Courses Being Taught in Fall 2013
PHIL-514 Phenomenology: Blattner, Bill
"Phenomenology" is a name both for a movement within 20th century philosophy and for a method of doing philosophy. The movement is meant to be unified by the method. These days self-identified phenomenologists are typically scholars who work on the texts and doctrines of the major figures of the movement. In this seminar we will explore the question whether we can identify a (or perhaps several) phenomenological method(s). We will examine some of the texts of leading figures in the movement (Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty) with an eye to the questions, What is phenomenological method? Can it be properly distinguished from conceptual/linguistic analysis, ordinary language philosophy, and traditional philosophical dialectic? What is the distinction supposed to be between transcendental phenomenology (Husserl after about 1905) and existential phenomenology (Heidegger before about 1933 and Merleau-Ponty)?
PHIL-517 Hannah Arendt: Luban, David
Hannah Arendt was one of the twentieth century's greatest and most influential political philosophers. But her philosophical contributions included moral psychology and ethics, as well as legal and constitutional theory, philosophy of history, and the analysis of violence and power. In ethics she developed a view akin to contemporary particularism, and her moral psychology produced the famous (and much-misunderstood) concept of the "banality of evil." In law she had important ideas about international tribunals, criminal responsibility, civil disobedience, statelessness, and constitutionalism. We will also take a sidelong glance at Arendt in connection with the philosophers who most influenced her (Augustine, Kant, Heidegger). Readings will be drawn from Eichmann in Jerusalem, The Human Condition, and portions of several other books (Between Past and Future, On Revolution, Men in Dark Times, Crises of the Republic, her Kant lectures); the important essays "Thinking and Moral Considerations" and "Organized Guilt and Universal Responsibility"; excerpts from her correspondences with Heidegger, Karl Jaspers, and Gershom Scholem; and related philosophical material by other authors.
PHIL-519 Human Nature: Huebner, Bryce
What kinds of things are human beings? Are they competitive or cooperative by nature? Are they naturally disposed toward hatred and violence, love and compassion, or do they simply strive to increase their power? What roles do ‘biological’ and ‘cultural’ factors play in the production of constraints on human excellence and human well-being? These types of questions have long been the bread-and-butter of philosophy, and they are once again coming to prominence in philosophical and scientific contexts. In this course we will examine the extent to which investigations in the cognitive and biological sciences can tell us something interesting about human nature; we will also consider the possibility that such investigations are hopelessly misguided.
PHIL-610 Moral Damage/Moral Repair: Carse, Alisa
PHIL-773 Information & Experimentation: Mattingly, James
PHIL-826 First Year Seminar: Henninger, Mark