First Summer Session (5/26-7/5)
PHIL-UA 4; Life and Death; M/T/W/R 1:30-3:05; Sophie Cote
As thinking beings, we do not only have lives, we also lead lives; and we not only will die, we also reflect on the fact that we will die. In this class, we will ask how (if at all) the knowledge that we (and others) are going to die does (or should) affect the way we lead our lives.
Topics may include: Does knowing that our lives will end affect how we plan them? Does “living life to the fullest” require taking a certain attitude towards death? Does knowing that we and our loved ones will die affect what we care about? Does knowing that we are getting ever closer to death shape our lives? Do the unlived lives we could have had matter to the one we lead? Finally, do the answers we give to those questions change as we live our lives and approach death?
Readings will be drawn from contemporary academic philosophy, the history of Western and non-Western philosophy, literature, psychoanalysis, and nonfiction.
PHIL-UA 21; History of Modern Philosophy; M/T/W/R 11:30-1:05; Banafsheh Beizaei
In seventeenth- and eighteenth-century Europe, revolutionary developments in science, politics, and religion led to the transformation of old philosophical questions, methods, and theories, and to the generation of new ones. To a remarkable extent, these two centuries of philosophical thought in Europe provide many of the distinctive concepts, questions, methods, and theoretical approaches that help to structure philosophy today. This course will explore some of the early modern period’s most significant contributions to, and its liveliest debates within, the fields of epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of religion. In doing so, it will analyze the philosophical systems of René Descartes, Baruch (Benedict) de Spinoza, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, George Berkeley, and David Hume, and Immanuel Kant.
PHIL-UA 32; From Hegel to Nietzsche; M/T/W/R 3:30-5:05; Caroline Bowman
Study of principal philosophic works by Hegel and Nietzsche, with some attention to some of the following: Fichte, Schelling, Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, and Marx.
PHIL-UA 39; Recent Continental Philosophy; M/T/W/R 1:30-3:05; Daniel Brinkerhoff Young
Recent Continental Philosophy: Marxism and the Politics of Liberation
This course is a survey of Marxist and revolutionary left social and political philosophy in the 20th century, variously called the theory of liberation or emancipation, or "critical theory." However, this course will not exclusively focus on philosophers from the European continent. Instead, it understands the philosophy of liberation as a truly global intellectual and political movement in dialogue with European philosophy. The philosophers covered in this course analyzed the social and economic order of capitalism as a global structure that subjects all human life the drive for profits, and works as an interlocking system with gender, racial, and colonial domination. Moreover, they thought that only a politics focused on popular sovereignty, the liberation of human beings to collectively determine their own life, could overcome these forms of domination. The course will cover the relationship between Marxism, feminism, and Third World national liberation, and will include figures such as György Lukács, Herbert Marcuse, Frantz Fanon, Amilcar Cabral, Angela Davis, Claudia Jones, Selma James, Silvia Federici, and Cedric Robinson.
PHIL-UA 76; Epistemology; Joshua Myers
Section 1: M/T/W/R, 11:30-1:05
Section 2: M/T/W/R, 3:30-5:05
Epistemology is the philosophical study of knowledge and evidence. We will consider questions such as the following: Can we know anything? What is knowledge, and how does it differ from belief? What makes a belief justified? What are the different sources of justification? How do social structures and social identities affect knowledge transmission?
PHIL-UA 85; Philosophy of Language; M/T/W/R 6:00-7:35; Rose Ryan Flinn
Examines various philosophical and psychological approaches to language and meaning, as well as their consequences for traditional philosophical problems in metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics. Discusses primarily 20th-century authors, including Russell, Wittgenstein, and Quine.
Second Summer Session (7/6-8/16)
PHIL-UA 70; Logic; M/T/W/R 9:30-11:05; Tez Clark
An introduction to the basic techniques of sentential and predicate logic. Students learn how to put arguments from ordinary language into symbols, how to construct derivations within a formal system, and how to ascertain validity using truth tables or models.
PHIL-UA 80; Philosophy of Mind: Brains, Minds, and Society; M/T/W/R 1:30-3:05; Luke Roelofs
This course explores questions about the nature of ‘mind’ - consciousness, intelligence, and awareness - and about how these features of an individual relate to the broader physical and social worlds. It is divided into three parts, each taking two weeks.
- Part 1: The mind-body problem. What does it mean to have a ‘mind’, and how does a person’s mind relate to their brain? Is the mind just a computer program run by the brain? Is consciousness resistant to ordinary scientific explanations, and if so why?
- Part 2: Knowledge of other minds and our own. How do we know about the minds of others, and how much do we really know about our own? How should we feel about the idea of unconscious biases, motives, or belief, in others or in ourselves?
- Part 3: Minds in their social context. What is an individual, and how do individuals relate to society? What does it mean for a person to remain the same person from one time to another, despite going through changes? What does it mean to act as an individual, or to act as part of a group?