Spring 2004 Courses

Listed below are the courses the Department offered in the Spring 2004 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

21000. Introduction to Ethics. (=GSHU 29200, HIPS 21000) This course covers two broad questions about ethics, drawing on contemporary and classical readings. First, what does morality require? What kinds of acts are right and wrong? To what extent can we think systematically about that kind of question? Second, what is the status of morality? 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? What should we think and do when confronted with a society whose members have very different moral beliefs than our own? M. Green. Spring. (I)

21210/31210. Philosophy and Literature. A variety of contemporary authors will be read, dealing with the question of whether, and how, fiction and philosophy are related to one another. T. Cohen. Spring. (I)

21918/31918 Decision-making (=LAWS 75100, PLSC 31600, RETH 41500). 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)

22201/32201. Genetics in an Evolutionary Perspective. (BIOS 29288, HIPS 24101, CHSS 34201 ) PQ: Biological Science Common Core or equivalent, pre-calculus math. Historical development of theories of heredity and evolution, from before Darwin and Mendel, through the development of cytology and classical genetics, population genetics and neo-Darwinism to evolutionary developmental biology and "eco-evo-devo" and the relation between macro-evolution and micro-evolution. Disputes, current and historical, over applications in biology and the social sciences. Lab/discussion. Computer simulations for historical and modern simpler models in population biology, and the strategy and tactics of mathematical model building. W. Wimsatt. Spring. (II)

23010. Knowledge and Freedom. In this course, students read, talk, and write about a number of questions having to do with knowledge, faith, and freedom. These include the following: Is the character of your own experience all that you can be certain of, or is it somehow possible to know the world outside your mind? Should belief always be based on evidence? Is religious faith intellectually irresponsible? Are you genuinely responsible for your actions, or is your behavior merely the upshot of events over which you have had no control? D. Finkelstein. Spring. (III)

23400. Philosophy of Mind and Science Fiction (=ISHU 23401, HIPS 25400). Could computers be conscious? Might they be affected by changes in size or time scale, hardware, development, social, cultural, or ecological factors? Does our form of life constrain our ability to visualize or detect alternative forms of order, life, or mentality, or to interpret them correctly? How do assumptions of consciousness affect how we study and relate to other beings? This course examines issues in philosophy of mind raised by recent progress in biology, psychology, and simulations of life and intelligence, with readings from philosophy, the relevant sciences, and science fiction. W. Wimsatt. Spring. (III).

24011/34011. Judgment and Contextualism. We will begin with the question of the nature and role of judgment in Kant's First and Third Critiques. We will then examine the treatment of this topic in Philosophical Investigations and other related writings by Wittgenstein. We will then compare and contrast three different ways of flashing out the philosophical import of these Kantian and Wittgensteinian lines of thought as developed respectively in the work of Stanley Cavell, John McDowell, and Charles Travis. A. Baz. Spring. (III)

25100/35100. Hume's Treatise. David Hume's Treatise of Human Nature (1738) is a modern masterpiece that features influential discussions of skepticism, metaphysics, causation, the self, psychology, and ethics. This course will cover these topics with the goal of gaining a sense of the book as a whole. M. Green. Spring. (IV)

27000. History of Philosophy III: Kant and the Nineteenth Century. PQ: Completion of the general education requirement in humanities. In 1781 Immanuel Kant wrote that his age was "the genuine age of criticism". He meant that it was an age in which the human capacity to judge had developed to the point that it was no longer able to tolerate illusion. It was demanding that reason undertake to know itself in a radical sense, one that would involve the institution of a tribunal "to which everything must submit". Now, what had been proposed by Kant as a diagnosis of the present has proven to be prophetic. There has not been of state of Western discourse since for which the characterization would be misplaced. Although the dominance of this form of thought has been questioned more recently, it is certain that much of the philosophy of note in 19th century was centrally informed by the Kantian demand for a critique of reason. This course is structured by this line of development. It will begin with an examination of Kant's theoretical philosophy, then will approach a number of philosophical texts of the next century by way of their relation to this way of thinking. Naturally, a comprehensive treatment of even the areas of philosophical discourse during this period of time that bare a direct relation to Kantian critique is not feasible. We will examine elements of its legacy to the 19th century in the field of theoretical philosophy, in writings by Hegel, Marx and Engels, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche. Fichte, Schelling, Dilthey, and Feuerbach, among others, may also be somewhat discussed. Recurring questions will include the effects of the practice of philosophical critique on shifting conceptions of reason and metaphysics, the epistemological and ontological status of the human subject, the significance of history as an emerging properly philosophical point of consideration, and the state of philosophy as an academic discipline and in relation to the natural sciences. Marc Djaballah. Spring.

