Fall 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: Mariah Partida
Time/s: ARR

In this course, we will examine a diverse 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 is the nature of reality? What’s the relationship between mind and body, self and other, free will and determinism, being and time? What is 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-1115 will cultivate their own philosophical voices and their ability to critically reflect on some of the most pressing ethical and political questions of our time.

1115.002

Instructor: Cara Greene
Time/s: ARR

Philosophy comes from the Greek word philosophia, which means “love of wisdom.” Accordingly, philosophy is a diverse field of study that sheds light on things like truth, knowledge, ethics, logic, aesthetics, religion, and politics, among many others. Yet, you cannot have a “love of wisdom” without having a lover of wisdom, or a thing that does the loving. Who is this “thing” that is capable of finding, thinking about, and loving wisdom? In this Introduction to Philosophy course, 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 fundamental to human subjectivity? Is there such a thing as “human nature”? What is the relationship between the mind and the body? What is the difference between mind and soul? What divides humanity from the rest of 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, Aristotle, and Nagasena. Next, we will move to the modern era, reading selections from Descartes, Spinoza, Hume, and Hegel. Finally, we will transition to the 20th century, reading selections from Marx, Freud, Beauvoir and Fanon. Course assignments will consist of a midterm exam, 2 short papers, and 1 final paper.

1115.003

Instructor: Robert McKinley
Time/s: TR 12:30-1:45

Aristotle once wrote, “It is owing to their wonder that people both now begin and at first began to philosophize." In this class, we will try both to evoke that sense of wonder and to develop the skills necessary to reflect critically on what we find so wondrous. We will take an historical approach, following the broad trajectory of Western philosophy from the pre-Socratics to 20th century thinkers, with some consideration of the Indian philosophical tradition as well. Our questions will largely be metaphysical (what is the nature of reality? what is my own nature?) and ethical (what kinds of things are worth pursuing in life? how should I act?). Assessment will be through short quizzes, reading assignments, and essays. Students should come away from this course with a general understanding of the history of philosophy and enhanced skills for reading and evaluating philosophical texts as well as composing philosophical arguments of their own. 

1115.004

Instructor: Lisa Gerber
Time/s: ARR

****Second Half Term****

This course is an exploration of some of the basic questions in philosophy such as what is reality, what is self, what is the connection between mind and body, whether are we free, and what is the nature of right and wrong. 

Required Course Material:

  • Robert C. Solomon, Introducing Philosophy
  • Aldous Huxley, Brave New World
  • Various essays and lectures on Learn
  • Film: The Matrix

1115.005

Instructor: Michael Rubio
Time/s: TR 2:00-3:15

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. A second goal of this course is to have students think about how philosophy might be employed in their own lives.

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.

PHIL 1115 is currently listed as “remote scheduled.” This means that students are expected to be available on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 2 to 3:15pm, for a synchronous class, which will happen through the Zoom online platform. This means you are required to have a computer, internet access, and ideally a webcam to make the online interactions less aloof and personable.

Office hours/consultations, when necessary, will be handled entirely online through email or Zoom.

There is no textbook for this course. I will provide PDFs of all the readings which will be posted on the Learn student portal. All assignments, quizzes, reading responses, discussion posts, and exams will be submitted online through the Learn student portal.

1115.006

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

This course is an introduction to philosophy. We will survey the fundamental areas of philosophy including the following: philosophy of religion, ethics, freedom of the will, personal identity, and philosophy of mind. Our focus will be on arguments, their analysis and evaluation. Our approach will also be a historical one. We will begin with Greek philosophy, Plato and Aristotle, then we will consider medieval philosophy, Anselm. Turning out attention to modern philosophy we will examine Descartes and Kant. We will discuss nineteenth century philosophy in Marx and Nietzsche. An examination of twentieth and twenty first century philosophy will round out the course—Heidegger, Foucault, Quine, Nelson Goodman, and others.

Required: All our readings will be on docs or PDF’s on Learn. There is no required text book. (Saves you money!)

Strongly Recommended: Strunk and White, The Elements of Style, MacMillan Publishers; and, Lewis Vaughn, Writing Philosophy: A Students guide to Writing Philosophy Essays, Oxford University Press, 2005

1115.010

Instructor: Justin Pearce
Time/s: MWF 11:00-11:50

Most, if not all of us, have spent time in our lives asking philosophical questions: Are you and I seeing the same blue when we look at the sky? What is the meaning of life? What does it mean to be a good person? Nonetheless, while we all have experience with asking philosophical questions, very few people know what it is to actually do philosophy. In this course, we will learn what it is to do philosophy properly. While many people view these philosophical questions as just pointless musings which don't really have any answer beyond one's opinion, in this course, we will take seriously the idea that philosophical answers rely on rigorous, well-reasoned arguments as well as a thorough engagement with 2000 years of philosophy prior to us.

The goal of this course is not to answer all these philosophical questions and provide us with the answers to the universe. The goal is simply to engage with some of the important philosophers of the past in order to determine what philosophy is, how we do it, and why we ought to do it at all. We're all born as philosophers who repeatedly ask our parents "Why?" over and over until we are met with the frustrated "Because I said so!" Throughout the rest of our lives, we are often told by other authorities "this is simply the way things have to be" or "it's just common sense." Our goal is to revive that child-like wonder and questioning - philosophy is about giving actual reasons where others simply want to appeal to authority or say "it's just obvious."

We will begin with ancient philosophy and continue all the way to contemporary philosophy, picking out important texts throughout history. All readings will be available on Learn. Grades will primarily be determined by argumentative papers and reading questions.

1120 - Logic, Reasoning, and Critical Thinking

1120.001

Instructor: Lisa Gerber
Time/s: ARR

1H 8-week asynchronous fully online course

Most intellectual endeavors involve argumentation. From short letters to the editor to complex philosophical essays, from every day discussions to legal debates, arguments are constantly created and invoked to support or criticize points of view. The purpose of the course is to help you learn how to argue well so that you can analyze, critique, and construct arguments.

