Home  |  Department |  Plato's Apology   | Classics  |  Online Forum   | Paper Topics  |  E-mail  me


FALL 2001


Course Description -- Topics and areas of philosophy covered in the course.

Texts -- Books to be purchased for the course.

Course Requirements -- Writing assignments, class participation, grading procedures, examinations, office hours, etc.

Syllabus -- Reading and writing assignments broken down week by week. THE FIRST FOUR WEEKS ARE NOW ONLINE.

Paper Topics -- Paper topics will always be posted at least ten days before a paper is due. . Paper Topic I, Paper Topic II,.Paper Topic III and.Paper Topic IVwill all be posed here online on the same date that the paper topic is handed out in class.

Class Online Forum -- NOTE: Click here and you'll be directed to a Coure Listings Option Page. Scroll down to PHIL 1A: Introduction to Philosophy. Use your User Name and Passwrod from your UNET Account to enter.

Academic Honesty & Plagiarism -- Definitions and examples of plagiarism plus comprehenisive guidelines on when and how to cite sources.

What is Philosophy? -- Philosophy is quite unlike any other field. It is unique both in its methods and in the nature and breadth of its subject matter. Philosophy pursues questions in every dimension of human life, and its techniques apply to problems in any field of study or endeavor. No brief definition expresses the richness and variety of philosophy. It may be described in many ways. It is a reasoned pursuit of fundamental truths, a quest for understanding, a study of principles of conduct. It seeks to establish standards of evidence, to provide rational methods of resolving conflicts, and to create techniques for evaluating ideas and arguments. Philosophy develops the capacity to see the world from the perspective of other individuals and other cultures; it enhances one's ability to perceive the relationships among the various fields of study; and it deepens one's sense of the meaning and variety of human experience.

Classic Texts of Western Philosophy --

Here you will find a selection that provides a database of over 100 links to classic texts by major Western philosophers throughout history, searchable by name, using the "GO TO" list below.

Philosophers Say "Cheese" -- You have read the book. Now see what they look like. By clicking on any name of a philosopher on this page, you will be connected directly to a site on the Internet exhibiting an image or image gallery of that philosopher. By clicking on an image with a blue or purple surround, you will be connected to an enlargement of that image.

Guide to Research in Philosophy -- This is a guide to library research in the field of Philosophy. It contains a selective list of resources that may be helpful for getting started. Please consult a reference librarian for additional assistance. Links appearing on this page are to catalog records in LOUIS (the online catalog of the Brandeis University Libraries) including reference tools such as books, electronic indexes and abstracts, full text resources, or governent documents. Internet sites and other research resources are also indicated by highlighted titles which are active links.

Advanced Papers on Arguments Discussed in PHIL 1A -- Advanced papers by contemporary philosophers on arguments and subjects under disucssion in PHIL 1A such as The Argument from Design, The Problem of Evil, Free Will, Consciousness, The Mind-Body Problem, Knowledge, Truth, Utilitarianism, Abortion, Affirmative Action, Famine Relief, and More .

The Myth of Sisyphus and the "Absurd" -- The gods had condemned Sisyphus to ceaselessly rolling a rock up to the top of a mountain, whence the stone would fall back of its own weight. They had thought with some reason that there is no more dreadful punishment than this futile and hopeless labor.

General Guides to Philosophy -- A list of general guides to philosophy now available on the Web, containing information in a wide range of categories including: Philosophers and Philosophies, Philosophy Associations and Societies; Philosophy Journals; Philosophy Teaching Resources; Philosophy Etexts; Philosophy Bibliographies; Philosophy Mailing Lists; Philosophy Newsgroups; Philosophy Projects; Philosophy Preprints; Philosophy Jobs, Philosophy Departments, Conferences, Reading Lists, and Bibliographies, and specialist subject areas, such as aesthetics, epistemology, ethics, logic, and metaphysics. This page also includes links to well established and widely consulted guides such as Bjorn's Guide to Philosophy, Blackwell Publishers' Guide to Online Philosophy Resources, Tom Stone's Episteme Links, and Peter Suber's Guide to Philosophy on the Internet, but also to lesser known but highly useful guides such as Hopkins Philosophy Page, Infinite Ink's Philosophy Pages, Peter King's Philosophy Around the World, Philosophy Sites on the Internet, the Tanner Philosophy Library, the Ultimate Philosophy Page, and the Window: Philosophy on the Internet.

