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PHIL 1100 : Introduction to Philosophy
Semester offered: Fall 2018 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 1100 : Introduction to Philosophy
Semester offered: Summer 2018 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 1110 : FWS: Philosophy in Practice
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This First-Year Writing Seminar is about using philosophy and everyday life and provides the opportunity to write extensively about these issues.  Topics vary by section.
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PHIL 1111 : FWS: Philosophical Problems
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This First-Year Writing Seminar discusses problems in philosophy and gives the opportunity to write about them.  Topics vary by section.
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PHIL 1112 : FWS: Philosophical Conversations
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This First-Year Writing Seminar offers the opportunity to discuss and write about philosophy.  Topics vary by section.
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PHIL 1450 : Contemporary Moral Issues
Semester offered: Summer 2018 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, GOVT 1901, SOC 1900 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course will address questions of justice posed by current political controversies, for example, controversies over immigration, economic inequality, American nationalism, the government's role in healthcare and the environment, racial inequality, the political power of elites, populism, authoritarianism, globalization, and the proper use of America's global power. Brief readings in political philosophy and social science will be starting points for informal discussion and mutual learning among diverse perspectives.
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PHIL 1910 : Introduction to Cognitive Science
Crosslisted as: COGST 1101, CS 1710, LING 1170, PSYCH 1102 Semester offered: Summer 2018 Instructor:
This course provides an introduction to the science of the mind.  Most people have privileged access to one mind, yet this internal experience is often misleading and provides little insight into how minds emerge from physical entities like brains (or other substrates). Instead, an objective, deliberated, and multidisciplinary approach is necessary.  To that end, cognitive science draws on, and integrates, at least five disciplines: Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Linguistics, and Philosophy.  This course provides an introduction to the insights that these disciplines offer cognitive science while introducing students to current understanding of attention, memory, visual perception, learning, problem solving, language comprehension, and consciousness. 
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PHIL 1920 : Introduction to Modern Political Theory
Crosslisted as: GOVT 1615 Semester offered: Summer 2018 Instructor:
This course offers a survey of modern political theory in the West.  We will examine some of the persistent dilemmas of political modernity and the attempts of several canonical political theorists to respond to them: Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Burke, Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche.  In each case, we will attend to the particular crises these theorists addressed in their work—such as the European wars of religion, the English Civil War, colonialism, the French Revolution, and industrial capitalism—as well as the broader philosophical and political issues they continue to pose to us now.  Our approach will be both historical and conceptual, in other words, with the hopes of providing students with a nuanced but clear understanding of political theory as a distinctive form of political inquiry.
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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 2018 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 2018 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 2310 : Introduction to Deductive Logic
Crosslisted as: COGST 2310 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Covers sentential languages, the truth-functional connectives, and their logic; first-order languages, the quantifiers "every" and "some," and their logic.
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PHIL 2410 : Ethics
Semester offered: Summer 2018 Instructor:
This course is intended to introduce and explore some of the big questions about the content, scope, and nature of morality. The first half of the course will focus on various first-order ethical theories, which offer criteria of morally right action. These will include consequentialist and deontological approaches, and also broadly virtue-theoretic approaches, which place more emphasis on the notion of moral character and/or are critical of focusing exclusively on what one ought to do as opposed to who one ought to be. The second half of the course will examine some of the more abstract questions about the nature of morality which are the province of twentieth-century metaethics. What is the nature of moral properties? Where in the world might they be located? Are they objective, subjective, and/or relative to particular times and places? What is the connection between morality, moral judgments, and being motivated to act morally? Interspersed with these theoretical ethical issues will be more concrete ethical questions about what to do as individuals in an often unjust social world.
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PHIL 2465 : Philosophy of Applied Jurisprudence
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course examines a series of epistemic and metaphysical issues raised in modern applied jurisprudence. For example: What constitutes an actionable 'harm' and how can successful plaintiffs be 'made whole?' What kinds of evidence should juries consider in their deliberations, and how should they be guided in so doing? How does more or less speculative evidence from modern neuroscience complicate questions of culpability and mens rea? How do we justify punishment generally, and incarceration specifically? Does it make sense for juries to apply the 'reasonable person' standard in sexual harassment cases if we cannot conceive of a genderless person? We will examine these and other questions, applying philosophical rigor to modern jurisprudence.
