Course Descriptions - Spring 2009

Philosophy 101, Introduction to Philosophy: Selected Topics & Issues (HU)
LEC 404, MW 11:00 – 11:50am, MER 131
LEC 405, MW 2:00 – 2:50pm, LAP 162
Instructor: Daniel Corbett, corbettd@uwm.edu
Enrollment in one of the large lectures requires enrollment in a discussion section.

In this class, we will survey a number of great and lasting philosophical questions, including "What is justice?"; “What justifies the authority of the government to interfere with the lives and freedom of individuals?"; “Is there such a thing as human nature?”; "Is there a God and if so, why is there evil in the world?”; "Is the human mind a natural part of the physical world or is it something supernatural (a soul that survives after death)?"; "Does the idea of survival after death even make sense?"; "Can we ever have genuine knowledge of the reality we live in, or are we stuck in a state of ignorance and opinion?" Readings will be drawn from major texts throughout the history of philosophy, including Plato's Republic, John Stuart Mill's On Liberty, Rene Descartes' Meditations, and Ludwig Wittgenstein's On Certainty.


Philosophy 101, Introduction to Philosophy: Selected Topics & Issues (HU)
LEC 001, M 6:30 – 9:10pm, CRT 309
LEC 002, T 6:30—-9:10pm, CRT 309
LEC 003, W 6:30—9:10pm, CRT 309
Instructors: TBA

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 (HU)
LEC 001, TR 9:30 – 10:45am, TBA
LEC 002, TR 11:00 – 12:15pm, TBA
LEC 002, W 5:30 – 8:10pm, TBA
Instructor: Matthew Knachel, knachel@uwm.edu

Logic is reason turned inward: it is the systematic study of correct and incorrect reasoning. As discursive creatures, we humans make assertions and back them up with reasons—we construct arguments. Since this activity is central to all fields of study, the tools that logic develops for identifying and analyzing good and bad arguments are universally applicable; anyone can benefit from a study of logic by becoming a more self-aware reasoner.

It is possible to approach the study of logic more or less formally. A more formal approach to the subject abstracts from natural language and deploys sophisticated mathematical tools in the analysis arguments. This course takes a less formal approach, focusing more on ordinary-language arguments found in everyday reasoning, and giving only a small taste of more formal techniques.


Philosophy 204, Introduction to Asian Religions (HU)
LEC 401, MW 1:00—1:50pm, END 103
Instructor: Chad Van Schoelandt
vanscho2@uwm.edu
Enrollment in the large lecture (LEC 402) Philosophy 204 requires enrollment in a small discussion section.

This course will examine the central themes of major movements in East Asian philosophical thought. We will focus on dualistic and non-dualistic forms of Hinduism, Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism, the principles of Confucianism, the teachings of Taoism, as well as other topics of interest. Recurring themes will be the nature of ultimate reality, the difference between appearance and reality, the idea of the "good" life, and the role of reason in human life. The intent of this course is to acquaint the student with these topics as well as to assist the student in formulating independent opinions and beliefs about these issues. No philosophical background is necessary.


Philosophy 211, Elementary Logic (HU)
LEC 403, MW 10:00 – 10:50am, MER 131
LEC 404, MW 12:00 – 12:50pm, MER 131
LEC 001, T 6:30 – 9:10pm, Room TBA
LEC 002, W 6:30 – 9:10pm, Room TBA
Instructor (403/404): Richard Tierney, rtierney@uwm.edu
Instructor (001/002): TBA
Enrollment in one of the large lectures (LEC 403/404) also requires enrollment in a corresponding discussion section.

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 (HU)
LEC 001, TR 2:00 – 3:15pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Michael Liston, mnliston@uwm.edu
Prereq: grade C or better in philosophy 211 (P)

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, Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (HU)
LEC 001, TR 3:30 – 4:45pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Matt Knachel, knachel@uwm.edu

What is this thing called science? What makes it so special? Why are its results more reliable and trustworthy than those of, say, voodoo or astrology? What differentiates science from "pseudo-science?" In grammar school they taught me there was something called "The Scientific Method." I remember them saying some rather general and vague things about hypotheses, experiments, and theories. Evidently it's this method that makes science unique. Can we give a more detailed account of the methodology of science?

