University of Wisconsin–Madison

Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Key

Z: Either Humanities or Social Science Credits
S: Social Studies
H: Humanities
E: Elementary
I: Intermediate
A: Advanced
D: Intermediate or Advanced

101 Introduction to Philosophy

Ⅰ, Ⅱ, SS; 4 credits (Z–E). Prerequisites: Open to Freshmen Sophomores who have had no previous philosophy courses other than 210, 211, 253 or 254. Not open to Juniors.

102 Introduction to Social Philosophy

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 4 credits (Z–E). Opposing philosophical views about people and their political and social life. Prerequisites: Sophomore Status or Philos 101. Open to Freshmen.

103 Belief, Knowledge, and Truth

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 4 credits (Z–E). Grounds of rational belief and knowledge and the methods used for obtaining them, with emphasis on problems of evidence and truth. Prerequisites: Phil 101 or Sophomore Status Not open to Juniors and Seniors Open to Freshmen.

104 Special Topics in Philosophy for Freshmen

Ⅰ or Ⅱ; 3 credits (Z–E). Examination of selected topics. Prerequisites: Open to Freshmen with no prev college level coursework in philosophy.

141 The Meaning of Life

Ⅰ or Ⅱ; 3 credits (Z–E). This course enters the subject of philosophy through a question that is familiar to nearly every student: What is the meaning of life? This question will be approached through reading both classical philosophical works (by Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, Tolstoy, Kant, etc.) and the works of contemporary philosophers (Wolf, Nozick, Nagel, Kazez, etc.).

181 First. Course for Honors

Ⅰ or Ⅱ; 3 credits (Z–E). Prerequisites: Honors candidacy or consent of instructor. Open to Freshmen.

201 Introduction to Philosophy for Juniors and Seniors

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 4 credits (Z–I). Prerequisites: Open only to Juniors and Seniors who have had no previous philosophy courses other than 210, 211, 253 or 254.

210 Reason in Communication

Ⅰ or Ⅱ; 4 credits (Z–I). Argument in familiar contexts; emphasis upon developing critical skills in comprehending, evaluating, and engaging in contemporary forms of reasoning, with special attention to the uses of argument in mass communication media. Prerequisites: Sophomore Status.

211 Elementary Logic

Ⅰ, Ⅱ, SS; 4 credits (Z–I). The formal characteristics of logical truth and inference. Prerequisites: Sophomore Status.

212 Theory of Choice

Ⅰ or Ⅱ; 4 credits (Z–I). Introduction to the logical, mathematical, statistical, and philosophical topics and issues in modern theory of choice, such as individual decision making, inductive logic, game theory, and social choice theory. Prerequisites: Sophomore Status.

220 Philosophy and the Sciences

Ⅰrr; 4 credits (Z–I). Is science value–free? What distinguishes it from pseudo–science, religion, and technology? Philosophical problems of explanation, rationality, knowledge, paradigms, moral issues of research and philosophical consequences of scientific theories. Prerequisites: Sophomore Status.

241 Introductory Ethics

Ⅰ, Ⅱ, SS; 4 credits (Z–I). Nature of moral problems and of ethical theory, varieties of moral skepticism, practical ethics and the evaluation of social institutions. Prerequisites: Sophomore Status.

243 Ethics in Business

Ⅰ or Ⅱ; 4 credits (Z–I). Case studies of moral issues in business; types or reasons appealed to for settlement. Prerequisites: Sophomore Status.

253 Philosophy of the Arts

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 4 credits (H–I). Introduction to the problems of aesthetics, such as the nature of art; aesthetic experience; the description, interpretation, and evaluation of works of art. Prerequisites: Sophomore Status.

254 social Problems of Contemporary Art

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 4 credits (Z–I). Critical consideration of problems raised by the activities and productions of contemporary artists, such as freedom, censorship, uses of art, function of artists in society, social benefits of art. Prerequisites: Sophomore Status or consent of instructor.

258 Humanity, Religion, and society

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 4 credits (Z–I). Study and critique of the views of theistic and secular writers concerning religion and its relationship to individual and social problems. Prerequisites: Sophomore st; 3 credit in philosophy or consent of instructor.

261 Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 4 credits (Z–I). Doctrines and arguments of Western and Eastern religious and philosophical traditions: deity, human nature, immortality, resurrection, religious experience, faith, reason, good, evil, etc. Prerequisites: Sophomore Status or consent of instructor.

264 Classic Texts in Philosophy

Ⅰ or Ⅱ; 3 credits (H). Prerequisites: Philosophy 101. Open to Freshmen Examination of seminal philosophical texts. The emphasis will be on close, critical reading of one or two texts. Extensive writing and tutorials will be required.

