Courses - Fall 2021

PHIL 1100 Introduction to Philosophy

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.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Theodore Korzukhin (tk283)
Full details for PHIL 1100 : Introduction to Philosophy
PHIL 1110 FWS: Philosophy in Practice

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Amy Ramirez (alr298)
Full details for PHIL 1110 : FWS: Philosophy in Practice
PHIL 1111 FWS: Philosophical Problems

This First-Year Writing Seminar discusses problems in philosophy and gives the opportunity to write about them.  Topics vary by section.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Alejandro Vesga (ajv79)
Full details for PHIL 1111 : FWS: Philosophical Problems
PHIL 1112 FWS: Philosophical Conversations

This First-Year Writing Seminar offers the opportunity to discuss and write about philosophy.  Topics vary by section.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Erin Gerber (ehg44)
Full details for PHIL 1112 : FWS: Philosophical Conversations
PHIL 1450 Contemporary Moral Issues

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.

Distribution: (KCM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kate Manne (kam468)
Full details for PHIL 1450 : Contemporary Moral Issues
PHIL 1950 Controversies About Inequality

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.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, SCD-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Cristobal Young (cy469)
Full details for PHIL 1950 : Controversies About Inequality
PHIL 1960 Law, Society, and Morality

An introduction to leading topics in legal theory and political philosophy such as: what the laws should be, how they shape and are shaped by society, how they are and should be interpreted, the proper role of ethical and religious outlooks in lawmaking, the obligation to obey the law, and the relationship between private life and public legislation.

Distribution: (ETM-AS, KCM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Daniel Manne (dpm255)
Full details for PHIL 1960 : Law, Society, and Morality
PHIL 2200 Greek and Roman Philosophy

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.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rachana Kamtekar (rk579)
Full details for PHIL 2200 : Greek and Roman Philosophy
PHIL 2240 Nineteenth and Twentieth Century European Thought

Survey of European social theory from Hegel to Foucault (via Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, Weber, and the Frankfurt School).

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: M. Kosch (mak229)
Full details for PHIL 2240 : Nineteenth and Twentieth Century European Thought
PHIL 2310 Introduction to Deductive Logic

Covers sentential languages, the truth-functional connectives, and their logic; first-order languages, the quantifiers "every" and "some," and their logic.

Distribution: (MQR-AS, SMR-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Theodore Korzukhin (tk283)
Full details for PHIL 2310 : Introduction to Deductive Logic
PHIL 2415 Introduction to Moral Psychology

This course is an introduction to the moral mind from philosophical and psychological perspectives. Many traditional philosophical problems about morality are being illuminated by current work in cognitive science. In this course, we will look at several of these problems. In each case, we will begin with a presentation of the philosophical problems, and we will proceed to examine recent empirical work on the topic. A wide range of topics will be covered, including moral judgment, agency, the self, and punishment.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Justin Steinberg (jds467)
Full details for PHIL 2415 : Introduction to Moral Psychology
PHIL 2430 Moral Dilemmas in the Law

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.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS, SCD-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Andrei Marmor (am2773)
Full details for PHIL 2430 : Moral Dilemmas in the Law
PHIL 2441 Ethics and Society: Aid and Its Consequences

The course looks at the connection between ethics and society.  It does so by focusing on the issues raised by the phenomenon of aid, giving or receiving it, and how we understand and react to it.  We seek to make sense of aid and its place In society.  We explore the ethics of aid from the point of view of philosophy.  We move to working through the implications of aid for (1) the giver; (2) the receiver; (3) the society, local and global; (4) the relations between individuals in a given society with respect to aid and; (5) relations between one society and its members and another society when they engage in aid-related activities.

Distribution: (SBA-AS, HST-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Olufemi Taiwo (ot48)
Full details for PHIL 2441 : Ethics and Society: Aid and Its Consequences
PHIL 2455 Introduction to Bioethics

Bioethics is the study of ethical questions raised by advances in the medical field.  Questions we'll discuss will include:  Is it morally permissible to advance a patient's death, at his or her request, to reduce suffering?  Is there a moral difference between killing someone and letting someone die?  What ethical issues are raised by advance care planning?  What is it to die?  What forms of cognitive decline or physical change could you survive (and still be you)?  On the flip side, were you ever a fetus?  How should the rights of pregnant women be balanced against those of the fetus?  Should parents be given control over the genetic make-up of their children?  Are some forms of human enhancement morally troubling?  Should we aim to be better than well?  What is it to be disabled?  How should scarce health care resources or costly therapies be allocated to those in need?  Should organ sales be permitted?  Should medical treatment (or health insurance!) ever be compulsory, or is mandating treatment unacceptably paternalistic?  Should doctors or hospitals be permitted to refuse to provide certain medical services that violate their consciences?

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Julia Markovits (jm2476)
Full details for PHIL 2455 : Introduction to Bioethics
PHIL 2640 Introduction to Metaphysics

This course is an introduction to some of the central questions in metaphysics--the study of what there is and how it works. Possible topics include persistence through change, freedom of the will, the nature of time (and the possibility of time travel), causation, properties, and necessity.

