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

Robert C Koons

Professor PhD, University of California at Los Angeles

Robert C Koons

Contact

Biography

He specializes in philosophical logic and in the application of logic to long-standing philosophical problems, including metaphysics, philosophy of mind and intentionality, semantics, political philosophy and metaethics, and philosophy of religion. His book Paradoxes of Belief and Strategic Rationality (Cambridge, 1992) received the Aarlt Prize from the Council of Graduate Schools in 1994. He is the author of Realism Regained (OUP, 2000) and the co-editor (with George Bealer) of The Waning of Materialism (OUP, 2010). He is at work with Tim Pickavance on a textbook on metaphysics. He is working on analytic Aristotelianism and social ontology.

Interests

Logic, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, Christian philosophy

PHL 301K • Ancient Philosophy

42975 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 930am-1100am MEZ 2.124
(also listed as C C 304C )
show description

An introduction to the political ideas and theories of the ancient Greeks and Romans. We will focus on primary texts by Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and Augustine of Hippo, supplemented by some selections from the Greek historian Thucydides and the political school of thought known as the “Sophists”. About one-third of the course will be devoted to role-playing game, The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C.  This game is part of a “Reacting to the Past” method developed at Barnard College. Students will be assigned different roles, e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death. Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas.

The heart of each game is persuasion. For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents. Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts andthe more cleverly you draw upon them, the better. You have two ways of expressing your views: orally and in writing. Both will be graded.

Grading Policy:

Your grade will be based on the following:

(1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the games: 10%

(2) four analytical outlines: 10%.

(3) pop quizzes: 10%.

(4) points earned (as part of a group) in “Reacting to the Past” simulation: 10%

(5) approximately three writing assignments -- speeches, newspaper articles, poems, or whatever written expression that enables you to persuade your fellow students in the context of the “Reacting to the Past” simulation -- totaling about ten pages: 20%

(6) two exams (the first 15%, the second 25%).

Timely submission of all work is essential.

Texts:

  • The Threshold of Democracy Athens in 403 B.C.  by Mark Carnes (Longman, 2005)
  • Plato, The Republic (Penguin Classics, 2007)
  • Thucydides, On Justice, Power and Human Nature: The Essence of The History of the Peloponnesian War (edited by Paul Woodruff, Hackett, 1993)
  • Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (trans. David Ross, Oxford World Classics, 2009)
  • Aristotle’s Politics and the Constitution of Athens (trans. Everson, Cambridge. 1996)
  • Cicero, Republic and the Laws (trans. Rudd, Oxford World Classics, 2009)
  • Cicero, On Obligations: De Officiis (trans. Walsh, Oxford World Classics, 2008)

PHL 327 • Universals And Particulars

43347-43349 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm WAG 302
show description

We will examine recent work in philosophy that is written from a Christian point of view or that examines philosophical questions that arise within the framework of the Christian faith. The issues to be covered include the relationship between faith and reason, the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God, the problem of evil, the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge and sovereignty with human responsibility, and the relation of God to time.  Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of Christian philosophy to foundational questions concerning reality, knowledge and ethics. 

Prerequisites: no prior work in philosophy is expected.  Non-majors are encouraged.

Texts:

G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Francis A. Schaeffer, He is There and He is not Silent

Kelly J. Clark, Return to Reason

Phl 327 Supplemental Readings, available at UT Library electronic reserves. 

Evaluation:

• Three in-class exams (combination of essay and multiple choice): 25% each (including an in-class test on Dec. 7).  There will be an optional, comprehensive final that can be counted for 25% of the course grade, permitting a student to drop the lowest in-class test grade.

• Short papers (eight 2-page responses to the readings): 10%. Short papers are to be turned in at the beginning of class on Monday, responding to the coming week's reading.

• Class and section participation: 15%

• Optional term paper: due the last day of class.  2500-3000 words on a topic pre-approved by the instructor.  The term paper may be used to drop a low midterm grade, or in place of the third in-class exam, at the student's discretion.

 

Instructor: Prof. Rob Koons.  Phone: 471-5530.  koons@mail.utexas.edu

PHL 323K • Metaphysics

43045 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 308
show description

This course is an overview of some of the central topics in metaphysics.
Metaphysics, generally speaking, is the branch of philosophy concerned
with the nature of reality; metaphysicians seek an understanding of the
fundamental sorts of things that constitute the world, as well as of the
structure of the world itself.
We will begin by focusing on issues surrounding one particular sort of
thing: persons. In particular, we will be considering different views
regarding what it is to be a person and for a person to persist through
change. This will lead to more general discussions of the nature and
structure of time and the persistence of things through temporal change.
From there we’ll take up the issue of composition. In particular, we’ll be
concerned with the following question: Under what circumstances do
some things (parts) compose another thing (whole)? We’ll then turn to the
problems of universals and individuation – how do we account for (i)
similarities among distinct things and (ii) the distinctness of exactly
similar things? We’ll conclude the course with a discussion of possible
worlds.

PHL 327 • Cont Conservative Philosophy

43070-43080 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am WAG 420
show description

We will examine recent work in philosophy that is written from a Christian point of view or that examines philosophical questions that arise within the framework of the Christian faith. The issues to be covered include the relationship between faith and reason, the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God, the problem of evil, the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge and sovereignty with human responsibility, and the relation of God to time.  Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of Christian philosophy to foundational questions concerning reality, knowledge and ethics. 

Prerequisites: no prior work in philosophy is expected.  Non-majors are encouraged.

Texts:

G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Francis A. Schaeffer, He is There and He is not Silent

Kelly J. Clark, Return to Reason

Phl 327 Supplemental Readings, available at UT Library electronic reserves. 

Evaluation:

• Three in-class exams (combination of essay and multiple choice): 25% each (including an in-class test on Dec. 7).  There will be an optional, comprehensive final that can be counted for 25% of the course grade, permitting a student to drop the lowest in-class test grade.

• Short papers (eight 2-page responses to the readings): 10%. Short papers are to be turned in at the beginning of class on Monday, responding to the coming week's reading.

• Class and section participation: 15%

• Optional term paper: due the last day of class.  2500-3000 words on a topic pre-approved by the instructor.  The term paper may be used to drop a low midterm grade, or in place of the third in-class exam, at the student's discretion.

 

Instructor: Prof. Rob Koons.  Phone: 471-5530.  koons@mail.utexas.edu

PHL 301K • Ancient Philosophy

42370 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 930am-1100am WAG 308
(also listed as C C 304C )
show description

An introduction to the political ideas and theories of the ancient Greeks and Romans. We will focus on primary texts by Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and Augustine of Hippo, supplemented by some selections from the Greek historian Thucydides and the political school of thought known as the “Sophists”. About one-third of the course will be devoted to role-playing game, The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C.  This game is part of a “Reacting to the Past” method developed at Barnard College. Students will be assigned different roles, e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death. Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas

The heart of each game is persuasion. For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents. Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the better. You have two ways of expressing your views: orally and in writing. Both will be graded.

Grading Policy

Your grade will be based on the following:

(1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the games: 10%,

(2) four analytical outlines: 10%.

(3) pop quizzes: 10%.

(4) points earned (as part of a group) in “Reacting to the Past” simulation: 10%,

(5) approximately three writing assignments -- speeches, newspaper articles, poems, or whatever written expression that enables you to persuade your fellow students in the context of the “Reacting to the Past” simulation -- totaling about ten pages: 20%,

(6) two exams (the first 15%, the second 25% ).

Timely submission of all work is essential.

 

Texts

The Threshold of Democracy Athens in 403 B.C.  by Mark Carnes (Longman, 2005)

Plato, The Republic (Penguin Classics, 2007);

Thucydides, On Justice, Power and Human Nature: The Essence of The History of the Peloponnesian War (edited by Paul Woodruff, Hackett, 1993)

Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (trans. David Ross, Oxford World Classics, 2009)

Aristotle’s Politics and the Constitution of Athens (trans. Everson, Cambridge. 1996)

Cicero, Republic and the Laws (trans. Rudd, Oxford World Classics, 2009)

Cicero, On Obligations: De Officiis (trans. Walsh, Oxford World Classics, 2008).

