Course Descriptions Spring 2002

CAS PH 100
Professor Tauber
Introduction to Philosophy is designed to give students an overview of the history of philosophy, punctuated with representative readings of key philosophers from each period of Western civilization. The reading material is divided into two formats: 1) a general outline of philosophy’s history will serve as the “scaffold” of the course, providing the student with both a general orientation, as well as some in depth discussion of key philosophers, e.g., Aristotle, Aquinas, and Kant; 2) specific philosophical works chosen principally for their ease of engagement and not necessarily because they are ‘the most important’ in the canon. The instructor’s goal is to offer a general orientation to the types of questions philosophers address and the various methods devised to answer them.

CAS PH 110
Professor Bokulich
The purpose of the course is to introduce students with vigorous minds to an intellectual activity which for the past twenty-five centuries has been 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 that 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, seeks to understand the implications of these relations and their significance for human existence.

CAS PH 150 A1
Professor Dodd
An introduction to ethics through a consideration of whether the problem of evil should play a central role in ethical thought. This course is intended to provide the student with an overview of some major philosophical approaches to ethics and their applications.

CAS PH 150 B1
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 150 C1
Professor Schwartz
We often deem certain actions or situations to be “wrong,” “immoral,” or “unjust.” The study of ethics explores the basis and content of such judgments, in part to help clarify how we should act in specific situations. This course will provide an introduction to these questions and proposed moral theories, drawing on classic and contemporary sources.

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

CAS PH 160 A1
Professor Webb
A systematic study of the principles of both deductive and informal reasoning, with an emphasis on reasoning and argumentation in ordinary discourse, and on their strategies. The aim of the course is to train the student in the skills of argument analysis, argument construction, and argument evaluation.

CAS PH 160 B1
Professor Ricketts
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 Hintikka
A systematic study of the principles of both deductive and informal reasoning, calculated to enhance students’ actual reasoning skills, with an emphasis on reasoning and argumentation in ordinary discourse.

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

CAS PH 246
Professor Rouner
Introduction 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
Professor Kestenbaum
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 249
Professor Tauber
The American philosophical tradition is a complex interplay of distinctly American intellectual movements both reacting to and concurring with several European philosophies. This course will pursue a single theme – the philosophical character of selfhood in the American context. We shall trace the historical relationship of the individual and the community from the Colonial era into our own period through a philosophical examination of the key precepts about the nature of government and the parameters of citizenship. After showing the deep influence of Puritanism, English republicanism, and the Scottish Enlightenment on the founders of the American republic, we will examine the major shift in philosophical sensibility about individual rights effected through Romantic ideas about personhood. With this foundation, a philosophical portrait of American democracy should emerge that will enable the student to better understand both the shifting character of citizenship and how current ideas about government have evolved from a rich intellectual and social heritage.

CAS PH 251
Professor Schwartz
Prereq: one philosophy course or sophomore standing. Medicine has changed the lives of people living in the modern world, while at the same time creating challenging ethical dilemmas. This course will explore some of these dilemmas – including questions about the end of life, physician assisted suicide, reproductive technologies, and reforming the health care system – and examine the contributions of philosophers and others in addressing these problems.

CAS PH 257
Professor Teichman
This course will examine philosophical theories about Nature beginning with (1) the idea of human nature and the supposedly natural (original) state of the human race and (2) the place of natural rights in philosophical theory and political life. The main part of the course will be concerned with (3) the moral and political significance of the natural environment and its relation to the well-being of humanity.
John Locke: Two Essays on Civil Government (the 2nd essay)
Louis P. Pojman: Global Environmental Ethics
Other reading (library):
Thomas Hobbes: Leviathan (chapters 12-14)
Stephen Hussey and Paul Thompson (Eds.): The Roots of Environmental Consciousness
Requirements: three essays and a final in-class exam.

CAS PH 271
Professor Cao
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 constructivist, the feminist, and the postmodernist, 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.

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

CAS PH 300 A1
Professor Diamandopoulos
(cross-listed with honors PH 300)
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 310-A1
Professor Dahlstrom
Examination of the thinking of philosophers from Descartes in the seventeenth century to Nietzsche at the close of the nineteenth century.

CAS PH 310-B1
Professor Dodd
This course pursues a detailed study of some of the principal themes of modern philosophy, including subjectivity, history, and science, through the writings of Descartes, Pascal, Kant, and Hume.

CAS PH 350
Professor Dodd
The purpose of this course is to pursue 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? The question turns on an appraisal of what gives an ethical argument its significance, or compelling quality. As we will see, this question is more complex than it looks. And although each of the authors studied in this course articulates a unique answer, there will nevertheless be some surprising similarities.

CAS PH 360
Professor Floyd
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.

