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Courses - Fall 2014

Philosophy 2 Introduction to Ethics - Professor Tannenbaum
The course surveys major questions in and about ethics. How do we reason about specific moral problems, such as the distribution of scarce resources like food and medicine? What is the value of life when it comes to abortion and war? We will also take a step back and ask whether our ethical beliefs are objective or instead relative to a person or culture. If there are not universal moral rules, what implications might this have for tolerating differing cultural practices? This class has no prerequisites.

Philosophy 31 Ethical Theory: Ancient to Early Modern – Professor Julie Tanennbaum
This course examines some of the most influential ethical theories in western philosophy, touching on the works of philosophers such as Aristotle, Hume and Kant. What if anything can they tell us about how we ought to live today? Is acting virtuously necessary for living a good life? Are a person’s motives relevant to how we morally assess an action? What is the relationship among emotion, desire, and reason? This class has no prerequisites.

Philosophy 38 Bioethics – Professor Ann Davis
The topics to be covered will be a selected from among these areas: medicalization and its consequences;diagnosis ‘by the numbers’ and its consequences;'Geneticization’: genetic explanations of disease; privacy; disability: concepts and context; mental illness: diagnosis and classification (DSM); and illness narratives.

Philosophy 40 Ancient Philosophy – Professor Richard McKirahan
Origins of Western philosophy through reading and discussion of its classical sources, including the Presocratics, Stoics, Epicureans, Sceptics, Plato and Aristotle.

Philosophy 71 History of Aesthetics – Professor Peter Thielke
A survey of various aesthetic theories, from antiquity to the 19th century. Topics will include the nature of beauty, the epistemological status of aesthetic judgments and the connection between art and morality. Readings from Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche, among others.

Philosophy 106 Philosophy of Biology – Professor Laura Perini
In the life sciences, distinctive methods and concepts play key roles in the production of knowledge. This course investigates biological explanation; examines concepts such as fitness, adaptation, gene and species; and addresses questions about whether biology reduces to physics, and the role of evolutionary and genetic claims in explaining human behavior. Prerequisite: one college-level philosophy or biology course.

Philosophy 185B Topics in Philosophy of Law, and Law and Society – Professor Michael Green
The topic for this seminar is punishment. We will discuss contemporary philosophers who try to make sense of the function of punishment and the conditions under which individuals can be held responsible for their actions. We will also read philosophers from the early modern period who were concerned with why the state had the right to punish in the first place and how they distinguished between the use of violence in punishment and its use in war.

Philosophy 186K Kant – Professor Peter Thielke
A detailed examination of the works of Immanuel Kant, focusing on issues that arise from Kant’s transcendental idealism. Topics may include Kant’s account of cognition, the nature and limits of human knowledge, the force of the moral law and the warrant of aesthetic judgment. Prerequisite: PHIL 042 PO.

Philosophy, Politcs and Economics 160 Freedom, Markets, & Well-Being – Professor Michael Green and Professor Eleanor Brown
Our society embraces commitments both to safeguarding basic liberties and to facilitating the pursuit of happiness. This course examines the interplay of philosophy, politics and economics in social and political theory and explores scholarship that relates theory to issues of public policy such as health care and development policies towards Third World countries. Prerequisites: ECON 102 PO and one course in each of philosophy and politics.  May be taken for the Pomona Economics Major and Minor.