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PHIL 167A: Philosophy of Biology (PHIL 267A)

(Graduate students register for 267A.) Evolutionary theory and in particular, on characterizing natural selection and how it operates. We examine debates about fitness, whether selection is a cause or force, the levels at which selection operates, and whether cultural evolution is a Darwinian process. Prerequisites:  one PHIL course and either one BIO course or Human Biology core; or equivalent with consent of instructor.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Longino, H. (PI)

PHIL 167B: Philosophy, Biology, and Behavior (PHIL 267B)

(Graduate Students register for 267B) Philosophical study of key theoretical ideas in biology as deployed in the study of behavior. Topics to include genetic, neurobiological, ecological approaches to behavior; the classification and measurement of behaviors: reductionism, determinism, interactionism. Prerequisites: one PHIL course and either one BIO course or Human Biology core; or equivalent with consent of instructor.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2015 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 167D: Philosophy of Neuroscience (PHIL 267D, SYMSYS 167D)

How can we explain the mind? With approaches ranging from computational models to cellular-level characterizations of neural responses to the characterization of behavior, neuroscience aims to explain how we see, think, decide, and even feel. While these approaches have been highly successful in answering some kinds of questions, they have resulted in surprisingly little progress in others. We'll look at the relationships between the neuroscientific enterprise, philosophical investigations of the nature of the mind, and our everyday experiences as creatures with minds. Prerequisite: PHIL 80.n(Not open to freshmen.)
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Cao, R. (PI)

PHIL 170: Ethical Theory (ETHICSOC 170, PHIL 270)

This course serves as a rigorous introduction to moral philosophy for students with little or no background. We will examine ideas from four important figures in moral thought: Plato, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, and John Stuart Mill. Each of these philosophers played an integral role in the development of moral philosophy, because each offers thoughtful, compelling answers to some of the discipline¿s most central questions. These questions include: What is involved in being a good person or living a good life? What should we value, and why? How are we motivated by morality? How (if at all) is morality a matter of what is customary or conventional? How (much) do the consequences of our actions matter? Importantly, this course is not only about learning what others have thought about the answers to these (and related) questions. By considering and criticizing the ideas and arguments of these philosophers, the aim is to cultivate our own ability to think systematically, rationally, and reflectively, and to make up our own minds about how to answer these kinds of questions.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 170B: Metaphor (PHIL 270B)

In metaphor we think and talk about two things at once: two different subject matters are mingled to rich and unpredictable effect. A close critical study of the main modern accounts of metaphor's nature and interest, drawing on the work of writers, linguists, philosophers, and literary critics. Attention to how understanding, appreciation, and pleasure connect with one another in the experience of metaphor. Consideration of the possibility that metaphor or something very like it occurs in nonverbal media: gesture, dance, painting, music.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
Instructors: Hills, D. (PI)

PHIL 172: History of Modern Moral Philosophy (PHIL 272)

A critical exploration of some of the main forms of systematic moral theorizing in Western philosophy from Hobbes onward and their roots in ancient ethical thought. Prerequistes are some prior familiarity with utilitarianism and Kantian ethics and a demonstrated interest in philosophy.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2017 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 172B: Recent Ethical Theory: Moral Obligation (PHIL 272B)

Some moral obligations are "relational," "directional," or "bipolar" in structure: in promising you to act in a certain way, for example, I incur an obligation to you to so act and you acquire a corresponding claim or right against me that I so act. This entails that if I violate my obligation to you, I will not merely be doing something that is morally wrong, but will be wronging you in particular. What does explain this? Do all moral obligations have this structure? We will discuss how different moral theories (consequentialist, deontological, contractualist) try to account for such obligations. Readings include Adams, Anscombe, Darwall, Feinberg, Hart, Parfit, Raz, Scanlon, Skorupski, Thompson, Thomson, Wallace, and Wolf.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2015 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 173W: Aesthetics (PHIL 273W)

This course will investigate a cluster of varied but related philosophical issues concerning the arts - music, painting, literature, poetry, photography, theater, film, etc.- issues most of which are, at the same time, problems in philosophy of mind or language, value theory, or epistemology. We will address questions like the following (though probably not all of them): What, if anything, is distinctive about art and aesthetic experience?, What is aesthetic value, and how do aesthetic values relate to and interact with moral values and values of other kinds?, What is fiction and why are people interested in it?, In what ways are works of art expressive of feelings or emotions? What similarities and differences are there in the expressive qualities of music, literature, painting, poetry? How might we learn from works of art of one or another kind, and how might they work to change people's perspectives or attitudes?, In what ways do artworks serve as vehicles of communication? Are the values of works of art fundamentally different from those of beautiful natural objects? Along the way, we will bump into more specific questions such as: Why and in what ways is photography more (or less) 'realistic' than painting and drawing, or more or less revealing of reality? Does (instrumental) music have cognitive or semantic content? Is music representational in anything like the ways literature and figurative painting are?, Do all literary works have narrators? Is there ever (or always?) anything like narrators in paintings, films, music? Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, or permission of the instructor.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Spring 2017 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 174A: Moral Limits of the Market (ETHICSOC 174A, PHIL 274A, POLISCI 135P)

Morally controversial uses of markets and market reasoning in areas such as organ sales, procreation, education, and child labor. Would a market for organ donation make saving lives more efficient; if it did, would it thereby be justified? Should a nation be permitted to buy the right to pollute? Readings include Walzer, Arrow, Rawls, Sen, Frey, Titmuss, and empirical cases.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Winter 2013 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 175: Philosophy of Law

This course will explore foundational questions about the nature of law, including questions about the relationship between law and morality. Topics to be discussed include the following: a) the foundations of legal authority, b) legal reasoning and argument, and c) the nature of persistent legal disputes (e.g., disputes about how to best interpret the US constitution). We will focus on contemporary work on these topics, including work by Scott Shapiro, Joseph Raz, Ronald Dworkin, David Enoch, Connie Rosati, and Mark Greenberg. Prerequisite: PHIL 80.
Terms: not given this year, last offered Autumn 2016 | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit
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