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PHIL 1100 : Introduction to Philosophy
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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: 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 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 1110 : FWS: Philosophy in Practice
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 1111 : FWS: Philosophical Problems
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 1112 : FWS: Philosophical Conversations
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This First-Year Writing Seminar offers the opportunity to discuss and write about philosophy.  Topics vary by section.
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PHIL 1440 : Ethics of Eating
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
We all face difficult moral decisions on occasion. This course introduces students to the idea that we face such a decision several times a day in deciding what to eat. How should facts about animal life and death inform this decision? Is the suffering involved in meat, egg, and dairy production really bad enough to make the practices immoral? How do our dietary choices affect local and non-local economies, the environment, and other people generally? Finally, given the deep connections between eating practices and various ethnic, religious and class identities, how can we implement a reasonable food policy for an expanding world population while also respecting these important differences? The goal of this course is not to teach some preferred set of answers to these questions. The goal is rather to give participants the basic tools required to reflect clearly and effectively on the questions themselves. These tools include a working knowledge of the major moral theories developed by philosophers, and an understanding of basic empirical issues related to food production, distribution, consumption, and disposal. In addition to readings, lectures, and required sections, the course will involve trips to some local food-production facilities, as well as supplemental lectures by experts from Cornell, Ithaca, and beyond.
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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 2019 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 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: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This course provides an introduction to the science of the mind.  Everyone knows what it's like to think and perceive, but this subjective experience provides little insight into how minds emerge from physical intities like brains.  To address this issue, cognitive science integrates work from at least five disciplines: Psychology, Neuroscience, Computer Science, Linguistics, and Philosophy.  This course introduces students to the insights these disciplines offer into the workings of the mind by exploring visual perception, attention, memory, learning, problem solving, language, and consciousness. 
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PHIL 1911 : WIM: Introduction to Cognitive Science
Crosslisted as: COGST 1104, LING 1104, PSYCH 1104 Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 1920 : Introduction to Political Theory
Crosslisted as: GOVT 1615 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This course offers a survey of political theory in the West. We will examine some of the persistent dilemmas of politics and the attempts of several canonical political theorists to respond to them: Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and Nietzsche. In each case, we will attend to the particular crises these theorists addressed in their work—such as imperialism, the European wars of religion, the English Civil War, 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, providing students with an 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 2220 : Modern Philosophy
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 2300 : Puzzles and Paradoxes
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
The course provides an overview of a number of famous philosophical puzzles and paradoxes and important attempts to solve them. Among the paradoxes that may be discussed are Zeno's paradoxes of space, time and motion; the paradox of the heap; the liar paradox; Russell's set-theoretic paradox; and various paradoxes concerning knowledge and rationality.
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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: Spring 2019 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 2455 : Introduction to Bioethics
Crosslisted as: STS 2451 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Bioethics is the study of ethical problems brought about by advances in the medical field.  Questions we'll discuss may include:  Is it morally permissible to advance a patient's death, at his or her request, to reduce suffering?  Is there a moral dilemma between killing someone and letting someone die?  What ethical issues are raised by advance care planning?  How should the rights of pregnant women be balanced against those of the fetus?  What constitutes informed consent?  Should medical treatment ever be compulsory?  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?  How should scarce health care resources or costly therapies be allocated to those in need?  Should organ sales be permitted?  Should doctors or hospitals be permitted to refuse to provide certain medical services that violate their consciences?
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PHIL 2460 : Ethics and the Environment
Crosslisted as: BSOC 2061, STS 2061 Semester offered: Spring 2019 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: 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 2941 : Ethics and Society: Aid and Its Consequences
Crosslisted as: ASRC 3333 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
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.
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PHIL 3203 : Aristotle
Crosslisted as: CLASS 3664 Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 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 3210 : Medieval Philosophy
Crosslisted as: MEDVL 3210, RELST 3150 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
A selective survey of Western philosophical thought from the fourth to the 14th century. Topics include the problem of universals, the theory of knowledge and truth, the nature of free choice and practical reasoning, and philosophical theology. Readings (in translation) include Augustine, Boethius, Anselm, Abelard, Aquinas, Scotus, and Ockham. Some attention will be given to the development of ideas across the period and the influence of non-Western traditions on the West.
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PHIL 3300 : The Foundations of Mathematics
Crosslisted as: MATH 3840 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This will be a course on the set theory of Zermelo and Fraenkel: the basic concepts, set-theoretic construction of the Natural, Integral, Rational and Real Numbers, cardinality, and, time permitting, the ordinals.
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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 3310 : Deductive Logic
Crosslisted as: MATH 2810 Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 3900 : Independent Study
Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 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 3930 : Introduction to Indian Philosophy
Crosslisted as: ASIAN 3344, CLASS 3674, RELST 3344 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This course will survey the rich and sophisticated tradition of Indian philosophical thought from its beginnings in the speculations of Upanishads, surveying debates between Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and materialistic philosophers about the existence and nature of God and of the human soul, the nature of knowledge, and the theory of language.
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PHIL 3972 : Animal Rights
Crosslisted as: LAW 7072 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor: Description
PHIL 4002 : Latin Philosophical Texts
Crosslisted as: LATIN 7262, MEDVL 4002, MEDVL 6020, PHIL 6020, RELST 4100, RELST 6020 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Reading and translation of Latin philosophical texts.
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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: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Reading and translation of Greek philosophical texts.
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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: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of topics in ancient philosophy.
