100 - Introduction to Philosophy (AL)
Chappell, 380 Bartlett
Two lectures, one discussion per week. An introduction to philosophical
thinking, stressing the formulation and evaluation of logical arguments.
Readings include traditional as well as contemporary works. Discussion of
such topics as the nature of knowledge, the human mind, death and
immortality, the existence of God, and the problem of evil. Texts: Plato,
Apology, Crito, Meno, and Phaedo; Descartes, Meditations; two recent
dialogues by John Perry. Requirements: several quizzes and exams, final
100 - Introduction to Philosophy
O’Neill, 364 Bartlett
An historical introduction to philosophy through the interpretation of early modern texts and the reconstruction and evaluation of their arguments. Issues that we’ll discuss include: Do the physically stronger have the right to subjugate the weaker? Can I prove that God exists? Can I be certain that physical objects exist? Is it necessary that ice will melt in fire? Requirements: regular attendance at lecture, participation in the weekly discussion section, several exams, and brief weekly assignments.
110 - Introduction to Logic
Hardegree, 363 Bartlett
Introduction to Symbolic Logic. Two logical systems are examined:
(1) Sentential Logic, (2) Predicate Logic. Work is equally divided
between: (a) translating English sentences into symbolic notation,
and (b) constructing formal derivations. Text: Hardegree, Symbolic
Logic: A First Course, 3rd ed. Requirements: In-class exams. For more information, consult
160 - Introduction to Ethics (AT)
Feldman, 362 Bartlett
Two lectures, one discussion per week. Consideration of some
of the most important theories about right and wrong, good and
evil, and virtue and vice. In each case, one focus will be on
clear and accurate formulation of the theory. Another focus will
be on understanding and evaluating classic objections to the
theory. Readings from Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Bentham, Mill,
Kant, Ross, Moore, and others. Text: Feldman, Introduction to
Ethics. Requirements: three quizzes; no papers, no final exam.
Each student will be permitted to take one quiz over again at
the end of the semester.
164, Lecture 1 - Medical Ethics (AT)
Matthews, 368 Bartlett
An introduction to ethics through issues in medicine and health
care. Topics will include abortion, treatment of impaired infants,
euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, truth-telling, medical
experimentation on human beings and on animals, and the allocation
of scarce medical resources. Text: Munson, Intervention and
Reflection, 6th ed. Requirements: two hour-exams; final exam;
optional quizzes and term papers.
164, Lecture 2 - Medical Ethics (AT)
320 - History of Ancient Philosophy (HS)
Casey Perin, 357 Bartlett
This course is an introduction to the history of Greek philosophy.
We shall consider the views of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle
on a wide range of issues in ethics, moral psychology, metaphysics,
335 - Contemporary Analytic Philosophy
Kevin Klement, 353 Bartlett
Consideration of the major trends in British and American philosophy in roughly
the first half of the 20th century. Topics include philosophical analysis,
logical atomism, logical positivism and "the linguistic turn" in philosophy.
Texts: works by Russell, Wittgenstein, Ayer, Kripke and/or others.
Requirements: Take-home essay exams, in-class quizzes. Prerequisite: one course
in philosophy, or consent of instructor.
361 - Philosophy of Art (AT)
Exploration of questions about the nature of art, such as: what makes
something a work of art, why the aesthetic merit of an artwork depends upon
who produced it, what authenticity is and why it matters, and related
questions concerning the identity conditions for artworks. Prerequisite:
one course in philosophy.
381H - Philosophy of Woman (SBD, SBG, SBU)
Ann Ferguson, 370 Bartlett
A comparison of philosophical theories of gender and sexuality,
including Natural purpose theory (ancient Greek and Christian
thought), biological determinism, Freudianism and Foucault. We
will investigate the ways that women and their bodies have been
viewed by feminist theorists on female embodiment such as Beauvoir,
Rich, Wittig and Butler. Issues will include: the relation between
sex, gender and sexuality, dichotomies between ideals of masculinity/femininity,
reason/emotion, subject/object, connection between oppression
by race, class, sexuality and gender, representations of women
and theories of self, identity and subjectivity. Texts will include
Conboy, Medina and Stanbury, eds. Writing on the Body: Female
Embodiment and Feminist Theory; Freud Sexuality and the
Psychology of Love; Foucault History of Sexuality;
v.1; Feinberg Stone Butch Blues and selected xerox readings.
