Spring 2001 Courses

Listed below are the courses the Department offered in the Spring 2001 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.

Spring Courses

217. Existentialism: Philosophy and the Arts (=Hum 280). The term "existentialism" refers to a group of late nineteenth and early twentieth century philosophers united by a dissatisfaction with the rationalistic tendencies of traditional philosophy.Whereas traditional philosophy tended to focus on such notions as objectivity, truth, justification, and goodness, existentialism emphasized the importance of neglected topics such as the absurd, the possibility and significance of nihilism, individuality, death and anxiety, and the importance of subjective experience. Existentialism is a fascinating and important philosophical trend not only because of its many conceptual innovations and insights, but also due to the depth and scope of its impact on culture at large - particularly the arts. In this class we will seek to understand existentialism in terms of both its systematic philosophical developments and the expression of those ideas in art. M. Lin. Spring. (I)

231. Ordinary Language Philosophy. We will read some of the main works of the so-called "Oxford school" of ordinary-language philosophy (1950s - 1970s) -- mainly Austin, Grice, Strawson, and Searle. The course is intended for undergraduate philosophy majors, and others with a strong interest and some background in philosophy. (Graduate students may attend, but will not be allowed to take the course for credit, or to speak in class.) Students should already have completed a few courses in philosophy, including at least intro logic and at least one course in "modern" (17th - 18th century) philosophy. (Students who took my "analytic philosophy" course in the winter will be especially well prepared, though this is not required.). J. Haugeland. Spring. (III)

270. History of Philosophy III: Kant and the Nineteenth Century. PQ: Completion of the general education requirement in humanities. Philos. 250 helpful. This course studies a number of important moral and political philosophers of the late eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Kant, Bentham, Hegel, Marx, Mill, Nietzsche, and others may be read. D. Brudney. Spring.

292-1,-2. Junior Tutorial I, II. PQ: Open only to third-year students who have been admitted to the intensive concentration program. Staff. Winter, Spring.

293-1,-2. Senior Tutorial I, II. PQ:Open only to fourth-year students who have been admitted to the intensive concentration program. Staff. Winter, Spring.

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.

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

305. The Infinite (=CFS 363, HiPSS 218). We discuss in detail some events in the development (primarily in western thought) of the concept of the infinite and related concepts from sixth century BC Greece (Anaximander's apeiron) until the present (transfinite numbers). We focus on ancient Greece and the seventeenth to twentieth centuries, but with some attention, too, to medieval work (e.g. Aquinas and, in the fourteenth century, the Mertonians and Oresme). I think of the course as part history and part philosophy: of understanding important concepts (the infinite, continuum, set, function, number, etc.) through consideration of their historical development. A reading list is posted on my website http://home.uchicago.edu/~wwtx/ W. Tait. Spring. (II)

310. Agents, Actions, Ends (=GS Hum 308). In this course we read, write, and think about the nature and force of reasons for action. Topics discussed include the peculiarities of agency; the claim that action is only intelligible insofar as it can be made out to aim at the good; the role of pleasure or happiness in understanding human action; the role of conceptions of practical reason in philosophical accounts of the nature of mental states; and the relationship between general principles or practices and particular actions. C. Vogler. Spring. (I)

311. Aesthetics: Philosophy and the Visual Arts (=ArtH 269/369). The course will examine specific philosophical issues that arise in connection with painting, film, and photography, with special attention to questions of meta-aesthetics (what makes something a work of art?), normative aesthetics (what makes something a good work of art?), the theory of aesthetic representation (what is it for a painting, or a photograph, or a film to represent something?), and aesthetic realism (what does it mean to say that, e.g., a painting is realistic?; and is its being so a source of aesthetic value?). Readings will include writings by Ernst Gombrich, Denis Diderot, Michael Fried, Nelson Goodman, Erwin Panofsky, Charles Baudelaire, P. H. Emerson, Paul Strand, Rudolf Arnheim, V. Pudovkin, Andrew Basin, Siegfried Kracauer, Victor Perkins, and Stanley Cavell. J. Conant, J.Snyder. Spring. (I)