Yes. That's what we'll try to do in this course: provide an introduction to science and scientific thinking, with the goal of explaining what is distinctive about the scientific approach and its product, scientific theories. We will focus, in particular, on quantitative techniques, including statistical analysis--and yet, there will be hardly any math! (Trust me.) We will also focus on a particular theory, thermodynamics, and one of its offspring, the theory of heat engines. This will give us, as it were, a look under the hood of science; we'll learn general general lessons about scientific method by examining in detail a particular scientific theory.

Though open to everyone, the course is aimed mainly at students who've not had much exposure to science.


Philosophy 217, Introduction to Metaphysics (HU)
LEC 001, MW 12:30 – 1:45pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Fabrizio Mondadori

The course deals with the nature of metaphysical thinking and the issues arising from such thinking. Representative philosophers from ancient, modern, and contemporary philosophy will be read and discussed: Plato (Parmenides); Aristotle on Plato’s Theory of Forms; Descartes (Meditations); Hume (Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding); Michael Dummett (on realism and anti-realism).


Philosophy 232, Topics in Philosophy: The Nature and Identity of Persons (HU)
LEC 001, MW 3:30 – 4:45pm, TBA
Instructor: Aaron Schiller, schillea@uwm.edu
Retakable w/chg in topic to 6 cr max.

The concept of personhood is central to many philosophical and practical issues. We give persons special moral and legal status over non-persons. We think of persons as special kinds of objects fundamentally different from other types of objects. Yet it isn't at all clear that we really know what persons are. In this class, we will consider some answers to philosophical questions such as: What is it to be a person? Why am I this person and not another? Can non-human animals, or even intelligent machines, be persons? And what's so special about being a person anyway? No special background in philosophy will be assumed for this topical introductory course.

Philosophy 232, Topics in Philosophy: Philosophy of Law (HU)
LEC 002, TR 2:00 – 3:15pm, TBA
Instructor: Elizabeth Silverstein, silvers2@uwm.edu
Retakable w/chg in topic to 6 cr max.

This course introduces students to philosophical topics related to the law and legal systems. Questions that we will address include: What is a law? What would the world be like without laws? Why are we obligated to obey the law? Is law essentially tied to morality, or are morality and law independent? What is freedom? What are rights? How can we justify punishing people who violate the law? In this class we will examine both classical philosophical texts and legal cases.


Philosophy 241, Introductory Ethics (HU)
LEC 401, MW 11:00 – 11:50am, 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 242, Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy (HU)
LEC 001, MW 2:00 – 3:15pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Blain Neufeld, neufeld@uwm.edu

This course will focus on the topic of social justice. Different conceptions of social justice advance different accounts of the rights and duties of citizens, as well as the distribution of power and property in a just society. Of particular interest will be the different understandings of political freedom advanced by different conceptions of social justice. Readings will be from both historical (e.g., Hobbes, Rousseau, Kant, Mill) and contemporary (e.g., Berlin, Hayek, Rawls, Nozick, Pettit) sources.


Philosophy 243, Moral Problems (HU)
LEC 001: Sex & Marriage
LEC 002: War and Torture
LEC 003: Immigration and Citizenship
LEC 001, TR 5:00 – 6:15pm, TBA (1/26-2/28)
LEC 002, TR 5:00 – 6:15pm, TBA (3/2-4/4)
LEC 003, TR 5:00 – 6:15pm, TBA (4/6-5/7)
Instructor: Elizabeth Silverstein, silvers2@uwm.edu
Note: LEC 001, 002, & 003 are worth one credit each. You do not have to enroll for all three sections. Retakable w/chg in topic to 6 cr max.

Each section of the course will begin with the presentation of ethical tools that will be useful in our examination and discussion of particular moral problems related to the chosen topics: sex and marriage; war and torture; and immigration and citizenship. The goal of the course(s) is to come to a deeper understanding of the issues involved in complex moral problems and too be able to better assess and argue for one’s position with regard to such issues.

