Course Descriptions Fall 2001

CAS PH 100
PHILOSOPHICAL INQUIRY
Professor Fried
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 ethics; morality and freedom.

CAS PH 110
GREAT PHILOSOPHERS
Professor Diamandopoulos
The purpose of the course is to introduce students with vigorous minds to an intellectual activity which for the past twenty-five centuries is called “philosophy.” The instructor intends to achieve this goal by interpreting the investigations of five seminal thinkers that pursued the goals of philosophy in sustained yet different ways. By comparing and contrasting their incompatible perceptions, it is expected that what proved lasting in philosophy will become clearer and more thought-provoking, and what is only of historical interest will prove instructive. Many in the course will eventually understand that they have an intellectual and practical stake in philosophy: they have to philosophize.
The philosophers and works to be studied are: Plato’s Protagoras, Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics, Hume’s Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, Kant’s Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and Nietzsche’s The Genealogy of Morals.
Through an examination of mainly ethical questions, the instructor will try to show: problems about knowledge, reality, the nature and purpose of the world and the meaning of being human, all related to each other. Philosophy, it will be argued, is to understand the implications of these relations and their significance for human existence.

CAS PH 150 A1
INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS
Professor Speight
An introduction to ethics through the reading of classic texts and articles on contemporary ethical issues. Course is intended to give an overview of major philosophical approaches to ethics and their applications. Specific issues to be discussed will include cloning, the moral status of animals, the death penalty and developmental ethics.

CAS PH 150 B1
INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS
Professor Dahlstrom
An introduction to ethics through examination of both classical and contemporary philosophical investigations of ethics.

CAS PH 150 C1
INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS
Professor Garrett
An introduction to the field of ethics through the reading of classic texts. The class will focus on understanding the major positions in moral theory and on applying ethical theories to two moral issues: punishment and the moral status of animals animal testing.

CAS PH 155
POLITICS AND PHILOSOPHY
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
REASONING & ARGUMENTATION
Professor Ostrow
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
REASONING & ARGUMENTATION
Professor Dodd
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 Hintikka
Beginning course in deductive logic. Truth tables, truth trees, testing validity, translating sentences into symbolic language, and examination of different voting rules will be covered.

Intermediate Level I
*Prerequisite: one philosophy course or sophomore standing*

CAS PH 242
PHILOSOPHIES OF HUMAN NATURE
Professor Michalski
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 moldings 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 245
PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGION
Professor Lobel
This course will be cross-listed with CAS RN 109: “God, Freedom, Immortality.”
Explores the aims of human life, the place of God in the good life, and the role of contemplation and action in the philosophical quest.

CAS PH 258
PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE
Professor Kestenbaum
“Let us suppose for the moment that both our Russells and our Becketts are engaged in telling us how it is, that the novelist and the philosopher are companions in a common enterprise, though they go about it in different ways.” (William H. Gass, “Philosophy and the Form of Fiction”)
Is the supposition that the novelist and the philosopher are engaged in a “common enterprise” defensible? Ought we to have different expectations of the novelist and the philosopher? Is telling (or showing) us how it is equivalent to telling us facts and truths? Is there something beyond the words, beyond the telling or even showing? What is the place of imagination in literature and philosophy? To what are they responsible?
The intent of the course is to examine the sorts of demands placed upon reason, language, and experience by literature and philosophy.
Henry James, Tales of Henry James
John Updike, The Same Door
Robert Frost, Robert Frost: Poetry and Prose
Wallace Stevens, The Palm at the End of the Mind
Anne Sexton, The Complete Poems
Two, possibly three, papers. Please contact Professor Kestenbaum for more information (353-4580 or vkestenb@bu.edu).

CAS PH 266
MIND, BRAIN AND SELF
Professor Bokulich
This course focuses on the simple but important question: What am I? In the first part of the course we will examine various theories in the philosophy of mind. We will ask questions such as: What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? What is consciousness? In the second part of the course we will consider questions such as: Do nonhuman animals have minds? Could we build a machine that thinks–an artificial intelligence? The final part of the course focuses on the issue of personal identity. We will ask: What is it that makes me the same person from day to day and decade to decade? Could I survive the death of my body?

