Course Descriptions

Please refer to the UWM Schedule of Classes for each term before registering to confirm which classes are offered.

Spring 2020 Course Descriptions

Philosophy 101 – Introduction to Philosophy: Reflections on the Human Condition (3 units; U; HU)

LEC 001 T 5:00pm – 7:40 pm
Instructor:  Erich Jones

LEC 402 MW 10:00am – 10:50am
LEC 403 MW 12:00pm – 12:50pm
Instructor: Ágúst Magnússon, magnusso@uwm.edu

Enrollment in one of the large lectures (402 or 403) requires enrollment in a discussion section.

This course will serve as an introduction to philosophy, both as an academic discipline and as a way of life. No background in philosophy is required to take the course. We will examine key texts from the history of Western philosophy, examine modern philosophical developments such as feminist philosophy and existentialism, and examine non-Western philosophical traditions such as Zen Buddhism. We will discuss numerous philosophical topics, including the nature of good and evil, the immortality of the soul, and how to achieve happiness.

 

Philosophy 111 – Introduction to Logic – Critical Reasoning (HU; QLA and L&S Math Requirement)

LEC 001 MW 10:00am—11:50am
LEC 002 MW 12:00pm—12:50pm
LEC 201 ONLINE WEB
Instructor: Matthew Knachel, knachel@uwm.edu

Jointly offered with and counts as repeat of Math 111.

There’s an ancient view, still widely held, that what makes human beings special—what distinguishes us from the “beasts of the field”—is that we are rational. What does rationality consist in? That is a vexed question, but one possible response goes roughly like this: we manifest our rationality by engaging in certain activities, chief among them the activity of making claims and backing them up with reasons—that is, constructing arguments. This reasoning activity can be done well and it can be done badly—it can be done correctly or incorrectly. Logic is the discipline that aims to distinguish good reasoning from bad.

Since reasoning is central to all fields of study—indeed, since it’s arguably central to being human—the tools developed in logic are universally applicable. Anyone can benefit from studying logic by becoming a more self-aware, skillful reasoner.

It is possible to approach the study of logic more or less formally. A more formal approach abstracts from natural language and develops sophisticated artificial symbol-languages within which it’s possible precisely to identify the logically relevant features of arguments. This approach has many virtues, but it is only one among many, and it focuses on only one kind of argument (deductive). In this class, we explore a diverse collection of methods and principles for evaluating many different kinds of arguments. We take a very brief look at the formal techniques mentioned above, but spend most of our time studying arguments presented in natural language, as they occur in everyday reasoning.

 

Philosophy 204, Introduction to Asian Religions (3 units; U; HU)

LEC 401 MW 2:00pm – 2:50pm

Enrollment in large lecture 401 also requires enrollment in a discussion section
Instructor: Ágúst Magnússon, magnusso@uwm.edu

This course offers a philosophical exploration of the primary religious traditions of South Asia and China. We will examine teachings on the nature of reality, the nature of the divine, and the nature of the human self through the teachings of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Some of the primary questions we will explore in light of these traditions include: What is happiness and how do we achieve it? What is enlightenment? and What is the purpose of human existence? We will also look at the philosophical implications of specific spiritual practices such as meditation, yoga, and tai chi.

This is an introductory course and no previous experience in philosophy is required.

 

Philosophy 207, Religion and Science (3 units; U; HU)

LEC 001 MW 10:00am – 11:45am
Instructor: Miren Boehm, boehmm@uwm.edu

Can religion and science coexist with one another? Can they live in harmony? If one is superior, or more authoritative, must the inferior one die? To answer these questions, we need to know what science is, and what religion is. This is not an easy task. In this course, we take the following approach: we trace back the period in history when the two collide. This is the early modern period. This is the period when science as we know it is born. The challenge of science to religion concerns not any one particular doctrine, but it shakes the very foundation of religion, and it does so fundamentally by laying it bare to reason. We will study two world-altering revolutions in science: the Copernican revolution and the Darwinian revolution. And then we look at where we are now. After the collapse, what remains? In the 19th Century, Nietzsche famously declared God to be dead. If God is dead, if religion is dead, do humans lose something fundamentally human? Or is the Post-God human a being on a different branch of evolutionary history?

