Courses

About the Department's Course Structure

In terms of course numbering, the Department's courses fall into three areas:

    1. Introductory courses (3-99-level courses), generally for undergraduates
    2. Mid-level courses (100-level courses), for graduates and undergraduates
    3. Graduate seminars (200-level courses), for which enrollment is by permission of the instructor

Faculty in the Department also offer courses in the General Education Curriculum and Core Curriculum, as well as Freshman Seminars.

For Students in all Programs

All students in the department--whether primary concentrators, joint concentrators, or those in the MBB Track--should check the Program Requirements for their particular program and consult with the appropriate faculty members when selecting their courses.

MBB Students

Students in the MBB Track will want to check the Courses of Instruction page for both Philosophy and Mind, Brain, and Behavior offerings.

Spring 2017 Courses

General Education courses

CULTBLF 31: Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

Freshman seminars

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

Philosophy Tutorials

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 

Introductory courses

CULTBLF 31: Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion
Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

PHIL 3x: Appearance and Reality
Professor: John Bengson
Meets: MW 11-12

An introduction to central questions of philosophy and to basic methods of philosophical investigation, focusing on the relation between appearance and reality. Possible topics include the existence (or nonexistence) of material objects, the nature of time, the relation between consciousness and the physical world, the status of moral values, the identity of persons, the possibility of knowledge, and belief (or nonbelief) in God.

 

PHIL 6: Ancient Ethics and Modern Morality
Professor: James Doyle
Meets: MWF 11-12

An examination of systematic thinking about ethics in the West, from the presocratics to now. Readings will include Plato, Aristotle, Stoics, Aquinas, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Sidgwick, and some recent ethicists inspired by these. We will give some attention to the question of how our idea of morality, which is a distinctive way of thinking about ethics, emerged in the modern period.

 

PHIL 7: Ancient Greek Philosophy
Professor: Jacob Rosen
Meets: MWF 12-1

The origins of western philosophy. We will survey the fragmentary evidence remaining for the pre-Socratic philosophers, then spend most of the course examining questions raised and arguments put forward by Socrates (as portrayed by Plato), Plato, and Aristotle. What is it to learn, understand, and explain something? What are the most basic entities? What should be our highest aim in life? What is the difference between ‘philosophy’ and other (literary, political, religious, scientific) endeavors?

 

PHIL 17: Feminist Political Philosophy

Professor: Regina Schouten
Meets: TuTh 11:30-1

Work in feminist political philosophy is extraordinarily diverse. Some projects apply traditional philosophical tools and concepts to questions of particular feminist concern; others reject those tools and ideas altogether and propose alternatives allegedly better suited to theorizing about gender. Many regard “the personal is political” as the unifying insight of contemporary feminist philosophy. This will be the unifying theme of our study as well, as we work to better understand that slogan and explore its implications. We will begin by examining foundational work in contemporary political philosophy before turning to feminist challenges to that work. We'll see that the institution of the family remains widely regarded as the core of gender injustice. Accordingly, we'll pay special attention to the family, reading and thinking about such issues as marriage, parenting, and the gendered division of labor. We'll think about the role the family plays in sustaining gender inequality, consider several proposals for political interventions intended to make society more gender just, and ask whether those proposals constitute legitimate uses of political power. This will raise broader questions about whether and in what ways the institution of the family should enjoy a presumption against state interference. We'll finish up by exploring intersections between feminism and other issues of justice, including social class justice, race justice, and environmental justice.

Mid-level courses

PHIL 106: Augustine (Proseminar)
Professor: James Doyle
Meets: W 4-6

An examination of the philosophy of St Augustine of Hippo and its evolution. Topics covered will include the existence and nature of God, the problem of evil, the influence of neoplatonism, the ideas of divine illumination and an 'inner realm', the relation between belief and the will, Augustine's ethical and political thought and his influence on Malebranche and Descartes. Readings will include the Confessions, De utilitate credendi, De libero arbitrio, De trinitate, De doctrina Christiana, and selections from De civitate Dei.

 

PHIL 124: Early Modern Metaphysics and Its Critics (Proseminar)
Professor: Anat Schechtman
Meets: W 2-4

An in-depth investigation of empiricist and skeptical critiques of traditional metaphysical notions of substance, essence, natural kinds, causation, and infinity in the 17th-18th centuries. Special attention will be paid to the writings of Bacon, Locke, Boyle, and Hume. To better understand and assess the debates, we will also take a close look at the texts of those metaphysicians who were the targets of serious criticism (e.g., Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, and representative scholastic authors).

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

Graduate seminars

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.

 

CULTBLF 31:

Saints, Heretics, and Atheists: An Historical Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough
Meets: MW 12-1

Does God exist? What is the nature of evil and where does it come from? Are humans free? Responsible? Immortal? Does it matter? This course will explore perennial questions in the philosophy of religion through the study of classic works by Plato, Augustine, Al-Ghazali, Maimonides, Aquinas, Pascal, Spinoza, Hume, Nietzsche and James. Students will gain a better understanding of how brilliant thinkers of the past approached the deepest questions of religion, and see how their views, arguments, and disagreements continue to resonate today.