Spring 2004

Undergraduate courses

2  Individual Morality and Social Justice. Sluga. MWF 10-11, TBA.

Course readings: Trial and Death of Socrates, 2001, 3rd edition, by Plato (Hackett Publishing Co). Nicomachean Ethics, 2nd edition, by Aristotle (Hackett Publishing Co.). On the Genealogy of Morality: A Polemic, by Nietzsche, translated by Clark, 1998 (Hackett Classics). On Liberty & Utilitarianism, by John Stuart Mill, 1993 (Bantam Classics). Antigone, translated by Paul Woodruff, 2001 (Hackett Publishing Co.).

3  Introduction to Philosophy of the Mind. Noë. TuTh 9:30-11, TBA.

7  Existentialism in Literature and Film. Dreyfus. TuTh 3:30-5, TBA.

We will read the works of three of the most important existential thinkers. The course will be organized around various attempts to describe the self while rejecting the idea of a human nature, and attempts to reinterpret the Judeo/Christian God, and to determine in what sense, if at all, such a God is still a living God. We will study Dostoyevsky’s and Kierkegaard’s attempts to preserve a non-theological version of the God of Christianity, as well as Nietzsche’s attempt to free us from belief in any version of God offered by our tradition. We will view and discuss three films that deal with related issues.

Required Reading: Dostoevsky, Brothers Karamazov (Modern Library) Kierkegaard, Fear & Trembling (Penguin) Nietzsche, The Gay Science (Vintage) Twilight of the Idols (Penguin)

Recommended: Duras, M., Hiroshima Mon Amour (Grove Press) Dudley, A., (ed.), Breathless (Rutgers)

12A  Introduction to Logic. Warren. MWF 1-2, TBA.

This course is intended to introduce the student to the concepts and principles of deductive logic: symbolizing English language sentences and arguments in terms of formalized languages; validity, implication, and equivalence in truth-functional and quantificational logic; systems of deduction, and their soundness and completeness. In addition to the three lectures, each student will attend two sections per week.

Requirements: Lecture and section attendance, weekly problem sets, several in-section quizzes, a midterm and a final.

Text: Warren Goldfarb’s Deductive Logic, Hackett, 2003.

25B  Modern Philosophy. Ginsborg. MWF 11-12, TBA.

Course readings: Three Dialogues Between Hylas & Philonous (Ed. Adams), by Berkeley. Meditations on First Philosophy (Ed. Cress), by Descartes.

100  Philosophical Methods. Warren. Th 2-4, TBA.

This course is restricted to Philosophy majors. It 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.

Course readings: Personal Identity, edited by John Perry, University of California Press.

104  Ethical Theories. Nagel. TuTh 12:30-2, TBA.

A study of the principal controversies over the nature and content of morality, through readings from Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Mill, and a number of more recent figures, including Rawls, Hare, Williams, Thomson, and Scanlon.

Course readings: Moral Philosophy: Selected Readings (second edition), by George Sher (Harcourt Brace). What we Owe to Each Other by T. M. Scanlon (Harvard).

116  Special Topics in Political Philosophy. Scheffler. Tu 2-5, TBA.

This course will be taught in seminar format, with one weekly three-hour meeting and enrollment limited to fifteen students. The topic of the seminar will be global justice. Are there principles of justice that apply to the world as a whole? If there are no such principles, then who, if anyone, is responsible for the alleviation of global poverty? What becomes of the idea of human rights? And is there anything wrong with economic inequality between rich and poor nations? If, on the other hand, there are principles of global justice, then do they supplement or instead take the place of principles that apply to a single society? Are we ever justified in giving the interests of our compatriots priority over the interests of other people? In the absence of a world government, who might be responsible for implementing global principles?

The course is intended for juniors and seniors with substantial background in philosophy. Philosophy 115 or the equivalent is a prerequisite, and the course will presuppose familiarity with Rawls’ A Theory of Justice and Political Liberalism. Course readings will be drawn from four books: Charles Beitz, Political Theory and International Relations, Thomas Pogge, World Poverty and Human Rights, John Rawls, The Law of Peoples, and Peter Singer, One World. Students will be required to give one or more class presentations, to complete a short written assignment (1-2 pages) each week, and to write a final term paper of 12-15 pages. Active participation in class discussion is also a requirement.

Enrollment in the course is by consent of the instructor only. Students who are interested in enrolling should contact Professor Scheffler by e-mail before 5 p.m. on Monday, December 1. E-mails should be addressed to schefflr@socrates.berkeley.edu and should include “Philosophy 116 application” in the subject line. Those who contact Professor Scheffler before the deadline will receive an application form with more detailed instructions. Students will be informed by mid-December whether they are admitted to the course. Students who are admitted to the course and who attend the first class meeting will receive a class entry code and will be able to enroll through TELEBEARS during the first week of classes. Please note that since admission to the course is not guaranteed, students who need a philosophy course to graduate in Spring 2004 should have a backup plan for meeting that need.

