Orange Alert

Skip to main content
Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences

Philosophy Courses

Undergraduate and Graduate

Fall 2020

PHI 107: Theories of Knowledge and Reality
T/TH 11:00-11:55 Van Gulick, Robert

An introduction to some of the main issues, theories & arguments in the areas of philosophy concerned with knowledge (epistemology) and with fundamental and basic features of reality (metaphysics). The course will have 4 equal units concerned with four core issues: the existence of God, the nature and limits of Knowledge, the relation of Mind & Matter (Mind-Body problem), the problem of Free Will. As well as providing an understanding of the philosophical theories and debates on those four topics, the course is intended to introduce students to the methods and skills of philosophical thinking and reasoning, both in evaluating the arguments of others and in constructing and defending arguments of one's own.

PHI 107.1: Theories of Knowledge and Reality
T/TH 11:00-12:30 Hedger, Joseph

This course is Theories of Knowledge and Reality. This is an introduction to two central areas of philosophy: epistemology is the study of knowledge and ontology (a branch of metaphysics) is the study of what there is. We will examine four key issues from the history of philosophy: God, knowledge, mind, and freedom. We will read primary sources from the Western philosophical tradition, including Plato, Descartes, Alan Turing, Bertrand Russell, David Hume, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Blaise Pascal, and others. Some questions and themes we will explore include the following: What is philosophy, and what is its purpose? Does God exist, and can we rationally prove this? Is the existence of God rationally consistent with the existence of the evil we find in the world? Why would God allow such evil? What can we truly know? How do we know? What is knowledge (as opposed to mere belief e.g.)? What is the mind made of? How do our minds interact with our bodies? How do I know other people have minds, given that I can never access another mind directly? Can a purely physical brain account for consciousness? Can we create a mind, e.g. on a computer program or in a robot? Could we download our minds into a computer or robot? If we did, would it still be us? Are we truly free to do whatever we choose, or are we preprogrammed based on our genes and our upbringing? Will artificial intelligence one day rival human intelligence? Could A.I. take over the world? What should we do about that possibility?

PHI 107.2: Theories of Knowledge and Reality
MWF 12:45-1:40 Osborne, Chip

This class introduces the student to the study of western philosophy. The course primarily focuses on epistemology (the study of knowledge), metaphysics (the study of fundamental reality), logical argumentation, and philosophic writing. Course assessment includes two examinations, sequenced writing assignments, two exams, weekly journal entries, and in-class activities. The course is divided into four units: I) Freedom and Determinism; II) Arguments, God, and Evil; III) Knowledge and Reality: Early Modern Philosophy; IV) Minds, Bodies, Persons.

PHI 107.3: Theories of Knowledge and Reality
T/TH 12:30-1:50 Simmons, Byron

This course will serve as an introduction to some of the main issues, theories, and arguments in the areas of philosophy concerned with knowledge (epistemology) and reality (metaphysics). We will be concerned with the following questions: What is knowledge? What is the relation between the mind and the body? Do we have free will? Does God exist?

PHI 107.4: Theories of Knowledge and Reality
T/TH 8:00-9:20 Hedger, Joseph

This course is Theories of Knowledge and Reality. This is an introduction to two central areas of philosophy: epistemology is the study of knowledge and ontology (a branch of metaphysics) is the study of what there is. We will examine four key issues from the history of philosophy: God, knowledge, mind, and freedom. We will read primary sources from the Western philosophical tradition, including Plato, Descartes, Alan Turing, Bertrand Russell, David Hume, Saint Thomas Aquinas, Blaise Pascal, and others. Some questions and themes we will explore include the following: What is philosophy, and what is its purpose? Does God exist, and can we rationally prove this? Is the existence of God rationally consistent with the existence of the evil we find in the world? Why would God allow such evil? What can we truly know? How do we know? What is knowledge (as opposed to mere belief e.g.)? What is the mind made of? How do our minds interact with our bodies? How do I know other people have minds, given that I can never access another mind directly? Can a purely physical brain account for consciousness? Can we create a mind, e.g. on a computer program or in a robot? Could we download our minds into a computer or robot? If we did, would it still be us? Are we truly free to do whatever we choose, or are we preprogrammed based on our genes and our upbringing? Will artificial intelligence one day rival human intelligence? Could A.I. take over the world? What should we do about that possibility?

PHI 107.5: Theories of Knowledge and Reality
T/TH 3:30-4:50 Simmons, Byron

This course will serve as an introduction to some of the main issues, theories, and arguments in the areas of philosophy concerned with knowledge (epistemology) and reality (metaphysics). We will be concerned with the following questions: What is knowledge? What is the relation between the mind and the body? Do we have free will? Does God exist?

PHI 107.6: Theories of Knowledge and Reality
MWF 11:40-12:35 Osborne, Chip

This class introduces the student to the study of western philosophy. The course primarily focuses on epistemology (the study of knowledge), metaphysics (the study of fundamental reality), logical argumentation, and philosophic writing. Course assessment includes two examinations, sequenced writing assignments, two exams, weekly journal entries, and in-class activities. The course is divided into four units: I) Freedom and Determinism; II) Arguments, God, and Evil; III) Knowledge and Reality: Early Modern Philosophy; IV) Minds, Bodies, Persons.

PHI 107.7: Theories of Knowledge and Reality
MW 3:45-5:05 Huang, Weiting

This course will serve as an introduction to some of the main issues, theories, and arguments in the areas of philosophy concerned with knowledge (epistemology) and reality (metaphysics). We will be concerned with the following questions: What is knowledge? What is the relation between the mind and the body? Do we have free will? Does God exist?

PHI 109: Intro. to Philosophy (Honors)
T/TH 9:30-10:50 Swiderski, Jan

It’s tricky being human. There are a lot of tangled knots. How can we know stuff, but not know how we know it? How can we freely choose what we do, even though we are totally determined by processes and laws we can’t control? How can living have meaning and purpose in an empty, chaotic, meaningless cosmos? Philosophy is an obsession with knots. Whether you untangle them or not, you’ll be better for having tried. Be aware: this class is not easy. If you are only interested in doing the bare minimum for a good grade, it’s probably not the class for you. The material is demanding. However, if you’re willing to put in the effort, you’ll thrive.

PHI/PSC 125: Political Theory
T/TH 5:00-5:55 Morgan, Glyn

This class focuses on three inter-related concepts that lie at the center of Western political philosophy: happiness, justice, and the law.

PHI 171: Critical Thinking
M/W 12:45-2:05 Patterson, Adam

Many people are poor critical thinkers. Many do not improve in college (Davies 2014). And if and when they do improve, it is likely due to personal maturation and not having taken any course on critical thinking (ibid). That isn’t awesome. For critical thinking, i.e., the ability to understand argumentative texts and reason clearly about them is an important skill for the job market (and life in general) that ​should be ​developed in college. The primary aim of this course is to improve your critical thinking skills.

PHI 175: Social and Political Philosophy
M/W 12:45-1:40 Anderson, Luvell

How ought people relate to one another? This is what I understand to be the central question behind virtually all social and political theorizing. We draw on various background assumptions and concepts to make claims one way or another about acceptable answers for this question. Liberalism, understood in its catholic sense, has come to be a dominant political philosophy for social organization, at least in what is known as the West over the past few centuries. Because of this influential status, it is important to understand central features of liberalism, what distinguishes it from other political philosophies, and some of its central views. That is what this course is about.

PHI 175.1: Social and Political Philosophy
T/TH 5:00-6:20 Koehler, Matt

This course will cover a variety of topics in social and political philosophy, including the relationship between liberty and equality, our obligation to obey the law, the nature of justice, questions regarding economic justice, among other topics.

PHI 175.2: Social and Political Philosophy
M/W 5:15-6:35 Cimendereli, Cagla

We are going to read some of the classical texts in the history of western political philosophy and some of the contemporary texts in social and political philosophy in order to trace the genealogy of the key concepts that have contributed to the building of our society today. We are also going to observe the development of the contemporary political ideologies within the historical context.

PHI 175.3: Social and Political Philosophy
T/TH 2:00-3:20 Ryan, Pam

Classical and contemporary readings on basic topics in social and political philosophy; political obligation and authority, justice and basic rights, liberty and equality, the justification of democracy.

