Perin, 357 Bartlett
A survey of recent work in the theory of knowledge with special
focus on problems of skepticism and justification. Requirements:
several short papers or exams. Prerequisites: three courses
in philosophy, or permission of the instructor.
Schaffer, 359 Bartlett
In this course we will discuss reduction, emergence, and supervenience.
We will try to articulate the relationship between the levels
of nature. Requirements: a class presentation and a seminar
paper. Restricted to graduate philosophy students and upper-level
592S Metaphysics of Motion
Brown, 358 Bartlett
Debates about the nature and cause of motion were central to
the scientific revolution of the 17th and 18th centuries.
These debates raised profound questions in metaphysics and natural
philosophy. This course will involve a critical examination
of these questions and the answers that they provoked from the
major scientific and philosophical figures of the period.
Among the figures we will discuss are Galileo, Descartes, Malebranche,
Huygens, Wallis, Wren, Leibniz, and Newton. Texts:
to be determined. Requirements: midterm exam, final exam,
15-20 page term paper on a topic approved by the instructor.
Prerequisites: three courses in philosophy.
592T Seminar: Hume's Treatise
Chappell, 380 Bartlett
Critical study of Hume's Treatise of Human Nature.
Emphasis on topics of current interest, e.g. causation, free
will, personal identity, skepticism, motivation, and morality.
Text: Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, ed. Norton
and Norton (Oxford: 2000). Requirements: several short
papers, class presentation, term paper; no final exam.
Prerequisite: three courses in philosophy, or consent of the
594S Seminar: Space and
Bricker, 356 Bartlett
Selected topics in the philosophy of space and time, including
Zeno's paradoxes (and infinity machines); substantial vs. relational
views of space and time (Newton, Leibniz, Mach); the epistemology
of geometry (Poincare, Reichenbach); the foundations of special
relativity (space vs. spacetime, the twin paradox, conventionality
of simultaneity); and the possibility of time travel. Texts:
to be determined. Requirements: take-home midterm and final
exams, and three short papers. Prerequisites: two courses
in philosophy and high school algebra and physics, or consent
Matthews, 368 Bartlett
A consideration of the philosophically most interesting topics
in Augustine, including skepticism, cogito-like reasoning, the
concept of mind, the problem of other minds, the concept of the
will, the problem of happiness, language acquisition, time, creation
ex nihilo, the problem of evil, foreknowledge and free will,
and interpretation. Readings will include the Confessions,
some of the City of God, On Free Choice of the Will, Against the Academics, The Teacher, much of On
the Trinity, and short selections from other works, plus
a selection of the best recent philosophically-oriented secondary
literature. Requirements: a seminar presentation, a short paper,
and a longer paper.
O'Neill, 379 Bartlett
Feldman, 362 Bartlett
The main theme of the seminar will be "problems in the measurement
of moral value." We will consider such questions as the
question whether the intrinsic value of a complex whole (such
as a person's life, or a possible world) must be equal to the
sum of the values of the relevant parts of that whole. Another
likely question is this: are there sorts of value that are relevant
to the moral evaluation of a possible world, but which are "incommensurable?"
And what would it mean to say that they are incommensurable anyway?
Are there "higher goods?" Another question might be:
is there any way to compute the value of a world that contains
infinitely many minimal value states? Another question might
be: are there states of affairs that have intrinsic value, but
that do not have any determinate amount of intrinsic value? Readings
will be from works by James Griffin, Derek Parfit, Shelly Kagan,
Larry Temkin, Michael Stocker, and many others. Prerequisites:
some background in ethical theory, an interest in the topic,
a pocket calculator.
Baker, 366 Bartlett
This seminar will focus on a variety of positions on free will
and the relation of free will to moral responsibility. We shall
read recent articles defending and criticizing agent-causation
and libertarianism by authors such as Galen Strawson, Richard
Double, Daniel Dennett, Thomas Nagel, Carl Ginet, Robert Nozick,
Robert Kane, Timothy O'Connor, Randolph Clarke, Peter van Inwagen,
and John Martin Fischer and Mark Ravizza. Then, we shall read
a new book -- Living Without Free Will by Derk Pereboom
-- that defends the view that, whether determinism is true or
not, our actions are the result of factors beyond our control
and thus that we lack moral responsibility for any of our actions.
The book tries to reconcile absence of moral responsibility with
morality, meaning and value. We shall examine all these positions
critically. Requirements: class presentations, short paper, term
paper. Prerequisites: departmental standing as a Ph.D. student
or permission of the instructor.
* This course replaces PHIL
794E: Emergence, originally scheduled for Spring 2002, which
Baker plans to teach in a later semester.
794S--Speech Act Theory
Klement, 353 Bartlett
Close examination of speech act theory and its relation to philosophy,
with a particular emphasis on the work of J. L. Austin. Topics
include performative utterances, locutionary, illocutionary and
perlocutionary acts, conversational implicature, speakers' and
hearers' meaning, and the relationship between pragmatics and
semantics. We shall also be exploring the potential relevance
(or lack thereof) of these things to traditional philosophical
problems in ethics, epistemology and metaphysics. Texts: works
by Austin, Searle, Grice, Cavell, Strawson, Stalnaker, Martinich,
Vanderveken, Vendler, and/or others. Requirements: weekly reading
assignments, seminar presentations and term paper. Prerequisites:
graduate student status, or consent of instructor.