Professors Okrent (chair), Tracy (Philosophy and Religious Studies), and Cummiskey; Associate Professor Stark; Assistant Professor Ashwell; Visiting Assistant Professor Seeley
The practice of philosophy is a careful, in-depth study of humanity's most basic ideas, presuppositions, and beliefs. Its goal is to understand as clearly as possible one's conception of the world and humanity's place in it, and to see to what extent one's beliefs are justified. Some topics in philosophy include the nature of morality, the justification of law, the possibility of free will, the nature of beauty, the place of mind in a physical world, the nature of perception, the justification of our beliefs, the possibility of knowledge, the social construction of gender, the understanding of the self, the understanding of time and space, the possible existence of god, the nature and possibility of truth, the purpose and proper understanding of language, and the nature of emotions, as well as the point and value of philosophical inquiry. Beginning students can get a sense of the historical development of the current philosophical context by taking either Classical and Medieval Studies/Philosophy 271 (Ancient Greek Philosophy) or Philosophy 272 (Philosophy from Descartes to Kant). Students new to philosophy are also encouraged to start out with 200-level courses that focus on particular problems of philosophical interest. Although critical reading, thinking, and writing skills are developed in all philosophy classes, Philosophy 195 (Introduction to Logic) provides a more focused study of proper reasoning that is beneficial to majors and nonmajors alike. The study of philosophy, with its creative interplay of insight and reason, has ancient roots, yet the subject remains in continual ferment. The Bates philosophy curriculum emphasizes both the history of philosophical thought and the striking innovations, insights, and relevance of contemporary philosophy. More information on the philosophy curriculum is available on the website (www.bates.edu/PHIL.xml).
Major Requirements. Students who major in philosophy are expected to complete eleven courses in the field. Eight of the eleven courses must meet the distribution requirements indicated below. The philosophy faculty has structured these requirements to allow students the flexibility to plan their own programs within the constraints of a broad philosophical education. Philosophy courses offered in the Short Term count toward the eleven required courses. In addition, students may, with departmental approval, fulfill one of the eleven courses with a course from another field. Students arrange their programs in consultation with their departmental advisors. Those considering attending graduate or professional school are encouraged to consult with their advisors in order to design an appropriate course of study.
PHIL 195. Introduction to Logic.
2) History of Philosophy. Both of the following:
CM/PL 271. Ancient Greek Philosophy.
PHIL 272. Philosophy from Descartes to Kant.
3) Ethics and Political Philosophy (the good, the right, and community). One of the following:
PHIL 256. Moral Philosophy.
PHIL 257. Moral Luck.
4) Metaphysics and Epistemology (being, meaning, knowledge). One of the following:
PHIL 211. Philosophy of Science.
PHIL 234. Philosophy of Language.
PHIL 235. Philosophy of Mind.
PHIL 236. Theory of Knowledge.
PHIL 245. Metaphysics.
PHIL 260. Philosophy of Religion.
Two courses at the 300 level.
6) Senior Thesis.
PHIL 457 or PHIL 458.
Students are urged to take the courses listed in 1) and 2) as soon as possible after they decide to major in philosophy.
The department encourages students to design interdisciplinary majors involving philosophy.
Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may not be elected for courses applied toward the major.
Minor. The minor in philosophy consists of six courses. A coherent program for each student's minor is designed in accordance with program guidelines and in consultation with a member of the philosophy faculty who is chosen or appointed as the student's departmental advisor for the minor. Among the six courses there should be at least four courses related in a coherent group. Examples might include a group of courses relevant to philosophical reflections about the student's major field, or a group of courses on ethical and political questions, or a group of courses on a specific historical period. This group of courses should be designated, in consultation with the departmental advisor, before registration for the third course in the group. The minor may include up to two Short Term courses in philosophy.
Pass/Fail Grading Option. Pass/fail grading may be elected for only one course applied toward the minor.
PHIL 112. Contemporary Moral Disputes.The course focuses on particular moral issues and the ethical arguments provoked by them. Topics discussed in the course may include abortion and euthanasia, war and nuclear arms, world hunger, and the use of natural resources. Not open to students who have received credit for Philosophy/Religious Studies 212. Not open to students who have received credit for First-Year Seminars 309 or PL/RE 212. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. Normally offered every year. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations
PHIL 150. Introduction to Philosophy.This course introduces students to philosophy and philosophical reasoning by examining some of the fundamental philosophical problems of human existence. Among these are the problem of doubt and uncertainty as an aspect of human knowledge; the justification and importance of religious belief; and the nature of mind, matter, and freedom. An attempt is made to establish a balance between philosophy as a vigorous and professional discipline and philosophy as a personally useful method for exploring one's own reasoning and beliefs. Readings include both historical and contemporary works. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. M. Okrent. Concentrations
PHIL 195. Introduction to Logic.An investigation of the nature of valid reasoning, coupled with training in the skills of critical thinking. Close attention is paid to the analysis of ordinary arguments. Enrollment limited to 40 per section. Normally offered every year. L. Ashwell. Concentrations
PHIL 211. Philosophy of Science.Science has become our model for what counts as knowledge; the course examines that model and discusses how far its claims are justified in the light of the nature and history of science. Topics for consideration are drawn from the nature of scientific explanation, scientific rationality, progress in science, the nature of scientific theories, and the relations of science to society and to other views of the world. Readings include traditional, contemporary, and feminist work in the philosophy of science. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. M. Okrent. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PHIL 213. Biomedical Ethics.The rapid changes in the biological sciences and medical technology have thoroughly transformed the practice of medicine. The added complexity and power of medicine has in turn revolutionized the responsibilities and duties that accompany the medical professions. This course explores the values and norms governing medical practice; the rights and responsibilities of health care providers and patients; the justification for euthanasia; and the problems of access, allocation, and rationing of health care services. Not open to students who have received credit for First-Year Seminar 362 or Philosophy s26. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. [W1] Normally offered every year. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
ES/PL 214. Environmental Ethics.A study of selected issues in environmental ethics, including questions about population growth, resource consumption, pollution, the responsibilities of corporations, environmental justice, animal rights, biodiversity, and moral concern for the natural world. The course explores debates currently taking place among environmental thinkers regarding our moral obligations to other persons, to future generations, to other animals, and to ecosystems and the Earth itself. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. T. Tracy. Concentrations
PHIL 218. Concepts of Self.In Western philosophy, the idea of a self is central. The once dominant view held that selves were atomistic, isolated, literally individuals. Now many theorists regard selves as constituted and maintained through relationships. With this idea as a baseline, this course examines what selves or agents are, the ways in which selves are constituted and sustained, and the role of emotion in the constitution of a self. The course examines the idea of autonomy, especially in light of feminist critiques. And finally, the course explores the possibility of agency in a deterministic, scientific, though not necessarily scientistic worldview. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. S. Stark. Concentrations
PHIL 227. Philosophy of Art.An introduction to central issues in contemporary philosophy of art through the lens of artistic works and practice. Students investigate what constitutes a work of art, artistic representation, the nature of aesthetic qualities, and the relevance of artists' intentions to the evaluation of works of art, with close attention to visual, performance, literary, and experimental art forms. Not open to students who have received credit for Art and Visual Culture/Philosophy 226. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. Staff. Concentrations
PHIL 232. Philosophy of Psychology. The fundamental question philosophers of psychology ask is: Can there be a science of the mind? The major obstacle to an affirmative answer is the nature of consciousness. Thus a significant part of the course focuses on the philosophical problem of consciousness. Emotions, however, also pose problems for the science of the mind, and are also implicated in the nature of consciousness. A second focus of the course is the nature of emotion and its relationship to consciousness. Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy. Not open to students who have received credit for Philosophy s21. Enrollment limited to 30. S. Stark. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PHIL 234. Philosophy of Language.This course is an advanced introduction to contemporary issues in the philosophy of language. Students investigate the natures of reference, meaning, and truth while reading the work of Frege, Wittgenstein, Russell, Kripke, Lewis, Putnam, and others. They address questions such as: What is it for a sign or a bit of language to be meaningful? What is it for words to represent or identify something? What is it for a statement to be truthful? What is a language, and what is it to know a language? How can you believe that Superman flies while believing that Clark Kent doesn't? Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy. Recommended background: Philosophy 195. Enrollment limited to 30. M. Okrent. Concentrations
