Course Descriptions Spring 2001

CAS PH 100
PHILOSOPHICAL INQUIRY
Professor Roochnik
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 Giancola
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
INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS
Professor Fraser
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
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 C1
INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS
Professor Garret
An introduction to the field of ethics through the reading of classic texts and contemporary articles. The class will focus both on understanding the major positions in moral theory and on applying ethical theories to contemporary moral issues: punishment, animal testing, and others.

CAS PH 160 A1
REASONING & ARGUMENTATION
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
REASONING & ARGUMENTATION
Professor Fraser
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
PHILOSOPHY & ARGUMENTATION
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.

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

CAS PH 246
INDIAN PHILOSOPHY
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 248
EXISTENTIALISM
Professor Dodd
Introduction to the principal themes of existentialist philosophy, including subjectivity, history, facticity, and freedom. There will be a particular emphasis on the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre, though forerunners of existentialism such as Pascal, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard will also be considered.

CAS PH 254
POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
Professor McCarthy
We will investigate some philosophical positions influential on the American political system, with the intention of better understanding the US constitution. Readings will include Jefferson and Madison, as well as Locke, Montesquieu, and Hume.

CAS PH 270
PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
Prof. Staley
We will explore some prominent themes in philosophical studies of the sciences. Topics to be discussed will include: the problem of distinguishing science from non-science; various attempts to characterize a general method of science; the nature and extent of the rationality of the scientific enterprise; the relation between general theories and particular experimental results; the interpretation of scientific theories and the entities to which they putatively refer; and the role of experiment in scientific reasoning. No expertise in any particular science is presupposed.

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

CAS PH 300 A1
HISTORY OF ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
Professor Devlin
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, and the emphasis will be on classical theory of knowledge. One paper, midterm, final.

CAS PH 310 A1
HISTORY OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY
Prof. Brinkmann
(cross-listed with honors PH 310)
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 310
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. Two papers and final examination.

CAS PH 350
HISTORY OF ETHICS
Professor Dodd
A comparative reading of a several works representative of the main currents of the history of ethical thought from Plato to Nietzsche. Our guiding question will be: has the Western philosophical tradition established that ethics as a theory is possible? Or has it rather demonstrated precisely the opposite?

400/600 Level
Undergraduate Students should register for 400-level courses
Graduates Students should register for 600-level courses

Ancient Philosophy
*Prerequisites: PH300 and 2 other PH courses*

CAS PH 407
STOICS, EPICUREANS, & SKEPTICS
Professor Diamandopoulos
The course will present and interpret the major tenets of Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Scepticism as these movements developed during the end of the Hellenic era. The central claims of these philosophies will be critically evaluated in order to identify the originality of their vision and the intellectual and practical implications of new approaches. No less critical, their indebtedness to the Presocratics, Plato and Aristotle will be determined. The course will conclude with the suggestion that new cultural and political circumstances forced the last generation of ancient philosophers to redefine the vocation of philosophy and the methods and goals of philosophical inquiry. Yet the accommodation, the instructor will argue, respresents philosophy in decline. The heroic era of natural philosophy, dialectic, “first philosophy”, psychology, political philosophy, ethics ended with the rise of scepticism. The world yearned again for faith.
Prerequisites: keen interest in the history of philosophy and a philosophical disposition.

CAS PH 409
MAIMONIDES
Professor Brague
Selections from the writings of one of the most influential philosophers and theologians of the Middle Ages. We will focus on The Guide of the Perplexed and its early commentaries, as well as some of his ethical and theological works.
Modern and Contemporary Philosophy *Prerequisites: PH310 and 2 other PH courses*

CAS PH 411/611
BRITISH EMPIRICISM
Professor Garrett
Close reading of Locke’s Essay Concerning Human Understanding, Berkeley’s Dialogues, and Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature. **Please read the “Epistle to the Reader,” I. 1-2 of Locke’s essay for the first class.

CAS PH 415
NINETEENTH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY
Professor Zank
Requirements: Basic knowledge of at least one of the following areas: modern European history, Jewish thought, history of religion.
The course focuses on Continental philosophy in the late 18th-, 19th-, and early 20th-century looking at major shifts in metaphysics and epistemology as reflected in political and religious problems from the perspective of Jewish thinkers. Primary readings cover Moses Mendelssohn, Hermann Cohen, and Franz Rosenzweig, reading them as critical respondents to Enlightenment, critical and absolute idealism, and the crises of materialism and nihilism. Among the major Continental thinkers considered are Kant, Hegel, Marx, and Kierkegaard.

CAS PH 423
HISTORY OF THE VIENNA CIRCLE
Professor Floyd
A seminar on the PRE-history of the Vienna Circle, focussing on the philosophies of Frege, Russell and the early Wittgenstein. Topics to be discussed include the nature of logic, the analytic/synthetic distinction, the role of the new logic in framing philosophical arguments, and the nature of analysis.

CAS PH 427/627
HISTORY OF THE VIENNA CIRCLE
Professor Fried
This course will explore the political implications of Heidegger’s philosophy, examining works from the 1930s and beyond as well as recent interpretations of his involvement with National Socialism. Texts will include Heidegger’s Introduction to Metaphysics (Fried and Polt translation), “The Word of Nietzsche: God is Dead,” and “The Question Concerning Technology,” among others. Recent commentary will include works by Derrida, Lacoue-Labarthe, Rorty, Vattimo and others. Prerequisites: PH 300, PH 310, PH 248 or PH 426/626 or equivalents. Some knowledge of German recommended but not required.
Speculative Philosophy *Prerequisites: PH300, 310, and 1 other PH course*

CAS PH 446/646
PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
Professor Allison
The course will focus on issues concerning the relationship between reason and faith in a divine revelation, as treated by major European thinkers of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. The authors studied will include: Spinoza, Locke, Hume, Mendelssohn, Lessing and Kant.
Requirements: A mid-term and a final take-home examination, each consisting of two questions (requiring an answer of approximately 6-7 pages each). In addition, graduate students may be required to give a short presentation in class.
Philosophy of Value *Prerequisites: PH350 and 2 other PH courses*

CAS PH 451/651
CRIME & PUNISHMENT: Philosophical perspectives
Professors Lyons, Simons
(cross-listed with LAW JD928 A1)
This seminar will explore a broad range of issues concerning both the philosophy of punishment and the substantive criminal law. Topics are likely to include retributivist and utilitarian justifications for punishment; what should be criminalized; the death penalty; the proper role of fortuity or “moral luck” in imposing criminal sanctions; justification (including self-defense) and excuse (including duress); and feminist perspectives on some criminal law topics. The seminar is open both to law students and to philosophy students.
The basic texts will be Foundations of Criminal Law (Leo Katz, Michael S. Moore, and Stephen J. Morse, eds.); and George Fletcher, Basic Concepts of Criminal Law. Additional articles will also be assigned.
Students will be asked to submit brief written questions and comments about the readings on a regular basis.
LIMITED WRITING OPTION: A limited number of law students may, with the consent of the instructors, satisfy the upper-class writing requirement by preparing a 25-page paper (including at least two drafts). Other students will be required to write a single draft of a 20-page paper.

CAS PH 452/652
ETHICS OF HEALTH CARE: Birth, Life, and Death
Professor Grodin
NOTE: this course is cross-listed with SPH LW 825 in the School of Public Health and will be taught on the Medical campus. This is the last semester it will be cross-listed in Philosophy.
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.
Philosophy of Knowledge, Language, and Logic *Prerequisites: PH310, 360, and 1 other PH course*

CAS PH 462/662
FOUNDATIONS OF MATHEMATICS
Professor Kanamori
(cross-listed with MA532)
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. Proceeding through the basic axioms, the algebra of classes, and the set vs. class distinction, mathematical concepts of number from integers to reals are discussed. Then Cantor’s transfinite numbers and Continuum Hypothesis are considered, and Zermelo’s Axiom of Choice and its role in mathematics surveyed. Finally, recent results and current problems are broached.
Grading: Exercises, 60%; midterm, 15%; and final exam 25%.
Required text: Karel Hrbacek and Thomas Jech, Introduction to Set Theory, Third Edition (New York: Marcel Dekker 1999).

CAS PH 467/667
MATHEMATICAL LOGIC
Professor Floyd
Three philosophically important results of modern logic: Gödel’s incompleteness theorems; Turing’s definition of mechanical computability; Tarski’s theory of truth for formalized languages. Discusses both mathematical content and philosophical significance of these results in the contexts of the original papers by these authors.
Required text: Manuscript of W. Goldfalb, Notes on Metamathematics.