 

PHL 323K • Metaphysics

42580 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm WEL 3.402
show description

This course is an overview of some of the central topics in metaphysics.
Metaphysics, generally speaking, is the branch of philosophy concerned
with the nature of reality; metaphysicians seek an understanding of the
fundamental sorts of things that constitute the world, as well as of the
structure of the world itself.
We will begin by focusing on issues surrounding one particular sort of
thing: persons. In particular, we will be considering different views
regarding what it is to be a person and for a person to persist through
change. This will lead to more general discussions of the nature and
structure of time and the persistence of things through temporal change.
From there we’ll take up the issue of composition. In particular, we’ll be
concerned with the following question: Under what circumstances do
some things (parts) compose another thing (whole)? We’ll then turn to the
problems of universals and individuation – how do we account for (i)
similarities among distinct things and (ii) the distinctness of exactly
similar things? We’ll conclude the course with a discussion of possible
worlds.

PHL 327 • Contemporary Christian Philos

42610 • Fall 2012
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm WAG 420
show description

We will examine recent work in philosophy that is written from a Christian point of view or that examines philosophical questions that arise within the framework of the Christian faith. The issues to be covered include the relationship between faith and reason, the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God, the problem of evil, the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge and sovereignty with human responsibility, and the relation of God to time.  Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of Christian philosophy to foundational questions concerning reality, knowledge and ethics. 

Prerequisites: no prior work in philosophy is expected.  Non-majors are encouraged.

Texts:

G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Francis A. Schaeffer, He is There and He is not Silent

Kelly J. Clark, Return to Reason

Phl 327 Supplemental Readings, available at UT Library electronic reserves. 

Evaluation:

• Three in-class exams (combination of essay and multiple choice): 25% each (including an in-class test on Dec. 7).  There will be an optional, comprehensive final that can be counted for 25% of the course grade, permitting a student to drop the lowest in-class test grade.

• Short papers (eight 2-page responses to the readings): 10%. Short papers are to be turned in at the beginning of class on Monday, responding to the coming week's reading.

• Class and section participation: 15%

• Optional term paper: due the last day of class.  2500-3000 words on a topic pre-approved by the instructor.  The term paper may be used to drop a low midterm grade, or in place of the third in-class exam, at the student's discretion.

 

Instructor: Prof. Rob Koons.  Phone: 471-5530.  koons@mail.utexas.edu

PHL 301K • Ancient Philosophy

42225 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 930am-1100am WAG 308
(also listed as C C 304C )
show description

An introduction to the political ideas and theories of the ancient Greeks and Romans. We
will focus on primary texts by Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero, supplemented by some
selections from the Greek historian Thucydides and the political school of thought known
as the “Sophists”. About one-third of the course will be devoted to two role-playing
games, The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., and Law an Order: Rome in
123 B. C. The first game is part of a “Reacting to the Past” method developed at Barnard
College, and the second is a simulation that I’ve created for this course. In both games,
students will be assigned different roles, e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch,
Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being
defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him
to death. Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals,
though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas
The heart of each game is persuasion. For nearly every role to which you will be
assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your
opponents. Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and
the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the
better. You have two ways of expressing your views: orally and in writing. Both will be
graded.
Before and after the game, the course will be conducted in the usual lecture and
discussion format, punctuated by two in-class exams.

PHL 323K • Metaphysics-Phl Majors

42490 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 1230pm-200pm JES A203A
show description

This course is an overview of some of the central topics in metaphysics.
Metaphysics, generally speaking, is the branch of philosophy concerned
with the nature of reality; metaphysicians seek an understanding of the
fundamental sorts of things that constitute the world, as well as of the
structure of the world itself.
We will begin by focusing on issues surrounding one particular sort of
thing: persons. In particular, we will be considering different views
regarding what it is to be a person and for a person to persist through
change. This will lead to more general discussions of the nature and
structure of time and the persistence of things through temporal change.
From there we’ll take up the issue of composition. In particular, we’ll be
concerned with the following question: Under what circumstances do
some things (parts) compose another thing (whole)? We’ll then turn to the
problems of universals and individuation – how do we account for (i)
similarities among distinct things and (ii) the distinctness of exactly
similar things? We’ll conclude the course with a discussion of possible
worlds.

PHL 323K • Metaphysics

42490 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm WAG 208
show description

An examination of some of the classic problems and questions of metaphysics – including existence, ontology, similarity, universals, relations, number, change, possibility and necessity -- using the tools of contemporary analytic philosophy.

