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This course is an advanced survey of ancient Greek philosophy from the presocratic period through to the Hellenistic period, focusing on the development of Greek views of the cosmos, the soul, and the virtuous life. Requirements: two ten-page papers and weekly short informal papers. Marc Cohen, Patricia Curd, and C. Earlier editions are useable but the pagination will be different. We will also consider key predecessors to this movement Emerson and Thoreau as well as philosophers influenced by it Goodman, Putnam, and Rorty , in addition to related theorists of race and gender Alain Locke, Jane Addams, Cornel West.

Assigned work will include a combination of take-home essays and short reaction papers. Required Text: Susan Haack, ed.

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ISBN Goodman, ed. The American writer Flannery O'Connor described nihilism as "the gas we breathe. In this class, we will read works from Hume, Rousseau, and Voltaire in an attempt to come to a deeper understanding of the 18 th century intellectual landscape.

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The focus of my approach will be on the social, ethical, and political thought of these three leading figures in the century of Enlightenment. This is not a broad survey course but rather a deep dive into the thinking of three very different figures as they contemplate questions of social inequality, moral virtue, and religious tolerance amongst other things. This course will examine core issues in the philosophy of language.

When discussing language, we often talk about and distinguish between the meanings of our words semantics and how words are used in conversations pragmatics. What are "meanings"? What determines the meaning of a particular word? Do all words have predetermined meaning? Must a word have the meaning that we say it has? How do we distinguish what a word means from the various ways that we use it?

And what is the relation between all of this and the thoughts in our heads when we use language? The course will explore answers to these and other questions. This class will examine eight arguments for and against belief in God. We will discuss the case for God by considering a the ontological argument, b the cosmological argument, c the fine-tuning argument, and d the argument from religious experiences.

We will then discuss the case against God by considering e the argument against miracle reports, f the logical problem of evil, g the evidential problem of evil, and h the argument from divine hiddenness. After reading authors defending and attacking each of these arguments, we will conclude this class by examining the overall connection between faith, evidence, and rationality: what is faith? Does religious disagreement make it irrational? Can faith be rational in the absence of good evidence?

Coursework consists in short assignments, two non-cumulative exams, and a final paper. The course will introduce the student to the most prominent philosophers of the Twentieth Century. The course will be centered around two themes that appear and reappear in this work.

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One is the search for the foundations of knowledge, and another the search for values. Philosophy in the twentieth century is thought be divided into two very different camps: the Analytic and the Continental schools. However one purpose of the class will be to show parallels rather than differences in thinking between the two traditions. There will be weekly reading assignments drawn from the text, Twentieth-Century Philosophy by F.

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  • Baird and W. Kaufmann Eds. There will be a midterm and a final and 3 short papers about words each. In this course, we will read representative works by Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir and Simone Weil, as well as by Samuel Beckett in an effort to learn what we can learn from this epochal, but elusive movement.

    This course covers some of the deepest and most puzzling problems philosophy.

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    What is consciousness and how is it possible that the brain mere meat , is capable of bringing it into the world? Does conscious experience challenge a materialistic account of what there is? How do we know if it is true that anybody else has consciousness? Is Free Will possible, or even desirable? What is a Mind anyway? The course presumes that we can learn a great deal in philosophy by looking elsewhere. So material from neuroscience, artificial intelligence, and even science fiction and fantasy will provide important background for our discussion.

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    The course will include weekly readings from a variety of sources, short reaction papers on the readings, two quizzes and a final. Students interested in working on a larger project with a paper may petition to have that work replace one or more of the exams. Philosophers working in this area epistemologists ask questions such as: Do we really know anything? Do we know anything, in particular, about the world outside our minds?

    If so, how do we know it? What is it, exactly, that turns a mere belief into real knowledge? The first part of this course is an introduction to a variety of these attempts. The second part of this course is an introduction to a variety of these alternative attempts. Throughout the course, however, the possibility of having to accept negative answers to these questions will hover constantly over our heads. That is the threat of Skepticism.

