Faculty Profile

Susan Feldman

Professor of Philosophy (1980)

Contact Information


East College Room 211


Her interests include the history of modern philosophy, the problem of knowledge and skepticism, philosophy of science and ethics, both pure" and "applied" to such areas as the environment, the status of women, medicine and public policy."


  • B.A., Case Western Reserve University, 1974
  • M.A., 1976
  • M.A., University of Rochester, 1978
  • Ph.D., 1980

2016-2017 Academic Year

Fall 2016

PHIL 210 Philosophy of Feminism
Critical examination of key issues concerning the status and roles of women and of the developing theories which describe and explain gender-related phenomena and prescribe change for the future. Prerequisite: one prior course in philosophy or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 261 Pain
In this course, we will explore philosophical and moral questions about pain. Does it make sense to say that I feel your pain? Can you have a pain you are not aware of? How do you know you are in pain? How do you know someone else is in pain? Are pains necessarily painful? What is the relation between the experience of pain and the body part you feel the pain in? Are pains primarily mental or brain events? Is an experience of pain an experience of an object? Is experiencing pain a kind of perception? To what extent should a philosophical theory of pain be required to accommodate the findings of neuroscience? Are pains necessarily bad? What moral obligation do we have to alleviate pain? We will grapple with these and other questions by delving into relevant readings, mostly recent, and hashing out the details in discussions and papers.

Spring 2017

PHIL 202 17th & 18th Century Philosophy
This course treats the Rationalists, Empiricists and Kant, with particular emphasis on issues in epistemology and metaphysics, such as the possibility and limits of human knowledge, the role of sense perception and reason in knowledge, the nature of substance, God and reality.Prerequisite: one prior course in philosophy or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 391 Kant: Critique of Pure Reason
Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason aims to prove how knowledge of objects, and of ourselves, is philosophically possible, and to do so, takes on Hume’s sceptical conclusion about causality, as well as Descartes’ unsatisfactory resolution of scepticism about the external world. Knowledge, Kant famously tells us in the opening of the book, starts from sense experience but does not rest upon it; rather, the human mind plays an active role in forming the objective world. In this seminar, we will confront Kant’s views through close reading of the text and detailed analysis of his arguments, and explore their relevance to contemporary philosophical controversies.