133  Philosophy of Language. Searle. TuTh 9:30-11, TBA.

136  Philosophy of Perception. Noë. TuTh 2-3:30, TBA.

The philosophy of perception is a microcosm of the metaphysics of mind. Its central problems – What is perception? What is the nature of perceptual consciousness? How can one fit an account of perceptual experience into a broader account of the nature of the mind and the world? – are problems at the heart of metaphysics. It is often justifiably said that the theory of perception (and especially vision) is the area of psychology and neuroscience that has made the greatest progress in recent years. Despite this progress, or perhaps because of it, philosophical problems about perception retain a great urgency, both for philosophy and for science.

Course readings: Vision and Mind: Selected Readings in the Philosophy of Perception, by Alva Noe and Evan Thompson (MIT Press), 2002. Readings on Color, Vol. 1, by Alex Byrne and David Hilbert (MIT Press), 1997. Sense and Sensibilia, by J. L. Austin, Oxford University Press. On Sight and Insight, by John M. Hull, Oneworld Publications Ltd. Recommended Text: The Ecological Approach to Visual Perception, by J. J. Gibson, Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc.

140A  Intermediate Logic. Mancosu. TuTh 11-12:30, TBA.

This course covers the most important metalogical results that are of interest to philosophers. It is divided into four parts. The first three parts are mathematical in style whereas the last part is philosophical. In the first part we will cover the basic notions of computability theory and study in detail the Turing’s machine approach to computability. We will then move on to the basic metatheoretical results about first order logic (completeness, undecidability, compactness, Löwenheim-Skolem). The third part of the course will give a detailed presentation of Gödel’s incompleteness theorems. Finally, we will look at the philosophical relevance of these logical results to various areas of philosophy.

Prerequisite: 12A (or equivalent) or permission from the instructor.

Course readings: Boolos, Burgess, Jeffery, Computability and Logic, 4th edition, 2002 Cambridge UP. Barwise, Etchemendy, Turing’s World, CSLI.

148  Probability and Induction. Fitelson. TuTh 2-3:30, TBA.

What is probability? How is probability useful for understanding inductive and statistical inference? Is there such a thing as inductive logic? If so, how does it relate to deductive logic, and what role does probability play in inductive logic? These are the main questions we will address in this course. Other topics will include: foundational aspects of modern statistical methods and techniques, Hume’s problem of induction, Goodman’s “new riddle of induction”, Bayesian confirmation theory, and Bayesian statistics.

Prerequisites. PHIL 12A, and willingness to engage both in mathematical (i.e., probability theory) and philosophical work.

Required Texts (two of them): (1) Hacking, I. (2002) An Introduction to Probability and Inductive Logic, Cambridge University Press. ISBN 0521775019 (2) Skyrms, B. (1999) Choice and Chance: An Introduction to Inductive Logic. Wadsworth (Thompson) Publishing, fourth edition, 1999.

Other readings to be provided electronically on the course website.

161  Aristotle. Hursthouse. TuTh 9:30-11, TBA.

Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics is regarded by many as the greatest work in moral philosophy ever written. Readers unacquainted with virtue ethics or ancient philosophy have to accustom themselves to a different mode of thought in Aristotle which challenges much in modern analytical philosophy, but when we read him on how we should live, on the role of the emotions in our moral life, on the individual virtues and vices, on friendship, on moral education, and on the primacy of the practical over the theoretical in ethics, we find his work, despite its antiquity, as relevant to contemporary thought as one could wish. These topics and others will be covered in the lectures. Students are advised to read the whole work before the beginning of semester to prepare for the class.

Course readings: Nicomachean Ethics, Aristotle, Sarah Broadie and Christopher Rowe, Oxford University Press, lsted. Paperback. Aristotle’s Ethics, David Bostock, Oxford University Press, lst ed. paperback.

184  Nietzsche. Sluga. MWF 1-2, TBA.

Course readings: The Birth of Tragedy, by Nietzsche, translated by Douglas Smith, 2000 (Oxford Univ. Press). Beyond Good and Evil, by Nietzsche, translated by Hollingdale, 1990 (Penguin USA). On the Genealogy of Morality: A Polemic, by Nietzsche, translated by Clark, 1998 (Hackett Classics). The Will to Power, by Nietzsche, 1968, (Random House Trade Paperbacks).

185  Heidegger’s Being and Time. Dreyfus. TuTh 11-12:30, TBA.

One of the most important philosophical works of the twentieth century, Being and Time is both a systematization of the existential insights of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche and a radicalization of Husserl’s phenomenological account of intentionality. What results is an original interpretation of being-in-the-world that describes skill in a way that undermines the subject/object distinction, and, in so doing, offers a convincing account of the nature and limitations of philosophical and scientific theory. This account has important implications for all those disciplines that study human beings.

