Courses: Fall Term 2018 (Term 2191)

Some additonal information about this semester's courses can be found at the Arts and Sciences course descriptions page.


2079/30676    From Philo to Philoponus: An Introduction to the History of Philosophy in Late Antiquity
(Cross-listed with CLASS 2319/30675)
Wildberg, Christian

Wednesday 10:00am-12:30pm – 1008C CL  
This course continues the narratives of the history of classical and Hellenistic philosophy by introducing students to the fascinating intellectual world of Late Antiquity, roughly from the beginning of the Common Era to the middle of the sixth century. Although it is rarely acknowledged, this was a hugely important period that forged the terms in which Greek philosophy and science should exercise their lasting influence on the Middle Ages and early Modernity. Students will read pagan and Christian philosophical texts side by side and thus reconsider the high stakes that defined the greatest intellectual conflict of all times.


2175/28516    Studies in Kant                    
Engstrom, Stephen

Wednesday 5:00PM-7:30 PM – 1008C CL

This course will explore the hylomorphic account of knowledge articulated in the Critique of Pure Reason.  Attention will chiefly focus on the roles played by the forms of judgment and the categories, especially the categories of substance, cause, and community.  Prior familiarity with the Critique will be helpful, but is not required.


2305/29539    Topics in Ethics: Topics in Value Theory        
Theunissen, Nandi

Monday 1:00PM-3:30PM – 1008C CL

We ask some basic questions in value theory. What is it for something to be good or of value? Is there a property good that all good things have in common? Is goodness a relation between an object and a subject? If so, what relation is that? How should we think about excellence? How is excellence related to the beneficial? What is intrinsic value? How is value related to reasons? What is it to value something? We read selections from Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Hume. We read contemporary classics by Peter Geach, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Joseph Raz, Philippa Foot, Christine Korsgaard, G. E. Moore, and others.



2335/27618    Topics in Contemporary Philosophy        
Gupta, Anil

Thursday 1:00PM-3:30PM – 1008C CL

The seminar will be devoted to understanding the role of experience in empirical reasoning. We'll study some classical and some contemporary accounts of this role, and we'll spend some time examining a proposal that I have been developing. The authors whose works we'll read include, among others, Russell, Sellars, McDowell, Brewer, and Siegel.                        


2400/29540    Metaphysics & Epistemology (core)        
Gallow, J. Dmitri

Tuesday 7:00PM-9:30 PM – 1008C CL

This course will be an introduction to some central concepts and problems in contemporary epistemology and metaphysics. This is a core seminar, and thus listed as a "Background Seminar".


2421/27619    Topics in Philosophy of Language            
Brandom, Robert

Wednesday 1:00PM-3:25 PM – 1008C CL

The seminar investigates a view of language that combines normative pragmatism about the use of language, semantic inferentialism about meaning, and metalinguistic expressivism about a range of concepts of particular philosophical interest: logical, modal, normative, semantic, and intentional idioms.  Principal texts are Brandom’s Making It Explicit and Between Saying and Doing. 


2600/10480    Philosophy of Science (core)            
(Cross-listed with HPS 2501/10667)                   
Woodward, James F.

Tuesday 2:00 PM-4:30 PM – 1008B CL

This course will focus on central topics in philosophy of science including explanation, confirmation, theory change, the meaning of theoretical terms, and scientific realism. We shall combine a reading of some classic texts with more recent work.
Prerequisite(s): PLAN: Philosophy (PHD) or History and Philosophy of Science (PHD)


2900/10981    Teaching Philosophy                
Berry, Thomas

Friday 9:30 AM-12:00 PM – 1008C CL

A practicum approach to train TAs and TFs wherein faculty and senior graduate students train the more junior TAs on how to teach philosophy. This course has been approved as an alternative to FACDEV 2200 for philosophy graduate students.

Must request permission from instructor if course is closed, or student does not meet prerequisites or graduate status.

The purposes of this seminar (which has very successful counterparts at other top graduate programs in philosophy) are multifold.  It gives students working on dissertation projects a community of others in the same boat, it provides them with feedback on work in progress, and practice presenting their work to an audience wider than their committee.  (This is important for the impression they make on the job market.)  Supposing that each student admitted to candidacy makes a seminar presentation each semester, it hastens time to completion by imposing interim deadlines on the road to a completed dissertation.   The seminar gives students who have been comprehensively evaluated, by not yet defended a prospectus, examples of other students who have successfully negotiated the transition.