Spring 2020

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
PHIL 101-01 Introduction to Philosophy
Instructor: Jeff Engelhardt
Course Description:
Cross-listed with WGSS 101-03.An introduction to Western philosophy with a focus on issues surrounding sex and gender. What is rape culture, and how does it work? Do we have free will? What roles do sex, gender, and race play in making us who we are? Do we have a political obligation to be gender non-binary? Do our gender roles affect what we can know? An introduction to Western philosophy through an examination of problems arising in primary sources. How major philosophers in the tradition have treated such questions as the scope of human reason, the assumptions of scientific method, the nature of moral action, or the connections between faith and reason.
1030:TR   EASTC 411
PHIL 102-01 Introduction to Ethics
Instructor: Jim Sias
Course Description:
An introduction to the philosophical study of morality, focusing on concepts of right and wrong, virtue and vice, and wellbeing. This course provides students the opportunity to hone their ethical reasoning skills by critically examining how some of historys most influential philosophers thought about issues in morality. Students will also develop more general skills, such as evaluating philosophical arguments, and expressing and defending their own ideas in writing.
1030:MWF   STERN 103
PHIL 103-01 Logic
Instructor: Chauncey Maher
Course Description:
The study and practice of forms and methods of argumentation in ordinary and symbolic languages,focusing on elements of symbolic logic and critical reasoning, including analysis and assessment of arguments in English, symbolizing sentences and arguments,constructing formal proofs of validity in sentential and quantificational logic.Offered every semester, or every three out of four semesters.
0930:MWF   EASTC 411
PHIL 103-02 Logic
Instructor: Chauncey Maher
Course Description:
The study and practice of forms and methods of argumentation in ordinary and symbolic languages,focusing on elements of symbolic logic and critical reasoning, including analysis and assessment of arguments in English, symbolizing sentences and arguments,constructing formal proofs of validity in sentential and quantificational logic.Offered every semester, or every three out of four semesters.
1030:MWF   EASTC 411
PHIL 104-01 Practical Ethics
Instructor: Amy McKiernan
Course Description:
This course introduces students to contemporary debates in practical ethics. Course materials investigate how theoretical approaches to ethics apply to practical issues, including discussions of animal ethics, environmental ethics, reproductive ethics, civil disobedience, and the ethics of mass incarceration and the death penalty. This course is best suited for students interested in thinking about the relationship between ethical theory and practice, with an emphasis on how power, privilege, and responsibility intersect in our everyday lives.
0930:MWF   ALTHSE 204
PHIL 180-01 Political Philosophy
Instructor: Crispin Sartwell
Course Description:
Cross-listed with POSC 180-01. An introduction to the history of political thought, focused on such problems as the nature of justice, the meaning of freedom, the requirements of equality, the prevalence of moral dilemmas in political life, the question of whether we ought to obey the law, and the importance of power in politics. We will also discuss how these issues continue to resonate today.This course is cross-listed as POSC 180.
1500:TF   DENNY 103
PHIL 202-01 17th and 18th Century Philosophy
Instructor: Susan Feldman
Course Description:
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.
1030:TR   EASTC 301
PHIL 254-01 Philosophy of Science
Instructor: Susan Feldman
Course Description:
This course considers such issues as the distinction between science and non-science; the relation of evidence to scientific theories; truth and rationality in science; competition among theories; the nature of scientific explanation; methods of scientific thinking; the impact of science on society. Prerequisite: one prior course in philosophy or permission of the instructor.
1330:TF   EASTC 314
PHIL 255-01 Philosophy of Law
Instructor: Toby Reiner
Course Description:
Cross-listed with LAWP 255-01. This course considers fundamental issues in the study of legal philosophy. These include the meanings and purposes of law, the limits of legal authority, and topics such as: theories of punishment; justifications for civil disobedience; the regulation of sex, gender, and sexuality; economic critiques of judicial process; and the construction of race and ethnicity within the law. Prerequisite: one prior course in Philosophy, or POSC 180, 202, 206, 208, or permission of the instructor. This course is cross-listed as LAWP 255.
1330:MR   DENNY 212
PHIL 261-01 Philosophy of Race & Gender
Instructor: Jeff Engelhardt
Course Description:
Cross-listed with WGSS 201-03.Is race real? Is gender? This course addresses these and related philosophical questions like, Why do we think in terms of race and gender, and Would a society without race or gender be better off?
1500:MR   EASTC 314
PHIL 261-02 Philosophy of Mental Illness
Instructor: Jim Sias
Course Description:
Examination of specific problem, author, text, or movement. Prerequisite: one prior course in philosophy or permission of the instructor.
1030:TR   EASTC 314
PHIL 261-03 Intermediate Logic
Instructor: Chauncey Maher
Course Description:
The big goal of this intermediate course in logic is to help you develop a technically and philosophically deep understanding of logical systems, especially classical logic. In the first three parts of the course, we will study the meta-theory of propositional logic and first-order logic. You will learn how to prove that a logical system is correct (or sound or consistent) and complete. In the fourth part of the course, we will reflect on the nature of logical implication by learning a bit of modal logic. This course counts as a 200-level elective for the Math major.
0900:TR   EASTC 301
PHIL 261-04 Of A Beautiful Mind: Literature and Philosophy at Crossroads
Instructor: Jean-Pierre Karegeye
Course Description:
Cross-listed with ENGL 222-03 and FREN 362-01. A 2012 New York Times article entitled Is Philosophy Literature? raised the following question: Do people read philosophy for pleasure? The question clearly suggests that the articles author links pleasure to literature. Indeed, in a general manner, literature is understood as a work of aesthetic language and, above all, imagination through its narrative, spatiotemporal, mythical, and symbolic manifestations. There are those who would assert that philosophy is reflection on the whole of reality- the study of ideas about knowledge. In other words, literature refers to the beauty and philosophy suggest reason; however, these distinctions about pleasure and knowledge/rationality are neither radical nor absolute. Conversely, we may explore how literature makes you think and how philosophy delves into interpretation of Literature. While distinct, the two disciplines have always been in dialogue. This course will scrutinize the encounter or dialogue between literary and philosophical texts in light of critical theory, as well as through the examination of case-topics (e.g. moral choices, human freedom, existence, commitment). Readings will include writings by Plato, Aristotle, Voltaire, Jean-Paul Sartre, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, Grard Genette, Paul Ricoeur, Simone de Beauvoir, Aim Csaire, Mudimbe. We will follow three axes: - The discovery of literature as a vehicle for philosophical ideas - A discussion of philosophical content posed by the literature in view - A discussion of critical theories that blend literature and philosophy, including Narratology, (Post-)Structuralism, Phenomenology, Deconstruction, Post colonial and Feminist studies. This course is taught in English. Students from the French department are required to write their papers in French and to meet every three weeks, for an hour, for a Caf philo-littraire that will consist of discussing in French students papers written in French and of revisiting French Theory.
1330:T   ALTHSE 207
PHIL 302-01 Ethical Theory
Instructor: Jim Sias
Course Description:
This seminar will explore major issues or texts in classical or contemporary moral philosophy. Prerequisites: three prior courses in philosophy, at least two at the 200 level, or permission of the instructor. Offered at least once every two years.
1330:MR   EASTC 301
PHIL 303-01 Epistemology
Instructor: Crispin Sartwell
Course Description:
This seminar will probe key issues in epistemology, such as: the nature of knowledge and justification, the challenge of skepticism, the relation of sense perception to conceptual thought. Prerequisites: three prior courses in philosophy, at least two at the 200 level, or permission of the instructor.
0900:TR   EASTC 410
PHIL 391-01 Phenomenology
Instructor: Jeff Engelhardt
Course Description:
Phenomenology is the most influential and diverse movement in 20th century European philosophy. Other important movements in that century, e.g., existential phenomenology (Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, de Beauvoir), philosophical hermeneutics (e.g., Gadamer, Ricoeur), the philosophical reflections on the significance of the other (e.g., Levinas), each originate in some shape or form either as direct appropriations of or critical reactions to various approaches in the phenomenological movement that Edmund Husserl founded at the beginning of the 20th century. What is it about phenomenology that spawned such a diversity and richness of critical appropriations? Is phenomenology a distinctive method and practice, a set of doctrines, or a particular attitude or stance toward what it analyzes? This courses introduces its students to a few of the key approaches and themes that phenomenology has inspired. We will begin by first learning to see and do things phenomenologically rather than trying initially to understand and master its formidable technical vocabulary and doctrines. Toward this end we will start by reading John Russons Human Experience. Once we get a working sense for what it is to see and do things phenomenologically for ourselves, we will then be better equipped to read and understand Husserls Cartesian Meditations and perhaps a few of his other excerpted writings. We then turn to consider how subsequent philosophers trained in phenomenology like Merleau-Ponty, Heidegger, or Levinas criticized but also extended this tradition in fruitful and radical ways. Prior study of modern Western philosophers like Descartes and Kant will be a significant advantage as background preparation for taking this course.
1500:TF   EASTC 108
PHIL 500-01 Practices of Shame and Blame in the Prison Industrial Complex
Instructor: Amy McKiernan
Course Description:
 
PHIL 550-01 Situationism, Character and Responsibility
Instructor: Jim Sias
Course Description:
 
PHIL 550-02 Art, Humor, and Absurdity
Instructor: Crispin Sartwell
Course Description:
 
PHIL 550-03 Coherentist Theories of Epistemic Justification
Instructor: Susan Feldman
Course Description:
 
PHIL 550-04 TO BE DETERMINED
Instructor: Chauncey Maher
Course Description:
 
PHIL 550-05 TO BE DETERMINED
Instructor: Susan Feldman
Course Description: