Philosophy



Professors:  Pessin, Vogel; Associate Professors:  Feldman, Pfefferkorn; Associate Professor Turner, chair

The Philosophy Department offers courses in major periods, figures, and texts in the history of philosophy (both Western and Asian); and the central areas of philosophical inquiry (such as metaphysics, theory of knowledge, philosophy of mind, ethics, social philosophy, and the philosophy of art).  The Department makes a special effort to provide courses that establish links with other disciplines in the arts, humanities, social sciences, and natural sciences.

               Students may elect a major or a minor in philosophy.

The Major in Philosophy

The major in philosophy consists of at least nine courses with the following distribution:

  1. Courses 201 and 202 (History of Ancient Philosophy and History of Modern Philosophy).
  2. At least one course in value theory or cultural criticism chosen from the following:  211, 219, 228, 229, 230, 232, 234, 251, 252, 258, 263.
  3. At least one course in epistemology or metaphysics chosen from the following:  216, 220, 221, 223, 226, 260, 261, 353.
  4. At least one course in a major text.  This requirement will typically be satisfied by Course 320 or 330, but may also be satisfied by another relevant course or Individual Study with permission of the department.
  5. Course 440 (Seminar in Philosophy).

 Students intending to major in philosophy should consider Courses 201 and 202 as foundational courses for the major to be taken as early as possible.  A student intending to do Honors Study must have a proposal approved by the department by the end of the junior year.  Majors and minors in philosophy are strongly encouraged to participate in lectures, colloquia, and other activities sponsored by the Philosophy Department.  One of the nine courses for the major may be a freshman seminar taught by a faculty member in Philosophy.

The Minor in Philosophy

The minor in philosophy consists of at least five courses, four of which must be at the intermediate or advanced level.  One of the five courses may be a freshman seminar taught by a faculty member in Philosophy.

Learning Goals in the Philosophy Major

We live in a world of daunting and profound questions:  What can we truly know?  What is our true nature? What is the best way to live?  ″Philosophy″ means ″love of wisdom,″ and there may be no better way to search for answers to those questions than to study philosophy at Connecticut College.  Along the way you′ll develop the most general and useful intellectual skills; and of course, the study of philosophy will enrich and deepen you as a human being and as a member of society, and so prepare you to think about, and ultimately to lead, the richest and most meaningful sort of human life.

If you major in philosophy, you will learn about

  • the history of philosophy, from ancient through early modern through the most recent contemporary philosophy
  • many of the most important texts in that history, such as Plato′s Republic, Descartes′s Meditations, De Beauvoir′s The Second Sex, and Wittgenstein′s Philosophical Investigations
  • the major sub-fields or disciplines within philosophy, such as metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, feminist philosophy, etc.
  • the major approaches to philosophizing, such as rationalism, empiricism, feminism, hermeneutics, phenomenology, etc.
  • the basic distinction between continental and analytic philosophy
  • many of the voices that have not traditionally been heard in philosophy, such as those of women and of minorities with respect to race, culture, sexual preference, and so on
  • the many ways that philosophy intersects with and enhances the study of other fields, such as the sciences, religion, literature and the arts, etc.

You will acquire increased competence in skills such as critical reading and thinking, as well as in analysis, interpretation, and imagination.  To support this goal,

  • most of our courses focus on close readings, analysis, and interpretation of texts, and the construction, deconstruction, reconstruction, and critical evaluation of arguments and of other modes of presenting and developing ideas
  • our formal logic course (PHI 103) provides a very general framework for critical analysis
  • we periodically offer an informal logic course whose primary function is to sharpen students′ critical reading and thinking abilities

You will learn how to write well in general, and to write good philosophy papers in particular, for learning to write well is a necessary condition for learning to think well.  To this end,

  • almost all of our courses are designated as Writing courses (W)
  • we not only require substantial quantities of writing, but we generally stress the importance of revising papers in response to constructive and critical comments
  • most of our courses provide explicit ″guidelines″ to writing which provide detailed suggestions about how to write a good philosophy paper

You will acquire various skills which have applications far beyond college.  In addition to the skills of critical reading, interpreting, thinking, and writing, for example, you′ll acquire

  • the ability to think carefully, rigorously, methodically, imaginatively, and logically
  • the ability to think abstractly and to solve problems
  • the ability to construct an argument, contemplate problems or objections, devise responses to them, etc.

