Spring 2004 Courses

UNDERGRADUATE COURSES | GRADUATE COURSES

PHIL 141  FORMS OF REASONING [3]
Prof. Cargile (Sect 1: M W F 0900-0950)
Prof. Cargile (Sect 2: M W F 1100-1150)
A philosophy course with a practical aim: to develop the student's ability to recognize and evaluate arguments. The course will not cover symbolic logic in any detail (for this take PHIL l42 or PHIL 242), but will concentrate on actual arguments given in ordinary language.  Some time will be spent studying those fallacies, or errors in reasoning, which occur most frequently in discussion and argument. The goal of this course is to give the student a working knowledge of logic which has an application to daily life.

PHIL 154  ISSUES OF LIFE AND DEATH [3]
Prof. Arras (M W 1200-1250 + disc sec)
This course explores a number of philosophical themes bearing on life and death: e.g., what is the significance of death and the value of human life? Is it rational to fear death? Would immortality be desirable? Should medical research aim at extending the natural human life span? Much of the course will focus on recent challenges to a so-called "sanctity of life ethic" in such areas as abortion, brain death, suicide, euthanasia, and the withholding life-sustaining treatments. We will also address the question of our obligations, if any, to prevent people from starving or dying of preventable diseases in distant lands. While the course engages such substantive issues, it also attempts to sharpen studentsâ skills in practical reasoning through argument analysis, analogical reasoning, application of theory and principles to cases, etc. There will be 2 papers and final exam.
     This course is designed both as an introduction to philosophy and as a required introductory course in the Bioethics Minor Program.

PHIL 162  PHILOSOPHY OF LOVE AND SEX [3]
Mr. Gregory (T R 0930-1045)
The word 'love,' is a part of our everyday vocabulary, but what does a declaration of love mean (philosophically) and entail (ethically)? The Philosophy of Love and Sex examines the treatment of the concepts of love and sex by historical and contemporary philosophers (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Hildegard of Bingen, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Sartre, DeBeauvoir, Foucault, Nussbaum, Feinberg, Vlastos, Nagel). It asks, whether the concept of love concerns meta-physics, ethics, or both. What expectations follow from the claim 'I love...?' What is self-love? The course will also tackle ethical questions that derive from sexual involvements such as perversions, pornography, adultery, etc. The coursework includes an in-class exam (25%), an in-class presentation (10%), two papers--one short (25%) and one longer (35%), and class participation (5%).


PHIL 163  EMOTION, MORALITY, & CHARACTER [3]
Mr. Moseley (T R 1100-1215)
This course will examine topics in fields of philosophy of mind, philosophy of psychology, and moral philosophy. We will begin with a historical overview of theories of the emotions: the views of Descartes, Spinoza, Darwin, James, Dewey, and others will be discussed. A general understand-ing of the emotions will enable us to understand some contemporary theories about the relation between desire, choice and emotion. We will also investigate the nature of certain moral emotions. Specifically, we will try to uncover the nature of love, pride, and shame. This analysis will reveal interesting relations between character and emotion. The course will conclude with a re-evaluation of the classic dichotomy between reasonand the emotions.

PHIL 164  ETHICS & INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS [3]
Mr. Tabachnick (T R 1230-1345)
This course centers around the moral problems which arise in the context of and in the preparation for international violence, particularly war. The main focus will be on what, if any conditions may justify nations in going to or preparing for war. The course will address the moral debate between just war theorists and philosophical pacifists. The course will philosophically examine problems of political and institutionalized violence, political realism, political and moral responsibility for acts of war, national and self-defence, nuclear deterrence, and the concept of innocence. Before turning to these problems, there will be a brief introduction to western moral theories and thinking. Finally, the course will conclude by looking at alternatives to war, as well as possible plans for the limitation of political violence.

PHIL 165  ARGUMENTS,PROOFS & MATHEMATICS [3]
Mr. Stoltz (T R 1400-1515)
This course aims to familiarize students with the study of arguments and proofs. Comparisons will be drawn between ordinary, everyday applications of the notion of proof and mathematical conceptions of proofs. This study will enable us to see if and how a better understanding of paradigmatic proofs in mathematics can help us understand the nature of argumentation and proof in broader philosophical contexts. The goal of the course is to help students become better equipped to recognize the worth of arguments and the value of a good proof.

