Graduate Course Descriptions

Below are two lists.  First, a list of upcoming graduate courses with full descriptions and other specific information.  Below that is a list of all graduate-level courses offered by the Department.  A full listing of graduate level courses is also available at the OSU Course Catalog.  For a complete listing of courses offered in recent, current, and upcoming semesters, see the OSU Master Schedule.

Upcoming Graduate Courses

 

Autumn Semester 2017 

 

5260  Studies in 20th-Century Philosophy
Instructor: C. Pincock
UH 353; WF 12:45 - 2:05

5300  Advanced Moral Philosophy
Instructor: J. D'Arms
UH 353; TR 12:45 - 2:05

5540 Theory of Rational Choice
Instructor: A. Roth
UH 353; MW 11:10 - 12:30

5600 Advanced Theory of Language
Instructor: S. Shapiro
UH 353; MW 9:35 - 10:35

8200 Seminar in History of Philosophy
Instructor: J. Jorati
UH 353; T 3:55-6:40

8510 Seminar in Topics in Logic
Instructor: N. Tennant
UH 353; M 12:40 - 3:25

8750 Seminar in Theory of Knowledge
Instructor: D. Smithies
UH 353; W 3:55 - 6:40

Spring Semester 2017 

 

5230  Studies in 17th-Century Philosophy
Instructor: L. Downing
UH 353; WF 12:45 - 2:05

Descartes’s legacy                           
René Descartes (1596-1650) sought to transform metaphysics and physics, and to provide a global replacement for the Aristotelianism that had dominated medieval European philosophy.  We will look at his dualist, mechanist system, and some of the debates that his system inspired.  We will consider a number of early critics of Descartes (Princess Elizabeth of Bohemia, Margaret Cavendish, Henry More, Pierre Gassendi, Antoine Arnauld), as well as some followers of Descartes who nevertheless take different views about how his philosophical legacy should be understood (Malebranche, Cordemoy).
 

5460  Philosophy of Literature
Instructor: T. Rudavsky
DL 317; MW 9:35 - 10:55.

An introduction to some of the most interesting points of intersection between philosophy and literature. In this course we will explore two kinds of connections between them, most notably:  Philosophy on literature – philosophical approaches to understanding literary texts (truth; authorship; selfhood)  and Philosophy in literature – literary texts that explicitly invoke philosophical problems or approaches.  Specific topics and authors will be chosen from the following list:
a)     What is time; can we travel forward or backward in time? Is time even real? (Augustine; Borges; Lightman; McTaggart; Lewis; LeGuin)
b)    How can we, if at all, account for personal identity over time? (Kafka; Dostoyevsky; Parfit; Hume)
c)     Do we actually have free will – do we make free choices? (Sophocles; Borges; Chisholm; Taylor)
d)    Reality, Truth and Illusion (Plato; Borges; Baudrillard; Rashomon (film))
e)     If something is conceivable, is it possible? (Calvino; Yablo)  
f)     Is there a meaning to life? (Sartre; Tolstoy)
g)    The fine line between literary philosophy and philosophical literature (Kundera)
 
Course Requirements include: midterm essay exam (30%); take-home essay exam, week of finals (30%); Term paper (30%); Class participation, oral presentation and regular attendance may affect the grade as much as one-half letter grade (10%).
 

5500  Advanced Symbolic Logic
Instructor: N. Tennant
UH 353; MW 9:35 - 10:55

This course will cover the important basic results of first-order metalogic. We shall characterize first-order deductibility within systems of natural deduction, and the model-theoretic definition of logical consequence. The main results will be the completeness (and soundness) theorem, the compactness theorem and the downward Lowenheim-Skolem theorem. There will be philosophical discussion of the aims of formalization or regimentation of mathematical and/or scientific discourse; the status of the notion of logical form; the theory of descriptions; the comparative virtues of inference-based v. truth-conditional theories of meaning; and intuitionistic logic as an important subsystem of classical logic. Students will acquire fluency in constructing proofs within these systems, and finding countermodels to invalid arguments. Thus the course aims to impart both intra-systematic and meta-systematic understanding.
Assessment will be based on exercises, a mid-term and a final exam.
The text will be Neil Tennant, “Natural Logic”  Edinburgh University Press, 2nd edition, 1990. If students cannot find copies in the bookstores, photocopies of the work will be authorized
 

5700  Advanced Metaphysics
Instructor: B. Caplan
JH 136; TR 3:55 - 5:15

This course is on the ontology of arithmetic. The course does not presuppose any particular knowledge of mathematics. By and large, we will be reading work by metaphysicians rather than philosophers of mathematics. For the most part, we will be assuming that there are (natural) numbers, that we can know things about them, and that (at least in principle) questions about them can be answered.
Topics to be addressed include whether, if numbers exist, they nonetheless might have failed to exist; whether facts about numbers obtain in virtue of facts about other things; and how numbers are related to properties and relations. For example, are numbers properties of things, properties of pluralities of things, properties of sets of things, relations among things, or slots in properties of (or relations among) things or pluralities of things?
 