282 Logic for Honors

3 credits (Z–I). Prerequisites: Sophomore Status and honors candidacy.

304 Topics in Philosophy – Humanities

3-4 credits (H-I).

305 Topics in Philosophy – Social Science

3-4 credits (S-I).

341 Contemporary Moral Issues

Ⅰ, Ⅱ, SS; 4 credits (Z–I). 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. Prerequisites: Sophomore Status or consent of instructor.

430 History of Ancient Philosophy

Ⅰ or SS; 4 credits (Z–A). Various philosophers from the presocratics to the Stoics and Epicureans; particular emphasis on Plato and Aristotle. Prerequisites: Junior Status; 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

431 Medieval Philosophy

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (Z–A). Critical and historical examination of writings of Erigena, Anselm, Abelard, Grosseteste, Bacon, Aquinas, Scotus, Ockham. Prerequisites: Phil 430; Junior Status or consent of instructor.

432 History of Modern Philosophy

Ⅱ or SS; 4 credits (Z–A). From Descartes through Kant. Prerequisites: Jr st; 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

433 19th Century Philosophers

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 4 credits (Z–A). Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophyor consent of instructor.

434 Survey of Contemporary Philosophy

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (Z–A). Comparison of the problems and solutions dealt with by currently active movements and philosophers, such as Carnap, Croce, Dewey, Heidegger, Husserl, Moore, Russell, Sartre, and Wittgenstein. Prerequisites: 3 credits in philosophy; Junior Status

435 Jewish Philosophy from Antiquity to the Seventeenth Century

Ⅱ, Alt. Yrs. 3 credits (H). Prerequisites: 3 credits Philosophy. A survey of major philosophers and philosophical currents within Judaism from antiquity through the seventeenth century.

436 Contemporary British Philosophy

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (Z–A). Critical examination of British philosophy since 1900; readings include selections from Moore, Russell, Ayer, Wittgenstein. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

439 American Philosophy

Ⅰrr; 3 credits (Z–A). Major traditions in American thought–– Puritanism, The Enlightenment, Transcendentalism, Idealism, and Pragmatism––in relation to American culture. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

440 French Philosophy–Existentialism

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 4 credits (Z–A). Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophyor consent of instructor.

441 Environmental Ethics

(Crosslisted with Envir St 441.) Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 4 credits (Z–A). Adequacy of ethical theories in handling such wrongs as harm to the land, to posterity, to endangered species, and to the ecosystem itself. Exploration of the view that not all moral wrongs involve harm to humans. Inquiry into the notion of the quality of life and the ethics of the “lifeboat” situation. Prerequisites: 3 credits philosophyenvir studies, or Grad Status in IES.

453 Aesthetics of the Natural Environment

(Crosslisted with Envir St 453.) Ⅰrr; 3 credits (H–D). Philosophical theories of beauty, the sublime, and the picturesque, and their relevance to our appreciation of the natural environment. Prerequisites: Junior Status and 3 credits in philos, or consent instructor.

454 Classical Philosophers

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (Z–A). One or more classical philosophers, movements, or problems selected for intensive study. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

455 Recent Philosophy

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (Z–A). One or more recent philosophers, movements, or problems selected for intensive study. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

463 Introduction to Indian Philosophy

(Crosslisted with S Asian 463. See S Asian 463 for course information.)

464 Classical Philosophers

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (H–A). One or more classical philosophers, movements, or problems selected for intensive study. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

465 Recent Philosophy

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (H–A). One or more recent philosophers, movements, or problems selected for intensive study. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

481 Junior Honors Seminar

Ⅰ, Ⅱ; 3 credits (Z–A). One or more philosophers, movements, or problems selected for intensive study. Prerequisites: Junior Status certif as hon cand, 6 credits in philos, 3.0 GPA in philosophy and consent instructor 482 Junior Honors Seminar. Ⅰ, Ⅱ; 3 credits (Z–A). Same as 481. Prerequisites: Junior Status 6 credits in philosophy; 3.0 GPA in Philos–4.0 basis.

501 Philosophy of Religion

Ⅰ or Ⅱ; 3 credits (Z–A). Analysis of religious experience and activity, and examination of principal religious ideas in light of modern psychology, philosophy, science, and anthropology. Prerequisites: Junior Status or consent of instructor.

