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Philosophy

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

1. Introduction to the Problems of Philosophy

10F, 11S, 12S: 12

This course acquaints the student with some of the fundamental problems in at least three main areas of Philosophy: Theory of Knowledge, Metaphysics, and Ethics. Questions treated in lectures normally include: Can we know anything, and, if so, how? Does God exist? What is the relation between mind and body? Are our actions free or determined? What makes an act morally right or wrong? Some attention will be paid to the ways in which answers to these questions can be combined to create philosophical systems or total world views. The readings might include both contemporary essays and classic works by such philosophers as Plato, Descartes, and Hume.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV. The staff.

2. Introduction to Philosophical Classics

11F: 11

An examination of classic texts by such philosophers as Plato, Descartes, Hume, and Nietzsche. Lectures will concentrate on the philosophical systems constructed by these thinkers emphasizing their attempt to develop total world views.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV. The staff.

3. Reason and Argument

10F:11 11F: 12

An introduction to informal logic with special attention to the analysis of actual arguments as they arise in daily life as well as in legal, scientific, and moral reasoning. Along with the analysis and criticism of arguments, the course will also consider the methods for constructing arguments that are both logically correct and persuasive.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV. The staff.

6. Logic and Language

11W, 11S, 12W, 12S: M,Tu,Th, F  9; Discussion M-F 4:50-5:20

This course, which is taught on the self-paced instruction format, is an introduction to the study of arguments. Topics include the nature of logic, the identification of logical fallacies, inductive reasoning, syllogistic, sentential, and predicate logic.

Open to all classes. Dist: QDS. The staff.

7. First-Year Seminars in Philosophy

Consult special listings

8. Introduction to Moral Philosophy

11W, 12W: 12

A study of the main types of ethical theories from Plato to the pragmatists and existentialists. Attention will be paid to the relevance of major historical positions to contemporary issues.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV. The staff.

9. Topics in Applied Ethics

10F, 11F: 10

An examination of the ethical dimensions of some contemporary controversies. Topics will vary from year to year but may include: business, death, discrimination, the environment, gender, law, media, race, sex, technology, and war. The course may be taken more than once for credit with permission of the instructor.

Open to all classes. No prerequisites. Dist: TMV.

In 09F, Reproductive Ethics. Bumpus.

In 10F, Topic to be announced.

HISTORICAL COURSES

11. Ancient Philosophy

10F, 11F: 10

A study of the origins of Western philosophical thought as it emerges in ancient Greece. Focus will be on such questions as: What is the fundamental nature of reality? Is knowledge possible? What is the nature of the soul? What is human happiness? Are there objective truths about moral and political values? Are all events causally determined? Do human beings have free will? Ought we to fear death? Although the focus of the course will alternate from year to year, the figures treated may include: Presocratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and later Greek philosophers (Epicureans, Stoics and Sceptics).

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, or 9, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Thomas.

12. Medieval Philosophy

Not offered in the period from 10F through 11S

A study of the philosophy of the Middle Ages. Attention is focused on philosophic thinkers and movements of major significance, e.g., Augustine and Christian Platonism, the recovery of Aristotle by Maimonides and Aquinas, and skepticism and mysticism from Ockham to St. John of the Cross.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, 9, or 11, or an appropriate course in religion or the classics with permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

13. Modern Philosophy: Continental Rationalism

12W: 10

A study of early modern philosophy in the Continental rationalist tradition of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Focus is on the major works of Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz, with some attention to responses from their contemporaries (e.g., Arnauld, Gassendi, Mersenne). Central themes include substance, matter, mind, the laws of nature, space and time, God, truth, necessity and contingency.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, or 9, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Levey.

14. Modern Philosophy: British Empiricism

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

A study of early modern philosophy in the British empiricist tradition of the seventeenth and early eighteenth centuries. Focus is on the major works of Locke, Berkeley and Hume, though possibly with attention to some others (e.g. Bacon, Hobbes, Reid). Central themes include substance, perception, secondary qualities, cognition, meaning, causation, identity and reality.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, or 9, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV; WCult: W.

15. Modern Philosophy: Hume and Kant

11S: 10

An in-depth introduction to the theoretical and practical philosophies of David Hume and Immanuel Kant. Topics include: Hume’s scepticism about induction and the law of cause and effect; Kant’s effort to “save” metaphysics from Hume’s sceptical attack; Kant’s account of the a priori forms (space and time, the categories) by means of which we con-struct our experience; his attempt to save freedom from Hume’s compatibilism; his ground-ing of practical philosophy in the idea of transcendental freedom.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 11, 12, 13, or 14, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Rosenkoetter.

16. Modern Philosophy: Nineteenth Century Continental

12S: 10A

This course begins with a review of some of the central implications of Kant’s Critical philosophy, both for the theory of knowledge and for practical philosophy. It then considers reactions to Kant from fellow idealists, such as Hegel; materialists such as Feuerbach and Marx; and anti-rationalists such as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, or 9, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Rosenkoetter.

17. Phenomenology and Existentialism

11W: 11 12S: 10

A study of German and French philosophy from the first half of the twentieth century. The emphasis is usually on Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, and de Beauvoir. Major themes of the course include subjectivity, freedom, responsibility, and the nature of social relationships.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, or 9, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Allen.

18. Contemporary Continental Philosophy

12W: 11

A study of recent themes in continental philosophy. Discussion will focus on such philosophical movements as critical theory, structuralism, poststructuralism, contemporary psychoanalytic theory, and French feminist theory. The emphasis will be on such philosophers as Derrida, Foucault, Lacan, Deleuze, Habermas, Levinas, and Irigaray.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, or 9, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Allen.

COURSES RELATED TO OTHER DISCIPLINES

20. Philosophy and Literature

11S: 10A

This course will examine several philosophical theories that formulate criteria of aes-thetic and literary value, and will test them by applications to specific works of literature. Readings and discussions will focus on definitions and analyses of tragedy developed by such philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Hegel, and Nietzsche. Assignments will also include dramatic works by ancient Greek and contemporary American playwrights.

No prerequisite, although Philosophy 1 or 2 is strongly recommended. Dist: TMV.

21. Philosophy of Human Nature

11X: 10

A consideration of philosophic problems concerning human nature including such topics as the nature of emotion and reason, the philosophical implications of depth psychology, and the basis of human values.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1 or 2, or selected courses in psychology, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV.

22. Feminism and Philosophy (Identical to Women’s and Gender Studies 46.1)

12S: 10A

This course examines the relationship between feminism and philosophy. The focus is on such questions as: Is the Western philosophical canon inherently sexist? How should feminist philosophers read the canon? Are Western philosophical concepts such as objectivity, reason, and impartiality inherently masculinist concepts? The course may focus on either the ways in which feminists have interpreted great figures in the history of philosophy (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Hume, Kant, Nietzsche), or on the ways in which feminists have rethought basic concepts in core areas of philosophy (e.g., epistemology, ethics, metaphysics, political philosophy, philosophy of science), or both.

Open to all classes. Dist: TMV; WCult: CI. Brison.

23. Philosophy of Art

11W: 2

This course focuses on points of contact between philosophy and the arts. The course examines and attempts to develop theories of artistic representation, of expression in art and elsewhere, of the nature of metaphor and its role in art criticism, and of the nature of art. These matters are approached via works in the various arts and the writings of philosophers.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, or 9, or permission of the instructor. Dist: ART. Kulvicki.

24. Philosophy of Law

11W: 10 11F: 11

This course examines such topics as the concept of law, the dispute between natural law theorists and legal positivists, the relations between law and morality, criminal responsibility and legal punishment, and rights of the individual against the state. Attention will be paid to the relevance of legal theory to contemporary legal controversies.

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors, and to first-year students by permission. Dist: TMV; WCult: W. Crocker.

25. Philosophy of Medicine

11S: 11 11F: 12

An examination of some philosophical issues in the field of medicine. Primary focus will be on the moral issues that arise in dealing with individual patients, e.g., paternalism, informed consent, euthanasia, and abortion. There will also be an attempt to clarify such important concepts as death, illness, and disease.

Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors. Dist: TMV. Bumpus.

26. Philosophy and Computers (Identical to Cognitive Science 26)

12S: 10

The accomplishments of artificial intelligence research and the widespread use of com-puters in our society confront us with many interesting philosophical questions. What are the limits of artificial intelligence? Could computers ever think or feel? Is the Turing test a good test? Are we really computers? Are there decisions computers should never make? Do computers threaten our privacy in special ways? This course will consider such issues in order to explore the philosophical implications of computing.

