Location: Bowdoin / Philosophy / Courses / Spring 2009


Spring 2009

014. The Nature of Poetry
Denis Corish T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Edward Pols House-Conf Room
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.

112. Modern Philosophy
Matthew Stuart M 9:30 - 10:25, W 9:30 - 10:25, F 9:30 - 10:25 Adams-202
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.

152. Death
Matthew Stuart T 10:00 - 11:25, TH 10:00 - 11:25 Cleaveland-151
Considers distinctively philosophical questions about death: Do we have immortal souls? Is immortality even desirable? Is death a bad thing? Is suicide morally permissible? Does the inevitability of death rob life of its meaning? Readings from historical and contemporary sources.

224. Philosophy of Space and Time
Denis Corish T 11:30 - 12:55, TH 11:30 - 12:55 Mass-Faculty Room
Focuses on the problems of time, but also addresses some questions covering space, and some concerning the general structure, of which time and space might be considered interpretations. Considers some ancient views (Plato and Aristotle), some early modern views (Newton and Leibniz), and some contemporary disputed questions (e.g., is time to be thought of in such terms as “earlier”/“later,” or rather, “past”/“present”/“future”?).

241. Philosophy of Law
Sarah Conly M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55 Sills-107
An introduction to legal theory. Central questions include: What is law? What is the relationship of law to morality? What is the nature of judicial reasoning? Particular legal issues include the nature and status of privacy rights (e.g., contraception, abortion, and the right to die); the legitimacy of restrictions on speech and expression (e.g., pornography, hate speech); the nature of equality rights (e.g., race and gender); and the right to liberty (e.g., homosexuality).

249. African Philosophy
Sarah Conly M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55 Sills-207
Examines contemporary work in this diverse and exciting area. African philosophers raise many questions: Given the variety of African cultures, is there a distinctive outlook African philosophers share, and if so, what is it? How should academic philosophers regard indigenous philosophy? Are their distinctive African concepts of beauty, truth, and the good life? What “counts” as African? Examines these and other ethical, aesthetic, and metaphysical questions.

258. Environmental Ethics
Lawrence Simon M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25 Edward Pols House-Conf Room
What things in nature have moral standing? What are our obligations to them? How should we resolve conflicts among our obligations? After an introduction to ethical theory, topics to be covered include anthropocentrism, the moral status of nonhuman sentient beings and of non-sentient living beings, preservation of endangered species and the wilderness, holism versus individualism, the land ethic, and deep ecology.

340. Contemporary Ethical Theory
Lawrence Simon T 2:30 - 3:55, TH 2:30 - 3:55 Edward Pols House-Conf Room
Examines debates in recent ethical theory and normative ethics. Possible topics include realism and moral skepticism, explanation and justification in ethics, consequentialism and its critics, relativism, whether morality is overly demanding, the sources of normativity, and the relation of ethics to science.