2nd courses in Philosophy

Spring 2017

Philosophy of Nature
PHIL 20201 02 (24375) 

Phillips
3:30-4:45 TR  


Existentialist Themes
PHIL 20202 01 (26999) 

TBA
TBA   


Minds, Brains, and Persons
PHIL 20208 01 (30219) 

Phillips
3:30-4:45 TR  


Ancient Wisdom and Modern Love
PHIL 20214 01 (27000) 

O'Connor
11:00-12:15 MW   


Paradoxes
PHIL 20229 01 (30220) 

Nolan
12:30-1:45 MW

Tensions in our understanding of our concepts and the world can often give rise to paradoxes: situations where we are led from considerations we accept and may even find obvious to conclusions which we find very surprising or even ridiculous. This course examines a variety of paradoxes, both ancient and contemporary, with a view to working out how to deal with them. As well as the interest of the paradoxes themselves, I hope you will also think a bit about the issues that come up for dealing with puzzling arguments: when should we follow an argument where it leads, and when should we think the argument must have a mistake in it?


Autonomy, Self, and World
PHIL 20238 01 (30436) 

Bakhtiarynia
5:05-6:20 TR

Today it is commonplace to think of ourselves as autonomous, as agents who are free to plan and pursue what we deem to be the right or best way of life without external intervention or coercion. Intimately interconnected with this notion of autonomy is a particular conception of self and world, namely, that each of us is a unique individual, with his/her own rich and complex interior world that is irreducible and (largely, if not entirely) distinct from the external world and from the interior worlds of other individuals. This course aims to understand and to question this notion of autonomy. We shall begin by studying the work of a number of modern authors (possibilities include: Hume, Rousseau, Kant, Hegel, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Kafka, Camus, Arendt), which will allow us to better understand the philosophical and historical origins of this tripartite conception of autonomy, self, and world. Subsequently, we shall set it against an entirely different conception, one to be found two millennia earlier in the work of a number of ancient Greek authors (possibilities include: Homer, Heraclitus, Sophocles, Euripides, Democritus, Plato, Aristotle). We shall study the ancient Greek conception both for its own sake as a rich and complex tripartite conception of autonomy, self, and world that is different from our own, and for the questions it raises for the kinds of agents we take ourselves to be and lives we choose to pursue.


Buddhist Philosophy
PHIL 20245 01 (30221) 

Brenner
3:30-4:45 TR


Ethics
PHIL 20401 01 (25728) 

Himelright
5:05-6:20 MW


Ethics
PHIL 20401 02 (26115) 

Madison
9:30-10:45 TR


Ethics
PHIL 20401 03 (30222) 

Puestohl
9:30-10:45 TR


Ethics
PHIL 20401 04 (30387) 

Rodriguez
9:25-10:15 MWF

In this course, we will survey meta-ethical questions as well as a number of moral theories, including (but not limited to) cultural relativism, ethical egoism, divine command theory, and feminist ethics; we will cover some views (Kant (and Rawls), Mill (and Bentham), and Aristotle) in more detail. The semester will conclude with a section on applied ethics, viz., just war and pacifism, with readings by Aquinas, Cady, Yoder, and Gandhi (among others).  Grades for the class will be based on three medium-length (5-6 page) papers, two (non-cumulative) exams, and class participation.


Ethics
PHIL 20401 05 (30388) 

Rodriguez
8:20-9:10 MWF 

In this course, we will survey meta-ethical questions as well as a number of moral theories, including (but not limited to) cultural relativism, ethical egoism, divine command theory, and feminist ethics; we will cover some views (Kant (and Rawls), Mill (and Bentham), and Aristotle) in more detail. The semester will conclude with a section on applied ethics, viz., just war and pacifism, with readings by Aquinas, Cady, Yoder, and Gandhi (among others).  Grades for the class will be based on three medium-length (5-6 page) papers, two (non-cumulative) exams, and class participation.


