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Michael Stoff, Director 305 East 23rd St, CLA 2.102, (G3600) Austin, TX 78712-1250 • 512-471-1442

Fall 2004

T C PHL • PHL 610QA: Problems of Knowledge and Valuation

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
41455 to 41470 Multiple Sections
Sainsbury

Course Description

First semester: Moral problems and theories. The aim of this semester is to consider some current moral problems (the proper treatment of non-human animals, affirmative action, global inequalities, pornography and offensive speech, and capital punishment) and some of the main philosophical theories of morals, those propounded by David Hume (f. 1750), Immanuel Kant (f. 1780), and John Stuart Mill (f. 1860). We will try to improve our views on these problems, and consider how theory and practice can interact constructively. The course will be conducted through Blackboard.

About the Professor Mark Sainsbury taught at the University of Essex, Bedford College London, and King's College London before coming to the University of Texas at Austin. He has written four books (Russell, Paradoxes, Logical Forms, and Departing from Frege) and his fifth, entitled Reference without Referents, is currently in press.

Texts

Peter Singer, Practical Ethics Daniel Bonevac, ed., Today’s Moral Issues. This contains excerpts from Hume, Mill and Kant, as well as groups of articles on specific practical problems. Everyone should also read A. Martinich’s Philosophical Writing (preferably second edition) within the first month of the course, though it will not be discussed in class. Background Reading: Jostein Gaarder, Sophie’s World. This is a history of philosophy in the form of a novel. It is especially useful for orienting the philosophers and topics of our work within a broader framework.

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