1st Courses in Philosophy

Fall 2017

 

Introduction to Philosophy
10100 01 (12099)

Speaks
12:30-1:20 TR (F)
First Year Students Only
co-requirement 12100, Sections 1- 16

 

Philosophy is the attempt to answer, by argument, the deepest and most basic questions about the universe. Our focus in this class will be on five such questions:

o Does God exist?

o What am I?

o Am I free?

o What is real?

o What must I do?

Your central aim in this class will not be to learn what other people have thought about these questions -- though you will do that too. Your central aim in this class will be to develop your own views about the correct answers to these questions. You will be evaluated based upon your ability to defend those views. To do that, you will have to learn how to argue. Hence, one aim of the course will be to teach you the basic logic required to do that.


Introduction to Philosophy
10100 02 20132)

Audi
12:30-1:45 TR
 (F)
First Year Students Only
co-requisite 12100,  Sections 17-27


Introduction to Philosophy
10100 03 (20133)

Roeber
3:30-4:45 TR 
First Year Students Only


Introduction to Philosophy
10101 01 (10350)
Watson
5:05-6:20
 MW
First Year Students Only

On the Origins of the Self

This seminar will focus on an historical introduction to problems concerning the origins of the self and human subjectivity. Texts will include selections from Sophocles, Aristotle, Saint Augustine, Hobbes, Montainge, Kierkegaard, Sartre, Beauvoir and Gadamer. Like all university seminars, this one will be writing intensive with approximately twenty-pages of required writing (and in some cases revising) over the course of the semester. In addition, each student will be expected to make a seminar presentation. We will examine major writings on the historical development and cultural relevance of the concept of the self. Our objective will be to attempt come to grips with these authors’ positions, to come to decision and judgment regarding the validity, veracity and relevance of their accounts and arguments -- and thus to acquire an initial introduction to the discipline of Philosophy.


Introduction to Philosophy
10101 02 (10364)
Stubenberg
2:00-3:15
 TR
First Year Students Only

We will start this course by studying Rene Descartes’s Meditations on First Philosophy (1641)—one of the most important texts of Western philosophy. Descartes has much to say about our nature: essentially, we are nonphysical thinking things. We then move on to read Colin McGinn’s book The Mysterious Flame—an extended discussion of the nature of consciousness and its place in the world (and a critical engagement of Descartes’s views). We then address the topic of the freedom of the will. Our guide—Mark Balaguer—argues that we may well have free will (the question is still open), and that this is so, no matter whether we are material or nonmaterial beings. The course closes with a discussion of how to live and how to think clearly about how to answer this question.
 
Requirements: 
·      Four short papers, 1800 words each (roughly 24 double-spaced pages). 

·      Participation in classroom discussion. 

 
Books:
·      Mark Balaguer: Free Will [this is available electronically in our library]

·      Rene Descartes: Meditations on First Philosophy [will be made available on Sakai]

·      Harry Frankfurt: Taking Ourselves Seriously and Getting It Right

·      Colin McGinn: The Mysterious Flame. Conscious Minds in a Material World


Introduction to Philosophy
10101 03 (10814)

TBA
9:30-10:45 TR

First Year Students Only


Introduction to Philosophy
10101 04 (12037)
TBA
12:30-1:45 TR
First
Year Students Only


Introduction to Philosophy
10101 05 (12036)
TBA
9:25-10:15 MWF

First Year Students Only


Introduction to Philosophy
10101 06 (10365)
TBA
10:30-11:20
  MWF
First Year StudentsOnly


Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy and Science
10103 01 (16322)
Howard
12:30-1:45 MW

First Year StudentsOnly


Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy and Math
10104 01 (20134)
Bays
9:30-10:45 MW

First Year Students Only

An introduction to philosophy focusing on issues at the intersection of philosophy and mathematics. Special focus on the role that mathematics has played in the history of philosophy, the nature of the infinite, and the relationship between mathematics and natural science.


Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics and Politics
10105 02 (16324)
Sterba
11:00-11:50 MWF

First Year Students Only

Assignments:
     1) Introducing Ethics, Preface and Introduction
     2) Introducing Ethics, Chap 1, Religion and Morality
     3) Introducing Ethics, Chap 1, Religion and Morality
     4) Introducing Ethics, Chap 2, The Challenge of Relativism
     5) Introducing Ethics, Chap 2, The Challenge of Relativism
     6) Introducing Ethics, Chap 3, The Challenge of Egoism
     7) Introducing Ethics, Chap 3, The Challenge of Egoism
     8) Introducing Ethics, Chap 4, Utilitarian Ethics
     9)  Introducing Ethics, Chap 5, Kantian Ethics
    10)Introducing Ethics, Chap 6, Aristotelian Ethics
    11)Introducing Ethics, Chap 7, The Challenge of Environmentalism
    12)Introducing Ethics, Chap 8, The Challenge of Feminism
    13)Introducing Ethics, Chap 9, The Challenge of Multiculturalism 
    14) Conclusion
    
    
    First Paper Assigned

    15) MACKINNON / Pornography, Civil Rights, and Speech (S43)    
    16) ALTMAN/The Right to Get Turned On: Pornography, Autonomy and Equality (S42)
    17) PAUL/Pornified (S44)
    18) STERBA/ A Defense of Affirmative Action S37 
    19)    PELL/The Nature of Claims about Race and the Debate over Racial Preferences (S38)
    20) U.S. SUPREME COURT/Fisher v. University of Texas (2016) (To be provided)
    21) JAMES, Affirmative Action and Black Lives Matter Movement (2017) (To be provided)
    22) FINNIS / Homosexual Conduct Is Wrong (S52) 
           NUSSBAUM / Homosexual Conduct Is Not Wrong (S53)
    23) CORVINO/ What Marriage Can Be (To be provided)
    24) GIRGIS/ Whose Justice? Which Diversity? (To be provided)
    25) U.S. SUPREME COURT/Obergefell et al. v. Hodges, (2015) (To be provided)

Second Paper Assigned
    26) MENNINGER / The Crime of Punishment (S67)
    27) LEWIS / A Critique of the Humanitarian Theory of Punishment (S68)
            PINCOFFS / Classical Retributivism (S69)
    28) STERBA/ Rational Choice Theory of Punishment (S70)
    29) STERBA / Reconciling Pacifists and Just War Theorists (S74)
    30) HARRIS/ In Defense of Torture (S75)
    31) LUBAN/ Torture and the Ticking Bomb (S76)
    32) NATHANSON / Can Terrorism Be Morally Justified? (S77)
    33) STERBA / Terrorism and International Justice (S78)
          NATHANSON/Response to Sterba (To be provided)

Third Paper Assigned

 


Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics and Politics
10105 03 (20612)
von Eschenbach
3:30-4:45 TR

First Year Students Only

This course will provide an introduction to philosophical issues related to ethics and politics. Through careful reading of classical texts by important figures in the history of philosophy, students will examine questions such as: What is the good life? What is justice or virtue? What obligations do one have toward others? What constitutes a just society? What are the limits of power and the nature and origin of political authority?
By the conclusion of the term, students will be expected to:

  • Possess a basic understanding of foundational concepts and terminology in ethics and political philosophy
  • Evaluate critically various arguments related to specific issues in ethics and political philosophy
  • Understand and evaluate critically normative and political theories
  • Develop and justify their own views regarding the nature of ethical and political life

Introduction to Philosophy: God and The Good Life
10111 01 (18370)
Sullivan
11:00-12:15 MW

First Year Students Only

Should you practice a religion? 
What do you owe other people? 
What would it take for your life to be meaningful?
And how should you decide what to believe when it comes to big questions like these?