PHIL 235. Philosophy of Mind.An inquiry into the nature of human mentality that pays special attention to the issues raised by experience and the relation between thought and language. Is mind distinct from body? If not, are mental states identical with brain states, or does the mind relate to the brain as programs relate to computer hardware? What is the connection between linguistic meaning and thought? Readings are drawn from historical and contemporary sources. Recommended background: one course in philosophy. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 40. L. Ashwell, Staff. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PHIL 236. Theory of Knowledge.Is knowledge possible, and if so, how? The course investigates how we can know the ordinary things we take ourselves to know. Students are introduced to major philosophical theories concerning when our thoughts about ourselves and the world are rationally justified. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. L. Ashwell. Concentrations
PHIL 245. Metaphysics.This course introduces students to some of the central issues in metaphysics. Possible questions considered include: Which kinds of things exist? What is one saying when one says that something "exists"? What does it mean to say that something causes something else? What is one saying when one says that something might possibly be other than it is? What does it mean to say that something is the same identical thing at one time that it is at another? Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. L. Ashwell. Concentrations
PHIL 256. Moral Philosophy.Is there a difference between right and wrong? Is it merely a matter of custom, convention, preference, or opinion, or is there some other basis for this distinction, something that makes it "objective" rather than "subjective"? How can we tell, in particular cases and in general, what is right and what is wrong? Is there some moral principle or method for deciding particular moral problems? Philosophers discussed include Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Mill, and the Dalai Lama. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. Normally offered every year. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations
PHIL 257. Moral Luck.This course explores the relationship between luck and morality. It examines the moral and metaphysical problem of free will, determinism, and responsibility, and the related problem of moral luck. It looks at the role friendship plays in the moral life and the ways "relational goods" help to protect us from some of the exigencies of bad luck. It considers Kant's attempt to make morality "safe" from luck and the way Aristotle embraces luck in his moral outlook. It also looks at the nature of evil and the extent to which evil is under our control. Not open to students who have received credit for First-Year Seminar 288 or Philosophy 170. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30 per section. S. Stark. Concentrations
PHIL 258. Philosophy of Law.What is law? What is the relationship of law to morality? What is the nature of judicial reasoning? Particular legal issues include the nature and status of liberty rights (the right to privacy including contraception, abortion, and homosexuality), the legitimacy of restrictions on speech and expression (flag burning and racist hate speech), and the justification of the death penalty. Readings include traditional and contemporary legal theory, case studies, and court decisions. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations
PL/RE 260. Philosophy of Religion.A consideration of major issues that arise in philosophical reflection upon religion. Particular issues are selected from among such topics as the nature of faith, the possibility of justifying religious beliefs, the nature and validity of religious experience, the relation of religion and science, and the problem of evil. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. T. Tracy. Concentrations
PHIL 262. Philosophy and Feminism.One central project of feminist philosophy is the use of philosophical methods to think carefully about important and distinctive features of the lives of women, and also about the concepts employed in the feminist political movement and similar social movements, such as those centered around race, class, disability, and sexuality. Topics include: what it is to be a woman; what it is to face discrimination or oppression; science and sociey, particularly genders in science; sex and sexuality; reproduction; the family; gender in popular culture; the body and appearance, including looking at the fashion and beauty industries. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. L. Ashwell. Concentrations
CM/PL 271. Ancient Greek Philosophy.A study of the basic philosophical ideas underlying Western thought as these are expressed in the writings of the Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Greek thought is discussed in its historical and social context, with indications of how important Greek ideas were developed in later centuries. Not open to students who have received credit for Philosophy 271. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. M. Okrent. Concentrations
