# Title Instructor Time Gen
old new
100 Intro to Philosophy Graham MW 2:30 + disc AL
The goals of this course are two-fold: to develop and hone students' analytical skills and to look at a number of the central issues in philosophy. Crucial to doing and understanding philosophy is an ability to present, explain, and evaluate arguments; throughout the course we will refine these abilities. By way of an introduction to a number of core philosophical issues we will take an in-depth look at one of the greatest works of philosophy of all time, Descartes's Meditations on First Philosophy. In it we will encounter skeptical arguments, arguments for the existence of God, and an argument for mind-body dualism. We will grapple with these issues in addition to questions about free will and ethics.
100 Intro to Philosophy Oliveira TuTh 1:00-2:15 AL



100 Intro to Philosophy Magalotti TuTh 1:00-2:15      



100H Intro to Philosophy (Honors) O'Neill TuTh 1:00-2:15 AL

This course is restricted to Commonwealth College first-year students.

This course provides an introduction to Western philosophy through the examination of several canonical texts, including Descartes? Meditations on First Philosophy.  The topics that we will treat include scepticism; the existence and nature of human minds, bodies, and God; the relation of cause and effect; and knowledge that is independent of sense experience. At the beginning of the course, we will work on ?reconstructing? arguments. We will also focus on evaluating arguments in terms of the validity of formal structure and the truth of premises. There will be ample opportunity to demonstrate mastery of textual interpretation and argument analysis in the one-page, weekly reflection assignments; the final take-home essay; and the two essay exams. Given the importance and breadth of the texts and topics covered, the stress on critical evaluation of arguments, and the focus on written and verbal expression, this course meets the objectives of the General Education (Arts and Literature) curriculum. This is a 4-credit course and is open solely to incoming Concepts in Philosophy Honors freshmen of the Commonwealth College Honors Community Learning (HCL) program.

110 Intro to Logic Hardegree TuTh 1:00-2:15 R2 Logic Logic
Introduction to symbolic logic, including sentential and predicate logic. Focus on translating English statements into symbolic notation, and evaluation of arguments for validity using formal proof techniques. Text: Hardegree, Symbolic Logic: A First Course, 4th ed. Requirements: homework and exams. Prerequisites: none.
160 Intro to Ethics Meacham TuTh 4:00 + disc AT Ethics Value
In the first half of the class we'll discuss some of the main theories that have been offered for evaluating what one ought and ought not to do, such as Ethical Relativism, Ethical Skepticism, the Divine Command theory, Utilitarianism, Kantianism, and the Social Contract Theory. In the second half of the class we'll turn to look at some controversial issues in ethics, with possible topics including animal  rights, euthanasia, abortion, infanticide, parental responsibilities,  neonatal circumcision and children's rights.
160H Intro to Ethics (Honors) Perez Carballo TuTh 4:00-5:15 AT Ethics Value

This course is restricted to Commonwealth College students.

This course is an introduction to normative ethics. More specifically, we will focus on questions about what to do and how to live from a moral point of view. We will spend a large portion of the course discussing specific moral questions—e.g. Is it ever permissible to kill someone? How much of our income should we donate to charity? What are our obligations to animals? But we will also look at proposals to give unified answers to all moral questions. Inevitably, we will pause to reflect on the moral questions themselves: What are we asking for when we ask whether something is morally wrong? Is it reasonable to expect a fully general answer to those questions? What makes for a ‘correct’ answer to moral questions?
We will not focus on giving particular answers to specific moral questions, but rather on learning how to give reasons for or against such answers. In addition to introducing you to the major moral theories and giving you some tools to answer specific moral questions, our goal will thus be to sharpen your ability to analyze, evaluate, and craft your own philosophical arguments.
164 01 Medical Ethics Dealy MWF 9:05 AT Ethics Value
A survey of some of the topics in medical ethics, with possible topics including cloning, distribution of medical resources, homosexuality, abortion, and animal experimentation.
164 02 Medical Ethics Rancourt MWF 10:10 AT Ethics Value
A survey of some of the topics in medical ethics, with possible topics including cloning, distribution of medical resources, homosexuality, abortion, and animal experimentation.
164 03 Medical Ethics Kavlakoglu MWF 11:15 AT Ethics Value
A survey of some of the topics in medical ethics, with possible topics including cloning, distribution of medical resources, homosexuality, abortion, and animal experimentation.
164 04 Medical Ethics Soland MWF 12:20 AT Ethics Value
A survey of some of the topics in medical ethics, with possible topics including cloning, distribution of medical resources, homosexuality, abortion, and animal experimentation.
164 05 Medical Ethics Washington MWF 1:25 AT Ethics Value
A survey of some of the topics in medical ethics, with possible topics including cloning, distribution of medical resources, homosexuality, abortion, and animal experimentation.
164 06 Medical Ethics Robison TuTh 10:00-11:15 AT Ethics Value
A survey of some of the topics in medical ethics, with possible topics including cloning, distribution of medical resources, homosexuality, abortion, and animal experimentation.
164 08 Medical Ethics Peterson

