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David Sosa, Chair 2210 Speedway, WAG 316, Stop C3500, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4857

Course Descriptions

PHL 301K • Ancient Philosophy

41540-41544 • Evans, Matthew L.
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm UTC 3.124
show description

TBA

PHL 301L • Early Modern Philosophy

41545 • Dunlop, Katherine Laura
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm SZB 416
show description

Introduction to basic issues of early modern philosophy, such as: the capacities of the mind, and whether knowledge is possible through Reason; God’s nature and our knowledge of God; and the reality of the physical world.  Readings from Descartes, later Rationalist writers, Berkeley, and Hume.

PHL 301L • Early Modern Philosophy

41550-41560 • Proops, Ian N
Meets MW 300pm-400pm WAG 201
(also listed as CTI 310)
show description

this course examines metaphysical and epistemological issues in early
modern philosophy from Descartes (1596–1650) to Kant (1724–1804)

specific topics include scepticism, the existence of the external world, the relation between mind
and body (between consciousness and matter), ‘realism’ and ‘idealism’, ‘empiricism’ and
‘rationalism’, perception, primary and secondary qualities (e.g. shape and color), personal
identity (the nature of the self or subject of experience), induction, causation, free will, Kant’s
deontological ethics (other possible topics include: substance, miracles, nature and existence of
God, a priori knowledge, the analytic-synthetic distinction, essence, possibility, the nature of
space)

PHL 303 • Human Nature

41580 • Bjurman-Pautz, Anna S.
Meets TTH 800am-930am CLA 0.104
show description

This course examines theories of human nature, such as those of Plato, Aristotle,
Christianity, Hume, and Hobbes. Topics covered include the question whether there is a
distinctive human nature, freewill, and the problem of justice.

PHL 303M • Mind And Body

41585-41610 • Tye, Michael
Meets TTH 1000am-1100am CLA 0.126
show description

This course examines the relationship of the mind to the body. Topics covered
include whether a machine could think, the Turing Test for intelligence, the
reduction of the mind to the brain, whether consciousness can be captured
materialistically, and the nature of persons and personal identity.
We'll be thinking about immaterial spirits, futuristic computers and robots,
Martians who behave like us but who have an internal structure very different
from ours, brains in vats!. We will consider whether these strange characters
have thoughts and feelings. The point is not to consider bizarre cases just for the
sake of it, but to see what light we can shed on our own nature as beings with
mental lives.

PHL 304 • Contemporary Moral Problems

41615-41704 • Krecz, Charles A.
Meets TTH 1000am-1100am JES A121A
show description

An introduction to ethics by way of an examination of a number
of contemporary moral problems, including problems of abortion, sexual morality,
capital punishment, and pornography and hate speech.

PHL 304 • Contemporary Moral Problems

41665-41695 • Krecz, Charles A.
Meets TTH 1100am-1200pm JES A121A
show description

An introduction to ethics by way of an examination of a number
of contemporary moral problems, including problems of abortion, sexual morality,
capital punishment, and pornography and hate speech.

PHL 305 • Intro To Philos Of Religion

41710-41730 • Martinich, Al P.
Meets MW 1100am-1200pm CLA 0.130
(also listed as CTI 310, R S 305)
show description

This course investigates four different attitudes that have been held about the relation of humans to God. First is an ancient view according to which God's existence is presupposed and all events are interpreted as expressions of God's will. Second is a medieval view according to which the existence of God and his various attributes are suitable subjects for proof and argument. Third is a modern view according to which God exists but little is known about him through reasoning. Fourth is a contemporary view according to which God is assumed not to exist, and it is asked whether anything has any value and whether human life has a meaning. Although the course is divided historically, our goal will be to identify what is true or false, rational or not rational about the views expressed in each.

PHL 310 • Knowledge And Reality

41735-41745 • Buchanan, L. Ray
Meets TTH 930am-1030am PAR 203
show description

This course is an advanced introduction to philosophical issues concerning the nature of
belief, truth, and knowledge with an emphasis on the latter. Topics to be discussed include,
but are not limited to, the following:
• What is knowledge? For example, what is the difference between knowledge and
mere true belief?
• What are the basic sources of knowledge (i.e., perception, memory, testimony of
others)?
• Why, if at all, should we value the acquisition of knowledge?
• Is it really possible to know anything at all?