The course material is organized into two sections. In the first section, we will do an introductory survey of important logical concepts and tools that are needed for analyzing arguments. The second section is an in-depth examination of philosophical issues surrounding the Covid-19 pandemic. In the face of this pandemic we will see the importance of evaluating sources and authority, rooting out conspiracy theories, and creating strong arguments about the issues arising from this pandemic. These include evaluation of ongoing scientific research, mistakes in reasoning, and moral arguments such as how vaccines should be equitably distributed.

Required texts:

  1. Strunk and White, Elements of Style
  2. Morrow and Weston, A Workbook for Arguments
  3. Handouts and Essays posted on Learn

1120.002

Instructor: Jason Barton
Time/s: TR 11:00-12:15

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)

1120.003

Instructor: Nils Seiler
Time/s: TR 9:30-10:45

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.

1120.004

Instructor: Klara Hedling
Time/s: MWF 10:00-10:50

TBA

1120.005

Instructor: Mariah Partida
Time/s: ARR

This course will take up the following questions, among others: How do we determine whether an argument is good or bad, strong or weak? How can we apply argument analysis to our everyday lives? In the first half of the course, we will familiarize ourselves with three key aspects of argument analysis: First, what is an argument? What are the claims being made by that argument? What is the conclusion? Next, do the supporting claims actually give us good reason to think the conclusion is true? Finally, are the supporting claims true, or at least plausible? In the second half of the course, we will apply our newfound argument-analysis skills to various texts. In doing so, we will both evaluate the reasoning of the arguments being made by these authors and construct written responses to these arguments.

1120.006

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

TBA

1120.008

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

2140.005

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

Required: Roger Ariew, ed. Modern Philosophy, 2nd Edition, Hackett Publications.

Strongly Recommended: Strunk and White, The Elements of Style, MacMillan Publishers; and, Lewis Vaughn, Writing Philosophy: A Students guide to Writing Philosophy Essays, Oxford University Press, 2006

2220 - Greek Philosophy

2220.001

Instructor: Paul Livingston
Time/s: TR 9:30-10:45

Philosophy in the western tradition begins with the ancient Greeks and there is no better introduction to philosophy than to study their thought and writing. In this course, we will attempt to develop an original path of questioning in critical dialogue with the Greeks, with the aim of locating ourselves and the problems of contemporary life more centrally within the problematics that they already pursued. Issues to be discussed include, among others: the nature of thought, reason and the soul; the structure of time and space; language, meaning, and truth; being, change and becoming; ethics and the good; life and death. Readings are from various Pre-Socratic philosophers, Plato, Aristotle, and Plotinus. Course requirements: weekly short reading responses, three short tests (open book, in class) and final examination.

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

2225.003

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

****Second Half Term****

A survey of some of the themes of ancient Greek culture that have influenced the development of Western civilization. We shall read texts of Sophocles (the Oedipus cycle), Homer (the Iliad), Plato (Apology, Protagoras, Meno, Symposium), and Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics). Study questions on the readings will be due weekly; reflection papers on films, when shown, will also be assigned. Midterm and final exams will be administered online.

NOTE: This is an eight-week, fully online course that will begin after Fall Break.

2240 - Introduction to Existentialism

2240.001

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

In this course students will encounter the primary thought of the existentialist movement. The (existential) encounter will bring us to question not only the thinking of existentialist thought, but via this thinking also ourselves: our own conception of reality (of the world and ourselves). An examination of some of the seminal texts and their authors (including key aspects of their personal life and political history) will introduce us to the themes of existentialism. A thorough reading of their work (exegesis), followed by scrupulous discussion of it (interpretation) and unreserved participation (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 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, Frantz Fanon, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry & Wilhelm Reich.

There are no prerequisites for this course. The only requirements essential to the course are genuine interest – in the literal sense of the word “inter-esse” (being-with/in/between) – 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.

334 - Indian Philosophy

334.002

Instructor: Pierre-Julien Harter
Time/s: TR 9:30-10:45

This course is a course in philosophy and does not require prior acquaintance of South Asian culture. Students will be introduced to the cultural, historical, and religious background necessary to understand primary texts dating from 500 BCE to the 20th century. Our goal will be to get a general survey of some of the issues, debates, schools, authors, and famous texts that make up the 2,500 year-long, rich history of Indian philosophy. The course will privilege introducing students to the diversity of schools of thought, positions, and literary forms of Indian philosophy to get a general idea of the kind of questions animating debates and the procedures used to provide answers. We will read texts from the Brahmanical (“Hindu”) traditions as well as the Buddhist, Jain, and “secularist” philosophers, and will proceed by themes and issues rather than chronologically: ontological questions (“realists” vs. “non-realists”), epistemological questions (the “means of knowing”), ethical questions (non-violence, action, and personal transformation). We will reserve the very end of the course to read some 20th century philosophers, such as K.C. Bhattacharyya and Ambedkar, so as to showcase the vitality of Indian philosophy. The course will not be only historically centered, but will aim at approaching all these texts critically, which is why students will be asked to write response papers to reflect on their readings, as well as short essays. A final exam will offer the opportunity to review the materials read throughout the semester.

PHIL 334 will be offered partially as a “remote scheduled” class. This means that lecture-videos will be posted for Tuesday classes, and that Thursday classes will meet through an online platform (Zoom) at the regular time (09:30 AM - 10:45 AM). Students will need to be available and have the equipment necessary to be able to participate in the weekly Zoom meetings. During our Zoom meetings, we will go over the readings and the video-lecture and do some activities together. 

If you have concerns about technology equipment or access to internet, please visit the webpage put together by the university: 

http://at.unm.edu/coronavirus/student-tech-access.html 

Please do not hesitate to email the instructor for further information at pjharter@unm.edu

343 - Contemporary Continental Philosophy

343.001

Instructor: Iain Thomson
Time/s: TR 3:30-4:45

Contemporary Continental Philosophy Tues./Thurs. 3:30-4:45 PM on Zoom.

