Autumn 2000 Courses

Listed below are the courses the Department offered in the Autumn 2000 quarter.

The Registrar's office has up to date scheduling information for all University of Chicago graduate and undergraduate courses.

College students may only enroll in courses whose first number is 2. Graduate students may only enroll in courses whose first number is 3 or higher.

Autumn Courses

210. Introduction to Ethics. (=GS Hum 292, HiPSS 210). This course will cover three broad areas, drawing on contemporary and classical readings. First, normative ethics. What kinds of acts are right and wrong? How can we think systematically about that kind of question? Second, subjectivism and relativism. Moral beliefs seem to be subjective in a way that more straightforwardly factual beliefs are not. What, exactly, is the difference between these two kinds of belief? How should we think and argue about morality if there does seem to be a subjective element to it? Third, moral motivation. What reason does one have to do what morality requires? Is simply doing the right thing enough? No one deserves moral credit for doing the right thing for merely selfish reasons. So what motivations must someone have in order to gain moral credit for doing the right thing. M. Green. Autumn. (I)

215. The Meaning of Life (=PolSci 209). This course explores the nature of the most basic question we may ask ourselves: how should we lead our lives? What sort of question is this? What is involved in reflecting, not simply upon whether this action is right or that trait is admirable, but upon what a life should be like as a whole? Do we discover the meaning of life, or do we create it for ourselves? Is only the reflective life worth living? Topics also include conversion, life-plans, and fear of death. Readings from Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Nietzsche, Berlin, I.Murdoch, S. Hampshire, Rawls, B. Williams, and T. Nagel. C. Larmore. Autumn. (I)

248. Foucault and the History of Sexuality (=HiPPS 243). PQ: Two courses in philosophy or permission of the instructor. This course will center around a close reading of the first volume of Michel Foucault's The History of Sexuality, with some attention to his writings on the history of ancient conceptualizations of sex. How should a history of sexuality take into account scientific theories, social relations of power, and different experiences of the self? We will discuss the contrasting descriptions and conceptions of sexual behavior before and after the emergence of a science of sexuality. Other writers influenced by and critical of Foucault will also be discussed. A. Davidson. Autumn. (III)

250. History of Philosophy I: Ancient Philosophy (=AncSt 250). PQ: Completion of the general education requirement in humanities. An introductory survey of ancient philosophy, focussing on some key works of Plato, Aristotle and Epicurus. Topics to be considered include the good life and its relation to philosophy, methods of scientific explanation, and the nature of the soul. R. Barney. Autumn. (III), (IV)

296. Junior Seminar. PQ:Open only to third-year students who have been admitted to the intensive concentration program. Close reading and discussion, with weekly papers and presentations, of classical texts and contemporary papers on a central topic such as free will, self-knowledge, or the problem of evil. Staff. Autumn.

297. Reading Course. PQ: Consent of instructor and director of undergraduate studies. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

298. The Senior Seminar I. PQ: Consent of director of undergraduate studies. Students who are writing a senior essay must register for this course in either the autumn or the winter quarter of the senior year (and for Philos 299 in either the winter or the spring quarter of the senior year). D. Brudney. Autumn, Winter.

300. Elementary Logic (=CFS 335, HiPSS 207, MAPH 380). Course not for field credit. This course is an introduction to formal logic. Formal languages for sentential and predicate logic are introduced, together with the semantics for these languages (i.e., the notions of "interpretation," "truth," and "validity"). The relation of these languages to ordinary English is discussed (i.e., the logical structure of English), and techniques for determining the validity of arguments are explained. Time permitting, the course ends with an informal discussion of more advanced topics in logic (in particular, the Church undecidability theorem and the Gödel incompleteness theorem) and their relevance to issues in the philosophy of mathematics. T. Cohen. Autumn.

31310. Aesthetics and Theory of Criticism (=COVA 101, 102 or 103 or consent of instructor; GS Hum 305). This course is an introduction to problems in the philosophy of art with both traditional and contemporary texts. Topics include the definition of art, representation, expression, metaphor, and taste. T. Cohen Autumn. (I)

314. Introduction to Theories of Sex/Gender (=GendSt 214, GS Hum 303, MAPH 365). Feminism and sexuality studies have contributed to work in many different regions of humanistic and social scientific inquiry. Some of the most interesting contributions have involved the development of new theoretical frames in which to formulate questions for disciplinary work. This course is intended as both a survey of some theoretical work on sex and gender, and a sweeping introduction to some of the philosophical roots of feminist and queer theory. We give special attention to nineteenth- and twentieth-century European critiques of humanism. C. Vogler. Autumn. (I)

315. Human Rights: Philosophical Foundations of Human Rights (=GS Hum 286/386, HumRts 204/304, Pol Sci 326; IntRel 312, MAPH 420). This course deals with the philosophical foundations of human rights. The foundations bear on basic conceptual and normative issues: the various meanings and components of human rights and the subjects, objects, and respondents of human rights; who has the rights, what they are rights to, who has the correlative duties, what methods of argument and implementation are available in this area, and so forth. The practical implications of these theoretical issues will also be explored. A. Gewirth. Autumn. (I)

