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This traditional undergraduate philosophy major (24-1) is designed to provide familiarity with the history and current status of

the main problems in epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics; mastery of some of the technical skills requisite for advanced
work in philosophy; facility at independent philosophical study; and work at an advanced level in an allied field.

Required Subjects

One Introductory Philosophy subject 24.00-24.09*. An appropriate Philosophy Concourse subject may be substituted.
(*may not also satisfy the departmental distribution requirement listed below)

One History of Philosophy subject:

24.01 Classics in Western Philosophy (CI-H)

24.201 Topics in the History of Philosophy (CI-M)
or another subject with a history of philosophy orientation, as determined by the major advisor in consultation with the

One Knowledge and Reality subject:

24.05 Philosophy of Religion

24.08J Philosophical Issues in Brain Science (CI-H)
24.09 Minds and Machines (CI-H)
24.111 Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics
24.112 Space, Time, and Relativity
24.115 Philosophy and Time
24.211 Theory of Knowledge
24.215 Topics in the Philosophy of Science
24.221 Metaphysics (CI-M)
24.251 Introduction to Philosophy of Language (CI-M)
24.253 Philosophy of Mathematics
24.280 Foundations of Probability

One Value subject:

24.02 Moral Problems and the Good Life (CI-H)

24.03 Good Food: The Ethics and Politics of Food (CI-H)
24.04J Justice (CI-H)
24.06J Bioethics (CI-H)
24.07 The Ethics of Climate Change (CI-H)
24.120 Moral Psychology (CI-M)
24.130 Philosophy of the Arts
24.222 Decisions, Games and Rational Choice
24.230 Metaethics
24.231 Ethics (CI-M)
24.235J Philosophy of Law (CI-M)
24.236 Topics in Social Theory and Practice
24.237J Feminist Thought (CI-M)

One Logic Subject:

24.118 Paradox and Infinity

24.241 Logic I
24.242 Logic II
24.243 Classical Set Theory
24.244 Modal Logic
24.245 Theory of Models
or a logic subject from another department (e.g., Mathematics) with the approval of the major advisor.

24.260 Topics in Philosophy (CI-M)

Restricted Electives
A coherent program of five additional subjects, of which two must be in philosophy, with the approval of the major advisor.

Notes on Major

No more than four of the total number of philosophy subjects for the major may be introductory philosophy subjects.
At least three of the total number of philosophy courses must be at the 200-level or above.
To satisfy the requirements that students take two CI-M subjects, students must take one of: 24.120, 24.201, 24.221.
24.231, 24.235, 24.237, or 24.251
All but [2] HASS requirement subjects can be from the department program.

1. The Requirement

Concentration in the field of philosophy requires a total of three (9 or 12 unit) course 24 subjects in philosophy. Of these three
subjects, one may be an introductory subject numbered 24.00 -24.09. No more than one introductory subject can count for
concentration purposes, and all three concentration subjects may be non introductory subjects. The selection of three
subjects must be "well-distributed", as determined by the concentration advisor, Tamar Schapiro, 32-D928, 650-906-
4496 tamschap@mit.edu).

Course 24 subjects that are cross-listed in another department can be used for the concentration in philosophy even if the
student registers for them using the other department's subject number.

Philosophy subjects taught at MIT's Concourse Program are allowed to count as introductory course 24 subjects for
concentration purposes. Because Concourse subjects count as introductory subjects, they cannot be used in conjunction with
subjects numbered 24.00 - 24.09, or with other Concourse subjects, as part of a philosophy concentration.

Besides subjects offered at MIT, subjects originating through transfer credit from another university will be counted toward
the concentration requirement if MIT transfer credit has been given for a specific MIT philosophy subject. Other subjects
originating through transfer credit from philosophy departments elsewhere may also be used, but only if approved by the
philosophy transfer credit examiner, Justin Khoo (32-D962, 617-715-4298, jkhoo@mit.edu).

2. Application Forms

Concentration credit in philosophy is obtained by submitting an on-line proposal form and afterwards submitting a certificate
of completion form. Proposal and completion forms can be found at http://studentformsandpetitions.mit.edu/. Both forms are
reviewed and approved by the philosophy concentration advisor.

3. Consultation

Professor Schapiro is available for consultation. Please contact her at 650-906-4496 or tamschap@mit.edu for an appointment.

Ms. Jennifer Purdy in 32-D812 (x3-9372; purdy@mit.edu) will also be glad to be of help, both in giving general information and
in directing students to the faculty advisors.

