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

Daniel A Bonevac

Professor PhD, Pittsburgh

Daniel A Bonevac

Contact

Biography

Professor Bonevac works mainly in metaphysics, philosophy of mathematics, semantics, and philosophical logic. His book Reduction in the Abstract Sciences received the Johnsonian Prize from The Journal of Philosophy. The author of five books and editor or co-editor of four others, Professor Bonevac's articles include “Against Conditional Obligation” (Noûs), "Sellars v. the Given" (Philosophy and Phenomenological Research), "Reflection Without Equilibrium," (Journal of Philosophy), "Free Choice Permission Is Strong Permission" (Synthese, with Nicholas Asher), "The Conditional Fallacy," (Philosophical Review, with Josh Dever and David Sosa), “The Counterexample Fallacy” (Mind, also with Dever and Sosa), and “The Argument from Miracles” and “Two Theories of Analogical Predication” (Oxford Studies in the Philosophy of Religion). He was Chairman of the Department of Philosophy from 1991 to 2001.

Interests

Philosophical logic, metaphysics, ethics, cognitive science, Non-Western philosophy, Christian philosophy

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

42550 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm ART 1.102
show description

This course is an introduction to philosophy. There are two main aims in this class. One aim is to teach you to think critically and carefully – a skill everyone in every discipline should have. In order to achieve that aim we will consider a range of classical and contemporary philosophical issues (though the skills can be applied to anything). The issues selected tie into the second aim – to introduce you to some philosophy.To meet our aims we will work through 4 topics:1. Ethics (via consideration of major ethical theories and their application to contemporary issues)2. Mind and Consciousness3. The existence of God4. Free willThis course is not designed to tell you what to think about these issues or any others, though I think you will see that some positions are more tenable than others. This course is designed to introduce you to perspectives that may not be identical to your own and to help you think critically for yourself about important issues. You are being asked to have an open mind about views that are other than your own and to asses them rationally (which isn't always easy). One must consider the possibility that he or she may have gotten some things wrong or may have been believing some true things for the wrong reasons.As mentioned, this course will introduce you to a bit of philosophy and to how philosophers think. Too often philosophy is viewed as an impractical discipline that has little to offer the “real world”. I want to show you that this isn't so. Learning how to think, how to formulate tractable questions, and how to express thoughts clearly are tangible accomplishments.It is worth noting that although we won't reach decisive answers, we will expose the strengths and weaknesses of various positions and point to the way ahead for further questioning. Remember that even though we aren't reaching decisive answers, that doesn't mean that there aren't any (there probably are) and it doesn't mean that the process isn't worthwhile. No attempt to cure cancer has been successful, but many of the failed attempts have led to a better understanding of the disease and the failures haven’t lead doctors to think that there simply is no cure.

PHL 398T • Supv Teaching In Philosophy

43562 • Spring 2014
Meets W 1200pm-200pm WAG 316
show description

Restricted to Philosophy Graduate Students.

Prerequisites

Consent of Graduate Advisor required.

Offered on the credit/no credit basis only. Students may register for this course as many as four times, but only three semester hours of credit in this course may be applied toward a graduate degree

Course Description

This seminar, required for the PhD in philosophy, prepares students to teach and to finish the PhD with a teaching portfolio that includes syllabi for courses at undergraduate and graduate levels.

 Grading

The grade will be based on the following items:

Course Syllabi (2 introductory, 2 upper-division, 1 graduate) 50%

A Statement of Teaching Philosophy 10%

Teaching Observation Reports (2) 20%

Participation 20%

Texts

Readings will be made available online.

PHL F325K • Ethical Theories

86995 • Summer 2013
Meets MTWTHF 1000am-1130am WAG 420
show description

This course examines four central approaches to ethical theory on the contemporary scene—virtue ethics, deontology, consequentialism, and intuitionism—by a close reading of key texts:

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals

Jeremy Bentham, Principles of Morals and Legislation

John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism

W. D. Ross, The Right and the Good

 

Our discussion will not be limited to those texts; we will consider subsequent developments, especially recent contributions, and we will seek to identify and address the primary problems each tradition faces. Prerequisite: Six semester hours of coursework in philosophy. This course counts toward the writing flag requirement.

PHL 354 • History Of Christian Philos

42765 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am WAG 302
(also listed as CTI 335 )
show description

While North Americans and Europeans believe that liberal democracy is the best form of government, this was not always true. (Many people throughout the world today do not think it is true.) Liberal democracy is the theory that the individual person has certain rights, not dependent on the existence of government. Key concepts of liberalism include liberty, democracy, contract, and obligation.

