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Courses for Spring 2022

Title Instructor Location Time All taxonomy terms Description Section Description Cross Listings Fulfills Registration Notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Syllabus URL
PHIL 001-001 Introduction To Philosophy Jake Jackson MW 01:45 PM-02:45 PM Philosophers ask difficult questions about the most basic issues in human life. Does God exist? What can we know about the world? What does it mean to have a mind? How should I treat non-human animals? Do I have free will? This course is an introduction to some of these questions and to the methods philosophers have developed for thinking clearly about them. Hum & Soc Sci Sector (new curriculum only) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Humanities & Social Science Sector</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
PHIL 002-001 Intro To Ethics Carlos J Pereira Di Salvo MW 01:45 PM-02:45 PM Ethics is the study of right and wrong behavior. This introductory course will introduce students to major ethical theories, the possible sources of normativity, and specific ethical problems and questions. Topics may include euthanasia, abortion, animal rights, the family, sexuality, bioethics, crime and punishment and war. Society sector (all classes) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
PHIL 003-601 Ancient Greek Philosophy MW 05:15 PM-06:45 PM What is philosophy? How does it differ from science, religion, literature, and other modes of human discourse? This course traces the origins of philosophy as a discipline in the Western tradition, looking to thinkers of Ancient Greece and Rome. We will examine how natural philosophers such as Thales, Anaximander, and Heraclitus distinguished their inquiries from the teachings of poets such as Homer and Hesiod; how ancient atomism had its origins in a response to Parmenides' challenge to the assumption that things change in the world; how Socrates reoriented the focus of philosophy away from the natural world and toward the fundamental ethical question, how shall I live? We will also examine how his pupil, Plato, and subsequently Aristotle, developed elaborate philosophical systems that address the nature of reality, knowledge, and human happiness. Finally, we will examine the ways in which later thinkers such as the Epicureans and Stoics transformed and extended the earlier tradition. History & Tradition Sector (all classes)
PHIL 004-001 History of Modern Philos Gary Hatfield MW 12:00 PM-01:00 PM This course is an introduction to a few central themes in philosophy in the 17th and 18th centuries, and to some of the crucial thinkers who addressed those themes. Topics to be covered may include, among others, the nature of the human being (including the human mind), the relationship between God and the created world, the nature of freedom, and the relations among natural sciences, philosophy and theology in this rich period of human history. History & Tradition Sector (all classes) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span> https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2022A&course=PHIL004001
PHIL 005-401 Formal Logic I Scott Weinstein TR 12:00 PM-01:00 PM This course provides an introduction to some of the fundamental ideas of logic. Topics will include truth functional logic, quantificational logic, and logical decision problems. LGIC010401, PHIL505401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span> https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2022A&course=PHIL005401
PHIL 008-001 The Social Contract Kok-Chor Tan MW 10:15 AM-11:15 AM This is a critical survey of the history of western modern political philosophy, beginning from the Early Modern period and concluding with the 19th or 20th Century. Our study typically begins with Hobbes and ends with Mill or Rawls. The organizing theme of our investigation will be the idea of the Social Contract. We will examine different contract theories as well as criticisms and proposed alternatives to the contract idea, such as utilitarianism. Besides the above, examples of authors we will read are Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Mill and Marx. Society sector (all classes) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span> https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2022A&course=PHIL008001
PHIL 008-601 The Social Contract TR 05:15 PM-06:45 PM This is a critical survey of the history of western modern political philosophy, beginning from the Early Modern period and concluding with the 19th or 20th Century. Our study typically begins with Hobbes and ends with Mill or Rawls. The organizing theme of our investigation will be the idea of the Social Contract. We will examine different contract theories as well as criticisms and proposed alternatives to the contract idea, such as utilitarianism. Besides the above, examples of authors we will read are Locke, Rousseau, Hume, Mill and Marx. Society sector (all classes)
PHIL 025-001 Philos of Science Hanyu Ma TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM What counts as a scientific theory? What counts as evidence for a scientific theory? Are scientific inferences justified? Does science give us truths or approximate truths about a world that exists independently of us? How can we know? Does it matter? These are all perennial questions in the philosophy of science, and the goal of this course is to look at how philosophers have answered these questions since the scientific revolution. In addition to reading classic work by philosophers of science, we will read material from living and dead scientists in order to gain a deeper appreciation of the philosophical questions that have troubled the most brilliant scientists in Western science. Nat Sci & Math Sector (new curriculum only) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Natural Science & Math Sector</span>
