Class Schedules

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Fall 2014 Class Schedule - updated March 28, 2015 at 08:56 am

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
PHIL 100-01  Introduction to Philosophy
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm CARN 204 Janet Folina
PHIL 100-02  Introduction to Philosophy
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am NEILL 113 Janet Folina
PHIL 110-01  Critical Thinking
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm MAIN 010 Diane Michelfelder
PHIL 110-02  Critical Thinking
MWF 02:20 pm-03:20 pm MAIN 010 Diane Michelfelder
PHIL 121-01  Ethics
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am CARN 204 William Wilcox
*First Year Course only* Ethics addresses three sorts of questions. The first sort asks about the status of moral judgments, e.g. judgments about right and wrong, or good and bad. Is it possible for moral judgments to be true? Can they be objective? Can they be universal? The second branch of ethics, normative moral theory, aims to discover and develop the most general and basic elements of moral thought. For example, two quite different approaches to normative moral theory differ over the old issue about ends justifying means. Consequentialism maintains the right thing to do is whatever will bring about the best consequences. In other words, the ends justify the means. Kantian ethical theory denies this, maintaining that morality is not just about trying to bring about the best consequences. The final area of ethics, practical or applied ethics, is less abstract than the other two, focusing on particular practices or moral problems and trying to figure out what moral judgments it is reasonable to make about those practices or problems. Examples would include debates about abortion, euthanasia, and just wars. All three areas of ethics will be considered during the semester, but much of our focus, especially in the second half of the semester, will be on distinctive political values such as justice and equality.

PHIL 200-01  Ancient and Medieval Philosophies
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm NEILL 226 Geoffrey Gorham
*Cross-listed with CLAS 200-01* A study of the major philosophies of ancient Greece, Rome and the medieval period, including the Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, the Stoics, Augustine, Avicenna (Ibn Sina) and Aquinas. Major topics include: the origin and structure of the universe; reality vs. appearance; being and becoming; time, space and matter; happiness and the good life; love, sex and friendship; death; freedom and fatalism; the ideal state; the relation between reason and faith; the nature and existence of God; the relation between church and state.

PHIL 213-01  Philosophy of Mind
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm CARN 06A Joy Laine
*Cross-listed with NEUR 313-01*

PHIL 213-02  Philosophy of Mind
M 07:00 pm-10:00 pm MAIN 111 Joy Laine
*Cross-listed with NEUR 313-02*

PHIL 222-01  Philosophy of Human Rights
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am MAIN 111 Martin Gunderson
PHIL 224-01  Philosophy of Law
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm MAIN 111 William Wilcox
PHIL 225-01  Ethics and the Internet
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am MAIN 011 Diane Michelfelder
*First Year Course only; cross-listed with COMP 154-01* In this course, we will spend time with ethical questions connected with the Internet as we know it today: an online environment where content is generated and shared through user activities such as blogging, media sharing, social networking, tagging, tweeting, virtual world gaming, wiki developing, and the like.

The course will roughly be divided into two parts. In the first half, we will take a close look at ethical issues predating the Internet but which, because of its development, have taken on new dimensions. We will consider how the Internet opens up new forms of censorship (think the censorship of social networking services themselves); new forms of surveillance (think dataveillance), and new issues related to privacy (think the controversial “right to be forgotten”). We will also look at the moral values undergirding, and the contentious debates surrounding, current copyright law in the US. In the second half of the course, we will consider some ethical questions connected to the integration of the Internet into devices other than the personal computer and mobile phone, developments that open up the prospect of a world of “ubiquitous computing” or integrated networked systems. What are some of the impacts of such integration on our everyday ethical relations with others and on the overall quality of our lives? How might being networked affect the meaning of being human?

This course is also designed to give you a broad exposure into different ways of “doing philosophy,” from blogging, podcasting, and writing essays for public media to more traditional forms of expressions such as journal articles and books. On occasion we will join forces with another First Year Course--Information Policy, Politics, and Law--taught by Political Science professor Patrick Schmidt. You’ll have many opportunities to write, including a major paper in which you imagine yourself as a philosophical consultant providing ethical perspectives and advice to designers interested in developing a new “smart” device or social media platform.

