Course Descriptions - Fall 2005

Introductory Courses in Philosophy

PHILOS 101, Introduction to Philosophy - Selected Topics and Issues, 3 credits, HU
Lec 405, MW 10:00-10:50am, MER 131
Lec 406, MW 1:00-1:50pm, ACL 120
Instructor: John Koethe, tel 414-229-5215, email: koethe@uwm.edu

We will look at a representative selection of topics from the history of philosophy and current philosophical debates: ethics, social and political philosophy, the scope and nature of our knowledge of the world, the nature of the self and mind.


PHILOS 101, Introduction to Philosophy, Selected Topics and Issues, 3 credits, HU
Lec 001, M 6:30-9:10pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Patrick Fessenbecker, email: pff@uwm.edu
Lec 002, W 6:30-9:10pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Matt Priselac, email: priselac@uwm.edu

We will look at a representative selection of topics from the history of philosophy and current philosophical debates: ethics, social and political philosophy, the scope and nature of our knowledge of the world, the nature of the self and mind.


PHILOS 111, Informal Logic-Critical Reasoning, 3 credits, HU
Lec 001, MW 9:30-10:45am, Room TBA
Lec 002, TR 12:30-1:45pm, Room TBA
Instructor: Karl Steldt, tel 414-229-5217/4719, email: karlsteldt@hotmail.com

Aside from being a body of knowledge in its own right, logic is an instrument for acquiring understanding. As such it is not specific to any subject matter. The principles of logic are applicable to the various sciences, art, religion, law, ethics, politics, and business. For the student who works in any of the foregoing areas, the study of logic is essential.

This course is devoted to a range of topics central to logic. People make claims and defend them with reasons, which together are referred to as arguments. The first order of business is to learn to identify arguments and to recognize how their structure is indicated in ordinary discourse. Second, meaning and linguistic usage underlie the determination of truth. In this connection distinctions are drawn between different kinds of definition, and rules are laid down for constructing and evaluating definitions. A third topic is that of informal fallacies. Some arguments are good and some are bad, and fallacies are by definition bad arguments. Since these are all too often mistaken for good arguments, being able to recognize common varieties of fallacies is a useful skill. Next on the agenda is deduction. The relation between truth and validity is considered. Some immediate inferences that have traditionally been recognized are covered, along with a number of elementary forms of deductive arguments. A procedure is established for testing a certain kind of deductive argument, the categorical syllogism, for validity and invalidity. The last part of the course is devoted to a study of inductive arguments. Here the focus is on arguments by analogy, causal reasoning, and scientific explanation.


PHILOS 204, Introduction to Asian Religions, 3 credits, HU
Lec 402, MW 11:00-11:50am, END 107
Instructor: Walter Neevel, tel 414-229-5215, email: wgneevel@uwm.edu

This course will be a historical and comparative introduction to Hindu and Buddhist religious life and thought. Special emphasis will be placed upon the development of the classical forms of these traditions within India. The Buddhist tradition will also be stressed as a missionary movement linking the various cultures of Asia and interacting with the indigenous traditions of East Asia.


PHILOS 204, Introduction to Asian Religions, 3 credits, HU
Lec 001, MW 2:00-3:15, Room TBA
Instructor: James Lewis, tel 414-229-5636/4719, email: Jim.Lewis@uwsp.edu

Emphasis in this course will be upon the philosophy and worldviews - the nature of the universe, human destiny, the problem of evil, etc. - of several forms of Hinduism and Buddhism, though some attention will also be given to Taoism and to a few contemporary Western new religions influenced by Asian religions. From time to time, representatives of these traditions will be invited in to dialog with the class.


