Contacts | Program of Study | Program Requirements | The Standard Major | The Intensive Track | Philosophy and Allied Fields | Grading | Honors | Transfer Students | Advising | Minor Program in Philosophy | Courses

Department Website: http://philosophy.uchicago.edu

Philosophy Undergraduate Wiki

https://wiki.uchicago.edu/display/phildr/Philosophy+Wiki+Home+Page

Email Lists

All majors and minors in philosophy should immediately subscribe to two Department of Philosophy email lists: philugs@lists.uchicago.edu and philosophy@lists.uchicago.edu. These lists are the department’s primary means of disseminating information on the undergraduate program, deadlines, prizes, fellowships, and events. Information on how to subscribe can be found here: https://coral.uchicago.edu:8443/display/phildr/Philosophy+Email+Lists.

Program of Study

Philosophy covers a wide range of historical periods and fields. The BA program in philosophy is intended to acquaint students with some of the classic texts of the discipline and with the different areas of inquiry, as well as to train students in rigorous methods of argument. In addition to the standard major, the department offers two tracks. The intensive track option is for qualified students interested in small group discussions of major philosophical problems and texts. The option in philosophy and allied fields is designed for students who wish to pursue an interdisciplinary program involving philosophy and some other field. All three options are described in the next section.

The course offerings described include both 20000-level courses (normally restricted to College students) and 30000-level courses (open to graduate students and advanced College students). There is room for a good deal of flexibility in individual planning of programs. Most of the requirements allow some choice among options. Course prerequisites may be relaxed with the consent of the instructor, and College students may take 40000- and 50000-level courses (normally restricted to graduate students) under special circumstances. Students should work out their program under the guidance of the director of undergraduate studies.

Students in other fields of study may also complete a minor in Philosophy. Information follows the description of the major.

Program Requirements

All majors will be required to meet with the assistant to the director of undergraduate studies during Winter Quarter of their third year to review their program of study and discuss the possibility of writing the senior essay.

The Standard Major

The following basic requirements for the standard major in philosophy are intended to constitute a core philosophy curriculum and to provide some structure within an extremely varied collection of course offerings that changes from year to year.

The Department of Philosophy offers a three-quarter sequence in the history of philosophy (PHIL 25000 History of Philosophy I: Ancient Philosophy, PHIL 26000 History of Philosophy II: Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy, and PHIL 27000 History of Philosophy III: Nineteenth Century Philosophy), which begins in the first quarter with ancient Greek philosophy and ends in the third quarter with nineteenth-century philosophy. Students are required to take two courses from this sequence (any two are acceptable) and are encouraged to take all three. Students are also encouraged to take these courses early in their program because they make an appropriate introduction to more advanced courses.

Students may bypass PHIL 20100 Elementary Logic for a more advanced course if they can demonstrate to the instructor that they are qualified to begin at a higher level.

Standard majors are welcome to apply to write senior essays. For more information, please see The Senior Essay (below).

Distribution

At least two courses in one of the following two fields and at least one course in the other field: (A) practical philosophy and (B) theoretical philosophy.

Courses that may be counted toward these requirements are indicated in the course descriptions by boldface letters in parentheses. Other courses may not be used to meet field distribution requirements.

Summary of Requirements: Standard Major       

Two of the following:200
History of Philosophy I: Ancient Philosophy
History of Philosophy II: Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy
History of Philosophy III: Nineteenth Century Philosophy
PHIL 20100Elementary Logic (or approved alternative course in logic)100
One of the following:300
One from field A and two from field B
Two from field A and one from field B
Four additional courses in philosophy *400
Total Units1000
*

These courses must be drawn from departmental offerings. Students should consult with the director of undergraduate studies regarding courses taken at other colleges. Only one of these courses may be satisfied by participation in the BA essay workshop.

The Intensive Track

Admission to the intensive track requires an application, which must be submitted by the middle of the Spring Quarter in the student's second year. The application form is on the department wiki. The director of undergraduate studies and the assistant to the director of undergraduate studies will have "interview" meetings following the application deadline. (The departmental website lists the office hours of the director of undergraduate studies and the assistant to the director of undergraduate studies.)

The intensive track is designed to acquaint students with the problems and methods of philosophy in more depth than is possible for students in the standard major. It differs from the standard program mainly by offering the opportunity to meet in the following very small discussion groups: the intensive track seminar in the Autumn Quarter of the third or fourth year (PHIL 29601 Intensive Track Seminar), PHIL 29200 Junior Tutorial, and PHIL 29300 Senior Tutorial.

Note on the pacing and scheduling of the intensive track: Intensive track majors take PHIL 29601 Intensive Track Seminar in Autumn Quarter of their third year. Students fulfill the tutorial requirement by selecting one junior tutorial (PHIL 29200) in any quarter of their third year and one senior tutorial (PHIL 29300) in any quarter of their fourth year. Finally, intensive track students must write a senior essay. The essay process includes participation in the Senior Seminar over the three quarters of their fourth year; students must register for PHIL 29901 Senior Seminar I and PHIL 29902 Senior Seminar II in two of these three quarters.

