Graduate Courses Offered
Click course titles to read descriptions. (For a list of current courses, visit MyUI; use the "Session" menu to view courses by semester.) All of the following courses are repeatable except 7400 and 7500.
- 6100 Seminar: Ancient Philosophy (3 s.h.)
- 6200 Seminar: Modern Philosophy (3 s.h.)
- 6300 Seminar: Philosophical Analysis (3 s.h.)
- 6400 Seminar: Ethics (3 s.h.)
- 6510 Seminar: Metaphysics (3 s.h.)
- 6520 Seminar: Epistemology (3 s.h.)
- 6540 Seminar: Philosophy of Language (3 s.h.)
- 6620 Seminar: Philosophy of Science (3 s.h.)
- 6800 Seminar: Philosophy of Religion (3 s.h.)
- 7200 Research: History of Philosophy (arr.)
- 7400 Research: Value Theory (arr.)
- 7500 Research: Metaphysics and Epistemology (arr.)
- 7600 Research: Logic and Philosophy of Science (arr.)
- 7900 Thesis (arr.)
Courses Open to Both Undergraduates and Graduate Students
4152 Plato (3 s.h.)
Introduction to metaphysics, epistemology, and moral theory of Plato; topics may include the philosophy of Socrates, Plato's theory of Forms, the tripartite soul, nature of virtue and moral education; Plato's cosmology and assimilation of human nature to the divine; close reading and interpretation of specific texts. Consent of instructor is required.
4153 Aristotle (3 s.h.)
Introduction to metaphysics, epistemology, and moral theory of Aristotle; topics may include Aristotle's theories of matter and form, causation, motion, change, space, void, time; Aristotle's philosophy of biology and theory of the soul; unity of virtue, nature of action and choice; the syllogism; combines survey with close reading and interpretation of specific texts. Consent of instructor is required.
4258 Descartes (3 s.h.)
Major works such as the Discourse on Method, as well as lesser known works such as The World. Consent of instructor required.
4260 Spinoza and Leibniz (3 s.h.)
Comparative and critical examination of metaphysical and epistemological views of 17th‑century rationalists, Baruch Spinoza and G.W. Leibniz; topics may include monism, panpsychism, space and time, free will and necessity, the confusion of everyday experience, incomplete versus complete ideas, nature and existence of God, stoicism, passions and emotions as objects of detached scientific investigation.
4263 Berkeley and Hume (3 s.h.)
Comparative and critical examination of metaphysical and epistemological views of 18th-century empiricists George Berkeley and David Hume; theory of ideas, perception, skepticism, limits of knowledge, scientific and philosophical method, role of God in Berkeley's and Hume's philosophical systems.
4266 Kant (3 s.h.)
Analysis of main ideas and major texts of Kant's metaphysics and epistemology. Consent of instructor required.
4346 Frege and Russell (3 s.h.)
Major issues concerning Frege's revolution in logic, Cantor's taming of the infinite, and Russellian synthesis of these revolutions to form Logicist thesis that all of pure mathematics (including geometry) is a branch of the science of logic; central issues in the philosophy of language and analysis of logical form; Russell's theory of definite descriptions and his logicism as a paradigm for a philosophical solution to mysteries of existence, number, infinite, motion, and Zeno paradoxes. Consent of instructor required.
4373 Heidegger (3 s.h.)
Critical examination of main ideas and major texts of Heidegger's, including texts from both Heidegger's early and later periods, but with particular attention to Being and Time, and a focus on his analyses of Being and Being-in-the-world. Consent of instructor required.
4375 Rawl's Political Philosophy (3 s.h.)
Major works by John Rawls, selected secondary readings; contractarianism, concept of justice, justice as fairness as an alternative to utilitarianism, Kantian foundations, comprehensive and political liberalism.