In this introductory survey course, we will seek together to understand the most important philosophical developments in Continental philosophy since World War II.  Our sole course text will be the newly published Cambridge History of Philosophy: 1945–2015 (full information below), which brings together leading experts from the diverse traditions of Western philosophy in a common quest to examine, illuminate, and explain those insights and movements that most profoundly shaped philosophy in the English-speaking world over the last 75 years.  The class will begin by briefly examining ‘Continental’ philosophy and its historical differences from mainstream ‘analytic’ philosophy.  We will then dive right into a semester-long examination the most important advances and transformations that shaped ‘Continental’ philosophy during this tumultuous and fascinating historical period, developments that continue to shape the field today.  

Course Requirements:  This course will require a good deal of sometimes challenging reading.  To facilitate your understanding of these works, attendance is required.  The ongoing pandemic has compelled us to hold this class on-line rather than in person.  So we will be using Zoom to meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30–4:45 PM.  Because those will be our only class meetings, your attendance will still be mandatory.  

Class attendance (and participation) will be enforced with two very brief writing assignments a week, each on the reading assigned for the following day’s class.  There will be no assignment for the first class, but after that students will be required to upload these homework assignments to UNM Learn by the night before the next day’s class.  These will be brief, two paragraph assignments (no longer than one page in total), in which your first paragraph briefly explains one thing you learned or otherwise found interesting about the reading for the upcoming class, and your second paragraph succinctly raises a philosophical question about that reading or otherwise thoughtfully critiques, problematizes, or develops it.  (These will each be graded, so you will want to put some time into carefully composing and editing them in order to make them as succinct, clear, and insightful as possible, in the spirit of Mark Twain’s famous adage:  “Please forgive the long letter; I didn’t have time to write a shorter one.”)  Failure to upload these one-page assignments on the reading for the next class by the night before that class will count as an absence (and an F on the assignment).  I will drop your two lowest scores from your final grade, which means that two unexcused absences will be permitted.  These graded assignments will count as roughly one-third of your final course grade, so do not take the class if you cannot dedicate the time to doing all the reading, completing these brief writing assignments, and attending class virtually twice a week!  Final course grades will be based on these twice-weekly assignments as well as on two short but carefully composed and highly polished papers—which will be due by email near the middle and end of the semester, on dates specified on the syllabus (or one final research paper, for any graduate students taking the course for credit). 

The full Zoom links for class (attendance is required) can also be found on UNM Learn.

Required Text:  1).  Kelly Becker and Iain Thomson, eds., The Cambridge History of Philosophy, 1945–2015 (Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 53 chapters, 888 pages, published in November 2019).  This sole required course text is currently available in an inexpensive .pdf version on Amazon.com:  see https://amzn.to/3c3wOlg (but can also be purchased from the UNM bookstore, borrowed from the library, etc.).

354 - Metaphysics

354.001

Instructor: Brent Kalar
Time/s: TR 11:00-12:15

Metaphysics is the branch of philosophy that studies the nature of “being” or “reality” in the most general sense. Traditionally, it has been regarded as central to the discipline of philosophy, or even as philosophy itself. Further, it is notoriously challenging intellectually. Accordingly, students in this course should expect to work hard and struggle with some very difficult reading. The payoff, however, is proportionally great: a significant sharpening and deepening of the mind and a more profound understanding of its fundamental questions. This course will introduce students to the subject through a sequential examination of four key “moments” in the history of Western metaphysics. We will begin with the work that gave the subject its name, Aristotle’s Metaphysics. In this work, Aristotle establishes a “science of being qua being,” and sets the terms of the tradition in his focus on what became known as “substance.” Then we will turn to the true heart of the metaphysical tradition, Scholasticism. From the 12th to the 16th centuries, philosophers like Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and Francisco Suarez established a rich discourse of systematic metaphysics based on Aristotle. We will look at the overall structure of this discourse through a contemporary introduction to it. Next, we will turn to the arguable high point of early modern metaphysics, the system of Baruch Spinoza’s Ethics. Spinoza is notable for his turning of scholastic categories into a form of monism with a strong naturalistic tendency. Finally, we will look at the recasting of the question of being qua being in the Existentialism of Martin Heidegger.

Course Format:

Due to restrictions imposed by the UNM administration, the course will be conducted through electronic communications only. There are three main aspects of this: 

(1) PRE-RECORDED VIDEO LECTURES ON YOUTUBE: On Fridays and Mondays by 5:00 PM, pre-recorded video lectures will be posted on the YouTube channel “Brent Kalar.” FRIDAY video lectures will be for discussion sessions to be held on TUESDAY; MONDAY video lectures will be for discussion sessions held on THURSDAY. The purpose of spacing lectures and discussions is to provide students with flexibility, and time to think over DISCUSSION QUESTIONS that will be posed throughout the course of the video. Students will have to watch the video to get the discussion questions. Videos will last about forty minutes. Students are invited to raise additional questions of their own about points made during the lecture. The preferred way to do this is to simply post a public comment in the comments section to the video, along with a time stamp for the point in question. The instructor will respond directly and publically, so that all members of the class can benefit from your question. You will have to create a YouTube account to do this, if you do not already have one. Such accounts may use a pseudonym to preserve your privacy if you choose. Such student questions should not, however, be considered a substitute for addressing the discussion questions.

(2) LIVE DISCUSSION SESSIONS ON ZOOM: On Tuesdays and Thursday, starting at 11:45 (*Note the later start time*), a discussion session on a video lecture will be held via Zoom. A Zoom link will be sent out prior to the session. Students are expected to watch the video lecture on YouTube before the scheduled discussion session corresponding to it. The schedule below is for discussion sessions only. The video lectures corresponding to each discussion session will be posted the previous Friday evening for Tuesday sessions, and the previous Monday evening for Thursday sessions. In the video, there will be a few discussion questions raised. Students should copy these down and should think about these questions and prepare their answers/ thoughts to be discussed in the virtual discussion session. Discussions will last about thirty minutes.

(3) WRITTEN WORK, SUBMITTED VIA E-MAIL: See below.