PHIL 272. Philosophy from Descartes to Kant.The problems of knowledge, reality, and morality are discussed as they developed from the time of the scientific revolution and the birth of modern philosophy until their culmination in Kant. The course considers thinkers from among the classic rationalists (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz) and empiricists (Locke, Berkeley, Hume) as well as Kant. Open to first-year students. Enrollment limited to 30. Normally offered every year. M. Okrent. Concentrations
PHIL 273. Philosophy in the Nineteenth Century.The course follows the development of modern thought from Kant, through the rise and breakup of Hegelianism, to the culmination of nineteenth-century thought in Nietzsche. The impact of science, the relation of the individual and society, and the role of reflection in experience are examined in readings drawn from among Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Feuerbach, Marx, Mill, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard. Recommended background: two courses in philosophy or Philosophy 272. Open to first-year students. M. Okrent. Concentrations
PHIL 274. Phenomenology.A survey of several of the dominant themes in twentieth-century phenomenology. The course is designed to familiarize students with this area through the study of some of the works of Husserl and Heidegger, among others. Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy. M. Okrent. Concentrations
PL/RE 304. The Problem of Evil.The presence of profound suffering and appalling injustice in the world raises some of the deepest questions that religions seek to address. Can the evils we see around us be reconciled with the classical affirmation that the world is created by a just and all-powerful God? This seminar considers the problem of evil as it arises in the theological and philosophical traditions of the West. Readings include Genesis and Job, Holocaust literature and Jewish theological responses, and contemporary writings in philosophy of religion and theology. Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy or religious studies. Not open to students who have received credit for Religious Studies 304. Enrollment limited to 15. T. Tracy. Concentrations
INDS 315. African American Philosophers.This course focuses on how African American philosophers confront and address philosophical problems. Students consider the relationship between the black experience and traditional themes in Western philosophy. Attention is also given to the motivations and context sustaining African American philosophers. Recommended background: African American Studies 100 or 140A or African American Studies/American Cultural Studies 119. Cross-listed in African American studies, American cultural studies, and philosophy. Not open to students who have received credit for Interdisciplinary Studies 165. Enrollment limited to 15. Staff. Interdisciplinary Programs.
PHIL 321. Seminar: Topics in the Contemporary Philosophy of Mind and Language.An examination of recent discussions of topics concerning language, intentionality, and what it is to be a person. Topics vary from year to year. Concentrations
PHIL 321B. Meaning Holism. Meaning holism is the doctrine that "only whole languages or whole theories or whole belief systems really have meanings, so that the meaning of smaller units are merely derivative." Meaning holism characterizes a variety of twentieth-century views regarding mind and language in both the analytic and Continental traditions. This seminar considers meaning holism in W. V. O. Quine and his descendants, Donald Davidson and Daniel Dennett, among others, as well as recent criticism of this position by Jerry Fodor. Enrollment limited to 15. M. Okrent. Concentrations
PHIL 321C. Colors and Sounds.Traditionally, philosophical thought about perception and consciousness has focused primarily on vision—in particular, on color and color experience. Philosophers interested in the nature and content of experience have much to learn through attention to the distinctive features of other sensory modalities and the things we perceive through them. In this seminar, students examine what colors are, what sorts of things are colored, and the relationship between colors and our experiences of them. They then investigate the nature of sounds and of auditory experience, and address the questions associated with developing a philosophical theory of auditory perception. Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 211, 232, 234, 235, 236, 245, 272, or 274. Enrollment limited to 15. Staff. Concentrations
PHIL 321D. The Rise of Philosophical Analysis.This course explores the history of twentieth-century philosophy by examining the methods and characteristic doctrines of two successive philosophical movements. Students first focus on the early twentieth-century attempt, pioneered by Russell and the early Wittgenstein, to apply the newly developed techniques of formal logic to the analysis of the cognitive significance of our ordinary ways of talking. The course then considers the way in which a later generation of "ordinary language" philosophers, including Ryle, Austin, and the later Wittgenstein, reacted against this attempt. Readings are taken from the works of Russell, G. E. Moore, Wittgenstein, Ayer, Ryle, and Austin. Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy. Recommended background: Philosophy 195 or two courses in philosophy. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] M. Okrent. Concentrations
