Summer 2007 2nd 6wks

Undergraduate courses

2  Individual Morality & Social Justice. Callard. MTuW 12-2:30, 210 Wheeler.

An introduction to ethics, which is the attempt to provide a systematic and general answer to the question: how should we behave? The focus will be on moral theory–that is, on the theory of what we are morally obligated or permitted to do (or refrain from doing) and why–but we will also explore how the demands that morality makes on us interact with other reasons for action.

We will address various concrete moral issues, including the morality of capital punishment, abortion, war, affirmative action, and taxation. We will also take up more abstract questions: do moral statements purport to represent objective moral facts, or are they instead expressions of the feelings of the person making the statement? If they try to represent objective moral facts, do they succeed? If there are objective moral facts, are they relative to time, the culture of the agent, etc.; or are they independent of these frameworks?

4  Knowledge & Its Limits. Bezsylko. TuWTh 10-12:30, 109 Dwinelle.

The purpose of this course is to provide an introduction to philosophy by taking up just one of its many and varied topics: knowledge. We will consider three big questions. What is knowledge? Do we have any knowledge? What are some of the general kinds of knowledge to be had? We will draw on some of the very best philosophical texts, old and new, that engage with these questions.

25A  Ancient Philosophy. Karbowski. MTuWTh 12-2, 223 Dwinelle.

This course is a general introduction to the central philosophical doctrines of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. We will focus on the ethical, metaphysical, and epistemological doctrines of these philosophers, with an emphasis on the methodology they use in arguing for their conclusions. Among the issues we will discuss are their views of the best human life, the nature of the soul, the fundamental constituents of reality, scientific explanation, and the difference between knowledge and true belief. In addition to attempting to understand the views of these philosophers and why they held them, we will critically assess the merits of the views in question. Thus, this course also doubles as an introduction to philosophy. As such, it presupposes no background in philosophy.

188  Phenomenology. Moural. MTuW 10-12:30, 130 Wheeler.

Phenomenology was – besides analytic philosophy – one of the two great philosophical movements of the 20th century. It has been praised for addressing topics more relevant to real people’s life, but blamed for relatively lower standards of clarity and for failure to deliver on its over-ambitious goals. It has been more influential than analytic philosophy outside of academic philosophy (and is thus important in many areas of cultural studies), and within philosophy there have been repeated attempts to combine the life-relevance of phenomenology with the clarity and modesty of analysis.

In this course, we shall focus on close reading and critical explanation of selections from three classics of the movement, Edmund Husserl’s Cartesian Meditations (1929) and Crisis of European Sciences (1936) and Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception (1945).

1st week

Husserl, /Cartesian Meditations/ (§§ 1-20)

2nd week

Husserl, /Cartesian Meditations/ (§§ 21-41, 63-64)

3rd week

Husserl, /Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology/ (§§ 1-16 and Supplement VI.)

4th week

Husserl, /Crisis of European Sciences and Transcendental Phenomenology/ (§§ 33-55)

5th week

Merleau-Ponty, /Phenomenology of Perception/ (tba)

6th week

Merleau-Ponty, /Phenomenology of Perception/ (tba)