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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: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

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: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Hills, D. (PI)

PHIL 172: History of Moral Philosophy (ETHICSOC 172)

prerequisites: Phil 2 and Phil 80. Not for graduate students.
| UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

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.
Last offered: Autumn 2015 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

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 more »
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.
Last offered: Spring 2017 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II

PHIL 175: Philosophy of Law (ETHICSOC 175B, PHIL 275)

This course will explore foundational issues about the nature of law and its relation to morality, and about legal responsibility and criminal punishment. Prerequisite: graduate student standing in philosophy or, for others, prior course work in philosophy that includes Philosophy 80.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER
Instructors: Bratman, M. (PI)

PHIL 176: Political Philosophy: The Social Contract Tradition (ETHICSOC 176, PHIL 276, POLISCI 137A, POLISCI 337A)

(Graduate students register for 276.) Why and under what conditions do human beings need political institutions? What makes them legitimate or illegitimate? What is the nature, source, and extent of the obligation to obey the legitimate ones, and how should people alter or overthrow the others? Study of the answers given to such questions by major political theorists of the early modern period: Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Kant.
Last offered: Winter 2019 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

PHIL 176A: Classical Seminar: Origins of Political Thought (CLASSICS 181, CLASSICS 381, ETHICSOC 130A, PHIL 276A, POLISCI 230A, POLISCI 330A)

Political philosophy in classical antiquity, centered on reading canonical works of Thucydides, Plato, Aristotle against other texts and against the political and historical background. Topics include: interdependence, legitimacy, justice; political obligation, citizenship, and leadership; origins and development of democracy; law, civic strife, and constitutional change.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

PHIL 180: Metaphysics

This is an undergraduate only class. Intensive introduction to core topics in contemporary metaphysics. What is the fundamental structure of reality? Is it objective? How can there be truths about what is possible or necessary, if only the actual exists? Do we have free will? What is it for an event to be determined by its causes? Is the only thing that exists the current instance of time? Is the world purely physical? Does science answer all of these questions? Prerequisites: 1, 80 and background in logic.
Terms: Aut | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Peacocke, A. (PI)

PHIL 181B: Topics in Philosophy of Language (PHIL 281B)

This course builds on the material of 181/281, focusing on debates and developments in the pragmatics of conversation, the semantics/pragmatics distinction, the contextuality of meaning, the nature of truth and its connection to meaning, and the workings of particular linguistic constructions of special philosophical relevance. Students who have not taken 181/281 should seek the instructor's advice as to whether they have sufficient background.
Terms: Spr | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Repeatable for credit
Instructors: Crimmins, M. (PI)
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