 

Philosophy 211, Elementary Logic (HU, QLB, L&S Formal Reasoning Requirement)

LEC 001 T 5:00pm—7:40pm
Instructor: Josiah Lopez-Wild

LEC 202 ONLINE WEB
Instructor: Matthew Knachel, knachel@uwm.edu

LEC 403 MW 11:00am – 11:50am
LEC 404 MW 1:00pm – 1:50pm
Instructor: Richard Tierney, rtierney@uwm.edu

Enrollment in one of the large lectures (403 or 404) requires enrollment in a discussion section.

Humans are reasoning animals, and logic is the study of the rules and principles of correct reasoning, the science of what follows from what. Logic know-how is a skill, one of the most important skills you will ever develop, both for your college and later career and for your everyday life. It teaches you how to analyze concepts, ideas, arguments, and break them down into their simplest components. You are then in a position to recognize the relationships between those components, to see how they are connected together (or not), and thereby to understand how and why one thing follows from another. At the same time, it teaches you how to construct ‘paths of reasoning’, how to get from one idea to another, how, for example, to determine what is the best course of action in a particular situation.

Apart from its application in virtually every field of study, the study of logic will help you develop your analytical and quantitative skills, your writing skills, your communication skills, and your day to day reasoning. You’ll become a better thinker and a better reasoner. You may not be aware that you are doing so, but you’re using logic now, and you’ll use it every day, for the rest of your life.

This is an introductory course in formal (symbolic) logic and does not presuppose any prior work in logic. There will be 3 exams and weekly homework assignments. The course satisfies General Education Humanities and QLB requirements. The course also satisfies the L&S Formal Reasoning Requirement for the B.A. degree. 

 

Philosophy 212, Modern Deductive Logic (3 units; U; HU)

LEC 001 TR 2:00pm—3:15pm
Instructor: Michael Liston, mnliston@uwm.edu

Prereq: grade C or better in Philos 211 (P).

The task of the first logic course – Philosophy 211 – was to develop a means for evaluating deductive arguments. This task involved the use of a formal language to express the logical structure of English sentences and the use of various formal techniques (truth tables, deductions, etc.) to evaluate arguments. Once an English argument was translated into the formal language, formal techniques were used to solve an apparently informal problem, i.e., the problem of finding out whether it is possible for the conclusion of an argument to be false while all its premises are true. In Philosophy 212 we will continue this inquiry into the evaluation of deductive arguments. We will concentrate on two central areas. First, we will deal with English statements and arguments that require a more expressively powerful formal language than that studied in most of Philosophy 211. Second, we will address the issue of the adequacy of some formal systems developed for that language. We will develop explicit definitions of validity and proof and use them to investigate, via informal reasoning, what can be achieved by a deductive system – i.e., the scope and limits of deductive logic. Philosophy 211 with a grade of ‘C’ or better is a prerequisite for this class.

 

Philosophy 232: Topics in Philosophy: Existentialism

(3 units; U; HU)

LEC 001 TR 9:30am-10:45am
Instructor: William Bristow, bristbow@uwm.edu

May be retaken w/chg in topic to 6 cr max. Prereq: none.

How should we think of the meaning of our lives in the face of the unavoidable facts that we die and that we are free to choose the stance we take to our own existence? This question is at the heart of the exploration of the human condition in the existentialist tradition. Existentialist thinkers battle against a common set of threats in the modern western world: meaninglessness, nihilism, despair, pessimism, self-loss in “inauthenticity” or “conformity”. Though existentialist thinkers interpret the human predicament in similar ways, they provide radically different “solutions”. While some present religious faith as the answer (Søren Kierkegaard, Leo Tolstoy), others represent religious faith as part of the problem and radical atheism as part of the answer (Albert Camus, Jean-Paul Sartre). This course is an introduction to the varieties of existentialist interpretation of the human condition through study of both philosophical and artistic works. We will read literary and philosophical works of some of the main twentieth century French existentialists, such as Jean-Paul Sartre and Albert Camus. We will also read texts by Friedrich Nietzsche and Kierkegaard, who provide some of the philosophical foundations of existentialism. We will also study two existentialist films (one each by Jean-Luc Godard and Ingmar Bergman), since film has been an especially rich medium for the investigation of existentialist themes.

 

Philosophy 235: Philosophical Aspects of Feminism (3 units; U; HU)

LEC 001 TR 12:30pm – 1:45pm
Instructor: Elizabeth Silverstein, silvers2@uwm.edu

In this course we will explore a variety of topics concerning feminism, the oppression of women, and the politics of gender in contemporary society. We will approach these topics from a philosophical perspective and will pay close attention to both conceptual and normative issues. The course will begin with a survey of important traditional philosophical works advocating for feminist positions. We will read about and discuss issues such as the social construction of gender and of the self; the nature of autonomy; feminist epistemology; and the impact of race, class, and sexual orientation on women’s lives. We will also explore philosophical questions that arise in contemporary debates around specific feminist issues.