The theory behind liberalism developed from several traditions (republicanism, democracy, and limited sovereignty) influenced by various religious, economic and political beliefs and values, over a long period of time. Perhaps the most crucial period in this development was seventeenth-century England.

This course is interdisciplinary. It begins with the religious and political history of the seventeenth century (which includes the Gunpowder Plot, the Long Parliament, the English Civil War, the Rump Parliament, the execution of King Charles I, the establishment of the Commonwealth, the restoration of the Monarchy, the Exclusion Crisis, and the Glorious Revolution.) Then some crucial works in political philosophy by some of the greatest political philosophers in history, such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke will be discussed. Parts of two books written by John Milton, no political slouch, will be read, one in defense of the beheading of the king. The political relevance of some literary works will also be discussed.

A large part of this course will consist of working on a research paper, either alone or in partnership with one or two other students, as the topic and student interest dictates.

PHL 389 • Core Logic

42890 • Spring 2013
Meets W 300pm-600pm WAG 316
show description

Prerequisites

This course is restricted to first year Philosophy graduate students.

Course Description

This course is the required logic seminar for graduate students in the PhD program in philosophy. There is no formal prerequisite, though an undergraduate course in logic and some familiarity with proofs by mathematical induction is helpful background. Its goal is to give students the logical background needed to work in a variety of areas of philosophy, including logic itself, but also including metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, and ethics.

We will consider notions of ‘interpretations’ of different formal languages and logics, and learn how to prove that first-order logic is both sound and complete in an interesting sense. We will review key concepts of set theory, including naive set theory, the set-theoretic paradoxes, axiomatic set theory, and inductive proofs.

One emphasis of the course will be modal logic. We will begin with normal modal logics, including T, S4, and S5. We will then consider nonnormal systems such as S2 and S3; deontic logic; intuitionistic logic; many-valued logics; conditional logics; and relevant logics.

Once we have studied these logics in a sentential setting, we will combine modalities and quantifiers, considering Quine's objections to such a combination, Lewis's, Kaplan's, and Kripke's responses, essential and accidental properties, rigid and nonrigid designators, and necessary and contingent identity.

The course will include an overview of Godel’s incompleteness theorems, Tarski’s ‘indefinability of truth’ theorem, second order logic, nonmonotonic logic, and dynamic semantics. Along the way we will note interesting relations between logic, the philosophy of mathematics, and other metaphysical and epistemological issues.

Grading

Grading will be based on homework and a final exam.

Texts

To be determined

PHL 325K • Ethical Theories

42590 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm WAG 208
show description

This course examines four central approaches to ethical theory on the contemporary scene-- virtue ethics, deontology, consequentialism, and intuitionism-- by a close reading of the key texts from which they spring:

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals

Jeremy Bentham, Principles of Morals and Legislation

John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism

W. D. Ross, The Right and the Good

Our discussion will not be limited to those texts; we will consider subsequent developments, especially recent contributions, and we will seek to identify and address the primary problems each tradition faces.

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of coursework in philosophy. This course counts toward the writing flag requirement.

PHL F325K • Ethical Theories

87230-87240 • Summer 2012
Meets MTWTH 1000am-1130am BUR 134
show description

This course examines four central approaches to ethical theory on the contemporary scene—virtue ethics, deontology, consequentialism, and intuitionism—by a close reading of key texts:

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals

Jeremy Bentham, Principles of Morals and Legislation

John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism

W. D. Ross, The Right and the Good

 

Our discussion will not be limited to those texts; we will consider subsequent developments, especially recent contributions, and we will seek to identify and address the primary problems each tradition faces. Prerequisite: Six semester hours of coursework in philosophy. This course counts toward the writing flag requirement.

PHL 389 • Core Logic

42735 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm WAG 312
show description

Restricted to first-year philosophy graduate students. 

NOTE:  This seminar will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays, from 11:00 to 12:30.

Description:

 This course is the required logic seminar for graduate students in the PhD program in philosophy. There is no formal prerequisite, though an undergraduate course in logic and some familiarity with proofs by mathematical induction is helpful background. Its goal is to give students the logical background needed to work in a variety of areas of philosophy, including logic itself, but also including metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, and ethics.