Summary of Requirements: Intensive Track

Two of the following:200
History of Philosophy I: Ancient Philosophy
History of Philosophy II: Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy
History of Philosophy III: Nineteenth Century Philosophy
PHIL 20100Elementary Logic (or approved alternative course in logic)100
One of the following:300
One from field A and two from field B
Two from field A and one from field B
PHIL 29200Junior Tutorial100
PHIL 29300Senior Tutorial100
PHIL 29601Intensive Track Seminar100
PHIL 29901
  &  29902
Senior Seminar I
   and Senior Seminar II
200
Two additional courses in philosophy *200
Total Units1300
*

These courses must be drawn from departmental offerings. Students should consult with the director of undergraduate studies regarding courses taken at other colleges.

Philosophy and Allied Fields

This variant of the major is a specialist option for students with a clear and detailed picture of a coherent interdisciplinary course of study, not available under the standard forms of major and minor. Examples of recent programs devised by students electing this track are philosophy and mathematics, philosophy and biology, and philosophy and economics. Students in this program must meet the first three of the basic requirements for the standard major (a total of six courses) and take six additional courses that together constitute a coherent program; at least one of these six additional courses must be in the Department of Philosophy. Students must receive approval for the specific courses they choose to be used as the allied fields courses. Admission to philosophy and allied fields requires an application to the director of undergraduate studies, which should be made by the middle of Spring Quarter of their second year. To apply, students must submit a sample program of courses as well as a statement explaining the nature of the interdisciplinary area of study and the purpose of the proposed allied fields program. Applicants must also have the agreement of a member of the Department of Philosophy to serve as their sponsor in the program. Interested students should consult with the assistant to the director of undergraduate studies before applying; for office hours and the application form, visit the departmental wiki or website.

Summary of Requirements: Philosophy and Allied Fields

Two of the following:200
History of Philosophy I: Ancient Philosophy
History of Philosophy II: Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy
History of Philosophy III: Nineteenth Century Philosophy
PHIL 20100Elementary Logic (or approved alternative course in logic)100
One of the following:300
One from field A and two from field B
Two from field A and one from field B
Six additional courses, at least one of which must be in the Department of Philosophy *600
Total Units1200
*

 Only one of these courses may be satisfied by participation in the BA essay workshop.

The Senior Essay

Students who have been admitted to the intensive track are required to write a senior essay (also called the “BA essay”). Standard majors and philosophy and allied fields majors may also apply to write an essay. The proposal should be formulated in consultation with a faculty adviser who has expertise in the topic area. Potential advisers can be approached directly, but the assistant to the director of undergraduate studies can help pair students with suitable advisers as needed. BA essay applications are due middle of Spring Quarter. Applications are available from the shelves outside the Philosophy Department office (Stuart 202) as well as on the wiki.

Students writing a BA essay in philosophy are normally expected to have maintained a GPA of 3.25 in their philosophy courses. A 3.25 is also the minimum GPA for departmental honors in philosophy. Students should submit, along with their application to write a BA essay, a record of their grades in the College. If a student who wishes to write a BA essay in philosophy has a GPA in philosophy courses below 3.25, the student should also submit a petition in writing to the Director of Undergraduate Studies.

In their fourth year, students writing BA essays must participate in the senior seminar. The seminar runs all three quarters, and though attendance during all three is required, participants will only register for two of the three quarters. Students should register for PHIL 29901 Senior Seminar I in Autumn (or Winter) Quarter and for PHIL 29902 Senior Seminar II in Winter (or Spring) Quarter. These two courses are among the requirements for the intensive track. For essay writers who are in the standard track or the allied fields track, both courses must be taken; however, only one will be counted toward the track's total-units requirement.

Grading

All courses for all tracks must be taken for a quality grade.

Honors

The main requirement for honors is a senior essay of distinction. A GPA in the major of 3.25 or higher typically also is required.

Transfer Students

Requirements for students transferring to the University of Chicago are the same as for other students. Up to (but typically no more than) three courses from another institution may be counted toward major requirements. All such courses must be approved by the director of undergraduate studies.

Advising

Students should contact the director of undergraduate studies with questions concerning program plans, honors, and so forth.

Minor Program in Philosophy

The minor program in philosophy provides a basic introduction to some central figures and themes in both the history of philosophy and in current philosophical controversies. The minor requires six courses: students must take: either two courses from the history of philosophy sequence and one course from field A or field B, along with three additional courses in philosophy; or one course from the history of philosophy sequence and one course from each of fields A and B, along with three additional courses in philosophy.