Philosophy Enceyclopedias, Dictionaries, and Glossaries on the Web -- Links to lexicons of philosophical names and terms as well as glossaries with a more particular focus, e.g., dictionaries of religious terms, philosophy of mind, Buddhist terms, and Kant's technical terms as well as links to the Stanford Enceyclopedia of Philosophy, the Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy, Saint-Andre's The Ism Book, and Downes' Guide to Logical Fallacies.

Philosophical Works Available Online -- Numerous links to philosophical works online, including works by Aristotle, Bentham, Berkeley, Descartes, Dewey, Emerson, Hegel, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Leibniz, Locke, Machiavelli, Mill, Plato, Rousseau, Socrates, and Spinoza. Links to such sites as the Digital Text Project, which provides access to a range of philosophical texts online in an easy-to-read format, ALEX, which helps users to find and retrieve the full text of documents on the Internet, and currently indexes over 2000 books and shorter texts by author and title, incorporating texts from Project Gutenberg, Wiretap, the On-Line Book Initiative,and the Eris system at Virginia, the Internet Classics Archive, a beautifully-presented, searchable collection of almost 400 classical Greek and Roman texts (in English translation), and the Minerva Text Archive, an archive for philosophical texts on the Internet that can be accessed via a simple web interface, searched on keywords, titles, and authors, and downlaoded for free.

Electronic Journals A to K -- Links to electronic journals listed alphabetically (A through K) that publish articles and reviews on the Web, including, for examples, links to the Electronic Journal of Analytic Philosophy dedicated to the publication of articles and reviews relevant to analytic philosophy both as a historical movement and as a current program, Connexions, a web-based journal of cognitive science, which, unlike traditional journals, is not a showcase for finished work but a forum for the discussion of work-in-progress, and the Bryn Mawr Classical Review which publishes reviews of current work in all areas of classical studies, with the opportunity for authors' replies, discussion of earlier reviews, and well-conceived columns of opinion on the current classical scholarly scene. Here too you will find information on subscription and the availability of back issues for most of the journals listed.

Electronic Journals L to Z -- Links to electronic journals listed alphabetically (L through Z) that publish articles and reviews on the Web, including the Logic Journal of the IGPL which publishes papers in the areas of pure and applied logic, the Metaphysical Review which prints essays on the foundation of Physics, the Nordic Journal of Philosophical Logic that covers all aspects of philosophical logic, the Online Journal of Ethics, and Psycoloquy, a refereed electronic journal sponsored on an experimental basis by the American Psychological Association and currently estimated to reach a readership of 20,000.

Directories to Electronic Journals in Philosophy -- Links to sites that provide the most recent updates of electronic journals of philosophy online as well as providing searchable data-bases of the growing number of scholarly articles and print journals now distributed and available on the World Wide Web as well as to sites containing reviews of the current electronic journals and newsletters.

Complete List of Journals of Philosophy by Title and Subject -- A complete list of journals in philosophy and related dsiciplines with subscription information, submission requirements, and email addresses.

International Directory of Online Papers in Philosophy -- This Internet Search engine was developed and is maintained by Joe Lau at the University of Hong Kong. Its aim is to make it easier to access those sites where papers in philosophy can now be found. "Although many philosophy papers and preprints are now available on the web," as Lau notes, "they are difficult to find and there is no easy way to know when new ones appear. The purpose of this directory is to make such information available, by providing a central location where authors can register their on-line papers easily. [And] others can check here to see what is available, without having to look through other people's websites themselves. This is primarily a page of links that point to papers available elsewhere and no papers are stored locally."

Philosophers with Papers Online: Compiled by David Chalmers -- Here you will find a list of individuals who have put their own papers in philosophy and related areas available online. Chalmers' list emphasizes philosophy, but includes a number of online papers from individuals in related fields: in physics, mathematics, and psychology. Chalmers has recently divided his online list into the following catgories, making it easier to search for a paper in a particular area or branch of philosophy: (1) Philosophy of mind (esp. consciousness), (2) Philosophy of mind (esp. artificial intelligence and cognitive science), (3) Philosophy of mind (miscellaneous), (4) Philosophy of language, metaphysics and epistemology, (5) Philosophy of science, (6) Philosophy of logic and mathematics, (7) Philosophy of religion, (8) Value theory (ethics, social/political philosophy, aesthetics), (9) History of philosophy, (10) "Philosophical" cognitive scientists, (11) "Philosophical" physicists & mathematicians, and (12) Other interesting individuals.

NYU Papers Online -- Online papers from members of the NYU philosophy department, including "Anti-reductionism Slaps Back" and "How to Find the Neural Correlate of Consciousness" by Ned Block; "What the Externalist Can Know A Priori" by Paul Boghossian; "Objectivity and Truth: You'd Better Believe It" by Ronald Dworkin and "Assisted Suicide: The Philosophers' Brief", by Dworkin, Thomas Nagel, Robert Nozick, John Rawls, Thomas Scanlon, and Judith Jarvis Thomson; "Which undecidable mathematical sentences have determinate truth values?" by Hartrey Field; "Truth in Action" by John Gibbons; "Justice and Nature" and "Concealment and Exposure" by Thomas Nagel; "Do doctors undertreat pain?" and "Parenthood: Three Concepts and a Principle" by William Ruddick; "Modal Bloopers: Why Believable Impossibilities Are Necessary" and "Unbeggable Questions" by Roy Sorenson; "Living High and Letting Die" and "Contextual Analysis in Ethics" by Peter Unger.

Major Philosopher Sites from A to K -- Links to Sites containing information on philosophers (A to K) throughout history. Many of the sites contain not only biographical data, but links to online texts and translations, commentaries, and summaries of a particular philosopher's ideas. Here you will find information on an array of diverse thinkers, including, Adorno, Aristotle, Augustine, Aurelius, Bacon, Bakunin, Bentham, Boethius, Chomsky, Cicero, Comte, Condorcet, Confucius (with links to the Confucian Analects, the Doctrine Of The Mean, and the Great Learning), Copernicus, Darwin, Davidson, De Beauvoir, Deleuze, Dennett, Derrida, Descartes, Dewey, Diogenes, Epicurus, Foucault, Frege, Freud, Gadamer, Galileo, Gandhi, Hegel, Heidegger, Hobbes, Hume, Husserl, James, Jung, Kant, Keynes, Kierkegaard, Kropotkin, and Kuhn, to mention a few.

Major Philosopher Sites from L to Z -- More information on an array of thinkers throughout history with links to their works, commentaries, and summaries, arranged alphabetically, here L through Z: including, to mention a fair number, Levinas, Locke, Machiavelli, Maritain, Marx, Meinong, Merleau- Ponty, Mill, Nietzsche, Otto, Parmenides, Pascal, Pierce, Plato, Popper, Proudhon, Quine, Rand, Reid, Rousseau, Russell, Santayana, Sartre, Schopenhauer, Sellars, Smith, Steiner, Stirner, Socrates, Spinoza, Thoreau, Turing, Vico, Voltaire, Weil, Whitehead, and Wittgenstein.

Directories of Major Philosophers -- Here you will find links to directories currently available on the Web which contain summaries of the life and work of many of the major figures in Western Philosophy as well as some of the major schools of philosophical thought and historical periods. Infomation, too, on contemporary philosophers as well as on a number of thinkers in related fields, such as information on a number of great thinkers in mathematics.

Current Philosopher and Graduate Student Homepages -- Here you will links to home pages of professional philosophers and graduate students as well as e-mail addresses.

Resources Available on the Web to Philosophy Students -- Links to a range of resources (available to students of philosophy) on the Web, including sites on the nature and structure of philosophical argument, advice on constructing an argument as well as on reading and evaluating philosophical texts and writing a good paper in philosophy. Also, a survival guide for students of philosophy from the University of Edinburgh providing an overview of the study of philosophy, information on how to read logical notation, and a lexicon of philosophical terms, discussions of logical fallacies and ways to avoid committing them, and a link to UMI's Dissertations Abstracts database Also: sites which strive to answer the question "Why Major in Philosophy?" as well as, once this question has been answered in the affirmative and rendered moot, the question "What Can You Do with a Philosophy Degree?"

