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

Katherine Laura Dunlop

Assistant Professor Ph.D., UCLA

Contact

  • Phone: (512) 232-8467
  • Office: WAG 410B
  • Office Hours: Tuesday 11:00 - 12:00; Wednesday 2:00 - 3:30
  • Campus Mail Code: MC C3500

PHL 382 • Leibniz's Metaphysics

43140 • Fall 2014
Meets W 330pm-630pm WAG 312
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Graduate Standing and consent of graduate advisor or instructor required.

Course Description

An examination of Leibniz’s views on a range of central topics in metaphysics. The course will examine some selection of the following topics.

Leibniz’s criticisms of Descartes's physics; his views on force, and its importance for a metaphysical system; his necessitarianism, his views on necessary truth and his ‘infinite resolution’ conception of contingent truth; his dispute with Newton on the nature of space and time, the principle of sufficient reason, the identity of indiscernibles, Leibniz’s doctrine of monads, pre-established harmony, and his views on immortality; his views on corporeal substance, free will, natural theology and theodicy.  

Grading Policy:

We will require one paper of roughly 20 pages by the end of the term, as well as a draft of the paper to be submitted roughly mid-way through the term (the exact dates will be specified on the syllabus). Plus and minus grades will be assigned.

Required Texts:

G.W Leibniz Philosophical Essays, edited by Roger Ariew and Daniel GarberG. W Leibniz’s Monadology, an edition for students, by Nicholas RescherTheodicy, Austin Farrer, ed., trans E. M. Huggard.Selected secondary readings will also be assigned.

Optional Text:

The Leibniz-Clarke Correspondence, H.G. Alexander, ed. (Optional but recommended)

 

This course satisfies the M&E requirement.

PHL 384F • First-Year Seminar

43155 • Fall 2014
Meets M 1230pm-330pm WAG 312
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Prerequisites

This seminar restricted to first year graduate students in PhD program.

Course Description

There will be two streams in this seminar. First, Dunlop will cover the classics in the history of analytic philosophy, by Frege, Russell, Strawson, Quine, and others.  Then Pautz will cover more recent work on mind, perception, and epistemology.

 

Readings:

Classics by Frege, Russell, Strawson and Quine. More recent work by Jackson, Smart, Lewis, Papineau, Pyror, and others.

PHL 329L • Early Mod Phl: Descartes-Kant

43110 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WAG 420
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This course is an introduction to early modern philosophy.  The objectives of the class are to identify and analyze arguments in philosophical texts of the early modern period, and to become familiar with central themes and problems.  Topics include causation, substance, and the possibility of knowledge.  The relationship of philosophical theories to contemporary science will be an ongoing theme. 

PHL 610QB • Probs Of Knowledge & Valuation

42610-42620 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 330pm-500pm WAG 302
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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 329L • Early Mod Phl: Descartes-Kant

42626-42628 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm JGB 2.218
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This course is an introduction to early modern philosophy. The objectives of the class are to identify and analyze arguments in philosophical texts of the early modern period, and to become familiar with central themes and problems. Topics include causation, substance, and the possibility of knowledge. The relationship of philosophical theories to contemporary science will be an ongoing theme.

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