Course Descriptions – UWinteriM 2010

Note: all courses below run January, 4 – January 21, 2010

Philosophy 101, Introduction to Philosophy: Reflections on the Human Condition (HU)
LEC 001, MTWRF 1:00 – 4:15pm, CRT 175
Instructor: Edward Hinchman,

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 211, Elementary Logic (HU)
LEC 001, MTWRF 8:30 – 11:45am, CRT 309
Instructor: Michael Liston,

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 243, Moral Problems (HU)
LEC 201: Abortion, ONLINE/WEB
LEC 202: Euthanasia, ONLINE/WEB
LEC 203: Global Issues & Globalization, ONLINE/WEB
Instructor: Miren Boehm,
Note: LEC 204, 205, & 206 are worth one credit each. You do not have to enroll for all three sections.

243-204 Abortion: What would it mean for abortion to be morally wrong? What is the moral status of the fetus? Does it have a right to life? What is the concept of a person? What does it mean to have a right to one’s body? What does feminist theory say about abortion? What does religion have to say about the ethics of abortion? In this course we will address these and other difficult philosophical questions.
243-205 Euthanasia: Why would there be anything morally wrong with assisting someone in ending her life of when she is suffering and wants to end her life? What is death? What is a person? What is personal dignity? What is ordinary as opposed to extraordinary medical treatment? What is the moral difference between killing and letting die? In this course we will address these and other difficult philosophical questions.
243-206 Global Issues & Globalization: Under what conditions should property be subject to community control? Under what conditions should property be under the exclusive control of individuals? How do individuals come to have legitimate property rights? Do corporations have social responsibilities beyond maximizing profits within the law? If so, what are they? To what extent do expanding markets and globalization alleviate or exacerbate poverty? What are our responsibilities to the poor on a global level? In this course we will address all of these questions.