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

41750-41760 • Sainsbury, Richard M
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WAG 302
show description

We will study two classic texts written about a century apart: Descartes’ Meditations and Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. The mains themes are: knowledge and skepticism; and the nature of the human mind and action.

Descartes is known for two highly influential ideas. His skepticism arises from his reflection that we might be deceived by an “evil demon” who makes it seem as if our ordinary world exists whereas in reality there is nothing. Although Descartes hoped to defuse skepticism, it has lived on, inspiring not only generations of philosophers, but also leaving its mark in such movies as Matrix and Solaris.

Descartes’ dualism is his view that mind and body are entirely distinct. This view has been supported by religious thinkers, by many philosophers impressed by the distinctive character of consciousness, and by some defenders of free will.

Hume’s Enquiry is famous for supposedly arguing for a form of skepticism that Descartes did not explicitly consider: skepticism about whether the future will resemble the past. His discussion of this issue is closely intertwined with a remarkable theory of causation, a theory which led him to hold that an action can be free, and so can merit praise or blame, even though it is causally determined. We will also discuss some aspects of Hume’s philosophy of religion, notably his discussion of miracles, and his presentation of the problem of evil.

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

41765-41775 • Proops, Ian N
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm WAG 214
show description

The aim of this semester is to introduce topics in epistemology and metaphysics, initially through the works of two major philosophers, René Descartes (f. 1640) and David Hume (f. 1745). They will serve to introduce two main themes: the nature of knowledge and skepticism; and the nature of the human mind and action.

Descartes is known for two highly influential ideas. His skepticism arises from his reflection that we might be deceived by an “evil demon” who makes it seem as if our ordinary world exists whereas in reality there is nothing. Although Descartes hoped to defuse skepticism, it has lived on, inspiring not only generations of philosophers, but also leaving its mark in such movies as Matrix and Solaris.

Descartes’ dualism is his view that mind and body are entirely distinct. This view has been supported by religious thinkers, by many philosophers impressed by the distinctive character of consciousness, and by some defenders of free will.
Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is famous for supposedly arguing for a form of skepticism that Descartes did not explicitly consider: skepticism about whether the future will resemble the past. His discussion of this issue is closely intertwined with a remarkable theory of causation, a theory which led him to hold that an action can be free, and so can merit praise or blame, even though it is causally determined. We will also discuss some aspects of Hume’s philosophy of religion, notably his section on miracles, and his presentation of the problem of evil. 

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

41780-41790 • Woodruff, Paul B
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm PAR 1
show description

The aim of this semester is to introduce topics in epistemology and metaphysics, initially through the works of two major philosophers, René Descartes (f. 1640) and David Hume (f. 1745). They will serve to introduce two main themes: the nature of knowledge and skepticism; and the nature of the human mind and action.

Descartes is known for two highly influential ideas. His skepticism arises from his reflection that we might be deceived by an “evil demon” who makes it seem as if our ordinary world exists whereas in reality there is nothing. Although Descartes hoped to defuse skepticism, it has lived on, inspiring not only generations of philosophers, but also leaving its mark in such movies as Matrix and Solaris.

Descartes’ dualism is his view that mind and body are entirely distinct. This view has been supported by religious thinkers, by many philosophers impressed by the distinctive character of consciousness, and by some defenders of free will.
Hume’s Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding is famous for supposedly arguing for a form of skepticism that Descartes did not explicitly consider: skepticism about whether the future will resemble the past. His discussion of this issue is closely intertwined with a remarkable theory of causation, a theory which led him to hold that an action can be free, and so can merit praise or blame, even though it is causally determined. We will also discuss some aspects of Hume’s philosophy of religion, notably his section on miracles, and his presentation of the problem of evil. 

PHL 312 • Introduction To Logic

41800 • HOBBS, TRAVIS WAYNE
Meets TTH 930am-1100am GAR 0.120
show description

This is a course in the basic principles of logic. The student will come out of this
course with an understanding of deductive inference and of argument generally, as
wells as the notions of logical consequence, validity, soundness, and logical truth.
Specifically, we will be looking at sentential logic (which treats the inferential
relations among simple sentences) and predicate logic. Predicate logic is
distinguished from sentential logic by its use of quantifiers.