PHIL 028-301 Feminist Philosophy Milton W. Meyer TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM This course is an introduction to feminist thought, both in theory and in practice. We will consider how feminist thought emerged and evolved, as well as how feminist theories respond to various intellectual, social and political challenges. Questions we will address include: What exactly is feminism? How does one's gender identity impact one's lived experiences? How should we revise, reformulate, or rethink traditional answers to politial and ethical issues in light of feminist theories? How can feminist analyses contribute to the development of better science, and our conceptions of knowledge? Prerequisite: Offered through the College of General Studies. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2022A&course=PHIL028301
PHIL 035-301 Self: Aspiration Jennifer Morton MW 10:15 AM-11:45 AM Novels, memoirs, and aisles of self-help books attest to our desire to transform ourselves. Yet, the idea of self-transformation is puzzling. If a person decides to embark on a new adventure in the hopes of transforming herself, can she really become a new self or is she merely exhibiting her preexisting adventurousness? What about the aspiring college student who is hoping that college will change him? How can we make sense of his aspiration? In this class, we will critically examine the idea of aspiration and transformation. Readings for this course will be drawn from philosophy, fiction, and literary criticism. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Freshman Seminar</span> https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2022A&course=PHIL035301
PHIL 080-301 Aesthetics John Michael Roman MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM This course examines philosophical issues centering on the nature and value of the arts. Some questions we'll consider are: What is art? What does it mean to have an aesthetic experience? How are aesthetic experiences different from non-aesthetic ones? What is the relation between art and truth? How do the moral qualities in a work of art affect its aesthetic qualities? Why are emotions important in our interpretations of artworks? What is the relation between art and expression? Do forgeries necessarily have less aesthetic value than original artworks? What are aesthetic judgments, and are they merely expressions of taste? Lecture and discussion will center on both classical and contemporary works in aesthetics. Arts & Letters Sector (all classes) https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2022A&course=PHIL080301
PHIL 157-401 Repairing the Planet: Tools For the Climate Emergency Michael Weisberg TR 10:15 AM-11:15 AM This course is a comprehensive introduction to the climate emergency and the tools with which we can fight it. It will integrate natural science, social science, philosophy of science, history, ethics, and policy. The course opens with an overview of the historical discovery of global warming and our contemporary understanding of climate change. We then turn to the framework that the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has developed to study climate risks, focusing on both general issues and case studies throughout the world. The existence and severity of these risks raises questions of climate justice at many levels: individuals to individuals, countries to countries, and the present generation to future generations. We will study these issues in detail, and then examine the policy tools developed to address them. Although we will discuss national and sub-national policy and policy proposals such as the Green New Deal, special attention will be given to global policy tools, especially the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Paris Agreement. In addition to standard writing assignments, students will have a chance to develop policy proposals that address the core issues of the class. ENVS157401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
PHIL 211-401 Greek & Roman Moral Phil Stephanie Wesson TR 01:45 PM-03:15 PM A survey of ethical philosophy in the Ancient Greek tradition. We will study the work of Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and the Stoics, including writings of later Roman authors such as Cicero, Seneca, Epictetus, and Marcus Aurelius. The class will be run as a seminar. All works will be read in English translation. CLST211401 https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2022A&course=PHIL211401
PHIL 231-001 Epistemology Daniel Singer MW 12:00 PM-01:00 PM Two basic assumptions of academic research are that there are truths and we can know them. Epistemology is the study how knowledge, what it is, how it is produced, and how we can have it. Metaphysics, the study of the basic constituents of reality, the study of being as such. In this introduction to metaphysics and epistemology, we will ask hard questions about the nature of reality and knowledge. No philosophy background is required for this course. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
