Philosophy

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  • CAS PH 456: Topics in Philosophy and Religion
    Topic for Fall 2014: Philosophy and the Future of Religion. Examines key questions in the contemporary philosophy of religion, including the possibility of religion without God, "naturalized" or scientific views of religion, religious pluralism, and inter-religious tolerance. Featuring visiting lecturers in fall Institute for Philosophy and Religion lecture series. Also offered as CAS RN 397.
  • CAS PH 457: Action, Interpretation, and Narrative
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: senior standing or consent of instructor.
    What is the relationship between understanding behavior and understanding texts? What is the role of narrative in interpretation? Using philosophical reflections on narrative from Plato to MacIntyre, the course studies philosophy and tragedy as two perhaps antithetical traditions of interpretation.
  • 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 459: Political and Legal Philosophy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    Examination of the individual's responsibilities under law, specifically of the idea that there is a general moral obligation to obey the law, including unjust law, and the contrasting idea of civil disobedience-- the possibility of morally justified resistance to law. Also offered as CAS PO 499.
  • 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 syntax and semantics of sentential and quantificational logic, culminating in the Gödel Completeness Theorem. The Gödel Incompleteness Theorem and its ramifications for computability and philosophy. Also offered as CAS MA 531.
  • 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 477: Philosophy of the Social Sciences
    Topics in the philosophy of the social sciences such as the interpretation of human action and the objectivity of social inquiry. Social consideration of alternative theoretic viewpoints such as naturalism and interpretivism.
  • CAS PH 480: Topics in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
    Topic for Fall 2010: TBA.
  • 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 2013: Heidegger. A careful reading of Heidegger's major work, Being and Time. The end of the course looks at some of Heidegger's shorter works written later in his career, in order to consider some of the directions of his famous "turn."
  • CAS PH 485: Topics in Philosophy of Value
    Topics vary from year to year. Topic for Fall 2014: Happiness, East and West. What is happiness? How can we achieve a balanced, healthy, fulfilling life? Classical thinkers such as Aristotle, Plato, Chuang Tzu; Buddhist, Confucian, Epicurean, and Stoic paths; comparison with contemporary studies of happiness. Also offered as CAS RN 452.
  • CAS PH 487: Topics in the Philosophy of Science
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: any one course from CAS PH 470-477, or consent of instructor.
    A discussion-based introduction to core issues in the philosophy of science, focusing on the topics of scientific realism, theory change, reductionism, explanation, models, and natural kinds.
  • CAS PH 491: Directed Study
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior or senior standing, consent of instructor and department, and approval of CAS Room 105.
    Individual or small group tutorial instruction and directed research on selected topics.
  • CAS PH 492: Directed Study
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: junior or senior standing, consent of instructor and department, and approval of CAS Room 105.
    Individual or small group tutorial instruction and directed research on selected topics.