We will begin by reviewing key concepts of set theory, including naive set theory, the set-theoretic paradoxes, axiomatic set theory, and inductive proofs. We will then move to a quick survey of some key results concerning classical first-order logic, including tableau systems, models, soundness, completeness, compactness and Löwenheim-Skolem-Tarski theorems.

The main emphasis of the course will be modal logic. We will begin with normal modal logics, including T, S4, and S5. We will then consider nonnormal systems such as S2 and S3; deontic logic; intuitionistic logic; many-valued logics; conditional logics; and relevant logics.

Once we have studied these logics in a sentential setting, we will combine modalities and quantifiers, considering Quine's objections to such a combination, Lewis's, Kaplan's, and Kripke's responses, essential and accidental properties, rigid and nonrigid designators, theories of descriptions, and other topics.

Required Text:  

Graham Priest, An Introduction to Non-Classical Logic: From If to Is (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2008).

 

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

41950-41975 • Fall 2011
Meets MW 200pm-300pm WEL 1.316
show description

This course introduces the central problems of philosophy. It considers solutions proposed by the greatest thinkers of the Western philosophical tradition, and some from non-Western traditions as well.

We will begin by asking what it is to be human, and reflect on the importance of this question for how we live our own lives. Are we minds and bodies? Just minds? Just bodies? What difference does it make? What is it to lead a good human life?

We will then move on to questions in the theory of knowledge: What is knowledge? How do we get it? What can we know? Finally, we will raise some of the basic questions of metaphysics: What is there? What is a thing? Do things have essences? Is reality independent of our minds? Is there a God?

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy-Hon

41980 • Fall 2011
Meets MW 200pm-300pm WEL 1.316
show description

This course introduces the central problems of philosophy. It considers solutions proposed by the greatest thinkers of the Western philosophical tradition, and some from non-Western traditions as well.

We will begin by asking what it is to be human, and reflect on the importance of this question for how we live our own lives. Are we minds and bodies? Just minds? Just bodies? What difference does it make? What is it to lead a good human life?

We will then move on to questions in the theory of knowledge: What is knowledge? How do we get it? What can we know? Finally, we will raise some of the basic questions of metaphysics: What is there? What is a thing? Do things have essences? Is reality independent of our minds? Is there a God?

PHL 325K • Ethical Theories

42500 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm WAG 208
show description

This course will consider three classic moral theories in detail, 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 F325K • Ethical Theories

87265-87275 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTH 1000am-1130am WAG 420
show description

This course examines four central approaches to ethical theory on the contemporary scene-- virtue ethics, deontology, consequentialism, and intuitionism-- by a close reading of the key texts from which they spring:

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals

Jeremy Bentham, Principles of Morals and Legislation

John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism

W. D. Ross, The Right and the Good

 

Our discussion will not be limited to those texts; we will consider subsequent developments, especially recent contributions, and we will seek to identify and address the primary problems each tradition faces.

 

Prerequisite: Six semester hours of coursework in philosophy. This course counts toward the writing flag requirement.

 

Requirements

Your goal: an excellent 15 page (5000 word, more or less) paper on a topic of your choosing, relating to at least one of the approaches to ethical theory explored in this course. You will pursue this goal in five stages:  Detailed notes on a session of the class, to be emailed to the professor within a week of that session. (10% of your grade.)

A 1-3 page prospectus, explaining your topic, your objective, and how you plan to go about achieving it, due in early November. (10% of your grade.)

A draft of your paper, to be distributed to a group of students working on related topics as well as to the professor, due by early December. (10% of your final grade.)

Comments on other students' drafts, pointing out strengths and weaknesses, and giving advice for improvement, due by early December. (10% of your final grade.)

Your final paper, revised in light of comments from your group members and the professor, due by mid December. (50% of your final grade.)

Class attendance and participation is 10% of the final grade.

PHL 389 • Core Logic

43235 • Spring 2011
Meets TH 1230pm-330pm WAG 312
show description

Restricted to first-year philosophy graduate students.

This course is the required logic seminar for graduate students in the PhD program in philosophy. Its goal is to give students the logical background needed to work in a variety of areas of philosophy, including logic itself, but also including metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, and ethics.

We will begin by reviewing key concepts of set theory, including naive set theory, the set-theoretic paradoxes, axiomatic set theory, and inductive proofs. We will then move to a quick survey of some key results concerning classical first-order logic, including tableau systems, models, soundness, completeness, compactness and Lowenheim-Skolem-Tarski theorems.

