Some additonal information about this semester's courses can be found at the Arts and Sciences course descriptions page.
2075/24146 Topics in Ancient Philosophy:
Augustine and the Philosophers
Tuesday 4:00-6:30PM – 339 CL
Cross-listed with CLASS 2390/24145
This seminar examines Augustine’s relationship with Classical Greek and Roman philosophy. We will study this topic by tracing philosophical ideas in his works and by reviewing his own portrayal of the philosophical authors with whom he engages. Our focus will be on the manner in which Augustine makes use of Platonic, Aristotelian, Hellenistic, Middle Platonic and Neoplatonic material for the development of his own dogmatic positions. Specific topics include Augustine’s portrayal of Plato as a ‘prophet’ of Christian doctrine, his use of Aristotelian ideas concerning the relationship between soul and body, his engagement with Stoic theories of affectivity, and his response to Neoplatonic authors in the context of his Trinitarian metaphysics. All texts will be read in translation.
Thursday 9:00-12:00 PM – 1008-C CL
A comprehensive examination of the philosophy of Leibniz with primary emphasis on those of his ideas, especially in metaphysics and epistemology, which exercised a powerful influence upon later philosophers.
Note: Session attendance is expected of those enrolling for course credit.
Thursday 1:00-3:30 PM – 1008-C CL
I plan to direct critical scrutiny at some central aspects of Bob Brandom’s reading of Hegel, and of German Idealism more generally. I will probably devote special attention to what Brandom says about the Introduction to the Phenomenology, which sets the tone for his account of the whole book.
Wednesday 1:00-3:30PM – 1008-C CL
This seminar will concentrate on relating the logical details of the text to the limits to thinking the book aims to draw. Special attention will be paid to the discussion of solipsism in the 50’s and 60’s.
2300/30849 Ethics (Core)
Wednesday 9:30-12:00PM – 1008-C CL
This course will survey some prominent, contemporary ethical theories. We will also consider a few issues that have generated lively contemporary discussions.
2310/30850 Moral Theory
Tuesday 1:30-4:00 PM – 1008-C CL
Course description not available at this time.
2421/28285 Topics in Philosophy of Language:
Advanced Introduction to Philosophy of Language
Tuesday 9:30-12:00 PM – 1008-C CL
This course is a graduate-level primer in the philosophy of language. The goal is to cover a range of topics, possibly including names, definite descriptions, context-sensitivity, implicature, semantic externalism, de se cognition, presupposition, and generics
2500/24105 Logic (Core)
Tuesday & Thursday 4-5:15pm-1008-C CL
This core course will review the basic tenets of modern logic relevant to a philosophical career: syntax and semantics of first order logic, basic modal logic, completeness and incompleteness, basic results in model theory and other topics as time permits.
2580/30851 Philosophy of Math
Wednesday 4:00-6:30PM-1008-C CL
In the main, this will be a background survey of core topics in the philosophy of mathematics, with some attention paid to the developmental history of the subject. Topics to be covered: changing attitudes with respect to the status of geometry; the Frege/Russell approach to number and the motivating philosophies connected with it; Hilbert's axiomatic approach; Goedel's platonism and the role of set theory within mathematical thought; the Quine/Putnam indispensability argument and its critics... And so forth, as time permits. No special technical background will be presupposed.
2663/30852 Models & Modeling in Science
Monday 9:30AM-12:00PM-1008-B CL
Cross-listed with HPS 2553/31101
This course will examine various strategies for modeling across scales. These include justifying the use of continuum models to explain and characterize behaviors of systems that we know are not continua. An overarching theme will be the use of what one can call ``asymptotic reasoning'' to justify ignoring details at scales (spatial and temporal) beyond those where various behaviors are dominant. We consider a host of examples, from physics, materials science, and biology.
2990/24290 Teaching Philosophy
Friday 9:30AM-12:00PM-1008-C CL
A practicum to train first-time TAs about teaching 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.
2950/24106 Dissertation Seminar
Wednesday 1:00-3:30PM-1008-C CL
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, but not yet defended a prospectus, examples of other students who have successfully negotiated the transition. This course is offered every fall and spring.