Course Descriptions, Syllabi and Course Materials from Courses Taught at the University of Chicago

by James Conant

PHIL 23701/33701. Varieties of Philosophical Skepticism. The aim of the course will be to consider some of the most influential treatments of skepticism in the post-war analytic philosophical tradition – in relation both to the broader history of philosophy and to current tendencies in contemporary analytic philosophy. The first part of the course will begin by distinguishing two broad varieties of skepticism – Cartesian and Kantian – and their evolution over the past two centuries (students without any prior familiarity with both Descartes and Kant will be at a significant disadvantage here), and will go on to isolate and explore some of the most significant variants of each of these varieties in recent analytic philosophy. The second part of the course will involve a close look at recent influential analytic treatments of skepticism. It will also involve a brief look at various versions of contextualism with regard to epistemological claims. We will carefully read and critically evaluate writings on skepticism by the following authors: J. L. Austin, Robert Brandom, Stanley Cavell, Thompson Clarke, Saul Kripke, C. I. Lewis, John McDowell, H. H. Price, Hilary Putnam, Barry Stroud, Charles Travis, Michael Williams, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. This will be an advanced lecture course open to graduate students and undergraduates with a prior background in analytic philosophy. (B) (III) Spring 2019

PHIL 56706. Conceptions of the Limits of Logic from Descartes to Wittgenstein. In what sense, if any, do the laws of logic express necessary truths? The course will consider four fateful junctures in the history of philosophy at which this question received influential treatment: (1) Descartes on the creation of the eternal truths, (2) Kant’s re-conception of the nature of logic and introduction of the distinction between pure general and transcendental logic, (3) Frege’s rejection of the possibility of logical aliens, and (4) Wittgenstein’s early and later responses to Frege. We will closely read short selections from Descartes, Kant, Frege, and Wittgenstein, and ponder their significance for contemporary philosophical reflection by studying some classic pieces of secondary literature on these figures, along with related pieces of philosophical writing by Jocelyn Benoist, Matt Boyle, Cora Diamond, Peter Geach, John MacFarlane, Adrian Moore, Hilary Putnam, Thomas Ricketts, Sebastian Rödl, Richard Rorty, Peter Sullivan, Barry Stroud, Clinton Tolley, and Charles Travis. The course is open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students with prior background in philosophy. (V) Spring 2019

PHIL 56909. Kant’s Transcendental Deduction and Its Contemporary Reception. This seminar will be devoted to a close reading and discussion of certain portions of Kant’s First Critique, focusing especially on the Transcendental Deduction of the Pure Concepts of the Understanding. We will explore a handful of proposals for how to understand the project of the First Critique that turn especially on an interpretation the Transcendental Deduction, including especially those put forward by Henrich, Kern, Rödl, Sellars, Strawson, Stroud, and McDowell. The aim of the course is both to use certain central texts of recent Kant commentary and contemporary analytic Kantian philosophy to illuminate some the central aspirations of Kant’s theoretical philosophy and to use certain central Kantian texts in which those aspirations were first pursued to illuminate some recent developments in recent epistemology and the philosophy of mind. Spring 2018

PHIL 24602. The Analytic Tradition: From Frege to Ryle. This course will introduce students to the analytic tradition in philosophy. The aim of the course is to provide an overview of the first half of this tradition, starting from the publication of Frege’s Begriffsschrift in 1879 and reaching up to the publication of Ryle’s The Concept of Mind in 1949 and the posthumous publication of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations in 1953. The course will focus on four aspects of this period in the history of analytic philosophy: (1) its initial founding phase, as inaugurated in the early seminal writings of Gottlob Frege, G. E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, as well as Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus; (2) the inheritance and reshaping of some of the central ideas of the founders of analytic philosophy at the hands of the members of the Vienna Circle and their critics, especially as developed in the writings of Otto Neurath, Rudolf Carnap, Moritz Schlick, and W. V. O. Quine, (3) the cross-fertilization of the analytic and Kantian traditions in philosophy and the resulting initiation of a new form of analytic Kantianism, as found in the work of some of the logical positivists, as well as in the writings of some of their main critics, such as C. I. Lewis; (4) the movement of Ordinary Language Philosophy and Oxford Analysis, with a special focus on the writings of Gilbert Ryle and the later Wittgenstein. (B) Spring 2018

PHIL 27000. History of Philosophy III: Kant and the 19th Century. The philosophical ideas and methods of Immanuel Kant’s “critical” philosophy set off a revolution that reverberated throughout the 19th century. The only reaction it did not elicit was one of indifference. His revolution polarized the philosophical community, meeting with eager forms of inheritance as well as intense and varied resistance — and, as we shall see, usually both within a single thinker’s response to Kant. This class will seek to understand the nature of Kant’s philosophical innovations and the principle sources of his successors’ (dis-)satisfaction with them. This class will seek to introduce students to the outlines of Kant’s “critical” philosophy, well as its subsequent reception, as the first two generations of post-Kantian thinkers grappled with and reacted to his ideas. The first half of the course will be devoted to a careful reading of portions of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason; while the second half will focus on various aspects of its reception, transformation, and rejection at the hands of Hegel, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche. The course as a whole will focus on the following five topics: (1) the dialectical relation between skepticism and dogmatism in philosophy, (2) the difference between our theoretical and practical cognitive powers, (3) the proper account of the “finititude” of these powers, (4) the tendency of human reflection to overstep the boundaries of its legitimate employment, (5) what a satisfying treatment of the four preceding topics reveals about what philosophy is and what it can and cannot accomplish. Spring 2017

PHIL 20208/30208. Film Aesthetics. (=SCTH XXXXX, CMST 27205, CMST 37205) This course will examine two main questions: what bearing or importance does narrative film have on philosophy? Could film be said to be a form of philosophical thought? a form moral reflection? of social critique? Second, what sort of aesthetic object is a film? This question opens on to several others: what is the goal of an interpretation of a film? Is there a distinct form of cinematic intelligibility? What difference does it make to such questions that Hollywood films are commercial products, made for mass consumer societies? What role does the “star” system play in our experience of a film? We will raise these questions by attempting close readings of the films of Alfred Hitchcock. Films to be discussed: Shadow of a Doubt; Notorious; Strangers on a Train; Rear Window; Vertigo; North by Northwest; Psycho; Marnie. Selected critical readings will also be discussed. (I) With R. Pippin. Spring 2016.

