INTRODUCTION TO CURRENT MORAL AND SOCIAL ISSUES
T/TH 2:00 pm – 3:20 pm
Introduction to moral theory and application to selected contemporary issues. Possible topics include abortion, infanticide, euthanasia, punishment, equality, sexism, racism, affirmative action, privacy, obligations to the world’s needy, treatment of animals, drug use, and the meaning of life.
INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY
F 12:30 pm – 3:20 pm
T/TH 9:35 am – 10:55 am
An exploration of central philosophical problems, such as truth, justice, mind, and person, with a view to surveying the field and locating particular philosophical specialties within it such as logic, ethics, and metaphysics.
M 2:30 pm – 4:20 pm
In this small, seminar-style course, students will work through either one significant book or a similarly substantive collection of essays, with the topic varying by semester. Students will engage in intensive close reading of the philosophical texts, identifying particular arguments, premises, and claims for assessment during student discussion in the seminar meetings. The course meets for 1/3 the time of a regular course, that is, on average one hour a week (or two hours every other week). This course can be repeated up to three times for credit. (Note that there is also a similar course in Religion, 50:840:190, which can be taken up to an additional three times).
M/W 9:35 am – 10:55am
An introduction to modern symbolic logic, with an emphasis on methods for the evaluation and construction of deductive arguments, and on the concepts of validity, consistency, and implication. Additional topics may be selected from among the following: informal fallacies, logic and ordinary language, induction, the scientific method, syllogistic logic, and the relation between logic and other areas in philosophy.
HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY II
M/W 12:30 pm – 1:50 pm
The development of philosophy from its modern beginnings in Descartes. Readings selected from the classical modern period, from Descartes through Kant. Topics include the relationship between mind and body, the origins and extent of human knowledge, skepticism and belief, and the nature of personal identity.
Introduction to the contributions of American philosophers in the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries to inquiries into the nature of experience, truth, goodness, and society, with particular attention paid to the tradition of American pragmatism. Readings selected from among Emerson, Peirce, James, Dewey, Mead, Royce, Lewis, Rorty, and Putnam.
NATURE OF MIND
T 6:00 pm – 8:50 pm
What is the mind? Is it part of physical reality, or something separate? Can science explain the nature of the mind? Is it possible for a properly programmed computer to have a mind? If the mind is completely physical, is it located entirely in the brain? We will investigate these questions, and contrast philosophical approaches to them with the methods employed in neuroscience and empirical psychology.
DEBATE ETHICAL ISSUES ACROSS DISCIPLINES
T/TH 11:10 am – 12:30 pm
Kim Moran and Professor Betz
This course trains students in ethical reasoning and argumentation through both the study of ethics as a discipline and the practice of ethical debate in an ethics bowl competition. Students gain not only an understanding of ethical ideas and argumentation, but also skills in constructing arguments, oral communication, close reading, community outreach, and event organization.
T/TH 3:35 pm – 4:55 pm
Exploration of moral issues in medicine and medical research. Course will typically focus on issues raised by the creation and termination of life and include topics such as abortion, stem cell research, cloning, prenatal screening for disability, right to medical care, human experimentation, genetic enhancement and eugenics, animal experimentation, the diagnosis of death, and euthanasia.
M/W 2:05 pm – 3:25 pm
Exploration of ethical issues concerning the environment. Course will typically focus on issues raised by the moral justification for coercing individuals and corporations, just distribution of resources, moral rights of animals, and the study of topical issues such as clean air standards, population control, land use.
ETHICS AND BUSINESS
Social and moral problems that arise in the context of business: profit motive, corporate social responsibility, use and abuse of corporate power, truth in advertising, consumer rights, strikes, stockholders’ rights, preferential hiring. Contemporary case studies augmented with basic texts in ethics.
SPECIAL TOPICS: ANIMALS, ETHICS, AND LAW
Description to be forthcoming…
INDEPENDENT STUDY IN PHILOSOPHY
An individual reading and research project under the guidance of a member of the philosophy department in an area of interest to the department. Prerequisite: Permission of department.