Course Descriptions Spring 2000

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 ethics; morality and freedom.

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

CAS PH 150 A1
Professor Garrett
An introduction to the field of ethics through the reading of classic texts and contemporary articles. The class will focus particularly on applying ethical theories to contemporary moral issues: famine relief, the death-penalty, animal testing, and others.

CAS PH 150 B1
Professor Roochnik
An examination of some basic ways of thinking about right and wrong, good and evil, and the question of living an excellent life. The readings will include several classical texts in the history of ethics, as well as some contemporary articles.

CAS PH 150 C1
Professor TBA
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
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 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.
Textbook: Hintikka and Bachman, What if…? Toward Excellence in Reasoning.

CAS PH 160 B1
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
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
*Prerequisite: one philosophy course or sophomore standing*

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.
We will explore the development and maturation of the distinctive philosophic worldviews of China in terms of metaphysics, ontology, cosmology, epistemology, theories of language, aesthetics, and ethics.

CAS PH 249
Professor Kestenbaum
Detailed analysis of the pragmatism of William James and John Dewey. Consideration of how they have been appropriated and misappropriated in recent work in literary and art criticism, political theory, as well as in philosophy. Course Requirements: Three Papers.
Topics include:
1. Unity and Diversity in value, knowledge, and life
2. The authority of experience/ the authority of reason
3. Practice and the practical
4. The nature and value of philosophy
1. ed. John J. McDermott, The Writings of William James
2. John Dewey, Experience and Nature
3. Richard Rorty, Consequences of Pragmatism
4. ed. Morris Dickstein, The Revival of Pragmatism: New Essays on Social Thought, Law, and Culture
5. ed. Casey Haskins and David I. Seiple, Dewey Reconfigured: Essays on Deweyan Pragmatism

CAS PH 254
Professor Cahoone
We will examine the most prominent recent American theories of distributive justice, the justice of wealth, poverty, and the welfare state. In the process we will focus on the difference between liberal and “communitarian” approaches. Readings will include the work of Rawls, Nozick, Sandel, an Walzer.

CAS PH 258
Professor Roochnik
Does philosophy require literature, or can it stand on its own as a self-sufficient discipline? Is philosophy more like science than it is like literature? Or is a philosophical theory really similar to a story? Is there a conception of philosophy that includes literature as a necessary supplement? What lies on the edge between philosophy and literature?
In order to pursue these and other questions, the readings will alternate between philosophical texts (Plato, Descartes, Nietzsche, Hume, Aristotle) and literary ones (Euripides, Homer, Sophocles, Banks).

CAS PH 266
Professor Ostrow
An introduction to the philosophy of mind. We will be concerned with the relation between mind and brain, the nature of the self, and personal identity.

CAS PH 271
Professor Janssen
In this class we will study some of the pivotal steps in the history of the natural sciences (astronomy, physics, chemistry, and biology) from antiquity to the 20th century. The purpose of the class is twofold: to help students develop a sense for philosophically interesting questions about science and its progress and to prepare students for arguing against some of the more extravagant claims made these days on the basis of popular caricatures of science. The readings for this class will be surveys of the relevant historical developments, carefully selected short passages from the work of some of the key figures, and, to illustrate the philosophical uses and misuses that can be made of the history of science, Thomas S. Kuhn’s classic The Structure of Scientific Revolutions.

CAS PH 273
Professor Tauber
Philosophical issues pertinent to medicine reflect complex solutions of how we conceptually organize our views of health and disease. These are not absolute, or given, but arise from diverse historical and cultural factors that reflect broad and pervasive assumptions of value and reality. What is health? How is the mind-body dichotomy dealt with in medicine and the consequences of those solutions? To what extent is medicine a science and what are its unique boundaries? In the conflict between empiricism and realism, how is the normative defined and what is its role in medical thinking? What is the status of medical decision analysis and its logical basis? These topics (outside of medical ethics) represent the kinds of questions to be posed in the context of 19th and 20th century medical theory and practice.

CAS PH 277
Professor 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 Fried
The course will explore Greek philosophy and will concentrate on its development from Thales through Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic schools of thought. Platonic dialogues and major selections 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. Midterm, final, one medium paper and regular minor assignments, including quizzes and short papers.

CAS PH 300 B1
Professor Speight
The course will explore Greek philosophy and will concentrate on its development from Thales through Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic schools of thought. 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. Three major tests, one medium paper.

CAS PH 310 A1
Professor Dahlstrom
Examination of theories of prominent thinkers, from the seventeenth through the nineteenth century.

CAS PH 310 B1
Professor Ostrow
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 Haakonssen
The course covers the main lines of ethical argument from the 17th to the 19th centuries. The emphasis will be on the foundations of morality and especially on such questions as whether morality is something invented or something discovered, whether it is dependent upon the passions or on reason, whether it is absolute or relative, indeed, whether it exists at all. The thinkers covered in the course include Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, Thomas Reid, Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill.
Prescribed texts:
Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, ed. E. Curley, Hackett Publishing Co., 1994
David Hume, A Treatise of Human Nature, 2nd ed., ed. P.H. Nidditch, Oxford U.P., 1978
Thomas Reid, Essays on the Active Powers of Man (class hand-out)
Immanuel Kant Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, trans. J.W. Ellington, Hackett
Publishing Co., 3rd edition, 1993
John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism, Hackett Publishing Co., 1979
same, The Subjection of Women, Hackett Publishing Co., 1988

CAS PH 360
Professor Floyd
Study of the basics of modern logic, including propositional logic, quantifiers, identity and functions, completeness and incompleteness. A special emphasis is placed on strategies of deductive reasoning.

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

Ancient Philosophy
*Prerequisites: PH310 and 2 other PH courses*

CAS PH 412
Professor Haakonssen
The Enlightenment of the late seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries has recently been much discussed as the source of modernity. However, the Enlightenment was not a uniform cultural phenomenon and it harboured widely different philosophies. One of the most fundamental philosophical divisions was between, on the one hand, a line of metaphysical thinkers for whom ultimate being, its cognition and its guidance of human practice were the central issues for philosophy, and, on the other hand, a line of conventionalists for whom philosophy was concerned with active living and the ever shifting cultural and political “spaces” (conventions) in which this took place. Of the many thinkers taking the former line we shall study Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Christian Wolff and Immanuel Kant; of the much fewer thinkers of the latter strand, we shall read Samuel Pufendorf, David Hume and Adam Smith. The course will concentrate on the moral and political thought of these philosophers.

CAS PH 413/613
Professor Allison
Prerequisite: Philosophy 310 or its equivalent. Those desiring more information are encouraged to consult the instructor.
This 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 seminars). 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.
*Prerequisites: PH300, 310, and 1 other PH course*

CAS PH 441/641
Professor Brinkmann
The course covers the development of German idealism in the mature Hegel. Close analysis and discussion of Hegel’s Differenzschrift.

CAS PH 443/643
Professor Flanagan
The mind “is” the brain. Suppose that is true. What becomes of “me” ? What becomes of the self, of agency? What about identity and responsibility? The first part of the course explores the “is” relation. Is the mind the brain the way water is H2O or salt is NaCl or the way WORD is WORD on a MAC or PC? Does it matter? Suppose neuroscience is the basic science, that neuroscience tells us the way the mind is and works. Does neuroscience leave room for mind, self, and agency? Where am “I” after neuroscience is done? How is there a “moral” self after brain science explains the “self”?
Readings include:
Paul Chuchland Matter and Consciousness,
Charles Taylor Sources of Self, and works of Daniel Dennett, Owen
Flanagan, Antonio Damasio, and
Richard Rorty.
Weekly one-two page papers — ungraded but required. Two 10-12 page essays or one 25 page paper arranged with the instructor.
The course is open to upper level undergraduates students (prerequisite: at least three earlier courses in philosophy, or permission of the instructor) and graduate students.
Directed Studies: Professor Flanagan will be delighted to conduct Directed Studies , Oxford-style. Once a student and the instructor agree on a bibliography, the student will have one hour each week to read his or her paper to the instructor & to discuss it with him. A research paper completes the course.

CAS PH 444
Professor Tauber
In seeking philosophical roots of environmentalism, we will closely examine the nature philosophies of Emerson and Thoreau. Emerson’s principal nature essays will be compared and contrasted to key works of Thoreau -Walden, various natural history essays, and selections from his journal. These will serve as the foundation for a consideration of current philosophies of ecology, with particular attention to understanding the moral dimensions of their thought and the epistemological relationship they sought as ‘knowers’ of nature. Thoreau, in particular, offered a novel synthesis of romantic sensibility and positivist pursuits of facts, one whose influence remains powerful in shaping current notions of man’s relation to nature. From this perspective, various twentieth century philosophers of ecology will be considered, e.g. Heidegger, Jones, Block, Mumford, Habermas, and Marcuse.

Modern and Contemporary Philosophy
*Prerequisites: PH350 and 2 other PH courses*

CAS PH 451/651
Professor Simons
(Cross-listed with JD919)
This seminar will examine justice and rights from a variety of perspectives. We will explore the following : utilitarianism as a moral, political, and legal norm; deontological critiques of utilitarianism (Leo Katz, Judith Jarvis Thomson); liberalism (including excerpts from John Rawls’ A Theory of Justice and Political Liberalism); libertarianism (Robert Nozick); feminist critiques of liberal views about justice (including Susan Okin and Sharon Lloyd); the Calabresi/ Melamed economic analysis of rights; natural law and natural rights ; critiques and defenses of rights analysis (Joel Feinberg and others); and skeptical doubts about the value of moral theory to law (Richard Posner). Our discussions will consider which approaches are normatively most attractive, which provide the most coherent or informative conceptual framework, and which are best reflected in legal doctrine. We will also touch on the debate between morality, politics, and law.
Students will be expected to write short reaction papers about the readings most weeks of the semester, and to produce a final analytical paper or series of papers. Course materials may be purchased in the basement of the law school.

