This course consists of a discussion of fundamental philosophical issues presented in Platos Republic, such as the nature of morality, selfhood, God, reality, and knowledge. It may also use non-western sources to illuminate and evaluate central presuppositions and preoccupations of the western philosophical tradition that persist today. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Distribution: Humanities-a) (Exclusion: Any version of PHIL 1601 previously offered with a different title) Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 to 11:20AM Avard Dixon G12.
This course focuses on aesthetics and the philosophy of art, drawing on both the history of philosophy (including figures such as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Nietzsche) and on contemporary theories about art. Topics may include the problem of defining art, the role of art and the artist in society, the experience of the sublime, and the nature of aesthetic judgment and taste. [Note 1: This course may count as 3 credits in Art History.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) Tuesday and Thursday 1:00 to 2:20PM Barclay 02.
This course examines the philosophical developments in the late Ancient and Roman eras within the various schools of the Epicureans, Stoics, Skeptics, Cynics, Romans, and Neoplatonists. Themes may include the nature and possibility of knowledge, the ethics of happiness, the problem of free will, and the nature of the Divine. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) Tuesday and Thursday 2:30 to 3:50PM Hart Hall 101.
This course is an historical and topical introduction to the major figures and trends in the analytic philosophical tradition from mid-twentieth century to the present day, with special attention to the various ways philosophy comes to be characterized and practiced. The course opens with an examination of Wilfrid Sellars’s characterization of philosophy as a quest to understand the human being in nature in terms of the clash of the ‘manifest’ and ‘scientific’ images of this relationship. We then look at the some of the most influential work responsible for the revitalization of ethics and metaphysics, Elizabeth Anscombe, Iris Murdoch (1919-99), Philippa Foot (1920-2010), Mary Midgely (1919—), Donald Davidson (1917-2003), and Saul Kripke (1940—). We discuss Richard Rorty’s (1931-2007) position about the nature of philosophy after its analytic stage, and the consequences of the analytic, pragmatic, and democratic traditions. We return to grand system-building in the work of Rorty’s student Robert Brandom (1950—), before considering the work and debates of several more contemporary thinkers in Sally Haslanger (with discussion of ‘analytic feminism’), Carrie Jenkins, Michael Devitt, Alex Rosenberg, Timothy Williamson, and Kristie Dotson. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) Monday and Wednesday 1:30 to 2:50PM Avard Dixon 111.
This course introduces the philosophical study of disability. It raises important questions that challenge our thinking and assumptions in a range of ways and explores issues such as: social versus medical models of disability; definitions of impairment and disability, including how they have changed through history; disability as identity and how it interacts with other identities; the relationship between concepts of disability and concepts of well-being; disability and culture; and philosophys treatment of intellectual disability in the context of philosophys traditional valorization of reason. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Exclusion: PHIL 4991 Philosophy of Disability) Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 to 11:20AM Avard Dixon 112.
Wilfrid Sellars (1912-1989) has an increasingly plausible case to be counted among the greatest English-speaking philosophers of the 20th century. An inspiring teacher and philosophical visionary, Sellars made lasting and discourse-defining contributions in philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, and theory of normativity. In this seminar students will be introduced to some of the important details of Sellars's systematic philosophy and to the current projects of some of his students. The “images” of Sellars refer to two radically different conceptions, “equally public, equally non-arbitrary,” of humanity-in-the-world: the image of ourselves given through the physical sciences and the image of ourselves given through our lived and social presence in the world. In the 'scientific' image, physical objects are prior and basic, and in the ‘manifest’ image, persons are prior and basic. Sellars saw the principal task in philosophy to be working out the proper relationships between these two images of humanity, these spaces for our stories of ourselves, the scientific ‘space of causes’ or physical laws and the manifest ‘space of reasons’ or norms. Throughout we will pay special attention to understand one of Sellars’s controlling convictions: “The ideal aim of philosophizing is to become reflexively at home in the full complexity of the multi-dimensional conceptual system in terms of which we suffer, think, and act." (Format: Seminar 3 Hours) Tuesday and Thursday 11:30 to 12:50PM Avard Dixon 116.