CAS PH 270
PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
Professor Cao
This introductory course is designed for those with little exposure to science. Main features of the scientific enterprise will be illustrated by examples in the study of physics, biology and mind: the aims of scientific activities (understanding, prediction and control); the nature of scientific understanding (causal explanation with general applicability); scientific procedures (by which scientific theories are formulated, tested, accepted or rejected); the structure and interpretation of scientific theories (evidential support, models and hypotheses, laws and predictions; the cognitive significance of these components); the development of science (accumulation and/or revolution). Some concepts central to the natural and social sciences, (such as space, time, forces, atom and quantum; life and evolution, structure and function; facts, value and agents) will be examined carefully. Controversies among competing schools in the philosophy of science (logical positivism, falsificationism, historicism, social constructivism and feminism) over the objectivity and rationality of the scientific enterprise will also be discussed.

CAS PH 277
PHIL. AND METHOD IN HUMAN SCIENCES
Professor Bokulich
This course is an examination of philosophical issues central to the natural and social sciences. The topics will include: explanation, prediction, laws, rationality, reduction, holism, objectivity, and values. Although some knowledge of a special science would be helpful, it is not presupposed.

Intermediate Level II
*Prerequisite: one philosophy course or sophomore standing*

CAS PH 300 A1
HISTORY OF ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
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
HISTORY OF ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
Professor Roochnik
The course will explore Greek philosophy and will concentrate on its chief representatives: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Platonic dialogues, and elements of the Aristotelian corpus will be read with care. The focus will be philosophical more than historical.

CAS PH 310
HISTORY OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY
Professor Ferrarin
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
HISTORY OF ETHICS
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, and conventionalism. Major authors to be considered will include John Locke, Shaftesbury, Joseph Butler, David Hume, Adam Smith, John Stuart Mill, and Jeremy Bentham . In addition Kant will be discussed as a challenge to this tradition..

CAS PH 360
SYMBOLIC LOGIC
Professor Dodd
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.
For 400/600 courses, register as follows:
400 level/Undergraduate Students
600 level/Graduate Students
Modern and Contemporary Philosophy *Prerequisites: PH310 and 2 other PH courses*

CAS PH 406
ARISTOTLE II
Professor Diamandopoulos
Through a close reading of Aristotle’s Politics, the instructor will interpret the Hellenic invention of the “political” as a philosophical and practical challenge; as a challenge to ideas and action. How philosophy perceived that challenge, and, according to Aristotle, ought to meet it, will be one of the aims of the course. How history appears to have dealt with the issue and responded to philosophical argument, will be the other concern of the course. The purpose of this joint approach will be to clarify the mission of philosophy in practical projects; also, the causes of intractability in human affairs.
For the undertaking to succeed, constant references to Aristotle’s theory of sciences, physics, metaphysics, psychology and ethics will be made. Yet the course will focus primarily on a systematic explication of the text of the Politics.
Students of different interests but with keen concerns about what can be done regarding the recalcitrance of the human condition, if prepared, are welcome to the course; they can learn a lot from Aristotle.
The course will be conducted as a seminar, with a lot of writing and oral presentations.

CAS PH 411/611
BRITISH EMPIRICISM
Professor Allison
The course will be devoted to a study of selected portions of Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding and most of Book I of Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature.

CAS PH 412
PHILOSOPHY OF ENLIGHTENMENT
Professor Rosen
Stamped Approval Necessary–see Dr. Rosen. This is cross-listed with Dr. Rosen’s UNI course on Nietzsche.
A detailed interpretation of Nietzsche’s Thus Spoke Zarathustra with special attention to the problem of the the crisis of the Enlightenment in late modernity.

CAS PH 413
KANT
Professor Ferrarin
A single text constitutes the basis for this course–Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. Some of the great scholars of the past have devoted a lifetime to analyzing, explicating, and evaluating this work. We, alas, have only one semester. In this, the first of three Critiques, Kant introduced the idea of a critical self-examination of reason, and in the execution of this program he developed a unique new type of philosophy, called transcendental philosophy, which forever revolutionized philosophical thought. We shall examine the text carefully from beginning to end. Because Kant’s thinking is enormously complex, intricate, and subtle, we shall make ample use of secondary sources and complement textual analysis by discussing helpful comments by some of today’s finest Kant scholars.