CAS PH 452/652
ETHICS OF HEALTH CARE: Birth, Life and 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.
Readings will be from both classical and contemporary writings in ethics, medicine, law and public health policy. Requirements: class participation, presentations, short papers and a longer final term paper.

CAS PH 455/655
Professor Lyons
(Cross-listed with JD/610)
This course addresses two central concerns of general jurisprudence–the nature of law and its relations to moral principle. Topics will include law as coercive command, the foundations of legal authority, the open texture of law, value-free versus value-based interpretation of law, and the idea of an obligation to comply with law. The final examination will be given in the form of a paper on an assigned topic.

CAS PH 456
Profs Griswold & Loury
This course is a continuation of PH454/654,
“Community, Liberty and Morality” (Fall 1999).
Students who took the Fall semester segment are automatically eligible to enroll in PH456. Those who did not take the Fall segment but wish to take the Spring segment for PH credit may contact the instructors for permission.
This semester seminar explores the question of whether economic and political freedom lead to “progress” toward a more just society. Philosophical questions about the meaning of social justice are central to this exploration. Through the reading of classical and contemporary writers, seminar participants examine the relation of freedom to the alleviation of poverty; the link between freedom and the extension of equal opportunities to women and to racial minority groups, and the connections between freedom and economic development through out the world.
The Spring semester section considers pressing contemporary social and political problems (in particular, those relating to the problems of poverty and of race) in light of the philosophical writings. Works in political theory, economics, and sociology will be read in the second semester.

CAS PH 457/657
Professor Cahoone
This is a course in twentieth century philosophy of culture. We will pursue two questions: first, what is culture, and second, what is the impact of the recognition of the fundamental role of culture on other philosophical topics, particularly epistemology, social philosophy, and philosophical anthropology? Readings will include the work of Cassirer, Gadamer, MacIntyre, Fleischacker, Gellner, and others.
*Prerequisites: PH310, 360, and 1 other PH course*

CAS PH 468/668
Professor Floyd
A survey of the philosophy of logic, centered on the difficulty of finding a coherent philosophical perspective from which to answer the question, What is logic? We shall briefly discuss some historically influential attempts to answer this question by thinkers such as Aristotle, Kant and Hegel, and then proceed to examine the interplay between modern mathematical logic and philosophy in the works of such authors as Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Quine, and Goedel. Our primary focus will, however, be the philosophy of W.V. Quine, as Quine’s reactions to alternative philosophical views provides a useful way of organizing main themes in the philosophy of logic and language. We will examine in detail the positions Quine became most known for: his attack on the analytic/synthetic distinction, his doctrine of the inscrutability of reference, and his conception of the opacity of propositional attitudes.

Topics Courses:
400 level: Limited to Senior Philosophy Majors
600 level: Open to all Graduate Students

CAS PH 484/684
Professor Ferrarin
A course on the history of the notion of imagination. We will deal with Aristotle, Plotinus, Descartes, Leibniz, Kant, Hegel and Sartre.

CAS PH 486/686
Topics in Knowledge, Language, & Logic
Professor Webb
This seminar will offer an introduction to the philosophy of space and time. We will consider foundational issues about space, time, and space-time raised by Newtonian mechanics and gravitational theory (e.g., Newton’s rotating bucket experiment), special relativity (e.g., tachyons and causal loops), general relativity (e.g., Einstein’s hole argument), and thermodynamics/statistical mechanics (the second law and the direction of time). There are no prerequisites for this class, but some previous exposure to physics and/or mathematics at the college level will be helpful.

*The following courses are open to Graduate Students ONLY*

GRS PH 810
Profs Garrett & Haakonssen
The seminar will engage in a careful reading of Locke’s essay concerning Human Understanding. Close attention will be paid to the composition of the Essay, its relation to Locke’s other works, and to broader intellectual currents of the seventeenth and eighteenth century. Please read “The Epistle to the Reader ” and the “Introduction” (I:1) for the first class.

GRS PH 820
Professor Hintikka
Diachronic analysis of some of the main problems of twentieth-century philosophy, including the contrast between conceptions of language as universal medium vs. language as calculus, together with its concomitant problems (actualism, ineffability of semantics, etc.), the Frege-Russell treatment of verbs for being the idea of first-order logic, the use of intuitions in philosophical argumentation, the idea of realism, and the role of modality, including the so-called “new theory of reference.”

GRS PH 827
Professor Dahlstrom
An analysis of Heidegger’s “Sein und Zeit.”

GRS PH 860
Professor Allison
This seminar will be devoted to a study of Hume’s Treatise, and perhaps some related texts. Please note that, in spite of its title, this will not be a seminar on Hume’s epistemology. Instead, it will 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 881
Topics in Philosophy II
Professor Rosen
The course is devoted to an interpretation of Montesquieu’s “The Spirit of the Laws,” as a prime example of the moderate Enlightenment.