TuTh 11:30-12:45

AT Ethics Value
A survey of some of the topics in medical ethics, with possible topics including cloning, distribution of medical resources, homosexuality, abortion, and animal experimentation.
164H Medical Ethics (Honors) Tucker TuTh 10:00-11:15 AT Ethics Value

This course is restricted to Commonwealth College students.

An introduction to ethics through issues of medicine and health care. Topics 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. 

170 Problems in Social Thought Cassell MWF 12:20 SB Value
An introduction to modern Western political and social philosophy. We will focus on key works by Machiavelli, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, and Marx and on questions about the nature and limits of political power, rights, and liberty.
320 History of Ancient Philosophy deHarven TuTh 1:00-2:15 HS History Hist(A)

A survey course that explores why the ancient Greeks are considered the founders of Western Philosophy.  Starting with pre-Socratic rational cosmology, we will see the advent of inquiry guided by reason and argumentation rather than prophetic testimony.  With Socrates, we will see the turn to definition, with a focus on morality and the good life; and in Plato's Republic we will follow a sustained account of justice, human psychology, politics, and the nature of knowledge and reality.  Finally, with Aristotle we will see the birth of formal metaphysics (the study of reality), epistemology (theory of knowledge), virtue ethics (the idea that what makes an action good is the state of character behind it), the philosophy of science, and a return to rational cosmology.

