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.

Philosophy Major Advisors: The Faculty

Aesthetics and Philosophy Correlate Sequence Advisers: Ms. Borradori and Ms. Church

Comparative Philosophy Correlate Sequence Adviser: Mr. Van Norden

Ethics and Social and Political Philosophy Correlate Sequence Advisers: Ms. Narayan, Mr. Seidman and Mr. Kelly

Continental Philosophy Correlate Sequence Advisers: Ms. Borradori

History of Western Philosophy Correlate Sequence Adviser: Mr. Miller

Analytic Philosophy Correlate Sequence Advisers: Ms. Church, Mr. Lam and Mr. Winblad

Programs

Major

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 PHIL 280 as equivalent to a 300-level seminar.

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.

Courses

Philosophy: I. Introductory

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

101-01/02a: This course provides an introduction to ancient Western philosophy from the pre-Socratics to the Stoics of the Roman Empire. Our focus will be on the idea of philosophy as an art of living, and on different conceptions of eudaimonia, or happiness - the ultimate goal of a human life. Our principal texts will include Plato's dialogues, Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, the letters of Epicurus, and Marcus Aurelius' Meditations. Mr. Raymond.

Two 75-minute periods.

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

102a: 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.' No pre-requisites. Mr. Seidman.

102b: We will primarily study the epistemology and metaphysics of the modern period from Descartes through Kant. This was a period of great advancement and controversy in the sciences that made many philosophers question existing preconceptions of how knowledge ought to be acquired and how the material world was intelligible to humans. The advancement also revealed a deep insecurity about the role of God in the world given the scientific theories of the day. We will look at how some central philosophers of the period responded to these controversies and insecurities, including Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Mr. Lam.

PHIL 101 is not a necessary prerequisite for the course.

Two 75-minute periods.

105a and b. Philosophical Questions (1)

105-01a: Philosophical inquiry is guided by a number of interrelated questions. Employing a contemporary lens, this course examines some of the most central ones. Are there limits to what we are capable of knowing about the world around us? In particular, is it possible for us to know what other people really think and feel? What is the relationship between the mind and the body? Is the mind really identical to the brain? Are moral values relative to social and historical contexts, or is it only beliefs about these values that are context-dependent? Are aesthetic values completely subjective? Is truth fully objective? What is truth, anyway? Is life meaningful? If so, what makes it meaningful? Mr. Winblad.

105-02a: What makes a question philosophical, as opposed to empirical, historical, or spiritual? We will seek to answer this question by looking at specific philosophical questions pertaining to personal identity, the existence and nature of God, the rationality of faith, freedom of the will and moral responsibility, and the ethics of killing and letting die. We will begin the course by looking at the philosophical questions arising out of the trial and death of Socrates, which will serve as the springboard for more modern philosophical works. 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, and will learn to think and write arguments clearly. Mr. Lam.

105-51b: What is the significance of the different attitudes that we adopt towards other people, towards our surroundings, and towards ourselves? Trust, resentment, forgiveness, love, sentimentality, horror, irony, and awe can shape our lives in profound ways, but their roles are often puzzling. A close consideration of these attitudes serves as an introduction to some fundamental philosophical problems concerning the nature and limits of knowledge, morality, art, and truth. Ms. Church.

105-52b: Are you awake or dreaming? Could you be having the same conscious experiences either way? For that matter, what does it mean to be conscious? Could computers be conscious? Could your consciousness and memories be transferred into another body? Would the recipient of those memories become you? Are you just a bundle of experiences, or is there some underlying soul or chunk of brain that makes you who you are? Do you have a free will? We will approach these questions through classic writings by René Descartes, Elisabeth of Bohemia, John Locke, and David Hume, as well as responses to their arguments from the 20th and 21st centuries. Mr. Madva.

Two 75-minute periods.

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

106-01/02a. An introduction to applied ethics with an emphasis on some of the key issues of our time. These may include abortion, euthanasia, war, and the death penalty. Students will be encouraged to develop the analytical and critical skills necessary to present rigorous and persuasive arguments. To be announced.

106-51b: 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.