Grading Instruments and Percentage-Breakdown of the Final Grade:

20%  Answers to Discussion Questions and Participation in Discussions. Students are expected to attend the discussion sessions on Zoom and participate actively in the discussions. Attendance and the quality and quantity of student contributions to the discussion will be the basis for grades. Grades will be assigned based on the merits of the student’s contributions relative to others in this and similar classes. Thoughtful answers to discussion questions that show good preparation and serious philosophical reflection will earn the highest grades. Students who believe that they did not have time to show their true merits in the session, or who want to revise or supplement their contribution may e-mail the instructor afterwards with a written supplemental discussion answer. However, this is not required. Furthermore, e-mail answers after the fact will not be counted if the student did not attend the session, and should not be considered an alternative means of fulfilling the requirement.

40%  Analytical-Critical Essays. Two short philosophical essays of 1,500-2,000 words will be due on the dates listed in the schedule below. Topics and further details about how the essay should be written and formatted will be provided approximately two weeks prior to the due date. The special purpose of the short essay is to go into greater depth on a philosophical issue, and hone skills of analytical exposition and philosophical critique. Lateness will be excused only in the case of verified emergencies. Otherwise, late essays will accrue daily grade penalties. 

40%  Final Exam. All students will be comprehensively examined on their understanding of the material covered in the course. A take-home final exam consisting of several short answers and two somewhat longer comparative essays will be sent out the last day of class, and is to be completed over the weekend, to be turned in no later than 9:00 AM, the Monday of Finals Week (December ).

Required Texts (Available in UNM Bookstore): 1. Aristotle, The Metaphysics (Penguin Classics), Tr. Hugh Lawson-Tancred, New Ed. 1999 (ISBN-13: 978-0140446197); 2. Edward Feser, Scholastic Metaphysics: A Contemporary Introduction, Editiones Scholasticae, 2014 (ISBN-13: 978-3868385441); 3. Baruch Spinoza, Ethics (Penguins Classics), Tr. Edwin Curley, 2005 (ISBN-13: 978-0140435719); 4. Martin Heidegger, Introduction to Metaphysics, 2nd Ed., Revised and Expanded Translation by Gregory Fried and Richard Polt, Yale University Press, 2014 (ISBN-13: 978-0300186123).

356 - Symbolic Logic

356.002

Instructor: Kelly Becker
Time/s: ARR

One great thing about the human mind is its ability to draw inferences. Better still is to do this well. In this course, you will learn two new languages developed to clarify the notion of logical entailment, which will help you understand the nature of valid inference. The course is good preparation for further work in logic or mathematics, but you can also take the tools you will acquire into any academic or professional discipline that requires clarity of thought. No prerequisites. Text: Bergmann, Moor, and Nelson, The Logic Book 6/e (McGraw-Hill). Consider renting the book. It’s one of the best available, but the most recent addition has a significant number of typos and is quite expensive.

358 - Ethical Theory

358.001

Instructor: Emily McRae
Time/s: TR 9:30-10:45

This course has two main objectives. First, this course aims to familiarize you with some of the influential classics in Western moral philosophy. We will prioritize reading historical, primary sources, including Aristotle, Kant, and Mill. We will discuss major concepts in moral philosophy, such as agency, virtue, happiness, and responsibility. Second, this course aims to develop your critical thinking skills by requiring you to reflect on and evaluate philosophical texts and refine your philosophical reasoning.

This class is remote scheduled (via zoom). Regular attendance in scheduled zoom meetings is required.

371 - Classical Social and Political Philosophy

371.001

Instructor: Carolyn Thomas
Time/s: TR 3:30-4:45

Social and political philosophy isn’t about the wranglings of politicians and government—it’s about the purpose and meaning of human existence. What's the full meaning of human dignity and happiness?  What values and priorities do we want for our communities? Is human flourishing a matter of conquering nature itself, or a matter of learning to understand and enhance nature, including our own? What should be the obligation of the community to the individual, and the individual to the community? What is good leadership? In good societies, what are the roles of love and friendship, contemplation and activism, justice and divinity? Can we be both patriots of our homeland and cosmopolitans, citizens of the world beyond our home borders?   

These are questions of classical social and political philosophy--the philosophy of ancient, medieval, and early modern thinkers—and, particularly, the philosophy of thinkers such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Maimonides, Aquinas, and Machiavelli.  This course takes as a basic premise that although these thinkers are older and pre-modern, they have much to teach us about the ills and crises and puzzles that beset contemporary individual and community life. 

This course aims to grow your grasp of arguments of philosophic politics, aims to grow your understanding of classical perspective, and aims to grow you as a philosophical thinker.  Course requirements include: class attendance and participation, 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 and under 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, public surveillance, hate crime, and the law itself.

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

410 - Kant

410.001

Instructor: Mary Domski
Time/s: M 4:00-6:30

Our primary goal in this class is to complete a careful reading of Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (commonly referred to as the First Critique) and examine the so-called critical project that Kant sets out in this work.  In the course of our examination, we’ll pay special attention to how Kant attempts both to respond to problems stemming from Humean skepticism and to accommodate key elements of Newtonian physics.  We will also refer to works Kant published between 1781 and 1787 to get some handle on why Kant chose to change, add, and delete portions of the first (1781) edition Critique before the second (1787) edition appeared in print. Students enrolled in this class will be required to complete several writing assignments of varying length.

FOUR NOTES FROM THE INSTRUCTOR (Dated 6.11.20)

[1] PHIL 410/510 will be offered in Remote-Scheduled format with roughly 8 class sessions being held as on-line class meetings. These on-line meetings will take place on designated Mondays from 4pm to 6:30pm MST over an electronic platform (such as Teams or Zoom). Attendance at these on-line meetings is required (only one unexcused absence will be allowed during the semester).

[2] The first scheduled on-line class meeting will take place 4-6:30pm MST on Monday 17 August 2020. On or before Sunday 16 August 2020, Professor Domski will send an email to all students who have enrolled in PHIL 410/510 with instructions for attending the first meeting. She will also include in that email a course syllabus and a schedule that specifies the dates of the on-line class meetings for Fall 2020.

[3] During each of the scheduled on-line class meetings, students must be able to view materials that will be electronically distributed by Professor Domski. Such materials will typically be pdfs of handouts, and they will be emailed to students and posted on UNM Learn on or before the Sunday prior to each on-line class meeting. To view these materials during class meetings, students can make print-outs or use an additional screen.