502 Special Topics in Philosophy of Religion

Ⅰrr; 3 credits (Z–A). One or more topics selected from among the following: religious discourse, God, evil, survival, great philosophers of religion, etc. Variable content. Prerequisites: Junior Status or consent of instructor.

503 Theory of Knowledge

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (Z–A). A survey of problems concerning the nature, sources, and limits of human knowledge, including such topics as scepticism, the concept of knowledge, sensory perception, evidence, justified belief, induction. Prerequisites: Philos 101, 103, 201, or consent of instructor; Junior Status.

504 Special Topics in the Theory of Knowledge

Ⅰrr; 3 credits (H–A). One or more special topics in the Theory of Knowledge or one or more major theories of knowledge. Variable content. Prerequisites: Junior Status and 3 credits Philosophy.

511 Symbolic Logic

Ⅰ or Ⅱ; 3 credits (Z–A). Propositional and predicate logic, with emphasis on metatheory; independence of rules and completeness theorems; discussion of technical and philosophical limitations of classical logic. Prerequisites: Junior st, Philos 211 is recommended or consent of instructor.

512 Methods of Logic

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (Z–A). Selected topics in philosophical logic and in the various applications of logic to philosophical problems. Variable content. Prerequisites: Philos 211 or consent of instructor.

516 Language and Meaning

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (Z–A). The nature and function of language, theories of meaning, semantic and syntactic paradoxes, proper names, private languages, rules, and linguistic relativity. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

517 Special Topics in the Philosophy of Language

Ⅰrr; 3 credits (Z–A). One or more topics selected from: meaning, understanding, nonsense, ambiguity, speech acts, reference and predication, analyticity, etc. Variable content. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

518 Philosophy of History

Ⅰrr; 3 credits (Z–A). Various epistemological and methodological issues relevant to problems of historical knowledge. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

519 Philosophy of Mathematics

Ⅰ or Ⅱ; 3 credits (Z–A). The nature of mathematical knowledge and the existence of mathematical entities; with some emphasis on the Logicist, Intuitionist, and Formalist positions. Prerequisites: consent instructor or Junior Status and 3 credits in philosophy.

520 Philosophy of the Natural Sciences

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (H). Nature and functions of science; the logic of scientific method: clarification of such concepts as cause, law, theory, probability, determinism, teleology. Prerequisites: Junior Status and 3 credits in Philos or consent of instructor.

521 Philosophy of the Social Sciences

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (S–A). Problems in applying methods and concepts of science to the study of social behavior. Prerequisites: 3 credits in philosophy; Junior Status or consent of instructor.

522 Special Topics in the Philosophy of Science

Ⅰrr; 3 credits (Z–A). Selected from logic of theory construction, theoretical entities, models, applied mathematics, nature of laws, conventionalism, probability, etc. Variable content. Prerequisites: Prereqs vary according to topic.

523 Philosophical Problems of the Biological Sciences

(Crosslisted with Envir St 523.) Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (Z–A). Problems raised by genetics, evolutionary theory, and taxonomy: patterns of explanatory force and dispensability of teleology; objectivity of taxonomy. Prerequisites: 3 credits of philosophy3 credits in a biological science.

524 Philosophy and Economics

Examination of methodological, ethical, and foundational issues at the boundaries between economics and philosophy with varying emphasis. Issues include models, explanation, testing, social choice and game theory, welfare, and economic justice.

526 Philosophy and Literature

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (H). Analysis of philosophic ideas as embodied in literary works and the relation of these ideas to other aspects of the works such as plot, structure, characterization and language. Discussion of related questions about literature, literary themes, and thematic criticism.

530 Freedom Fate and Choice

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (Z–A). Readings in Mill, James, Russell, Sartre and others to study the origin of the problem, clarify the issues, and attain a reasonable solution. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

540 Modern Philosophies of Education

(Crosslisted with Ed Pol 540.) Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (Z–A). Critical comparison of present–day schools of thought on the nature, objectives, and functions of American education. Prerequisites: Junior Status

541 Modern Ethical Theories

Ⅰrr; 3 credits (Z–A). Ethical theories and problems as discussed in the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

543 Special Topics in Ethics

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (Z–A). Intensive study of ethical theory, or of one or more ethical theories or moral philosophers of the present or modern period. Variable content. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

545 Philosophical Conceptions of Teaching and Learning

(Crosslisted with Ed Pol 545.) Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (Z–A). Examination and analysis of conceptions of teaching and learning in classical philosophical works and in contemporary literature in the philosophy of education. Prerequisites: Junior Status or consent of instructor.