PHI 191: The Meaning of Life
T/TH 12:30-1:25 Erlenbusch-Anderson, Verena

In the fourteenth century, when the plague ravaged much of Asia, North Africa, and Europe, roughly 200 million people died. For the Italian humanist Francesco Petrarch, the pandemic raised serious questions about the meaning of life and prompted him to examine his own life. Had the plague transformed him and others for the better? Was it possible to be happy amidst so much suffering, illness, and death? What was the meaning of love and friendship when so many loved ones had perished? What were the effects of quarantine, unemployment, and constrained mobility and sociality? Petrarch reflected on these questions in prayer as well as in conversation and correspondence with the living and the dead, in reflective essays, and in his poems. In this course, we will follow Petrarch’s lead to examine some of the most influential philosophical perspectives on the meaning of life and the role of pain and suffering, happiness and joy, love and friendship, work and play, faith, and mortality. They not only teach us how to live meaningful lives but also equip us with the skills to think independently and come to good judgments about what matters for us.

PHI 192: Introduction to Moral Theory
M/W 11:40-12:35 Paakkunainen, Hille

This course is an introduction to major theories about moral rightness and wrongness, about virtue and vice, and about value and disvalue. We examine historically influential theories in the Western philosophical tradition that continue to be of contemporary interest, such as utilitarian, Kantian, and Aristotelian theories. We will also have a brief introduction to a sub-Saharan African moral theory focused around the concept of ubuntu. Along the way, we discuss the nature and moral importance of well-being, as well as some urgent moral issues, such as the ethics of health care rationing, the ethics of mandated mask-wearing and other compulsory public health measures, hate speech and free speech, and the ethics of disability and radical human enhancement. We use both historical and contemporary readings.

PHI 192.1: Introduction to Moral Theory
M/W 2:15-3:35 Cook, Ben

This course is an introduction to major theories about moral rightness and wrongness, about virtue and vice, and about value and disvalue. We examine historically influential theories in the Western philosophical tradition that continue to be of contemporary interest, such as utilitarian, Kantian, and Aristotelian theories. We also discuss applications of these theories to issues of contemporary import, such as our duties to non-human animals, the ethics of abortion, free speech, and reparations. We use both historical and contemporary readings.

PHI 192.2: Introduction to Moral Theory
M/W 3:45-5:05 Kohls, Stacy

This course is an introduction to major theories about moral rightness and wrongness, about virtue and vice, and about value and disvalue. We examine historically influential theories in the Western philosophical tradition that continue to be of contemporary interest, such as utilitarian, Kantian, and Aristotelian theories. We will also have a brief introduction to a sub-Saharan African moral theory focused around the concept of ubuntu. Along the way, we discuss the nature and moral importance of well-being, as well as some urgent moral issues, such as the ethics of health care rationing, the ethics of mandated mask-wearing and other compulsory public health measures, hate speech and free speech, and the ethics of disability and radical human enhancement. We use both historical and contemporary readings.

PHI 192.4: Introduction to Moral Theory
T/TH 5:00-6:20 Javier-Castellanos, Arturo

The course divides into three parts. In the first part, we shall discuss a range of controversial issues, e.g., is abortion permissible? Are current immigration restrictions justified? Should deaf parents be allowed to use embryo selection techniques to create deaf children? In the second part of the course, we shall discuss what makes someone’s life good for that person. If you were forced to choose a life for reincarnation, what sort of life would you choose? What makes that sort of life good for you? Is it simply a matter of how much pleasure it contains? Or is there more to a good life than pleasure? In the third part of the course, we shall discuss what makes an action morally permissible. Is it simply a matter of how much good or bad it brings about? Or does it matter how you bring it about? Is doing harm worse than allowing harm? Does intention matter?

PHI 192.5: Introduction to Moral Theory
T/TH 6:30-7:50 Javier-Castellanos, Arturo

The course divides into three parts. In the first part, we shall discuss a range of controversial issues, e.g., is abortion permissible? Are current immigration restrictions justified? Should deaf parents be allowed to use embryo selection techniques to create deaf children? In the second part of the course, we shall discuss what makes someone’s life good for that person. If you were forced to choose a life for reincarnation, what sort of life would you choose? What makes that sort of life good for you? Is it simply a matter of how much pleasure it contains? Or is there more to a good life than pleasure? In the third part of the course, we shall discuss what makes an action morally permissible. Is it simply a matter of how much good or bad it brings about? Or does it matter how you bring it about? Is doing harm worse than allowing harm? Does intention matter?

