Philosophy

Departmental Office: 708 Philosophy; 212-854-3196
www.philosophy.columbia.edu

Director of Undergraduate Studies: Philip Kitcher, 717 Philosophy; 212-854-4884; psk16@columbia.edu

Economics-Philosophy Adviser: Philip Kitcher, 717 Philosophy; 212-854-4884; psk16@columbia.edu

Students interested in philosophy may pursue a major either in philosophy or in economics-philosophy. Because philosophy treats issues fundamental to both the sciences and the humanities, students are also welcome to combine their philosophy major with work in other fields. Before declaring a major in philosophy or economics-philosophy, and before deciding to combine philosophy with another discipline, students should meet with the director of undergraduate studies to formulate the program best for them.

Philosophy majors are given a foundation in logic and philosophical methodology, and are asked to confront fundamental questions in the main areas of philosophy: epistemology and metaphysics, ethics and political philosophy, philosophy of mind and language, and history of philosophy. The department requires that all majors take at least one seminar (PHIL C3912), designed to allow students to focus on particular philosophical issues or texts in greater depth. Outstanding seniors may also pursue their own philosophical project in a senior thesis.

Over and above the courses required of all majors, there is room for considerable flexibility. Through an appropriate choice of electives from among the department’s offerings (and from related courses in other departments), there are special opportunities for focusing more intensively on one or two subfields of philosophy, e.g., logic and the philosophy of mathematics, philosophy of science, ethics and political philosophy, or the history of philosophy. Students should consult with the director of undergraduate studies on how best to pursue such programs.

Study Abroad: Reid Hall, Paris

For information on the Columbia in Paris Program at Reid Hall, including summer courses, consult the Columbia University in Paris Bulletin (available in 606 Kent and on-line at the Office of Global Programs website), call 212-854-2559, or send an e-mail to reidhall@columbia.edu. For information on applicability of Reid Hall courses to the major or concentration, consult the director of undergraduate studies.

Grading

Courses in which a grade of D has been received do not count toward the major or concentration requirements.

Senior Thesis

Senior thesis undergraduates majoring in philosophy or economics-philosophy may apply to write a senior thesis. Students who wish to write a thesis should approach a faculty member at the end of their junior or beginning of their senior year, and begin working on the application early in the fall semester of their senior year. Applications are due in early December, and are reviewed by a committee which includes the director of undergraduate studies; students are notified of the committee's decision within two weeks. Students whose applications are approved should register for their faculty adviser's section of Supervised Senior Research for the spring term of the senior year. Theses are due in early April. All students who complete theses are considered for departmental honors.

Departmental Honors

Departmental honors are highly competitive. Normally no more than 10% of graduating majors receive departmental honors in a given academic year.

In order to qualify for departmental honors in philosophy, a student must have a GPA of at least 3.6 in the major. For students with a GPA of 3.6 or above, there are two possible routes to consideration:

  1. A student may complete a senior thesis; all students who complete senior theses are considered for honors.
  2. A student may be nominated by a faculty member early in the spring semester of the senior year; nominated students are invited to submit a writing sample. A nominated student who is also writing a thesis may submit their thesis as the writing sample, or may choose to submit a different work.

Both the senior theses and writing samples are due in early April. The departmental honors committee then reviews the submitted material and the academic records of the students, and reports to the full faculty. The full faculty then decide which students to recommend for departmental honors.

Professors

  • David Albert
  • Akeel Bilgrami
  • Taylor Carman (Barnard)
  • Haim Gaifman
  • Lydia Goehr
  • Robert Gooding-Williams
  • Axel Honneth
  • Patricia Kitcher
  • Philip Kitcher
  • Wolfgang Mann 
  • Christia Mercer
  • Michele Moody-Adams
  • Fred Neuhouser (Barnard)
  • Christopher Peacocke 
  • Carol Rovane
  • Achille Varzi
  • Katja Vogt

Associate Professors

  • John Collins

Assistant Professors

  • Justin Clarke-Doane
  • Melissa Fusco
  • Tamar Lando
  • Karen Lewis (Barnard)
  • John Morrison (Barnard)
  • Elliot Paul (Barnard)
  • Kathryn Tabb

Affiliated Faculty

  • Souleymane Bachir Diagne (French and Romance Philology)
  • Jon Elster (Political Science)
  • Kent Greenawalt (University Professor)
  • Wayne Proudfoot (Religion)
  • Joseph Raz (Law School)
  • Gayatri Spivak (University Professor)

Major in Philosophy

Students considering a major in philosophy are strongly encouraged to meet with the director of undergraduate studies early in their sophomore year. All majors must consult with the director of undergraduate studies each term before registering for classes in order to plan and update their individual programs of study.

