Philosophy

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  • CAS PH 440: Metaphysics
    A survey of basic questions in contemporary metaphysics that may include reality, time, change, free will, personal identity, and causation.
  • CAS PH 443: Philosophy of Mind
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: two courses in philosophy or consent of instructor.
    The topic is sentience, embodiment, and the brain. The aim is to develop a "neurophenomenological" approach to consciousness and embodied experience in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind.
  • CAS PH 445: The Philosophy of Love
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: one philosophy course, or consent of instructor.
    What is love? What different forms does it take (e.g. parental love, romantic love)? Is love non- rational or are there reasons of love? We aim to answer these and other philosophical questions by focusing on contemporary philosophical writings on love.
  • CAS PH 452: Ethics of Health Care
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PH 350; and two other philosophy courses, or consent of instructor (PH 150 and PH 251 are recommended).
    Medicine and health care offer a unique opportunity to explore the nature of humanity and the world and to ask fundamental questions concerning the nature of birth, life, and death, and what it is to be a person. Readings from both classical and contemporary writings in ethics, medicine, law, and public health policy.
  • CAS PH 453: Theories of Political Society
    Focuses on philosophical subjects relevant to ethics and politics, such as virtue and happiness; human nature and reason; qualifications of leadership; aims and means of civic education; and conceptions of law (man-made, natural, divine). Texts by Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli. Meets with CAS PO 391.
  • CAS PH 454: Community, Liberty, and Morality
    Traces the contemporary movement known as Virtue Ethics, which has revived a characteristic approach to ethics of ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato and Aristotle. Focus on understanding VE's critique of modern approaches and on evaluating its advocates' positive claims.
  • CAS PH 456: Topics in Philosophy and Religion
    Topic for Fall 2018: Concept of the Person. Designed to run side by side with the Institute for Philosophy and Religion's fall lecture series on the Concept of the Person. Examples are chosen from contemporary Western philosophy, the study of religion, and the religious traditions of Asia. Also offered as CAS RN 397.
  • CAS PH 458: Crime and Punishment: Philosophical Perspectives
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PH 350; and two other philosophy courses.
    Study of fundamental issues in criminal law, including the theory and definition of crime; economic, utilitarian, and retributivist justifications of punishment; exculpating circumstances; the death penalty; and the relationship between law and politics. Also offered as CAS PO 497.
  • CAS PH 460: Epistemology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PH 310.
    An examination of some of the central questions concerning the nature, scope, sources, and structure of knowledge.
  • CAS PH 461: Mathematical Logic
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS MA 293; or consent of instructor.
    The investigation of logical reasoning with mathematical methods. The syntax and semantics of sentential logic and quantificational logic. The unifying Godel Completeness Theorem, and models of theories. A look at the Godel Incompleteness Theorem and its ramifications. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub area: Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings.
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
  • CAS PH 462: Foundations of Mathematics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PH 461; or consent of instructor.
    Axiomatic set theory as a foundation for, and field of, mathematics: Axiom of Choice, the Continuum Hypothesis, and consistency results. Also offered as CAS MA 532.
  • CAS PH 463: Philosophy of Language
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PH 310 and CAS PH 360; and one other course in philosophy, or consent of instructor.
    Critical survey of the main issues in the philosophy of language and the foundations of linguistics, including the ideas of logical form and the universality of languages as well as the basic ideas of generative grammar, possible-worlds semantics, Wittgenstein, and speech-act theories.
  • CAS PH 465: Philosophy of Cognitive Science
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PH 310 and CAS PH 360; and one other philosophy course; or consent of instructor.
    Can humans be thought of in analogy with machines? The course examines questions of natural and artificial intelligence in light of traditional theory and of recent research in computer science and artificial intelligence.
  • CAS PH 468: Philosophical Problems of Logic and Mathematics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PH 310 and CAS PH 360; and one other philosophy course; or consent of instructor.
    Selected traditional metaphysical and epistemological problems in the light of modern logic and various studies in the foundations of mathematics, including the nature of the axiomatic method, completeness in logic and mathematics, and the nature of mathematical truth.
  • CAS PH 470: Philosophy of Physics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PH 310 and CAS PH 360.
    Philosophical problems concerning the interpretation of physical discoveries. Elementary particles, the anomalies of quantum mechanics, some modern problems of space and time, and the problem of wholes and parts.
  • CAS PH 472: Philosophy of Biology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS PH 310 and CAS PH 360; and one other philosophy course, or consent of instructor.
    Conceptual problems in biology; unity or pluralism of science; hierarchy theory; biological explanation; evolutionary theory, teleology and casuality, statistical explanation; the species problem; mind and the brain; and language in animals and humans.
  • CAS PH 480: Topics in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
    Topic for Fall 2017: Thinking Food & Drink. An examination sparked by Greek literature and philosophy.
  • CAS PH 482: Topics in Modern and Contemporary Philosophy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: any one philosophy course from CAS PH 410-439, or consent of instructor.
    Topics vary from semester to semester; may be repeated for credit as topics change. Topic for Spring 2016: Disposition, Habit, and Consciousness.
  • CAS PH 483: Topics in the Philosophy of Religion
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior standing and any one philosophy course from CASPH440 - CASPH447, or consent of instructor.
    Focus on a specific topic in the philosophy of religion. Topic for Fall 2010: Problem of Evil. A philosophical and theological analysis of the problem of evil, as formulated in the Bible and other sacred texts, ancient and modern philosophy, literature, and cinema. Also offered as CAS RN 443.
  • CAS PH 485: Topics in Philosophy of Value
    Topics vary from year to year. Topic for Fall 2017: Shame.