For a minor in the field of philosophy, students must complete six philosophy subjects, chosen in accordance with the options
given below. All subjects carry 12 units.


an introductory philosophy subject numbered 24.00-24.09 or an appropriate Philosophy Concourse subject.


a logic course (24.118, Paradox and Infinity, 24.241, Logic I, 24.242, Logic II, 24.243, Set Theory, 24.244, Modal Logic, 24.245,
Theory of Models, or a logic course in another department (e.g., Math) if approved by the minor advisor).


Three non-introductory philosophy subjects, approved by the minor advisor.


24.260, Topics in Philosophy

Please go to HASS Minors Requirements and Guidelines for more information.

Students needing further help should contact the philosophy minor advisor, Tamar Schapiro, 32-D928, 650-906-
4496 tamschap@mit.edu).
H O M E / P R O G R AM S / U N D E R G R AD U AT E /


The department offers several options for those interested in philosophy: a primary concentration in Philosophy (including
Honors eligibility); the Mind, Brain, and Behavior Track; and Joint Concentrations with Philosophy.

Below you will find a detailed description of the requirements for each of these offerings. Questions regarding them may be
directed to the Department Coordinator.
Students interested in pursuing a secondary in Philosophy are advised to consult the requirements in the Harvard College
Handbook for Students.
Philosophy Basic Requirements: 12 courses (48 credits)
1. Required courses:
A. One course in each of the following four areas, taken by the end of the first term of senior year and passed with a grade of C or
1. Logic.
2. Contemporary metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language.
3. Ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics.
4. History of ancient, medieval, or modern pre-20th-century philosophy.
B. Tutorials: Two courses. See item 2 below.
C. Six additional courses in philosophy, up to three of which may be in approved related subjects. Related courses are approved
individually by the Head Tutor, in many cases depending on the interests and overall program of the student. They count for
concentration credit only if they are needed to reach the minimum number of concentration courses required.
2. Tutorials:
A. Tutorial I: Philosophy 97, group tutorials at the introductory level on different philosophical topics, required. Letter-graded. A
one-semester course typically taken in the spring of the sophomore year.
B. Tutorial II: Philosophy 98, group tutorials at the advanced level on different philosophical topics, required. Letter-graded. A
one-semester course typically taken fall or spring of the junior year.
3. Thesis: None.
4. General Examination: None.
5. Other information:
A. Philosophy courses may include courses listed under Philosophy in the course search in courses.my.harvard.edu.
B. Pass/Fail: All courses counted for the concentration must be letter-graded.
C. No more than four courses numbered lower than 91 may be counted for the concentration.

Requirements for Honors Eligibility: 13 courses (52 credits)

1. Required courses:
A. One course in each of the following five areas, taken by the end of the first term of senior year and passed with a
grade of C or better:
1. Logic.
2. Contemporary metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, philosophy of
3. Ethics, political philosophy, aesthetics.
4. History of ancient or medieval philosophy.
5. History of modern pre-20th-century philosophy.
B. Tutorials: Four courses. See item 2 below.
C. Four additional courses in philosophy, up to two of which may be in approved related subjects. Related courses are
approved individually by the Head Tutor, in many cases depending on the interests and overall program of the
student. They count for concentration credit only if they are needed to reach the minimum number of concentration
courses required.
2. Tutorials:
A. Same as Basic Requirements.
B. Same as Basic Requirements.
C. Senior Tutorial: Philosophy 99, individual supervision of senior thesis. Permission of the Head Tutor is required for
enrollment. Letter-graded. Honors candidates ordinarily enroll in both fall and spring terms. Enrolled students who
fail to submit a thesis when due must, to receive a grade above E for the course, submit a substantial paper no later
than the beginning of the spring term Reading Period.
3. Thesis: Required of all senior honors candidates. Due at the Tutorial Office on the Friday after spring recess. No more
than 20,000 words (approximately 65 pages). Oral examination on the thesis, by two readers, during the first week of
spring Reading Period.
4. General Examination: None.
5. Other information: Same as Basic Requirements.
Mind, Brain, and Behavior Track: 15 courses (60 credits)
Students interested in studying philosophical questions that arise in connection with the sciences of mind, brain, and
behavior may pursue a program of study affiliated with the University-wide Mind/Brain/Behavior (MBB) Initiative, which
allows them to participate in a variety of related activities. MBB track programs must be approved on an individual basis by
the Philosophy MBB advisor. Further information can be obtained from the Undergraduate Coordinator.
1. Required courses:
A. Three basic MBB courses:
1. Science of Living Systems 20.
2. Molecular and Cellular Biology 80.
3. Junior year seminar in Mind, Brain, and Behavior.
B. Philosophy 156.
C. One course in logic.
D. Three further courses in contemporary metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science, philosophy of mind, or
philosophy of language.
E. Two courses covering two of the following three areas: history of ancient philosophy, history of modern philosophy,
F. Two further MBB-listed courses from outside the Philosophy department, to be selected in consultation with the
MBB adviser.
2. Tutorials:
A. Tutorial I: Same as Basic Requirements.
B. Senior Tutorial: Same as Requirements for Honors Eligibility.
3. General Examination: None.
4. Other information: Same as Basic Requirements.