No courses in the minor can be double counted with the student's major(s) or with other minors; nor can they be counted toward general education requirements. They must be taken for quality grades.

Students who elect the minor program should meet with the director of undergraduate studies before the end of Spring Quarter of their third year to declare their intention to complete the program. The approval of the director of undergraduate studies for the minor should be submitted to the student's College adviser, on a form obtained from the College adviser, no later than the end of the student's third year.

Samples follow of two groups of courses that would comprise a minor:

SAMPLE 1
Two of the following:200
History of Philosophy I: Ancient Philosophy
History of Philosophy II: Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy
History of Philosophy III: Nineteenth Century Philosophy
One from either field A or field B100
Three additional courses in philosophy300
Total Units600
SAMPLE 2
One of the following:100
History of Philosophy I: Ancient Philosophy
History of Philosophy II: Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy
History of Philosophy III: Nineteenth Century Philosophy
One from field A100
One from field B100
Three additional courses in philosophy300
Total Units600

Philosophy Courses

PHIL 20100. Elementary Logic. 100 Units.

An introduction to the techniques of modern logic. These include the representation of arguments in symbolic notation, and the systematic manipulation of these representations in order to show the validity of arguments. Regular homework assignments, in class test, and final examination.

Instructor(s): T. Pashby     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): No prerequisites. Course not for field credit.
Note(s): Undergrads enroll in sections 01 through 08. Graduates enroll in section 09.
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 33500,HIPS 20700,PHIL 30000

PHIL 20109. Sartre’s Being and Nothingness. 100 Units.

We propose here a cursive reading of Sartre’s masterpiece of 1943, explaining the whole project of Sartre’s phenomenological ontology. For that we will focus on his polemical relation to German Idealism (mostly Hegel) and to German Phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger) in order to clarify the meaning of notions that Sartre inherits from these two traditions, like in-itself, for-itself, intentionality, existence, selfhood, pre-reflexive consciousness, negativity, nothingness, etc. (B)

Instructor(s): R. Moati     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Prior knowledge on Descartes, Spinoza, German Idealism, Phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger) and knowledge in French are highly recommended to attend this course.
Note(s): Undergrads enroll in sections 01 & 02. Graduates enroll in section 03.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 30109,FNDL 20109

PHIL 20116. American Pragmatism. 100 Units.

This course will survey some of the seminal writings of the early American Pragmatist tradition. We will focus primarily on works by the three most prominent figures in this tradition: C.S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey. Our aim in the course will be to extract from these writings the central ideas and principles which give shape to pragmatism as a coherent philosophical perspective, distinct from both empiricism and rationalism. (B) (II)

Instructor(s): A. Vasudevan     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Undergrads enroll in sections 01 & 02. Graduates enroll in section 03.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 30116

PHIL 20120. Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations. 100 Units.

A close reading of Philosophical Investigations. Topics include: meaning, explanation, understanding, inference, sensation, imagination, intentionality, and the nature of philosophy. Supplementary readings will be drawn from other later writings. (B) (III)

Instructor(s): J. Bridges     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): At least one Philosophy course.
Note(s): Undergrads enroll in sections 01 through 04. Graduates enroll in section 05.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 30120,FNDL 20120

PHIL 21000. Introduction to Ethics. 100 Units.

In this course, we will read, write, and think about philosophical work meant to provide a systematic and foundational account of ethics. We will focus on close reading of two books, Immanuel Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism, along with a handful of more recent essays. Throughout, our aim will be to engage in serious thought about good and bad in our lives. (A)

Instructor(s): C. Vogler     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Students should register via discussion section.
Equivalent Course(s): FNDL 23107,HIPS 21000

PHIL 21002. Human Rights: Philosophical Foundations. 100 Units.

Human rights are claims of justice that hold merely in virtue of our shared humanity. In this course we will explore philosophical theories of this elementary and crucial form of justice. Among topics to be considered are the role that dignity and humanity play in grounding such rights, their relation to political and economic institutions, and the distinction between duties of justice and claims of charity or humanitarian aid. Finally we will consider the application of such theories to concrete, problematic and pressing problems, such as global poverty, torture and genocide. (A) (I)

Instructor(s): B. Laurence     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Undergrads enroll in sections 01 through 06. Graduates enroll in section 07.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 31002,HIST 29319,HIST 39319,LLSO 21002,MAPH 42002,LAWS 97119,HMRT 31002,INRE 31602,HMRT 21002

PHIL 21102. Opera As Idea and As Performance. 100 Units.

