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Courses for Fall 2022

Title Instructor Location Time All taxonomy terms Description Section Description Cross Listings Fulfills Registration Notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Syllabus URL
PHIL 0430-301 Markets and Morality First-Year Seminar Douglas Paletta TR 1:45 PM-3:14 PM Market exchange, where the seller provides a good or service at a price the buyer accepts, serves as a basic element of our society. It embodies certain values of freedom of exchange, and, when well-functioning, promotes economic efficiency. We also know there are illegal markets for human organs, an enormous amount of money is spent to influence our democratic elections, and that giving a friend a loan can change the dynamics of your relationship. Should everything be for sale? How should we balance the benefits and values of free market exchange with other values? What influence do markets have in shaping the way we relate to one another? This course will consider questions like these to explore when and what kind of moral limits should be placed on markets. Society sector (all classes)
PHIL 1000-001 Introduction to Philosophy Stephen P Steinberg MW 1:45 PM-2:44 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)
PHIL 1000-601 Introduction to Philosophy MW 5:15 PM-6:44 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)
PHIL 1110-401 Ancient Greek Philosophy TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM 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. CLST1501401 History & Tradition Sector (all classes)
PHIL 1252-401 Introduction to Indian Philosophy Deven Patel TR 5:15 PM-6:44 PM This course will take the student through the major topics of Indian philosophy by first introducing the fundamental concepts and terms that are necessary for a deeper understanding of themes that pervade the philosophical literature of India -- arguments for and against the existence of God, for example, the ontological status of external objects, the means of valid knowledge, standards of proof, the discourse on the aims of life. The readings will emphasize classical Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain philosophical articulations (from 700 B.C.E to 16th century CE) but we will also supplement our study of these materials with contemporary or relatively recent philosophical writings in modern India. RELS0055401, SAST0050401 History & Tradition Sector (all classes)
PHIL 1330-301 Ethics Eugene Vaynberg MW 10:15 AM-11:44 AM Ethics is the study of right and wrong. 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)
PHIL 1330-601 Ethics Milton W Meyer TR 5:15 PM-6:44 PM Ethics is the study of right and wrong. 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)
PHIL 1342-001 Bioethics Carlos J Pereira Di Salvo MW 1:45 PM-2:44 PM This course is an introduction to bioethics, focusing on ethical questions arising at the beginning and end of life. Topics will include procreative responsibilities, the question of wrongful life, and prenatal moral status as well as questions of justice related to markets for sperm, eggs and gestation. We will also attend to dilemmas at the end of life, including the authority of advance directives, euthanasia and the allocation of life-saving therapies. Society sector (all classes) https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202230&c=PHIL1342001
PHIL 1343-301 Environmental Ethics Kate N Hoffman MW 12:00 PM-1:29 PM We investigate some of the ethical issues that arise from our relationship with the environment. Topics may include : What are our responsibilities toward the environment, as individuals and as members of institutions? How do our responsibilities toward the environment relate to other ethical considerations? Do non-human animals/species/ecosystems have intrinsic value? What should conservationists conserve? What is the appropriate response to climate change?
PHIL 1433-001 The Social Contract Carlos J Pereira Di Salvo MW 10:15 AM-11:14 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)
PHIL 1581-301 Jewish Philosophy MW 12:00 PM-1:29 PM This course is an inquiry into questions that lie in the intersection of philosophy and Jewish thought, and it approaches these questions through the writings of classical Jewish philosophers. Topics to be covered include: The problem of evil, the problem of divine foreknowledge and free will, the nature of the human being and the immortality of the soul, the existence and nature of God, the origins of the universe and the possibility of miracles, prophecy, what constitutes the good life and human perfection, and the purpose and nature of divine law. Readings will be drawn from traditional Jewish texts, from medieval and modern Jewish and non-Jewish philosophers, and from contemporary analytic philosophy.
PHIL 1800-001 Philosophy of Science MW 12:00 PM-12:59 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)
PHIL 1840-401 Introduction to Cognitive Science TR 1:45 PM-3:14 PM How do minds work? This course surveys a wide range of answers to this question from disciplines ranging from philosophy to neuroscience. The course devotes special attention to the use of simple computational and mathematical models. Topics include perception, learning, memory, decision making, emotion and consciousness. The course shows how the different views from the parent disciplines interact and identifies some common themes among the theories that have been proposed. The course pays particular attention to the distinctive role of computation in such theories and provides an introduction to some of the main directions of current research in the field. It is a requirement for the BA in Cognitive Science, the BAS in Computer and Cognitive Science, and the minor in Cognitive Science, and it is recommended for students taking the dual degree in Computer and Cognitive Science. CIS1400401, COGS1001401, LING1005401, PSYC1333401 General Requirement in Formal Reasoning & Analysis
PHIL 2200-001 Continental Philosophy TR 1:45 PM-3:14 PM In this course we read various texts in the Enlightment tradition and more recent ones critical of modern distortions of this tradition. Readings may include: Kant and Marx, two exemplars of this tradition, as well as the views of the Frankfurt School (e.g Horkheimer and Adorno), Foucault, Derrida, Nietzsche and Saussure.