  

Philosophy 237: Technology, Values, and Society (3 units; U; HU)

LEC 001 TR 11:00am-12:15pm
Instructor: Elizabeth Silverstein, silvers2@uwm.edu

Technology has an impact on nearly every aspect of our lives. We live with laptops, cell phones, and tablets that connect us instantly and constantly to people all around the world and masses of information. At the same time this unprecedented access to people and information can alienate us from our immediate surroundings as we walk through the world with our eyes and fingers glued to our favorite devices. In this course we will start by thinking about how technology changes the way we experience our world. We will focus on the ways technology enhances the human experience, in what ways it alienates us from ourselves and our environment, and how it is changing what it means to be a person. The ethical implications of our evolving dependence on technology will be debated and discussed. We will then look at specific moral problems related to technology and its impact on our lives including issues related to information technology, the environment, and human health including the potential impact of genetic enhancement and cloning. 

 

Philosophy 241, Introductory Ethics (3 units; U; HU)

LEC 401 MW 1:00pm-1:50pm
Instructor: Nataliya Palatnik, palatnik@uwm.edu

Enrollment in the large lecture (401) also requires enrollment in a discussion section.

Most people agree that morality involves standards that should be taken seriously in guiding conduct and assessing our claims against others. Yet various moral philosophers have offered very different accounts of what morality is and why we should care about it. We will study four basic philosophical approaches to morality and consider how they have shaped the history of ethical thought as well as their influence on moral philosophy today. We will first consider ethical rationalism, which takes moral principles to describe an independent order of values fixed in the nature of things, and the ideal-spectator approach, which takes morally wrong actions to be those an impartial sympathetic observer would disapprove of. We will then turn to Immanuel Kant’s moral philosophy, which grounds morality in rational principles which all reasonable agents possess in common in virtue of their status as rational beings, and contractualism, according to which the correct moral principles are those which would be agreed to by all reasonable beings as a basis for their community. We shall see how these basic approaches get reflected in theories of social and economic justice.

 

Philosophy 243, Moral Problems (1 units; U; HU)

LEC 201 ONLINE WEB:  Abortion
LEC 202 ONLINE WEB:  Animal Rights
LEC 203 ONLINE WEB:  Global Poverty
Instructor: Miren Boehm, boehmm@uwm.edu

ABORTION

Is it morally right to abort a fetus? Does the answer to this question depend on whether or not the fetus is a person? What is a person anyway? Does a person have a right to life? And what rights does the mother have to determine her life? What does religion have to say about abortion? What does the law say? How is the question to be considered from a moral or ethical point of view? Does feminism have a particular point of view on the question of the morality of abortion? We will spend the next five weeks addressing these central questions.

ANIMAL RIGHTS

We coexist on this planet with other animals, most of whom were here before we “arrived.” Homo sapiens has developed a system of legal rights that, at least in principle, protects members of the species from certain harms. We believe that each member of the Homo Sapiens species has the right to “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”. What about other animals? May we do with them as we please? As a matter of fact, we do. We eat them; we trapped them in farms; we separate parents from their offspring; we experiment on them; we kill them for our entrainment. Should these animals enjoy any legal protections? As far as we know, animals are not intelligent, at least not in the way we are. But most of us believe that they do possess the capacity to suffer, and indeed, that human action causes them a great deal of suffering. Do we have any moral obligations towards other animals? In this class, we consider these questions from three fundamental philosophical perspectives: Aristotelian, Utilitarian and Kantian.

GLOBAL POVERTY

This course raises some fundamental questions regarding the nature of our relation to the less fortunate and to the victims of discrimination. It raises questions about my individual obligations to others and our collective obligations to others. We shall examine and question our conceptual, moral schemas, starting with our distinction between obligations and duties versus charity. We discuss the topics of the distribution of responsibilities in a world swamped in suffering, the population problem, the problem of gender inequalities across the world, and the rights of individuals in the global community.

  

Philosophy 244, Ethical Issues in Health Care: Contemporary Problems (3 units; U; HU)

LEC 001 R 5:00pm-7:40pm
Instructor: Kristen Tym, tymk@uwm.edu

Retakable w/chg in topic to 6 cr max.

