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

Ian N Proops

Professor PhD, Harvard University

Ian N Proops

Contact

Biography

Professor Proops joined the Philosophy Department in 2009. He is affiliated with the Center for European Studies. 

He works on Kant's theoretical philosophy (especially, the first Critique) and on History of Analytic Philosophy (especially, Frege, Russell, and Wittgenstein).

He has teaching interests in Early Modern Philosophy (especially Descartes and Leibniz), Hegel/German Idealism, Metaphysics, and the Philosophy of Language. 

Professor Proops's recent and forthcoming publications include: "Russellian Acquaintance Revisited" (forthcoming in Journal of the History of Philosophy), "Kant on the Ontological Argument" (forthcoming in Nous); "Kant on the Cosmological Argument" (in Philosophers' Imprint, 2014); "Russell on Substitutivity and the Abandonment of Propositions" (The Philosophical Review, April 2011); "Kant's First Paralogism" (The Philosophical Review, October 2010) and "What is Frege's 'conept horse problem'?" (in Sullivan and Potter eds., Wittgenstein's Tractatus" (2013)). 

He is currently working on several papers on Russell, as well as a book for Oxford University Press on Kant’s criticisms of speculative metaphysics in the "Dialectic" of the first Critique.

Professor Proops was a founding editor of The Review of Symbolic Logic, where handled submissions on the history of analytic philosophy, and is currently serving as a section-editor (in the same subfield) for Philosophy Compass

He earned his B.A. in PPE and a B. Phil. (on Kant's Transcendental Idealism under the supervision of Ralph Walker) at Oxford. He went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard, where he wrote a disseration on Wittgenstein's Tractatus under the supervision of Warren Goldfarb, Richard Heck, and Charles Parsons. Before coming to Texas, he taught for ten years at the University of Michigan.

This Fall he is currently co-teaching a graduate seminar on Leibniz's metaphysics with Katherine Dunlop.

 

Interests

Kant, History of Analytic Philosophy, Early Modern Philosophy

PHL 301L • Early Modern Philosophy

41550-41560 • Spring 2015
Meets MW 300pm-400pm WAG 201
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 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

41765-41775 • Spring 2015
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 610QA • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

42840-42850 • Fall 2014
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm PAR 301
show description

This course examines some of the central problems of philosophy, drawing on both contemporary readings and historical texts. Students will be introduced to philosophy’s “tool kit” as well as its “greatest hits.” Topics include: Arguments for and against the existence of God, free will, moral responsibility, ethical theory, contemporary moral issues, feminism, and aesthetics. There are no prerequisites for this class.

PHL 301L • Early Modern Philosophy

42980-42990 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm 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 610QA • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

42940-42950 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 302
show description

This course examines some of the perennial problems of philosophy, using both contemporary readings and historical texts. Students will be introduced to philosophy’s “tool kit” and its heuristics, as well as its “greatest hits.” Topics include: The existence of God, free will, moral responsibility, ethical theory, applied ethics, and human knowledge. Further details are contained in the syllabus below. There are no prerequisites for this class.

PHL 381 • Kant

43185 • Fall 2013
Meets M 1230pm-330pm WAG 312
show description

 

Instructors:   Ian Proops, Katherine Dunlop

Prerequisites

Graduate standing and consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

Course Description

The first half of the course will introduce the project of a "Critique of Pure Reason" and Kant's view of knowledge as arising from the contributions of the sensible and intellectual faculties.  We will consider Kant's view that space and time are "forms of intuition" (i.e., of sensible representation), and how he introduces forms of intellectual thought in the contexts of "general" and "transcendental" logic.  Transcendental logic is supposed to consist of necessary rules for the understanding's use that (unlike the rules of general logic) take account of the content to which the rules apply.  As examples of such rules, we will consider Kant's attempts to prove principles governing the use of the concepts of substance and causality. The second half of the course will examine Kant’s criticisms of speculative metaphysics as they are developed in the part of the Critique known as the “Dialectic.” We will begin by examining Kant’s attempt to offer a general diagnosis of our predisposition toward metaphysical error in terms of an allegedly pervasive and unavoidable intellectual illusion—so-called “Transcendental Illusion.” We will then proceed to examine the particular fallacies to which Kant believes this illusion can—if we are not careful—lead. These fallacies occur in arguments that purport to establish, among other things, the existence and nature of God, the nature of the self (and the possibility of human immortality), and the existence of human freedom. No previous knowledge of Kant is presupposed.

