Winter 2018 Courses

Listed below are the courses the Department plans to offer in the Winter 2018 quarter. This course list may change.

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

Note: College students may only enroll in courses whose first number is 2 without prior permission from the instructor. A College student who has secured prior permission to sign up for a course from the instructor may, in that case and only in that case, enroll in a course whose first number is larger than 2.

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

Note: Letters A and B refer to undergraduate field designations; Roman numerals I-V refer to graduate field designations.

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If you click on the image or link below, you will find an enlargeable image of a chart which perspicuously represents the weekly meeting times of our Winter 2018 Courses. Once the chart has opened in a new window, you can enlarge the image to whatever size you like in order to make it easier to read.

Winter 2018 Courses at a Glance - Spreadsheet

Open to Undergraduates:

PHIL 21000. Introduction to Ethics. (=HIPS 21000, FNDL 23107) In this course, we will read, write, and think about philosophical work meant to provide a systematic and foundational account of ethics. We will focus on close reading of two books, Immanuel Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism, along with a handful of more recent essays. Throughout, our aim will be to engage in serious thought about good and bad in our lives. (A) C. Vogler

PHIL 26000. History of Philosophy II: Medieval and Early Modern Philosophy. (=HIPS 26000) A survey of the thought of some of the most important figures of this period, including Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. Completion of the general education requirement in humanities required; PHIL 25000 recommended. B. Callard

PHIL 29700. Reading and Research. Consent of Instructor & Director of Undergraduate Studies. Students are required to submit the college reading and research course form. Staff

PHIL 29901. Senior Seminar I. Students writing senior essays register once for PHIL 29901, in either the Autumn or Winter Quarter, and once for PHIL 29902, in either the Winter or Spring Quarter. (Students may not register for both PHIL 29901 and 29902 in the same quarter). The Senior Seminar meets all three quarters, and students writing essays are required to attend throughout. Consent of Director of Undergraduate Studies. Required and only open to fourth-year students who have been accepted into the BA essay program. B. Laurence

PHIL 29902. Senior Seminar II. Students writing senior essays register once for PHIL 29901, in either the Autumn or Winter Quarter, and once for PHIL 29902, in either the Winter or Spring Quarter. (Students may not register for both PHIL 29901 and 29902 in the same quarter). The Senior Seminar meets all three quarters, and students writing essays are required to attend throughout. Consent of Director of Undergraduate Studies. Required and only open to fourth-year students who have been accepted into the BA essay program. B. Laurence

Open to Undergraduates and MAPH Students:

PHIL 21220. Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics. (=MAPH 31220, GNSE 21220, PLSC 21220) The beautiful, the sublime, the artistic, the creative - what do such terms mean and how have they figured in the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Dewey, Gadamer, Goodman, de Beauvoir, Nussbaum, and so many other canonical philosophers? How did they define "art" and "aesthetic" pleasure or taste? How did they philosophically construct the relationship between art and beauty? How did they reveal the problematic political and ethical dimensions and uses of such concepts as the aesthetic or the beautiful, for example in the social construction of gender roles and identities? Should art as a social change agent free itself from any entanglement with the beautiful? What are the political limits of art and aesthetics? Such are the questions and issues that this course will pursue, using both classical and contemporary sources, gallery visits, and more. (A) (B) B. Schultz

Open to Undergraduates and Graduates:

PHIL 20109/30109. Sartre's Being and Nothingness. (=FNDL 20109) We propose here a cursive reading of Sartre's masterpiece of 1943, explaining the whole project of Sartre's phenomenological ontology. For that we will focus on his polemical relation to German Idealism (mostly Hegel) and to German Phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger) in order to clarify the meaning of notions that Sartre inherits from these two traditions like in-itself, for-itself, intentionality, existence, selfhood, pre-reflexive consciousness, negativity, nothingness etc. Prior knowledge on Descartes, Spinoza, German Idealism, Phenomenology (Husserl, Heidegger) and knowledge in French are highly recommended to attend this class. (B) R. Moati

PHIL 20120/30120. Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations. (=FNDL 20120) A close reading of Philosophical Investigations. Topics include: meaning, explanation, understanding, inference, sensation, imagination, intentionality, and the nature of philosophy. Supplementary readings will be drawn from other later writings. At least one Philosophy course. (B) (III) J. Bridges

PHIL 21419/31419. Utopianism. In this class, we will explore the idea that political philosophy is practical. We will address questions such as the following. What is the best interpretation of this idea? How might we defend it against skepticism? What consequences does it have for method? What is it for a political philosophy to be utopian? Is there a good and a bad way of being utopian? How are these to be distinguished? What is it for a political philosophy to be cynical? How can we avoid cynicism while remaining properly practical? Does "human nature" place constraints on our political theorizing? What ought we to mean by "human nature" in this context? How do concepts like scarcity and abundance relate to utopian enterprise? Ideally at least one course on political philosophy. (A) B. Laurence

PHIL 24709/34709. Nietzsche's Critique of Morality. (=SCTH XXXXX) R. Pippin

PHIL 28204/38204. Philosophy of Right: Fichte, Kant, Hegel. We will do a comparative reading of the beginnings of the philosophies of right of Fichte, Kant and Hegel. We will start with Fichte's attempt for a swift deductions of the concept of right from the 'I think' and then look how the introduction of rights is more complicated in the case of Kant and Hegel. M. Haase

