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: Waitlist Only

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.150.118 - 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: Waitlist Only

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: Waitlist Only

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.150.237 - 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.150.130 - 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:
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: Waitlist Only

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: Waitlist Only

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: 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.150.260 - 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.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: 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: Melamed, Yitzhak Yohanan
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Approval Required

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: 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: 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:
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Approval Required

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.150.455 - 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.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: Achinstein, Peter
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Approval Required

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: 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: Forster, Eckart
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings:
Status: Approval Required

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: Approval Required

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.150.512 - 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: Approval Required

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: Staff
Term: Spring 2019
Meetings: M 5:00PM - 7:30PM
Status: Approval Required

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: Approval Required

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: Approval Required

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: Approval Required

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: Open

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.150.512 - 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: Approval Required

AS.150.195 - Freshman Seminar: Ancient Greek Ethics

This seminar is an introduction to the tradition in ethics known as eudaimonism, or virtue theory. The starting point for this tradition is the question: How should I lead my life? Or equally, What is it to be a good person? Aristotle tends to dominate contemporary discussions of Greek ethics, but we read more widely. We study selections from the Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, and the Skeptics.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Theunissen, L Nandi
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: TTh 12:00PM - 1:15PM
Status: Canceled

AS.150.101 - Freshman Seminar: Climate Ethics

It is no secret that the threat of global climate change raises difficult scientific, technological, and policy questions. However the threat of global climate change also raises profound ethical questions. For instance, what do present generations owe future generations? Who if anyone should bear more of the burden of mitigating climate change--rich countries or individuals, those more historically responsible for greenhouse gas emissions, those who currently emit the most, or some other group? What exactly is the right distribution? What do residents of relatively-unaffected countries owe to those displaced by climate change? Are we obligated to accept them as refugees, or is it permissible to refuse them entry? Do those countries most responsible for climate change owe reparations to those most affected by it? Do oil companies? Although these and other ethical questions have figured less prominently in public debate and discussions by policymakers in recent years, they are arguably more important because more fundamental: after all, it is ultimately our ethical stances that determine which scientific, technological, and policy questions we think matter and how we think about them. In this class, we will focus on these and other, related ethical questions raised by the threat of global climate change, connecting them where possible with related questions in political philosophy, ethics, and policy.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: McBee, Joshua Drew
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 3:00PM - 4:15PM
Status: Open

AS.150.201 - Introduction to Greek Philosophy

A survey of the earlier phase of Greek philosophy. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle will be discussed, as well as two groups of thinkers who preceded them, usually known as the pre-Socratics and the Sophists.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bett, Richard
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 10:00AM - 10:50AM, F 10:00AM - 10:50AM
Status: Open

AS.150.136 - Philosophy & Science: An Introduction to Both

Philosophers and scientists raise important questions about the nature of the physical world, the mental world, the relationship between them, and the right methods to use in their investigations of these worlds. The answers they present are very different. Scientists are usually empiricists, and want to answer questions by experiment and observation. Philosophers don’t want to do this, but defend their views a priori. Why? Can both be right? Readings will present philosophical and scientific views about the world and our knowledge of it. They will include selections from major historical and contemporary figures in philosophy and science. This course has no prerequisites in philosophy or science.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Achinstein, Peter
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 12:00PM - 12:50PM
Status: Open

AS.040.241 - The Greeks and Their Emotions

This seminar is meant as an introduction to the study of ancient emotions, with a particular emphasis on how the Greeks of the Archaic, Classical and Hellenistic periods conceptualized, portrayed and lived their emotions through linguistic, literary and artistic expression. After an analysis of how the ancient Greek terminology for the emotions differs from our own, we shall focus on the phenomenon of emotion as deeply rooted in the physical body, and in light of this we will contemplate (and question) its universality. Texts will be read in translation. No knowledge of ancient Greek required.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Asuni, Michele
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 4:30PM - 5:45PM
Status: Open