Grading

The grade will be determined as follows. 80% final paper (roughly twenty pages); 15% seminar participation; 5% outline of the final paper (due three weeks before the final paper).

Texts

Critique of Pure Reason, Edited and translated by Paul Guyer and Allen Wood.

Secondary readings from: Béatrice Longuenesse, Henry Allison, Lisa Shabel, Karl Ameriks, Patricia Kitcher, Allen Wood, James Van Cleve, Charles Parsons, and others.

 This course satisfies the History requirement.

PHL 301L • Early Modern Philosophy

42230-42240 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-130pm WAG 302
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 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

42440-42450 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WAG 302
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 610QA • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

42305-42315 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 302
show description

This course examines some of the central problems of philosophy, drawing on both contemporary readings and historical texts. Students will be introduced to philosophy’s tool kit as well as its “greatest hits.” Topics include: God, free will, moral responsibility, ethical theory, applied ethics, personal identity, and human knowledge. There are no prerequisites for this class.

Grading Policy

The final grade will be based on four components: (1) attendance and participation in section (there is no attendance requirement for class) (25%); (2) one short paper (four-to-five pages, double-spaced, 12 point), due around mid term (25%); (3) a longer paper (five-to-six pages, double-spaced, 12 point), due at the end of the semester (30%); (4) a forty-five-minute in-class (closed book) writing exercise, to be held on the final day of class (20%).  Note: plus and minus grades will be awarded.

Required Text

Reason and Responsibility, 14th edition (or more recent edition), Joel Feinberg and Russ-Shafer Landau, eds. (Wadsworth)

PHL 381 • Russell 1900-1914

42605 • Fall 2011
Meets W 300pm-600pm WAG 312
show description

Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

Course Description

The seminar will take as its chief focus Russell's seminal article "On Denoting"; but we will approach this text by way of relevant topics in Russell’s 1903 work The Principles of Mathematics. We will also pay attention to Russell’s philosophy of mathematics and, in particular, the ways in which the various Russellian paradoxes shape Principia Mathematica. The course will divide into four main “units” (Please note: these descriptions are rough and subject to change and/or supplementation.)  

1. Russell’s early “Metaphysics of Meaning.” We will begin by examining Russell (and Moore’s) break with the English Idealism of F. H. Bradley, and the theory of propositions he develops as part of this reaction. We will briefly examine his early attempts to resolve the paradoxes, before evaluating the charge that Russell has a profligate “Meinongian” ontology in the Principles of Mathematics. We will pay particularly close attention to his theory of “denoting concepts” (a theory that Russell roundly attacks in “On Denoting”). In connection with this material we will read some excellent recent secondary literature by Stewart Candlish and Jim Levine. (approx. 2 meetings).  

2. “On Denoting.” We will examine: the precise content of the theory of descriptions; the sense in which it effects a reduction in Russell’s ontology; the idea of contextual definitions; and the way in which the theory resolves the three puzzles Russell states in “On Denoting.” We will proceed to examine Russell’s chief argument for the theory of descriptions, namely, the notorious “Gray’s Elegy Argument” of “On Denoting.” Finally, we will turn to topics in Russellian epistemology, including: the principle of acquaintance; Russell’s distinction between knowledge by acquaintance and knowledge by description (and related distinctions); the consequences of his resolution of the George IV puzzle for: (a) his logical atomism and his sense-datum- based epistemology (b) his later account of understanding (aka. “the multiple relation theory of judgment”). Secondary literature by: Bernard Linsky, Scott Soames, W. V. Quine, Gideon Makin, Mark Sainsbury, and—yes—Ian Proops (approx. 4 meetings).  