Is opera an archaic and exotic pageant for fanciers of overweight canaries, or a relevant art form of great subtlety and complexity that has the power to be revelatory? In this course of eight sessions, jointly taught by Professor Martha Nussbaum and Anthony Freud, General Director of Lyric Opera of Chicago, we explore the multi-disciplinary nature of this elusive and much-maligned art form, with its four hundred-year-old European roots, discussing both historic and philosophical contexts and the practicalities of interpretation and production in a very un-European, twenty-first century city. Anchoring each session around a different opera, we will be joined by a variety of guest experts, including a director, conductor, designer and singer, to enable us to explore different perspectives. The tentative list of operas to be discussed include Monteverdi's The Coronation of Poppea, Mozart's Don Giovanni, Rossini’s La Cenerentola, Verdi's Don Carlos, Puccini’s Madama Butterfly, Wagner's Ring, Strauss's Elektra, and Britten's Billy Budd. (A) (I)

Instructor(s): A. Freud; M. Nussbaum     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Students do not need to be able to read music, but some antecedent familiarity with opera would be extremely helpful. CD’s and DVD’s of the operas will be placed on reserve.
Note(s): Students should register via discussion section.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 31102,MUSI 24416,MUSI 30716,LAWS 43264

PHIL 21399. Conceptual Foundations of the Modern State. 100 Units.

The course will examine the evolution of western thinking about the modern concept of the state. The focus will be on Renaissance theories (Niccolò Machiavelli; Thomas More); theories of absolute sovereignty (especially Thomas Hobbes); theories about ‘free states’ (James Harrington, John Locke); and republican theories from the era of the Enlightenment.

Instructor(s): Q. Skinner     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Open to undergraduates by consent of instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 31399,SCTH 33401

PHIL 21504. The Nature of Practical Reason. 100 Units.

Practical reason can be distinguished from theoretical or speculative reason in many ways.  Traditionally, some philosophers have distinguished the two by urging that speculative or theoretical reason aims at truth, whereas practical aims at good.  More recently, some have urged that the two are best known by their fruits.  The theoretical exercise of reason yields beliefs, or knowledge, or understanding whereas the practical exercise of reason yields action, or an intention to do something, or a decision about which action to choose or which policy to adopt.  In this course, we will focus on practical reason, looking at dominant accounts of practical reason, discussions of the distinction between practical and theoretical reasons, accounts of rationality in general and with respect to practical reason, and related topics. 

Instructor(s): A. Mueller; C. Vogler     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): At least one course in philosophy.
Note(s): Undergrads opt in sections 01 and 02. Graduates opt in section 03.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 31504

PHIL 21515. Ethics of the Enlightenment. 100 Units.

This course provides an introduction to the major ethical positions from the Enlightenment era, with primary focus give to Hume, Smith, Rousseau, and Kant. These positions have shaped our popular thinking about ethics, moral psychology, and moral education. They also continue to directly inform dominant views in contemporary philosophy. As we read through selections from major works, we will be guided by questions about the foundations of morality and the nature of moral motivation. For example, what is the source of our distinction between good and bad? Is our moral judgment grounded in reason or the senses? How can we make sense of motivation to do the right thing, sometimes even at great personal cost? As we will see, the answers to these questions are directly tied to the larger question of how to understand human nature and the relationship between our capacity to reason and our capacity to feel.

Instructor(s): J. Tizzard     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): MAPH 31515

PHIL 21600. Introduction to Political Philosophy. 100 Units.

In this course we will investigate what it is for a society to be just. In what sense are the members of a just society equal? What freedoms does a just society protect? Must a just society be a democracy? What economic arrangements are compatible with justice? In the second portion of the course we will consider one pressing injustice in our society in light of our previous philosophical conclusions. Possible candidates include, but are not limited to, racial inequality, economic inequality, and gender hierarchy. Here our goal will be to combine our philosophical theories with empirical evidence in order to identify, diagnose, and effectively respond to actual injustice. (A)

Instructor(s): B. Laurence     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Students should register via discussion section.
Equivalent Course(s): GNSE 21601,LLSO 22612,PLSC 22600

PHIL 21609. Medical Ethics: Central Topics. 100 Units.

Decisions about medical treatment, medical research, and medical policy often have profound moral implications. Taught by a philosopher, two physicians, and a medical lawyer, this course will examine such issues as paternalism, autonomy, assisted suicide, kidney markets, abortion, and research ethics.

Instructor(s): D. Brudney; Staff     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Third or fourth year standing. This course does not meet requirements for the Biological Sciences major.
Note(s): Undergrads enroll in sections 01 and 02. Graduates enroll in section 03. For Philosophy majors: This course fulfills the practical philosophy (A) requirement.
Equivalent Course(s): BPRO 22612,HIPS 21609,BIOS 29314,PHIL 31609

PHIL 22000. Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. 100 Units.

