Spring 2019

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
PHIL 101-01 Introduction to Philosophy
Instructor: Susan Feldman
Course Description:
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.
1130:MWF   DENNY 104
PHIL 101-02 Introduction to Philosophy
Instructor: Jeffrey-Joseph Engelhardt
Course Description:
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   TOME 117
PHIL 102-01 Introduction to Ethics
Instructor: James 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   ALTHSE 201
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   DENNY 203
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   DENNY 212
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. 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 08
PHIL 180-01 Political Philosophy
Instructor: Jason Reiner
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.
0930:MWF   DENNY 110
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   ALISON FFSEM
PHIL 215-01 Existentialism
Instructor: Crispin Sartwell
Course Description:
A study of existentialist thinkers, including Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus, who treat the human condition as irreducibly individual and yet philosophically communicable, and for whom the experience of the existing individual is of primary importance in issues ranging from one's relationship to God to the inevitability of death. Prerequisite: one prior course in philosophy or permission of the instructor. Offered every two years.
1330:TF   ALTHSE 204
PHIL 257-01 Moral Psychology
Instructor: James Sias
Course Description:
An investigation of philosophical issues at the intersection of ethics and psychology. For example, is there any empirical basis to beliefs about free will and moral responsibility? What are emotions, and what role do they have to play in our moral lives? How can so many intelligent and open-minded people reach such radically different moral conclusions? Are there really such things as traits of virtue and vice? These are among the issues well explore in this course.Prerequisite: One PHIL course, or permission of instructor. An investigation of philosophical issues at the intersection of ethics and psychology. For example, is there any empirical basis to beliefs about free will and moral responsibility? What are emotions, and what role do they have to play in our moral lives? How can so many intelligent and open-minded people reach such radically different moral conclusions? Are there really such things as traits of virtue and vice? These are among the issues well explore in this course.Prerequisite: One PHIL course, or permission of instructor.
1330:MR   TOME 115
PHIL 261-02 Modern Moral Philosophy
Instructor: James Sias
Course Description:
This course examines some of the major theories, issues, and debates in moral philosophy during the 17th and 18th centuries. In addition to such major figures as Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, and Jeremy Bentham, well read and discuss the work of lesser-known figures like Samuel Clarke, Joseph Butler, and Thomas Reid.
1330:TF   ALISON FFSEM
PHIL 270-01 Philosophy and Literature
Instructor: Alyssa DeBlasio
Course Description:
Cross-listed with ENGL 222-01 and RUSS 270-01. Dostoevsky's characters lie, steal, scheme, and murder. What is it about Dostoevsky's depictions of their lying, cheating ways that makes his novels not just literary but philosophical? And what is it about philosophical works like Kierkegaard's and Nietzsche's that makes them literary? More generally, where do the overlapping realms of literature and philosophy begin and end? This course investigates the intersections of philosophy and literature across different schools of thought, paying special attention to the work of Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Leibniz, Plato, Tolstoy, Voltaire, and others. We will pair the treatment of philosophical issues in fiction with their treatment in more traditional philosophical genres, thereby raising and discussing the contentious question of whether philosophy can achieve things that literature cannot, and vice versa. Prerequisite: one course in PHIL or permission of the instructor. Offered every two years. This course is cross-listed as RUSS 270 and ENGL 222.
1330:MR   BOSLER 313
PHIL 275-01 Beauty
Instructor: Crispin Sartwell
Course Description:
Cross-listed with ARTH 375-01. Perhaps no term is as variously interpreted or as hard to define as "beauty." At one time, beauty was treated as among the ultimate values, along with goodness, truth, and justice. But in the last century or so it has been devalued, equated with prettiness or meaningless ornamentation. It has been quite out of fashion in art since the late nineteenth century. But one cannot understand much of the art of the Western tradition without understanding it as the attempt to make beautiful things, and without understanding what the goal meant in the cultures in which it had currency. And of course even now most people would not want to be without dimensions of beauty in their lives. We will look both at classic and contemporary attempts to answer such questions, and try to heighten our own appreciation for the beauty in the arts and in the world. Prerequisite: one prior course in art history or philosophy or permission of the instructor. This course is cross-listed as ARTH 375.
1030:TR   ALTHSE 110
PHIL 280-01 Recent Political Thought
Instructor: Jason Reiner
Course Description:
Cross-listed with POSC 202-01. This class aims to show the breadth and vitality of the field of political theory today. It does this by deepening and broadening the account of the discipline offered in POSC 180, discussing the most important recent accounts of justice, freedom, and equality, and adding consideration of democracy, rights, power, culture, community, and cosmopolitanism. We will also explore issues of exploitation and exclusion relating to gender, class, race, and human interaction with the natural environment, and consider how recent theorists have tried to challenge these practices. The class also explores the contours of political theory as an academic field of study, considering the disciplinary contributions of fields such as philosophy, political science, international relations, legal studies, and history, and major ideologies such as liberalism, conservatism, socialism, anarchism, and feminism. This course is cross-listed as POSC 202. Prerequisite: 180 or POSC 180, or permission of the instructor.
1500:TF   DENNY 103
PHIL 304-01 Philosophy of Language
Instructor: Jeffrey-Joseph Engelhardt
Course Description:
What is the meaning of a word? How is it related to the thing or things it picks out? Can we provide a systematic account of the meaning of every sentence of a natural language (such as English, Japanese or Hebrew)? What is the relationship between what words mean and what we get across with them? In what sense, if at all, do we follow rules when we use language? This course is a seminar in which we will consider these sorts of questions among others. Prerequisites: three prior courses in philosophy, including 103 (Logic) and two at the 200 level, or permission of the instructor. Offered every two years. What is the meaning of a word? How is it related to the thing or things it picks out? Can we provide a systematic account of the meaning of every sentence of a natural language (such as English, Japanese or Hebrew)? What is the relationship between what words mean and what we get across with them? In what sense, if at all, do we follow rules when we use language? This course is a seminar in which we will consider these sorts of questions among others. Prerequisites: three prior courses in philosophy, including 103 (Logic) and two at the 200 level, or permission of the instructor. Offered every two years.
0900:TR   ALISON FFSEM
PHIL 391-01 Philosophy of Punishment
Instructor: Amy McKiernan
Course Description:
Should we punish? If so, why and how? This course examines the ethics of punishment in the context of mass incarceration in the United States. Course materials include discussions of retributive, restorative, and transformative justice, solitary confinement, the death penalty, and the prison industrial complex.
1500:MR   ALISON FFSEM
PHIL 391-02 Identity Ethics and Multiculturalism
Instructor: Jason Reiner
Course Description:
Cross-listed with POSC 390-03. Questions of social identity dominate contemporary politics, from the American Presidential election of 2016 through the Brexit vote and debates about migration to issues of gender, sexual orientation, and sexual identity. But why does identity matter politically and ethically? This class surveys the main recent responses to these questions, including the role of group membership in the construction of individual identity, the meaning and possibility of equality in culturally diverse societies, intersectionality and the tensions between different aspects of identity and the problem of internal minorities (minorities within minorities, such as women and children in cultural minorities), the notions of internalized oppression and double consciousness, and the limits of toleration.
1330:R   DENNY 317
PHIL 500-01 Feminist Aesthetics
Instructor: Crispin Sartwell
Course Description: