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Spring 2020

NOTE: This data is offered for your convenience only. The schedule data is updated regularly and may not reflect recent changes to the Schedule of Classes. For full, up-to-date course information please visit the Office of the Registrar's website. Thank you.

1115 - Introduction to Philosophy

1115.001

Instructor: Michael Candelaria
Time/s: MWF 12:00-12:50

TBA

1115.002

Instructor: Michael Rubio
Time/s: MWF 11:00-11:50

This course is an introduction to conceptual engineering. Philosophical problems are different from the problems of science and theology. Philosophy attempts to engineer answers to philosophical problems by creatively using concepts/ideas to answer deep questions that science and theology cannot.

One of the main goals of this course is to define what a philosophical problem is and appreciate why it is important. By the end of this course students will have a better understanding of what a philosophical problem is and what philosophy is but there is no guarantee that the understanding will be crystal-clear; this is part of the unique nature of philosophy. That is, philosophers themselves continue to debate the question of what philosophy is. Hopefully by the end of the course students will gain some appreciation of the complexity of the questions that lead to the unique nature of philosophy.

Another goal of this class is to do philosophy and not just read about it. To accomplish the goal of doing philosophy we will investigate contemporary problems dealing with gender, race, the environment, non-human animals, the state, and hunger, among others and then employ the thought of past and present philosophers to help us engineer potential answers these problems.

In addition, our philosophical inquiry we force us to ask strange questions such as the following: does the environment have rights? Can a river have rights? What is a person? Can an artificial intelligence be considered a person? What is consciousness? Can machines have consciousness? Do non-human animals deserve moral consideration? What is the role of the state? Is a state necessary to political governance? What is so unappealing about anarchy? Is capitalism the only form of economic exchange? Is capitalism the best form or system of economic exchange? How do we know we are not just brains in vat or stuck in the Matrix? What is love? What is the role of emotions? Does God exist or is belief in God a useful fantasy?

Assessment of students is accomplished through a combination of argumentative papers, quizzes, reading questions, a midterm and a final.

1115.003

Instructor: Marcel Lebow
Time/s: ARR

The discipline of philosophy is given short shrift in our culture today. Considered just haphazard opining, philosophizing is thought at best to be a statement one gives at a dinner party. One tells of "their philosophy", which inevitably amounts to a series of platitudes dressed up in long pauses and distant gazing. Otherwise, philosophy, it is said, has no place in contemporary society, and was just a series of lucky guesses and wild speculation only those in the past considered – a mere stand-in for a kind of thinking that the sciences now occupy.

Through a study of some of the classics of the Western philosophical tradition, this class aims to dispel such misconceptions and introduce one to the rigor and lasting relevance of the practice and study of philosophy. We will address questions that many of us wonder about at one time or another: Is there a god? What constitutes a good or evil act? Do we have souls? How do we know the external world exists? Does life have meaning?

What we will find is that philosophy at its finest delimits a field of investigation that, while informed by the sciences and other disciplines, can only be approached systematically through a kind of thinking unique to philosophy itself. Rather than a matter of paltry conjecture, philosophy puts limits on what we can say and think legitimately, and reveals to us certain possibilities of philosophical conclusion, separating from itself idle chatter and the remarks better left for books found in Barnes & Noble's quirky gifts section which predicate philosophy with one's favorite television show or movie.

Grades based on quizzes, online discussion, and two exams.

1115.005

Instructor: Cara Greene
Time/s: TR 9:30-10:45

Philosophy comes from the Greek word philosophia, which means, “love of wisdom.” Accordingly, philosophy is a diverse field of study that explores different ways of thinking about things like knowledge, ethics, logic, aesthetics, religion, and politics, among many others. Yet, you cannot have “love of wisdom” without having a lover of wisdom, or a thing that loves wisdom. Who is this “thing” that is capable of finding, thinking about, and loving wisdom? In this Introduction to Philosophy class, you will encounter a broad range of philosophical perspectives on the topic of human subjectivity. We will confront and attempt to answer questions like: What is human subjectivity? Is there such a thing as “human nature”? What is the difference between the mind and the soul? What divides the human from the natural world? What is the relationship between an individual and collective society? To tackle these questions, we will begin in the ancient world, reading selections from the work of Plato and Aristotle. Next, we will move to the modern era, reading selections from Descartes, Hume, and Hegel. Finally, we will transition to the 20th century, reading selections from Freud, Marx, Beauvoir and Fanon.  Course assignments will consist of a midterm exam, 2 short papers, and 1 final paper.

1115.006

Instructor: Mariah Partida
Time/s: TR 11:00-12:15

In this course, we will examine a wide array of key figures and concepts in the history of philosophy. In particular, we will address the following questions: What is the good life? What is the good death? What is knowledge? What is truth? What is love? What is justice? What is beauty? What's the nature of reality? What’s the relationship between mind and body, self and other, free will and determinism, being and time? What's the meaning of life? Is there a God? What is nihilism, and how should we understand it? What does it mean to read well? In what ways can we apply philosophy to our everyday lives? 