AS.150.130 - Dystopian Dreams - Utopian Ideals

In this course, we will be exploring fundamental questions of philosophy through the lenses of dystopias (in film, television, and literature) as well as utopias (in literature and philosophy). What is human nature? Do we still have duties if the world goes crazy? And do our lives maintain their meaning if we give up the notion of God? In this course, we'll be holding up dystopian and utopian mirrors to delve into questions about our everyday reality.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Englert, Alexander Tilghman
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: TTh 10:30AM - 11:45AM
Status: Canceled

AS.150.140 - Minds, Bodies, and Persons

This course is a philosophical exploration of the mind and its relation to the body, personhood, and artificial intelligence. First, we will consider competing definitions of the mind and how it fits into the world. From here, we will engage with the concept of human personhood through an examination of what it takes to remain the same person over time. We will also be considering whether machines could ever have minds in the same way that human persons do, as well as the metaphysical and practical implications of mind uploading. Through testing the boundaries of cognition and personhood through technology, we hope to bring the relationship between minds, bodies, and persons into clearer focus.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Brophy, Kathryn E
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MWF 11:00AM - 11:50AM
Status: Open

AS.150.135 - Freshman Seminar: The Philosophy of Race and Racism

The twin specters of race and racism have perennially dominated nearly every aspect of American social, economic, and political life. In this course, we will try to appreciate the nature and scope of this dominance by addressing fundamental questions about the natures, functions, and manifestations of race and racism in contemporary American life. Topics include: the "metaphysics" of race, conditions of racial membership, the moral harms introduced by racism, the psychology of racial bias, and institutional forms of racism.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: O'Donnell, Patrick A
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 12:00PM - 1:15PM
Status: Open

AS.150.136 - Philosophy & Science: An Introduction to Both

Philosophers and scientists raise important questions about the nature of the physical world, the mental world, the relationship between them, and the right methods to use in their investigations of these worlds. The answers they present are very different. Scientists are usually empiricists, and want to answer questions by experiment and observation. Philosophers don’t want to do this, but defend their views a priori. Why? Can both be right? Readings will present philosophical and scientific views about the world and our knowledge of it. They will include selections from major historical and contemporary figures in philosophy and science. This course has no prerequisites in philosophy or science.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Achinstein, Peter
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 11:00AM - 11:50AM
Status: Open

AS.150.201 - Introduction to Greek Philosophy

A survey of the earlier phase of Greek philosophy. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle will be discussed, as well as two groups of thinkers who preceded them, usually known as the pre-Socratics and the Sophists.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bett, Richard
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 10:00AM - 10:50AM, W 2:00PM - 2:50PM
Status: Open

AS.150.196 - Freshman Seminar: Being A Good Person

In this seminar we explore the virtue ethics tradition and it's pursuit to figure out what it means to be a good person. We creatively read the canonical tradition as well as less familiar texts in race & gender studies as well as fiction.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Lebron, Christopher Joseph
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: W 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Status: Open

AS.150.269 - Freshman Seminar: Philosophy of Human Rights

This course introduces students to the methods of philosophical inquiry and writing via an exploration of philosophical questions about the foundations of human rights, the modern human rights culture, and the relationships between human rights, civil rights, group rights, and women’s rights. No background in philosophy will be assumed, as the aim of the course is to teach philosophical methods while examining the language and practice of human rights, which have been central to the post-WWII global order.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Wilk, Thomas Michael
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: F 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Status: Open

AS.150.219 - Intro to Bioethics

Introduction to a wide range of moral issues arising in the biomedical fields, e.g. physician-assisted suicide, human cloning, abortion, surrogacy, and human subjects research. Cross-listed with Public Health Studies.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bok, Hilary
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 12:00PM - 12:50PM, F 12:00PM - 12:50PM
Status: Open

AS.150.235 - Philosophy of Religion

Can one prove or disprove the existence of God? What is the relation between reason and faith? Are science and religion at odds with one another? We will consider historically significant discussions of these questions as well as important contemporary writings.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Gross, Steven
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 12:00PM - 12:50PM
Status: Open

AS.150.219 - Intro to Bioethics

Introduction to a wide range of moral issues arising in the biomedical fields, e.g. physician-assisted suicide, human cloning, abortion, surrogacy, and human subjects research. Cross-listed with Public Health Studies.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bok, Hilary
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 12:00PM - 12:50PM, F 12:00PM - 12:50PM
Status: Open

AS.150.355 - Philosophy of Law

In this course we will examine major issues in the philosophy of law, including the relation of law to moral theory, the role of the Constitution in legal decisions, and the justification of punishment. No previous knowledge of law or philosophy is required.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Moyar, Dean
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: Th 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Status: Open

AS.150.235 - Philosophy of Religion

Can one prove or disprove the existence of God? What is the relation between reason and faith? Are science and religion at odds with one another? We will consider historically significant discussions of these questions as well as important contemporary writings.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Gross, Steven
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 11:00AM - 11:50AM, F 12:00PM - 12:50PM
Status: Open

AS.150.454 - The Value of Humanity

Are human beings distinctively valuable? What makes us valuable? And how should we respond to the value of human beings? The course is divided into four parts. The first part takes up questions about the basis of human value. We consider various proposals, including Kant's, about the valuable feature or capacity of human beings. Are we valuable in virtue of having a good will, in virtue of being agents, in virtue of being valuers, or something further? The second part takes up questions about the explanation of the value of human beings. Does the proposed feature make us valuable because it instantiates a simple value property, making us valuable in ourselves, or simpliciter? We consider whether the notion of value simpliciter is a notion we fully understand, or need. Does the proposed feature make us valuable because it makes us good-for something or someone? Who or what does it make us good-for? Or again, does the proposed feature make us such that we are objects of an appropriate attitude or practical stance? If so, what is the attitude or stance? The third part of the course takes up normative questions about the appropriate mode of responding to human beings. We consider whether it makes sense to say that human beings are "ends-in-themselves," and what it would mean to treat a person as an end-in-itself. We also consider various accounts of respect. A guiding question is whether human beings are the only appropriate objects of respect, or whether we can respect other beings, and even artifacts. The fourth part of the class applies what we have learned so far to related topics: to the question of whether human life or existence is valuable, and conversely, whether death is disvaluable. We consider, albeit briefly, the value of human beings in relation to the value of animals. And we ask about the role of Kantian notions like dignity in applied contexts, so that highly philosophical considerations about value are shown to have real-world bearing.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Theunissen, L Nandi
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: TTh 3:00PM - 4:15PM
Status: Canceled

AS.150.448 - The Religion of Morality

In the wake of the Enlightenment criticism of traditional forms of religion, philosophers attempted to give religion a rational basis by equating it with moral practice. We will examine this religion of morality with the goal of determining whether it can vindicate its claim to be a genuine religion. We will read texts by Rousseau, Kant, Fichte, Hegel and Emerson.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Moyar, Dean
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: T 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Status: Open

AS.150.219 - Intro to Bioethics

Introduction to a wide range of moral issues arising in the biomedical fields, e.g. physician-assisted suicide, human cloning, abortion, surrogacy, and human subjects research. Cross-listed with Public Health Studies.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bok, Hilary
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 12:00PM - 12:50PM, W 2:00PM - 2:50PM
Status: Open

AS.150.410 - The Philosophy of Afrofuturism I

The main goal of speculatibe fiction is to render a familiar world slightly unfamiliar to then ask familiar questions in new ways. Afrofuturism as a genre of sci-fi, fantasy, and horror written by and about black people, applies this ethic to the problems of race, broadly speaking. In this course we survey major texts to philosophically inquire into phenomena like incaceration., Slavery and it's lingering effects, and colonialism among other themes.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Lebron, Christopher Joseph
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: T 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Status: Open

