PHI 550: First Year Philosophy Graduate Seminar

Meeting time/location: Thursdays 9:30-11:30a at Marx 201.

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A seminar for Princeton first-year graduate students in philosophy. We will cover a range of topics with an emphasis on careful analysis of arguments by engaging in paired in-class discussions, completing short writing assignments, and creating “argument maps” (visual representations of the structure of arguments).


  • Use userid “guest” and a password (to be distributed in class) to access this folder containing the readings (along with optional background readings).
  • Since we will be sometimes create argument maps in small groups, please always bring a charged, wifi-enabled laptop to class.
  • Before the first session (“Killing and letting die”), please:
  • The work you do for this course may be anonymously used for the benefit of other students. If you would prefer that your work not be used in this way, please email the course instructor at any time before or during the semester. No explanation is required: an email to the instructor with subject line “I opt out of my [name of class] [semester] work being anonymously used” is sufficient. Students who opt out will not be penalized in any way. Also, if you are generally ok with such use but there is a particular assignment you’d prefer to be kept private, just include a note saying so at the top of that assignment.
  • When we split up for individual or small-group work in class, if you should finish the assigned work or get stuck, please let me know. Please do not do other work or use phone etc.


(Readings subject to change.)