[4] During those weeks in which no on-line class meeting is scheduled, students will be required to complete some assignment(s) by a specified deadline. These assignments will be made available electronically (through UNM Learn and possibly also over email) and will typically include watching or reading one or more short lectures and/or completing a writing assignment.

422 - Wittgenstein

422.001

Instructor: Paul Livingston
Time/s: TR 12:30-1:45

The thought and writing of Ludwig Wittgenstein poses deep and fundamental questions for philosophical thought about language, meaning, and the critical foundations of contemporary life and practice. In this seminar, we will consider Wittgenstein’s philosophy in both its “early” and “late” periods, following a unitary guideline of investigation into the single problematic marked in the early Wittgenstein’s terminology of “logical form” and the later idea of “forms of life”, and attempting to draw out the significance of this problematic for the deepest and most pervasive problems of collective life today. This semester, we will focus in particular on the relationship between Wittgenstein’s thinking and the philosophical project of “metaphysics,” or (as Aristotle defined it in a work that would come to have that title) the inquiry into the nature or structure of “being qua being.” To what extent and in what way do Wittgenstein’s early and later investigations into language, logic, and forms of life continue, and in what ways do they challenge or contest, this traditional investigation? In what ways do the constitutive reflection on language and grammatical form that Wittgenstein undertakes suggest or involve new methods for reflection on, or criticism of, the forms and structures that define or evince the “essence” of things as these show up in the language that we speak? Finally, in what way can Wittgenstein’s thought and methods be considered to “answer” to the impulse to seek metaphysical explanations of phenomena, and what is the form of this “answer” (as, for instance, producing insight, clarity, recollection, therapy, or liberation?) 

We will read several of Wittgenstein’s texts and writings, including the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, the Philosophical Investigations, and parts of the Remarks on the Foundations of Mathematics, alongside relevant texts by Plato and Aristotle. Time permitting, we will also examine some related contemporary interpretations of Wittgenstein by “analytic” authors such as Kripke, Cavell, Conant, and Diamond.

441 - T: Philosophy of Race and Racism

441.001

Instructor: Emily McRae
Time/s: TR 11:00-12:15

This course addresses philosophical questions about race. Do races exist? Is race a biological fact, a social construction, or something else? Should we eliminate the concept of race, or is it necessary for achieving social justice? How does one’s race affect what one is likely to know about the social world?What is racial identity, and why does it matter?  How does racial identity interact with gender, ethnicity and nationality? What are the central mechanisms of ongoing racial injustice? 

What is racial justice, and how can we work to achieve it?

This class is a hybrid course, which means that regular attendance in both the scheduled zoom meetings (on Tuesdays) and in-person meetings (on Thursdays) is required.

442 - Sem: Buber's Mystic Philosophy

442.001

Instructor: Joachim Oberst
Time/s: W 4:00-6:30

TBA

455 - Philosophy of Mind

455.003

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.

457 - Sem: Spinoza and Vasubandhu: A Study in Causal Soteriologies

457.002

Instructor: Pierre-Julien Harter
Time/s: T 2:00-4:30

This course is aimed at two different purposes. On the one hand, it will serve as an introduction to two towering figures of early modern Western thought and Indian Buddhist philosophy, respectively Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) and Vasubandhu (4th-5th centuries CE). The course will encourage students to appropriate historical and philological methods to be responsible and precise readers. We will focus on reading Spinoza’s entire Ethics throughout the semester, with a few incursions in secondary scholarship. For Vasubandhu, we will partially read his massive treatise, The Treasury of Abhidharma, which offers a sum of Buddhist philosophy of the time. We will complete this reading with a few of his more concise works such as The Treatise of Action, The Twenty Verses, and The Thirty Verses. Students will thus get an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the thought of one of the most important Buddhist philosophers of all time. Since it would already be enough to focus an entire course on just one of these two authors, the challenge will be to keep a general approach for both of them. To do so, the course will aim, on the other hand, at a conceptual and critical approach of the question of causality in the domains of metaphysics and ethics. The “comparative” aspect of the course is justified by the common interest these authors show in the concept of cause and in using it to approach the study of reality and the question of the good life and human behavior. A central question we will explore is the motivations, arguments, and implications for both the Ethics and the Treasury to start with metaphysical (and physical, or even cosmological) developments and to connect those to subsequent ethical developments. For both authors, ethics has a central soteriological dimension, which, in other words, means that being a good metaphysician is supposed to insure your salvation. But how can metaphysics lead to ethics? How is knowing about what the world or reality is relevant to knowing about how to lead a good life? It is this connection between causality and soteriology that will be a central angle of comparison between the two authors.

Assignments will be differentiated between undergraduate and graduate students. They will consist in response papers during the semester and a final paper.

PHIL 457/557 is currently listed as “remote scheduled and face to face.” This means that students are expected to be available on Tuesdays from 2 to 4:40 for a synchronous class, which could happen either through an online platform (Zoom) or in person, in a classroom. The option of having a face-to-face class will only be used if we are cleared by the State and the administration to do so and if the physical conditions of the classroom are satisfactory enough when it comes to safety. As the situation stands, there will be no face-to-face class for the first five sessions. If the public health situation improves, I will be asking students what their preference is, and in case we decide for a limited number of in-person teaching sessions, I will still set up a laptop in the classroom to allow for students who feel uncomfortable to attend in person to be able to fully participate.

If you have concerns about technology equipment or access to internet, please visit the webpage put together by the university:

http://at.unm.edu/coronavirus/student-tech-access.html

Please do not hesitate to email the instructor for further information at pjharter@unm.edu

467 - Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics

467.001

Instructor: Brent Kalar
Time/s: TR 2:00-3:15

Aesthetics concerns the nature of beauty and related phenomena (such as the sublime), the basis of critical judgment, and the nature and function of art. The subject was given its name by the German philosopher Alexander Baumgarten in the 18th century, but the philosophy of art and beauty has existed in the West since at least Plato, and has longstanding expressions in the East as well. This course will attempt to give a sense of the development of aesthetics and its core problems through a sampling of representative ideas and theories. We will begin by surveying the immediate background to modern aesthetics: the theories of art and beauty in the Middle Ages. Then, we will turn to the heart of the course: a set of relatively in-depth examinations of three paradigmatic modern aesthetic theories: those of Immanuel Kant, G. W. F. Hegel, and Suzanne K. Langer. Finally, for a cross-cultural perspective, we will conclude with a look at Junichiro Tanizaki’s brief gem, In Praise of Shadows.

