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11 - 20 of 161 results for: PHIL ; Currently searching offered courses. You can also include unoffered courses

PHIL 24G: Introduction to Animal Ethics (ETHICSOC 124G)

In this introductory course we will engage in an interdisciplinary discussion about the theoretical and applied aspects of animal rights and the ethical treatment of animals. This course will be of interest to a wide range of students: philosophers, political scientists, ecologists, environmental scientists, and biologists. Throughout the course we will focus on the following questions: Do non-human animals have moral status and do we have moral obligations toward them? If so, what grounds the moral status of animals? Are some animals `persons¿? Do we have the right to eat and farm animals, use them in scientific and cosmetic experiments, display them in zoos and circuses, and keep them as pets? Under what circumstances would these actions be permissible, if at all? Was animal domestication a mistake? Basic familiarity with ethical theory (such as covered by PHIL2) is recommended.
Terms: Spr | Units: 2

PHIL 24H: Tutorial: Philosophical Perspectives on Climate Change

Climate change threatens to destroy almost everything we find valuable. As such, it requires thorough philosophical investigation. In this course we'll look at the topic from several philosophical angles. The goal is to go for breadth rather depth: there are many issues to discuss about climate change and we'll try to see the big picture by getting snapshots of a diverse array of issues.nWe'll start by looking at two issues from the philosophy of science: the role of values in climate science and whether a scientist's values should play into her research. We'll also look at the role of bewilderingly complex computer simulations in climate research. We'll ask about the epistemic status of these methods: do they constitute some kind of high-powered way of making observations? Or are they more like hypothetical experiments? Or do they constitute a totally new way of doing science, akin to the introduction of Baconian experimental methods? nNext we'll examine questions closer to metaethics more »
Climate change threatens to destroy almost everything we find valuable. As such, it requires thorough philosophical investigation. In this course we'll look at the topic from several philosophical angles. The goal is to go for breadth rather depth: there are many issues to discuss about climate change and we'll try to see the big picture by getting snapshots of a diverse array of issues.nWe'll start by looking at two issues from the philosophy of science: the role of values in climate science and whether a scientist's values should play into her research. We'll also look at the role of bewilderingly complex computer simulations in climate research. We'll ask about the epistemic status of these methods: do they constitute some kind of high-powered way of making observations? Or are they more like hypothetical experiments? Or do they constitute a totally new way of doing science, akin to the introduction of Baconian experimental methods? nNext we'll examine questions closer to metaethics about the intrinsic value of nature. We'll address whether various aspects of nature are valuable in themselves or valuable only insofar as they affect humans. In the interest of time, we'll only look at two of the most extreme views: Deep Ecology, according to which ecosystems are intrinsically valuable, and Anthropocentrism. nMost of the course will be spent addressing questions about how to respond to climate change. We'll discuss: 1) the nature of the problem 2) our obligations, if any, to future generations 3) the pros and cons of policies that aim to mitigate climate change versus those that aim to adapt to it and 4) what we as individuals should do: whether we should be vegans, destroy our cars, or just stop thinking about the issue all together.
Terms: Win | Units: 2
Instructors: Zweber, A. (PI)

PHIL 36: Dangerous Ideas (ARTHIST 36, COMPLIT 36A, EALC 36, ENGLISH 71, ETHICSOC 36X, FRENCH 36, HISTORY 3D, MUSIC 36H, POLISCI 70, SLAVIC 36)

Ideas matter. Concepts such as race, progress, and equality have inspired social movements, shaped political systems, and dramatically influenced the lives of individuals. Others, like gender identity, universal basic income, 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. Some weeks will have short reading assignments, but you are not required to purchase any materials.
Terms: Spr | Units: 1
Instructors: Anderson, R. (PI)

PHIL 38S: Introduction to the Philosophy of the Mind

Could people in the future upload their conscious minds to a computer and, so to speak, live forever? Do we have an obligation not to delete a conscious computer's software? How we answer these questions would seem to depend on how we answer more basic questions. Can a machine have thoughts? Can a rock have thoughts? Would a machine with thoughts have consciousness? Even these simpler questions are difficult and controversial. In this course, we will each examine our own ideas about the mind and consciousness, and compare our ideas with those of other philosophers. We will consider different ways in which minds, consciousness, and the physical world might be related to each other. We will do this by thinking both about our own minds and experiences, and about how representations of the world might (or might not) exist within brains or computers.
Terms: Sum | Units: 3