3. Principia Mathematica and the Cantorian paradoxes. We will sketch the content and goals of Russell’s “logicist” philosophy of mathematics. We will examine a range of Russellian paradoxes, as well as Russell’s various attempts to resolve them both in and before Principia. Topics will include: Russell’s 1905-7 substitutional theory, the ramified theory of types, and the role played by the axiom of reducibility and the (so-called) axiom of infinity in Russell’s system. Finally, we will ask whether the propositional paradox undermines contemporary theories of structured propositions. Secondary literature by: Michael Potter, Kevin Klement, Graham Stevens and Ian Proops. (approx. 3 meetings)  

4. Challenges to the Theory of Descriptions. We will survey both the classic and more recent objections to the theory of descriptions, including, if time permits, those of: Peter Strawson, Keith Donnellan, Leonard Linsky, Kai von Fintel, Delia Graff-Fara, and Peter Ludlow. We will study these objections in connection with several chapters from Stephen Neale’s book, which offers a defense of one kind of Russellian view, though I will argue that the view of descriptions Neale is defending is in fact not Russell’s. (approx. 4 meetings)  

I’m hoping that, in addition to orienting beginning graduate students to a cluster of issues in metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of logic and epistemology, the seminar will provide some in-depth historical background for more advanced graduate students who may want to claim “history of analytic philosophy” as an AOC. I have taught versions of this seminar twice before. My ulterior motive is to work up some of this material into a book on “On Denoting.”

Grading Policy: Enrolled students will be required to write one seminar paper of roughly 20-25 pages. The grade will be based entirely on this paper.

Texts

Russell, Bertrand, The Principles of Mathematics Russell Bertrand, Logic and Knowledge Russell, Bertrand, The Problems of Philosophy Russell, Bertrand, Mysticism and Logic Neale, Stephen, Descriptions A coursepack.

The seminar can be taken for credit in history of philosophy or metaphysics and epistemology (exclusive “or").

 

PHL 301L • Early Modern Philosophy

42670-42680 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 1230pm-130pm WAG 302
show description

This course examines metaphysical and epistemological issues in early modern philosophy in a selection of major figures from Descartes to Kant. Topics include: the existence of God, scepticism, the existence of the external world, a priori knowledge, the nature of colour, the nature of the self, mind-body interaction, cause, possibility, substance, essence and free will. Note that ethical questions will not feature in this course. In addition to developing an understanding of these fundamental philosophical concepts and issues, students will learn how to read a historical text sympathetically yet critically.

Texts

The sole required text for this course is the anthology: Modern Philosophy, 2nd edition, Roger Ariew and Eric Watkins, eds. This is an anthology of primary texts in seventeenth- and eighteenth-century philosophy. This text will be available at the Co-op on Guadalupe. Unfortunately, earlier editions are NOT suitable for our needs.

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

42955-42960 • Spring 2011
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WAG 302
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 375M • Hegel's Phenomenol Of Spirit

42535 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WAG 308
show description

Course description

An examination of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit as a whole. Having read some of Hegel’s short, introductory works for orientation, we will tackle the Phenomenology in a systematic fashion, focusing on the following themes and topics:  Sense-certainty, Consciousness and Self-Consciousness, the Hegelian Dialectic, the Concept of Spirit, Religion, and Absolute Knowledge.  Hegel’s work will be set in the context of earlier German Idealism, especially the ideas of Kant, Fichte and Schelling, but no previous familiarity with the work of these philosophers will be presupposed. 

Readings

Hegel Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion, available on the web at: http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/hegel/works/re/parta.htm

Hegel Introduction to the Philosophy of History, Leo Rauch, trans. (Indianapolis: Hackett), 1988.

Hegel, G. W. F. The Phenomenology of Spirit, Terry Pinkard, trans. and ed., Draft translation, 2008, in an English-German parallel text –available on-line at http://web.mac.com/titpaul/Site/Phenomenology_of_Spirit_page.html

Stern, Robert: The Routledge Guidebook to Hegel and the Phenomenology of Spirit (Abingdon: Routledge), 2002.

Houlgate, Stephen, An Introduction to Hegel: Freedom, Truth and History (Oxford: Blackwell), 2005.

Beiser, Frederick, Hegel (Abingdon: Routledge), 2005.

Inwood, Michael, A Hegel Dictionary (Oxford: Blackwell), 1992.

