Descriptions - Fall 2019

UK Department of Philosophy

 

PHI 100-001-004 Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality – Look
                                                                   MW   11:00-11:50
An introduction to philosophical studies with emphasis on issues of knowing, reality and meaning related to human existence. Recitation sections meet on Fridays at 9:00, 10:00 and 11:00.
 
 
PHI 100-005 Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality – Wallace
                                                                   MW 2:00-3:15
 
These words you are reading are not real. You have no free will. There are no tables or chairs. You do not know you have hands. You are a ghost in a machine. Everyone around you is a robot. You do not exist. But don't worry: these words you are reading are not real.
 
Think some of these claims are false? Me, too. But which ones and why? In this course, we will investigate some big questions about the nature of the world around us and our knowledge of it. We will learn how to analyze arguments both for and against claims we accept or reject, and to recognize when we might change or withhold our beliefs in light of new reasons. 
 
PHI 100-006  Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality – Staff  MWF 9:00-9:50
PHI 100-007  Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality – Staff  MWF 12:00-12:50
PHI 100-009  Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality – Staff  TR  9:30-10:45
PHI 100-010  Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality – Staff  MWF  9:00-9:50
PHI 100-011  Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality – Staff  MWF  11:00-11:50
PHI 100-007  Introduction to Philosophy: Knowledge and Reality – Staff  MWF  12:00-12:50
 
An introduction to philosophical studies with emphasis on issues of knowing, reality and meaning related to human existence.
 
PHI 120-001-004 Introduction to Logic  Bursten  TR 2:00-2:50
 
What is the difference between an argument and a shouting match? How does your reasoning affect whether someone should believe your conclusions? Why do computer programs work? The answer to all of these questions is the same: Logic. Logic is the study of reasoning, and in this class students will learn the foundational principles of logical thinking needed to become better thinkers, reasoners, and arguers. Logic is an essential tool for problem-solving in areas as diverse as the law, computer science, biology, and history. This course introduces students to the study of logic. Students will learn to identify and interpret the premises and conclusions of arguments, they will develop the ability to recognize and respond to informal rhetorical fallacies, and they will apply basic logical concepts, such as truth, validity, soundness and cogency in their academic, professional, and everyday lives.
 
PHI 120-005 Introduction to Logic – Staff   MWF   12:00-12:50
PHI 120-007 Introduction to Logic – Staff   MWF   11:00-11:50
PHI 120-008 Introduction to Logic – Staff   MWF   10:00-10:50
PHI 120-009 Introduction to Logic – Staff   MWF    1:00-1:50
PHI 120-010 Introduction to Logic – Staff   MWF    2:00-2:50
 
A course which treats argumentation, syllogistic and sentential logic.  The focus will be on the use of formal methods in the construction and criticism of actual arguments, the aim being to inculcate standards of good reasoning, e.g. clarity, consistency, and validity.  Credit is not given to students who already have credit for PHI 320. 
 
PHI 130-001 Introduction to Philosophy: Morality and Society – Farr  TR  11:00-12:15 
 
Morality is often taken lightly since most of us think that we know what is morally right.  However, if we were asked to explain why we believe as we do, most of us would find ourselves in a very difficult position.  Moral decisions are probably the most important, yet, most difficult decisions that we will ever have to make.  The objective of this course is not to teach students how to make moral decisions; instead, it is to make the student more familiar with the kind of reasoning that supports moral decision-making and the kinds of issues which complicate the process.  In this course we will discuss several moral theories and ways in which they may be applied. 
 
 
PHI 130-002 Introduction to Philosophy: Morality and Society – Staff   MWF  12:00-12:50
PHI 130-003 Introduction to Philosophy: Morality and Society – Staff   MWF   1:00-1:50
PHI 130-004 Introduction to Philosophy: Morality and Society – Staff   MWF   2:00-2:50
PHI 130-005 Introduction to Philosophy: Morality and Society – Staff   MWF  11:00-11:50
PHI 130-006 Introduction to Philosophy: Morality and Society – Staff   MWF  10:00-10:50
 
An introduction to philosophical studies with emphasis on a critical study of principles of moral action and social and political values.
 