Sex and Marriage
This five-week course will examine moral problems related to sex, sexuality, and marriage. Questions that will be addressed include: What is the purpose of sex? Why are some sexual encounters morally problematic and not others? What is adultery, and is it always wrong? Is homosexuality immoral? What is marriage? What is its purpose? Is marriage a right? If it is who has the right to marry?

War and Torture
This five-week course will address moral issues related to war, particularly the use of torture. Questions that will be addressed include: Is war always wrong? Is there such a thing as a “just” war? How should we define torture? Is torture ever justified? Do humans have an inalienable right not to be tortured?

Immigration and Citizenship
This five-week course will be concerned with moral issues related to immigration and citizenship, particularly issues related to race, racism, and discrimination in immigration and citizenship policies will be addressed.


Philosophy 244, Ethical Issues in Health Care: Contemporary Problems (HU)
LEC 101, R 6:00 – 8:40pm*
Instructor: Kristin Tym, ktym@earthlink.net
Retakable w/chg in topic to 6 cr max.

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 (HU)
LEC 101, M 6:30 – 9:10pm*
Instructor: Paul Santilli, santilli@execpc.com
Retakable w/chg in topic to 6 cr max.

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 (HU)
LEC 401, MW 12:00 – 12:50pm, END 103
Instructor: Elizabeth Silverstein, silvers2@uwm.edu
Enrollment in LEC 403 requires enrolling in a corresponding discussion section.

One of the most intriguing and controversial philosophical issues is that of human religious experience. This course will examine various philosophical perspectives on issues such as: the arguments for God's existence, the problem of evil, the nature of religious experience, the possibility of human free will, and the rationality of religious faith.


Philosophy 271, Philosophical Traditions: Age of Enlightenment (HU)
LEC 001, TR 9:30 – 10:45am, CRT 309
Instructor: William Bristow, bristow@uwm.edu
Retakable w/chg in topic to 6 cr max.

This course is an introduction to eighteenth century Western philosophy, the so-called “Age of Enlightenment” or “Age of Reason”. This period, which was revolutionary both in the realm of ideas and in politics, gave birth to many cherished contemporary political and moral ideals and institutions (eg, universal human rights, the modern constitutional democratic republic expressing the ideals of human freedom and equality, et cetera). This period is characterized by the effort to supplant traditional forms of authority (including religious forms of validation) with the authority of reason. However, the authority of reason itself is also fundamentally and radically challenged in this period. Our particular focus in the course will be on the contentious question of the philosophical grounding of authority in various domains: religion, politics, knowledge, and perhaps aesthetics. Readings from Voltaire, Rousseau, Diderot, Paine, Hume, Kant, de Sade and others.


Philosophy 324, Philosophy of Science (HU)
LEC 001, TR 11:00 – 12:15pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Michael Liston, mnliston@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st & 3 cr in philos.

Given that we don't see Halley's Comet most of the time, why should we believe scientific theories that describe its voyage yet disregard the advice of our local astrologer? More generally, what (if anything) distinguishes and underwrites the methods of science? In this introductory study of the nature of scientific inquiry, we will examine such questions. We will seek to understand such central concepts as theory and evidence, law and hypothesis, cause and effect, induction and probability, explanation and observation. We will also compare the natural and social sciences and investigate various historical challenges to the rationality and objectivity of scientific practice.


Philosophy 332, Philosophical Problems: Animal Minds and Morals (HU)
LEC 001, MW 3:30—4:45pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Daniel Corbett, corbettd@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st & 3 cr in philos. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Not open for cr to students w/cr in Philos 381 w/similar subtitle.