5830 Introduction to Cognitive Science
Instructor: J. Myung
PB 014; TR 5:30 - 6:50

This course introduces the exciting interdisciplinary field of cognitive science devoted to the study of human intelligence and intelligent systems. Researchers in philosophy, neuroscience, psychology, artificial intelligence, and linguistics realized that they were asking many of the same questions about the nature of the human mind/brain, that they had developed complementary and synergistic methods of investigation, and that the evidence led them to compatible answers to their questions. This course introduces cognitive science through a representative sample of such questions, methods, and answers. It is not a special-topic course for students who seek detailed knowledge in a specific area of cognitive science, but as a broad survey of different approaches within the field of cognitive science. We will try not to lose sight of the forest for the trees but we will take a closer look at a few trees too because science is in the details. Along the way, we will introduce the constituent disciplines and their respective contributions to the study of cognition. We will discuss the foundational concepts of computation and information processing from multiple points of view. Two unifying themes are emphasized throughout: (1) Information processing: The mind/brain is viewed as a complex system that receives, stores, retrieves, transforms, and transmits information. (2) Neuroscience grounding: Explicit effort is made to show how mental phenomena emerge from the interactions of networks of neurons in the brain.

5891 Proseminar in Cognitive Science
Instructor: L. Wagner
PB 219; T 3:15 - 6:00

This class provides a broad overview of the main themes and methods of cognitive science and will highlight the research of Ohio State's Cognitive Science community.  This course is required for students wishing to complete the Cognitive and Brain Sciences Graduate Interdisciplinary Specialization.

8200 Seminar in History of Philosophy
Instructor: L. Shabel
UH 353; R 3:55 - 6:40

Recent work on Kant: Intuition, Imagination and Concepts
 
In this seminar, we will explore a cluster of related themes that emerge from Kant’s first Critique and which have been the focus of much recent scholarly attention, including the relation between sensibility and understanding; the unity of intuition; the role of intuition and concepts in mathematical cognition; conceptual and non-conceptual content in perception and experience;  the function of the representation of time in the Aesthetic and the Analytic; and the special role of imagination and schemata in Kant’s architectonic. We will survey recent work by contemporary scholars, including Lanier Anderson, Lucy Allais, Hannah Ginsborg, Colin McLear, Clinton Tolley, Eric Watkins and others. During the semester, we will have separate visits from Ginsborg, McLear and Tolley, who will be guest instructors, leading us in a discussion of their work in the seminar setting. 
 

8300 Seminar in Value Theory
Instructor: E. Lin
UH 353; T 12:40 - 3:25

The topic of this seminar is welfare, or equivalently, well-being. We will consider the major theories of welfare: hedonism, desire satisfactionism, objective list theories, perfectionism, the happiness theory, and hybrids thereof. Other topics may include: the nature of pleasure, the significance of a life's shape, the relation between welfare and value "from the point of view of the universe," and the relation between welfare and reasons.

8800 Seminar in Philosophy of Mind
Instructor: R. Samuels
UH 353; W 3:55 - 6:40

This seminar will focus on three distinct but related issues regarding reasoning, inference and rationality:
 
1. The nature of reasoning and inference. Philosophers routinely allude to the fact that human beings reason and draw inferences of various kinds. Yet until quite recently, there has been surprisingly little effort in contemporary philosophy to articulate a systematic account of what reasoning and inference are. In the first third of the semester, we consider work by Paul Boghossian, John Broome, Crispin Wright and others to articulate such an account.
 
2. Bayesian theories of rationality. It has long been commonplace amongst philosophers, economists and behavioral scientists to view Bayesian probability theory as one core component of a normative theory of rationality. Moreover, it is a theory that has received much recent attention within formal epistemology. In the second part of the semester, we discuss some influential research on Bayesian accounts of rationality. In addition to discussing the core commitments of Bayesian accounts, we consider the main arguments in support of such accounts – e.g. Dutch Book Arguments – and many of the more prominent challenges that such accounts face. We will focus on papers by David Christensen, Branden Fitelson, Dan Garber, Gilbert Harman, Richard Jeffrey, James Joyce – and, of course, Tom Bayes – amongst others.
 
