Course Descriptions Spring 1998

CAS PH 100
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 110
Professor Brinkmann
Introduction to the life and thought of five preeminent philosophers: Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, Kant, and Kierkegaard.

CAS PH 140
Professor Fussi
The course focuses on philosophical issues relating to God, freedom and immortality. Metaphysical, epistemological, and ethical aspects are examined. Relevant writings of key thinkers (such as Plato, Augustine, Aquinas, Nietszche, and Lao Tzu) will be studied.

CAS PH 150 A1
Professor Dahlstrom
A systematic and historical inquiry into differing accounts of the good life, alternating lectures with discussions of selected texts.

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 L. Haakonssen
This course introduces students to some of the main theories of ethical thought in the Western philosophical tradition. The course is divided into three sections based on the comprehensive reading of selected texts in ancient, early modern and contemporary moral philosophy. We begin with Plato, Aristotle and Epictetus. Topics discussed include the relationship between law and morals, religion and morals and the role played by virtue, friendship and the emotions in our quest for “the good life.” In the second part of the course we will study J.S. Mill’s utilitarianism, the Kantian notion of respect for persons and the central tenets of Sartre’s existentialism. In the final section, the moral-philosophical ideas of these philosophers will be examined in the light of their influence on such contemporary debates as the cloning of humans and the treatment of animals. With Montaigne as our inspiration and guide, we will conclude with a reflection on cannibalism, human nature and the problems of relativism.
Texts: Plato, The Trial and Death of Socrates; Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics; Epictetus, The Encheiridion; J.S. Mill Utilitarianism; Course packet

CAS PH 155
Professor Rosen
An introduction to modern political philosophy, with special emphasis on the most important differences between ancient and modern political thought, and in particular on the problem of enlightenment.

CAS PH 160 A1
Professor Webb
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.
Requirements: three quizzes, final exam

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.
Textbook: Hintikka and Bachman, What if…? Toward Excellence in Reasoning and Weston, A Rulebook for Arguments.

CAS PH 260
Professor Janssen
This course, taught by one of the editors of the Einstein Papers Project, 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 241
Professor Kestenbaum
Consideration of the nature and problems of self-understanding and self-realization. Psychological and philosophical perspectives on pattern, growth, and maturity in personality. Particular attention to philosophical issues associated with the place of emotion in healthy personality: rationality, freedom, and responsibility.
Plato, Five Dialogues
Kant, Lectures on Ethics
Carl Gustav Jung, Modern Man in Search of Soul
Sigmund Freud, An Outline of Psychoanalysis
Victor E. Frankl, The Doctor and the Soul
Gordon W. Allport, Becoming: Basic Considerations for a Psychology of Personality

CAS PH 246
Professor Rouner
Introductions to the Indian philosophical tradition, study of the classical Six Systems, and an overview of the rise of neo-Hindu philosophy from Ram Mohun Roy to Gandhi.

CAS PH 247
Professor Berthrong
This course will deal with the development of Chinese philosophy in the classical Confucian, Taoist, Mohist, Legalists, New-Taoist, and Neo-Confucian intellectual traditions. Attention will also be given to the general philosophic development of Chinese civilization as a whole, including a brief discussion of the role of Buddhism. The texts selected for study will focus on the key thinkers of the Chou-Han period as well as later Taoist and Neo-Confucian developments.
Required texts: Wing-Tsit Chon, A Source Book in Chinese Philosophy; A.C. Graham, Disputers of the Tao; David Hall & Noyh Ames, Anticipating China; Daniel Gardner, Chults: Learning to Be a Sage

CAS PH 248
Professor Cahoone
Analysis of existentialism as a movement or orientation in twentieth century philosophy and literature. We will explore a variety of expressions and formulations of existentialism, for example, in the work of Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Camus, Sartre, Nietzsche, and Tillich.

CAS PH 253
Professor Cao
A philosophical examination of classical and contemporary theories of modern society. Readings will include the work of Rousseau, Marx, Weber, Freud, as well as later thinkers.