PHIL 2843-401 Philosophy and Visual Perception CANCELED In this course, we'll use the biology, psychology and phenomenology of vision to explore philosophical questions about color, such as these: Color vision helps us get around in our environments, but in what sense is it a window onto reality, if it is? Are colors properties of objects, or are they inherently private, subjective properties of minds? What can non-human forms of color vision teach us about the nature of color, and how should we empirically study color vision? Do we need to see in color to understand it? How do our ordinary ways of talking and thinking about colors relate to the experiences we have in color? How does color vision figure in aesthetic judgment? And to what degree can it be influenced by learning, or by social biases like sexist or racist prejudices? VLST2230401
PHIL 2843-402 Philosophy and Visual Perception Tiina C Rosenqvist MW 1:45 PM-3:14 PM In this course, we'll use the biology, psychology and phenomenology of vision to explore philosophical questions about color, such as these: Color vision helps us get around in our environments, but in what sense is it a window onto reality, if it is? Are colors properties of objects, or are they inherently private, subjective properties of minds? What can non-human forms of color vision teach us about the nature of color, and how should we empirically study color vision? Do we need to see in color to understand it? How do our ordinary ways of talking and thinking about colors relate to the experiences we have in color? How does color vision figure in aesthetic judgment? And to what degree can it be influenced by learning, or by social biases like sexist or racist prejudices? VLST2230402 https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202230&c=PHIL2843402
PHIL 3431-301 Justice Kok-Chor Tan MW 10:15 AM-11:44 AM This majors seminar will focus on contemporary works on liberalism, democracy, capitalism, and distributive justice. Questions to be discussed may include: Which rights and liberties are fundamental in a constitutional democracy? What is equality and what requirements does it impose? Are economic rights of property and freedom of contract equally important as personal liberties of speech, religion, and association? Does capitalism realize a just distribution of income and wealth? What is socialism and is it potentially just, or necessarily unjust? Readings from works by John Rawls, Robert Nozick, Milton Friedman, and others. https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202230&c=PHIL3431301
PHIL 3800-301 Topics in Philosophy of Science MW 12:00 PM-1:29 PM A seminar for philosophy majors on selected topics in the Philosophy of Science.
PHIL 4360-401 Sports as Legal Systems: An Investigation into Law and Legal Thinking Mitchell N Berman Formal organized sports - from the NFL to NASCAR to the LPGA - are either genuine legal systems of a specialized kind or close analogues to legal systems. Like ordinary legal systems, they use general rules, promulgated by rule-making bodies and enforced by impartial adjudicators, to facilitate or incentivize desired behaviors and to prevent or deter undesired behaviors. As such, sports are proper subjects of study by legal scholars and philosophers. A standard course on "sports law" examines the regulation of sports by law. This course, in contrast, examines sports as legal systems in their own right. A small sample of the topics to be addressed includes: (1) What are sports, and what is their relationship to games? (The IOC has determined that bridge and chess are sports. Is this correct? Does it matter?) (2) What form should the rules take? (For example, should sports rules contain "mens rea" terms? Should they be more "rule-like" or more "standard-like"?) (3) How much discretion do and should officials have? (Chief Justice Roberts said that "judges are like umpires." Is this true? In what ways?) (4) Should on-field decisions be appealable and, if so, what should the procedures and standards of appellate review be? (For example, is the "indisputable visual evidence standard" of review in the NFL and NCAA football justified?) (5) What is cheating? (Did the badminton players at the London Olympics who tried to lose "cheat"? Do baseball players cheat when they falsely claim to be hit by a pitch?) (6) What should the rules of eligibility be? (Should women be allowed to compete against men? Should MTF transgender athletes be allowed to compete against cisgender women? Should double amputees like the South African Oscar Pistorius be allowed to compete against non-disabled runners?) In exploring questions like these, the course will, where appropriate, draw upon, and examine possible lessons for, ordinary law. The course is therefore both an in-depth and rigorous investigation into sports and a vehicle for deepening one's understanding of law. It is appropriate for law students and for non-law students seeking an engaging and accessible introduction to legal systems and legal analysis. LAW7150401
PHIL 4620-401 Theory of Knowledge TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM Selected topics in Epistemology such as: bridging the gap between mainstream and formal epistemology, the familiar tripartite definition of knowledge (knowledge as justified true belief), basic logical and probabilistic models of knowledge (Hintikka, Aumann, and Bayesian) and their multi-agent variants, logical omniscience and other problems (including the epistemic closure principle), attempts at formalizing joint and common knowledge, resource-bounded knowledge, knowledge under limited logical powers, and empirical knowledge obstructed by system complexity. PHIL6620401