PHL 312 • Introduction To Logic

41804 • Hankinson, Robert J
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm PAR 105
show description

This is a course in the basic principles of logic. The student will come out of this
course with an understanding of deductive inference and of argument generally, as
wells as the notions of logical consequence, validity, soundness, and logical truth.
Specifically, we will be looking at sentential logic (which treats the inferential
relations among simple sentences) and predicate logic. Predicate logic is
distinguished from sentential logic by its use of quantifiers.

PHL 313 • Introductory Symbolic Logic

41805-41815 • Dogramaci, Sinan
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm PAR 201
show description

This is a first course in deductive symbolic logic. We'll study formal languages for representing sentences

in logically precise ways, we'll study algorithms for evaluating arguments as logically valid or invalid, and

we'll get an introduction to some of the surprising discoveries logicians have made about what tasks no

algorithm can possibly do.

PHL 316K • Science And Philosophy

41820 • Hankinson, Robert J
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am MEZ 2.124
show description

This course will examine the growth and development of science in modern times
through the history of certain crucial debates and breakthroughs that have taken place
since the beginnings of modern science in the 17th century. Topics considered will
include: what is the nature of science? Does it have a distinctive method (or methods)
that distinguish it from other forms of inquiry? What are its criteria of truth? Can science
ever achieve certainty, and if not, does it have any distinctive claims on our belief, and if
so why? What are the mechanisms of scientific progress and change? How does science
relate to, and differ from, other forms of intellectual inquiry?

PHL 317K • Intro To Philos Of The Arts

41850-41879 • PIATTI, KATHERINE A
Meets MW 200pm-300pm WEL 2.246
show description

This course offers an introduction to many of the central problems and thinkers in
aesthetics and the philosophy of art. Among the questions we will investigate are: What
is a work of art? Why do human beings create and value art? Is beauty in the eye of the
beholder? Are judgments of taste merely subjective? In addition, we will explore
questions relating to particular forms of art: What is a musical work? Does a literary
work mean what the author intends it to mean? Why do we feel fear in a horror film?
Although you will study what a number of influential historical and contemporary
thinkers have said about these questions, my goal is for you to learn how to approach
them for yourselves. A substantial portion of each class will be devoted to discussion.
Another basic goal of the course is to develop our abilities to reason, converse, and write
about foundational topics.

PHL 321K • Theory Of Knowledge

41890 • Leon, Jeffrey C.
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am CLA 0.122
show description

What is knowledge? What are the principal types of knowledge, and what
does a person's knowing a claim or proposition p amount to? Philosophers
have commonly supposed that a person's having justification, or warrant, for
believing that p is a necessary condition of his/her knowing that p.
Accordingly, this course will be concerned with theories of justification as
well as of knowledge, along with the question of whether there can be
knowledge without what is called epistemic justification. Views in ancient,
early modern, and contemporary philosophy—also one Eastern view—will
be surveyed.

PHL 323K • Metaphysics

41900 • Litland, Jon E.
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm CLA 1.102
show description

We will examine some of the main issues in metaphysics. We will discuss questions in Ontology: are there numbers? Are there properties? What does it mean for something to exist? Can something depend on something else for its existence? We will discuss problems of Identity: what is it for something to persist through time? Is identity over time possible? Can it be vague whether two things are identical? We will discuss problems of modality? What does it mean to say that something is possible? Are there different types of possibility? Is it possible for a thing to be different than it actually is?  

PHL 323M • Philosophy Of Mind-Phl Majors

41905 • Pautz, Adam
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm WEL 3.402
show description

What is a mind? How does it relate to a person's brain? How does it relate to their body and the external
world? Could a robot or a computer be conscious? What is it to experience a pain? How does the mental fit
into the physical universe? Philosophical thinking about the mind has been focused on questions like these for
hundreds of years.
In this class we will consider some of the most important historical answers offered to the questions above as
well as the views of many contemporary philosophers of mind. Specifically, we'll look at theories like dualism,
the identity theory, functionalism, and others. The goal is for each student to be able to articulate the basic
issues examined, to describe several possible responses to those issues, and to evaluate those positions
critically. This course requires active participation, including reading assigned material before each class
meeting and participation in class discussions.
The objectives are:
(i) To raise the student's understanding of the complex nature and historical background of issues in
the philosophy of mind, and
(ii) To develop critical thinking and enable students to communicate in an intelligent manner on these
issues.

