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Graduate Course Descriptions

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Below is 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 2024


5300 - Adv Moral Philosophy
Instructor: Justin D'Arms
R 9:30 AM - 12:20 PM 
In person

This course will focus on the moral psychology of emotions and related states, such as Guilt, Compassion, Envy, Anger, Fear, Disgust, Pride, Shame, Contempt, Admiration, Amusement, and Anxiety. What are these states? What roles do emotions play in our moral and social lives? Can our emotional responses be unreasonable or unethical? In what ways can we control or be responsible for how we feel? The course meets only once a week, for one long session. Attendance is mandatory. Each meeting will be broken up into phases of group work, lecture and discussion, and we will take a break. Written work will include a term paper and some shorter written assignments throughout the term, and students will do presentations on their work.

Prereq: 3300, or 6 cr hrs in Philos at or above 3000-level; or Grad standing in Philos; or permission of instructor.


5700 - Adv Metaphysics
Instructor: 
MW 9:35 AM - 10:55 PM 
In person

An intensive examination of major metaphysical problems: categories, universals, substance and process, causality and law, space and time, metaphysical presuppositions of knowledge. Preferable to have credit for 3700 prior to enrollment.

Prereq: 2500, and 6 cr hrs in Philos at or above 3000-level; or Grad standing in Philos; or permission of instructor.
 

5750 - Adv Thry of Knowledge
Instructor: Jada Wiggleton-Little
TR 12:45 - 2:05 PM
In person

 This course explores topic in social epistemology, particularly those related to race and testimony. In this course, we will address the following questions: How does knowledge reflect the particular perspective of the knower? How does one's social identity facilitate or restrict their epistemic agency? How is ignorance willfully or un-willfully maintained? To tackle these questions, we will survey philosophical texts on situated knowledge, epistemic oppression, and active ignorance. We will primarily examine Miranda Fricker's definition of epistemic injustice and how it fits under the broader concepts of epistemic oppression and epistemic exclusion. To do so, we will engage with work by Jose Medina, Kristie Dotson, Charles Mills, Patrica Collins, Linda Alcoff and others. 

Prereq: 2500. and 6cr hrs in Philos at or above 3000-level; or Grad standing; or permission of instructor.


8001 - Grad Training Seminar
Instructor: C. Pincock
TBA

This course is designed to provide professional training for all first- and second-year graduate students that will enable them to develop the skills required for success in research, teaching and service.

Prereq: Grad standing in Philos. Repeatable to a maximum of 5 cr hrs or 2 completions. This course is graded S/U.


8100 - First Year Seminar
Instructor: T. McPherson & R. Kraut
T 2:30-5:15 PM

A topically variable introduction to advanced philosophical methodology. 
Prereq: First year of Grad standing. Not open to students with credit for 700.
 

8300 - Seminar in Value Theory 
Instructor: E. Lin
M 12:40-3:25 PM
In Person 

The topic of this seminar is welfare, or equivalently, well-being. After a brief survey of the main theories of welfare (e.g., hedonism, desire satisfactionism, objective list theories, and hybrids thereof), we will focus on recent work or work in progress. For example, we will read parts of a book manuscript by Chris Heathwood (Colorado) and discuss them with him when he visits us.


8300 - Seminar in Value Theory
Instructor: P. Turner
W 4:00-6:45 PM
In Person 

Open Society Liberalism
This course will explore the liberal tradition within political philosophy by examining the way John Rawls’s work both transformed and obscured other liberal thinkers’ works from earlier in the twentieth century. In particular, Rawlsian public reason forced a sharp break with a strain of thought one might call “open society liberalism,” due to thinkers like Mill, Dewey, and Popper. That strain emphasized the open-ended, problem-solving nature of liberal institutions, rather than their capacity to secure convergence. In the face of difficulties for the Rawlsian program, and with renewed attention to the role of diversity in generating progress, some philosophers have tried to retrieve the lessons of these earlier thinkers. Can these lessons generate a more dynamic “open society contractualism” than Rawls envisioned? Trying to answer this question will help us take stock of the liberal tradition today. Readings will likely include Mill, Dewey, Du Bois, Lippmann, Popper, Hayek, Shklar, Rawls, Gaus, Anderson, Misak, and Muldoon.  
 

Spring Semester 2024

 

5010S - Teaching Philosophy
Instructor: Tristram McPherson
WF 9:35 AM - 10:55 AM
in person

If you love philosophy, you may want to share that love by teaching philosophy to others. But how can we help others to develop the skills for reasoning and discussion that philosophers tend to value? What can we do to make our lessons engaging, inspiring, and memorable? This course will explore ideas and strategies for teaching philosophy, and participants will put these ideas and strategies to work teaching each other, and co-teaching philosophical ideas at a local high school.

