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Courses for Fall 2021

Title Instructor Location Time All taxonomy terms Description Section Description Cross Listings Fulfills Registration Notes Syllabus Syllabus URL Course Syllabus URL
PHIL 001-001 Intro To Philosophy Daniel Singer TR 10:15 AM-11:15 AM 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">Course is available to Freshmen and Upperclassmen.</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Humanities & Social Science Sector</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=2021C&course=PHIL001001
PHIL 001-601 Intro To Philosophy MW 05:15 PM-06:45 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>
PHIL 002-601 Intro To Ethics Milton W. Meyer TR 05:15 PM-06:45 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) https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=PHIL002601
PHIL 003-401 Ancient Greek Philosophy Sukaina Hirji TR 12:00 PM-01:00 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. CLST103401 History & Tradition Sector (all classes) <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=2021C&course=PHIL003401
PHIL 008-001 The Social Contract Daniel Wodak 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=2021C&course=PHIL008001
PHIL 008-301 The Social Contract Yosef Washington MW 12:00 PM-01:30 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) https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=PHIL008301
PHIL 025-001 Philos of Science Quayshawn Nigel Spencer MW 12:00 PM-01:00 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><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
PHIL 044-401 Introduction To Cognitive Science John C. Trueswell
Charles Yang
TR 01:45 PM-03:15 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. COGS001401, LING105401, PSYC207401 Nat Sci & Math Sector (new curriculum only) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Natural Science & Math Sector</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
PHIL 050-401 Intro To Indian Phil Deven Patel TR 05:15 PM-06:45 PM This course will take the student thorugh the major topics of Indian philosophyby first introducing the fundamental concepts and terms that are necessary fo r 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.E. E. to 16th century CE) but we will also supplement our study of these materials with contemporary or relatively recent philosophical writings to modern India. SAST050401, SAST603401, RELS155401 History & Tradition Sector (all classes)
PHIL 067-401 Nietzsche's Modernity Ian Fleishman TR 01:45 PM-03:15 PM Selected topics in nineteenth century European Philosophy. Works of philosophers such as Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard. COML268401, GRMN248401 https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=PHIL067401
PHIL 072-001 Biomedical Ethics Javier Gomez-Lavin MW 01:45 PM-02:45 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) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
PHIL 077-001 Philosophy of Law Carlos J Pereira Di Salvo MW 10:15 AM-11:15 AM This course is an introduction to some of the central philosophical problems of law: What is law? What makes law? What is the relationship between law and morality? Can laws be unjust? Is there a moral obligation to obey the law? We will look at different theories of law, such as positivism and natural law theory, and discuss topics like civil disobedience, liberty and the law, and punishment and the law. The third and final section of the course will consider an unusual and particularly significant kind of law: constitutional law. We will consider the purpose(s) of constitutions, how constitutionalism relates to democracy, and how constitutions ought to be understood and interpreted, in light of our answers to these first two questions. Throughout the course, we will engage with both classic and contemporary work, reading work by Michelle Alexander, Jeremy Bentham, Angela Davis, Ronald Dworkin, John Hart Ely, H.L.A. Hart, Thomas Hobbes, John Locke, John Stuart Mill, Robert Nozick, Martha Nussbaum, Richard Posner, Jeremy Waldron, and others. Society sector (all classes) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
PHIL 079-301 Environmental Ethics Michael Gadomski TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM In this course we will 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? https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=PHIL079301
PHIL 155-001 Continental Philosophy Stephen P Steinberg TR 01:45 PM-03:15 PM This course is an introduction to 20th-century continental European philosophy, focusing on the origins and development of phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, and deconstruction. The centrality of phenomenology to an understanding of these movements and other contemporary trends in European thought will be emphasized throughout. No previous background in philosophy is required. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=PHIL155001