Students planning to major in philosophy are advised to begin with PHIL UN1010 Methods and Problems of Philosophical Thought. Beginning students are especially encouraged to take 2000-level courses, both in the history of philosophy and in systematic philosophy. These courses are typically less specialized and less narrowly focused than higher-numbered ones. More advanced students are encouraged to take 3000-level courses. The department requires that all majors take at least one seminar, PHIL C3912.

No more than one course at the 1000-level can be counted toward the major. In order to enroll in one of the 4000-level courses, students must have taken at least four courses in Philosophy.

The major requires a minimum of 30 points in philosophy chosen from courses prefixed with C, G, V, or W, including:

PHIL UN2101The History of Philosophy I: Presocratics to Augustine
PHIL UN2201History of Philosophy II: Aquinas to Kant
PHIL UN3411Symbolic Logic
At least one course in either metaphysics or epistemology e.g., PHIL W3960, or a related course to be chosen in consultation with the director of undergraduate studies.
Select at least one course in either ethics or social and political philosophy from the following:
Marriage, Morals, and Law
Ethics
Political Philosophy
A related course to be chosen in consultation with the director of undergradute studies.
PHIL UN3912Seminar: Philosophy of Mind

Concentration in Philosophy

Philosophy, as an academic discipline, has significant points of contact with a wide range of other subjects—in the humanities, the social sciences, and the natural sciences. A concentration in philosophy thus can be an attractive option for many students. Those considering becoming concentrators are strongly encouraged to meet with the director of undergraduate studies early in their sophomore year, in order to discuss their specific interests and to plan their programs of study. All concentrators should consult with the director of undergraduate studies each term before registering for courses.

The concentration requires a minimum of 24 points in philosophy, chosen from courses prefixed with C, G, V, or W. There are no specific courses required for the concentration.

Students may choose courses prefixed with G only with the instructor’s permission. 

PHIL C3912 is open to junior and senior concentrators who have taken at least four courses in philosophy.


Major in Economics-Philosophy

Please read Guidelines for all Economics Majors, Concentrators, and Interdepartmental Majors in the Economics section of this Bulletin.

Economics-Philosophy is an interdisciplinary major that, while introducing students to the basic methodologies of economics and philosophy, stresses areas of particular concern to both. These include subjects such as rationality and decision making, justice and efficiency, freedom and collective choice, and the logic of empirical theories and their testing. Many of the issues are dealt with historically, and classic texts of Plato, Kant, Mill, Marx, and Smith are reviewed.

Two advisers are assigned for the interdepartmental major, one in the Department of Economics and one in the Department of Philosophy. Please note that the economics adviser can only advise on the economics requirements and the philosophy adviser can only advise on the philosophy requirements.

The economics-philosophy major requires a total of 44 points: 16 points in economics, 15 points in philosophy, 6 points in mathematics, 3 points in statistics, and 4 points in the interdisciplinary seminar as follows:

Economics Core Courses
ECON UN1105Principles of Economics
ECON UN3211Intermediate Microeconomics
ECON UN3213Intermediate Macroeconomics
Mathematics Sequence
Select a mathematics sequence
Statistics
Select a statistics course
Economics Electives
Select 6 points of economics electives; refer to the Economics section of this bulletin.
Philosophy Courses
PHIL UN1010Methods and Problems of Philosophical Thought
PHIL UN3411Symbolic Logic
PHIL UN3701Ethics
PHIL UN3551Philosophy of Science
or PHIL UN3960 Epistemology
PHIL GU4561Probability and Decision Theory
Seminar
ECPH GU4950Economics and Philosophy Seminar (or another seminar in philosophy or economics approved by advisers in both department)

Students who declare in Spring 2014 and beyond:

In addition to the above requirements, students are required to take:

  1. ECON UN3412 Introduction To Econometrics
  2. A third economics elective; two of the three electives must be from the prescribed list found in the Economics section of the Bulletin, and the remaining economics elective may be any elective at the 3000-level or above.