316. Human Rights-I (=Hist292/393, IntRel 316, Law 412, LL/Soc 270, MAPH 400, PolSci 339, GS Hum 287/387, HumRts 201/301). This course concerns the philosophical foundations of human rights. It will address questions such as these: Why think there are such things as rights that all human beings share? What do human rights cover; are there rights to material welfare as well as rights to freedom, for example? What bearing do cultural differences have on the justification of human rights; can one list of human rights be justified for all societies? M. Green. Autumn. (I)

355-356. Plato's Republic (=Fndmtl 288-289, SocTh 351/359). PQ: Enrollment limited Preference given to Philosophy and Fundamentals concentrators. A careful reading of the Republic in translation. Questions to be considered: What is the good life? What is the relation between the state of society and the state of one's soul? What is the relation between knowledge and happiness? Between art and happiness? What is the value of democracy? What is the nature of politics? What is psychology? J. Lear. Autumn, Winter. (I)

378. The New Thinking (=Germ 378, SocTh 397) Open to advanced undergraduates and graduates students. Contrary to the common opinion, the important promise of philosophy in the last century was not to end philosophy but rather to begin it. Indeed to begin it as something radically new. This seminar will address the conceptions of the newness of the"new" and the transition to the new in the work of a series of German and Austrian philosophers at the end of the nineteenth and beginning of the twentieth century. We will read texts by Nietzsche, Benjamin, Wittgenstein, Rosenzweig, and Heidegger. I. Kimhi. Autumn. (III or IV)

414. The Self (=PolSci 331). This course focuses on the nature of self knowledge and on the role which self-interpretation plays in the constitution of the self. Readings range from Montaigne and Fichte to contemporary authors such as Charles Taylor and Donald Davidson. C. Larmore. Autumn. (III)

419. John Stuart Mill (=DIV RE 430, LAW 743, Pol Sci 439, GENDST 290). PQ: Consent of instructor. A careful study of Mill's utilitarianism in relation to his ideas of self-realization and of liberty. We will study closely at least Utilitarianism, On Liberty, the Essays on Bentham and Coleridge, The Subjection of Women, and the Autobiography, trying to figure out whether Mill is a Utilitarian or an Aristotelian eudaimonist, and what view of "permanent human interests" and of the malleability of desire and preference underlies his political thought. M. Nussbaum. Autumn. (I)

497. Preliminary Essay Workshop. Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

499. Reading and Research. Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

501. First-Year Seminar. We will take up some issues in contemporary analytic philosophy. Meets approximately bi-weekly in Autumn, Winter, Spring. M. Aydede.

503. Seminar on Important Things (=CFS 418; HIST 577). PQ: Consent of instructor. This seminar meets bi-weekly throughout the year. Each quarter we will discuss a book or coherent group of articles from the recent literature in the History and Philosophy of Science, reflecting both current interest in the field and particular concerns of participating students. D. Garber. Autumn, Winter, Spring. (II)

512. Law/Philosophy Seminar (=Law 615; DivRe 513; PolSci 512). PQ:Consent of instructor; meets alternate weeks. This seminar, which represents a fusion of the faculty law-philosophy group and the existing legal theory workshop, will meet throughout the year, on alternate Mondays, with a total of about twelve meetings, mostly in the fall and winter. There will be a theme running throughout the year, and we will pursue that theme through both philosophical and legal readings, with a range of visiting speakers and some sessions directed by local faculty. The theme in 2000-2001 will be Global Justice. We will pursue philosophical readings on the topic, both historical and modern, and examine the implications of philosophical work for issues in constitutional law, criminal law, health law, and other areas. Students will write short responses to each presentation, and a longer seminar paper. Enrollment is limited to law students and philosophy Ph.D. students, and numbers are limited. Law students who wish to enroll should contact David Strauss, and philosophy students should contact Martha Nussbaum, by October 1. M. Nussbaum, D. Strauss. Autumn, Winter, Spring. (I)

521. Historical Epistemology: Abnormality and the Self (=CFS 500; PR 507). PQ: Reading knowledge of French. The major part of this course will consist of a reading of Michel Foucault's Les Anormaux, his 1974-75 course at the Collège de France, which takes up many of the issues found in the first volume of his Histoire de la sexualité. We shall examine the emergence of the modern notion of abnormality, considering its historical background, epistemological role in the constitution of the human sciences, and political consequences. The course will begin by discussing a number of methodological issues revolving around the distinctive approach of historical epistemology, and its relation to Foucault's archaeological and genealogical analyses. A. Davidson. Autumn. (II)

539. Workshop on Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. PQ: Consent of Instructor(s). The workshop will be devoted to a careful reading of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. (May be taken for credit.) J. Conant, L. Linsky. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

586. Workshop : Continental Philosophy. A forum for graduate students to present current work in Continental philosophy. M. Forster, Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

599. Workshop: Contemporary Philosophy. Meets during odd weeks. Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.