3. The “Bayesian Revolution” in psychology and neuroscience. In addition to its influence on normative theorizing, Bayesian statistics has exerted an astonishing influence on recent psychology and neuroscience. Not only has it been used to model those processes to which it most naturally applies – e.g. probabilistic judgment and decision-making – it has emerged as a powerful approach to modelling vision, language acquisition, concept learning, and many other cognitive processes. In this, the final, part of the course, we discuss the nature, plausibility and philosophical significance of such models. In doing so, we will discuss the extent to which Bayesian models ought to be interpreted realistically, whether there are any good reasons to suppose that cognition is generally Bayesian in character, and whether or not Bayesian models of cognitive processes help vindicate the claim that human beings are rational. For this part of the course we will focus on research by psychologists (e.g. Nick Chater, Alison Gopnik, Michael Tenenbaum, and Fei Xu), neuroscientists (e.g. Karl Friston, and Alexandre Pouget) and philosophers (e.g. Andy Clark, Matteo Colombo, David Danks, Edouard Machery, and Shaun Nicholls)
 

Complete Listing of Philosophy Graduate Courses

5211  (601.01)--Ancient Philosophy: Plato
3 Credit Hours

A survey of central philosophical themes in one or more Platonic dialogues.
Prereq: 301 or 10 cr hrs of Philos at the 200 level; or above; or grad standing in Philos; or permission of instructor.

5212  (601.02)--Ancient Philosophy:  Aristotle
3 Credit Hours

A survey of central philosophical themes in one or more Aristotelian treatises.
Prereq: 301 or 10 cr hrs of Philos at the 200 level; or above; or grad standing in Philos; or permission of instructor.

5210  (601.03)--Ancient Philosophy:  Studies in Ancient Philosophy
3 Credit Hours

Variable content; special topics in ancient Greek philosophy, including value theory, logic, metaphysics and natural science in pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle the Hellenistic schools or neo-Platonism.
Prereq: 301 or 10 cr hrs of Philos at the 200 level; or above; or grad standing in Philos; or permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 10 cr hrs.

5220  (602)--Studies in Medieval Philosophy
3 Credit Hours

An intensive examination of a major philosopher, school or philosophical problem of the medieval period; topics vary.
Prereq: 302 and 10 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 200 level or above; or grad standing in Philos; or permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 15 cr hrs.

5230  (603)--Studies in 17th-Century Philosophy
3 Credit Hours

An intensive examination of a major philosopher or philosophical problem of the rationalist period; topics vary from quarter to quarter.
Prereq: 303 and 10 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 200 level or above; or grad standing in Philos; or written of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 15 cr hrs.

5241  (604.01)--Studies in 18th Century Philosophy:  Kant
3 Credit Hours

An intensive examination of one or more important themes in Kant's philosophical writings.
Prereq: 303, or 304, and 10 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 200 level or above; or grad standing in Philos; or permission of instructor.

5240  (604.02)--Studies in 18th Century Philosophy:  Selected Problems or Topics
3 Credit Hours

An intensive examination of one or more important themes in Kant's philosophical writings.
Prereq: 303, or 304, and 10 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 200 level or above; or grad standing in Philos; or permission of instructor.

5260  (606)--Studies in 20th-Century Philosophy
3 Credit Hours

An intensive examination of one or more central movement in 20th-century philosophy; topics vary.
Prereq: 15 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 200 level or above, or grad standing in Philos or permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 15 cr hrs.

5830  (612)--Introduction to Cognitive Science
3 Credit Hours

Cognitive science is an interdisciplinary study of the nature of human thought; psychological, philosophical, linguistic, and artificial intelligence approaches to knowledge representation.
Prereq: Permission of instructor or a total of 12 cr hrs from at least two of the following areas: Cptr Inf, Linguist, Philos, and Psych. Not open to students with credit for CptrInf 612, Linguist 612, or Psych 612 or 794 (Sp Qtr 1989) or 794A (Wi Qtr 1990). Cross-listed in Computer and Information Science, Linguistics, and Psychology.

5840  (620)--Advanced Philosophy of Cognitive Science
3 Credit Hours

In-depth examination of the influence of results in cognitive science upon the way in which philosophers approach fundamental issues about the nature of the mind.
Prereq: 467 or permission of instructor.

5420  (625)--Philosophical Topics in Feminist Theory
3 Credit Hours

An analytical study of selected philosophical issues arising out of feminist theory, such as the nature of autonomy, or the relation between gender and knowledge.
Prereq: 10 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 300 level or above; or grad standing; or permission of instructor. Repeatable to a maximum of 10 cr hrs.

5400  (630)--Advanced Political and Social Philosophy
3 Credit Hours

An intensive examination of issues in political and social philosophy, including democracy, civil disobedience, anarchism, totalitarianism, nature of the state, etc.
Prereq: 230 and 10 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 200 level or above; or grad standing in Philos; or permission of instructor, and English 110 or 111 or equiv.

5300   (631)--Advanced Moral Philosophy
3 Credit Hours

An intensive examination of major issues within moral philosophy such as: the foundations of morality; objectivity in ethics; morality, reason and sentiment; virtues and vices.
Prereq: 431 and 10 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 200 level or above or grad standing in Philos or permission of instructor.