PHI 130-007 Introduction to Philosophy: Morality and Society (HONORS) – Chambers
                                          MWF  12:00-12:50
 
PHI 260-001 History of Philosophy I:  From Greek Beginnings to the Middle Ages – Sanday
                                                                             TR   2:00-3:15  
This UK Core Inquiry in the Humanities course introduces students to key moments in ancient and medieval philosophy by focusing on the study of knowing and knowledge (including readings from the Daodejing), the nature of reality (including readings from the Bhagavad-Gita), becoming virtuous (including readings in Confucius), universal rights, and the Judeo-Christian conceptions of grace and God. We will work at length on staples of research: identifying and articulating a thesis, offering reasons, addressing objections, and critically evaluating secondary sources (i.e. commentary on the primary philosophical source texts). We also want to be alert to the core assumptions on which our own view rests and ready to let those assumptions be tested. Content will focus on Plato, Aristotle, Epicureanism, Roman stoicism and skepticism.
 
 
PHI 270-001 History of Philosophy II: From the Renaissance to the Present Era Bird-Pollan   
                              TR   3:30-4:45
 
This course is an introduction to modern philosophy (i.e. the philosophy of the 16th to the 18th Centuries) and will feature the usual suspects: Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz on the rationalist side and Locke and Hume on the empiricist side. We will also be reading texts by two female philosophers of the period, Elisabeth of Bohemia and Margaret Cavendish. We will end by reading a substantial portion of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The emphasis of this course will be on understanding the peculiar nature of the idea that our relation to the world is primarily one of (theoretical) knowledge rather than that of having to act in the world, i.e. that knowledge somehow precedes action rather than knowledge is subordinated to what needs to be done. Accordingly, we will spend quite a bit of time discussing the implications of the philosophies we are considering on the notion of freedom. What would it mean to claim that knowledge of how the world is can make us free, for instance; or what does it mean to claim, as Hume does, that reason is the slave of the passions? 
 
PHI 305-001 Health Care Ethics - Bursten   
TR   9:30-10:45
 
Our aim in this course is to examine the ways that we make decisions about moral and ethical dilemmas in health care, and how these decisions affect health care providers and beneficiaries, as well as their families and the public at large. We will examine cases from a variety of clinical and research settings. By comparing cases of conflict between individual and group rights, provider and patient rights, and intercultural conflicts of values, students will develop basic moral concepts such as what constitutes a right and a moral obligation, analyze the relative importance of values across a variety of cultural and clinical contexts, and formulate a self-reflective picture of their own moral compasses in health care settings.
 
PHI 305-002  Health Care Ethics – Staff   MWF   11:00-11:50
PHI 305-003  Health Care Ethics  Staff   MWF    10:00-10:50
PHI 305-004  Health Care Ethics  Staff   TR         09:30-10:45
 
A consideration of the ethical issues and difficult choices generated or made acute by advances in biology, technology and medicine.  Typical issues include:  informed consent, healer-patient relationships, truth telling, confidentiality, problem of birth defects, abortion, placebos and health, allocation of scarce medical resources, genetic research and experimentation, cost containment in health care, accountability of health care professionals, care of the dying and death.
 
PHI 305-002  Health Care Ethics – Staff   MWF   11:00-11:50
PHI 305-003  Health Care Ethics - Staff   MWF    10:00-10:50
PHI 305-004  Health Care Ethics - Staff   TR         09:30-10:45
 
A consideration of the ethical issues and difficult choices generated or made acute by advances in biology, technology and medicine.  Typical issues include:  informed consent, healer-patient relationships, truth telling, confidentiality, problem of birth defects, abortion, placebos and health, allocation of scarce medical resources, genetic research and experimentation, cost containment in health care, accountability of health care professionals, care of the dying and death.
 