30119. An Advanced Introduction to Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus(=SCTH3XXX). This course will have three foci: 1) a close reading of some of the central parts of Wittgenstein’s difficult and puzzling early work, the Tractatus, along with related writings by Wittgenstein, 2) an equally close reading of G. E. M. Anscombe’s under-appreciated classic An Introduction to Wittgenstein’s Tractatus , and 3) a discussion of some of the related recent secondary literature on the Tractatus, as well as on Anscombe’s reading of it. Readings will include texts by Conant, Diamond, Frege, Geach, Goldfarb, Kremer, Ramsey, Ricketts, and Sullivan. (III) With I. Kimhi. Spring 2016.

PHIL 56720. Philosophy of Barry Stroud. Barry Stroud has made significant contributions to disparate topics in epistemology, metaphysics and the history of philosophy. His work is nonetheless unified by an overarching concern: to get into view, and take the measure of, the perennial philosophical aspiration to arrive at a completely general understanding of the relationship between the world and our conception of it. This orientation is unusual among philosophers working in the later analytic tradition. In Stroud’s case it is combined with a probing exploration of questions about philosophy itself — about its aims, its nature, and its prospects. A related recurring ambition of his work is to strictly think through the similarities and differences between the empiricist and idealist projects, thereby revealing insights and limitations in each. His work in the history of philosophy takes up these topics in connection with, above all, the following quartet of figures: Descartes, Hume, Kant, and Wittgenstein. It seeks at every point to bring out what is still philosophically alive and important in the thought of each of these authors. Stroud’s work in epistemology is marked by one of the most sustained engagements with philosophical skepticism to be found in the analytic tradition, as well as with the writings of those in that tradition who themselves wrestled most with problems of skepticism — Moore, Austin, Clarke, Cavell. Relatedly, throughout his work in metaphysics, Stroud is especially concerned to explore the nature of those categories of thinking — such as causality, modality, and value — that, on the one hand, appear to be essential to human thought as we know it, and yet, on the other hand, seem to be especially difficult to accommodate within a contemporary philosophical view of what ought to be regarded as belonging to the fundamental features of reality. We will read through his major writings, with one eye trained on his particular contributions to understanding these figures and topics, while seeking to uncover the underlying unity of Stroud’s own overall conception of the nature and difficulty of philosophy. (III) with J. Bridges. Winter 2016.

57609. Philosophical Revolutions in the Concept of Form.  (=SCTH XXXXX, GRMN XXXXX). Primary readings will be from Plato, Aristotle, Goethe, Kant, Hegel, and Wittgenstein. Our topics will include Platonic conceptions of eidetic form and Aristotelian conceptions of hylomorphism, their subsequent inheritance in the philosophical tradition, their transformation into German Idealist conceptions of endogenous (self-determining) form, and their significance for the philosophy of logic, mind, life, and art. Our central secondary readings will be from Gabriel Lear, Aryeh Kosman, John McDowell, Matt Boyle, Stephen Engstrom, Andrea Kern, Thomas Khurana, and Sebastian Rödl, all of whom will be invited to campus to present recent work on these topics and participate in the seminar. With R. Pippin, D. Wellbery. Winter 2016.

PHIL 53910. The Later Philosophy of Wittgenstein.This course will have four foci: 1) a close reading of the verba ipsissima of Philosophical Investigations and a handful of closely related writings by Wittgenstein; 2) an overview of the history of the reception of the book and some of the most influential readings it has occasioned; 3) a discussion of a handful of recent debates in the secondary literature on some its most contested sequences of sections – including those on ostensive definition, the critique of Wittgenstein’s early work, the nature of philosophy, rule-following, practices/forms of life, the so-called private language argument, the nature of first-person authority, and the relations between meaning and use, inner and outer, criteria and mental states, sensations and discursive forms of mindedness; 4) an assessment of how best to interpret the overall aims, methods, and teachings that confer unity on the work as a whole, with special attention to the conception of philosophy at work in the Philosophical Investigations . Throughout the course, we will seek to evaluate some of the most influential options put forward in the secondary literature regarding how to read the book, with a special focus on various aspects of the controversy surrounding so-called “quietest” and “anti-quietest” interpretations of the aims and methods of the work. Readings will include texts by Albritton, Anscombe, Baker, Brandom, Browne, Cavell, Child, Cook, Diamond, Goldfarb, Hacker, Kripke, Kuusela, Malcolm, McDowell, Pitcher, Schulte, Stroud, and Wright. With D. Finkelstein. Spring 2015. Syllabus.

PHIL 20117/30117. Tractarian Themes in the History of Philosophy. The course will take up a number of themes that are central to Wittgenstein’s Tractatus as they arise in the history of philosophical thought about logic— themes that arise out of questions such as the following: What is the status of the basic law(s) of logic?; Is it possible to draw a limit to logical thought?, What is the status of the reflecting subject of logical inquiry?; What is the relation between the logical and the psychological?; What, if anything ,is the relation between the following two inquiries into forms of unity: “What is the unity of the judgment (or the proposition)?” and “What is the unity of the
judging subject?”; What (if any) sort of distinction between form and matter is relevant to logic?; How should one understand the formality of logic?; How, and how deeply, does language matter to logic? Topics will include various aspects of Aristotle’s logical theory and metaphysics, Descartes’s Doctrine of the Creation of Eternal Truth, Kant on Pure General and Transcendental Logic, Frege on the nature of a proper Begriffsschrift and what it takes to understand what that it is, and early Wittgenstein’s inheritance and treatment of all of the above. Secondary readings will be from Jan Lukasiewicz, John MacFarlane, Clinton Tolley, Sebastian Roedl, Matt Boyle, John McDowell, Elizabeth Anscombe, Cora Diamond, Peter Geach, Matthias Haase, Thomas Ricketts, and Peter Sullivan. (III) With I. Kimhi. Winter 2015.Syllabus

PHIL 24602. The Analytic Tradition. This course will introduce students to the analytic tradition in philosophy. The aim of the course is to provide an overview of the first half of this tradition, starting from the publication of Frege’s Begriffsschrift in 1879 and reaching up to the posthumous publication of Wittgenstein’s Philosophical Investigations in 1953. The course will focus on four aspects of this period in the history of analytic philosophy: (1) its initial founding
phase, as inaugurated in the early seminal writings of Gottlob Frege, G. E. Moore,
Bertrand Russell, as well as Ludwig Wittgenstein’s Tractatus; (2) the inheritance and reshaping of some of the central ideas of the founders of analytic philosophy at the hands of the members of the Vienna Circle and their critics, especially as developed in the writings of Otto Neurath, Rudolf Carnap, Moritz Schlick, and W. V. O. Quine, (3) the cross-fertilization of the analytic and Kantian traditions in philosophy and the resulting initiation of a new form of analytic Kantianism, as found in the work of some of the logical positivists, as well as in the writings of some of their main critics, such as C. I. Lewis; (4) the movement of Ordinary Language Philosophy and Oxford Analysis, with a special focus on the writings of Gilbert Ryle and the later Wittgenstein. Autumn 2014. Syllabus