Quick Guide to Graduate Schools in Philosophy -- A useful listing of Graduate Schools in Philosophy, catalogued according to Areas of Strength, providing easy and quick access to the homepages of each Department and admissions requirements for each of the schools listed. The site is maintained by Lingua Franca.

Guide to Graduate Programs in Philosophy: 1998-2000 -- A ranking of philosophy graduate programs by Brian Leiter, called,The Philosophical Gourmet Report, 1998-2000, which includes, besides the Rankings, A Breakdown of Programs by Areas of Strength, information on M.A. Programs in Philosophy and the Study of Philosophy in Law Schools and Top Law Schools. Leiter has also assembled useful information on Applying to Graduate School, and also provides useful Admissions Data as well as A Realistic Perspective on Graduate Study. The Report also seeks to offer the latest Faculty News: Moves, Retirements, etc. as well as data on Recent Job Placement in Philosophy.

STOA: Undergraduate Journal of Philosophy -- STOA is published by The Center for Philosophical Education: "CPE was established in 1997 by the Department of Philosophy at Santa Barbara City College to foster a broader understanding of and deeper appreciation for the academic discipline of philosophy within both the undergraduate and general populations. To these ends, The Center publishes STOA as a forum for celebrating and nurturing the philosophical growth of undergraduate students in addition to providing the general reader with access to a range of quality academic writings from novice philosophers. The journal has a particular interest in publishing undergraduate papers from a wide range of countries around the world, thereby fostering cooperation between scholars and students from a variety of backgrounds."

Philosophical Humor -- Here you will find everything from Philosophy Lightbulb Jokees, the Causes of Death of Some of the Great Philosophers, and various versions of Proof That P (and More Proofs That P) to the Ten Reasons God Would Not Have Received Tenure, the Top Ten Philosophical Questions Answered, and the Jean Paul Sartre Cookbook as well as comics and cartoons with philosophical content and more, much, much more.

More Philosophical Humor -- More funny stuff, this time from David Chalmers, who also, if the philosophical jokes do not tickle you, provides links to humor in economics, mathematics, physics, psychology, and religion.

The Philosophical Lexicon -- The Eighth Edition of The Philosophical Lexicon as prepared, edited and refined by Daniel Dennett, contains 82 new entries in addition to the 163 entries from The Seventh Edition which are also contained here. The Lexicon seeks to remedy the lamentable state of affairs that, as Dennett points out, "the pantheon of philosophy has contributed previous little to the English language, compared with other fields. What can philosophy offer to compare with the galvanizing volts, ohms and watts of physics . . ?" Philosophers "speak of merely platonic affairs, and Gilbert Ryle has given his name to a measure of beer (roughly three-quarters of a pint), but . . . the latter is restricted to the patois used [only] in certain quarters of Oxford. There are, of course, the legion of pedantic terms ending in "ian" and "ism", such as "neo-Augustinian Aristotelianism", . . . but these terms have never been, nor deserved to be, a living part of the language." The Eighth Edition, like its predecessors, seeks to remedy all this by introducing a set of new terms that could "become an important part of your vocabulary, to the point that you will wonder how philosophy ever proceeded without them."

Applied Ethics and Biomedical Ethics Sites -- This page contains links to sites with information, reference materials, and online discussions on various topics in (primarily) applied ethics such as animal rights, abortion, and euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, environmental ethics, business ethics, organ transplantation and genetic engineering.

Reviews in Moral and Political Philosophy -- Traditional academic publishing is a slow conversation. A year to get your idea into final form, a year to get it accepted somewhere, a year for it to appear. Then a year for anyone to get a reply into final form, another year for them to get it accepted, another for it to appear. Life is too short. Reviews in Moral and Political Philosophy is the creation of the Philosophy Department at Brown University and it aims "to publish short but substantial reviews of articles that have appeared in the last six months," in an effort to enhance "the value of ordinary journal articles by providing an immediate, high quality, and fully public critical notice not available in any other form.

Philosophers' Web Magazine -- Curent Issue has a special report on The World Congress of Philosophy, including interviews: Jaegwon Kim & Sydney Shoemaker talk about mind/body issues; Arthur Fine answers questions on mischief and the philosophy of science; Martha Nussbaum explains how philosophy might aid the cultivation of virtue; and Richard Swinburne argues (again) that a good God would tolerate the existence of evil. Also: Thomas Simon on injustice; David Hume and John Locke snapshots; Simon Wlater on "The Millennium Dome"; and the concluding part of Jeff Mason's "Sartre's Existential Humanism."