AS.150.409 - Wittgenstein On Certainty

Wittgenstein’s On Certainty consists of four notebooks containing remarks on knowledge, certainty, doubt and truth. In this course, we will undertake a close study of Wittgenstein’s notes, critically examining competing interpretations of Wittgenstein’s ideas and the different use of those ideas have been taken up in current debates about philosophical skepticism.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Williams, Michael
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: M 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Status: Open

AS.150.419 - Kant's Critique/Judgment

This course will examine closely and in detail the aesthetic and teleological parts of Kant's third masterpiece, The Critique of the Power of Judgment.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Forster, Eckart
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: TTh 9:00AM - 10:15AM
Status: Open

AS.150.219 - Intro to Bioethics

Introduction to a wide range of moral issues arising in the biomedical fields, e.g. physician-assisted suicide, human cloning, abortion, surrogacy, and human subjects research. Cross-listed with Public Health Studies.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bok, Hilary
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 12:00PM - 12:50PM, F 1:30PM - 2:20PM
Status: Open

AS.150.223 - Formal Methods of Philosophy

During the last century or so, symbolic logic and other formal methods have come to play an essential role in most areas of systematic philosophical inquiry. This course serves as an introduction to these formal prerequisites for more advanced study in a wide variety of contemporary philosophical areas. Topics include the syntax and semantics of sentential and first-order predicate logic, natural deduction, basic set theory, mathematical induction and recursion, probability, modal logic, and non-standard logics. The emphasis is on basic comprehension, not on mathematical virtuosity. (Co-listed/combined with AS.150.434)

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Rynasiewicz, Robert
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: TTh 1:30PM - 2:45PM
Status: Open

AS.150.476 - Philosophy and Cognitive Science

This term's topic will be "cognitive penetration". Can what you believe change how things look and sound? For example, do paintings look different to someone who knows a lot about art history and aesthetics? Can racial prejudice cause someone to see a cellphone as a gun? If your beliefs can alter your perceptions, how can perceptions provide neutral justification for beliefs? And how does one draw a distinction between perception and thought in the first place? Readings will be drawn both from philosophy (e.g., Fodor, Block, Siegel) and psychology (e.g., Pylyshyn, Firestone, Lupyan). Recommended Course Background: Some previous exposure to philosophy, the mind-brain sciences, or other relevant background.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Gross, Steven
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 1:30PM - 2:45PM
Status: Open

AS.150.474 - Justice and Health

Course will consider the bearing of theories of justice on health care. Topics will include national health insurance, rationing and cost containment, and what justice requires of researchers in developing countries.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bok, Hilary
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: F 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Status: Open

AS.150.434 - Formal Methods of Philosophy

During the last century or so, symbolic logic and other formal methods have come to play an essential role in most areas of systematic philosophical inquiry. This course serves as an introduction to these formal prerequisites for more advanced study in a wide variety of contemporary philosophical areas. Topics include the syntax and semantics of sentential and first-order predicate logic, natural deduction, basic set theory, mathematical induction and recursion, probability, modal logic, and non-standard logics. The emphasis is on basic comprehension, not on mathematical virtuosity. (Co-listed/combined with AS.150.223)

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Rynasiewicz, Robert
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: TTh 1:30PM - 2:45PM
Status: Open

AS.150.219 - Intro to Bioethics

Introduction to a wide range of moral issues arising in the biomedical fields, e.g. physician-assisted suicide, human cloning, abortion, surrogacy, and human subjects research. Cross-listed with Public Health Studies.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bok, Hilary
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 12:00PM - 12:50PM, F 12:00PM - 12:50PM
Status: Waitlist Only

AS.150.219 - Intro to Bioethics

Introduction to a wide range of moral issues arising in the biomedical fields, e.g. physician-assisted suicide, human cloning, abortion, surrogacy, and human subjects research. Cross-listed with Public Health Studies.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bok, Hilary
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 12:00PM - 12:50PM, W 2:00PM - 2:50PM
Status: Open

