Location: Bowdoin / Philosophy / Courses / Spring 2011


Spring 2011

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

142. Philosophy of Religion
Scott Sehon M 1:00 - 2:25, W 1:00 - 2:25
Does God exist? Can the existence of God be proven? Can it be disproven? Is it rational to believe in God? What does it mean to say that God exists (or does not exist)? What distinguishes religious beliefs from non-religious beliefs? What is the relation between religion and science? Approaches these and related questions through a variety of historical and contemporary sources, including philosophers, scientists, and theologians.

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. Philosophy of Science
Scott Sehon M 11:30 - 12:55, W 11:30 - 12:55
Science is often thought of as the paradigm of rational inquiry, as a method that gives us an unparalleled ability to understand the nature of the world. Others have doubted this rosy picture, and have emphasized historical and sociological aspects of the practice of science. Investigates the nature of science and scientific thought by looking at a variety of topics, including the demarcation of science and non-science, relativism and objectivity, logical empiricism, scientific revolutions, and scientific realism.

227. Metaphysics
Jason Bowers M 10:30 - 11:25, W 10:30 - 11:25, F 10:30 - 11:25
Metaphysics is the study of very abstract questions about reality. What does reality include? What is the relation between things and their properties? What is time? Do objects and persons have temporal parts as well as spatial parts? What accounts for the identity of persons over time? What is action, and do we ever act freely?

258. Environmental Ethics
Lawrence Simon M 2:30 - 3:55, W 2:30 - 3:55
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.

337. Hume
Matthew Stuart T 1:00 - 2:25, TH 1:00 - 2:25
An examination of the whole arc of Hume’s philosophy, including his metaphysics and epistemology, his theory of the passions, and his moral philosophy. Readings will be drawn from his early masterpiece, the Treatise of Human Nature, and from later works including his two Enquiries and the Dissertation of the Passions.