PHIL 206  PHILOSOPHICAL PROBLEMS IN LAW [3]
Prof. Doyle (M W 1100-1150 + disc sec)
An examination and evaluation of some basic practices and principles of Anglo-American law. The course will focus on such problems as: the nature and extent of legal liability, strict liability statutes, "Good Samaritan" laws, the legal enforcement of community moral standards, and the justifi-cation of punishment and capital punishment. We will examine prominent legal cases and their underlying principles, but the emphasis will be on philosophical analysis and moral evaluation of the law in these areas.
     There will be two lectures and one discussion section each week. Readings will be drawn from both classical and contemporary sources. Required written work will be two short papers, a midterm, and a final examination. This course is suitable for students who have done little or no previous work in philosophy.

PHIL 210  GOD [3]
Prof. Doyle ( M W 1300-1350 + dis sec)
An examination of the philosophical concept of God and of diverse arguments for and against His existence, including various ontological arguments, causal arguments, the argument from design, and the argument from evil. Studied texts will include works by St. Anselm of Canterbury, St. Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Kant, and Bertrand Russell. This is an introductory course suitable for students with no prior background in philosophy as well as for philosophy and religious studies majors and minors. Course requirements will include one or two papers.

PHIL 212  HIST OF PHILOSOPHY: MODERN [3]
Prof. Griffin (M W 0900-0950 + disc sect)
In this course we will critically examine the works of the central figures of 17th and 18th century philosophy: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant. We will evaluate the views of these philosophers on such topics as the origin and extent of human knowledge, the nature of material objects, the relation between mind and body, the existence of God, freedom and determinism. This course is suited for those who have a general interest in philosophy as well as those who seek a foundation for their further study of philosophy.

PHIL 245  PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE [3]
Prof. Humphreys (M W 1100-1150 + disc sec)
The course will focus on scientific methodology as a route to knowledge. Typical topics to be investigated are: how scientific claims can be demarcated from other types of knowledge: why science appears to progress while other fields do not; scientific explanations; the contrast between natural and social sciences; scientific realism and instrumentalism; the relationship between the philosophy and the history of science. Topics will be illustrated with historical examples, ranging from Greek astronomy to contemporary social sciences, but no background in any particular science will be presupposed. Requirements include weekly assignments, a term paper, and a final examination.

PHIL 255  DEMOCRACY[3]
Prof. Brewer (T R 1100-1150)
We all believe in democracy, or so we say. But what exactly does the democratic ideal require? Does it require merely that political leaders be selected by majoritarian voting? Or does it also require that electoral campaigns take place in the context of a free and lively public political debate, on a playing field that does not unduly favor candidates whose supporters are wealthy? And why exactly is democracy a good thing, supposing for a moment that it is? Is it good only because it tends to produce the best laws, or would democracy be choiceworthy even if there were some better method of producing good laws? Is it anti-democratic to vest unelected judges with the power to review and strike down laws produced by a democratically elected legislature? If we think that judges ought to have such powers, does this mean that we think a nation can be too democratic? If so, how much democracy is too much, and what are the dangers of excessive democracy? Should the democratic ideal be pursued only in the political arena, or would it be desirable for workplaces to have a democratic structure as well? These and other questions concerning the nature and value of democracy will be examined through a reading of historic and contemporary philosophical texts on the subject. The course presupposes no prior experience in philosophy.

PHIL 3l2  ARISTOTLE [3]
Prof. Devereux (T R 0930-1045)
An introduction to the philosophy of Aristotle, focusing on the theories and ideas of lasting importance in the history of Western philosophy. Readings will be drawn from his works on metaphysics, theory of science, natural philosophy, ethics, and political philosophy. A couple of weeks at the end of the semester will be devoted to the philosophical schools (Epicureanism, Stoicism, Skepticism) that developed after the death of Aristotle.

PHIL 316  LOCKE, BERKELEY, HUME [3]
Prof. Griffin (M W 1100-1150)
In this course we will examine the work of three of the most important figures of 17th and 18th century philosophy. While the primary focus of this course will be epistemological--all three of these philosophers believe that knowledge is, in some sense, grounded in, and limited by, experience--we will also discuss the metaphysical consequences they draw from their epistemological doctrines (for example, concerning the nature and existence of bodies, the nature of mind, the existence of the self, the nature of causation and freedom of the will). Readings will be selected from Locke's Essay concerning Human Understanding; Berkeleyâs Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous and Treatise concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge; and Humeâs Treatise of Human Nature and Enquiry concerning Human Understanding.

PHIL 329  CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY [3]
Prof. Cargile (T R 0930-1045)
Readings in works of contemporary philosophy.

PHIL 331  METAPHYSICS [3]
Prof. Merricks (T R 0930-1045)
This survey course will examine a vareity of issues central to contemporary analytic metaphysics. We shall consider, among other things, possibility and necessity, identity over time, and personal identity. This course is meant for third- and fourth-year philosophy majors only.

PHIL 334  PHILOSOPHY OF MIND [3]
Prof. Langsam (T R 1230-1345)
What is the nature of the mind and why do we find its nature so puzzling? We shall critically examine various theories about the nature of the mind; we shall also discuss the nature of particular kinds of mental states and events, such as beliefs, desires, feelings, sensory experiences, and others. We shall be especially concerned with the relations between the mind and the body, and, more generally, between the mental and the physical. Most of the readings will be by contemporary philosophers. (This course satisfies the major concentration requirement in Metaphysics and Epistemology.)

PHIL 352  CONTEMPORARY ETHICS [3]
Mr. Marshall (T R 1100-1215)
Can our moral principles and judgements be justified objectively? Or is it that these principles and judgments express only our subjective preferences and attitudes? Are there, over and above our moral sentiments, objective moral facts, and, if so, can we reasonably aspire to knowledge of these facts? Say, for example, I have a moral reason not to harm another, do I necessarily have a good reason not to harm? Or is this a good reason only relative to my desires or interests? In short, are moral reasons objectively valid, or are they not? These and related questions will be explored through reading a selection of texts from contemporary writers. Two 2000- word essays are required. There will be a five-minute quiz each day and a final exam.

PHIL 356  CLASSICAL POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY [3]
Prof. Lomasky (M W 1400-1515) How may we effectively lead our lives among others attempting to do the same? This is the central question of political philosophy, a discipline now some 2500 years old but as relevant and timely as yesterdayâs attempts to bring some measure of order from chaos in Baghdad. This course will explore some of the peaks of that tradition. We begin with Hobbes, Locke, Kant, and Mill. They are key representatives of so-called political liberalism. The course concludes with an examination of two major critics of political liberalism: Plato and Aristotle.

PHIL 358  REPRODUCTIVE ETHICS [3]
Prof. Arras (M W 1400-1515)
The focus of the course will be the exploration of various moral, legal and policy issues posed by efforts to curtail or enhance fertility through contraception, abortion, and recent advances in reproductive technology. Topics for discussion include: recent work on abortion (e.g., by Ronald Dworkin and David Boonin), roral status of embryos in research (including stem cell research), assisted reproductive technologies (including the right to reproduce and its limits, in vitro fertilization, contract pregnancy, gamete donation, and cloning), rhe concept of reproductive responsibility, harming future persons and Parfit's 'non-identity problem,' exploitation, coercion, and commodification in the deployment of new technologies, and the disabilities rights critique of genetic screening and selective abortion.
     This course is open to all undergrads, second year or higher, who have taken at least one prior course in ethics or political philosophy from any department (this includes RELG 265). Each student will take two exams (midterm and final) and write two papers (one very short 4-5 pp., and a longer term paper 10-15 pp.) Instructor permission.

PHIL 361  AESTHETICS [3]
Prof. Green (M W 1400-1515)
The course will examine some central philosophical issues raised by artistic activity. We shall pursue such questions as whether there is an 'aesthetic attitude' that differentiates our approach to works of art from the approach we take to other things; whether artistic value is entirely in the eye of the beholder or whether there is such a thing as being wrong in one's judgment concerning an artwork; what, if there is any such objectivity in aesthetic evaluation, the criteria might be for arriving at proper evaluations; whether an interpretation of an artwork can ever be said to be incorrect, and, if it can, whether artistâs intentions are ever relevant to that interpretation; whether the artistâs representation of the world is in conflict with, or complements, that of the scientist; what role the metaphors in which artists often deal play in transfiguring our understanding of ourselves and environment; what our treatment of art objects can tell us about objects, and about the constituents of the world more generally.
     Readings from philosophers, historians of art, and philosophically minded practitioners of the arts. Among our authors will be Aristotle, M. Beardsley, O.K. Bouwsma, S. Cavell, R. Collingwood, A. Danto, G. Dickie, M. Duchamp, N. Frye, E.H. Gombrich, N. Goodman, E. Hanslick, D. Hume, I. Kant, P. Kivy, Plato, A. Schopenhauer, L. Tolstoy, K. Walton, H. Wolfflin, R. Wollheim, and P. Ziff.
     Course requirements: Three papers, two shorter (5 to 8 pages) and one longer (8 to 12 pages), and an in-class final examination. The studentâs participation in class discussion will be a factor in grading.

PHIL 386  STRATEGY ACROSS THE DISCIPLINE [3]
Prof. Humphreys (T R 1230-1345)
Evolutionary adaptation of living organisms, behavioral change among men and other advanced animals, and critical reflection followed by decision making in a wide variety of human endeavors are all manifestations of the pursuit of competitive advantage. The quest for advantage is strategic if it must overcome obstacles, if resources must be committed in the face of uncertainty and if, in particular, it is likely to encounter intelligent opposition. The purpose of this course taught by an interdisciplinary group of faculty is to familiarize students with the dynamics and key concepts of strategic interaction, and--based on that shared under-standing--to give them an opportunity to hone their strategic skills. The primary prerequisite for this course is an intensive and wide ranging curiosity as we will cover a wide range of fields--from philosophy to biology, from business to warfare and from economics to architecture. There will be some external guest speakers and a trip to D.C. to the Corcoran Gallery of Art.
     This class is one of the 'Common Courses' funded by the Dean of Arts and Sciences. Admission is by instructor permission and prospective students should contact Paul Humphreys (pwh2a) if they wish to enroll through PHIL 386 or Doug Taylor (drt3b) if they wish to enroll through BIOL 386. Expression of interest in the course should be accompanied by a) a one paragraph explanation of why you want to take the class b) your academic background [major, if any; GPA; relevant courses taken]; c) a brief statement of what expertise you would bring to the course.

PHIL 402  SEMINAR FOR MAJORS [3]
Prof. Brewer (T R 1400-1515) This seminar, open only to philosophy majors, will take up selected themes in contemporary ethical theory, possibly including the 'dirty hands' problem, the 'paradox of deontology', the nature and reason-giving force of desires and pleasures, the role of emotions in moral character, the place of rules in proper moral reasoning, the nature and preconditions of moral responsibility, and the possibility of 'moral luck' (i.e. variations in moral blameworthiness that owe entirely to luck).

PHIL 490H  HONORS PROGRAM [15]
Prof. Devereux (TBA)

PHIL 493,494  INDEPENDENT STUDY [3,3]
Prof. Brewer (TBA)       


PHIL 498T  SENIOR THESIS [3]
Prof. Brewer


PHIL 517  KANT: CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON [3]
Prof. Lomasky (M 1800-2030)
Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is universally acknowledged to be one of the most profound and influential philosophical works ever produced. It is also a very demanding work, one that makes few concessions to readers. Kant, alas, never took a UVA writing course, and so ideas that under the best of conditions are inherently difficult receive from him a prose expression that often obscures. But with all due regard to the hurdles, this is a work that contains so much terrific philosophy that to avoid is more costly than to embrace. This course will be a close, comprehensive and cooperative reading of the entire text. Participants are free to consult whatever commentaries they may wish, but the primary source (in translation!) is our sole official charge.

PHIL 547  PHILOSOPHY OF MATHEMATICS [3]
Mr. Cargile (T R l400-l5l5)
A comparison of various schools in the philosophy of mathematics (including logicism, formalism, and conceptualism) and their answers to such questions as "Do numbers exist?" and "How is mathematical knowledge possible?" Prerequisite: Some familiarity with quantifier logic [PHIL 242] or permission of instructor.