When you eat the flesh of a cow, pig or chicken, do you morally wrong that animal? Do you violate its rights? Do pets such as cats and dogs deserve to receive the care their lives depend upon? Do they have the right to be cared for? If pets do have a right to be cared for, and cows don’t, what’s the difference? These are just a few of the controversial questions that moral philosophy addresses when it turns its attention to non-human animals. A common assumption in the debates over these questions is that the answers depend, in part, on whether non-human animals have minds and if so, what kinds of minds they have. Put bluntly, if we have moral obligations to animals, it is probably because they can think, feel, reason, use language, experience emotion or desire, plan for their future, or exhibit some other feature of mental life. If we have no moral obligations to animals, it is probably because they cannot do some or all of these things. Which of these abilities is required for animals to get in the club of moral consideration is a matter of much debate. In this class, we will carefully examine the answers to these two general and related questions: “What kinds of minds do non-human animals have?” And “Do we have moral obligations to treat non-human animals in any particular way?” Readings will be drawn from scientific literature on non-human animal minds, philosophical literature on the nature of mind (human or animal) and ethical literature on what our obligations to animals are (or are not). Some familiarity with the philosophy of mind, ethical philosophy or animal psychology is useful but not at all required.


Philosophy 332, Philosophical Problems: The Mind-Body Problem (HU)
LEC 002, MW 9:30—10:45am, CRT 309
Instructor: Miren Boehm, boehmm@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st & 3 cr in philos. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Not open for cr to students w/cr in Philos 381 w/similar subtitle.

How could a chunk of matter be conscious or aware of anything? How can my mental life, myself! be reduced to the activity of neurons in the brain? These questions express the puzzlement philosophers of mind feel about what is called “the Mind-Body Problem.” We believe the brain is necessary for the mind and for consciousness; but are they identical? Or is the mind something radically different although dependent on the brain? Could my mind survive the death of my body? In this class we shall examine the different approaches, both historical and modern, for addressing the mind-body problem; we shall examine the nature of consciousness and why it seems so hard to understand consciousness as part of the natural world; and finally we shall examine the nature of intentionality, or the property of mental states of being about something. If intentionality is a distinctive and essential feature of mental states, then we can’t reduce mental states to physical states of the brain, for physical states are not intentional. Perhaps at the end we will have to conclude that the mind, ourselves are something completely unique and mysterious in the universe.


Philosophy 355, Political Philosophy (HU)
LEC 001, MW 5:00 – 6:15pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Blain Neufeld, neufeld@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st; Philos 242(P) or a course in ethics.

This course will look at the great Enlightenment social contract theories that helped to shape the rise of liberal democratic ideals and institutions in the West (Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant), and some of the most significant criticisms of those theories from the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. We will also consider the main alternative approach to liberal political thinking in the West during the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, utilitarianism. The course will conclude by considering the recent revival of the social contract approach in political philosophy over the past few decades in the work of John Rawls (as well as some criticisms of Rawls’s views).


Philosophy 360, Philosophy of Perception (HU)
LEC 001, MW 11:00 – 12:15pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Aaron Schiller, schillea@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st & 3 cr in philos.

Perception seems a simple matter. It is the way that we take in the world around us. But is the world at all like it seems to us through perception? Many philosophers have argued that the world is nothing like our perception of it, with the result being that perception is in fact much more complicated than we might at first believe. In this class we'll consider questions about the nature of perception and how it fits into our experience more generally. We'll also consider questions about how perception can give us knowledge, or if it even can at all. By course's end, students will have a good grounding in these important and central philosophical questions.


Philosophy 432, History of Modern Philosophy (HU)
LEC 001, MW 12:30 – 1:45pm, TBA
Instructor: Miren Boehm, boehmm@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st & 3cr in philos

What is knowledge? What is the nature of reality? What am I? What is the mind? What is the relation between the mind and the body? These are some of the most fundamental questions in philosophy. The way in which philosophers today understand these questions and the way in which they attempt to address them are very much influenced by the developments that took place in Western philosophy during the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries. The purpose of this course is to provide the student with an understanding of this historical background. At the core of this background is the scientific revolution which brought about not just a radical change in the methods for gathering and organizing knowledge about the world, but also a fundamental shift in the way we understood ourselves and our place in the universe. In order to understand these revolutions we will examine in detail some of the works of the central philosophical figures of this period: Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant.