In God and the Good Life, we’re searching for answers. We’ll read the best philosophical arguments addressing these questions.  We’ll share our reactions to the proposals in blogs and social media editorials.  We’ll come together as a large group to debate real world case studies that bear on these questions, hearing periodically from guest speakers making headlines in current debates about religion, morality and meaning.  And we’ll meet in small Sustained Dialogue groups to discuss our religious and moral identities and develop virtuous friendships (to borrow Aristotle’s terminology).  If you are excited about developing philosophical skills in an intense, creative community format---this is the course for you.  This course fulfills the first philosophy requirement.  Learn more about GGL at our course website: godandgoodlife.org.  Or watch our course trailer: https://youtu.be/EMKbtSC3-2I


Philosophy University Seminar
13185 01 (11686)
Kraus
9:30-10:45
TR
First Year Students Only

What is the human being? This question will lead us a way into philosophy and raise philosophical problems concerning human knowledge and science, belief and religion, moral agency, human communication and life in society. Starting from the classic definition of the human being as rational animal, we will explore accounts of the human nature throughout the history of philosophy, as well as from more recent scientific perspectives. Emphasis will be placed on attentive reading and discussion of seminal texts from the history of philosophy, including texts from Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, and Kant. 
The course will include (i) lecture elements introducing key figures, major philosophical conceptions, arguments, and theories concerning the human being; and (ii) classroom discussions of case studies and of selected texts drawn from the history of philosophy, as well as from contemporary philosophy and science.


Philosophy University Seminar
13185 02 (11685)
Teh
11:00-12:15
TR
First Year StudentsOnly


Philosophy University Seminar
13185-03 (11687)
Teh
12:30-1:45
TR
First Year StudentsOnly


Honors Philosophy Seminar
13195 01 (11690)
Blanchette
9:30-10:45
TR
First Year StudentsOnly

This seminar is an introduction to several central issues in philosophy, using both historical and contemporary texts. Topics to be treated will include some subset of these: The nature of human knowledge, the existence of God and the rationality of faith, the nature of the human mind (and its relation to the brain), ethical theory.

Requirements include active seminar participation, a number of short and medium-length writing assignments, quizzes, and exams.


Honors Philosophy Seminar
13195 02 (11688)

Roeber
9:30-10:45
TR
First Year StudentsOnly


Honors Philosophy Seminar
13195 03 (11816)

Watson
3:30-4:45
TR
First Year StudentsOnly

On the Origins of the Self 

This seminar will focus on an introduction to problems concerning the origins of the self and human subjectivity. Texts will include selections from Sophocles, Aristotle, Saint Augustine, Hobbes, Montainge, Shakespeare, Kierkegaard, Sartre, Beauvoir and Gadamer. We will examine major writings on the historical development and cultural relevance of the concept of the self. Our objective will be to attempt to come to grips with these authors’ positions, to come to decision and judgment regarding the validity, veracity and relevance of their accounts and arguments. Written requirements will include a series of short papers and a longer research paper. In addition to regular attendance and participation in the seminar, each student will be expected to make a seminar presentation.


Honors Philosophy Seminar
13195 04 (17886)
Nolan
11:00 – 12:15
TR
First Year StudentsOnly

This introduction to philosophy is designed to introduce students to some important topics of controversy in philosophy today (and indeed most of these topics have been matters of controversy for most of philosophy’s history). Some of the questions discussed will be questions about ourselves: what are our minds, do we have free will, in what does our personal identity consist? Other questions are fundamental questions about the world around us: is there a god, what is the nature of time, what are numbers? Some of the questions are about how we come to know things, or have reason to believe things: do we have reasons for our beliefs about the external world, and how can we draw conclusions that take us further than our evidence? Finally, there are moral questions: what is the morally right thing to do, and why should we be moral?


Honors Philosophy Seminar
13195 05 (13811)
Bernstein
12:30-1:45
TR
First Year Students Only

This course introduces students to the most awesome and mind-blowing of topics: philosophy. We will think through some of philosophy’s most interesting questions and puzzles, including: could time travel be possible? How is the mind related to the brain? What sorts of things exist?  What makes you who you are? What counts as art and music as opposed to lines and noise? Does life have meaning? How should one respond to moral dilemmas? In addition to learning about some central questions in philosophy, the goal of this course will be to learn how to do philosophy, rather than merely study it. Students will leave the course with new powerful tools of analysis and argumentation, and be able to apply these new tools to anything they choose to study and do.