University of Chicago Philosophy Project -- This project seeks to provide a forum for electronically mediated scholarly discussion of philosophical works. The University of Chicago Philosophy Project contains several philosophical discussions between small groups of participants. Each group is run by a moderator, who selects the participants for her group and organizes the discussion. The moderator for each group is chosen by the administrators of the University of Chicago Philosophy Project.

Philosophy in Preparation for Law School -- A recent comprehensive study of college students' scores on major tests used for admission to graduate and professional schools shows that students majoring in Philosophy received scores substantially higher than the average on each of the tests studied. The performance of Philosophy Majors on all three tests was remarkable: Philosophy Majors received higher scores on the LSAT, for instance, than students in all other humanities areas, and higher scores than all social and natural science majors except economics and mathematics, and higher scores than all applied majors.

Philosophy in Preparation for Medical School -- Many Brandeis graduates who have pursued careers in medicine and the other health professions had some exposure to philosophy while they were undergraduates at Brandeis and a number of Philosophy Majors have gone on to receive M.D. Degrees. Pre-medical students are often encouraged, while they are still in college to seek a solid liberal arts education, which does not focus exclusively on the sciences as such, but embraces the humanities and social sciences as well. Philosophy also contributes "to one's capacity to frame hypotheses, do research, and put problems into manageable form. Philosophical thinking strongly emphasizes clear formulation of ideas and problems, selection of relevant data, and objective methods for assessing ideas and proposals. It also emphasizes development of a sense of the new directions suggested by the hypotheses and questions one encounters in doing research. Philosophers regularly build on both the successes and failures of their predecessors."

"Philosophers Find the Degree Pays Off" -- Philosophy majors are increasingly successful in a world in which business and government depend more and more on reasoning skills.

"The Value of Philosophy" Wall Street Journal, October 24, 1995 -- On just about everybody's list of hot skills are communication and analysis. So who has those skills? How about philosophy majors?

"To Beat the Market: Hire a Philosopher" -- Bill Miller, the manager of one of the most successful mutual funds in the country, was a philosophy graduate student before turning to investing. Applying the ideas of William James and using thought experiments, Miller's success shows how philosophy pays off finanically to beat the market.

HIPPIAS: Philosophy search engine -- Hippias is a peer-reviewed search engine that provides access to philosophy-related resources on the World-Wide Web. Quality is controlled by a system of hyperlinked internet sites which are managed by qualified professionals who serve as the associate editors of the project. The same procedures that govern quality also serve to limit the scope of Hippias to resources of interest to philosophers.

Search Hippias

Limited Area Search of Philosophy on the Internet

Use * for substring searches. Plat* will return
entries for Plato, Platonism, Platonic, etc.

NOESIS: Philosophy Search Engine -- Noesis: Philosophical Research On-line is an indexing and accrediting effort dedicated to organizing the philosophical content of the Internet into an academically-viable network of resources for use by philosophy teachers, researchers and students. Noesis allows scholars to disseminate their research efficiently to the global community simply by putting it on-line at their host institutions and letting us know where it is. In addition to allowing meaningful self-publication, Noesis indexes several on-line journals in philosophy and two encyclopedias. It includes a topic index built by a team of qualified editors who hand-select resources from the larger dataset. Users can browse resources by author, collection or topic. as well as make use of the full-text search engine.

Search Noesis


Back to top


FALL 2001:

(1) The course will cover a number of central topics in philosophy through the writings of contemporary and major Western philosophers as well as through the close study of several fundamental issues which have arisen in the course of the developmnent of the Western philosophical tradtion.

(2) Readings will be drawn from the writings of major philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Leibniz, Kant, Mill, and Russell. Fundamental topics will include arguments for the existence of God, the value of religious belief, faith and subjectivity, the problem of evil, the nature of human knowledge, causation and scientific explanation, perception and illusion, the nature of consciousness, minds, brains, and machines, personal identity and survival after death, freedom and determinism, proposed standards of right conduct, moral relativism, morality and self-interest, justice and the meaning of life.

(3) The course is designed to be an introduction to Western philosophy and as such it is not intended to be comprehensive or exhaustive. The classic materials are selected to provide a good base for understanding central debates within the field. The course is divided into four sections and each section is devoted to a key area within Western philosophy, in the areas, for example, of epistemology, general metaphysics, ontology, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, and ethics.

(4) In its aim and format the course is more an invitation to philosophy than an introduction. Introductions seek to map out a territory or lay the groundwork for more detailed study. There will be some of that here, but insofar as invitations beckon and introductions point, the course beckons students to the study of philosophy rather than points the way.

Back to top


1.John Perry and Michael Bratman (eds.),
Third Edition, (Oxford University Press)

    Table of Contents:



  • Bertrand Russell, "The Value of Philosophy"
  • J. J. C. Smart, "The Province of Philosophy"
  • Thomas Nagel, "The Absurd"
  • Plato, Apology: Defense of Socrates


    A. Why Believe?

  • Saint Anselm, "The Ontological Argument"
  • Saint Thomas Aquinas,"The Existence of God"
  • Blaise Pascal, "The Wager"
  • Bertrand Russell, "Why I Am Not a Theist"

  • B. The Problem of Evil

  • David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion
  • Gottfried Leibniz, "God, Evil and the Best of All Possible Worlds"
  • Nelson Pike, "Hume on Evil"
  • J. L. Mackie, "Evil and Omnipotence"


    A. Classics of Epistemology

  • Rene Descartes, Meditations on First Philosophy
  • John Locke, "Some Further Considerations Concerning Our Simple Ideas of Sensation"
  • George Berkeley, Three Dialogues Between Hylas and Philonous
  • David Hume, "Of Scepticism with Regard to the Senses"
  • David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding

  • B. Perception

  • A. J. Ayer, "The Argument from Illusion"
  • J.L. Austin, "The Argument from Illusion"

  • C. Induction, Causation, and Scientific Explanation

  • W.C. Salmon, "The Problem of Induction"
  • G.E.M. Anscombe, "Causality and Determination"
  • Carl G. Hempel, "Laws and Their Role in Scientific Explanation"
  • Paul Feyerabend, "How to Defend Society Against Science"
  • Elizabeth Anderson, "Knowledge, Human Interests, and Objectivity in Feminist Epistemology"


    A. The Traditional Problem of Mind and Body

  • Bertrand Russell, "The Argument from Analogy for Other Minds"
  • Gilbert Ryle, "Descartes's Myth"
  • David M. Armstrong, "The Nature of Mind"
  • David Lewis, "Mad Pain and Martian Pain"
  • Daniel Dennett, "Intentional Systems"
  • Paul M. Churchland, "Eliminative Materialism"

  • B. Minds, Brains, and Machines

  • Hilary Putnam, "Turing Machines"
  • A.M. Turing, "Computing Machinery and Intelligence"
  • John K. Searle, "Minds, Brains, and Programs"

  • C. Consciousness

  • Thomas Nagel, "What Is It Like to Be a Bat?"
  • Frank Jackson, "What Mary Didn't Know"
  • David Lewis, "Knowing What It's Like"

  • D. Personal Identity

  • John Perry, "A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality"

  • E.Freedom, Determinism, and Responsibility

  • C. A. Campbell, "Has the Self 'Free Will'?"
  • David Hume, "Of Liberty and Necessity"
  • Richard Taylor, "Freedom and Determinism"
  • Harry G. Frankfurt, "Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person"
  • Peter Strawson, "Freedom and Resentment"


    A. Utilitarianism

  • Jeremy Bentham, "The Principle of Utility"
  • John Stuart Mill, Utilitarianism
  • E.F.Carritt, "Criticisms of Utilitarianism"
  • J.J.C. Smart, "Extreme and Restricted Utilitarianism"
  • Bernard Williams, "Utilitarianism and Integrity"
  • Peter Singer, "Famine, Affluence, and Morality"

  • B. Kantian Ethics

  • Immanuel Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals
  • Onora O'Neill, "Kantian Approaches to Some Famine Problems"
  • Thomas Nagel, "War and Massacre"

  • C. Aristotelian Ethics

  • Aristotle, Nichomachean Ethics
  • Thomas Nagel, "Aristotle on Eudaimonia"
  • Rosalind Hursthouse, "Virtue Theory and Abortion"
  • D. Justice and Equality