Two 75-minute periods.

110a and b. 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.

Open only to freshmen; satisfies college requirement for a Freshman Writing Seminar.

Not offered in 2014/15.

Two 75-minute periods.

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

(Same as PHYS 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.

Not offered in 2014/15.

Two 75-minute periods.

Philosophy: II. Intermediate

205b. Nineteenth Century Philosophy (1)

After a brief overview of Kant's "critical revolution" and its immediate aftermath, we will study the thought of four major European thinkers: Hegel, Marx, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche. Themes will include the sense of alienation felt in the wake of the Enlightenment; the critique of modern morality; philosophical pessimism; and the hope that art can fill the spiritual void left by the collapse of the Christian worldview. Mr. Raymond.

Prerequisite: one 100-level course in Philosophy or permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

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 course in Philosophy.

Not offered in 2014/15.

215a. Phenomenology and Existential Thought (1)

Since the ancient Greeks, philosophy has interpreted the drama of human life in terms of knowledge rather than will, truth rather than passion. During the 20th century, phenomenology and existentialism offer the most radical critique of this "intellectualist" view of both philosophy and the self. A new cognitive value is attributed to moods, beliefs, and states of consciousness as well as to some spheres of human interaction such as authenticity, temporality, and intentionality. In this course, we shall explore the great arch of existential and phenomenological thought as developed by such figures as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, and Levinas. Ms. Borradori.

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

220a. Metaphysics (1)

Metaphysics is the philosophical study of the nature of reality. In this course, we will examine a number of interlocking metaphysical issues. Are there in reality only particular things, or are there universals--essences that many different things may have in common? What endows a thing with its identity, rendering it different from other things? Is the natural order mere happenstance, or does some kind of necessity make it hang together the way it does? Is an experience a private affair, discernible only by the one who has it? And what is the subject, self, or ego? Does it exist, or is it some kind of illusion? Are we capable of discovering the answers to these questions? Do such questions even have answers? What, ultimately, is the status of metaphysics itself? Mr. Winblad.

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

Not offered in 2014/15.

222b. Philosophy of Language (1)

The philosophy of language has come to occupy a central role in philosophy. This course surveys classic and contemporary contributions to the field. It provides an overview of various theories of reference, among them the influential "new theory of reference." It also examines a number of different accounts of meaning and truth, including deflationary views according to which truth is not a substantive property and meanings should not be reified. The course concludes with an investigation of the use of language, with special attention to the ongoing debate between those who believe the meanings of many of our words are independent of the contexts in which these words are used, and those who disagree. Mr. Winblad.

Prerequisite: one 100-level course in Philosophy.

224b. Philosophy of Mind (1)

An exploration of competing theories of the mind: theories that regard the mind as something non-physical, theories that equate mind and brain, theories that offer functional analyses of the mind, theories that view the mind as a narrative construction, and theories that question the ultimate reality of the mind. The strengths and weaknesses of each of these theories are compared -- especially with respect to their understandings of consciousness, self-knowledge, emotion, moral responsibility, and the minds of non-humans. Ms. Church.

Prerequisite: one 100-level course in Philosophy.

226a. Philosophy of Science (1)

(Same as STS 226) This course explores general questions about the nature of scientific inquiry, as well as philosophical issues that arise in relation to specific scientific theories and their technological applications. Is scientific inquiry paradigmatically rational, or must we choose between competing scientific "paradigms" without recourse to neutral methodological principles? Do our best scientific theories provide us with an accurate depiction of the natural order, or do they only enable us to make successful predictions? Can evolutionary theory's account of the origins of life be successfully defended against its critics? Are there grounds for maintaining that computers will soon become conscious? Does quantum theory's predictive success justify the claim that there are parallel universes? Mr. Winblad.

Prerequisite: one 100-level course in Philosophy.

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, and contextualism. Mr. Lam.

230b. Symbolic Logic (1)

One of the traditional branches of philosophy, logic is centrally concerned with understanding what makes one or more premises imply a conclusion. Like its Aristotelian predecessor, modern logic rests on the insight that one can better understand implication by abstracting to some degree from the contents of particular premises and conclusions, concentrating instead on their formal features. It attempts to make these features more transparent by constructing "formal systems" that combine a formal language with inferential rules. By ascending to a metalogical vantage point, modern logic also seeks to determine whether these formal developments prove adequate to their purpose. Mr. Winblad.

234b. 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.

Prerequisite: at least one 100-level course in Philosophy.

236a. 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, and realism, as well as questions about constitutional interpretation and the obligation to obey the law. Mr. Kelly.

Prerequisite: one 100-level course in Philosophy.

238a. Social and Political Philosophy (1)

238-01a. The course will focus historically and thematically on major issues in political and social philosophy, including liberty, human rights, justice, and democracy. Mr. Madva.

Prerequisite: one 100-level course in Philosophy.  

240b. Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics (1)

The course studies the philosophical debate on art both historically and thematically. We will contrast ancient and medieval conceptions of art with our contemporary intuitions about what constitutes originality and creativity. We will discover that the roots of such intuitions are in the 18th century, when aesthetics is born as the study of the reasons that make some sensory experiences distinctly artistic, beautiful or sublime. However, the idea that art may be an autonomous field of human expression is soon called into question by thinkers such as Hegel and Schopenhauer. We shall follow the legacy of their attempt to de-aestheticize art into the 20th century, in the context of both philosophy's debate on the nature of metropolis and the modernist revolution in all the arts, but especially in architecture. In the last portion of the course, we shall explore the most radical dismantling of the aesthetic edifice in the work of artists and theorists, including Michel Foucault, Roland Barthes, Jacques Derrida, Zaha Hadid, and Peter Eisenman. Ms. Borradori.

Prerequisite: one 100-level course in Philosophy.

Two 75-minute periods.

242b. The Philosophy of Music (1)

Music is an important part of our experience -- familiar and yet strange, releasing us from thinking but also revealing new ways of thinking. This course addresses some philosophical themes as they appear in music, providing a more visceral sense of alternative perspectives on the world, and expanding our appreciation what music has to offer. We will listen to many different types of music -- old and new, classical and popular, with discussion focused around topics such as the difference between music and sound, the nature of musical 'meaning', the erotics of music, the significance of repetition and variation, resolutions and dissolutions, time and timelessness.. Readings will be drawn from a variety of philosophers, including Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Adorno, Kivy, Levinson, Tanner, and Scruton. Ms. Church.

Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy or one course on musical theory or musical culture.

Not offered in 2014/15.

250a. Feminist Theory (1)

(Same as WMST 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.

280b. Spaces of Exception: Migration, Asylum-Seeking, and Statelessness Today (1)

(Same as AFRS 280, INTL 280, and POLI 280) The totalitarian disregard for human life and the treatment of human beings as superfluous entities began, for Hannah Arendt, in imperial projects and was extended to spaces where entire populations were rendered stateless and denied the right to have rights. In this course, we are going to start from Arendt's seminal analysis of statelessness and her concept of the right to have rights to study aspects of today's "migratory condition." This is a peculiar condition by which inclusion in the political community is possible only by mechanisms of exclusion or intensified precarity. Mapping these mechanisms of identification through exclusion, abandonment, and dispossession will reveal that, like the stateless person, the contemporary migrant is increasingly being included in the political community only under the banner of illegality and/or criminality, unreturnability, suspension, detention, and externalization. This fact pushes millions of people to exist in "islands of exception," camps and camp-cities on the shores of Malta, Cyprus, or Lampedusa in the Mediterranean, Manus/ Nauru in the Pacific, and Guantanamo in the Americas. Through a critical engagement with the migrant condition, this course examines a range of biopolitical practices, extra-territorial formations, and technologies of encampment (externalization, dispersion, biometric virtualization). The engagement with the physical and metaphysical conditions of these 'spaces of exception' where migrants land, are detained, measured, and sometimes drown, calls attention to lives at the outskirts of political legibility while interrogating the regimes of legibility through which migrant lives are apprehended. Besides Arendt, we will discuss novels and texts by Giorgio Agamben, Judith Butler, Zadie Smith, Eyal Weizman, Emmanuel Levinas, Achille Mbembe, Michel Foucault, Suvendrini Perera, V.Y. Mudimbe, Jacques Derrida, and Julia Kristeva. Ms. Borradori and Mr. Opondo.

Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Two 75-minute periods.

283b. Feminist Philosophy of Science (1)

(Same as STS 283 and WMST 283) This course introduces students to a range of historical and contemporary issues in feminist philosophy of science, knowledge, and human nature. Is there an essential difference between women and men? If so, what is the nature of this difference and what are its social and political implications? If not, what explains the apparent differences? Can assumptions about gender and sexuality compromise scientific objectivity? If so, should we rethink the nature of scientific objectivity and knowledge in general? Can social and psychological accounts of how we tend to sort people into distinct categories illuminate how we ought to understand these categories? How do questions about gender and sexuality intersect with questions about race and cross-cultural difference? How are these categories represented in popular scientific media? We will focus in particular on case studies from recent evolutionary biology, psychology, and neuroscience. Mr. Madva.

Prerequisite: one 100-level course in Philosophy.

Two 75-minute periods.

290a and b. Field Work (1/2to1)

Supervised by the department faculty.

298a and b. Independent Work (1/2to1)

Supervised by the department faculty.

Philosophy: III. Advanced

300a. Senior Thesis (1/2)

Yearlong development of an extended philosophical essay in consultation with a faculty adviser. Advisors: All Faculty.

Students must register for 300 for (a) term and PHIL 301 for (b) term.

Full year course.

301b. Senior Thesis (1/2)

Yearlong development of an extended philosophical essay in consultation with a faculty adviser.

Advisors: All Faculty.

Students must register for PHIL 300 for (a) term and 301 for (b) term.

Full year course.

302a or b. Senior Thesis (1)

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

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

310-01a: Analytic Intersections: Where Epistemology and Philosophy of Language meet Value Theory. In this course we will read books published within the last two years on a wide range of different subjects where epistemology and the philosophy of language intersect with value theory. The topics are not yet set, but might include: how would we, and ought we, to act in the event that we come to know that the world will end shortly after our own deaths? How is knowledge about right and wrong different from knowledge about empirical matters of fact, and is there a defensible epistemology of right and wrong that allows for the objectivity of ethical judgments? What is the difference between lying and misleading in ethical and legal matters, and what does this distinction say about the theory of meaning? Is self-knowledge a special kind of knowledge, or is it merely a species of empirical knowledge? How much are we as limited creatures committed to trust in epistemic authority, and how does this serve to justify religious or political beliefs that are not made autonomously, but deferentially? Mr. Lam.

One 2-hour period.

310-51b: Self-Knowledge and its Limits. There are many different, interrelated types of self-knowledge: knowledge of who I am, knowledge of what I am thinking or feeling, knowledge of what I am doing and why, knowledge of my place in the world. A recent surge of philosophical work on self-knowledge offers fresh perspectives on what makes self-knowledge so immediate and so authoritative, but also what makes it so elusive. This seminar will focus on this new work, situating it in the context of some older traditions, in order to achieve a fuller understanding of both the possibilities and the limits of self-knowledge. Ms. Church.

One 3-hour period.

Prerequisite: one 200-level course in Philosophy.

311a and b. Seminar in Cognitive Science (1)

(Same as COGS 311) The topic of the seminar varies regularly, but is always focused on some aspect of thought, language, perception, or action considered from the unique, synthetic perspective of cognitive science. The seminar is team-taught by faculty members in the program. May be repeated for credit if the topic has changed.

One 3-hour period.

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

320-51b: Wittgenstein. Wittgenstein is one of the most influential thinkers of the twentieth century. This seminar revolves around his greatest works, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Philosophical Investigations. It pays special attention to the issue of whether in his early period Wittgenstein really embraces the view that the truths philosophers seek to articulate are actually ineffable. It also examines in some detail whether Wittgenstein's later, explicitly "therapeutic" approach succeeds in avoiding substantive theoretical commitments. The seminar explores Kripke's controversial interpretation of Wittgenstein's treatments of rule-following and the so-called privacy of experience. It ends with an evaluation of Hacker's attempts to defend Wittgenstein's later methods against the most important criticisms that have been leveled against them in recent decades. Mr. Winblad.

One 2-hour period.

320-52b: Aristotle's Ethics. This seminar is devoted to a close study of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, one of the foundational texts of Western ethical thought. We also read recent work by contemporary scholars and philosophers, and ask whether a broadly Aristotelian framework is still viable today. Topics include the relationship between moral virtue and eudaimonia ("happiness"); the roles of reason and emotion in acting well; the nature ofakrasia ("weakness of will"); the value of friendship; and the place of philosophical reflection in a good human life. Mr. Raymond.

One 3-hour period.

Prerequisite: one 200-level course in Philosophy.

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.

330-01a: Capitalism, Globalization, Economic Justice and Human Rights. This seminar focuses on questions about capitalism, globalization, and economic justice. A central project of this course is to understand the different ways in which capitalism is conceptualized by various thinkers and philosophical perspectives. We will critically evaluate the benefits and problems attributed to capitalism as a global economic system. 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. Readings will include the works by figures such as Adam Smith, Karl Marx, Karl Polanyi, Peter Singer, Thomas Pogge, Antonio Negri, Immanuel Wallerstein, and Zygmunt Bauman. Ms. Narayan.

Prerequisites: two 200-level courses in Philosophy, one of which must be PHIL 234, PHIL 236, PHIL 238, or PHIL 250.

330-51b: The Rule of Law. This seminar explores the philosophical literature on the rule of law, focusing on the purported legal, political, and moral value of the rule of law. We will examine how legal norms can help to promote liberty and equality, and will confront criticisms of the rule of law from radical democrats, Marxist theory, and critical legal studies. Mr. Kelly.

Prerequisites: two 200-level courses in Philosophy, one of which must be PHIL 234, PHIL 236, PHIL 238, or PHIL 250.

330-52b: Love, Agency, and the Self. When William Godwin (1756 - 1836) asked, "what magic is there in the pronoun 'my,' to overturn the decisions of everlasting truth?" he expressed the widely held belief that ethical truth must issue from a point of view that is impartial. According to this compelling thought, the fact that someone is my lover, my friend, or my child can have no bearing on the question what is right for me to do. But many people, especially outside of philosophy, think otherwise. In this seminar, we take seriously the common-sense idea that loving someone or something changes what I have reason to do, and maybe even what it is morally right for me to do. In the course of considering how this could be so, we ask: how should we understand the connection between what or whom I love, and who I am? Do we have, or need, reasons to love something? Is it necessary, as the clichés have it, to love something or someone in order to lead a life one finds meaningful? If so, why? And, lying in the background behind all these questions: what is it to love or care about something? Reading by: Bernard Williams, Susan Wolf, Michael Bratman, David Velleman, Niko Kolodny, Samuel Scheffler, Agnieszka Jaworska, Harry Frankfurt, Gary Watson, Daniel Dennett, and others. Mr. Seidman.

Prerequisites: two 200-level courses in Philosophy.

One 3-hour period.

340a. Seminar in Continental Philosophy (1)

340a: Derrida and His Umbrella. This advanced seminar explores 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.

One 2-hour period.

350a. Seminar on Modernism, Post Modernism, and Hermeneutics (1)

(Same as CHJA 350   ) The Modernism/Postmodernism/Hermeneutic divide stretches across many different disciplines, including philosophy, literary theory, history, religious studies, political science, anthropology and others. Roughly, these approaches argue over whether rationality, truth, and ethics are culturally and historically universal (Modernism), incommensurable (postmodernism) or dialogical (Hermeneutics). This course explores these approaches with an emphasis on how they apply in the context of one culture trying to understand another. Requirements include regular class participation that shows familiarity with the the readings and many brief essays. Mr. Van Norden.

Prerequisite: courses in Philosophy at the 200-level.

Not offered in 2014/15.

One 2-hour period.

399a or b. Senior Independent Work (1/2to1)

The department.