Proceeding historically, we will read and reflect on texts by major Western and non-Western thinkers including Plato, Aristotle, Lao Tzu, Confucius, René Descartes, Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, and Linda Alcoff. In the course of the semester, students taking PHIL 101 will cultivate their own philosophical voices and their ability to critically reflect on some of the most urgent ethical and political questions of our time.

1115.013

Instructor: Marcel Lebow
Time/s: ARR

The discipline of philosophy is given short shrift in our culture today. Considered just haphazard opining, philosophizing is thought at best to be a statement one gives at a dinner party. One tells of "their philosophy", which inevitably amounts to a series of platitudes dressed up in long pauses and distant gazing. Otherwise, philosophy, it is said, has no place in contemporary society, and was just a series of lucky guesses and wild speculation only those in the past considered – a mere stand-in for a kind of thinking that the sciences now occupy.

Through a study of some of the classics of the Western philosophical tradition, this class aims to dispel such misconceptions and introduce one to the rigor and lasting relevance of the practice and study of philosophy. We will address questions that many of us wonder about at one time or another: Is there a god? What constitutes a good or evil act? Do we have souls? How do we know the external world exists? Does life have meaning?

What we will find is that philosophy at its finest delimits a field of investigation that, while informed by the sciences and other disciplines, can only be approached systematically through a kind of thinking unique to philosophy itself. Rather than a matter of paltry conjecture, philosophy puts limits on what we can say and think legitimately, and reveals to us certain possibilities of philosophical conclusion, separating from itself idle chatter and the remarks better left for books found in Barnes & Noble's quirky gifts section which predicate philosophy with one's favorite television show or movie.

Grades based on quizzes, online discussion, and two exams.

1120 - Logic, Reasoning, and Critical Thinking

1120.001

Instructor: Nils Seiler
Time/s: MWF 9:00-9:50

In Logic, Reason, and Critical Thinking you will learn the tools used to make and defend strong arguments as well as those you need to analyze the arguments of others. By focusing on the components of strong arguments as well as some of the common fallacious methods of argumentation, this course serves as platform to help you improve your own argumentative skills, especially in writing, and your skills in critical thinking. The first half of this course will focus on the tools and methods that will help you analyze and understand arguments, e.g. induction, deduction, validity, soundness, strength, and fallacy, etc., while the second half of the course will examine arguments in action, using the skills you developed to analyze and discuss contemporary debates concerning politics, social issues, and more.

1120.002

Instructor: Zaccharia Turnbull
Time/s: MWF 12:00-12:50

TBA

1120.003

Instructor: Idris Robinson
Time/s: MWF 2:00-2:50

In the first two weeks of the course, students will learn to identify, construct, and critically assess arguments. Through a rigorous examination of the basic principles of reason, students will come to acquire the analytic skills necessary to both develop and evaluate the quality of an argument.  The second half of the semester will be devoted to applying these skills in response to Alain Badiou’s contemporary rendition of Plato’s Republic. In Badiou’s hyper-translation, timeless themes, such as truth, justice, and knowledge, are refashioned in a colorful, modern garb: present-day allusions to iPads, soft-drinks, and sports-cars replace all of the Republic’s outdated ancient Greek references; and even Plato’s famous “cave allegory” is converted into a movie theatre.  While these aspects of Badiou’s version of the classic dialogue undoubtedly makes it an enjoyable read, critical analysis and reasoning will allow us to determine whether Plato’s arguments can stand the test of time.

1120.004

Instructor: Idris Robinson
Time/s: MWF 3:00-3:50

In the first two weeks of the course, students will learn to identify, construct, and critically assess arguments. Through a rigorous examination of the basic principles of reason, students will come to acquire the analytic skills necessary to both develop and evaluate the quality of an argument.  The second half of the semester will be devoted to applying these skills in response to Alain Badiou’s contemporary rendition of Plato’s Republic. In Badiou’s hyper-translation, timeless themes, such as truth, justice, and knowledge, are refashioned in a colorful, modern garb: present-day allusions to iPads, soft-drinks, and sports-cars replace all of the Republic’s outdated ancient Greek references; and even Plato’s famous “cave allegory” is converted into a movie theatre.  While these aspects of Badiou’s version of the classic dialogue undoubtedly makes it an enjoyable read, critical analysis and reasoning will allow us to determine whether Plato’s arguments can stand the test of time.