PHILOS 211, Elementary Logic, 3 credits, HU
Lec 403, MW 10-00-10:50am, BUS N146
Lec 404, MW 12:00-12:50pm, MER 131
Instructor: Prof. Michael Liston, tel 414-229-5217/4719, email: mnliston@uwm.edu
Lec 001, T 6:30-9:10pm, BOL 196
Instructor: Stephanie Allen, email smallen2@uwm.edu
Lec 002, R 6:30-9:10pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Jason Jobes, email jdjobes@uwm.edu

The Island of Knights and Knaves is a place where only Knights and Knaves live. A Knight is a person who always tells the truth. Knaves, on the other hand, never tell the truth. Harry, who lives on the island, says: "If I am a Knight, then I'll eat my hat." Did you know that you can prove from the above information that Harry will eat his hat? Did you know: 1) Given that Sarah loves either Jim or Tom and that if she loves Jim then she loves Tom, you can prove that she loves Tom? 2) that if everyone loves a lover and there is even one lover in the world, then everyone loves everyone? Learn how to solve these and other puzzles in Philosophy 211, where we will study formal deductive logic - the science of what follows from what.

The concepts and techniques encountered in the study of deductive logic are of central importance to any analysis of argument and inference. They reflect fundamental patterns of proof found in science and mathematics, they underlie the programs that enable computers to "reason" logically, and they provide tools for characterizing the formal structures of language. This is an introductory course intended for students who have had no previous work in logic. There will be 3 exams and weekly homework assignments.


Intermediate and Advanced Courses

PHILOS 212, Modern Deductive Logic, 3 credits, HU
Lec 001,MW 9:30 - 10:45am, CRT 309
Instructor: Stephen Leeds, tel 414-229-5215/4719, email: sleeds@uwm.edu

The task of the first logic course - Philosophy 211 - was to develop a means for evaluating deductive arguments. This task involved the use of a formal language for expressing the logical structure of English sentences and the use of various formal techniques, including truth tables and deductions, for evaluating arguments. Once an English argument was translated into the formal language, formal techniques were used to solve an apparently informal problem, i.e., the problem of finding out whether it is possible for the conclusion of the argument to be false while all its premises are true.

In Philosophy 212 we will continue this inquiry into the evaluation of deductive arguments. We will concentrate on two central areas. First, we will deal with statements and arguments that are more quantificationally complex than those studied in Philosophy 211. Second, we will address the issue of the adequacy of the formal system. Explicit definitions of validity of arguments and formal systems will be used for the investigation, via informal reasoning and proof, of what can be achieved by a deductive system. Philosophy 211 with a grade of "C" or better is a prerequisite for this class.


PHILOSOPHY 213 has been cancelled.
PHILOS 213, Introduction to the Philosophy of Science
Lec 001,
Instructor: Nataliya Palatnik, tel 414-229-4719, email: palatnik@uwm.edu


PHILOS 217, Introduction to Metaphysics, 3 credits, HU
Lec 001, T 6:30-9:10pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Sami Hawi, tel 414-229-4395/4719

The course deals with the nature of metaphysical thinking and the issues arising from such thinking. Representative philosophers from ancient, medieval and modern philosophy are dealt with at length, e.g., Plato's Phaedo, Avicenna's identity theory and metaphysical scheme, Descartes' Meditation, and Hume's Dialogues concerning Natural Religion.


PHILOS 232: Topics in Philosophy - History of Science from Galileo to Einstein, 3 credits, HU
Lec 002: MW 12:30-1:45pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Stephen Leeds, tel 414-229-5215/4719, email sleeds@uwm.edu

This is a course on the history of science from the 17th to 20th centuries, concentrating mostly on physics, astronomy, and chemistry. The instructor believes that the great discoveries of this period should be accessible to everyone, not just scientists; for this reason, the course presupposes no background in physics. The student will however be expected to have, or anyway develop, a tolerance for a certain amount of mathematical argument, since so much of the reasoning by which Newton, Maxwell and the rest arrived at their discoveries was mathematical.


