513 - Mathematical Logic
Elementary meta-mathematics and logical meta-theory. Topics include completness
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.
594K - Knowledge of Self and Other Minds
We seem to have a great deal
of knowledge about our own mental states and about the mental states
of other people. From a Cartesian perspective, knowledge
of our current mental states is entirely unproblematic, while knowledge
of the mental states of others (and, of course, knowledge of the
external world) cry out for explanation. But how is self-knowledge
possible, and how, if at all, does it differ from knowledge of
the mental states of others and of the physical world? We
will examine a variety of views on these matters in both the philosophical
and the psychological literature. We will read Shaun Nichols
and Stephen Stich's book Mindreading, as well as a selection
of material by a variety of other authors.
594M - Seminar - Mind
This seminar will be an exploration of the philosophy of Wilfrid
Sellars. We will focus on his epistemology and philosophy of mind. After
considering Sellars' approach to the Kantian problematic and the
context this sets for his own work, we will turn to his account
of meaning. The center of the course will be a close reading
of Sellars' influential essay "Empiricism and the Philosophy of
Mind." Following this we will read some his later essays
on the philosophy of mind, meaning and epistemology. We will
consider the many dimensions of Sellars' influence on 20th and
21st Century philosophy of mind, epistemology and philosophy of
594S - Formal Semantics
time and place by arrangement
We usually understand novel sentences – e.g., this one – with little
or no hesitation. How do we accomplish this? According to the received opinion,
our linguistic knowledge divides into two modules – roughly, words and
rules – which in turn correspond respectively to Lexical Grammar and
Compositional Grammar. The present course concerns Compositional Semantics – the
study of how the meanings of compound expressions are derived from the meanings
of their parts. We pursue this enterprise within the framework of Categorial
Grammar – more specifically, within the framework of Type-Logical Grammar.
Topics will include: set theory, type theory, lambda-calculus, categorial syntax
and semantics, type-logical syntax and semantics. Prerequisite: graduate status,
or consent of the instructor. Requirements: homework assignments.
Web Site: http://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~gmhwww/595/index.htm
703 - Problems in History of Philosophy
This seminar will focus on the accounts of free choice
offered by St. Thomas Aquinas, Francisco Suarez, and Leibniz.
St. Thomas Aquinas's account of free choice set the agenda
for subsequent discussions, which agenda persisted at least
through the seventeenth century. Francisco Suarez, responding
to problems in St. Thomas's account formulated by Luis de
Molina, crafted a sophisticated libertarian alternative.
Leibniz, in typical fashion, set out to formulate an account
solving all the problems left unresolved by his predecessors.
In the course of examining Leibniz's account of free choice,
we will also examine his theories of modality and truth.
760 - Ethics
A familiar objection
to utilitarianism and other normative theories is that they are “impractical”,
or that they fail to be “action-guiding”. In one form, the objection
is based on the claim that ordinary people lack the information that would
be required in order to make use of the theory to determine what they morally
ought to do. Many philosophers have taken the objection seriously and have
offered answers to the question about we should do when we don’t know
what the true moral theory requires of us. Some samples: “Do what will
maximize expected utility” (J. J. C. Smart); “Abide by conventional
morality” (G. E. Moore); “Make use of intuitive level thinking” (R.
M. Hare); “Let your conscience be your guide” (J. Cricket); “Do
what Jesus would do”. The most interesting of these answers will be the
topic of this seminar. Readings by Kant, Mill, Sidgwick, Moore, Hare, Smart,
and many others. For more information about prerequisites, course requirements,
likely readings, etc., send an email to Fred.
792D - Aristotle's Metaphysics
794R - Perception and Reason
We will explore various theories of perception, and various approaches
to the regress of reasons. The idea is to discuss whether some theories
of perception might help provide replies to the regress of reasons, and/or replies
to the skeptic. Prerequisite: graduate students only.