PHIL 223-401 Phil & Visual Perception Tiina Carita Rosenqvist TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM In this course, we'll use the biology, psychology and phenomenology of vision to explore philosophical questions abaout 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? VLST223401 https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=PHIL223401
PHIL 226-301 Philosophy of Biology Michael Weisberg TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM This course consists of a detailed examination of evolutionary theory and its philosophical foundations. The course begins with a consideration of Darwin's formulation of evolutionary theory and the main influences on Darwin. We will then consider two contemporary presentations of the theory: Richard Dawkins' and Richard Lewontin's. The remainder of the course will deal with a number of foundational issues including adaptation, the units of selections, the evolution of altruism, and the possibility of grounding ethics in evolutionary theory. Prerequisite: Application required through Penn Global:https://global.upenn.edu/pennabroad/pgs Nat Sci & Math Sector (new curriculum only) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Permission Needed From Instructor</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Penn Global Seminar</span><br /><span class="penncourse-course-notes">Natural Science & Math Sector</span>
PHIL 247-401 Marx Siarhei Biareishyk WF 01:45 PM-03:15 PM " A spectre is haunting Europe--the spectre of Communism": This, the famous opening line of The Communist Manifesto, will guide this ourse's exploration of the history, legacy, and potential future of Karl Marx's most important texts and ideas, even long after Communism has been pronounced dead. Contextualizing marx within a tradition of radical thought refarding politics, religion, and sexuality, we will focus on the philosophical, political, and cultural origins and implications of his ideas. Our work will center on the question of how his writings seek to counter or exploit various tendencies of the time; how they align with the work of Nietzsche, freud, and other radical thinkers to follow; and how they might continue to haunt us today. we will begin by discussing key works by Marx himself, examining ways in which he is both influenced by and appeals to many of the same fantasies, desires, and anxieties encoded in the literature, arts and intellectual currents of the time. In examining his legacy, we will focus on elabortions or challenges to his ideas, particularly within cultural critism, postwar protest movements, and the cultural politics of the Cold War. In conclusion, we will turn to the question of Marxism or Post-Marxism today, asking what promise Marx's ideas might still hold in a world vastly different from his own. All readings and lectures in English. GRMN247401, COML247401 Hum & Soc Sci Sector (new curriculum only) <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Humanities & Social Science Sector</span>
PHIL 281-001 Philosophical Issues Around Love and Sex Sukaina Hirji TR 10:15 AM-11:15 AM This is a course on philosophical topics surrounding love and sex. We will touch on issues in all areas of philosophy including ethics, political philosophy, metaphysics, philosophy of language, and epistemology. You will develop the sorts of skills fundamental to philosophy: understanding and reconstructing arguments, evaluating arguments, and developing your own argumentative abilities. You will also acquire theoretical tools that might be useful for thinking about your own love and sex lives, and the lives of those around you. <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=2021C&course=PHIL281001
PHIL 292-301 Racial Justice Ian Shane Peebles MW 01:45 PM-03:15 PM This course will focus on contemporary philosophical debates around racial justice. Some of the themes for this course are quite obvious: the nature of racism and discrimination, for example, will recur. But the main focus of the course will be on debates about politically pertinent policy issues, such as racial segregation, reparations, and mass incarceration. A guiding question in the course will be whether in these areas we should think that certain moral duties are owed to racial groups, or only to particular individuals. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=PHIL292301
PHIL 372-301 Topics in Ethics Daniel Wodak MW 03:30 PM-05:00 PM This majors seminar will cover selected topics in ethics. The content will vary from semester to semester. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Majors Only</span> https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=PHIL372301
PHIL 376-301 Justice Kok-Chor Tan MW 12:00 PM-01:30 PM 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. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Majors Only</span> https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=PHIL376301
