Winter 2005 Courses

Listed below are the courses the Department offered in the Winter 2005 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.

Winter Courses

23501. Philosophy of Mind Open to college students. This will be a (relatively) introductory survey of the main issues in the Philosophy of Mind. We will cover such topics as the relation of the mind to the world (sensations, intentionality, practice); the relation of the mind to the body/brain (dualism, identity theory, supervenience); what intelligence is and how it can be recognized (behaviorism, radical interpretation, cultural embeddedness); how mentality might be implemented in the brain (associationism, functionalism, cognitivism, connectionism, dynamic models); and so on. On the other hand, we will not address such old chestnuts as the immortality of the soul; the "other minds" problem; personal identity; or introspective infallibility. The course will be based on original sources from the philosophical literature (in other words, an anthology, not a textbook). Expect 20 to 30 pages of assigned reading per week. Grades will be based on class participation, a take-home, essay-question mid-term, and either a similar final exam or a term paper. John Haugeland. Winter 2005. (III)

26000. History of Philosophy - II: Medieval and Early Modern Philos Open to college students. Prerequisites: Completion of the general education requirement in humanities required; PHIL 25000 helpful. Sarah Marquardt. Winter 2005. *Special note: This course surveys the history of philosophy from the late medievals to Hume.

29800. Senior Seminar Open to college students. Prerequisites: Consent of Director of Undergraduate Studies. Required of fourth-year students who are writing a senior essay. Daniel Brudney. Winter 2005. *Special note: THIS COURSE WAS ALSO OFFERED IN AUTUMN 2004. Students may not register for both PHIL 29800 and 29900 in the same quarter.

21210/31210. Philosophy and Literature Open to college and grad students. A variety of contemporary authors will be read, dealing with the question of whether, and how, fiction and philosophy are related to one another. Ted Cohen. Winter 2005. (I)

21551/31551. Greek Tragedy: Sophocles' Philoctetus Open to college and grad students. Prerequisites: Greek 203. Sophocles' Philoctetes shows a good man suffering excruciating pain because of events that were not his fault. It refers often to the emotion of pity, and it connects that emotion closely with the idea of justice, as Neoptolemus, moved by the sight of pain, comes to understand the wrongfulness of his earlier actions. A close reading of the play in Greek will be combined with a more general investigation of pity, the central tragic emotion. Through readings in English from authors including Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, and Nietzsche, we will study the role of pity in philosophical attacks on tragedy, and we will ask how, and whether, these attacks may be answered. Translation will occur during a set portion of the class, and auditors without Greek who wish to join in the discussions in English may therefore skip those parts. Their participation is strongly encouraged. Martha Nussbaum. Winter 2005. (I)

22404/32404. Values and Scientific Change Open to college and grad students. Prerequisites: Open to undergraduates with consent of instructor.. Why do scientists abandon old theories in favor of new ones? For instance,why did they give up geocentrism for heliocentrism in astronomy? Why did they jettison natural theology in favor of evolutionary theory as an account of the appearance of design in nature? After all, scientists cannot demonstrate their hypotheses and theories to be true on the basis of experiment, observation, and rules of scientific method alone. Some have argued that we need to turn to social factors to fill the explanatory gap between evidence and theory choice. This social constructionist view challenges the very idea that science makes progress and suggests that science represents just one way of thinking about the world that is no better or worse than any other interpretation of nature. Yet all one has to do is to open any science textbook and it appears just obvious that there's a lot more in there than, say, the ancient Greeks ever knew. So even if it were true that scientific decision-making is a social process that reflects certain social or cultural values, could science still be rational and progressive? Some feminists have suggested that there may be alternative, better interpretations of nature than our current science that rooted in more humane values. Could science be based on different values and still be progressive? Warren Schmaus. Winter 2005. (II) *Special note: Recent philosophers of science have argued that instead of thinking of scientific theories as deductive structures of laws and hypotheses, we should regard them as models that are chosen and developed in such a way as to increase our over-all ability to solve important problems. Can this interpretation of science help us answer the questions concerning the social character and progressiveness of science?

22701/32701. What is Life? Open to college and grad students. We consider a rose, a cat or a human being as alive, whereas a stone or a piece of iron or a bicycle are not so considered. The concept of life is one of the most fundamental concepts, and constantly operative in our understanding of the world and ourselves. In this seminar we will examine the concept of life and ask what forms of thought are connected with this concept. We will do so mainly by reading central passages from three authors of the philosophical tradition that have shaped our understanding of this concept: Aristotle, Kant and Hegel; Kant will be the center of our attention. We will also read some contemporary authors (e.g. M. Thompson) as well as some biologists (e.g. E. Mayr). Andrea Kern. Winter 2005. *Special note: The Thursday session will be followed each week by a one hour "trailer" session in German. Registration for the trailer session is optional.

23600/36000. Medieval Philosophy Open to college and grad students. Prerequisites: Phil 25000. This course involves a study of the development of philosophy in the West in the first thirteen centuries of the common era with focus on Neoplatonism. Early Christian philosophy, Islamic Kalam, Jewish philosophy, and Christian philosophical theology. Readings include works of Plotinus, Augustine, Al-Farabi, Avicenna, Maimonides, Averroes, and Thomas Aquinas. Josef Stern. Winter 2005. (IV) *Special note: To be co-taught by Joel Snyder, Dept. of Art History.

24801/34801. 18th and 19th Century Philosophy of Religion Open to college and grad students. This course focuses on the 18th century philosophical challenge to rational religion, and on the most important 18th and 19th century responses to that challenge. Writers to be examined include Hume, Kant, Schleiermacher and Kierkegaard. Daniel Brudney. Winter 2005. (I)

25100/35100. Hume's Treatise of Human Nature Open to college and grad students. This is a modern masterpiece (1738) 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. Michael Green. Winter 2005. *Special note: This course satisfies a requirement in field V: a figure or movement in Modern Philosophy from the 17th through 19th centuries.

25703/35703. Plato's Sophist Open to college and grad students. This course is devoted to a close reading of Plato's Sophist from beginning to end. We focus especially, but not exclusively, on the so-called Battle of Gods and Giants: the dispute between those who think that all beings are bodies (the Giants) and those who believe in non-bodily beings (the Gods). Plato suggests a theory of being that is supposed to bring this metaphysical battle to an end. We will try to understand what this battle amounts to, and how Plato's suggestion would resolve it. But we also situate these issues in the dialogue as a whole, and this involves an array of other questions, such as how to define the sophist, what constitutes a definition at all, what the relationship is among the various definitions of the sophist, and how to understand the Parmenidean problem of non-being. Jonathan Beere. Winter 2005. (IV)

50100. First-year Seminar Open to grad students. Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to first-year graduate students. David Finkelstein. Winter 2005. *Special note: Meets in Autumn and Winter quarters.

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. Winter 2005. (I) *Special note: This course is co-taught by Cass Sunstein. It meets over three quarters.

51704. The Philosophy of Visual Moderism Open to grad students. Much of the reading for this course will be work by Michael Fried. Other material to be discussed will be by Denis Diderot, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Stanley Cavell. Persons expecting to take Fried's spring seminar are stongly encouraged to enroll in this seminar as well. See the announcement below. The Committee on Social Thought announces a Spring Quarter 2005 Graduate Seminar Thursdays, 3-5:50 Modern Photography and Other Themes Instructor: Michael Fried The guest professor for this seminar will be Michael Fried from Johns Hopkins University. The topics will be Fried's aesthetic theory, art criticism and art history, especially but not exclusively his views on photography. James Conant, Robert Pippin. Winter 2005. (I) *Special note: Co-taught by James Conant.

51806. Philosophical Literature Open to grad students. Some literary texts are, in an important sense, philosophical - not because they provide examples or otherwise illustrate philosophical themes, but because they engage in a particular kind of philosophical work. We will read, write and think about texts of this kind by Geoffrey Chaucer, Edgar Allen Poe and Flannery O'Connor. We are specifically concerned with the way these writers engage the ethical, since for each of them it is at least a question what might characterize the ethical in the first place. Weekly writing and daily conversation will be essential to the success of the seminar. Permission of the instructors required - contact jsch@uchicago.edu or vogue@uchicago.edu. Candace Vogler. Winter 2005. (I) *Special note: Co-taught by Jay Schleusener, Dept. of English, Candace Vogler, and M. Miller .