AS.150.301 - Majors Seminar: Ancient Greek Ethics

Required for philosophy majors and restricted to philosophy majors and minors. The course this year will focus on ancient Greek ethics, including selections from Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics, the Epicureans, the Skeptics, and perhaps others.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Bett, Richard
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: W 1:30PM - 4:00PM
Status: Open

AS.150.511 - Directed Study

Individual study of special topics, under regular supervision of a faculty member. Special permission is required.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Theunissen, L Nandi
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.150.428 - Spinoza’s Theological Political Treatise

The class is a study of Spinoza’s theological and political thought as developed in his Theological-Political Treatise and the Political Treatise. Among the topics to be discussed are: Spinoza’s Bible criticism, the nature of religion, truth and obedience, God’s right and power, Spinoza’s theory of the State, the case study of the ancient Hebrew State, and the freedom to philosophize. Apart from a close reading of Spinoza’s two works we will also discuss Leo Strauss’ reading of Spinoza, and current work on Political Theology and their indebtness to Spinoza.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Melamed, Yitzhak Yohanan
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: Th 10:30AM - 1:00PM
Status: Open

AS.150.511 - Directed Study

Individual study of special topics, under regular supervision of a faculty member. Special permission is required.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Taylor, Elanor J.
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.300.399 - Cinema and Philosophy

Do movies have anything to say about philosophical problems? Why is contemporary philosophy so interested in cinema? What are the most productive ways of bringing films and philosophy into conversation?

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Marrati, Paola, McCreary, Michael D
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: MW 3:00PM - 4:15PM
Status: Open

AS.150.511 - Directed Study

Individual study of special topics, under regular supervision of a faculty member. Special permission is required.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Forster, Eckart
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.213.374 - Existentialism in Literature and Philosophy

This course explores the themes of existentialism, including the meaning of existence, the nature of the self, authenticity and inauthenticity, the inescapability of death, the experience of time, anxiety, freedom and responsibility to others, in literary and philosophical works. It will be examined why these philosophical ideas often seem to demand literary expression, or bear a close relation to literary works. Readings may include writings by Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Tolstoy, Heidegger, Rilke, Kafka, Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus, among others. Course will be taught by the Kurrelmeyer Chair in German. Taught in English.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Gosetti, Jennifer Anna
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: TTh 1:30PM - 2:45PM
Status: Open

AS.150.511 - Directed Study

Individual study of special topics, under regular supervision of a faculty member. Special permission is required.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Achinstein, Peter
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.150.551 - Honors Project

See departmental major adviser.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Theunissen, L Nandi
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.150.551 - Honors Project

See departmental major adviser.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Taylor, Elanor J.
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.150.511 - Directed Study

Individual study of special topics, under regular supervision of a faculty member. Special permission is required.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Melamed, Yitzhak Yohanan
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.211.265 - Panorama of German Thought

This course explores the rich terrain of German literature and philosophical thought, from Kant to today. At each meeting, we will investigate canonical texts of the German intellectual tradition, with an eye to discovering their unity as “German” philosophical and cultural artifacts and icons, as well as with an interest in establishing their well-deserved place in the wider, global discourses of world literature. In this way, we will learn to think critically in and with these important literary and philosophical texts from German-speaking lands as a means of viewing and appreciating the full panorama of German thought. Among authors read and discussed will be Kant, Goethe, Schiller, Hegel, Kleist, Heine, Fontane, Nietzsche, Freud, Kafka, Heidegger, Mann and Bernhard. Readings and discussion will be in English. German is appreciated but not required.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Dornbach, Marton
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings: TTh 4:30PM - 5:45PM
Status: Open

AS.150.551 - Honors Project

See departmental major adviser.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Melamed, Yitzhak Yohanan
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.150.551 - Honors Project

See departmental major adviser.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Forster, Eckart
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings:
Status: Closed

AS.150.551 - Honors Project

See departmental major adviser.

Credits: 3.00
Instructor: Achinstein, Peter
Term: Fall 2018
Meetings:
Status: Closed