Fall 2023 Courses

Jump to Fall 2023 Graduate Courses

Fall 2023 Courses

101-1: Introduction to Philosophy

9:55am – 10:45am MWF
Larry Shapiro

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to philosophical questions and to the strategies that philosophers use to address these questions.  Philosophical questions are peculiar: unlike scientific questions, their solution typically does not depend on the collection of empirical data; unlike mathematical questions, there are no formulae that are guaranteed to produce a correct answer to them. An adequate answer to a philosophical question requires an argument, and so it is upon arguments that we will focus in this course. We will consider philosophical questions, such as “What, if anything, can we know about the world?,” “Do you have free will?,” “Are you the same person now as the person who was born eighteen years ago?,” “Do your intentions matter to the morality of your actions?,” and “Is abortion morally permissible?”.  We will then examine some classical answers to these questions and will evaluate them critically. Graded assignments include exams and possibly some short papers. Attendance and participation will also factor into your final grade.

101-2: Introduction to Philosophy

12:05pm – 12:55pm MWF
Arun Baxter

In this course, you will gain a sense of what philosophy is, what it is good for, and how it is done. We will proceed by considering answers to philosophical questions like the following: What, if anything, makes me at 41 years old the same person I was when I was 16? Do I have an immortal soul? If death is the total and permanent annihilation of my existence, what attitude should I have towards it? Do I have free will? Does God exist? What is knowledge and what can be known? What kinds of actions are morally right and morally wrong? Is there even an objective morality? Is my life meaningful? Is it better to exist or not to exist? We will be reading a mixture of historical and contemporary sources. As will soon become clear, much of philosophy consists in formulating and evaluating arguments. Assuming you do the work, you can expect to emerge from this class with improved analytical skills and with an understanding of some fundamental philosophical issues.

101-3: Introduction to Philosophy

1:00pm – 2:15pm TR
Casey Rufener

An introduction to some of the major problems and methods of philosophy. We will start by inquiring about belief and testimony. Does free speech make society better? What’s wrong with conspiracy theories? We will then turn to the specific question of whether we should believe in God by surveying some of the most influential arguments for and against God’s existence. We will then consider questions about the metaphysics of persons. What makes me the same person over time? Do I have free will? Could an AI be a person? We will conclude by considering questions of ethics. What makes something right or wrong? Is it relative to a culture? Is it ever moral to disobey the law? To answer these questions, we will focus on various philosophical skills, such as argument reconstruction and thought experimentation. Discussion is highly encouraged!

101-4: Introduction to Philosophy

9:55am – 10:45am MWF
Instructor: Michael Bruckner

Introduction to various philosophical questions and to the strategies that philosophers use to address these.

101-5: Introduction to Philosophy

12:05pm – 12:55pm MWF
Instructor: Hunter Gentry

Introduction to various philosophical questions and to the strategies that philosophers use to address these.

101-6: Introduction to Philosophy

2:30pm – 3:45pm TR
Instructor: Lukas Myers

Introduction to various philosophical questions and to the strategies that philosophers use to address these.

104-1:Spec Topics in Philosophy for Freshmen

9:55am – 10:45am MWF
FIG and Honors-only
Steven Nadler

In one of Plato’s early dialogues, the Apology, the seventy-year old Socrates stands before the Athenian jury that is about to condemn him to death and defends the life he has led. In one of the most famous sayings in the history of philosophy, he tells his judges, who were annoyed by his constantly questioning the values and beliefs of his fellow citizens, that “the unexamined life is not worth living”. But what exactly is it to lead an “examined life”? What are the things that are supposed to be “examined” in such a life, and how are we supposed to examine them?  And how do you know whether or not you are truly leading an examined life?

What Socrates was in fact describing was a new conception of wisdom. The wise person is not just someone who knows a lot or has lived a long life full of experiences or has some highly specialized skill. The wise person knows what it is to live a goodlife, a life in which one flourishes not just in this or that way but as a human being. The wise person has reflected on what makes life meaningful and what values inform the best kind of life.

