Graduate Courses Fall 2003
Roger White/Gordon Belot
Call #: 30912
The main aim of this course is to provide new graduate students in the department with an opportunity to work on the skills involved in reading, writing and discussing philosophy. The readings will cover a range of major themes in twentieth-century analytic philosophy.
All and only first-year graduate students will take this course
Advanced Introduction to the Philosophy of Mind
Call #: 31279
Conceptual and empirical issues concerning the relation between consciousness and some of the following: the physical, representation, perception, higher order thought, function, action, the self, concepts, Frege's problem, modality, conceivability, neural correlates, objectivity, spectrum inversion.
Philosophy of Logic
Call #: 30914
I intend to focus on the epistemology of logic, and in particular on (whether and) how rational changes in our logical beliefs can come about. I will probably begin with a discussion of two phenomena, vagueness and the semantic paradoxes, which do seem to me to motivate a modification in our logical beliefs about the law of excluded middle and related matters (fortunately, the same modification in both cases); but I don't intend to make these the main focus, but only to serve as a case study to keep in mind when we discuss rational change in logic. I will make connections to some of the literature on the justification of logic and on whether logic is empirical.
Ethics: Selected Topics
Call #: 31348
This course will discuss several related ethical questions. They may include: Is the doctrine of double effect true? Is there a morally significant difference between making something happen and allowing it to happen? Do a person's intentions affect the permissibility of her actions? Does a person have stronger ethical obligations to those who are near to her than to those who are on the other side of the world?
History of Philosophy: Hume
The seminar will focus on Hume's treatments of representation, space and time, inductive reasoning, causal necessity, skepticism, the passions, free will, motivation, morality, property, and political obligation--primarily as these treatments occur in A Treatise of Human Nature. One recurring theme will be the philosophical implications of Hume's naturalism.
Thesis Preparation Seminar
Call #: 31121
Colloquium in Law, Philosophy, and Political Theory
Ronald Dworkin/Thomas Nagel
Each week on Thursday a legal theorist or moral or political philosopher presents a paper to the group, which consists of students, faculty from the Law School and other departments of NYU, and faculty from other universities in or close to New York. The choice of subject is left to the paper’s author, within the general boundaries of the Colloquium’s subjects, and the discussions are therefore not connected by any structured theme for the term as a whole, though in past years certain central topics were canvassed in several week’s discussion. The Colloquium aims, not to pursue any particular subject, but to explore new work in considerable depth and so allow students to develop their own skill in theoretical analysis. Each week’s paper is distributed at least a week in advance, and participants are expected to have read it.
Next term’s papers will be presented by Edward Baker of Penn, Klaus Guenther of the University of Frankfurt in Germany, Lawrence Lessig of the Stanford Law School, Susan Okin of Stanford University, Phillipe Van Parijs of the Catholic University of Louvain in Belgium, Philip Pettit of Princeton University, and Susan Wolf of Johns Hopkins University, as visitors, and Sharon Street of the NYU Philosophy Department and Thomas Franck, Lewis Kornhauser, Matthias Kumm, Joseph Weiler, and Ronald Dworkin of the NYU Law School. Discussion is introduced either by Professor Nagel or Professor Dworkin, and continues from 4PM to 7, with a short break at 6.
Students enrolled in the Colloquium meet separately with Professor Dworkin for an additional two-hour seminar on Wednesday. One hour is devoted to a review of the preceding Thursday’s Colloquium discussion, and one hour in preparation for the Colloquium of the following day. Students are asked to write short papers weekly, and each student is asked to make two or more oral presentations to the seminar during the term. Each student is asked to expand one of his or her weekly papers, or oral presentations, for a final term paper.