Course Format:

Due to restrictions imposed by the UNM administration, the course will be conducted through electronic communications only. There are three main aspects of this:

(1) PRE-RECORDED VIDEO LECTURES ON YOUTUBE: On Fridays and Mondays by 5:00 PM, pre-recorded video lectures will be posted on the YouTube channel “Brent Kalar.” FRIDAY video lectures will be for discussion sessions to be held on TUESDAY; MONDAY video lectures will be for discussion sessions held on THURSDAY. The purpose of spacing lectures and discussions is to provide students with flexibility, and time to think over DISCUSSION QUESTIONS that will be posed throughout the course of the video. Students will have to watch the video to get the discussion questions. Videos will last about forty minutes. Students are invited to raise additional questions of their own about points made during the lecture. The preferred way to do this is to simply post a public comment in the comments section to the video, along with a time stamp for the point in question. The instructor will respond directly and publically, so that all members of the class can benefit from your question. You will have to create a YouTube account to do this, if you do not already have one. Such accounts may use a pseudonym to preserve your privacy if you choose. Such student questions should not, however, be considered a substitute for addressing the discussion questions.

(2) LIVE DISCUSSION SESSIONS ON ZOOM: On Tuesdays and Thursday, starting at 2:45 (*Note the later start time*), a discussion session on a video lecture will be held via Zoom. A Zoom link will be sent out prior to the session. Students are expected to watch the video lecture on YouTube before the scheduled discussion session corresponding to it. The schedule below is for discussion sessions only. The video lectures corresponding to each discussion session will be posted the previous Friday evening for Tuesday sessions, and the previous Monday evening for Thursday sessions. In the video, there will be a few discussion questions raised. Students should copy these down and should think about these questions and prepare their answers/ thoughts to be discussed in the virtual discussion session. Discussions will last about thirty minutes.

(3) WRITTEN WORK, SUBMITTED VIA E-MAIL: See below. 

Grading Instruments and Percentage-Breakdown of the Final Grade:

20% Answers to Discussion Questions and Participation in Discussions. Students are expected to attend the discussion sessions on Zoom and participate actively in the discussions. Attendance and the quality and quantity of student contributions to the discussion will be the basis for grades. Grades will be assigned based on the merits of the student’s contributions relative to others in this and similar classes. Thoughtful answers to discussion questions that show good preparation and serious philosophical reflection will earn the highest grades. Students who believe that they did not have time to show their true merits in the session, or who want to revise or supplement their contribution may e-mail the instructor afterwards with a written supplemental discussion answer. However, this is not required. Furthermore, e-mail answers after the fact will not be counted if the student did not attend the session, and should not be considered an alternative means of fulfilling the requirement.

40% Analytical-Critical Essays. Two short philosophical essays of 1,500-2,000 words will be due on the dates listed in the schedule below. Topics and further details about how the essay should be written and formatted will be provided approximately two weeks prior to the due date. The special purpose of the short essay is to go into greater depth on a philosophical issue, and hone skills of analytical exposition and philosophical critique. Lateness will be excused only in the case of verified emergencies. Otherwise, late essays will accrue daily grade penalties.

40% Final Exam. All students will be comprehensively examined on their understanding of the material covered in the course. A take-home final exam consisting of several short answers and two somewhat longer comparative essays will be sent out the last day of class, and is to be completed over the weekend, to be turned in no later than 9:00 AM, the Monday of Finals Week (December).

Required Texts (available in UNM Bookstore): 1. Umberto Eco, Art and Beauty in the Middle Ages, Tr. Hugh Bredlin, 2nd Ed., Yale University Press, 2002 (ISBN:978030009349); 2. Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgment, Tr. James Creed Meredith (Oxford World Classics), Oxford University Press, 2009 (ISBN-13: 978-0192806178); 3. Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel, Introductory Lectures on Aesthetics, Tr. Bernard Bosanquet (Penguin Classics), Reprint Edition, 2004 (ISBN-13: 978-0140433357); 4. Suzanne K. Langer, Philosophy in a New Key: A Study in the Symbolism of Reason, Rite, and Art, 3rd Ed., Harvard University Press, 1996 (ISBN-13: 978-0674665033); 5. Junichiro Tanizaki, In Praise of Shadows, Tr. Harper and Seidensticker, Leete’s Island Books, 1977 (ISBN-13: 978-0918172020).

468 - Sem: German Idealism and Psychoanalysis

468.001

Instructor: Adrian Johnston
Time/s: R 4:00-6:30

At first glance, German idealism and psychoanalysis might seem to be fundamentally incompatible theoretical orientations. On the one hand, the German idealists of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries (especially Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel) appear to be champions of philosophies centered on self-conscious subjectivity as endowed with autonomy and transparent to itself. On the other hand, analytic thinkers, starting with Freud himself, look as though they undermine such philosophies of free subjects through their contrasting emphases on unconscious forces and factors rendering (self-)conscious selves heteronomous and opaque to themselves. However, this superficial impression of incompatibility between German idealism and psychoanalysis conceals much more than it reveals. In fact, the extent to which these two traditions mutually enrich each other far outweighs any tensions between them (and, anyhow, these tensions themselves are generative of highly productive discussions). The German idealists strikingly anticipate many of the core concepts of psychoanalysis, such as the unconscious, drives, and repression. Freud, Lacan, and their descendants, sometimes implicitly and sometimes explicitly, broaden, deepen, and nuance German idealist models of subjectivity and these models’ depictions of personal identity and self-determination. This seminar will explore these complex intersections between German idealism and psychoanalysis. Authors to be covered include: Immanuel Kant, J.G. Herder, Friedrich Schiller, J.G. Fichte, F.W.J. Schelling, G.W.F. Hegel, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Jean Laplanche, Jacques-Alain Miller, André Green, Alain Badiou, Slavoj Žižek, Mladen Dolar, Alenka Zupančič, and Joan Copjec.