PHIL 57605. Layer-Cake vs. Transformative Conceptions of Human Mindedness. The Layer-Cake Assumption has many philosophical guises. In its guise as a thesis about the nature of our cognitive faculties and their relation to one another, it goes like this:  The natures of our sentient and rational cognitive capacities respectively are such that we could possess one of these capacities, as a form of cognition of objects, without possessing the other. The underlying assumption is that at least one of these capacities is a self-standing cognitive capacity – one which could operate just as it presently does in us in isolation of the other. Beginning with Kant, it became important to certain philosophers to show that the Assumption forms a common ground of philosophical views thought to be fundamentally opposed to one another – such as Empiricism and Rationalism. The Empiricist Variant of this guise of the Assumption might be put as follows: Our nature as sensibly receptive beings, in so far as it makes a contribution to cognition, represents a self-standingly intelligible aspect of our nature.  The Rationalist Variant enters such a claim on behalf of the self-standingly intelligible character of our intellectual capacities. In particular areas of philosophy – such as epistemology, metaphysics,  the philosophy of mind, the philosophy of action, and the philosophy of self-knowledge – each of these variants assumes a more determinate guise, while continuing to hold the fundamental assumption in place. Our first concern will be to isolate, compare, and contrast the various guises of this assumption and their manner of operation both across the history of philosophy and across different areas of contemporary philosophy. Our second concern will be to consider what it would be to reject the assumption in question and what the philosophical consequences of doing so are. Our third concern will be to explore the views of a number of different authors who do seek to reject it and to assess which of these attempts, if any, are philosophically satisfactory. Readings will be from Elizabeth Anscombe, Aristotle, Matthew Boyle, Robert Brandom, Gareth Evans, David  Finkelstein, Anton Ford, Christopher Frey, Immanuel Kant, Andrea Kern, Chris Korsgaard, C. I. Lewis, John McDowell, Richard Moran, Sebastian Roedl, Moritz Schlick, Wilfrid Sellars, David Velleman, and Ludwig Wittgenstein, among others. (III) Spring 2014. Syllabus

21511/31511. Forms of Philosophical Skepticism. The aim of the course will be to consider some of the most influential treatments of skepticism in the post-war analytic philosophical tradition—in relation both to the broader history of philosophy and to current tendencies in contemporary analytic philosophy. The first part of the course will begin by distinguishing two broad varieties of skepticism—Cartesian and Kantian—and their evolution over the past two centuries (students without any prior familiarity with both Descartes and Kant will be at a significant disadvantage here), and will go on to isolate and explore some of the most significant variants of each of these varieties in recent analytic philosophy.  The second part of the course will involve a close look at recent influential analytic treatments of skepticism. It will also involve a brief look at various versions of contextualism with regard to epistemological claims.  We will carefully read and critically evaluate writings on skepticism by the following authors: J. L. Austin, Robert Brandom, Stanley Cavell, Thompson Clarke, Saul Kripke, C. I. Lewis, John McDowell, H. H. Price, Hilary Putnam, Barry Stroud, Charles Travis, Michael Williams, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. This will be an advanced lecture course open to graduate students and undergraduates with a prior background in analytic philosophy. (B) (III) Spring 2014. Syllabus

27500/37500. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. (-HIPS 25001, CHSS 37901, FNDL 27800). PQ: Consent of instructor required. This course will be devoted to an intensive study of selected portions of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The focus of the course will be on the Transcendental Analytic and especially the Transcendental Deduction.  We will begin, however, with a brief tour of some of the central claims of the Transcendental Aesthetic.  Some effort will be made to situate these portions of the first half of the Critique with respect to the later portions of the book, viz. the Transcendental Dialectic and the Doctrine of Method.  Although the focus of the course will be on Kant’s text, some consideration will be given to some of the available competing interpretations of the book. The primary commentators whose work will thus figure briefly in the course in this regard are Lucy Allais, Henry Allison, Stephen Engstrom, Johannes Haag, Robert Hanna, Martin Heidegger, Dieter Henrich, John McDowell, Charles Parsons, Sebastian Roedl, Wilfrid Sellars, Peter Strawson, and Manley Thompson. Our interest in these commentators in this course will always only be as a useful foil for understanding Kant’s text. No separate systematic study will be attempted of the work of any of these commentators.  Of particular interest to us will be topics like Kant’s criticisms of traditional empiricism, the distinction between sensibility and understanding, and his account of the relation between intuitions and concepts. The aim of the course is both to use certain central texts of recent Kant commentary and contemporary analytic Kantian philosophy to illuminate some of the central aspirations of Kant’s theoretical philosophy and to use certain central Kantian texts in which those aspirations were first pursued to illuminate some recent developments in epistemology and the philosophy of mind. (B) (V)Winter 2014. Syllabus

27600/37600. The Problem of Logically Alien Thought and Its Aftermath. In what sense, if any, do the laws of logic express necessary truths? The course will consider four fateful junctures in the history of philosophy at which this question received influential treatment: (1) Descartes on the creation of the eternal truths, (2) Kant’s re-conception of the nature of logic and introduction of the distinction between pure general and transcendental logic, (3) Frege’s rejection of the possibility of logical aliens, and (4) Wittgenstein’s early and later responses to Frege. We will closely read short selections from Descartes, Kant, Frege, and Wittgenstein, and ponder their significance for contemporary philosophical reflection by studying some classic pieces of secondary literature on these figures, along with related pieces of philosophical writing by Jocelyn Benoist, Matt Boyle, Cora Diamond, Peter Geach, John MacFarlane, Adrian Moore, Hilary Putnam, Thomas Ricketts, Sebastian Rödl, Richard Rorty, Peter Sullivan, Barry Stroud, Clinton Tolley, and Charles Travis. The course is open to advanced undergraduates and graduate students with prior background in philosophy. Autumn 2013. Syllabus

47211. Cavell’s The Claim of Reason. (=GRMN 47211, SCTH 47211). This course is the first in a two-course sequence to be offered jointly by Professors James Conant and David Wellbery.  The second course will be titled Cavell on Literature and will take place in Winter Quarter, 2012.  Students may take either one of these courses for credit without taking the other for credit. The first course will be taught primarily by Prof. Conant and the second course primarily by Prof. Wellbery. The second half of the two-course sequence will begin where The Claim of Reason itself ends – broaching topics which touch on the relation between aesthetic and philosophical criticism, and, more broadly, on the relation between philosophical and literary writing.