PHIL 410-401 Introduction To Logic & Computability Henry Piers Towsner TR 03:30 PM-05:00 PM Propositional logic: semantics, formal deductions, resolution method. First order logic: validity, models, formal deductions; Godel's completeness theorem, Lowenheim-Skolem theorem: cut-elimination, Herbrand's theorem, resolution method. Computability: finite automata, Turing machines, Godel's incompleteness theorems. Algorithmically unsolvable problems in mathematics. LGIC310401, MATH570401
PHIL 412-401 Topics in Logic Scott Weinstein TR 10:15 AM-11:45 AM The course focuses topics drawn from the central areas of mathematical logic: model theory, proof theory, set theory, and computability theory. LGIC496401 https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=PHIL412401
PHIL 414-301 Phil of Math Scott Weinstein TR 12:00 PM-01:30 PM 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. https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=PHIL414301
PHIL 429-401 Sports As Legal Systems (Berman) Mitchell N Berman MW 10:30 AM-11:50 AM 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. LAW715401 <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Registration also required for Recitation (see below)</span>
PHIL 466-401 Kant II Carlos J Pereira Di Salvo W 03:30 PM-06:30 PM This course is a study of Kant's moral and political philosophy. Texts may include Kant's Lectures on Ethics, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals, Critique of Practical Reason, Religion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, and Metaphysics of Morals. GRMN552401
PHIL 537-640 Philosophy and Psychoanalysis: Freud and the Interpretation of Culture Stephen P Steinberg W 05:15 PM-07:55 PM MLA proseminar. More than a century after Sigmund Freud transformed - for better or worse - our understanding of what it means to be human, Freudian psychoanalysis still exerts a profound influence in our culture. This seminar course is an exploration of the philosophical issues raised by Freudian psychoanalysis as a theory of mind and culture. After a close reading of Freud's theoretical writings on the nature of the mind and human behavior, we will explore why Freud's theories - despite more than a century of criticism - remain highly influential as a framework for the interpretation of art, literature, religion, society, politics, and history. Readings from Freud's "meta-psychological", cultural, and social writings, Paul Ricoeur's Freud and Philosophy, and other contemporary authors in philosophy, psychoanalysis, and other fields. No previous knowledge of psychoanalysis, psychology, or philosophy required. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span> https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=PHIL537640
PHIL 549-301 Justice in Higher Ed R 03:30 PM-06:30 PM Higher education has recently been a topic of intense discussion and attention. While many more people are entering colleges and universities, these institutions have come under scrutiny for perpetuating and entrenching inequality even as students turn to them as sites of social mobility. In this class, we will look at empirical and philosophical work on higher education to consider questions such as: What are the aims of higher education? How should we conceptualize the role of universities in colleges in promoting (or undermining) justice? Who should universities serve (and who have universities typically served)? Are universities sites of upward mobility or do they entrench existing inequalities? Do elite universities have special civic or political obligations? How should we balance academic freedom and inclusivity on college campuses? We will read recent work from Sigal Ben-Porath, Harry Brighouse, Anthony Jack, Amy Gutmann, Sara Goldrick-Rab, Michael Sandel, Gina Schouten, Nicole Stephens, Paul Tough, among others. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span> https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=PHIL549301
PHIL 551-301 Descartes' Meditations Gary Hatfield M 03:30 PM-06:30 PM 125 A seminar in philosophy of the early modern period (roughly 1600-1800), covering specific figures and/or topics. Examples of figures studied include (but are not limited to) Descartes Cavendish, Astell, Locke, Hume, Du Chatelet,or Kant. Examples of topics studied include (but again are not limited to)substance, causation, freedom, natural philosophy,education, the human being,the private and the public, or political authority. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span> https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=PHIL551301
PHIL 578-301 Topics in Political Phil: Topics in Justice Kok-Chor Tan T 03:30 PM-06:30 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 seminal and more recent works on the selected topics. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">Undergraduates Need Permission</span> https://pennintouchdaemon.apps.upenn.edu/pennInTouchProdDaemon/jsp/fast.do?webService=syllabus&term=2021C&course=PHIL578301
PHIL 700-301 Dissertation Workshop Daniel Singer TR 01:45 PM-03:15 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. <span class="penncourse-course-notes">For PhD Students Only</span>