CAS PH 257
Professor Tauber
“Nature” is a category we must strive to recover. Any such effort must confront a number of questions, among which are these. What are the philosophical issues underlying the modern disjunction between nature and human beings? How does nature serve as a source of aesthetic inspiration? What are the metaphysical parameters of our examination of nature as an object of scientific scrutiny, specifically the conceptual foundations of ecology beyond the epistemological questions posed as a science? What is the wilderness and what philosophical category does it serve? What, more fundamentally, is the nature of Nature? These questions frame our inquiry.
A historical framework will be established to discuss the philosophical issues. Environmental consciousness has become an important political, if not metaphysical, issue in contemporary life. This development is hardly a new question, for the importance of the wilderness as a contrasting social category for the city and civilization has served as a defining issue in American history and is central to our national identity. The most immediate and important antecedents of the debate concerning our relation to the environment date to the Romantic era as a response to the growing industrialization of Western Europe and America, but the philosophical questions date to ancient times. This course will examine the philosophical foundations of the environmental movement, emphasizing the Romantic position, which still serves as the essential formulation for our own time.
An honors section of this course is available.

CAS PH 265
Professor Webb
Additional Prerequisite: logic or some mathematical background, or consent of instructor.
This course examines the efforts of artificial intelligence to model the human mind and explain human thought by means of suitably programmed computers. Attention is given to the historical and mathematical origins of such efforts, as well as the main psychological and philosophical assumptions on which they depend.
Requirements: mid-term and final examinations. Texts: What Computers Can’t Do by Dreyfus; Minds and Machines edited by Anderson

CAS PH 271
Professor Tauber
Considering the centrality of science in our world today, it is essential that students in all fields–including the sciences and engineering as well as the social sciences and the humanities–appreciate both the role of science in society and its nature as an intellectual system. One way to acquire this perspective is through studying the history of science. In this course we will examine key events in the history of science and the historiographical problems as to how the evolution of the history of science is to be explained. The seminal discoveries in the rise of modern science will be surveyed. Special attention will be given to the scientific revolution of the 16th and 17th centuries, both to assess its reaction to ancient modes of thought, and to define the conceptual foundations of subsequent progress in physics and biology. In particular, we shall study the emergence and development of relativity theories and quantum theory in physics, and of evolutionary theory and molecular biology in biology. In addition, various views on the nature of scientific progress, offered by Sarton, Merton, Koyre, Popper, Kuhn, as well as the social constructivists, the feminists, and the post modernists, will be briefly examined. Upon completion of this course, the student will be able to understand the nature of the conceptual developments in modern science, to appreciate the character of the interactions between modern science and society, and to appreciate the philosophical, religious, and other cultural issues involving science. The student will thus be in a position to understand how science has become a dominant social, cultural, and intellectual force in the modern world.

CAS PH 300 A1
Professor Garrett
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 paper, midterm, final.

CAS PH 300 B1
Professor Speight
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 paper, midterm, final.

CAS PH 310 A1
Professor Cahoone
Examination of theories of major seventeenth and eighteenth century philosophers, from Descartes to Kant. Our focus will be on accounts of the ultimate nature of existence and knowledge. Two papers and final examination.

CAS PH 310 B1
Professor Allison
Beginning with a brief discussion of the scientific revolution of the seventeenth century, the course will trace the main outlines of the philosophical response, by the thought of the four leading thinkers of this period: Descartes, Leibniz, Hume and Kant.

CAS PH 350
Professor K. Haakonssen
The course provides a wide-ranging history of Western ethics from Plato, Aristotle and the stoics, via medieval thinkers (esp. St. Augustine) to early modern and modern moral philosophers: Hobbes, Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Mill and Nietzsche. We consider such questions as whether morality is invented or discovered? What is the good life? What is the relationship between moral virtue and happiness? What is duty? What is supererogation? What is the relationship between morality and religion?
Texts: Michael Morgan, ed., Classics of Moral and Political Theory (2nd edition), Alasdair MacIntyre A Short History of Ethics

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

Ancient Philosophy

CAS PH 403/603
Professor Roochnik
Prerequisite: PH 300 and two other PH courses
A close reading of Plato’s Theaetetus.