1120.005

Instructor: Justin Pearce
Time/s: TR 12:30-1:45

The purpose of this course is to help students develop the skills to make arguments, refute arguments, and differentiate good arguments from bad arguments. The first half of the course will be devoted to learning the linguistic and conceptual skills necessary for recognizing, analyzing, and critically evaluating arguments. In doing so, students should learn how to identify poorly constructed arguments while honing the skills necessary to construct strong arguments of their own. The second half of the course will put these skills to practice by applying them to various contemporary moral and political issues. The goal is that students leave this course able to formulate and defend their own autonomous opinions on these and many other issues in a way that utilizes effective reasoning and critical thinking skills.

1120.006

Instructor: Robert McKinley
Time/s: TR 11:00-12:15

We encounter arguments all the time: in course readings and news articles, on social media and in everyday conversation. But how can you tell if an argument is good? When should you be persuaded? In this course, we will learn how to analyze, critique, and construct arguments. In the first half of the course, we will examine the different logical concepts and tools that are needed for analyzing and evaluating an argument. Then in the second half, we will apply these tools to a few philosophical essays in order to critically evaluate arguments "in the wild." No background in philosophy or logic is presupposed, but you should come prepared to think, talk, and write in a sophisticated, critical way.

1120.007

Instructor: Klara Hedling
Time/s: TR 9:30-10:45

1120 Critical Thinking is a course that will teach the skills of writing, argumentation, argument analysis, reasoning and critical thinking. The first half of the course will cover how to identify and assess arguments, by introducing students to deduction, induction, validity, soundness, strength, and fallacy, among others. The second half of the course will apply the skills learned in the first part of the course through critical engagement with selected philosophical texts. Classes will consist of lecture, discussion and group work. Assignments will include readings, quizzes/reading responses, three short papers, and a final paper.

1120.008

Instructor: Jason Barton
Time/s: MWF 10:00-10:50

Ultimately, philosophy is concerned with argumentation. In this course, we will investigate what properties, qualities, and conditions make an argument acceptable, persuasive, and interesting. The first part of the course will be more theoretical in the sense that we will analyze the foundational elements of argumentation (argument construction, types of reasoning, fallacies, and so on). The second part of the course will be more practical in the sense that we will apply the argumentative concepts from the first part of the course to philosophical and political texts. None of the texts from the second part of the course will need to be purchased by students. This list of texts includes Harry Frankfurt’s The Reasons of Love, Friedrich Nietzsche’s The Antichrist: A Criticism of Christianity, and Richard Taylor’s “The Meaning of Life.” Moreover, with the upcoming elections in 2020, we will also apply our argumentative concepts to campaign speeches, transcripts from debates, and other timely political texts.

Required text: Critical Thinking, An Introduction to the Basic Skills (7th Edition), by William Hughes, Jonathan Lavery, Katheryn Doran (Broadview Press). (ISBN-13: 978-1554811977 ISBN-10: 155481197X)

1120.009

Instructor: Brian Gatsch
Time/s: ARR

How can you tell if an argument makes sense? What separates a good argument from a bad one? In this online course, students will learn the skills necessary to construct, analyze, and critically assess arguments.  Beginning with the basic principles of reason and logic, students will acquire the abilities necessary to extract arguments from philosophical texts, evaluate the strength of these arguments, and craft written responses to them.  We will also be analyzing classic philosophical texts that have profoundly influenced the structure and development of Western civilization.

Required text:

Critical Thinking, An Introduction to the Basic Skills (7th Edition), by William Hughes, Jonathan Lavery, Katheryn Doran (Broadview Press). ( ISBN-13: 978-1554811977 ISBN-10: 155481197X)

2140 - Professional Ethics

2140.001

Instructor: Brian Gatsch
Time/s: ARR

This online course focuses on some of the ethical issues that arise in the context of professional life.  Beginning with an overview of three major ethical theories, we will consider how these theories, which traditionally concern personal morality, apply to life in a professional setting.  We will also examine the roles and obligations associated with professional life. What is the relationship between personal and professional codes of conduct? What distinguishes professions from other occupations?  Through the lens of various professions, we will look at issues such as lying and truth-telling, whistleblowing, confidentiality, and the obligations of professionals toward the public.  Using a combination of readings, case studies, and online discussion groups, we will explore these ideas in a philosophical manner, looking to understand the ethical principles at work.  This course will give students a solid introduction to ethical reasoning and will help to develop the tools necessary to apply ethical principles to real-world settings.

Required text:

Ethics Across the Professions: A Reader for Professional Ethics, 2nd ed, Clancy Martin, Wayne Vaught, and Robert C. Solomon, editors. OUP. (ISBN-13: 978-0190298708/ISBN-10: 0190298707)

2210 - Early Modern Philosophy

2210.001

Instructor: Mary Domski
Time/s: TR 8:00-9:15

The philosophies that emerged during the early modern period can be seen as a response to a two-fold challenge: 1) the skeptical challenge to human knowledge and 2) the challenge to find a scientific method appropriate for study of the natural world. We’ll begin the course by considering the growing popularity of skepticism in the wake of the Protestant Reformation and focus in particular on the skeptical arguments forwarded in Montaigne’s Apology for Raymond Sebond.  This background will set the stage for our examination of the anti-skeptical arguments of ‘rationalists’ such as Descartes and Leibniz.

