Descriptions - Fall 2018

UK Department of Philosophy

Course Descriptions for Fall 2018

PHI 260-001 History of Philosophy I:  From Greek Beginnings to the Middle Ages – Staff
                                                                             TR   9:30-10:45  
An introductory study of the development of Western philosophy from ancient through late medieval times including systematic work in logic, metaphysics, epistemology and ethics by such philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas.
PHI 270-001 History of Philosophy II: From the Renaissance to the Present Era –Look
                                                                                MWF   2:00-2:50
An introductory study of the development of Western philosophy from early modern to recent times including systematic work in logic, metaphysics, epistemology and ethics by such philosophers as Occam, Descartes, Hume and Kant.
PHI 300-001 The Interplay of Science and Religion – Bursten   TR 12:30-1:45
     This is an Honors section that meets with HON 301 taught by Dr. Phil Crowley
Where do we look for meaning in the world around us? Science offers one set of answers, and different religious teachings offer others. Can evolutionary biologists be Christians? Is there a scientifically observable benefit to prayer? Is "creation science" science? Why are some religions friendlier to science than others?  What counts as dying, and when does life begin? What does the Bible have to say about man-made climate change? In this class, co-taught by a philosopher and a biologist, students will explore answers to these questions and more as they seek to understand the many and varied relationships between scientific and religious ways of thinking. Students will survey a variety of religious beliefs and practices as they examine scientific and religious perspectives on topics including evolution, the boundaries of life, climate science, life on other planets, and meditation and prayer.
PHI 300-002 Circus and Philosophy – Wallace   TR   11:00-12:15
How is juggling like being a good person? What does the trapeze have to do with free will? What does circus have to do with truth? Intended for the philosophical novice who is also cirque-curious, this course uses circus as a springboard for philosophical inquiry. 
This class is fully participatory: we won’t just be learning about the circus, we will be learning how to circus. Each full week will be divided into two classes: one in which we learn a specific circus skill, such as aerial arts, juggling, or acro-balancing, and another in a classroom setting where we investigate various philosophical topics in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, logic, and more. Don’t know how to juggle? Don’t know who Descartes is or what he said? No worries. No background in either circus arts or philosophy is required. A sense of wonder, a healthy curiosity about the world, and an appetite for adventure are strongly recommended. 
PHI 300-003   Minds and Machines-Batty  MWF  10:00-10:50
Cognitive science is the study of how organisms acquire, represent, manipulate, and use information.  It is an interdisciplinary field that employs theories and methods from psychology, computer science, neuroscience, linguistics, and philosophy.  The philosophy of cognitive science is the field of philosophy that is concerned with foundational questions that arise in cognitive science.  For example:
Is the mind a computer?  If the mind is like a computer, can we understand it without investigating underlying ‘hardware’ of the brain?
Could a robot ever really have beliefs, emotions, or conscious experiences? 
Why is it that I can know a whole bunch about velocity, spin and parabolic trajectories and still not be able to sink a 3-pointer from midcourt? 
Is ‘the dress’ black and blue, or gold and white?
Is your phone, and all that it can do, an extension of your mind?
In this class, we will look at the origins of questions like these, as well as their answers.  
PHI 305-001 Health Care Ethics - Yarrison   TR     2:00-3:15  (Honors)
This course will look at the theories, topics and controversies from all levels of modern health care ethics, including ethical issues at the bedside, in public discourse and in the national health care system.  Topics include ethical frameworks in bioethics, informed consent and capacity, withholding and withdrawing treatment, transplant ethics, euthanasia, etc.  This is designed as a survey course so we will not be able to dig too deeply into any one issue, but will instead explore the key philosophical arguments and consensus positions for the main theories and concepts in health care ethics.  We will also consider how these theories and concepts play out in the clinical setting via discussion of cases.
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 – Staff   MWF     1:00-1:50
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   TR   2:00-3:15
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 317-001 Existentialism in Literature – Staff   TR   12:30-1:45 
A survey of existentialism as a literary movement as well as a philosophical one, with emphasis upon their intersection and interaction.  The course will trace the emergence of existentialist themes in modern thought and culture, and will analyze and assess the movements’ continuing significance.