Open to all classes. Dist: TAS. Moor.

27. Philosophy of Science

12S: 11

This course examines the philosophical assumptions of both the natural and the social sciences. Topics discussed include the distinction between science and nonscience, the nature and types of scientific explanation, the structure and function of scientific laws and theories, the problems and paradoxes of confirmation and disconfirmation, the role of mathematics and models of science, the basis for probability and induction, and the relationship between science and values.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1 or 2, or selected courses in the sciences, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV. Kulvicki.

28. Philosophy of Religion

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

An examination of some philosophical problems associated with religion. Discussion will focus on such topics as the following: arguments concerning the existence and nature of God, the meaning of religious language, the rationality of religious belief, the relation between religion and science and religion and morality.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1 or 2, or selected courses in religion, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV.

29. Philosophy of Mathematics

10F: 11

A study of philosophical issues in the foundations of mathematics. What is mathematics about? What, if anything, makes the propositions of mathematics true? What is the nature of the “objects” studied in mathematics (numbers, functions, groups, etc.)? Do they exist independently of the mind? Is there really an infinite, and if so, what is it? What is the nature of mathematical knowledge? How is that knowledge even possible for us? Those are the kinds of questions that will occupy us in this class. Readings will be selected from classic and contemporary sources on such topics as the concept of number, the theory of sets, the nature of proof and truth in mathematics, the relationship between our grasp of higher mathematics and our grasp of simple counting, and the many disputes between “realism” and “anti-realism” about mathematics.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, or 9, or permission of the instructor. Any prior class in mathematics would be helpful, but no background in mathematics beyond an understanding of the most elementary concepts will be presupposed. Dist: TMV. Levey.

SYSTEMATIC COURSES

30. Theory of Knowledge

12W: 2

Questions considered in this course are: What is knowledge? and How and to what extent is knowledge possible? An investigation of such topics as skepticism and certainty, knowledge of the self, sense-perception and an external world, memory and the past, and thoughts and feelings of others.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, or 9, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV. Kulvicki.

31. Topics in Metaphysics

11W, 11F: 10

This course will focus on one or more central topics in metaphysics, possibly including the question of God’s existence, the possibility of free will, personal identity, the nature of actions and intentions, space and time, change, the infinite, universals, truth, necessity, abstract objects, and the nature of the self. This course may be taken more than once for credit with permission of the instructor.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, or 9, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV.

In 11W, Realism and Antirealism. Thomas.

In 11F, Past, Future and Fate. Levey

32. Intermediate Logic

12S: 2

An investigation of three branches of symbolic logic: first-order predicate logic with identity, sentential modal logic, and predicate modal logic. Topics to be covered may include Russell’s theory of definite descriptions; the treatment of non-denoting terms in logics known as “free logics”; investigations of various modalities, involving pairs of concepts such as necessity and possibility, being obligatory and being permitted, and being known and being believed; Kripke-style “possible world” semantics.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 6, or Mathematics 39 or 69, or permission of the instructor. Dist: QDS. Moor.

33. Philosophy of Logic

Not offered in the period from 10F through 12S

An investigation of such topics as the relationship between natural languages and formal languages, indeterminacy of translation, reference, analyticity, theories of truth, logical paradoxes, and deviant and non-standard logics.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 3 or 6, or Mathematics 39 or 69, or permission of the instructor. Dist: QDS.

34. Philosophy of Language

11S: 2

The study of language is one of the defining features of contemporary philosophy. This course examines classic issues and ideas in the philosophy of language as they are articu-lated across the twentieth century. We shall investigate the nature of language, relationships between language and thought, and the application of theories of language to philosophical problems. The focus will be on theories of reference and meaning as they are developed by philosophers such as Frege, Russell, Quine, Kripke, Wittgenstein, and Grice. Specific topics may include fiction, counterfactual conditionals, past-tense statements, indexicals, truth, and vagueness.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1, 2, 3, 6, 7, 8, or 9, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV. Levey.

35. Philosophy of Mind

11W: 10A

In this course, we will consider different views of the relationship between mind and brain, from Dualism to contemporary versions of Materialism and Functionalism. We will consider whether any materialist view of the mind can adequately account for consciousness. We may also look into the nature of mental representation and into epistemological questions such as whether we are the ultimate authorities on our own thoughts and whether we can have knowledge of other minds. Other possible topics include split-brain patients, personal identity, and animal minds.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, or 9, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV. Roskies.