Distribution: (KCM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Alexander Kocurek (awk78)
Full details for PHIL 2640 : Introduction to Metaphysics
PHIL 2945 Civil Disobedience

This course examines controversies in the theory and history of civil disobedience. Do citizens have obligations to obey unjust laws? Can law breaking ever be civil rather than criminal? Do disruptive protests endanger democracy or strengthen the rule of law? How do acts of protest influence public opinion and policy? How is the distinction between violence and nonviolence politically constructed and contested? We will study classical writings and contemporary scholarship in pursuit of answers to these questions and related debates concerning the rule of law, conscientious objection, the uses of civility and incivility, punishment and responsibility, as well as whistleblowing, direct action, strikes, sabotage, hacktivism, and rioting.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Alexander Livingston (pal229)
Full details for PHIL 2945 : Civil Disobedience
PHIL 2990 Foundations of Law and Society

This course explores the meaning of Law and Society, which is an interdisciplinary study of the interactive nature of legal and social forces. A law and society perspective places law in its historical, social, and cultural context, studying the dynamic way in which law shapes social norms, policy, and institutions, and conversely, the way that social forces shape the law. This Foundations of Law and Society course is structured as a series of four modules, each taught by a faculty member from a different discipline. The modules will introduce students to a range of disciplinary methods and content related to the study of the interaction of law with social, political, and economic institutions and relationships.

Distribution: (CA-AS, SSC-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Julilly Kohler-Hausmann (jkh224)
Beth Lyon (mbl235)
Shaun Nichols (sbn44)
Erin York Cornwell (eyc46)
Full details for PHIL 2990 : Foundations of Law and Society
PHIL 3180 Origins of 20th Century Philosophy

Philosophical writings from 1885 to 1915, by Gottlob Frege and Bertrand Russell, among others. Topics: metaphysics, semantics, epistemology, and value theory.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Karolina Hubner (kh753)
Full details for PHIL 3180 : Origins of 20th Century Philosophy
PHIL 3222 Early Modern Philosophy

This course is an advanced study of a central concept, problem, or figure in 17-18th century philosophy.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS, HST-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Justin Steinberg (jds467)
Full details for PHIL 3222 : Early Modern Philosophy
PHIL 3310 Deductive Logic

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.

Distribution: (MQR-AS, SMR-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Alexander Kocurek (awk78)
Full details for PHIL 3310 : Deductive Logic
PHIL 3475 Philosophy of Punishment

This course addresses central debates in the philosophy of legal punishment. We will analyze the leading theories of punishment, including the familiar retributivist and deterrent alternatives, as well as lesser-known hybrid, self-defense, and rehabilitative accounts. We will ask whether each theory offers a general justification for establishing institutions of punishment, and whether each theory justifies specific acts of punishment. Other topics may include criminal responsibility, the legitimacy of collateral consequences (e.g., the denial of felons' voting rights), alternatives to punishment, etc.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Benjamin Yost (bsy9)
Full details for PHIL 3475 : Philosophy of Punishment
PHIL 3535 Moses to Modernity

This course is an introduction to Jewish philosophy – from Biblical texts to 20th century work. Our inquiries will span metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, philosophy of religion, and political philosophy. We will reflect on questions such as the relation between philosophy or reason on the one hand, and religion and ethics on the other, on the possibility of knowledge of God, the ethics of human relations, the nature of suffering, and finally the nature of a tolerant and just society. We will read works by Maimonides, Spinoza, Mendelssohn, Marx, Buber, Rosenzweig, Cohen, Arendt, Levinas, and Butler, among others.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Karolina Hubner (kh753)
Full details for PHIL 3535 : Moses to Modernity
PHIL 3700 Problems in Semantics

In this class we will discuss the properties of truth-conditional semantics, with a focus on those phenomena that have been used to question the adequacy of such systems. The course starts of by discussing the fundamental (formal) properties of truth-conditional semantics, and the notion of interpretation relative to a model. Then, we will explore different aspects of the grammar of natural languages that have been invoked against such semantic systems, such as vagueness and degree expressions, presuppositional content, indexicals and lexical semantics, a.o.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Jon Ander Mendia (jm2732)
Full details for PHIL 3700 : Problems in Semantics
PHIL 3900 Independent Study

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Shaun Nichols (sbn44)
Full details for PHIL 3900 : Independent Study
PHIL 4002 Latin Philosophical Texts

Reading and translation of Latin philosophical texts.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Scott MacDonald (scm8)
Full details for PHIL 4002 : Latin Philosophical Texts
PHIL 4003 German Philosophical Texts

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: M. Kosch (mak229)
Full details for PHIL 4003 : German Philosophical Texts
PHIL 4110 Greek Philosophical Texts

Reading and translation of Greek philosophical texts.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Rachana Kamtekar (rk579)
Full details for PHIL 4110 : Greek Philosophical Texts
PHIL 4210 Augustine

Topic: Augustine's philosophy of mind in De Trinitate

Distribution: (LA-AS, ETM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Charles Brittain (cfb9)
Scott MacDonald (scm8)
Full details for PHIL 4210 : Augustine
PHIL 4410 Topics in Ethics and Value Theory

Advanced seminar covering a topic in ethics and value theory.