In this FIG seminar, we will look closely at what Socrates had in mind—and, more generally, at what philosophy is all about and the different ways of investigating the values that can inform a person’s life, especially the best kind of life for a human being. There is no better way to do this than by studying some of history’s greatest philosophers as they inquire into the nature of wisdom, goodness, truth, and other values that determine how we are to lead our lives. We will read Plato, Aristotle, Pascal, Hume, Kant, Sartre, and others (including some writings by contemporary philosophers). Among the questions we will discuss are:

  • What is wisdom? How does it differ from ordinary knowledge?
  • Is there such a thing as thegood life, a life that is best for human beings?
  • What is the relationship between being good and being happy?
  • What makes an action the morally “right” thing to do?
  • Do we, as citizens, have an obligation to obey the state when it commands us to do (or not do) certain things?
  • What is friendship? Why is it important for a good life?
  • What is truth? Are there different ways in which a belief or a way of thinking about things is true?
  • What is the nature of religious faith? What difference might the belief in God make in a person’s life?

In addition to the “philosophers” being read in this seminar, we will also call upon the works studied in the courses linked with this FIG and examine their various approaches to these questions. Especially important will be our relationship with a companion FIG seminar, “Wisdom and the Good Life: Historical Perspectives”, led by Professor Jennifer Ratner-Rosenhagen (Department of History). We will meet several times over the course of the semester with Professor Ratner-Rosenhagen’s seminar to compare our different approaches and reflect on the various ways to conceive of wisdom.

104-2:Spec Topics in Philosophy for Freshmen

Topic:Philosophy and Natural Sciences
11:00pm – 12:15pm TR
Farid Masrour

For many centuries, philosophers have asked questions such as what kind of things exists in the world; is the mind only a material thing; are there moral rights or wrongs; do we have free will; what is the meaning of life? Suppose you think that scientific methods are the best general methods for determining what is true and what is false. Does this mean that you should answer these philosophical questions in a specific way? Many scientists and scientifically-minded philosophers assume that the answer is Yes. For example, they think that scientific thinking demands that you believe that only physical things exist, that we do not have free will, or that there are no moral values. The goal of this course is to examine these assumptions. We will focus on some of these philosophical questions, survey some of the answers that philosophers have given to these questions and discuss which answers fit our sciences well, if any.

210-1: Reason in Communication

11:00am – 11:50am MWF
John Mackay

This class is an introduction to the study of argument and critical thinking. We will examine arguments in various everyday contexts but with particular emphasis on communication in mass media. The class will aim to develop skills is analyzing, assessing, and critiquing arguments and argumentative rhetoric.

211-1: Elementary Logic

12:05pm – 12:55pm MWF
Peter Vranas

A hotel manager put up a sign reading: “No one is permitted on these premises unless accompanied by a registered guest”. Apparently, the manager failed to realize that from the statement on the sign it follows that no unaccompanied registered guest is permitted on the premises! In general, the question of which statements follow from other statements is quite tricky. This course addresses this tricky question by (1) introducing a symbolic language into which one can translate a great many ordinary English sentences and almost all mathematical sentences, and by (2) using an automated proof procedure to show that certain sentences follow from other sentences.

211-2: Elementary Logic

11:00am – 12:15pm TR
Michael Titelbaum

Suppose I say, “If no one moved the cheese since last night, it’s in the fridge. If I didn’t move the cheese, then no one did. I didn’t move the cheese. So it’s still in the fridge.” This argument concerning the whereabouts of the cheese contains some premises followed by a conclusion. The argument is structured so that if the premises are true, the conclusion must be true as well. In this course we will represent arguments in symbols to reveal their structure, then study argumentative structures that guarantee a true conclusion from true premises. We will also learn how to prove that an argument with a particular structure is valid. The techniques we will learn are necessary for every area of contemporary philosophy, and are relevant to areas of economics, mathematics, computer science, rhetoric, and the law.

211-3: Elementary Logic

11:00pm – 11:50am MWF
Bruno Whittle

Logic is the study of arguments. An argument, in this sense, is a bit of reasoning, that starts from certain assumptions, and extracts some piece of information from these. For example: Helen is a bear; all bears gamble; therefore, Helen gambles. There are two things that we can ask about an argument. (a) Are the starting points true? And (b) does the end point really follow from these? We will focus on (b). (Your other classes should all, in one way or another, help you with (a).) We will learn some general techniques for determining whether a claim follows from some others. These will allow us to evaluate arguments regardless of their subject matter—be it chemistry, politics, or where to go for dinner. We will use a precise artificial language that allows perspicuous representations of natural language arguments, and that also allows rigorous methods for determining what follows from what.