Modern & Contemporary Philosophy

CAS PH 412/612
Professor K. Haakonssen
Prerequisite: PH 310 and two other PH courses
The course will be an intensive study of Jean Jacques Rousseau. The course is designed to incorporate The Benedict Lectures on Rousseau, a series of public lectures by Professor David Gauthier (University of Pittsburgh). These six lectures will fall within the course-time and be spread through the semester. The course requires extensive reading from most of Rousseau’s major works, preferably in the following editions: The Discourses and Other Early Political Writings, and The Social Contract and Other Later Political Writings, both edited by Victor Gourevitch, Cambridge U.P. 1997; Emile, edited by Allan Bloom, Basic Books (or Penguin); Confessions, Penguin Classics; Reveries of the Solitary Walker, edited by Peter France, Penguin Classics.

CAS PH 413
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.
Note: this is a course ONLY open to undergraduates.

CAS PH 416/616
Professor Brinkmann
A close reading of Hegel’s 1831 Encyclopedia. Major topics: Hegel’s concept of philosophy, the structure of his system, the dialectic, fundamental aspects of the Logic, the Philosophy of Nature and the Philosophy of Spirit.

CAS PH 420/620
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 424/624
Professor Floyd
An intensive (line by line) study of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations.
Text: Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations

CAS PH 430/630
Professor Devlin
An examination of the work of the inventor of American philosophy, Charles Sanders Peirce, and two of its most famous exponents, William James and John Dewey. The doctrine of pragmatism will be featured.

Philosophy of Value

CAS PH 450/650
Professor Griswold
Prerequisite: PH 350 and two other PH courses
The focus of the course this semester will be on “virtue ethics” and on the debate about the role of philosophical “theory” in ethics. We will begin with a reading of parts of Plato’s Protagoras, and then turn to the contemporary revival of and debate about virtue and (ethical) theory.
Readings will include work by Anscombe, Williams, MacIntyre, McDowell,Schneewind, Slote, Baier, Foot, and Brandt. The central text for the modern readings will be Virtue Ethics, ed. Crisp and Slote. A course packet will also be used. Recommended texts will include Virtue (Nomos vol. 34, ed. Chapman and Galston); Ethical Theory: Character and Virtue (ed. French et al); and Williams’ Shame and Necessity.

CAS PH 452/652
ETHICS OF HEALTH CARE: Birth, Life & Death
Professor Grodin
What is life? What is death? What distinguishes being alive or having a life from living a life? What is the nature of personhood? How can one relate causality to intent, predictability or fallibility? 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 life, death, and what it is to be human. This course will analyze these problems in the context of medical care at the beginning and end of life. After an introduction to the foundational questions and problems of medical ethics and an exploration into the historical views of birth, life, and death, the class will explore the following topics: abortion, selective fetal termination, the new reproductive and genetic technologies, fetal-maternal conflicts, the human genome projects, human death, brain death, personal death, persistent vegetative coma, termination of life support, euthanasia, and assisted suicide. Throughout the course case studies will be used as philosophical paradigms to assist in critiquing and clarifying metaphysical and normative ethical arguments.
Requirements: class participation, presentations, short papers and a longer final term paper. Readings will be from both classical and contemporary writings in ethics, medicine, law and public health policy.

CAS PH 454/654
COMMUNITY, LIBERTY, AND MORALITY — Resistance and Responsibility
Professor Lyons
This seminar examines the theory and practice of principled resistance to law. We consider theories about a duty to obey the law and about civil disobedience in relation to examples of political resistance in their historical context. Brief weekly reports on the readings as well as a term paper are required.
Note: the first meeting of this course is Thursday, January 8.

CAS PH 455/655
Professor Lyons
This course is organized around the two most central issues of general jurisprudence–the essential nature of law and whether law has any necessary relation to sound moral principles. We will consider, for example, the idea that law is basically a set of coercive commands issued by the sovereign. We will study this idea as presented by its leading proponent, John Austin, and as analyzed by its leading critic, Herbert Hart. Recent developments in legal theory involve attempts to understand law by focusing on the role of courts, and this will lead us to consider topics relating to the interpretation of law, such as open texture and legislative intent. Readings for the course are mainly theoretical writings (plus a handful of cases). No background in philosophy is assumed–only a tolerance for abstract ideas. There may be some brief (one page) writing assignments during the term. The final will be given in the form of a paper so as to allow more time for reflection.
Texts: H.L.A. Hart, The Concept of Law (2nd edn.) plus photocopied materials available from the Law School copy center.
Note: the first meeting of this course is Wednesday, January 14.