PHL 325K • Ethical Theories-Phl Majors

41910 • Dancy, Jonathan
Meets TTH 930am-1100am BEN 1.104
show description

This course will consider three classic moral theories, those of J. S. Mill, W. D. Ross and I. Kant – otherwise known as Utilitarianism, Intuitionism and Kantianism. We will do this by studying one classic text by each author in detail.

PHL 325M • Medicine, Ethics, And Society

41915-41940 • Leon, Jeffrey C.
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm CAL 100
show description

The application of ethical theory to medical practice is an important part of modern public
policy. We look at several approaches to ethics and several areas of medicine to gain insights
into medical ethics. This course carries the ethics and leadership flag. Consequently, a
substantial portion of the grade will involve ethical issues and reasoning.

PHL 327 • Interpretation And Meaning

41945 • Martinich, Al P.
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm WAG 308
show description

Communication consists of two aspects: what the speaker means by her utterance and what the audience understands by it. While most philosophers of language have concentrated on the speaker's side, there is increasing interest in the audience's side. This seminar focuses on understanding or interpretation, especially on the interpretation of texts. Meaning will be discussed as necessary.

Our main goal will be to figure out what interpretation is and what properties a good interpretation has. This goal requires that we understand what a person brings to a text and what means she has to understand it.

Our views about meaning and interpretation will be tested against important and controversial texts in various genres: literary, religious, historical, political, legal, and philosophical. Principles of interpretation will be evaluated according to how useful they are in understanding these texts.

Readings include works by Donald Davidson, H. P. Grice, W. V. Quine, John Searle, 

PHL 329K • Hist Of Ancient Philosophy

41950-41960 • Seung, Thomas K
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am WAG 302
(also listed as C C 348)
show description

This course is a survey of ancient Greek philosophy. It covers Presocratics, Plato, and Aristotle. The class will be conducted in three lectures and one discussion session every week. 

PHL 329L • Early Mod Phl: Descartes-Kant

41965-41975 • Seung, Thomas K
Meets TTH 930am-1100am WAG 302
show description

This course is a survey of modern philosophy. It covers Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. The class will be conducted in three lectures and one discussion session every week. 

PHL 334K • Kierkegaard And Existentialism

41985 • Holm, Jakob
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm WAG 308
(also listed as C L 323, EUS 347, GSD 360)
show description

Soren Kierkegaard is one of the most influential thinkers from the 19th century and widely considered to be the first existentialist philosopher. He has exerted an enormous influence on Western culture during the last 150 years and has inspired numerous writers, artists, and filmmakers, who have found new perspectives in his philosophy and theology.

Kierkegaard wrote about a wide range of topics, e.g. organized religion, Christianity, ethics, and psychology, and he explored our emotional responses when we are faced with life choices. In that way, much of his philosophical work deals with the issues of how one lives as a unique individual in a concrete human reality. In his texts, he is displaying an almost postmodern fondness for metaphor, irony and parables, and he made use of various pseudonyms, which he used to present different viewpoints.

In this course we will explore excerpts from a number of Kierkegaard’s key texts such as Either/or, Fear and Trembling, The Concept of Anxiety, Stages on Life’s Way, The Sickness unto Death and Works of Love. It will give us a thorough understanding of his concepts and ideas which we will apply on a wide-ranging number of authors, among others Friedrich Nietzsche, Fyodor Dostoyevsky and Franz Kafka as well as the two most well-known writers connected with existentialism, Albert Camus and Jean-Paul Sartre. We will also watch movies from the heyday of existentialism, the mid-20th century, by directors such as Ingmar Bergman, Federico Fellini and Akira Kurosawa, and look at the influence of Kierkegaard and existentialism within theater as well. In that way, the course will examine the scope and range of Kierkegaard’s ideas in the 20th century and up till today where his ideas seem more relevant and inspiring than ever.

