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1 - 10 of 381 results for: PHIL

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.
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)

A survey of moral philosophy in the Western tradition. What makes right actions right and wrong actions wrong? What is it to have a virtuous rather than a vicious character? What is the basis of these distinctions? Why should we care about morality at all? Our aim is to understand how some of the most influential philosophers (including Aristotle, Kant, and Mill) have addressed these questions, and by so doing, to better formulate our own views. No prior familiarity with philosophy required.
Terms: Aut | 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: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Taylor, K. (PI)

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 | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 7Q: What is Truth

This question can be answered precisely in some important cases. We begin with the language of propositional logic where truth is defined by simple tables. This is already sufficient for description of many important problems and leads to a famous ($1 000 000) problem P=NP. We use Sudoku puzzles for illustration. Close connection between propositional truth and proof is established by the resolution method forming a basis of most automated theorem provers. The language of predicate logic covers much more and illustrates the notion of completeness. Register machines provide connection with computations and lead to a fundamental classification of problems of truth with respect to decidability. The language of arithmetic exhibits a new phenomenon of incompleteness that changed significant part of philosophy in 20-th century.
Terms: Aut | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Mints, G. (PI)

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 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | 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: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Friedman, M. (PI)

PHIL 23A: The Cognitive Science of Mathematics

Mathematics has two features which, taken together, are quite puzzling: (i) itsnnobjects (numbers, functions, derivatives, manifolds, and the like) are very unlike everyday concrete material objects, yet (ii) it seems to be the source of our most certain knowledge. In this course, we will examine the role in which findings from empirical theories of mathematical cognition can help address and possibly dissolve this puzzle. The course will be broken up into three units: Philosophical Foundations, Numerical Cognition, and Metaphor and Higher Mathematical Thought
Terms: Aut | Units: 2 | Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit

PHIL 27S: Human Nature and its Discontents

In different ways, Thucydides, Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, and Schopenhauer all emphasize a just so, descriptive account of human beings that, on the surface at least, reveals a profound pessimism with respect to their views about human nature. One of the themes running throughout Thucydides' History of the Peloponnesian War, for example, is the suggestion that human nature is motivated solely by passions of fear, envy, greed, and ambition. Thucydides highlights the ways in which he sees Athens as appealing to these passions while attempting to justify its unspeakable crimes against humanity in the name of "democracy." The aim of this course will be to work through some of the more salient examples of what I will call psychological or anthropological pessimism as outlined in the works of these thinkers, asking about the role their pessimism about human nature plays in their positive philosophical project. Our guiding question will be to explore whether and how each of these thinkers reconciles their philosophical optimism with their psychological pessimism about human nature.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 30S: Justifying justice at home and abroad

It is difficult to read the news today without getting enmeshed in discussions about justice both at home and abroad. Whether it be sequestration, Wall Street regulations, health care reform, the use of drones in war, or humanitarian aid abroad that grabs your attention, there is no doubt that we are living in tumultuous times. What do you think when you read about the new restrictions on abortion in Arkansas? Or about the deregulation of marijuana in Colorado? Or about the abolition of capital punishment in Connecticut? To figure out how to frame answers to these kinds of questions, we shall look at some of the main topics in social and political philosophy: rights, property, justice, criminal punishment, humanitarian intervention and just war theory.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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