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1 - 10 of 322 results for: PHIL

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. Once a week discussions will occur during scheduled meeting time (~50 minutes)
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II
Instructors: Lawlor, K. (PI)

PHIL 1X: Philosophy Bootcamp: Truth, Reality, and Knowledge

What is truth? What is reality? Is science the only way to know about reality? Does philosophy provide an alternative? What are facts? Is it all relative? No prior exposure to philosophy needed. Intensive introduction to relevant contemporary theories and techniques in philosophy.
Terms: Sum | Units: 4

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: Aut, Sum | Units: 5 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER, GER:EC-EthicReas, GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II

PHIL 3N: Randomness: Computational and Philosophical Approaches (CS 57N)

Is it ever reasonable to make a decision randomly? For example, would you ever let an important choice depend on the flip of a coin? Can randomness help us answer difficult questions more accurately or more efficiently? What is randomness anyway? Can an object be random? Are there genuinely random processes in the world, and if so, how can we tell? In this seminar, we will explore these questions through the lenses of philosophy and computation. By the end of the quarter students should have an appreciation of the many roles that randomness plays in both humanities and sciences, as well as a grasp of some of the key analytical tools used to study the concept. The course will be self-contained, and no prior experience with randomness/probability is necessary.
Terms: Win | Units: 3

PHIL 4N: Knowing Nothing

Our beliefs are subject to multiple sources of error: a traveler's perception of an oasis in the desert may turn out to be a mirage; the key witness in a trial criminal may turn out to be lying; or a fluke in the data may mislead a research team into believing a false hypothesis; or a miscalculating math student may end up with the wrong answer. Philosophers often characterize knowledge as belief that is safe from error--but is knowledge possible? This course uses the philosophical arguments and thought experiments to assess the question of how much we can hope to know.
Last offered: Winter 2020

PHIL 7N: Philosophy and Science Fiction

What if things had been otherwise? What if things are someday, somewhere, very different than they are here and now? Science fiction and other genre fiction gives us the opportunity to explore worlds that stretch our conceptions of reality, of what it is to have a mind, to be human, and to communicate with one another. This course examines central questions in philosophy through the lens of speculative fiction. Can there be freedom in a deterministic world? How could language and communication evolve? What is a mind, and what is the nature of experience? How can we know what the world is like? We¿ll read classical and contemporary papers in philosophy alongside short stories, novels, and movies that play the role of thought experiments in illuminating philosophical issues.
Last offered: Autumn 2020

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..
Last offered: Winter 2019 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum

PHIL 12N: Concepts and concept possession

Our thoughts are made up of concepts. If I didn't have the concept of a caterpillar or of love or of a prime number, I couldn't think about caterpillars, love, or prime numbers, respectively. And if I couldn't think about those things then I couldn't talk or sing or make jokes about them, believe or remember anything about them, reason about them, hope or desire or fear anything to do with them¿and so on. But what are concepts? What does it take to have one? And how do we get to do that: what's involved in the acquisition of a concept? Are some concepts innate? To what extent can empirical psychology help improve our understanding of concepts? How are concepts related to natural language? What counts as concept change? And how is it possible for concepts to 'reach out' and be about aspects of the world (e.g., about caterpillars, love or prime numbers)?nnIn this seminar we will explore these and related questions through extensive discussions, reading and writing. There will be a lot of emphasis on active class participation. The reading will include texts in contemporary cognitive science as well as in philosophy of mind.
Last offered: Spring 2019

PHIL 13: Humanities Core: Great Books, Big Ideas -- Europe, Modern (FRENCH 13, HISTORY 239C, HUMCORE 13)

What is a good life? How should society be organized? Who belongs? How should honor, love, sin, and similar abstractions govern our actions? What duty do we owe to the past and future? This course examines tcourse examines these questions in the modern period, from the rise of revolutionary ideas to the experiences of totalitarianism and decolonization in the twentieth century. Authors include Locke, Mary Shelley, Marx, Nietzsche, Primo Levi, and Frantz Fanon. This course is part of the Humanities Core, a collaborative set of global humanities seminars that brings all of its students and faculty into conversation. On Mondays you meet in your own course, and on Wednesdays all the HumCore seminars (in session that quarter) meet together: https://humanitiescore.stanford.edu/.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-A-II, WAY-ER

PHIL 13N: Justice across Borders

Most people are not your fellow citizens. (Over 95% of human beings, for example, are not Americans.) What do you owe to them as a matter of justice? What do they owe to you? nShould you save a foreigner's life instead of buying luxuries for yourself? Should you boycott 'fast fashion' produced by exploited workers abroad? Should universities divest from fossil fuels? How can a country like the United States justify forcefully preventing anyone from crossing its borders? Is anything absolutely prohibited to win a war? When examining such issues, we need to start with facts¿facts about poverty, inequality, climate change, immigration, etc. After surveying the basic facts, we will use philosophical readings to focus and deepen our discussions of what justice requires across borders. Some of the topics we discuss will be chosen on the basis of students' interests.
Terms: Spr | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: WAY-ER
Instructors: Wenar, L. (PI)
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