Philosophy Department

Philosophy as a discipline reflects both speculatively and critically on the world, our actions, and our claims to knowledge. The Department of Philosophy offers a variety of courses of study that not only introduce students to the great philosophical achievements of the past and present but also aim to teach them how to think, write, and speak philosophically themselves.

Requirements for Concentration: The Philosophy major requires a total of 12 units.

100-level: Majors must take two 100 level courses, one of which must be Philosophy 101 (History of Western Philosophy: Ancient) or Philosophy 102 (History of Western Philosophy: Modern)

200-level: Majors must take Philosophy 230 (Logic) and also one course from each of the following:

Cluster 1: Philosophy 220 (Metaphysics), 222 (Philosophy of Language), 224 (Philosophy of Mind), 226 (Philosophy of Science) and 228 (Epistemology).

Cluster 2: Philosophy 205 (Nineteenth Century Philosophy), 215 (Phenomenology and Existential Thought), 240 (Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics), 242 (Philosophy of Music) and 260 (Philosophy and the Arts).

Cluster 3: Philosophy 210 (Neo-Confucianism and Chinese Buddhism), 234 (Ethics), 238 (Social and Political Philosophy), 250 (Feminist Theory) and 270 (Queer Theory).

300-level: Three 300-level seminars, two of which must be differently numbered. The department will not entertain any requests to count a seminar under a number different from the one it is assigned in the curriculum.

300-301 (Senior Thesis) is optional. Majors will consult with their faculty advisor about opting to write a senior thesis. Students who choose not to do a senior thesis will take an upper-level course instead.

NRO Policy: After the declaration of major, no required philosophy courses may be elected NRO.

Advisors: The Faculty

Recommendations: Individual programs should be designed, in consultation with a faculty advisor, to give the student a representative acquaintance with major traditions in philosophy, competence in the skills of philosophic investigation and argument, and opportunities for exploration in areas of special interest. Students considering a concentration in philosophy are advised to take Philosophy 101 or 102 early in their careers. German, French, and Greek are languages of particular importance in Western philosophy; Chinese will be of special interest to those taking Philosophy 110, 210, or 350.

Correlate Sequences in Philosophy: The philosophy department offers six different correlate sequences. In each sequence a total of 6 units is required. The required 300-level seminar may be taken twice if the topics differ; students may also petition to count an appropriate Philosophy 280 as equivalent to a 300-level seminar.

Correlate Sequence in Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art: Philosophy 101 or 102; two from Philosophy 240, 242, 260; one of 205, 215, or an appropriate 280; two appropriate 300-level seminars. Advisers: Ms. Borradori, Mr. Murray and Ms. Church

Correlate Sequence in Comparative Philosophy: Philosophy 110 and one of 101 or 102; Philosophy 210 and 234; two appropriate 300-level seminars, including Philosophy 350. Adviser: Mr. Van Norden

Correlate Sequence in Ethics and Social and Political Philosophy: 1 unit at the introductory level, selected from Philosophy 101, 105, 106 or 110; 3 units at the intermediate level, selected from 234, 238, 250 or 270; two appropriate 300-level seminars, including Philosophy 330. Advisers: Ms. Narayan, Mr. Seidman and Mr. Kelly

Correlate Sequence in Continental Philosophy: Philosophy 101 or 102; 205, 215, and one of Philosophy 240 or 260; two appropriate 300-level seminars, including Philosophy 340. Advisers: Ms. Borradori and Mr. Murray

Correlate Sequence in the History of Western Philosophy: Philosophy 101 and 102; Philosophy 205 and 215; two appropriate 300-level seminars, including Philosophy 320. Adviser: Mr. Miller

Correlate Sequence in Analytic Philosophy: Philosophy 230 and either 102 or 105; 2 units from Philosophy 220, 222, 224, 226, 228; two appropriate 300-level seminars, including Philosophy 310. Advisers: Ms. Church, Mr. Lam and Mr. Winblad

Correlate sequences may be designed for other subfields in philosophy; for example, philosophy and gender, philosophy of science, and classical philosophy.  However, students must obtain approval from the department for any correlate or alternative correlate sequence prior to the beginning of their senior year.

I. Introductory

101a. History of Western Philosophy: Ancient (1)

101-01: This course studies philosophy from its Greek origins in the Pre-Socratics such as Heraclitus and Parmenides through classical thought in Plato and Aristotle, and in the medieval period thinkers such as Augustine, Aquinas, and Eckhart. Mr. Murray.

101-02/03: Ancient Greek poets and thinkers responded to radical political crisis by seeking its causes, by articulating the forms of life that might thrive in, undercut, or stay clear of its dangers, and by thinking and rethinking the nature of the cosmos itself which such causes and such forms of life seemed to imply. We will study the way philosophy itself first emerges and develops in the context of these reflections, examining these key moments in the history of Greek thought: Hesiod's and the Milesians' searches, at once ethical and cosmological, for the intelligibility of the world; the efforts by Heraclitus and Parmenides to think the deepest unity of things; the way in which Plato brings the speculative discoveries of his predecessors to bear on the ethical disorder of the city by his presentation, in the dialogues, of Socratic inquiry and the "forms"; and Aristotle's reflections on language, on form and matter, and on the prime mover, in his search for the ultimate sense or sort of being. Mr. Miller.

102b. History of Western Philosophy: Modern (1)

102-51: Descartes inaugurated modern philosophy by turning philosophical attention away from questions about what the world is like and directing it onto the question: how is it possible for us to know what the world is like? He made this question urgent by offering arguments that suggest that we cannot know what the world is like – arguments suggesting that there is an unbridgeable “gap” between the mind and the material world. We will carefully examine the ways in which Descartes himself, Hume, and, finally, Kant, seek to answer these arguments and bridge the “gap” that Descartes’ arguments open up. We will see how their various approaches to this task shape and are shaped by their conceptions of the human mind, the material world, the relation of the mind to the human body, and the nature of the ‘self.’ Mr. Seidman.

102-52: This course studies the main currents of modern philosophy, from the Continental rationalism of Descartes, Leibniz, and Spinoza to the British empiricism of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume, to the critical-transcendental philosophy of Kant. Mr. Murray.

105a and b. Problems of Philosophy (1)

105-01/02: What is philosophy? This course will introduce you to philosophy as the assimilation of human experiences–perceptual, imaginative, moral, and emotional–with the power and limitations of human reason. We will look at how philosophers apply reason and argumentation to perceptual experiences in their search for knowledge and rationality. We will investigate the issues of personal identity, and the existence of unperceivable things, to see how philosophers use reason to make sense of our imaginative experiences. Finally, we will look at the application of reason to moral and emotional experiences in the search for the right account of moral good, freedom, and moral responsibility. The topics in this course will be quite abstract, and students will need to participate actively in class discussion to do well. Students will leave the course with an appreciation for the breadth and scope of philosophical thinking. Mr. Lam.

106a and b. Philosophy and Contemporary Issues (1)

106-01a: This course introduces students to the philosophical study of moral issues, focusing upon topics such as war, terrorism, our food choices, abortion, and euthanasia. Emphasis throughout will be placed upon argumentative rigor, clarity, and precision. Mr. Kelly.

106-02a: The course is aimed at exposing students to a number of social, ethical, and political questions that define our age. Topics studied will include child soldiers, terrorism, global migrants, the environment, and ecological injustice. Emphasis throughout will be placed upon argumentative rigor and the development of critical skills, in both oral and written communication. Ms. Borradori.

106-51b/52b : The course covers a number of contemporary issues on which there is significant philosophical disagreement and moral debate. We will examine a range of positions on topics such as abortion, euthanasia, animal rights, affirmative action, and issues of sexual morality, free speech and distributive justice. This course aims to promote the understanding of the philosophical arguments for a variety of positions on contemporary moral issues and to illuminate the different moral concepts and types of argument at work in these readings. We will also think about the legal and public implications of various positions on these issues. Ms. Narayan.

106-53b: This course introduces students to the philosophical study of moral issues, focusing upon topics such as war, terrorism, our food choices, abortion, and euthanasia. Emphasis throughout will be placed upon argumentative rigor, clarity, and precision. Mr. Kelly.

110a. Early Chinese Philosophy (1)

An introduction to Chinese philosophy in the period between (roughly) 500 and 221 B.C., covering Confucians, Taoists and others. Among the topics discussed by these philosophers are human nature, methods of ethical education and self-cultivation, virtues and vices, and the role of conventions and institutions in human life. Mr. Van Norden.

