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1 - 10 of 56 results for: PHIL ; Currently searching winter courses. You can expand your search to include all quarters

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: Win | Units: 3 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

PHIL 20N: Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence

Is it really possible for an artificial system to achieve genuine intelligence: thoughts, consciousness, emotions? What would that mean? How could we know if it had been achieved? Is there a chance that we ourselves are artificial intelligences? Would artificial intelligences, under certain conditions, actually be persons? If so, how would that affect how they ought to be treated and what ought to be expected of them? Emerging technologies with impressive capacities already seem to function in ways we do not fully understand. What are the opportunities and dangers that this presents? How should the promises and hazards of these technologies be managed?nnPhilosophers have studied questions much like these for millennia, in scholarly debates that have increased in fervor with advances in psychology, neuroscience, and computer science. The philosophy of mind provides tools to carefully address whether genuine artificial intelligence and artificial personhood are possible. Epistemology (th more »
Is it really possible for an artificial system to achieve genuine intelligence: thoughts, consciousness, emotions? What would that mean? How could we know if it had been achieved? Is there a chance that we ourselves are artificial intelligences? Would artificial intelligences, under certain conditions, actually be persons? If so, how would that affect how they ought to be treated and what ought to be expected of them? Emerging technologies with impressive capacities already seem to function in ways we do not fully understand. What are the opportunities and dangers that this presents? How should the promises and hazards of these technologies be managed?nnPhilosophers have studied questions much like these for millennia, in scholarly debates that have increased in fervor with advances in psychology, neuroscience, and computer science. The philosophy of mind provides tools to carefully address whether genuine artificial intelligence and artificial personhood are possible. Epistemology (the philosophy of knowledge) helps us ponder how we might be able to know. Ethics provides concepts and theories to explore how all of this might bear on what ought to be done. So we will read philosophical writings in these areas as well as writings explicitly addressing the questions about artificial intelligence, hoping for a deep and clear understanding of the difficult philosophical challenges the topic presents.nnNo background in any of this is presupposed, and you will emerge from the class having made a good start learning about computational technologies as well as a number of fields of philosophical thinking. It will also be a good opportunity to develop your skills in discussing and writing critically about complex issues.
Terms: Win | Units: 3 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Crimmins, M. (PI)

PHIL 24A: Knowledge First Epistemology

What is the nature of knowledge? What is the role knowledge should play in our lives? Such questions have been central to philosophy since its inception. It is thus surprising that towards the end of the 20th Century, some philosophers suggested that knowledge is irrelevant to questions regarding what we should believe and how should we act. This tutorial will focus on the knowledge-first project in contemporary epistemology, which was initiated by Timothy Williamson and aims to put knowledge back in the center of philosophical thinking. The goal of this tutorial is to understand the knowledge-first project and its critics. We will focus on recent discussions regarding the metaphysics of knowledge, knowledge norms, and the way knowledge-first epistemology interacts with cognitive science and decision theory. Although no philosophical background is required, a familiarity with philosophy at the level of PHIL 80 will be assumed.
Terms: Win | Units: 2 | Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit
Instructors: Cohen, M. (PI)

PHIL 24B: The Problem of Evil: Theodicies Old and New

Consider the following three propositions: 1) There is evil in the world; 2) If God exists, God is omnipotent; 3) If God exists, God is perfectly good. The problem of evil amounts to the following: if (2) and (3) are both true, then (1) should not be true; (1) is true; therefore, God does not exist or, at best, (1) is strong evidence against the existence of God. This course considers the problem of evil from both historical and contemporary perspectives, reading critiques of religious belief and theodical responses from historical figures (including Hume, Keats, Voltaire, Aquinas, Augustine, and Leibniz) and contemporary analytic philosophers of religion (such as Plantinga, Van Inwagen, Adams, and Swinburne). If there is time, we will also consider the way thinkers outside the Judeo-Christian tradition have addressed the problem of evil. Although previous experience with the philosophy of religion is welcomed, no such background is required. Interested students are invited to contact the instructor for more information.
Terms: Win | Units: 2 | Grading: Satisfactory/No Credit
Instructors: Slabon, T. (PI)