 

TEXTS:

Required text:

Robert Koons and Tim Pickavance, Fundamentals of Metaphysics (Wiley/Blackwell, under contract)

The Koons/Pickavance text will be available (in MS Word files) on the course Blackboard page.

Students will be expected to read relevant articles in philosophy journals, as needed.

 

EVALUATION:

Ten short (1-2 page) chapter reports                                                                           20%

Two in-class essay exams (20% for the first, 30% for second)                                   50%

Attendance and class participation                                                                               20%

In-class “disputations”                                                                                              10%

Optional term paper (10-20 pages) (rough draft due Nov. 23rd; final draft due Dec. 9th), which may be used to replace one or both of the exam grades.

More detailed instructions for the paper and for the disputations will be provided as the semester progresses.

PHL 382 • Universals

42615 • Fall 2011
Meets M 300pm-600pm WAG 312
show description

Universals and Tropes

Prerequisites:

Graduate Standing and Consent of Graduate Advisor or instructor required.

Description:

An examination of some contemporary accounts of properties, with the aim (of course) of finding the One True Theory. We will begin by looking at the arguments for and against 'ostrich' and resemblance nominalism. We will then look at the following questions:

• Should we adopt universals, tropes, or both?

• What would universals or tropes have to be like? • Is any form of the Truthmaker principle true?

• In addition to universals and tropes, are there states of affairs or nexuses (instantial ties or trope-attachers)?

• Can realists avoid Bradley's regress, and if so, how?

• How do we account for the relation of determinate properties to determinables? What accounts for varying intensities and quantities?

• What is the correct theory of relations, especially non-symmetrical relations? How are things ordered in the world?

• Does realism lead to a 'problem of individuation'? If so, can it be solved?

Grading Policy:

A twenty-something page term paper, with a 4-5 page précis due by Thanksgiving. Texts: We will rely almost exclusively on recently published papers, available online. The Oxford anthology of classic papers, Properties, edited by D. H. Mellor and Alex Oliver, is recommended.

 

This course satisfies the M&E requirement

 

 

 

PHL 301K • Ancient Philosophy

42665 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm WAG 302
(also listed as C C 304C, CTI 310 )
show description

An introduction to the political ideas and theories of the ancient Greeks and Romans. We will focus on primary texts by Plato, Aristotle, Cicero and Augustine of Hippo, supplemented by some selections from the Greek historian Thucydides and the political school of thought known as the “Sophists”. About one-third of the course will be devoted to role-playing game, The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C.  This game is part of a “Reacting to the Past” method developed at Barnard College. Students will be assigned different roles, e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch, Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him to death. Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals, though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas

The heart of each game is persuasion. For nearly every role to which you will be assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your opponents. Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the better. You have two ways of expressing your views: orally and in writing. Both will be graded.

Grading Policy

Your grade will be based on the following:

(1) regular class attendance, careful preparation of the readings, and active participation in the games: 10%,

(2) four analytical outlines: 10%.

(3) pop quizzes: 10%.

(4) points earned (as part of a group) in “Reacting to the Past” simulation: 10%,

(5) approximately three writing assignments -- speeches, newspaper articles, poems, or whatever written expression that enables you to persuade your fellow students in the context of the “Reacting to the Past” simulation -- totaling about ten pages: 20%,

(6) two exams (the first 15%, the second 25% ).

Timely submission of all work is essential.

 

Texts

The Threshold of Democracy Athens in 403 B.C.  by Mark Carnes (Longman, 2005)

Plato, The Republic (Penguin Classics, 2007);

Thucydides, On Justice, Power and Human Nature: The Essence of The History of the Peloponnesian War (edited by Paul Woodruff, Hackett, 1993)

Aristotle’s Nicomachean Ethics (trans. David Ross, Oxford World Classics, 2009)

Aristotle’s Politics and the Constitution of Athens (trans. Everson, Cambridge. 1996)

Cicero, Republic and the Laws (trans. Rudd, Oxford World Classics, 2009)

Cicero, On Obligations: De Officiis (trans. Walsh, Oxford World Classics, 2008).

