Courses

To see a complete list of courses offered and their descriptions, visit the online course catalog.

The courses listed below are provided by Student Information Services (SIS). This listing provides a snapshot of immediately available courses within this department and may not be complete. Course registration information can be found at https://sis.jhu.edu/classes.

AS.150.118 - Introduction to Formal Logic

An introduction to symbolic logic and probability. In the first two parts of the course we study formal ways of determining whether a conclusion of an argument follows from its premises. Included are truth-functional logic and predicate logic. In the third part we study the basic rules of probability, and learn how to make probability calculations and decisions in life. Co-listed with AS.150.632 (for graduate students) (01-F 11:00-11:50am).

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Achinstein, Peter
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: MW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AM
Status: Open

AS.150.237 - Foundations of Modern Political Philosophy

This course is an introduction to modern political philosophy through an intensive study of the classic texts. The focus will be on the nature and limits of political authority under modern social conditions. Authors included are Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Mill.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Moyar, Dean
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: MW 12:00PM - 12:50PM, F 1:00PM - 1:50PM
Status: Open

AS.150.205 - Introduction to the History of Modern Philosophy

An overview of philosophical thought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. We shall focus on fundamental questions in epistemology (knowledge, how we acquire it, its scope and limits), metaphysics (the ultimate nature of reality, the relation of mind and body, free will), and theology (the existence and nature of God, God’s relation to the world, whether knowledge of such things is possible): all questions that arose in dramatic ways as a result of the rise of modern science. The principal philosophers to be discussed are Descartes, Locke, Hume and Kant, though we shall also make the acquaintance of Spinoza, Leibniz and Berkeley.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Williams, Michael
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: MW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AM
Status: Open

AS.150.118 - Introduction to Formal Logic

An introduction to symbolic logic and probability. In the first two parts of the course we study formal ways of determining whether a conclusion of an argument follows from its premises. Included are truth-functional logic and predicate logic. In the third part we study the basic rules of probability, and learn how to make probability calculations and decisions in life. Co-listed with AS.150.632 (for graduate students) (01-F 11:00-11:50am).

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Achinstein, Peter
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: MW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AM
Status: Open

AS.150.205 - Intro Hist of Mod Philos

An overview of philosophical thought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. We shall focus on fundamental questions in epistemology (knowledge, how we acquire it, its scope and limits), metaphysics (the ultimate nature of reality, the relation of mind and body, free will), and theology (the existence and nature of God, God’s relation to the world, whether knowledge of such things is possible): all questions that arose in dramatic ways as a result of the rise of modern science. The principal philosophers to be discussed are Descartes, Locke, Hume and Kant, though we shall also make the acquaintance of Spinoza, Leibniz and Berkeley.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Williams, Michael
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: MW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 10:00AM - 10:50AM
Status: Open

AS.150.220 - Introduction to Moral Philosophy

The class will serve as a high level introduction to moral philosophy. No background in philosophy is required. We examine three classic theories in normative ethics (virtue ethics, Kantian moral philosophy, and consequentialism), and challenges to those theories. We also cover topics in meta-ethics (with a focus on reasons and values).

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bok, Hilary
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: MW 12:00PM - 12:50PM, F 12:00PM - 12:50PM
Status: Open

AS.150.130 - Dystopian Dreams - Utopian Ideals

In this course, we will be exploring foundational questions of philosophy through classic utopias and pop cultural dystopias.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Englert, Alexander Tilghman
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: TTh 12:00PM - 1:15PM
Status: Waitlist Only

AS.150.260 - Introduction to Metaphysics

Metaphysics addresses fundamental questions about the nature and structure of reality. This course will offer an introduction to metaphysics, and a survey of metaphysical debates about topics including time, causation, personal identity, God and free will.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Melamed, Yitzhak Yohanan
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: MW 10:00AM - 10:50AM, F 10:00AM - 10:50AM
Status: Open

AS.150.237 - Foundations of Modern Political Philosophy

This course is an introduction to modern political philosophy through an intensive study of the classic texts. The focus will be on the nature and limits of political authority under modern social conditions. Authors included are Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau and Mill.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Moyar, Dean
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: MW 12:00PM - 12:50PM, F 12:00PM - 12:50PM
Status: Open

AS.150.220 - Introduction to Moral Philosophy

The class will serve as a high level introduction to moral philosophy. No background in philosophy is required. We examine three classic theories in normative ethics (virtue ethics, Kantian moral philosophy, and consequentialism), and challenges to those theories. We also cover topics in meta-ethics (with a focus on reasons and values).