PHIL 233-001 Philosophy of Economics Carlos J Pereira Di Salvo MW 10:15 AM-11:15 AM In this course, general philosophy of science issues are applied to economics, and some problems specific to economics are tackled. While analytical questions like "What is economics?" or "What is an economic explanation" must be pursued, the ultimate goal is practical: What is good economics? How can economists contribute to a better understanding of society, and a better society? How can we make economics better? Topics to be discussed include the following: specific object and method of economics as a social science; its relation with other disciplines (physics, psychology and evolutionary theory); values in economics (welfare, freedom, equality and neutrality); the role of understanding and possible limits of a quantitative approach to human behavior (purposefulness, freedom, creativity, innovation); prediction, unpredictability and the pretension of prediction; causation in econometrics and in economic theory (equilibrium); selfishness and utility maximization (cognitive and behaviorist interpretations); economic models and unrealistic assumptions (realism and instrumentalism); empirical basis of economics (observation and experiment); microeconomics and macroeconomics (reductionism and autonomy); pluralism in economics (mainstream economics and heterodox schools). <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
PHIL 271-301 Global Justice Kok-Chor Tan MW 12:00 PM-01:30 PM This course is an introduction to some of the central problems in global justice. Samples of these topics include: What are our duties to respond to world poverty and what is the basis of this duty? Is global inequality in itself a matter of justice? How universal are human rights? Should human rights defer to cultural claims at all? Is there a right to intervene in another country to protect human rights there? Indeed can intervention to protect human rights ever be a duty? Who is responsible for the environment? We will read some influential contemporary essays by philosophers on these topics with the goal of using the ideas in these papers as a springboard for our own further discussion and analysis. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2022A&course=PHIL271301
PHIL 334-301 Ethics of Social Media Sukaina Hirji TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM In this course, we will look at some of the key moral issues that are raised by our current social media landscape: topics include moral epistemology and echo chambers, civility and cancel culture, authenticity and self-construction, sex work and OnlyFans, and the effects of Instagram culture on body image. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Majors Only</span>
PHIL 343-301 Philosophy of Mind CANCELED This majors seminar will focus on selected topics in Philosophy of Mind. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Majors Only</span>
PHIL 379-301 Poverty Jennifer Morton MW 12:00 PM-01:30 PM This majors seminar will focus on various topics in political philosophy. Topics will vary from term to term. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Majors Only</span> https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2022A&course=PHIL379301
PHIL 413-401 Logic II Scott Weinstein TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM The second semester of a two-semester course on the fundamental results and techniques of mathematical logic. Topics will be drawn from model theory, proof theory, recursion theory, and set theory. Connections between logic and algebra, analysis, combinatorics, computer science, and the foundations of mathematics will be emphasized. LGIC320401, MATH571401 https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2022A&course=PHIL413401
PHIL 428-401 Social Norms Cristina Bicchieri T 01:45 PM-04:45 PM Social norms are the rules we live by, and we encounter them in any area of our life. Social norms often guarantee the smooth functioning of a group or organization. Sometimes, however, these norms are inefficient or do not benefit society at large. What can we do to change these harmful collective behaviors? Social psychology, philosophy, sociology, rational-choice, legal theory, and even economics, are investigating and theorizing pro-social behavior, justice motivation, and moral and social norms. In this course, we will examine the latest and best in this emerging multidisciplinary field. Students will be encouraged to apply its findings and methods to their area of interest. BDS502401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Permission Needed From Instructor</span>
PHIL 474-301 Normative Ethics Daniel Wodak TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM Some particular acts are morally right; other acts are morally wrong. The task of normative ethics is to provide a general account of which acts are morally right or wrong and why they are morally right or wrong. The primary goal of this course is to provide an advanced survey of two theories that dominate contemporary ethics: consequentialism and deontology. Consequentialists - such as, most famously, the British utilitarians: Bentham, Mill and Sidgwick - hold that acts are right or wrong because of their good or bad consequences. Consequentialism faces numerous objections: that it is wrong to make trade-offs between benefits and harms to different individuals; that it requires us to violate rights; that it is too demanding; and that it does not respect our special obligations to our friends and family. These objections are used to motivate deontology. We will explore Immanuel Kant's influential version deontology, and the challenges that it faces in relation to the prohibition on lying, on how we should treat the risk of wrong-doing, and on the moral status of animals. The secondary goal of this course is to develop the philosophical skills that we use to understand, evaluate, and defend moral theories.
