Autumn 2004 Courses

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

Autumn Courses

25000. History of Philosophy - I: Ancient Philosophy Open to college students. Prerequisites: Completion of the general education requirement in humanities. This course will try to introduce students to the philosophical reading of ancient texts. Rather than surveying ancient philosophy, we will engage with a few texts (mostly, but not exclusively, by Plato and Aristotle) and engage with them in a philosophical way. This means examining the arguments in the texts, examining the underpinnings of those arguments, and considering what these arguments mean for us. The texts chosen will all be connected with a single, yet-to-be-determined theme. Jonathan Beere. Autumn 2004.

29600. Junior Seminar Open to college students. Prerequisites: Open only to third-year students who have been admitted to the intensive concentration program. Topics for this small, discussion-oriented seminar vary. Jason Bridges. Autumn 2004.

20100/30000. Elementary Logic Open to college and grad students. Prerequisites: None. Course not for field credit. An introduction to the techniques of modern logic. These include the representation of arguments in symbolic notation, and the systematic manipulation of these representations in order to show the validity of arguments. If time permits there will be discussion of important early meta-theorems for these systems, including the Completeness Theorem for the predicate calculus, and the First Gödel Incompleteness Theorem. No prerequisites. Michael Kremer. Autumn 2004.

21801/31801. Philosophy and Film Open to college and grad students. The course will investigate some of the conditions and modes of visual presentation that make it possible for a viewer of a motion picture drama to become absorbed in what is experienced as an independent fictional narrative world. This will involve exploring questions such as the following: What is the difference between an objective and a subjective camera shot? How is a subjective camera shot attached to or associated with the point of view of someone in the world of a movie? What is an objective camera shot? Is it, as some say, a point of view on the world of a movie that is no one's point of view -- a view from nowhere? What could that mean? Is it possible to construct a fictional narrative movie world entirely out of subjective camera shots? Along the way, some attention will be given to some specific aesthetic questions (e.g., what does it mean to say a painting or a film is "realistic"), as well as more general philosophical issues such as the following: What is a point of view (and how, if at all, does it differ from a perspective)? What is a subjective (as opposed to an objective) point of view? Is the concept of an objective point of view a contradiction in terms? We will view a number of films that will help to illustrate and sharpen our discussion of the difficulties attending these issues. Some attention will be given to exploring the similarities and differences between the presentation of a fictional narrative world in film and in some of the other other visual and dramatic arts, most notably painting and theatre. James Conant. Autumn 2004. (I)

25010/35010. Plato's Early Dialogues Open to college and grad students. In this course we will consider Plato's early dialogues from two standpoints, that of moral philosophy and that of epistemology. In the first connection the topics covered will include the transition from "competitive" to "quiet" virtues; the unity of the virtues and its bearing on the phenomenon of moral dilemmas; moral cognitivism versus (Protagorean) moral training; and the question of cosmopolitanism. In the second (epistemological) connection the topics covered will include the Socratic demand for definitions; the Socratic profession of ignorance; Socratic elenchus; and Socrates' positive methods. Dialogues read in the course will include the Apology, the Euthyphro, the Crito, the Euthydemus, and the Protagoras. Michael Forster. Autumn 2004. (IV)

43000. Criterial Theories of Rationality and Meaning Open to grad students. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.. The course will investigate the various related attempts in the history of analytic philosophy to sharply distinguish the conceptual from the empirical, the analytic from the synthetic, grammatical propositions from substantive propositions, those statements which are true in virtue of the meanings of their terms from those which are true because of the way the world is. Readings will be from Gordon Baker, Rudolf Carnap, Peter Hacker, Hilary Putnam, W.V. O. Quine, among others. No field credit. Hilary Putnam. Autumn 2004. *Special note: Meets in November 2004 only. Some additional class meetings will be arranged.

51200. Seminar: Law & Philosophy Open to grad students. 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. 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. Martha Nussbaum. Autumn 2004. (I) *Special note: This course is co-taught by Cass Sunstein. It meets over three quarters.

51515. Contemporary Virtue Ethics Open to grad students. Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 25. Permission of the instructor required, and this should be sought in writing (e mail) by September 20. A minimum prerequisite is an undergraduate major in philosophy or the equivalent course work . This class will study the revival of the ethics of virtue in contemporary moral philosophy, considering, among others, Iris Murdoch, John McDowell, Philippa Foot, Nancy Sherman, Henry Richardson, Annette Baier, Rosalind Hursthouse, and Bernard Williams. Is virtue ethics a single movement, with a single set of philosophical motivations and normative commitments, or a more complicated plurality of positions and motivations? What is the relationship of virtue ethics to the idea of ethical theory? To the aspiration to put reason in charge of human life? Is virtue ethics inherently conservative, deferring to socially formed passions and patterns of conduct, or is (some form of) it capable of radical criticism of entrenched social norms, e.g. of class and gender? We will be alluding to the Greeks throughout, so some background in ancient Greek ethics is highly desirable. Martha Nussbaum. Autumn 2004. (I)

53900. Workshop: Wittgenstein Open to grad students. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. This Workshop meets over three quarters. James Conant, Michael Kremer. Autumn 2004. (III)

54306. Minds, Concepts, and Holism Open to grad students. Prerequisites: Philosophy 50100 (the first-year seminar) OR some familiarity with all of the following: Sellars's "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind," Davidson's "Mental Events," and Kripke's Wittgenstein on Rules and Private Language. . Post-Wittgensteinian philosophy of mind has not been kind to brutes and young children. According to Donald Davidson, a dog cannot so much as believe that a cat has run up a tree, while Richard Rorty--following Wilfrid Sellars-urges us not to "balk at the claim that knowledge, awareness, concepts, ... all descend on the shoulders of the bright child somewhere around the age of four, without having existed in even the most primitive form hitherto." One way to make sense of such views is as arising out of considerations having to do with "the holism of the mental." If a philosopher maintains that in order to have even one concept or belief, a creature must have an entire network of concepts and attitudes that is more or less akin to the network of concepts and attitudes possessed by a normal, adult human being, it will be difficult for him to countenance the mindedness of dogs. The topic of this course will be holism vs. atomism in the philosophy of mind. Our focuses will be: (1) Davidson's holism, (2) Jerry Fodor's atomism, and (3) what might be thought of as a sort of "molecularism" or "piecemeal holism" that Charles Travis finds in Wittgenstein's discussions of language-games. The aim of the course will be to find-or to sketch--a picture of concepts and attitudes that neither makes it impossible to understand brutes as minded nor makes intentionality into a seeming-miracle. *Special Note: In advance of the first class, please review §§13-19 and §§26-38 of Sellars's "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind," and read pp. 182-192 of Rorty's Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. David Finkelstein. Autumn 2004. (III) *Special note: This class meets from 4:00 pm - 6:40 pm.

58702. Topics in Contemporary European Thought Open to grad students. Prerequisites: Reading knowledge of French required.. This course will focus on Pierre Hadot's Le voile d'Isis. Essai sur l'histoire de l'idée de nature. This book studies the idea of nature, from Heraclitus to Heidegger, in philosophical, theological, scientific and aesthetic contexts. At the end of the course we will read Merleau-Ponty's discussion of scientific and aesthetic perceptions of nature in Causeries, as well as a number of texts on related topics. Throughout the class we will raise methodological issues about how to write the history of philosophy. Arnold Davidson. Autumn 2004.

59900. Workshop: Contemporary Philosophy Open to grad students. Meets over three quarters. Josef Stern. Autumn 2004. *Special note: This Workshop meets even weeks over three quarters.