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bok, Hilary
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: MW 12:00PM - 12:50PM, F 12:00PM - 12:50PM
Status: Open

AS.150.307 - Plato's Phaedrus

This is a reading course. Together we will do a close reading of one of Plato's masterpieces, the Phaedrus. We will also use this text to address general questions of interpretation, such as how to approach a philosophical classic, how to discern its underlying idea, etc.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Forster, Eckart
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: W 10:00AM - 12:30PM
Status: Waitlist Only

AS.150.260 - Introduction to Metaphysics

Metaphysics addresses fundamental questions about the nature and structure of reality. This course will offer an introduction to metaphysics, and a survey of metaphysical debates about topics including time, causation, personal identity, God and free will.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Melamed, Yitzhak Yohanan
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: MW 10:00AM - 10:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AM
Status: Open

AS.150.300 - Prometheus Editorial Workshop

Prometheus is an international undergraduate philosophy journal published by students at Johns Hopkins University. The purpose of the journal is to promote philosophic discourse of the highest standard by offering students an opportunity to engage in open discussion, participate in the production and publication of an academic journal, and establish a community of aspiring philosophers. Students enrolled in this workshop will act as the staff readers for the journal. For more information, please visit www.prometheus-journal.com. Prerequisite: MUST have taken one philosophy course.

Credits: 1.00
Instructor: Kaczmarek, Maegan Elizabeth
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: T 7:00PM - 8:00PM
Status: Open

AS.150.404 - The Idea of Power

The Idea of Power surveys seminal texts in the history of political thought on the nature, promise, and dangers of political and social power; it also critically engages contemporary texts on race and gender power relations

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Lebron, Christopher Joseph
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
Status: Waitlist Only

AS.150.552 - Honors Project

Sec. 01 - Staff Sec. 02 - Forster Sec. 03 - Gross Sec. 04 - Moyar Sec. 05 - Rynasiewicz Sec. 06 - Lebron Sec. 07 - Bok Sec. 08 - Bett Sec. 09 - Williams (Michael) Sec. 10 - Bledin Sec. 11 - Achinstein Sec. 12 - Melamed Sec. 13 - Taylor

Credits: 0.00 - 3.00
Instructor:
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.150.356 - Political Philosophy and Public Health Ethics

In 2015, Rand Paul generated controversy by insisting that parents should have complete discretion over whether to vaccinate their children. When pressed to come up with a defense for this policy, Paul replied, "The state doesn't own your children. Parents own the children, and it is an issue of freedom and public health." His rationale for his policy proposal and the responses to it hint at several fundamental questions about the role of the State as it pertains to producing health, as well as more practically oriented questions concerning policy. In this seminar, we will consider both sorts of questions. We will consider the merits of and objections to various policies such as cigarette bans, mandatory seatbelt or helmet laws for motorists, taxes for sugary beverages, and prohibitions of the private sale of organs. We will also ask more philosophical questions: When discussing public health, what constitutes 'the public’? And how should we connect public health and policy measures to salient concepts such as legitimacy, justice, coercion, manipulation, paternalism, autonomy, liberty, privacy, and parental rights? In asking these questions, both at the level of policy and more philosophically, we will engage with a variety of political theories, including various strands of feminism, anarchism, libertarianism, perfectionism, critical race theory, leftist theories, broadly consequentialist theories, and public reason liberalism. Must have some background in philosophy or bioethics.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bernstein, Justin
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: M 5:00PM - 7:30PM
Status: Closed

AS.150.458 - The Biggest Hits in Philosophy of Science (20th and 21st Centuries)

Readings from Duhem, Carnap, Hempel, Popper, Quine, Kuhn, Feyerabend, van Fraassen, and others who got us where we are in the field today. Quine said: Philosophy of science is philosophy enough. Is it?

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Achinstein, Peter
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: T 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Status: Open

AS.150.424 - Liberalism

In Liberalism, we will first survey major texts, From Hobbes though Rawls, that define the liberal tradition in modernity; we then turn to more contemporary issues to measure the virtues as well as the limits of liberal societies.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Lebron, Christopher Joseph
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: T 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Status: Canceled

AS.150.512 - Directed Study

Sec. 01 - Staff Sec. 02 - Forster Sec. 03 - Gross Sec. 04 - Moyar Sec. 05 - Rynasiewicz Sec. 06 - Lebron Sec. 07 - Bok Sec. 08 - Bett Sec. 09 - Williams (Michael) Sec. 10 - Bledin Sec. 11 - Achinstein Sec. 12 - Melamed Sec. 13 - Taylor