  • John Rawls, A Theory of Justice
  • Robert Nozick, "Justice and Entitlement"
  • G.A. Cohen, "Where the Action Is: On the Site of Distributive Justice"
  • Samuel Scheffler, "Responsibility, Reactive Attitudes, and Liberalism in Philosophy and Politics"
  • John Stuart Mill, The Subjection of Women
  • Debra Satz, "Markerts in Women's Reproductive Labor"
  • Kwame Anthony Appiah, "Racisms"

  • E. Challenges to Morality
    1. Morality and Self-Interest

  • Plato, The Republic
  • David Hume, An Enquiry Concerning the Principles of Morals
  • David Gauthier, "Morality and Advantage"
  • J.L. Mackie, "The Law of the Jungle: Moral Alternatives and Principles of Evolution"
  • 2. Subjectivism, Relativism, and Skepticism
  • J.L. Mackie, "The Subjectivity of Values"
  • Gilbert Harman, "Ethics and Observation"
  • Nicholas L. Sturgeon, "Moral Explanations"


    A. Zeno's Paradoxes

  • Achilles and the Tortoise
  • The Racecourse
  • The Argument Against Plurality

  • B. Metaphysical and Epistemological Puzzles and Paradoxes

  • The Paradox of the Heap
  • The Surprise Examination
  • Goodman's New Riddle of Induction

  • C. Puzzles of Rational Choice

  • The Prisoner's Dilemma
  • Newcomb's Problem
  • Kavka's Toxin Puzzle
  • Quinn's Puzzle of the Self-Torturer

  • D. Paradoxes of Logic, Set Theory, and Semantics

  • The Paradox of the Liar
  • Other Versions of the Liar
  • Russell's Paradox
  • Grelling's Paradox

  • Glossary of Philosophical Terms

    Back to top



(1) The course will meet on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9:10 AM to 10:30 AM in Shiffman 219.

Back to top


(1) Four papers are required on topics growing out of the readings and class discussions.

(2) The papers should be about 5-6 pages in length, preferably typewritten.

(3) Paper topics will be available at least ten (10) days before a paper is due. It is wise to make a copy of a paper before handing in the original. If you are working on a computer, make a back-up. .

Back to top


(1) There will be one quiz in class.

(2) There will be no other written examinations, final or otherwise.

Back to top


(1) A Bulletin Board has been created for the course to facilitate online conversation on legal topics of note. To find your way to the Bulletin Board, you can click HERE and you'll be directed to a page of Course Listings Options and scroll down to "PHIL 1A: Introduction to Philosophy " to create your own account for the Class Bulletin Board. Use your USER NAME and your PASSWORD from your UNET ACCOUNT to enter.

(2) You may also keep a log. The log should not be used for general note-taking or for jotting down quotations (although you may wish to use a separate note-book for these tasks) but for making commentaries on the readings and, most critically, the puzzlers and cases.

(3) Questions will also arise throughout the semester, questions for which there may not necessarily be any, easy or obvious answers, and these questions will be singled-out and identified as questions for the Bulletin Board and logs. You should also feel free to respond to the answers and commentaries of other students in the class.

Back to top


(1) Attendance is required. You are allowed two unexcused absences. Any further absences will have an impact on your final grade.

Back to top


(1) Grading will be broken down as follows: 30% for your strongest essay, 25% for your next best effort, 20% for your next best effort after that, and 15% for the one which is least successful of the four.

(2) . Work in the log or journal and/or on the Bulletin Board will count for 5% and the quiz will make up for the remaining 5%.

Back to top


(1) A course assistant may be assigned to this class. He or she will be primarily responsible for reading the papers and making comments on them. I shall read through ALL the papers and be responsible for grading each and every one of them.

Back to top


(1) I will hold office hours on Tuesdays and Fridays from 2:00 p.m. until 3:00 p.m. and by appointment.

(2) My office is located in RABB, Room 306. If you wish to leave messages for me, you may do so at the Philosophy Department Office, RABB 305 or e-mail me at teuber@brandeis.edu .

Back to top

Home | Department | Plato's Apology | Classics | Online Forum | Paper Topics | E-mail me

Page last edited: August 29, 2001