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PHIL 2525 : Introduction to African Philosophy
Crosslisted as: ASRC 2020 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The central questions of philosophy are perennial and universal, but the answers that are given to them are always historical and idiomatic.  This course will introduce its enrollees to how these questions have been answered in the global African world; how they have thought about and sought to make sense of or solve some of the same philosophical problems that have remained at the core of the "Western" tradition. The readings are chosen from a global African perspective. This does not mean that we will not read any of the 'traditional' texts, but will be yielding the pride of place to much maligned and characteristically absent from the "mainstream" philosophical traditions and the ideas of people that are not normally considered worthy of study in the American academy. We wish to broaden our repertoire so that our knowledge will reflect the comparative perspectives that studying different traditions can offer while at the same time giving us access to the wisdom of peoples other than our own.
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PHIL 2530 : Religion and Reason
Crosslisted as: RELST 2630 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
What must (or could) God be like, and what reasons do we have for thinking that a being of that sort actually exists? What difference would (or could) the existence of God make to our lives? Religion & Reason examines the idea, shared by several major world religions, that God must be an absolutely perfect being. What attributes must a perfect being have: must it have a mind, be a person, care for human beings? Is the concept of a perfect being coherent? Is the existence of a perfect being compatible with the presence of evil in the world, the existence of human freedom, the nature of the world as modern science understands it? Does what is morally right and wrong depend in any important way on the nature or will of a perfect being? Is a perfect being among the things that actually inhabit our universe? The course approaches these questions with the tools and methods of philosophical reason and through readings drawn from both classic texts and contemporary philosophical discussion.
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PHIL 2621 : Minds and Machines
Crosslisted as: COGST 2621 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Throughout history, metaphors drawn from technology of the time have been proposed to understand how the mind works. While Locke likened the newborn's mind to a blank slate, Freud compared the mind to hydraulic and electro-magnetic systems. More recently, many have endorsed Turing's proposal that the mind is a computer. Why is this idea attractive and what exactly is a computer? Is it at all plausible that the cells of your brain are computing? Could a computer ever really have a mind, beliefs, emotions and conscious experiences? What are these mysterious things anyway? Could a machine ever count as a person and make choices based on its own free will? Is it really so clear that we have this kind of free will?
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PHIL 3204 : Hellenistic Philosophy
Crosslisted as: CLASS 3661 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
An examination of the doctrines of the Greek philosophers working in the three centuries after the death of Aristotle. Emphasis on Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Skepticism.
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PHIL 3305 : Math for Philosophy
Crosslisted as: PHIL 6305 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course introduces the mathematical methods used in many areas of contemporary philosophy without any assumed mathematical background. It will also cover some of the basic applications of these methods in a range of subfields within philosophy. The course consists of six units: 1. Basic Set theory; 2. Relations (applications in metaphysics); 3. Semantics (applications in metaphysics and epistemology); 4. Probabilities (applications in epistemology and philosophy of science); 5. Decision Theory (applications in ethics); 5. Game Theory (applications in philosophy of language and social philosophy). Other units and applications may be included depending on time and interest.
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PHIL 3900 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Fall 2018 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 2018 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 2018 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 2018 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 2018 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of topics in ancient philosophy.
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PHIL 4240 : Topics in German Philosophy
Crosslisted as: GERST 4370, GERST 6241, PHIL 6240 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Discussion of an advanced topic in German philosophy.
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PHIL 4310 : Mathematical Logic
Crosslisted as: MATH 4810 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
First course in mathematical logic providing precise definitions of the language of mathematics and the notion of proof (propositional and predicate logic). The completeness theorem says that we have all the rules of proof we could ever have. The Gödel incompleteness theorem says that they are not enough to decide all statements even about arithmetic. The compactness theorem exploits the finiteness of proofs to show that theories have unintended (nonstandard) models. Possible additional topics: the mathematical definition of an algorithm and the existence of noncomputable functions; the basics of set theory to cardinality and the uncountability of the real numbers.
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PHIL 4427 : Disobedience, Resistance, Refusal
Crosslisted as: AMST 4626, AMST 6627, GOVT 4626, PHIL 6427, SHUM 4627, SHUM 6627 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This seminar surveys contemporary political theories of disobedience and resistance. We will examine liberal, republican, and radical perspectives on the logic of political protest, its functions, justifications, and limits, as well as how transformations in law, economy, and technology are redefining dissent in the twenty-first century. Topics to be discussed will include the terms of political obligation, the relationship between law-breaking and law-making, conceptions of justice, resistance and popular sovereignty, the politics of civility, violence and self-defense, public space and privatization, the digitalization of protest, resistance in non-democratic regimes, as well as deviance and refusal as modes of dissent.