And finally, you will become deeper, richer, more fulfilled, and an otherwise more interesting human being.

  • We haven′t yet figured out how to assess this precisely, but we′re confident it′s true!

Foundational Courses

PHILOSOPHY  101  INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY  An overview of some of the major themes, questions, and problems of philosophy, including such areas as metaphysics (the nature of reality), epistemology (the nature of knowledge), ethics, social philosophy, and the philosophy of art.

               Open to freshmen and sophomores.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  Offered both semesters.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  Staff

PHILOSOPHY  103  LOGIC  An introduction to the theory and techniques of logic with emphasis on formal logic, including methods of deductive proof.  Topics may include categorical and inductive logic, as well as informal logic and critical thinking.

               Enrollment limited to 25 studentsThis course satisfies General Education Area 2.  D. Turner

PHILOSOPHY  129  ETHICS  An historical and systematic examination of major philosophical attempts to answer the perennial questions−What is a good life?  What is it for acts to be morally right or wrong?  What is the relation between a good life and a morally responsible life?−culminating in the contemporary quest to find common values in a multicultural, pluralistic society.

               Priority will be granted to freshmen, then sophomores, then juniors, then seniors.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  S. Feldman, L. Vogel

PHILOSOPHY  201  HISTORY OF ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY  A study of classical Greek philosophy, with special attention to the pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, and a consideration of the influence of classical philosophy on the history of Western thought.

               Students intending to major in philosophy should consider Courses 201 and 202 as foundational courses, to be taken as early as possible.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  L. Vogel, S. Feldman

PHILOSOPHY  202  HISTORY OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY  A study in the development of philosophy from the Scientific Revolution through the Enlightenment, with special attention to the rationalists (such as Descartes, Leibniz, and Spinoza), the empiricists (such as Locke, Berkeley, and Hume), and Kant's critical synthesis of rationalism and empiricism.

               Students intending to major in philosophy should consider Courses 201 and 202 as foundational courses, to be taken as early as possible.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  A. Pessin, D. Turner

Intermediate Courses

PHILOSOPHY  206  EXISTENTIAL PHILOSOPHY  An examination of the human condition, as analyzed by existentialists from Kierkegaard through Sartre.

               Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy other than Course 103, or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  K. Pfefferkorn

PHILOSOPHY  207  AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY  A study of the founders of American pragmatism (Peirce, James, and Dewey) and the revival of this tradition by contemporary thinkers such as Richard Rorty, Hilary Putnam, and Cornel West.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have taken one course in philosophy (Course 202 recommended); and to others with permission of the instructor.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6.  L. Vogel

PHILOSOPHY  208  BUDDHIST TRADITIONS  This is the same course as Religious Studies 218.  Refer to the Religious Studies listing for a course description.

PHILOSOPHY  211  JAPANESE PHILOSOPHY IN FILM, LITERATURE, AND SCHOLARLY TEXT  A course in comparative philosophy analyzing Japanese aesthetics, ethics, and social philosophy.  Source materials include philosophical and literary texts, as well as Japanese films.  This is the same course as Film Studies 211.

               Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy other than Course 103, or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6.  K. Pfefferkorn

PHILOSOPHY  213  CONFUCIAN TRADITIONS  This is the same course as History 224/Religious Studies 215.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

PHILOSOPHY  214  DAOIST TRADITIONS  This is the same course as History 278/Religious Studies 216.  Refer to the History listing for a course description.

PHILOSOPHY  216  MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY  The medieval period was remarkably fertile philosophically.  We will focus on four giants−Aquinas, Ockham, Scotus, and Suarez−and study their debates on fundamental issues of metaphysics and epistemology, including the nature of God, other possible worlds, and the relation between the knowing mind and the world known.

               Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6.  A. Pessin

PHILOSOPHY  219  FEMINIST PHILOSOPHY  An exploration of  how feminist philosophies have brought to light gender bias in western philosophy and have (re)constructed theories in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics.  Students will see how these philosophies address the experiences of women and other groups whose interests have been historically neglected and misrepresented.

               Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6.  S. Feldman

PHILOSOPHY  220  PHILOSOPHY OF PERCEPTION  We will explore the history of philosophical thinking about perception, ancient through contemporary: the relationship between the senses and things sensed, between human minds and God’s mind, whether colors are objective features of the world, how the mind constructs perceptual experience, whether perceptual beliefs can ever be justified, etc.

               Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6.  A. Pessin

PHILOSOPHY  221  THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE  A survey of major figures and schools of thought in twentieth century philosophy of science:  logical positivism, Karl Popper, Thomas Kuhn, W. V. O. Quine, as well as contemporary naturalist, feminist, realist, constructive empiricist, and social constructivist interpretations of science.

               Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6.  D. Turner

PHILOSOPHY  223  PHILOSOPHY OF BIOLOGY  An exploration of conceptual questions in biology, such as:  What is a gene?  What is fitness?  What are species?  What are races?  What is life?  The course investigates the relationship between classical genetics, molecular biology, and evolutionary theory.  It also surveys some philosophical issues in evolutionary theory.

               Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6.  D. Turner

PHILOSOPHY  224  BIOLOGICAL THEORIES OF THE MIND  An examination of problems in the philosophy of biology (especially biological teleology) and their relevance to questions about the nature of human emotion and cognition.

               Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is designated Writing course.  D. Turner

PHILOSOPHY  226  PHILOSOPHY OF MIND  What is the nature of the mind, and how does it relate to the body?  Can computers ever think?  Do animals have mental and emotional lives?  An examination of attempts in 20th century philosophy to overcome Cartesian dualism about mind and matter and to develop a unified account of mind and the physical world.  Consideration of a variety of theories proposing an identity between experiences and brain states, and also examine objections to such views.  Other key questions will include:  Can cognitive psychology give an adequate account of thought and of subjective experience?  In what sense, if any, do we have privileged access to the contents of our minds?  What is an emotion?  Readings from Putnam, Dennett, Nagel, Davidson, Searle, and others.

               Open to juniors and seniors; and to sophomores who have taken one course in philosophy; and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6.  A. Pessin

PHILOSOPHY  228  THINKING PHILOSOPHICALLY ABOUT THE ENVIRONMENT  A philosophical examination of nature and the environment, focusing on texts from the conservation and environmental movements and on issues such as humans' relation to nature and non-human animals, pesticide use, pollution, global warming, ozone depletion, and nuclear power. This is the same course as Environmental Studies 228.

               Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  D. Turner

PHILOSOPHY  229  BIOETHICS  Ethical issues arising in contemporary medical practice and biomedical research, explored through analysis of articles and decision scenarios.  Major topics may include the physician-patient relationship, informed consent, euthanasia, genetics, reproductive technologies, human experimentation, resource allocation, mental health, human relationships with non-human animals, and humans and the environment.

               Enrollment limited to 25 students. This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  D. Turner, S. Feldman

PHILOSOPHY  230  GREEK AND ROMAN ETHICS  This is the same course as Classics 210.  Refer to the Classics listing for a course description.

PHILOSOPHY  232  TOLERANCE, INTOLERANCE, AND THE INTOLERABLE  A study of the historical evolution of tolerance as a moral and political virtue, and an inquiry into when, if ever, we should tolerate what we disapprove of, and why.  Particular attention to the role of tolerance in the areas of speech, religion, sex, education, and international politics.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have taken one course in philosophy; and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  L. Vogel

PHILOSOPHY  234  PHILOSOPHY OF LAW  What is law?  How does it reflect social priorities and processes?  How does it function as a means of social control and change?  The course will pursue these questions through readings in social and legal philosophy and case materials from various fields of Anglo-American law.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have taken one course in philosophy; and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  S. Feldman

