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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 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 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, last offered Autumn 2013 | 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: not given this year | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

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, last offered Spring 2010 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | 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 14N: Belief and the Will

Preference to freshmen. Is there anything wrong with believing something without evidence? Is it possible? The nature and ethics of belief, and belief's relation to evidence and truth. How much control do believers have over their belief?
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2014 | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, 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: 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)
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