Course Descriptions - Spring 2008

Philosophy 101, Introduction to Philosophy, HU, 3 credits, HU
LEC 404, MW 11:00-11:50, MER 131
LEC 405, MW 2:00-2:50, LAP 162
Instructor: Edward Hinchman, hinchman@uwm.edu
Enrollment in one of the large lectures requires enrollment in a discussion section.

This course is an introduction to Western Philosophy. Students need not have any background in philosophy, or any plans for further study. The course has three broad aims:

  1. to introduce students to the tradition of philosophical argument in the West via primary texts,
  2. to teach students how in general to make and evaluate philosophical arguments,
  3. to demonstrate to any student who cares to participate actively how exciting and even fun philosophy can be.

Since philosophy is simply informed public reflection on what we're up to as we try to do and believe what we ought to do and believe - as Socrates put it, "What we are talking about is how one should live" - I hope that by the end of the term the third aim of the course will have taken priority over the other two.


Philosophy 101, Introduction to Philosophy, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, T 6:30-9:10, CRT 319
Instructor: Daniel Corbett, corbettd@uwm.edu
LEC 002, W 6:30-9:10, CRT 309
Instructor: Jeremy Fix, jdfix@uwm.edu
LEC 003, R 6:30-9:10, CRT 309
Instructor: Matthew Pei, mapei@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.


Philosophy 111, Informal Logic: Critical Reasoning, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, MW 9:30-10:45, BOL 281
LEC 002, MW 12:30-1:45, BOL B91
Instructor: Karl Steldt, 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.


Philosophy 204, Introduction to Asian Religions, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, MW, 9:30-10:45, CRT 309
LEC 402, MW, 1:00-1:50, END 103
Instructor: James Lewis, jim.lewis@uwsp.edu
Enrollment in the large lecture (LEC 402) Philosophy 204 requires enrollment in a small discussion section.

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.


Philosophy 211, Elementary Logic, 3 credits, HU
LEC 403, MW 10:00-10:50, MER 131
LEC 404, MW 12:00-12:50, MER 131
Instructor: Richard Tierney, rtierney@uwm.edu
Enrollment in one of the large lectures (LEC 403/404) also requires enrollment in a corresponding discussion section.
LEC 001, M 6:30-9:10, CRT 309
Instructor: Brandon Biggerstaff, biggers2@uwm.edu
LEC 002, T 6:30-9:10, CRT 103
Instructor: James Lee, jameslee@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.


Philosophy 212, Modern Deductive Logic, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, MW 12:30-1:45, CRT 309
Instructor: Jonathan Lang, lang2@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 232, Topics in Philosophy: Existentialism, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, T 6:30-9:10, CRT 309
Instructor: Michelle Mahlik, mmahlik@uwm.edu

Existentialism comprises a variety of views, both religious and non-religious, that express a particular perspective on the nature of human life. Existentialist philosophers and writers explore issues such as human choice, authentic living, freedom and responsibility, the role of passion in human choice, the nature of consciousness, and the human experience of anguish, self-deception, and love. This course will cover the work of Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Sartre, De Beavoir, Camus, Kafka and others.


Philosophy 232, Topics in Philosophy: Personal Identity and the Self, 3 credits, HU
LEC 002, TR 12:30-1:45, CRT 309
Instructor: Luca Ferrero, ferrero@uwm.edu

In this course we will investigate what philosophy can tell us about our distinctive nature as persons. What makes us the particular persons that we are and how is this identity preserved in time? Is the biological death of the body also the death of the person? Does each of us have something as a unique and unified 'self'? Is this self the object of introspection? Does our existence amount to the existence of the self?

In the first part of the course, we will discuss what makes a person the same individual as time goes by. Does personal identity depend on the continuity of memories, beliefs and psychological traits? Or does it rather depend on the continuity of the body? Or is it a matter of the persistence of an immortal and immaterial soul? In discussing these questions, particular attention will be devoted to the treatment of cases where continued personhood is uncertain (like brain bisection experiments, amnesia, multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, and science fiction cases like "Star Trek" style teletransporter or body exchanges). We will then consider the implications of theories of personal identity for understanding what counts as the death of a person.

In the second part of the course, we will look at the implications of theories of personal identity for the idea of the 'self'. We will discuss issues about the unity of the self, self-deception and the nature of self-knowledge. If time permits, we will consider the implications of theories of personal identity and the self for psychology, morality, law and medicine. We will read works of contemporary philosophers in the analytic tradition.


Philosophy 235, Philosophical Aspects of Feminism, 3 credits, HU
LEC 201, ONLINE WEB
Instructor: Andrea Westlund, westlund@uwm.edu

This is a course in contemporary feminist thought, with special emphasis on feminist contributions to ethics and social theory. 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 issues? 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. Please note: This course is entirely online. You must have internet access and be comfortable using D2L (Desire 2 Learn) in order to take this course.


