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PHIL 400 (Current Issues in Philosophy)
Course Description: The subject matter of this course will be death, where we will be reading and evaluating mainly contemporary literature―hence the potentially baffling title of the course. While the greater portion of the reading material will pertain to the 20th century, our starting point will be Epicurus’ famous argument regarding the harm/evil of death. We will chiefly try to tackle certain issues with regard to the Epicurean perspective and also examine some prominent existential and/or phenomenological accounts addressing the questions of, inter alia, the methodological problems surrounding studies of one’s own death, the meaning of finite existences, how culture fashions people’s conception of death, and death as the ultimate phenomenological limit.
Reading material: A course package is available at Hisar Copy Shop (Nispetiye Str., 23). The reader contains selected articles from the following books:
Fischer, J. M. (ed.) The Metaphysics of Death. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press, 1993.
Donnely, J. (ed.) Language, Metaphysics and Death. New York: Fordham University Press, 1994.
Malpas, J. and Solomon, R. C. (eds) Death and Philosophy. New York: Routledge, 1998.
Grading: You will write a single paper for this course, of 4000-5000 words or approximately 10-12 pages (85% grade value). It will be submitted early in the finals period. You are also required to produce a written progress report (15% grade value) several weeks before the submission of paper.
PHIL 101.02 (Introduction to Philosophy)
Course Description: This course is intended to be a historical introduction to philosophy. It has two major aims: to introduce the students to some of the well-known philosophers and their ideas, and to enable the student to think and argue philosophically. We will examine the views of philosophers starting from the 4th century BCE up to the 20th century. We will cover the following philosophical questions and pertinent discussions:
- What is philosophy? Why is it valuable?
- What is special about Ancient Greek philosophy?
- Should we be skeptical about what we think we know?
- Do we get all our world knowledge through senses?
- What is the role of reason in acquiring knowledge?
- What is mind? Is it different from brain?
- What are the cosmological, teleological, ontological, and pragmatic reasons for believing in the existence of God?
- Is morality universal or relative to cultures?
- Are human beings selfish by nature?
- What are the major ethical theories?
- What is existentialism?
- Who was Nietzsche? What makes him so famous?
- What is post-modernism?
Reading material: A course package is available at Hisar Copy Shop (Nispetiye Str., 23).
Grading: The midterm exam will be given around the middle of the term and will weigh 40%. The final exam will be of 60% value.
Syllabus | Persons, Personal Identity, and Selves | Dr. Mark Steen | Fall 2013
Some changes destroy people, some don’t. Which kinds of change can destroy us? What features are essential to being the very person that we are? More generally, how and when do we persist? Answering the latter will give us a theory of personal identity. Theories of personal identity are often thought of as filling in the following blank:
x at time1 and y at time2 are one and the same person just in case:
1. x is a person, and
2. y is a person, and
The challenge of filling in the blank we could call “the problem of personal identity.” The blank is often filled in with phrases such as “x and y have the same body,” “x and y have the same brain,” “x and y have the same soul,” “x and y are the same biological organism,” and so on. In brief, by solving the problem of personal identity one is giving an account of the nature of persons.
In this course, we won’t merely talk about theories of personal identity, but will also discuss what ‘personality’ is, what selves and self-consciousness are, the methodological problems of common analytic methods of solving the problem of personal identity, look at the conception of selves from some non-Western perspectives, and look at the implications of views of personal identity for ethics. We will even examine views which claim that there are no persons, and hence no problem of personal identity.
The course requirements are two short papers (around 5-7 pages) and one term paper (around 10-15 pages). The short papers are due throughout the semester (check the reading schedule below), and the term paper ten days after the course is over.
