To help us with these questions, we will focus on 20th-century analytic work by Putnam, Nagel, Searle, Jackson, Dennett, Chalmers, Block, Dretske, and others , but we will also read important historical texts on the nature of the mind by Aristotle, Descartes, and Hume. Instructor s : B. This course provides a first introduction to mathematical logic. In this course we will prove the soundness and completeness of deductive systems for both propositional and first-order predicate logic.
An introduction to the concepts and principles of symbolic logic. We learn the syntax and semantics of truth-functional and first-order quantificational logic, and apply the resultant conceptual framework to the analysis of valid and invalid arguments, the structure of formal languages, and logical relations among sentences of ordinary discourse. Occasionally we will venture into topics in philosophy of language and philosophical logic, but our primary focus is on acquiring a facility with symbolic logic as such.
Instructor s : G. Since Russell's discovery of the inconsistency of Frege's foundation for mathematics, much of logic has resolved around the question of to what extent we can or cannot prove the consistency of the basic principles with which we reason. This course will explore two main efforts in this direction.
We will first look at proof-theoretic efforts towards demonstrating the consistency of various foundational systems, discussing the virtues and limitations of this approach. We will then closely examine Godel's theorems, which are famous for demonstrating limits on the extent to which we can formulate consistency proofs.
Philosophy of Science: Volume 2, from Explanation to Justification
Much has been written on the implications of Godel's theorems, and we will spend some time trying to carefully separate what they really entail from what they do not entail. Assessment will be by regular homework sets. Intermediate logic or prior equivalent required. II and B. Instructor s : K. In this course, we will read, write, and think about philosophical work meant to provide a systematic and foundational account of ethics. We will focus on close reading of two books, Immanuel Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism, along with a handful of more recent essays.
Throughout, our aim will be to engage in serious thought about good and bad in our lives. Celebrity and Science in Paleoanthropology. Information is gathered from films, taped interviews, autobiographies, biographies, pop publications, instructor's anecdotes, and samples of scientific writings. To Preserve or Destroy: Anthropologies of Heritage. Why do some monuments matter more than others? Why do we destroy some sites and preserve others? How do these objects and sites attain value? As witnessed in Charlottesville, heritage is at the heart of intense debates in politics and culture today.
Questions of theft and colonial violence haunt museums, galleries, and other cultural institutions. Looting and repatriation-linked to archaeology's complex history and of equal concern to contemporary anthropology-force us to contend with the very meaning of heritage, including why it matters, what it does, and to whom it rightfully belongs.
Bringing archaeology and anthropology together, this course attends to these complex questions, exploring how monuments, heritage sites, and material culture are enmeshed in power and condense contested histories. Drawing together ethnographies of heritage, theories of history and art, and accounts of dispossession and destruction, we will examine heritage as a conceptual formation, a set of social, political, and economic practices, and as a locus of both enchantment and endangerment.
Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A
In doing so, students will gain a better sense of why the category of heritage seems to matter so much in the 21st century, paradoxically weaponized by both nationalist narratives and decolonial movements, and what futures heritage builds. Max Weber wrote that to be a scientist one needed a "strange intoxication" with scientific work and a "passionate devotion" to research as a calling. And yet, such passion seemed to conflict with the ideal of value-neutral inquiry.
This class considers the vocation of science since the turn of the twentieth century. What political, economic, and cultural forces have shaped scientific professions in the United States? How are scientists represented in public culture? How was American science experienced during the colonization of the Philippines? By exploring these questions, this class will examine the values and norms that make science into a meaningful vocation. This course surveys the history of medicine from the medieval period to the present.
How did medicine emerge as a defined body of knowledge? To what extent do diseases and disorders have an independent existence, and to what extent are they cultural constructs? How have social mores-particularly those related to religion, class, nationality, race, and gender-influenced the ways in which health was and is understood and maintained, and illness treated? What does it mean to practice medicine ethically, and how has that changed over time?
Topics include the emergence and evolution of the medical profession, the history of medical research and method, the interpretation and treatment of the unhealthy and healthy alike, eugenics, euthanasia, the quest for immortality, and the changing relationship between technology and disease. History of Extraterrestrial Life. In , the Vatican Radio made a splash when it reported that the pontiff, Pope Francis, condoned the baptism of extraterrestrials-if they so desired it. It was both a metaphor for spiritual inclusion and an accurate representation of the modern Vatican's position on the possibilities of modern astrobiology and the search for extrasolar planets, fields whose rapid growth over the past two decades make serious consideration of extraterrestrial life seem like a uniquely modern phenomena.
Its history, however, is in fact many centuries old. In this course we will examine the development of beliefs concerning life in the universe from the sixteenth century to the present. How did historical actors understand the nature, abilities, and location of extraterrestrial life, and its relationship to man and god? We will analyze connections between these beliefs and contemporary political, social, scientific, and religious developments.
