Philosophy

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  • CAS PH 256: Philosophy of Gender and Sexuality
    Analyzes notions of gender and sexuality. Questions include: Are gender and sexual identity natural, or are they social constructions? How are they related to love and desire? Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. Also offered as CAS PO 396.
  • CAS PH 258: Philosophy and Literature
    Examines literature and philosophy through the sorts of demands they place upon reason, experience, and language. Authors may include William James, Henry James, Wallace Stevens, T.S. Elliot, and many others. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 259: Philosophy of the Arts
    What makes something beautiful? How do different arts (music, dance, painting, sculpture, architecture, film, drama) relate to our aesthetic experience of the world? Explores several philosophical theories of art through specific examples of artwork. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 261: Puzzles and Paradoxes
    Our basic beliefs, when scrutinized, can yield absurd conclusions. For example, using seemingly uncontroversial beliefs, we can conclude that motion is impossible and that everyone is bald. This course examines many puzzles and paradoxes. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 265: Minds and Machines
    Examines efforts of artificial intelligence to model the human mind and explain human thought. Explores the historical and mathematical origins of such efforts, and the psychological and philosophical assumptions on which they depend. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 266: Mind, Brain, and Self
    Philosophical introduction to cognitive science. Considers the historical and intellectual background from which cognitive science has emerged, as well as philosophical issues concerning the mind, brain, and self that arise from contemporary scientific research. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 270: Philosophy of Science
    Uses scientific examples from the study of physics, biology, and mind. Focuses on the aims of science, the nature of scientific understanding, the structure and interpretation of scientific theories, and the development of science. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 272: Science, Technology, and Values
    Examination of some of the important ways in which science, technology, society, and human values are interconnected. Includes case studies of the social and ethical challenges posed by computer, military, and biological technology. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 300: History of Ancient Philosophy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: one philosophy course or sophomore standing.
    Classical Greek philosophy, with a concentration on the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle.
  • CAS PH 310: History of Modern Philosophy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: one philosophy course or sophomore standing.
    An examination of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century philosophy from Descartes to Kant, with emphasis on the nature and extent of knowledge. Readings include Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Berkley, Hume, and Kant.
  • CAS PH 350: History of Ethics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: one philosophy course or sophomore standing.
    A critical and comparative examination of the ideas of representative moral philosophers from Plato to Nietzsche.
  • CAS PH 360: Symbolic Logic
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: one philosophy course or sophomore standing.
    Study of methods characteristic of modern deductive logic including use of truth tables, Boolean normal forms, models, and indirect and conditional proofs within the theory of truth-functions and quantifiers.
  • CAS PH 401: Senior Independent Work
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: senior standing, consent of instructor and department, and approval of Honors Committee.
    Individual tutorial instruction and directed research at distinction level.
  • CAS PH 402: Senior Independent Work
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: senior standing, consent of instructor and department, and approval of Honors Committee.
    Individual tutorial instruction and directed research at distinction level.
  • CAS PH 403: Plato I
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: two courses in philosophy or consent of instructor.
    (Knowledge of Greek is helpful but not required. Familiarity with Greek philosophy is helpful.) A close reading of the Symposium.
  • CAS PH 405: Aristotle I
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PH 300.
    A careful study of the philosophy of Aristotle conducted primarily through a close reading of several of his major works.
  • CAS PH 406: Aristotle II
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PH 300.
    A close reading of Aristotle's writings on practical philosophy (i.e., the Nicomachean Ethics and the Politics) and of his philosophy of art in the Poetics, focusing on the nature of human happiness and the good life, the question of the best form of political government, and the function of art for life.
  • CAS PH 408: History of Medieval Philosophy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PH 300; sophomore standing and CAS PH 300 and two other philosophy courses, or consent of instructor.
    Topic for Fall 2014: Mysticism and Philosophy: Jewish and Islamic Perspectives. Thematic introduction to mysticism and philosophy, with a focus on dynamics of religious experience. Readings from medieval Jewish and Islamic philosophy; Sufi mysticism and philosophy; Kabbalah, Biblical interpretation, Sufi poetry, Hebrew poetry from the Golden Age of Muslim Spain.
  • CAS PH 409: Maimonides
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PH 300.
    A study of major aspects of the thought of Maimonides. Primary focus on the Guide of the Perplexed, with attention to its modern reception in works by Baruch Spinoza, Hermann Cohen, Leo Strauss, and others. Also offered as CAS RN 420.
  • CAS PH 410: Continental Rationalism
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PH 310; and two other philosophy courses, or consent of instructor.
    A critical study of major texts of seventeenth-century philosophy.