Course Descriptions Fall 1997

CAS PH 100
PHILOSOPHICAL INQUIRY
Professor Rosen
An introduction to philosophy

CAS PH 110
GREAT PHILOSOPHERS
Professor Brinkmann
Introduction to the life and thought of six preeminent philosophers: Plato and Socrates, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Russell.

CAS PH 150 A1
INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS
Professor Speight
A systematic inquiry into alternative ways of discerning between good and evil, alternating lectures with discussions of selected texts from contemporary ethics.

CAS PH 150 B1
INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS
Professor Garrett
A systematic inquiry into alternative ways of discerning between good and evil, alternating lectures with discussions of selected texts from contemporary ethics.

CAS PH 150 C1
INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS
Professor L. Haakonssen
A systematic inquiry into alternative ways of discerning between good and evil, alternating lectures with discussions of selected texts from contemporary ethics.

CAS PH 155
POLITICS AND PHILOSOPHY
Professor Cahoone
An introduction to Western political philosophy using both historical and contemporary sources. The focus is on the background and conflicting interpretations of modern democracy.
An honors section of this course (PH 155) is available.

CAS PH 160 A1
REASONING & ARGUMENTATION
Professor Floyd
A systematic study of the principles of both deductive and informal reasoning, with an emphasis on reasoning and argumentation in ordinary discourse, and on their strategies. The aim of the course is to train the student in the skills of argument analysis, argument construction, and argument evaluation.
Textbook: Hintikka and Bachman, What if…? Toward Excellence in Reasoning and Weston, A Rulebook for Arguments.

CAS PH 160 B1
REASONING & ARGUMENTATION
Professor Janssen
A systematic study of the principles of both deductive and informal reasoning, with an emphasis on reasoning and argumentation in ordinary discourse, and on their strategies. The aim of the course is to train the student in the skills of argument analysis, argument construction, and argument evaluation.

CAS PH 160 C1
REASONING & ARGUMENTATION
Professor Devlin
A systematic study of the principles of both deductive and informal reasoning, with an emphasis on reasoning and argumentation in ordinary discourse, and on their strategies. The aim of the course is to train the student in the skills of argument analysis, argument construction, and argument evaluation.
Textbook: Hintikka and Bachman, What if…? Toward Excellence in Reasoning and Weston, A Rulebook for Arguments.

Prerequisite: one philosophy course or sophomore standing

CAS PH 242
PHILOSOPHIES OF HUMAN NATURE
Professor Kestenbaum
In Moby Dick Ahab says:
All visible objects, man, are but pasteboard masks. But in each event–in the living act, the undoubted deed-there, some unknown but still reasoning thing puts forth the mouldings of its features from behind the unreasoning mask. If man will strike, strike through the mask!
Is human nature a “visible” object, a mask concealing “some unknown but still reasoning thing” Can human nature be known like any other “visible” object? If there is something necessarily visible about human nature, how is it to be known or thought? Can we–should we–”strike through the mask?”
The course will examine selected ideas or concepts which might help make human nature more visible while at the same time respecting its tendency to withdraw from inspection, i.e., to remain invisible. These concepts include: freedom, spirit, love, reason.
Texts: Plato, Five Dialogues, Karl Jaspers, Philosophy of Existence, Frithjof Bergmann, On Being Free, J.W.N. Sullivan, Beethoven: His Spiritual Development, Henry James, Tales of Henry James
An honors section of this course (PH242) is available.

CAS PH 251
MEDICAL ETHICS
Professor Grodin
This course reviews the nature and scope of moral dilemmas and problematic decision making in medicine and health care. After this survey of ethical theory, the course focuses on a broad range of ethical concerns raised by the theory and practice of medicine: the nature of health, disease and illness; rights, access and the limits of health care; the physician-patient relationship; truthtelling and confidentiality. Through a series of case studies, the course examines specific topics: the Bioethics movement; human experimentation; the role of institutional review boards; the concept and exercise of informed, voluntary consent; abortion, reproduction, genetic counseling and screening; euthanasia, death and dying; ethics committees; international and cross cultural perspectives.