PHILOS 232: Topics in Philosophy - Belief, Knowledge, Certainty, 3 credits, HU
Lec 003, MW 5:00-6:15pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Gerhard Nuffer, email: gnuffer@umich.edu

Is it ever rational to believe something (say, that God exists) on insufficient evidence? Do we ever have sufficient evidence for what we believe? If not, does this mean that, strictly speaking, we don't know anything? What, exactly, does it take to know something? Does knowledge require certainty? In this course, we will examine both classical and contemporary answers to these questions.


PHILOS 241: Introductory Ethics, 3 credits, HU
Lec 401, MW 11:00-11:50am, BOL B56 Instructor: Julius Sensat, tel 414-229-4669, email: sensat@uwm.edu
http://www.uwm.edu/~sensat/

We shall study three basic approaches in moral philosophy: ethical rationalism, which takes moral principles to describe an independent order of values fixed in the nature of things, the ideal-spectator approach, which takes morally wrong actions to be those an impartial sympathetic observer would disapprove of, and contractualism, according to which the correct moral principles are those which would be agreed to by all reasonable beings as a basis for their community. We shall see how the second approach leads naturally to utilitarianism, while contractualism has important sources in Immanuel Kant's moral philosophy. We shall see how the three basic approaches get reflected in theories of social and economic justice.


PHILOS 242: Introduction to Social & Political Philosophy, 3 credits, HU
Lec 001, TR 9:30 - 10:45am, CRT 309
Instructor: Andrea Westlund, tel 414-229-4669, email: westlund@uwm.edu
http://www.uwm.edu/~westlund

In this course we will consider the relationship between individual human beings, society, and the state. We will examine several different conceptions of society as a product of human interaction, with special emphasis on the idea that political authority and obligation are grounded in a social contract. We will also consider, from a variety of perspectives, the idea that human individuals are products of their social environments, and we'll explore the different conceptions of power, liberty, and self-realization that emerge from these contrasting views. Readings will include selections from Plato, Hobbes, Rousseau, Marx, Mill, and Foucault, among others.


PHILOS 244, Ethical Issues in Health Care, 3 credits, HU
Lec 101: Contemporary Problems, M 6:30-9:10pm, Course held off-campus
Instructor: Kristen Tym, tel 414-456-4266/229-4719, email: ktym@execpc.com

This course will provide a general overview of some of the ethical issues in health care. We will begin the course with an introduction to the basic ethical theories and approaches to moral decision making. These theories and approaches will then be applied to ethical problems currently confronting health care providers, patients and their families, and society at large. Issues we will consider include informed consent, decision-making capacity, confidentiality, futility and withdrawal of life sustaining treatment, euthanasia and assisted suicide, assisted reproduction, genetics, and research ethics.

This course is taught off-campus at Whitefish Bay HS, 1200 E. Fairmont, Rm. 252


PHILOS 245, Critical Thinking and the Law - Law of Torts, 3 credits, HU
Lec 101, M 6:30-9:10 pm, Course held off-campus
Instructor: Paul Santilli, tel 414-229-4719, email: santilli@execpc.com

The goals of critical thinking are to instill in the student an understanding of the fundamental principles of analysis, problem solving and construction of an argument. In order to convey these principles, students are taught how to use tort law using legal materials, including but not limited to, the language used by the legal profession and legal resources. It is through the study of law that teachers hope to impart to their students a system for analytical thinking which they may use in their every-day lives.

This course is taught off-campus at the School of Continuing Education, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave., Room 7230.


PHILOS 250, Philosophy of Religion, 3 credits, HU
Lec 001, TR 3:30 - 4:45pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Fabrizio Mondadori, tel 414-229-5904/4719

We shall analyze and discuss (a) some of the traditional arguments for the existence of God (especially St. Thomas' Five Ways and the ontological argument), (b) the so-called problem of Evil (we shall read texts by Leibniz and Hume), (c) the question whether or not God's omniscience and human freedom are mutually consistent, and (d) the problem of miracles.