Pinkard, Terry, Hegel’s Phenomenology: The Sociality of Reason (Cambridge, Cambridge University Press, 1996)

Requirements and Grading Policy

Three papers, spaced evenly over the course of the term, and a final in-class, timed writing assignment. The first two papers will each be five pages long (12, double spacing) and will each account for 25% of the grade, the final paper will be seven pages long and account for 30%. The in-class writing assignment will last for 45 minutes. It will count for 20% of the grade. Students will be required to re-write and re-submit the first two papers in the light of comments from the instructor. Both the draft and the re-submission will be graded (and each will account for 12.5% of the grade). In the case of each of the first two papers, one class will be reserved for students to pair up and discuss their drafts several days before submitting them.  Plus and minus grades will be used.

PHL 301 • Introduction To Philosophy

42705-42760 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 1230pm-130pm WCH 1.120
show description

Attached

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

43045 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CBA 4.324
show description

This class also meets on Monday 200 to 300p in CRD 007A.

Philosophy 610QB: Problems of Knowledge and Valuation: Spring 2010

Philosophy 610QB: Problems of Knowledge and Valuation: Spring 2010  
 
Topic: History of Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Kant (but skipping Spinoza and
Hume)
 
Instructor: Ian Proops
 
Office: 209 Waggener Hall
 
e-mail: iproops@austin.utexas.edu  
 
Office hours for Proops: By appointment only. (Procedure: send me an e-mail mentioning
several times you can definitely make a meeting and I’ll respond with a time I can make. 
Meeting by appointment avoids congestion in the office and should save both of us time.)  
 
Teaching assistants: Kate Ritchie: k.c.ritchie@mail.utexas.edu
 
Office hours for Ritchie: by appointment only.
 
Course description
 
This course examines metaphysical and epistemological issues in early modern
philosophy from Descartes to Kant. Topics include: the existence of God, scepticism, the
existence of the external world, a priori knowledge, the nature of colour and other
apparently subjective properties, the nature of the self, mind-body interaction, cause,
causal inference, substance, essence and free will. Note that ethical questions will not
feature in this course. In addition to developing an understanding of these fundamental
philosophical concepts and issues, students will learn how to read an historical text
sympathetically yet critically.  
 
Texts
 
The sole required text for this course is: Modern Philosophy, 2nd edition, Roger Ariew
and Eric Watkins, eds. This is an anthology of primary texts in seventeenth- and
eighteenth-century philosophy. This text will be available at the Co-op on Guadalupe.
Unfortunately, earlier editions are NOT suitable for our needs.
 
 
Grading Policy
 
The final grade will be based on four components: (1) section attendance and
participation (20%) (note: lecture participation and attendance will not be used to
determine the grade); (2) a forty-five minute in-class test (25%); (3) one short paper (five
pages, double-spaced, 12 point; 25%); and (4) a longer paper (seven pages, double-
spaced, 12 point; 30%).  Note: plus and minus grades will be awarded. The submission of both papers and the sitting of the final in-class writing exercise are necessary conditions
for receiving a non-“F” grade.  
 
Policy on Plagiarism
 
Students found to have plagiarized with be referred to the relevant Dean, who will
impose the appropriate sanctions. Note that, depending on the particulars of the case,
sanctions may well include deeming the student to have failed the class, and possibly
even the suspension of the student from the University. Further advice on what
constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it will be given at the time of the first
assignment.
 
Policy on late papers
 
Papers submitted late without a reasonable excuse (e.g., serious illness, documented with
a doctor’s note), will be docked one third of a grade for each part-day they are late. So a
paper submitted more than 48 hours late but less than 72 hours late will be docked a
whole grade; one more than 24 hours late but less than 48 hours late will be docked 2/3 of
a grade (so, e.g., from B+ to B-). Papers submitted more than 72 hours late without a
reasonable excuse will receive no credit.
 
Extra credit
 
There will be no extra credit assignments in this class.
 
Students with disabilities
 
Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the
Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with
Disabilities, 471-6259.  
 