The aim of this first course will be to offer a careful reading of three quarters of Stanley Cavell’s major philosophical work, The Claim of Reason. The course will concentrate on Parts I, II, & IV of the book (with only very cursory discussion of Part III). We will focus on Cavell’s treatment of the following topics: criteria, skepticism, agreement in judgment, speaking inside and outside language games, the distinction between specific and generic objects, the relation between meaning and use, our knowledge of the external world, our knowledge of other minds, the concept of a non-claim context, the distinction between knowledge and acknowledgment, and the relation between literary form and philosophical content. We will read background articles by authors whose work Cavell himself discusses in the book, as well as related articles by Cavell. We will also discuss several of the better pieces of secondary literature on the book to have appeared over the course of the last three decades. Though no separate time will be given over to an independent study of Wittgenstein’s philosophy, we will take the required time to understand those particular passages from Wittgenstein to which Cavell himself devotes extended attention in his book and upon which he builds his argument. The Claim of Reason is dedicated to J. L. Austin and Thompson Clarke and its treatment of skepticism seeks to steer a middle course between that found in the writings of these two authors. We will therefore also need to read the work of these two authors carefully.  The final two meetings of the course will focus on issues in Part IV of the book which set the stage for a broader consideration of Cavell’s views on topics in philosophical aesthetics and the relation between philosophy and literature. (III) J. Conant, D. Wellbery. Autumn 2011. Syllabus

28711. Nietzsche. (= GRMN 28711, CMLT 28711).  This course will provide, in lectures and discussion sections, an introduction to Nietzsche’s major writings from Birth of Tragedy to The Antichrist. Nietzsche’s evolving philosophical position as well as his cultural criticism and his literary and music criticism will be examined. Topics will include: the tragic, pessimism and affirmation, nihilism, antiquity and modernity, philosophical psychology, the critique of morality, and the interpretation of Christianity.  Nietzsche’s biography, the major influences on his thought, and his impact on twentieth-century culture will also be considered, if only in glimpses.The primary instructor of the course will be David Wellbery, but James Conant and Robert Pippin will also join the class to discuss certain aspects of Nietzsche’s philosophy. With David Wellbery, Robert Pippin. Autumn 2011

47212. Cavell on Literature (=GRMN 47212, CMLT 47200).  This course is a successor course to the seminar on Cavell’s The Claim of Reason offered in Fall Quarter 2011. Students may participate in this seminar, however, without having taken the Fall seminar. The aim of this seminar is to delineate and assess Cavell’s contributions to literary studies. In particular, we shall consider: 1) Cavell’s theory of interpretation and criticism (mainly in terms of the essays in Must We Mean What We Say); 2) his theory of genre (Pursuits of Happiness; Contesting Tears); his theory of tragedy (essay on King Lear in Must We Mean What We Say) and, more generally, his reading of Shakespeare (Disowning Knowledge); his interpretation of Romanticism, especially of Emerson and Thoreau. With D. Wellbery. Winter 2012. Syllabus

59100. Workshop: German Philosophy  The workshop encompasses all of the following six dimensions of German Philosophy: (1) German Idealism and its precursors (with a special emphasis on the close reading of Kant’s and Hegel’s major works), (2) 19h-century Germany philosophy (especially Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, neo-Kantianism, neo-Hegelianism, and Marxism), (3) 20th-century German philosophy (especially the phenomoneological and hermeneutic traditions), (4) the elucidation and development within the Anglophone tradition of central concepts, methods, and concerns from the German tradition (such as transcendental argument, genealogical critique, phenomenological method, etc.), (5) the German tradition in analytic philosophy (from its roots in Frege, through the Vienna Circle, up until the present), and, last but not least, (6) cutting-edge work by contemporary German philosophers on topics in all areas of philosophy. All auditors are welcome. Only graduate students may enroll in the workshop for credit. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor in order to enroll in workshop for credit. This Workshop meets over three quarters. Co-taught with Robert Pippin.  Autumn 2010, Winter & Spring, 2011, Autumn 2011, Winter and Spring 2012

20118/30118. Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. (=GRMN 20118/30118) This course will have four foci: 1) a close reading of the Tractatus and related writings by Wittgenstein, 2) a review of the history of the reception of the Tractatus in both Austro-German and Anglo-American philosophy, 3) an overview of the most recent debates in the secondary literature on the Tractatus, and 4) an assessment of how best to interpret the overall aims, methods, and doctrines of the Tractatus. Some attention will also be given to the following topics: Wittgenstein’s early criticisms of the views of Frege and Russell, the relation between Wittgenstein’s pre-Tractatus writings and the Tractatus itself, and the relation between Wittgenstein’s early and later thought. Readings will include texts by Frege, Russell, Ramsey, Carnap, Anscombe, Geach, McGuiness, Hacker, Goldfarb, Ricketts, Diamond, Kremer, Sullivan, White, and Floyd. (III) Winter 2012. Syllabus

27500/37500. Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. This course will be devoted to an intensive study of selected portions of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The focus of the course will be on the Transcendental Analytic and especially the Transcendental Deduction.  We will begin, however, with a brief tour of some of the central claims of the Transcendental Aesthetic.  Some effort will be made to situate these portions of the first half of the Critique with respect to the later portions of the book, viz. the Transcendental Dialectic and the Doctrine of Method.  Although the focus of the course will be on Kant’s text, some consideration will be given to some of the available competing interpretations of the book. The primary commentators whose work will thus figure briefly in the course in this regard are Lucy Allais, Henry Allison, Stephen Engstrom, Johannes Haag, Robert Hanna, Martin Heidegger, Dieter Henrich, John McDowell, Charles Parsons, Sebastian Roedl, Wilfrid Sellars, Peter Strawson, and Manley Thompson. Our interest in these commentators in this course will always only be as a useful foil for understanding Kant’s text. No separate systematic study will be attempted of the work of any of these commentators.  Of particular interest to us will be topics like  Kant’s criticisms of traditional empiricism, the distinction between sensibility and understanding, and his account of the relation between intuitions and concepts. The aim of the course is both to use certain central texts of recent Kant commentary and contemporary analytic Kantian philosophy to illuminate some of the central aspirations of Kant’s theoretical philosophy and to use certain central Kantian texts in which those aspirations were first pursued to illuminate some recent developments in epistemology and the philosophy of mind. (V) (B) Spring 2012. Syllabus