Fall 2017

PHIL BC1001 Introduction to Philosophy. 3 points.

Survey of some of the central problems, key figures, and great works in both traditional and contemporary philosophy.  Topics and texts will vary with instructor and semester.

Spring 2017: PHIL BC1001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 1001 001/09632 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
304 Barnard Hall
David Friedell 3 56
PHIL 1001 002/03579 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Ll103 Diana Center
David Friedell 3 55
Fall 2017: PHIL BC1001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 1001 001/06226 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
Room TBA
Taylor Carman 3 30
PHIL 1001 002/03948 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Karen Lewis 3 15

PHIL UN1010 Methods and Problems of Philosophical Thought. 3 points.

Critical introduction to philosophical problems, ideas and methods.

Spring 2017: PHIL UN1010
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 1010 001/76526 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
517 Hamilton Hall
Justin Clarke-Doane 3 64/86
Fall 2017: PHIL UN1010
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 1010 001/73859 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Melissa Fusco 3 25/86

PHIL UN2101 The History of Philosophy I: Presocratics to Augustine. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., Recitation Section Required

Corequisites: PHIL V2111 Required Discussion Section (0 points).

Exposition and analysis of the positions of the major philosophers from the pre-Socratics through Augustine.  This course has unrestricted enrollment.

Fall 2017: PHIL UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 2101 001/75945 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
Katja Vogt 4 95/100

PHIL UN2110 Philosophy and Feminism. 3 points.

Is there an essential difference between women and men? How do questions about race conflict or overlap with those about gender? Is there a "normal" way of being "queer"? Introduction to philosophy and feminism through a critical discussion of these and other questions using historical and contemporary texts, art, and public lectures. Focus includes essentialism, difference, identity, knowledge, objectivity, and queerness.  This course will have unrestricted enrollment and no required discussion section.

Fall 2017: PHIL UN2110
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 2110 001/19570 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Christia Mercer 3 110/110

PHIL UN3131 Aristotle. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: One philosophy course or permission of the instructor.

Introduction to Aristotle's philosophy through analysis of selected texts.

Fall 2017: PHIL UN3131
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3131 001/18496 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Dhananjay Jagannathan 3 2/30

PHIL UN3252 Philosophy of Language and Mind. 3 points.

This course will survey the most fundamental issues about the nature of language and the nature of the human mind.  readings will consist of selections from Descartes, Locke, Frege, Wittgenstein, Chomsky, Quine, Davidson, Kripke, McDowell, Burge and some more recent writings.

Fall 2017: PHIL UN3252
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3252 001/12933 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
Room TBA
Christopher Peacocke 3 45/45

PHIL UN3264 19th Century Philosophy: Hegel. 3 points.

Prerequisites: PHIL UN2201 or PHIL UN3251

Examines major themes of Hegel's philosophy, with emphasis on social and political thought. Topics include Hegel's critique of Kant, the possibility of metaphysics, the master-slave dialectic, and the role of freedom in a rational society. Readings from Fichte help explain how Hegel's project develops out of Kant's transcendental idealism.  Some knowledge of Kant's moral theory and his Critique of Pure Reason is presupposed. Prerequisite: at least one of PHIL 2201, 2301, or 3251.

PHIL UN3353 European Social Philosophy. 3 points.

Prerequisites: one philosophy course.

A survey of Eurpoean social philosophy from the 18th to the 20th century, with special attention to theories of capitalism and the normative concepts (freedom, alienation, human flourishing) that inform them.  Also: the relationship between civil society and the state.

Fall 2017: PHIL UN3353
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3353 001/01186 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Frederick Neuhouser 3 30/40

PHIL UN3411 Symbolic Logic. 4 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement, Recitation Section Required

Corequisites: PHILV3413 Required Discussion Section (0 points).

Advanced introduction to classical sentential and predicate logic. No previous acquaintance with logic is required; nonetheless a willingness to master technicalities and to work at a certain level of abstraction is desirable. This course has unrestricted enrollment.

Spring 2017: PHIL UN3411
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3411 001/83450 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
614 Schermerhorn Hall
Achille Varzi 4 119/120
Fall 2017: PHIL UN3411
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3411 001/64121 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Tamar Lando 4 82/86

PHIL UN3551 Philosophy of Science. 3 points.

Enrollment limited to 40.

Prerequisites: one philosophy course or the instructor's permission.

Philosophical problems within science and about the nature of scientific knowledge in the 17th-20th centuries. Sample problems: causation and scientific explanation; induction and real kinds; verification and falsification; models, analogies and simulations; the historical origins of the modern sciences; scientific revolutions; reductionism and supervenience; differences between physics, biology and the social sciences; the nature of life; cultural evolution; human nature; philosophical issues in cosmology.

Spring 2017: PHIL UN3551
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3551 001/10344 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Ll103 Diana Center
Daniel Cloud 3 26/86
Fall 2017: PHIL UN3551
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3551 001/28837 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
David Albert 3 40/40

PHIL UN3601 Metaphysics. 4 points.

Discussion Section Required

Corequisites: PHIL V3611 Required Discussion Section (0 points).

Systematic treatment of some major topics in metaphysics (e.g. modality, causation, identity through time, particulars and universals). Readings from contemporary authors.

Fall 2017: PHIL UN3601
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3601 001/63092 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Achille Varzi 4 77/80

PHIL UN3751 Political Philosophy. 3 points.

Six major concepts of political philosophy including authority, rights, equality, justice, liberty and democracy are examined in three different ways. First the conceptual issues are analyzed through contemporary essays on these topics by authors like Peters, Hart, Williams, Berlin, Rawls and Schumpeter. Second the classical sources on these topics are discussed through readings from Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Marx, Plato, Mill and Rousseau. Third some attention is paid to relevant contexts of application of these concepts in political society, including such political movements as anarchism, international human rights, conservative, liberal, and Marxist economic policies as well as competing models of democracy.

Fall 2017: PHIL UN3751
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3751 001/29301 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Axel Honneth 3 40/40

PHIL UN3752 Philosophy of Law. 3 points.

This course explores philosophical reflection on the relationship between law, society and morality. We discuss the nature of law, the nature of legal reasoning, the relationship between law and social policy, and central concepts in civil and criminal law. Readings are drawn from such sources as the natural law tradition, legal positivism, legal realism, and Critical Legal Theory. Readings will be supplemented by analysis of classic cases.

Fall 2017: PHIL UN3752
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3752 001/66164 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
Room TBA
Michele Moody-Adams 3 80/80

PHIL UN3867 Philosophy & Literature: Jane Austen & Moral Philosophy. 3 points.

In the 1790s, when Jane Austen was beginning to write fiction, there was much debate over the value and function of the novel. Some argued that novels were dangerous to their readers, inciting violent emotional responses and corrupting the imagination (especially in women and children, who were believed to be more sensitive to such stimuli). Others saw potential in this narrative form, arguing that novels could contribute to the moral and sentimental education of their readers. Adam Smith, for example, claims that “[t]he poets and romance writers, who best paint the refinements and delicacies of love and friendship, and of all other private and domestic affections, Racine and Voltaire; Richardson, Maurivaux, and Riccoboni; are, in such cases, much better instructors than Zeno, Chrysippus, or Epictetus” (Theory of Moral Sentiments III.3.14). And David Hume argues that there is a kind of moral philosophy that paints virtue and vice rather than anatomizing it. Such philosopher-painters, he says, “make us feel the difference between vice and virtue; they excite and regulate our sentiments” (Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding 1.1).
In this course, we will keep these questions about one possible function of literature in the back of our minds as we read through four of Austen’s novels. With each novel, we will focus on a specific ethical theme treated in and by that novel: with Sense and Sensibility we’ll focus on the role of the emotions in morality; with Mansfield Park we’ll focus on questions about moral education and virtue; with Emma we’ll focus on the difficulties of accurate discernment and judgment in moral matters; and with Persuasion we’ll focus on the relation between the individual and society and the complications caused by differences in gender, class, and social status. Each novel will be paired with selections from authors who were near contemporaries of Austen’s, including Samuel Johnson, David Hume, Jane Collier, Hannah More, Adam Smith, and Mary Wollstonecraft.
Two warnings/things to be aware of: first, this course will require a significant amount of reading; and second, in this course, we will be approaching literature with an interest in philosophical themes and questions. We will occasionally discuss formal and stylistic aspects of Austen’s novels (for example, her use of irony and of a technique referred to as “free indirect discourse”), but these sorts of concerns will not be our main focus

Fall 2017: PHIL UN3867
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3867 001/11397 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Room TBA
3 2/28

PHIL UN3997 Supervised Senior Research. 3 points.

Supervised research under the direction of individual members of the department.

Spring 2017: PHIL UN3997
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3997 001/71905  
David Albert 3 0
PHIL 3997 002/10143  
Akeel Bilgrami 3 2
PHIL 3997 003/01465  
Taylor Carman 3 1
PHIL 3997 004/27488  
Justin Clarke-Doane 3 1
PHIL 3997 005/14463  
John Collins 3 0
PHIL 3997 006/27288  
Melissa Fusco 3 0
PHIL 3997 007/61613  
Haim Gaifman 3 0
PHIL 3997 008/24861  
Lydia Goehr 3 0
PHIL 3997 009/69052  
Robert Gooding-Williams 3 0
PHIL 3997 010/65719  
Axel Honneth 3 0
PHIL 3997 011/21725  
Patricia Kitcher 3 1
PHIL 3997 012/63551  
Philip Kitcher 3 2
PHIL 3997 013/02998  
Tamar Lando 3 0
PHIL 3997 014/02668  
Karen Lewis 3 0
PHIL 3997 015/68292  
Wolfgang Mann 3 0
PHIL 3997 016/63278  
Christia Mercer 3 1
PHIL 3997 017/72381  
Michele Moody-Adams 3 0
PHIL 3997 018/08563  
John Morrison 3 0
PHIL 3997 019/09374  
Frederick Neuhouser 3 2
PHIL 3997 020/04286  
Elliot Paul 3 0
PHIL 3997 021/73589  
Christopher Peacocke 3 0/10100
PHIL 3997 022/27951  
Carol Rovane 3 0
PHIL 3997 023/16156  
Kathryn Tabb 3 0
PHIL 3997 024/67285  
Achille Varzi 3 1
PHIL 3997 025/65815  
Katja Vogt 3 0
Fall 2017: PHIL UN3997
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3997 001/69393  
David Albert 3 0
PHIL 3997 002/15857  
Akeel Bilgrami 3 0
PHIL 3997 003/73087  
Justin Clarke-Doane 3 0
PHIL 3997 004/69797  
John Collins 3 0
PHIL 3997 005/75795  
Haim Gaifman 3 0
PHIL 3997 006/15379  
Lydia Goehr 3 0
PHIL 3997 007/64157  
Robert Gooding-Williams 3 0
PHIL 3997 008/10916  
Axel Honneth 3 0
PHIL 3997 009/77080  
Patricia Kitcher 3 0
PHIL 3997 010/17176  
Philip Kitcher 3 0
PHIL 3997 011/25659  
Tamar Lando 3 0
PHIL 3997 012/20156  
Wolfgang Mann 3 0
PHIL 3997 013/75667  
Christia Mercer 3 0
PHIL 3997 014/61583  
Michele Moody-Adams 3 0
PHIL 3997 015/23331  
Melissa Fusco 3 0
PHIL 3997 016/20641  
Christopher Peacocke 3 0
PHIL 3997 017/74040  
Carol Rovane 3 0
PHIL 3997 018/69914  
Kathryn Tabb 3 0
PHIL 3997 019/12024  
Achille Varzi 3 0
PHIL 3997 020/19353  
Katja Vogt 3 0
PHIL 3997 021/07159  
Taylor Carman 3 0
PHIL 3997 022/05319  
Karen Lewis 3 0
PHIL 3997 023/02662  
John Morrison 3 0
PHIL 3997 024/02506  
Frederick Neuhouser 3 0
PHIL 3997 025/05410  
Elliot Paul 3 0

PHIL G4471 Philosophy of Mathematics. 3 points.

Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: mathematical background, or familiarity with formal reasoning. The instructor's permission in borderline cases is required.

Topics: Mathematical reasoning and intuition, as illustrated in simple problem solving and historical examples. The source of mathematical validity. Views of mathematics of some major philosophers: Kant, Mill, Frege Russell, Wittgenstein. Realism and Constructivism. Hilbert's program. Mathematics as a formal deductive activity. Formal systems and the significance of Gödel's incompleteness results. Some more recent debates in the philosophy of mathematics.

PHIL GU4424 Modal Logic. 3 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement

Fall 2017: PHIL GU4424
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 4424 001/68370 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Tamar Lando 3 8/35

PHIL GU4490 LANGUAGE AND MIND. 3 points.

PHIL GU4561 Probability and Decision Theory. 3 points.

Examines interpretations and applications of the calculus of probability including applications as a measure of degree of belief, degree of confirmation, relative frequency, a theoretical property of systems, and other notions of objective probability or chance. Attention to epistimological questions such as Hume's problem of induction, Goodman's problem of projectibility, and the paradox of confirmation.

Fall 2017: PHIL GU4561
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 4561 001/29536 M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
716 Philosophy Hall
John Collins 3 21/35

PHIL GU4675 The Direction of Time. 3 points.

A survey of the various attempts to reconcile the macroscopic directionality of time with the time-reversibility of the fundamental laws of physics. The second law of thermodynamics and the concept of entropy, statistical mechanics, cosmological problems, the problems of memory, the possibility of multiple time direction.

Spring 2017

PHIL UN1010 Methods and Problems of Philosophical Thought. 3 points.

Critical introduction to philosophical problems, ideas and methods.

Spring 2017: PHIL UN1010
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 1010 001/76526 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
517 Hamilton Hall
Justin Clarke-Doane 3 64/86
Fall 2017: PHIL UN1010
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 1010 001/73859 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
Melissa Fusco 3 25/86

PHIL UN1401 Introduction to Logic. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning (QUA).

Explicit criteria for recognizing valid and fallacious arguments, together with various methods for schematizing discourse for the purpose of logical analysis. Illustrative material taken from science and everyday life.

Spring 2017: PHIL UN1401
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 1401 001/01435 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
833 Seeley W. Mudd Building
John Morrison 3 74/100

PHIL UN2201 History of Philosophy II: Aquinas to Kant. 4 points.

Recitation Section Required

Corequisites: PHIL V2211 Required Discussion Section (0 points).

PHIL V2101 is not a prerequisite for this course. Exposition and analysis of the metaphysics, epistemology, and natural philosophy of the major philosophers from Aquinas through Kant. Authors include Aquinas, Galileo, Gassendi, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant.  This course has unrestricted enrollment.

Spring 2017: PHIL UN2201
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 2201 001/04794 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
136 Thompson Hall (Tc)
John Morrison 4 80

PHIL UN3248 Darwin. 3 points.

Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection has been revolutionary, not just for scientists but for everyone who reflects on human nature and human destiny. The first aim of this course is to separate Darwin’s own theory from its scientific, religious, and cultural aftershocks, and to consider how its influence developed and changed over the century and a half since On the Origin of Species was published in 1859. After careful consideration of Darwin’s own life and historical context, we will read our way through the Origin, and then consider reactions to to it starting Darwin’s own day, proceeding through the “Modern Synthesis," and ending in our present moment. The final sessions of the course will explore Darwin’s impact on contemporary philosophical debates over faith, ethics, and scientific knowledge. 

Spring 2017: PHIL UN3248
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3248 001/93349 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
301m Fayerweather
Kathryn Tabb 3 33/38

PHIL UN3251 Kant. 3 points.

Explores the connections between theoretical and practical reason in Kant's thinking with special attention to the Critique of Pure Reason and the project of "transcendental" philosophy.

Spring 2017: PHIL UN3251
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3251 001/16986 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
702 Hamilton Hall
Patricia Kitcher 3 39/86

PHIL UN3352 Twentieth Century European Philosophy. 3 points.

Prerequisites: one prior philosophy course.

Reading and discussion of selected texts by central figures in phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, critical theory, and recent Continental philosophy. Authors may include Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Gadamer, Horkheimer, Adorno, Foucault, Bourdieu.

Spring 2017: PHIL UN3352
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3352 001/04153 M W 10:10am - 11:25am
504 Diana Center
Taylor Carman 3 52/57

PHIL UN3411 Symbolic Logic. 4 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement, Recitation Section Required

Corequisites: PHILV3413 Required Discussion Section (0 points).

Advanced introduction to classical sentential and predicate logic. No previous acquaintance with logic is required; nonetheless a willingness to master technicalities and to work at a certain level of abstraction is desirable. This course has unrestricted enrollment.

Spring 2017: PHIL UN3411
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3411 001/83450 T Th 2:40pm - 3:55pm
614 Schermerhorn Hall
Achille Varzi 4 119/120
Fall 2017: PHIL UN3411
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3411 001/64121 M W 11:40am - 12:55pm
Room TBA
Tamar Lando 4 82/86

PHIL UN3551 Philosophy of Science. 3 points.

Enrollment limited to 40.

Prerequisites: one philosophy course or the instructor's permission.

Philosophical problems within science and about the nature of scientific knowledge in the 17th-20th centuries. Sample problems: causation and scientific explanation; induction and real kinds; verification and falsification; models, analogies and simulations; the historical origins of the modern sciences; scientific revolutions; reductionism and supervenience; differences between physics, biology and the social sciences; the nature of life; cultural evolution; human nature; philosophical issues in cosmology.

Spring 2017: PHIL UN3551
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3551 001/10344 T Th 1:10pm - 2:25pm
Ll103 Diana Center
Daniel Cloud 3 26/86
Fall 2017: PHIL UN3551
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3551 001/28837 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
Room TBA
David Albert 3 40/40

PHIL UN3685 Philosophy of Language. 3 points.

An upper division course in analytic philosophy of language. We will examine sense and reference, Tarski's theory of truth, and readings in classical and contemporary pragmatics. In the final weeks we will focus on definite descriptions and a close reading of Naming and Necessity.

Spring 2017: PHIL UN3685
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3685 001/65774 T Th 6:10pm - 7:25pm
520 Mathematics Building
Melissa Fusco 3 10/38

PHIL UN3701 Ethics. 4 points.

Prerequisites: one course in philosophy.
Corequisites: PHIL V3711 Required Discussion Section (0 points).

This course is mainly an introduction to three influential approaches to normative ethics: utilitarianism, deontological views, and virtue ethics. We also consider the ethics of care, and selected topics in meta-ethics.

Spring 2017: PHIL UN3701
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3701 001/63361 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
702 Hamilton Hall
Michele Moody-Adams 4 56/80

PHIL UN3855 The Potential and Actual Infinite. 3 points.

This course examines the concept of infinity throughout the history of western philosophy, looking at how the puzzles that surround the concept led to the construction and defense of many different philosophical positions on the infinite. In particular, we will examine how many different historical figures have attempted (in many different ways) to draw a distinction between what is potentially infinite and what is actually infinite, and further, how this distinction is used in attempts to solve puzzles of the infinite. We move chronologically, starting with Zeno and Aristotle, through the invention of calculi of infinitesimals, to the development of set theory, model theory, and modern mathematical logic. We will also use the tools we develop in our historical investigation to address modern discussions in philosophy about the infinite, such as the debates about supertasks and the limitations of computation. This course has no prerequisites (although having taken Symbolic Logic may be useful), and it serves well as an introduction to philosophy of mathematics because of its chronological presentation. It also intersects with a wide range of topics in other fields, such as mathematics, logic, physics, computer science, religion, and artificial intelligence, which should make it of interest even to those who may not have a strong formal background.

PHIL UN3912 Seminar: Philosophy of Mind. 3 points.

Prerequisites: Required of senior majors, but also open to junior majors and junior and senior concentrators who have taken at least four philosophy courses.

Philosophy of Mind

Spring 2017: PHIL UN3912
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3912 002/13552 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
716 Philosophy Hall
Tamar Lando 3 14/20
PHIL 3912 010/63838 W 4:10pm - 6:00pm
509 Hamilton Hall
Christopher Peacocke 3 4/20
Fall 2017: PHIL UN3912
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3912 004/05696 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
Room TBA
Elliot Paul 3 1/20
PHIL 3912 014/67374 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
716 Philosophy Hall
Michele Moody-Adams 3 20/20
PHIL 3912 018/62282 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
Room TBA
Haim Gaifman 3 1/20
PHIL 3912 019/13901 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
Room TBA
Lydia Goehr 3 20/20

PHIL UN3960 Epistemology. 4 points.