29000/39700. Intermediate Logic-II: Incompleteness. (=CHSS 34000, HIPS 20501). We study some more advanced topics in logic, building on Intermediate Logic I. Possible topics include: Gödel's incompleteness theorems; higher-order logics; Craig's interpolation theorem and Beth's definability theorem; natural deduction and normal form theorems; sequent calculus and cut-elimination theorems. Specific topics will be determined by student interest. M. Kremer. Spring. (II)

29700. Reading Course. PQ: Consent of instructor and director of undergraduate studies. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

29900. B.A. Essay Preparation. PQ: Consent of B.A. adviser and director of undergraduate studies. Required of fourth-year students who are writing a senior essay. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. In consultation with their B.A. adviser, students work independently in preparation of the B.A. essay. Work is done over the course of the entire senior year; however, students register for this course in either Winter or Spring Quarter. NOTE: Students may not register for both PHIL 29800 and 29900 in the same quarter. Staff, Winter; D. Brudney, Spring.These courses are designed for graduate students but open to qualified College students.

35700. Mind and World in Early Modern Philosophy.(Some previous acquaintance with one or more of the philosophers studied in this course is desirable but not required.) This course will explore conceptions of cognition, representation and ideas among those early modern thinkers who sought to defend the new mechanistic science of nature while rejecting both Descartes's dualism and Hobbes's materialism. With Descartes's Third Meditation as our starting point, we will study texts by "Rationalists" such as Malebranche, Spinoza, and Leibniz, and "Empiricists" such as Locke, Berkeley and Hume, with some attention to the following question: What, if any, are the implications of their views with regard to contemporary discussions of intentionality and consciousness? Alanen. Spring. (IV)

36700. Plato's Phaedrus. Lear, Coetzee. Autumn. (IV)

49700. Workshop: Preliminary Essay. Stern. Summer, Autumn/Spring

49900. Reading and Research. Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.These courses are graduate seminars.

51200. Seminar: Law and Philosophy. This is a seminar/workshop most of whose participants are faculty from seven area institutions. It admits approximately ten students by permission of the instructors. Its aim is to study, each year, a topic that arises in both philosophy and the law and to ask how bringing the two fields together may yield mutual illumination. There are ten to twelve meetings throughout the year, always on Mondays from 4 to 6 PM. Half of the sessions are led by local faculty, half by visiting speakers. The leader assigns readings for the session (which may be by that person, by other contemporaries, or by major historical figures), and the session consists of a brief introduction by the leader, followed by structured questioning by the two faculty coordinators, followed by general discussion. Students write either two 4-6 page papers per quarter, or a 20-25 page seminar paper at the end of the year. The course satisfies the Law School Writing Requirement. The schedule of meetings will be announced by mid-September, and prospective students should submit their credentials to both instructors by September 20. Past themes have included: practical reason; equality; privacy; autonomy; global justice; pluralism and toleration; war. Nussbaum, Sunstein Autumn, Winter, Spring. (I)

The theme for 2003-4 will be Sexuality and Family. Likely speakers to be invited include: Emily Buss, Mary Anne Case, William Eskridge, Martha Fineman, David Halperin, Andrew Koppelman, Martha Minow, David Novak, Susan Moller Okin, Fran Olsen, Kenji Yoshino. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

51301/51302. Nicomachean Ethics - I, II. An examination of Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics over two quarters. We will discuss the nature and development of moral virtue, practical and theoretical wisdom, friendship, pleasure, and the contribution they all make to the good life, among other topics. G. Lear. Winter, Spring. (I)

53900. Workshop: Wittgenstein. Conant, Kremer. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

56705. Descartes's Concept of Mind. Descartes's conception of mind and body as distinct substances has set the agenda for much of the subsequent discussion of human nature and thought. This seminar explores Descartes's philosophy of mind from the comparatively neglected perspective of his conception of the unity of mind and body -- a unity that, according to him, constitutes the true human being. The course will look at Descartes's accounts of the whole range of mental phenomena from this perspective, from clear and distinct thoughts to confused body-dependent sensations and passions. It will explore the notions of awareness and intentionality, and look at the function of reason and the respective roles of intellect and will in the exercise of the faculties of judgement and sense perception, as well as in the mastery of passions. We will examine Descartes's own texts in the light of recent scholarly and critical work. Alanen. Spring. (III)

59000. Workshop: Philosophy of Mind. Bridges, Finkelstein. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

59900. Contemporary Philosophy Workshop. Vogler. Autumn, Winter, Spring.