PHILOS 250, Philosophy of Religion, 3 credits, HU
Lec 402, MW 12:00-12:50pm, END 103
Instructor: James Lewis, tel 414-229-5636/4719, email: Jim.Lewis@uwsp.edu

We shall analyze and discuss (a) some of the traditional arguments for the existence of God (the cosmological, teleological, and ontological arguments), (b) the so-called problem of Evil, (c) the question whether or not God's omniscience and human freedom are mutually consistent, (d) Pascal's Wager and William James, and (e) the question of human immortality.


PHILOS 253, Philosophy of the Arts, 3 credits, HU
Lec 002, MW 11:00am - 12:15pm, Room TBA
Instructor: Michelle Mahlik, tel 414-229-5636/4719, email: mmahlik@uwm.edu

Art differs from nature in being a human creation, and as our own creation art has something to say about how we view our selves, our world, and our relationship to the world. An objective of this course is to examine philosophically the nature of art and its relation to individuals and their environment.

How do we distinguish works of art from natural objects? Is art merely an imitation of the natural world? Do works of art have intrinsic meaning, or do they have no meaning at all? Is the value of a work of art merely a matter of subjective judgment? Are there specific criteria by which to judge works of art? Are we to define art in terms of form, expressiveness, artistic intention, or social role? Is there a relationship between beauty and moral goodness?

In this course, we will consider these questions and the answers provided by a variety of philosophers and artists, both ancient and modern. Although an interest in art is recommended, this course requires no previous experience in art or philosophy.


PHILOS 317, Metaphysics, 3 credits, U/G
Lec 001, TR 12:30-1:45pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Fabrizio Mondadori, tel 414-229-5904/4719

In this course we shall raise, discuss, and attempt to answer, the following (inter-related) questions: (1) whether or not it is possible to change the past (and what is meant by the claim that it can, or cannot, be changed); and (2) whether or not the effect can precede its cause, i.e., whether or not there can be such a thing as backward causation. We shall read texts by Aristotle, St. Thomas, Michael Dummett and David Lewis.


PHILOS 324, Philosophy of Science, 3 credits, U/G
Lec 001, TR 9:30 - 10:45am, Room TBA
Instructor: Robert Schwartz, tel 414-229-5903/4719, email: schwartz@uwm.edu

This course will explore the nature of scientific inquiry, as well as consider what, if anything, is special about the scientific enterprise. We will start by trying to get a firm understanding of such core notions of scientific methodology as: explanation, cause, laws, and probability. Next we will explore how concepts and hypotheses of science get their empirical meaning. This study will lead us to consider questions about the relation of theoretical terms to "reality" and to problems concerning how science can or cannot test its theories. The last third of the course will focus on recent challenges to both the "objectivity" of science and the "rationality" of scientific practice.


PHILOS 349, Great Moral Philosophers, 3 credits, U/G
Lec 001, TR 2:00-3:15pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Susan Hahn, tel 414-229-4719, email: songsukhahn@yahoo.com

The first part of the course will structured around a contrast between an ethics of virtue in Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics and Kant's duty-driven ethics in the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals. We'll examine the contrast between virtue ethics and rationalist duty-centered ethics specifically around what theories of human motivation are at stake, the claim of reason and rationality on agents, and what morality demands in relation to others, when conflicts between individual interests and impersonal demands arise. The second part of the course will focus on naturalism, beginning with Moore's arguments against certain forms of naturalism in Principia Ethica. We'll proceed to the naturalists' reply to the naturalist fallacy and arguments for naturalism in Foot, Mcdowell, and others. Other approaches to ethics will include deontological intuitionism and emotivism. This course is not a historical survey, but rather, a reading of some of the major texts and articles associated with these main approaches. Among the general aims of this course will be to develop methods of reading different philosophical texts, which belong to significantly different traditions of thought, but which can be understood as conceptually-connected, insofar as they are concerned with the appropriateness of certain methods of inquiring into problems about ethics.