PHIL 550  PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE [3]
Prof. Green (T 0930-1200)
Philosophical problems can often be either solved or dissolved by scrutiny of the language in which they are couched. What is more, language and linguistic interaction themselves raise questions of the deepest conceptual kind, answers to which illuminate cognition and social interaction. For these reasons language has been the premier area of inquiry among philosophers in the last century. This course will examine, from a non-technical point of view, topics that have been given the most intense treatment, all of which flow from the question, In virtue of what is language meaningful? Topics to be covered include the relation between thought and language; the possibility of an essentially private discursive realm; the view that oneâs linguistic framework somehow 'structures' reality; the method of solving or dissolving traditional philosophical problems by scrutiny of the language in which they are couched; the nature of linguistic meaning and the relation thereof to truth and to 'language games,' the relation between what is said in a given utterance and what is conveyed; the nature of interpretation and the role that it plays in organizing our understanding of the world.
     The course should be of interest not only to philosophy students, but also to those in linguistics, psychology, cognitive science, literature, anthropology, and computer science. Expected enrollment: 15
     Prerequisites: (i) At least one course in Philosophy at the undergraduate level or above. A knowledge of first order predicate logic and basic metatheory is a plus but not essential.
     Course requirements: One midterm paper (6 to 8 pages) and one end-of-term paper (10-12 pages), a final examination, and active participation in class discussion. Problem sets may also be assigned at the discretion of the instructor.

PHIL 558  REPRODUCTIVE ETHICS [3]
Prof. Arras (M W 1400-1515)
This graduate seminar is a spin-off from the undergraduate course on Reproductive Ethics (See course description for PHIL 365). Graduate students will read additional materials, write a 25-30 page paper, and meet as a separate group roughly two out of every three weeks. No exams. Instructor permission.



GRADUATE COURSES | BACK TO UNDERGRADUATE COURSES

PHIL 517  KANT: CRITIQUE OF PURE REASON [3]
Prof. Lomasky (M 1800-2030)
Kant's Critique of Pure Reason is universally acknowledged to be one of the most profound and influential philosophical works ever produced. It is also a very demanding work, one that makes few concessions to readers. Kant, alas, never took a UVA writing course, and so ideas that under the best of conditions are inherently difficult receive from him a prose expression that often obscures. But with all due regard to the hurdles, this is a work that contains so much terrific philosophy that to avoid is more costly than to embrace. This course will be a close, comprehensive and cooperative reading of the entire text. Participants are free to consult whatever commentaries they may wish, but the primary source (in translation!) is our sole official charge.

PHIL 547  PHILOSOPHY OF MATHEMATICS [3]
Mr. Cargile (T R l400-l5l5)
A comparison of various schools in the philosophy of mathematics (including logicism, formalism, and conceptualism) and their answers to such questions as "Do numbers exist?" and "How is mathematical knowledge possible?" Prerequisite: Some familiarity with quantifier logic [PHIL 242] or permission of instructor.

PHIL 550  PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE [3]
Prof. Green (T 0930-1200)
Philosophical problems can often be either solved or dissolved by scrutiny of the language in which they are couched. What is more, language and linguistic interaction themselves raise questions of the deepest conceptual kind, answers to which illuminate cognition and social interaction. For these reasons language has been the premier area of inquiry among philosophers in the last century. This course will examine, from a non-technical point of view, topics that have been given the most intense treatment, all of which flow from the question, In virtue of what is language meaningful? Topics to be covered include the relation between thought and language; the possibility of an essentially private discursive realm; the view that oneâs linguistic framework somehow 'structures' reality; the method of solving or dissolving traditional philosophical problems by scrutiny of the language in which they are couched; the nature of linguistic meaning and the relation thereof to truth and to 'language games,' the relation between what is said in a given utterance and what is conveyed; the nature of interpretation and the role that it plays in organizing our understanding of the world.
     The course should be of interest not only to philosophy students, but also to those in linguistics, psychology, cognitive science, literature, anthropology, and computer science. Expected enrollment: 15
     Prerequisites: (i) At least one course in Philosophy at the undergraduate level or above. A knowledge of first order predicate logic and basic metatheory is a plus but not essential.
     Course requirements: One midterm paper (6 to 8 pages) and one end-of-term paper (10-12 pages), a final examination, and active participation in class discussion. Problem sets may also be assigned at the discretion of the instructor.