The course aims at increasing your ability to think and work analytically – and ponder some of the most important questions you’ll face in your life. Furthermore, you will in this course develop the ability to read and analyze literary and non-literary texts, to present your ideas through coherent argumentation, to formulate good questions and to communicate your discoveries to others. This Kierkegaard course is an opportunity to explore one of the most pivotal philosophical directions within the last 150 years – and in that process explore yourself.

 

Grading

Essays: 30%

Final essay: 20%

Quizzes: 20%

Midterm: 10%

Participation: 20%

PHL 342 • Natural Law Theory

41989 • Budziszewski, J.
Meets MW 330pm-500pm CLA 0.106
(also listed as GOV 335M)
show description

GOV 335M / PHL 342:

NATURAL LAW THEORY

Professor J. Budziszewski

 

Unique numbers:      Gov unique number 37895, Phl unique number pending

Class meets:              MW 3:30-5:00pm in CLA 0.106

Prof's office hours:   M 12:00-3:00pm in MEZ 3.106

Prof’s email:             jbud@undergroundthomist.org

Prof’s office phone:  232-7229; phone does not record messages; email strongly preferred

Course website:        Blackboard (subject to change)

Prof’s website:          The Underground Thomist, http://www.undergroundthomist.org

 

PREREQUISITES, FLAGS, AND FIELD

 

If the course is taken as Gov 335M, enrollment requires six semester hours of lower-division government; it can also be taken as Phl 342, but seats in that section are limited.  It carries a writing flag and fulfills part of the basic education requirement in writing.  Within the Government Department, its field is Political Theory.

 

DESCRIPTION

 

“Natural law” refers to moral law – in particular, the fundamental moral principles that are built into the design of human nature and lie at the roots of conscience.  Natural law thinking is the spine of the Western tradition of jurisprudence.  Historically, it has provided the basis for talking about all of the 'hot button' issues in past and present culture wars; if you wanted to talk about war, slavery, political liberty, or relations between men and women, you talked about natural law.  The distinctive mark of natural law thinking is that it begins from what the mind can know about these things by reasoning alone, rather than by the authority of revelation.  This in no ways denies revelation, for although the earliest natural law thinkers were pagans, the most influential natural law thinkers have been Christians who held that reason and revelation work together.

 

The founders of the American republic believed in the natural law -- in universal and "self-evident" principles of justice and morality which the Declaration of Independence called "the laws of Nature and of Nature's God."   For generations afterward, most Americans took the reality of natural law for granted.  The Declaration of Independence had appealed to it to justify independence; Abraham Lincoln appealed to it to criticize slavery; Martin Luther King appealed to it to criticize racial discrimination.  You would hardly guess any of this from the present day, because belief in natural law has come to be viewed as "politically incorrect."  Nevertheless, the tradition of natural law is experiencing a modest renaissance.

 

Is there really a natural law?  What difference does it make to society and politics if there is?  Is it really "natural"?  Is it really "law"?  To consider these questions, we will read a variety of influential works on natural law from the middle ages to the present.  Probably, most of your liberal arts education has implicitly rejected the whole idea, but in this course, for a change, you have an opportunity to hear the other side.

 

REQUIREMENTS

 

For Unit 1, a required analytical outline (20%).  For Units 2, 3, and 4, take-home essays (20% apiece).  Short-answer quizzes (20%).  Extra credit for analytical outlines for Units 2, 3, and 4 (up to 5 points per unit, added to exam grades).

 

TEXTS

 

Recommended:

 

J. Budziszewski, What We Can't Not Know: A Guide.  On reserve at the Perry-Castaneda Library.  Can be purchased online if you want to have a personal copy.

 

J. Budziszewski, Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law.  Electronic resource available through Perry-Castaneda Library.  Can be purchased online if you want to have a personal copy.

 

J. Budziszewski, Companion to the Commentary.  Free online resource available through the Resource link at the Cambridge University Press catalogue page for the Commentary on Thomas Aquinas’s Treatise on Law.

 

Required:

 

C.S. Lewis, The Abolition of ManOn reserve at the Perry-Castaneda Library.  Also online at https://archive.org/details/TheAbolitionOfMan_229 .