335 20th C. Analytic Philosophy Klement TuTh 2:30-3:45 Hist M&E
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.
336 Existential Philosophy Abruzzo MWF 11:15 AL Hist
An introduction to the main themes of Existentialism through seminal writing by Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre.
341 Intro to Metaphysics Ferrier TuTh 11:30-12:45 M&E
Course Description: A survey in analytic metaphysics with special emphasis on the following topics: (1) Identity and Change; (2) Necessity, Essence and Possible Worlds; (3) Agents, Actions and Events; (4) Space and Time. Text: A Survey of Metaphysics by E. J. Lowe (2002: Oxford).
Grade: class participation, homework, exams, final paper.
342 Intro to Epistemology Kroll MWF 10:10 M&E
This course will be divided into two parts: individual epistemology and social epistemology. We will begin with Descartes?s Meditations on First Philosophy, tracking the development from traditional individual epistemology to social epistemology. Topics to be discussed likely include: Certainty, Skepticism, the Analysis of Knowledge, Internalism vs. Externalism, Naturalized Epistemology, Virtue Epistemology, Disagreement, Testimony, Identification of Experts, Feminist Epistemology.
No prior knowledge of epistemology will be presupposed, but this course is not a survey.
Requirements: Exams, Problem Sets, Regular Attendance/Participation, Paper.
Prerequisite: At least one college level course in philosophy, preferably including Phil 110 or its equivalent.
353 Intro to Philosophy of Science Bricker TuTh 4:00-5:15   M&E
This course is an introduction to the logic and methodology of science, to scientific thinking.  Science embodies the most powerful and successful method for explaining the phenomena around and within us, for discovering truth.  Those who shun scientific modes of thought are easily duped by charlatans and quacks into believing preposterous claims.  In this course, I hope, you will learn to think like a scientist, to distinguish science from pseudoscience, to recognize and avoid fallacies of reasoning that lead many astray.  You will leave this course, I hope, a more critical and skeptical observer of the world, better able to discern truth from falsehood, and therefore better able to make decisions that further your own aims.
355 Intro to Philosophy of Mind Antony TuTh 10:00-11:15   M&E
Can mere matter think?  What is consciousness?  Can I exist without any body?  How can my intentions cause my body to move?  These are among the questions that constitute the “Mind-Body Problem;” this course will show you how philosophers have tried  solve it.  We’ll begin with a survey of the main theoretical frameworks philosophers have proposed for understanding the relation between mind and body: dualism, reductionism, behaviorism, and functionalism.   Then we’ll examine two or three more specific issues in some detail, drawing on work by contemporary philosophers.
370 Intro to Social-Political Philosophy Levine TuTh 10:00-11:15   Value
An investigation into foundational issues in political theory, such as the basis of state authority, the nature of property rights, balancing the values of individual autonomy and equality, and the question of nationalism.  Readings from Hobbes, Locke, Mill, Marx, Rawls, Nozick, and others.
383 Intro to Philosophy of Religion McGloin MWF 9:05 M&E
In this course, we will discuss some of the central topics in the philosophy of religion. We'll discuss the nature of the divine attributes and whether they are consistent. We'll also discuss the central arguments for and against God's existence; we'll talk about the ontological argument, the cosmological argument, the design argument, and the problem of evil. Finally, we'll discuss some issues in religious epistemology; in particular, we'll discuss whether we can be justified in believing in the existence of God even if we lack good arguments supporting this belief.
393C Chinese Philosophy Liu MW 2:30-3:45  
This course is an introduction to major philosophical schools in early (pre-Qin) China, including the Confucian, Moïst, and Daoist schools. Many of the ideas in these traditions have shaped the last two thousand years of Chinese—and to a large extent, Eastern Asian—culture. Readings will include six primary texts: the Analects, Mozi, Mengzi, Daodejing, Zhuangzi, and Xunzi, along with an assortment of secondary literature. Special attention will be paid to ethics, philosophy of language and epistemology in early China. The aim of this course is to guide students to: 1) understand key philosophical terms and concepts, 2) analyze and interpret complex texts, and 3) assess and engage in philosophical arguments. This course does not require knowledge in Chinese.
394D Darwinian Theories Kornblith MW 2:30-3:45     M&E
Darwin presented a theory of evolution, designed to explain the origin of species. It is impossible to understand almost anything in biology without understanding the nature of evolution. We will begin the course with a careful reading of Darwin’s The Origin of Species. We will then move on to look at Darwinian approaches to a wide range of topics, including sociobiology and evolutionary psychology; for this part of the course, we will read Daniel Dennett’s Darwin’s Dangerous Idea. Finally, we will discuss the implications of Darwinian ideas for religion. Here we will read Stephen Jay Gould’s Rocks of Ages.
398W Junior Year Writing deHarven by arrangement JYW
A 1-credit pass/fail course that must be taken in conjunction with Philosophy 320.
It satisfies the University Junior Year Writing Requirement.
500 Contemp Problems (Integrative Experience) Garcia M 4:00-6:30 IE M&E

This course satisfies the new INTEGRATIVE EXPERIENCE requirement.
Topic: Philosophical Conceptions of the Self
This course explores both metaphysical and political/ethical issues related to the nature of the "self".  Some topics to be discussed include: personal identity, the nature of rational agency, autonomy, authenticity, and moral egoism.

