513 Math Logic 1 Klement TuTh 9:30

Elementary meta-mathematics and logical meta-theory. Topics include completeness and consistency proofs for first-order logic, model theory, elementary number theory (especially Peano arithmetic), and Gödel's incompleteness theorems and related results. Text: Mendelson, Introduction to Mathematical Logic, 4th ed. Requirements: problem sets and exams. Prerequisite: Philosophy 310, or consent of instructor.
541 Topics in Metaphysics Eddon W 12:30-3:00
Topic: Philosophy of time. This class will discuss some questions central to the philosophy of time. What is the nature of time? Does time pass, or flow? Does time has a direction? Is the future open in the way that the past is not? How is the present moment special? Topics to be discussed will be guided by student interest, and may include: presentism and eternalism, A-theory vs. B-theory, "moving spotlight" and "growing block" views of time, metaphysical indeterminacy and the open future, time and change, time and causation, and the paradoxes of time travel.
542 Topics in Epistemology Kornblith Tu 1:00-3:30
What is the proper method for justifying philosophical claims?  We will look at the role of intuitions, both about hypothetical cases and about principles, in philosophical methodology.  Some have claimed that such intuitions play a role in philosophy not unlike the role which observation plays in science.  On this view, intuitions serve as data which philosophical theories seek to systematize and, perhaps, explain.  Some have argued, however, that much as intuitions play this role in a good deal of philosophical practice, such a practice simply cannot be justified.  We will examine the role, if any, of intuition in philosophical theory construction, and consider alternative approaches to philosophy as well.  Readings from Bealer, Cappelen, Goldman, Kornblith, Nagel, Pust, Sosa, Stich, Weinberg, Williamson and others.
583 Topics in Philosophy of Religion Antony W 3:30-6:00
We will be examining the connections -- or alleged connections -- between naturalism on the one hand, and a variety of theses about God, mentality, and morality on the other:  Does the natural world give us evidence that God exists?  Does it give us evidence that God does not exist?  If we deny the existence of supernatural beings and forces, can we explain the reliability of our own cognitive faculties?  If we are primed by our genetic heritage to form religious beliefs, does that make them less likely to be true?  Can the same be said about our moral beliefs?   Readings from classical and contemporary philosophical works, supplemented by some readings in cognitive science.  Authors will include: David Hume, William Paley, William Rowe, Paul Draper, Alvin Plantinga, Peter van Inwagen, Michael Rea, Roger White, Joshua Greene, Scott Atran, Paul Bloom, Sharon Street, and myself.
592M Topics in Early Modern Philosophy O'Neill M 3:30-6:00
The focus of this course is causation in early modern philosophy from Descartes to Hume. Descartes aimed to replace the Aristotelian causal account of how things in nature come to have new properties—an account which utilizes concepts of matter, form, qualities and powers—with the new mechanical picture of change. Mechanical causal accounts make use solely of the geometrical notions of extension, size, figure, position, and motion. But Descartes rejected a purely mechanical account of mind-body interaction. We will study a number of philosophical problems that Cartesian causal interactionism faces, including mind-body problems raised by Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia. We will also explore two further rationalist causal systems: occasionalism and harmony.  According to Malebranche’s ocasionalism, no created substances can bring about natural change; God alone is the efficient cause of everything. Cavendish attacks mechanical interactionism and occasionalism. We will contrast her materialist system—in which the genuine causal activity internal to one body is harmonized to the causal activity in the rest of nature—to (1) Descartes’ non-Malebranchean “occasional causes” and to (2) Leibniz’s system of a divinely pre-established harmony among spiritual substances. Having explored these rationalist causal systems, we will be in a good position to see how Hume draws on Malebranche’s negative arguments concerning necessary connection in nature.  But Hume will break with his rationalist predecessors by sceptically challenging their claims to have a priori knowledge of certain causal relations.
Open to philosophy graduate students and to undergraduate philosophy majors who have some familiarity with the metaphysics of Descartes, Leibniz and Hume.
594E Topics in Meta-Ethics Garcia Th 1:00-3:30
This course explores various debates in contemporary metaethics.  For this semester, we will focus on two main topics: (1) moral psychology (e.g., practical reasoning, the internalism/externalism debates, and the overall relationship between motivation and reasons); and (2) different approaches to normativity, including moral realism, moral constructivism, and moral sentimentalism.  Some philosophers we will read include Blackburn, Harman, Korsgaard, McDowell, Railton, Scanlon, Smith, Velleman, and Williams.
742 Seminar in Epistemology Meacham / Perez Carballo M 12:30-3:00
In this class we'll be looking at truth-guided approaches to epistemology. Possible questions we'll consider include: What work is there to be done by a theory of epistemic value? Can a theory of epistemic value give support to epistemic norms? (If so, are there norms beyond norms of formal coherence that can be grounded in such a theory? Can a theory of epistemic value be put to use to give an account of the rationality of conceptual change?) Should we think of epistemic rationality on the model of our best theories of practical rationality? Should a theory of epistemic value be sensitive to anything beyond truth and accuracy considerations? What are the loci of epistemic value?
755 Seminar in Philosophy of Mind Levine Tu 4:00-6:30
Various topics related to consciousness and its metaphysical status: the unity of consciousness and self-consciousness, panpsychism, versions of physicalism, and perhaps others as well.
792A Seminar – Ancient Philosophy deHarven Th 4:00-6:30

Alfred North Whitehad is famous for having said that the European philosophical tradition consists in a series of footnotes to Plato; he explains, that Plato's writing is "an inexhaustible mine of suggestion" (1929: 39).   In this spirit, we will mine Plato’s works for suggestions in epistemology, i.e., the study of knowledge and its objects—Plato’s epistemology can hardly be pried apart from his metaphysics.  We will consider the metaphysical nature of Plato’s Forms given their roles as objects of knowledge, universals (or properties, or perfect particulars, or…), causes, ideals, and what is most real.  In addition to the Forms themselves, we will examine predication and participation:  the relationship between sensible particulars, sensible properties and the Forms.  We will look at the famous third man regresses of the Parmenides, Plato’s approach to non-Being, and the apparent deficiency of the sensible world in comparison to the intelligible.  In tandem, we will consider what Plato says about knowledge in contrast to mere belief, knowledge as justified true belief, learning as recollection, how far we find knowledge by acquaintance and by description, logical atomism, error, and whether Plato can be considered a coherentist.  Readings will include Plato’s Meno, Phaedo, Symposium, Timaeus, Parmenides, Republic, Theaetetus, and Sophist, along with secondary literature (both commentaries and articles).