Joint Concentrations: Philosophy as Primary Concentration

8 courses in Philosophy (36 credits)

1. Required courses:
A. One course in four of the five areas (see item 1a of Requirements for Honors Eligibility).
B. Four additional courses in philosophy; tutorials count toward this requirement.
C. At least four courses in the other field. Many departments require more; consult the Head Tutor of other field.
2. Tutorial: Tutorial I, Philosophy 97 (usually taken in the sophomore year). Normally a tutorial is also required in the other
3. Thesis: Required as for honors eligibility in Philosophy, but must relate to both fields. Oral examination by two readers,
one from each department.
4. General Examination: None required in Philosophy.
5. Other information: See Basic Requirements. Joint concentrations: with Classics, Government, History, Mathematics,
Religion, and occasionally others by special arrangement.

Joint Concentrations: Another Field as Primary Concentration

6 courses in Philosophy (24 credits)

1. Required courses:
A. One course in three of the five areas (see item 1a of Requirements for Honors Eligibility). The introductory
course (item 1a) also counts toward this requirement.
B. Three additional courses in philosophy; tutorial counts toward this requirement.
2. Tutorial: Tutorial I, (Philosophy 97), usually taken in the junior year.
3. Thesis: Required. Must relate to both fields. Directed in the primary field; one reader from Philosophy.
4. General Examination: None required in Philosophy.
5. Other information: See Basic Requirements. Primary fields: Classics, Government, History, Mathematics, Religion, and
occasionally others by special arrangement.

6. H O M E / P R O G R AM S / U N D E R G R A D U A T E /

7. Concentration Pathways
8. Most of the students who choose to pursue a concentration in philosophy did not have any background in
philosophy when they entered Harvard. And those students who have had encounters with philosophy tend to find
that academic philosophy at the college level is quite different from what has come before. In other words, just
about everyone starts from the same position.

9. The philosophy concentration is non-linear. There is no set sequence of courses that students need, or even
should, follow as they make their way through the concentration. Very few of our courses have explicit pre-
requisites (really only the logic courses), so students can take courses in whatever order makes sense to them,
given their intellectual goals and interests.
10. Very broadly speaking, the undergraduate curriculum falls into three parts. We offer introductory level courses,
numbered between 1 and 90; tutorials, numbered 97 and 98; and more advanced courses for undergraduates and
beginning graduate students, numbered 101-199. There are also two special courses, PHIL 91r and PHIL 99. You
can read more about all of these below.
11. Introductory Level Courses (1-90)
12. Introductory level courses are not courses that deal with easier problems than upper-level courses. Frankly, there are only two
difficulty levels in philosophy, trivial and impossible. The trivial aren't worth your time, so you'll start dealing with the
impossible pretty much from day 1. Instead, introductory level courses usually differ from upper-level courses along two
dimensions. They tend to focus more on the bigger picture, giving students an overview of a broad swath of philosophical
landscape. That way, a student can go on to take the more specialized 100-level courses with an understanding of how the
detailed argumentation fits into a broader narrative. Introductory level courses are also designed to help students find their
way skills-wise. Philosophy is centrally concerned with reading, critiquing, and constructing arguments. Introductory level
course are designed to give students a way into this central practice, with lots of shorter, focused writing assignments and
plenty of feedback to help you develop as a writer, reader and thinker.

Tutorials (97, 98)

Tutorials are small-group, seminar style classes with limited enrollment, about 8 students per semester. In most semesters,
we offer several sections of each tutorial. Topics for tutorials change every semester. You can learn more about the topics
at the course websites: PHIL 97, PHIL 98.

