PHIL 101 Jan Session Intro to Philosophy M-F 1-3:20pm C. Haufe

PHIL 101 Intro to Philosophy MWF 10:35-11:25am TBA

PHIL 101  Intro to Philosophy MWF 3:20-4:10pm TBA

PHIL 204  Philosophy of Science C. Haufe TR 10:00 – 11:15am

PHIL 207 Good Relationships Spring 21 R 5:30-8pm  J. Bendik-Keymer What is a good relationship? What is the difference between everyday work relationships, friendships, and romance? What is love? What is the role of desire in relationships? What is the role of respect and of moral judgment? What can a bad relationship teach us? In this class, we explore the logic of personal relationships by focusing on the central experience of being in love. However, our approach is indirect. We begin with what we can learn from a bad relationship. In addition to philosophical and psychological reading, students design exercises that might improve a personal relationship as found in fiction or history. By thus imaginatively studying relationships in narration, they are asked to develop their own concept of a good relationship.  No prerequisites; open to students from any major.

PHIL 222 Jan Session Science of Happiness M-F 10am-noon & 1-3pm T. Jack  The Pandemic invites us to re-evaluate what matters in life. Fortunately, there is much valuable wisdom to draw upon, from the teachings of ancient philosophers through the best elements of new age spirituality to the cutting-edge science of physical and psychological well-being. This class is experiential and fully immersive, hence there is more in-class time and less homework than standard. Fifteen class days make up the January semester. You will need to dedicate between 7 and 8 hours each of those days.

PHIL 302 Modern Philosophy TR  2:30 -4pm C. Kim  Western philosophy had already begun to free itself from its Medieval status as the Handmaiden of Theology before Descartes joined the liberation process and declared the  methodological priority of epistemology that advocated the necessity and sufficiency of pure reason for cognition. But Descartes’ radical project of starting philosophy anew without presuppositions had a dubious success. He extruded revealed theology from philosophy but made rational theology into an indispensable foundational layer of philosophy. The rationalist epistemology Descartes championed was opposed by empiricists who ruled purely rational knowledge of the world impossible. The battle between rationalism and empiricism was declared over by Immanuel Kant, who held that sense experience was made possible by subjective forms of sense intuition and subjective concepts of the objective, so that the empirical world is a subjective construct accessible to the human cognitive apparatus. The impression that Kant’s theory of empirical knowledge adjudicates the two conflicting traditions with complete equanimity is belied by his surprising claim on pure reason’s autonomy and adequacy in the domain of ethics and philosophy of religion. Various reactions to or appropriations of Kant’s seminal philosophy would become the story of philosophy in the 19th century and beyond. Idealism, Pragmatism, Positivism and Phenomenology express interpreted Kantian impetus. The saying that after Kant one can do philosophy for or against Kant but no one can do it without Kant is a forgivable exaggeration. The focus of our study will be the interplay between epistemology and metaphysics–between the demand for honesty about what one can claim to know, will and hope and the equally strong urge to comprehend the world. PHIL 301: Ancient Philosophy, though not a prerequisite, is an appropriate introduction.

PHIL 318  Jan Session People and Planet 9-11:20am J. Bendik-Keymer  In this intensive winter class, delivered synchronously & remotely, we do two things: (1) We explore our relationship to the environment; (2) we conceptualize and work out some of our broad responsibilities as citizens living on a planet where we are all interdependent, human and non-humans alike.  One of the features of the class will be walks – or other forms of suitable locomotion fitting to people’s situation – done every other day and turned into short essays.  Another feature of the class will be working out our environmental duties, especially to future generations.  The idea is to get to know the season where you live, to have time to connect with your surroundings and yourself, and to focus on being a citizen of Earth, not just of a nation state.  Students from any major are welcome, without prerequisite. 

PHIL 326 Introduction to Confucian Philosophy MWF 3:20 4:10pm  C. McLarty  Without assuming any background in Chinese history, philosophy, or language, this course introduces Kongzi (Confucius, 551–479 BC) through the most widely discussed aspect of his thought today: his political philosophy. A brief look at the Eastern Zhou period of Chinese history will introduce Kongzi’s social and economic environment. Close study of three books of Kongzi’s Analects will include learning (from Bryan van Norden) to read two of Kongzi’s sayings in Classical Chinese, to illustrate the style of expression. Current readings will include Tongdong Bai’s 2019 argument for Confucian meritocracy as a viable alternative to Western democracy.

PHIL 330/430 Special Topics in Ethics:  Ethics and Artificial Intelligence MW 12:43-2pm S. French  This course will explore ethical issues concerning the development and use of Artificial Intelligence, ranging from deferring to automation as an authority to the effects of bias embedded in algorithms to vital questions of autonomy and accountability, all the way to an examination of possible rights for advanced AI systems in the future. AI is currently used in many settings, from businesses to healthcare to the military, all of which have an impact on human lives. There are risks and opportunities associated with this, including the intriguing possibility that we could use AI as augmentation to make us more ethical, not less. This course will give students the opportunity to consider and debate how AI can be designed and deployed in ways that promote the common good and avoid causing harm, especially to the most vulnerable among us. 


PHIL 336/436 Military Ethics and  International Law TR 11:30am-12:45pm J. Flint 

PHIL 384/484 Ethics and Public Policy T 4-6:30 pm B. Ranganathan State coercion is this organizing theme of this course. Through public policy, the state coerces citizens and non-citizens alike, with state coercion often involving the implicit or explicit threat of penalty or violence. Policymaking of this character powerfully shapes the contour and content of our lives. Therefore, it demands a special kind of moral attention. In this course, we will examine a range of cases that involve state coercion. Most of our attention will be on killing, focusing especially on the ethics of killing in war. We will also consider the ethical issues involved with torture, immigration, and bodily integrity. Along the way, we will examine the legal and philosophical justifications for and against such policies. This course is limited to upper division undergraduate and graduate students. Instructor permission is required to enroll.

PHIL 392 Empathic Leadership TR 4-5:15pm  T. Jack