Philosophy

  • GRS PH 646: Philosophy of Religion
    An examination of the principal issues and topics in the philosophy of religion in the following two stages: first, an historical overview of the philosophy of religion as a discipline or subdiscipline of philosophy and theology; and, second, attention to the problems and challenges facing this discipline in the context of the comparative study of religions.
  • GRS PH 650: Types of Ethical Theory
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: two courses in philosophy or religion or consent of instructor.
    A survey of basic ethical theories including those in the Kantian, utilitarian, and virtue-ethics traditions.
  • GRS PH 651: Contemporary Ethical Theory
    An examination of twentieth-century English and American moral theories including those of Moore, Foot, Williams, MacIntyre, and Rawls.
  • GRS PH 652: Ethics of Health Care
    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.
  • GRS PH 655: Legal Philosophy
    A critical examination of ideas about the nature of law, duties of obedience and resistance, and legal interpretation, with an emphasis on modern theories. Because this course meets with a Law School course, its schedule follows the Law School's standard academic calendar.
  • GRS PH 656: 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 GRS RN 697.
  • GRS PH 657: Action, Interpretation, and Narrative
    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.
  • GRS PH 658: Crime and Punishment: Philosophical Perspectives
    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.
  • GRS PH 659: 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.
  • GRS PH 660: Epistemology
    An examination of some of the central questions concerning the nature, scope, sources, and structure of knowledge.
  • GRS PH 661: Mathematical Logic
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: consent of instructor.
    The syntax and semantics of sentential and quantificational logic, culminating in the Godel Completeness Theorem. The Godel Incompleteness Theorem and its ramifications for computability and philosophy.
  • GRS PH 662: Foundations of Mathematics
    Graduate Prerequisites: GRS PH 661; or consent of instructor.
    Axiomatic set theory as a foundation for, and field of, mathematics: Axiom of Choice, the Continuum Hypothesis, and consistency results.
  • GRS PH 663: Philosophy of Language
    The most representative problem areas in contemporary philosophy of language are discussed, criticized, and put into a new perspective. They include Frege's sense-reference theory, quantification and anaphora, theory of truth, the semantics of intentional and epistemic concepts, strategic aspects of language use, identification and individuation, metaphor, demonstratives and indexical, discourse and dialogue theory, and selected language disturbances (dyslexia, autism).
  • GRS PH 665: Philosophy of Cognitive Science
    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.
  • GRS PH 668: Philosophical Problems of Logic and Mathematics
    Selected traditional metaphysical and epistemological problems in the light of modern logic and various studies in the foundations of mathematics, including the nature of axiomatic method, completeness in logic and mathematics, and the nature of mathematical truth.
  • GRS PH 670: Philosophy of Physics
    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.
  • GRS PH 672: Philosophy of Biology
    Conceptual problems in biology; unity or pluralism of science; hierarchy theory; biological explanation; evolutionary theory, teleology and causality, statistical explanation; the species problem; mind and the brain; and language in animals and humans.
  • GRS PH 677: Philosophy of the Social Sciences
  • GRS PH 680: Topics in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
  • GRS PH 682: Topics in Modern and Contemporary Philosophy
    Graduate Prerequisites: graduate standing.
    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."