Location: Bowdoin / Philosophy / Courses / Fall 2011


Fall 2011

016. Personal Ethics
Matthew Stuart M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25
Examines some ethical problems and paradoxes that arise in ordinary life, some philosophical theories that bear upon them, and some strategies for making thoughtful decisions about them. Topics may include friendship, lying, love, family obligations, charity, the treatment of animals, abortion.

111. Ancient Philosophy
Sarah Conly M 11:30 - 12:25, W 11:30 - 12:25, F 11:30 - 12:25
The sources and prototypes of Western thought. We try to understand and evaluate Greek ideas about value, knowledge, and truth.

210. Philosophy of Mind
Scott Sehon M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
We see ourselves as rational agents: we have beliefs, desires, intentions, wishes, hopes, etc. We also have the ability to perform actions, seemingly in light of these beliefs, desires, and intentions. Is our conception of ourselves as rational agents consistent with our scientific conception of human beings as biological organisms? Can there be a science of the mind and, if so, what is its status relative to other sciences? What is the relationship between mind and body? How do our mental states come to be about things in the world? How do we know our own minds, or whether other people even have minds? Readings primarily from contemporary sources.

220. Bioethics
Sarah Conly T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
Examines issues central for physicians, biological researchers, and society: cloning, genetic engineering, biological patenting, corporate funding for medical research, use of experimental procedures, and others.

223. Logic
Scott Sehon M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25
The central problem of logic is to determine which arguments are good and which are bad. To this end, we introduce a symbolic language and rigorous, formal methods for seeing whether one statement logically implies another. We apply these tools to a variety of arguments, philosophical and otherwise. We also demonstrate certain theorems about the formal system we construct.

320. Metaphilosophy
Matthew Stuart T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
Metaphilosophy asks philosophical questions about the nature of philosophy itself: What makes a question, or a theory, a philosophical one? Do philosophical questions share a common subject matter? Does their solution involve a distinctive methodology? Do philosophical questions have determinate answers? Can philosophy give us important truths about the world, or does it only explore the meanings of words?