PHIL 4720-401 Topics in Mathematical Logic Scott Weinstein TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM The course focuses on topics drawn from the central areas of mathematical logic: model theory, proof theory, set theory, and computability theory. LGIC4960401, MATH6770401, PHIL6720401 https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202230&c=PHIL4720401
PHIL 4721-401 Logic and Computability 1 Henry Piers Towsner TR 3:30 PM-4:59 PM This graduate course focuses on topics drawn from the central areas of mathematical logic: model theory, proof theory, set theory, and computability theory. LGIC3100401, MATH5700401, PHIL6721401
PHIL 4770-401 Philosophy of Mathematics Scott Weinstein TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM The course will focus on the development of the foundations and philosophy of mathematics from the late nineteenth-century through the present day. Topics may include logicism, formalism, intuitionism, and the foundations of set theory. Ample consideration will be given to some of the fundamental results of mathematical logic, such as the Godel incompleteness theorems and the independence of the Continuum Hypothesis from Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory, that have had a profound impact on contemporary approaches to the philosophy of mathematics. PHIL6770401 https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202230&c=PHIL4770401
PHIL 5170-301 Topics in Early Modern Philosophy R 3:30 PM-6:29 PM This course addresses topics in European philosophy of the 17-18th centuries. Topics may include the natural philosophy in the early modern period, the relation of metaphysics to the 'sciences' (including what is meant by "metaphysics", and what falls under the scope of the various sciences) as well as social, political, and ethical issues, including the role that women played, and the nascent forms of feminism that emerged in the early modern era.
PHIL 5430-301 Topics in Political Philosophy Kok-Chor Tan M 3:30 PM-6:29 PM This is a topics-based graduate seminar 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 classic and more recent works on the selected topics. https://coursesintouch.apps.upenn.edu/cpr/jsp/fast.do?webService=syll&t=202230&c=PHIL5430301
PHIL 5630-301 Philosophy of Action Jennifer Morton T 3:30 PM-6:29 PM This course will cover debates in contemporary action theory. Some possible topics include intentional action, practical knowledge, freedom of action, long-term planning, commitment, reasons for action, self-governance, practical reasoning, and collective agency.
PHIL 6000-301 Proseminar Errol D Lord W 3:30 PM-6:29 PM An intensive seminar for first-year doctoral students, with readings drawn from recent and contemporary eistemology and metaphysics, broadly construed. Students will develop their abilities to present and discuss philosophical texts, and to write and revise their own papers.
PHIL 6620-401 Theory of Knowledge TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM Graduate seminar focusing on elected topics in Epistemology such as: bridging the gap between mainstream and formal epistemology, the familiar tripartite definition of knowledge (knowledge as justified true belief), basic logical and probabilistic models of knowledge (Hintikka, Aumann, and Bayesian) and their multi-agent variants, logical omniscience and other problems (including the epistemic closure principle), attempts at formalizing joint and common knowledge, resource-bounded knowledge, knowledge under limited logical powers, and empirical knowledge obstructed by system complexity. PHIL4620401
PHIL 6720-401 Topics in Logic Scott Weinstein TR 12:00 PM-1:29 PM This graduate course focuses on topics drawn from the central areas of mathematical logic: model theory, proof theory, set theory, and computability theory. LGIC4960401, MATH6770401, PHIL4720401
PHIL 6721-401 Logic and Computability 1 Henry Piers Towsner TR 3:30 PM-4:59 PM The course focuses on topics drawn from the central areas of mathematical logic: model theory, proof theory, set theory, and computability theory. LGIC3100401, MATH5700401, PHIL4721401
PHIL 6770-401 Philosophy of Mathematics Scott Weinstein TR 10:15 AM-11:44 AM This graduate course will focus on the development of the foundations and philosophy of mathematics from the late nineteenth-century through the present day. Topics may include logicism, formalism, intuitionism, and the foundations of set theory. Ample consideration will be given to some of the fundamental results of mathematical logic, such as the Godel incompleteness theorems and the independence of the Continuum Hypothesis from Zermelo-Fraenkel set theory, that have had a profound impact on contemporary approaches to the philosophy of mathematics. PHIL4770401
PHIL 7000-301 Dissertation Workshop Jennifer Morton T 1:45 PM-3:14 PM Registration required for all third-year doctoral students. Third-year students and beyond attend and present their dissertation work or their preliminary exam prospectus. From time to time, topics pertaining to professional development and dissertation writing will be discussed.