The main emphasis of the course will be modal logic. We will begin with normal modal logics, including T, S4, and S5. We will then consider nonnormal systems such as S2 and S3; deontic logic; intuitionistic logic; many-valued logics; conditional logics; and relevant logics.

Once we have studied these logics in a sentential setting, we will combine modalities and quantifiers, considering Quine's objections to such a combination, Lewis's, Kaplan's, and Kripke's responses, essential and accidental properties, rigid and nonrigid designators, theories of descriptions, and other topics.

We will then introduce topics of recent and growing significance: nonmonotonic logics (in which the addition of new premises may make valid arguments invalid) and dynamic semantics.

Required text: Graham Priest, An Introduction to Non-Classical Logic.

PHL 304 • Contemporary Moral Problems

42220-42255 • Fall 2010
Meets MW 1200pm-100pm MEZ 1.306
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 Probs-Hon

42260 • Fall 2010
Meets MW 1200pm-100pm MEZ 1.306
show description

This course discusses contemporary moral issues in the context of ethics and political philosophy. Often,
when people disagree about an issue such as abortion or welfare, they disagree not only about the facts
but about basic ethical issues. In this course we will ask some basic ethical questions, investigate answers
proposed by important moral and political philosophers, and think about what those answers mean for
contemporary public problems.

PHL 325K • Ethical Theories

42460 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm WAG 208
show description

This course examines four central approaches to ethical theory on the contemporary scene—virtue ethics, deontology, consequentialism, and intuitionism—by a close reading of key texts:
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals
Jeremy Bentham, Principles of Morals and Legislation
John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism
W. D. Ross, The Right and the Good

Our discussion will not be limited to those texts; we will consider subsequent developments, especially recent contributions, and we will seek to identify and address the primary problems each tradition faces.  Prerequisite: Six semester hours of coursework in philosophy. This course counts toward the writing flag requirement.

PHL 325K • Ethical Theories

86765 • Summer 2010
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm WAG 208
show description

This course examines four central approaches to ethical theory on the contemporary scene-- virtue ethics, deontology, consequentialism, and intuitionism-- by a close reading of the texts from which they spring. Our discussion will not be limited to those texts; we will consider subsequent developments, especially recent contributions, and we will seek to identify and address the primary problems each tradition faces.  We will explore the possibility that these four approaches are best viewed not as giving competing answers to the same question but as giving complementary answers to different questions.

Texts
Confucius, Analects
Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics
Kant, Foundations of the Metaphysics of Morals
Bentham, Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation
Mill, Utilitarianism
Sidgwick, Methods of Ethics
Pritchard, "Does Moral Philoosphy Rest on a Mistake?"
Ross, The Right and the Good

 

PHL 354 • History Of Christian Philos

43215 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm WAG 420
(also listed as WCV 320 )
show description

While North Americans and Europeans believe that liberal democracy is the best form of government, this was not always true. (Many people throughout the world today do not think it is true.) Liberal democracy is the theory that the individual person has certain rights, not dependent on the existence of government. Key concepts of liberalism include liberty, democracy, contract, and obligation.

The theory behind liberalism developed from several traditions (republicanism, democracy, and limited sovereignty) influenced by various religious, economic and political beliefs and values, over a long period of time. Perhaps the most crucial period in this development was seventeenth-century England.

This course is interdisciplinary. It begins with the religious and political history of the seventeenth century (which includes the Gunpowder Plot, the Long Parliament, the English Civil War, the Rump Parliament, the execution of King Charles I, the establishment of the Commonwealth, the restoration of the Monarchy, the Exclusion Crisis, and the Glorious Revolution.) Then some crucial works in political philosophy by some of the greatest political philosophers in history, such as Thomas Hobbes and John Locke will be discussed. Parts of two books written by John Milton, no political slouch, will be read, one in defense of the beheading of the king. The political relevance of some literary works will also be discussed.

A large part of this course will consist of working on a research paper, either alone or in partnership with one or two other students, as the topic and student interest dictates.

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

42865 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 1200-100pm WCH 1.120
show description

Syllabus and course information are available at:

 

https://webspace.utexas.edu/bonevac/www/301/

PHL 303 • Ideas Of The Twentieth Century

65290 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm UTC 3.122
show description

Syllabus and course information are available at:


https://webspace.utexas.edu/bonevac/www/303/

 

PHL 325K • Ethical Theories-W

86530 • Summer 2009
Meets MTWTHF 1130-100pm CBA 4.338
show description

This course will consider three classic moral theories in detail, 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.

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