Location: Bowdoin / Philosophy / Courses / Spring 2008


Spring 2008

014. The Nature of Poetry
Denis Corish T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
What is the nature of poetry? This is a philosophical question, considered by using traditional and contemporary poems as examples. Also considers the relation of philosophy to poetry in the particularly interesting case of the condemnation of poetry by the Greek philosopher Plato.

016. Personal Ethics
Matthew Stuart T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25
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.

112. Modern Philosophy
Matthew Stuart M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
A survey of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century European philosophy, focusing on discussions of the ultimate nature of reality and our knowledge of it. Topics include the nature of the mind and its relation to the body, the existence of God, and the free will problem. Readings from Descartes, Locke, Hume, Kant, and others.

120. Moral Problems
Sarah Conly M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25
Our society is riven by deep and troubling moral controversies. Examines some of these controversies in the context of current arguments and leading theoretical positions. Possible topics include abortion, physician-assisted suicide, capital punishment, sexuality, the justifiability of terrorism, and the justice of war.

221. History of Ethics
Lawrence Simon M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
How should one live? What is the good? What is my duty? What is the proper method for doing ethics? The fundamental questions of ethics are examined in the classic texts of Aristotle, Hume, Mill, and Kant.

222. Political Philosophy
Lawrence Simon T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55
Examines some of the major issues and concepts in political philosophy, including freedom and coercion, justice, equality, and the nature of liberalism. Readings primarily from contemporary sources.

225. The Nature of Scientific Thought
Denis Corish T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55
A historical and methodological study of scientific thought as exemplified in the natural sciences. Against a historical background ranging from the beginnings of early modern science to the twentieth century, such topics as scientific inquiry, hypothesis, confirmation, scientific laws, theory, and theoretical reduction and realism are studied. Readings include such authors as Duhem, Hempel, Kuhn, Popper, Putman, and Quine, as well as classical authors such as Galileo, Descartes, Newton, Berkeley, and Leibniz.

399. Advanced Seminar
Sarah Conly T 6:30 - 9:25
An in-depth examination of a topic of current philosophical interest. Students read recent books or journal articles and invite the authors of those works to discuss them with the group. Typically, this involves visits by three guest philosophers per semester. Limited to philosophy majors; others with permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit.