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PHIL 1100 : Introduction to Philosophy
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
A general introduction to some of the main topics, texts, and methods of philosophy. Topics may include the existence of God, the nature of mind and its relation to the body, causation, free will, knowledge and skepticism, and justice and moral obligation. Readings may be drawn from the history of philosophy and contemporary philosophical literature.
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PHIL 1450 : Contemporary Moral Issues
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
An introduction to some of the main contemporary moral issues. Topics may, for example, include animal rights, abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, sexual morality, genetic engineering, and questions of welfare and social justice.
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PHIL 1901 : Discussions of Justice
Crosslisted as: GOVT 1901, SOC 1900, GOVT 1901, SOC 1900, GOVT 1901, SOC 1900 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Weekly informal discussion of urgent public issues posed by a central theme, such as inequality, foreign policy and immigration, or challenges to liberty and democracy. Recent public lectures organized by Ethics and Public Life, brief initial presentations by Cornell researchers, or brief debates between participants are typical starting-points for conversations reflecting diverse perspectives.
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PHIL 1950 : Controversies About Inequality
Crosslisted as: AMST 2225, DSOC 2220, GOVT 2225, ILROB 2220, PAM 2220, SOC 2220 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
In recent years, poverty and inequality have become increasingly common topics of public debate, as academics, journalists, and politicians attempt to come to terms with growing income inequality, with the increasing visibility of inter-country differences in wealth and income, and with the persistence of racial, ethnic, and gender stratification. This course introduces students to ongoing social scientific debates about the sources and consequences of inequality, as well as the types of public policy that might appropriately be pursued to reduce (or increase) inequality. These topics will be addressed in related units, some of which include guest lectures by faculty from other universities (funded by the Center for the Study of Inequality). Each unit culminates with a highly spirited class discussion and debate.
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PHIL 2200 : Ancient Philosophy
Crosslisted as: CLASS 2661 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
An introductory survey of ancient Greek philosophy from the so-called Presocratics (6th century BCE) through the Hellenistic period (1st century BCE) with special emphasis on the thought of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
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PHIL 2415 : Introduction to Moral Psychology
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Many traditional philosophical problems about morality are being illuminated by current work in psychology and neuroscience. We will examine how several such issues (moral judgment, agency, the self, and punishment) can be informed by recent empirical work. We will consider both the philosophical principles of morality and the psychological data concerning the way that people think, judge, and act when dealing with moral issues.  We will consider how people make moral judgment, that is, how we determine whether something is right or wrong.  We will also focus on the practical implications (if any) the science of morality might have on the ways we think about free will and responsibility.
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PHIL 2430 : Moral Dilemmas in the Law
Crosslisted as: GOVT 2432 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
The course concerns the principles and philosophical arguments underlying conflicts and moral dilemmas of central and ongoing concern to society as they arise within legal contexts. We consider questions such as what justifies using state power to punish people for wrongdoing, what kinds of conduct are rightly criminalized, what justifies the Supreme Court's power to strike down Congressional legislation, what justifies the right to private property and its boundaries, what is the right to privacy and why it is important, what are human rights, and what is the morality and law of war. Throughout we will be reading legal cases and philosophical commentaries that engage with the deep issues that the cases pose.
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PHIL 2530 : Religion and Reason
Crosslisted as: RELST 2630 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
In this course we will examine some of the major arguments regarding the existence and nature of a supreme being - ontological, cosmological, teleological, Pascalian, and moral arguments. We will also discuss the most significant argument against the existence of the classical God - namely, the argument from evil and suffering. After that, we will look at whether religious belief might be rational without theoretical proof or empirical evidence, whether religious experience is an intelligible notion, and whether the real-world fact of religious diversity has philosophical implications. Time permitting, we will conclude by reflecting on two prominent religious ideas: miracles and the afterlife. Course readings will be taken from both historical and contemporary sources.
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PHIL 2945 : Civil Disobedience
Crosslisted as: AMST 3785, GOVT 3785 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course will expose students to the theory and practice of civil disobedience in historical and contemporary perspectives. Do citizens have obligations to obey unjust laws? What makes disobedience civil rather than criminal? How do people take power into their own hands without recourse to violence? How has political dissent transformed in a digital era? And how do acts of protest influence public opinion and policy? We will pursue answers to these questions and others through studying both classic theorists of civil disobedience and contemporary debates about whistleblowing, direct action, nonviolence, and hacktivism.
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PHIL 3180 : Origins of 20th Century Philosophy
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Writings about mind, language, logic, mathematics and knowledge from 1872 to around 1920. We will focus on writings by Brentano, Meinong, Frege, and early work by Russell. Time permitting, we will also read some material by some others from that period (Twardowski, Husserl, Peirce, James, Wittgenstein, or Moore). There will also be some readings from the secondary literature.
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PHIL 3202 : Plato
Crosslisted as: CLASS 3669 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
We will study several of Plato's major dialogues, including the Apology, the Meno, Phaedo, and Republic. Topics include knowledge and reality; morality and happiness; and the nature of the soul.
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PHIL 3230 : Kant
Crosslisted as: GERST 3590 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
An intensive study of the metaphysical and epistemological doctrines of the Critique of Pure Reason. Some editions of the course may also consider Kant's ethical views as laid out in the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and related works.
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PHIL 3310 : Deductive Logic
Crosslisted as: MATH 2810 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
A mathematical study of the formal languages of standard first-order propositional and predicate logic, including their syntax, semantics, and deductive systems. The basic apparatus of model theory will be presented. Various formal results will be established, most importantly soundness and completeness.
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PHIL 3480 : Philosophy of Law
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Explores the most important debates in contemporary philosophy of law. We will examine the distinction between law and other social practices, the relation of law and morality, the problem of legal authority, and the nature of adjudication and legal interpretation. In so doing, we will analyze and evaluate the main jurisprudential schools of thought: legal positivism, legal realism, critical legal studies, and natural law theory. This course is intended for undergraduate and graduate students interested in the philosophy of law, jurisprudence, and social/political philosophy; appropriate for advanced undergraduate, graduate, and law students.
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PHIL 3900 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
To be taken only in exceptional circumstances. Must be arranged by the student with his or her advisor and the faculty member who has agreed to direct the study.
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PHIL 4002 : Latin Philosophical Texts
Crosslisted as: LATIN 7262, MEDVL 4002, MEDVL 6020, PHIL 6020, RELST 4100, RELST 6020 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Reading and translation of Latin philosophical texts.
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PHIL 4003 : German Philosophical Texts
Crosslisted as: GERST 6131, PHIL 6030 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Reading, translation, and English-language discussion of important texts in the German philosophical tradition. Readings for a given term are chosen in consultation with students.
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PHIL 4110 : Greek Philosophical Texts
Crosslisted as: GREEK 7161, PHIL 6010 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Reading and translation of Greek philosophical texts.
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PHIL 4200 : Topics in Ancient Philosophy
Crosslisted as: CLASS 4662, CLASS 7173, PHIL 6200 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of topics in ancient philosophy.
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PHIL 4490 : Feminism and Philosophy
Crosslisted as: FGSS 4491 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Feminist approaches to questions in metaphysics, epistemology, language, and value theory.
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PHIL 4730 : Semantics I
Crosslisted as: LING 4421, LING 6421, PHIL 6730 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Introduces methods for theorizing about meaning within generative grammar. These techniques allow the creation of grammars that pair syntactic structures with meanings. Students look at several empirical areas in detail, among them complementation (combining heads with their arguments), modification, conjunction, definite descriptions, relative clauses, traces, bound pronouns, and quantification. An introduction to logical and mathematical concepts used in linguistic semantics (e.g., set theory, functions and their types, and the lambda notation for naming linguistic meanings) is included in the course.
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PHIL 4901 : Informal Study for Honors II
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
See Philosophy "Honors."
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PHIL 6010 : Greek Philosophical Texts
Crosslisted as: GREEK 7161, PHIL 4110 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Reading and translation of Greek Philosophical texts.
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PHIL 6020 : Latin Philosophical Texts
Crosslisted as: LATIN 7262, MEDVL 4002, MEDVL 6020, PHIL 4002, RELST 4100, RELST 6020 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Reading and translation of Latin philosophical texts.
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PHIL 6030 : German Philosophical Texts
Crosslisted as: GERST 6131, PHIL 4003 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Reading, translation, and English-language discussion of important texts in the German philosophical tradition. Readings for a given term are chosen in consultation with students.
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PHIL 6100 : Pro Seminar in Philosophy
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Seminar for first year Philosophy graduate students.
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PHIL 6200 : Topics in Ancient Philosophy
Crosslisted as: CLASS 4662, CLASS 7173, PHIL 4200 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of topics in ancient philosophy.
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PHIL 6410 : Seminar in Ethics and Value Theory
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Graduate seminar covering a topic in ethics and value theory.
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PHIL 6730 : Semantics I
Crosslisted as: LING 4421, LING 6421, PHIL 4730 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Introduces methods for theorizing about meaning within generative grammar. These techniques allow the creation of grammars that pair syntactic structures with meanings. Students look at several empirical areas in detail, among them complementation (combining heads with their arguments), modification, conjunction, definite descriptions, relative clauses, traces, bound pronouns, and quantification. An introduction to logical and mathematical concepts used in linguistic semantics (e.g., set theory, functions and their types, and the lambda notation for naming linguistic meanings) is included in the course.
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PHIL 6740 : Semantics Seminar
Crosslisted as: LING 7711 Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
Addresses current theoretical and empirical issues in semantics.
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PHIL 7900 : Placement Seminar
Semester offered: Fall 2017 Instructor:
This course is designed to help prepare Philosophy graduate students for the academic job market. Though students will study sample materials from successful job applicants, much of the seminar will function as a workshop, providing them with in-depth feedback on multiple drafts of their job materials. Interview skills will be practiced in every seminar meeting. The seminar meetings will be supplemented with individual conferences with the placement mentor, and students should also share copies of their job materials with their dissertation committees.
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