Monday, June 20, 2011

courses being offered at UNF---

I am not sure about UNF's audit policy but I just thought I'd post the philosophy department's courses for the fall.  They sound really really interesting.  I wish I could figure out a way to go back to school.

These are the courses that are being offered at UNF this fall:

CRN: 83009
MW 1630-1745
Instructor: P. CARELLI
In this course we study the origins of the largest philosophical questions in ancient Greece. Beginning with the Presocratics, we will go on to examine the work of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle and the Hellenistic philosophers. We’ll ask about the kind of life human beings ought to lead, the nature of justice and morality, the basic constituents of the world, and the nature and limits of human knowledge. Once we understand the views of the Greek philosophers, and their arguments for these views, we’ll need to decide whether or not to accept them ourselves as guides to leading our own lives. PHH 3100 is course required of all philosophy majors.

CRN: 85130
TR 1630-1745
This course will introduce students to the main philosophical texts, ideas, and trends in Chinese philosophy. Students will gain familiarity with major texts such as the Analects and the Zhuangzi, as well as key philosophical vocabulary such as dao, de, ren, ziran, li, qi, and xiao. After completing the course, students will have a grasp of the main schools of thought in China, including Confucianism, Daoism, Mohism, and Chinese Buddhism, and how these schools developed over time.

CRN: 82579
MW 1500-1615
What is morality? What is its basis? What norms or principles should guide our actions? This course offers a detailed investigation of these fundamental questions. We will examine theories about the source of morality (topics from the area known as metaethics) and theories concerning how we ought to structure our moral thought and action (topics from the area known as normative theory). We will be concerned throughout to see how metaethical and normative questions interrelate: what are the arguments, for example, for thinking that moral norms derive from different cultural ways of life, and what effect should agreement with such arguments have on one’s moral outlook? The fact that this is primarily a course in abstract theory does not mean that we will not devote time to the discussion of real life moral problems and dilemmas. Indeed, one major goal of the course will be the exploration of the relationship between ethical theory and everyday life. PHI 3601 is a course required of all philosophy majors.


CRN: 82718

MW 1630-1745


Students will probe various moral questions arising within business's concerns with property, risk-benefit relationships, use of information, competition, and the like. Students will be prepared for this endeavor through focused study of several models of organizational ethics which impact market institutions, organizational structures, as well as individuals that comprise the essential elements of the world of business.


CRN: 85131

W 1800-2045


This course will examine several debates within the philosophy of religion. We will focus on two broad questions. Q1: What would God be like? Q2: Is it rational to believe in God? Under Q1 we will examine such puzzles as: Can God create a stone too heavy for God to lift? Can God know the future free actions of people? Can God be perfect and still be free? What is God’s relation to morality? Under Q2 we will examine such puzzles as: Does the existence of evil show that God does not exist? Does religious disagreement or science show that God doesn’t exist? Do religious experiences make it reasonable to believe that God exists? Does the existence and intricacy of the universe make it reasonable to believe that God exists?


CRN: 85133

F 1200-1445


The philosophy of film is a rapidly growing subfield of contemporary philosophy of art that has experienced a certain renaissance since the 1980’s. There are many ways to approach the study of film – from the standpoint of film theory, film studies, the aesthetics of film as an art form, the social impact and relevance of film, etc. In this course, we will begin with an overview of early film theory and then specifically address the social/cultural impact, importance, and potential of film. We will focus on the need to understand cinema within the broader formation of cultural modernity. Early film theories to be addressed include Formalist Theory, Realism, Auteurism, and Structuralism. The course then moves towards addressing specific social and cultural issues of modernity through the lens of film (e.g. Ideology, Feminism, and Cultural Identity). We next take up some of the broader questions of poststructuralism and postmodernism in the writing and directing of screenwriters and directors, respectively.


CRN: 85134

M 1200-1445


Demographics in the United States reveal an increasing amount of diversity. Few places demonstrate a need for understanding and accommodating this diversity more than in the clinical context. Too often the complex ethical issues faced in medicine are viewed through a lens shaped solely by Western values. This lens is insufficient against the backdrop of diversity found in the clinical setting. In this course we will analyze and examine some of the issues that have evolved out of recent and anticipated developments in medicine, highlighting both the differences and similarities different cultures bring to the table. We begin with an overview of the underpinnings of Western bioethics, then go on to look at other approaches to bioethics in general, and then move on to examining a number of moral issues arising in medicine from a variety of different perspectives. Issues to be discussed include the physician-patient relationship, informed consent, truth-telling, advance directives, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, issues in maternal-fetal medicine, and health care for children. Throughout this course we will examine assumptions about rights, persons, and ethical principles at play in the medical arena. Readings will include discussions of ethical principles in medical contexts and legal decisions. In addition, case studies will be utilized to provide students with the opportunity to sharpen their analytic skills and develop a deeper understanding of some of the major bioethical issues from an international perspective.


CRN: 85136

TR 1050-1205


This course will be a topical introduction to central themes in metaphysics – a branch of philosophy that tries to answer the fundamental questions about the nature of reality. In it we will carefully consider accounts of causation, the relation of freedom and determinism, laws of nature, personal identity, mental states, time, material objects, and properties. The philosophical questions to be discussed include: What makes it the case that one event causes another event? Is free will compatible with determinism? What are material objects? Given that material objects exist, do such things as properties exist? What makes it the case that a person may exist at two different times?


