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# Title Instructor Time Gen Ed Major
100 Intro to Philosophy Perez Carballo MW 11:15 + disc AL
 
100H Intro to Philosophy (Honors) Kornblith TuTh 10:00-11:15 AL

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

This course will cover questions about the place of mind in a world of matter; the nature of free will, and whether it is so much as possible; and a variety of questions about knowledge, including self-knowledge.  Readings will be primarily from contemporary philosophers, all of which will be made available on-line.  There will be no exams in this course; instead, there will be short essays due roughly every other week.

110 Intro to Logic Klement TuTh 1:00-2:15 R2 Logic
Introduction to symbolic logic, including sentential and predicate logic. Focus on translating English statements into symbolic notation, and evaluating arguments for validity using formal proof techniques. Text: Hardegree, Symbolic Logic: A First Course, 4th ed.
Requirements: exams. Prerequisites: none.
160 Intro to Ethics Meacham MW 12:20 + disc AT 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.
160 Intro to Ethics   TuTh 1:00-2:15 AT Value
RAP course
160H Intro to Ethics (Honors)   TuTh 2:30-3:45 AT Value

This course is restricted to Commonwealth College students.

164 01 Medical Ethics Graham MW 4:00 + disc AT Value
 
164 02 Medical Ethics   MWF 10:10 AT 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   MWF 11:15 AT 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   MWF 12:20 AT 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   TuTh 10:00-11:15 AT Value
RAP course
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   MW 9:05 AT 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)   TuTh 11:30-12:45 AT 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   MWF 1:25 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.
310 Intermediate Logic Hardegree TuTh 1:00:2:15 R2 Logic

Continuation of Philosophy 110.  Three logical systems are examined: (1) Function Logic, (2) Identity Logic, (3) Description Logic.  Work is equally divided between translating English sentences into symbolic notation, and constructing formal derivations.  Requirements: seven exams.  Prerequisite: Philosophy 110, or consent of the instructor.
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321 History of Modern Philosophy Klement MW 2:30-3:45 HS Hist(B)
This course offers an introductory survey to history of 17th and 18th century Western Philosophy. Topics will include skepticism, the mind-body relationship, the existence of God, the problem of induction, primary/secondary qualities, personal identity, causation, and a priori versus a posteriori knowledge. Thinkers to be discussed include Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Requirements: Papers, in-class quizzes. Pre-requisite: one course in philosophy or permission of instructor.
328 Plato and Aristotle deHarven TuTh 1:00-2:15 Hist(A)

This course will focus on Aristotle, for centuries known simply as The Philosopher for the breadth of his writings and depth of his influence.   During the semester you will see how Aristotle is foundational of logic, metaphysics, science, and ethics.  We will begin with Aristotle’s toolbox, or Organon, where we will find Logic, Science and Dialectic (Prior Analytics, Posterior Analytics, Topics).   Then we will turn to Metaphysics, the study of Substance, Accident and Being qua Being (Categories, Metaphysics).   Next, from First Philosophy we will move to Second Philosophy, the study of Nature, where we will read Aristotle on Change, Teleology and Explanation (Physics).  Within the study of Nature, we will see Aristotle establish the Life Sciences, and within that a sophisticated Philosophy of Mind (De Anima).  Our final topic will be Happiness and the Human Good, which will take us through the birth of virtue ethics to the competing claims of character virtue and contemplation for the title of highest human good (Nicomachean Ethics, Politics).   