Please pay special attention to the sign-up mechanisms and deadlines listed on the course website. Tutorials are not
shopped. Students sign up for tutorials prior to the semester's beginning.
PHIL 97 (Tutorial I) is required for all students who concentrate in philosophy or pursue a secondary in it, but it's open to all
students. Because it's small and taught in a seminar style, it provides a great opportunity for students to actively engage
with the material, practice having conversations in a classroom setting, and get feedback on their writing. It's a great
course to hone your skills and get ready for work at the 100-level. Students who concentrate in philosophy usually take
PHIL 97 in the spring of their sophomore year, right after they declare their concentration. Students who pursue a
secondary or a joint concentration with philosophy as the allied field take PHIL 97 whenever it fits into their schedule.

PHIL 98 (Tutorial II) is required for all students who concentrate in philosophy, and it's open to all students. PHIL 98 is like
PHIL 97 in almost all respects: taught in a small seminar setting with a constantly changing list of topics. It differs from
PHIL 97 simply in that we can assume a bit more familiarity with philosophical modes of argument and engagement. In
practice, that usually means have slightly longer assignments and harder texts.

100-level Courses
The topics of 100-level courses are usually more focused than introductory-level courses, with whole courses devoted to
individual philosophers (e.g., Kant, Plato, Descartes), time periods (Early Modern empiricists), or philosophical topics
(epistemology, philosophy of language, Kant's ethics). They are a great way to deepen your knowledge of these areas.
They also tend to take for granted more by way of skills. So whereas an introductory-level course might work up to writing
a full philosophy paper, that's the kind of work many 100-level courses expect you to be able to do from the beginning. If
you're interested in writing an honors thesis in philosophy and a 100-level course in that area is available, it's a great idea
to take it before you set out on the thesis-writing journey, though it's not required to have taken a course in that area to
write a thesis.
Independent Study (91r)
By prior arrangement, students can pursue an independent study with a faculty member. In practice, this means that
interested students contact a faculty member of their choice with a proposal for an independent study. The students should
explain why they cannot pursue their intellectual interests by taking regular department courses, and they should have a
pretty good idea of what they want to read and the kind of work they'll do in the course of the semester. Having said this,
we're always happy to entertain proposals for 91r.

PHIL 99 (Tutorial Senior Year)

Students who want to write a thesis in philosophy enroll in PHIL 99 during their senior year. It gives the student space on
their schedule to do the reading and writing required for the senior thesis and to meet with their thesis adviser. More
information about senior theses in the philosophy department is available here.
Courses for Concentration Subareas
EMR 17
PHIL 140
PHIL 145
Metaphysics, Epistemology, Mind, Language, Science
o ER 13
o PHIL 3
o PHIL 19
o PHIL 33
o PHIL 34
o PHIL 139x
o PHIL 141
o PHIL 146
o PHIL 151z
o PHIL 152
o PHIL 156
o PHIL 158y
o PHIL 192
Ethics, Political, Aesthetics
o PHIL 14
o PHIL 17
o PHIL 132
o PHIL 173x
o PHIL 174a
o PHIL 177
o PHIL 188
History of Ancient or Medieval
o PHIL 7
o PHIL 101
o PHIL 106
History of Modern Philosophy (Pre-20th Century)
o PHIL 120
o PHIL 124

Courses by Semester/Course Type

About the Department's Course Structure
The department's course offerings fall into several different areas:

1. General Education courses that satisfy designated GenEd distribution requirements

2. Freshman seminars (discussion based seminars for freshmenapplication required)
3. Philosophy tutorials (required for undergraduate concentrators)
4. Introductory courses (3-99-level courses), generally for undergraduates
5. Mid-level courses (100-level courses), for graduates and undergraduates
6. Graduate seminars (200-level courses), for which enrollment is by permission of the instructor
7. 300-level courses, for graduate students only
Faculty in the Department also offer courses in the General Education Curriculum and Core Curriculum, as well as
Freshman Seminars.

For Students in all Programs

All students in the department--whether primary concentrators, joint concentrators, or those in the MBB Track--should
check the Program Requirements for their particular program and consult with the appropriate faculty members when
selecting their courses.

