University of California, San Diego - Winter 2014

posted Feb 9, 2011, 10:03 PM by Patrick Hennessey   [ updated Jan 24, 2014, 4:42 PM by SoCal Philosophy ]
Term Dates: January 6 - March 14


(1) Course Title: Phil 209D - Looking at the Social Sciences

Professor: N. Cartwright

Meeting Time and Location: Tuesdays, 9:30-12:20 PM, HSS 3027

Seminar DescriptionSee attached syllabus for details.


(2) Course Title: Phil 210 - Greek Philosophy  

Professor: G. Anagnostopoulos

Meeting Time and Location: N/A

Seminar Description: N/A


(3) Course Title: Phil 215 - Kant, Cognition, and the Destruction of Metaphysics

Professor: E. Watkins

Meeting Time and Location: The seminar is Tuesdays, from 4-6:50pm in HSS 7077.

Seminar DescriptionKant is famous for having argued that we cannot have cognition of things in themselves, including the objects of traditional metaphysics, such as God, freedom, and the soul. In this seminar we will investigate Kant’s criticisms of metaphysics by first considering his account of cognition (in the Transcendental Aesthetic and Analytic), and then reconstructing some of his specific criticisms of particular metaphysical claims (in the Transcendental Dialectic). We will also consider what attitude one ought to have (rather than cognition) toward the objects of metaphysics (in the Appendix to the Transcendental Dialectic and the Canon of Pure Reason).

Syllabus attached.


(4) Course Title: Phil 260 - Ethics - The Morality of Self-Defense and War

Professor: S. Bazargan

Meeting Time and Location: The seminar is Tuesdays, from 4-6:50pm in HSS 7077.

Seminar DescriptionThe purpose of this course is to investigate whether, and if so, under what conditions killing in self- and other-defense is justified, in private contexts and in the context of international armed conflicts. We will begin by determining the relevance of causation, agency, moral responsibility, moral status, and culpability for the permissible resort to defensive violence in private/personal contexts. In doing so, we will also explore the various grounds for a resort to violent defense, including lesser-evil-based justifications and liability-based justifications. We will then apply these finding to the context of international armed conflict, in the second part of the course. In doing so, we will focus on issues in the morality of war for which our prior investigation of the ethics of self-defense will be particularly revealing. Specifically, in addition to considering what sorts of goods can justify a resort to war and how these goods should be weighed against the evils of war, we will investigate the moral equality of combatants, the responsibility of civilians for unjust wars, and the constraint of proportionality in warfare. We will end by considering the underdeveloped topic of collective responsibility in warfare.

Syllabus Attached.

 

(5) Course Title: Phil 285 - Evidence and Singular Causes

Professor: N. Cartwright

Meeting Time and Location: The seminar is Thursdays, from 1-3:50pm in HSS 7077.

Seminar Description: See attached syllabus for details


(6) Course Title: Phil 285 - The Metaphysics and Ethics of Omissions

Professor: D. Nelkin/S. Rickles

Meeting Time and Location: The seminar is Tuesdays, from 4-6:50pm in HSS 7077.

Seminar DescriptionOmissions are metaphysically and morally puzzling. Metaphysically speaking, what kinds of things are omissions? Are they positive events or activities of a certain kind? (For example, is John's omission to call his mother at T identical to his calling his sister at T?) Are they negative facts, or just absences or non-entities? Given what omissions are, is it possible for omissions to be causes (or effects) of events (or other omissions)? For example, is Sarah's omission to water her plants a cause of their wilting? If it is, then is it also true that Barack Obama's omission to water Sarah's plants is a cause of their wilting? Morally speaking, we sometimes praise people for not doing things (e.g., "That was great how you didn't give up the state secrets despite the water torture") and we also blame them for not doing things ("You forgot your brother's birthday!"). And we think that there are things people really ought not to do, and that there are things that people are morally permitted not to do. In other words, we make a variety of moral judgments, not only about what people do (actions) but also about what they don't do (omissions). But omissions pose puzzles that actions do not. For example, when it comes to actions, we can typically point to a corresponding intention or at least some knowledge of the likely consequences on the part of the agent. More specifically, we might point to the fact that a murder is premeditated as reason for blaming more than for one that is done out of anger and an intention to harm but not kill. And while it is true for some omissions that they are associated with certain intentions and knowledge (such as not divulging state secrets), it is not true for all (for example, in cases like forgetting the birthday). If part of what grounds our blame and praise for actions is the associated intention or knowledge, but there is no such thing in the case of some omissions, are we really entitled to praise and blame in such cases? And if so why? Or take another puzzle: Charlotte omits to call the fire department when she sees lightning strike a tree and catch on fire. Over the next few hours, a huge swath of forest burns, along with hundreds of houses in a nearby town. Is Charlotte responsible for the damage? When it comes to actions, we often take it that people are responsible for, at most, what their actions cause. But it is not clear that Charlotte's omission caused the fire and damage; the lightning strike did that. So is Charlotte off the moral hook? If not, what makes her responsible for an outcome she did not cause? In the seminar, we aim to provide answers to all these questions

 Syllabus Attached.






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SoCal Philosophy,
Jan 24, 2014, 4:43 PM
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SoCal Philosophy,
Jan 24, 2014, 4:43 PM
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SoCal Philosophy,
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SoCal Philosophy,
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