About the in-class writing exercise
 
The exercise will take 45 minutes and will take place in the final meeting of the class
(i.e., in the lecture not in the section on Tuesday, May 6). You will have to answer three
of the six questions, which three being revealed by your section-leader at the start of the
exercise. So to be safe you will need to prepare answers to all six questions. For each
question you should aim to prepare an answer that will cover roughly 2.5-3 pages of a
blue book double-spaced (i.e., writing on every other line). You must bring your own
blue book (or green book) to section.  The exercise is closed-book (and closed notes).
No computers are allowed; so you will have to write by hand. The exercise is worth
25% of the final grade. From the time the exercise is distributed (roughly a week ahead)
students will be under exam conditions and shouldn’t ask the TA or me for the answers!
Please be sure to notify me at the beginning of the course if you will need any special
accommodations.

Syllabus  
 
You should be sure to have read the readings for a given lecture before that lecture.   
 
Note: The quantity of reading assigned sometimes varies from lecture to lecture and on
some days, when less reading is assigned, students will be expected to read ahead. The
syllabus is subject to change and supplementation. All page references are to the 2nd
edition of Modern Philosophy.
 
I. Descartes and his Critics
 
Tu. Jan. 19. No reading. a) Aims of the course. b) Descartes’ life, writings and project.
 
Th. Jan. 21.  Letter of Dedication, Synopsis, 1st Meditation, pp. 35-43, reply to Hobbes in
3rd set of objections (just one paragraph on p. 76).  
 
Tu. Jan. 26. 2nd Meditation, pp. 43-47 and selections from the Discourse on the Method,
pp. 25-34; 3rd Objections, objection II and reply, pp. 76-79
 
Th. Jan. 28. 3rd Meditation, pp. 47-54; 3rd set of objections: objection V and reply, pp. 79-
80; objections IX and X and replies, pp. 81-82; 4th objection and replies, pp. 83-92.  
 
Tu. Feb. 2.  4th Meditation, pp. 54-58, the whole of the reply to the 2nd set of objections,
pp. 69-75.
 
Th. Feb. 4.  5th Meditation, pp. 58-61; 3rd set of objections: Objection X and reply pp. 81-
82.  
 
Tu. Feb. 9.  6th Meditation, pp. 61-68. FIRST PAPER ASSIGNED
 
 
II. Leibniz
 
Th. Feb. 11. Biographical sketch. Discourse on Metaphysics, §§ 1-13, pp. 224-232; Letter
to Arnaud, pp. 248-254.  
 
Tu. Feb. 16. Discourse on Metaphysics, §§ 15-26, pp. 232-240,  
 
Th. Feb. 18. Discourse on Metaphysics, §§ 28-37, pp. 240-247
 
Tu. Feb. 23. Primary Truths, pp. 265-268.  
 
Th. Feb. 25. A New System of Nature and Communication of Substances, and of the
Union of Soul and Body, 269-274.   FIRST PAPER DUE

Tu. Mar. 2. The Principles of Philosophy, or the Monadology, 275-283.   
 
 
III. Locke
 
Th. Mar. 4. Biographical sketch, Ideas in general. Criticism of Innate Ideas, Criticism of
Descartes’ view that the essence of the mind is to think, pp. 316-328.   
 
Tu. Mar. 9. Primary and Secondary Qualities, pp. 328-337 (finish just before ch. IX “Of 
Perception”)? Robert Boyle: “Of the excellency and grounds of the corpuscular or 
mechanical philosophy,” 308-315.
 
Th. Mar 11.  Our Idea of Substance, ch XXIII, “Of our complex ideas of substances,” pp. 
359-367, Leibniz, New Essays, Preface, 422-423.
 
Tu. Mar. 16. NO CLASS: SPRING BREAK  
 
Th. Mar. 18. NO CLASS: SPRING BREAK
 
Tu. Mar 23. Real and Nominal Essence, pp. 377-386  
 
 
IV Berkeley
 
Th. Mar 25. Biographical sketch: Three Dialogues, The First Dialogue, 454-474 [NOTE
THE READING FOR THIS WEEK  IS CONSIDERABLY LONGER, THOUGH LESS
DENSE, THAN THAT FOR PREVIOUS WEEKS]  
 
Tu. Mar. 30, Three Dialogues, The Second Dialogue, pp. 475-485.
 
Th. April 1, Three Dialogues The Third Dialogue: common sense defended, pp. 484-503.
 