CAS PH 255
PHILOSOPHY OF LAW
Professor Haakonssen
Discussion of major theories of the nature and validity of law and of concepts closely related to the law. Readings by classical and contemporary legal philosophers and legal theorists.

CAS PH 270
PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
Professor Cao
Main features of the scientific enterprise will be illustrated by examples in the study of physics, biology, mind and society; the aims of scientific activities; the nature of scientific understanding; scientific procedures; the structure and interpretation of scientific theories; the development of science. Some concepts central to the natural and social sciences will be examined carefully. Controversies among competing schools in the philosophy of science over the objectivity and rationality of the scientific enterprise will also be discussed.
Texts: Martin Goldstein and Inge F. Goldstein, How We Know; Victor F. Weisscopf, Knowledge and Wonder.

CAS PH 277
PHIL AND METHOD IN HUMAN SCIENCES
Professor Martin
Analysis of basic concepts relevant to the social sciences: causal and functional explanation, prediction, understanding and interpretation, rationality, reduction, individualism and holism, objectivity and values. Consideration of philosophical problems of the special sciences: psychology, economics, history, and archaeology.
Text: M. Martin and L. McIntyre, Readings in the Philosophy of Social Science, 1994

CAS PH 300
HISTORY OF ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
Professor Dahlstrom
The course will explore Greek philosophy and will concentrate on its chief representatives: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Platonic dialogues, and major chunks of the Aristotelian corpus will be read with some care. The focus will be philosophical rather than historical, and the emphasis will be on the analysis and interpretation of texts.
Requirements: One medium paper, midterm, final.

CAS PH 310 A1
HISTORY OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY
Professor Webb
Examination of theories of major seventeenth and eighteenth century philosophers, from Descartes to Kant. Along with their confidence in reason, the Continental Rationalists share a conception of philosophy as a universal discipline whose propositions are derivable from first principles regarded as necessary. The British Empiricists, on the other hand, beginning with Locke’s “historical, plain method,” claim to rely primarily on experience as the basis of their theories of knowledge. There are lessons in all of this that Kant takes to heart.
Requirements: Two papers and final examination.
Texts: R. Cummins, D Owen: Central Readings in the History of Modern Philosophy. Descartes to Kant, Wadsworth 1992.

CAS PH 310 B1
HISTORY OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY
Professor Michalski
Examination of theories of major seventeenth and eighteenth century philosophers, from Descartes to Kant. Along with their confidence in reason, the Continental Rationalists share a conception of philosophy as a universal discipline whose propositions are derivable from first principles regarded as necessary. The British Empiricists, on the other hand, beginning with Locke’s “historical, plain method,” claim to rely primarily on experience as the basis of their theories of knowledge. There are lessons in all of this that Kant takes to heart.
Requirements: Two papers and final examination.
Texts: R. Cummins, D Owen: Central Readings in the History of Modern Philosophy. Descartes to Kant, Wadsworth 1992.

CAS PH 350
HISTORY OF ETHICS
Professor Griswold
Is morality invented or discovered? What does it mean to live a good life, and does it mean the same thing for every human being? What is the relation of virtue to happiness? This course will explore the answers that philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Mill, and Nietzsche offer to these and other fundamental human questions.

CAS PH 360
LOGIC
Professor Hintikka
Introduction into the basic areas of contemporary logic, including propositional logic, quantification theory (with its direct extensions) and their metatheory. Special attention will be paid to strategies of reasoning and to the most important metatheoretical issues, such as completeness, definability and undecidability.

Undergraduates: Register for 400 level courses
Graduates: Register for 600 level courses

Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
Prerequisite: PH300 and two other PH courses

CAS PH 406/606
ARISTOTLE II
Professor Brinkmann
A careful study of Aristotle’s practical philosophy conducted primarily through a close reading of his Politics. Aristotle’s overall conception of a practical philosophy as it is developed in Book I of Nicomachean Ethics and the transition from the ethical to the political point of view as described in the last chapter of Nicomachean Ethics will be considered. A seminar format will be used.
Required readings:
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics and Politics
For introductory purposes I recommend: Curtis N. Johnson: Aristotle’s Theory of the State (New York, 1990)

CAS PH 408/608
HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL PHIL
Professor Zank
Basic philosophical and religious issues as they have been understood in the classical Jewish tradition: good and evil, creation, the relationship between God and human beings, and the relationship of human beings to one another. Issues are discussed within the classical Jewish philosophical framework of God, the people of Israel, and Torah. Sources include the Bible, midrashic literature and Talmud, Philo, and the medieval Jewish philosophers Maimonides and Judah ha-Levi.

