Spring 2014 Special Topics

This spring the Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies is offering three special topics courses: 

Phil 392: Philosophy and Psychoanalysis
MR 12:30
Dr. Georganna Ulary

This course is an introduction to Freud and post-Freudian psychoanalytic theory. The course will approach these theories from the perspective of certain philosophical concerns: for example, what is the human being?, what is human freedom and why does it matter?, what is the nature of human desire, of practical reason, what is happiness and can humans be happy? The primary readings for the course will focus on the texts of Freud and Lacan, but there will also be selections from other philosophical works. This course is an introduction to Freud and post-Freudian psychoanalytic theory. The course will approach these theories from the perspective of certain philosophical concerns: for example, what is the human being?, what is human freedom and why does it matter?, what is the nature of human desire, of practical reason, what is happiness and can humans be happy? The primary readings for the course will focus on the texts of Freud and Lacan, but there will also be selections from other philosophical works. [PATHWAYS: COGNITIVE STUDIES; CONT. EUROPEAN STUDIES]

Phil 393: Philosophy of Science
TF 2:00
Dr. James G. Snyder

The philosophy of science goes back to at least Aristotle. While the philosophy of science is ancient, it rose to a place of prominence among twentieth century philosophers. This course is an introduction to some of the central issues, problems, and texts in the philosophy of science. The first two weeks of this course will be a general overview of some of the central issues in the philosophy of science. The remaining weeks will examine these central issues in greater detail through reading relevant books and articles by contemporary philosophers. Whenever possible we will consider relevant readings from the history of ancient and early modern philosophy. Both periods in history are especially important to understanding science today. Over the course of the semester we will examine a variety of metaphysical and epistemological issues in the contemporary philosophy of science: science and pseudoscience, explanation, theory construction, realism and anti-realism, scientific revolutions, laws of nature, as well as some contemporary criticisms of science. [PATHWAYS: COGNITIVE STUDIES; QUANTITATIVE STUDIES; TECHNOLOGY & SOCIETY]

Phil 394: Free Will
MW 3:30
Dr. Andrei Buckareff

That normal adult humans possess free will is a common assumption and is taken for granted by many when thinking about moral agency. But few actually articulate what they take a will to be and what is required for the exercise of the will to be free. In this course we will consider various accounts of the metaphysics of free will along with different challenges—both philosophical and scientific—to the general claim that we can have any species of free will and be morally responsible agents. PREREQUISITE: PHIL101 [PATHWAYS: COGNITIVE STUDIES; LEGAL STUDIES]

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