220-1:Philosophy and the Sciences

11:00am – 11:50am MWF
Instructor: Aja Watkins

This course provides a broad introduction to the philosophy of science. Students will come to understand major topics and debates in the history of philosophy of science. Additionally, students will get a sense for contemporary philosophy of science, by looking at some interesting, fun, and important papers in philosophy of sciences like biology, climate science, and paleontology. Students should come away from the course able to articulate key positions in philosophy of science and apply these issues to science they encounter in their daily lives.

241-1:Introductory Ethics (Fulfills Category B)

9:55am – 10:45am MWF
Emily Fletcher

In this course we will investigate the ethical dimension of human life. What makes an action right or wrong? What obligations do we have to other people or the community and what do we do when these obligations conflict? What makes someone a good or bad person? How do we make ethical judgments and can they be objective? We will examine three historically important theoretical approaches to ethics (virtue ethics, utilitarianism and Kantian ethics), as well as objections that have been raised against each of them.

241-2:Introductory Ethics (Fulfills Category B)

1:00pm – 2:15pm TR
Russ Shafer-Landau

Nature of moral problems and of ethical theory, varieties of moral skepticism, practical ethics and the evaluation of social institutions. Prerequisites: Sophomore Status.

241-3:Introductory Ethics (Fulfills Category B)

11:00am – 11:50am MWF
Instructor: Hubert Marciniec

Nature of moral problems and of ethical theory, varieties of moral skepticism, practical ethics and the evaluation of social institutions. Prerequisites: Sophomore Status.

241-4:Introductory Ethics (Fulfills Category B)

2:30pm – 3:45pm  TR
Instructor: Katie Deaven

Nature of moral problems and of ethical theory, varieties of moral skepticism, practical ethics and the evaluation of social institutions. Prerequisites: Sophomore Status.

243-1:Ethics in Business

8:50am –9:40am MWF
Joel Ballivian

Case studies of moral issues in business; types or reasons appealed to for settlement.

243-2:Ethics in Business

4:00pm –5:15 pm MW
James Goodrich

Case studies of moral issues in business; types or reasons appealed to for settlement.

243-3:Ethics in Business

1:00pm –2:15 pm TR
Patrick Cronin

Case studies of moral issues in business; types or reasons appealed to for settlement.

304-1:Topics in Philosophy: Humanities

TOPIC: The Wisconsin Idea
6:00pm – 7:15pm T
Harry Brighouse

The Wisconsin Idea is simple: the University should contribute to the good of society far beyond the boundaries of the campus. This course will examine this Idea. There will be two components. Every Tuesday evening students will attend a public lecture given by a guest speaker focusing on some aspect of the responsibilities of the university. During the Wednesday meeting we shall discuss ethical questions about higher education; our discussions will respond to a combination of philosophical and social scientific literature about the role of higher education in contemporary societies. The Wednesday sessions will be discussion based and highly participatory.

341-2:Contemporary Moral Issues

12:05pm -12:55pm MWF
Instructor: Stephanie Hoffmann

This course examines several topics in applied ethics through the lens of feminist philosophy, including sex ethics, data ethics, bioethics, and environmental ethics. All of these topics are contentious, and students will come to learn to articulate the various views and arguments for/against those views on each subject, as well as develop their own views on these topics.

341-3:Contemporary Moral Issues

1:00pm – 2:15pm TR
Annette Zimmermann

A philosophical study of some of the major moral issue in contemporary society, such as those concerning abortion, euthanasia, punishment, property, politics, sex, nuclear disarmament, and world hunger.

341-4:Contemporary Moral Issues

11:00am – 11:50am MWF
Instructor: Danielle Clevenger

A philosophical study of some of the major moral issue in contemporary society, such as those concerning abortion, euthanasia, punishment, property, politics, sex, nuclear disarmament, and world hunger.

341-5:Contemporary Moral Issues

9:55am – 10:45am MWF
Instructor: Jonathon Vandenhombergh

A philosophical study of some of the major moral issue in contemporary society, such as those concerning abortion, euthanasia, punishment, property, politics, sex, nuclear disarmament, and world hunger.

341:     Contemporary Moral Issues (Fulfills Comm B)

A philosophical study of some of the major moral issue in contemporary society, such as those concerning abortion, euthanasia, punishment, property, politics, sex, nuclear disarmament, and world hunger.

