Course Descriptions Fall 2000

CAS PH 100
Professor Fraser
An introduction to philosophy. In this course we will employ works of literature as well as cultural essays in order to exhibit the human context of philosophy.

CAS PH 110
Professor Ferrarin
Introduction to some basic questions of human existence, with particular reference to the relationship between man and nature, between the individual and the political domain; the soul and the passions; the definition of virtue and of ethics; morality and freedom.

CAS PH 150 A1
Professor Giancola
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
Professor Roochnik
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
Professor McCarthy
We will investigate a series of contemporary ethical problems ( e.g. abortion, the death penalty, animal rights) using the theories of classical and contemporary philosophers.

CAS PH 155
Professor Griswold
An introduction to political philosophy, with emphasis on classical questions concerning (among other topics) the nature of justice, the notion of liberty, the difference between might and right, the character of the best regime. Readings drawn from a variety of influential political philosophers, with an eye to specifying some of the important differences between ancient and modern political thought.

CAS PH 160 A1
Professor Hintikka
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 B1
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.

CAS PH 160 C1
Professor TBA
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.

*Prerequisite: one philosophy course or sophomore standing*

CAS PH 242
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 invisible 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: attention, habit, reason, transcendence.

CAS PH 251
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 260
Professor Fraser
This course will offer an in-depth yet non-mathematical look at the surprising picture of the physical world emerging from relativity theory and quantum theory. The focus will be on the contributions of Albert Einstein to this modern view of nature. The goal is not just to get a clear image of the unexpected features of physical reality uncovered by Einstein and others, but also to understand the reasoning behind their claims. To give just two examples of the sort of question that will be guiding us: How does one get from the notion that the velocity of light is independent of the velocity of its source to the claim that an astronaut returning from a mission in space will be younger, albeit only a tiny bit, than his or her twin who stayed at home, an unexpected effect Einstein immediately accepted as a consequence of his special theory of relativity? How does one get from the splitting of a beam of electrons sent through some magnetic field to the claim that electrons do not have definite properties until one performs a measurement on them, one of the basic tenets of standard quantum mechanics, a theory Einstein never accepted?

*Prerequisite: one philosophy course or sophomore standing*

CAS PH 277
Prof. Devlin
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 archeology.

CAS PH 300 A1
Professor Brinkmann
The course will explore Greek philosophy and will concentrate on its development from Thales through 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. One in-class written exam, a midterm and a final paper.

CAS PH 300 B1
Prof. Diamandopoulos
The history of ancient philosophy is the history of the invention of philosophy and of its extraordinary accomplishments and ambitions. This unprecedented development, the lecturer will argue, was the unique creation of the Greek world–a reflection of its outlook, culture, language, politics and values; and of the geniuses that pressed the quest.
To outline and interpret the development of ancient philosophy, the course will reconstruct the speculations of Ionian and Southern Italian thinkers; the philosophical breakthroughs of classical Athens (Sophists, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle); and the re-direction of philosophy during the Hellenistic/ Roman era (Stoics, Sceptics, Epicureans and Cynics).
Through a close reading and interpretation of selected texts, the lecturer will argue for the continuity of Greek philosophical thought; but also for its surpassing autonomy and coherance. From the Presocratics through Plato, Aristotle and the Hellenistic philosophers, philosophical inquiry evolved but also remained steadfastly focused on topics that proved perennial _ the possibility of knowledge, the nature of Being, the scope of reason, the search for method, the idea of the good, etc.. This fact will suggest that the history of Greek philosophy is paradigmatic of all authentic philosophy: It will explain why all later philosophy had to re-investigate the hellenic philosophical issues.
The class will be conducted in lecture form.

CAS PH 310
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.

CAS PH 350
Professor Garrett
This class will prepare students for work in the history of ethics via an immersion in eighteenth-century British moral philosophy. The period is uniquely rich in ideas and debates and influences many of the ways in which contemporary ethicists view their discipline. Topics covered will include utilitarianism, moral sense theory, natural law, virtue ethics, rights (particularly animal rights), and conventionalism. Major authors to be considered will include John Locke, Francis Hutcheson, Joseph Butler, David Hume, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Jeremy Bentham (as well as a few more minor figures). In addition Kant and Aristotle will be discussed in order to provide a broader background (although it would be useful if students had some familiarity with them).