Distribution: (KCM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Kate Manne (kam468)
Full details for PHIL 4410 : Topics in Ethics and Value Theory
PHIL 4620 Topics in Philosophy of Mind

Advanced discussion of a topic in Philosophy of Mind.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Shaun Nichols (sbn44)
Full details for PHIL 4620 : Topics in Philosophy of Mind
PHIL 4730 Semantics I

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.

Distribution: (KCM-AS, ETM-AS, SMR-AS)
Academic Career: UG Instructor: Dorit Abusch (da45)
Full details for PHIL 4730 : Semantics I
PHIL 4900 Informal Study for Honors I

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.

Academic Career: UG Instructor: Shaun Nichols (sbn44)
Full details for PHIL 4900 : Informal Study for Honors I
PHIL 4901 Informal Study for Honors II

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.

Academic Career: UG Full details for PHIL 4901 : Informal Study for Honors II
PHIL 6010 Greek Philosophical Texts

Reading and translation of Greek Philosophical texts.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Rachana Kamtekar (rk579)
Full details for PHIL 6010 : Greek Philosophical Texts
PHIL 6020 Latin Philosophical Texts

Reading and translation of Latin philosophical texts.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Scott MacDonald (scm8)
Full details for PHIL 6020 : Latin Philosophical Texts
PHIL 6030 German Philosophical Texts

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: M. Kosch (mak229)
Full details for PHIL 6030 : German Philosophical Texts
PHIL 6100 Pro Seminar in Philosophy

Seminar for first year Philosophy graduate students.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Nicholas Silins (ns338)
Full details for PHIL 6100 : Pro Seminar in Philosophy
PHIL 6210 Topics in Medieval Philosophy

Graduate seminar covering a topic in medieval philosophy.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Charles Brittain (cfb9)
Scott MacDonald (scm8)
Full details for PHIL 6210 : Topics in Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 6222 Early Modern Philosophy

This course is an advanced study of a central concept, problem, or figure in 17-18th century philosophy.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Justin Steinberg (jds467)
Full details for PHIL 6222 : Early Modern Philosophy
PHIL 6310 Deductive Logic

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Alexander Kocurek (awk78)
Full details for PHIL 6310 : Deductive Logic
PHIL 6410 Seminar in Ethics and Value Theory

Graduate seminar covering a topic in ethics and value theory.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Kate Manne (kam468)
Full details for PHIL 6410 : Seminar in Ethics and Value Theory
PHIL 6430 Topics in Social and Political Philosophy

Advanced discussion of a topic in social and political philosophy.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Andrei Marmor (am2773)
Full details for PHIL 6430 : Topics in Social and Political Philosophy
PHIL 6475 Philosophy of Punishment

This course addresses central debates in the philosophy of legal punishment. We will analyze the leading theories of punishment, including the familiar retributivist and deterrent alternatives, as well as lesser-known hybrid, self-defense, and rehabilitative accounts. We will ask whether each theory offers a general justification for establishing institutions of punishment, and whether each theory justifies specific acts of punishment. Other topics may include criminal responsibility, the legitimacy of collateral consequences (e.g., the denial of felons' voting rights), alternatives to punishment, etc.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Benjamin Yost (bsy9)
Full details for PHIL 6475 : Philosophy of Punishment
PHIL 6620 Topics in Philosophy of Mind

Advanced discussion of a topic in Philosophy of Mind.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Shaun Nichols (sbn44)
Full details for PHIL 6620 : Topics in Philosophy of Mind
PHIL 6700 Problems in Semantics

In this class we will discuss the properties of truth-conditional semantics, with a focus on those phenomena that have been used to question the adequacy of such systems. The course starts of by discussing the fundamental (formal) properties of truth-conditional semantics, and the notion of interpretation relative to a model. Then, we will explore different aspects of the grammar of natural languages that have been invoked against such semantic systems, such as vagueness and degree expressions, presuppositional content, indexicals and lexical semantics, a.o.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Jon Ander Mendia (jm2732)
Full details for PHIL 6700 : Problems in Semantics
PHIL 6730 Semantics I

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Dorit Abusch (da45)
Full details for PHIL 6730 : Semantics I
PHIL 6740 Semantics Seminar

Addresses current theoretical and empirical issues in semantics.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Dorit Abusch (da45)
Mats Rooth (mr249)
Full details for PHIL 6740 : Semantics Seminar
PHIL 7000 Informal Study

Independent study for graduate students only.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Tad Brennan (trb64)
Full details for PHIL 7000 : Informal Study
PHIL 7900 Placement Seminar

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.

Academic Career: GR Instructor: Julia Markovits (jm2476)
Full details for PHIL 7900 : Placement Seminar