45000.  Forms of Philosophical Skepticism. The aim of the course will be to consider some of the most influential treatments of skepticism in the post-war analytic philosophical tradition—in relation both to the broader history of philosophy and to current tendencies in contemporary analytic philosophy. The first part of the course will begin by distinguishing two broad varieties of skepticism—Cartesian and Kantian—and their evolution over the past two centuries (students without any prior familiarity with both Descartes and Kant will be at a significant disadvantage here), and will go on to isolate and explore some of the most significant variants of each of these varieties in recent analytic philosophy.  The second part of the course will involve a close look at recent influential analytic treatments of skepticism. It will also involve a brief look at various versions of contextualism with regard to epistemological claims.  We will carefully read and critically evaluate writings on skepticism by the following authors: J. L. Austin, Robert Brandom, Stanley Cavell, Thompson Clarke, Saul Kripke, C. I. Lewis, John McDowell, H. H. Price, Hilary Putnam, Barry Stroud, Charles Travis, Michael Williams, and Ludwig Wittgenstein. This will be an advanced lecture course open to graduate students and undergraduates with a prior background in analytic philosophy.Winter 2011. (B) (III) Syllabus

20209/30209. Film Aesthetics: Agency and Fate in Film Noir. (= GERMN 30209) This course is a discussion of how philosophical issues are raised and addressed by movies through an examination of a particular film genre. The genre to be considered: film noir. We focus on ten Hollywood film noirs from the 1940s and 1950s. Topics include the pictorial and dramatic representation of the relation between thought and action, the nature of agency, and the problem of fate. We also secondarily touch on questions concerning the ontology and aesthetics of film (e.g., What is a movie? What is it to give a reading of a movie? What is a film genre?). We see and discuss a film each week and read several pieces of criticism about each film. Co-taugt with Robert Pippin. (A). Autumn 2009. Syllabus

21100/31301. Aesthetics: Philosophy, Photography, Film Open to college and grad students. This will be a course in both philosophy (in particular, that branch of philosophy known as aesthetics or the philosophy of art) and art history (in particular, the history of the theory of film and photography). We will be concerned with a variety of interrelated and overlapping philosophical questions that arise in connection with photography and film. Our two guiding questions will be: What is a photograph?, and: What is a movie? In the course of exploring various answers to these two questions, among the further sorts of question we will take up will be the following: questions in the theory of visual representation (e.g., what makes something a visual representation of something (else)?, what is the difference between how paintings and photographs represent?), questions of realism (e.g., what makes one photograph, or film more realistic than another?, are photographsinherently more realistic than paintings?, does the very idea of a ‘realistic’ representation rest on a philosophical confusion?), questions of meta-aesthetics (what makes something a work of art?, are photographs works of art?, is film an art?, or are only some films works of art?), questions of aesthetic medium (what is an aesthetic medium?, how does the medium of photography differ from that of paint on canvas and what, if any, is the aesthetic significance of that difference?, is anything that happens to have been recorded by a movie camera a film?, do documentary films and Hollywood narrative films explore the same aesthetic medium or different media?), questions about the supposed peculiarity of the photographic medium (does something which appears in a photograph have a different sort of ontological status than something which appears in, say, a painting or a cartoon?, does it make a difference to what sorts of aesthetic objects photographs are that they can be used as evidence in a courtroom?), and, finally, questions of normative aesthetics (what makes something a good photograph or film?, does theachievement of realism confer aesthetic value on a painting?, does the overcoming of realism confer aesthetic value on a photograph?, or are issues of realism irrelevant to the assessment of aesthetic value?). Professors J. Conant & J. Snyder   (V) Winter 2003. Syllabus

21801/31801. Philosophy and Film Open to college and grad students. The course will investigate some of the conditions and modes of visual presentation that make it possible for a viewer of a motion picture drama to become absorbed in what is experienced as an independent fictional narrative world. This will involve exploring questions such as the following: What is the difference between an objective and a subjective camera shot? How is a subjective camera shot attached to or associated with the point of view of someone in the world of a movie? What is an objective camera shot? Is it, as some say, a point of view on the world of a movie that is no one’s point of view — a view from nowhere? What could that mean? Is it possible to construct a fictional narrative movie world entirely out of subjective camera shots? Along the way, some attention will be given to some specific aesthetic questions (e.g., what does it mean to say a painting or a film is “realistic”), as well as more general philosophical issues such as the following: What is a point of view (and how, if at all, does it differ from a perspective)? What is a subjective (as opposed to an objective) point of view? Is the concept of an objective point of view a contradiction in terms? We will view a number of films that will help to illustrate and sharpen our discussion of the difficulties attending these issues. Some attention will be given to exploring the similarities and differences between the presentation of a fictional narrative world in film and in some of the other other visual and dramatic arts, most notably painting and theatre. Co-taught with Joel Snyder, Dept. of Art History. Autumn 2004. Syllabus

24101/34400 Søren Kierkegaard: Either/Or. (=FNDL 22501, SCTH 34400) Open to grad students and college students with consent of instructor. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. Class limited to twenty students.. The course is devoted to a close reading of Either/Or, the first and one of the most difficult of Kierkegaard’s pseudonymous writings. Our attention is divided equally between Volumes One and Two of Either/Or. Special attention will be given to the topic of the threefold categorial distinction between the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious and to the question of the overall structure of the book and how the parts are related to the whole. Co-taught with Jonathan Lear.  Autumn 2002. Syllabus

28109/39109. The Philosophy of Wilfrid Sellars. This course will look carefully at some of Sellars’s most important philosophical writings, especially his classic monograph Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind and related writings, with an eye toward those aspects of his treatment of topics that have continued to prove influential in recent philosophy. The focus of the course will be on Sellars’s epistemology – in particular, his philosophy of perception. We will end the course with a closer look at Sellars’s reading of central historical figures, notably his interpretation of the British Empiricists, and, above all, his interpretation of Kant, with special attention to how his own philosophy of perception inherits, modifies, and explores Kant’s criticisms of the Empiricists, and how it reworks a number of Kantian themes – most notably that of the relation between sensibility and understanding. We will also spend a bit of time on Sellars inheritance of certain central ideas of Wittgenstein’s. Throughout the course, we will give some attention, on the one hand, to the contemporaneous authors that Sellars himself was most concerned to engage with (e.g., Lewis, Ayer, Schlick, Chisolm) as well as, on the other hand, to those philosophers today who have done most to contribute to the revival of Sellars’s thought (especially Brandom, McDowell, and Rorty). At the center of the course will be Sellars’ discussion of (what he calls) “The Myth of the Given”. We will be concerned, while reading the two sets of aforementioned authors, to explore the exact nature of Sellars’s agreements and disagreements with his contemporaries regarding the nature of the given, as well as the currently prevailing agreements and disagreements within the secondary literature regarding how best to interpret the exact nature of Sellars’ attack on the traditional idea of the Given. In this context, we will also look at the work of his most sympathetic commentators (especially O’Shea, Rosenberg, Williams, and DeVries). Throughout the course, and especially in the last several meetings of it, we will be concerned not only to establish what is the most plausible and textually satisfying interpretation of Sellars’s own writings, but also to explore what are the most powerful and satisfying ways of developing the spirit of Sellars’s best philosophical insights, even when and where doing so requires departures from the letter of Sellar’s obiter dicta.   (B)  Winter 2010.  Syllabus