MBB Students
Students in the MBB Track will want to check the Courses of Instruction page for both Philosophy and Mind, Brain, and
Behavior offerings.
Course List
Fall 2017 Courses
General Education courses

EMREAS 17: Logical Reasoning

Professor: Ned Hall

Meets: MW 1-2:30
EMREAS 17: Logical Reasoning

The concepts and principles of symbolic logic: valid and invalid arguments, logical relations of statements and their basis
in structural features of those statements, the analysis of complex statements of ordinary discourse to uncover their
structure, the use of a symbolic language to display logical structure and to facilitate methods for assessing arguments.
Analysis of reasoning with truth-functions ("and", "or", "not", "if...then") and with quantifiers ("all", "some"). Special
attention will be given to the norms underlying valid reasoning, to applications of formal techniques to arguments in the
wild, and to the wide variety of non-logical ways that ordinary discourse can succeed at being (illicitly) persuasive.

Freshman seminars
FRSEMR 30Q: Death and Immortality

Professor: Cheryl Chen

Meets: W 1-3

In this seminar, we will discuss philosophical questions about death and immortality. What is death? Is there a
moral difference between "brain death" and the irreversible loss of consciousness? Is the classification of a
person as dead a moral judgment, or is it an entirely scientific matter? Is death a misfortune to the person who
dies? How can death be a misfortune if you are no longer around to experience that misfortune? Is it possible to
survive after death? What does it mean for you to survive after your death? Is there such a thing as an immaterial
soul distinct from your body? Is immortality something you should want in the first place? Even if you do not
live forever, is it nevertheless important that humanity continues to exist after your death? By discussing these
questions about death, we will hopefully gain insight about the importance and meaning of life.

FRSEMR 31D: Nietzsche

Professor: Mathias Risse

Meets: W 7-9

Friedrich Nietzsche addresses some of the big questions of human existence in a profoundly searching but often
disturbing manner that continues to resonate with many. Hardly any philosopher (except Karl Marx) has
exercised such a far-reaching and penetrating impact on intellectual life in the last 150 years or so. He has
influenced thinkers and activists across the political spectrum. Nietzsche has always been of special interest to
young people who have often appreciated the irreverence and freshness of his thought, as well as the often very
high literary quality of his writing. In this course, we explore Nietzsche's moral and political philosophy with
emphasis on the themes he develops in his best-known and most accessible work, The Genealogy of Morality.
The best-known themes from this book include the slave rebellion in morality, ressentiment, bad conscience,
and ascetic ideals. However, we also read several other of Nietzsches works, and do so chronologically (except
that we begin with his auto-biography, Ecce Homo, which Nietzsche wrote briefly before his mental collapse in
1889). The others works include The Birth of Tragedy, The Gay Science, Beyond Good and Evil, and The
Antichrist. We do not read any secondary literature, though the instructor will recommend such literature as
appropriate. The point is to become familiar with Nietzsches writings themselves and to engage with his

FRSEMR 61N: Language and Politics: Ideology and Society

FRSEMR 61N: Language and Politics: Ideology and Society

Professor: Mark Richard

Meets: W 1-3

We will apply tools and techniques from philosophy to analyze the use and abuse of speech in politics and
social interactions. Some of the work we will do involves analysis (what, exactly, is the difference between
lying to someone and simply misleading her?), work that is worth doing in part because it will help us in
thinking about normative questions (is lying worse than merely misleading in some morally significant way?)
Some of the work we will do involves recovering and analyzing arguments in philosophy and elsewhere about
issues concerning speechfor example, arguments for and against the claim that certain sorts of speech (hate
speech, pornography) ought to be restricted because of various harms. And some of the work we'll do will
require that we engage important but fairly hairy philosophical questions whetherfor example, the (putative)
fact that we see the world through one or another ideology makes knowledge impossible, or whether there are
(interesting) absolute normative truths. The course as a whole is an introduction to philosophy that
emphasizes philosophy's ability to help us understand and criticize our social situation.

FRSEMR 61S: Baseball as Philosophy: God, Beauty, and Morality

Professor: Jeffrey Behrends

Meets: W 3-5

Even seemingly commonplace features of the world offer us a route to inquiring into complex ideas and
phenomena. You can think of this seminar as, in part, a sort of existence proof of that claim. Using baseball as a
focusing lens, we will endeavor to cover a fairly large swath of philosophical terrain, including a more focused
investigation of issues in ethics. We will consider, among other things, how baseball can help us understand:
Gods relationship to morality; why a loving God would allow evil; indeterminate concepts; what makes
something beautiful, or aesthetically valuable; social justice and income distributions; the moral permissibility
of violating rules within a game; and the moral permissibility of biomedical enhancements to humans. Our
investigation will put us in close contact with both contemporary scholarly writing on baseball, and canonical
philosophical thinkers, starting with Plato. In addition to being the greatest game ever created, baseball offers
surprisingly fertile ground for thinking about some of the deepest issues across philosophy.
Philosophy tutorials
PHIL 97 001: Tutorial I: Plato's Political Philosophy

Instructor: Chandler Hatch

Meets: TBA

Course description to follow

PHIL 97 002: Tutorial I: Moral Epistemology

Instructor: Sanford Diehl

Meets: T 4-6
PHIL 97 002: Tutorial I: Moral Epistemology

All of us reflect at one point or another on matters of right and wrong, justice and injustice, and how to live. This
course aims to work out what such answers consist in and how we obtain them. Well focus especially on what
justifies beliefs about ethics and politics, and on the normative relevance of others convictions for ones own
reasoning. Some questions well consider include: How do we come to know right from wrong? When can we
rely on our intuitions? If we cant, what else is there to go on? When, faced with interpersonal disagreement
about morality, does sticking to my guns amount to mere arrogance, and when is it an expression of autonomy?
When is deferring to accepted moral opinion cowardice, and when is it humility? Can the intuition that one
cannot accept moral judgments on testimony alone be reconciled with the fact that we learn most of what we
know about right and wrong from others? Well consider such questions with the aim of getting clearer about
what it is to be one reasoning agent among others responsible for making up ones own mind.

PHIL 98 001: Tutorial II: The Borders of Beauty

Instructor: Ewa Bigaj

Meets: T 2-4

The painter John Constable thought that anything could be beautiful: There is nothing ugly; I never saw an ugly
thing in my life: for let the form of an object be what it may, light, shade, and perspective will always make it
beautiful. Many philosophers (most notably, Immanuel Kant) have disagreed, attempting to find a definition of
beauty that would allow us to mark out the realm of the beautiful from neighboring domains. In this course, well
take Kants marks of the beautiful as our starting points and explore the domains they exclude: places where
aesthetic concerns interact with utility (Is there such a thing as functional beauty?), truth (What about intellectual
beauty?), mere pleasure (Can tastes be beautiful? What about everyday experiences?), and morality (Is there a
relationship between beauty and goodness?). To this end, well read some classic aesthetic texts (Plato, Hume,
Kant), as well as contemporary discussions of these contested, quasi-aesthetic domains. The reading will also
feature texts by a cast of devoted aesthetes, including John Muir, John Ruskin, Denis Diderot, and Marcel Proust,
which I hope will inject a contagious sense of urgency and enthusiasm to the philosophical issues discussed.

PHIL 98 002: Tutorial II: Philosophy of the Emotions

Instructor: Rachel Achs

Meets: M 1-3

We spend a lot of time in philosophy talking about reason and rationality, and less time talking about what the
faculty of reason is often contrasted with: our human capacities to be sensitive, and to feel emotions.
Nevertheless, emotions are just as central to human life as reason is. Without love, humor, or the capacity to
empathize with others pain, our lives particularly our moral lives would be radically different from the way
they our now. In this class we will use our reasoning skills, and perhaps a bit of sensitivity too, to study that with
which reason is usually contrasted: emotion. Particular questions with which we will be concerned are: What are
emotions (and how are they different from, and similar to, judgments and mere sensations)? What does it mean
for an emotion to be appropriate or inappropriate? Are people responsible for their emotions? And are emotions
really irrational? We will work particularly on the skills of charitable reading and precision in writing, as well as
beginning to develop some more advanced philosophical tools, such as identifying the most interesting
objections to arguments, and even a bit of positive theory construction.
PHIL 99: Tutorial-Senior Year

Professor: Cheryl Chen and members of the department

Meets: TBA

PHIL 99 is a tutorial for senior philosophy concentrators who are pursuing the honors track, and for joint
concentrators for whom philosophy is the "primary field." Students meet individually with members of the
faculty to prepare their senior thesis, and collectively to discuss and present their work.

Introductory courses
PHIL 3: The True and the Good

Professor: Bernhard Nickel

Meets: MWF 11-12

The course introduces students to philosophical argumentation and writing. It is organized around a range of
central philosophical questions, concerning the nature of right and wrong, free will and responsibility, the
relation between self, mind, and nature, and god and death. We'll pay particular attention to how answers to one
question interact with answers to the others. No previous experience with philosophy is required.