53900. Workshop: Wittgenstein Open to grad students. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. This Workshop meets over three quarters. James Conant, Michael Kremer, James Conant, Michael Kremer. Winter 2005. (III)

55801. Aristotle's Metaphysics Open to grad students. We will work through Book Theta of Aristotle's Metaphysics. This book is of great programmatic importance not only for the Metaphysics in particular, but also for Aristotle's philosophy in general: it is the only place where Aristotle explain the notions of energeia and dunamis at some length, although he uses these notions to treat a wide variety of profound problems. In fact, the word energeia seems to have been coined by Aristotle, and it must be one of the most successful coinages in philosophical history: the term became a standard part of the Greek philosophical vocabulary, as did its Latin translation (in actu) and the translations of this Latin into modern vernacular (such as the English "actuality"). But the richness and complexity of the history of the notions of energeia and actuality is not straightforwardly helpful in reading Metaphysics Theta. Rather, it complicates the task, since, in order to think in Aristotle's terms, we have to avoid reading into his text the concerns and concepts of the later tradition. In particular, I hope to devote very substantial attention to the concepts of activity and actuality in relation to the concept of energeia. (Students may wish to know that I am teaching Plato's Sophist partly because I believe that it constitutes a crucial part of the background to Metaphysics Theta. The two courses will thus often deal with closely connected issues. Should any students attend both courses, I will arrange a special session for them at the end of the quarter to discuss the two texts in conjunction with one another.) Jonathan Beere. Winter 2005. *Special note: The course will be accessible to students with no prior familiarity with Aristotle's Metaphysics, and to students without Greek. Students should be prepared to discuss Chapter 1 at the first meeting. Moreover, students are strongly encouraged to have read Metaphysics Theta as carefully as they can at least once prior to the first meeting.

57600. Kant: Critique of the Aesthetic Power of Judgment Open to grad students. Graduate Seminar: Kant: Critique of the Aesthetic Power of Judgment Kant thinks that the experience of beauty has a form of its own: It can neither be reduced to a cognitive experience, nor to a moral or a merely sensuous experience. In the Critique of the Aesthetic Power of Judgment he develops an account of the experience of beauty that takes its starting point from two features that he takes to be fundamental for the idea of beauty: that a judgment on beauty is grounded in a feeling of pleasure, and that it nevertheless claims universal validity. The class will read central sections of Kant's text, and discuss some contemporary interpretations (among them, perhaps, Ameriks, Ginsborg, Guyer, Henrich, Kulenkampff, as well as Kern herself). Andrea Kern. Winter 2005.

59000. Workshop: Philosophy of Mind Open to grad students. The aim of this workshop is to serve as a focal point at the university for research and discussion in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of psychology. We'll pursue this aim in three ways: (1) by reading and discussing recent texts the exemplify central themes in the contemporary literature; (2) by providing a forum in which graduate students can present and receive feedback on their own work; and (3) by hosting a series of presentations by prominent philosophers of mind, psychologists, and specialists in related fields. Likely topics of conversation include: the relation between concepts and perceptual experience, self-knowledge, mental causation, and naturalism. Workshop website at http://www.mindworkshop.blogspot.com. Jason Bridges, David Finkelstein, Josef Stern. Winter 2005. *Special note: Meets over three quarters.

59900. Workshop: Contemporary Philosophy Open to grad students. Meets over three quarters. Josef Stern. Winter 2005. *Special note: This Workshop meets even weeks over three quarters.

59900. Workshop: Philosophy of Mind Open to grad students. The aim of this workshop is to serve as a focal point at the university for research and discussion in the philosophy of mind and the philosophy of psychology. We'll pursue this aim in three ways: (1) by reading and discussing recent texts the exemplify central themes in the contemporary literature; (2) by providing a forum in which graduate students can present and receive feedback on their own work; and (3) by hosting a series of presentations by prominent philosophers of mind, psychologists, and specialists in related fields. Likely topics of conversation include: the relation between concepts and perceptual experience, self-knowledge, mental causation, and naturalism. Jason Bridges, David Finkelstein. Spring 2005. *Special note: Meets over three quarters.

59900. Workshop: Contemporary Philosophy Open to grad students. Meets over three quarters. Josef Stern. Spring 2005. *Special note: This Workshop meets even weeks over three quarters.