For the course requirements and schedule you can follow this link:
PHIL 27.01 - Epistemology - by Mark Steen
You can see the syllabus from the following link:
Phil 58B - Aristotle, Hegel, Heidegger - (Instructor: Johannes Fritsche)
As Heidegger and others noticed, in the development of German idealism one can observe a “revival” of Aristotle. We will study basic texts of Aristotle (Physics I, II, III; On Soul II, Parts of Animals I; Metaphysics VII, IX) to become familiar with his basic notions and his mode of thinking. Thereafter, we will study from the second book of Hegel’s Science of Logic the sections on essence, contradiction, and absolute ground, and some sections from the third book. Our aim is to become familiar with the basic terms of Hegelian dialectics and to see how Hegel reconstructs Aristotelian notions to establish a process ontology. For Heideggerians (though not for me), such a reconstruction of Aristotle belongs to the culmination of metaphysics. After some comments on the Heidegger of Being and Time, we will focus on texts by the later Heidegger in which Aristotle belongs to the beginning of metaphysics and in which Heidegger tries to find echoes of the pre-Socratics in Aristotle. A detailed syllabus will be uploaded on the .
Tentative Syllabus for
THEORIES OF RATIONALITY
Books (more or less):
[RC] Itzhak Gilboa, Rational Choice, The MIT Press, 2010 Online appendices
[OPPE] Gerald Gaus, On Philosophy, Politics and Economics, Wadsworth Philosophical Topics, 2008.
[OHR] Alfred Mele and Piers Rawling (editors), The Oxford Handbook of Rationality, Oxford University Press, 2004.
[REAS] Jonathan Adler and Lance Rips (editors), Reasoning: Studies of Human Inference and its Foundations, Cambridge University Press, 2008.
David Christensen, Putting Logic in its Place: Formal Constraints on Rational Belief, Oxford University Press, 2004.
Simon Robertson (editor), Spheres of Reason: New Essays in the Philosophy of Normativity, Oxford University Press, 2009.
Jon Elster, Reason and Rationality, Princeton University Press, 2008.
Robert Nozick, The Nature of Rationality, Princeton University Press, 1993.
Mark Schroeder, Slaves of the Passions, Oxford University Press, 2007.
Topics (more or less):
I. HISTORICAL INTRODUCTION
1. Reasons and passions
Gilbert Harman, “Rationality” in Reasoning, Meaning and Mind, Clarendon Press, Oxford, 1999.
Michael Smith, “Humean rationality” in [OHR].
Onora O’Neill, “Kant: Rationality as Practical Reason” in [OHR].
2. Instrumental rationality
Gerald Gaus, Chapter 1: “Instrumental and Economic Rationality” in [OPPE]
Joseph Raz, “The Myth of Instrumental Rationality”, Journal of Ethics and Social
Philosophy, 1:1, 2005.
Robert Nozick, “Chapter 4: Instrumental Rationality and its Limits”, in The Nature of Rationality, Princeton University Press, 1993.
II. THEORETICAL RATIONALITY
3. Logic and reasoning
Robert Audi, “Theoretical Rationality: Its Sources, Structure, and Scope” in [OHR].
J. Adler, "Introduction: Philosophical Foundations" in [REAS]
K. Stenning and M. van Lambalgen, Chapter 2: "The Anatomy of Logic" in Human Reasoning and Cognitive Science, The MIT Press, 2008.
D. Christensen, Chapter 1 and 2 Putting Logic in its Place.
Dutilh Novaes, Catarina. "Towards a Practice-based Philosophy of Logic: Formal Languages as a Case Study." Philosophia scientiae 16.1 (2012): 71-102.
4. Belief and evidence
I. Gilboa, Chapter 5: “Probability and Statistics” in [RC]
J. Joyce, Bayesianism in [OHR]
5. Normativity of rationality
N. Kolodny, Why be rational?, Mind, Vol. 114, pgs. 509 - 561, 2005.
S. Robertson, Introduction in Spheres of Reason: New Essays in the Philosophy of Normativity
John Broome, Have we Reason to do as Rationality Requires? A Comment on Raz,
Journal of Ethics and Social Philosophy, 2005
Novaes, Catarina Dutilh. "The historical and philosophical origins of normativism." Behavioral and Brain Sciences 34.05 (2011): 253-254.
MacFarlane, John. "In what sense (if any) is logic normative for thought." Unpublished manuscript (2004).
