Summer 2007 Session A

Undergraduate courses

3  The Nature of Mind. Genone. TuWTh 10-12:30, 155 Barrows.

This course is designed as an introduction to the philosophical study of the mind, and also as an introduction to philosophy for those who have not studied it before. We will investigate a variety of questions, such as: What is a mind? Can the mental be explained simply in terms of brain processes? What is involved in having beliefs, desires, and other mental states that are directed towards the world? How does perception put us in touch with the world? Students will learn to critically read philosophical texts, identify and analyze arguments, evaluate various philosophical views, and will be expected to demonstrate their understanding in discussion and written work.

12A  Introduction to Logic. Fitelson. TuWTh 12-2:30, 88 Dwinelle.

Logic is about reasoning, the difference between good and bad reasoning, and how to tell the difference between good and bad reasoning.

In this course, we will develop techniques for laying bare the structure of arguments (“reasonings”). This will enable us then to characterize, in some precise ways, the difference between good and bad reasoning, and to formulate rules of correct reasoning. These three things — a conception of structure of arguments, a precise characterization of good and bad arguments in terms of their structure, and a system of rules of correct reasoning — constitute a “system of logic.” We will actually consider several systems of logic. After all this, students should be in a better position to properly formulate and evaluate logical arguments.

The course will focus on deductively correct reasoning. That is, we will consider “good reasoning” to be reasoning in which the truth of the premises absolutely guarantees the truth of the conclusion (as in typical correct mathematical reasoning). This will briefly be put into perspective in relation to inductively good reasoning, in which the premises give significant, but not conclusive, support for a conclusion.

Textbook: Modern Logic by Graeme Forbes, Oxford University Press, 1994.

25A  Ancient Philosophy. Callard. MTuWTh 10-12, 223 Dwinelle.

This is a course in Ancient Philosophy. We will study major works by Plato and Aristotle which introduced the questions philosophers struggle with to this day: What are definitions? What can be defined? What is the difference between knowledge and belief? How do we explain weakness of will? What are the goals of a life well-lived? Are there rules for being moral? Why should we have friends?

25B  Modern Philosophy. Beattie. MTuWTh 2-4, 215 Dwinelle.

This course will survey some of the major works of modern western philosophy, i.e. philosophy from Europe during roughly the 17th and 18th centuries. The Scientific Revolution had only recently kicked off and was developing rapidly during this time, and the philosophy we will be looking at was hugely affected by this phenomenon. We will be examining the two primary philosophical approaches ? now known as Rationalism and Empiricism ? that arose to deal with the pressing issues of the time; two questions, in particular, will be the focus of the course, one metaphysical and the other epistemological. The first asks about the basic structure of reality (about the nature of God, of mind, of material things, etc.) while the second asks how we as thinkers/perceivers relate to the world around us (do we know it?s out there at all? If so, how?).

115  Political Philosophy. Kolodny. WThF 10-12:30, 109 Dwinelle.

What sort of political institutions should we have? How should we relate to them? Why? This course considers contemporary attempts to answer these questions.