4377 Wittgenstein (3 s.h.)
Main ideas and major texts of Ludwig Wittgenstein; early and later periods; particular attention given to Tractatus, Philosophical Investigations, and development of Wittgenstein's thought.Consent of instructor required.
4379 Quine (3 s.h.)
Evaluation of Quine's attempt to restructure philosophy so that ontological questions are questions of "what there is" and methods for answering such questions are methods of natural (empirical) sciences; central issues pertaining to Quine's thesis that this naturalization program also applies to physics, mathematics, logic; comparison of Dewey's pragmatist and evolutionary reconstruction in philosophy to that of Quine and others (e.g., Carnap, Russell, Wittgenstein); major themes involving Quine on set theory, modal logic, the a priori; and the thesis that meaning is translation and translation is indeterminate. Consent of instructor required.
4480 Analytic Ethics (3 s.h.)
Exploration of central meta-ethical questions: Are there objective values, and if there are, can we gain knowledge of what has such value? Should we always act so as to bring about the best consequences? If not, why not? Can we derive moral conclusions from scientifically established facts about the world? If not, does this undermine the idea that we can offer sensible arguments for ethical conclusions? Consent of instructor required.
4482 History of Ethics (3 s.h.)
Ancient and medieval ethics, with emphasis on Plato, Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas. Consent of instructor required.
4485 Political Philosophy (3 s.h.)
Selected topics in political philosophy. Consent of instructor required.
4586 Metaphysics (3 s.h.)
In-depth exploration of metaphysical problems: material constitution, persistence of objects and persons through time, problem of universals, mind-body problem, free will and determinism. Consent of instructor required.
4587 Epistemology (3 s.h.)
Theories of nature, structure, and extent of knowledge and rational belief; investigation of questions: Do we really know as much as we are inclined to think we do? Can we rule out the possibility that we are dreaming or being systematically deceived right now? And if we can't, what reason do we have for thinking that things are as they seem to us to be? Consent of instructor required.
4588 Philosophy of Mind (3 s.h.)
Foundational questions about the mind: What is the mind, and how is it related to the brain? What makes minds so special? How do we know if other animals, or even other people, have minds? Can things without brains, such as aliens or computers, think? What is consciousness? Are we mere machines, lacking free will, if neuroscientists can explain the mind?; recent research in related sciences including neuroscience, psychology, cognitive ethology (animal cognition). Consent of instructor required.
4589 Philosophy of Language (3 s.h.)
Main issues in contemporary philosophy of language; topics may include theories of meaning, truth, belief, interpretation, translation, speech acts, performatives, rule following, reference, naming, propositional attitudes, metaphor. Consent of instructor required.
4590 Phil Foundations of Cognitive Science (3 s.h.)
Cognitive science defined as the study of individual agency; its nature, mechanisms, and patterns; development of cognitive science from historical roots in psychology, computer science, neuroscience, philosophy, linguistics; key issues; motivations for and varieties of cognitive explanations; models of cognitive architecture; nature of information processing; relation between cognitive processes and experimental tasks; relation between cognitive and neural theories, models, explanations.
4691 Mathematical Logic (3 s.h.)
Presentation of central metatheorems relating to decidability, completeness, and model theory; second-order logic. Consent of instructor required.
4692 Modal Logic (3 s.h.)
Formal techniques of modal logic developed and applied to problems in linguistic analysis and modal semantics, with discussion of related philosophical issues. Consent of instructor required.
4694 Philosophy of Science (3 s.h.)
Discussion of central topics in philosophy of science — for example, scientific explanation, confirmation, and the meaning of scientific theories; survey of major twentieth-century developments in these areas. Consent of instructor required.
4696 Philosophy of the Human Sciences (3 s.h.)
Explanation and understanding, theories and reduction, values and ideology, freedom and causality. Consent of instructor required.
4798 Topics in Philosophy (3 s.h.)
Intensive study of a single philosopher or philosophical problem. Repeatable: see department for maximum times/s.h. Consent of instructor required.