III. PRACTICAL RATIONALITY
G. Harman, “Practical Reasoning,” Review of Metaphysics 29, 431-463, 1976.
B. Hooker and B. Streumer, Procedural and Substantive Rationality, Chapter 4 in [OHR]
B. Williams, Internal and External Reasons in [REAS]
7. Decision Theory
I. Gilboa, Chapter 2: "Utility Theory", and Chapter 4: “Expected Utility” in [RC]
G. Gaus, Chapter 2: "Utility Theory" in [OPPE]
A. Sen, Maximization and the Act of Choice, Econometrica, Vol. 65, No. 4 (1997), pp. 745-779.
8. Game Theory
I. Gilboa, Chapter 7: "Games and Equilibrium" in [RC]
C. Bicchieri, Rationality and Game Theory in [OHR]
G. Gaus, Chapter 4: "Game Theory" in [OPPE]
S. Kuhn, Prisoner's Dilemma in The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, 2007.
Jon Elster, “The Nature and Scope of Rational-Choice Explanation”, in: Readings
in the Philosophy of Social Science, Michael Martin and Lee McIntyre (editors), The
MIT Press, 1994.
9. Collective rationality
G. Gaus, Social Choice, Chapter 5 in [OPPE]
I. Gilboa, Aggregation and Preferences, Chapter 6 in [RC]
P. Pettit, Rationality, Reasoning and Group Agency, Dialectica Vol. 61, No. 4 (2007), pp. 495–519
E. Pacuit, Voting Methods, in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy
S. Brams, P. Edelman and P. Fishburn, Paradoxes of Fair Division, Journal of Philosophy, 98:6, pgs. 300 - 314, 2001.
I. Gilboa, Utility and Well-Being, Chapter 10 in [RC]
10. Further thoughts
W. Spohn, The Many Facets of the Theory of Rationality, Croatian Journal of Philosophy, Volume 2, Issue 6, pp. 249 - 264, 2002.
Amartya Sen, Rational Fools, Philosophy and Public Aﬀairs 6, pp. 317 - 344, 1977.
Habermas, J. "Theory of Communicative Rationality." (1984).
by Dr. Manuel Knoll,
Michael Walzer: “Spheres of Justice”
In Spheres of Justice, which Walzer published in 1983 as an answer to Nozick and Rawls, he outlines one of the most significant contemporary theories of justice. In the first part of the course we will read, interpret and discuss chapter 1 on Complex Equality, in which Walzer introduces his basic theory of justice. According to Walzer, a society is a “distributive community”, in which different social goods are distributed in many diverse and distinct spheres. A just distribution requires delineating these spheres and allocating all goods according to their social meanings, and in relation to the specific criteria and standards of their own sphere. Medical benefits are to be distributed according to need, offices to candidates in relation to qualification, and public honor in proportion to merit. In the second part of the course, we will examine and discuss how Walzer applies his basic theory in the most important spheres like membership, security and welfare, money and commodities, office, education, recognition, and political power.
Lit.: Michael Walzer, Spheres of Justice. A Defense of Pluralism and Equality, New York: Basic Book 1983; David Miller/Michael Walzer (eds.), Pluralism, Justice and Equality, Oxford: Oxford University Press 1995.
CLASSICAL CHINESE PHILOSOPHY
Instructor: Barry Allen
A introduction to Chinese philosophy of the Classical (pre-Qin) period. We read and discuss works by all the major thinkers known to us from this decisive period of Chinese thought: Confucius, Mozi, Mencius, the Daodejing, Zhuangzi, Xunzi, and Hanfeizi.
Readings for the course are found in the book Readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy, edited by Philip J. Ivanhoe and Brian Van Norden, 2nd ed. (Hackett). There is a website for this book with interesting and useful supplementary material at: http://www.hackettpublishing.c
SCHEDULE OF READINGS
Confucius and Confucianism
Reading: Confucius, Analects; Ivanhoe and Norden, pp. 3-54
Reading: Confucius, Analects; Ivanhoe and Norden, pp. 3-54
Reading: Mozi; Ivanhoe and Norden, pp. 61-111
Yang and Yangism
Reading: “Robber Zhi”; Ivanhoe and Norden, pp. 369-74
Reading: Mengzi; Ivanhoe and Norden, pp.117-57
Reading: Daodejing; Ivanhoe and Norden, pp.163-203
Reading: Zhuangzi; Ivanhoe and Norden, pp. 208-50
Reading: Xunzi; Ivanhoe and Norden, pp. 256-307
Hanfeizi and the School of Laws
Reading: Hanfeizi; Ivanhoe and Norden, pp. 314-59
HEGEL’S ENCYCLOPEDIA LOGIC
The primary objective of this course is to establish an understanding and stimulate philosophical thinking about three interrelated questions that are at the heart of Hegel’s philosophical programme:
a) What is Hegel’s concept of (speculative) logic?
b) What is Hegel’s concept of philosophical (speculative) method?
c) What is Hegel’s concept of (speculative) concept?