These include the role of the plurality of worlds in the debates over heliocentrism, its impact and application in the context of deism and social and political freethought, its literary and artistic depictions and use as a tool of satire and social commentary, its influence on natural philosophy, its decline and the subsequent rise of alien conspiracists and their critics, and how and why conceptions of the extraplanetary other took a dark and sinister turn toward the early-to-mid twentieth century.
Politics of Technoscience in Africa.
Euro-American discourse has often portrayed Africa as either a place without science and technology or as the home of deep and ancient wisdom. European imperialists used the alleged absence of science and technology as a justification for colonialism while pharmaceutical companies sought out African knowledge about healing plants. In addition to their practical applications, science and technology carry significant symbolic weight in discussions about Africa. In this class, we examine the politics of scientific and technical knowledge in Africa with a focus on colonialism and its aftermath.
How have different people produced and used knowledge about the environment, medicine, and technology? What kinds of knowledge count as indigenous and who gets credit for innovation? How have independent African governments dealt with the imperial legacies of science? From the interpretation of archaeological ruins to the design of new medical technologies, this class will examine science and technology as political practice in Africa. This course surveys how science, race, and gender interacted in the early modern Atlantic world from We will critically examine how new modes of scientific inquiry brought Africans, Americans, and Europeans into contact and conflict.
Along the way, we will ask how, why, and with consequences imperial science created new knowledge claims about human inequality, especially racial and sexual difference. We will draw primarily on British, Iberian, and French imperial agendas in order to track the experiences of men and women from all corners of the Atlantic world, including indigenous peoples, enslaved black Africans, free people of color, and white Europeans.
Through a variety of primary and secondary sources, we will uncover European aspirations to curate, control, and exploit the natural world and the agency of subjugated peoples in responding to and resisting these designs. Topics covered include natural history collecting and classification; the invention of racial theory; slavery and maroons; women, gender, and reproduction; consumption; and violence, resistance, and revolution.
Sex and Enlightenment Science. What do a lifelike wax woman, a birthing dummy, and a hermaphrodite have in common? This interdisciplinary course seeks answers to this question by exploring how eighteenth-century scientific and medical ideas, technologies, and practices interacted with and influenced contemporary notions of sex, sexuality, and gender. In our course, the terms "sex," "Enlightenment," and "science" will be problematized in their historic contexts using a variety of primary and secondary sources.
Through these texts, as well as images and objects, we will see how emerging scientific theories about sex, sexuality, and gender contributed to new understandings of the human, especially female, body. We will also see how the liberating potential of Enlightenment thought gave way to sexual and racial theories that insisted on fundamental human difference. Topics to be covered include theories of generation, childbirth, homosexuality, monstrosities, race and procreation, and hermaphrodites and questions about the "sex" of the enlightened scientist and the gendering of scientific practices.
In the nineteenth century, the word "technology" referred to the science of the useful and industrial arts.
While the term is today synonymous with machinery and other material tools, this contemporary usage dates only to the s. A word once used to describe a specialist mode of writing about applied knowledge has come to refer to tools and their use. Indigenous people are often seen as "objects" of social theory; this course considers their role as subjects of social theory-makers of modern knowledge who made foundational contributions to basic ideas about humanity.
As we will see, much of what we call social theory turns out to rely on a vast archive of nonstate knowledge generated by indigenous intellectuals. This course is a critical examination of the ways in which data on the behavior, morphology, and genetics of apes have been used to elucidate human evolution.
We emphasize bipedalism, hunting, meat eating, tool behavior, food sharing, cognitive ability, language, self-awareness, and sociability. Visits to local zoos and museums, film screenings, and demonstrations with casts of fossils and skeletons required. Medical Ethics: Central Topics. Decisions about medical treatment, medical research, and medical policy often have profound moral implications. Taught by a philosopher, two physicians, and a medical lawyer, this course will examine such issues as paternalism, autonomy, assisted suicide, kidney markets, abortion, and research ethics.
Instructor s : D.
Aeon for Friends
This course does not meet requirements for the Biological Sciences major. Note s : Philosophy majors: this course fulfills the practical philosophy A requirement. Decisions about medical treatment take place in the context of changing health care systems, changing ideas about rights and obligations, and among doctors and patients who have diverse religious and cultural backgrounds. Brudney, Staff Prerequisite s : Third- or fourth-year standing Note s : This course does not meet requirements for the biological science major. Introduction to Philosophy of Science. We will begin by trying to explicate the manner in which science is a rational response to observational facts.
This will involve a discussion of inductivism, Popper's deductivism, Lakatos and Kuhn.