 

Thomas Aquinas, Treatise on Law.  Available online at http://www.newadvent.org/summa/2.htm (scroll down to LAW, and read Questions 90-97, entire, and 105, Article 1 only).

 

Readings packet.  Available for purchase at the UT Copy Center, McCombs 3.136, phone: 471-8281.  McCombs is the Business School building, right behind Mezes Hall.

 

Additional online readings listed on the Contents page of the readings packet.

 

UNITS

 

Unit 1:  Introduction to the Concept

Unit 2:  The Classical Synthesis

Unit 3:  The American Reception of Natural Law Tradition

Unit 4:  Contemporary Writing by Natural Law Theorists

PHL 344K • Intermediate Symbolic Logic

41990 • Litland, Jon E.
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm CLA 0.112
show description

This course focuses on some of the most important results in 20th century metalogic: the study of logical systems, their powers and limitations. We will prove the completeness of classical predicate logic, the undecidability of classical predicate logic, the undefinability of truth,  the incompleteness of arithmetic and the unprovability of consistency.

 

While knowledge of particular mathematical results will not be presupposed the course is technically demanding and the students should have some familiarity with mathematical proofs. 

PHL 344M • Philosophy Of Mathematics

41995 • Dunlop, Katherine Laura
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CBA 4.340
show description

Introductory survey of philosophy of mathematics, from classic texts from the history of philosophy (Plato and Kant) to currently debated positions.  Examples will be taken from elementary geometry, number theory, and set theory.  No specific technical background required, although familiarity with formal logic is highly recommended.

PHL 347 • Philosophy Of Law

42000 • Leon, Jeffrey C.
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm BUR 136
show description

This course, intended to introduce students to certain basic issues in philosophy of law, will be organized around the question: What should a legal system be? What are the fundamental features that are vital to a proper legal system, and what are some of the competing understandings of what these are?

By reading both historical and contemporary authors, we will examine the theoretical bases of proper law as well as the appropriate practical implementation of key ideals in legal systems today. Correspondingly, along the way, we will consider the meaning of several concepts that are arguably crucial to a proper legal system, such as rights, freedom, representation, popular sovereignty, democracy, and republic. 

PHL 348 • Natural Theology East And West

42005 • Phillips, Stephen
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm WAG 420
show description

This course surveys and at the same time evaluates arguments for and against the existence of God in Jewish, Christian, and Islamic traditions, along with arguments for Brahman (Hinduism) and Emptiness (Buddhism), that is, considering religious philosophy worldwide.

 

The course takes a global point of view, comparing arguments proferred originally in Arabic, for example, with medieval arguments expressed in Latin and with a collection of arguments originally expressed in Sanskrit.

 

We will also examine the primary atheistic arguments in the West from Epicurus through Bertrand Russell and in India principally from a philosopher of the eighth century named Kumarila Bhatta.

 

We will also consider differing concepts of God. An important Buddhist argument purports to prove the Buddha's omniscience. But the Buddhist idea of omniscience differs from the mainstream view of God's omniscience in the West.

 

Our main focus throughout the course will be on the strengths and weaknesses of each argument.

PHL 354 • Roman Philosophy And Science

42019 • White, Stephen A
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WAG 308
(also listed as C C 348)
show description

This course examines the aims, methods, and achievements of philosophy and science in the ancient Roman world. We will focus on three interlocking questions: What did the Romans know about the natural world – or think they knew? How did they know it – or think they did? And why did they think any of this mattered – and did it?

It has four main goals: to gain a critical understanding of some key issues and ideas in Roman philosophy and science; to analyze and evaluate philosophical and scientific arguments in their cultural context; to develop tools for thinking critically about the relation between evidence and theory; and to improve critical writing and discussion skills.

Grades will be based on: writing assignments (40%), midterm exam (20%), research project (30%), class participation (10%). There is no final exam.

Cicero, Academic Scepticism (Hackett: 978-0-87220-774-5)

Cicero, The Nature of the Gods (Oxford UP: 9780199540068)

Lucretius, On the Nature of Things (Hackett: 978-0-87220-587-1)

Seneca, Natural Questions (U Chicago: 9780226748399)

D. Lehoux, What Did the Romans Know? An Inquiry into Science and Worldmaking (U Chicago: 9780226143217)

This course carries a Writing flag and emphasizes reading, writing, and discussion.

PHL 356 • Yoga As Philosophy & Practice

42020 • Phillips, Stephen
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm WAG 302
(also listed as ANS 372, R S 341G)
show description

This course surveys the origins of yogic practices in early Indian civilization and traces the development of Yoga philosophies through the Upanishads, BHAGAVAD GITA, YOGA-SUTRA, Buddhist, Jaina, and tantric texts, as well as works of neo-Vedanta. We shall try to identify a set of claims common to all classical advocates of yoga. We shall look at both classical and modern defenses and criticisms, especially of alleged metaphysical and psychological underpinnings of the practices. No previous background in Indian philosophy is necessary, but students with no previous course work in philosophy or in psychology should contact the instructor.

PHL 363L • Outer Limits Of Reason

42025 • Juhl, Cory F
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm WAG 302
show description

In this course we will cover a number of fundamental questions that appear to transcend the capacities of reason in various respects.  Topics will include semantic paradoxes, theseus' ship, vagueness, infinities, computational intractability, quantum mechanics, fine-tuning arguments, why mathematics applies to the physical world, and other matters.

PHL 363L • Philosphy Of Biology

42035 • Sarkar, Sahotra
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 4.132
show description

This is an introduction to the philosophy of biology with a heavy focus on molecular biology, genetics, and evolution, and what they say about the living world including humans in light of recent advances in biology, in particular, in genomics and related areas in the wake of the Human Genome Project and other sequencing efforts. The course starts with a conceptual analysis of classical and molecular genetics followed by the innovations introduced by genomics, proteomics, and systems biology. It goes on to explore how evolutionary biology interprets the phenomena of life and what molecular biology says about evolution. It turns to controversial questions at the forefront of biological research including the possibility that human behavior is genetically determined and evolutionarily selected. Traditional philosophical problems that are illuminated by modern biology include reductionism, teleology, functional and informational explanation.

PHL 365 • Leadership And Ethics

42044 • Eden, Captain John
Meets TTH 930am-1100am CLA 5.402
(also listed as N S 330)
show description

An examination of process philosophy, one of the major metaphysical movements of the twentieth century, including philosophers such as James, Dewey, and Whitehead. 

PHL 365 • Process Philos And Pragmatism

42045 • Krecz, Charles A.
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CLA 1.102
show description

An examination of process philosophy, one of the major metaphysical movements of the twentieth century, including philosophers such as James, Dewey, and Whitehead. 

PHL 365 • Intro To Cognitive Science

42049 • Teodorescu, Viorica Alexandra
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 3.122
(also listed as CGS 360, LIN 373)
show description

This course is an introduction to the modern study of how the mind works. We will explore how humans perceive the world, how they acquire and represent knowledge, and how they reason, understand language and make decisions. Central to the course will be the computational theory of mind and the embodiment of thought and consciousness in a few pounds of grey meat. All these topics are central to the inter-disciplinary field of Cognitive Science, an area in which UT boasts enormous strength. The course will incorporate presentations and small panel discussions from faculty across Computer Science, Linguistics, Neuroscience, Philosophy, and Psychology.

PHL 375M • Perception

42100 • Pautz, Adam
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm MEZ 1.118
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We will examine philosophical puzzles concerning perception. What determines the character of experience? What’s the status of sensible qualities – colors, sounds, smells, etc.? Are things really as they seem? What is it to perceive a thing? How does perception provide knowledge of the external world? We will look at the main traditional and contemporary philosophical answers to these problems: sense datum theory, inner state theory, intentional theory, and naïve realism. We will invoke empirical results in psychophysics and neuroscience in deciding between these alternatives, as well as traditional philosophical arguments.

PHL 375M • Chinese Philosophy

42105 • Higgins, Kathleen M
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 307
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This course will be an overview of basic themes in Chinese philosophy, concentrating on the ancient texts of Confucianism and Daoism.  Emphasis will be placed on: the respective emphases of Confucianism, Daoism, and Chinese Buddhism, with consideration of the way in which these emphases have been synthesized and conjoined in more recent Chinese philosophy.

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