PHI 197: Human Nature
T/TH 2:00-2:55 Noble, Christopher

What can we learn about happiness and a fulfilling life by thinking about human nature? What implications do facts about human nature have for morality, and how could facts about our nature have these implications? What role do reason and emotion play in determining human behavior, and can we act contrary to our beliefs? In this course we will explore these and other questions with the help of classics texts drawn from the Western philosophical tradition (including works by Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, Hobbes, Kant, J. S. Mill, and Sartre) together with some works by contemporary philosophers (such as Susan Wolf, Peter Singer, and Sharon Street). The course will be organized around three main themes: Happiness, Ethics, and Motivation.

PHI 197.1: Human Nature
T/TH 11:00-12:20 Sethi, Neelam

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to a variety of philosophical views concerning human nature. In light of these views we will examine a number of questions including the following: Are there distinctive characteristics of a human being? How are humans related to non-human beings? Is human nature fixed or changeable? How similar or different are the natures of men and women? What is a cyborg? Are humans basically evil or good? What is a good life? To answer these and other related questions, we will examine readings from literature, philosophy, and science.

PHI 197.2: Human Nature
T/TH 3:30-4:50 Ryan, Pam

Philosophical theories of human nature, their underlying metaphysical claims, and their ethical consequences.

PHI 197.3: Human Nature
M/W 12:45-2:05 Demirtas, Huzeyfe

The goal is to introduce you to some of the central topics that concern us as human beings. We will be interested in these topics not only for possible answers. Our journey will be at least as significant, if not actually more, for the genuine questions we will raise along the way. Another goal is to help you develop reasoning and argumentative skills. You will learn how to write reasonably and clearly. We will discuss these issues: What is knowledge and how do we obtain it? What sort of cognitive biases do we have? Are we blind to the obvious? What is it that makes us what we are? What is the meaning of life? What, if anything, matters? Is morality objective? Why be moral? Is death bad for us? Can we cheat death?

PHI 245: Philosophy of Sport
M/W 3:45-5:05 Singh, Jagdeep

This is an introduction to philosophical issues relating to sports. We will focus especially on questions about ethics in sport. Questions to be discussed include: What is a game? What is a sport? What if anything is good about sports? What is cheating? Should sporting organizations forbid the use of performance-enhancing drugs? Should there be separate competitions for men and women? Are student-athletes exploited by universities? What level of violence is morally acceptable in sports?

PHI 251: Logic
T/TH 2:00-2:55 Rieppel, Michael

In a good deductive argument the conclusion logically follows from the premises. But what exactly does this involve? Logic aims to answer that question by giving a precise account of the relation of logical consequence that holds between the premises and conclusion of a valid argument. In this course we will begin by first studying Truth-Functional Logic, and then move on to the more complex system of First-Order Logic. We will learn how to formally represent the logical structure of English arguments in each system, and develop a semantics as well as a system of natural deduction to determine the validity of arguments given such formal representations. Upon completing the course students will be familiar with basic model- and proof-theoretic concepts and techniques, and be able to apply them to analyze and evaluate natural language arguments.

PHI 251.1: Logic
T/TH 12:30-1:50 Dauksz, Dante

We would like to be able to say when we have good reasons for accepting the conclusion of an argument. In this course, we will focus on one particular class of arguments, namely, deductive arguments, i.e., arguments whose premises purport to logically guarantee the truth of the argument’s conclusion, provided that the premises are true. The goal of this course is to introduce you to the techniques of modern symbolic logic so as to provide you with the necessary tools for evaluating deductively valid arguments. To that end, we will undertake a systematic study of propositional and predicate logic. Students will learn the techniques for showing the validity or invalidity of arguments, the consistency and logical equivalence of sets of formulas and will learn how to test for the logical truth, logical falsity and contingency of individual formulas in both systems of propositional and predicate logic.

PHI 251.2: Logic
T/TH 2:00-3:20 Bzdak, David

In a good deductive argument the conclusion follows from the premises. But what exactly does this involve? Logic aims to answer that question by giving a mathematically precise account of the relation of logical consequence. In this course we will begin by first studying Sentential Logic, and then move on to the more complex system of Predicate Logic. We will learn how to formally represent the logical structure of English arguments in each system, and develop a semantics as well as a system of natural deduction to determine the validity of arguments given such formal representations. Upon completing the course students will be familiar with basic model- and proof-theoretic concepts and techniques, and be able to apply them to analyze and evaluate natural language arguments.