PHIL 558  REPRODUCTIVE ETHICS [3]
Prof. Arras (M W 1400-1515)
This graduate seminar is a spin-off from the undergraduate course on Reproductive Ethics (See course description for PHIL 365). Graduate students will read additional materials, write a 25-30 page paper, and meet as a separate group roughly two out of every three weeks. No exams. Instructor permission.

PHIL 716  LOCKE'S ESSAY [3]
Prof. Griffin (Time: TBA - possibly R 12:30-15:00)
This course will involve a close reading of Locke's masterpiece, "An Essay Concerning Human Understanding." Topics will include innate ideas and knowledge of necessary truths, the primary/secondary quality distinction, substance, personal identity, free will, essence, language and mind. Readings will also be drawn from contemporary scholarly literature, in particular the current debate concerning Locke's views on the scope and limits of mechanistic explanation.

PHIL 752  CONTEMPORARY ETHICS [3]
Prof. Doyle (T 1530-1800)
It is widely believed, contra Socrates, that moral dispositions cannot be inculcated by intellectual persuasion, no matter how rational the agent. This is commonly thought to rule out moral rationalism, the view that moral precepts are a species of rational principle. In this seminar, we shall explore the possibility that, despite appearances to the contrary, moral rationalism is consistent with the anti-Socratic view, and that the plausibility of the latter derives, not from the falsity of rationalism, but from features of morality that get ignored when it is thought of as something like a theory. These features include the element of commitment demanded of its adherents by morality as part of its essence. We shall investigate similar kinds of commitment, arguably not at odds with practical reason, such as certain kinds of human trust and certain forms of religious belief. Authors studied will include Plato, Aristotle, Pascal, Kant, Kierkegaard and Robert Adams. Interested students may get a more detailed conception of these ideas from James Doyle, "Moral Rationalism and Moral Commitment," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research, January 2000.

PHIL 795  RESEARCH [3]

PHIL 811  PLATO'S ETHICS [3]
Prof. Devereux (M 1530-1800)
The theme of the seminar will be the development of Plato's ethical theory. We will begin with a careful look at some of Plato's early dialogues (e.g. the Apology, Protagoras, Laches, Charmides, Euthydemus) focusing on Socrates' intellectualist conception of virtue and his denial of weakness of will. We will then examine the Lysis and Gorgias in which we can discern (at least I will argue that we can) the earliest instances of Plato diverging from Socratic views and formulating his own ideas regarding the nature of virtue, the kind of value it possesses, and its relationship to happiness. In the second half of the semester we will try to work out a comprehensive understanding of the ethical theory of the Republic, bringing out distinctive features by comparing it with the views of Aristotle. If there is time, we will have a quick look at later developments in the Philebus, Statesman, and Laws. Useful books to look at prior to the beginning of the semester are: (1) G. Vlastos, Socrates, Ironist and Moral Philosopher; (2) T. Irwin, Plato's Ethics; and (3) J. Annas, Introduction to Plato's Republic.

PHIL 831  VAGUENESS [3]
Prof. Merricks (T 1300-1530)
This course will focus on the ontology of physical objects. Authors read will almost certainly include Armstrong, Lewis, Merricks, Sider, and van Inwagen, among many others.

PHIL 833  PERCEPTION [3]
Prof. Langsam (R 1530-1800)
The topic of the seminar is the debate between direct realists, representationalists, and idealists about the nature of perception. This venerable topic is worth revisiting in light of the recent publication of two wonderful books: John Foster's The Nature of Perception (Oxford, 2000), which argues for idealism, and A.D. Smith's The Problem of Perception (Harvard, 2002), which defends direct realism. In the seminar we shall read these two books and some related articles.

PHIL 894  RESEARCH [3]

PHIL 895  SUPERVISED RESEARCH [3]

PHIL 897, 898, 997, 999 NON-TOPICAL RES [3-12]



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