We will begin by trying to explicate the manner in which science is a rational response to observational facts. This will involve a discussion of inductivism, Popper’s deductivism, Lakatos and Kuhn. After this, we will briefly survey some other important topics in the philosophy of science, including underdetermination, theories of evidence, Bayesianism, the problem of induction, explanation, and laws of nature. (B) (II)

Instructor(s): T. Pashby     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Undergrads enroll in sections 01 & 02. Graduates enroll in section 03.
Equivalent Course(s): HIST 25109,HIST 35109,PHIL 32000,CHSS 33300,HIPS 22000

PHIL 22199. Cognition. 100 Units.

That we think, that we remember past events, that we perceive objects in the world around us, that we feel pain and other sensations, that we have emotions, that we formulate plans and work to put them into action—these are among the most quotidian, undeniable realities of human life as we know it and experience it. And yet philosophers and scientists have long struggled to find a place for such "mental" phenomena within a conception of the world as natural and un-mysterious. In recent decades, the interdisciplinary field of cognitive science has proposed a new form of solution to this age-old quandary. We will explore foundational questions raised by the cognitive-scientific approach. Readings are drawn from a range of historical and contemporary sources in philosophy and psychology.

Instructor(s): J. Bridges; L. Kay; C. Kennedy     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Undergrads opt in sections 01 & 02. Graduates opt in section 03.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 32199,LING 26520

PHIL 22209. Philosophies of Environmentalism and Sustainability. 100 Units.

Many of the toughest ethical and political challenges confronting the world today are related to environmental issues: for example, climate change, loss of biodiversity, the unsustainable use of natural resources, pollution, and other threats to the well-being of both present and future generations.  Using both classic and contemporary works, this course will highlight some of the fundamental and unavoidable philosophical questions presented by such environmental issues.  Can a plausible philosophical account of justice for future generations be developed?  What counts as the ethical treatment of non-human animals?  What do the terms “nature” and “wilderness” mean, and can natural environments as such have moral and/or legal standing?  What fundamental ethical and political perspectives inform such positions as ecofeminism, the “Land Ethic,” political ecology, ecojustice, and deep ecology?  And does the environmental crisis confronting the world today demand new forms of ethical and political philosophizing and practice?  Are we in the Anthropocene?  Is “adaptation” the best strategy at this historical juncture?  Field trips, guest speakers, and special projects will help us philosophize about the fate of the earth by connecting the local and the global. (A) (B)

Instructor(s): B. Schultz     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Course is open to Undergraduates and MAPH students.
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 22201,MAPH 32209,ENST 22209,GNSE 22204,PLSC 22202

PHIL 22500. Biological and Cultural Evolution. 100 Units.

This course draws on readings in and case studies of language evolution, biological evolution, cognitive development and scaffolding, processes of socialization and formation of groups and institutions, and the history and philosophy of science and technology. We seek primarily to elaborate theory to understand and model processes of cultural evolution, while exploring analogies, differences, and relations to biological evolution. This has been a highly contentious area, and we examine why. We seek to evaluate what such a theory could reasonably cover and what it cannot.

Instructor(s): S. Mufwene, W. Wimsatt     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing or consent of instructor required; core background in evolution and genetics strongly recommended.
Note(s): This course does not meet requirements for the biological sciences major. CHDV Distribution: A
Equivalent Course(s): CHDV 23930,ANTH 28615,ANTH 38615,LING 11100,CHSS 37900,LING 39286,CHDV 33930,BIOS 29286,HIPS 23900,PHIL 32500,NCDV 27400,BPRO 23900

PHIL 22819. Philosophy of Education. 100 Units.

What are the aims of education? Are they what they should be, for purposes of cultivating flourishing citizens of a liberal democracy? What are the biggest challenges—philosophical, political, cultural, and ethical—confronting educators today, in the U.S. and across the globe? How can philosophy help address these? In dealing with such questions, this course will provide an introductory overview of both the philosophy of education and various educational programs in philosophy, critically surveying a few of the leading ways in which philosophers past and present have framed the aims of education and the educational significance of philosophy. From Plato to the present, philosophers have contributed to articulating the aims of education and developing curricula to be used in various educational contexts, for diverse groups and educational levels. This course will draw on both classic and contemporary works, but considerable attention will be devoted to the work and legacy of philosopher/educator John Dewey, a founding figure at the University of Chicago and a crucial resource for educators concerned with cultivating critical thinking, creativity, character, and ethical reflection. The course will also feature field trips, distinguished guest speakers, and opportunities for experiential learning. (A) (B)

Instructor(s): B. Schultz     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Course is open to Undergraduates and MAPH students.
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 22819,CHDV 22819,MAPH 32819

PHIL 23000. Introduction to Metaphysics and Epistemology. 100 Units.

In this course we will explore some of the central questions in epistemology and metaphysics. In epistemology, these questions will include: What is knowledge? What facts or states justify a belief? How can the threat of skepticism be adequately answered? How do we know what we (seem to) know about mathematics and morality? In metaphysics, these questions will include: What is time? What is the best account of personal identity across time? Do we have free will? We will also discuss how the construction of a theory of knowledge ought to relate to the construction of a metaphysical theory—roughly speaking, what comes first, epistemology or metaphysics? (B)

Instructor(s): B. Callard     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Students should register via discussion section.

