate students, one short paper (5 pages) and one final paper (15-20 pages) and possibly one seminar presentation; for undergraduates, take-home midterm essays and a final paper (10 pages).
595P – Philosophy of Psychology
701R – Russell
Examination of Bertrand Russell's philosophy in the years 1900-1925, with particular emphasis on the development of his views in mathematical and philosophical logic, metaphysics, epistemology and the theory of meaning. Texts: The Principles of Mathematics, Essays in Analysis, Principia Mathematica to *56, and a number of smaller works by Russell, Moore, Peano and/or others. Requirements: Graduate student status and significant background in formal logic, or consent of instructor.
751 – Theory of Knowledge
Tu 4:00 - 6:30
Naturalistic Epistemology and its Critics.
This seminar will consist of an intensive investigation of the naturalistic approach to epistemology, as well as work critical of this approach. We will read work by a number of philosophers, including BonJour, Brandom, Dretske, Goldman, Harman, Kitcher, Kornblith, Quine, Stroud, Williams, and others. We will also read related empirical literature by Cosmides and Tooby, Susan Gelman, Gerd Gigerenzer, Nisbett and Ross, Tversky and Kahneman, and Timothy Wilson.
782 – Philosophy of Religion
W 3:35 - 6:05
Baker and Matthews
791C – Cartesianism and its Critics
M 3:35 - 6:05
We are sorry, but this class has been cancelled.
794I – Identity
Th 4:00 - 6:30
Topics include: the logic of identity; the metaphysical status of identity (Is it a "logical" relation? Internal or external? Is it primitive?); the identity of indiscernibles; problems of transtemporal and transworld identity; relative identity; vague identity; and plural identity (i.e., composition as identity). Requirement: philosophy graduate student with some background in formal logic, or consent of instructor.