29233: Freedom, Solidarity, and Truth. This course will focus on the writings of the American philosopher Richard Rorty (especially his book Contingency, Irony and Solidarity) and the British essayist and novelist George Orwell (especially his novel Nineteen Eighty-Four). The aim of the course will be to compare and contrast Rorty’s and Orwell’s respective conceptions of the relation between preservation of freedom, fostering of community, and regard for truth. We will then go on to explore the interrelationship between these issues as they arise in the writings of a number of other philosophers (most notably Cora Diamond, Harry Frankfurt, Hilary Putnam, Bernard Williams, and Peter Winch) and literary figures (most notably Milan Kundera, Csezlaw Milosz, and Vaclav Havel). A central question of the course will be the following: why is truth something we ought to value? In the course of exploring this question, we will seek to distinguish different conceptions of what it is that we value in valuing truth (including truthfulness, sincerity, honesty, accuracy, and representational fit) and different conceptions of what it is that we seek to avoid in aiming at truth (including willful deception, insincerity, unwitting dishonesty, inaccuracy, and bullshit). Fall 1999. Syllabus

29375: Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. This course will be devoted to an intensive study of selected portions of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The focus of the course will be on the Transcendental Analytic and especially the Transcendental Deduction, but some effort will be made to situate those portions of the text with respect to the Transcendental Aesthetic and the Transcendental Dialectic. Although the focus of the course will be on Kant’s text, some consideration will be given to some of the available competing interpretations of the book. The primary commentators whose work will thus figure briefly in the course in this regard are Henry Allison, Arthur Collins, Martin Heidegger, Dieter Henrich, John McDowell, Wilfrid Sellars, Peter Strawson, and Manley Thompson. Our interest in these commentators in this course will always only be as a useful foil for understanding Kant’s text. No separate systematic study will be attempted of the work of any of these commentators. Fall 1999. Syllabus

29601 Intensive Track Seminar: Thomas Kuhn’s Philosophy of Science. The first half of the course will be devoted to a close reading of Kuhn’s early and influential book, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. In the second half, we will carefully read the essays collected in The Essential Tension and The Road Since Structure and examine Kuhn’s subsequent elaborations, modifications, and retractions of the views set forth in his early book, especially as they touch on the following questions: What is a scientific revolution?, What does it mean to say that X and Y are incommensurable?, And, if they are, what would one be claiming, if X and Y are theories?, Or, alternatively, if they are conceptual schemes?, Or, if they are languages? How does each of these incommensurability claims differ from the other two? Which, if any, of these three incommensurability claims entail relativism, which do not, and which, if any, of the resulting forms of relativism are vicious?  Open to college students.  Autumn 2007

31100. Aesthetics: Philosophy and the Visual Arts (=ArtH 269/369). The course will examine specific philosophical issues that arise in connection with painting, film, and photography, with special attention to questions of meta-aesthetics (what makes something a work of art?), normative aesthetics (what makes something a good work of art?), the theory of aesthetic representation (what is it for a painting, or a photograph, or a film to represent something?), and aesthetic realism (what does it mean to say that, e.g., a painting is realistic?; and is its being so a source of aesthetic value?). Readings will include writings by Ernst Gombrich, Denis Diderot, Michael Fried, Nelson Goodman, Erwin Panofsky, Charles Baudelaire, P. H. Emerson, Paul Strand, Rudolf Arnheim, V. Pudovkin, Andrew Basin, Siegfried Kracauer, Victor Perkins, and Stanley Cavell. J. Conant, J.Snyder. Spring 2001.

31890. Resemblance and Family Resemblance: Goethe, Galton and Wittgenstein Open to grad students and college students with consent of instructor. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor.  This course will critically examine and explore the possibility of forms of unity and their representation that do not fit into any of the categories of representation traditionally allowed for by philosophers – such as the category of singular representation (such as intuitions or definite descriptions) or general representation (such as concepts or diagrams). The three main authors who explore the possibility of such anomalous forms of unity and their representation whom we will discuss in this course will be the German poet, philosopher and scientist, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, the British psychologist, naturalist and theorist of photography, Francis Galton, and the Austrian philosopher, Ludwig Wittgenstein. Although we we will touch on various other aspects of the thought of each of these three thinkers, this course will especially concerned to explore the similarities and differences in the underlying conceptions of what is involved in the represetation of unity that respectivly underlie Goethe’s theory of archetypal representation, Galton’s understanding of composite photographs, and Wittgenstein’s remarks on family resemblance and the perception of aspects. Co-taught with Joel Snyder.(A) Autumn 2003. Syllabus

33201. Kierkegaard: Stages on Life’s Way. Open to grad students and college students with consent of instructor. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor. Class limited to thirty students.. The course is devoted to a close reading of selected portions of Stages on Life’s Way, the most complex of Kierkegaard’s pseudonymous writings, consisting of texts by five distinct pseudonymous authors. Our attention will divided equally divided between the various parts of the volume. Special attention will be given to the topic of the treatment of the threefold categorial distinction between the aesthetic, the ethical, and the religious and how it differs here from the one it receives in Kierkegaard’s earlier writings. We will also attend to questions of the overall structure of the book and how the very different parts of it are to be understood as related to the whole. Co-taught with Jonathan Lear. Winter 2004.Syllabus

34100. Early Analytic Philosophy-I: Frege. This is the first part of a two-part sequence. Students may take the first part without taking the second; but only students enrolled in the first part may take the second part for credit. Part I furnishes an overview of Frege’s philosophy and related aspects of Russell’s philosophy, with special attention to Frege’s conception of logic, his distinctions between concept and object and sense and reference, his critique of psychologism, his context principle, and his attempt to demonstrate that mathematical truths are analytic a priori, along with a brief look at Russell’s logical atomism, his account of the unity of the proposition, and his theory of judgement—in short: everything you need to know in order to read Wittgenstein’s Tractatus. Secondary reading includes articles on Frege and/or Russell by Thomas Ricketts, Joan Weiner, Warren Goldfarb, Gareth Evans, John McDowell, Peter Geach, Peter Hylton, Leonard Linsky, and Anthony Palmer, among others. J. Conant. Winter 2002. Syllabus