Lec. 91            8:50 – 9:40    MTWR
Lec. 92            9:55 – 10:45   MTWR
Lec. 93            11:00 – 11:50 MTWR
Lec. 94            12:05 – 12:55 MTWR
Lec. 95            9:55 –  12:45  MTWR

430-1: History of Ancient Philosophy

11:00am – 11:50am MWF
Paula Gottlieb

Metaphysics and Epistemology in Ancient Greek Philosophy: From Thales to Aristotle

Unscrupulous politicians, democracy in peril, foreign interference, fake information, and the plague. Welcome to Athens in the fifth century BCE!  The philosopher Socrates, who lived in such turbulent times, said that the unexamined life is not worth living, and his most famous follower, Plato, argued that the examined life requires consideration of what we can know (epistemology) and what exists (metaphysics).  In this class we’ll be studying in depth and with close attention to the texts, Plato’s, Aristotle’s and earlier philosophers’ attempts to answer the following questions:  What sorts of things are there in the world?  Is a world of change consistent with a world of enduring objects?  What would be a satisfactory account of unity and diversity? What sort of knowledge, if any, can we have of the world in which we live?  Why are reason and logic important?  Why become a philosopher and what is the difference between the philosopher and the sophist?

Good participation in section is required.  There will also be tutorials. Class participants will be asked to write a series of 1500-word essays answering specific and challenging questions on assigned texts or particular topics. They will then come in pairs to see the instructor for an hour or so, during which time they will read out and discuss their work. Grades will be assigned to the written work. The point of the tutorial is purely educational and fun.

432-1: History of Modern Philosophy

9:55am – 10:45am MWF
James Messina

We will be reading selections from the works of a number of 17th and 18th century philosophers: René Descartes, Princess Elisabeth, Baruch Spinoza, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, Lady Masham, Isaac Newton, John Locke, George Berkeley, Émilie du Châtelet, David Hume, and Immanuel Kant. These thinkers explore, among other things, knowledge and its limits; the nature of matter, space, time and force; the mind and its relationship to the body; causation; substance; free will and free action; the existence and nature of God; the perfection/imperfection of the world and humans; the prospect of an afterlife; and the nature of organisms. They develop their views in dialogue with one another, and with an eye towards science (whose foundations and implications they probe) as well as religion. Though their philosophical views often diverge widely from one another and sometimes from common sense, they helped to shape philosophy as it is practiced today.

440-1: Existentialism

11:00am – 11:50am MWF
Henry Southgate

Feeling like life is absurd, that existence is meaningless? Worried that you aren’t living authentically? Then a course in Existentialism is just what you need. Study the classic texts of this intellectual movement that expressed despondency about Western civilization, its decadence, and its values, and that explored the implications of the concept of freedom for the nature of the self and the meaning of life. Along the way you’ll meet the likes of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus, and De Beauvoir.

503-1: Theory of Knowledge (Fulfills Category A)

1:20pm – 2:10pm  MWF
Instructor: James Messina

A survey of problems concerning the nature, sources, and limits of human knowledge, including such topics as skepticism, the concept of knowledge, sensory perception, evidence, justified belief, induction.

534-1:Ethics and the Brain

11:00am – 12:15pm TR
Karola Kreitmair

In-depth analysis of ethical issues arising from the practices and advances of brain science in clinical, research, legal, and consumer contexts. Includes a foundation in ethical theory and philosophical methodology.

541-1:Modern Ethical Theories (Fulfills Category B)

9:30am – 10:45am TR
Annette Zimmermann

This course is an advanced, discussion-heavy introduction to contemporary thinking in ethical theory. We begin by focusing on a number of important general problems in moral philosophy, including the debate between moral relativists and moral realists, as well as various issues with ethical reasoning and ethical action. Second, it is impossible to understand the concerns of contemporary ethicists without some understanding of the two main kinds of ethical theory developed in the 18th and 19th centuries, consequentialism and deontology, so we spend some time looking at the most important developers of the variants of these kinds of theory, Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill. We also spend some time discussing virtue ethics. Third, we turn our attention to some more recent and applied ethical problems, such as happiness, desire, and the good life, as well as recent philosophical debates surrounding wrongdoing, hypocrisy, and blame.

549-1:Great Moral Philosophers (Fulfills Category B)

2:30pm – 3:45pm TR
Russ Shafer-Landau

This course will consider a number of central moral questions–what is the nature of human flourishing? What is the ultimate standard of rightness? Where does morality come from?–as they are addressed in classic texts by Plato, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Mill, and a handful of 20th century thinkers.