PHI 251.3: Logic
T/TH 9:30-10:50 Pierce, Jeremy

Logic as a formal language, as a component of natural language, and as a basis of a programming language. Varieties of logical systems and techniques. Syntax, semantics and pragmatics.

PHI 251.4: Logic
M/W 3:45-5:05 Shirmohammadi, Hamed

Logic is the business of evaluating arguments; sorting the good from the bad. In a good deductive argument, the conclusion follows from the premises. Such an argument is called a valid argument. Some arguments are valid in virtue of their logical form. Formal logic studies the logical form of arguments. In this course we will study two systems of formal logic: truth functional logic, and first-order logic. We will learn how to represent the logical forms of English arguments, and then develop a semantics as well as a system of natural deduction in each system of logic to determine the validity of arguments given such formal representations. Upon completing the course students will be familiar with basic model- and proof-theoretic concepts and techniques, and be able to apply them to analyze and evaluate natural language arguments.

PHI 251.5: Logic
M/W 5:15-6:35 Shirmohammadi, Hamed

Logic is the business of evaluating arguments; sorting the good from the bad. In a good deductive argument, the conclusion follows from the premises. Such an argument is called a valid argument. Some arguments are valid in virtue of their logical form. Formal logic studies the logical form of arguments. In this course we will study two systems of formal logic: truth functional logic, and first-order logic. We will learn how to represent the logical forms of English arguments, and then develop a semantics as well as a system of natural deduction in each system of logic to determine the validity of arguments given such formal representations. Upon completing the course students will be familiar with basic model- and proof-theoretic concepts and techniques, and be able to apply them to analyze and evaluate natural language arguments.

PHI 293: Ethics & The Media Professions
T/TH 5:00-5:55 Prescott, Paul

Ethics and the Media Professions is an introduction to the ethical issues raised by the entertainment media, including television, radio, film, music, graphics, and photography. The goal of the course is to provide students with the resources and background required to recognize, navigate, and constructively respond to the ethical challenges confronted by entertainment media professionals.

PHI/WGS 297: Philosophy of Feminism
T/TH 2:00-3:20 Bell, Rose

Feminism is the movement to end gendered oppression. Philosophy is, among other things, the systematic study of ideas or concepts. Feminist philosophy will therefore involve the systematic study of ideas and concepts like the following: What is oppression? What are its features? How does it work? How is it perpetuated and enforced? How is it different from other kinds of harm? Who is oppressed? What does it mean to be oppressed according to gender? What is gender? Is it a social group? An identity? Is it multiple things? How is gender shaped by things like race and class? Can we understand gender by itself? What does it mean to be masculine or feminine? What does it mean to be trans or nonbinary? What do we do? What is the role of feminist theory in ending oppression? Who is included under feminist goals? Who ought to be included? What is the best use of our resources? How do we put our theory into practice (praxis)? We will approach these questions with the help of historical and contemporary feminist philosophy, as well as some relevant non-philosophy (to be approached philosophically).

PHI 300: Selected Topics - Philosophy of Life and Death
T/TH 9:30-10:50 Bradley, Ben

In this class we will investigate fundamental philosophical questions about life and death. We begin with conceptual and metaphysical questions about ourselves and the nature of life and death. How can life and death be defined? What kinds of beings are we? Are we the kinds of beings that could survive death? We then move on to questions about value and the emotions: Is death bad for the one who dies? What makes life valuable or meaningful? How should we feel about our deaths or the deaths of loved ones? Finally we discuss ethical questions: What makes killing wrong? Can human lives be weighed against each other, or against other things? Should we try to extend the human lifespan? The goals of the class will be to understand some important answers to these questions, to learn to ask good questions about proposed answers, and to carefully formulate arguments for or against views on these topics.

PHI 313: British Philosophy
T/TH 2:00-3:20 Dauksz, Dante

Early modern Europe witnessed the rise of modern science in a period often referred to as the “Scientific Revolution.” This development is closely connected with a number of revolutionary advances in early modern philosophy. Among the most prominent philosophers working in that period were Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. These philosophers have often been grouped together under the label “British Empiricists” by virtue of their emphasis on experience as a source of knowledge. The goal of this course is to provide a clearer understanding of ‘empiricism’ as a philosophical position as well as provide an overview of the development of early modern empiricism in Britain. Topics will include the nature of perception, the theory of ideas, theories of knowledge, the nature of material substance, causation, personal identity, skepticism, and issues concerning the nature of space, time and motion.

