ON LEAVE SPRING SEMESTER:

Jerry Samet

Marion Smiley

Courses numbered below 100 are primarily for undergraduates, but M.A. students can usually arrange to take below-100 level courses for M.A. credit by doing extra work and getting permission from the instructor.


PHIL 1a  Introduction to Philosophy
A general course presenting the problems of philosophy, especially in the areas of metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and social and political philosophy. Texts include works of selected philosophers of various historical periods from antiquity to the present.
Mr. Marušić     
M, W 3:30 PM–4:50 PM

PHIL 6a  Introduction to Symbolic Logic
Symbolic logic provides concepts and formal techniques that elucidate deductive reasoning. Topics include truth functions and quantifiers, validity, and formal systems. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Samet
M, W 2:00 PM–3:20 PM

PHIL 17a Introduction to Ethics
Explores the basic concepts and theories of ethical philosophy. What makes a life good? What are our moral obligations to other people? Applications of ethical philosophy to various concrete questions will be considered.
Ms. Smiley
M, W 2:00 PM–3:20 PM

PHIL 18a Intro to the History of Philosophy
Introduces central philosophical questions, issues and methods through close study of key works in the history of philosophy, from the ancient period through the early 20th century. Philosophers studied may include Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant and Wittgenstein. Usually offered every second semester.
Ms. Marušić 
T, F 12:30 AM–1:50 AM

PHIL 20a Social and Political Philosophy: Democracy and Disobedience
Focuses on the relation of the individual to the state and, in particular, on the theory and practice of nonviolent resistance, its aims, methods, achievements, and legitimacy. Examines the nature of obligation and the role of civil disobedience in a democratic society. Explores the conflict between authority and autonomy and the grounds for giving one's allegiance to any state at all. Examples include opposition to the nuclear arms race, and disobedience in China and Northern Ireland and at abortion clinics. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Teuber
M, W 5:00 PM–6:20 PM

PHIL 23b Biomedical Ethics  
An examination of ethical issues that arise in a biomedical context, such as the issues of abortion, euthanasia, eugenics, lying to patients, and the right to health care. The relevance of ethical theory to such issues will be considered. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Hirsch
T, Th 2:00PM –3:20PM

(100-199) For Both Undergraduate and Graduate Students

PHIL 106b Mathematical Logic
Covers in detail several of the following proofs: the Gödel Incompleteness Results, Tarski's Undefinability of Truth Theorem, Church's Theorem on the Undecidability of Predicate Logic, and Elementary Recursive Function Theory. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Berger
T, Th 3:30 PM–4:50 PM

PHIL 114b Topics in Ethical Theory: Sources of Normativity
What is the source of the ‘ought’ that takes center stage in ethical life? Is moral relativism a valid ethical theory? These are the two questions that we focus on in Philosophy 114 this term. The first part of the course, which is by far the largest, is devoted to the efforts of various philosophers to make sense of and justify the existence of a distinctly moral ‘ought’. Here we will encounter the arguments of Kantians, constructivists, naturalists, moral realists, contractarians, utilitarians, pragmatists, evolutionary biologists, and moral relativists. The second part of the course explores a series of controversies associated with the nature of moral relativism, its relationship to cultural relativism, its coherence as an ethical theory, its empirical basis, and its implications for ethical action.
Ms. Smiley
M, W 2:00 PM–3:20 PM

PHIL 130a Causation and Explanation
PHIL 6A is recommended but not required.
Examines in-depth two topics central to the philosophy of science; the nature of causation and the nature and aim of scientific explanation. Is explaining something a matter of identifying its cause? If not, what is an explanation? Usually offered every third year.
Ms. Marušić 
T, F 930AM -- 1050AM

PHIL 138a Philosophy of Mathematics
 Prerequisite: A course in logic or permission of the instructor. May not be repeated for credit by students who have taken PHIL 38b in previous years.
Basic issues in the foundations of mathematics will be explored through close study of selections from Frege, Russell, Carnap, and others, as well as from contemporary philosophers. Questions addressed include: What are the natural numbers? Do they exist in the same sense as tables and chairs? How can "finite beings" grasp infinity? What is the relationship between arithmetic and geometry? The classic foundational "programs," logicism, formalism, and intuitionism, are explored. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Berger
T, Th 500PM -- 620PM

PHIL 144a Philosophical Problems of Space and Time
Prerequisite: PHIL 1a or PHIL 66b or one course numbered PHIL 35a through PHIL 38b.
An examination of philosophical problems concerning the concepts of space and time as these arise in contemporary physics, modern logic and metaphysics, as well as in everyday life. Specific topics usually include philosophical aspects of Einstein's theory of relativity, the possibility of "time travel," the distinction between space and time, and McTaggart's famous distinction between the "A-series" and the "B-series" of time. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Hirsch
W  2:00 PM–5:00 PM

PHIL 146a Idea of God
Engages in a philosophical investigation, not of religion as an institution but of the very idea of God. Studies the distinction between human being and divine being and addresses the issue of the relation of God's essence to his existence. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Yourgrau
T, Th  3:30 PM–4:50 PM

PHIL 150b Topics in Epistemology and Metaphysics: The Problem of Disagreement
This course will examine the major arguments and position in the current debate about epistemology of disagreement, and consider their implications for ethical decision-making.  We will begin by looking at the background concerns that motivated the current debate in epistemology, take a close look at the central positions that emerged in core articles from 2004-2007, and finally look at recent developments in the debate.  Students will have the opportunity to present and discuss disagreements that seem important in their own lives, and consider what abstract philosophical positions imply for these real-world disagreements.
Mr. Sherman
T, F  12:30 PM–1:50 PM

PHIL 161a Plato
Prerequisite: PHIL 1a or permission of the instructor. An introduction to Plato's thought through an intensive reading of several major dialogues. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Yourgrau
T, Th  5:00 PM–6:20 PM

PHIL 168a Kant
An attempt to understand and evaluate the main ideas of the Critique of Pure Reason, the subjectivity of space and time, the nature of consciousness, and the objectivity of the concepts of substance and causality. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Moran
T, F 11:00PM – 12:20PM

For Graduate Students Only


PHIL 200a Graduate ProSeminar
Open only to MA philosophy students.
This seminar provides graduate students in philosophy with the background to understand debates in a sub-field of philosophy and help students engage conceptually and critically with philosophical problems. Instructors, topics, and subfields will vary from year to year. Offered every year.
Mr. Marušić    
W 9:00AM - 11:50AM

PHIL 214a Topics in Normative Philosophy: The Philosophy of John Rawls
Open only to MA philosophy students.
This seminar provides graduate students in philosophy with the background to understand debates in a sub-field of philosophy and help students engage conceptually and critically with philosophical problems. Instructors, topics, and subfields will vary from year to year. Offered every year.
Ms. Moran
M 9:00AM - 11:50AM