PHIL 39S: Introduction to Ethics

Construed broadly, ethics encompasses questions about moral truth, objectivity, and relativity; questions about what reasons we have to persist in acting morally; and questions about morality's substance or content. Some examples: Are moral claims mere matters of opinion? Is morality relative? If there are objective moral facts, what are they like, and how can we know them? Can we argue an avowed amoralist into caring about morality? If so, on what basis? What is morality telling us to do, anyway? In this course, we will make a preliminary investigation of these questions and of some important historical and contemporary attempts to answer them. We will also look at some possible sources for skepticism about morality: What if we are, in the end, wholly selfish animals? What if the correct account of the origins of our moral beliefs ends up undermining them? Does the role of luck in our lives undercut our basic notion of ourselves as responsible for our actions? More generally, is moral enterprise hopeless if nature's course is settled in advance?
Terms: Sum | Units: 3

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: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Math, WAY-FR
Instructors: Chipman, J. (PI)

PHIL 60: Introduction to Philosophy of Science (HPS 60, STS 200S)

This course introduces students to tools for the philosophical analysis of science. We will cover issues in observation, experiment, and reasoning, questions about the aims of science, scientific change, and the relations between science and values. STS majors cannot take STS 200S if they have previously taken PHIL 60. Priority is given to STS seniors.
Terms: Aut | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

PHIL 61: Philosophy and the Scientific Revolution (HPS 61)

Galileo's defense of the Copernican world-system that initiated the scientific revolution of the 17th century, led to conflict between science and religion, and influenced the development of modern philosophy. Readings focus on Galileo and Descartes.
Terms: Spr | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum
Instructors: Friedman, M. (PI)

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

This course is an introduction to contemporary ethical thought with a focus on the morality of harming others and saving others from harm. It aims to develop students' ability to think carefully and rationally about moral issues, to acquaint them with modern moral theory, and to encourage them to develop their own considered positions about important real-world issues. In the first part of the course, we will explore fundamental topics in the ethics of harm. Among other questions, we will ask: How extensive are one's moral duties to improve the lives of the less fortunate? When is it permissible to inflict harm on others for the sake of the greater good? Does the moral permissibility of a person's action depend on her intentions? Can a person be harmed by being brought into existence? In the second part of the course, we will turn to practical questions. Some of these will be familiar; for example: Is abortion morally permissible? What obligations do we have to protect the planet for t more »
This course is an introduction to contemporary ethical thought with a focus on the morality of harming others and saving others from harm. It aims to develop students' ability to think carefully and rationally about moral issues, to acquaint them with modern moral theory, and to encourage them to develop their own considered positions about important real-world issues. In the first part of the course, we will explore fundamental topics in the ethics of harm. Among other questions, we will ask: How extensive are one's moral duties to improve the lives of the less fortunate? When is it permissible to inflict harm on others for the sake of the greater good? Does the moral permissibility of a person's action depend on her intentions? Can a person be harmed by being brought into existence? In the second part of the course, we will turn to practical questions. Some of these will be familiar; for example: Is abortion morally permissible? What obligations do we have to protect the planet for the sake of future generations? Other questions we will ask are newer and less well-trodden. These will include: How does the availability of new technology, in particular artificial intelligence, change the moral landscape of the ethics of war? What moral principles should govern the programming and operation of autonomous vehicles?
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER
Instructors: Karhu, T. (PI)

PHIL 74A: Ethics in a Human Life (ETHICSOC 174, HUMBIO 174A)

Ethical questions pervade a human life from before a person is conceived until after she dies, and at every point in between. This course raises a series of ethical questions, following along the path of a person's life - questions that arise before, during, and after she lives it. We will explore distinctive questions that a life presents at each of several familiar stages: prior to birth, childhood, adulthood, death, and even beyond. We will consider how some philosophers have tried to answer these questions, and we will think about how answering them might help us form a better understanding of the ethical shape of a human life as a whole.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-ER
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