CAS PH 418
MARX & MARXISM
Professor Cao
In this introductory course, Marxism will be treated mainly as a conceptual framework for understanding history and society (including economy, politics and culture), and also as a critique of capitalism and a program of transforming the capitalist society for human emancipation, with an analysis of both its philosophical and ethical presuppositions and its conceptions of a post-capitalist society. The evolution of its theoretical bases, through its three stages (classical Marxism of Marx and Engels; the Soviet orthodoxy and its critics; and contemporary Marxisms) will be critically examined, and its practical (political, economic and cultural) impacts on the historical course since its inception briefly outlined.

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.

CAS PH 420/620
CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY
Professor Hintikka
This course does not only present briefly some of the main figures of contemporary philosophy, among them Frege, Husserl, Wittgenstein and Heidegger, and some of the important developments, such as hermeneutics, logical empiricism, existentialism, the new philosophy of science (Kuhn, etc.), the new theory of reference (Marcus, Kripke, etc.) neurophilosophy and the realism controversy. It also seeks to answer the question: What’s in them for us? Which ideas of these thinkers are helpful in guiding philosophical thought to the next century and which ones are not?

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 phenomenological movement, Edmund Husserl. The course begins with a review of Brentano’s concept of intentionally 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 introductions into phenomenology in the first two volumes of Ideas to a Pure Phenomenology and Phenomenological Philosophy:, the course critically analyses the natural attitude and phenomenological reductions, the general structures of pure consciousness, and the conception of the Lebenswelt in Husserl’s later thinking. While all texts are available in translation, reading knowledge of German is helpful.
Speculative Philosophy *Prerequisites: PH300, 310, and 1 other PH course*

CAS PH 446/646
PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
Professor Olson
An examination of principal issues and topics in the philosophy of religion. This course develops in three stages: first, an historical overview of the development of philosophy of religion as a discipline or sub-discipline of philosophy, 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 is 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 authority, science and religion, religious ethics, etc. The third and final part of the course will consist of religious ethics, etc. The third and final part of the course 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).
G.W.F. Hegel, 1827 Lectures on the Philosophy of Religion, California, 1988.
Philosophy of Value *Prerequisites: PH350 and 2 other PH courses*

CAS PH 454/654
PHILOSOPHY OF LAW
Professor Lyons
Cross-listed with Law JD853 A1
What is law? How does law differ from other forms of social organization and control? We speak in both law and morals of justice, rights, and duties, but the law of the land is not the same as any moral code. How are law and morality related? This course addresses the two central concerns of general jurisprudence–the nature of law and its relations to moral principle. (It is not a survey but addresses current theory.) Topics include the idea that laws are orders backed by threats, the logical structure of a legal system, the basis of legal authority, the idea that law has an “open texture,” the nature and merits of value-free and value-based approaches to the interpretation of law, the possibility of a moral obligation to comply with law, and the moral justification of civil disobedience.

CAS PH 455/655
LEGAL PHILOSOPHY
Professor Lyons
Cross listed with: The Interpretation of Law [seminar] Law JD846 A1
Stamped Approval Necessary–see Dr. Lyons.
What general principles determine how laws should be understood? This seminar will consider three general, competing answers to this question: textualism, intentionalism, and naturalism The textualist (or “plain meaning”) view maintains that the text of a law is the sole basis of its meaning: a statute or written constitution neither requires nor admits of genuine interpretation. By contrast, intentionalism holds that the text of a law can obscure its true meaning, which is determined by the intentions of the original lawmakers. The third view, naturalism, maintains that interpretation must instead be based on a law’s justifying rationale. This seminar will consider the content, underpinnings, and implications of these views, and along the way will consider two related issues: whether law can have determinate meaning when there is reasonable disagreement or uncertainty about it, and whether interpretation to identify the true meaning of a law must be value-free.
Readings will be drawn from contemporary writers — mainly, but not all, in law — such as Herbert Hart, Carl Hempel, Raoul Berger, Richard Posner, Ronald Dworkin, and Robert Bork, as well as a few judicial opinions. In addition to a term paper with a theoretical focus, seminar members will be required to submit brief weekly reports, consisting of notes and comments, on the current reading assignment.