In order to facilitate that, we are going to read Hegel’s Encyclopedia Logic up to the end of the section on the Doctrine of Being. In the First Part of Encyclopedia Logic, we find one of Hegel’s clearest expressions of his views on philosophy, logic, philosophical method as well as his very important critique of classical metaphysics and Kant. Then, we will read the Doctrine of Being as a case study for Hegel’s application of his philosophical method.
This is not a course on logic as we understand it today. In his works on logic, Hegel deals with problems concerning ontology, epistemology, semantics and philosophy of logic. As Rolf-Peter Horstmann puts it, Hegel’s basic insight was that we need a new way of conceptualizing reality not dependent on the contingent epistemic apparatus of the subject but according to the very constitution of reality. In Science of Logic and its shorter version Encyclopedia Logic, Hegel has developed what he believed to be this new way of “conceptualizing” and worked to demonstrate its application in different domains such as consciousness, nature, spirit (the domain or normativity as Brandom would call it), history, aesthetics, religion throughout the rest of his corpus. This new way of conceptualizing needs to be understood as a post-Kantian and post-critical attitude towards metaphysics and philosophy in general.
Until recently, Hegel has not been considered as a credible source for analytical philosophy. One just needs to remember that analytical philosophy originated from the works of G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell which were intended as reactions to a particular form of Hegelianism in Great Britain (particularly those of Bradley, Green and McTaggart). After the demise of the logical empiricist programme and the challenges to empiricist epistemology in general coming from Quine, Sellars and Davidson, a neo-Hegelian turn flourished within American Pragmatism especially through the ground-breaking works of Sellars, Brandom and McDowell. Although we will not explicitly study this neo-Hegelian turn in contemporary pragmatism in this course, we will identify and highlight some major topics that are of relevance to contemporary debate.
This is an introductory seminar on Hegel’s theoretical philosophy. Throughout his corpus, Hegel is in constant confrontation and dialogue with the philosophical tradition that precedes him (and arguably also with the tradition that comes after him). Therefore, familiarity with the major philosophical problems in ancient and modern philosophy, especially those that kept Aristotle, Spinoza and particularly Kant busy will be presupposed. We will introduce some of the most important of these problems for understanding the context Hegel faces within this course.
One of the very few points philosophers agreed about Hegel is that he is the most difficult major philosopher in history of philosophy (the other point is he was one of the greatest thinkers ever lived) and this is one of his most difficult works. Therefore, this course is not for the faint-hearted. It will presuppose significant amount of energy and commitment on your part to read and wrestle with difficult philosophical texts. No one has ever understood Hegel in her first or second reading. So please come mentally prepared to read and think and read and think and so on…
Ironically, Hegel’s concept of philosophical knowledge was “knowledge without pre-suppositions”. So there should not be too many pre-requisites for reading him. But ability to keep an open mind and “move with the internal movement of the concept” without bringing any external presuppositions and commitments into the picture is something to be learned and professed. We will try to experiment it during this course.
Hegel, G.W.F. Hegel’s Phenomenology of Spirit. trans. A. V. Miller. Oxford, New York, Toronto, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1991.
Hegel, G.W.F. Hegel’s Science of Logic. trans. A.V. Miller. Amherst, New York: Humanity Books, 1916.
Hegel, G.W.F. The Encyclopedia Logic. trans. T. F. Geraets, W. A. Suchting, H. S. Harris. Indianapolis, Cambridge: Hacket Publishing Company, 1991. (EL)
Kant, Immanuel. Critique of Pure Reason, trans. Paul Guyer, Allen W. Wood, Cambridge, New York, Melbourne, Madrid: Cambridge University Press, 1998.