 

PHL 327 • Contemporary Christian Philos

43030 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 1000am-1100am BUR 112
show description

We will examine recent work in philosophy that is written from a Christian point of view or that examines philosophical questions that arise within the framework of the Christian faith. The issues to be covered include the relationship between faith and reason, the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God, the problem of evil, the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge and sovereignty with human responsibility, and the relation of God to time.  Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of Christian philosophy to foundational questions concerning reality, knowledge and ethics. 

Prerequisites: no prior work in philosophy is expected.  Non-majors are encouraged.

Texts:

G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Francis A. Schaeffer, He is There and He is not Silent

Kelly J. Clark, Return to Reason

Phl 327 Supplemental Readings, available at UT Library electronic reserves. 

Evaluation:

• Three in-class exams (combination of essay and multiple choice): 25% each (including an in-class test on Dec. 7).  There will be an optional, comprehensive final that can be counted for 25% of the course grade, permitting a student to drop the lowest in-class test grade.

• Short papers (eight 2-page responses to the readings): 10%. Short papers are to be turned in at the beginning of class on Monday, responding to the coming week's reading.

• Class and section participation: 15%

• Optional term paper: due the last day of class.  2500-3000 words on a topic pre-approved by the instructor.  The term paper may be used to drop a low midterm grade, or in place of the third in-class exam, at the student's discretion.

 

Instructor: Prof. Rob Koons.  Phone: 471-5530.  koons@mail.utexas.edu

PHL 323K • Metaphysics

42450 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 930am-1100am WAG 208
show description

This course is an overview of some of the central topics in metaphysics.
Metaphysics, generally speaking, is the branch of philosophy concerned
with the nature of reality; metaphysicians seek an understanding of the
fundamental sorts of things that constitute the world, as well as of the
structure of the world itself.
We will begin by focusing on issues surrounding one particular sort of
thing: persons. In particular, we will be considering different views
regarding what it is to be a person and for a person to persist through
change. This will lead to more general discussions of the nature and
structure of time and the persistence of things through temporal change.
From there we’ll take up the issue of composition. In particular, we’ll be
concerned with the following question: Under what circumstances do
some things (parts) compose another thing (whole)? We’ll then turn to the
problems of universals and individuation – how do we account for (i)
similarities among distinct things and (ii) the distinctness of exactly
similar things? We’ll conclude the course with a discussion of possible
worlds.

PHL 301K • Ancient Philosophy

42770 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 1000-1100 WAG 302
(also listed as C C 304C, WCV 303 )
show description

An introduction to the political ideas and theories of the ancient Greeks and Romans. We
will focus on primary texts by Plato, Aristotle, and Cicero, supplemented by some
selections from the Greek historian Thucydides and the political school of thought known
as the “Sophists”. About one-third of the course will be devoted to two role-playing
games, The Threshold of Democracy: Athens in 403 B.C., and Law an Order: Rome in
123 B. C. The first game is part of a “Reacting to the Past” method developed at Barnard
College, and the second is a simulation that I’ve created for this course. In both games,
students will be assigned different roles, e.g. Thrasybulus, a radical Democrat, Oligarch,
Supporter of Socrates, Rich Athlete--derived from the historical setting, each role being
defined largely by its game objective-exonerate Socrates, banish Socrates, condemn him
to death. Students will determine on their own, however, how best to attain their goals,
though they will receive guidance from important texts in the history of ideas
The heart of each game is persuasion. For nearly every role to which you will be
assigned, you must persuade others that your views make more sense than those of your
opponents. Your views will be informed by the texts cited in your game objectives, and
the more you draw upon these texts and the more cleverly you draw upon them, the
better. You have two ways of expressing your views: orally and in writing. Both will be
graded.
Before and after the game, the course will be conducted in the usual lecture and
discussion format, punctuated by two in-class exams.

PHL 349 • Hist Of Medieval & Renais Phl

43450 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 1000-1100 WAG 112
show description

History of Medieval Philosophy

Professor Robert C. Koons
471-5530; koons@mail.utexas.edu
Office hours: Tues. 2-3, Wed. 1-2; WAG 405

DESCRIPTION:
An examination of the most significant and representative philosophers of medieval Europe, with a view both to their historical significance and their contemporary relevance. Topics include: faith and reason, proofs of God’s existence, free will, soul and body, and the problem of universals.