Prerequisite: PH 310, 360, and one other PH course
Philosophy of Logic

CAS PH 468/668
Professor Kanamori
The course begins, if necessary, with a review of first-order logic and formal systems. It then focuses on axiomatic set theory as the basic framework for mathematics, and as a distinctive field of mathematics. With emphasis on the historical context, the theory is developed from its beginnings in the work of Cantor and Zermelo through to modern preoccupations.

Prerequisite: PH 310 and two other PH courses
Topics Courses

CAS PH 482/682
TOPICS: 17th & 18th Century Philosophy of Mind & Human Nature
Professor Garrett
Over the course of the semester we will explore the 17th and 18th century philosophies of mind and human nature, through the works of Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume and others. The class will both give an introduction to some of the primary texts in the British philosophical tradition, and compare them with Continental philosophies along a few important themes. Key issues discussed will be the relation between perception and ontology, and the importance of the distinction between human and animal nature for isolating what the human mind and nature are, and are not.

CAS PH 486/686
Professor Dreben
A detailed study of the works of J.L. Austin.
Required texts: Sense and Sensibilia, How to Do Things with Words, Philosophical Papers

The following courses are open to Graduate Students ONLY
Note that courses listed above bearing a 600 level number may be taken for graduate credit.

CAS PH 801
Professor Hintikka
The fundamental problems of Aristotle’s methodology and metaphysics are studied. The topics that will be discussed include Aristotle’s early dialectical methodology and its development into syllogistic logic and syllogistic methodology, Aristotle’s notions of induction, definition and explanation, his treatment of being, especially existence, his theory of categories, Aristotle’s theory of thinking and its influence on his methodology, his theory of modality and chance, etc.
Texts: Seminar members are expected to read Categories, On the Interpretation, Posterior Analytics, Topics I and VIII and relevant portions of other works including Physics, On the Soul, and Metaphysics.

GRS PH 826
Professor Dahlstrom
The general objective of this seminar is to examine Heidegger’s phenomenological studies of being, temporality, and truth, as presented in lectures held and essays written by him in the first few years after the completion of Being and Time (1926). To this end the course centers on the lectures of the summer semesters of 1927 and 1928, The Basic Problems of Phenomenology and The Metaphysical Foundations of Logic, as well as the essays, “What is Metaphysics?” (1929) and “On the Essence of Truth” (1930).

GRS PH 840
Professor Rosen
This seminar will be devoted to the problem of human temporality, with special attention to the lived present. The instructor will discuss the time-analyses of Husserl and Heidegger, but the main task will be to grasp the problem itself. No texts required.

GRS PH 860
Professor Allison
The seminar will be devoted to a study of Hume’s Treatise, perhaps some related texts. Please note that, in spite of its title, this will not be a seminar on Hume’s epistemology. It will instead aim at a comprehensive understanding of Hume’s “system,” encompassing all three books of the Treatise.
Requirements: Two papers of 12 to 15 pages and one or two (depending on class size) in-class presentations.

GRS PH 871
Professor Cao
This seminar will examine, from four perspectives (scientific realism, positivism, pragmatism and epistemic relativism), the contemporary philosophical debate on the nature and limits of scientific knowledge, centered around such issues as (i) the under determination and incommensurability versus cumulativity and progress of scientific theories; (ii) social interests and perspectives versus objective facts and evidence as well as scientific rationality in theory acceptance. The aim of the course is to clarify the credentials and implications of each position, (thus provide students a solid ground for participating in wider cultural debates on rationality and relativism), and to have a better understanding of the recent history and current status of philosophy of science, (which is part of necessary training for professional philosopher), through a careful examination of the structure of the arguments adopted by each position in dealing with various issues.
Required: Larry Laudan, Science and Relativism (1990)
Suggested: Mary Hesse, Revolutions and Reconstructions: The Philosophy of Science (1980) Richard Rorty, Objectivity, Relativism and Truth (1991)