PHIL 6: Ancient Ethics and Modern Morality

Professor: James Doyle

Meets: MWF 11-12

An historical introduction to ethics, from the Greeks to, roughly, now. We begin with the concept of virtue in
Homer and trace its development through Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics and Aquinas. In the modern period
we look, in a somewhat skeptical spirit, at the rise of the 'moral' as a supposedly sui generis category of reasons,
traits, obligations etc, as this is found in Hume, Kant, Mill and others.

PHIL 7: Ancient Greek Philosophy

Professor: Jacob Rosen

Meets: MWF 10-11

In this course, we will study some of the major thinkers and movements in the philosophy of the ancient Greek
world: the Presocratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Skepticism. These thinkers
spent a lot of energy on some rather odd questions (for example, Is there more than one thing? and Why
doesnt the ground fall?). But they also introduced many of the enduring, guiding questions of philosophy,
such as: What is it to know or understand something, and have we ever succeeded in doing it? What exists at
the most fundamental level (if anything)? What should be our highest aim in life? Should we fear death?
PHIL 34: Existentialism in Literature and Film

Professor: Sean Kelly

Meets: TTh 11:30-1

What is it to be a human being? How can human beings live meaningful lives? These questions guide our
discussion of theistic and atheistic existentialism and their manifestations in literature and film. Material includes
philosophical texts from Pascal, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre; literature from Dostoevsky, Kafka, Beckett;
films from Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Carol Reed.

PHIL 91r: Supervised Reading and Research

Professor: Cheryl Chen

Meets: TBA

Graded independent study under faculty supervision. Interested students need approval of head tutor for their
topic and must propose a detailed syllabus before the beginning of term.

Mid-level courses
PHIL 107: Plato's Gorgias

Professor: James Doyle

Meets: M 2-4

A detailed study of Plato's third-longest dialogue. Particular attention will be paid to (i) the interaction between
the overt philosophical content of the what the characters say and what Plato reveals through the unfolding
drama; (ii) Socrates' apparent moving-away from the 'intellectualist' moral psychology presupposed in many
shorter 'Socratic' dialogues, in the direction of an acknowledgement of the reality of akrasia and other forms of
intrapsychic conflict; and (iii) the vivid and alarming presentation by Callicles of an aggressively skeptical
response to Socrates' and the many's conceptions of justice.

PHIL 117: Medieval Philosophy

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough

Meets: TTh 10-11:30

This course will examine three great traditions in medieval philosophy (Neoplatonism, Scholastic-
Aristotelianism, and Nominalism) through each traditions greatest proponent (Augustine, Aquinas, and William
of Ockham). Specific topics will include skepticism, knowledge, human nature, divine nature, language, realism,
conceptualism, and happiness. Students in the course will acquire a firm understanding of the major currents in
one of the most important if still neglected periods in western philosophy.
PHIL 140: Fundamentals of Logic

Professor: Warren Goldfarb

Meets: TTh 11:30-1

Analysis of the central concepts of logic: validity, satisfiability, implication. Basic elements of model theory:
completeness, compactness, Lwenheim-Skolem theorem. Applications to the foundations of mathematics.
Attention also to higher-order logic and to non-classical (constructive) logical systems.

PHIL 150: Philosophy of Probability

Professor: Susanna Rinard

Meets: TTh 1-2

Probability, remarked Bishop Butler, is "the very guide of life." In this course we will investigate the extent to
which probabilistic tools can help answer basic questions like these: How should I choose among my options?
What should I believe? How should I revise my beliefs upon acquiring new information? Does it make sense to
believe in God? No background in math is necessary; the beginning of the course will cover the essentials of
probability theory.

PHIL 158a: MBB Proseminar: Memory

Professor: Susanna Siegel

Meets: Th 2-4

An examination of philosophical theories of the structure and format of episodic memory.

PHIL 164: Metaphysics

Professor: Andrew Graham

Meets: TTh 11:30-1

This course provides an introduction to and survey of metaphysics, the branch of philosophy concerned with
the essential problems regarding the nature of reality in its most general aspects. We will examine a variety of
topics in metaphysics including identity, change, time and space, persistence, possibility and necessity,
causation, universals and particulars, and so on. Our goal will be to understand what these topics are, to
understand what kinds of views philosophers (both contemporary and historical) have developed on these
topics, and to develop our own abilities to think about and answer metaphysical questions.

PHIL 168: Kant's Ethical Theory

PHIL 168: Kant's Ethical Theory

Professor: Christine Korsgaard

Meets: MWF 12-1

A study of Kant's moral philosophy, based primarily on the Groundwork of Metaphysics of Morals, the
Critique of Practical Reason, and The Metaphysics of Morals.

