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1 - 10 of 459 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. Students must enroll in lecture AND and one of the discussion sections listed.
Terms: Spr | 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: Win | 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 | 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 | 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: not given this year | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | 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: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Bratman, M. (PI)

PHIL 9N: Philosophical Classics of the 20th Century

Last century's best and most influential philosophical writings. Topics include ethics (what is the nature of right and wrong?), language (how do meaning, reference, and truth arise in the natural world?), science (can science claim objectively accurate descriptions of reality?), existence (are there things that don't exist?), and the mind (could robots ever be conscious?). Authors include Bertrand Russell, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Rudolf Carnap, Willard Quine, Thomas Kuhn, John Rawls, and Saul Kripke. The lay of the land in contemporary philosophy.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 10N: Bounded Rationality

This course takes a philosophical approach to a cutting edge debate in psychology. Readings include texts in contemporary cognitive science as well as in philosophy of mind.
Terms: not given this year | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 11N: Skepticism

Preference to freshmen. Historical and contemporary philosophical perspectives on the limits of human knowledge of a mind-independent world and causal laws of nature. The nature and possibility of a priori knowledge. Skepticism regarding religious beliefs..
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

PHIL 12N: Paradoxes

In this course, we will use paradoxes like these as foci for discussions of some of the deepest issues in philosophy and mathematics. No prior knowledge of logic, philosophy or mathematics will be assumed and there will be minimal use of symbolism.nStudents will be expected to complete problem sheets, and to write a very short final paper. The seminars will be discussion-based.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
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