CAS PH 456/656
PROMISE & PERIL: THE PARADOX OF RELIGION AS RESOURCE & THREAT
Professor Rouner
Cross-listed with TT 821, RN 397/697
Stamped Approval Necessary–see Dr. Rouner
This seminar will examine the role of religion in various cultures. It is organized around the Institute for Philosophy and Religion’s lecture series, which is sponsored by the Institute for Religion and World Affairs. We meet most Wednesday afternoons at 3:00 p.m for discussion with the evening’s lecturer. Copies of the lecture are made available in advance as the basis for discussion. Attendance at the evening lectures (5-7 PM) is also required.
The seminar provides a unique opportunity to engage major world figures in the fields of philosophy, religion, and theology in an intimate, informal setting. Consent of the instructor required. See Professor Lee Rouner or Ms. Anna Lännström in STH 523 for further information (353-3067).
Please note that this is a year-long seminar and that you need to take the course both semesters in order to receive course credit.
Philosophy of Knowledge, Language, and Logic *Prerequisites: PH310, 360, and 1 other PH course*

CAS PH 461/661
COMPUTABILITY AND LOGIC
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 parameterization theorems to Kleene’s Recursion Theorem. Required Texts: Herbert B. Enderton, A Mathematical Introduction to Logic (New York: Academic Press, Second Edition 2001); and if available, Assaf J. Kfoury, Robert N. Moll, and Michael A. Arbib, A Programming Approach to Computability (New York: Springer-Verlag, 1982).

CAS PH 484
TOP: SPECULATIVE PHILOSOPHY
Professor Brinkmann
We will confront the famous metaphysical question “Why does anything exist at all rather than nothing?” by taking Martin Heidegger’s 1953 publication of his earlier lecture course, “Introduction to Metaphysics,” as our guide. This will give us the opportunity to analyze and discuss some of the chief metaphysical ideas in the history of philosophy by looking at selected texts from Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, Leibniz, Kant and Hegel, as well as develop an understanding of the particular perspective Heidegger brought to this question and why he thought that it continues to be a fundamental question even today. Students will be expected to have a working knowledge of and familiarity with the major figures in the history of Western philosophy as taught in our PH300 and PH310 History of Philosophy courses.

CAS PH 485/685
TOPICS: PHILOSOPHY OF VALUE
Professor Wiggins
Drawing on texts from Hume, Kant, Montaigne, Schopenhauer, Mill, James, Moore, Ross, Wittgenstein, Jouvenel, Korsgaard and Aurel Kolnai, this course will treat topics (1) and (2), as described below, as well as one or two others from the following list of five:
1. The moral motive in relation to the content of ordinary morality (Hume, Kant)
2. Act Utilitarianism, Consequentialism, Ideal Consequentialism, and the significance of the distinctions commonly made between doing something and allowing something to happen, between intending and foreseeing, between doing an act and producing an outcome.
3. Social justice, and, in particular, the contrast between neo-Aristotelian accounts of justice such as that offered by de Jouvenel and constructionalist accounts of justice such as that of John Rawls; equality and G. A. Cohen’s critique of Rawls.
4. The status of moral judgements, their relativity, contextuality, subjectivity, putative objectivity, etc. (Montaigne, Hume, Kolnai)
5. Moral significance; the mystical sections of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus 6.4 ff.; the meaning of life (Wittgenstein, James); aspirations and ideals (James); utopia (Kolnai).

*The following courses are open to Graduate Students ONLY*

GRS PH 801
ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
Professor Rosen
The first of a two semester graduate seminar on Plato’s Republic.

GRS PH 813
KANT III
Professor Allison
The seminar will be devoted to Kant’s Critique of Judgement. The aim will be to make as close a study as possible within a semester of both Introductions and the Critique of Aesthetic Judgement.
Pre-requisite: one general course on Kant’s theoretical philosophy (413/613 or its equivalent)

GRS PH 820
CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY
Dean Neville
No description is available at this time.