PHIL 23015. Darwin's "On the Origin of Species" and "The Descent of Man" 100 Units.

This lecture-discussion class will focus on a close reading of Darwin's two classic texts. An initial class or two will explore the state of biology prior to Darwin's Beagle voyage, and then consider the development of his theories before 1859. Then we will turn to his two books. Among the topics of central concern will be the logical, epistemological, and rhetorical status of Darwin's several theories, especially his evolutionary ethics; the religious foundations of his ideas and the religious reaction to them; and the social-political consequences of his accomplishment.

Instructor(s): R. Richards     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 24901,HIST 34905,CHSS 38400,PHIL 33015,FNDL 24905,HIST 24905

PHIL 23501. Philosophy of Mind. 100 Units.

This is a survey of some of the central questions in the philosophy of mind. These questions include: What is consciousness? How can mental states represent things in the world? How do our minds relate to our bodies? Do we have free will? Can we blame someone for the beliefs or desires she has? What are the emotions? To help us with these questions, we will focus on 20th-century analytic work (by Putnam, Nagel, Searle, Jackson, Dennett, Chalmers, Block, Dretske, and others), but we will also read important historical texts on the nature of the mind by Aristotle, Descartes, and Hume.

Instructor(s): B. Callard     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Students should register via discussion section.
Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 20401

PHIL 24010. Meaning and Reference. 100 Units.

In this course we address one of the central and most fascinating philosophical questions about linguistic meaning: What is the relationship between meaning and reference? We will study a range of classical and contemporary theories about the semantics of referring expressions such as proper names, definite descriptions, and indexicals. Readings will include Frege, Russell, Strawson, Kripke, Donnellan, and Kaplan, among others. Throughout, we will try to reach a better understanding of how questions about meaning and reference connect with a range of topics that are central to philosophical theorizing, including the connection between propositional attitudes and the explanation of action, the role of the principle of compositionality in formal semantics, the question of whether there is a level of mental experience that is epistemically transparent, the relation between thought and language, the nature of fictional and non-existent objects, and the interaction between semantics and pragmatics. (B)

Instructor(s): M. Willer     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Prior courses in philosophy are beneficial. Elementary Logic or equivalent recommended, but not required.
Note(s): Undergrads enroll in sections 01 and 02. Graduates enroll in section 03.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 34010

PHIL 24602. The Analytic Tradition: From Frege to Ryle. 100 Units.

This course will introduce students to the analytic tradition in philosophy. The aim of the course is to provide an overview of the first half of this tradition, starting from the publication of Frege's Begriffsschrift in 1879 and reaching up to the publication of Ryle’s The Concept of Mind in 1949 and the posthumous publication of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations in 1953. The course will focus on four aspects of this period in the history of analytic philosophy: (1) its initial founding  phase, as inaugurated in the early seminal writings of Gottlob Frege, G. E. Moore,  Bertrand Russell, as well as Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus; (2) the inheritance and reshaping of some of the central ideas of the founders of analytic philosophy at the hands of the members of the Vienna Circle and their critics, especially as developed in the writings of Otto Neurath, Rudolf Carnap, Moritz Schlick, and W. V. O. Quine, (3) the cross-fertilization of the analytic and Kantian traditions in philosophy and the resulting initiation of a new form of analytic Kantianism, as found in the work of some of the logical positivists, as well as in the writings of some of their main critics, such as C. I. Lewis; (4) the movement of Ordinary Language Philosophy and Oxford Analysis, with a special focus on the writings of Gilbert Ryle and the later Wittgenstein. (B)

Instructor(s): J. Conant     Terms Offered: Spring

PHIL 24709. Nietzsche’s Critique of Morality. 100 Units.

A close reading of Nietzsche’s On the Genealogy of Morals, supplemented by passages from The Gay Science, and Bernard Williams’s book, Shame and Necessity. Of special importance: the appeal to “psychology” in the critique of morality.

Instructor(s): R. Pippin     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Undergrads enroll in sections 01 through 04. Graduates enroll in section 05.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 34709,SCTH 38005

PHIL 25000. History of Philosophy I: Ancient Philosophy. 100 Units.

An examination of ancient Greek philosophical texts that are foundational for Western philosophy, especially the work of Plato and Aristotle. Topics will include: the nature and possibility of knowledge and its role in human life; the nature of the soul; virtue; happiness and the human good.

Instructor(s): A. Callard     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Completion of the general education requirement in humanities. Students who are not enrolled by the start of term but wish to enroll must (a) email the instructor before the course begins and (b) attend the first class.
Note(s): Students should register via discussion section.
Equivalent Course(s): CLCV 22700

PHIL 25120. Introduction to Philosophy of Religion. 100 Units.