PHI 376: Philosophy of Mind
M/W 12:45-2:05 Edwards, Kevan

This course will cover major issues and movements in philosophy of mind, with a particular emphasis on developments in the last century or so. We will focus on questions about the nature of the mind and its relationship to the physical world. Basic approaches that we will discuss will include Dualism, Behaviorism, Identity Theory, Functionalism, as well as Eliminativist and Instrumentalist alternatives. Other potential topics (we will not get to most of these) include mental content, classical versus connectionist (neural network) models of mental processes, theories of mental representation, consciousness, the so-called extended mind, the language of thought, modularity. Readings will be a combination of chapters from the required textbook and various primary sources (mostly journal articles). Students should expect the readings to be difficult, in particular the primary sources. Requirements will include regular short assignments as well as more substantial exams and at least one major project that will require independent research, thinking, and writing.

PHI 381: Metaphysics
M/W 2:15-3:35 Javier-Castellanos, Arturo

The course divides into three parts. In the first part, we consider questions about material objects, such as tables and chairs. Can two objects be at the same place at the same time? Are any objects made up of smaller parts? If so, what does it take for a collection of objects to make up a larger object? In the second part, we consider questions about time and possibility. Are all existing objects in the present, or are present objects merely a subset of all existing objects? Are there past objects such as dinosaurs, and future objects such as my great grandchildren? What does it take for something to be possible? Finally, in the third part, we consider questions about abstract entities—entities which, unlike tables and chairs, do not exist in space and time. Are there such entities? Are mathematical entities such as numbers and functions examples of such entities? Are works of art such as novels or symphonies further examples?

PHI 393: Contemporary Ethics
M/W 3:45-5:05 Tignor, Joshua

This semester we will investigate two closely related philosophical topics. The first topic concerns the nature of a free will. We will look at a handful of views that each offer their own conception of what it means to have a free will. In this discussion, we will consider cases of agency where it seems like free will might be lacking in some sense, e.g. addiction and depression. Discussion of these views and these particular cases of agency will lend itself somewhat naturally to a discussion of what it means to be morally responsible for some action or attitude. Here we will consider what it means to hold others and one’s self responsible for some action or attitude by looking at various views alongside cases of implicit attitudes, psychopathy, and non-human animals. If we have time, we might also look into whether or not it’s possible for an AI to be created that deserves to be held morally responsible for its actions and attitudes. We will read philosophical articles, short stories, psychology articles, first-person reports and we will maybe watch a view videos (maybe a full episode of something...) as we investigate the nature of responsibility.

PHI 400/600: Selected Topics - Explaining Philosophy to Non-Philosophers
W 7:00-9:30 Gorovitz, Samuel

Those who pursue philosophy – professionally, as an undergraduate major, or even as a minor – often struggle to explain to others what the discipline is, how it works, why it matters, and what it has to do with the concerns non-philosophers have. The ability to do that well, however, is empowering in many ways. In this course we will address that struggle. Some of the reading will be from the anthology FALLING IN LOVE WITH WISDOM, which is the required text for the course (readily available in paperback). I will also draw on some of my own works – newspaper editorials, media interviews, public addresses, and a podcast, as illustrative examples.

PHI 411: Race and Identity
M/W 3:45-5:05 Anderson, Luvell

How ought people relate to one another? This is what I understand to be the central question behind virtually all social and political theorizing. We draw on various background assumptions and concepts to make claims one way or another about acceptable answers for this question. Liberalism, understood in its catholic sense, has come to be a dominant political philosophy for social organization, at least in what is known as the West over the past few centuries. Because of this influential status, it is important to understand central features of liberalism, what distinguishes it from other political philosophies, and some of its central views. That is what this course is about.

PHI 417/PSC 382: Contemporary Political Philosophy
T/TH 11:00-12:20 Erlenbusch-Anderson, Verena

This course examines the works of prominent contemporary political theorists through the lens of basic issues central to the organization of social and political life. In particular, we will consider how political theorists assess the benefits and dangers of surveillance for political life. We will examine justifications of surveillance as necessary for security and the prevention of crime, explore how surveillance interacts with the democratic process, and explore the effects of surveillance on fundamental rights such as freedom, privacy, and equality. Readings will include both theoretical works and immediately relevant political case studies.