Moral Problems
PHIL 20402 01 (25289) 

Helms
12:30-1:45 TR


Moral Problems
PHIL 20402 02 (25290) 

Helms
11:00-12:15 TR


Classics of Political and Constitutional Theory
PHIL 20407 01 (30223) 

Flint
11:00-12:15 TR

This course will examine a number of the fundamental texts in political and constitutional theory, with an emphasis on works of special importance to the British and American political systems. 
Throughout the semester, three fundamental questions will be addressed.  First, what is (or should be) the end or goal or purpose of government?   Second, what system of government best achieves that end or goal?  And third, are the answers to the first two questions the same at all times & places?
The principal authors to be read are Aristotle, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Hamilton, Madison, Bagehot, Marx and Mill. The class will be conducted as a combination of lecture and discussion.
This course satisfies the university requirement for a second philosophy class and is an elective for the Constitutional Studies minor.
By the end of the class, students should have made significant progress toward answering the three questions noted above, and should have acquired an enhanced appreciation for the forms of government present in the United States and in the United Kingdom. 
Grading will be based on contribution to class discussion, two short papers, a mid-term exam (possibly oral), and a written final exam.


Self and Society
PHIL 20423 01 (30225) 

Stern
8:00-9:15 MW  


Self and Society
PHIL 20423 02 (30224) 

Stern
9:30-10:45 MW  

This course is a survey of Western social and political philosophy and will include readings from ancient and modern authors. We will discuss issues and concepts like the common good, equality, individuality, the social contract between individuals and the state, and the relationships between politics, culture, and religion. Authors will include Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, Mill, Locke, Nietzsche, Freud, Marx, and Weber.


Contemporary Political Philosophy
PHIL 20425 01 (23269) 

Delaney
2:00-3:15 TR   


Ancient Philosophy
PHIL 20438 01 (27004) 

Murphy
3:30-4:45 TR

 

In this course we will reflect on the relationship between the morally good life and the happy life, examining the implications of that relationship both for the individual and for the individual’s relationship with her broader community. More particularly, we will engage two of the most foundational authors in the philosophic tradition, Plato and Aristotle, as we work to see the relevance their understanding of that relationship may have for us today.


Ancient Philosophy
PHIL 20438 02 (30227) 

Murphy
5:05-6:20 TR

 

In this course we will reflect on the relationship between the morally good life and the happy life, examining the implications of that relationship both for the individual and for the individual’s relationship with her broader community. More particularly, we will engage two of the most foundational authors in the philosophic tradition, Plato and Aristotle, as we work to see the relevance their understanding of that relationship may have for us today.


Philosophy and Film
PHIL 20440 01 (30229) 

Rush
9:30-10:45 TR
Crosslist with PHIL 43333 01

The course will investigate some of the main debates in contemporary philosophical approaches to the aesthetics of film.  Of particular concern will be questions that orbit the experience of fictional film.  What is the relation between subjective and objective camera shots and point of view?  What are points of view in film?  What is the difference between fictional narrative film and photography?  Theatrical drama?  Painting? Other questions posed and discussed are:  What is the importance of genre to film?  Can films be moral or immoral?  What is non-narrative film?  What is documentary?   

The class involves both readings in philosophy and philosophically inclined film theory, as well as out-of-class screenings of films to sharpen discussion of the issues.


Political Philosophy
PHIL 20441 01 (30230) 

Crummett
3:30-4:45 MW


Rationality and Action
PHIL 20443 01 (27005) 

Finocchiaro
9:30-10:45 TR


Ancient & Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 20447 01 (30353) 

Squires
2:00-3:15 TR


Ancient & Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 20447 02 (30448) 

Squires
12:30-1:45 TR 


Philosophy of Science
PHIL 20617 01 (24794) 

Tolly
9:30-10:45 TR

Science is all the rage these days, and has been for quite some time.  If you ever find yourself in an argument, statements of the form, “Well, science says X, so X is true,” are often taken to settle the matter outright.  The claims of the scientific community have remarkable culture-shaping power.  But why is this?  And how does science work anyways?  What on earth is science? For years, philosophers of science have sought to answer these questions and further explicate the presuppositions and implications of scientific theories.  In this class, we’ll investigate some of the most important issues and debates in contemporary philosophy of science.  We’ll study the various competing proposals made on the following questions:
What is science and what is mere pseudo-science?
What are the laws of nature?
What is a scientific explanation, and how do they explain things anyways?
Scientists use inductive inferences all the time, but are such inferences rational and reliable?
What are scientific revolutions, and how do they work?
Should we believe that our current theories in micro-physics are true, or just helpful tools for making empirical predictions?  
What are the sociological forces that have shaped scientific theory-building in the past 400 years, and do these facts undermine the rationality of believing that our current theories are true?
What is naturalism, and are science and belief in God rationally compatible? 
Can science discover functions (i.e., the way things are “supposed” to work) in the world?
Along the way, we’ll look at the ways these general questions make contact with particular cases in contemporary physics and biology.  Students will participate in vibrant classroom discussion and complete a 5-6 page term paper by the end of the semester.  Students need not be familiar with lots of contemporary science to get a lot out of this course.  


Philosophy of Science
PHIL 20617 02 (30231) 

Tolly
11:00-12:15 TR

Science is all the rage these days, and has been for quite some time.  If you ever find yourself in an argument, statements of the form, “Well, science says X, so X is true,” are often taken to settle the matter outright.  The claims of the scientific community have remarkable culture-shaping power.  But why is this?  And how does science work anyways?  What on earth is science? For years, philosophers of science have sought to answer these questions and further explicate the presuppositions and implications of scientific theories.  In this class, we’ll investigate some of the most important issues and debates in contemporary philosophy of science.  We’ll study the various competing proposals made on the following questions:
What is science and what is mere pseudo-science?
What are the laws of nature?
What is a scientific explanation, and how do they explain things anyways?
Scientists use inductive inferences all the time, but are such inferences rational and reliable?
What are scientific revolutions, and how do they work?
Should we believe that our current theories in micro-physics are true, or just helpful tools for making empirical predictions?  
What are the sociological forces that have shaped scientific theory-building in the past 400 years, and do these facts undermine the rationality of believing that our current theories are true?
What is naturalism, and are science and belief in God rationally compatible? 
Can science discover functions (i.e., the way things are “supposed” to work) in the world?
Along the way, we’ll look at the ways these general questions make contact with particular cases in contemporary physics and biology.  Students will participate in vibrant classroom discussion and complete a 5-6 page term paper by the end of the semester.  Students need not be familiar with lots of contemporary science to get a lot out of this course.  


Ethics of Emerging Weapon Tech
PHIL 20628 01 (25730) 

Latiff
12:30-1:45 TR


Ethics of Emerging Weapon Tech
PHIL 20628 02 (25729) 

Latiff
2:00-3:15 TR


Robot Ethics
PHIL 20632 01 (30232) 

Howard
11:00-12:15 TR

Robots, or “autonomous systems”, play an ever-increasing role in many areas, from weapons systems and driverless cars to health care and consumer services. As a result, it is ever more important to ask whether it makes any sense to speak of such systems’ behaving ethically and how we can build into their programming what some call “ethics modules.” After a brief technical introduction to the field, this course will approach these questions through contemporary philosophical literature on robot ethics and through popular media, including science fiction text and video.


Philosophy of Religion
PHIL 20801 01 (24377) 

Longenecker
8:00-9:15 MW


​​​​​​Philosophy of Religion
PHIL 20801 02 (25731) 

Longenecker
9:25-10:45 MW


Special Topics: Philosophical Issues
PHIL 26999 01 (28038) 
Jech
TBA