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

John Deigh

Professor PhD, University of California at Los Angeles

Contact

Biography

John Deigh joined the law school faculty in 2003 after twenty years of teaching at Northwestern University. He is also a profesor in the philosophy department. His primary areas of research are moral and political philosophy. He is widely known for his work in moral psychology. He is the author of Emotions, Values, and the Law (Oxford University Press, 2008) and The Sources of Moral Agency (Cambridge University Press, 1996). His recent articles include "Promises Under Fire" (Ethics, 2002), "Emotion and the Authority of Law: Variations on Themes in Bentham and Austin" (in S. Bandes [ed.], The Passions of Law [New York University Press, 1999]), "All Kinds of Guilt" (Law and Philosophy, 1999) and "Physician Assisted Suicide and Voluntary Euthanasia: Some Relevant Differences," Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology (1998). Other articles include "Cognitivism in the Theory of Emotions" (Ethics, 1994), "On Rights and Responsibilities" (Law and Philosophy, 1988) and "Rights and the Authority of Law" (University of Chicago Law Review, 1984).

Deigh serves on the editorial board of Law and Philosophy and is an associate editor of the International Encyclopedia of Ethics (Wiley/Blackwell, forthcoming). From 1997-2008, he was the editor of Ethics. Deigh has held visiting appointments at the Australian National University, the University of Chicago, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Interests

Ethics, political philosophy

PHL 387 • History Of Analytic Ethics

43165 • Fall 2014
Meets W 330pm-630pm WAG 210
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Graduate Standing and consent of graduate advisor or instructor required.

Course Description:

The seminar will cover the history of analytic ethics from the rise of emotivism in the 1930s and 1940s to the reconstruction of the program in the work of Gibbard and Blackburn.  During this period the questions of moral realism and motivational internalism emerged as central questions of metaethics, and the seminar's aim is to understand how and why these questions became central.

Grading Policy:

Seminar paper, participation.  The paper will be the main determinant of the grade.

Texts:

Allen Gibbard, Wise Choices, Apt FeelingsJ. L. Mackie, Ethics: Inventing Right and Wrong Readings from Ayer, Carnap, Stevenson, Frankena, Harman, Blackburn, and McDowell among others.

 

This course satisfies the Ethics requirement.

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

43220-43230 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm UTC 1.146
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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 387 • Philosophy Of Emotions

43215 • Fall 2013
Meets W 330pm-630pm WAG 312
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PHILOSOPHY OF EMOTIONS

Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

Course Description

The seminar will be a study in the history of modern philosophical treatments of emotions. The focus will be on how the study of emotions developed from a study within moral philosophy to a scientific study.

Grading

The course grade will be based on a seminar paper and participation in seminar discussion. The paper will be the chief factor in determining the grade.

Texts

Descartes: The Passions of the Soul

Hume: A Treatise of Human Nature, book II

William James, The Principles of Psychology, chapter 25

Paul Griffiths, What Emotions Really Are

Martha Nussbaum, Upheavals of Thought, chapter 1

This course satisfies the Ethics requirement

PHL 610QA • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

42455-42465 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 302
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PHL 387 • Moral Agency

42740 • Fall 2012
Meets W 330pm-630pm WAG 316
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Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

 Course Description

This seminar will examine recent work on moral agency that takes as the basic notion of moral agency that a moral agent is a rational agent who is capable of acting for moral reasons.

Among the works we will examine are:

Nomy Arpaly:  Unprincipled Virtue: An Inquiry into Moral Agency

R. Jay Wallace:  Normativity and the Will  (selected essays)

Gary Watson: Agency and Answerability  (selected essays)

Grading

Seminar paper and participation in seminar.  The paper will be the major factor in determining the grade.

 

This course satisfies the Ethics requirement.

PHL 387 • Meta-Ethics In 20th-C Anly Phl

42635 • Fall 2011
Meets T 330pm-630pm WAG 210
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Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

Course Description

The seminar will examine the origins and development of meta-ethics in twentieth century analytic philosophy. The aim will be to study how the different movements in meta-ethics, Moore’s non-naturalism, intuitionism of Prichard and Ross, emotivism, prescriptivism, analytic naturalism, etc. were tied to the rise of different methods and programs in analytic philosophy generally. 

Grading

The grade will be based on a seminar paper due at the end of the term and participation in seminar discussions.  The seminar paper will be the most important factor.