TEXTS:
Most of our texts will be drawn from public web sites, including:
Aquinas’s Summa Theologica: http://www.ccel.org/a/aquinas/summa/home.html http://www.newadvent.org/summa/
Internet Medieval Sourcebook: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/sbook.html
Paul Vincent Spade’s page: http://pvspade.com/Logic/index.html
Thomas Aquinas page (Utrecht): http://www.thomasinstituut.org/thomasinstituut/scripts/index.htm
EpitemeLinks.com:    http://www.epistemelinks.com/Main/PhilosopherList.aspx?Period=Medi
John Kilcullen’s page: http://www.humanities.mq.edu.au/Ockham/medph.html
Required texts:
John A. Vella, Aristotle: A Guide for the Perplexed
Augustine, On the Free Choice of the Will
Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy
G. K. Chesterton, Saint Thomas Aquinas

EVALUATION:
Short (5-7 page) midterm paper (due October 19th)                      25%
Longer (10-12 page) term paper (rough draft due Dec. 1st; final draft due Dec. 9th) 50%
Attendance and class participation, including in-class “disputations”        25%

More detailed instructions for the paper and for the disputations will be provided as the semester progresses.
 
Phl 349
Fall 2009
Prof. Koons

SYLLABUS

Week 1. (Aug. 26-28) Jerusalem & Athens
The Bible (The New Testament): John 1:1-14; Matthew 5-7; Acts 2:1-47, 17:16-34; Romans 1:16-23; I Corinthians 1:18-31, 15:16-26; Colossians 2:8-10; Revelation 21:1-8, 22:1-5. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/
Philo of Alexandria: http://www.torreys.org/bible/philopag.html
Justin Martyr, Apology (Dialogue with Trypho), Ch. 1-6 (188-199) http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/justin-apology2.html
Tertullian, On the Flesh of Christ, ch. 4 & 5, http://www.newadvent.org/fathers/0315.htm or http://www.tertullian.org/anf/anf03/anf03-39.htm#P9237_2537879
Origen, On Classical Learning: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/origen1.html

Week 2. (Aug. 31, Sep. 2-4) Faith & Reason: Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Augustine & Boethius
Plato, The Timaeus http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/timaeus.html or Perseus http://www.perseus.tufts.edu/hopper 21d-34c, 37d-38c, 39e-42c, 48a-50d, 55a-e,
Vella, Aristotle: A Guide to the Perplexed, pp. 75-86
Plotinus, The Enneads (Ennead 1, Tractate 6) http://classics.mit.edu/Plotinus/enneads.html or http://www.ccel.org/ccel/plotinus/enneads.htm
Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, pp. xxi-xxxiv, (Introduction), pp. 3-29.
Augustine, The City of God, Book VIII: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/jod/augustine.html

Week 3. (Sept. 7-9-11) Faith & Reason: Muslim Philosophy, Anselm, Bonaventure
Ibn Sina (Avicenna): http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ei/sina.htm
Al-Ghazali, The Incoherence of the Philosophers (introduction):  http://www.ghazali.org/works/taf-eng.pdf
Ibn-Rushd (Averroes), Harmony of Philosophy and Religion: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/1190averroes.html
Bonaventure, The Mind's Road to God, Prologue, ch. 1-3: http://www.intratext.com/IXT/ENG0071/_P8.HTM

Week 4. (Sept. 14-16-18) Faith & Reason: Aquinas
Chesterton, Saint Thomas Aquinas, chapters 1, 3 and 8 (1-28, 45-73, 152-166).
Aquinas, Summa Theologica: Part I, Q2 (A1, 2), Q12 (A 2, 4, 11, 12), Q13 (A 6, 10); Part II-II, Q2 (A4, 10).   http://www.ccel.org/a/aquinas/summa/home.html http://www.newadvent.org/summa/

Week 5. (Sept. 21-23-25) Proving God’s Existence: Boethius, Anselm
Boethius, Consolation of Philosophy, p. 78-115 (Book III).
Aquinas, Summa Theologica: Part II-II, Q6 (1-4).
Anslem, Proslogion (Preface, ch. 1-6): http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/anselm-proslogium.html

Week 6. (Sept. 28-30, Oct. 2) Proving God’s Existence: Plato & Aristotle; The Kalam Tradition
Plato, The Laws, Book X: http://classics.mit.edu/Plato/laws.10.x.html
Al-Ghazali, The Incoherence of the Philosophers (problems 1-3):  http://www.ghazali.org/works/taf-eng.pdf
Ibn Rushd (Averroes), Incoherence of the Incoherence, 1st and 3rd Discussions: http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ir/tt/index.html
Aquinas, On the Eternity of the World: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/aquinas-eternity.html
Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part I, Q. 46 (A 1, 2)

Week 7. (Oct. 5-7-9) Proving God’s Existence: al-Farabi, ibn Sina, Maimonides, Aquinas
Article on Al-Farabi: http://www.muslimphilosophy.com/ip/rep/H021.htm
Chesterton, Saint Thomas Aquinas, pp. 144-148.
Aquinas, On Being and Essence, ch. 3-5: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/aquinas-esse.html

Week 8. (Oct. 12-14-16) Proving God’s Existence: Aquinas, Scotus
Aquinas, Summa Contra Gentiles, Book I, ch. 13-23, 38-44, 72; Book II, ch. 6-16. 22:  http://www.nd.edu/Departments/Maritain/etext/gc.htm
Scotus, A Treatise on God as First Principle, chapters 1-3: http://www.ewtn.com/library/THEOLOGY/GODASFIR.HTM

Week 9. (Oct. 19-21-23) Ethics: Eudaemonism in Aristotle, Boethius & Aquinas; Natural Law & Just War
Vela, Aristotle the Philosopher, pp. 116-157.
Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, pp. 116-146. (Book IV)
Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part I-II, Q1 (A1-8), Q3 (A8), Q4 (A1), Q5 (A8), Q95 (A2).
Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part II-II, Q40 (A1).

Midterm paper due: October 19th.

Week 10. (Oct. 26-28-30) Free Will: Aristotle, Augustine & Boethius
Augustine, On the Free Choice of the Will.
Augustine, The City of God, Book XII: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/jod/augustine.html
Boethius, The Consolation of Philosophy, pp. 147-169. (Book V)

Week 11. (Nov. 2-4-6) Free Will in Aquinas
Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part I-II, Q10 (A1-4), Q17 (A5, 6), Q19 (A5-6), Q78 (A1).

 
Week 12. (Nov. 9-11-13) Free Will in Scotus & Ockham; Theories of Knowledge
Lecture (Kilcullen): http://www.humanities.mq.edu.au/Ockham/z3607.html
Article: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/free-will-foreknowledge/
Chesterton, Saint Thomas Aquinas, pp. 118-144, 148-151 (Chapters VI and VII).
Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part I, Q78 (A 1, 3, 4), Q79 (A1-6), Q84 (A5,6), Q85 (A 1, 2), Q86 (A1)

Week 13. (Nov. 16-18-20) Soul and Body
Vela, Aristotle: Guide to the Perplexed, pp. 87-115.
Aquinas, On the Principles of Nature:  http://www.fordham.edu/gsas/phil/klima/principles.htm
Aquinas, Summa Theologica, Part I, Q 75, Q76.   
Aquinas, On Being and Essence, ch. 1-2: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/aquinas-esse.html

Week 14. (Nov. 23-25) Problem of Universals: Aristotle, Boethius, Abelard, Aquinas
Vela, Aristotle: Guide to the Perplexed, pp. 26-46, 58-62.
Boethius, Commentary on the Isagoge of Porphyry, Book I, ch. 10 & 11: http://www.philosophy.leeds.ac.uk/GMR/hmp/texts/ancient/boethius/bisagoge1.html
Aquinas, On Being and Essence, ch. 3: http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/aquinas-esse.html

Week 15. (Nov. 30-Dec. 2-4) Problem of Universals: Scotus and Ockahm
Lecture (Scotus): http://www.humanities.mq.edu.au/Ockham/z3606.html
Scotus, Ordinatio (Opus Oxoniense). 2 d3 p2, q1-6: http://individual.utoronto.ca/pking/editions_and_translations.html
Ockham, Ordinatio, I, dist. 2, q. 6: http://www.humanities.mq.edu.au/Ockham/wockord.html
Ockham, Summa Logicae, Part I, ch. 14-16: http://pvspade.com/Logic/docs/ockham.pdf
Lecture (Ockham): http://www.humanities.mq.edu.au/Ockham/z3608.html

 
Phl 349
Fall ‘09

Class Policies

Paper Submission/Lateness
Papers may be submitted electronically or as hard copy (in class). A full letter grade will be deducted for each day (or part thereof) beyond the due date.