In this course, students will explore the critical ethical issues facing health care professionals, policy makers, advocates and patients as part of their encounters with the health care delivery system in the U.S. Students will engage in large and small group discussion and learning activities in order to understand the philosophical foundation of ethics and moral decision making and then apply ethical theory and principles to some of the most controversial and important issues in health care today. Issues students will consider include informed consent and confidentiality in health care; treatment decision making and futility; euthanasia and assisted suicide; assisted reproduction and stem cell research; genetic testing and screening; and, allocation of scarce health care resources. After completing this course, students will be well-equipped to look critically at a controversy in health care, analyze the complex ethical issues involved and identify practical solutions.

 

Philosophy 244, Ethical Issues in Health Care: Biomedical Ethics (3 units; U; HU)

LEC 202 ONLINE
Instructor: Elizabeth Silverstein, silvers2@uwm.edu

Retakable w/chg in topic to 6 cr max.

In this course we will begin by overviewing the ethical theories that shape our answers to serious ethical dilemmas. In this part of the course we will first introduce philosophical moral theories, and look more closely at theories that apply particularly in biomedical ethics, and finally introduce and develop an understanding of the concept of autonomy and how it relates to issues in biomedical ethics, paying particularly close attention to how different social and cultural factors effect health care interactions. The course will be framed around issues of autonomy and especially on the autonomy of traditionally vulnerable populations. For the second half of the course we will apply these theories to particular moral dilemmas currently confronting health care providers, patients and their families, and society at large. These topics will include issues related to death and dying, pregnancy and birth, genetic testing and therapies, health care allocation, and research ethics. We will be particularly solicitous of issues that pertain to the health care issues of diverse populations and those that historically socially disadvantaged.

 

Philosophy 253, Philosophy of the Arts (3 units; U; HU)

LEC 201 ONLINE
Instructor: Michelle Mahlik

Prereq: none

This course will explore philosophical issues related to art and beauty.

  • When we refer to a sunset or a statue as “beautiful,” what do we mean? Must an artwork be beautiful to be considered a “good” work of art? Is natural beauty different than constructed beauty? How is beauty related to truth and morality?
  • Is the purpose of art to express an artist’s feelings, to evoke feelings from an audience, to make a statement, or is art simply valuable for its own sake?
  • What characteristics must an object possess in order to be considered a work of art? In other words, can a natural object like a bit of driftwood, or a found object like a screwdriver, be considered a work of art if it is placed on a pedestal in an art museum?
  • Is it possible to make evaluative judgments about art that are not simply matters of personal taste?
  • Is art of vital importance to the individual and society, or is art merely a form of superficial pleasure?
  • How does technology affect our experience of art, and the value of it? Will new discoveries in neuroaesthetics improve our understanding of our reactions to beauty and art?

In this course, we will consider these questions and the answers provided by a variety of philosophers, both ancient and modern. No previous experience with art or philosophy is required.

  

Philosophy 303, Mind and Knowledge (3 units; U/G HU)

LEC 001, MW 11:00am – 12:15pm
Instructor: Peter van Elswyk, vanelswy@uwm.edu

Prereq: jr st; Philos 101 (P) or 215 (P).

This course is about knowledge: what it is, why it is valuable, and how to acquire it. Much of our information is testimonial—it is mediated through others. We rely on experts, the internet, and others we trust to learn what we cannot see for ourselves. This course will therefore give special attention to understanding how we gain knowledge through testimony.  

 

Philosophy 349, Great Moral Philosophers (3 units; U/G)

LEC 001 TR 3:30pm-4:45pm
Instructor: Stanislaus Husi, husi@uwm.edu

Prereq: jr st; & 3 cr in philos

In this course we are going to look into four quite different visions of what ethics and social justice are all about, presented by four giants of moral philosophy, Plato, Hobbes, Kant, and Mill. Each philosopher presents a different ideal of agency, a first one looking beyond the appearances and oriented towards an abstract form of the good, a second one a rational calculator of self-interest in the search of social stability and security, a third one taking his departure from his self-conception as a free and autonomous agent, and a fourth one seeking to fully realize human happiness and capacities. All four authors have developed intricate philosophical systems, and none is easy to read, yet, as William James encourages us, “any author is easy if you can catch the center of his vision.” In this course we aim our focus at the center of the four different visions, using the contrast between them to sharpen the contours of each. The main readings are going to be drawn from Plato’s ‘Republic’, Hobbes ‘Leviathan’, Kant’s ‘Groundwork’, and Mill’s two essays ‘Utilitarianism’ and ‘On Liberty’. 