37. Ethical Theory

11S: 12 12S: 2A

This course will be primarily concerned with such questions as What is morality? Are there universal values? and Why should one be moral? and with the responses to them by several contemporary philosophers. The application of ethical theory to some contemporary issues also will be considered.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1, 2, 8, or 9, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV. Rosenkoetter.

38. Political and Social Philosophy

10F, 11F: 2

Through the study of classical and contemporary texts in political and social theory, we will consider such issues as how and to what extent (if at all) political authority can be justified, what the criteria are for distributive justice, and how social and political inequalities (such as those based on race and gender) should be conceptualized. In different years the focus of the course may concentrate on different philosophers, for example, the emphasis may be on historical philosophers or on contemporary philosophers. The philosophers covered will include some of the following: Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Mill, Rousseau, Marx, Rawls, Habermas.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1, 2, 3, 6, 8, or 9, or permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV. Crocker.

SPECIAL COURSES

50. Special Topics in Philosophy

10F, 11F: D.F.S.P. 10F: 2 11W: 2A 11S, 11x: 10A 12W:10

Dist: TMV; WCult: Varies.

In 10F, D.F.S.P. Privacy, Property, and Power in the Age of the Web. Moor.

In 10F at 2, The Ethics of Human Enhancement. Bumpus.

In 11W at 2A, Philosophy of Cognitive Science. Roskies.

In 11S at 10A, Crime and Punishment. Crocker.

In 11X at 10A, Topic to be announced. Edinburgh Visiting Professor.

In 11F, D.F.S.P. Topic to be announced. Kulvicki.

In 12W at 10, Topic to be announced. Rosenkoetter.

60. Foreign Study in Philosophy I

10F, 11F: D.F.S.P.

Credit for this course is awarded to students who have successfully completed a philosophy course at the University of Edinburgh while a member of the Dartmouth Foreign Study Program at Edinburgh.

Prerequisite: two courses in philosophy. Dist: TMV.

61. Foreign Study in Philosophy II

10F, 11F: D.F.S.P.

Credit for this course is awarded to students who have successfully completed a philosophy course at the University of Edinburgh while a member of the Dartmouth Foreign Study Program at Edinburgh.

Prerequisite: two courses in philosophy. Dist: TMV.

80. Advanced Seminar

10F:10 11W, 11S, 11F, 12W, 12S: 2A

This course may be offered in any term and the content varied from year to year according to the interests of the students and the availability of teaching staff. Although intended primarily for students majoring in Philosophy, properly qualified students from other departments may be admitted. In every case admission requires the permission of the instructor. Dist: TMV.

In 10F at 10, Free Will, Responsibility, and the Brain. Roskies.

In 11W at 2A, Origins of Objectivity. Kulvicki.

In 11S at 2A, Topic to be announced. Thomas.

In 11F at 2A, Topic to be announced. Roskies.

In 12W at 2A, Topic to be announced. Moor.

In 12S at 2A, Topic to be announced.

86. Research in Philosophy for the Ethics Minor.

All terms: Arrange

The purpose of Philosophy 86 is to allow students pursuing the Ethics Minor to complete their senior culminating project. The culminating project involves an independent study, resulting in a substantial paper (20-30 pages in length), on a topic related to the student’s cluster courses. Philosophy 86 does not count toward satisfaction of the philosophy major, modified major, or minor.

Prerequisites: Permission of the instructor. Donovan.

87. Research in Philosophy

All terms: Arrange

The purpose of Philosophy 87 is to provide opportunity for a student to do advanced work on a topic that the student has studied in a regularly offered course, or to study a topic not normally covered in a regularly offered course. In order to enroll in Philosophy 87, a student must prepare a brief (one page) proposal which describes what the student wishes to study and accomplish by taking this research course. All proposals for Philosophy 87 must be reviewed by the faculty of the Department after having been provisionally approved by the faculty member who is the prospective director. This must be done before the beginning of the term in which the course is to be taken. May be taken for more than one course credit, but at most, one election will count toward satisfaction of the requirements of the major. The staff.

89. Honors Program

All terms: Arrange

Open only to Philosophy majors who are participating in the senior year of the Honors Program.