Required text: Heidegger, M, Being and Time, trans Macquarrie & Robinson (Harper and Row)

Recommended texts: Dreyfus, H., Being-in-the-World (MIT Press) Guignon, C., Heidegger and the Problem of Knowledge (Hackett) Heidegger, M., Basic Problems of Phenomenology (Indiana University Press) Polt, Richard, Heidegger; An Introduction, (UCL Press)

189  Recent Topics/European Philosophy. Cavell. TuTh 2-3:30, TBA.

Freud is widely acknowledged, along with Marx and Einstein, to have been one of the primary influences on twentieth century thought. Our goal is twofold. The first is to investigate psychoanalytic theory itself, as developed by Freud, amended by some of his significant philosophers, and supplemented contemporary neuroscience. The second is to enable students in philosophy, literature, psychology, and history to use the psychoanalytic perspective in their own disciplines; our critical eye will be particularly on the questions Freud raises in the philosophy of mind, and the implications of his theory for such philosophy. While the course will roughly follow the progression of Freud’s thought, its focus is not primarily historical but thematic.

Required texts:
Freud Reader, edited by Peter Gay, published by W. W. Norton & Company, ISBN: 0393314030.

Meditations on First Philosophy, 3rd edition translated by Ronal Rubin, written by Descartes, published by Arete Press, ISBN: 0941736121.

Graduate seminars

204-1  Recent Work in Ethics. Wallace. M 2-4, TBA.

In this course we will be discussing a set of influential and important writings on a variety of topics in moral philosophy from the past 30 years or so. The aim of the seminar is to provide an overview of some of the topics that have attracted the attention of contemporary moral philosophers, through close reading of texts that have helped to set the agenda for those discussions. The seminar would be appropriate both for those who have not yet done much work in value theory, and for those with more specialized interests in this part of the subject (to whom some of the readings may already be familiar).

290-2  Topics in Social Ontology. Searle. Tu 2-4, TBA.

There is a recent growth of philosophical interest in the ontology of the social. Some of the questions in this field are: What is a social fact? What are the relations between individual and collective intentionality? What are human institutions? How does human society differ from other primate societies? What is the role of language in constituting human society? How do power relations enter into social relations generally? What sorts of facts can be “socially constructed” and what sorts cannot?

In this seminar we will discuss works by Habermas, Gilbert, Tuomela, Searle and others.

290-3  Truth, Logical Consequence, and Logical Constants. Mancosu. Tu 4-6, TBA.

The seminar is devoted to a detailed reading of Tarski’s seminal works on definability, truth, logical consequence, and logical constants. We will pursue both a reading of the Tarskian texts in their historical context as well as the systematic contemporary discussion of Tarski’s legacy with emphasis on such authors as Soames, Etchemendy, Sher and others.

Course readings: A. Tarski, Logic, Semantics. Metamathematics, Oxford UP. J. Etchemendy, The concept of Logican Consequence, 1990, Harvard UP. G. Sher, The Bounds of Logic, 1991, MIT. S. Soames, Understanding Truth, 1999, Oxford UP.

290-4  TBA. Code. Th 2-4, TBA.

290-5  Scientific Explanation and Scientific Realism. Fitelson. TBA, TBA.

The first half (approximately) of this course will involve a historical and philosophical trace of 20th century thinking about scientific explanation. We will study (inter alia) deductive-nomological, inductive-statistical, causal, counterfactual, and pragmatic approaches to scientific explanation. In the second half (approximately) of the course, we will investigate the relationship between scientific explanation and scientific realism. Various arguments for scientific realism trade on various kinds of appeals to scientific explanation. We will look at several of these arguments, and some replies from empiricists and other non-realists about science. Time permitting: we will look at some alternative, non-realist (e.g., empiricist and instrumentalist) views of scientific progress and its relation to scientific explanation (as opposed to, e.g., prediction).

Required Texts (two of them): (1) Salmon, W. (1989) “Four Decades of Scientific Explanation”, U. Minnesota Press. (2) Leplin, J., ed., (1984) “Scientific Realism”, University of California Press. Recommended Texts (two of them) (1) Kukla, A. (1998) “Studies in Scientific Realism”, Oxford University Press. (2) Pitt, J. (ed.), 1988, Theories of Explanation. New York: Oxford University Press.
Other readings to be provided electronically on the course website.

290-6  The Philosophy of John Rawls. Nagel. W 4-6, TBA.

The moral, social, and political philosophy of John Rawls, from A Theory of Justice to The Law of Peoples.

Course readings: A Theory of Justice (revised edition), by John Rawls (Harvard). Justice as Fairness: a Restatement, by John Rawls (Harvard). The Law of Peoples, by John Rawls (Harvard). The Cambridge Companion to Rawls, Samuel Freeman, ed., (Cambridge).

290-7  Wittgenstein. Hursthouse. W 2-4, TBA.

The course will consist of a very close reading and extended discussion of the Philosophical Investigations which will be conducted in the following way. Students will read a certain number of pages of the PI each week, beginning the week before lectures start, and send a one page summary to a mailing list. If (and only if) these are received by the Monday, I will write comments on them. Everyone will read each others’ summaries before we meet and be expected to contribute to discussion of the pages covered. Students are advised to read the whole work before the beginning of semester to prepare for the class, but to avoid all secondary literature.

Course readings: Philosophical Investigations , Ludwig Wittgenstein, Blackwell, 3rd edition (NB) paperback.

Recommended text: Adam’s Task byVicki Hearne.