VI Kant
 
Th. April 8, Biographical sketch? Kant’s critical project, “Preface,” pp. 717-724
 
Tu. April 13. Analytic and synthetic judgments; a priori and a posteriori judgments,
“Introduction,” pp. 724-729.
 
Th. April 15, Our representations of Space (and Time) as a priori intuitions,
“Transcendental Aesthetic,” pp. 729-737 (the reading ends just before the
“Transcendental Doctrine of Elements”)  SECOND PAPER ASSIGNED
 
Tu. April 20, Substance: The First Analogy, pp. 678-772.

Th. April 22. Cause: The Second Analogy, pp. 772-779.
 
Tu. April 27. The Transcendental Ideas. Transcendental Illusion; The first Paralogism,
pp. 783-788 (begin at “Transcendental Logic” Division II”) . SECOND PAPER DUE;
IN-CLASS WRITING ASSIGNMENT ASSIGNED
 
Th. April 29, The first two Antinomies, pp. 788-797 & pp. 801-804.
 
Tu. May 4, Kant’s Criticisms of the Ontological Argument, pp. 819-823.
 
Th. May 6, IN-CLASS WRITING ASSIGNMENT

 

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

43050 • Spring 2010
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm CBA 4.324
show description

This class also meets on Monday at 300 to 400p in CRD 007B


Philosophy 610QB: Problems of Knowledge and Valuation: Spring 2010

Philosophy 610QB: Problems of Knowledge and Valuation: Spring 2010  
 
Topic: History of Modern Philosophy: From Descartes to Kant (but skipping Spinoza and
Hume)
 
Instructor: Ian Proops
 
Office: 209 Waggener Hall
 
e-mail: iproops@austin.utexas.edu  
 
Office hours for Proops: By appointment only. (Procedure: send me an e-mail mentioning
several times you can definitely make a meeting and I’ll respond with a time I can make. 
Meeting by appointment avoids congestion in the office and should save both of us time.)  
 
Teaching assistants: Kate Ritchie: k.c.ritchie@mail.utexas.edu
 
Office hours for Ritchie: by appointment only.
 
Course description
 
This course examines metaphysical and epistemological issues in early modern
philosophy from Descartes to Kant. Topics include: the existence of God, scepticism, the
existence of the external world, a priori knowledge, the nature of colour and other
apparently subjective properties, the nature of the self, mind-body interaction, cause,
causal inference, substance, essence and free will. Note that ethical questions will not
feature in this course. In addition to developing an understanding of these fundamental
philosophical concepts and issues, students will learn how to read an historical text
sympathetically yet critically.  
 
Texts
 
The sole required text for this course is: Modern Philosophy, 2nd edition, Roger Ariew
and Eric Watkins, eds. This is an anthology of primary texts in seventeenth- and
eighteenth-century philosophy. This text will be available at the Co-op on Guadalupe.
Unfortunately, earlier editions are NOT suitable for our needs.
 
 
Grading Policy
 
The final grade will be based on four components: (1) section attendance and
participation (20%) (note: lecture participation and attendance will not be used to
determine the grade); (2) a forty-five minute in-class test (25%); (3) one short paper (five
pages, double-spaced, 12 point; 25%); and (4) a longer paper (seven pages, double-
spaced, 12 point; 30%).  Note: plus and minus grades will be awarded. The submission of both papers and the sitting of the final in-class writing exercise are necessary conditions
for receiving a non-“F” grade.  
 
Policy on Plagiarism
 
Students found to have plagiarized with be referred to the relevant Dean, who will
impose the appropriate sanctions. Note that, depending on the particulars of the case,
sanctions may well include deeming the student to have failed the class, and possibly
even the suspension of the student from the University. Further advice on what
constitutes plagiarism and how to avoid it will be given at the time of the first
assignment.
 
Policy on late papers
 
Papers submitted late without a reasonable excuse (e.g., serious illness, documented with
a doctor’s note), will be docked one third of a grade for each part-day they are late. So a
paper submitted more than 48 hours late but less than 72 hours late will be docked a
whole grade; one more than 24 hours late but less than 48 hours late will be docked 2/3 of
a grade (so, e.g., from B+ to B-). Papers submitted more than 72 hours late without a
reasonable excuse will receive no credit.
 
