Fall 2017

Undergraduate courses

2  Individual Morality & Social Justice. Sluga. MWF 9-10, Hearst Field Annex A1.

The course deals with fundamental ethical issues and is intended, at the same time, as an introduction to philosophy. It seeks to addresses questions concerning the self, our relations to others and our commitment to various human communities. It asks, thus: How can I lead a good life? Are there rules for my relations with others? How are we to settle questions of social living together?

We will examine these issues with the help of writings from both Western and Non-Western sources, both classical and modern authors. All the required readings will be made available in a Class Reader.

3  The Nature of Mind. Noë. TuTh 9:30-11, Dwinelle 145.

Introduction to the philosophy of mind. Topics to be considered may include the relation between mind and body; the structure of action; the nature of desires and beliefs; the role of the unconscious.

5  Science and Human Understanding. Dasgupta. MWF 10-11, Stanley 106.

This course will survey a range of philosophical topics relating to modern science. Topic 1: Science and Religion. Is there a scientific explanation of our existence? Does the “Fine Tuning” of the laws of physics imply that the universe was designed by a creator to support life? Topic 2: Science and Society. What is the role of science in a democracy? What obligations do scientists have to citizens, and citizens to scientists? Topic 3: The Philosophy of Computer Science. Elon Musk recently said that we probably live in a computer simulation—is he right? What is the “singularity” and how should we prepare for it? What is the ethical status of an artificial intelligence? Topic 4: The Metaphysics of Science. Does science discover a read-made world that exists “out there”, independently of us? When biologists sort organisms into species, are they carving the world “at its natural joints” or do their categories more reflect their own way of thinking? Topic 5: The Epistemology of Science. Scientists typically extrapolate from data, making predictions about the future that have not yet been observed. Is there any non-circular argument that their predictions will be reliable? If not, does this mean that science is ultimately based on faith? The course is designed for students across the university; no prior knowledge of philosophy or science is required.

12A  Introduction to Logic. Yalcin. MWF 1-2, Dwinelle 145.

Syntax, semantics, and proof theory of sentential and predicate logic.

25A  Ancient Philosophy. MacFarlane. MWF 12-1, Li Ka Shing 245.

This course is an introduction to ancient Greek philosophy–and, for the uninitiated, to philosophy itself. We will spend almost all of our time on the three most important Greek philosophers–Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle–with a passing glance at pre-Socratic and Hellenistic philosophers. Our primary goal will be to understand these philosophers’ characteristic methods and views, and (more importantly) their reasons for holding these views. It is often said that we should study ancient Greek philosophy because it is the intellectual basis for all later western philosophy and natural science. That is true, but it is only half the story. We should also study ancient Greek philosophy to become familiar with a worldview so alien that it throws our own into sharp relief. As you are outraged by some of the things these philosophers say, you will come to see more clearly what your own views are, and you will be forced to ask what justifies them. You will not just be studying the history of philosophy; you will be doing philosophy. Prerequisite: None.

98BC-2  Berkeley Connect. Buchak. M 6-7, Barrows 50.

98BC-1  Berkeley Connect. Buchak. M 5-6, Barrows 50.

100  Philosophical Methods. Lee. M 2-4, McCone 141.

This course is intended to improve the student’s ability to read and write philosophy. Special emphasis will be placed on developing analytic skills. This term we will be examining a number of philosophical texts on the problem of personal identity. There will be short written assignments each week, as well as a longer final paper, which will focus on the essays we are reading. In addition to two hours of lecture, students will meet in tutorials with a teaching assistant in order to discuss the reading, their weekly writing assignment, and the preparation for the final paper. Text: Personal Identity, edited by John Perry, University of California Press

104  Ethical Theories. Wallace. MWF 10-11, Birge 50.

This course offers a survey of some of the main systematic approaches to issues in moral philosophy. We will look at several exemplary texts from the modern history of the subject (by Hobbes, Hume, Sidgwick, and Kant), as well as influential work by important contemporary philosophers (including Foot, Korsgaard, Scanlon, and Williams). Issues to be discussed include the following: What is it that distinguishes morality from other sets of requirements (e.g. those of etiquette or law or self-interest)? Why should we care about complying with moral demands? What is the relation between the right and the good (both the good of the agent, and the impersonal good)? Is there anything interesting that we can say, in general terms, about what makes actions morally right or wrong?