The second half of the course will be dedicated to the ‘empiricists’, and primarily, to Locke and Hume. Their philosophies will be placed in the scientific context of the seventeenth century, and we’ll examine how the ‘empiricists’ attempted to integrate an empirical method of science into their respective approaches to knowledge and nature. At the end of the course, we’ll briefly look at Kant’s blending of ‘rationalism’ and ‘empiricism’, or what he terms his ‘transcendental’ treatment of the possibility of knowledge.

2210.002

Instructor: Michael Candelaria
Time/s: MWF 1:00-1:50

TBA

2220 - Greek Philosophy

2220.002

Instructor: Carolyn Thomas
Time/s: ARR

This completely online course is an introduction to the ancient Greek beginnings of philosophy in the western tradition. We’ll read the ancient Greek philosophers themselves—several Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus—and engage their fundamental questions and concerns, which today can still touch and interest every person. These questions include: What are nature and reality? What is a good life? What are being, becoming, and change? What are reason, language, truth, and knowing? What are love and friendship? What is education? And, what is philosophy itself?

Required weekly work includes readings, written discussion posts, and reading quizzes. Additional required semester work includes a midterm exam and a final exam. Coursework is due at the end of each week, at midnight on Sunday nights. You must have reliable Internet access, but no other special equipment is required

2225 - Greek Thought

2225.002

Instructor: Joachim Oberst
Time/s: MWF 12:00-12:50

In this course we will explore the Greek roots of Western Thought. Through lectures, discussions, group work and film viewings, participants will uncover our Greek heritage. The study of words, text fragments and the entire work of poets and philosophers will be our main avenue of discovery. Starting with mythology we will transition to Presocratic philosophy, encounter the enigmatic Socrates, explore Greek theatre (comedy and tragedy) and examine the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. A brief look into Hellenistic philosophy will bring the course to a close.

Course materials will be made available on UNMLearn and ordered through the UNM Bookstore.

There is no prerequisite to this course. Apart from offering stimulation for intellectual development and personal enrichment through the philological treatment of texts, the course will prepare students to participate in other courses in philosophy and the humanities at large, especially in classics and the history of philosophy. The course can also be illuminating for students of the natural sciences.

2240 - Introduction to Existentialism

2240.001

Instructor: Joachim Oberst
Time/s: MWF 2:00-2:50

In this course students will encounter the primary thought and thinking of the existentialist movement. The (existential) encounter will bring us to question ourselves: our own conception of reality (what we deem real), the world (we live in) and life — life as such and the life we live. An examination of some of the seminal texts and their authors (including key aspects of their personal and political history) will introduce us to the main themes of existentialism. A thorough reading of their work (exegesis), scrupulous discussion (interpretation) of those texts and unreserved participation in these discussions (authenticity) will confront us with ourselves — both through the experience of existentialist thought and the thinking of the existentialist experience. Existentialist thought is not understood without the existentialist experience. The course aims at being an event (Ereignis).

Some of the issues to be discussed are life, death, love, despair, abandonment, freedom, (im)mortality, (in)authenticity, (un)truth, (non-)existence, essence, (inter-)subjectivity, individuality, community, boredom, absurdity, suicide, finitude, faith, resoluteness, being and nothingness.

Some of the authors we will consult are Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Leo Tolstoy, Martin Buber, Edith Stein, Martin Heidegger, Simone Weil, Anne Frank, Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry and Wilhelm Reich.

There are no prerequisites for this course. The only requirements essential to the course are genuine interest in the exploration of texts and their authors, and the willingness to engage in (self-)critical — individual and collective — self-reflection. In addition to offering stimulation for intellectual development and personal enrichment through the philological treatment of texts, the course will prepare students to participate in other courses in philosophy and the humanities at large. The course is illuminating to people from all walks of life and thus enlightening also to other academic disciplines.

2996 - T: Philosophy of Food

2996.001

Instructor: Lisa Gerber
Time/s: TR 12:30-1:45

In this course we dine on the most interesting questions about the philosophy of food. What is food? How do we make aesthetic judgments about food and the experience of food? How is eating connected to our fundamental human experience and the good life? How should we evaluate food choice individually, socially, and environmentally? To analyze these questions we will explore food movements and food choices. In considering issues of sustainability, we will analyze the production of food, the transportation of food, the consumption of food, and the waste of food.

Texts:
David Kaplan, The Philosophy of Food
Collection of essays

333 - Buddhist Philosophy

333.001

Instructor: Emily McRae
Time/s: MWF 10:00-10;50

In this course we will explore some of the main topics in Buddhist ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology. Topics will include: the ethics of awakening (bodhicitta), the metaphysics of emptiness, the nature of the self, wisdom and enlightenment, meditation and philosophy, and suffering and the human condition. We will focus mainly on historical texts from South Asian philosophical traditions, but we will also explore some contemporary Buddhist philosophy from Asia and the West.

336 - Chinese Philosophy

336.001

Instructor: Emily McRae
Time/s: MWF 12:00-12:50

This course surveys Chinese philosophy, with emphasis on the early (pre-Qin) period. We will examine early Chinese philosophical schools, including Confucianism, Daoism, Mohism, Legalism. If time permits, we may also discuss Chinese Buddhism. Themes will include early Chinese understandings of human nature, virtue and goodness, sagehood, attitudes toward death and dying, political philosophy, and theories of knowledge. 

341 - T: Aldo Leopold & Land Ethics

341.002

Instructor: Lisa Gerber
Time/s: TR 9:30-10:45

Aldo Leopold (1887-1948) was a philosopher, forester, ecologist, and conservationist. In the Sand County Almanac, he developed the land ethic that asks us to expand our moral community to include, plants, animals, and the land. The principle of the land ethic states: “Examine each question in terms of what is ethically and aesthetically right, as well as what is economically expedient. A thing is right when it tends to preserve the integrity, stability, and beauty of the biotic community. It is wrong when it tends otherwise." This course explores his philosophy and its relevance to today’s environmental issues. 
Required Texts 
Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac and Sketches Here and There
David E. Brown and Neil B. Carmony, eds, Aldo Leopold’s Southwest 
J. Baird Callicott, Companion to A Sand County Almanac 
Flader and Callicott, eds The River of the Mother of God and Other Essays 
Collection of essays

352 - Theory of Knowledge

352.002

Instructor: Kelly Becker
Time/s: MTWR 2:00-3:25

*2H: Second Half Course*

‘Philosophy’ literally means love of wisdom.  Thus the nature and status of knowledge itself is of fundamental importance to philosophers.  We will begin with the skeptical claim that we can know almost nothing at all.  We will then turn to the problematic traditional analysis of knowledge as justified true belief.  After discussing a famous refutation of this account and assessing new ones, we will inquire into the nature of justified belief.  When does a true belief constitute knowledge?  When it is based upon firm foundations?  When it coheres with my other true beliefs?  When it is caused in a reliable way?  Finally, with the time remaining, we’ll explore related questions about knowledge, such as the value of knowledge, the ethics of belief, and whether what counts as knowledge is relative to subjects or their communities.  Text: Sosa, Kim, et al. eds., Epistemology: An Anthology, 2/e (Wiley-Blackwell).

354 - Metaphysics

354.001

Instructor: Barbara Hannan
Time/s: TR 12:30-1:45

In this course we will explore fundamental questions about existence, such as:  what is the relationship between a thing or object and its characteristics or properties?  What is time?  What is space?  How do things persist through changes of their parts and/or properties?  What is causation?  How are mind and body related?  Is it possible for us to act freely?  Why does anything exist?  Text:  Peter Van Inwagen and Dean Zimmerman, editors, Metaphysics:  The Big Questions (Blackwell, 2013).

356 - Symbolic Logic

356.001

Instructor: Barbara Hannan
Time/s: TR 3:00-6:10

Human beings are capable of making truth-preserving deductive inferences.  Such valid deductive reasoning can be better understood by utilizing formal languages that simplify the syntax of natural language and lay bare its deep structure.  In this course we will learn the basics of two such formal languages:  SL (sentential or propositional logic) and PL (predicate logic).  With regard to SL, we will study both semantic (truth-table) and syntactical (derivation) methods for proving that sentences and arguments possess various logical properties (such as logical truth, logical falsehood, validity, etc.).  With regard to PL, our attention will be confined to the natural deduction systems PD and PD+, which allow conclusions to be derived from premises by use of syntactical rules of inference and rules of replacement. Text:  Bergmann, Moor, and Nelson, The Logic Book, Sixth edition.

358 - Ethical Theory

358.001

Instructor: Ann Murphy
Time/s: TR 8:00-9:15

This course introduces the student to the main moral frameworks in normative ethics:  utilitarianism, deontology, and virtue ethics, via an analysis of texts by John Stuart Mill, Immanuel Kant, and Aristotle. We will also engage more contemporary literature that situates itself both critically and sympathetically in relation to these foundational historical texts.  While the main texts under examination will be largely historical, one guiding aim of the course is to understand the contemporary relevance of these authors through the application of their theories to topics such as free speech, friendship, forgiveness, truth-telling, and punishment.  We will also be engaging themes from animal ethics and environmental ethics.  The course aims to cultivate an awareness of the differences between the major theoretical paradigms in normative ethics, as well as an attunement to the contemporary relevance of these theories.

