Spring Quarter

Dept Course No and Title Instructor
This course provides a general introduction to the main topics in philosophy. The topics covered include: Ethics, Political Philosophy, Aesthetics, Epistemology, Philosophy of Mind, Metaphysics, Philosophy of Science, Philosophy of Religion, and The Meaning of Life.

Is the statement "This statement is false" true or false? Can God create a stone too heavy for Him to lift? Could a single hair make the difference between a bald an a non-bald person? Is it possible to know every truth? Could you go back in time and kill your grandfather before he met your grandmother? Can you know that you will be given a surprise exam sometime next week? Philosophical puzzles like these threaten our basic understanding of central concepts such as space, time, motion, infinity, truth, knowledge, and belief. This course focuses on philosophical puzzles and paradoxes as a way to introduce the formal tools needed to comprehend and evaluate philosophical arguments and theories, as well as theoretical reasoning more generally. The puzzles and paradoxes discussed in the course serve as an introduction to (among other things) the philosophy of space and time, the nature of the infinite, explanation, vagueness, knowledge and the rationality of action and belief.

(IV, Vb)
An introduction to the history of modern European philosophy, focusing on the work of Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Hume, and other figures. Topics will include skepticism, the relationship between mind and body, the nature of the self, freedom of the will, and the relationship between reason and morality.
Why should lawyers defend guilty clients and sue blameless people? Why should jurors acquit people they think did the crime? How do judges and lawyers argue? This course will take up these sorts of questions and introduce students to legal reasoning and practice, with a focus on real-life cases.
Visit the Logic and Philosophy of Science website for more information.
Visit the Logic and Philosophy of Science website for more information.
Speech Ethics: This course will consider how moral theory might help illuminate a variety of questions about the ethics of speech.  Topics include: insults, slurs and hate speech; "silencing" and misogyny; "call outs" and "calling bullshit"; "bullshitting," "fake news," and propaganda; "mansplaining," testimony and credibility; U.S. "free speech" exceptionalism; and the cooperative "speech commons" required for functioning democracy.
Visit the Logic and Philosophy of Science website for more information.
A study of medieval theories of freedom, moral responsibility, and evil, based on readings from Augustine, Abelard, Anselm, and Aquinas. Topics include: What is evil? Why did God make creatures capable of evil? Is intending to sin just as bad as actually doing it? Does one need a body in order to sin, or do intellect and will suffice? Angels are the test case for the last issue. 
Visit the Logic and Philosophy of Science website for more information.
In the age of social media, we tend to associate human self-love with the myth of Narcissus trapped in the love of his self-reflected image. Self-love, however, was conceived of much more positively in the Antiquity. Aristotle and the Stoics, for instance, used the argument that we love people to whom we do good more than we love those who do good to us to oppose generous self-love to both selfishness and altruism. To them, self-love was in fact the natural reward of virtue and, as such, the core principle of friendship and active participation in the common good. This interpretation of self-love was, however, largely opposed by Christian theology. Saint Augustine described original sin as the corruption of man’s love of God into self-love. Since pagan virtues derive from self-love they are sinful and false. Outside of Christian charity all human virtues are but disguised vices. TuTh   12:30- 1:50pm.

Same as Classic 176, Euro St. 103, and French 150. 
Criminal law punishes attempts more severely when they succeed than when they fail, even if it was purely a matter of luck that they failed. Tort Law imposes stiff penalties for minor carelessness if serious harm results, but no penalties for gross negligence that does not, as it happens, result in harm. In each case legal liability seems to have nothing to do with how blameworthy the agent is in moral terms. This course considers differences between the two branches of law, puzzles about the role of luck, and efforts by legal theorists to solve them.
Visit the Logic and Philosophy of Science website for more information.
This course introduces students to the philosophy of the social world. While including some historical sources, it will focus on contemporary discussions from an analytic perspective. The kinds of questions to be discussed include the following. When do two or more people count as doing something together, such as going for a walk together? What are we talking about when we speak of the beliefs of groups as opposed to the beliefs of individual human beings? Is such talk merely a shorthand way of talking about what all or most group members think? What about group emotions? To what extent, if at all, does it make sense to think of the partners in a long-term relationship as “two become one”? More generally, to what kind of group is the notion of a “unity” of persons clearly applicable? The answers to such questions bear on some central issues in moral and political philosophy including the following. Can a group---as opposed to its individual members---be blameworthy? If so, what are the implications of group blameworthiness to that of the individual members of the group? What kinds of punishment of groups, if any, are morally justifiable? How strong a barrier do group beliefs and emotions such as distrust and hostility towards other groups present to the reconciliation of groups in conflict?
This course focuses on three questions that have received much attention in contemporary philosophy of action. Our first question is whether explaining an action is fundamentally different from explaining an event that is not an action. We will explore the possibility of finding some common ground between causalists and anti-causalists in this debate. Our second question is how we should conceive of the relation between an agent and the reasons for which she acts that make her action intelligible. We will explore the possibility that intentional actions are controlled by agents in different ways depending on how they relate to the reasons that justify their actions. Our third question will be whether all intentional actions are performed under “the guise of the good”. We will explore the possibility that different kinds of actions lead to different answers to this question.