CRN: 85140

M 1800-2045

Instructor: H. KOEGLER

The Linguistic Turn defines much of the profile of 20th Century philosophy and remains one of the most powerful inspirations in current debates. “Philosophy of Language” will reconstruct the importance of language for several central philosophical issues, including the relationship between thought and language, the social construction of experience through language, the concepts of meaning, truth and reference, and the normative nature of communicative interaction. The philosophical perspectives on language that we will explore include hermeneutics, semiotics and poststructuralism, analytic philosophy of language, and speech act theory. Philosophers and language theorists discussed will include Humboldt, Gadamer, de Saussure, Foucault, Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Searle, and Habermas. The course is unique in its inclusion of all major approaches in the philosophy of language; it systematically relates these different philosophical perspectives via the issues of thought, society, truth, and normativity to form a powerful vision of language’s role for experience. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy.


CRN: 85142

TR 1505-1620

Instructor: A. BUCHWALTER

This course considers the main theme and issues involved in philosophizing about the social sciences. Topics include: What are the social sciences and how do they differ from the natural sciences and the humanities? What is the nature and meaning of method in social science? What counts as law, explanation, understanding, interpretation, objectivity, and normativity in the social sciences? Attention will be given to the wide range of schools and approaches that now comprise philosophy of the social sciences, including positivism, hermeneutics, critical social theory, pragmatism, and poststructuralism. Consideration will be given as well to more recent trends, like social constructivism, standpoint theory, and rational choice theory. Readings are taken from influential authors in both the Anglo-American and European traditions. This course counts toward the following major concentration: Advanced Studies and Legal, Political, and Social Studies.


CRN: 85169

TR 1340-1455

Instructor: R. VITZ

Self-deception is a common phenomenon. In fact, nearly everyone seems to have a friend or family member who they think is self-deceived—e.g., about the faithfulness of his or her lover, about his or her beliefs for (or against) a particular religion or political party, and so forth. This apparent ability to lie to oneself in the face of the evidence seems to be a rather contemptuous vice. However, recent psychological studies seem to suggest that at least some forms of self-deception are life enhancing. Thus, it might seem that self-deception can be a virtue. In this course, we examine the curious nature of self-deception, evaluate its ambiguous ethical status, and reflect on how these insights should affect the way that we live. Prerequisites: At least one of the following (with a B or better grade): PHH 3100, PHH 3400, PHI 3130, PHI 3691.


CRN: 85207

TR 925-1040

Instructor: P. CARELLI

The Republic is often considered Plato’s masterpiece and is probably the most influential and controversial philosophical work from the ancient Western world. The scope of the dialogue is ambitious (some say too ambitious), covering such philosophical areas as ethics, political philosophy, pedagogy, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, feminism, and aesthetics. Unfortunately, the Republic is often represented in survey courses solely by the dialogue’s middle books, which denies students an engagement with the richness of the work as a whole as well as depriving them of the context needed to understand those middle books properly. This course will provide a substantial treatment of the whole of the Republic by offering a close and careful reading of the work that takes into account both its philosophical argumentation and insight, and its historical and dramatic context.


CRN: 85144

W 1200-1445


Human vulnerability appears to be one of the indisputable facts of our existence. A variety of writers suggest that vulnerability is at the core of who we are; that is, because we are impressionable beings, our very sense of ourselves is shaped by our interactions with others. Throughout the course, we will examine two aspects of what it means to be and feel vulnerable: 1) the various ways we can be vulnerable (physically, emotionally or psychologically, legally, etc.) and how these may differ depending on the particularities of our situation (for instance, our race and gender), and 2) how we attempt to deal with these experiences of vulnerability. By reading various philosophical texts we will develop a nuanced understanding of the self as a vulnerable self that evolves through being affected by others (and affecting them in turn) as well as of what role vulnerability might play in ethics, asking: Is ethics primarily a matter of responding to vulnerable others? Do we have a duty to protect those who are especially vulnerable? How do we determine if someone is vulnerable to us? Should we affirm rather than avoid or deny vulnerability? Why? Readings will include selections from John Russon’s Human Experience, Judith Butler’s Precarious Life and Giving an Account of Oneself, Alasdair MacIntyre’s Dependent Rational Animals, Robert Goodin’s Protecting the Vulnerable, Maurice Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception, and Jacques Derrida’s “The Animal That Therefore I Am.”


CRN: 85146

R 1800-2045


This course examines contemporary ideas about love and sex, as well as the foundations of these ideas in the history of philosophy. We will discuss the way love, sex, and sexuality shape our identities, the relationship between love, sex, sexuality and gender roles, heterosexuality and homosexuality, the power of norms concerning love and sex, the role of socio-cultural depictions of love and sex, and the ethics of romantic and sexual practices. In addition to readings drawn from the history of philosophy, some particular texts to be studied include Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality, Laura Kipnis’ Against Love, and Michael Warner’s The Trouble with Normal.

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