PHILOSOPHY  235  EVIL  Even in the face of the horrors of past century, moral philosophers have hesitated to speak of ″good and evil,″ preferring instead the more pallid vocabulary of ″right and wrong.″  We shall ask whether we ought to speak of ″evil,″ and if so, when and why.  We shall explore the concept of evil historically as well as analytically, paying special attention to Hannah Arendt′s work.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have taken one course in philosophy.  Enrollment limited to 30 students with priority given to philosophy majors.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6.  L. Vogel

PHILOSOPHY  236  FREE WILL AND MORAL RESPONSIBILITY  An exploration of why and when it is appropriate to hold people morally responsible for their actions or even their characters, and of the connection between moral responsibility and free will.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have taken one course in philosophy; and to freshmen with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  L. Vogel

PHILOSOPHY  241  ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL POLITICAL THOUGHT  This is the same course as Government 211.  Refer to the Government listing for a course description.

PHILOSOPHY  244  MODERN POLITICAL THOUGHT  This is the same course as Government 214.  Refer to the Government listing for a course description.

PHILOSOPHY  246  CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY  How can citizens become duty-bound to obey the state?  What constitutes legitimate use of state power?  Is political equality exhausted by equality under law?  This course will explore the problem of political obligation, the limits of liberty and the nature of justice and equality.  Readings from Rawls, Nozick, and Cohen to Scanlon, Dworkin, and Nagel.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have taken one course in philosophy; and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6.  S. Feldman

PHILOSOPHY  249  THE SCIENCE AND ETHICS OF EXTINCTION  An examination of extinction from the perspectives of environmental ethics and history/philosophy of science, with an emphasis on the problem of protecting biological diversity while promoting environmental justice; the value of biological diversity; the definition of "species"; the nature and causes of mass extinctions; the place of extinction in evolutionary theory; and the prospects for using biotechnology to reverse extinctions.  This is the same course as Environmental Studies 249.

               Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  D. Turner

PHILOSOPHY  251  PHILOSOPHY OF ART  A critical exploration of the nature, meaning, and social role of painting, sculpture, and architecture.  Readings range from Plato to Heidegger, and include recent post-modern theories of art and architecture.  Slides and videos of exemplary works will be shown.  This is the same course as Art History 296.

               Open to junior and senior majors in studio art and art history; and to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have taken one course in philosophy other than Course 103; and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  Students may not receive credit for this course and Art History 230.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  K. Pfefferkorn

PHILOSOPHY  252  PHILOSOPHY AND FILM  A critical exploration of the way meaning occurs in filmic form.  Emphasis on the aesthetic, ethical, and social significance and influence of films.  Readings include philosophical and film-theoretical texts.  This is the same course as Film Studies 252.

               Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy other than Course 103; or one course in film studies; or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  K. Pfefferkorn

PHILOSOPHY  258  LOVE, DEATH, AND DESIRE  A study of the changes and perversions undergone by the themes of love, death, and desire in the history of Western thought, with emphasis on philosophical, religious, and psychological perspectives.  Readings range over a wide variety of texts, from Plato to Sartre.

               Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy other than Course 103, or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  K. Pfefferkorn

PHILOSOPHY  260  PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION  Philosophical issues concerning religious beliefs.  Topics may include the existence and nature of God, the problem of evil, the nature of miracles, and the issue of pluralism.  Readings drawn from classical and contemporary thinkers in the Western tradition.  This is the same course as Religious Studies 260.

               Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy other than Course 103.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  A. Pessin

PHILOSOPHY  261  THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE  A study of the nature of knowledge, including the conditions under which one is justified in believing particular propositions and the question of whether one can construct an acceptable concept of truth.  Emphasis on contemporary sources.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have taken one course in philosophy.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  A. Pessin, S. Feldman

PHILOSOPHY  262  SURVEY OF METAPHYSICS  An introductory survey of a number of traditional problems in metaphysics, which may include the nature of time, universals, causation, freedom, and modality.  There will be a mix of contemporary and classical readings.

               Prerequisite:  Any 100- or 200-level philosophy course.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  A. Pessin

PHILOSOPHY  263  BODY AND GENDER  A philosophical analysis of Western religious and cultural views of the body and its representation in art, film, and popular culture.  Emphasis on the role of representation in the processes of individuation, self-understanding, and the development of gender attitudes.  Readings include a wide range of philosophical, psychological, and feminist texts.

               Open to majors and minors in gender and women's studies; and to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have taken one course in philosophy other than Course 103; and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  K. Pfefferkorn

PHILOSOPHY  268  THE SELF  An exploration of the nature of the self from epistemological, metaphysical, and ethical perspectives.  Is there ″privileged access″ to certain facts about ourselves?  Is the self physical?  Mental? What are ″weak will″ and ″bad faith″?  What does the prescription ″know thyself″ amount to?  Readings from classical and contemporary sources.

               Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6.  S. Feldman

PHILOSOPHY  271  JEWISH PHILOSOPHY  A historical survey of Jewish thought, from ancient times through the 20th century.  Jewish perspectives on metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, theology; on particularly Jewish questions (such as prophecy, redemption, and mitzvot); and on how (or whether) ancient wisdom can be adapted to modern times while remaining true to itself.  Figures studied include Philo, Maimonides, Spinoza, Mendelssohn, and Soloveitchik.  This is the same course as Religious Studies 271.

               Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  A. Pessin

PHILOSOPHY  272  ADVANCED SYMBOLIC LOGIC  An introduction to first-order predicate logic and an exploration of alternative systems of logic (including modal logic and many-valued logic).  Additional topics include metalogic, the relationship between logic and natural language, semantic paradoxes, the relationship between logic and mathematics, and the significance of Gödel′s proof.

               Prerequisite:  Course 103 or permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  D. Turner

PHILOSOPHY  276  PHILOSOPHY OF RACE AND RACISM  An exploration of questions relating to practices of racial categorization:  Is race a ″real″ category?  Is racial categorization racist?  Does justice require that the law take race into consideration?  Is it wrong to select friends or significant others on the basis of race?  Readings from Du Bois, Appiah, Langton, and others.

                Prerequisite:  One course in philosophy other than Course 103.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6 and is a designated Writing course.  S. Feldman

PHILOSOPHY  288  20TH CENTURY ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY  A study of the contributions of analytic philosophers such as Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Ryle, Austin, and Quine with regard to the relationship between language, thought, and reality.  This inquiry will be placed within a broader framework concerning the nature of analytic philosophy and its relationship to continental philosophy.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have taken two courses in philosophy.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This course satisfies General Education Area 6.  Staff

PHILOSOPHY  299  THE IDEAL OF EQUALITY  This is the same course as Sophomore Research Seminar 299B.  Refer to the Sophomore Research Seminar listing in College Courses for a course description.

Advanced Study Courses

PHILOSOPHY  310  PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE  What is ″meaning″?  What conditions must an expression meet to have meaning?  Is meaning subjective or objective?  How can we speak meaningfully on non-existing things (including fictional entities)?  How do words refer to objects in the world?  What is metaphor?  Readings from philosophers such as Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Kripke, and Strawson.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors who have taken two courses in philosophy; and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  A. Pessin

PHILOSOPHY  320  DARWIN AND THE IMPACT OF EVOLUTIONARY THOUGHT  An historical and philosophical survey of the development of the Darwinian theory of evolution by natural selection within the philosophical, religious, and scientific contexts of the 19th and 20th centuries.

               Open to sophomores, juniors, and seniors.  Enrollment limited to 25 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  D. Turner

PHILOSOPHY  325  REALISM AND ANTI-REALISM  An exploration of the most fundamental question in contemporary philosophy:  whether there exists any mind-independent world and, if so, what its constituents might be.  We examine this question within various domains of philosophy (aesthetics, ethics, perception, etc.), looking at the work of philosophers such as Mackie, Goodman, Quine, Putnam, and Rorty.

               Prerequisite:  Two courses in philosophy.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  A. Pessin

PHILOSOPHY  330  MAJOR TEXTS  An intensive and critical reading of major texts in philosophy. 

               In addition to the following limitations, other requirements are listed with some seminars below.  Open to junior and senior majors and minors in philosophy, and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment in each seminar limited to 16 students.

PHILOSOPHY  330A  PLATO  This is the same course as Classics 315.  Refer to the Classics listing for a course description.