108  Contemporary Ethical Issues. Crockett. MWF 2-3, Barrows 56.

This course will be devoted to in-depth discussion of a variety of problems in moral philosophy raised by real-life questions of individual conduct and social policy. Its contents will vary from occasion to occasion. Possible topics include philosophical problems posed by affirmative action, abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, terrorism, war, poverty, and climate change.

Note: As taught this semester, Philosophy 108 will satisfy the Ethics requirement.

117AC  Philosophy of Race, Ethnicity, and Citizenship. Kolodny. MWF 11-12, LeConte 3.

This course explores philosophical questions of race, ethnicity, and citizenship, with special attention to the experiences of African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, and indigenous peoples of the United States. Topics include the meaning of “race,” “ethnicity,” and “citizenship,” border control and immigration, reparations for past wrongs, discrimination and affirmative action, civic obligation and group solidarity, and the right to vote.

We define ourselves, or are defined by others, as members of social groups: for example, as a U.S. citizen, as Latina, as African American, as Yurok, as sansei, and so on. Needless to say, our real or perceived membership in these groups affects what we can expect of others and what they expect of us.

• If you are a U.S. citizen, then you may stay within the U.S. as long as you like, you may vote in a variety of elections, but you will be required to pay tax on foreign income. The same will go for your children. If you are not a U.S. citizen, then you may be deported for a crime, you may not vote in most elections, but you will not be required to pay tax on foreign income. The same will go for your children, unless you happen to give birth to them in a U.S. hospital.

• If you were of Japanese descent, living on the West Coast during the Second World War, then you were most likely confined in an internment camp. If you survived until 1988, then you were sent an apology and $20,000 from the federal government.

• In Plessy v. Ferguson, the US Supreme Court decided, roughly, that the State of Louisiana could count the fact that you had an ancestor who would today be described as “African American” as a (decisive) reason to keep you from sitting in certain railway cars. In Regents of the University of California v. Bakke, the US Supreme Court permitted, roughly, the State of California to count the fact that you were African American as a (partial) reason to admit you to medical school.

• If you are Latino/a, living in certain neighborhoods, then you may find other Latinos/as offering to drive you to the polls on Election Day, when they wouldn’t if you were Anglo, living in another neighborhood. If, on the way, they find out that you can’t speak Spanish, or you support Donald Trump, they may ask you to explain yourself, in a way they wouldn’t if you were Anglo, living in another neighborhood.

This course is not about the fact, important though it is, that our real or perceived membership in such groups affects what others do to us and what they expect us to do for them. Instead, this course asks when and why, if ever, our real or perceived group membership ought morally to affect what others do to us and what they expect us to do for them.

We will begin discussion of each topic with stage-setting readings, drawn from law and history, to help us to understand the real-world, and distinctively American, contexts in which these moral questions have arisen. However, we will approach these topics not as lawyers or historians, but instead as moral philosophers. The focus will be on making precise, deciding among, and ultimately justifying the underlying values and principles that might answer these moral questions.

125  Metaphysics. Lee. TuTh 11-12:30, Evans 60.

This course will be a survey of some ongoing debates in metaphysics. Questions we will consider will include: Why does the universe exist? Is time’s passage an illusion? Is space a container and the world its contents? What is it for an object to exist at more than one time? Do other possible worlds exist?

132  Philosophy of Mind. Khatchirian. TuTh 9:30-11, Birge 50.

140A  Intermediate Logic. Warren. MWF 2-3, Wheeler 204.

Major concepts, results, and techniques of modern logic. Basic set theoretic tools. Model theoretic treatment of propositional and first-order logic (completeness, compactness, Lowenheim-Skolem). Philosophical implications of these results.

153  Chinese Philosophy. Shun. TuTh 2-3:30, Barrows 56.

The course will focus on early Chinese philosophical thought, including different schools such as Confucianism, Daoism, Moism and Yangism. Thinkers to be considered include Confucius, Mozi (Mo Tzu), Yangzhu (Yang Chu), Mencius, Zhuangzi (Chuang Tzu) and Xunzi (Hsun Tzu). We will discuss the connotations of key philosophical terms, analyze important passages, and consider the relation between and the influence among different early Chinese thinkers. While attending closely to the primary texts, the emphasis is on philosophical ideas in these texts, and we will explore some of these ideas in relation to the contemporary philosophical literature. The overall goal of the course is to provide an understanding of Chinese traditions of thought in their proper historical and cultural contexts, and to illustrate a way of doing philosophical work with these traditions that does justice to their distinctive characteristics and insights.