372 - Modern Social and Political Philosophy

372.001

Instructor: Carolyn Thomas
Time/s: TR 3:00-4:45

Are you trying to make sense of our confusing—even maddening—contemporary political situation? For example, what makes a “conservative” conservative, a “liberal” liberal, a “Machiavellian” Machiavellian, a “Marxist” Marxist, a “totalitarian” totalizing, or even a “Trumpist” Trumpist? Or, how we human beings can—and should—best live together, given our human nature, needs, interdependence, and individuality? If so, modern social and political philosophy can help.

PHIL 372 aims for students to gain understanding of modern, continental European and American political philosophy and social thought, beginning with Machiavelli and continuing through Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Tocqueville, Marx, Nietzsche, Arendt, Rawls, and contemporary socio-political thinkers such as Nussbaum, Baudrillard, and Agamben. The course also aims to give us insight into the political structures, institutions, rights, duties, and forces that underly and influence our contemporary American and global political situation. We will study and discuss such questions as: What is the ’social contract’ under which we live?  What is the ‘state' and its responsibilities to its members? What are rights? Is inequality unjust--or necessary--in human society? Are force and violence ever justified? What is the political origin of punishment? What is terror? What is socio-political estrangement? What is, and should be, education? How does technology influence human society?  

Course requirements include: class attendance and participation, textbook purchase, thoughtful reading of assigned texts, take-home short-essay exercises, occasional quizzes, and two exams. 

381 - Philosophy of Law

381.001

Instructor: Carolyn Thomas
Time/s: TR 2:00-3:15

The question “what is law?” concerns everyone, even if they don’t know it. We live under rule of law, government makes and enforces laws, judges apply law, and the law orders and regulates our human conduct. Most of us take this for granted. But how does it all work? Who or what really is source and authority of law?  What is the nature of your rights before the law? Are you morally obligated to obey ‘unjust’ law? Is law’s purpose to punish ‘injustice’ or ‘create’ justice? What is the purpose of punishment? 

PHIL 381 is an introduction to philosophy of law and philosophical discussion about the nature, principles, and practice of law. The course aims for students to gain understanding of central theories and problems in philosophy of law. Guiding our study will be the fundamental question “what is law?” but we will also consider how philosophers think about the sources and authority of law; about the legitimacy of judges ‘interpreting’ law to decide cases; about the nature of punishment and responsibility; about discrimination and preferential treatment; and about rights—your ‘right to personal liberty' and a 'right to privacy,’ for example, and how these are rights challenged (and protected) by Internet tracking, DNA technology, public surveillance, and the law itself.

Course requirements include: class attendance and participation, textbook purchase, thoughtful reading of assigned texts, two or three take-home short papers, occasional quizzes, and two exams. 

426 - Sem: Yoga Philosophy

426.001

Instructor: John Taber
Time/s: W 5:30-8:00

Yoga is widely practiced today throughout the world as a method of personal enhancement and well-being, but around the fourth century C.E. in India Yoga was expounded as a philosophical system in the treatise known as the Pātañjalayogadarśana, “the Yoga system of Patañjali,” which consists of the Yogasūtra together with its oldest commentary, the Yogasūtrabhāṣya. As a philosophy Yoga develops positions concerning metaphysics, epistemology, human nature, language, and even ethics, both under the influence of, and in dialectical tension with, other established Indian philosophical systems of its day. This course will be devoted to studying Yoga philosophy in depth – as philosophy. (There will be no instruction in postures, movements, or meditation. The instructor, however, happens to have practiced meditation for many years and welcomes practicioners and teachers of Yoga who are interested in learning about its theoretical background.) We will understand the metaphysical foundations of Yoga (known as Sāṃkhya); the theory of “the path” to liberation, involving the practice of “the eight limbs,” and the mechanisms of purification they are believed to effect; Yoga’s contributions to Indian epistemology; its “theology,” in particular, its doctrine of God as a proper object of meditation; the theory of supernormal powers; and finally the Yogic understanding of liberation (or enlightenment). These teachings will be contextualized by relating them to competing ideas of other Indian philosophical traditions, so that the course may serve as a kind of introduction to Indian philosophy. However, no prior knowledge of Yoga, Indian philosophy, or even philosophy is presupposed. The principal text used in the class will be Edwin Bryant’s The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali: A New Edition, Translation, and Commentary (North Point Press, 2009). Main course requirement: a final paper of approx. 15 pages.