The final paper may be delivered to me in my office on Dec. 9th, or emailed to me, or mailed to me at: Philosophy Dept., 1, University Station C3500, Austin, TX 78712. (In the last case, make sure that the postmark is no later than the deadline.)

Religious Holidays
A student who misses classes or other required activities, including examinations, for the observance of a religious holy day should inform the instructor as far in advance of the absence as possible, so that arrangements can be made to complete an assignment within a reasonable time after the absence.

Accommodations
The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact the Office of the Dean of Students at 471-6259, 471-6441 TTY.

Academic Integrity
Policy on Scholastic Dishonesty: Students who violate University rules on scholastic dishonesty are subject to disciplinary penalties, including the possibility of failure in the course or dismissal from the University. Policies on scholastic dishonesty will be strictly enforced. For further information please visit the Student Judicial Services Web site: http://deanofstudents.utexas.edu/sjs.

For writing assignments: if you use words or ideas that are not your own, you must cite sources. To do otherwise is to be guilty of plagiarism. We will clarify this in class – feel free to ask us about how to handle specific cases.

PHL 306 • Srch For Happiness Mid Ages-W

42180-42190 • Spring 2009
Meets MW 1000-1100 WAG 214
(also listed as WCV 303 )
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Empiricists claim that our knowledge is based on the sensory-perception experience. Rationalism defends a rational justification of our knowledge. Traditionally empiricists have constructed their arguments to explain the formation of ideas and concepts with different kinds of evidence, scientific observation, and experience. Rationalists have defended that we can explain concepts from notions such as innate ideas, a priori reasoning, or traditions. Beyond the epistemic considerations of these theses, we will also explore the logic, semantic and metaphysical implications of these polemics, attending specifically to questions such as the potential/actual distinction, the problematic of universal concepts, the existence of abstract objects and the inductive/deductive and analytic/synthetic dichotomies.

The main purpose of this course is to explore the basis and skeptical challenges postulated by Empiricism through the analysis of the works of three of its most representative thinkers: Aristotle, David Hume, and Rudolf Carnap. We will read various texts by these authors to understand what it means to be an empiricist, how the empiricist theses have been developed for centuries, and how their arguments challenge some common-sense intuitions. We will also attend to possible criticisms of the ideas by these particular empiricists. 

PHL 327 • Contemporary Christian Philos

42390-42400 • Spring 2009
Meets MW 1100-1200 JGB 2.218
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We will examine recent work in philosophy that is written from a Christian point of view or that examines philosophical questions that arise within the framework of the Christian faith. The issues to be covered include the relationship between faith and reason, the possibility of demonstrating the existence of God, the problem of evil, the problem of reconciling divine foreknowledge and sovereignty with human responsibility, and the relation of God to time.  Special emphasis will be placed on the relevance of Christian philosophy to foundational questions concerning reality, knowledge and ethics. 

Prerequisites: no prior work in philosophy is expected.  Non-majors are encouraged.

Texts:

G. K. Chesterton, St. Thomas Aquinas

C. S. Lewis, The Abolition of Man

Josef Pieper, Leisure: The Basis of Culture

Francis A. Schaeffer, He is There and He is not Silent

Kelly J. Clark, Return to Reason

Phl 327 Supplemental Readings, available at UT Library electronic reserves. 

Evaluation:

• Three in-class exams (combination of essay and multiple choice): 25% each (including an in-class test on Dec. 7).  There will be an optional, comprehensive final that can be counted for 25% of the course grade, permitting a student to drop the lowest in-class test grade.

• Short papers (eight 2-page responses to the readings): 10%. Short papers are to be turned in at the beginning of class on Monday, responding to the coming week's reading.

• Class and section participation: 15%

• Optional term paper: due the last day of class.  2500-3000 words on a topic pre-approved by the instructor.  The term paper may be used to drop a low midterm grade, or in place of the third in-class exam, at the student's discretion.

 

Instructor: Prof. Rob Koons.  Phone: 471-5530.  koons@mail.utexas.edu

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