Philosophy 241, Introductory Ethics, 3 credits, HU
LEC 401, MW 11:00-11:50, END 103
Instructor: Julius Sensat, sensat@uwm.edu
Enrollment in Philosophy 241 also requires enrolling in a corresponding discussion section.

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.


Philosophy 244, Ethical Issues in Health Care: Contemporary Problems, 3 credits, HU
LEC 101, R 6:00-8:40 *
Instructor: Kristen Tym, ktym@earthlink.net

This course will provide a general overview of many of the challenging ethical issues faced in health care delivery today. We will begin the course with an introduction of ethical theories and other 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 and confidentiality, futility and withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, euthanasia and assisted suicide, assisted reproduction, genetics, allocation of scarce resources and research ethics.

* This course is taught off-campus at the Milwaukee County Mental Health Complex, 9455 Watertown Plank Road, Milwaukee.


Philosophy 245, Critical Thinking and the Law: Law of Contracts, 3 credits, HU
LEC 101, M 6:30-9:10 *
Instructor: Paul Santilli, santilli@uwm.edu

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 contract 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.


Philosophy 250, Philosophy of Religion, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, TR 2:00-3:15, CRT 309
Instructor: Fabrizio Mondadori, mondadf@uwm.edu

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.


Philosophy 250, Philosophy of Religion, 3 credits, HU
LEC 402, MW 12:00-12:50, END 103
Instructor: James Lewis, jim.lewis@uwsp.edu
Enrollment in LEC 402 requires enrolling in a corresponding discussion section.

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.


Philosophy 253, Philosophy of the Arts, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, MW 11:00-12:15, CRT 109
Instructor: Michelle Mahlik, 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.


Philosophy 324, Philosophy of Science, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, TR 11:00-12:15, CRT 309
Instructor: Robert Schwartz, schwartz@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st & 3 cr in philos

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.


Philosophy 332, Philosophical Problems: Language, Thought, and Embodiment, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, MW 3:30-4:45, CRT 309
Instructor: Jonathan Lang, lang2@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st & 3 cr in philos

Unlike other animals in the animal kingdom, we as human beings possess the ability to speak and understand language. It seems clear that our acquisition of natural language in early childhood plays some role in the way that we learn to think and communicate. Yet what is far from clear is exactly to what extent language shapes our cognitive abilities. For instance, is our ability to understand and produce natural language necessary for us to have certain thoughts? Is it necessary for us to have any thoughts at all? Are our thoughts in our native language or some other language of thought? If language does end up being necessary for thought, then can language-less creatures such as human babies and non-human animals have any concepts or thoughts at all?

The first half of the course will be devoted to answering a cluster of these interrelated questions concerning language and thought. In the latter half of the course we will see how the answers to these above questions bear on a new paradigm for understanding the way cognition and thought works in humans; i.e., the Embodied Cognition research program. In studying Embodied Cognition, special emphasis will be placed on what this way of viewing the mind has to tell us about language and concepts. At the very end of the semester, the metaphysical implications of the Embodied Cognition research program will be examined briefly.

This course is an upper-level philosophy of mind/psychology course. Given that questions addressed in this course are intimately tied to research in psychology and cognitive science, much of the reading will be pulled heavily from psychology/cognitive science. Come ready to read a number of academic papers outside of the domain of philosophy (but ones which are still hold promise for answering hard philosophical questions). A background in philosophy is necessary, but no background in psychology is required.


Philosophy 351, Philosophy of Mind, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, TR 3:30-4:45, CRT 309
Instructor: Daniel Corbett, corbettd@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st & 3 cr in philos

Philosophy of Mind is the branch of philosophy that considers what it means to have a mind and what makes the mind distinct from the rest of nature. In this class we will survey contemporary western philosophy of mind, examining the following questions: Do we each have a soul? Of so, is it part of one's physical body or something non-physical and supernatural?; If the soul is non-physical, how can it interact with your physical body? What evidence can we have for its existence?; If the soul is a part of the physical body, how can we make sense of human freedom and consciousness in a world where everything that happens can be reduced to atoms smashing together?; How do you decide if another creature besides yourself has a mind? Do dogs have minds? What about other people? Could there be alien life forms with minds? How should we try to answer these questions? What does it take for a creature to have a mind?; Could a machine think? Are they already thinking? Could a machine have feelings and consciousness?; What are emotions? Are they destructive forces that interfere with the cool operation of reason, thought, and intelligence? Are they an integral part of what it means to be reasonable, thoughtful, and intelligent?