551-1:Philosophy of the Mind (Fulfills Category A)

11:00am – 12:15pm TR
Jesse Steinberg

Nature of mind (mental states such as thinking and feeling) and its relation to physical states, with emphasis on recent advances in philosophy and psychology.

555-1:Political Philosophy (Fulfills Category B)

11:00am – 12:15pm TR
Harry Brighouse

This course is an advanced introduction to political philosophy as it is practiced today.We shall look at leading contemporary theories of distributive justice, such as egalitarian liberalism and libertarianism, and shall explore contemporary issues of interest to political philosophers, such as the rights and responsibilities of victims of injustice, justice and the family, justice in the education system, and how justice matters for personal and intimate relationships.

560-1: Metaphysics (Fulfills Category A)

4:00pm – 5:15pm TR
Annina Loets

This class is an advanced introduction to central debates in contemporary metaphysics. Taking as a starting point questions many will have asked themselves before—What am I? What is my place in the world? What is the world?—we’ll explore questions that might at first appear more removed: What are ordinary objects? Are there things that don’t exist? What are properties? What is the nature of time? What is it to change? What is it to cause a change? Is freedom possible in a world governed by laws of nature? What is possibility? Overall the aim will be to make progress on the big questions by answering the more removed questions.

562-1:  Special Topics in Metaphysics

Topic:  Time Travel
11:00am – 11:50am MWF
Peter Vranas

If you believe that time travel is a frivolous topic, good for science fiction but not for rigorous scientific or philosophical investigation, think again. The physical possibility of time machines has recently become the subject of an active debate in leading physics journals. Concurrently, the philosophical literature concerning the metaphysical issues related to time travel has mushroomed. This course examines the physics, the metaphysics, and the paradoxes of time travel. No knowledge of physics is presupposed.

562-2:  Special Topics in Metaphysics

Topic:  Paradoxes
2:30pm – 3:45pm MW
Bruno Whittle

A paradox is an argument that leads from apparently innocuous starting points to an abominable conclusion. For example, consider this sentence: ‘this very sentence is false’. This is either true or false (it seems). So suppose first that it is true. Well, then what it says must be the case: i.e. it is false! So it can’t be true; rather it must be false. But then it’s true after all! That is, the sentence would seem to be both true and false—but surely that is impossible! Such arguments are fun to think about, in and of themselves. But they are also connected to a broad range of philosophical issues. For example, versions of the (ancient) paradox just given have been used to argue that there are limits on what we can say or know; that classical logic must be changed; or even that there are different sizes of infinity. This class will consider a range of paradoxes, and the broader issues that they are connected to. Familiarity with Philosophy 211 will be assumed, but no logical knowledge beyond that.

Fall 2023 Graduate Courses

701 Reading Seminars (combined with Graduate Seminars)

Instructor Consent

701-001 Reading Seminars

Topic: Aristotle’s Metaphysics
1:15pm – 3:15pm  F
Paula Gottlieb

701-001 meets with 835. Please see the description of 835 below.

701-002 Reading Seminars

Topic: ProSeminar
4:00pm – 6:00pm T
Michael Titelbaum

701-002 meets with 902-1. Please see the description of 902-1 below.

701-003 Reading Seminars

Topic: Conditionals
1:15pm – 3:15pm  M
John Mackay

701-004 meets with 916-1. Please see the description of 916-1 below.

701-004 Reading Seminars

Topic:  TBD
1:15pm – 3:15pm W
Aja Watkins

701-005 meets with 920-1. Please see the description of 920-1 below.

701-005 Reading Seminars

Topic:Externalism and the Mind
4:00pm – 6:00pm  M
Larry Shapiro and Farid Masrour

701-006 meets with 951-1. Please see the description of 951-1 below.

701-006 Reading Seminars

Topic: Modality and Individuals
4:00pm – 6:00pm R
Alexander Roberts

701-006 meets with 960-1. Please see the description of 960-1 below.

835-001 History of Philosophy Seminars

Topic: Aristotle’s Metaphysics
1:15pm – 3:15pm  F
Paula Gottlieb

We’ll study Aristotle’s metaphysics, from the Categoriesto the central books of the Metaphysics, paying special attention to the way in which Aristotle aims to combine ontologies of change and of substance.  Topics will include substance and essence, particulars vs. universals, stuff, structure, function, identity, and the principle of non-contradiction.  How much time we spend on each topic will depend on the interests of the participants.