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

Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
*Prerequisites: PH300 and two other PH courses*

CAS PH 405/ 605
Professor Roochnik
A study of Aristotle’s conception of “theory” (theôria). We begin by briefly considering the Presocratics and Plato (Phaedo). Neither is, for Aristotle, adequately theoretical. The former conceal the heterogeneity of natural beings. By playfully blending muthos and logos, the latter is not sufficiently serious.
Next, we read the explicit discussions of theôria in the Ethics (Book X), Politics (VII), and Metaphysics (XII). Here theôria seems to be “contemplation,” the apprehension of the highest, most divine objects, and itself the human imitation of God’s activity.
Third, we examine the more “mundane” sense of theôria, i.e., Aristotle’s actual work in ethics, politics, physics. This sense is grounded in De Anima II.1-5, and III.4-5, the foundational account of theôria itself.
This course will test the following hypothesis: Theôria is not best translated as “contemplation.” Instead, it permeates Aristotle’s corpus (even his “practical” treatises), and is best understood as the intellectual work of apprehending objects as they appear in ordinary experience. In other words, Aristotelian theory is “phenomenological.”

Modern and Contemporary Philosophy
*Prerequisites: PH310 and 2 other PH courses*

CAS PH 411
Professor Griswold
Prerequisites: at least four prior courses in philosophy
This course will focus on Hume’s Treatise of Human Nature, one of the truly great works in modern philosophy. With the aid of selected secondary sources, and other writings by Hume, we will work our way through the Treatise. We will seek both to understand Hume on his own terms and to bring him within the orbit of relevant contemporary discussions.
This course is open to undergraduate students only.

CAS PH 415/615
Professor Zank
Requirements: Basic knowledge of a least on 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 form the perspective of Jewish thinkers. Primary readings cover Moses Mendelssohn, Hermann Cohen, and Franz Rosezweig, 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 421/621
Professor Ricketts
*Prerequisites: PH300, 310, and 1 other PH course*
This course will survey the philosophical writings of Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell (through 1914), and then turn to Ludwig Wittgenstein’s enigmatic Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. Each of our three thinkers is in personal contact with the other two, and influenced by that contact. We will trace some of these influences and compare the philosophical projects of these thinkers. Our approach to will be systematic and historical, rather than topical. We will consider how the views of each thinker hold together, or fail to hold together.
Frege and Russell are the principal inventors of modern logic. We will examine their conceptions of logic and the difference they take their new logic to make for philosophy. A central issue here will be the ways in which, in their hands, philosophy becomes analytic. We will approach the Tractatus as a critique of Frege’s and Russell’s philosophies. The semester will be divided more or less evenly among these three figures.
Speculative Philosophy

CAS PH 447/647
Professor Berthrong
This course, “The Confucian Tradition,” examines the intellectual history of the Confucian tradition. The primary focus will be on the development of Confucianism in China, Korea, and Japan. The course will emphasize the classical (the Chou and Han founders) and the Neo-Confucian (the Sung, Yüan, Ming and Ch’ing masters) periods; we will also deal briefly with contemporary New Confucianism. The course will also briefly review the permutations of Confucian-Christian dialogue as an illustration of the interaction of religious traditions.

Philosophy of Value
*Prerequisites: PH350 and 2 other PH courses*

PH 450/650
Professor Speight
Prerequisites for PH450: PH150 (or equivalent), PH300, 310, 350
An examination of principal approaches to normative ethical theory, with attention both to works from the tradition and to the contemporary philosophical literature. The course will examine such questions as the nature of moral reasoning in various types of ethical theory; the concept of agency (including the development of notions such as the will and conscience); and the relation between intuition and theory (including the problem of formalism and ‘anti-theoretical’ approaches to ethics).

PH 451/651
Professor Teichman
This course will examine the two most significant developments that have occurred in moral philosophy in recent years: these are, firstly, the huge new interest in applied philosophy, and secondly, the move away from all forms of relativism and subjectivism. Topics in applied philosophy to be discussed will include the nature of war and terrorism; euthanasia; feminism, sex and gender. Current moves away from relativism and subjectivism will be related to the growth of virtue ethics and the idea of natural goodness.
(1) Sven Lindquist: A History of Bombing
(2) M. Fricker and J. Hornsby (eds) The Cambridge Companion to Feminism
(3) Warren Quinn Morality and Action
Other readings (library):
(1) G.E.M. Anscombe: Collected papers Vol. III
(2) T. Nagel Mortal Questions

PH 453
Professor Haakonssen
The course will analyses three classic theories of political community: (1) The ideal of limited but absolute rule, represented here by the important German 17th-century philosopher Samuel Pufendorf; (2) the idea that government depends for its authority on the opinion of the people which also limits such authority, put forward by the great Scottish philosopher David Hume in the middle of the 18th century and influential also in America; and (3) the ideal of a self-regulating community without government in the common meaning, proposed by the founder of anarchist theory, William Godwin, in England at the end of the 18th century.
This course is open to Undergraduate students only.