Texts

Readings include: G. E. Moore, Principia Ethica W. D. Ross, The Right and the Good R. M. Hare, The Language of Morals Allan Gibbard, Wise Choices, Apt Feelings

 

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

42940-42945 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-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 387 • Ethics & Experimntl Psychology

42580 • Fall 2010
Meets W 330pm-630pm WAG 210
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Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor required.

This course satisfies the Ethics requirement

Course Description:

This seminar will cover recent work in ethics that uses research in experimental psychology and neuroscience in the study of ethical questions.

Grading Policy:

Final grade will be based on a seminar paper due at the end of the seminar and participation in seminar discussion.  The paper will be the more important factor in determining the grade.   

Texts:
Readings include:
John Doris, Lack of Character
Sean Nichols, Sentimental Rules
Jesse Prinz, The Emotional Construction of Morals

 

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

43030 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm WAG 214
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This class also meets on Friday at 200 to 300p in CRD 007B

 




Syllabus


This course is an introduction to moral philosophy.  The focus of our study will be several major works of moral philosophy, mostly British, in the modern period.  These are classical works that define many of the principal problems of modern moral philosophy in the Anglo-American tradition.  We will begin with Hobbes's Leviathan.  Hobbes's work sparked great controversy that continues to the present.  We will follow the controversy through the writings of Butler, Hume, Kant, Bentham and Mill, each of whom seeks to construct a theory of ethics that avoids the egoism distinctive of Hobbes's moral and political philosophy.  Our discussions will include both exposition of the different theories these philosophers constructed and critical evaluation of them.     
 
Books (available at UT Coop)
    Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, Martinich, ed.
    Joseph Butler, Five Sermons, Darwall, ed.
    David Hume, Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals, Schneewind ed.
    Immanuel Kant, Grounding for a Metaphysics of Morals, Ellington, trans.
    John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism, 2nd ed., Sher, ed.
    

Schedule of readings

  I.  Hobbes, Leviathan, chs. 1-8, 10, 11, and 13-17

 II.  Butler, Five Sermons
    
III.     Hume, Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals

IV.  Kant, Grounding for a Metaphysics of Morals, secs. I & II

 V.  Bentham's Introduction to the Principles of Morals and Legislation, chs. 1-4 & 7     (www.utilitarianism.com/jeremy-bentham/index.html)

VI.  Mill, Utilitarianism






Course Work

The principal course work consists of an in-class midterm examination, a term paper and a final examination.  Suggested topics for the term paper will be handed out.  The midterm examination takes place on Thursday, February 25.  The final examination takes place on Wednesday, May 12 from 2 – 5 pm.  This is the only time the exam will be given.  It will be comprehensive.  The term paper will be due Thursday, March 11.  No late papers will be accepted.  

You may also write a second term paper.  The due date for the second term paper is Thursday, April 29.  Writing two term papers will reduce the importance of your grade in determining the final grade (see below) if you also take the midterm.  If you miss the midterm, the second term paper will be required in its place.             


Course Grade

The course grade will, for the most part, be arrived at by considering the scores you receive on your midterm, term paper or papers, and final exam.  In determining the course grade, each term paper will be given the same weight as the midterm exam.  The final exam will be given roughly twice this weight.  Some consideration will be given to performance in discussion section, especially where consideration of other measures is inconclusive.  


Office and office hours

Mr. Deigh's office is Waggener Hall, rm. 225.   His regular office hours will be Thurs. 2 - 3 pm.  Other times for conferences may be arranged.  His phone number is 471-6753, and his e-mail address is jdeigh@law.utexas.edu.

PHL 387 • Twentieth-Century Metaethics

43515 • Fall 2009
Meets W 330pm-630pm WAG 210
show description

Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

Course Description

The seminar will be a study in the history of modern philosophical treatments of emotions. The focus will be on how the study of emotions developed from a study within moral philosophy to a scientific study.

Grading

The course grade will be based on a seminar paper and participation in seminar discussion. The paper will be the chief factor in determining the grade.

Texts

Descartes: The Passions of the Soul

Hume: A Treatise of Human Nature, book II

William James, The Principles of Psychology, chapter 25

Paul Griffiths, What Emotions Really Are

Martha Nussbaum, Upheavals of Thought, chapter 1

 This course satisfies the Ethics requirement

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