PHIL 294-01  Of a Beautiful Mind: Literature and Philosophy at Crossroads
W 07:00 pm-10:00 pm ARTCOM 102 Jean-Pierre Karegeye
*Cross-listed with FREN 416-01*

PHIL 294-02  Medieval Political Thought
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am CARN 06A Andrew Latham
*Cross-listed with CLAS 294-02 and POLI 266-01* Interested in the roots of contemporary political life (including issues such as state sovereignty, separation of church and state, constitutionalism, just war, property rights, “the people”, nationalism, democracy, rule-of-law, and human rights)? Then this course is for you. Through a careful examination of the political thought of Latin Christendom (Western Europe) during the later Middle Ages (c. 1050-c. 1550) we explore the deep roots of the contemporary world order, demonstrating the ways in which medieval thinkers such as St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, John of Salisbury, John of Paris, Giles of Rome, Marsilius of Padua, Dante, Las Casas, ibn Sina, Moshe ben Maimon, and ibn Rushd “invented” many of the ideas that we – presumptuously and erroneously – have come to associate with the modern era. As an intermediate-level offering, this course is designed primarily for Political Science majors and non-majors in cognate fields (such as Philosophy or Classics) who have some experience in the discipline. The course has no pre-requisites, however, and is therefore suitable for all students seeking to satisfy an interest in political theory/philosophy or the medieval roots of contemporary political life. This course fulfills the Political Science Department’s Theory Requirement.

PHIL 294-03  Dead White Men
MWF 03:30 pm-04:30 pm NEILL 214 Kiarina Kordela
*Cross-listed with ENGL 394-01, GERM 337-01 and MCST 337-01; taught in English* The shift away from feudal theocracy (when divinity grounded truth and political authority) to secular capitalist modernity has entailed unforeseen re-conceptualizations of both time and of the distinction between truth and fiction—the latter approaching extinction, as truth is increasingly perceived as a culturally arbitrary (hence fictional) construct. To examine these modern mutations of the central categories of time and truth-fiction, the course will pursue two parallel itineraries. On the one hand, the two competing modes of the secularization of time, as (a) human history progressing toward a certain telos (end or aim), and (b) as a machinic time within which inter-relations within an autonomous structure (one not controlled by humans) determine its participants. And, on the other hand, the replacement of faith with modern philosophy, ideology, and biopolitics. No prerequisites.

PHIL 489-01  Senior Seminar
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm MAIN 003 Martin Gunderson

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Spring 2015 Class Schedule - updated March 28, 2015 at 08:56 am

Number/Section  Title
Days Time Room Instructor
PHIL 100-01  Introduction to Philosophy
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm NEILL 213 Joy Laine
PHIL 111-01  Introduction to Symbolic Logic
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am CARN 206 Janet Folina
PHIL 111-02  Introduction to Symbolic Logic
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am CARN 206 Janet Folina
PHIL 121-01  Ethics
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am CARN 305 Martin Gunderson
PHIL 121-02  Ethics
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm CARN 204 Martin Gunderson
PHIL 121-03  Ethics
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am ARTCOM 202 Diane Michelfelder
PHIL 201-01  Modern Philosophy
MWF 10:50 am-11:50 am MAIN 111 Geoffrey Gorham
PHIL 202-01  American Philosophy
MWF 09:40 am-10:40 am MAIN 111 Geoffrey Gorham
*Cross-listed with AMST 294-02*

PHIL 211-01  Indian Philosophies
TR 09:40 am-11:10 am NEILL 112 Joy Laine
*Cross-listed with ASIA 211-01*

PHIL 221-01  Environmental Ethics
TR 03:00 pm-04:30 pm CARN 404 Martin Gunderson
*Cross-listed with ENVI 221-01; ACTC students may register on the first day of class with the permission of the instructor*

PHIL 312-01  Philosophy of Mathematics
MWF 01:10 pm-02:10 pm MAIN 001 Janet Folina
*Cross-listed with MATH 212-01*

PHIL 321-01  Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy
TR 01:20 pm-02:50 pm MAIN 003 William Wilcox
*Cross-listed with POLI 294-04*

PHIL 394-01  Philosophical Worlds: Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein
W 07:00 pm-10:00 pm MAIN 003 Diane Michelfelder
If the history of philosophy in the West were turned into a Hollywood major motion picture, it is likely the director would cast Martin Heidegger and Ludwig Wittgenstein as heroes of two contrasting philosophical worlds—Heidegger as a key figure and instigator of the European traditions of existentialism and phenomenology, and Wittgenstein as helping to spark the Anglo-American tradition of analytic philosophy. But what if an “indie” filmmaker were to wonder if Heidegger and Wittgenstein had more in common than is usually thought? What if the “and” in the phrase “Heidegger and Wittgenstein” were taken to mean they were philosophical buddies, not only because of the skepticism toward conventional ways of doing philosophy that both of them shared?

In recent years a number of scholars have begun to explore these questions, and we’ll be doing that in this course as well. In the first half, we will toggle back and forth between readings by Heidegger and Wittgenstein; in the course’s second half, we will look at contemporary philosophical reflection on these two thinkers. Selections from works such as Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations, On Certainty, Culture and Value, and The Big Typescript, along with Heidegger’s Being and Time; Poetry, Language, Thought; On the Way to Language and the Zollikon Seminars, will inform our seminar-style class discussions. A particular focus of the class will be on the relationships among philosophical truth, ordinary language, and ordinary experience in the world. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy or permission of the professor.

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