547 The Child in the Moral Order

(Crosslisted with Ed Pol 547.) Ⅰrr; 3 credits (S–I). Various ethical issues concerning the status of children and adolescents in the community. Prerequisites: Junior st, consent of instructor. or 3 credits in Philosophy

549 Great Moral Philosophers

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (Z–A). Major themes of moral philosophy, from Plato and Aristotle to Bentham and Mill, with critical study of outstanding works. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in Philosophy.

550 Philosophy of Moral Education

(Crosslisted with Ed Pol 550). Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (S). Critical examination of classical and contemporary conceptions of moral education. Prerequisites: Junior Status

551 Philosophy of Mind

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (Z–A). 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. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

552 Aesthetic Theories

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (H–A). Examination of one or more aesthetic theories; consideration of works by such authors as Aristotle, Longinus, Hume, Kant, Schopenhauer, Croce, Santayana, Dewey. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

553 Aesthetics

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (H–A). Analysis of current philosophies of art and of criticism. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

555 Political Philosophy

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (S–A). Philosophical doctrines involved in justification of political decisions; analysis of some fundamental concepts, e.g. the common good, authority, justice, natural law, natural rights. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

556 Topics in Feminism and Philosophy

Ⅰrr; 3 credits (Z–D). Topics from historical and contemporary feminist. thought; attention to one or more feminist philosophers, historical movements, philosophical frameworks, or sets of philosophically related issues. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

557 Issues in social Philosophy. Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (S–A)

Specific topics in social and political philosophy such as war and peace, property and industry, individualism and collectivism, freedom and justice. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

558 Ethical Problems Raised by Biomedical Technology

(Crosslisted with Hist. Med 558.) Ⅱ; 3 credits (B–I). Ethical issues apparently created by new biomedical technologies, such as genetic screening, prenatal diagnosis, prolongation of life, treatment of severe birth defects, in vitro fertilization, behavior modification, psychosurgery, and transplantation. Prerequisites: Junior Status or consent of instructor.

559 Philosophy of Law

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (S–A). Nature and function of law, relations between law and morality, logic of legal reasoning, analysis of fundamental concepts and institutions. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in Philosophy.

560 Metaphysics

Ⅰ or Ⅱ or SS; 3 credits (H). Major problems in metaphysics, such as: existence, universals and particulars, space and time, individuals, categories, substance and attribute, necessity. Prerequisites: Junior Status and 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

562 Special Topics in Metaphysics

Ⅰrr; 3 credits (H–A). An intensive study of one or more topics such as: existence, universals and particulars, space and time, individuals, individuation, categories, substance and attribute, necessity, events and processes. Prerequisites: Junior Status 3 credits in philosophy or consent of instructor.

571 Mathematical Logic

(Crosslisted with Math 571. See Math 571 for course information.)

581 Senior Honors Seminar. 3 credits (Z–A)

Prerequisites: Certif as honors cand, Senior Status 12 credits in philos, 3.2 GPA in philosophy.

582 Senior Honors Seminar. 3 credits (Z–A)

Prerequisites: Senior Status, 12 credits in philos, 3.2 GPA in Philosophy

598 Directed Study. Ⅰ, Ⅱ; 1–3 credits (A)

Cr/N. Prerequisites: Junior or Senior Status Graded on a Cr/N basis; requires written consent of instructor. and approval of dept chairman.

599 Directed Study. Ⅰ, Ⅱ; 1–3 credits (A)

Prerequisites: Junior or Senior Status Graded on a lettered basis; requires written consent of instructor. approval of department chairman.

670 Philosophical Issues in Educational Research and Evaluation

(Crosslisted with Ed. Pol 670). Ⅰrr.; 3 credits (S) An examination of philosophical issues raised by educational research and evaluation. Prerequisites: at least. 1 course in philosophy or philosophy of education; or consent instructor.

690 Senior Seminar in Philosophy

Ⅰ or Ⅱ. 3 credits (HS). Writing intensive course for senior philosophy majors. The course will require substantial reading and participation in seminar discussions. Prerequisites: Sr. Status, Philosophy major, consent instructor.

681 Senior Honors Thesis

3 credits (A). Prerequisites: Honors candidate, consult department honors adviser.

682 Senior Honors Thesis

3 credits (A). Prerequisites: Honors candidate, consult department honors adviser.

691 Senior Thesis

3 credits (A). Prerequisites: Consult adviser.

692 Senior Thesis

3 credits (A) Continuation of 691. Prerequisites: Cons of adviser.

699 Directed Study.

2–3 credits (A). Prerequisites: Senior Status Graded on a lettered basis; requires written consent of instructor, approval of dept chairman needed.