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 330-001 Ethics – Weber   TR  12:30-1:45
PHI 334-001 Business Ethics -  Staff   MWF  9:00-9:50
PHI 334-002 Business Ethics – Staff   MWF   1:00-1:50
PHI 334-003 Business Ethics – Staff   MWF   3:00-3:50
PHI 334-004 Business Ethics – Staff   TR       9:30-10:45
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 – Staff   MWF   11:00-11:50   
This course is an examination of several incompatible views concerning the relation between the individual and society, including radical individualism and collectivism, as well as more moderate theories.  Attention will be given to contemporary as well as classical spokesmen for these views and emphasis will be placed upon relating these theories to contemporary social, cultural and political issues.
PHI 336-001 Environmental Ethics - Sandmeyer   MWF   1:00-1:50
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-Nenadic  TR  2:00-3:15
This course introduces students to the task of thinking philosophically about the law. This refers primarily to considering how law’s interaction with life places an ongoing onus on legal theorists to rethink and refine legal concepts and laws to make them more accountable to people’s actual lives and thus to be more truly universal. The first part of the course focuses on traditional philosophical treatments of law (e.g., Cicero, Aquinas, Enlightenment philosophers) centered on formulations of natural law and law’s role in actualizing republican and democratic polities (ancient and modern). We then turn to the rise of modern jurisprudence (e.g., Austin, Hart, Fuller, R. Dworkin), which problematizes law’s traditional ties to philosophy. Finally, we consider concrete contemporary areas of law, specifically the areas of civil rights, sex equality, and international law (e.g., M.L. King, C. MacKinnon, Arendt), where law’s relation to egregious abuses has compelled a rethinking of legal concepts and change in law. 
PHI 340-001 Introduction to Feminism and Philosophy –Staff   TR   11:00-12:15
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 – Staff  MWF   1:00-1:50   
This course will provide an introduction to a selection of central issues in metaphysics and epistemology. Within epistemology, we will focus on issues related to skepticism about the external world. Within metaphysics, we will focus on questions about personal identity and free will. 
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 393-001 Philosophy of Film - Bird-Pollan   TR  2:00-3:15
This course will examine the aesthetics of film from the early 20th Century to the present. Instead of using films to discuss philosophical issues, we will discuss the philosophical issues that film as an aesthetic medium raises. The aesthetic—for us, medium of film— is thus understood as irreducible to the traditional division in philosophy between practical philosophy (ethics, political philosophy) and theoretical philosophy (epistemology, metaphysics). The aesthetic brings with it its own set of rules, chief among them is the idea that its rules cannot be set out in advance of its product. 
We will thus be discussing art (film) as what generates a new theoretical discourse about it at each turn. The theoretical discourse, however, is in lively conversation with the product it seeks to understand and must change as the object itself evolves. What is more, film products themselves constitute their own proper critique of their own tradition in the sense that, for instance, the depth of field shot followed on from the formal constraints of the montage technique. 
This course will also have a practical component. Each student will create a short film (on a selected topic) which will then be shown to the class as a whole and subjected to (friendly) critique. in class by all as well as in writing by a group of students. The film will then be reworked to address suggestions, reshown again so that others may comment upon it through their own films. In this way, students will both be able to make theoretical and practical comments on each other’s work. 
Readings include selections from Eisenstein, Walter Benjamin, André Bazin, Stanley Cavell and others. Films will include Vertigo, The Rules of the Game, The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance, Modern Times, and many other classics. 
This course satisfies the Arts and Creative Core requirement
Prerequisites: none
PHI 537-001 Philosophy of Law: Catharine MacKinnon – Nenadic   TR  3:30-4:45
This course centers on the work of Catharine MacKinnon, a pioneer of sex equality law and one of the most influential figures in American law. We examine her philosophical project and its translation into social and legal change domestically and internationally in areas pertaining to sexual abuse such as sexual harassment, pornography, rape, and sex trafficking. 
PHI 650-001 Seminar in Metaphysics and Epistemology: Philosophical Issues in the 
                                 Physical Sciences – Bursten  R  4:30-700
This seminar surveys contemporary problems in the philosophy of the physical sciences, broadly construed. After some brief historical background, we will consider both metaphysical and epistemological problems raised by philosophers of science and scientists from a careful study of physical systems. During the first half of the seminar, we will read essays and articles on a variety of subjects within the philosophy of physics, including questions about possible worlds and quantum mechanics, entropy and the arrow of time, the scope of physical laws, and the appearance of determinism in a genuinely indeterministic world. During the second half of the seminar, we will read in entirety Mark Wilson’s Physics Avoidance: Essays in Conceptual Strategy, a new collection of essays on the relationships among individual physical theories and between physical and everyday conceptions of concepts such as weight and hardness, which will be of interest to any students whose work addresses the acquisition or use of concepts or inferences. This seminar does not require previous background in physics, and for those put off by the thought of learning a little science in the middle of a philosophy seminar; don’t despair—science was just natural philosophy until a few hundred years ago. 
*This course satisfies the contemporary M&E requirement for graduate students in
PHI 680-001 Special Topics in Philosophy: Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit – Bird-Pollan
                                                                                                             T  4:30-7:00
This seminar will center on a careful reading of (almost) the entirety of Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. Next to Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason the Phenomenology is the key text to understanding the German philosophical tradition and the continental tradition more widely. In the Phenomenology Hegel offers a systematic account of the nature of the sort of norms to which modernity has given rise through a recollection of the steps which got us to this point. This journey will take us through the beginnings of knowledge about the external world to the encounter with the other in the famous ‘master-slave’ capter, to the beginnings of social life all the way to the advent of the French revolution. 
In our seminar we will be reading the text with some reference to both the German (and subsequent French) tradition (Kant, Marx, Kojève, Lacan) and to recent interest in this text in the Anglo-American philosophical tradition, exemplified by such writers as Robert Pippin, John McDowell and Robert Brandom. 
PHI 715-001 Seminar in Recent Philosophy: Materiality in Contemporary Humanistic Theory - Schatzki   M  4:30-7:00
Today, materialism is on the ascent.  Materialist “turns” abound, and all manner of theorists of human and social life profess to be materialists.  However, there is no consensus about what it is for something to be material in character, and very little agreement reigns about what it is to be a materialist, that is, about the point of and what is gained—for theory or for empirical research—by emphasizing the material properties of phenomena.
This seminar aims both to survey some of the uses made of concepts of matter, material, materials, and materiality in contemporary theories of social life and to determine just what should be required of any respectable “materialist” account in this area.  Participants will have some leeway to help choose reading and topics.
Readings will include texts from such thinkers as Bruno Latour, Judith Butler, Karen Barad, Gilles Deleuze and Félix Guattari, Graham Harman, Nigel Clark, Tim Ingold, Elizabeth Shove, and the instructor.  Additional readings could come from phenomenology and postphenomenology (e.g., Christopher Tilley, John Wylie), the organizational socio-materiality literature (e.g., Silvia Gherardi, Wanda Orlikowski), feminist theory (e.g., Vicki Kirby, Elizabeth Grosz), other actor-network or assemblage theorists (e.g., Sarah Whatmore, Jane Bennett, Manuel de Landa), ecological/environmental thought or science/technology studies (so many!), metabolic historical materialism (e.g., Karl Marx, Hannah Arendt, Marvin Harris), archeological theory (e.g., Ian Hodder, Bjørnar Olsen), thermodynamic theories of society (e.g., Leslie White, Richard Adams, Murray Bookchin), societal neuroscience (e.g.., Andreas Roepstorff, Des Fitzgerald), or other literatures or research areas of interest to participants.
PHI 740-001  Proseminar in Teaching – Sundell  TBD
An introduction to teaching methods for graduate students.
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