Philosophy 355, Political Philosophy, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, MW 11:00-12:15, CRT 309
Instructor: William Bristow, bristow@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st & 3 cr in philos

Why do people organize themselves into political units (states)? What are the various ways in which states can be organized? Which are best and why? On what is grounded the difference between legitimate and illegitimate uses of political power? What rights and privileges do individuals retain in relation to their government, and which are or can be ceded to the government? Do people always retain the right to revolt against the political order when there are abuses of power? How are such questions to be decided? How is the political unit related to other social organizations, such as the civil society and the family? -- In this course we examine these and other related questions by reading classic texts in the history of political philosophy as well as contemporary political theorists. We will apply the theories we study to contemporary questions of justice.


Philosophy 431, History of Medieval Philosophy, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, TR 5:00-6:15, CRT 309
Instructor: Fabrizio Mondadori, mondadf@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st & 3cr in philos

In this course we shall study, both critically and historically, the writings of such philosophers as St. Augustine, St. Anselm, Siger of Brabant, St. Thomas, Duns Scotus, William of Ockham. Avicenna and Algazali. We shall discuss, among others, such topics as the existence of God, the extent of God's power, the eternity of the world, free will and determinism, the distinction between essence and accident, the nature of individuality, the nature of possibility, and causation.


Philosophy 432, History of Modern Philosophy, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, TR 2:00-3:15, BOL B60
Instructor: Margaret Atherton, atherton@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st & 3cr in philos

The philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries in Western Europe put a highly characteristic stamp on philosophical thought, one that is still influential today. The period, characterized as "Modern" because it ushered in a new approach to knowledge, particularly knowledge of the natural world, but also a knowledge of human nature. Philosophers of this period, starting with Descartes, struggled to find an understanding of the makeup of the natural world and of the way in which we can know this natural world while simultaneously struggling to find the place of religion within these new developments. The period is also called the Age of Enlightenment, reflecting widespread confidence in human ability to understand the natural order and human nature within that order. We will follow the leading philosophers of this period as they develop various and unique accounts of what there is, how we know it, and what we are like as knowers, tracing the implications of their respect for science, their increasing curiosity about the nature of the human mind and their struggles to understand the relationship between science and religion. We will hope to understand the work of these philosophers both as foundational to the development of the sciences of their time and as providing the framework within which we continue to address their issues. We will be reading selections from leading philosophers of this time, including Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley and Hume, but because this was also a period in which philosophy was carried out by many people in many different venues, we will also be reading brief excepts from some of the little known women philosophers of the period.


Philosophy 532, Philosophical Problems: Personal Identity, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, T 5:00-7:40, CRT 607
Instructor: Luca Ferrero, ferrero@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st & 3 cr in philos

What does it take for a person to be the same over time? John Locke famously answered, 'the continuity of consciousness', and originated what is now known as the 'psychological criterion' of personal identity: personal identity is constituted by the continuity over time of certain sets of psychological states. In this class we will discuss recent work on personal identity in the Lockean tradition, broadly conceived. We will address the following questions. Does psychological continuity requires more than memory? If so, why? Does memory still play a privileged role in identity? What is the role of intentions in determining one's future selves? Is continuity all that matters for identity? Should we appeal to stronger relations, such as temporal unity or integrity? Is the temporal unity a kind of 'narrative unity'? Finally, what does the proper interpretation of the psychological criterion tell us about the question whether identity matter? Readings from contemporary analytic philosophers, including Parfit, Williams, Korsgaard, Dennett, and Velleman.


Philosophy 535, Philosophical Topics in Feminist Theory: Feminist Theory, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, TR 3:30-4:45, CRT 607
Instructor: Andrea Westlund, westlund@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st; a course in philos or women's stds advisable

This is a course in feminist ethics and social thought. While some readings will reach back to the early roots of Anglo-American feminism, our primary focus will be on more recent work in these areas. We will begin by considering different interpretations and understandings of feminism itself, and will then proceed to explore a variety of questions, including: What is sexism? What is gender? Are there distinctively feminine and/or feminist ethical perspectives? How might attention to sex and gender affect our thinking about selfhood and autonomy? What would it be to overcome sex inequality? In thinking about these questions we will be attentive to ways in which gender interacts with other factors such as race, class, and sexuality.


Philosophy 562, Special Topics in Ethics & Social & Political Philosophy: Hegel and Marx on Politics and Estrangement, 3 credits, HU
LEC 001, MW 2:00-3:15, CRT 607
Instructor: Julius Sensat, sensat@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st; 3 cr philos; cons instr.

According to Hegel, people are not at home in the modern social world. This is not because that world is not a home-it is; they just do not comprehend it as such. There is no objective estrangement in the modern society. Only subjective estrangement stands in the way of the social realization of freedom. This is where philosophy comes in. Its role is to enable people to understand themselves and their relation to society in such a way that the character of the social world as a home becomes manifest to them, and they thereby come to feel at home in that world. Philosophy rids them of their illusions, their "false consciousness."