PHIL 479-301 Modern Political Phil Samuel Freeman W 03:30 PM-06:30 PM A survey of several works in modern political philosophy, including Thomas Hobbes's, Leviathan; John Locke's, Second Treatise on Government and Letter Concerning Toleration; David Hume's 'Of the Original Contract' and 'On Justice'; John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism, On Liberty, and The Subjection of Women; excerpts from Karl Marx's Capital and other writings; and John Rawls's A Theory of Justice. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2022A&course=PHIL479301
PHIL 491-301 Metaphysics of Race Quayshawn Nigel Julian Spencer TR 01:45 PM-03:15 PM Historically, philosophical questions about race have been about what race is and whether it exists, the nature of racism, and social or political questions related to race or racism. This course focuses squarely on what race is and whether it exists. The first part of the course will focus on race theories and race-related debates by biologists, anthropologists, and philosophers of biology. The second part of the course will focus on race theories from philosophers of race and sociologists about race from an ordinary folk perspective. We will begin by looking at biological race theories from Francois Bernier in 1684 to J.F. Blumenbach in 1795. Next, we will study the epistemological debate about Samuel Morton's craniometry. Finally, we will explore folk race theories from W.E.B. DuBois in 1897 to present-day work from philosophers of race like Sally Haslanger, Michael Hardimon, and Joshua Glasgow. Topics covered will include, but not be limited to, classical biological race theories, experimentation and measurement in race science, biological anti-realism about race, biological realism about race, non-biological realism about race, and meta-metaphysical issues about race theory.
PHIL 505-401 Formal Logic I Scott Weinstein TR 12:00 PM-01:00 PM This course provides an introduction to some of the fundamental ideas of logic. Topics will include truth functional logic, quantificational logic, and logical decision problems. LGIC010401, PHIL005401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span> https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2022A&course=PHIL505401
PHIL 532-301 Topics in Epistemology Daniel Singer W 03:30 PM-06:30 PM This seminar will cover topics of interest to contemporary epistemologists. Possible topics may include skepticism, accounts of knowledge and justification, virtue epistemology, formal epistemology, social epistemology, feminist epistemology, meta-epistemology and epistemic normativity. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span>
PHIL 556-401 Political Authority and Political Obligation Stephen Robert Perry W 04:30 PM-06:30 PM LAW946401
PHIL 558-301 Science and Objectivity Quayshawn Nigel Julian Spencer M 01:45 PM-04:45 PM This course is an exploration of traditional philosophical questions concerning objectivity in science. We will start by addressing central questions in feminist philosophy of science, such as what is objective reality and what is objective knowledge? Next, we will explore whether science discovers objective real entities or relations, which is a central topic in the scientific realism debate. We will also explore whether scientific knowledge is objective. We will read mostly 20th and 21st century philosophers of science, such as Goodman, Kuhn, Psillos, and Longino. We will also apply what we learn to at least one case study. UNDERGRADUATES NEED PERMISSION <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span>
PHIL 573-301 Virtue Ethics Sukaina Hirji T 03:30 PM-06:30 PM This will be a survey of Ancient Greek theories of virtue ethics, as well as an examination of contemporary Neo-Aristotelian developments of the virtue ethical tradition. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span>
PHIL 574-401 Law and Philosophy Daniel Wodak R 03:30 PM-06:30 PM This graduate seminar explores recent work at the forefront of legal philosophy and adjacent fields, particularly moral, social, and political philosophy. In two-week units, seminar participants will discuss a recently published paper (in the first week) and in the second week, participants (along with other faculty) will meet with the paper's author for further discussion in which students will be given priority. The goal is to explore new work in the field in great depth, and in so doing develop students' analytic skills and their knowledge of the present state of the literature. LAW574401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span>
PHIL 587-640 Mla Proseminar:Environmental Justice: the Ethics & Politics of Conservation Kok-Chor Tan W 05:15 PM-07:55 PM This is a topics-based MLA proseminar in political philosophy. Examples of topics we can examine in this course include distributive justice, liberty, equality, and global justice. Course readings will be drawn from a combination of seminal and more recent works on the selected topics. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2022A&course=PHIL587640
PHIL 587-641 Mla Proseminar: Conflict, Ideology, and Public Discourse Stephen P Steinberg T 05:15 PM-07:55 PM This is a topics-based MLA proseminar in political philosophy. Examples of topics we can examine in this course include distributive justice, liberty, equality, and global justice. Course readings will be drawn from a combination of seminal and more recent works on the selected topics. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2022A&course=PHIL587641