319. Decision-making (=LAW 751, PolSci 316, DivRE 415). PQ: Consent of instructor. Individuals, particularly those in leadership positions, are called upon to make decisions on behalf of others. This course offers a rigorous study of how philosophers and others have examined the process of decision-making. We also focus on the tools they have used, including those from behavioral economics and game theory. We discuss moral dilemmas and some of the more common pathologies of decision-making: akrasia, self-deception, and blind obedience to authority. M. Nussbaum, D.Baird. Spring. (I)

345. Descartes Questions and Arguments (=DivPR 320, SocTh xxx). This course makes the argument that Descartes was not, in fact, a cartesian. We try to explain how it is that the ego cogito does not imply solipsism, that the proofs for the existence of God do not imply onto theology, and the demonstration of the existence of material bodies dualism. J-L. Marion. Spring. (III).

365. Continental Rationalism (=CFS 364, HiPSS 265). Some previous acquaintance with one or more of the philosophers studied is desirable, but not required. In this course we shall study the philosophical systems of Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz. Recent critical approaches to these philosophers will be emphasized, as will the interconnection between philosophical and scientific questions. D. Garber. Spring. (III, IV)

375. Kant's Critique of Pure Reason (=Fndmtl 278, Germ 475). Prior philosophy course. This course begins with a general investigation of the nature of Kant's critical enterprise as revealed in the Critique of Pure Reason and other texts. We then examine selected parts of the Critique of Pure Reason with a view to achieving a fuller understanding of the work. M. Forster. Spring. (III or IV)

384. Cynicism (=Class 384; Cl Civ 291). An exploration of some central themes in ancient Cynic thought, including the ideal of a life according to nature, philanthropy and cosmopolitanism. Issues to be considered include the relation of Cynic ideas to various kinds of philosophical writing and philosophical methods, and the relation of the Cynics to Socrates and to Stoicism. We may also look at modern attempts to revive or appropriate Cynic ideas. Some familiarity with Plato will be assumed; further familiarity with Greek thought (and Hellenistic philosophy in particular) would be helpful. R. Barney. Spring. (III or IV)

397. Intermediate Logic II (=CFS 340, HiPSS 209). PQ: Philos 396. A continuation of Philos396 that deals with more advanced topics in mathematical logic. Staff. Spring. (II)

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)

517. Hegel's Aesthetics (=Fndmtls xxx; Germ 486; Soc Th 387). A discussion of Hegel's Lectures on Fine Art. Special attention to Hegel's theory of beauty; his account of the historical character and development of art; his account of poetry, especially dramatic poetry; and his theory about the"end of art" in the modern period. Not an introductory course. R. Pippin, T. Pinkard. Spring. (I)

530. Phenomenology of the Other-III: Ego and Love (=SocTh xxx; Div 541). The question of the other is not only a matter of intersubjectivity or of ethics but, ultimately, of the experience of the erotic reduction, i.e. of the other as truly an individual. J-L. Marion. Spring. (III)

534. Introspecting Qualia. PQ: permission of the instructor for non-philosophers and undergraduates. We will look at the contemporary philosophical literature on introspection of qualia, along with psychological and neuroscientific literature. The reading and discussion material will be exclusively in the analytic tradition. M. Aydede. Spring. (III)

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.

542. Quine and Davidson. This course is for advanced undergraduates and first- or second-year graduate students. It will be assumed that students already know something about analytic philosophy, and some logic. We will concentrate on the major (best-known) works of Quine and Davidson, plus a few important critical responses. J. Haugeland. Spring. (III)

570. Protagoras and Theaetetus. A close study of the two dialogues in which Plato examines the views of the great sophist Protagoras, and engages most closely with relativism and subjectivism: the Protagoras, which discusses the nature of virtue and whether it is teachable, and the Theaetetus, which attempts to define knowledge. R. Barney. Spring. (IV)

573. Hobbes (=CFS501). Hobbes is usually read exclusively for his political philosophy. But Hobbes was a systematic philosopher who saw his political thought as integrated into a larger system. In this seminar we will explore Hobbes's larger program and the place that the politics occupies in that program. Meets alternate weeks over two quarters. Can be taken as a course in value theory. D. Garber, M. Green. Winter, Spring. (I); (IV)

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.