PHILOSOPHY  330B  KANT  Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.

               Prerequisite:  Course 202 or permission of the instructor.  Staff

PHILOSOPHY  330D  NIETZSCHE  A critical study of Nietzsche's philosophy concentrating on a close reading of Thus Spoke Zarathustra, with reference to related texts.  This is a designated Writing course.  K. Pfefferkorn

PHILOSOPHY  330E  WITTGENSTEIN  The development of Wittgenstein's work from the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus to the Philosophical Investigations and On Certainty, with particular attention to Wittgenstein's contributions to metaphysics, his philosophy of language, and his attitudes towards the nature of philosophy itself.  Readings will also include work by Russell, Anscombe, Kripke, and other contemporary writers.  A. Pessin

PHILOSOPHY  330F  HEIDEGGER  A study of Heidegger′s Being and Time (1927) and of thinkers such as Buber, Levinas, and Jonas who were influenced by this seminal work of existential philosophy but ultimately rejected its premises.  This is a designated Writing course.  L. Vogel

PHILOSOPHY  330G  DESCARTES  A close reading of Descartes's seminal work, Meditations on First Philosophy.  Readings include the Meditations along with the original Objections and Replies, as well as recent secondary literature concerning its many important themes (including skepticism, knowledge, the Cogito, mind-body dualism, God, and human freedom).  A. Pessin

PHILOSOPHY  330H  HEGEL  A careful reading of G.W.F. Hegel's The Philosophy of Mind and The Philosophy of Right.  The objective of the course is to understand Hegel's moral and political thought in the context of his broader claim that he possesses "absolute wisdom" and to assess Hegel's relevance for our time.  L. Vogel

PHILOSOPHY  330I  HUME  A close study of the major writings of David Hume, one of the most radical and subversive thinkers of the Western tradition.  The objective of the course is to develop a systematic interpretation of the different aspects of Hume′s work, including his skepticism, naturalism, empiricism, moral psychology, and his theory of the passions.  D. Turner

PHILOSOPHY  334  MORAL PSYCHOLOGY  An exploration of what motivates human beings to pursue what they do, how concern for one′s own good is connected to regard for the good of others, the relationship between free will and responsibility, and whether it makes sense to speak of activities that are ″objectively″ worthwhile or of there being ″ultimate ends″ in life.  Consideration of the conversation among contemporary American philosophers who speak to these issues associated with the existentialist tradition.  Works by Harry Frankfurt, Susan Wolf, and J. David Velleman.

               Open to juniors and seniors.  Enrollment limited to 20 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  L. Vogel

PHILOSOPHY  353  PHILOSOPHY OF LITERATURE  A critical study of traditional philosophic theories of language in its role in poetry and literature.  Discussion will center on such issues as the origin of language, its expressive function, and its relation to philosophic thought in poetry and literature.  Selected readings in the theory of language, the theory of poetics, and modern literary criticism.

               Open to junior and senior literature majors; and to juniors and seniors who have taken one course in philosophy; and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment limited to 30 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  K. Pfefferkorn

PHILOSOPHY  440  SEMINAR IN PHILOSOPHY  An intensive study of a major topic or figure in philosophy, with student reports and discussion as important requirements.  Seminar topics will be related to significant contemporary issues in philosophy and related disciplines.

               Open to junior and senior majors and minors in philosophy, and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment in each seminar limited to 16 students.

PHILOSOPHY  440D  TIME  A critical exploration of the changes undergone by the concept of time in its development from Greek natural philosophy to modern philosophical, psychological, and theoretical ideas.  Emphasis on the phenomenology of lived time and its expression in cultural undertakings.  Readings range over a wide variety of texts, from Plato to Sartre to Hawking.  K. Pfefferkorn

PHILOSOPHY  440F  METAPHYSICS  An in-depth study of one or two topics in metaphysics, such as the nature of time, universals, causation, freedom, modality, and the debate between realism and anti-realism.  The course will focus primarily on contemporary readings, with occasional inclusion of more classical texts.