PHILOS 355, Political Philosophy, 3 credits, U/G
Lec 001, MW 12:30-1:45pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Bernard Gendron, tel 414-229-4771/4719, email: bgendron@uwm.edu

This course deals with the main classics of modern political philosophy and some important contemporary texts. The classic texts include: Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, John Locke, The Second Treatise on Government, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Discourse on the Origins of Inequality and The Social Contract, and various readings in Karl Marx, including The Jewish Question, "Alienated Labor", The German Ideology, The Communist Manifesto, and "Wage, Price and Profit". The contemporary texts are: John Rawls, Justice as Fairness and Michel Foucault, Discipline and Punish.


PHILOS 381: Honors Seminar, Intelligence: Concepts, Content & Consequences, 3 credits, HU
Sem 001, MW 11:00am -12:15pm, CRT 181
Instructor: Robert Schwartz, tel 414-229-5216, email: schwartz@uwm.edu

The concept of "intelligence" finds a home in discussions of the nature of mind and in claims about the difference between human mentality and the "mentality" of animals and computers. The concept of "intelligence" is also the focus of concern in continuing debates over IQ testing and whether it is necessary to postulate a single notion of "intelligence" to account for differences in intellectual ability and personal success. In turn, the question of "intelligence" remains a central issue in setting social policy, especially with regard to matters of education.

In spite of the important role the idea of "intelligence" plays in each of these areas, there is little real agreement how the concept should be analyzed and understood. Moreover, there is even reason to believe that there is no such thing as intelligence. Some maintain that the notion of "intelligence" may be not only useless but seriously misleading when employed to explain human accomplishments and academic achievement.

This interdisciplinary seminar will examine these issues and controversies from three related perspectives: philosophy, psychology and education.


PHILOS 430, History of Ancient Philosophy, 3 credits, U/G
Lec 001, MW 11:00am - 12:15pm, EMS E125 Instructor: Richard Tierney, tel 414-229-4719, email: rtierney@uwm.edu

In the thought of Ancient Greece we uncover a remarkable phenomenon. The Ancient Greeks, starting from an essentially myth-making way of understanding the world and the human place in it, as found in the work of Homer and Hesiod, developed their ideas to a culmination in a theory of the natural world and of human nature and human contact put forward by Aristotle, which dominated human thinking for many hundreds of years and is still said to capture human "common sense" beliefs about the world. How did this transition come about? We will look at the changing questions asked by the Pre-Socratics, Plato and Aristotle, in order to understand how their ideas and theories about the natural world and human nature resulted in the development of natural science, ethics and political theory.


PHILOS 453: Special Topics in the History of Modern Philosophy - Nietzsche, 3 credits, U/G
Lec 001, MW 2:00 - 3:15pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Bernard Gendron, tel 414-229-4771, email: bgendron@uwm.edu

In his (in)famous declaration that "God is dead", Friedrich Nietzsche was drawing consequences not only for religion but for all of Western culture. With the death of God, he believed, all the previously held values of the West - moral, philosophical, scientific, artistic - had been devalued and divested of their foundations. This condition of decadence he labeled "nihilism". Nietzsche's whole work is a diagnosis of nihilism and an attempt to overcome it by laying the groundwork for the creation of new, post-Christian values. A century later, Nietzsche's writings continue to fascinate and provoke. He is an important predecessor for both existentialism and postmodernism.

This course will explore Nietzsche's stirring philosophical project through a close analysis of Human-All-Too-Human, The Gay Science, The Genealogy of Morals, and the Twilight of the Idols. These books weave together his explorations into knowledge and truth, science and metaphysics, morality, religion, art and music, modernity and its crises, and so on.


