SPRING 2018 COURSE OFFERING
|Course Number/Title||Days and Times||Credits||Professor|
PH 101-001 Intro to Philosophy
An historical and topical survey, this course will introduce the student to the discipline
of philosophy through the close reading of representative texts, both historical and
contemporary. Through analysis of the texts, lecture, and discussion the student will
gain an understanding of philosophy both as a unique discipline and as a way of asking
and attempting to answer the most profound questions about ourselves and our world
that we may pose.
PH 110W Introduction to Political Philosophy
An examination of who should have power over others, of the forms that this power should take, and of the possibility of resisting and reconfiguring these power relations. Students will engage with classical and contemporary texts in social and political philosophy to answer these questions and will pose related questions about justice, equality, freedom, citizenship, and social organization.
PH 204 Modern Philosophy from Descartes to Kant
An introduction to major thinkers and themes of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century
Europe. The dynamics of the Scientific Revolution-the collection of new discoveries
and inventions and the evolving experimental methods in the early modern period led
philosophers to a profound reappraisal of fundamental issues such as the sources and
limits of knowledge, the relation between mind and body, theories of human freedom
and personal identity, and the apparently competing desires to explain the surrounding
world in both natural and religious terms. Students will investigate how these philosophical
developments led to distinctively modern ways of thinking about nature and the self.
Primary documents will be read throughout.
M 1:25 – 2:20 p.m.
T/R 2:10 – 3:30 p.m.
PH 207 Logic
An introduction to the basic concepts and methods of modern symbolic logic, with a
focus on their application to proper reasoning. Students learn how to represent sentences
in logical notation, to reconstruct arguments in that notation, to assess arguments
for validity and soundness, and to prove conclusions from premises using a system
of natural deduction. Students also learn to recognize common argument forms and common
mistakes in reasoning (fallacies), are introduced to philosophical issues related
to logic, and learn how symbolic logic is the basis for the digital computer.
8:00 – 8:55 a.m.
PH 230C-001 Medical Ethics
This course is a philosophical introduction to ethical issues in health care. We will
discuss several of the issues you are most likely to encounter as a patient, as a
patient’s family member, as a future doctor or nurse, or as a voter. In thinking about
these issues, we will consider some of the central theoretical questions in contemporary
moral philosophy. The following are some of the practical and theoretical questions
we will discuss:
11:10 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
PH 230C-002 Love and Friendship
What are love and friendship? Why do we love and who are our friends? What is the
relation between self-love and love for others? Is there something that love for a
partner, for the divine, for art and knowledge, and for one’s country share? Can a
political message centered on love be effective?
12:20 – 1:40 p.m.
PH 230D Race and Gender
Arguments about the status and meaning of the categories of race and gender have been a part of philosophy almost since its inception. For the most part, these arguments have taken two forms with some philosophers arguing that race and gender are essential categories that must be taken account in any comprehensive account of human existence and other philosophers arguing that race and gender are secondary characteristics whose discussion is not worthy of philosophical consideration. In fairly recent times, these positions have been complicated by thinkers who point out that--essential or not--the categories of race and gender tend to color, influence and maybe even determine the way in which we are able to live in the world and think about it. Beginning with thinkers like Darwin, Marx, Boas, Shelley and De Beauvoir who provide the conceptual foundations for any philosophical discussion of race and gender, the course will then discuss contemporary conceptions of race and gender as these are articulated by philosophers like Nancy Fraser, Alison Jaggar, Linda Martin-Alcoff, Leonard Harris, Charles Mills, Lucius Outlaw and Sally Haslanger.
10:10 – 12:00 p.m.
PH 330D-001 Artificial Intelligence
Artificial intelligence (AI) is seemingly everywhere now, and each day brings news of further advances in AI technology and further discussion of its promises and perils. The questions we will investigate in this seminar include: What, in general, is "intelligence", and what makes an AI "artificially" intelligent? What ethical principles should we program into the AIs that will soon be—or already are—piloting our cars, trucks, and planes, helping to make our medical, financial, and legal decisions, tending our children and elderly, and even fighting our wars. Is ethical decision-making even amenable to algorithmic implementation? Who should be morally or legally responsible for AI systems and their actions? Finally, could an AI system come to have ethical duties and commensurate rights? Could the decision to turn an AI system on or off become as ethically laden an issue as whether to bring a child into the world or to end a human being’s life? Or will an AI always be just a tool?
12:20 – 2:10 p.m.
PH 330-002 Exploring Plato's Republic
At the beginning of the Republic, Thrasymachus argues that the life of injustice is
far more desirable than the life of justice. Socrates and his friends try to refute
him and their conversation leads them to address a number of fundamental questions,
such as: What is justice? What is Socratic philosophizing? What sort of person should
rule the state? Can men and women achieve perfect political equality? Is censorship
ever justifiable? Do we see reality as it is or do we live amid illusions and prejudices
that we mistake for reality?
|T/R 9:10 – 11:00 a.m.||4||S. Carli|
PH 330D-003 Thinking (with) Bodies
Prison of the soul,’ ‘sacred vessel,’ ‘sacrificial object,’ ‘individualizing substance’
– these are a few of the ways the body has been thought of and experienced throughout
history. This course will draw on holistic views from philosophers, gender theorists,
artists, psychologists and others to historically and critically examine the mind/body
dualism dominant in the cognitive sciences, philosophy of mind and other fields that
view the body as a ‘bio-mechanism.’ Holistic views see embodiment not as a ‘thing’
but as a basic condition of the self as a ‘being in the world.’ Among the topics we
will explore are questions of how embodiment is understood in terms of gender, race,
and age; how body art and body modification bear on questions of identity; the connections
we have with each other through touch, whether traumatic or pleasant; and the developmental
unity of body and psyche.
3:40 – 5:30 p.m.
PH 375 Senior Seminar Thinking Through Buddhism
Note: Fulfills the writing requirement in the major.
2:30 – 4:20 p.m.