Discussion Section Required

Corequisites: PHIL W3963 Required Discussion Section (0 points).

What can we know? What is knowledge? What are the different kinds of knowledge? We will read classic and contemporary texts for insight into these questions.

Spring 2017: PHIL UN3960
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3960 001/23976 M W 8:40am - 9:55am
Ll104 Diana Center
David Friedell 4 31/86

PHIL UN3996 Supervised Senior Research. 3 points.

Supervised research under the direction of individual members of the department.

Fall 2017: PHIL UN3996
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3996 001/16877  
David Albert 3 0
PHIL 3996 002/16213  
Akeel Bilgrami 3 0
PHIL 3996 003/23566  
Justin Clarke-Doane 3 0
PHIL 3996 004/12305  
John Collins 3 0
PHIL 3996 005/18285  
Haim Gaifman 3 0
PHIL 3996 006/19770  
Lydia Goehr 3 0
PHIL 3996 007/11647  
Robert Gooding-Williams 3 0
PHIL 3996 008/66761  
Axel Honneth 3 0
PHIL 3996 009/20943  
Patricia Kitcher 3 0
PHIL 3996 010/20062  
Philip Kitcher 3 0
PHIL 3996 011/15160  
Tamar Lando 3 0
PHIL 3996 012/26833  
Wolfgang Mann 3 0
PHIL 3996 013/76928  
Christia Mercer 3 0
PHIL 3996 014/22832  
Michele Moody-Adams 3 1
PHIL 3996 015/21246  
Christopher Peacocke 3 0
PHIL 3996 016/74242  
Carol Rovane 3 0
PHIL 3996 017/68680  
Kathryn Tabb 3 0
PHIL 3996 018/10473  
Achille Varzi 3 0
PHIL 3996 019/18596  
Katja Vogt 3 0
PHIL 3996 020/25151  
Melissa Fusco 3 0
PHIL 3996 021/09118  
Taylor Carman 3 0
PHIL 3996 022/04781  
Karen Lewis 3 0
PHIL 3996 023/08657  
John Morrison 3 0
PHIL 3996 024/09862  
Frederick Neuhouser 3 0
PHIL 3996 025/07617  
Elliot Paul 3 0

PHIL GU4455 Special Topics in Logic: Modal Logic. 3 points.

A logical treatment of necessity, possibility, and other intentional operators.

Spring 2017: PHIL GU4455
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 4455 001/76180 T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
311 Fayerweather
Tamar Lando 3 6/30

CSPH GU4802 Math Logic II: Incompletness. 3 points.

The course covers Godel's two theorems: (1) In any formal deductive system, which is adequate for doing a minimum of basic mathematics, there are statements that are neither provable nor disprovable.  (2) The consistency of any minimally adequate system is not provable within the system itself.  Those theorems are often regarded as the most philosophically significant results in mathematics, giving rise to foundational questions about human cognition.  Besides their philosophical significance, Godel's technique involved basic notions of computability, leading to the standard impossibility results in theoretical computer science, and to counterparts in complexity theory. The course aims at presenting Godel's proof in a transparent intuitive way, while adhering to the usual standards of rigor.  It also covers the basic notions of computable (or recursive) functions, and computably enumerable sets.  The plan is to discuss some philosophical questions that emerge from the results.  Also planned are undecidability results for some well-known systems - that is, the impossibility of deciding, by means of a computer algorithm whether a given sentence is a theorem. The course relies on detailed couse notes developed over the years.  It requires acquaintance with first-order logic, but will be technically self-contained; the required knowledge is provided as a chapter in the course notes.  Students who are good at it can get it by themselves, but should consult the instructor and get the required approval.

PHIL GU4900 Topics in Early Modern Philosophy. 3 points.

Open to undergraduates with previous work in the history of philosophy and to graduate students. Focuses either on an important topic in the history of early modern philosophy (e.g., skepticism, causation, mind, body) or on the philosophy of a major figure in the period (e.g., Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Gassendi, Conway). 

Spring 2017: PHIL GU4900
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 4900 001/72238 W 2:10pm - 4:00pm
716 Philosophy Hall
Christia Mercer 3 12/35