5410  (638)--Advanced Philosophy of Law
3 Credit Hours

An examination of the nature and function of law and of such problems as the relation of law to morality and the justification of punishment.
Prereq: 338 and 10 cr hrs of Philos coursework at the 200 level or above; or grad standing; or equiv or permission of instructor.

5450  (640)--Advanced Aesthetic Theory
3 Credit Hours

Basic issues in philosophy of art: the definition of art; meaning, truth, and representation in art; the nature and basis of criticism; the criteria of interpretation of works of art.
Prereq: 15 cr hrs of Philos course work at 200 level or above; grad standing in Philos; or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 641.

5500  (650)--Advanced Symbolic Logic
3 Credit Hours

Introduction to the metatheory of first-order logics and languages: axiomatic development of propositional and predicate logic; model theory; soundness, completeness, and Lowenheim-Skolem theorems.
Prereq: 250

5510  (652)--Nonclassical Logic
3 Credit Hours

Study of selected systems of nonclassical logic, such as entailment systems, modal, many-valued, epistemic, deontic, imperative, erotetic, tense, and free logics.
Prereq: 650. Repeatable to a maximum of 10 cr hrs.

5650  (655)--Advanced Philosophy of Science
3 Credit Hours

A study of the nature and structure of scientific concepts, laws, and theories; appraisal of methodologies, presuppositions, and frames of reference in science.
Prereq: 250 and 10 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 300 level or above (preferably 455); or 250 and grad standing in Philos; or permission of instructor.

5750  (660)--Advanced Theory of Knowledge
3 Credit Hours

An intensive examination of major epistemological problems: the possibility, origin, foundation, structure, methods, limits, types, and validity of knowledge.
Prereq: 250 and 10 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 300 level or above (preferably 460); or grad standing; or permission of instructor.

5700  (663)--Advanced Metaphysics
3 Credit Hours

An intensive examination of major metaphysical problems: categories, universals, substance and process, causality and law, space and time, metaphysical presuppositions of knowledge.
Prereq: 250 or 10 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 300 level or above (preferably 463); or grad standing; or permission of instructor.

5800  (667) - Advanced Philosophy of Mind
3 Credit Hours

Classical and contemporary approaches to the nature of mind, mind-body, other minds, intentionality, and other problems.
Prereq: 15 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 300 level or above (preferably 467); or grad standing in Philos; or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for 767.

5850  (670) - Philosophy of Religion
3 Credit Hours

A study of religious concepts and problems; the idea and nature of God, of humans, their relation to the world and human destiny.
Prereq: 10 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 300 level or above; or grad standing; or permission of instructor.

5600  (673) - Advanced Philosophy of Language
3 Credit Hours

Basic problems and results in the philosophy of language, concentrating on theories of reference, theories of meaning, and theories of language-use (speech-acts, implicature, etc.).
Prereq: 250 and 10 credit hrs of Philos course work at the 300 level or above (preferably 473); or grad standing in Philos; or permission of instructor.

8100  (700) - First-Year Seminar
4 Credit Hours

A topically variable introduction to advanced philosophical methodology.
Open only to first-year philosophy grad students.

5550  (750)--Advanced Logical Theory
3 Credit Hours

Topics include formal arithmetic, recursive functions, Turing machines, Godel's incompleteness theorems, Church's thesis, arithmetical truth, logical paradoxes, and higher-order logic.
Preq: 250 and 650.  Repeatable to a maximum of 15 hours.

8200  (801)--Seminar in the History of Philosphy
1-4 Credit Hours
Preq: Grad standing in Philos or permission of instructor.  Repeatable to a maximum of 30 cr hrs.

8300  (830)--Seminar in Value Theory
1-4 Credit Hours
Preq: Grad standing in Philos or permission of instructor.  Repeatable to a maximum of 30 cr hrs.

8500  (850)--Seminar in Logic
1-4 Credit Hours
Preq: Grad standing in Philos or permission of instructor.  Repeatable to a maximum of 30 cr hrs.

8600  (873)--Seminar in Philosophy of Language
1-4 Credit Hours
Preq: Grad standing in Philos or permission of instructor.  Repeatable to a maximum of 30 cr hrs.

8650  (855)--Seminar in Philosophy of Science
1-4 Credit Hours
Preq: Grad standing in Philos or permission of instructor.  Repeatable to a maximum of 30 cr hrs.

8750  (860)--Seminar in Theory of Knowledge
1-4 Credit Hours
Preq: Grad standing in Philos or permission of instructor.  Repeatable to a maximum of 30 cr hrs.

8700  (863)--Seminar in Metaphysics
1-4 Credit Hours
Preq: Grad standing in Philos or permission of instructor.  Repeatable to a maximum of 30 cr hrs.

 

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