PHIL 28210/38209. Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. (=SCTH 37501, HIPS 28101, FNDL 28210) This course shall read the works of Sigmund Freud. We shall examine his views on the unconscious, on human sexuality, on repetition, transference and neurotic suffering. We shall also consider what therapy and "cure" consist in, and how his technique might work. We shall consider certain ties to ancient Greek conceptions of human happiness - and ask the question: what is it about human being that makes living a fulfilling life problematic? Readings from Freud's case studies as well as his essays on theory and technique. Course for Graduate Students and Upper Level Undergraduates. Student must have completed at least one 30000 level Philosophy course. J. Lear

PHIL 29400/39600. Intermediate Logic. (=CHSS 33600, HIPS 20500) In this course, we will prove the soundness and completeness of deductive systems for both sentential and first-order predicate logic. We will also establish related results in elementary model theory, such as the compactness theorem for first-order logic, the Lӧwenheim-Skolem theorem and Lindstrӧm's theorem. Elementary Logic or the equivalent. (B) (II) A. Vasudevan

PHIL 29911/39911. Ancient Greek Aesthetics. (=CLCV 26517, CLAS 36517, SCTH 39911) The ancient Greek philosophical tradition contains an enormously rich and influential body of reflection on the practice of poetry. We will focus our attention on Plato and Aristotle, but will also spend some time with Longinus and Plotinus. Topics will include: the analysis of poetry in terms of mimesis and image; poetry-making as an exercise of craft, divine inspiration, or some other sort of knowledge; the emotional effect on the audience; the role of poetry in forming moral character and, more broadly, its place in society; the relation between poetry, rhetoric, and philosophy; aesthetic values of beauty, wonder, truth, and grace. (A) (IV) G. Richardson-Lear

Open to Graduates:

PHIL 49900. Reading and Research. Consent of Instructor. Staff

PHIL 50100. First Year Seminar. This course meets in Autumn and Winter quarters. Enrollment limited to first-year graduate students. J. Bridges

PHIL 51200. Law-Philosophy Workshop. (= LAWS 61512, RETH 51301, GNSE 50101, HMRT 51301, PLSC 51512) Topic: Animal Rights and Environmental Ethics. About half of the sessions will discuss philosophical and legal issues related to animal rights, and the other half will discuss issues of environmental ethics, focusing on the ethics of climate change.

This is a seminar/workshop many of whose participants are faculty from various related disciplines. It admits approximately ten students. 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. Most sessions are led by visiting speakers, from either outside institutions or our own faculty, who circulate their papers in advance. The session consists of a brief introduction by the speaker, followed by initial questioning by the two faculty coordinators, followed by general discussion, in which students are given priority. Several sessions involve students only, and are led by the instructors. Students write a 20-25 page seminar paper at the end of the year. The course satisfies the Law School Substantial Writing Requirement.

Students are admitted by permission of the two instructors. They should submit a c.v. and a statement (reasons for interest in the course, relevant background in law and/or philosophy) to the instructors by e mail by September 20. Usual participants include graduate students in philosophy, political science, and divinity, and law students.

Students must enroll for all three quarters to receive credit. M. Nussbaum

PHIL 53360. Philosophy of Judaism: Soloveitchik Reads the Classics. (=HIJD 53360, DVPR 53360, KNOW 47002) Rabbi Joseph B. Soloveitchik was one of the most important philosophers of Judaism in the twentieth century. Among his many books, essays and lectures, we find a detailed engagement with the Bible, the Talmud and the fundamental works of Maimonides. This course will examine Soloveitchik's philosophical readings and appropriation of Torah, Talmud, and both the Guide and the Mishneh Torah. A framing question of the course will be: how can one combine traditional Jewish learning and modern philosophical ideas? What can Judaism gain from philosophy? What can philosophy learn from Judaism? All students interested in enrolling in this course should send an application to by 12/15/2017. Applications should be no longer than one page and should include name, email address, phone number, and department or committee. Applicants should briefly describe their background and explain their interest in, and their reasons for applying to, this course. A. Davidson

PHIL 53709. Conceptual change and the a-priori. (II) (III) K. Davey

PHIL 54002. Moral Psychology of the Emotions. In addition to having reasons for belief (theoretical reasons) and reasons for action (practical reasons), we also, sometimes, have reasons for feeling the way we do. For example: I feel angry because of the injustice someone did, or sad because of the loss I suffered, or grateful because of the benefit someone provided me. In this class we will ask what kinds of reasons those are: what is a reason to feel? We will also want to know how rational such emotions are: are there features that are central to our emotional life that we miss out on or misdescribe when we attend soley to its rational structure? We will also consider a puzzle that arises about the temporality of reasons for feeling: if my reason for being angry (or sad or grateful) is what you did, and it will always be true that you did it, do I have a reason to be angry (or sad or grateful) forever? If not, why not? In addition to discussing what might be true of the rationality of emotions considered as a class, we will also spend some time addressing questions specific to a given emotion. For example: What is an apology? Does gratitude require actual benefit or only positive intention? When we are sad about a loved one's death, do we mourn for ourselves, or for her? Are there reasons for feeling jealous, disgusted or stressed? Students who are not enrolled by the start of term but wish to enroll must (a) email the instructor before the course begins and (b) attend the first class. (I) A. Callard

PHIL 58108. The Philosophy of Howard Stein. (=CHSS 58108) Howard Stein's impressive body of work is notable for its tight integration of history of science with philosophy of science. Topics include: theories of spacetime structure (Newtonian and relativistic), the conceptual structure of quantum mechanics, the methodology of science in general and the character of scientific knowledge, and the history of physics and mathematics. Readings by Stein will be supplemented by primary historical texts and secondary philosophical literature, including selections from a forthcoming edited collection on Stein. (II) T. Pashby