CAS PH 360
Professor Webb
Study of methods characteristic of modern deductive logic including truth tables, Boolean normal forms, models, and indirect and conditional proofs within the theory of truthfunctions and quantifiers.

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

CAS PH 405
Professor Brinkmann
A careful study of the philosophy of Aristotle conducted primarily through a close reading of the Metaphysics. Though not a survey course, students should obtain a grasp of themes central to the philosopher’s thought. Reference to other texts (Categories, Posterior Analytics, Physics, De Anima) will be constant. Students will be evaluated by the quality of their contribution to the class discussion and by two papers written during the semester.
*Prerequisites: PH300 and 2 other PH courses*

CAS PH 410/610
Professor Garrett
This class will focus on two central figures in the development of seventeenth-century rationalism: Descartes and Spinoza. Topics covered will include the metaphysics of substance, truth and certainty, the role of proofs of God in early modern philosophy, and the passions. We will read Descartes’ Meditations and the Objections and Replies, selections from the Principles of Philosophy and the Passions of the Soul, and Spinoza’s Ethics.
*Prerequisites: PH310 and 2 other PH courses*

CAS PH 412/612
Professor Schmidt
This seminar will examine the fate of eighteenth-century ideals of reason, critique, and autonomy in the twentieth century. We will examine how some twentieth century philosophers and social critics (including Ernst Cassirer, and Jürgen Habermas) have sought to revise and to defend the ideals of the Enlightenment. We will also look at some eighteenth- and nineteenth-century critics of the idea of Enlightenment (including Hamann, Burke, Hegel, and Nietzsche) and see how their criticisms were taken up by twentieth-century thinkers such as Max Horkheimer, Hans-Georg Gadamer, and Michel Foucault.
*Prerequisites: PH310 and 2 other PH courses*

CAS PH 413/613
Professor Webb
The course is intended as an introduction to Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason for advanced undergraduate philosophy majors and graduate students, who desire to gain a deeper understanding of Kant (who do not have sufficient background for the 800 level seminar). Since the Critique of Pure Reason is far too complex a work to study properly in a single semester, the course will focus on central topics in Transcendental Aesthetic (space and time) and the Transcendental Analytic (the Metaphysical and Transcendental Deductions, the Schematism, and the Analogies of Experience). Students will be expected to prepare a series of short papers dealing with aspects of the major topics discussed.
Prerequisite: Philosophy 310 or its equivalent. Those desiring more information are encouraged to consult the instructor.

CAS PH 415
Professor Rosen
This course is cross-listed with UNI ID302. You must see Dr. Rosen and receive
permission (his signature) to enter this class–then see Carolyn in STH 516 to register.

CAS PH 419/619
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.

CAS PH 422/622
Professor Floyd
A detailed examination of Wittgenstein’s later philosophy, focusing on his Philosophical Investigations, On Certainty and Remarks on the Philosophy of Psychology.

CAS PH 453/653
Professor Speight
Additional prerequisites for PH453: PH310; some previous study of Kant or Hegel highly desirable. Prerequisites for PH653: open to all graduate students.
What makes us free? Are there institutions in modern life that are essential for our being the free and rational beings we take ourselves to be? What do the various elements of our social and political lives have to do with one another? How is the justification of property right, for example, connected to moral or ethical theory? These questions are central to Hegel’s Philosophy of Right, which will be considered in this seminar both in terms of its historical context (the legal and moral philosophy of Kant and Fichte, the political and academic environment of Hegel’s Berlin) and its relevance for contemporary debates in political theory.
*Prerequisites: PH350 and 2 other PH courses*