Modern and Contemporary Philosophy
Prerequisite: PH310 and two other PH courses

CAS PH 410/610
CONTINENTAL RATIONALISM
Professor Garrett
A study of the central ideas, arguments, and concepts of Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz. Special attention is paid to the relation of their ideas and concepts to early modern science, as well as to their background in medieval and ancient philosophy.

CAS PH 419/619
NIETZSCHE
Professor Michalski
An examination of the work of the nineteenth century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Our aim will be to gain a perspective on the development of his thought and the range of his concerns.
Requirements: Two papers (10 pp. and 15 pp.), Graduates: 15 pp. and 20 pp

CAS PH 426/626
PHENOMENOLOGY
Professor Dahlstrom
The aim of this course is to provide an introduction to phenomenology as a way of doing philosophy. To this end the course concentrates on central themes and methods of the founder of the phenomenological movement, Edmund Husserl. The course begins with a review of Brentano’s concept of intentionality and its critical appropriation by Husserl in the analyses of truth, facts, and categorical intuitions within the Logical Investigations (1900). Based upon Husserl’s own early and late introductions into phenomenology in Ideas to a Pure Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy: General Introduction into Pure Phenomenology (1913) and The Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology: An Introduction into Phenomenological Philosophy (1936), the course critically analyses the natural attitude and phenomenological reductions, the general structures of pure consciousness, and the Lebenswelt.
While all texts are available in translation, reading knowledge of German is helpful.

Speculative Philosophy
Prerequisite: PH 300, 310 and one other PH course

CAS PH 440/640
METAPHYSICS
Professor Martin
This course introduces students to a diversity of metaphysical issues: modality, the nature of physical objects, the relationship of whole and parts, the compatibility of freedom and determinism, the origin of the universe, the plausibility of materialism.

CAS PH 443/643
PHILOSOPHY OF MIND
Professor Webb
Issues in contemporary philosophy and psychology reflecting traditional concerns in both fields, whether conceptual or methodological.

CAS PH 446/646
PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
Professor Olson
An examination of principal issues and topics in the philosophy of religion in three stages: first, an historical overview of the development of philosophy of religion as a discipline or sub-discipline of philosophy and theology and metaphysics with special attention to the problems and challenges facing this discipline in the context of the comparative philosophy of religion. The second part of this course will be dedicated to readings and discussions of source materials in the philosophy of religion, viz., the traditional proofs for the existence of God, the problem of evil, mysticism and religious experience, faith and reason, revelation and auhtority, science and religion, religious ethics, etc. The third and final part of the course consists of a close reading and commentary on Hegel’s 1827 Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, the first serious attempt to do a comparative philosophy of religion.
Requirements: Two position papers on the readings (2-3 pages each) by undergraduate students and graduate students, research paper or “take-home” final examination for undergraduate students; research paper by graduate students.
Texts:
Peterson, Hasker, Reichenbach, and Basinger (eds.), Philosophy of Religion: Selected Readings (Oxford, 1996).
Hegel’s 1827 Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion (California, 1988).

Philosophy of Value
Prerequisite: PH350 and two other PH courses

CAS PH 451/651
CONTEMPORARY ETHICS
Professor Dreben
A detailed study of the work of John Rawls.
Required Texts: Rawls’ A Theory of Justice and Political Liberalism

CAS PH 453/653
THEORIES OF POLITICAL SOCIETY
Professor Cahoone
What is politics? The attempt to distinguish the political-governmental dimension of human existence from other aspects of life–the private, the economic, the cultural, the philosophical–has practical implications: free market libertarians define politics so as to exclude economics from its control, welfare state advocates make the market political; civil libertarians put cultural expression outside political control, feminists insist that such expression is intrinsically political. Is politics the highest of human activities, or is it inherently corrupt? We will explore these questions through the work of twentieth century political philosophers (e.g. Arendt, Strauss, Rawls, Oakeshott, Unger, Okin, and Walzer).