34110. Sellars Open to grad students and college students with consent of instructor. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor. Wilfrid Sellars was one of the most important philosophers of the twentieth century. We begin with a brief survey of the positivist and empiricist background of his thought (C.I. Lewis, Carnap). We read some of his eminar papers, especially “Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind,” and discuss recent controversies surrounding his work (Rorty, Brandom, McDowell, and others). Co-taught by Michael Kremer Winter 2004. Syllabus

34200. Early Analytic Philosophy-II: Early Wittgenstein. This is the second part of a two-part sequence. Only students who have enrolled in Part I may take this course for credit. Part II furnishes an overview of the philosophy of the early Wittgenstein, with special attention to the critique of Frege and Russell, the structure and the method of the Tractatus as a whole, its relation to the writings of the members of The Vienna Circle, the central exegetical controversies presently surrounding the work, and the transition from the Tractatus to Wittgenstein’s later work. Secondary reading includes articles by Moritz Schlick, Frank Ramsey, Rudolf Carnap, Hide Ishiguro, Cora Diamond, Peter Winch, Thomas Ricketts, Peter Hacker, Peter Geach, and Elizabeth Anscombe, among others. J. Conant. Spring 2002. Syllabus

34400. Søren Kierkegaard: Concluding Unscientific Postscript(=SCTH 39400, FNDL 265). Concluding Unscientific Postscript to Philosophical Fragments. After selected introductory readings to acquaint students with the idea of a pseudonymous author, we engage in a careful reading of this text. J. Lear, J. Conant. Autumn 2001. Syllabus

43920. Action and Perception.Open only to grad students. The course will be devoted to exploring and assessing John McDowell’s treatment of problems in the philosophy of perception (especially as set forth in his already classic work Mind and World) and the possibility of a parallel treatment of problems in the philosophy of action. In addition to some texts by McDowell and some selections from Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, and Wittgenstein, the seminar will focus mostly on writings on perception and/or action by Elizabeth Anscombe, Robert Brandom, Donald Davidson, Jennifer Hornsby, Brian O’Shaughnessy, John Searle, Michael Thompson, and Wilfrid Sellars. In the Winter Quarter, the course will be conducted by James Conant and Robert Pippin; in the Spring Quarter, the course will consist mostly of presentations of recent work on the philosophy of action by John McDowell and discussion of those presentations. Although the course meetings will be distributed over two quarters, it will count for only one quarter of credit. Students who wish to take the course for credit must attend the entire two-quarter sequence of the course Robert Pippin and James Conant . Winter 2007. Syllabus

50118. Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus. The focus of the course will be on evaluating and advancing ongoing debates in the contemporary secondary literature concerning how best to interpret the overall aims, methods, and doctrines of the Tractatus. Some attention will also be given to the following topics: Wittgenstein’s early criticisms of the views of Frege and Russell, the history of the reception of the Tractatus in Anglo-American philosophy, the relation between Wittgenstein’s pre-Tractatus writings and the Tractatus itself, and the relation between Wittgenstein’s early and later thought. Readings will include texts by Frege, Russell, Ramsey, Carnap, Anscombe, Geach, McGuiness, Hacker, Goldfarb, Ricketts, Diamond, Kremer, Sullivan, White, and Floyd. (III) Winter 2008. Syllabus

50500. Non-Discursive Representation from Goethe to Wittgenstein Open to grad students. The seminar will be on the topic of non-discursive representation in the history of German thought from Kant to Wittgenstein. The topic emerged as a central issue on the intellectual agenda of post-Kantian philosophy, aesthetics, and scientific theory in response to considerations put forward by Kant in two notoriously difficult paragraphs, 76 and 77, of his Critique of Judgment (1790). In this series of dense reflections, Kant tries to refine and clarify his earlier distinction between discursive understanding and what he, again, alternately refers to as an “intuitive understanding” or an “intellectual intuition” ,– types of cognition which, although thinkable (and perhaps attributable to a divine intellect), are not available to human intellect. These pages of Kant’s, intended to establish the inevitability of his earlier distinction between two mutually exclusive forms of representation, had the opposite effect: his characterization of a kind of thinking not supposed to be possible for humans, instead proved immensely suggestive to subsequent generations of philosophers, poets, and scientists, starting with Goethe, who sought to characterize the fundamental sort of insight to which their own endeavors aspired. This pivotal Kantian demarcation — between discursive representation and intuition — is vigorously contested in the work of the major idealist philosophers who endeavored to think beyond Kant’s strictures on human cognition. The seminar will run for two quarters, Fall and Winter. co-taught with David Wellbery. (V). Autumn 2006, Winter 2007. Syllabus

51704. The Philosophy of Visual Modernism Open to grad students. Much of the reading for this course will be work by Michael Fried. Other material to be discussed will be by Denis Diderot, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Stanley Cavell. Persons expecting to take Fried’s spring seminar are stongly encouraged to enroll in this seminar as well. See the announcement below. The Committee on Social Thought announces a Spring Quarter 2005 Graduate Seminar Thursdays, 3-5:50 Modern Photography and Other Themes Instructor: Michael Fried The guest professor for this seminar will be Michael Fried from Johns Hopkins University. The topics will be Fried’s aesthetic theory, art criticism and art history, especially but not exclusively his views on photography. James Conant, Robert Pippin. Winter 2005. Syllabus

52200. Late Kuhn. PQ: Enrollment — including ‘R’ enrollment — is restricted to graduate students in Philosophy and CFS except by explicit permission of the instructors. An advanced graduate seminar on the late works of T.S. Kuhn — that is, works from the early 80s through the mid 90s. Students should already be quite familiar with The Structure of Scientific Revolutions and at least some of the philosophical discussions and controversies that followed it (including Kuhn’s own essays in The Essential Tension) J. Haugeland, J. Conant. Winter 2001.

