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Courses - Spring 2020
PHIL
Philosophy Department Site
PHIL100
Introduction to Philosophy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: HO
GenEd: DSHU
An introduction to the literature, problems, and methods of philosophy either through a study of some of the main figures in philosophic thought or through an examination of some of the central and recurring problems of philosophy.
PHIL140
Contemporary Moral Issues
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: HO
GenEd: DSHU
The uses of philosophical analysis in thinking clearly about such widely debated moral issues as abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, pornography, reverse discrimination, the death penalty, business ethics, sexual equality, and economic justice.
PHIL170
Introduction to Logic
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: MS
GenEd: FSAR
This course will introduce the basic concepts and techniques of modern symbolic logic, with an emphasis on developing skills in two areas: first, translating between ordinary language and logical notation; second, establishing the validity or invalidity of arguments using the methods of truth tables, deductions, and countermodels. Although the subject of symbolic logic was developed by mathematicians and philosophers for their own special purposes (which we will discuss), logical concepts and techniques have found applications in a variety of disciplines, including computer science, economics, law, linguistics, and psychology. We may also consider some of these applications.
PHIL171
Reasoning For Humans: Clear Thinking in an Uncertain World
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: FSAR
Credit only granted for: PHIL171 or PHIL218A.
Formerly: PHIL218A.
Reasoning is a transition in thought in which some beliefs or thoughts provide grounds or reasons for others. What makes certain transitions of thought rational or reasonable and others irrational or erratic is a major focus of investigation in diverse research areas, such as philosophy, logic, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and psychology. This course is an introduction to logic and probability with a focus on applications to the study of the foundations of human reasoning.
PHIL202
Know Thyself: Wisdom Through Cognitive Science
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHS or DSHU, SCIS
Credit only granted for: PHIL209N or PHIL202.
Formerly: PHIL209N.
How do we improve our decision making? Cognitive science demonstrates that self-knowledge isn't as easy as we think, and that there are numerous biases and fallacies that impact our decision-making in ways that are hard for us to be aware of. In this course you will learn what some of these are and how they have been discovered, and you will explore potential strategies for avoiding these fallacies and for making wiser choices.
PHIL203
The Rights and Wrongs of Killing People
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU, SCIS
Credit only granted for: PHIL209J or PHIL203.
Formerly: PHIL209J.
Virtually everyone thinks it's permissible to kill people only in special circumstances. But why is killing usually wrong? Is it ever acceptable to kill an innocent human being intentionally? This course raises these and related questions and examines cases such as terrorism, suicide, abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, war. Except for a brief discussion of animals, all the controversies considered deal with killing and causing death to human beings.
PHIL220
Bioethics: Regulating Right and Wrong
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU or DSSP
Credit only granted for: PHIL209A or PHIL220.
Formerly: PHIL209A.
Bioethicists formulate ethical guidelines. They answer questions such as: When life-saving health resources are scarce, who should get them? Should we increase supply of one such resource, kidneys, by buying them from living "donors"? If drug trials in developing countries benefit patients who consent to participate, are the trials ethical, even if the same research would be forbidden in the US? If a sick person aims to hasten her death, how, if at all, might her doctor permissibly help her? In this course, students construct and defend ethical rules in four domains: research ethics, allocation of scarce resources, markets in organs, and physician-assisted dying.
PHIL220H
Bioethics: Regulating Right and Wrong
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU or DSSP
Credit only granted for: PHIL209A or PHIL220.
Formerly: PHIL209A.
Bioethicists formulate ethical guidelines. They answer questions such as: When life-saving health resources are scarce, who should get them? Should we increase supply of one such resource, kidneys, by buying them from living "donors"? If drug trials in developing countries benefit patients who consent to participate, are the trials ethical, even if the same research would be forbidden in the US? If a sick person aims to hasten her death, how, if at all, might her doctor permissibly help her? In this course, students construct and defend ethical rules in four domains: research ethics, allocation of scarce resources, markets in organs, and physician-assisted dying.
Restricted to Honors students.
PHIL234
Fundamental Concepts of Judaism
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: HO
GenEd: DSHU
Cross-listed with JWST250, RELS250.
Credit only granted for: JWST250, PHIL234, or RELS250.
A conceptional introduction to Judaism, analyzing its fundamental concepts from both analytical and historical perspectives. Discussion of "normative" Judaism as well as other conceptions of Judaism. Topics include: God, the Jewish people, authority, ethics, the sacred and the profane, particularism and universalism.
PHIL261
Philosophy of the Environment
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: IE
GenEd: DSHU
Credit only granted for: HONR218F or PHIL261.
Formerly: HONR218F.
An evaluation of different kinds of arguments for the claim that the natural environment should be preserved. Perspectives cut across the disciplines of philosophy (environmental ethics and philosophies of nature); economics (cost-benefit analysis); and biology (evolution, ecology, environmental studies).
PHIL282
Free Will & Determinism
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: HO
GenEd: DSHU
A study of the main positions and arguments in the free will debate in contemporary analytic philosophy.
PHIL318B
Studies in Epistemology/Metaphysics; The Wisdom of Crowds
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
An investigation of how the ability to obtain knowledge can be enhanced or distorted by different kinds of social structures. We will look at classic work about how different kinds of interactions within groups create new ways of knowing or being deceived. We'll also look at recent work on the nature of disagreement, polarization, and the use of networks in scientific research.
PHIL318E
Studies in Epistemology/Metaphysics; Philosophy Through Popular Film
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
An exploration of philosophy through popular film. We will watch thought-provoking movies as a springboard to explore big philosophical questions about, for instance, what we can know, the nature of consciousness and AI, whether we have free will, what makes a person who they are over time, and what ethical responsibilities we have towards others.
PHIL318I
Studies in Epistemology/Metaphysics; Epistemology of Disagreement
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
A thorough introduction to the burgeoning research on peer disagreement. Questions include: Should I become less confident on my take on some issue if I learn that my equally informed and capable colleague disagrees with me? How do I decide which expert to trust when experts themselves seem to be in disagreement? What's the rational response to a disagreement involving religious belief? How does the work on rational disagreement relate to political disagreement?
PHIL320
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses.
A study of major philosophical issues of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries through an examination of such philosophers as Descartes, Newton, Hume, and Kant.
PHIL328E
Studies in the History of Philosophy; EXISTENTIALISM AND HUMAN CONDITIONS
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
A historical examination of existentialism in three parts; the origins o f the movement in the wriitngs of the Danish Christian Soren Kierkagaard and the German atheist Friedrich Nietzsche, the phenomenological turn an d focus on menaing in life in Heidegger, Sartre, and Camus, and finally existentialist approached to feminism and anti-black racism, as outlined in the work of Simone de Beauvoir and Frantz Fanon. We will also conside r poststructuralist commentaries on certain existentialist figures.
PHIL344
Philosophy of Race
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DVUP
Credit only granted for: PHIL344 or PHIL308Y.
Formerly: PHIL308Y.
A survey of philosophical arguments involving race and racism. Guiding questions will include: How have philosophers and scientists conceived of the concept of race? Is race a coherent concept? Does it help us explain differences in performance and behavior? What makes racism, racial prejudice, and discrimination wrong? What is the point of equality? Do we owe reparations to victims of racism?
PHIL360
Philosophy of Language
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: 2 courses in PHIL; and (PHIL170 or PHIL370). Or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department.
Cross-listed with LING350.
Credit only granted for: LING350 or PHIL360.
An inquiry into the nature and function of language and other forms of symbolism.
PHIL364
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses.
Formerly: PHIL464.
The study of some central metaphysical concepts and issues including the nature and validity of metaphysical thinking, universals, identity, substance, time, God, and reality.
PHIL386
(Perm Req)
Experiential Learning
Credits: 6
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F
Restriction: Permission of ARHU-Philosophy department; and junior standing or higher.
Consult Director of Undergraduate Studies: C. Manekin. Prerequisites: 12 credit hours of philosophy and 3.0 GPA. Carries no credit toward philosophy major.
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL408R
The Practice of Philosophy: How To Develop Your Own Work
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSSP
Prerequisite: Three upper-level (300- or 400-level) courses in philosophy or permission of the instructor.
Credit only granted for: PHIL408R or PHIL490.
Formerly: PHIL408R.
Writing philosophical papers, presenting them to an audience, and responding critically and constructively to the papers and talks of others are skills central to the practice of philosophy. This course will help students to enhance those skills in a seminar-style format. Students should come to the course with a paper of their own (likely from another course) that they would like to develop.
Prerequisites: Three upper-level (300- or 400-level) courses in philosophy or permission of the instructor.

The skills of writing philosophical papers, presenting them to an audience, and learning to respond critically and constructively to the papers and talks of others are central to the craft of philosophy. This course will pursue the development of those skills in a seminar-style format. Students should come to the course with a paper (likely from another course) that they would like to develop and refine further.