Philosophy of Science
Prerequisite: PH310 and two other PH courses

CAS PH 467/667
MATHEMATICAL LOGIC
Professor Kanamori
The syntax and semantics of quantificational logic through to the Gödel Completeness and Incompleteness Theorems. Computability, the Halting Problem, and recursive functions.

CAS PH 470/670
PHILOSOPHY OF PHYSICS
Professor Cao
An introductory survey of fascinating problems in contemporary philosophy of physics. The basic ideas and main features of physical theories, which touch upon nature at its most fundamental level and interact most crucially with philosophy, are outlined, so that students will have a road map of the central problems in the field. Throughout, the driving theme is the entanglement of a radical revision in our conceptualization of the world (which is forced upon us by the changes in the physical picture of the world due to major developments in modern physics) with central philosophical issues in metaphysics and epistemology. Some areas of discussion include: the nature of space and time in relativity theory; the understanding of measurement, locality, causality, reality and objectivity in quantum theory; ontology of quantum field theory; explanation in cosmogony.
In-depth conceptual analysis will be carried out in a non-technical way, without requiring either a thorough understanding of the technical details of physical theories or major competence in mathematics.
Texts:
Tian Yu Cao: Conceptual Development of 20th Century Field Theories
Alastair Rae, Quantum Physics: Illusion or Reality

TOPICS COURSES
400 level: Limited to Senior Philosophy Majors
600 level: Open to all Graduate Students

CAS PH 480/680
ANCIENT & MEDIEVAL PHIL
Professor Roochnik
The topic of this course is “Philosophy and Tragedy.” We begin with a quick reading of Aeschylus’ Oresteia, Sophocles’ Antigone, and Oedipus the King, and Euripides’ Alcestis, Medea, and Hyppolytus. We then examine in some detail several philosophical responses to tragedy, focusing in particular on Aristotle, Nietzsche, Hegel, and Plato. Pivotal questions include: What is philosophically rich about Greek Tragedy? Why has it so regularly drawn philosophical attention? Is there a tragic conception of philosophy, and if so, who among the figures we study fits that description?

CAS PH 484/684
TOPICS: SPECULATIVE PHILOSOPHY
Professor Neville
A close study of Whitehead’s major texts (Science and the Modern World, Process and Reality, and Adventures of Ideas) with brief looks at his students Paul Weiss (Being and Other Realities) and Justus Buchler (Metaphysics of Natural Complexes).

GRADUATE SEMINARS
The following courses are open to Graduate Students ONLY

GRS PH 802
ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY – PHILEBUS
Professor Rosen
A careful, line by line reading of Plato’s Philebus.

GRS PH 814
TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY: KANT
Professor Allison
This seminar will be devoted to a study of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason.

GRS PH 821
ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY
Professor Floyd
A survey of several contemporary treatments of the notions of necessity and the a priori. We shall discuss a variety of issues arising within the philosophy of logic, the philosophy of language and the philosophy of mind including, but not limited to, explanations of identity and definition, the scope and nature of logic, thought and talk, definite descriptions and proper names, reference and truth, meaning and synonymy, rationality, understanding and the very notion of “semantics”. The work of such authors as Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, C.I. Lewis, Quine, Kripke, and Putnam — as well as some others — will be discussed.

GRS PH 850
ETHICS
Professor Haakonssen
A study of Thomas Hobbes’ moral theory and its connection with his political and religious thought. The central text will be Leviathan but several other works will be included.

GRS PH 870
PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
Professor Hintikka
Examination of some of the central conceptual issues in the philosophy of science, including an approach to scientific inquiry as a questioning process and a study of such ideas as the logic of discovery, including its relations to confirmation, the hypothetico-deductive method, information as the goal of scientific inference, the role of theoretical concepts in science, induction, experiment, explanation, definition and identification, theory-ladenness of observation and the incommensurability of theories.