    Reading normally one philosophical article or equivalent per class. Written work will consist of a take-home midterm and a take-home final, each consisting of 2 papers, each paper being about 5 pages in length typed, double-spaced. Medical ethics are fundamental to good patient care and to the promotion of public health and healthy policy. Knowledge of the philosophical underpinnings of ethics is important for anyone considering a career in healthcare since it provides a basis for understanding the ethical choices that healthcare and medical professionals face.

    In this course, we will investigate the philosophical and ethical implications of medicine and its practice. We will begin with a brief survey of the major normative ethical theories and move on to issues such as informed consent, euthanasia, surrogacy, and health care distribution. This course will be an advanced and in-depth study of two topics of special interest in aesthetics: environmental aesthetics and philosophy of film. We will devote half of the semester to each topic, using a recent anthology for each Nature, Aesthetics, and Environmentalism: From Beauty to Duty , ed.

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    Paisley Livingston Readings will include some historical materials as well as recent articles from philosophy journals. Students will be expected to participate in class discussions, write 10 informal reaction papers, and complete mid-term and final take-home essays. This course is an advanced survey of ancient Greek philosophy from the presocratic period through to the Hellenistic period, focusing on the development of Greek views of the cosmos and metaphysical reality, the definition of knowledge, accounts of the soul, and views of the virtuous life.

    There will be four units in the course, covering the presocratics, Plato, Aristotle, and Hellenistic thought. Requirements are four unit papers length varies according to unit length , and ten short assignments. There are no in-class exams. Graduate students and Honors Credit students will be asked to write one continuous paper on a topic connecting Plato and Aristotle, i. No philosophical background is required, but an introductory course in Logic, Psychology, or Computer Science is highly recommended.

    The class is a philosophical introduction to just war theory, the changing nature of war, and movements for peace.

    The Scientific Revolution: Understanding the Roots of Modern Science (MOOC)

    Topics covered include: nationalism, pacifism, gender and war, humanitarianism, and human rights. In this class I will ask the broad philosophical question: Who is Enlightenment man? More specifically, how do we understand the 18 th century vision of humans in their social, political, ethical, and epistemological relations with the world? We will read essays from Hume, Rousseau, and Kant in an effort to answer this question. Three different visions emerge which have relevance to how we understand ourselves now years later. There will be weekly exercises, completion of which is crucial for success in the course.

    But can societies have an excess of freedom, as Plato argued in The Republic? Can some degree of social control be justified if it leads to greater harmony and happiness among the populace? Are citizens in democracies sufficiently well-informed and well-educated to govern their lives and their country? Does the individualist ethic promoted in a free market democracy lead to stark inequalities, alienation, or demoralization? Is there a single best form of government for all human beings, or are some political systems suitable for some cultures but not others?

    This course will explore these questions and others from a variety of historical, cultural, and literary perspectives. Enlightenment philosophers developed complex philosophical systems to address the tensions that the scientific revolution had produced between: 1 the world as we experience it through the senses 2 the world as described by science, and 3 traditional metaphysical notions of substance, cause, the self and freedom of the will. A second and related goal of this course is to improve your reading, reasoning and writing skills. To that end, we will pay careful attention to the forms of reasoning employed in the assigned texts, and you will complete a series of writing assignments teaching you how to interpret historical texts, break down an argument, evaluate it and formulate objections to it.

    In particular, we will discuss the debates that arose concerning the nature of explanation, scientific methodology, the status of natural laws and their relation to miracles, and the status of so-called "occult qualities. This conflict involved a central methodological, debate, pitting the Newtonian "experimental philosophy" against the "mechanical philosophy" favored on the Continent. This conflict, in its many and varied forms, will be discussed in detail, as will the equally vexed debate about the "force of a body's motion" — the so-called vis viva controversy. An examination of the central metaphysical and epistemological issues in 17th-century philosophy. The works of some of the major philosophical figures of the century will be systematically discussed.