PHIL417
The Golden Age of Jewish Philosophy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU
Prerequisite: 3 credits in PHIL courses; or permission of ARHU-Meyerhoff Program & Center for Jewish Studies; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department.
Cross-listed with JWST452. Credit only granted for: JWST452 or PHIL417.
Jewish philosophy from Maimonides in the 12th century to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain at the end of the 15th century. Topics include the limitations of human knowledge, creation of the world, foreknowledge and free will, and the existence of God.
PHIL418I
Topics in Epistemology/Metaphysics; Causation, Chance and Law
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
You see a billiard ball hit another, and you see the second ball move and fall in the corner pocket. It's natural to judge that the first ballcaused the second ball to fall, but what is it for one event to cause another? This course will investigate the nature of causation and the related notions of chance and laws of nature, with a focus on contemporary metaphysics and philosophy of science.
PHIL418K
Topics in Epistemology/Metaphysics; Entanglement and Non-Locality in Quantum Mechanics
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisites: At least two courses in philosophy at the 300- or 400-level or permission of the instructor.

Schrodinger described quantum entanglement as "the characteristic trait of quantum mechanics, the one that enforces its entire departure from classical lines of thought." This course will explore some of the puzzles that entanglement raises about the nature of the quantum world. The material does not require extensive background in physics, but it does require comfort with mathematical abstraction.
PHIL428A
Topics in the History of Philosophy; Postcolonialism
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with ANTH469L, AMST498F, ENGL479O, LASC448K, and HIST419L. Credit only granted for HIST419L, ANTH469L, AMST498F, ENGL479O, LASC448K, or PHIL428A.
PHIL445
Contemporary Political Philosophy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Restriction: Must have completed 3 credits in philosophy or political theory; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. And sophomore standing or higher.
Major trends in contemporary political philosophy: liberal, libertarian, communitarian, socialist, feminist.
PHIL478E
Topics in Philosophical Logic; CONDITIONALS: LOGIC AND LANGUAGE
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F
Prerequisite: PHIL170 or permission of the instructor.

The truth conditions for material conditionals require that if the antecedent is false, the conditional is true. Suppose you didn't raise an eyebrow when you learned this. On this analysis, it's true that if you DID raise an eyebrow, the sun will explode! This course examines ways of tackling such so-called "paradoxes of material implication." We will focus on indicative conditionals (e.g., "If Oswald didn't kill Kennedy, someone else did"), and counterfactuals (e.g., "If Oswald killed Kennedy, someone else would have"). Other topics will include onditional speech acts and the psychology of conditional reasoning.
PHIL498F
(Perm Req)
Topical Investigations; Topical Investigation
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite:Two courses in philosophy or permission of the department.
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL498G
(Perm Req)
Topical Investigations; Topical Investigation
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite:Two courses in philosophy or permission of the department.
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL660
Metaphysics, Mind, and Language
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud, S-F
A basic course on selected issues in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language for beginning graduate students, covering a number of topics in depth, to provide a springboard for further study and research in the area.
PHIL788G
(Perm Req)
Research in Philosophy; Research in Philosophy
Credits: 1 - 6
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud, S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL788I
(Perm Req)
Research in Philosophy; Research in Philosophy
Credits: 1 - 6
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud, S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL799
Master's Thesis Research; Masters Thesis Research
Credits: 1 - 6
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL808J
Seminar in the Problems of Philosophy; Reading "New Work For a Theory of Universals"
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud, S-F
PHIL848P
Seminar in Ethics; Philosophers on Love
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud, S-F
Since Plato's *Symposium* philosophers have expressed different views of love, considered mainly as a relationship (covering friendship as well as romantic love) that might or might not be expressed in emotion. Our emphasis will be on contemporary work, starting with Frankfurt's attempt to characterize love in terms of the desire to benefit the love-object -thought of as "active" in a sense that would satisfy Kant. We'll go on to explore other authors' objections and alternatives to Frankfurt and eventually to consider love as an emotion.
PHIL858K
Seminar in Logic and Philosophy of Sciences; Preference and Judgement Aggregation
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud, S-F
PHIL888
Professional Mentoring for Doctoral Students
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL889
(Perm Req)
Pedagogical Mentoring for Doctoral Students
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL898
Pre-Candidacy Research
Credits: 1 - 8
Grad Meth: Reg, S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL899
(Perm Req)
Doctoral Dissertation Research; Doctoral Dissertation Research
Credits: 6
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.