550 Epistemology Kornblith M 12:45-3:15
This course will focus on the role of intuitions in theory construction in philosophy.  Many see the standard philosophical method as follows.  Intuitions about some subject are canvassed—the nature of knowledge, justified belief, the right, the good, etc.—and our intuitions are treated as data which philosophical theories should systematize and explain.  Our intuitions thus play much the same role that observation plays in scientific theory construction.  But there are worries about this methodology.  What reason is there to think that our intuitions about philosophical subjects have anything like the reliability that observation does?  If our intuitions are not reliable, then we have no reason at all to believe theories which systematize and explain them.  We will look at a number of authors who seek to defend the method of appeals to intuition, as well as recent challenges.  Readings will include work by Bealer, Cummins, Goldman, Kornblith, Stich, Weatherson, Weinberg, Williamson, and others.  A short paper and a longer term paper will be required.
582 Philosophy of Science Meacham Th 1:00-3:30
This class will provide a gentle introduction to Bayesianism. We'll  sketch the basic framework, look at some of the standard issues  regarding confirmation which Bayesianism is supposed to resolve,  explore some of the consequences of Bayesianism, and examine some of  the different ways the Bayesian framework can be developed. In the  latter part of the class we'll look at some of the criticisms that  have been raised against the Bayesian approach, and explore how they  might be answered.
592G Philosophy of gender in 17th & 18th C O'Neill W 3:35-6:05
We will begin with an examination of Aristotle’s metaphysical views about gender difference, as well as some key medieval and Renaissance texts on this issue. These works will give us the historical backdrop to the seventeenth- and eighteenth-century debates about gender equality and difference.  We will examine Gournay’s use of Pyrrhonean sceptical arguments, and Schurman’s use of Aristotelian views and his syllogistic logic, in addressing issues about women’s moral and cognitive abilities, and the social roles appropriate for women.  We will then turn to recent debates in the secondary literature about whether Descartes’ philosophical method and his doctrine of mind-body distinctness helped to pave the way for a post-Aristotelian, early modern picture of gender difference—one in which women would play little or no role in the search after scientific knowledge.   In order to have a better historical grasp of these issues, we will look at the strikingly different views about gender difference in the work of two of Descartes’ 17th-century followers, Poullain de la Barre and Malebranche, as well as Lambert’s 18th-century response to them. The end of the course will be devoted to Enlightenment debates on gender just prior to the French Revolution; we will focus on the work of Rousseau and Wollstonecraft, among others.  Prerequisites for undergraduates: two 300-level courses in philosophy. The course will be conducted as a seminar.
594S Formal Semantics Hardegree TuTh 9:30-10:45
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 Grammar, more specifically 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: Phil 511, or graduate status, or consent of the instructor. Requirements: homework assignments. Click here for website.
702F Selected Philosopher – Frege Klement M 3:35-6:05
A close examination of the philosophical and logical works of Gottlob Frege (1848-1925). Topics include the nature of logic, the nature of numbers, functions, classes and other abstract entities, arithmetical truth, the theory of meaning (the sense/reference and concept/object distinctions, etc.), the undefinability of truth, as well as Frege's arguments against views such as formalism and psychologism. Texts: Beaney, ed., _The Frege Reader_, and other primary and secondary sources. Requirements: in-class presentation, weekly assignments and term paper. Prerequisites: Graduate student status and strong background in logic, or consent of instructor.
750 Metaphysics Eddon &
Levine
Th 4:00-6:30
Epistemology of Modality This class will address several issues in the epistemology of modality.  What does it mean to conceive of something, and is conceivability a reliable guide to possibility?  Is “metaphysical” possibility to be distinguished from “logical” possibility or “analytic” possibility?  Topics to be discussed may include zombie arguments in the philosophy of mind, conventional accounts of modality, two dimensional semantics, necessity as a prioricity or analyticity, and skepticism about modality.
760 Ethics Feldman M 7:00-9:30

Derek Parfit’s Reasons and Persons is widely regarded as the most influential work in normative ethics of the second half of the 20th Century.  In that book, Parfit introduced (or brought to wider attention) a collection of remarkably interesting problems in normative ethics and axiology.  Hundreds of journal articles, and very many books, have been written on these problems.  Parfit subsequently wrote further articles on these topics.  In some cases he responded to criticism and clarified his views.

In Phil 760 we will focus on a closely intertwined collection of problems that Parfit discusses.  Among these are: (a) the problem of the Repugnant Conclusion; (b) the Non-Identity problem; and (c)  Egalitarianism, Utilitarianism, or Prioritarianism? -- a problem perhaps more properly located in political philosophy than in normative ethics.  There is a common thread running though these topics: each has something to do with the evaluation of distributions of good and evil among the members (or potential members) of a group.

The aims will be, first, to understand the problems as they were originally presented in Reasons and Persons or other early Parfittian writings; next, to locate and read the most interesting critical discussions in the secondary literature; and finally to attempt to reach a conclusion about the question whether Parfit’s original problems have been (or could be) solved.

Readings will include Parfit’s work as well as selected items from the secondary literature.  This will surely include such things as Ryberg and Tannsjo’s The Repugnant Conclusion and Parfit’s 1991 Lindley Lecture “Equality or Priority?”.

Course requirements will include regular attendance and participation, a mid-term paper, and a final paper.  Some students may be invited to give presentations, but this will not be a course requirement.

Phil 760 will carry course, seminar, and ethics credit. 

785 Philosophy of Mind Antony Tu 4:00-6:30
The seminar will be focused on a new major work by Tyler Burge, Origins of Objectivity.  In this book, Burge develops an original account of the nature of mental representation and the mind-world connections in virtue of which mental representations can possess empirical content.  Burge's discussion is informed by contemporary cognitive and physiological psychology, as well as by the work of historical figures in philosophy.  (Undergraduates who wish to take the course must obtain prior permission from the instructor.)
891D Dissertation Seminar TBA by arrangement
Seminar for students working on their doctoral dissertations.  Chapters in progress are presented for discussion.