511 Modal Logic Hardegree TuTh 10:00-11:15   Logic Logic
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 course website .
542 Topics in Epistemology Kornblith Tu 1:00-3:30   M&E
Topic: Metacognition. We will spend the semester carefully reading Joelle Proust's new book, The Philosophy of Metacognition: Mental Agency and Self-Awareness. This book has a very thorough discussion of literature in philosophy, psychology, and neuroscience, and it develops and interesting and original view.
560 Topics in Ethics Graham M 7:00-9:30   Value
In this course we will examine many of the factors moral theorists have thought to be relevant to the moral permissibility and impermissibility of behavior. Among the many questions we will discuss are the following: Are an action's consequences morally relevant to its permissibility? If so, in what ways are they relevant? Is there a moral prohibition against harming others, even in cases in which doing so would bring about the best outcome? If there is such a prohibition, what are its contours? In what ways is consent morally relevant, if at all, to the permissibility of a person's actions? To what extent are we morally obliged to help those in desperate need? Requirements: two take-home exams, no term paper.
592Q Topics in History of Philosophy O'Neill W 1:00-3:30   History Hist(B)
In recent decades, the causal role of body (e.g., external objects, as well as brain states) in Descartes' account of the content of sensory ideas has come in for considerable debate. Some commentators argue that Descartes ultimately held that body is not an efficient cause of sensory content. They claim that in late texts, Descartes identifies bodies as the occasions rather than the causes, of the content of sense ideas. This has led some to suggest that Descartes was moving toward the system of nature most famously held by Descartes' successor, Malebranche, namely the system of occasionalism According to Malebranche, whose texts we will examine closely, bodies are devoid of any causal power. A fortiori, they are incapable of causing sensory contents in minds.  Instead, on the occasion of the presence of particular bodies, God alone causes specific sensory content in minds. Other commentators argue that Descartes, both early and late, followed the anti-occasionalist view of Aquinas, who held that bodies are partial efficient causes of sensory content in minds. We will also examine the Cartesian texts that are cited as evidence for both readings. But there is a third option that has been neglected by the literature: bodies are neither non-causal, Malebranchean occasions nor are they full-fledged, partial efficient causes of the content of sense ideas. Instead, they are the occasional causes whose pedigree goes back to the antecedent causes of the ancient Stoics and Galen. We will read some excerpts from these two ancient sources, as well as from some of Descartes' contemporaries, such as Margaret Cavendish, who made use of these occasional causes in their natural philosophy. We will scrutinize Descartes' texts and attempt to see the precise causal contribution he attributes to bodies as occasional causes of the content of our sensory ideas.
Prerequisite for undergraduates: Students must have previously taken and passed Phil. 321 (History of Modern Philosophy), or have transfer credit for the equivalent of Phil 321, or have taken and passed a 500-level UMass course in the history of philosophy.
595F Formal Philosophy Perez Carballo Tu 4:00-6:30  

This course is an overview of recent work on conditionals. Topics include: the canonical semantics for conditionals and some of the alternatives (e.g. expressivist, relativist, NTV, and dynamic theories); the logic of indicative and counterfactual conditionals; the formal criteria that any theory of conditionals should meet; the relationship between conditionals and conditional probability; the analysis of conditional obligations; the relationship between chance and counterfactual conditionals.

Prerequisites (for undergraduate students): three prior courses in philosophy, including one of Phil 110 (Intro to Logic) or Phil 310 (Intermediate Logic), or a similar class.

595K Kant's Ethical Theory Garcia Th 1:00-3:30   History Hist(B)

Kant’s moral philosophy is typically regarded as one of the most influential ethical views in Western philosophy, alongside virtue ethics (Aristotle) and utilitarianism (Bentham/Mill). This course is a basic introduction to Kant’s ethics. 

In this course, we will focus on Kant’s overall value theory.  The first half of the course will focus on Kant’s views about (1) moral value.  Some topics to be discussed include his views about human dignity, respect, treating people as ‘ends in themselves’, rights, and the overall relationship between morality and politics.  The second half of the course will focus on Kant’s views about (2) non-moral value.  Some topics to be discussed include his views about happiness, welfare, our obligations to non-rational animals/nature, and ideal vs. non-ideal theory.

There are no course prerequisites. For graduate students, this course can fulfill either a history or an ethics requirement.