Philosophy 433, Nineteenth-Century Philosophers (HU)
LEC 001, TR 12:30 – 1:45pm, CRT 309
Instructor: William Bristow, bristow@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st & 3cr in philos

In this course we study the nineteenth century philosophical thought by tracing the development of the central themes of autonomy and self-alienation in a number of important thinkers of the period. The course begins with the study of the eighteenth century French thinker Jean-Jacques Rousseau because he sets the stage thematically. Rousseau, in his “Discourse on the Origins of Inequality,” interprets humanity as alienated from itself under the conditions of modern society, and then, in his On the Social Contract, proposes a re-organization of society, through which modern humanity would achieve its telos of freedom or autonomy. The subsequent thinkers that we will read and discuss in the course (Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud) agree with Rousseau’s diagnosis, formally, in the respect that they also interpret humanity as self-alienated or divided against itself. But each interprets that alienation in a different way. Most of these thinkers would also agree with Rousseau in labeling the condition in which we are cured of our alienation as a condition of autonomy or freedom, but each interprets that desired condition in a different way as well. We will study their contending interpretations of humanity’s condition of alienation and of humanity’s aspiration toward freedom or autonomy.


Philosophy 532, Philosophical Problems: Individuation and the Problems of Universals (HU)
LEC 001, W 3:30 – 6:10pm, CRT 607
Instructor: Fabrizio Mondadori
Prereq: jr st & 3 cr in philos. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max.

A so-called general term – e.g., “horse”, “red” – typically applies to a number of particular things: and the things to which it applies are typically (and not implausibly) said to have something in common. Less typically, what they are said to have in common is a so-called universal -- e.g., equinity, redness, -- which the general term is taken to refer to. The problem of universals arises when we raise the question (1) of what ”have in common” means here, and (2) of what kind of entity a universal is. Further, the “things” which are said to have something in common are individuals: this is when the problem of individuation comes into its own. In order to solve that problem, we must answer the question (3) of what makes an individual this – rather than that – individual, as well as the question (4) of what makes e.g., equinity the equinity of this – rather than of that – horse. The problems of universals and that of individuation have been discussed with unparalleled subtlety by the Schoolmen – prominent among them Abelard, Duns Scotus, and Ockham. This course will be devoted to an analysis of their answers (as well as those of Porphyry and Boethius) to questions (1), (2), (3), and (4) above.


Philosophy 532, Philosophical Problems: Left & Right Wing Sellarsianism (HU)
LEC 002, T 3:30 – 6:10pm, CRT 607
Instructor: Aaron Schiller, schillea@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st & 3 cr in philos. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max.

There are two principle lines of influence coming out of the work of 20th century philosopher Wilfrid Sellars: a right wing Sellarsianism which emphasizes the role of science in our understanding of the world and ourselves, and a left wing Sellarsianism emphasizing the place of the exchange of reasons in our thinking about meaning and all that traffics in it (including mind and language). In contemporary philosophy, these two lines of influence can perhaps be seen most clearly in the thought of Paul Churchland and John McDowell, respectively. In this course, we will undertake, first, a close reading of two of Sellars most influential works, his "Philosophy and the Scientific Image of Man" and his "Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind." We'll then consider how the left and right wing themes of these works are developed, in extreme forms, in Churchland's "Scientific Realism and the Plasticity of Mind" (in the form of "eliminative materialism") and in McDowell's "Mind and World" (in his emphasis on "the space of reasons" and "second nature"). We'll do this in an attempt to answer the question at the heart of Sellars's philosophy: Can our developing scientific understanding of the world and our place within it be reconciled with our lived self-conception as thinking, experiencing, free persons?


Philosophy 554, Special Topics in the History of Modern Philosophy: Kant’s Practical Philosophy (HU)
LEC 001, MW 2:00 – 3:15pm, CRT 607
Instructor: Julius Sensat, sensat@uwm.edu
Prereq: jr st, 3 cr philos; & Philos 432 (R); or cons instr. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max.

Immanuel Kant (1724-1804) is generally regarded as the most important philosopher of the modern period. Certainly one cannot achieve an adequate understanding of developments in nineteenth and twentieth century philosophy, whether in metaphysics, epistemology, moral or political philosophy, without a grasp of Kant’s ideas.