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PHIL 4620 : Topics in Philosophy of Mind
Crosslisted as: PHIL 6620 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of a topic in Philosophy of Mind.
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PHIL 4640 : Topics in Metaphysics
Crosslisted as: PHIL 6640 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of a topic in metaphysics.
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PHIL 4730 : Semantics I
Crosslisted as: LING 4421, LING 6421, PHIL 6730 Semester offered: Fall 2018 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 4900 : Informal Study for Honors I
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Majors in philosophy may choose to pursue honors in their senior year. Students undertake research leading to the writing of an honors essay by the end of the final semester. Prospective candidates should apply at the Department of Philosophy office, 218 Goldwin Smith Hall.
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PHIL 4901 : Informal Study for Honors II
Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Majors in philosophy may choose to pursue honors in their senior year. Students undertake research leading to the writing of an honors essay by the end of the final semester. Prospective candidates should apply at the Department of Philosophy office, 218 Goldwin Smith Hall.
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PHIL 6010 : Greek Philosophical Texts
Crosslisted as: GREEK 7161, PHIL 4110 Semester offered: Fall 2018 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 2018 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 2018 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 2018 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 2018 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of topics in ancient philosophy.
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PHIL 6240 : Topics in German Philosophy
Crosslisted as: GERST 4370, GERST 6241, PHIL 4240 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Discussion of an advanced topic in German philosophy.
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PHIL 6305 : Math for Philosophy
Crosslisted as: PHIL 3305 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This course introduces the mathematical methods used in many areas of contemporary philosophy without any assumed mathematical background. It will also cover some of the basic applications of these methods in a range of subfields within philosophy. The course consists of six units: 1. Basic Set theory; 2. Relations (applications in metaphysics); 3. Semantics (applications in metaphysics and epistemology); 4. Probabilities (applications in epistemology and philosophy of science); 5. Decision Theory (applications in ethics); 5. Game Theory (applications in philosophy of language and social philosophy). Other units and applications may be included depending on time and interest.
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PHIL 6411 : Philosophy of Law Seminar
Crosslisted as: LAW 7612 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
The seminar is aimed to equip graduate students with the necessary academic background to teach philosophy of law. The seminar is divided in two main parts: during the first half of the semester we will cover the main philosophical controversies of the 20th century about the nature of law and some of the central themes in general jurisprudence. In the second half of the semester we will focus on contemporary literature in legal philosophy, focusing on some of the new philosophical debates that come up in current literature. Two or three guest speakers will be invited to present their work in progress.
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PHIL 6427 : Disobedience, Resistance, Refusal
Crosslisted as: AMST 4626, AMST 6627, GOVT 4626, PHIL 4427, SHUM 4627, SHUM 6627 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
This seminar surveys contemporary political theories of disobedience and resistance. We will examine liberal, republican, and radical perspectives on the logic of political protest, its functions, justifications, and limits, as well as how transformations in law, economy, and technology are redefining dissent in the twenty-first century. Topics to be discussed will include the terms of political obligation, the relationship between law-breaking and law-making, conceptions of justice, resistance and popular sovereignty, the politics of civility, violence and self-defense, public space and privatization, the digitalization of protest, resistance in non-democratic regimes, as well as deviance and refusal as modes of dissent. 
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PHIL 6620 : Topics in Philosophy of Mind
Crosslisted as: PHIL 4620 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of a topic in Philosophy of Mind.
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PHIL 6640 : Metaphysics
Crosslisted as: PHIL 4640 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Graduate seminar covering a topic in Metaphysics.
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PHIL 6730 : Semantics I
Crosslisted as: LING 4421, LING 6421, PHIL 4730 Semester offered: Fall 2018 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 2018 Instructor:
Addresses current theoretical and empirical issues in semantics.
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PHIL 6922 : Foundations of the Social Sciences
Crosslisted as: ECON 6910, GOVT 6122 Semester offered: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Social science research almost always combines empirical observation (data), the construction of concepts (language), and the logical analysis of the relations between observations and concepts (statistics).  This course examines the relations between these three dimensions as the analyst moves from one to the other both as practice and in the crafting of a formal summary of findings and argument. We will be particularly interested in the foundational assumptions that underpin the connections between empirical reality, language, and statistical analysis. While these foundational assumptions are often taken for granted by social scientists, they vary dramatically between social science disciplines.  The implicit contradiction between that variance and their doxic acceptance within disciplines will be a primary focus of the course.
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PHIL 7900 : Placement Seminar
Semester offered: Fall 2018 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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