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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 4311 : Topics in Logic and the Foundations of Mathematics
Crosslisted as: MATH 4820, PHIL 6310 Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 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 4433 : Following
Crosslisted as: PHIL 6433, SHUM 4633, SHUM 6633 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Since Stanley Milgram's famous experiments on obedience to authority conducted in the early 1960s, and arguably long before that, it's been clear that the majority of people are unreliable judges of who to obey, who to follow, and who to treat as moral authority figures. This advanced seminar would begin by considering the nature and bases of a mistaken sense of moral obligation to follow someone's lead, either because one falsely takes oneself to owe them obedience as such, or because one erroneously treats them as a source of superior moral insight. We will then explore questions about the epistemology and metaphysics of genuine or licit moral authority, which is at least partly a matter of issuing, and not contradicting, independently valid moral requirements.
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PHIL 4435 : Pluralism and Political Authority
Crosslisted as: AMST 4630, AMST 6630, GOVT 4835, GOVT 6835, PHIL 6435, SHUM 4631, SHUM 6631 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This seminar considers new directions in thinking about political authority that focus on the claims of non-state groups. It considers leading 20th century political theorists who have recognized authority to be plural and contested as well as those who have resisted this characterization. We explore contemporary scholarship about religious groups that claim authority over their members, Indigenous peoples that claim authority over lands and resources, and employers that claim authority over workers by imposing their own rules and norms even if these depart from ones endorsed by the state. The aim is to understand where legitimate authority comes from, how it is enacted, and what role (if any) it plays in shaping the identities of those who are subject to it.  
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PHIL 4470 : Topics in Social and Political Philosophy
Crosslisted as: AMST 4655, AMST 6656, GOVT 4655, GOVT 6656, PHIL 6430, SOC 4430, SOC 6430 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of topics in social and political philosophy.
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PHIL 4620 : Topics in Philosophy of Mind
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of a topic in Philosophy of Mind.
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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 4710 : Topics in the Philosophy of Language
Crosslisted as: LING 4712, LING 6634, PHIL 6710 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
An investigation of varying topics in the philosophy of language including reference, meaning, the relationship between language and thought, communication, modality, logic and pragmatics.
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PHIL 4720 : Pragmatics
Crosslisted as: LING 4425, LING 6425, PHIL 6720 Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 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: Spring 2019 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 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 2019 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: Fall 2018 Instructor:
Reading and translation of Greek Philosophical texts.
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PHIL 6010 : Greek Philosophical Texts
Crosslisted as: GREEK 7161, PHIL 4110 Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 6020 : Latin Philosophical Texts
Crosslisted as: LATIN 7262, MEDVL 4002, MEDVL 6020, PHIL 4002, RELST 4100, RELST 6020 Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 6200 : Topics in Ancient Philosophy
Crosslisted as: CLASS 4662, CLASS 7173, PHIL 4200 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of topics in ancient philosophy.
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PHIL 6210 : Seminar in Medieval Philosophy
Crosslisted as: MEDVL 6210 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor: Description
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 6310 : Philosophy of Logic
Crosslisted as: MATH 4820, PHIL 4311 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor: Description
PHIL 6410 : Seminar in Ethics and Value Theory
Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Graduate seminar covering a topic in ethics and value theory.
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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 6430 : Topics in Social and Political Philosophy
Crosslisted as: AMST 4655, AMST 6656, GOVT 4655, GOVT 6656, PHIL 4470, SOC 4430, SOC 6430 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Advanced discussion of a topic in social and political philosophy.
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PHIL 6433 : Following
Crosslisted as: PHIL 4433, SHUM 4633, SHUM 6633 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
Since Stanley Milgram's famous experiments on obedience to authority conducted in the early 1960s, and arguably long before that, it's been clear that the majority of people are unreliable judges of who to obey, who to follow, and who to treat as moral authority figures. This advanced seminar would begin by considering the nature and bases of a mistaken sense of moral obligation to follow someone's lead, either because one falsely takes oneself to owe them obedience as such, or because one erroneously treats them as a source of superior moral insight. We will then explore questions about the epistemology and metaphysics of genuine or licit moral authority, which is at least partly a matter of issuing, and not contradicting, independently valid moral requirements.
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PHIL 6435 : Pluralism, Political Authority
Crosslisted as: AMST 4630, AMST 6630, GOVT 4835, GOVT 6835, PHIL 4435, SHUM 4631, SHUM 6631 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
This seminar considers new directions in thinking about political authority that focus on the claims of non-state groups. It considers leading 20th century political theorists who have recognized authority to be plural and contested as well as those who have resisted this characterization. We explore contemporary scholarship about religious groups that claim authority over their members, Indigenous peoples that claim authority over lands and resources, and employers that claim authority over workers by imposing their own rules and norms even if these depart from ones endorsed by the state. The aim is to understand where legitimate authority comes from, how it is enacted, and what role (if any) it plays in shaping the identities of those who are subject to it.
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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 6710 : Topics in the Philosophy of Language
Crosslisted as: LING 4712, LING 6634, PHIL 4710 Semester offered: Spring 2019 Instructor:
An investigation of varying topics in the philosophy of language including reference, meaning, the relationship between language and thought, communication, modality, logic and pragmatics.
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PHIL 6720 : Pragmatics
Crosslisted as: LING 4425, LING 6425, PHIL 4720 Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 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 6731 : Semantics II
Crosslisted as: LING 6422 Semester offered: Spring 2019 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 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 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 2019 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 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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