CAS PH 482/682
MODERN & CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY: The Problem of the Self and Self-Identity
Professor Olson
(Cross-listed with RN445/745 Sources of the self in philosophy, religion, and literature)
Readings in Hegel and Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, Charles Taylor and Paul Ricoeur, and selected European and American novels of the 20th Century.

CAS PH 484
SPECULATIVE PHILOSOPHY
Professor Kestenbaum
Analysis of some questions associated with thinking: what is thinking? when is thinking not thinking but something else? in what ways is thinking voluntary or willed? in what ways does it depend upon the involuntary, the unwilled, the surprising? to what is it responsible? to what does thinking aspire?
Texts:
Hannah Arendt, The Life of the Mind, Vol. One. Thinking
Martin Heidegger, Basic Writings
A.N. Whitehead, Modes of Thought
Essays from: T.S. Eliot, F.R. Leavis, D.H. Lawrence, Michael Oakeshott, George Steiner

CAS PH 485/685
TOPICS: PHILOSOPHY OF VALUE
Professor Griswold
Undergraduate students should have completed at least five courses in philosophy before enrolling in this seminar (exceptions can be made only by express permission of the instructor).
This course will focus on the problem of moral realism. We will examine the debate as to whether moral qualities are really “out there”; if so, in what sense; and whether or not it matters, from a practical standpoint, what the upshot of the debate is. Some readings from Hume and Smith, with the main focus on contemporary work in the anglophone tradition (Blackburn, Mackie, etc.).

CAS PH 487/687
TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY & SCIENCE
Professor Staley
We will consider some central problems in the philosophy of science, paying special attention to the ways in which the details of experimental practice might or might not help to solve those problems, or at least put them into clearer focus. Particular problems to be emphasized will include: the relation between theories and interpretations of experimental results; whether experiments can be used to test individual empirical claims or only entire networks of theoretical statements; how entirely new phenomena can be established by the use of entirely new instruments; and whether the putative fact of the material manipulation of theoretical entities in experimental contexts provides any justification for taking a realist stance towards the entities in question.
*The following courses are open to Graduate Students ONLY*

GRS PH 806
MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY
Professor Brague
The course is meant to shed light on the articulation between philosophy, religion and politics in the Ancient world and in the three Medieval cultures (Jewish, Christian and Islamic). The idea of a “divine law” will serve as an Ariadne’s clew. I plan to study the emergence of the idea of Law as independent from social and political power in Greece and Ancient Israel. Texts from the Bible (Old and New Testaments) and from the Quran will be read from a philosophical point of view. The intertwining and/or separation of the political and religious spheres will be followed in the three medieval cultures, on the basis of the peculiar nature of Revelation in each of them (God’s Word as History, as Law or as Incarnation). I will then focus on the concept of divine law in Greek thought, and in the works of some medieval philosophers and theologians like Augustine, Farabi, Maimonides, and Aquinas.

GRS PH 811
KANT
Professor Allison
A basic knowledge of Kant’s theoretical philosophy (PH 613 or its equivalent) will be presupposed.
The seminar will be devoted to a systematic introduction to Kant’s ethical theory. The central texts studied will be the Groundwork and the Critique of Practical Reason, but considerable attention will also be paid to contemporary interpretations.
Requirements: A seminar presentation, taking the minutes at least once, and a term paper of 15-20 pages.

GRS PH 816 PHILOSOPHY OF HEGEL/Professor Brinkmann
A close reading of the Phenomenology of Spirit, with particular emphasis on its role as the justification of Hegel’s standpoint in the Logic, the development of the overall argument, and the famous sections on sense-certainty, the master-slave dialectic, unhappy consciousness, the terror of the French revolution, the critique of Kant’s moral philosophy, and the transition to religion. Students will be asked to provide short presentations on selections from the secondary literature.

GRS PH 861
EPISTEMOLOGICAL CRISES
Professor Hintikka
An alternative approach to epistemology is outlined and applied to a number of specific issues. This approach construes knowledge-seeking as an interrogative process and conceives epistemological evaluations as concerning strategies rather than particular inferences. This approach is applied among other things to the need of mathematics in science, to the question of the presuppositions of inquiry and to the role of logic in ampliative reasoning.