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 2018

5230 Studies in 17th Century Philosophy
Instructor:  L. Shabel
UH 353; T 12:40-3:25

We will focus on René Descartes and his most famous work, doing a close reading of the Meditationsand the accompanying Objections and Replies. It will be our aim to engage and understand Descartes’ philosophy (including his metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of science and philosophy of mathematics) by reflecting on its historical context and the mathematical and scientific theories that informed his project. Depending on student interest, we may focus special attention on how other early modern philosophers responded with their own rationalist and empiricist philosophies of mathematics. The Meditations will reward you with its riches, whether or not you already have some familiarity with the text. Prerequisites include just 6 credit hours in Philosophy at the 2000 level or above. Philosophy 3230 is NOT required.

5460 Philosophy of Literature
Instructor: T. Rudavsky
UH 353; WF 9:30-10:55

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%).

5530 Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics
Instructor: N. Tennant
UH 353, TR 11:10-12:30

Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics We shall address a range of ontological and epistemological questions about Logic and Mathematics.

What is Logic? Is there just one correct Logic? Is Mathematics reducible to Logic? Can the logician cast any light on the ways that various branches of Mathematics (algebra; topology; geometry; calculus; set theory) differ from one another and are related to one another?  Could our Mathematics have been very different?

What kind of knowledge is provided by Logic and Mathematics? Is it a priori? Is it analytic? Or do these epistemological categories fail to illuminate what is special about this kind of knowledge? Is all logical and mathematical truth knowable?

What justifies our mathematical knowledge? Is it the role it plays in the formulation of our scientific theories about the natural world? Or is it something completely different? What is the role of Mathematics in Natural Science? What are we to make of branches of pure Mathematics that do not yet enjoy any application in natural science?

What sorts of objects are Logic and Mathematics 'about'? Do they exist independently of human intellects and their activity?

5610 & 8600 Natural Language Metaphysics
Instructor: S. Shapiro 
UH 353, WF 2:20-3:40

There are a number of areas of mutual concern to philosophers of language and linguists interested in empirical semantics.  For a wide range of topics, such as modals, predicates of personal taste, and propositional attitude reports, there is a fruitful interaction and collaboration between these scholars.  One striking exception is the treatment of plurals, with phrases like “the Montague’s and the Capulet’s hate each other” (which has three distinct readings).  There is extensive work on plurals by logicians and philosophers of language, and by semanticists.  They do regularly cite each other, but there is not much in the way of interaction.

One key difference is that virtually all semanticists are “singularists”, who take it that a plural expression, like “The Montague’s” refers to a single thing, like a set or group.  Most philosophers are “pluralists”, who deny this.

The explanation may lie in different interests for the two groups.  Plurals were brought into the mainstream of philosophical logic by George Boolos, who suggested that the plural construction can make sense of mathematical cases, where, intuitively, there is no set-like thing to be had (or where assuming that there is one leads to paradox).  His example is:

There are some sets such that a given set is one of them just in case it is a member of itself.

Russell’s paradox follows if we assume that there is a set of all such sets.

Most semanticists do not worry about the specter of paradox, following Landman’s Semanticists Bill of Rights:  The right to solve Russell’s paradox later shall not be infringed.

In this course, we will look at a wide range of work on plurals, by philosophers such as Boolos, Oliver and Smiley, Linnebo, and (our own) Florio, and linguists such as Landman, Carlson, Krifka, and Cherchia.  On the positive side, we are looking for a modal interpretation that bridges the gap.

The final grade will be based on class participation, a class presentation, a commentary on someone else’s presentation, and a substantial term paper.

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

This is a graduate-level survey of population ethics, structured around four topics that were famously discussed by Derek Parfit in Part IV of Reasons and Persons: the non-identity problem, the procreation asymmetry, the repugnant conclusion, and the mere addition paradox.  

8600 Seminar in Philosophy of Language
Instructor: S. Shapiro
UH 353, WF 2:20-3:40

Description above under 5610

8650 Seminar in Philosophy of Science
Instructor: R. Samuels
UH 353;  M 12:40-3:25

The notion of computation is both a focus of abstract mathematical research, and one that plays a pivotal role in certain regions of the empirical sciences, where it is routinely applied to concrete, physical processes and systems. In this seminar, we will focus on a series of related issues regarding what computation is, and what it is for a concrete, physical process or system to be a computational one. In doing so, we will pay special attention to the following:

  1. The threat of what is sometimes called ‘pancomputationalism’ – roughly, the worry that almost any physical system is a computational one;
  2. The relative merits of competing views of physical computation – including semantic, syntactic and mechanistic theories; and
  3. The implications of competing theories of physical computation for topics in the cognitive and brain sciences.

Time-permitting, we will also explore issues regarding the distinction between digital and analog computation, and between classical and quantum computation. 

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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