Philosophy

  • GRS PH 603: Plato I
    A careful study of one or several Platonic dialogues. Emphasizes both close reading of the text(s) and discussion of the deep philosophical issues raised by them. Frequent references to other Platonic dialogues as relevant. Knowledge of Greek is helpful but not required. Familiarity with Greek philosophy is helpful.
  • GRS PH 605: Aristotle I
    A careful study of Aristotle's theoretical philosophy conducted through a close reading of selections from the Categories, Posterior Analytics, Physics, On the Soul, and the Metaphysics.
  • GRS PH 606: Aristotle II
    A close reading of Aristotle's writings on practical philosophy (i.e., the Nicomachean Ethics and the Politics) and of his philosophy of art in the Poetics, focusing on the nature of human happiness and the good life, the question of the best form of political government, and the function of art for life.
  • GRS PH 609: Maimonides
    A study of major aspects of the thought of Maimonides. Primary focus on the Guide of the Perplexed, with attention to its modern reception in works by Baruch Spinoza, Hermann Cohen, Leo Strauss, and others. Also offered as GRS RN 720. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings, Oral and/or Signed Communication.
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
  • GRS PH 610: Continental Rationalism
    A critical study of major texts of seventeenth-century philosophy.
  • GRS PH 611: British Empiricism
    A critical study of major texts of British Empiricists, with emphasis on Locke and Hume.
  • GRS PH 612: Philosophy of the Enlightenment
    A critical examination of that family of philosophical and political movements that called itself "the Enlightenment." Students analyze key texts by Descartes, Hobbes, Locke, Smith, Rousseau, Voltaire, Diderot, Jefferson, Madison, Kant, and Hegel.
  • GRS PH 613: Kant
    A study of Kant's critical philosophy, focusing on one or more of his works.
  • GRS PH 615: Nineteenth-Century Philosophy
    Course subtitle: "Constructing and Deconstructing Autonomy". We will ask: To what extent is a practical agent free or autonomous? We examine answers to these questions by figures such as Kant, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche and Freud. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings, Critical Thinking.
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Critical Thinking
  • GRS PH 618: Marx and Marxism
    Philosophical foundation of Marxism and its development. Critical study of Marx's writings stressing questions of philosophy, political economy, science, and history. Emphasis on Marx's theory of relation of praxis to consciousness. Later (including contemporary) Marxists and critics. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Historical Consciousness, Social Inquiry I, Critical Thinking.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Critical Thinking
  • GRS PH 619: Nietzsche
    A study of Nietzsche's philosophy, focusing on one or more of his works.
  • GRS PH 622: Analytic Philosophy
    A survey of the basic works of twentieth-century analytical philosophy.
  • GRS PH 626: Phenomenology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: First Year Writing Seminar (e.g., WR 100 or WR 120)
    Rigorous examination of foundations of philosophical phenomenology in Husserl and others. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Oral and/or Signed Communication, Writing-Intensive Course, Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings.
    • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • GRS PH 627: Heidegger and Existential Philosophy
    A study of the main topics of Heidegger's philosophy against the background of his interpretation of Husserl's phenomenology, Kant's transcendental philosophy, and ancient Greek philosophy, with an emphasis on the concepts of being, time, and truth.
  • GRS PH 630: American Philosophy
    Detailed analysis of William James and John Dewey and their theories of meaning, truth, consciousness, and experience. Consideration of these theories in connection with selected issues in Husserl, Wittgenstein, and Michael Oakeshott.
  • GRS PH 633: Symbolic Logic
    Study of methods characteristic of modern deductive logic including use of truth tables, Boolean normal forms, models, and indirect and conditional proofs within the theory of truth-functions and quantifiers.
  • GRS PH 636: Gender, Race, and Science
    Examines issues in feminist philosophy, philosophy of race, and philosophy of science. Is "race" a genuine scientific category or a social construct? How have views about gender and race changed? Why are there still so few women and minority scientists?
  • GRS PH 640: Metaphysics
    A survey of basic questions in contemporary metaphysics that may include reality, time, change, free will, personal identity, and causation.
  • GRS PH 643: Philosophy of Mind
    The topic is sentience, embodiment, and the brain. The aim is to develop a "neurophenomenological" approach to consciousness and embodied experience in cognitive science and the philosophy of mind.
  • GRS PH 651: Contemporary Ethical Theory
    An examination of contemporary English and American moral theories. Topic for Fall 2019: The Color Line and the Problem of Reparations.