PL/PY 321E. The Possibility of Artificial Intelligence.A critical analysis of the progress and prospects of attempts to build intelligent machines. Thinking, the ability to form rational thoughts, was once thought a uniquely human trait. Today cognitive scientists look to commonalities between minds and computers to help understand and model complex cognitive tasks like visual perception, rationality, and language development. In this course students explore issues in philosophy, psychology, and computer science associated with the prospects of artificial intelligence (AI). Topics include intentionality, representation, consciousness, the computational theory of mind, connectionism, and contemporary challenges to traditional AI models from mobile robotics and embodied cognition. Recommended background: Philosophy 195, 211, 234, and 235. Enrollment limited to 15. One-time offering. W. Seeley. Concentrations
PHIL 322. Seminar: Topics in Contemporary European Philosophy.An examination of recent developments in Continental philosophy. Staff. Concentrations
PHIL 322B. Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception.This course is an intensive study of Merleau-Ponty's Phenomenology of Perception. Interpretations by contemporary critics are considered. Recommended background: Philosophy 274. Prerequisite(s): two courses in philosophy. Enrollment limited to 20. Offered with varying frequency. M. Okrent. Concentrations
PHIL 323. Seminar: Topics in Metaphysics and Epistemology.. This course focuses on advanced issues in the theory of knowledge and in the theory of ultimate reality. Staff. Concentrations
PHIL 323A. Dispositions.Paradigmatic dispositions are fragility, solubility, elasticity, and conductivity, but discussions of dispositions occur in a wider range of theories than these examples might suggest. Dispositions, also called "powers" or "tendencies" are considered in, for example, analyses of free will, color properties, mental states, natural laws, and causation. Some argue that dispositions are the only type of property there is, yet others question whether there really are such properties. In discussing these debates, students cover several core topics in metaphysics and epistemology, including possible worlds and counterfactuals, realism and anti-realism about properties, reduction, and explanation. Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 195 and 211, 232, 234, 235, 236, 245, 272, or 274. Offered with varying frequency. L. Ashwell. Concentrations
PHIL 324. Seminar: Topics in Ethics.This course focuses on important issues in ethics and political theory. Prerequisites(s): Philosophy 256 or 257. Concentrations
PHIL 324A. Seminar: Kantian Ethics.This seminar uses Kant's moral theory as a vehicle to explore some of the central questions and assumptions of Western moral theory. Kantian ethics is typically contrasted with the moral theory of David Hume and its heirs, the utilitarians. Central to this contrast between Kantians and Humeans is an emphasis on the dualisms of reason and passion, duty and sentiment, principle and sympathy, autonomy and heteronomy, right acts and good consequences. In each case, Kant is identified with the first and Hume with the second of the pairs. On the other hand, recent interpretations of Kant's ethics by Marcia Baron, Barbara Herman, Thomas Hill, Christine Korsgaard, and Onora O'Neill present a more unified, and perhaps more compelling, picture of Kantian ethics. This seminar focuses on these new interpretations of Kantian moral theory. Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 256 or 257. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations
PHIL 324B. Consequentialism and its Critics.Consequentialism is the view that the morally right act is whatever act produces the most good. The appeal of such a view is obvious; it provides a clear way of judging between moral claims, and it generally requires acts that benefit society. Critics complain that consequentialists can manipulate and even kill individuals to achieve their ends, and may also destroy themselves in the process of promoting the good. This course looks at this contemporary debate and the truth about what we ought morally to do. Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 256 or 257. Enrollment limited to 12. D. Cummiskey. Concentrations
PHIL 324C. Liberty and Equality.Liberty and equality are the central values of contemporary political philosophy. These values, however, seem inevitably to conflict. Unlimited freedom leads to inequalities and remedies for inequalities restrict liberty. This seminar focuses on competing accounts of the proper balance between liberty and equality. In particular, students focus on John Rawls' theory of justice and competing therories of justice, including utilitarian liberalism, Nozick's libertarian theory, communitarian theories, feminist theories, and multicultural approaches. Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 256 or 257. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] D. Cummiskey. Concentrations
PHIL 324E. Virtue Ethics.Virtue ethics emerged as an important kind of moral theory during the last half of the twentieth century. There are many virtue theories, but they share a focus on the morality of character rather than the morality of individual actions. Many seek an answer to the question, "How shall I live?" rather than, "What should I do?" This course explores both the historical roots of virtue theory found in Aristotle and, according to some scholars, Kant. It also examines several contemporary theories of virtue as well as critics of this approach to moral theory. Prerequisite(s): First-Year Seminar 248 or Philosophy 256. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] S. Stark. Concentrations
PHIL 325. Seminar: Topics in Metaethics.This course examines contemporary theories on the meaning of moral language, the possibility of moral knowledge, the existence of moral facts, the nature of moral arguments, and the relationship between morality and rationality. Philosophers discussed include Moore, Ayer, Stevenson, Hare, Foot, and Mackie. Some background in moral or political theory is recommended. Enrollment limited to 15. Staff. Concentrations