CAS PH 454/654
Professor McCarthy
Modern Liberal societies are often understood as “neutral” regarding views of what constitutes a good human life, thereby permitting maximum individual liberty. This view is being challenged by political theorists using non-western ethical and political traditions to suggest a more “communitarian” approach. We will read both sides of the debate, incorporating Confucian, Indian, and African sources in a comparative political-ethical discussion of liberalism.
*Prerequisites: PH350 and 2 other PH courses*

CAS PH 457/657
Prof. Olson
An exploration of basic issues in hermeneutic philosophy and philosophy of language, including the nature and meaning of mythic-symbolic language, narrative discourse, metaphoric prediction, and deconstruction theory, through a discussion of selected works by the scholars with whom these terms/movements/theories are most directly associated. Primary focus will be upon the growth and development of hermeneutic philosophy through a close reading of Hans-Georg Gadamer’s now classic Truth and Method and the background materials that inform it; for /example, Aristotle’s On Interpretation, Kant’s Critique of Judgment, Schleiermacher’s Hermeneutics, Heidegger’s Being and Time, and the debate of Bultmann and Jaspers on Christianity and Myth. Paul Ricoeur’s Interpretation Theory, and selected essays by Jacques Derrida will also be considered.
*Prerequisites: PH350 and 2 other PH courses*

CAS PH 461/661
Professor Kanamori
(cross-listed with MA 531)
The course begins with a treatment of first-order logic as the basis for mathematical
logic and an underlying language for mathematics. The syntax and semantics of quantifiers are analyzed, leading to Gödel’s Completeness Theorem. A sketch is then
given of Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem. This leads to Turing’s Halting Problem and the beginnings of the theory of computability. After describing the class of computable functions and Church’s thesis, the theory is developed through the enumeration and parametrization theorems to Kleene’s Recursion Theorem. Required Texts: Herbert B. Enderton, A Mathematical Introduction to Logic (New York: Academic Press, 1972); and if available, Assaf J. Kfoury, Robert N. Moll, and
Michael A. Arbib, A Programming Approach to Computability (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1982).
*Prerequisites: PH310, 360, and 1 other PH course*

*The following courses are open to Graduate Students ONLY*

GRS PH 802
Professor Hyland
Those philosophers called “postmodern” have often located the foundations of the “metaphysics” they see as informing western philosophy, and which they seek to call into question, in the dialogues of Plato. This seminar will address the ways in which a number of those “postmodern” philosophers have interpreted, transformed, and criticized Plato in their work. Among the postmodern philosophers to be studied will be Heidegger, Derrida, Irigaray, and Cavarero. The Platonic texts that they usually address, and which will be the subject of our study include the Republic, Symposium, Phaedrus, and Lysis.

GRS PH 814
Professor Allison
The seminar will be devoted to a close study of the Transcendental Dialectic of the Critique of Pure Reason. The focus will be not only on the critique of traditional metaphysics contained therein, but also on the positive conception of reason (and its connection with “transcendental illusion”) underlying this critique. Since we shall be dealing with a number of technical issues, a good basic background in the first Critique will be presupposed. For example, prospective enrollees should have already taken the 413/613 Kant course or its rough equivalent. Those who are interested in taking the course but concerned about the adequacy of their preparation are encouraged to consult the instructor.

GRS PH 854
Professor Haakonssen
The course deals with the political philosophy of Thomas Hobbes. We will be reading all three versions of the “system” but the main emphasis will be on the Leviathan

GRS PH 864
Professor Hintikka
A survey of some of the main issues concerning the nature of logic and its uses, including the uses of logical notions for the purpose of reasoning and for representation, the links between logic and reality, the nature of truth, the so called analytic-synthetic distinction, the axiomatic method, the basic ideas of set-theory, standard vs. non standard interpretations of higher-order logic and the nature of intuitionistic logic.

GRS PH 880
Professor Rosen
Aristotle’s Metaphysics , Book Zeta.

GRS PH 882
TOPICS IN PHIL. III – Kant and Phenomenology
Professor Ferrarin
Interpretations of the Critique of Pure Reason in the writings of Husserl, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty.

GRS PH 883
Professor Neville
A study of the major philosophic writings of Charles S. Pierce, the founder of pragmatism.