172  Spinoza. Crockett. MWF 11-12, Barrows 56.

This course is a close examination of the structure of Spinoza’s philosophical system. Most of our time will be spent on a careful reading of Spinoza’s Ethics Demonstrated in Geometric Order, in which Spinoza argues for a comprehensive philosophical system that encompasses metaphysics, epistemology, psychology and ethics. Our primary goal will be to come to a deep understanding of Spinoza’s philosophical views, the relation of these views to those of his contemporaries, and the relevance of his views to contemporary philosophical theories. Our reading of the Ethics will be informed by important pieces of correspondence between Spinoza and his contemporaries.

178  Kant. Warren. TuTh 2-3:30, Wheeler 204.

In this course we will examine some of the major metaphysical and epistemological themes of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. We will be focusing particularly on Kant’s views on the following topics: a priori knowledge and how it is possible, space and time, objectivity and experience, self-knowledge, and transcendental idealism and the contrast between appearances and things in themselves. Several short papers and two longer papers will be required.

184  Nietzsche. Sluga. MWF 1-2, Barrows 56.

The course will cover Nietzsche as a moral philosopher and radical critic of morality.

Readings: The Gay Science, transl. W. Kaufmann Beyond Good and Evil, transl. R.J. Hollingdale On the Genealogy of Morals, transl. W. Kaufmann The Will to Power, transl. W. Kaufmann and R.J. Hollingdale

190  Proseminar: Themes in 20th Century German Aesthetics . Kaiser. M 9-12, Moses 234.

A study of some central themes from 20th Century German aesthetics, focusing on works by Benjamin, Heidegger, Adorno, and other figures. Some topics to be discussed: (1) what constitutes art – from paradigm to anything goes? (2) art in its essential tension ‘between Avantgarde and Kitsch’; (3) art as criticism of ‘reality’ and ‘understanding’; (4) art and history: truth-happening or emancipatory practice; (5) how does art ‘speak’? or art in language and art as language

Course Requirements: An oral presentation and an accompanying short handout (15-20 minutes). Active participation in seminar discussions A final paper (of approximately 5,000 words)

Readings will be made available on the bCourses website before the beginning of the term.

Admission by application only: If you are interested in taking the proseminar, please write the instructor (at kuk@berkeley.edu) by June 30 and briefly outline your background (the courses already taken in philosophy, including your grades, if you are willing to share them) and your current interests. Philosophy majors who are seniors and juniors will be given priority. You will be notified about admission shortly after the application deadline.

198BC-4  Berkeley Connect. Buchak. W 6-7, Dwinelle 235.

Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program, offered through various academic departments, that helps students build intellectual community. Over the course of a semester, enrolled students participate in regular small-group discussions facilitated by a graduate student mentor (following a faculty-directed curriculum), meet with their graduate student mentor for one-on-one academic advising, attend lectures and panel discussions featuring department faculty and alumni, and go on field trips to campus resources. Students are not required to be declared majors in order to participate.

198BC-3  Berkeley Connect. Buchak. W 5-6, Barrows 50.

Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program, offered through various academic departments, that helps students build intellectual community. Over the course of a semester, enrolled students participate in regular small-group discussions facilitated by a graduate student mentor (following a faculty-directed curriculum), meet with their graduate student mentor for one-on-one academic advising, attend lectures and panel discussions featuring department faculty and alumni, and go on field trips to campus resources. Students are not required to be declared majors in order to participate.

198BC-1  Berkeley Connect. Buchak. Tu 5-6, Barrows 50.

Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program, offered through various academic departments, that helps students build intellectual community. Over the course of a semester, enrolled students participate in regular small-group discussions facilitated by a graduate student mentor (following a faculty-directed curriculum), meet with their graduate student mentor for one-on-one academic advising, attend lectures and panel discussions featuring department faculty and alumni, and go on field trips to campus resources. Students are not required to be declared majors in order to participate.

198BC-2  Berkeley Connect. Buchak. Tu 6-7, Barrows 80.

Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program, offered through various academic departments, that helps students build intellectual community. Over the course of a semester, enrolled students participate in regular small-group discussions facilitated by a graduate student mentor (following a faculty-directed curriculum), meet with their graduate student mentor for one-on-one academic advising, attend lectures and panel discussions featuring department faculty and alumni, and go on field trips to campus resources. Students are not required to be declared majors in order to participate.

Graduate seminars

200-1  First Year Graduate Seminar. Yalcin. TBA, Moses 234.

A combination seminar and tutorial, required of and limited to first year graduate students in philosophy.