Credits: 0.00 - 3.00
Instructor: Melamed, Yitzhak Yohanan
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.150.401 - Greek Philosophy: Plato and His Predecessors

A study of pre-Socratic philosophers, especially those to whom Plato reacted; also an examination of major dialogues of Plato with emphasis upon his principal theses and characteristic methods.Cross-listed with Classics.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bett, Richard
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
Status: Open

AS.150.473 - Classics of Analytic Philosophy

A reading of some of the classic philosophical works in 20th Century Analytic Philosophy, beginning with G. Frege and ending with V.O. Quine.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Williams, Michael
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: W 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Status: Open

AS.150.552 - Honors Project

Sec. 01 - Staff Sec. 02 - Forster Sec. 03 - Gross Sec. 04 - Moyar Sec. 05 - Rynasiewicz Sec. 06 - Lebron Sec. 07 - Bok Sec. 08 - Bett Sec. 09 - Williams (Michael) Sec. 10 - Bledin Sec. 11 - Achinstein Sec. 12 - Melamed Sec. 13 - Taylor

Credits: 0.00 - 3.00
Instructor: Achinstein, Peter
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.150.552 - Honors Project

Sec. 01 - Staff Sec. 02 - Forster Sec. 03 - Gross Sec. 04 - Moyar Sec. 05 - Rynasiewicz Sec. 06 - Lebron Sec. 07 - Bok Sec. 08 - Bett Sec. 09 - Williams (Michael) Sec. 10 - Bledin Sec. 11 - Achinstein Sec. 12 - Melamed Sec. 13 - Taylor

Credits: 0.00 - 3.00
Instructor: Taylor, Elanor J.
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.194.401 - Themes in Medieval Islamic Thought

This seminar examines medieval Muslim thinkers who addressed themes at the intersection of theology, philosophy, science, and ethics: the definition of the nature of God’s attributes, His uniqueness, transcendence and omnipotence; human freewill and the limits of human knowledge; the nature of the world; and the relationship among reason, religion, and science. The course will look at how these and other crucial themes were addressed by major medieval philosophers and philosophical schools not only in Islam, but also in Judaism and Christianity, and highlight similarities and differences among the three major monotheistic faiths.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Ferrario, Gabriele
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: T 1:30PM - 3:50PM
Status: Open

AS.150.552 - Honors Project

Sec. 01 - Staff Sec. 02 - Forster Sec. 03 - Gross Sec. 04 - Moyar Sec. 05 - Rynasiewicz Sec. 06 - Lebron Sec. 07 - Bok Sec. 08 - Bett Sec. 09 - Williams (Michael) Sec. 10 - Bledin Sec. 11 - Achinstein Sec. 12 - Melamed Sec. 13 - Taylor

Credits: 0.00 - 3.00
Instructor: Forster, Eckart
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.150.512 - Directed Study

Sec. 01 - Staff Sec. 02 - Forster Sec. 03 - Gross Sec. 04 - Moyar Sec. 05 - Rynasiewicz Sec. 06 - Lebron Sec. 07 - Bok Sec. 08 - Bett Sec. 09 - Williams (Michael) Sec. 10 - Bledin Sec. 11 - Achinstein Sec. 12 - Melamed Sec. 13 - Taylor

Credits: 0.00 - 3.00
Instructor: Achinstein, Peter
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.150.455 - Ethics And Animals

Are there moral constraints on our treatment of animals? If so, what are they, and how might they be justified?

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bok, Hilary
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: F 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Status: Waitlist Only

AS.150.512 - Directed Study

Sec. 01 - Staff Sec. 02 - Forster Sec. 03 - Gross Sec. 04 - Moyar Sec. 05 - Rynasiewicz Sec. 06 - Lebron Sec. 07 - Bok Sec. 08 - Bett Sec. 09 - Williams (Michael) Sec. 10 - Bledin Sec. 11 - Achinstein Sec. 12 - Melamed Sec. 13 - Taylor

Credits: 0.00 - 3.00
Instructor: Forster, Eckart
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.213.423 - Reflections on Modernity

Taught in English. Reflections on Modernity takes up the problems conflicts, and possibilities of modernity in aesthetic, literary, and philosophical texts. Questions about the modern self, our relationship to nature, to urban experience, to history and language, and the role of the artist and writer in reflecting on modern life. Texts include works by such authors as Kant, Nietzsche, Baudelaire, Weber, Rilke, Hofmannsthal, Simmel, Heidegger, Habermas, Foucault.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Gosetti, Jennifer Anna
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: T 3:00PM - 5:30PM
Status: Waitlist Only

