Summer 2019 2nd 6wks

Undergraduate courses

2  Individual Morality & Social Justice. French. MTuWTh 10-12, 136 Barrows.

What’s involved in living a good life? What makes an action right or wrong, good or bad? What does a just society look like, and how should we respond to injustice? In this course we will try to answer these questions through interrogating classic texts in the Western philosophical tradition, as well as some contemporary work. The first part of the course focuses on questions about how individuals ought to live; the second part of the course focuses on questions about the justice of social arrangements. The goals of the course are (1) to introduce students to philosophical methods of inquiry, and (2) to familiarize students with some of the major thinkers, views, and questions in the Western tradition of moral and political philosophy. No prior experience in philosophy is required.

3  The Nature of Mind. Bradley. MTuWTh 12-2, 220 Wheeler.

12A  Introduction to Logic. Rudolph. TuWTh 1-3:30, 20 Wheeler.

Course Description This course is an introduction to the tools of formal logic, with the goal of using them to evaluate arguments. We will cover the syntax and semantics of truth-functional and first-order logic, and develop proof systems for both. This will give us the tools to symbolize natural language arguments in both formal languages, assess arguments for validity, and give deductive proofs. Overall, we will be developing resources to think precisely about what makes for good and bad reasoning, in both everyday and philosophical contexts.

25A  Ancient Philosophy. Gooding. MTuWTh 10-12, 200 Wheeler.

This course is an introduction to ancient Greek philosophy, focusing especially on Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, with occasional glances at the Presocratics and the Hellenistic Schools.

The ancient Greeks formulated many of the problems that continue to occupy philosophers, and so the course will provide an introduction to philosophical thinking in general. But the study of ancient philosophers is exciting not only because we share many of their philosophical concerns: We will be attempting to understand a way of thinking that is, in some respects, deeply alien to our own. By doing so, we can come to see our own philosophical assumptions and prejudices in a new light.

This semester the course will be divided into two thematic subsections. In the first sub-section (“Knowledge of Nature”), we will consider the accounts given by various ancient philosophers of the natural world and our knowledge of it. In the second (“Ethics and Politics”), we will consider how they addressed questions in moral and political philosophy – questions like, “How should we live?” and “What does justice demand of us?”

25B  Modern Philosophy. Jerzak. TuWTh 1-3:30, 200 Wheeler.

This course will survey the ideas of five important philosophers of the 17th and 18th century – Descartes, Leibniz, Berkeley, Locke, Hume, Reid, and Kant. We will consider how they pose and develop responses to important metaphysical and epistemological questions that form the basis of some of the main concerns of modern philosophy. These include questions about the nature of reality (Does God exist? What is the nature of the human mind? How does the mind relate to the body? Are there causal connections in the world?), as well as the relation between us and the world (What do we perceive? Can we come to know things about the world through perception? Are there things we can know to be true through reason alone? Are there limits on what we can know?) We will attempt to develop a historical understanding of the connections across the views.

110  Aesthetics. Noë. TuWTh 1-3:30, 151 Barrows.

This course will explore topics in the philosophy of art. What is art? What makes art valuable? Is art really valuable? What is a picture? Why are some pictures works of art, but not others? What is performance? What makes performance art? What does art reveal about human nature? What does art tell us about the mind? We will seek to answer these and other questions. We will read writings on these and related topics by a range of philosophers (mostly from the 20th century).

132  Philosophy of Mind. Noë. TuWTh 10-12:30, 120 Wheeler.

This is a course on the nature of mind. The central question we ask: Can we give make sense of mind as a natural phenomenon? We will read widely in philosophy and cognitive science as we seek to answer this fundamental question. Among the topics we will cover: the nature of perception and consciousness, the possibility of machine minds, neuroscience as the basic science of human experience, our knowledge of each other.