               This is a designated Writing course.  A. Pessin

PHILOSOPHY  440G  HAPPINESS  A historical and analytical inquiry into the meanings of happiness.  What is it?  Has it changed over time?  Is it an essentially subjective and culturally relative idea?  Can and should happiness be a goal of living?  What is its relationship to other goods we value in life, such as meaning, freedom, goodness, and justice? 

               This is a designated Writing course.  L. Vogel

PHILOSOPHY  440I  EXPERIMENTAL PHILOSOPHY  An exploration of recent work in experimental philosophy, a movement which seeks to bring experimental methods to bear on philosophical problems.  Special attention will be given to questions about philosophical methodology, the role of intuition in philosophical reasoning, and the relationship between philosophy and natural science.  D. Turner

PHILOSOPHY  440J  LAUGHTER, HUMOR, AND THE COMIC SENSE OF LIFE  Humans are animals who laugh and cry.  They are also able to understand jokes and have a sense of humor.  Laughing and joking make possible the art of comedy and allow people to see life as having comic as well as tragic aspects.  The course explores the relation between laughter, humor, and comedy, and how these qualities contribute to the overall view of a good life.  This is a designated Writing course.  L. Vogel

PHILOSOPHY  440K  CARTESIAN RATIONALISM  An in depth examination of  the "rationalism" tradition as developed by Descartes and his successors.  Focusing on metaphysics and epistemology we will explore topics such as mind, matter, causation, free will, and God in the works of Descartes, Malebranche, Arnauld, Leibniz, and Spinoza.

               Prerequisite:  Course 202.  This is a designated Writing course.  A. Pessin

PHILOSOPHY  440L  PHILOSOPHY, POLITICS AND THE HUMAN CONDITION  What is the relation between philosophy, citizenship, and democracy?  Does a commitment to philosophical questioning help make one a good citizen?  Or do the demands of philosophy and citizenship stand in tension with each other?  Should a commitment to philosophy make one favor democracy?  These questions are as old as Plato, but they take on new meaning in the wake of 20th century totalitarianism.  The course focuses on two philosophers − Hannah Arendt and Leo Strauss − who provide different answers to these questions.  This is the same course as Government 332.

               Enrollment in each seminar limited to 20 students.  This is a designated Writing course.  L. Vogel

PHILOSOPHY  440M  THE IDEA OF PROGRESS  An exploration of the idea of progress as it relates to different areas of inquiry and innovation, to our individual lives, and to history as a whole.  By what standards should we measure progress?  Is it an idea we can do without, or is it built into our nature as storytelling animals?  Should we interpret history as a story of cycles, progress, regress, or chaos?

               This is a designated Writing course.  L. Vogel

PHILOSOPHY  440N  THE DIVIDED SELF  An exploration of questions about apparent divisions within the self  (e.g., weak will, bad faith, double-consciousness).  Should we accept the philosophical ideal of a unified self?  Do we always do what we want to do most?  Is self-deception possible?  Is acting contrary to our best judgments ever rational or good?

               Prerequisite:  Two courses in philosophy or permission of instructor.  This is a designated Writing course.  S. Feldman

PHILOSOPHY  440O  MAIMONIDES' GUIDE FOR THE PERPLEXED  An exploration of Maimonides' Guide for the Perplexed, one of the most important works of religious rationalism.  Students will examine how this work probes the relationship between religious belief and Greek philosophy, establishing foundational and controversial positions in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics in general and considering subjects such as miracles, theodicy, and Biblical semantics in particular.

               Open to junior and senior majors and minors in philosophy, and to others with permission of the instructor.  Enrollment in each seminar limited to 16 students.  A. Pessin

PHILOSOPHY  291, 292  INDIVIDUAL STUDY  Open to sophomores with permission of the department.

PHILOSOPHY  391, 392  INDIVIDUAL STUDY  Open to juniors with permission of the department.

PHILOSOPHY  491, 492  INDIVIDUAL STUDY  Open to seniors with permission of the department.

PHILOSOPHY  497-498  HONORS STUDY  Students must present to the chair for approval by the department a detailed proposal by April 15 of the junior year.  A first draft of the Honors Study must be submitted by the end of the first semester of the senior year.