 

Philosophy 358, Action, Will, and Freedom

LEC 001, MW 2:00pm – 3:15pm
Instructor: Joshua Spencer, spence48@uwm.edu

Prereq: jr st; & 3 cr in philos; or grad st.

Various outside forces seem to put constraints on our actions. In addition to social rules or laws, which exert pressure to behave in certain ways, there are also constraints that come from physical laws, biological make-up, upbringing, and maybe even divine knowledge of our future actions. In this course we will investigate various constraints on our actions and determine whether and to what extent those constraints limit our free will. Along the way, we will formulate and evaluate different theories of determinism and free will. We will think about incompatibilist theories, according to which we cannot be free when we are determined, and compatibilist theories that allow for free will even in deterministic situations.

 

Philosophy 384, The Philosophy of Law (3 units; U/G)

LEC 001 TR 11:00am—12:15pm
Instructor: Stan Husi, husi@uwm.edu

Prereq: jr st; 3 cr in philos or previous course in political theory of law studies recommended.

Philos 384 and Pol Sci 384 are jointly offered; they count as repeats of one another.

In this course we will examine fundamental issues in the philosophy of law, including, among other things, the nature and content of law, the relationship between law and morality, the obligation to obey the law, and the justification of punishment. Readings will be drawn from both historical and contemporary sources.

  

Philosophy 432, Great Thinkers of the Modern Period (3 units; U/G)

LEC 001 TR 12:30pm – 1:45pm
Instructor: William Bristow, bristow@uwm.edu

Prereq: jr st & 3 cr in philos

The modern world-view of the West takes shape in the 17th and 18th centuries, with the rise of modern science and the social, political and religious revolutions of the time. In this course, we study great European thinkers of this period who played a significant role in shaping the modern world-view. We will study classic works from Rene Descartes, Baruch Spinoza, John Locke, George Berkeley, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, and Mary Wollstonecraft. Issues we will discuss are: What is ultimately real? Is reality one or many? Is there a God? Are there souls? What is the nature of the self or of the thinking thing? Are there both immaterial and material things, or is material reality the only kind of reality? How do human beings fit into the grand scheme of things? Are humans free or not? What is the relation of the sexes to each other? How can we know the answer to these and other philosophical questions? Or can we know the answers at all? 

 

Philosophy 519, Special Problems in Metaphysics and Epistemology: Composition & Metaphysical Explanation

 (3 units; U/G)

LEC 001, M 5:00pm – 7:40pm
Instructor: Joshua Spencer, spence48@uwm.edu

Notes: May be retaken w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prereq: jr st; & 3 cr in philos

Mereology is the study of parts and wholes. Mereologists ask questions like the following: When is an object part of a whole? When do some objects together compose a whole? And when does an object fail to have any parts at all? Meta-mereology is a subfield of meta-philosophy that asks questions about the study of mereology itself. Meta-mereologists might ask questions like the following. What exactly are we asking when we ask questions about parthood? How should we go about answering questions about parthood? How can we come to know when one thing is a part of another? And are the questions of mereology meaningful or deep in the first place? In this course, we will be studying meta-mereology. We will first be introduced to the first-order disputes in mereology and then we will focus on the second-order questions of meta-mereology.

 

Philosophy 562, Special Topics in Ethics and Social and Political Philosophy: Public Reason and the Pursuit of Justice

(3 units; U/G)

LEC 001 TR 3:30pm—4:45pm
Instructor: Blain Neufeld, neufeld@uwm.edu

May be taken w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prereq: jr st & 3 cr in philos.

Citizens in contemporary societies endorse a plurality of religious, moral, and philosophical doctrines. This pluralism cannot be eliminated without the exercise of politically oppressive power—something that liberalism’s principle of toleration rules out. Yet accommodating this pluralism seems to threaten the ideal of consensual democratic decision-making. This is because decisions regarding deeply contested political issues—for instance, what the laws should be concerning abortion, education, or physician-assisted suicide—seem to involve citizens imposing political positions drawn from their respective religious, moral, and philosophical doctrines upon one another. In recent decades, however, the idea of ‘public reason’ has been developed to explain how citizens within pluralist societies can make mutually acceptable political decisions. The idea of public reason thus purports to harmonize the principle of liberal toleration with the ideal of democratic self-government.