PHIL 325B. Moral Rules and/or Particulars.Until recently many moral philosophers have assumed that moral justification proceeds by showing that, for example, an action falls under some more general moral principle. However, the existence and epistemic value of moral generalities have increasingly come to be questioned by a group of contemporary moral philosophers, including Aristotelians, feminists, and some British moral realists. These particularists have advanced the striking metaphysical claim that there are no codifiable moral generalities, as well as the epistemological claim that moral justification need not be parasitic on a supposed metaphysical relationship between justified and justifying properties. This course investigates these claims while also investigating the role that rules may or should play in morality. Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 170 or 256. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] S. Stark. Concentrations
PHIL 350. Seminar on Major Thinkers.The course examines in depth the writings of a major philosopher. Thinkers who may be discussed include Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, Marx, Wittgenstein, and Quine. Staff. Concentrations
PHIL 351. Kant.This course is an intensive study of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason. Interpretations by contemporary critics are considered. Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 272. [W2] M. Okrent. Concentrations
PHIL 360. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study per semester. Normally offered every semester. Staff. Concentrations
PHIL 365. Special Topics.A course or seminar offered from time to time and reserved for a special topic selected by the department. Concentrations
PHIL 365A. Human Nature.This course examines human nature from philosophical, evolutionary, and cultural perspectives. Students focus on ideals of rationality, the role of the emotions, the nature of free will, the role of culture and biology, and conceptions of human happiness. Recommended background: two philosophy courses. Prerequisite(s): one of the following: Philosophy 150, 256, 257, 271, or 272. Enrollment limited to 15. [W2] D. Cummiskey. Concentrations
PHIL 395. Seminar: Topics in Logic.Students address topics from among: basic metatheory of first-order logic, including soundness and completeness; computability theory and mathematical logic, including Turing machines, the halting problem, and Gödel's incompleteness results; and modal logics and possible worlds semantics. Prerequisite(s): Philosophy 195. Enrollment limited to 15. Staff. Concentrations
PHIL 457. Senior Thesis.Students register for Philosophy 457 in the fall semester and for Philosophy 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Philosophy 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations
PHIL 457, 458. Senior Thesis.Students register for Philosophy 457 in the fall semester and for Philosophy 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Philosophy 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations
PHIL 458. Senior Thesis.Students register for Philosophy 458 in the winter semester. Majors writing an honors thesis register for both Philosophy 457 and 458. [W3] Normally offered every year. Staff. ConcentrationsShort Term Courses
PHIL s17. The Ethics of Care.Several decades ago, Carol Gilligan introduced the idea that women might speak about morality in a different voice from men. Her important work has inspired and contributed to the development of the ethics of care, an approach to ethics that takes women's moral commitments and orientations seriously. This course presents a careful study of the ethics of care and a critical examination of it. Students read both the historically significant works from which the ethics of care began as well as recent developments of the theory and criticism of it from within feminist circles. [W1] S. Stark. Concentrations
PHIL s21. Science of the Mind. The fundamental question philosophers of psychology ask is: Can there be a science of the mind? The major obstacle to an affirmative answer is the nature of consciousness. Thus a significant part of the course focuses on the philosophical problem of consciousness. Emotions, however, also pose problems for the science of the mind, and are also implicated in the nature of consciousness. A second focus of the course is the nature of emotion and its relationship to consciousness. Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy. Not open to students who have received credit for Philosophy 232. Enrollment limited to 30. [W1] S. Stark. Concentrations Interdisciplinary Programs.
PHIL s24. Philosophy of Film.An examination of philosophical problems surrounding film as both a form of fine art and a medium of popular entertainment. How do films convey an illusion of reality? What is the basis for our emotional interactions with characters? How do the answers to these questions bear on notions of film authorship and the nature of cinematic narration? The course focuses on cognitivist theory, which attempts to explain spectator engagement with film as an extension of ordinary perceptual and emotional experiences. Students also discuss the differences between cognitivist, Marxist, psychoanalytic, and semiotic theories of film. Recommended background: Philosophy 227 and 235. Enrollment limited to 30. One-time offering. W. Seeley. Concentrations
PHIL s50. Independent Study.Students, in consultation with a faculty advisor, individually design and plan a course of study or research not offered in the curriculum. Course work includes a reflective component, evaluation, and completion of an agreed-upon product. Sponsorship by a faculty member in the program/department, a course prospectus, and permission of the chair are required. Students may register for no more than one independent study during a Short Term. Normally offered every year. Staff. Concentrations