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

Conflict is a natural part of human life. As human beings we represent a rich diversity of conflicting personalities, preferences, experiences, needs, and moral viewpoints. How are we to resolve or otherwise address these conflicts in a way fair to all parties? In this course, we will consider the question as it arises across various domains of human life, beginning with the classroom. What are we to do when a set of ideas expressed in the classroom offends, threatens, or silences certain of its members? What is it for a classroom to be safe? What is it for a classroom to be just? We will then move from the classroom to the family, considering a difficult set of questions about how we are to square the autonomy rights of children, elderly parents, and the mentally ill with our desire as family members to keep them safe. Finally, we will turn to the conflicts of citizenship in a liberal democratic society in which the burdens and benefits of citizenship have not always been fairly distributed. We will consider, among others, the question of whether or not civil disobedience is ever morally permissible, of whether there is a right to healthcare, and of whether or not some citizens are owed reparations for past injustices.
Terms: Win | Units: 4-5 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)

PHIL 75C: Computers, Ethics, and Public Policy (COMM 181, CS 181, ETHICSOC 181X, POLISCI 181, PUBLPOL 181)

Ethical and social issues related to the development and use of computer technology. Ethical theory, and social, political, and legal considerations. Scenarios in problem areas: privacy, reliability and risks of complex systems, and responsibility of professionals for applications and consequences of their work. Prerequisite: 106A.
Terms: Aut, Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 76: Introduction to Global Justice (ETHICSOC 136R, INTNLREL 136R, POLISCI 136R, POLISCI 336)

This course provides an overview of core ethical problems in international politics, with special emphasis on the question of what demands justice imposes on institutions and agents acting in a global context. It is divided into three sections. The first investigates the content of global justice, and comprises of readings from contemporary political theorists and philosophers who write within the liberal contractualist, utilitarian, cosmopolitan, and nationalist traditions. The second part looks at the obligations which global justice generates in relation to a series of real-world issues of international concern: global poverty, human rights, poverty and development, climate change and natural resources, international migration, and the well-being of women. The final section asks whether a democratic international order is necessary for global justice to be realized.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, GER:EC-EthicReas, WAY-ER | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 99: Minds and Machines (LINGUIST 35, PSYCH 35, SYMSYS 1, SYMSYS 200)

(Formerly SYMSYS 100). An overview of the interdisciplinary study of cognition, information, communication, and language, with an emphasis on foundational issues: What are minds? What is computation? What are rationality and intelligence? Can we predict human behavior? Can computers be truly intelligent? How do people and technology interact, and how might they do so in the future? Lectures focus on how the methods of philosophy, mathematics, empirical research, and computational modeling are used to study minds and machines. Undergraduates considering a major in symbolic systems should take this course as early as possible in their program of study.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-SocSci, WAY-FR | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 100: Greek Philosophy (CLASSICS 40)

We shall cover the major developments in Greek philosophical thought, focusing on Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic schools (the Epicureans, the Stoics, and the Skeptics). Topics include epistemology, metaphysics, psychology, ethics and political theory. No prereqs, not repeatable.
Terms: Win | Units: 4 | UG Reqs: GER:DB-Hum, WAY-A-II | Grading: Letter or Credit/No Credit

PHIL 101A: History of Philosophy from Al-Kindi to Averroes (GLOBAL 139)

The rise of Islam saw a flourishing of philosophical and scientific activity across Islamic civilizations from Central Asia to Spain. Between the 7th to 13th centuries, many of the major philosophers in the history of philosophy lived in the Muslim world and wrote in Arabic. They saw themselves, just as later philosophers in medieval Europe, as working in part in the same tradition as Plato and Aristotle. This course surveys this important chapter in the history of philosophy, examining the key philosophical problems, analyses, arguments and ideas developed by philosophers such as Al-Kindi, Al-Razi, Al-Farabi, Avicenna, Al-Ghazali and Averroes, as well as their views on the role and aims of philosophy itself. We will look closely at their writings (in English translation) on philosophical topics in mind, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and politics.
Terms: Win | Units: 3-5 | Grading: Letter (ABCD/NP)
Instructors: Al-Witri, Z. (PI)
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