PHI 310-001 Philosophy of Human Nature – Leaman   
TR    9:30-10:45
 
A range of philosophical views on human nature will be examined, with an emphasis on the issue of how distinctive we are from animals. What moral implications can we draw from this difference, if any, and how has this been seen by both Eastern and Western thinkers? What kinds of human life are worth having, and is it bad when life comes to an end? There are a variety of views of how human nature was constructed, both religious and otherwise, and some of these will be discussed. 
Assessment will be by examination, essay and group project.
 
PHI 310-002 Philosophy of Human Nature – Staff   MWF   11:00-11:50  
 
A course introducing philosophy at the upper division level which studies various issues involved in analyzing what it means to be human, in the interest of developing a coherent conception of man.  Answers will be sought to questions like these: Is there a human nature?  What would differentiate the properly human from the nonhuman?  What kind of relations tie a human being to environment, society, and history?
 
PHI 315-001 Philosophy and Science Fiction – Staff   Online
 
An examination of fundamental questions in metaphysics and epistemology through a comparison of works of philosophy and science fiction. Questions will be discussed such as: Can there be time travel? Can computers think? Can there be non-human persons, and if so how would we identify them? Can there be ways of knowing that are radically different from our own, and what might they be like? How
much can a person change while remaining the same person.
 
 
PHI 320-001 Symbolic Logic I – Staff   
MWF  2:00-2:50
 
A systematic study of sentential logic, elementary quantification, and the logic of identity.  The student will acquire specific skills in symbolic methods of analysis which are necessary for further study in logic as well as useful in addressing complex issues in philosophy and other areas.
 
PHI 334-001 Business Ethics -  Chambers 
MW  2:00-2:50
 
An introduction to moral problems that arise in contemporary business practice and the ethical frameworks proposed to resolve them.  Topics will include areas such as truth-telling and integrity; social responsibility; property rights and their limitations; and justice in personnel and labor practices.
 
PHI 335-001 The Individual and Society – Farr   
TR   2:00-3:15   
 
In this course we will examine several views on the relationship between the individual and society.  We will see that some of these views contradict each other.  We will also discover that some of these views contain internal contradictions or tensions.  In exploring these views and the tensions between as well as within them we will discover that our own views about the individual and society may not be as consistent as we thought.  Through some of the readings we will discover the problematic origin of some of the views that we take for granted.  
In addition to examining the relationship between the individual and society, we will explore theories about how society is constituted by individuals as well as the way in which individuals are shaped by their society.  Finally, we will use these theories to raise serious questions about ourselves, our society, justice, rights, oppression, and violence.
 
PHI 336-001 Environmental Ethics - Sandmeyer   MWF   12:00-12:50
PHI 336-002 Environmental Ethics - Sandmeyer   MWF   2:00-2:50
 
In Environmental Ethics, we study the theory of our ethical relation to the nonhuman world, the social and political contexts in which these ethical theories function, and the idea of sustainability.  Some basic questions we ask include the following: How does an environmental ethic differ from traditional ethical theories? Do nonhuman animals or ecosystems have moral worth, and if so, how can competing moral claims between distinct moral entities be adjudicated? What is the human place in nature? How ought we to conserve the natural world? What is sustainability, and in what sense is this an ethical theory? 
Student Learning Outcomes: At the conclusion of class, students will be able to
demonstrate skills necessary to read complex and dense texts comprehendingly
explain and defend one's own ethical standpoint according to basic theories & concepts
summarize and critique ethical positions from the perspective of traditionally underrepresented groups
describe the system of public lands protection in the United States and analyze the philosophical ideas underlying the main public lands management agencies in the Federal Government
identify and assess one's own concrete interaction to their surrounding world, especially in reference to the concept of sustainability
 
PHI 337-001 Introduction to the Philosophy of Law – Bird-Pollan
TR  2:00-3:15
 
The purpose of this course is to develop an understanding of the emergence of the philosophy of law out of political philosophy in the 18th and 19th Centuries. To this effect we will look at classics in the history of political philosophy from Hobbes to Kant and Hegel. We will then turn to Anglo-American legal philosophy, developing an understanding of the central issue in this debate, the clash between natural law and positive law. We will end this course discussing issues in feminist legal philosophy and the philosophy of race as it concerns the law.
 
PHI 340-001 Introduction to Feminism and Philosophy – Staff   
TR   9:30-10:45
 
This course is an introduction to basic feminist thought from a philosophical perspective.  Emphasis will be placed on causes and solutions to the oppression of women.  Topics may include philosophical perspectives and gender roles, images of women in society, violence against women and reproductive choices.
 
PHI 343-001 Asian Philosophy – Leaman   
TR   11:00-12:15
 
Asian philosophy is taken to include theories and arguments derived from Buddhist, Chinese, Japanese, and Islamic culture. The focus will be on a number of philosophical questions such as the nature of personal identity, reality, death and the afterlife, morality, the role of society, and meditation. We shall explore notions such as Buddha nature, compassion, creation, emptiness, evil, karma, love, maya, nirvana, shari`a, yoga, and zen. Although this is not a course on religion, it will be necessary to know something of the religious context within which much of Asian philosophy operates, and so there will be some discussion of Asian religions also. Material will be drawn from the Bhagavad Gita, the Book of Changes, and the Qur’an.
 
PHI 350-001 Metaphysics and Epistemology – Batty   
TR   12:30-1:45   
 
This is an upper-level undergraduate course in contemporary metaphysics and epistemology. 
Metaphysics is the area of philosophy that deals with the question: what is there and what is it like?  The questions we will be looking at include:
If everything in the world is determined by previous events, can we say that we ever act freely?  If we can’t, should this worry us?
What is required for the survival of a thing over time?  For example, what makes you the same person today as the person who first enrolled at the University of Kentucky?  Are you even?
Does reality contain universal features (e.g. redness) as well as particular entities (e.g. individual roses)?
Epistemology is the area of philosophy that deals with the question: what is the nature of knowledge and reasonable belief?  The questions we will be looking at include:
Do we know anything about the external world?  What if you are dreaming, or being stimulated by a neuroscientist in a laboratory, or imprisoned in the Matrix?
How well do you know yourself?  That is, what is the basis of the knowledge you have of your own mind?  Is this kind of knowledge special in any way?  If so, what makes it special?
What is the role of testimony in knowledge?  If your friend tells you that the party is Saturday what role does her doing so play in your coming to know that the party is on Saturday?
 
 
PHI 380-001 Death, Dying and Quality of Life  - Staff   MWF  12:00-12:50
PHI 380-002 Death, Dying and Quality of Life  - Staff   MWF   1:00-1:50
 
A philosophical and interdisciplinary investigation of a cluster of prominent issues about the meaning of life and death, caring for dying persons, and the quality of life of the terminally ill.  Among topics included are:  death definitions and criteria; allowing to die vs. killing; euthanasia and suicide; life prolongation, ethics of care of the terminally ill; and rights of the dying.
 
PHI 503-001 Topics in Ancient Philosophy:  Sanday   
TR   11:00-12:15
 
In this course we will study the sort of practices that have been held up in Eastern and Western traditions as most in tune with the nature of reality and, therefore, best suited to an enlightened and happy life. The focus will be on the "natural" accounts of self and the divine in which our ultimate aim is to fit into the cosmos and nature. We will also focus on the contrasting paradigm of "artifice" in which the human, as something distinctively unique, stands back from her surroundings to build the best world. We will study accounts of divinity, selfhood, piety, and education primarily in the Upanishads, Daodejing, select Buddhist texts, Plato's Apology and select books of the Republic, selections from Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, and the Book of Job from the Hebrew Bible.
 
 
PHI 516-001 Contemporary Philosophy: Phenomenological Directions  – Nenadic 
TR  2:00-3:15
 
A study of 20th century philosophies represented by the works of thinkers such as Husserl and Heidegger, Gadamer and Ricoeur, Habermas and Apel. Generally based in a reflection on human experience, these philosophies undertake a radical criticism of common conceptions of human nature while variously emphasizing rationality, ontology, language, or social and historical context. Prereq: PHI 270 or consent of instructor. 
 
PHI 530-001 Ethical Theory –  Superson   
TR  12:30-1:45
 
Where does morality come from?  What is morality?  What would the ideal moral person be like? Why should we be moral? This course will examine some of the attempts given by moral philosophers throughout the history of philosophy to answer these fundamental questions about morality.  In addition, we will examine a number of central issues raised by traditional moral theories that interest contemporary moral philosophers.  Roughly half of the class will be on the historical figures, and half on contemporary works relating to issues raised by the historical figures.   Emphasis will be on examining the arguments in these works. 
 
Grading will be based on two term papers (40% each) and class participation (20%).  Graduate students are expected to do research papers related to topics we will be covering in the course.
 
Required texts:
Hobbes, Leviathan
Mill, Utilitarianism
Kant, Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals
Hume, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals
Contemporary articles that will be posted on Canvas.
 
*This course meets the 20th Century Value Theory requirement for graduate students in philosophy.
 
 
PHI 575_001 Philosophy of Language – Batty   
TR   9:30-10:45
 
This course is an examination of many of the central issues in the philosophy of mind.  Questions we will consider are:
How does the mind fit into the physical world?  What is the relation between the mind and the body?  Are minds just brains?  Or are they non-physical things?
Can computers think?  Could they ever be conscious?  Does the mind stand to the brain as a computer program stands to its hardware?
I can hope that the Wildcats will win the National Championship and you can believe that they will not.  How is it that creatures like us have thoughts that are “about” things and events in the world?
Can pains, for example, be given a scientific explanation?  Or is there something about pains, and other conscious experiences, that a scientific explanation will always miss out on?
What is the nature of our sensory experiences?  Do we have the kind of access to the external world that we think we do—i.e., direct experience?
In examining these questions, we will consider how conceptions of the mind have been influenced by changes in the broader scientific environment. We will see that, despite recent advances in the areas of neuroscience and cognitive science, pressing questions about the mind remain.
 
*This course meets the 20th and 21st Century M&E requirement for graduate students in philosophy.
 
 
PHI 680-001 Special Topics in Philosophy: Philosophy, context, and History – Nenadic
R   4:30-7:00
 
Since the rise of modern science and its aspiration to a God’s-eye view, in philosophy we have seen both an emulation of this stance (or some version of it) as well as an increasingly explicit grappling with the contextual and historical nature of thinking. The latter preoccupied 19th century philosophers such as Dilthey and Nietzsche, who considered that stance impossible for philosophy (and ultimately for science) without the alternative being relativism, and culminated in the early 20th century works of Heidegger. More recently, within analytic philosophy, post-positivists have also raised questions of context and history in philosophy. We examine this variety of considerations of the situatedness of thought and its ties to the past. We address issues of epistemology, ontology, and ultimately how we understand the nature and task of philosophy. Figures we may treat include Descartes, Comte, Dilthey, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Rorty, and Taylor, with most emphasis on Heidegger.
                                                                           
 
PHI 715-001 Seminar in Recent Philosophy: Organism-Environment-World  Sandmeyer   
T  4:30-7:00
 
Today, materialism is on the ascent.  Materialist “turns” abound, and all manner of theorists of This seminar takes its inspiration from the long (long) awaited English translation of Helmuth Plessner's Levels of Organic Life and the Human: An Introduction to Philosophical Anthropology (forthcoming, August 2019).  Published in 1928 (only to be obscured by Heidegger's Being and Time), Plessner's Levels contributed to a set of exceedingly important phenomenological studies which came out at about this time on life, nature, the animate organism and its milieu, and the human person and her world. Edmund Husserl finished a first full draft of his Ideas II: Studies in he Phenomenology of Constitution mid-decade. In 1927, Max Scheler published what would be his final work before his untimely death, The Human Place in the Cosmos. And Martin Heidegger gave his famous course, "The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World, Finitude, and Individuation," during the Winter Semester 1929-30.  These works will form the core subject matter of the seminar, but we'll also study important philosophical studies influential on and influenced by these authors' work (see "other texts" below). Our focus in the class will be the phenomenological analysis of the organism and its essential relation to a surrounding world, i.e., its environment (Umwelt). We'll thus consider what, if anything, phenomenologically distinguishes the surrounding world of the animate organism from world as horizon of the human being (phenomenologically understood). Apart from the biological-ecological focus inherent to the subject-matter of this seminar, students in this course will receive a solid introduction to phenomenological philosophy as practiced by its some of its most important contributors. 
 
Core Texts
(unpublished during Husserl's life, ca. 1925)
Husserl, Edmund. Ideas Pertaining to a Pure Phenomenology and to a Phenomenological Philosophy. 2nd Book: Studies in the Phenomenology of Constitution. Translated by Richard Rojcewicz & André Schuwer. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 1989.
(1927)
Scheler, Max. The Human Place in the Cosmos. Translated by Manfred S. Frings. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 2009.
(1928)
Plessner, Helmuth. Levels of Organic Life and the Human. An Introduction to Philosophical Anthropology. Translated by Millay Hyatt. New York: Fordham University Press, 2019 (forthcoming).
(1929-1930)
Heidegger, Martin. The Fundamental Concepts of Metaphysics: World, Finitude, and Solitude. Translated by William McNeill and Nicholas Walker. Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1995.
Other Texts We Will Delve Into
(1907)
Bergson, Henri. Creative Evolution. Translated by Arthur Mitchell. Mineola: Dover Publications, Inc., 1911. 
(1921)
von Uexküll, Jakob. "Environment [Umwelt] and inner world of animals." 222-245. In Foundations of Comparative Ethology. Edited by Gordon M. Burghardt. New York: von Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1985.
 (1942)
Merleau-Ponty, Maurice. The Structure of Behavior. Translated by Alden Fisher. Boston: Beacon Press, 1963.
(1966)
Jonas, Hans. The Phenomenon of Life. Toward a Philosophical Biology. Evanston: Northwestern University Press, 1966.
(1968)
von Bertalanffy, Ludwig. General Systems Theory: Foundations, Developments, Applications. New York: Braziller, 1968.
(1985)
Levins, Richard and Lewontin, Richard. The Dialectical Biologist. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1985.
 
PHI 740-001  Proseminar in Teaching – Staff  T  11:15-12:15
 
An introduction to teaching methods for graduate students.
 
ST 500-001 Introduction to Social Theory – Schatzki   TR  12:30-2:00
 
This course is an advanced introduction to social theory.  The course is divided into two parts.  Part one examines classics of the genre of theory known as critical social thought.  By “critical social thought” is meant the use of theoretical concepts and approaches to investigate—critically and skeptically—both the state of human sociality and the sociocultural dimension of the human condition.  The texts to be read are Marx and Engels’s The German Ideology and The Communist Manifesto, Nietzsche’s The Genealogy of Morals, Freud’s Civilization and its Discontents, Horkheimer’s The Eclipse of Reason, and Firestone’s The Dialectic of Sex.  We will also consider contemporary posthumanist and postcolonial critiques of this genre offered by Rosi Braidotti and Julian Go, respectively.  Part two will examine one strand of contemporary social theoretical interest, namely, the presence and role of materiality in social life.  Readings in part two will be taken from such authors as Bruno Latour, Jane Bennett, Graham Harman, Karen Barad, and Manuel DeLanda.
 
 
 
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