The main texts for the course will be Aristotle’s own worksin translation. Secondary reading will include some classic articles and very recent work in the field.  The primary texts are most important.  These are short but require careful reading.

There will be ample opportunity for discussion. There will also be 3 tutorials.  Class participants will be asked to write a series of 1500-word essays. They will then come in pairs to see the professor for an hour or so, during which time they will read out and discuss their work.  Grades will be awarded to the written work.  The point of the tutorial is purely educational and fun.

902-1  Proseminar in Philosophy

4:00pm – 6:00pm T
Michael Titelbaum

The seminar for incoming students is required. It provides a background in core analytic philosophy across diverse specialties. There will be a close reading of texts and an emphasis on writing skills.

904-1   Teaching Philosophy

5:30pm – 7:00pm W
Harry Brighouse

Becoming a better teacher requires that you have good content knowledge, but it also involves the development and practice of complex skills. What we’ll do in this class is very preliminary: we’ll introduce you to some specific strategies that will help you induce your students to learn; we’ll develop a common language for discussing teaching and (by actually discussing specific instances of teaching and learning); and we’ll introduce you to some intellectual resources for considering and reflecting on the kinds of issues that will arise regularly throughout your career as a teacher. Because we want to introduce strategies, because strategies can’t work without content, and because there is some literature we want you to think about, we’ll structure most classes by using the strategies we want you to learn to facilitate discussion of the literature we want you to think about.

916-1 Seminar-Philosophy of Language

Topic: Conditionals
1:15pm – 3:15pm  M
John Mackay

This seminar will be on the topic of conditionals. Conditionals play a central role in reasoning, yet their meanings are notoriously vexing. The seminar will be organized around four main topics. The first is the meaning of the ordinary language indicative conditional. On the one hand, there are simple logical arguments that the conditional has the truth conditions of the material conditional of formal logic. On the other hand, there are simple arguments that the material conditional cannot be right, since not all indicative conditionals with false antecedents are true. We will look at how different views of the conditional address this dilemma. The second topic is the meaning of the subjunctive, or counterfactual conditional. In this area, we will focus on the possible worlds theory of Robert Stalnaker and David Lewis. The third topic will be the relationship between conditionals and probability. As we will see, the probabilities of conditionals add another layer of complexity to the task of determining conditionals’ meanings. The fourth topic will be the use of conditionals to analyze concepts in other philosophically significant areas, including causation, dispositions, and discrimination. A number of more general themes in the philosophy of language will arise along the way.

920-1 Seminar-Philosophy of Science

Topic: TBD
1:15pm – 3:15pm  W
Aja Watkins

We will focus this philosophy of science seminar on philosophy of climate science and other environmental sciences. The first half of the course or so we will devote to philosophy of climate science so far, which mainly consists of philosophical discussions of climate simulations (the main source of evidence that has been used to detect contemporary climate change, attribute it to human activities, and project its effects into the future). The second half of the course we will look at some areas in climate science and other environmental sciences that have not received much philosophical attention yet, but where (I suspect) the scientists could benefit from some philosophical insights.

951-1   Seminar-Philosophy of Mind

Topic: Externalism and Internalism about the Mind
4:00pm – 6:00pm M
Larry Shapiro and Farid Masrour

This seminar focuses on three areas of debate between internalist and externalist approaches to mental capacities: internalism vs. externalism about mental content, internalism vs. externalism about the vehicles of mental states, and internalism vs. externalism about perceptual experience. Beyond its significance for these three issues, the internalism/externalism debate is an entry point into a wider set of issues concerning the nature of the mind, the nature of the world, and the connection between them. Among others, it is important for understanding consciousness, intentionality, embodiment, the character of empirical knowledge, and the nature of sensible qualities. Throughout the seminar, we will pay particular attention to the connection between the three areas of internalism/externalism debate and this wider set of issues. This seminar will be run in a collaborative spirit. Among other things, the students are required to form collaborative teams and work on a research project related to the theme of the seminar under the close supervision of the seminar instructors. The main goal of this collaborative project would be to produce a publishable article.

960-1   Metaphysics Seminar

Topic: Modality and Individuals
4:00pm – 6:00pm R
Alexander Roberts

In this seminar, we will study several questions that are currently at the centre of modal metaphysics. The topics will include the paradoxes of modal variation, the interaction between necessity, identity, and existence, and the question of whether modality can be reduced to purely logical notions like quantification and conjunction. Along the way I will introduce various tools and resources that philosophers have developed to study these issues.