Prerequisites include either a 100 level Philosophy class or
WOST 201 or permission of the instructor. Phil 381 satisfies
I and D general education requirements. Course requirements include
class participation, 2 short papers, a mid-term exam and an 8-10
page term paper. Course receives 4 credits.
382 - Philosophical Approaches to Science
Introduction to the logic and methodology of science, and to various
scientific concepts, including theory, law, causation, and explanation.
Requirements: several short papers.
383 - Philosophical Approaches to Religion
Consideration of issues that arise when one thinks philosophically about
religion. These include arguments for the existence of God, the need (or
lack of need) for such arguments, the divine attributes, the problem of
evil, the nature of religious experience, and the relation of religion to
science. Prerequisites: one course in philosophy.
Philosophy 393P - Philosophy of Psychology
Kornblith, 360 Bartlett
Different approaches to psychology presuppose radically different views about the nature of mind. We will look at work by Descartes, B. F. Skinner, Noam Chomsky and research in artificial intelligence. What views about the mind are at work in each of these approaches? What reason is there to suppose that the mind actually functions as these authors suppose? Prerequisite: one course in philosophy or one course in psychology. Requirements: three take-home exams.
398W - Junior Year Writing Course
Chappell, 380 Bartlett
One-credit practicum: must be taken in conjunction with PHIL 320. Satisfies
the Junior Year Writing Requirement in Philosophy. Weekly discussion
sections. Text: Strunk & White, The Elements of Style. Requirments:
several short papers, some of which must be rewritten in the light of the
insturctor's comments. Pass/Fail only. Prerequisite: English 112 or the
equivalent, and Junior class status.
511 - Modal Logic
Hardegree, 363 Bartlett
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://www-unix.oit.umass.edu/~gmhwww/511.
591S - Socratic Ignorance
Th 4:00 - 6:30
Matthews, 368 Bartlett
In many Platonic dialogues, especially in the early ones, Socrates says that he does not know anything, or at least not anything worthwhile. These disavowals of knowledge present the reader with several interpretive questions: Is Socrates being sincere? How could he possibly be? How could such a disavowal be consistent with the knowledge claims Socrates makes? If, say, Laches tries to say what courage is, how could Socrates know what an appropriate counterexample would be to the analysis Laches has offered, unless Socrates himself knows what courage is? Studying these texts will provide an opportunity to think about whether, and if so, how, it is possible to learn anything from philosophical analysis.
Texts: 9 Platonic dialogues, plus several papers on Socratic Ignorance
Course requirements: 3 short papers and a final term paper
Prerequisites: 3 courses in philosophy, including one in ancient philosophy.
591W - Women Philosophers of the Seventeenth Century
W 7:00 - 9:30
O'Neill, 364 Bartlett
A survey of significant, newly rediscovered, contributions by women to seventeenth-century philosophy. Authors and topics may include: (1) sceptical arguments in the essays of Marie de Gournay; (2) Elisabeth of Bohemia’s challenges to Cartesian dualism and mind-body union, free will and divine predestination, and the Stoic view of the autonomy of the will; (3) Damaris Masham’s treatment of Leibnizian individual substances, “vital force” and the possibility of unextended substances; (4) Mary Astell’s defense of dualistic interactionism in terms of “vital congruence,” and her challenges to occasionalism; (5) Margaret Cavendish’s treatment of mechanism, causation and perception, and defense of an original organicist materialism; and (6) Anne Conway’s attacks on the metaphysics of Spinoza, Descartes and Hobbes, and defense of an original spiritual monism.
Prerequisites for undergraduates: Some familiarity with the history of modern philosophy or permission of the instructor.
Requirements: A 3-page paper, a 15-page term paper, and class presentations.
593P - Perception and Belief
Perin, 357 Bartlett
In this course we will consider two questions: (1) what is a belief? (2) how does perception provide us with reasons for belief? We will examine the differences between belief and other propositional attitudes, what a reason for belief is, how perception resembles and is different from other mental states, and what sort of content perceptual experiences have. Requirement: one class presentation, a mid-term paper, and a final paper.