This course explores the Western philosophical tradition of reasoned reflection on religious belief.  Our questions will include: what are the most important arguments for, and against, belief in God?  How does religious belief relate to the deliverances of the sciences, in particular to evolutionary theory?  How can we reconcile religious belief with the existence of evil?  What is the relationship between religion and morality?  In attempting to answer these questions we will read work by Plato, Augustine, Anselm, Hume, Nietzsche, and Freud, as well as 20th century discussions in the 20th Century analytic tradition.

Instructor(s): B. Callard     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Students should register via discussion section.

PHIL 25209. Emotion, Reason, and Law. 100 Units.

Emotions figure in many areas of the law, and many legal doctrines (from reasonable provocation in homicide to mercy in criminal sentencing) invite us to think about emotions and their relationship to reason.  In addition, some prominent theories of the limits of law make reference to emotions: thus Lord Devlin and, more recently, Leon Kass have argued that the disgust of the average member of society is a sufficient reason for rendering a practice illegal, even though it does no harm to others.  Emotions, however, are all too rarely studied closely, with the result that both theory and doctrine are often confused. (A) (I)

Instructor(s): M. Nussbaum     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Undergraduates may enroll only with the permission of the instructor.
Equivalent Course(s): PLSC 49301,RETH 32900,GNSE 28210,GNSE 38300,PHIL 35209,LAWS 43273

PHIL 25213. Cognitive Disability and Human Rights. 100 Units.

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights is intended as a list of rights the protection of which all human beings should enjoy. However, in its preamble, the Declaration mentions “reason” and “conscience” as universal attributes of human beings, thus expressing a certain conception of what a human being is. Does this conception serve well all human beings? What about cognitively or intellectually disabled persons? More specifically, when thinking about particular human rights, like the right to privacy, political participation or education — how are these rights supposed to be protected for cognitively and intellectually disabled persons? These are the questions we will consider in this class.

Instructor(s): N. Lipshitz     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): HMRT 25213

PHIL 26000. History of Philosophy II: Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy. 100 Units.

A survey of the thought of some of the most important figures of this period, including Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume.

Instructor(s): B. Callard     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Completion of the general education requirement in humanities required; PHIL 25000 recommended.
Note(s): Students should register via discussion section.
Equivalent Course(s): HIPS 26000

PHIL 27000. History of Philosophy III: Nineteenth Century Philosophy. 100 Units.

The philosophical ideas and methods of Immanuel Kant’s “critical” philosophy set off a revolution that reverberated through 19th-century philosophy.  We will trace the effects of this revolution and the responses to it, focusing in particular on the changing conception of what philosophical ethics might hope to achieve.  We will begin with a consideration of Kant’s famous Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, in which the project of grounding all ethical obligations in the very idea of rational freedom is announced.  We will then consider Hegel’s radicalization of this project in his Philosophy of Right, which seeks to derive from the idea of rational freedom, not just formal constraints on right action, but a determinate, positive conception of what Hegel calls “ethical life”.  We will conclude with an examination of three great critics of the Kantian/Hegelian project in ethical theory: Karl Marx, Søren Kierkegaard, and Friedrich Nietzsche.

Instructor(s): M. Boyle     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Completion of the general education requirement in humanities.
Note(s): Students should register via discussion section.

PHIL 27503. Kant’s Critique of Practical Reason. 100 Units.

In this course we will read through the Critique of Practical Reason, a short but dense work which contains the most complete expression of Kant’s mature practical philosophy. We will go beyond the famous formulations of the categorical imperative found in the more widely read Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, and try to understand the problems Kant aims to address in his moral investigations. We will be guided by questions like the following: what distinguishes good from bad willing? What role does sensible desire play in the life of the virtuous person? How does our capacity to reason shape the way we desire and experience the world? What is the nature of moral motivation? How do the ideas of freedom, God, and immortality of the soul figure in Kant's philosophical system? And finally, how does Kant’s view relate to those of his early modern predecessors? In addition to the Critique of Practical Reason, we will look at excerpts from Kant’s other practical works, as well as contemporary secondary source material.

Instructor(s): J. Tizzard     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Completion of the general education requirement in the humanities. One prior philosophy course is strongly recommended.
Equivalent Course(s): MAPH 37503

PHIL 28204. Philosophy of Right: Fichte, Kant, Hegel. 100 Units.

We will do a comparative reading of the beginnings of the philosophies of right of Fichte, Kant and Hegel. We will start with Fichte’s attempt for a swift deductions of the concept of right from the ‘I think’ and then look how the introduction of rights is more complicated in the case of Kant and Hegel.

Instructor(s): M. Haase     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Undergrads enroll in sections 01 & 02. Graduates enroll in section 03.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 38204

PHIL 28210. Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. 100 Units.

