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PHIL 1100 : Introduction to Philosophy
Semester offered: Spring 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: Spring 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: Spring 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: Spring 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 1901 : Discussions of Justice
Crosslisted as: GOVT 1901, SOC 1900, GOVT 1901, SOC 1900, GOVT 1901, SOC 1900, GOVT 1901, SOC 1900 Semester offered: Spring 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: Spring 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 1911 : WIM: Introduction to Cognitive Science
Crosslisted as: COGST 1104, LING 1104, PSYCH 1104 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This section is highly recommended for students who are interested in learning about the topics covered in the main course through writing and discussion. 
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PHIL 2220 : Modern Philosophy
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
A survey of Western philosophy in the 17th and 18th centuries: Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. We focus largely on epistemology (ideas, skepticism, belief, knowledge, science) and metaphysics (bodies, minds, God, causation, natural laws, afterlife, personal identity). Some of the ethical implications of these systems will also be mentioned in passing.
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PHIL 2310 : Introduction to Deductive Logic
Semester offered: Spring 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: Spring 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 2460 : Ethics and the Environment
Crosslisted as: BSOC 2061, STS 2061 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Politicians, scientists, and citizens worldwide face many environmental issues today, but they are neither simple nor straightforward. Moreover, there are many ways to understand how we have, do, and could value the environment from animal rights and wise use to deep ecology and ecofeminism. This class acquaints students with some of the challenging moral issues that arise in the context of environmental management and policy-making, both in the past and the present. Environmental concerns also highlight important economic, epistemological, legal, political, and social issues in assessing our moral obligations to nature as well as other humans. This course examines various perspectives expressed in both contemporary and historical debates over environmental ethics by exploring four central questions: What is nature? Who counts in environmental ethics? How do we know nature? Whose nature?
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PHIL 2465 : Philosophy of Applied Jurisprudence
Semester offered: Spring 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 3203 : Aristotle
Crosslisted as: CLASS 3664 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
We will study several of Aristotle's major works, including the Categories, Physics, Posterior Analytics, Metaphysics, and Nicomachean Ethics. Topics include nature and change, form and matter, the nature of happiness, the nature of the soul, and knowledge and first principles.
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PHIL 3250 : Nineteenth Century Philosophy
Crosslisted as: GERST 3580 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Survey of nineteenth century philosophy.
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PHIL 3900 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 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: Spring 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: Spring 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: Spring 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: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of topics in ancient philosophy.
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PHIL 4210 : Augustine
Crosslisted as: CLASS 4665, MEDVL 6210, PHIL 6210, RELST 4665 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
An examination of Augustine's wide-ranging reflections on the nature of mind, giving special attention to his later, major works: Confessions, De trinitate, and De genesi ad litteram.
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PHIL 4311 : Topics in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics
Crosslisted as: MATH 4820, PHIL 6310 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
After reviewing some material on standard logics (classical and intuitionistic), and covering Tarskian consequence relations, we will focus on logics for monadic operators (especially for necessity and possibility, for which the logics are called modal).  Time permitting, we will also consider dyadic operators (especially conditionals). Logics will be considered proof-theoretically and model-theoretically. A background in logic is required.
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PHIL 4620 : Topics in Philosophy of Mind
Crosslisted as: PHIL 6620 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of a topic in Philosophy of Mind.
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PHIL 4720 : Pragmatics
Crosslisted as: LING 4425, LING 6425, PHIL 6720 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
What is the relationship between what words mean and how they are used? What is part of the grammar and what is a result of general reasoning? Pragmatics is often thought of as the study of how meaning depends on the context of utterance. However, it can be difficult to draw a line between pragmatics and semantics. In this course, we will investigate various topics that walk this line, including varieties of linguistic inference (including entailment, presupposition, and implicature), anaphora, indexicals, and speech acts.