Prereq: 6 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 2000-level or above, or Grad standing in Philos, or permission of instructor.

5260 - Studies in 20th Cen Philosophy
Instructor: Chris Pincock
MW 12:45 PM - 2:05 PM
in person

This course considers the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951). Although widely regarded as one of the most important thinkers of the twentieth century, there is no consensus on what Wittgenstein thought or why he thought it. In this class we will focus on his two most famous works: the Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (1921) and the Philosophical Investigations (1953). Throughout Wittgenstein is concerned with the nature of language, mind, logic and the world as a whole, but it is difficult to know what aspects of the earlier work are preserved in the later work. To help figure out why Wittgenstein might have changed his mind on some key philosophical questions, we will supplement our readings with a selection of material that he generated during his “middle” period, from roughly 1930 until 1939. We will try to do justice to Wittgenstein as an essentially dynamic thinker who continually reflected both on the cogency of his philosophical views and the desirability of pursuing philosophical reflection in the first place.
6 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 2000 level or above; or Grad standing; or permission of instructor.

5420 - Phil Topics in Feminist Theory
Instructor: Sahar Heydari Fard
TR 11:10 AM - 12:30 PM
in person

In today's complex social landscape, understanding the theoretical underpinnings of feminism is more crucial than ever. This course aims to explore core philosophical topics in feminist theory, offering a comprehensive deep dive into its multifaceted concerns. Students will examine key texts and philosophical debates that have shaped feminist thought, investigating issues related to social explanation, social change, metaphysics of gender, ethics and politics of care, gender performativity, intersectionality, reproductive rights, and more. We will engage with canonical feminist philosophers as well as contemporary voices, allowing for a nuanced understanding of the ongoing discussions within the feminist community.

Prereq: 6 cr hrs of Philos course work at the 2000 level or above; or Grad standing; or permission of instructor.

5440 - Philosophical Perspectives on Race, Education and Citizenship
Instructor: Winston Thompson
M 4:30PM - 7:15 PM
in person

This course in philosophy of education presents its participants with a unique opportunity to engage in a close study of race and education within a political context. It takes seriously the large body of scholarship in philosophy and the social sciences that suggests that race functions within, across, and through educational institutions to confer dis/advantage of various sorts. This course will focus on the consequences of this idea, carefully investigating some of the underlying claims, implications, and normative obligations that accompany them.

This course will allow participants to pursue many of the practical and conceptual questions that rest at the intersection of race and education. Among these are the following: How does education play a specific role in racialized patterns of benefit and detriment? What role, if any, should race play in our understanding of educational policy and practice? How does race affect our understanding of  the ways that education might prepare persons for the complex work of citizenship (and what might this mean for you, at a university with the motto” Education for Citizenship”)? How does race impact the ways that educational experiences shape the persons that students are able to become? How does a historical study of approaches to these questions prepare us to deal well with race and education in our increasingly complicated present – and future? In what ways does a philosophical study of race and citizenship offer any clarity regarding other identity categories and their impact on education? How, if at all, does race intersect with other identity categories (gender, class, sexuality, etc.) in educationally significant ways? How does race present special challenges to abiding concerns within the field of philosophy of education?

5500 - Advanced Symbolic Logic
Instructor: Neil Tennant
TR 2:20 PM - 3:40 PM
in person

This course covers the metatheory of first-order logics and languages. It studies systems of natural deduction (and associated sequent calculi) for propositional and predicate logic, and relates these to appropriate kinds of formal semantics, via soundness and completeness theorems. Other philosophically and foundationally important results expose the fundamental tension between expressive power and deductive power in any language for mathematics; the existence of countable models for any consistent first-order theory; and the reducibility in principle of all of mathematics to a theory of sets that is based on first-order axioms that govern a single binary relation.

Prereq: PHILOS 2500.

7080 - Engineering Ethics
Instructor: Tyler Cook
M 10:20 AM - 11:15 AM
in person

Equip engineering grad students with skills for resolving moral issues that may arise in professional contexts. Includes an introduction to ethics, followed by contemporary issues in engineering ethics, such as the nature and moral status of technology; responsibility; privacy; honesty and integrity, safety and risk; environmental ethics; and the ethics of artificial intelligence.

Prereq: Grad standing.

8300- Seminar in Value Theory
Instructor: Tristram McPherson
T 4:00 PM - 6:45 PM

Description coming soon.