PHILOS 455 HAS BEEN CANCELLED.
PHILOS 455, Recent Philosophy - Kant's Critique of Judgment and Contemporary Aesthetics
Lec 001:
Instructor: Susan Hahn, email: songsukhahn@yahoo.com


Prof. Hahn will be teaching PHILOS 562, The Political Thought of Hegel and Marx (description below).
A course with this subtitle will be offered in Spring 2006. Please check back in November for Spring course descriptions.


PHILOS 461, Islamic Philosophy & Mysticism, 3 credits, U/G
Lec 001, TR 11:00am -12:15pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Sami Hawi, tel 414-229-4395/4719

Problems central to Islamic Theology, philosophy and mysticisms and their relation to the teaching of Islam and Western philosophy.


PHILOS 475, Special Topics in Indian Religious Thought - Gandhi & Nonviolence, 3 credits, U/G
Lec 001, MW 3:30 - 4:45pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Walter Neevel, tel 414-229-5215, email: wgneevel@uwm.edu

This course will consider the development and influence of Mahatma Gandhi and his Nonviolent Resistance to oppression and injustice. Special attention will be paid to his traditional Indian religious background, modern influences upon him, his development in South Africa, his campaigns against British Colonialism and social and economic injustice in India, and his worldwide influence, especially upon Martin Luther King, Jr. Students will also be asked to explore the continuing relevance of his ideas and tactics for the contemporary world.


PHILOS 532: Philosophical Problems - Knowledge, Possibility, and Consciousness, 3 credits, U/G
Lec 001, M 6:30 - 9:10pm, CRT 607
Instructor: Gerhard Nuffer, tel 414-229-4719, email: gnuffer@umich.edu

In 1982 Frank Jackson gave a simple argument to show that physicalism - the view that all facts are physical - is false. The argument revolves around Mary, a brilliant scientist who has spent all her life in a room in which everything is either black, white, or some shade of grey. Mary knows everything about colors and color vision, but has never seen anything colored. When she leaves her room and for the first time sees a ripe tomato, she learns something new, namely what it is like to see something red. Since Mary already knows all the physical facts about color vision, what she learns can't be a physical fact. Jackson concludes that any description of the world in purely physical terms is incomplete; it leaves out the subjective character of conscious experience.

In this course we will ask whether Jackson's conclusion is warranted. Is learning what it is like to have a certain kind of experience acquiring a kind of information? If yes, what kind of information is it, and how does it relate to other kinds of "subjective" information, such as information about who or where one is? Readings will include texts by Chalmers, Churchland, Dennett, Frege, Jackson, Lewis, Loar, Nagel, Perry, Stalnaker, Stoljar, Tye, and Velleman.


PHILOS 535, Philosophical Topics in Feminist Theory - Feminist Ethics & Social Thought, 3 credits, U/G
Lec 001, TR 2:00-3:15pm, CRT 607
Instructor: Andrea Westlund, tel 414-229-4395/4719, email: westlund@uwm.edu
http://www.uwm.edu/~westlund

This is a course in contemporary feminist ethics and social thought. We will explore a variety of questions, including: What is gender, and what relevance does it have to moral and political thinking? Are there distinctively feminine and/or feminist ethical perspectives? How might sensitivity to gender affect our thinking about concepts such as justice, care, autonomy, dependence, equality, and difference? How might it affect our understanding of concrete moral and political problems? In thinking about these questions we will be attentive to ways in which gender interacts with other factors, such as race, class, sexuality and cultural context.


PHILOS 562, Special Problems in Ethics & Social and Political Philosophy - The Political Thought of Hegel and Marx, 3 credits, U/G
Lec 001, TR 9:30-10:45, CRT 303
Instructor: Susan Hahn, tel 414-229-4719, email: songsukhahn@yahoo.com

This course will be devoted to a study of Hegel's mature practical thought in the Phenomenology of Spirit, and as it got developed later in connection with the themes of practical freedom and self-determination in Philosophy of Right. We'll begin with a close examination of a few central topics, including: Hegel's critique of modern "dualisms", refinement of subjectivity, moral self-determination, and identification in relation to a politics of recognition, practical freedom, and dissent. We'll proceed with an analysis of Hegel's theories of the will, which will inform our reading of the particular sections in Philosophy of Right. Finally, we'll discuss some responses to Hegel's Idealism by the young Hegelians, Marx, and, time permitting, Feuerbach. Uur introduction to the dialectical thought and method of the young Marx will focus on his early reflections on labor, alienation, social conflict and contradiction, and social emancipation from false consciousness, as they evolved out of his critical engagement with Hegel's social and political philosophy.