This course will explore John Rawls’s influential ‘political liberal’ account of public reason. According Rawls and other political liberals, public reasons are reasons that reasonable citizens agree should be used to decide fundamental political questions. By means of public reasoning, all reasonable citizens can become politically autonomous. We also will consider the ‘convergence’ account of public justification that has been developed in recent years by Gerald Gaus and his students. According to the convergence account of public justification, the reasons that citizens should use to decide political questions need not be acceptable to all so long as those reasons converge in support of common political decisions.

The implications of Rawlsian public reason and Gausian convergence justification for thinking about political justice will be considered. Whereas the political liberal account of public reasoning aims to support egalitarian conceptions of justice—indeed, it developed out of Rawls’s concern with the realization of his conception of ‘justice as fairness’ under conditions of reasonable pluralism—the convergence account of public justification purportedly ‘tilts’ towards classical liberalism. One criticism that the course will address is that the ideas of public reason and convergence justification—because they attempt to accommodate different ‘reasonable’ views—unduly constrain or thwart the pursuit of justice. We also will consider feminist objections to both public reason and convergence justification, and recent attempts to formulate a ‘political liberal feminism.’ Should time permit, the educational implications of the idea of public reason will be discussed.

 

Philosophy 681, Seminar in Advanced Topics: Speech Act Theory (3 units; U/G)

LEC 001 M 2:00pm—4:40pm
Instructor: Peter van Elswyk, vanelswy@uwm.edu

May be retaken w/chg in topic to 9 cr max.  Prereq: sr st & 12 cr in philos at 300-level or above; or grad st.

Language equips us to perform many actions. By using a sentence, for example, we can promise or command. But it is puzzling how uttering a string of words can change what we morally ought to do. This philosophy of language course will explore that and related puzzles by considering historical and contemporary literature on the nature of speech acts.

 

Philosophy 712, Fundamentals of Formal Logic (3 units; G)

LEC 001 TR 2:00pm—3:15pm
Instructor: Michael Liston, mnliston@uwm.edu

Prereq: grad st.

We will work through standard soundness, completeness, and other metatheoretic results for first order logic in tandem with the Philosophy 212 class. (See Philosophy 212 course description.) As individual special projects under my supervision, students will also look at some extensions of, and/or alternatives to, the basic framework of first order logic, e.g., modal logic/paraconsistent logic. The goal here is to gain a familiarity with enough logic to be able to follow, and participate in, philosophical discussions that take such familiarity for granted.

 

Philosophy 758, Seminar in Major Philosophers:

Themes from Putnam  (3 units: G)

SEM 001 R 4:00pm – 6:40pm
Instructor: Michael Liston, mnliston@uwm.edu

Retakeable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prerq: grad st; cons instr.

Hilary Putnam (1926-2016) was a major analytic philosopher of the second half of the 20th century.  His work bridged the period from late logical positivism to today and helped to shape much of the current philosophical landscape.  He made important contributions in a variety of areas: mind, language, science, mathematics, and logic.  Underlying his work in all of these areas is a commitment to realism, which he developed in reaction to the antirealism he found in logical positivism.  One fascinating feature of the development of Putnam’s thinking over the years is the way his views about the commitments of realism evolved through metaphysical, Kantian, ordinary, and increasingly pragmatist stages, so that he often became the greatest critic of his earlier self.  In this course, we will explore a few themes (to be selected by participants) from a few of these areas and how Putnam’s (and his critics’) thinking about them evolved over the course of his career.

 

Philosophy 941, Seminar in Ethics and Social and Political Philosophy: Kant’s and Kantian Practical Thought (3 units; G)

SEM 001 W 4:00pm—6:40pm
Instructor: Nataliya Palatnik, palatnik@uwm.edu

Retakeable w/chg in topic to 9 cr max. Prereq: grad st & cons instr.

This course will be an in-depth study of Kant’s and Kantian practical thought. A large part of the course will be devoted to careful reading of Kant’s own key texts on moral philosophy, focusing in particular, on the Critique of Practical Reason, supplemented by selections from the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, the Critique of Pure ReasonThe Metaphysics of MoralsReligion within the Boundaries of Mere Reason, and other works. Special attention will be paid to Kant’s conception of practical agency, his justification of morality and freedom, and his moral psychology. We will then consider some important recent works in Kantian ethical theory, including papers and book chapters by Onora O’Neill, Christine Korsgaard, Barbara Herman, Thomas Hill, Allen Wood, Tamar Shapiro, and others.