PH 457/657
Professor Rouner
Promise and Peril: The Paradox of Religion as Resource and Threat
(Professor’s Approval is required) Cross-registered with RN 398/698 & TT 822)
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*

PH 460/660
Professor Hintikka
The focus of epistemology should be knowledge acquisition, but in traditional epistemology it is justification of beliefs. Here a framework for examining the search for information is outlined and applied to the different problems in the theory of knowledge, including the quest for indubitable knowledge, objects of knowledge and belief, presuppositions of inquiry, the role of a priori knowledge in empirical inquiry, abduction, fallibilism, induction, the Cartesian cogito and the views of Wittgenstein and Quine.

PH 462/662
Professor Kanamori
(cross-listed with MA 532)
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 realms 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.

PH 468/668
Professor Webb
Selected problems in the foundations of logic and mathematics are critically discussed in the light of current developments, including the nature of elementary logic; the axiomatic method; completeness in logic and mathematics; truth and mathematical truth; as well as logical and mathematical proof.

Philosophy of Science
*Prerequisites: PH310, 360 and one other PH course*

PH 473
Professor Garrett
This class will explore the works of some of the most important historically minded philosophers and philosophically minded historians of the late seventeenth century and early eighteenth century. We will begin by considering the Roman historian Tacitus whose work was enormously influential on early modern philosophy and history. We will then read selections from Spinoza’s Tractatus Theologico-Politicus to consider the emergence of historical criticism. The bulk of the course will be spent on four great Scots intellectuals – Adam Smith (The Wealth of Nations), Adam Ferguson (Essay on Civil Society), David Hume (History of England, Essays), John Millar (The Origin of the Distinction of Ranks) – and Edward Gibbon (Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire). In our readings we will examine how the philosophy of history was taken up by philosophers and by philosophical historians, and how it functioned as a resource, and in some cases replacement, for empirically guided moral philosophy. I will emphasize in particular how in Hume, Smith, Ferguson, and Millar this led to the human sciences which were the basis for the rise of the social sciences.
Students are to be warned that given the nature of the readings, large scale historically based inquiries into human nature, the quantity of reading will be much heavier than the average philosophy class. The readings are, though, extremely rewarding. Hume’s History and Essays and Gibbon’s Decline, in particular are some of the finest examples of English prose to be found in any period.
This Course is open to Undergraduate students only.

Topics Courses

PH 482/682
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.

PH 485/685
Professor Simons
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 weekly basis, and to write a final paper.

PH 487
Professor Bokulich
This course is an overview of contemporary issues in the philosophy of science. Questions we will address include: What distinguishes science from pseudoscience? Can there be crucial experiments? What is the nature of scientific change? Are scientific theories converging on the truth? Is science objective? How do we know things we can not observe directly, such as electrons, really exist the way our theories say they do? What is an adequate scientific explanation? Could all of science in principle be explained by physics?

Graduate Courses in Philosophy
600- and 800-level courses are open to Graduate Students ONLY

PH 827
Professor Dahlstrom
A close reading of Being and Time.

PH 864
Professor Floyd
A seminar on Wittgenstein, focussing on his discussions of logic and mathematics. We will explore his reactions to Frege and Russell, his early philosophy of arithmetic and number in the Tractatus, his remarks on quantificational logic in the 1920’s and early 1930’s, and his treatment of the logical paradoxes, Gödel, Cantor and others in Remarks On The Foundations Of Mathematics and Philosophical Investigations. A main aim of the course will be to explore the role played by these issues in Wittgenstein’s later thought generally; that is, to see what we may learn about his treatment of rule-following, intention, self-reference and other topics from a focus on his discussions of mathematics.

PH 871
Professor Cao
This seminar will examine, from two perspectives (epistemic relativism and scientific realism), the contemporary debate on objectivity and progress in science, centered around such issues as (1) the underdetermination thesis, (2) meaning holism, (3) scientific revolutions, and (4) the incommensurability thesis. Through a thorough-going examination of the historical evolution and current status of relevant positions (and their underlying arguments), the course aims –by clarifying (1) the central place of ontology in scientific theories, (2) the structural understanding of ontology, (3) the objective understanding of structures, and (4) a dialectic understanding of objectivity– to show that (1) a strong case can be made for a structuralist version of scientific realism, and (2) a structural realist understanding of scientific evolutions and the progressive nature of the evolution of science can be achieved by appealing to the notion of ontological synthesis.

PH 883
Professor Rosen
The second semester graduate seminar on Plato’s Republic.