336 Existential Philosophy   MWF 1:25 AL
An introduction to the main themes of Existentialism through seminal writing by Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre.
342 Intro to Epistemology   MWF 10:10 M&E
Epistemology is the philosophical study of knowledge. Philosophers working in this area (epistemologists) ask questions such as: Do we really know anything? Specifically, do we know anything about the world outside our minds? If so, how do we know it? What is it, exactly, that turns a true belief into knowledge? And why is knowledge so valuable anyway? The traditional approach to these questions---called Internalism---attempts to answer them by appealing only to features which are internal to the perspective of the believer. The first half of this course is an introduction to these attempts. An alternative approach---called Externalism---attempts to answer these questions by appealing also to features which are external to the perspective of the believer. The second half of this course is an introduction to these alternative attempts.
343 Intro to Philosophy of Art   MWF 1:25 Value
What is art? This class will begin by pursuing this question and will proceed through several more specific questions about the meaning and value of art. Readings will be contemporary and from the analytic tradition. Students will write a mid term paper and a term paper. At least one prior class in philosophy is strongly recommended.
346 Intro to Philosophy of Language   MWF 11:15 M&E M&E
This class will focus on the connection between reference and existence. Do all meaningful names refer? Is reference enough to secure existence? Topics covered may include names (with a special focus on the problem of empty names and questions of nonexistence), the referential function of definite descriptions, reference in works of fiction, and reference-based accounts of ontological commitment. A decent familiarity with quantifier logic will be presupposed and so
PHIL 110 (Intro to Logic) is a prerequisite.
371 Philosophical Approaches to Gender Antony TuTh 10:00-11:15 SB,U Value
This course will offer systematic examination of a variety of philosophical issues raised by the existence of gender roles in human society: Is the existence or content of such roles determined by nature?  Are they inherently oppressive?  How does the category gender interact with other socially significant categories, like race, class, and sexual orientation?  What would gender equality look like?  How do differences among women complicate attempts to generalize about gender?  In the last part of the course, we will bring our theoretical insights to bear on some topical issue related to gender, chosen by the class, such as: Is affirmative action morally justifiable?  Should pornography be regulated?  Is abortion morally permissible?  Reading will be drawn from historical and contemporary sources.  Methods of analytical philosophy, particularly the construction and critical evaluation of arguments, will be emphasized throughout.
383 Intro to Philosophy of Religion   MWF 12:20 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.
391N Early Modern Philosophy of Nature   W 1:00-3:30 Hist(B)

In the 17th and 18th centuries, natural philosophers gave accounts of what is essential for something to be a body, and what a body’s causal powers are. They also tried to construct general, unified theories to explain all phenomena, including changes in bodies’ motions. Descartes’ mechanical theory of nature offered a mathematical account of body and attempted to explain phenomena solely in terms of the size, shape and motion of the invisible material particles that compose the bodies we see. But Descartes also held that some phenomena, such as voluntary motion, could not be explained mechanically; in these cases explanations had to refer to immaterial minds.  So Descartes’ dualistic metaphysics of mind and body went hand in hand with his view about the limits of the mechanical explanation of nature. Materialist philosophers rejected Descartes’ dualism by arguing that in nature only bodies and their properties exist; they argued that explanations of phenomena need refer only to bodies, not to immaterial souls, minds or forms. Idealists criticized Descartes’ dualism by arguing against the existence of bodies: what we call ‘body’ is just an ordered sets of ideas in minds. Vitalists challenged Descartes’ purely mechanical account of body, arguing that it left out several essential features, namely body’s capacity for life, motive force, sensation, and thought. Finally, there were Occasionalists, who, while embracing Descartes’ dualism and mechanism, argued that God alone is able to cause changes in nature; neither Cartesian minds nor bodies can do anything. In this course, we will critically examine Descartes’ natural philosophy, as well as Malebranche’s occasionalism, Cavendish’s materialist vitalism, and Berkeley’s idealism.

Prerequisities: one prior philosophy course and some familiarity with Descartes’ Meditations.

398W Junior Year Writing Klement by arrangement JYW
A 1-credit pass/fail course that must be taken in conjunction with Philosophy 321.
It satisfies the University Junior Year Writing Requirement.
500 Contemp Problems (Integrative Experience) Antony Tu 4:00-6:30 IE M&E

This course satisfies the new INTEGRATIVE EXPERIENCE requirement.
Topic:

514 Math Logic 2   MWF 11:15 Logic
Introduction to and comparative study of various logical foundations of mathematics, including classical set-theoretical foundations (ZF, NBG), Quine’s “New Foundations” and related systems, higher-order logic and type theory, Frege arithmetic, and others, as well as related logical meta-theory and philosophical issues concerning mathematical and logical entities. Text: William S. Hatcher, _The Logical Foundations of Mathematics_ and various shorter pieces. Prerequisites: Phil 310 Intermediate Logic or consent of instructor.
553 Topics in Philosophy of Science Meacham Th 10:00-12:30 M&E
Topic: Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics
In this class we'll look at some of the central issues in the philosophy of Quantum Mechanics. The class will begin by quickly sketching some of the basics of Quantum Mechanics, and then will go through and assess the main "interpretations" of Quantum Mechanics that have been offered (collapse theories like GRW, Bohmian Mechanics, and Many Worlds). If we have time, we'll finish the class off by looking at some further related issues in the philosophy of quantum mechanics, such as the recent debate regarding wave function realism, and whether we should understand ordinary spacetime as being fundamental or derivative.
555 Topics in Philosophy of Mind Levine W 4:00-6:30 Value
Attention is a much-studied phenomenon in psychology, and one that gives rise to a number of philosophical questions: what is it to attend to something? what is the relation between attention and consciousness? What role does attention play in securing the referential connection between thought and the world? We will read both psychological and philosophical literature that deal with these questions.
591A Topics in Ancient Philosophy deHarven Th 4:00-6:30 Hist(A)

 

591R Responsibility and Rationality Vavova W 1:00-3:30 M&E
Some think that a kind of coherence (among action, will, and values) suffices for moral responsibility. This seems implausible when applied to the indoctrinated son of an evil dictator. He is coherent and yet plausibly less blameworthy for his murders than we might be for ours. An analogous worry arises for those who take coherence to be sufficient for rationality. Some ideally coherent characters, such as the evidence twisting conspiracy theorist, seem less than fully rational. What is the difference, if there is one, between "normal" agents like us and these coherent eccentrics? We'll consider the ethical and epistemological issues in parallel to see if they could be mutually illuminating.
592J Topics in Early Modern Philosophy O'Neill Th 1:00-3:30 Hist(B)

TOPIC: New Narratives in the History of early Modern Philosophy

Until a few decades ago, it was generally held that women had not been contributors to early modern philosophy.  But we have now discovered quite a number of philosophically interesting and astute published texts by women of the period, as well as published correspondences they had with major male figures of their time. A body of incisive secondary literature is also emerging. What is still lacking are new historical narratives that give these women their proper places in our histories of philosophy. We will begin the course with early 17th-century texts by women, which focus on woman’s nature and the appropriateness of education for her. We will read works by Gournay, Van Schurman and Makin—friends who formed a transnational intellectual network of women scholars. Should we think of these texts as a “lost chapter in the narrative of the history of philosophy”? Or did the thinkers of the seventeenth century not take issues about gender to be of significant philosophical importance? To what extent did the women influence each other’s philosophical views and styles of arguing? Or was the philosophy of major male figures a larger influence on these women’s work?  In the second part of the course, we will focus on uncontroversially philosophical material, Cartesian metaphysics and epistemology. We will examine the criticisms of Descartes and Malebranche by Princess Elisabeth, Astell, Cavendish and Scudéry, as well as the women’s alternative accounts of the essence of mind, sensation, causation, and self-knowledge. At the end of the course, we will look at a philosophical issue that combines the focus on gender and on Cartesianism in the earlier parts of the course: the gendering of Cartesian reason as masculine in the 18th century. The text here will be one by Lambert, who rejects Malebranche’s views, and develops her own account of women’s non-geometrical way of knowing.  We will end with discussions about how some of these female philosophers might be integrated into existing histories, and why whole new chapters may need to be written. We will also examine different methodologies for writing a history of philosophy and some problems they pose for the inclusion of women in our histories.

Prerequisites for Undergraduates: one prior philosophy course and some familiarity with Descartes’ Meditations.

595C Cosmology Bricker M 4:00-6:30 M&E

An introduction to philosophical problems that arise in contemplating the cosmos as a whole, its origin and its nature. Topics include: why is there a universe at all, and, in particular, can we explain the Big Bang? What is the shape and size of the universe? Is it finite or infinite, bounded or unbounded? What determines the direction of time? Do we have good reason to believe in a vast plurality of universes, based either on "fine tuning" or quantum theory? Are anthropic explanations scientifically respectable?

595S Formal Semantics Hardegree TuTh 10:00-11:15 Logic
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 310, or graduate status, or consent of the instructor. Requirements: homework assignments. Click here for website.