Marx also wants foster social emancipation by eliminating false consciousness, but for him, Hegel's political philosophy itself expresses false consciousness, because it fails to recognize a condition of objective estrangement in modern society. A truly critical doctrine should probe the nature of this estrangement in an effort to uncover reasons and methods for eliminating it.

We'll study this debate closely, in an effort to discover what the issue turns on. We shall also try to clarify what is at stake, not only for Hegel and Marx, but for our own social world and its political self-understanding.


Philosophy 681, Seminar in Advanced Topics: Skepticism, 3 credits, HU
SEM 001, M 3:30-6:10, CRT 607
Instructor: John Koethe, koethe@uwm.edu
Prereq: sr st & 12 cr in philos at 300-level or above; or grad st.

The focus of this seminar will be on arguments for philosophical skepticism, and what our response to them should be. There is a near consensus that the conclusions of these arguments are not only at odds with common sense, but absurd; yet there is no consensus about what is wrong with the arguments. If an argument yields a false conclusion it ought to be unsound, involving either a false premise or an invalid inference. Yet neither of these ways of criticizing skeptical arguments commands a consensus, and since the arguments have been around for centuries, it seems unlikely that one is going to emerge anytime soon. We'll explore both of these ways of rejecting skeptical arguments, but then try to make out a view of them that allows us to reject their conclusions as absurd, yet doesn't involve identifying something straightforwardly "wrong" with them. This will require us to look into issues in the foundations of logic, as well as such traditional epistemological issues as knowledge, possibility, contextualism, induction, and various principles governing knowledge.


Philosophy 685, Senior Capstone Research Seminar: Philosophical Naturalism & Its Critics, 3 credits, HU
SEM 001, TR 12:30-1:45, CRT 607
Instructor: Daniel Corbett, corbettd@uwm.edu
Prereq: sr st; declared Philos major; or cons instr. Undergraduates only.

This seminar will be on the topic "Philosophical Naturalism and Its Critics". Naturalism is a collection of theories and viewpoints that are united by the belief that our concepts of the mind and human knowledge can be understood in terms of causation. Since empirical science studies the causal structure of the world, naturalists usually believe that philosophy should incorporate empirical science into its investigations. Critics of naturalism charge that it tries to derive an "ought" from an "is": science and causation concerns what happens; our understand of the mind and knowledge concerns what should happen. Critics charge that naturalism is incapable of making sense of how we think about the mind in terms of rationality, justification and meaning. We will examine this debate, drawing on readings from both historical and contemporary sources.


Philosophy 758, Seminar in Major Philosophers: The Self in the Philosophy of Kant and Fichte, 3 credits, HU
SEM 001, W 3:30-6:10, CRT 607
Instructor: William Bristow, bristow@uwm.edu
Prereq: grad st; cons instr

Kant argues that the highest principle of human knowledge is a principle that expresses the self-consciousness of the knowing subject (the so-called "principle of apperception"). Arguably, the supreme principle of morality is also for Kant a principle that expresses the self-consciousness of the rational practical agent. Though Kant does not explicitly present human self-consciousness as the first principle of his critical philosophy as a whole (for reasons we will explore), his follower, J. G. Fichte explicitly "re-presents" Kant's philosophy such that its single first principle, from which all else is to be deduced, is a principle that expresses the self-positing character of the self. In this course we do three things mainly: (1) Examine the role of self-consciousness in human knowledge, according to Kant, by examining in particular his transcendental deduction of the categories. (2) Examine the role of self-consciousness in human rational agency according to Kant, through examining his conception of freedom and of his "deduction" of the moral law. (3) Examine Fichte's conception of the self-positing character of the "I", as an interpretation of, or development from, Kant's conception of the apperceptive subject, and examine Fichte's attempt to employ a principle articulating the self-positing character of the "I" as the first principle of a system of philosophy.


Philosophy 911, Seminar in Logic: Set Theory, 3 credits, HU
SEM 001, TR 12:30-1:45, BOL B80
Instructor: Stephen Leeds, sleeds@uwm.edu
Prereq: grad st & cons instr

This is a course in Set Theory, a subject which, of the various branches of mathematics which are still considered parts of something called "Logic," is the most profound and interesting; it is indispensable for anyone who intends to work in philosophy of logic, or philosophy of mathematics, or even to get an informed sense of the reach of the a priori. We will prove two famous consistency results: the consistency of the Continuum Hypothesis (with the rest of mathematics; this was proved by Gödel - it should not be confused with the other deep result called Gödel's Theorem) and the consistency of the negation of the Continuum Hypothesis (this was proved by Paul Cohen). If there is time, we will take up topics in Large Cardinals or Descriptive Set Theory. The course has no official prerequisites, though some background in logic would be helpful; it is however a course in mathematics, and does require a certain degree of mathematical maturity.