Summer 2022 Session D

Undergraduate courses

3  The Nature of Mind. Benjamin. MTuWTh 9-11, Wheeler 200.

This class will provide an introductory level overview of the major contemporary developments in the metaphysics and epistemology of mind with special emphasis on whether these developments are compatible with the existence of divergent neurotypes and modes of mind-reading. We will discuss questions such as: Can we infer people’s feelings from their behaviors? Are our subjective experiences identical with some part of our brain? How can we understand other minds if their brains are structurally different from ours, and how can we understand ourselves if we change over time? Finally, how does our perception impact our interpretation of the world?

9  Feminist Philosophy. Levac. TuWTh 1-3:30, Dwinelle 263.

This course is an introduction to issues in feminist philosophy. We’ll consider such questions as the following: What is gender, and what ought it to be? How does sexism intersect with other forms of oppression? How do gendered dynamics affect our capacities to act, speak, and know? In the process, we’ll work out for ourselves what it is for an inquiry to be feminist, philosophical, or both at once. We’ll also become acquainted with a number of philosophical subdisciplines, among them epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, and phenomenology.

12A  Introduction to Logic. Klempner. TuWTh 10-12:30, Wheeler 20.

Introduction to propositional and first-order logic. Syntax, semantics, formal deduction.

25A  Ancient Philosophy. Kassman-Tod. MTuWTh 12-2, Wheeler 220.

This course is an introduction to ancient Greek philosophy. We will take as our central theme the crisis of intellectual authority in the 5th century BCE, with a special emphasis on Plato’s reference to “an old quarrel between philosophy and poetry” (Republic 607b 5-6). So doing will prompt us towards the following questions: What is the soul? How is human thought related to the natural world and to the divine? How do these relations bear on one’s ability to lead a good life? What is philosophy and why does it stand in an agonistic relation with poetic discourse? How are we to conceive the interplay between mythos and logos? Philosophical texts from Anaximander, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic period, will be brought into a critical encounter with Hesiod’s Theogony, Homer’s Iliad, and Greek tragedy

25B  Modern Philosophy. Tate. MTuWTh 10-12, Wheeler 220.

This is a survey course of Western philosophy from the 17th to 18th century. The course includes readings by several influential philosophers, including Descartes, Conway, Leibniz, Locke, Hume, and Kant. We will discuss topics such as the nature of mind and body, freedom of will, acquisition of knowledge, and the existence of God.

115  Political Philosophy. Grosser. TuWTh 3:30-6, Wheeler 120.

This course examines central issues and concepts in political philosophy: freedom, equality, justice, authority, and citizenship. Drawing on the works of main representatives of social contract theory (Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and John Rawls), the first part of the course analyzes key principles of modern and contemporary political thought including basic liberties and human rights. The second part of the course is devoted to a discussion of critical responses to the framework of the social contract that seek to modify it, to expand its scope, or to develop conceptual alternatives to it. In light of current challenges like climate change, migration, or populism such responses have been formulated from the vantage points of, for instance, democratic theory, critical race theory, and recognition theory.

132  Philosophy of Mind. Blackmon. TuWTh 10-12:30, Etcheverry 3107.

Perhaps the most astonishing thing about the universe is that it contains 3-pound packets of material–human brains–that can think, feel, choose to act, and consciously experience the world. What explains this? What are minds, thoughts, and perceptions, and what must the world be like for them to exist? Do mental phenomena reduce to physical phenomena or must there be something else? In this course we will begin with the mind-body problem and the various theories that address it. We will then cover topics such as artificial consciousness, personal identity, the mental states of animals, qualia, free will, and whether and to what extent we can have a science of the conscious mind.

N188  Phenomenology. Grosser. TuWTh 1-3:30, Dwinelle 223.

This course will give an overview of major works and developments in phenomenology. To this end, we will analyze key concepts such as ‘experience,’ ‘horizon,’ or ‘lifeworld’ and trace controversies within the phenomenological tradition — for instance, controversies over the methodology that is best suited to allow phenomenological inquiry to come ‘back to the things themselves’ as they show up when we encounter them. Based on readings of seminal texts by Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, de Beauvoir, Arendt, and Levinas, we will address central themes of phenomenology such as intentionality and perception, subjectivity and intersubjectivity, embodiment and intercorporeality, affect and emotion, spatiality and temporality. Against this background we will examine how phenomenological insights have been brought to bear in contemporary debates in aesthetics, in ethics, and in social and political philosophy — particularly in anti-racist and feminist thought. Finally, we will look into ways in which phenomenology has been applied outside of philosophy and influenced fields such as cognitive science, psychology, or literary studies.