PHIL 174a: Animals and Ethics

Professor: Christine Korsgaard

Meets: MWF 2-3

Do human beings have moral obligations to the other animals? If so, what are they, and why? Should or could
non-human animals have legal rights? Should we treat wild and domestic animals differently? Do human beings
have the right to eat the other animals, raise them for that purpose on factory farms, use them in experiments,
display them in zoos and circuses, make them race or fight for our entertainment, make them work for us, and
keep them as pets? We will examine the work of utilitarian, Kantian, and Aristotelian philosophers, and others
who have tried to answer these questions.

PHIL 177: Educational Justice (Proseminar)

Professor: Regina Schouten

Meets: T 2-4

We subject children to around 18,000 hours of compulsory schooling. This course will explore the kinds of
experiences children should have in schools and how those experiences should be distributed. We'll proceed by
examining key topics pertaining to educational justice, including competing principles of justice in the
distribution of education (egalitarian principles, sufficientarian principles, prioritarian principles, etc.);
competing reform agendas; the justifiability and relative priority of different educational aims (education for
citizenship, education for career preparation, education for social justice, etc.); the family and its role in
educational inequality; and higher education access. In addition to the philosophical contributions to these
conversations, we'll read enough of the relevant empirical literature to provide a working understanding of the
structure and consequences of schooling in the US. Finally, we'll explore some case studies that look at specific
choices that arise in real time for educational decision-makers. These case studies highlight the moral dimensions
of decisions about discipline, charter schools, special education, and school districting.

PHIL 178z: Inequality

Professor: Lucas Stanczyk

Meets: MWF 1-2

PHIL 178z: Inequality

Many people believe that growing inequality is one of the defining challenges of our time. In this class, we will
examine some of the main problems thought to be raised by inequality through the lens of several systematic
ways of thinking about social justice.

Graduate seminars
PHIL 204: Aristotle's De Interpretatione: Greek and Arabic Reception

Professor: Russell Jones and Khaled El-rouayheb

Meets: T 2-4

A close reading of Aristotles De Interpretatione, together with select Greek and Arabic commentaries (foremost
those of Ammonius and Al-Farabi), with a view to understanding it on its own terms as well as the uses to which
it was put by the commentators. All texts are available in English translation

PHIL 217: Medieval Philosophy

Professor: Jeffrey McDonough

Meets: TTh 1-2

This graduate-level course will offer an intensive examination of three great traditions in medieval philosophy
(Neoplatonism, Scholastic-Aristotelianism, and Nominalism) through each traditions greatest proponent
(Augustine, Aquinas, and William of Ockham). Specific topics will include skepticism, knowledge, human
nature, divine nature, language, realism, conceptualism, and happiness. Students in the course will acquire a firm
understanding of the major currents in one of the most important if still neglected periods in western

PHIL 241: Wittgenstein's Tractatus: Seminar

Professor: Warren Goldfarb

Meets: W 4-6

Detailed study of early Wittgenstein's philosophy and its development, from the earliest writings through the
Tractatus. Attention to the recent interpretative debates about what "throwing away the ladder" means.

PHIL 252: Norms of Belief

Professor: Selim Berker and Susanna Rinard

Meets: W 1-3
PHIL 252: Norms of Belief

Recent work on the norms that govern belief and other doxastic attitudes. Questions to be addressed could
include: Are there non-evidential reasons for belief? Is there a distinctively epistemic sense of rationality, and if
so, what is its nature? Does belief have an aim, and if so, what is it? Does belief have fittingness conditions, and
if so, what are they, and what is their relationship to the question of what one should believe? Can we choose to
believe, and what implications does this have (either way) for questions about the norms of belief?

PHIL 273a: Utility

Professor: Amartya Sen, Eric Maskin, Barry Mazur

Meets: W 1-3

We will explore different ideas of utility, ranging from the writings of Epicurus and Aristotle in ancient Greece
to von Neumann, Ramsey, and Kahneman in the twentieth century. We will examine both predictive and
normative issues, as well as comparison and aggregation of utility across individuals.

PHIL 276x: Bioethics: Seminar

Professor: Frances Kamm

Meets: W 4-6

The class will focus on philosophical issues about death and dying and their bearing on public policies. Readings
will include recent books and articles by philosophers, medical professionals, and lawyers.