PHILOS 681, Seminar in Advanced Topics - Autonomy, Heteronomy, and the Self, 3 credits, U/G
Sem 002, M 3:30-6:10pm, CRT 607
Instructor: Edward Hinchman, tel 414-229-5215/4719, email: hinchman@uwm.edu

From one perspective, your "self" is what gives you unity, enabling others to address you as the single person that you are. From another perspective, your "self" is what gives you conflictual depth, enabling others to engage you as an adult in touch with the complexities of human life. Are these two perspectives on the self compatible? Could what gives you unity from the first perspective be the same as what registers your conflicted disunity from the second? This seminar will draw on current work in moral psychology, epistemology, and the philosophy of mind.


PHILOS 712, Modern Deductive Logic, 3 credits, HU
Lec 001, MW 11:00-12:15pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Stephen Leeds, tel 414-229-5215/4719, email: sleeds@uwm.edu

The task of the first logic course - Philosophy 211 - was to develop a means for evaluating deductive arguments. This task involved the use of a formal language for expressing the logical structure of English sentences and the use of various formal techniques, including truth tables and deductions, for evaluating arguments. Once an English argument was translated into the formal language, formal techniques were used to solve an apparently informal problem, i.e., the problem of finding out whether it is possible for the conclusion of the argument to be false while all its premises are true.


PHILOS 758, Seminar in Major Philosophers - Locke & Berkeley, 3 credits, G
Sem 001, T 4:30-7:10pm, CRT 607
Instructor: Margaret Atherton, tel 414-229-4736/4719, email: atherton@uwm.edu

In this seminar we will develop interpretations of John Locke's Essay concerning Human Understanding and George Berkeley's Treatise on Human Knowledge and Three Dialogues between Hylas and Philonous by studying the relationships that exist among these works. It is widely agreed that the relationship between the thought of the two men is very close. Nevertheless, Locke himself is mentioned only rarely in Berkeley's work. This gap allows room for considerable interpretive variation. As one important interpretive tradition holds, the relationship between Locke and Berkeley was largely positive. Locke laid down a framework of empiricism that Berkeley extended in his distinctive idealist version. Another interpretive framework holds that the relationship between Locke and Berkeley was largely critical. On this view, Locke's causal realism is the target against which Berkeley developed his immaterialism. While the primary goal of the course will be to develop historically and philosophically informed readings of the texts in question, we will be especially interested in exploring how contextualizing one philosopher's work with respect to another's influences the interpretations that result.


PHILOS 960, Seminar in Metaphysics - Aristotle, 3 credits, G
Sem 001, W 4:30-7:10pm, CRT 607
Instructor: Richard Tierney, tel 414-229-5217/4719, email: rtierney@uwm.edu

In this seminar we shall study and discuss Aristotle's concept of nature, both with a view to understanding that concept and with a view to determining its relevance to certain current issues in Metaphysics and Philosophy of Mind. Specifically, we shall be considering the nature of living substances - i.e. their form or soul - and address such questions as: "What is a substance?", "What is the nature of a substance?", "How does a natural substance come into being?", and "How does a substance's nature underlie its natural activities?" We shall be reading significant portions of the Physics, Posterior Analytics, On Generation and Corruption, Meteorology, On the Soul, and Generation of Animals, as well as selections from the Metaphysics, Ethics, and other works. No knowledge of Greek is required or expected.