Recommended Secondary Sources:
There is an abundance of secondary literature on Hegel. A list that could serve for introductory purposes is provided below.
Stephen Houlgate, The Hegel Reader, Berlin: Blackwell Publishing, 1998.
Frederic Beiser ed., The Cambridge Companion to Hegel, Cambridge: Cambridge U Press, 1993.
Charles Taylor, Hegel, Cambridge: Cambridge U Press, 1975.
Robert Pippin, Hegel’s Idealism. The Satisfactions of Self-Consciousness, Cambridge: Cambridge U Press, 1993.
Frederic Beiser, Hegel, London/New York: Routledge, 2005.
Stephen Houlgate, The Openings of Hegel Logic: from Being to Infinity, Indiana: Purdue University Press, 2006.
George Di Giovanni, Essays on Hegel’s Logic, Albany: New York State University Press, 1990.
T. Pinkard, Hegel. A Biography, Cambridge: Cambridge U Press, 2001.
F. Beiser, The Fate of Reason. German Philosophy from Kant to Fichte, Cambridge/London: Harvard U Press, 1987.
K. Ameriks, The Cambridge Companion to German Idealism, Cambridge: Cambridge U Press, 2000.
For those who can read German, here is a list of some of the major scholars:
O. Pöggeler, D. Henrich, W. Jaeschke, R.P. Horstmann, H. F. Fulda, R. Wiehl, L. Siep, H.-G. Gadamer, R. Bubner, Pirmin Stekeler-Weithofer
Course Outline (This schedule is subject to revision)
|Week 1||Introduction to German Idealism: From Kant to Hegel||Excerpts from Kant’s The Critique of Pure Reason, Excerpts from Fichte’s Introduction to Wissenschaftslehre|
|Week 2||Introduction to Hegel’s philosophical system||Excerpts from Hegel’s Preface to the Phenomology of Spirit|
|Week 3||Different modes of knowledge and Hegel’s idea of a philosophical science||EL Preface to 1817 ed., Preface to 1827 ed., Foreword to 1830 ed.|
|Week 4||Hegel’s concept of philosophical cognition||EL Introduction §1-18|
|Week 5||Hegel’s concept of logic||EL Preliminary Conception §19-25|
|Week 6||Hegel’s critique of the method of classical metaphysics||EL First Position of Thought with Respect to Objectivity: Metaphysics §26-36|
|Week 7||Hegel’s critique of empiricism and its relevance for contemporary philosophy||EL Second Position of Thought with Respect to Objectivity: Metaphysics I: Empiricism §37-39|
|Week 8||Hegel’s critique of Kant and its relevance for contemporary philosophy||EL Second Position of Thought with Respect to Objectivity: Metaphysics II: Critical Philosophy §40-60|
|Week 9||Hegel’s critique of immediate knowing||EL Third Position of Thought with Respect to Objectivity: Immediate Knowing §61-78|
|Week 10||Hegel’s philosophical method.||EL More Precise Conception and Division of the Logic §79-83|
|Week 11||Analysis of concepts Being and Being-there as applications of Hegel’s philosophical method||EL The Doctrine of Being: Quality §86-95|
|Week 12||The concept of Infinite: Transition from atomism to holism||EL The Doctrine of Being: Quality §95-98|
|Week 13||A second case study for the application of Hegel’s philosophical method: Being as Quantity||EL The Doctrine of Being: Quantity §99-111|
|Week 14||A philosophical assessment of Hegel’s analysis of Being in its entirety & some strands of relevance for contemporary neo-pragmatism.||EL The Doctrine of Being: §86-111|
SELECTED TOPICS IN ISLAMIC PHILOSOPHY: THE GHAZALIAN SYNTHESIS
Instructor: Nazif Muhtaroglu (firstname.lastname@example.org)
This course presents an opportunity to explore various strands in Islamic philosophy and how they evolved into a synthesis in the intellectual career of al-Ghazali. We will first focus on the kalam and falsafa traditions, and see the difficulties in characterizing the former simply as theology and restricting philosophical activity only to the latter. Then we will examine how al-Ghazali used the conceptual schemes of the falasifa to defend the positions of the mutakallimun.