150b. The Limits of the Universe and the Limits of Understanding (1)

(Same as Physics 150) This course allows students to combine their interests in physics and in philosophy, recognizing common concerns and actively engaging in joint difficulties. The guiding questions of this course can be formulated as follows: In what ways, and to what extent, do recent developments in physics (e.g. the notion of space that is both infinite and bounded because curved) either solve or bypass traditional philosophical paradoxes concerning space and time, causality, and objectivity? In what ways, and to what extent, do traditional philosophical worries (e.g. worries about incoherence, worries about theories that cannot be falsified, or worries about concepts whose application cannot be imagined) cast doubt on the accuracy or the methodology of current physics? Readings are from physics and philosophy. Ms. Church, Ms. Schwarz.

May not count towards a physics concentration.

Two 75-minute periods.

II. Intermediate

205b. Nineteenth Century Philosophy (1)

Philosophy in the nineteenth century has as its point of departure Hegel's attempt to articulate a rational comprehension of the whole of reality. The very precision with which he is able to subordinate religious and secular social life within his dialectical vision of the whole of Spirit helps to light the way for his principal critics, the Christian existential thinker, Kierkegaard, and the social revolutionary, Marx. Their challenges raise a host of fundamental issues, including, for example, the rationality of reality and the reach of philosophy, the (ir)reducibility of the religious, the relation of the social whole and the individual, the historicity of ideas, and the implications for the human condition of the emergence of mass culture and the industrial division of labor. At the same time, it is first possible for Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Marx to have such deep disagreements because they are agreed in looking to or contesting specifically dialectical reason in facing the question of the intelligibility of existence. It is Nietzsche, above all, who seeks to break with this agreement. The course will trace and rethink the movements of this self-expanding and self-undermining conversation. Mr. Miller.

Prerequisite: one unit of philosophy or permission of the instructor.

210b. Neo-Confucianism and Chinese Buddhism (1)

210-51: Introduction to Neo-Confucianism, one of the most influential intellectual movements in China and all of East Asia. Neo-Confucianism combines a profound metaphysics with a subtle theory of ethical cultivation. There will also be some discussion of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism whose views of the self and ethics are the primary targets of the Neo-Confucian critique. No familiarity with Chinese culture is assumed, but a previous 100-level course in philosophy is a prerequisite because this course assumes students have the ability to tackle subtle issues in metaphysics, personal identity, and ethics. Mr. Van Norden.

Prerequisite: one 100-level philosophy course.

215a. Phenomenology and Existential Thought (1)

215-01: This course provides an introduction to the major developments in Continental phenomenology and existential philosophy in the 20th century. We begin with the German phase and it’s founding by Husserl’s phenomenology of intentional consciousness and its transformation by Heidegger who, by joining resources from Kierkegaard and Nietzsche, turns phenomenology in an existential-ontological direction. Next follows the French phase represented by Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Merleau-Ponty with its productive emphasis upon the lived body and its appropriation and critique of Husserl and Heidegger. The course closes with a sketch of later stages of Continental philosophy found in Levinas’ metaphysics of the Other, the hermeneutics of Gadamer and the deconstruction of Derrida. Mr. Murray.

220a. Metaphysics (1)

220-51: A study of the nature of reality. Topics include existence, essence, identity, and the persistence of things. Mr. Winblad.

Prerequisite: one unit of philosophy or permission of the instructor.

222b. Philosophy of Language (1)

Language is our primary means of expressing our thoughts. Language is also one of our primary means of representing the world. As a result, philosophers in the analytic tradition have attempted to gain a better understanding of standard philosophical issues through the study of how we understand and use language to express our thoughts, communicate, and represent the world. We will look at the philosophical study of meaning and truth as well as the philosophical problems that such studies purport to illuminate, solve, or dissolve. We will discuss referential theories of meaning originating with Frege and Russell, use-theories of meaning associated with Strawson and Austin, Grice's theory of implicature, Tarski and truth-conditional theories of meaning, and the theory of direct reference. Philosophical problems will include ontology and essence, knowledge of objects, the problem of perception, freedom and determination, and necessity and a priority. Mr. Lam.

224b. Philosophy of Mind (1)

An exploration of competing theories of the mind—including theories that equate the mind with the brain, theories that regard the mind as a social construction, and theories that define the mind by reference to its characteristic functions. The strengths and weaknesses of each of these theories are compared—especially with respect to their understandings of consciousness, self-knowledge, emotion and moral responsibility. Ms. Church.

226a. Philosophy of Science (1)

(Same as Science, Technology and Society 226) A study of the principles of scientific reasoning. Topics include explanation, justification, scientific rationality, realism versus instrumentalism, and laws. Mr. Winblad.

228a. Epistemology (1)

Epistemology is the study of knowledge, justification, and rationality. The theories we will study in this course will be understood as responses to increasingly radical skeptical arguments. We will begin with the problem of induction, which claims that we can never justifiably infer generalizations from particular cases, infer beliefs about the future from ones about the past, and infer from observable patterns to unobservable explanations. We will uncover various paradoxes about such inferences, and attempt to respond to them. We will then look at skeptical arguments that we do not know anything on the basis of sense perception, and the various theories of knowledge and justification that are built in response to such arguments. Of particular interest will be the Gettier problem, externalism versus internalism about knowledge and justification, foundationalism versus coherentism about justification, fallibism, and whether one can solve skeptical problems by noting that knowledge admits of degrees. Mr. Lam.

230a and b. Symbolic Logic (1)

A study of the concepts and methods of formal logic. Topics include truth functional and quantificational validity, soundness, and completeness. Mr. Winblad

234a. Ethics (1)

Why be moral? What does morality ask of us? What is the relation between morality and self-interest? What is happiness? What is the relation between a happy life and a meaningful life? Are there objective answers to ethical questions? or are whatever answers we give no more than the expressions of our subjective attitudes? These are some of the questions this course seeks to address. We proceed by reading seminal texts in the Western moral philosophical tradition alongside writings by contemporary moral philosophers. Mr. Seidman.

238a. Social and Political Philosophy (1)

This course introduces students to both the history of political philosophy and to contemporary debates within it. Our focus is upon the relationship between justice and equality. Mr. Kelly.

240a. Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics (1)

Our focus will be the major themes in the philosophy of art from the end of the 18th century until today. We shall explore why at the onset of modernity art was regarded by philosophers as a well demarcated field of philosophical investigation and named “aesthetics”. Aesthetics is born, in the age of Kant and Hume, as the study of the reasons that make some sensory experiences distinctly artistic, beautiful, musical, poetic or sublime. We shall notice that the 19th century, the age of Hegel, does not all follow in this "aesthetic" orientation. Expressivism, for example, is the theory that art is the communication of individual and collective emotions, whether happy or sad, constructive or destructive. We will touch on expressivism by reading a short essay by the Russian writer Leo Tolstoy and see how it is pursued during the early 20th century by psychoanalysts such as Sigmund Freud and Karl Jung. The problem of whether a set of distinctly "aesthetic qualities" can be discerned emerges again in the 20th century. To this effect, we shall debate the centrality of the notion of "form" in art as anchored in writings by philosophers and art critics, artists and architects. In sharp contrast with this position is the belief that the meaning of the work of art is not to be found autonomously from the facts of life, but rather in their midst. We shall follow this attempt to de-aestheticize art and its objects throughout the 20th century by reading philosophers like Martin Heidegger, Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes and Arthur Danto, and examining artworks by artists such as Marcel Duchamp, Andy Warhol, John Cage, and Cindy Sherman. Ms. Borradori.

Two 75-minute periods.

242. The Philosophy of Music (1)

Not offered in 2012/13.

250a. Feminist Theory (1)

(Same as Women's Studies 250) The central purpose of the course is to understand a variety of theoretical perspectives in feminism - including liberal, radical, socialist, psychoanalytic and postmodern perspectives. We explore how each of these feminist perspectives is indebted to more 'mainstream' theoretical frameworks (for example, to liberal political theory, Marxism, and psychoanalysis). We also examine the ways in which each version of feminist theory raises new questions and challenges for these 'mainstream' theories. We attempt to understand the theoretical resources that each of these perspectives provides the projects of feminism, how they highlight different aspects of women's oppression and offer a variety of different solutions. We look at the ways in which issues of race, class and sexuality figure in various theoretical feminist perspectives and consider the divergent takes that different theoretical perspectives offer on issues such as domestic violence, pornography, housework and childcare, economic equality, and respect for cultural differences. Ms. Narayan.

Prerequisite: one unit of philosophy or women's studies.

Two 75-minute periods.

260. Philosophy and the Arts: Censorship in the Arts (1)

Acts of censorship—political, religious, social—base themselves upon certain truth claims and are reactions to rival truth claims made by the arts. This course examines the role that censorship and truth play in the arts, with cases drawn chiefly from twentieth century literature, painting, and photography. Mr. Murray.

Not offered in 2012/13.

270b. Queer Theory: Choreographies of Sex and Gender (1)

This course examines contemporary theoretical work on the meaning of gender and sexuality with special reference to gay and lesbian studies. We consider questions such as the identity and multiplication of gender and sexes, forms of erotic desire, the performativity of gender norms, styles of life, marriage, and their relationship to medical, psychiatric, legal and criminological discourses. Mr. Murray.

280b. Special Topics: The Philosophy of Law (1)

This course introduces students to the philosophical analysis of law and legal institutions. Topics may include natural law theories, legal positivism, formalism, realism and critical legal studies, as well as questions about the obligation to obey the law, norms of constitutional interpretation and judicial adjudication. Mr. Kelly.

282b. Contemporary Ethical Theory (1/2)

We consider some of the central questions that animate contemporary ethical theory. Are there objective answers to ethical questions, or are whatever answers we give no more than the expressions of our subjective attitudes? Is there a moral theory that can systematize and explain ordinary moral beliefs? To the extent that our ordinary beliefs resist such attempts at systematization, should that make us doubt the authority of our ordinary moral beliefs or does it cast doubt on the enterprise of constructing a moral theory? Mr. Seidman.

290a and b. Field Work (1/2 or 1)

Supervised by the department faculty.

298a and b. Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

Supervised by the department faculty.

III. Advanced

300a. Senior Thesis (1/2)

Yearlong development of an extended philosophical essay in consultation with a faculty adviser. Students must register for 300 for (a) term and 301 for (b) term. Full year course. Advisors: All Faculty.

301b. Senior Thesis (1/2)

Yearlong development of an extended philosophical essay in consultation with a faculty adviser. Students must register for 300 for (a) term and 301 for (b) term. Full year course. Advisors: All Faculty.

302a or b. Senior Thesis (1)

By special permission only. This one semester course may be substituted for 300a-301b after consultation with your advisor.

310a and b. Seminar In Analytic Philosophy (1)

310-01a. Philosophy of the Ordinary: An examination of ordinary language philosophy, its critics and defenders, with special attention to Austin and Wittgenstein. Mr. Winblad.

310-51b. Topic to be determined. Ms. Church.

Prerequisites: Philosophy 230, Symbolic Logic, and another relevant course, such as Philosophy 222, Philosophy of Language. Students should contact the instructor if they are interested in enrollment for approved prerequisites.

Prerequisite: upper level Philosophy courses or permission of the instructor.

311b. Language and the Infinite Mind: The Source and Extent of Linguistic Structure in Cognition (1)

(Same as Cognitive Science 311b.) A study of recursion in natural languages, poverty of the stimulus arguments for innate structures, the relationship between language and understanding other minds, and the relationship between language and other areas of cognition. Mr. Lam and Jan Andrews.

Prerequisite: special permission of instructor and Cognitive Science 100 and either one Cognitive Science 200-level course or Philosophy 226, Philosophy of Language.

Not offered in 2009/10.

320b. Seminar in the History of Philosophy (1)

Kant: This course pursues in-depth reading and discussion of Kant's three great Critiques: Critique of Pure Reason, Critique of Practical Reason, and Critique of Judgment - dealing with epistemology, metaphysics, morality, aesthetics and teleology. By the end of the class, students should have a good understanding of Kant's central arguments and the important relations between these arguments, central arguments and the important relations between these arguments. Ms. Church.

Plato: We will study intensively a number of Platonic texts. One goal that will motivate us throughout the seminar will be to understand the sort of writing that dialogues are and, correlatively, the sort of reading and interpreting they call for. This will help to orient us in a series of further reflections on Plato's understanding of the kinds of being, the nature of the good, the simplicity and complexity of the forms, the "conversion" of the soul towards the truth, and the various dimensions — the individual, the city, the cosmos — in which dialectic discloses normative order. Mr. Miller.

Prerequisite: upper level Philosophy courses or permission of the instructor.

330a and b. Seminar: Ethics & Theory of Value (1)

A seminar offering an in-depth exploration of a chosen topic in Ethics and Theory of Value. Topics differ by semester.

330-01a. Theories of Democracy. What is democracy? Why is it so great? Is it so great? This course attempts to answer these questions by conducting a survey of the key positions in the field of democratic theory. The focus of this course is on the arguments that have been advanced for and against democratic government, on the range of reasons why democracy might be valued, and on the conditions purported to be necessary for the proper function of a democracy. Mr. Kelly.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 234 (Ethics), Philosophy 238 (Social and Political Philosophy), Philosophy 250 (Feminist Theory), or permission of the instructor.

330-02a: Capitalism, Globalization, Economic Justice and Human Rights. This seminar focuses on questions about capitalism, globalization, and economic justice. We address debates on private property and the division of labor, and examine the functions of states, markets, corporations, international institutions like the IMF and WTO, and development agencies in economic globalization and their roles in securing or undermining human rights. Ms. Narayan.

330-51b: Metaethics. The seminar considers the central questions that animate the field of metaethics. Whereas normative ethics seeks to answer “first-order” ethical questions – for instance, about whether torture is always wrong – metaethics asks “second-order” questions: questions about what it is that we are asking or asserting when we ask or answer the questions of normative ethics. Meta-ethics thus overlaps with and draws from other central areas of philosophy. It asks: when we assert that torture is wrong, are we expressing a belief (something that can be true or false), or are we rather expressing a different, non-cognitive attitude, such as disapproval, which does not admit of truth or falsity? (This is a question in the philosophy of language.) How do normative properties such as wrongness or goodness fit into the natural world studied by modern science? (This is a metaphysical question.) How can we know which actions are right, or good, and which are not? (This is an epistemological question.) Mr. Seidman.

Prerequisites: either Philosophy 220 (Metaphysics) or Philosophy 222 (The Philosophy of Language), and one other relevant course, such as Philosophy 226 (Philosophy of Science), Philosophy 228 (Epistemology), or Philosophy 234 (Ethics). (Students with questions about prerequisites should consult the instructor.)

340a and b. Seminar in Continental Philosophy (1)

A seminar offering an in-depth exploration of a chosen topic in Continental Philosophy. Topic to be dets differ by semester.

340-01a: Derrida and His Umbrella. This advanced seminar seeks to explore the philosophy of Jacques Derrida and his deconstructive exchanges with thinkers past and present, including Kant, Heidegger, Blanchot, Bataille, Marx, Levinas, and Habermas. The focus of the course will be Derrida’s ethical and political writings. Special emphasis will be given to the cluster of issues that occupied Derrida after the end of the Cold War: these include democracy, hospitality, witnessing and the politics of memory, religion, terrorism, the human and the animal. Ms. Borradori.

340-51b: Art and Poetry in Nietzsche and Heidegger, Foucault, and Derrida. Continental thinkers of late 19th and 20th centuries assign art and poetry an unprecedented importance in the history of philosophy, which involves both an overcoming of the aesthetic interpretation of art and a critique of Western philosophy itself. In each of four thinkers we shall examine their complex and controversial interpretations of particular artists and works. We shall begin the German phase with Nietzsche’s The Birth of Tragedy in relation to Wagner’s Tristan and Isolde, and then turn to Heidegger’s The Origin of the Work of Art followed by his Elucidations of Hölderlin’s Poetry with its focus on Hölderlin’s poems and fragments. Next, we turn to the later French phase that begins with Foucault’s The Order of Things that opens with his reading of Valasquez’ painting Las Meninas and then consider This Is Not a Pipe, with its interpretation of a set of paintings by Magritte including This is not a pipe. Finally we examine Derrida’s Memoires of the Blind, devoted to 16th through 19th century drawings from Louvre collection, and close with a study of two texts:This Strange Institutions Called Literature and Ulysses Gramaphone: Hear Say Yes in Joyce from Acts of Literature. Mr. Murray.

350a or b. Seminar in Comparative Methodology (1)

(Same as Chinese and Japanese 350) This course explores some of the methodological issues raised by the prospect of one culture understanding and making judgments about another. The effort to understand another culture raises fundamental issues about the nature of rationality, ethics, and truth. Consequently, this course is structured around the three major approaches to these issues in the contemporary world: Modernism, Postmodernism and Hermeneutics. Very roughly, these three approaches argue over whether rationality, truth, and ethics are universal (Modernism), incommensurable (Postmodernism) or historical and dialogical (Hermeneutics). Requirements include regular class participation that shows familiarity with the readings and many brief essays. Mr. Van Norden.

Not offered in 2012/13.

382. Seminar in Analytical and Continental Philosophy (1)

Not offered in 2012/13.

399a or b. Senior Independent Work (1/2 or 1)

The department.