53700. Varieties of Skepticism. This seminar is devoted to an investigation of different varieties of skepticism–different both with respect to philosophical topic (external world, other minds. meaning, etc.) and with respect to the logic of the skeptical problematic (Cartesian, Humean, Kantian, etc.)–and the different varieties of response they have engendered in contemporary philosophy. Readings will be from Descartes, Kant, G.E. Moore, C.I. Lewis, Wilfrid Sellars, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Peter Strawson, Barry Stroud, Michael Williams, John McDowell, Stanley Cavell, Charles Travis, among others. Co-taught with H. Putnam. Syllabus

53700. Varieties of Skepticism. This seminar is devoted to an investigation of different varieties of skepticism–different both with respect to philosophical topic (external world, other minds. meaning, etc.) and with respect to the logic of the skeptical problematic (Cartesian, Humean, Kantian, etc.)–and the different varieties of response they have engendered in contemporary philosophy. Readings will be from Descartes, Kant, G.E. Moore, C.I. Lewis, Wilfrid Sellars, Ludwig Wittgenstein, Peter Strawson, Barry Stroud, Michael Williams, John McDowell, Stanley Cavell, Charles Travis, among others. J. Conant, H. Putnam. Autumn 2001.

53900. Workshop: Wittgenstein This workshop aims to foster forms of research that take their point of departure from an interest in Wittgenstein’s intellectual achievement.The workshop seeks to provide a forum in which the following three activities can be pursued in conjunction with one another: (1) the careful study of Wittgenstein’s contributions to both philosophy and other disciplines, (2) the discussion of current research by graduate students with related interests, and (3) the presentation of work by (and the opportunity for graduate students to come into contact and discussion with) some of the leading contemporary scholars at work in these areas. All auditors are welcome. Only graduate students may enroll in the workshop for credit. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor in order to enroll in workshop for credit. This Workshop meets over three quarters. Co-taught with Michael Kremer. Autumn 2003, Winter 2004, Spring 2004; Autumn 2004, Winter 2005, Spring 2005; Autumn 2005, Winter 2006, Spring 2006; Autumn 2006, Winter 2007, Spring 2007; Autumn 2007, Winter 2008, Spring 2008; Autumn 2008, Winter 2009, Spring 2009;  Autumn 2009, Winter 2010, Spring 2010; Autumn 2010, Winter 2011, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter and Spring 2012.

56909. Kant’s Transcendental Deduction.  This seminar will be devoted to a close reading and discussion of Kant’s First Critique, focusing on the Transcendental Deduction of the Pure Concepts of the Understanding. We will also explore carefully explore a handful of proposals for how to interpret the First Critique and especially the Transcendental Deduction, including especially those put forward by Allison, Strawson, and Strawson. We will end the course with a close look at Wilfrid Sellars’s and John McDowell’s respective interpretations of Kant, with special attention to how each of their own philosophies of perception inherit, modify, and explore Kant’s criticisms of traditional empiricism, and how each of them it rework a number of Kantian themes – most notably Kant’s conception of intuition and his account of the relation between intuitions and concepts. The aim of the course is both to use certain central texts of recent Kant commentary and contemporary analytic Kantian philosophy to illuminate some the central aspirations of Kant’s theoretical philosophy and to use certain central Kantian texts in which those aspirations were first pursued to illuminate some recent developments in epistemology and the philosophy of mind.   Co-taught with R. Pippin.  (V)  Spring 2010.  Syllabus

57601. Analytical Kantianism and Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. This will be both a graduate seminar on Kant and on the reception of the Kantian philosophy in analytic philosophy. It will be devoted both to an intensive study of selected portions of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and to a brief and selective survey of some of the most difficult, influential and rewarding texts in epistemology and philosophy of mind in twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy. The course is based on the conviction that teaching these two sorts of texts together will allow each to illuminate the other. The portion of the course concerned directly with Kant will be devoted to an intensive study of selected portions of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The focus of the course will be on the Transcendental Analytic and especially the Transcendental Deduction, but some effort will be made to situate those portions of the text with respect to the Transcendental Aesthetic and the Transcendental Dialectic. The portion of the course concerned with the inheritance of Kantian philosophy in the analytic philosophical tradition will begin by briefly looking at the views of Moritz Schlick, the central figure of Vienna Circle and a leading exponent of early logical positivism in order to get some sense of the sort of view and the sort of reading of Kant to which subsequent figures in the analytic tradition were reacting. We will then proceed to read carefully the following four texts: the first three chapters of C. I. Lewis’s Mind and the World Order, most of Wilfrid Sellars’s classic essay Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind (EPM), Robert Brandom’s Study Guide to EPM, and John McDowell’s lectures Having the World in View: Sellars, Kant, and Intentionality and related writings. We will also have occasion to look briefly at related writing by these authors and by some of the contemporary authors with whom they were concerned to disagree. Conant. Autumn 2003. Syllabus

57601. Topics in Kantian Philosophy This course will be devoted to a study of selected portions of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and certain parallel episodes in twentieth-century analytic philosophy. The portions of the course devoted to Kant will focus on his views on the relation between sensibility and understanding (especially as articulated in the Transcendental Deduction), and those devoted to analytic philosophy will focus on how those Kantian views are inherited, articulated and transformed in the writings of certain analytic philosophers (especially Moritz Schlick, C. I. Lewis, Wilfrid Sellars, Robert Brandom, and John McDowell). The aim of the course is both to use certain central texts of analytic philosophy to illuminate some the central aspirations of Kant’s theoretical philosophy and to use certain central Kantian texts in which those aspirations were first pursued to illuminate the direction in which one central current of the analytic tradition in epistemology and philosophy of mind has been – and still is – traveling. Open to grad students. Autumn 2003. Syllabus

57601. Topics in Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. This will be both a graduate seminar on Kant and on the reception of the Kantian philosophy in analytic philosophy. It will be devoted both to an intensive study of selected portions of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason and to a brief and selective survey of some of the most difficult, influential and rewarding texts in epistemology and philosophy of mind in twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy. The course is based on the conviction that teaching these two sorts of texts together will allow each to illuminate the other. The portion of the course concerned directly with Kant will be devoted to an intensive study of selected portions of Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason. The focus of the course will be on the Transcendental Analytic and especially the Transcendental Deduction, but some effort will be made to situate those portions of the text with respect to the Transcendental Aesthetic and the Transcendental Dialectic. The portion of the course concerned with the inheritance of Kantian philosophy in the analytic philosophical tradition will begin by briefly looking at the views of Moritz Schlick, the central figure of Vienna Circle and a leading exponent of early logical positivism in order to get some sense of the sort of view and the sort of reading of Kant to which subsequent figures in the analytic tradition were reacting. We will then proceed to read carefully the following four texts: the first three chapters of C. I. Lewis’s Mind and the World Order, most of Wilfrid Sellars’s classic essay Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind (EPM), Robert Brandom’s Study Guide to EPM, and John McDowell’s lectures Having the World in View: Sellars, Kant, and Intentionality and related writings. We will also have occasion to look briefly at related writing by these authors and by some of the contemporary authors with whom they were concerned to disagree. Autumn 2003.