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1 - 10 of 54 results for: PHIL ; Currently searching spring courses. You can expand your search to include all quarters

PHIL 3: Democracy and Disagreement (PUBLPOL 3)

Each class will be focused on a different topic and have guest speakers. This class will be open to students, faculty and staff to attend and also be recorded. Deep disagreement pervades our democracy, from arguments over immigration, gun control, abortion, and the Middle East crisis, to the function of elite higher education and the value of free speech itself. Loud voices drown out discussion. Open-mindedness and humility seem in short supply among politicians and citizens alike. Yet constructive disagreement is an essential feature of a democratic society. This class explores and models respectful, civil disagreement. Each week features scholars who disagree - sometimes quite strongly - about major policy issues. Students will have the opportunity to probe those disagreements, understand why they persist, and to improve their own understanding of the facts and values that underlie them.
Terms: Spr | Units: 1 | Repeatable 4 times (up to 4 units total)

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: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

PHIL 24M: Grad Tutorial: Abstraction

Tutorial taught by grad student. From making scientific predictions and constructing mathematical proofs, to conceptualizing and communicating our own personal experience, we rely on abstraction. This course explores "abstraction" across different domains of philosophy including metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics, philosophy of language, philosophy of mathematics, and political theory. In addition to surveying a variety of theories of abstraction we will pay attention to moments when it played a crucial role in history such as the dawn of human civilization, the invention of philosophy, the inauguration of the Scientific Revolution, and the scandalous innovations of modern art.
Terms: Spr | Units: 2
Instructors: Dowling, G. (PI)

PHIL 24R: Grad Tutorial: Plato on Punishment

Tutorial taught by grad student. Enrollment limited to 10. Being punished is good for you, and not being punished is bad for you. The Ancient Greek Philosopher Plato held these two claims through his entire philosophical career. Our task in this course is to explore the value of punishment through Plato's work. We'll be doing both history and philosophy. The historical question is why Plato believed such a thing and how we can motivate his view most plausibly. But the philosophical question is whether that view should persuade us and whether it has any advantages over contemporary justifications of punishment. Perhaps one might think that detentions benefit unruly students. But if you were to litter, do we think imposing a fine would make you better off? If you committed a more serious crime, how could incarcerating you help? And finally, if you were to commit a crime that merited the death penalty, how could we ever explain that it was for your benefit? But if punishments never benefit the offender, how much does the offender matter when we set up our systems of punishment and justice? We'll tackle all these questions through philosophy, politics and history and take Plato's highly counter-intuitive view as our starting point.
Terms: Spr | Units: 2
Instructors: Sparling, R. (PI)


Ideas matter. Concepts such as progress, technology, and sex, have inspired social movements, shaped political systems, and dramatically influenced the lives of individuals. Others, like cultural relativism and historical memory, play an important role in contemporary debates in the United States. All of these ideas are contested, and they have a real power to change lives, for better and for worse. In this one-unit class we will examine these "dangerous" ideas. Each week, a faculty member from a different department in the humanities and arts will explore a concept that has shaped human experience across time and space.
Terms: Spr | Units: 1
Instructors: Safran, G. (PI)

PHIL 49: Survey of Formal Methods

Survey of important formal methods used in philosophy. The course covers the basics of propositional and elementary predicate logic, probability and decision theory, game theory, and statistics, highlighting philosophical issues and applications. Specific topics include the languages of propositional and predicate logic and their interpretations, rationality arguments for the probability axioms, Nash equilibrium and dominance reasoning, and the meaning of statistical significance tests. Assessment is through a combination of problems designed to solidify competence with the mathematical tools and short-answer questions designed to test conceptual understanding.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: WAY-FR, GER:DB-Math
Instructors: Bassett, R. (PI)

PHIL 72: Contemporary Moral Problems (ETHICSOC 185M, POLISCI 134P)

In this course, we will discuss the body as a site of moral and political conflict. Here are a few of the questions that will be explored: People are encouraged to become kidney donors, but we still don't have enough kidneys for everybody who needs one. Should you be allowed to sell a kidney? Suppose Robert is dying of a rare disease and the only thing that could save his life is a bone marrow transplant from his cousin David, but David doesn't want to donate. Should we force him to "donate"? Some people say a woman should be free to make abortion decisions on whatever grounds she wants, including prenatal genetic testing for conditions like Down syndrome; others condemn such selective abortion as an unacceptable form of eugenics. What genetic testing information, if any, should be allowed to influence a woman's decision about whether to terminate a pregnancy? In addition to these normative questions, we will also study related questions in constitutional law. When the Supreme Court decided that abortion was a constitutional right in Roe v. Wade, on what legal reasoning did they base their decision? When they decided to overturn Roe in the recent Dobbs v. Jackson, what legal reasoning did they use then? How will Dobbs affect other (current) constitutional rights?
Terms: Spr | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER
Instructors: Mapps, M. (PI)

PHIL 80: Mind, Matter, and Meaning

Intensive study of central topics in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language and mind in preparation for advanced courses in philosophy. Emphasis on development of analytical writing skills. This iteration of Philosophy 80 will focus on three important philosophical issues: personal identity; the metaphysics of mind; and the nature of belief and related attitudes. Readings will be drawn both from philosophy and from cognitive science more broadly. Prerequisite: at least one other philosophy course, not including SYMSYS 1 / PHIL 99.
Terms: Aut, Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

PHIL 107B: Plato's Later Metaphysics and Epistemology (PHIL 207B)

A close reading of Plato's Theatetus and Parmenides, his two mature dialogues on the topics of knowledge and reality. We will consider various definitions of knowledge, metaphysical problems about the objects of knowledge, and a proposed method for examining and resolving such problems. Some background in ancient Greek philosophy and/or contemporary metaphysics and epistemology is preferred, but not required. Prerequisite: Phil 80.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4
Instructors: Code, A. (PI)

PHIL 112: Contemporary Virtue Ethics and its Critics (PHIL 212)

Graduate students enroll in 212. In this course, we shall examine contemporary virtue ethics beginning with G.E.M. Anscombe's famous 1958 paper 'Modern Moral Theory' (although Anscombe herself did not advocate a virtue ethics). In particular, we shall read some of the leading contemporary exponents of virtue ethics (Philippa Foot, Rosalind Hursthouse, Michal Slote, and Linda Zagzebski). We shall also read some of leading virtue ethics' leading critics, such as David Copp, Julia Driver, Robert Louden, and Jerome Schneewind. We shall consider questions including the following. Can Virtue Ethics give a plausible account of right action? Is Virtue Ethics action-guiding at all? What is the relation between virtue and happiness or flourishing? Is Virtue Ethics a form of ethical naturalism? Is Virtue Ethics compatible with modern biology? Does Virtue Ethics give us a way to avoid the 'ethical schizophrenia' of modern impartialist moral theories or does it produce its own form of ethical schizophrenia? Is Virtue Ethics self-effacing?
Terms: Spr | Units: 4
Instructors: Bobonich, C. (PI)
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