8600 - Seminar in Phil Language
Instructor: Stewart Shapiro
W 4:00 PM - 6:45 PM
in person

The focus on this seminar is on semantic indeterminacy, sentences (in context) that are neither true nor false. There is perhaps not much new to be said about sentences that are grammatical but express nonsense, due to category mistakes and the like: “Colorless green ideas sleep furiously”. One focus for us is vagueness. There is a large literature in philosophy and in logic on saying what vagueness is and how the famous sorites paradox—the paradox of the heap—should be resolved. We will also look at semantic treatments, within linguistics, of how certain vague predicates, like gradable adjectives, are treated. Another source of indeterminacy is open texture. Frederick Waismann defines a predicate P to have open texture of there are, or could be, objects o for which nothing that speakers have said or done determines whether or not P holds of o. We will examine the role of open texture in language development, examining various (alleged) cases of it, and how it sometimes gets resolved. Virtually all treatments in logic and in linguistic semantics ignore open texture—it is idealized away. We will explore how it might be accommodated. A third topic for this seminar is presupposition, and presupposition failure. A sentence S, uttered in a given context, presupposes a proposition p just in case p has to be true in order for S to have a truth value at all (in the given context). We will study how presupposition arises, from the perspective of both philosophy of language and in compositional semantics. Presupposition failure is a kind of semantic indeterminacy, and we will explore how it plays out when it occurs in conversation

8800 - Seminar in Phil of Mind
Instructor: Abe Roth
R 4:00 PM - 6:45 PM
in person

Agents within institutions, and institutions as agents

Is the institutional setting just another sort of environment that we might find ourselves in?  Do we exercise the same form of agency when we get by in an institutional setting as when we cope with natural or social environments outside of institutions?  Or might aspects of institutions (such as the authority relations they typically exhibit) shape in distinctive ways the kind of agency we (can) exercise in response?  And if so, what are the contours of this special institutional agency and what are the implications for us as individuals?

Some institutions or large-scale groups are said to act and to be agents in their own right.  What does it mean for this to be taken literally?  Is the agency of an institution anything like individual agency?  Is institutional or group agency simply a scaled-up form of joint agency of several individuals?  Does thinking of an institution as an agent require thinking of it as having mental states, exhibiting intentionality, and acting for reasons? 

Institutions and large-scale groups typically exhibit authority structures, social categories, rules, and practices (such as promising and testimony).  In this seminar we’ll be surveying some of the literature on these issues.  The focus will be on work in or adjacent to the philosophy of action, and so there will be some emphasis on relating institutional agency to individual agency, joint action, and collective intentionality. 

Authors we’ll be looking at include Searle, Ludwig, Bratman, French, Gilbert, Thomasson, Tollefsen, Pettit, List, Guala, Ásta, Epstein, Schaffer, Lackey, Rupert, Hubner, and yours truly.

8900 - Placement Seminar
Instructor: Tristram McPherson
in person

8999 - Dissertation Seminar
Instructor: Justin D'Arms
M 12:00 PM - 2:55 PM
in person

Students will share and discuss work in progress on their dissertations in Philosophy.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Complete Listing of Philosophy Graduate Courses

 

5010S  Teaching Philosophy
3 Credit Hours

 

Design a set of philosophy lessons and team-teach some of these lessons to secondary school students.

 

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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.

5261 Phenomenology and Existentialism
3 Credit Hours

 

Early existentialist ideas of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche; Husserl's phenomenological method and critical analysis of works of philosophers such as Heidegger, Jaspers, Sartre, Beauvoir, and others.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 

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.

 


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.

 

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.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

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.

 

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.

 

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.

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.

 

8001 --Graduate Training Seminar
1-3 Credit Hours
This course is designed to provide professional training for all first- and second-year graduate students that will enable them to develop the skills required for success in research, teaching and service.
Prereq: Grad standing in Philos. Repeatable to a maximum of 5 cr hrs or 2 completions. This course is graded S/U.

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

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

8200  (801)--Seminar in the History of Philosophy
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.

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.

 

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.

8800--Seminar in Philosophy of Mind
1-4 Credit Hours
Preq: Grad standing in Philos or permission of instructor.  Repeatable to a maximum of 30 cr hrs.

 

8900--Placement Seminar
1-3 Credit Hours
Prereq: Grad standing in Philos. Repeatable to a maximum of 9 cr hrs or 3 completions. This course is graded S/U.

 

8999 --Dissertation Research in Philosophy 
1-9 Credit Hours
Research for dissertation purposes only.
Prereq: Repeatable to a maximum of 30 cr hrs or 30 completions. This course is graded S/U.

 

 

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