290-1  Graduate Seminar: Mental Causation: Problems in Psychology and Psychiatry. Campbell. Th 2-4, Moses 234.

290-2  Graduate Seminar: Aristotle: On Ideas. Clarke. M 2-4, Moses 234.

The topic of this seminar is Aristotle’s Peri ideôn or On Ideas, his lost treatise on Platonic Forms. In this treatise Aristotle described and then criticized a series of Platonic arguments for the existence of Forms. (One of Aristotle’s criticisms was the famous “Third Man” objection.)

Our knowledge of the Peri ideôn is largely dependent on Alexander’s commentary on the first book of the Metaphysics. We will be reading the relevant part of Alexander’s commentary alongside related passages in Aristotle and in Plato.

Required text: Gail Fine, On Ideas (Oxford)

290-3  Graduate Seminar: Wittgenstein’s Rule-Following Considerations. Ginsborg. Tu 4-6, Moses 234.

290-4  Graduate Seminar: TBA. Noë. W 4-6, Moses 234.

Advanced study in various fields of philosophy. Topics will vary from semester to semester.

290-5  Graduate Seminar: Monisms. Primus. Tu 6-8, Moses 234.

In this seminar, we will study arguments for a variety of positions that can all be classified as “monist.” Readings will include works by pre-Socratics, Stoics, Plotinus, Spinoza, Conway, Bradley, and Schaffer.

290-6  Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory. Cohen/Song. F 12-3, Boalt 141.

Cross-listed as LAW 210.2A-001 and POLSCI 211-001.

This course is a workshop for discussing work-in-progress in moral, political, and legal theory. The central aim is to enable students to engage directly with philosophers, political theorists, and legal scholars working on normative questions. Another aim is to create a space that brings together people from different disciplines and perspectives — including economists, sociologists, and political scientists as well as journalists — who have strong normative interests or who speak to issues philosophers and theorists should know something about. In Fall 2017, the workshop will focus on “borders, citizenship, and immigration.” A list of confirmed presenters is below.

The format of the course will be as follows. For the sessions with guest presenters, lunch will be served starting at 12:00. We’ll begin at 12:15. A designated commentator will lead off with a 15-minute comment on the presenter’s paper. The presenter will have 5-10 minutes to respond and then we will open up the discussion to the group. The first part of the course will be open to non-enrolled students and faculty who wish to participate in the workshop discussion. We’ll stop for a break at 1:45 and those not enrolled in the course will leave. Enrolled students will continue the discussion with the guest presenter from 2:00 to 3:00.

This is a room-shared course. Students may enroll through the Law School (Law 210.2), Philosophy Department (Philosophy 290), or the Political Science Department (PS 211). The first class will meet on Friday, August 25.

Schedule: 8/25 Intro meeting (for enrolled students only)

9/1 Michael Clemens, Center for Global Development 9/8 Joseph Carens, University of Toronto Political Science 9/15 Annie Stilz, Princeton Politics 9/22 Kamal Sadiq, U.C. Irvine Political Science 9/29 Irene Bloemraad, U.C. Berkeley Sociology

10/6 Sungmoon Kim, University of Hong Kong Political Science 10/13 TBD 10/20 Rogers Smith, University of Pennsylvania Political Science 10/27 David Martin, University of Virginia Law

11/3 Cristina Rodriguez, Yale Law 11/10 Veterans Day – No class 11/17 Leti Volpp, U.C. Berkeley Law 11/24 Thanksgiving recess – No class

12/1 Reihan Salam, Executive Editor of National Review

290-7  Foundations of Legal Philosophy. Kutz. Th 2:10-5, 2240 Piedmont 102.

Cross-listed as LAW 215.42-001

This course is an introduction to (primarily) analytical legal theory through a close reading of some of the most important texts and arguments about the nature of law and legal authority of the last 50 years. We will pay special attention to questions of the relation of law to politics, history, and morality, and to questions about the philosophical justification (if there is) for the special role of courts in maintaining political order. Among the authors we will read are: H.L.A. Hart, Hans Kelsen, Ronald Dworkin, Jurgen Habermas, Joseph Raz, Scott Shapiro, Seana Shiffrin, and Jeremy Waldron. The course presupposes no prior work in philosophy or legal theory.

295  Dissertation Seminar. Holliday. TBA, Moses 234.

Presentations by graduate students of dissertation research in progress.

375  Teaching Seminar. Clarke. TBA, Moses 234.

A hands-on training seminar for new philosophy GSIs that addresses both practical and theoretical issues.