454 - Sem: Sense and Possibility

454.002

Instructor: Paul Livingston
Time/s: R 4:00-6:30

This seminar is about the contemporary problematic of both “analytic” and “continental” philosophy that links thought and being in the form of the relationship of linguistic sense or meaning to the possibility, actuality, or reality of things and events.  In 1892, Gottlob Frege decisively introduced linguistic sense [Sinn] as a third term, standing between a linguistic sign or sentence and its object of reference [Bedeutung] as its “mode of presentation.”  Subsequent authors such as Rudolf Carnap, hearkening back to Leibniz’s conception of necessary truth as those holding across all possible worlds, then developed the relationship between semantics and modal logic as that between meaningful expressions and possible states of the world.  In 1969 The Logic of Sense, Gilles Deleuze developed a comprehensive and paradoxical theory of sense and modality under the condition of a univocal affirmation of difference, or the divergence of worlds, over against standing philosophical assumptions about their convergence or the “good sense” of underlying identities.  Beginning with Frege, we will explore the implications and developments of the discovery of sense for modal issues, including contemporary “possible worlds semantics,” the connection between naming and necessity decisively explored by Saul Kripke in his 1972 lectures under that name, David Lewis’s modal realism, and contemporary projects including those of noneism and “two-dimensional” semantics.   Throughout the course, we will be interested to reflect on how the structure or being of sense communicates logically with the categories of possibility, necessity, impossibility, virtuality, actuality, ideality, and the real. 

Readings to include selections of works by Leibniz, Frege, Carnap, Deleuze, Kripke, Kaplan, Lewis, Stalnaker, Chalmers, and Priest.

455 - Philosophy of Mind

455.002

Instructor: Kelly Becker
Time/s: ARR

Have you ever heard the expression, “It’s mind over matter”?  Is it meant to imply that the mind is not a material thing?  Descartes famously argued that matter and mind are distinct substances—the mind being neither material nor spatial.  But surely your mind, through thinking, causes your body to do things, like eat food because you desire it, avoid dark alleys because you’re afraid, or shake someone’s hand because you believe that it will seal the agreement.  How could a nonmaterial thing cause a bodily entity to do anything at all?  This sort of question will launch us into an exploration of the mind—what it is (maybe it just is the brain, but be warned, solutions to genuine philosophical problems don’t come that easy!), what kinds of states it has and events it undergoes, how it relates to (the rest of) one’s body and to other material bodies, whether a computer could have or be one, and whether consciousness can be understood in material terms.  Text: Mind and Cognition 3/e, Lycan and Prinz, eds.  Assignments TBA, but grades will likely be based on three papers (two short (4-6pp.) and one medium (6-8pp.)), discussion, and several short quizzes.

466 - Sem: Continental Aesthetics

466.001

Instructor: Brent Kalar
Time/s: M 4:00-6:30

This course will introduce students to continental European philosophy of art and aesthetics through an examination of one important strain.  This is the tendency, growing out of romanticism, to draw attention to a quasi-mystical or quasi-religious depth within the experience of art and literature.  Readings will be drawn from works of such authors as: Martin Heidegger, Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Gianni Vattimo, Julia Kristeva, Jean-Luc Marion, and Jean-Louis Chrétien.  Grading will be based on several short response papers and a final project.  Regular attendance will be required in order to remain in the course.

480 - Philosophy and Literature

480.001

Instructor: Brent Kalar
Time/s: MWF 2:00-2:50

“After one has abandoned a belief in god, poetry is that essence which takes its place as life’s redemption.”  This provocative line from the great American modernist poet Wallace Stevens could serve as an apt slogan for philosophy’s interest in literature, and literature’s interest in philosophy, since the beginning of the modern era.  We will explore instances of this reciprocal interest in a range of philosophers, critics, and poets, such as: Friedrich Hölderlin, William Wordsworth, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Matthew Arnold, Rainer Maria Rilke, Wallace Stevens, T. S. Eliot, Martin Heidegger, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Maurice Blanchot, Paul Celan, Denise Levertov, Stanley Cavell, and Jacqueline Osherow.  Grading will be based on several short response papers and a final project.  Regular attendance will be required in order to remain in the course. 

526 - Sem: Yoga Philosophy

526.001

Instructor: John Taber
Time/s: W 5:30-8:00

Yoga is widely practiced today throughout the world as a method of personal enhancement and well-being, but around the fourth century C.E. in India Yoga was expounded as a philosophical system in the treatise known as the Pātañjalayogadarśana, “the Yoga system of Patañjali,” which consists of the Yogasūtra together with its oldest commentary, the Yogasūtrabhāṣya. As a philosophy Yoga develops positions concerning metaphysics, epistemology, human nature, language, and even ethics, both under the influence of, and in dialectical tension with, other established Indian philosophical systems of its day. This course will be devoted to studying Yoga philosophy in depth – as philosophy. (There will be no instruction in postures, movements, or meditation. The instructor, however, happens to have practiced meditation for many years and welcomes practicioners and teachers of Yoga who are interested in learning about its theoretical background.) We will understand the metaphysical foundations of Yoga (known as Sāṃkhya); the theory of “the path” to liberation, involving the practice of “the eight limbs,” and the mechanisms of purification they are believed to effect; Yoga’s contributions to Indian epistemology; its “theology,” in particular, its doctrine of God as a proper object of meditation; the theory of supernormal powers; and finally the Yogic understanding of liberation (or enlightenment). These teachings will be contextualized by relating them to competing ideas of other Indian philosophical traditions, so that the course may serve as a kind of introduction to Indian philosophy. However, no prior knowledge of Yoga, Indian philosophy, or even philosophy is presupposed. The principal text used in the class will be Edwin Bryant’s The Yoga Sūtras of Patañjali: A New Edition, Translation, and Commentary (North Point Press, 2009). Main course requirement: a final paper of approx. 15 pages.