469 - Sem: Critical Phenomenologies

469.001

Instructor: Ann Murphy
Time/s: T 5:30-8:00

Critical Phenomenology is a growing body of work in contemporary philosophy that employs the phenomenological method to address the experiential dimensions of race and racism, gender, isolation and solitude, pregnancy, incarceration, love, hunger, and illness (to name a few figures, in an enumeration that is not complete). This class will consult primary texts by Emmanuel Levinas, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Edmund Husserl alongside the work of more contemporary authors in a number of genres. There are three main aims to this course: first, to rigorously examine the evolution of the phenomenological method over time; second, to consider phenomenology in its most contemporary instantiations; and finally to consider the tension between description and critique that historically grounds the phenomenological tradition and that continues to animate phenomenology today.

480 - Philosophy and Literature

480.001

Instructor: Iain Thomson
Time/s: TR 12:30-1:45

Philosophy of Literature:  Life, Death, Love, and Hope Tues./Thurs. 12:30-1:45 PM on Zoom.

We will begin this course by seeking to understand the role popular works of literary art can play historically in shaping and transforming humanity’s most basic sense of what is and what matters.  Once we get that post-Heideggerian background in place, we will turn to read a select handful of the popular contemporary literary texts, focusing centrally on the fundamental existential question of how these works understand the relation between life and death and the role of love in helping to explain the meaning of hope for the future.  We will read both esoteric and apparently exoteric texts, including some of the most wildly popular works of the last decade, but we will be reading these popular works in ways that look beyond their surface appeal and seek to disclose their deeper, more esoteric philosophical contents.  Our goal will be to better comprehend the contributions these popular works of literary art make to humanity’s contemporary thinking about the meaning of life, death, love, and hope. 

Course Requirements:  This course will require a good deal of sometimes challenging reading.  To facilitate your understanding of these works, attendance is required.  The ongoing pandemic has compelled us to hold this class on-line rather than in person, so we will be using Zoom to meet every Tuesday and Thursday from 12:30–1:45 PM.  Because those will be our only class meetings, your attendance will still be mandatory.  

Class attendance (and participation) will be enforced with two very brief writing assignments a week, each on the reading assigned for the following day’s class.  There will be no assignment for the first class, but after that students will be required to upload these homework assignments to UNM Learn by the night before the next day’s class.  These will be brief, two paragraph assignments (no longer than one page in total), in which your first paragraph briefly explains one thing you learned or otherwise found interesting about the reading for the upcoming class, and your second paragraph succinctly raises a philosophical question about that reading or otherwise thoughtfully critiques, problematizes, or develops it.  (These will each be graded, so you will want to put some time into carefully composing and editing them in order to make them as succinct, clear, and insightful as possible, in the spirit of Mark Twain’s famous adage:  “Please forgive the long letter; I didn’t have time to write a shorter one.”)  Failure to upload these one-page assignments on the reading for the next class by the night before that class will count as an absence (and an F on the assignment).  I will drop your two lowest scores from your final grade, which means that two unexcused absences will be permitted.  These graded assignments will count as roughly one-third of your final course grade, so do not take the class if you cannot dedicate the time to doing all the reading, completing these brief writing assignments, and attending class virtually twice a week!  Final course grades will be based on these twice-weekly assignments as well as on two short but carefully composed and highly polished papers—which will be due by email near the middle and end of the semester, on dates specified on the syllabus (or one final research paper, for any graduate students taking the course for credit). 

Final course grades will be based on these twice-weekly assignments as well as on two short but carefully composed and highly polished papers—which will be due by email near the middle and end of the semester, on dates specified on the syllabus (or one final research paper, for any graduate students taking the course for credit). Specific URLs and details about how to get onto Zoom for our class meetings can be found on UNM Learn.

Required Texts:  1).  J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows (Levine books, 2007); 2). Cormac McCarthy, The Road (Vintage, 2006); 3). Don Delillo, Zero K (Scribner, 2016); 4). Thomson, Heidegger, Art, and Postmodernity (Cambridge, 2011); 5). Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons, Watchmen (DC Comics, 2014); and 6). L.-M. Miranda, Hamilton:  The Revolution! (Grand Central Publishing, 2016).

510 - Kant

510.001

Instructor: Mary Domski
Time/s: M 4:00-6:30

Our primary goal in this class is to complete a careful reading of Immanuel Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason (commonly referred to as the First Critique) and examine the so-called critical project that Kant sets out in this work.  In the course of our examination, we’ll pay special attention to how Kant attempts both to respond to problems stemming from Humean skepticism and to accommodate key elements of Newtonian physics.  We will also refer to works Kant published between 1781 and 1787 to get some handle on why Kant chose to change, add, and delete portions of the first (1781) edition Critique before the second (1787) edition appeared in print. Students enrolled in this class will be required to complete several writing assignments of varying length.

FOUR NOTES FROM THE INSTRUCTOR (Dated 6.11.20)

[1] PHIL 410/510 will be offered in Remote-Scheduled format with roughly 8 class sessions being held as on-line class meetings. These on-line meetings will take place on designated Mondays from 4pm to 6:30pm MST over an electronic platform (such as Teams or Zoom). Attendance at these on-line meetings is required (only one unexcused absence will be allowed during the semester).

[2] The first scheduled on-line class meeting will take place 4-6:30pm MST on Monday 17 August 2020. On or before Sunday 16 August 2020, Professor Domski will send an email to all students who have enrolled in PHIL 410/510 with instructions for attending the first meeting. She will also include in that email a course syllabus and a schedule that specifies the dates of the on-line class meetings for Fall 2020.