Honors Philosophy Seminar
13195 06 (12555)

Delaney
11:00-12:15
 TR
First Year StudentsOnly


Honors Philosophy Seminar 
13195 07 (11689)

Shields
2:00-3:15
 TR
First Year StudentsOnly

A general introduction to philosophy, taught in a seminar format for students in the science and arts and letters honors program, with emphasis on perennial problems such as the existence of God, human freedom, and moral obligation. The course is also intended to sharpen the student's skills of critical thinking.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 01 (20614)
TBA
12:30-1:45
MW


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 02 (11256)
TBA
11:00-12:15 MW


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 03 (11255)
TBA
8:00-9:15
MW


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 04 (16725)
Wells
8:00-9:15 MW


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 05 (11258)

Wells
9:30-10:45 MW


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 07 (12538)

TBA
9:30-10:45 TR


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 08 (17887)
Wells
11:00-12:15 TR


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 09 (10925)

Rossi
12:30-1:45 TR

This course will introduce students to philosophy and its methods through a close study of contemporary debates in philosophy with a particular emphasis on free will and moral responsibility, moral theory, and applied problems in moral philosophy. We will also examine some of the key issues in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mind.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 10 (16726)
Rossi
3:30-4:45 TR

This course will introduce students to philosophy and its methods through a close study of contemporary debates in philosophy with a particular emphasis on free will and moral responsibility, moral theory, and applied problems in moral philosophy. We will also examine some of the key issues in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mind.


Introduction to Philosophy
20101 11 (20613)

Rossi
11:00-12:15 TR

This course will introduce students to philosophy and its methods through a close study of contemporary debates in philosophy with a particular emphasis on free will and moral responsibility, moral theory, and applied problems in moral philosophy. We will also examine some of the key issues in the philosophy of science and the philosophy of mind.


Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy and Religion

20102 02 (20775)
Baldwin
12:30-1:45  MW

This course will be an introduction to philosophy with a special focus on issues at the intersection of philosophy and religion and in the philosophy of religion. Topics to be discussed may include the nature and existence of God, faith and reason, religious experience, divine hiddenness, and the implications of belief in God for our understanding of ourselves and the world around us.


Introduction to Philosophy: Ethics and Politics
20105 01 (20615)

Reimers
9:30-10:45 TR

Aristotle wrote that an effect of law is to make people good. In this course, we will examine the relationship between the good of individual persons and the goodness of societies. Readings will range from Plato and Aristotle, through Aquinas, and into the Enlightenment and important 20th-century figures. 

Course requirements will be four short papers and a final project.


Philosophy of Human Nature
20201 01 (11672)

Reimers
8:20-9:10
MWF

In our age, the nature of the human person has become increasingly important theme in philosophical anthropology. Is there a difference between being a member of the species homo sapiens and being a person? If a person is an animal with an inner life, can members of other species be considered as persons? Or must we say that contemporary sciences have shown that personhood is a kind of subjectivist illusion, that we are basically organic machines? Is there a spiritual ‘self’, and if so what must this be like? We will consider the nature of the human person in the light of contemporary challenges such as scientific materialism, Cartesian dualism, and political totalitarianism.

Texts will be drawn from the Vatican Council's Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, Karol Wojtyła Love and Responsibility, Adrian J. Reimers The Soul of the Person, Jacques Maritain The Person and the Common Good, and a course packet of readings.

Course requirements: four or five quizzes, one term paper, and a final exam.


Philosophy of Human Nature
20201 02 (11673)
Reimers
9:25-10:15
MWF

In our age, the nature of the human person has become increasingly important theme in philosophical anthropology. Is there a difference between being a member of the species homo sapiens and being a person? If a person is an animal with an inner life, can members of other species be considered as persons? Or must we say that contemporary sciences have shown that personhood is a kind of subjectivist illusion, that we are basically organic machines? Is there a spiritual ‘self’, and if so what must this be like? We will consider the nature of the human person in the light of contemporary challenges such as scientific materialism, Cartesian dualism, and political totalitarianism.

Texts will be drawn from the Vatican Council's Pastoral Constitution Gaudium et Spes, Karol Wojtyła Love and Responsibility, Adrian J. Reimers The Soul of the Person, Jacques Maritain The Person and the Common Good, and a course packet of readings.

Course requirements: four or five quizzes, one term paper, and a final exam.