AS.150.459 - Counterfactual Reasoning, Normative & Descriptive Aspects

Counterfactual reasoning is reasoning about what would be the case if things had been other than they are: If it had been sunny and so I didn't run into that store for cover from the rain, maybe I would never have met my future partner! How ought one to reason counterfactually? How do people in fact do it? Counterfactual reasoning might seem like a narrow topic, but it is of fundamental importance to both scientific and everyday inquiry, where it is intimately connected to the use of imagination, planning for the future, assessment of and learning from the past, providing explanations, understanding fictions, and constructing experiments. This course will explore both normative and empirical aspects of counterfactual reasoning, drawing upon readings in philosophy, psychology, and linguistics. An overarching goal of this course is to arrive at a better understanding of counterfactuality that is informed by research across these different disciplines.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bledin, Justin, Gross, Steven
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: F 10:00AM - 12:30PM
Status: Open

AS.150.330 - Decisions, Games & Social Choice

We investigate rational decision making at the individual and group level. In the first section of the course on decision theory, we consider how a single rational agent will act in a choice situation given her knowledge, or lack thereof, about the world and her particular risk profile. In the second section on game theory, we explore different kinds of competitive and cooperative strategic interactions between agents, and we define different kinds of solutions, or equilibria, of these games. We also apply game theory to the study of morality, convention, and the social contract. In the final section of the course on social choice theory, we turn to group decision making with a focus on the impossibility results of Arrow and Sen.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bledin, Justin
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: TTh 1:30PM - 2:45PM
Status: Waitlist Only

AS.150.436 - Philosophy of Gender

In this class we will examine philosophical questions about gender, and about the intersections between gender and other social categories including race, class and sexuality. We will focus specifically on questions about the metaphysics of gender and other social categories.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Taylor, Elanor J.
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: MW 4:30PM - 5:45PM
Status: Open

AS.150.413 - The Philosophy of Afrofuturism II

Afrofuturism II explores the intersection of race, philosophy, and the political significance of black sci-fi and fantasy. In this course we will focus on two broad areas - multimedia representations of race in sci-fi and fantasy, and Afrofuturist sagas built to stand alongside classics like The Lord Of The Rings trilogy.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Lebron, Christopher Joseph
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: T 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Status: Canceled

AS.150.552 - Honors Project

Sec. 01 - Staff Sec. 02 - Forster Sec. 03 - Gross Sec. 04 - Moyar Sec. 05 - Rynasiewicz Sec. 06 - Lebron Sec. 07 - Bok Sec. 08 - Bett Sec. 09 - Williams (Michael) Sec. 10 - Bledin Sec. 11 - Achinstein Sec. 12 - Melamed Sec. 13 - Taylor

Credits: 0.00 - 3.00
Instructor: Melamed, Yitzhak Yohanan
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.225.328 - The Existential Drama: Philosophy and Theatre of the Absurd

Existentialism, a powerful movement in modern drama and theatre, has had a profound influence on contemporary political thought, ethics, and psychology, and has transformed our very notion of how to stage a play. Selected readings and lectures on the philosophy of Kierkegaard, Nietszche, Camus and Sartre -- and discussion of works for the stage by Sartre, Ionesco, Genet, Beckett, Albee, Pinter, Athol Fugard (with Nkani & Nshone), Heiner Müller and the late plays of Caryl Churchill. Opportunities for projects on Dürrenmatt, Frisch, Havel, Witkiewicz, and Mrozek.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Martin, Joseph H
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: M 3:00PM - 5:30PM
Status: Open

AS.150.512 - Directed Study

Sec. 01 - Staff Sec. 02 - Forster Sec. 03 - Gross Sec. 04 - Moyar Sec. 05 - Rynasiewicz Sec. 06 - Lebron Sec. 07 - Bok Sec. 08 - Bett Sec. 09 - Williams (Michael) Sec. 10 - Bledin Sec. 11 - Achinstein Sec. 12 - Melamed Sec. 13 - Taylor

Credits: 0.00 - 3.00
Instructor:
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.150.512 - Directed Study

Sec. 01 - Staff Sec. 02 - Forster Sec. 03 - Gross Sec. 04 - Moyar Sec. 05 - Rynasiewicz Sec. 06 - Lebron Sec. 07 - Bok Sec. 08 - Bett Sec. 09 - Williams (Michael) Sec. 10 - Bledin Sec. 11 - Achinstein Sec. 12 - Melamed Sec. 13 - Taylor

Credits: 0.00 - 3.00
Instructor: Taylor, Elanor J.
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Closed