554 - Sem: Sense and Possibility

554.002

Instructor: Paul Livingston
Time/s: R 4:00-6:30

This seminar is about the contemporary problematic of both “analytic” and “continental” philosophy that links thought and being in the form of the relationship of linguistic sense or meaning to the possibility, actuality, or reality of things and events.  In 1892, Gottlob Frege decisively introduced linguistic sense [Sinn] as a third term, standing between a linguistic sign or sentence and its object of reference [Bedeutung] as its “mode of presentation.”  Subsequent authors such as Rudolf Carnap, hearkening back to Leibniz’s conception of necessary truth as those holding across all possible worlds, then developed the relationship between semantics and modal logic as that between meaningful expressions and possible states of the world.  In 1969 The Logic of Sense, Gilles Deleuze developed a comprehensive and paradoxical theory of sense and modality under the condition of a univocal affirmation of difference, or the divergence of worlds, over against standing philosophical assumptions about their convergence or the “good sense” of underlying identities.  Beginning with Frege, we will explore the implications and developments of the discovery of sense for modal issues, including contemporary “possible worlds semantics,” the connection between naming and necessity decisively explored by Saul Kripke in his 1972 lectures under that name, David Lewis’s modal realism, and contemporary projects including those of noneism and “two-dimensional” semantics.   Throughout the course, we will be interested to reflect on how the structure or being of sense communicates logically with the categories of possibility, necessity, impossibility, virtuality, actuality, ideality, and the real. 

Readings to include selections of works by Leibniz, Frege, Carnap, Deleuze, Kripke, Kaplan, Lewis, Stalnaker, Chalmers, and Priest.

566 - Sem: Continental Aesthetics

566.001

Instructor: Brent Kalar
Time/s: M 4:00-6:30

This course will introduce students to continental European philosophy of art and aesthetics through an examination of one important strain.  This is the tendency, growing out of romanticism, to draw attention to a quasi-mystical or quasi-religious depth within the experience of art and literature.  Readings will be drawn from works of such authors as: Martin Heidegger, Georges Bataille, Maurice Blanchot, Hans-Georg Gadamer, Gianni Vattimo, Julia Kristeva, Jean-Luc Marion, and Jean-Louis Chrétien.  Grading will be based on several short response papers and a final project.  Regular attendance will be required in order to remain in the course.

569 - Sem: Interdisciplinary Marxisms

569.001

Instructor: Adrian Johnston
Time/s: T 2:00-4:45

Marxism, from its very inception, has been inherently interdisciplinary.  Indeed, Karl Marx’s historical materialism and critique of political economy were born at the intersection of three disciplines:  philosophy (especially German idealism as culminating with G.W.F. Hegel and Ludwig Feuerbach), politics (particularly French revolutionary socialism), and economics (as epitomized by British traditions represented first and foremost by Adam Smith and David Ricardo).  From the nineteenth century through the present, Marxist thinkers and activists have continued to operate at the crossroads of multiple areas of theoretical and practical concern in various contexts around the world.  This seminar will be offered in conjunction with the Departments of Anthropology and American Studies;  it will be team-taught by Adrian Johnston (Philosophy), Les Field (Anthropology), and Michael Trujillo (American Studies).  This seminar will explore, in connection with Marxist texts from those by Marx himself up through pieces by contemporary figures, several lines of inquiry:  How does Marxism reconfigure the relations between its different disciplinary dimensions (philosophical, political, economic…)?  How do philosophical, anthropological, and cultural concerns interact with each other within Marxist frameworks?  What crucial differences are there between discipline-specific philosophical, anthropological, and cultural manners of engaging with Marxism?  How are these disciplines each impacted by Marxist ideas?  Likewise, how, in turn, do these disciplines help shape Marxism?  Finally, how might Marxist theory and practice facilitate productive interrelationships between such fields as philosophy, anthropology, cultural studies, politics, and economics?

670 - Sem: Sanskrit Philosophical Texts

670.001

Instructor: John Taber
Time/s: T 5:30-8:00

This is a tutorial for advanced students of Sanskrit. Readings will be selected according to student interest. Knowledge of Sanskrit is presupposed. UNM at this time does not offer an introductory Sanskrit sequence.