[3] During each of the scheduled on-line class meetings, students must be able to view materials that will be electronically distributed by Professor Domski. Such materials will typically be pdfs of handouts, and they will be emailed to students and posted on UNM Learn on or before the Sunday prior to each on-line class meeting. To view these materials during class meetings, students can make print-outs or use an additional screen.

[4] During those weeks in which no on-line class meeting is scheduled, students will be required to complete some assignment(s) by a specified deadline. These assignments will be made available electronically (through UNM Learn and possibly also over email) and will typically include watching or reading one or more short lectures and/or completing a writing assignment.

557 - Sem: Spinoza and Vasubandhu: A Study in Causal Soteriologies

557.001

Instructor: Pierre-Julien Harter
Time/s: T 2:00-4:30

This course is aimed at two different purposes. On the one hand, it will serve as an introduction to two towering figures of early modern Western thought and Indian Buddhist philosophy, respectively Baruch Spinoza (1632-1677) and Vasubandhu (4th-5th centuries CE). The course will encourage students to appropriate historical and philological methods to be responsible and precise readers. We will focus on reading Spinoza’s entire Ethics throughout the semester, with a few incursions in secondary scholarship. For Vasubandhu, we will partially read his massive treatise, The Treasury of Abhidharma, which offers a sum of Buddhist philosophy of the time. We will complete this reading with a few of his more concise works such as The Treatise of Action, The Twenty Verses, and The Thirty Verses. Students will thus get an opportunity to acquaint themselves with the thought of one of the most important Buddhist philosophers of all time. Since it would already be enough to focus an entire course on just one of these two authors, the challenge will be to keep a general approach for both of them. To do so, the course will aim, on the other hand, at a conceptual and critical approach of the question of causality in the domains of metaphysics and ethics. The “comparative” aspect of the course is justified by the common interest these authors show in the concept of cause and in using it to approach the study of reality and the question of the good life and human behavior. A central question we will explore is the motivations, arguments, and implications for both the Ethics and the Treasury to start with metaphysical (and physical, or even cosmological) developments and to connect those to subsequent ethical developments. For both authors, ethics has a central soteriological dimension, which, in other words, means that being a good metaphysician is supposed to insure your salvation. But how can metaphysics lead to ethics? How is knowing about what the world or reality is relevant to knowing about how to lead a good life? It is this connection between causality and soteriology that will be a central angle of comparison between the two authors.

Assignments will be differentiated between undergraduate and graduate students. They will consist in response papers during the semester and a final paper.

PHIL 457/557 is currently listed as “remote scheduled and face to face.” This means that students are expected to be available on Tuesdays from 2 to 4:40 for a synchronous class, which could happen either through an online platform (Zoom) or in person, in a classroom. The option of having a face-to-face class will only be used if we are cleared by the State and the administration to do so and if the physical conditions of the classroom are satisfactory enough when it comes to safety. As the situation stands, there will be no face-to-face class for the first five sessions. If the public health situation improves, I will be asking students what their preference is, and in case we decide for a limited number of in-person teaching sessions, I will still set up a laptop in the classroom to allow for students who feel uncomfortable to attend in person to be able to fully participate.

If you have concerns about technology equipment or access to internet, please visit the webpage put together by the university:

http://at.unm.edu/coronavirus/student-tech-access.html

Please do not hesitate to email the instructor for further information at pjharter@unm.edu

568 - Sem: German Idealism and Psychoanalysis

568.001

Instructor: Adrian Johnston
Time/s: R 4:00-6:30

At first glance, German idealism and psychoanalysis might seem to be fundamentally incompatible theoretical orientations. On the one hand, the German idealists of the late-eighteenth and early-nineteenth centuries (especially Kant, Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel) appear to be champions of philosophies centered on self-conscious subjectivity as endowed with autonomy and transparent to itself. On the other hand, analytic thinkers, starting with Freud himself, look as though they undermine such philosophies of free subjects through their contrasting emphases on unconscious forces and factors rendering (self-)conscious selves heteronomous and opaque to themselves. However, this superficial impression of incompatibility between German idealism and psychoanalysis conceals much more than it reveals. In fact, the extent to which these two traditions mutually enrich each other far outweighs any tensions between them (and, anyhow, these tensions themselves are generative of highly productive discussions). The German idealists strikingly anticipate many of the core concepts of psychoanalysis, such as the unconscious, drives, and repression. Freud, Lacan, and their descendants, sometimes implicitly and sometimes explicitly, broaden, deepen, and nuance German idealist models of subjectivity and these models’ depictions of personal identity and self-determination. This seminar will explore these complex intersections between German idealism and psychoanalysis. Authors to be covered include: Immanuel Kant, J.G. Herder, Friedrich Schiller, J.G. Fichte, F.W.J. Schelling, G.W.F. Hegel, Sigmund Freud, Jacques Lacan, Jean Laplanche, Jacques-Alain Miller, André Green, Alain Badiou, Slavoj Žižek, Mladen Dolar, Alenka Zupančič, and Joan Copjec.

569 - Sem: Critical Phenomenologies

569.001

Instructor: Ann Murphy
Time/s: T 5:30-8:00

This course will be held entirely online, in a Remote-Scheduled format, with both synchronous and asynchronous components.  Registered students should be prepared to meet online during the designated class time on Tuesdays from 5:30-8.

Critical Phenomenology is a growing body of work in contemporary philosophy that employs the phenomenological method to address the experiential dimensions of race and racism, gender, isolation and solitude, pregnancy, incarceration, love, hunger, and illness (to name a few figures, in an enumeration that is not complete). This class will consult primary texts by Emmanuel Levinas, Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Edmund Husserl alongside the work of more contemporary authors in a number of genres. There are three main aims to this course: first, to rigorously examine the evolution of the phenomenological method over time; second, to consider phenomenology in its most contemporary instantiations; and finally to consider the tension between description and critique that historically grounds the phenomenological tradition and that continues to animate phenomenology today.

670 - Sem: Sanskrit Philosophical Texts

670.001

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

Readings of Sanskrit philosophical texts at the advanced level. The specific texts to be read will be determined in consultation with the students. This course is intended for Ph.D. students specializing in Indian philosophy. Prerequisite: reading knowledge of Sanskrit.