PHI 451/651: Logic and Language
T/TH 9:30-10:50 Rieppel, Michael

The aim of this course is to provide students with a background in various concepts, methods, and results from mathematical logic that are of philosophical importance. We will study basic set theory, topics in the model- and proof-theory of propositional logic, first-order logic, and modal logic, and the application of formal techniques in the study of meaning in natural language.

PHI 593/REL 551: Ethics and Health Professions
W 4:30-7:30 Prescott, Paul

Ethics and the Health Professions is a graduate-level seminar on the ethical dimensions of healthcare. The goal of the course is to provide students with opportunities to discern philosophical fundamentals in various healthcare contexts. Topics range from the professional-patient relationship to the ethics of medical practice during the current pandemic.

PHI 687: Proseminar in LEMM
M/W 2:15-3:35 Edwards, Kevan

We will work through at least two books (and perhaps three) in the broad area of LEMM (Language, Epistemology, Metaphysics and Mind). One of the books is considered to be among the most influential texts in the past century; one is relatively new. We may also read papers on topics related to those covered by the books. There will be a focus on class presentations, writing, peer review, and the process of revising written work.

PHI 710: Sem. in Ancient & Medieval Philosophy - Freedom & Determination in Ancient Philosophy
W 3:45-6:30 Noble, Christopher

Are we responsible for our actions? Are we able to act freely? Are affirmative answers to these questions compatible with a deterministic world view or with divine foreknowledge? In this course, we will discuss responses to these and related questions on the part of ancient philosophers from Aristotle (4th cent B.C.) to Boethius (6th cent. A.D.). Throughout the course, we will engage in a close reading of ancient texts in translation together with selected scholarly literature.

PHI 750/PAI 700: Sem. in Current Phil. Problems - Ethics of Emerging Technology
T/TH 9:30-10:50 Himmelreich, Johannes

Topics in moral and political philosophy arising from emerging technologies such as self-driving cars, algorithmic decisions in governance and surveillance technologies.

PHI 840: Seminar in Ethics - Free Will
T 3:30-6:15 Heller, Mark

The topic of this course is free will, and the primary question is: under what conditions, if any, can we have free will? The professor is a contextualist about free will, holding that "free will is compatible with determinism" is true in most ordinary contexts, but not in the contexts in which questions of desert are most pressing. In the latter contexts "free will is impossible" is true. We will read Derk Pereboom's Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life, together with articles that provide background material. We will then probably read Carolina Sartorio's Causation and Free Will.

PHI 860.1: Seminar in Ethics - Practical & Theoretical Reasoning
M 3:45-6:30 Paakkunainen, Hille

This course examines three partly overlapping debates concerning reasoning, both in the theoretical and practical domains. First, must theoretical and/or practical reasoning be somehow facilitated by the agent’s taking her premises to support her conclusion? Second, do theoretical and/or practical reasoning, or the attitudes involved in them, have constitutive aims or standards that authoritatively tell us how we should reason, or what we should believe, do, or intend? Third, should we think of normative reasons for a response as premises in (good) reasoning towards this response? If so, can we make sense of the distinction between so-called right versus wrong kinds of reasons for responses? In examining these debates and their interrelations, we also discuss, for example, how reasoning is distinct from mere causation or association; the nature of belief and of intention; the debate between evidentialists and pragmatists about reasons for belief; and the very idea of authoritative normative standards and how they might be connected to reasoning.

PHI 860.2: Seminar in Ethics - Alienation
TH 3:30-6:15 Singh, Keshav

This seminar investigates the concept of alienation and its relevance to ethics. Alienation is often characterized as a kind of problematic separation between a self and other that belong together, which gives rise to a distinctive harm or disvalue. The concept of alienation has played a diagnostic role in criticizing a variety of theories and systems, including consequentialism, objectivism about well-being, and capitalism. In this seminar, we will consider several such critiques, with a few questions in mind: Are these critiques successful? Can they be unified, in the sense that there is a single, general problem of alienation present in most or all of them? What does this tell us about the nature of alienation and its ethical significance? In the process of investigating these questions, we will deal with a diverse set of readings, from contemporary analytic moral philosophy to historical sources such as Marx and Hegel, with the hope of drawing novel connections between them.