Spring 2019 (Graduate)

PHI 7330 - 001 Medieval Philosophy CRN: 33158

Days: R from 2:30 to 5:00
Instructor: Stephen Napier

Medieval philosophers were concerned with understanding the world around them and in particular their relationship with God. This is not to say that they assumed that God exists; there were many and in some cases tortuous arguments (i.e., John Duns Scotus) proving the existence of God. But there was a distinct philosophical project of understanding better the relationship between God and humans. This course focuses on the moral theories that developed out of this reflection. The course focuses on Saint Thomas Aquinas’ contributions for several reasons. The first is that he writes in a very lapidary style, making his points as succinct as they can be made. The second is that his philosophical method is to give due consideration to those who have previously reflected on the problems he addresses. Aquinas’s works are a type of one-stop shop for assessing the numerous ideas and arguments the medieval philosophers considered. Third, Aquinas’s works have all been translated into English and are online for free.  

PHI 8120 - 001 Wittgenstein: Logic & Sanctity CRN: 33159

Days: T  from 2:30 to 5:00
Instructor:  James Wetzel

Ludwig Wittgenstein is a big presence in the history of 20th century philosophy.  The primary business of this seminar is to conduct a close, communal reading of his two major works: Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus and Philosophical Investigations.  Our broad focus, consistent with past versions of this seminar, will be on Wittgenstein’s abiding fascination with language, his eventual disillusionment with the notion of logical form, and his apparent trade of logical form for the enigmatic concept of “forms of life.”  But I also want to highlight, at least for this rendition of the Wittgenstein seminar, two additional issues: Wittgenstein’s odd obsession with wanting to bring philosophy to an end (as if it were some kind of disease), and the political implications (if indeed there are any) of his rejection of a “sublimed” logic and insistence on the givenness of forms of life.

PHI 8710 - 001 French & Francophone Theory CRN: 33160

Days: W  from 3:00 to 5:30
Instructor: Gabriel Rockhill

This seminar is structured around a dual objective. On the one hand, it seeks to provide a comprehensive and rigorous overview of the major philosophic movements in the French-speaking world since WWII, beginning with existentialism and structuralism, and continuing through what is often referred to as post-structuralism and event philosophy. On the other hand, it aims at taking usthrough the looking glass by examining the material forces that have produced this standard historical model and its implicit progress narrative, foregrounding in particular how it frames and transforms the reading of texts—eradicating, for instance, de Beauvoir’s communism—and draws sharp dividing lines between canonical French figures and those excluded, like Castoriadis, or banished in the colonial periphery of the ‘Francophone’ world. This latter task will require a deeper interrogation into the social, political and institutional battles operative in the general shift away from resolutely anti-imperialist philosophies in the postwar conjuncture to a form of French theory whose ‘compatible Leftism’ has played a central role in the global theory industry, thereby contributing to the intelligentsia’s drift away from Marxism and revolutionary anti-capitalism more generally. Given a certain resurgence of these less palatable forms of revolutionary philosophies in the contemporary generation of French thinkers like Badiou, Rancière and others, the current moment is ripe for revisiting this rich history and discussing its possible futures.

PHI 8720 - 001 Husserl & Levinas CRN: 33161

Days: M  from 3:00 to 5:30
Instructor: Delia Popa

During this Spring semester, we will explore the relationship between two main figures of contemporary phenomenology: the founding father of phenomenology as philosophical movement, Edmund Husserl, and one of his immediate successors who found new foundations for phenomenology in ethics, Emmanuel Levinas. While examining the commonalities and the differences between their phenomenological perspectives, we will focus on methodological problems that phenomenology discovered and elaborated progressively. Intentionality, temporality, passivity, otherness and subjectivity will be the main topics we will be analyzing together.  We will end the semester with a critical reading of Husserl and Levinas that opens the path toward social philosophy, feminism and decolonial thinking broadly understood.

PHI 8830 - 001 Independent Study I CRN: 33162

Instructor: Julie Klein

PHI 8835 - 001 Independent Study II CRN: 33163

Instructor: Julie Klein

PHI 8870 - 001 Consortium I CRN: 33164

Instructor: Julie Klein

PHI 8875 - 001 Consortium II CRN: 33165

Instructor: Julie Klein

PHI 9010 - 001 Dissertation  CRN: 33166

Instructor: Julie Klein

PHI 9081 - 001 Dissertation Continuation   CRN: 33167

Instructor: Julie Klein

Prerequisite: PHI 9010