PHI 200

Philosophy and the Modern Mind


Daniel Garber

An introduction to modern philosophy, from the Renaissance to the present, with careful study of works by Descartes, Hume, Kant, and others. Emphasis is placed upon the complex relations of philosophy to the development of modern science, the social and political history of the West, and man's continuing attempt to achieve a satisfactory worldview. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 201

Introductory Logic


Robert James Hirsch

A study of reasoning and its role in science and everyday life, with special attention to the development of a system of symbolic logic, to probabilistic reasoning, and to problems in decision theory. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 202 / CHV 202

Introduction to Moral Philosophy


Sarah E. McGrath

An introductory survey of ethical thought, covering such topics as the demands that morality makes, the justification of these demands, and our reasons for obeying them. Readings from both the historical and contemporary philosophical literature. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 203

Introduction to Metaphysics and Epistemology


Gideon Avram Rosen

An introduction to some of the central questions of pure philosophy through their treatment by traditional and contemporary writers: questions concerning mind and matter; causation and free will; space and time; meaning, truth, and reality; knowledge, perception, belief, and thought. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 204

Introduction to the Philosophy of Science


An inquiry into the form and function of concepts, laws, and theories, and into the character of explanation and prediction, in the natural and the social sciences; and an examination of some philosophical problems concerning scientific method and scientific knowledge. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 205 / CLA 205 / HLS 208

Introduction to Ancient Philosophy


Hendrik Lorenz

Designed to introduce the student to the Greek contribution to the philosophical and scientific ideas of the Western world through study of works of Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Lucretius in English translation. Topics in moral and political philosophy, as well as epistemology and metaphysics, will be included. Attention will be focused on the quality of the arguments presented by the philosophers. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 218 / ELE 218 / EGR 218

Learning Theory and Epistemology


Gilbert H. Harman, Sanjeev Ramesh Kulkarni

An accessible introduction for all students to recent results by logicians, computer scientists, psychologists, engineers, and statisticians concerning the nature and limits of learning. Topics include truth and underdetermination, induction, computability, language learning, pattern recognition, neural networks, and the role of simplicity in theory choice. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PSY 237 / PHI 237

The Psychology and Philosophy of Rationality


Eldar Shafir, Philip Nicholas Johnson-Laird, Gilbert H. Harman

The human capacity for rationality is fundamental; however there is ample evidence for irrationality in human affairs--including notions such as hysteria, addiction, lack of self-control, wishful thinking, and self-deception. This course considers both errors and achievements, providing an introduction to a wide array of topics, such as logic, probability, decision theory, relativism, and psychopathology. It provides a background for further study of subjects such as logic, philosophy of mind, cognitive psychology, cognitive science, the psychology of judgment and choice, and the psychology of thinking. One two-hour lecture, one preceptorial.

PHI 300 / HLS 300

Plato and His Predecessors


Benjamin Charles Atkin Morison

Readings in translation from pre-Socratic philosophers and from Plato's dialogues, to provide a broad history of Greek philosophy through Plato. Topics covered will include: Socrates's method of dialectic, his conceptions of moral virtue and human knowledge; Plato's theory of knowledge, metaphysics, and moral and political philosophy. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 301 / HLS 302 / CLA 303

Aristotle and His Successors


Benjamin Charles Atkin Morison

Aristotle's most important contributions in the areas of logic, scientific method, philosophy of nature, metaphysics, psychology, ethics, and politics. Several of his major works will be read in translation. Aristotle's successors in the Greco-Roman period will be studied briefly. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 302

British Empiricism


Daniel Garber

A critical study of the metaphysical and epistemological doctrines of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 303 / ECS 306

Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz


Daniel Garber

Readings in continental philosophy of the early modern period, with intensive study of the works of Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz. Topics to be specially considered include: knowledge, understanding, and sense-perception; existence and necessity; the nature of the self and its relation to the physical world. Two 90-minute classes.

PHI 304

Topics in Kant's Philosophy


Desmond P. Hogan

Analysis of the Critique of Pure Reason, with some attention to other aspects of Kant's philosophy, such as his views on ethics, aesthetics, and teleological judgment. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 306 / COM 393



Alexander Nehamas

An examination of various issues raised in, and by, Nietzsche's writings. Apart from discussing views like the eternal recurrence, the overman, and the will to power, this course considers Nietzsche's ambiguous relationship with philosophy, the literary status of his work, and his influence on contemporary thought. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or equivalent preparation in the history of modern thought or literature. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 307 / CHV 311

Systematic Ethics


A study of important ethical theories with special reference to the problem of the objectivity of morality and to the relation between moral reasoning and reasoning about other subjects. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 309 / CHV 309 / HUM 309

Political Philosophy


Johann David Anand Frick

A systematic study of problems and concepts connected with political institutions: sovereignty, law, liberty, and political obligation. Topics may include representation, citizenship, power and authority, revolution, civil disobedience, totalitarianism, and legal and political rights. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 311

Personal Identity


Mark Johnston

This course will focus on the conditions for personal identity over time, with implications for the beginning and end of life. Students will investigate what it is rational to care about in survival or continued existence, and whether that should change if it is discovered either that there is no human soul, or there is no self or subject behind our various conscious acts.

PHI 312

Intermediate Logic


Hans P. Halvorson

A development of logic from the mathematical viewpoint, including propositional and predicate calculus, consequence and deduction, truth and satisfaction, the Gödel completeness theorem, the Löwenheim-Skolem theorem, and applications to Boolean algebra, axiomatic theories, and the theory of models as time permits. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Prerequisite: 201 or instructor's permission.

PHI 313

Theory of Knowledge


Adam Newman Elga

A critical study of important concepts and problems involved in the characterization, analysis, and appraisal of certain types of human knowledge. Such topics as sense perception, knowledge and belief, necessity, memory, and truth will be treated. Writings of contemporary analytic philosophers will be read and discussed. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 314

Philosophy of Mathematics


John P. Burgess

A study of the nature of mathematics based on a logical and philosophical examination of its fundamental concepts and methods. Two lectures, one preceptorial. Some previous work in mathematics or logic at the college level is highly desirable, but no one particular branch of mathematics is presupposed in the course.

PHI 315 / CHV 315 / CGS 315

Philosophy of Mind


Jonathan Peter Robert Thakkar

Investigation of some of the following (or similar) topics: the mind-body problem, personal identity, the unity of consciousness, the unconscious, the problem of other minds, action, intention, and the will. Readings primarily from recent sources. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 317

Philosophy of Language


Delia Graff Fara

An examination of the nature of language through the study of such topics as truth, reference, meaning, linguistic structure, how language differs from other symbol systems, relations between thought and language and language and the world, the use of language, and the relevance of theories concerning these to selected philosophical issues. Two 90-minute classes.

PHI 318



Boris C. Kment

An intensive treatment of some of the central problems of metaphysics, such as substance, universals, space and time, causality, and freedom of the will. Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 319 / CHV 319

Normative Ethics


Johann David Anand Frick

A detailed examination of different theories concerning how we should live our lives. Special emphasis will be placed on the conflict between consequentialist theories (for example, utilitarianism) and nonconsequentialist theories (for example, common sense morality). Two lectures, one preceptorial.

PHI 320

Philosophy and Literature


A critical study of works of literature in conjunction with philosophical essays, concentrating on two or three philosophical themes, such as the will, self-identity, self-deception, freedom, and time. Two lectures, one preceptorial.