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PHIL 1: Introduction to Philosophy

Is there one truth or many? Does science tell us everything there is to know? Can our minds be purely physical? Do we have free will? Is faith rational? Should we always be rational? What is the meaning of life? Are there moral truths? What are truth, reality, rationality, and knowledge? How can such questions be answered? Intensive introduction to theories and techniques in philosophy from various contemporary traditions. Students must enroll in lecture AND and one of the discussion sections listed.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 2: Introduction to Moral Philosophy (ETHICSOC 20)

What should I do with my life? What kind of person should I be? How should we treat others? What makes actions right or wrong? What is good and what is bad? What should we value? How should we organize society? Is there any reason to be moral? Is morality relative or subjective? How, if at all, can such questions be answered? Intensive introduction to theories and techniques in contemporary moral philosophy.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 5N: The Art of Living

Whether we realize it or not, all of us are forced to make a fundamental choice: by deciding what is most valuable to us, we decide how we are going to live our life. We may opt for a life of reason and knowledge; one of faith and discipline; one of nature and freedom; one of community and altruism; or one of originality and style.We may even choose to live our lives as though they were works of art. In every case, hard work is required: our lives are not just given to us, but need to be made. To live well is, in fact, to practice an art of living. Where, however, do such ideals come from? How do we adopt and defend them? What is required to put them into practice? What do we do when they come into conflict with one another? And what role do great works of art play in all this? "The Art of Living" will explore the various ways in which it is possible to live well and beautifully, what it takes to implement them, and what happens when they come under pressure from inside and out.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2014 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 6N: Pictures and the Imagination

Paintings, drawings, and photographs often function as pictures or images of the preexisting things they take as subjects. They represent these subjects from specific spatial vantage points in ways that may be more or less definite, more or less detailed, and more or less faithful to what the subjects are actually like. One longs to know how this works: how vision, imagination, and background knowledge come together when we experience a picture as a picture. Certain forms of imagining and remembering involve mental picturing, mental imagery. Sometimes we imagine or remember things in visual terms from a specific spatial vantage point, with the result that we feel brought face to face with the things imagined or remembered, however far away they may actually be. How is the physical picturing that goes on in paintings, drawings, and photographs both like and unlike the mental picturing that goes on when things swim before the mind's eye? What role does mental picturing play in physical picturing? What kinds of artistic value and interest attach to paintings, drawings, and photographs in virtue of what they picture and how they picture it?
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2013 | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 8N: Free Will and Responsibility

In what sense are we, or might we be free agents? Is our freedom compatible with our being fully a part of the same natural, causal order that includes other physical and biological systems? What assumptions about freedom do we make when we hold people accountable morally and/or legally? When we hold people accountable, and so responsible, can we also see them as part of the natural, causal order? Or is there a deep incompatibility between these two ways of understanding ourselves? What assumptions about our freedom do we make when we deliberate about what to do? Are these assumptions in conflict with seeing ourselves as part of the natural, causal order?nWe will explore these and related questions primarily by way of careful study of recent and contemporary philosophical research on these matters.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2016 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

PHIL 13: Humanities Core: Great Books, Big Ideas -- Europe, Modern (DLCL 13, FRENCH 13, HISTORY 239C, HUMCORE 13)

This three-quarter sequence asks big questions of major texts in the European and American tradition. What is a good life? How should society be organized? Who belongs? How should honor, love, sin, and similar abstractions govern our actions? What duty do we owe to the past and future? This third and final quarter focuses on the modern period, from the rise of revolutionary ideas to the experiences of totalitarianism and decolonization in the twentieth century. Authors include Locke, Mary Shelley, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Weber, Primo Levi, and Frantz Fanon.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3-4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 13N: "Can good people like bad music?" and other questions

Think of a musical artist you just can't stand to listen to. Chances are, this artist has thousands, if not millions, of adoring fans. That is, what's "bad music" to you is "good music" to others. This fact is not shocking: we all know that people have different tastes in music, and in art more generally. But what does this fact tell us about art, other people, and ourselves? Are some of us right and others of us wrong about what's good and bad music? Is there reason to think that some music is "objectively" better than other music? Can we say that those who like "bad music" are missing something, or mistaken in their tastes? If so, why not think it's us that are mistaken? How much are our own tastes bound up with "who we are"? And what might this mean for our capacity to appreciate tastes which are not our own?nThis seminar is an investigation into these and other questions. Through the specific lens of music, we will explore the nature of artistic taste more generally. Our main cours more »
Think of a musical artist you just can't stand to listen to. Chances are, this artist has thousands, if not millions, of adoring fans. That is, what's "bad music" to you is "good music" to others. This fact is not shocking: we all know that people have different tastes in music, and in art more generally. But what does this fact tell us about art, other people, and ourselves? Are some of us right and others of us wrong about what's good and bad music? Is there reason to think that some music is "objectively" better than other music? Can we say that those who like "bad music" are missing something, or mistaken in their tastes? If so, why not think it's us that are mistaken? How much are our own tastes bound up with "who we are"? And what might this mean for our capacity to appreciate tastes which are not our own?nThis seminar is an investigation into these and other questions. Through the specific lens of music, we will explore the nature of artistic taste more generally. Our main course text will be Carl Wilson's Let's Talk About Love: A Journey to the End of Taste, a popular introduction to our topic. We will also look at and discuss actual album reviews, pieces of music journalism, and news stories. Class meetings will be heavily discussion-based, and students should come to class ready to share, debate, and scrutinize their own musical tastes. Outside of class, students will develop their understanding through a variety of informal and creative writing assignments, such as exploratory journal entries and mock fan letters. Your taste in music may very well change as a result of this seminar, but this is not its aim. The goal is to understand what it means to disagree about art, through which you will learn how to respond more intelligently and empathetically to such disagreements as they come up in your everyday life.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2015 | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

PHIL 15N: Freedom, Community, and Morality

Preference to freshmen. Does the freedom of the individual conflict with the demands of human community and morality? Or, as some philosophers have maintained, does the freedom of the individual find its highest expression in a moral community of other human beings? Readings include Camus, Mill, Rousseau, and Kant.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2014 | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

PHIL 28: The Literature and Philosophy of Place

Literature and philosophy, primarily, but not exclusively from Latin America, that raises questions about place and displacement through migration and exile, about how location shapes our understanding of ourselves and of our responsibilities to society and environment, about the multiple meanings of home. Among the questions we will consider are the difference between the experiences of people who are at "home" and those who are "away," how one person's claim on home can be another's experience of being invaded, the interdependence of self and place, the multiple meanings of "environment." Readings by Gabriela Mistral, Pablo Neruda, Carmen Lyra, Jorge Gracia, Otavio Paz, Maria Lugones, among others.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2015 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ED | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

PHIL 60: Introduction to Philosophy of Science (HPS 60)

This course introduces students to tools for the philosophical analysis of science. We will cover issues in observation, experiment, and reasoning, questions about the aims of science, scientific change, and the relations between science and values.
Terms: Win | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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