Next, we will look at the works he produced after his spiritual crisis and examine the role of Sufism in his general philosophical outlook. In this course, we will cover a broad range of issues ranging from metaphysics to ethics and build a solid grasp of the philosophical activity between 8th and 12th centuries in the Islamic world. In addition, this course will provide the necessary background for those who would like to explore the post-Ghazalian era in the Islamic Intellectual history.
In addition to the attendance, students are required to take either of the two options:
1. One term paper
2. Two exams
The course material:
Selections from The Theology of al-Ash‘ari, ed. & tr. Richard J. McCarthy. (Beyrouth: Imprimerie Catholique, 1953)
Selections from Ibn Sina, Physics of the Healing, a Parallel English-Arabic Text. ed. and trans. jon McGinnis. (Provo (Utah): Brigham Young University Press, 2010)
Selections from Ibn Sina, Metaphysics of the Healing, a Parallel English-Arabic Text. ed. & tr. M. E. Marmura. (Provo (Utah): Brigham Young University Press, 2005)
Selections from Miskawayh, Refinement of Character, tr. Constantine K. Zurayk, (Kazi Publications, 2003)
Selections from al-Ghazali, The Incoherence of the Philosophers (Tahafut al-falasifa), a Parallel English-Arabic Text. ed. & tr. M. E. Marmura. (Provo (Utah): Brigham Young University Press, 1997)
Selections from Al-Ghazali's Path to Sufism: His Deliverance from Error (al-Munqidh min al-Dalal), ed. & tr. Richard J. McCarthy, (Louisville: Fons Vitae, 2000)
Selections from Al-Ghazali, Marvels of the Heart: The Science of the Spirit, tr. W. J. Skellie, (Louisville: Fons Vitae, 2010)
Dutton, Black D. “Al-Ghazali on Possibility and the Critique of Causality.” Medieval
Philosophy and Theology 10 (2001). 23–46.
Frank, Richard M. The Metaphysics of Created Being according to Abu l-Hudhayl Al-
‘Allaf. Istanbul: Netherlands Historische-Archeologisch Instituut, 1966.
. “Al- Ash‘ari’s Conception of Nature and Role of Speculative
Reasoning in Theology” Proceedings of the VIth Congress of Arabic and
Islamic Studies. Stockholm, 1972. 136-154.
. Creation and the Cosmic System: Al-Ghazâlî & Avicenna, Heidelberg:
C. Winter, 1992.
. “Bodies and Atoms: The Ash‘arite Analysis.” in Islamic Theology and
Philosophy: Studies in Honor of George F. Hourani. ed. Michael M. Marmura.
New York: The State University of New York Press, 1984. 39-53.
Griffel, Frank. Al-Ghazali's Philosophical Theology: An Introduction to the Study of his
Life and Thought. New York: Oxford University Press, 2009.
Marmura, Michael E. “Ghazalian Causes and Intermediaries.” Journal of the American
Oriental Society 115 (1995). 89–100.
. “Ghazali and Demonstrative Science.” Journal of the History of
Philosophy 3/2 (October, 1965). 183-204.
.“Ghazali’s Chapter on Divine Power in the Iqtisad.” Arabic
Sciences and Philosophy 4/2 (1994). 279-315.
WEEK # 1 Introduction
THE KALAM TRADITION
WEEK # 2 The Mutazila School
WEEK # 3 The Asharite School
THE FALSAFA TRADITION
WEEK # 4 Ibn Sina’s Metaphysics
WEEK # 5 Miskawayh’s Ethics
WEEK # 6 Methodological Comparisons between Kalam and Falsafa
AL-GHAZALI AT THE STAGE
WEEK # 7 Al-Ghazali’s Critique in the Incoherence of the Philosophers-I
WEEK # 8 Al-Ghazali’s Critique in the Incoherence of the Philosophers-II
WEEK # 9 Al-Ghazali’s Kalam Position in the Balanced Book in the Belief
WEEK # 10 Al-Ghazali between Falsafa and Kalam
WEEK # 11 Al-Ghazali’s Crisis
WEEK # 12 Al-Ghazali’s Sufism-I
WEEK # 13 Al-Ghazali’s Sufism-II
WEEK # 14 Post-Ghazalian Approaches