Extra credit
 
There will be no extra credit assignments in this class.
 
Students with disabilities
 
Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the
Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with
Disabilities, 471-6259.  
 
About the in-class writing exercise
 
The exercise will take 45 minutes and will take place in the final meeting of the class
(i.e., in the lecture not in the section on Tuesday, May 6). You will have to answer three
of the six questions, which three being revealed by your section-leader at the start of the
exercise. So to be safe you will need to prepare answers to all six questions. For each
question you should aim to prepare an answer that will cover roughly 2.5-3 pages of a
blue book double-spaced (i.e., writing on every other line). You must bring your own
blue book (or green book) to section.  The exercise is closed-book (and closed notes).
No computers are allowed; so you will have to write by hand. The exercise is worth
25% of the final grade. From the time the exercise is distributed (roughly a week ahead)
students will be under exam conditions and shouldn’t ask the TA or me for the answers!
Please be sure to notify me at the beginning of the course if you will need any special
accommodations.

Syllabus  
 
You should be sure to have read the readings for a given lecture before that lecture.   
 
Note: The quantity of reading assigned sometimes varies from lecture to lecture and on
some days, when less reading is assigned, students will be expected to read ahead. The
syllabus is subject to change and supplementation. All page references are to the 2nd
edition of Modern Philosophy.
 
I. Descartes and his Critics
 
Tu. Jan. 19. No reading. a) Aims of the course. b) Descartes’ life, writings and project.
 
Th. Jan. 21.  Letter of Dedication, Synopsis, 1st Meditation, pp. 35-43, reply to Hobbes in
3rd set of objections (just one paragraph on p. 76).  
 
Tu. Jan. 26. 2nd Meditation, pp. 43-47 and selections from the Discourse on the Method,
pp. 25-34; 3rd Objections, objection II and reply, pp. 76-79
 
Th. Jan. 28. 3rd Meditation, pp. 47-54; 3rd set of objections: objection V and reply, pp. 79-
80; objections IX and X and replies, pp. 81-82; 4th objection and replies, pp. 83-92.  
 
Tu. Feb. 2.  4th Meditation, pp. 54-58, the whole of the reply to the 2nd set of objections,
pp. 69-75.
 
Th. Feb. 4.  5th Meditation, pp. 58-61; 3rd set of objections: Objection X and reply pp. 81-
82.  
 
Tu. Feb. 9.  6th Meditation, pp. 61-68. FIRST PAPER ASSIGNED
 
 
II. Leibniz
 
Th. Feb. 11. Biographical sketch. Discourse on Metaphysics, §§ 1-13, pp. 224-232; Letter
to Arnaud, pp. 248-254.  
 
Tu. Feb. 16. Discourse on Metaphysics, §§ 15-26, pp. 232-240,  
 
Th. Feb. 18. Discourse on Metaphysics, §§ 28-37, pp. 240-247
 
Tu. Feb. 23. Primary Truths, pp. 265-268.  
 
Th. Feb. 25. A New System of Nature and Communication of Substances, and of the
Union of Soul and Body, 269-274.   FIRST PAPER DUE

Tu. Mar. 2. The Principles of Philosophy, or the Monadology, 275-283.   
 
 
III. Locke
 
Th. Mar. 4. Biographical sketch, Ideas in general. Criticism of Innate Ideas, Criticism of
Descartes’ view that the essence of the mind is to think, pp. 316-328.   
 
Tu. Mar. 9. Primary and Secondary Qualities, pp. 328-337 (finish just before ch. IX “Of 
Perception”)? Robert Boyle: “Of the excellency and grounds of the corpuscular or 
mechanical philosophy,” 308-315.
 
Th. Mar 11.  Our Idea of Substance, ch XXIII, “Of our complex ideas of substances,” pp. 
359-367, Leibniz, New Essays, Preface, 422-423.
 
Tu. Mar. 16. NO CLASS: SPRING BREAK  
 
Th. Mar. 18. NO CLASS: SPRING BREAK
 
Tu. Mar 23. Real and Nominal Essence, pp. 377-386  
 
 
IV Berkeley
 
Th. Mar 25. Biographical sketch: Three Dialogues, The First Dialogue, 454-474 [NOTE
THE READING FOR THIS WEEK  IS CONSIDERABLY LONGER, THOUGH LESS
DENSE, THAN THAT FOR PREVIOUS WEEKS]  
 
Tu. Mar. 30, Three Dialogues, The Second Dialogue, pp. 475-485.
 