This course shall read the works of Sigmund Freud. We shall examine his views on the unconscious, on human sexuality, on repetition, transference, and neurotic suffering. We shall also consider what therapy and “cure” consist in, and how his technique might work. We shall consider certain ties to ancient Greek conceptions of human happiness—and ask the question: what is it about human being that makes living a fulfilling life problematic? Readings from Freud’s case studies as well as his essays on theory and technique.  

Instructor(s): J. Lear     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Course for Graduate Students and Upper Level Undergraduates.
Note(s): Undergrads enroll in sections 01, 02, 03, and 04. Graduates enroll in section 05.
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 38209,SCTH 37501,HIPS 28101,FNDL 28210

PHIL 29200. Junior Tutorial. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): R. Eichorn in Autumn 2017,J. Edwards; N. Lipshitz; R. O'Connell in Winter 2018,P. Brixel; T. Hash; C. Kirwin in Spring 2018     Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
Prerequisite(s): Open only to Intensive-Track Majors.
Note(s): Junior and Senior sections meet together. No more than two Tutorials may be used to meet program requirements.

PHIL 29300. Senior Tutorial. 100 Units.

No description available.

Instructor(s): R. Eichorn in Autumn 2017,J. Edwards; N. Lipshitz; R. O'Connell in Winter 2018,P. Brixel; T. Hash; C. Kirwin in Spring 2018     Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
Prerequisite(s): Open only to Intensive-Track Majors.
Note(s): Junior and Senior sections meet together. No more than two Tutorials may be used to meet program requirements.

PHIL 29400. Intermediate Logic. 100 Units.

In this course, we will prove the soundness and completeness of deductive systems for both sentential and first-order predicate logic. We will also establish related results in elementary model theory, such as the compactness theorem for first-order logic, the Lӧwenheim-Skolem theorem and Lindstrӧm’s theorem. (B) (II)

Instructor(s): A. Vasudevan     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Elementary Logic or the equivalent.
Note(s): Undergrads enroll in sections 01 & 02. Graduates enroll in section 03.
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 33600,HIPS 20500,PHIL 39600

PHIL 29601. Intensive Track Seminar. 100 Units.

We will do a close reading of G.E.M. Anscombe’s Intention and some of the related essays.

Instructor(s): M. Haase     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Open only to third-year students who have been admitted to the intensive track program.

PHIL 29700. Reading and Research. 100 Units.

Reading and Research.

Instructor(s): Staff     Terms Offered: Autumn,Spring,Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent of Instructor & Director of Undergraduate Studies. Students are required to submit the college reading and research course form.

PHIL 29901. Senior Seminar I. 100 Units.

Students writing senior essays register once for PHIL 29901, in either the Autumn or Winter Quarter, and once for PHIL 29902, in either the Winter or Spring Quarter. (Students may not register for both PHIL 29901 and 29902 in the same quarter). The Senior Seminar meets all three quarters, and students writing essays are required to attend throughout.

Instructor(s): B. Laurence     Terms Offered: Autumn,Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent of Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Note(s): Required and only open to fourth-year students who have been accepted into the BA essay program.

PHIL 29902. Senior Seminar II. 100 Units.

Students writing senior essays register once for PHIL 29901, in either the Autumn or Winter Quarter, and once for PHIL 29902, in either the Winter or Spring Quarter. (Students may not register for both PHIL 29901 and 29902 in the same quarter). The Senior Seminar meets all three quarters, and students writing essays are required to attend throughout.

Instructor(s): B. Laurence     Terms Offered: Spring,Winter
Prerequisite(s): Consent of Director of Undergraduate Studies.
Note(s): Required and only open to fourth-year students who have been accepted into the BA essay program.

PHIL 29911. Ancient Greek Aesthetics. 100 Units.

The ancient Greek philosophical tradition contains an enormously rich and influential body of reflection on the practice of poetry.  We will focus our attention on Plato and Aristotle, but will also spend some time with Longinus and Plotinus.  Topics will include: the analysis of poetry in terms of mimesis and image; poetry-making as an exercise of craft, divine inspiration, or some other sort of knowledge; the emotional effect on the audience; the role of poetry in forming moral character and, more broadly, its place in society; the relation between poetry, rhetoric, and philosophy; aesthetic values of beauty, wonder, truth, and grace. (A) (IV)

Instructor(s): G. Richardson-Lear     Terms Offered: Winter
Note(s): Undergrads enroll in sections 01 & 02. Graduates enroll in section 03.
Equivalent Course(s): CLAS 36517,CLCV 26517,SCTH 39911,PHIL 39911


Contacts

Undergraduate Primary Contact

Associate Professor and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Agnes Callard
Stuart 231-A

Email

Secondary Contact

Assistant to the Director of Undergraduate Studies
Nethanel Lipshitz
Rosenwald 216

Email

Administrative Contact


TBA