The course will focus on Kant's practical philosophy and on Kant's attempts to unify theoretical and practical reason. We'll read extensive selections from The Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, Critique of Practical Reason, Critique of Judgment, The Metaphysics of Morals, Religion Within the Bounds of Reason Alone, and his popular political essays. We'll also read shorter selections from Critique of Pure Reason, and other theoretical writings, as needed.


Philosophy 681, Seminar in Advanced Topics: Wittgenstein (HU)
SEM 001, M 3:30—6:10pm, CRT 607
Instructor: John Koethe, koethe@uwm.edu
Prereq: sr st & 12 cr in philos at 300-level or above; or grad st. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Consent required to audit.

Ludwig Wittgenstein's writings have been one of the dominant influences on the evolution of philosophy in the twentieth century. Though his work addresses issues in the philosophy of language, it has wide-ranging implications for such areas as philosophy of mind, philosophy of science, epistemology and metaphysics. He developed, in different periods, two different and in many ways opposing views of language, the first presented in the Tracctatus-Logic Philosophicus of 1921, and the second in the posthumously published Philosophical Investigations (1953) and related writings. We will look at aspects of both of these views, reading Wittgenstein's own work as well as a variety of secondary sources.


Philosophy 685, Senior Capstone Research Seminar: Minds, Thought, and Mentality (HU)
SEM 001, TR 2:00—3:15pm, CRT 607
Instructor: Robert Schwartz, schwartz@uwm.edu
Prereq: sr st; declared Philos major; or cons instr. Retakable w/chg in topic to 6 cr max. Consent required to audit. Satisfies L&S research requirement. Undergraduates only.

Human thought and action are dependent on and mediated by the knowledge and mental skills we possess. Perhaps the core topic in the study of cognition is to explain how this knowledge and skill base is stored or represented by our mind/brain. This course will explore conceptual and theoretical problems that lie at the heart of current debates in philosophy, psychology, linguistics and computer science over the nature of mentality and mental representations. We will consider such questions as: what is the nature of intelligence?, do animals and machines have minds?, is there a language of thought?, can we think in images?, in what way may our behavior be guided by rules?, may a significant part of what we know be innate?


Philosophy 712, Fundamentals of Formal Logic (HU)
LEC 001, TR 2:00 – 3:15pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Michael Liston, mnliston@uwm.edu
Prereq: grad st.

We will work through standard soundness, completeness, and other metatheoretic results for first order logic. See also description for 212.


Philosophy 941; Seminar in Ethics and Social and Political Philosophy: Autonomy, Identity, and the Self (HU)
SEM 001, T 11:00 – 1:40pm, CRT 607
Instructor: Andrea Westlund, westlund@uwm.edu
Prereq: grad st; cons instr. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max.

The central focus of this seminar will be the concept of personal autonomy or self-governance. We will consider the following questions: What is the nature of the autonomous agent? What makes a choice or action truly your own? Is self-governance solely a matter of the internal, psychological condition of the agent, or does it have external, social conditions as well? Is autonomy an individualistic concept, or does it have a relational dimension? What is the relationship between autonomy and accountability for oneself? Are there any values or choices that are incompatible with personal autonomy? We will also consider a range of related questions about identity and the self, including questions about the role of narrative in self-formation and self-governance. Readings will include selections from Harry Frankfurt, Michael Bratman, J. David Velleman, John Christman, Paul Benson, Marina Oshana, and others.


Philosophy 960, Seminar in Metaphysics: The Will (HU)
SEM 001, R 6:30 – 9:10, CRT 607
Instructor: Luca Ferrero, ferrero@uwm.edu
Prereq: grad st; cons instr. Retakable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max.

What is the nature of the will, of our capacity for choice and intentional action? What is the role of our volitional capacities in relation to other rational faculties? In this seminar, we will try to answer these questions by considering issues such as: What is the relation between the conclusion of practical reasoning, intention, and action? Is perverse action really possible or is willing necessarily ‘under the guise of the good’? Is willing constrained by normative or rational pressures? Is it possible to believe something at will? What is the best philosophical account of defective willing, as exhibited in cases of akrasia, compulsion, and addiction? Is the operation of the will under some rational pressure for unity and consistency, both at a time and over time? What is the role of the will in the constitution of the subject’s identity?