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PHIL 4901 : Informal Study for Honors II
Semester offered: Spring 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 4941 : Locke and the Philosophies of Dispossession: Indigenous America's Interruptions and Resistances
Crosslisted as: AIIS 4200, AIIS 6200, AMST 4220, AMST 6220, PHIL 6941 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course looks at the philosopher John Locke as a philosopher of dispossession. There is a uniquely Lockean mode of missionization, conception of mind and re-formulations of the 'soul' applied to dispossess Indigenous peoples of the social institutions, intellectual traditions and the material bases and practices which sustain(ed) them. While colonization is typically used as a kind of shorthand for this process, we will be attempting to stay focused on the specific dimensions of Lockean dispossession and its mutually informing relationship with English colonialism.
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PHIL 6010 : Greek Philosophical Texts
Crosslisted as: GREEK 7161, PHIL 4110 Semester offered: Spring 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: Spring 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: Spring 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 6200 : Topics in Ancient Philosophy
Crosslisted as: CLASS 4662, CLASS 7173, PHIL 4200 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of topics in ancient philosophy.
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PHIL 6210 : Seminar in Medieval Philosophy
Crosslisted as: CLASS 4665, MEDVL 6210, PHIL 4210, RELST 4665 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Graduate seminar covering a topic in medieval philosophy.
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PHIL 6310 : Philosophy of Logic
Crosslisted as: MATH 4820, PHIL 4311 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
For description, see MATH 4810.
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PHIL 6410 : Seminar in Ethics and Value Theory
Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Graduate seminar covering a topic in ethics and value theory.
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PHIL 6461 : Modern African Political Philosophy
Crosslisted as: ASRC 6220 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
What would happen if, instead of taking an instrumentalist view of the ideas of modern African political thinkers, we consider those ideas as indeed they are, attempts by them to proffer answers to the central questions of political philosophy as those are apprehended in the African context? If we did, we would end up with a robust, sophisticated discourse properly denominated 'Modern African Political Philosophy' in which we recognize, possibly celebrate and, ultimately, assess the quality of answers that African thinkers have provided.   In this Seminar, we shall be reading original works by African thinkers and do so in the context of modern political philosophy.  Participants in the course will work to create critical literature in response to these works as part of a more general effort to begin to create secondary resources in this relatively unexplored area of scholarship about Africa.  Each participant will be expected to produce a final piece that can be a candidate for, minimally, presentation at a learned conference and, maximally, publication in a journal. This is a seminar that is absolutely focused on intellectual production by its participants under the direction of the instructor.
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PHIL 6620 : Topics in Philosophy of Mind
Crosslisted as: PHIL 4620 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of a topic in Philosophy of Mind.
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PHIL 6720 : Pragmatics
Crosslisted as: LING 4425, LING 6425, PHIL 4720 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
What is the relationship between what words mean and how they are used?  What is part of the grammar and what is a result of general reasoning?  Pragmatics is often thought of as the study of how meaning depends on the context of utterance.  However, it can be difficult to draw a line between pragmatics and semantics.  In this course, we will investigate various topics that walk this line, including varieties of linguistic inference including entailment, presupposition, and implicature), anaphora, indexicals, and speech acts.
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PHIL 6731 : Semantics II
Crosslisted as: LING 6422 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
Uses the techniques introduced in Semantics I to analyze linguistic phenomena, including quantifier scope, ellipsis, and referential pronouns. Temporal and possible worlds semantics are introduced and used in the analysis of modality, tense, and belief sentences. The phenomena of presupposition, indefinite descriptions, and anaphora are analyzed in a dynamic compositional framework that formalizes the idea that sentence meaning effects a change in an information state.
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PHIL 6941 : Locke and the Philosophies of Dispossession: Indigenous America's Interruptions and Resistances
Crosslisted as: AIIS 4200, AIIS 6200, AMST 4220, AMST 6220, PHIL 4941 Semester offered: Spring 2018 Instructor:
This course looks at the philosopher John Locke as a philosopher of dispossession. There is a uniquely Lockean mode of missionization, conception of mind and re-formulations of the 'soul' applied to dispossess Indigenous peoples of the social institutions, intellectual traditions and the material bases and practices which sustain(ed) them. While colonization is typically used as a kind of shorthand for this process, we will be attempting to stay focused on the specific dimensions of Lockean dispossession and its mutually informing relationship with English colonialism.
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Description