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Classes and Teaching

Philosophy is often thought to be the discipline that investigates eternal questions like what is the good? and what can we know? But these questions, though they may be as old as human history, have been asked and answered in many different ways. For this reason, philosophers are constantly rethinking, not only what philosophy is about, but also who has counted, or could be counted, as a philosopher. Even courses devoted to historical periods often explore a variety of ways in which the philosophy of that time has had an impact on the philosophical community of the present, which comprises a widely diverse group of thinkers, who may share little more than the desire to better understand the world in which we live. For historical courses of this kind, consider the 210 sequence, ranging from ancient to early modern philosophy, as well as many of the 300-level history courses regularly offered by the department. For courses arranged by topic, but with an eye toward including a consideration of how these questions are received by a diverse audience, try some of the department’s offerings in contemporary philosophy.

In addition, the department is dedicated to ensuring that all students have the skills they need to succeed in philosophy. To this end, we have created the Ruth Barcan Marcus Clinics for Formal Logic, a peer-tutoring program in logic for traditionally underrepresented or formally underprepared students.  

Some of the most interesting work in contemporary philosophy looks directly at the application of philosophical concepts like justice or knowledge or responsibility to current social issues. These include thinking about race, gender, class, and other socially constructed kinds. For courses like this, consider one or more of the following (an asterisk indicates a course whose syllabus has been recently diversified).



PHIL 101: Introduction to Philosophy* Joshua Kissel (Summer 2019)
PHIL 101: Introduction to Philosophy* As taught by Taylor Rogers
PHIL 109: The Self* Rachel Zuckert (Spring 2021)
PHIL 210: Introduction to Ancient Philosophy forthcoming
PHIL 219: Introduction to Existentialism forthcoming
PHIL 220: Introduction to Critical Theory forthcoming
PHIL 221: Gender, Politics, and Philosophy forthcoming
PHIL 224: Philosophy, Race, and Racism forthcoming
PHIL 260: Introduction to Moral Philosophy Michael Schwarz (Summer 2021)
PHIL 261: Introduction to Political Philosophy* Chad Horne (Winter 2021)
PHIL 261: Introduction to Political Philosophy* As taught by Joshua Kissel
PHIL 262: Ethical Problems and Public Issues* Chad Horne (Spring 2021)
PHIL 268: Environmental Ethics Joshua Kissel (Summer 2021)
PHIL 310: Studies in Ancient Philosophy* forthcoming
PHIL 312: Studies in Modern Philosophy* forthcoming
PHIL 315: Studies in French Philosophy* forthcoming
PHIL 318: Studies in Contemporary Philosophy: Epistemic Injustice* Sandy Goldberg (Winter 2021)
PHIL 325: Philosophy of Mind* forthcoming
PHIL 361: Topics in Social and Political Philosophy forthcoming
PHIL 390: Philosophy of Law forthcoming
PHIL 415: Studies in French Philosophy* forthcoming
PHIL 420: Ancient Philosophy and Social Epistemology* forthcoming
PHIL 423: Studies in Contemporary Philosophy forthcoming