Th. April 1, Three Dialogues The Third Dialogue: common sense defended, pp. 484-503.
 
VI Kant
 
Th. April 8, Biographical sketch? Kant’s critical project, “Preface,” pp. 717-724
 
Tu. April 13. Analytic and synthetic judgments; a priori and a posteriori judgments,
“Introduction,” pp. 724-729.
 
Th. April 15, Our representations of Space (and Time) as a priori intuitions,
“Transcendental Aesthetic,” pp. 729-737 (the reading ends just before the
“Transcendental Doctrine of Elements”)  SECOND PAPER ASSIGNED
 
Tu. April 20, Substance: The First Analogy, pp. 678-772.

Th. April 22. Cause: The Second Analogy, pp. 772-779.
 
Tu. April 27. The Transcendental Ideas. Transcendental Illusion; The first Paralogism,
pp. 783-788 (begin at “Transcendental Logic” Division II”) . SECOND PAPER DUE;
IN-CLASS WRITING ASSIGNMENT ASSIGNED
 
Th. April 29, The first two Antinomies, pp. 788-797 & pp. 801-804.
 
Tu. May 4, Kant’s Criticisms of the Ontological Argument, pp. 819-823.
 
Th. May 6, IN-CLASS WRITING ASSIGNMENT

PHL 381 • Kant's Critique Of Pure Reason

43490 • Fall 2009
Meets T 1230pm-330pm WAG 307
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Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

 

Prerequisites

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

 

Course Description

Hellenistic philosophy, that is of the period between the death of Aristotle and (traditionally at least) 31 BC, was for centuries unjustly neglected. Over the past thirty years or so much has been done to remedy that neglect, and the distinctive schools of the period (Epicurean, Stoic, Academic, Pyrrhonian) are now recognized as continuing much of enduring and intrinsic interest. Study of the period is hampered by the fact that, with rare exceptions, their works are known only through later citations and attestations, which complicates the process of interpretation. But it is still a project well worthwhile. This course will examine key ideas and arguments from all of these schools, and the contributions they made (and debates they engaged in) concerning epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, logic and mind (among other things).

 

Grading

1 term paper (90%)

participation and/or presentation (10%)

 

Texts

A.A. Long, D.N. Sedley The Hellenistic Philosophers Vol. 1 (1987)

   Cambridge University Press ISBN: 0521275563

 

This course satisfied the History requirement.

Publications

"Russellian Acquaintance Revisited," forthcoming in Journal of History of Philosophy.

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"Russell on Substitutivity and the Abandonment of Propositions," The Philosophical Review, vol. 120, no. 2, April 2011, 151-205.

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"Kant's First Paralogism," The Philosophical Review, vol. 119, no. 4, October 2010, 449-495.

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"Russell and the Universalist Conception of Logic," Noûs, 41: 1, 2007, 1–32.

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"Russell‘s Reasons for Logicism," Journal of the History of Philosophy, 2006, 44:2, 267–92.

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"Soames on the Metaphysics and Epistemology of Moore and Russell," Philosophical Studies, 2006, 129: 627–635.

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"Kant‘s Conception of Analytic Judgment," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, May 2005, vol. 70, no. 3, 588–612.

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"Wittgenstein on the Substance of the World,", European Journal of Philosophy, April 2004, 12: 1, 106–126.

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"Kant's Legal Metaphor and the Nature of a Deduction", Journal of the History of Philosophy, April 2003, 41: 2, 209–29.

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"The Tractatus on Inference and Entailment,"in Erich Reck, ed., From Frege to Wittgenstein: Essays on Early Analytic Philosophy (O.U.P.) 2002, 283–307.

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"The New Wittgenstein: a Critique,"European Journal of Philosophy, December 2001, 9: 3, 375–404.

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"Logical Syntax in the Tractatus," in Richard Gaskin, ed., Grammar in Early Twentieth-Century Philosophy (Routledge), 2001.

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