Philosophy (PHIL-UH)

PHIL-UH 1101  Central Problems in Philosophy  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
An introduction to the discipline of philosophy by way of several central philosophical problems. Topics may include free will, the nature of the self, skepticism and the possibility of knowledge, the ethics of punishment, the existence of God, the requirements of justice, the relation between our minds and our bodies, the nature of moral principles, and various logical paradoxes.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Introductory Electives
  
PHIL-UH 1110  The Meaning of Life  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
Is there a point or significance to life as a whole? That is the question about the "meaning of life." Though this question is notoriously hard to make precise, in one form or another it has animated much literature and art, and also much philosophy. Some philosophers have provided disheartening answers: life is suffering, and then it ends; life is absurd and never gains any meaning. But other philosophers have provided more uplifting answers that support the quest for personal significance. Bot h kinds of answers deserve scrutiny. After reviewing various pessimistic and more optimistic approaches to the meaning of life, we will turn to the subject of death. We will all die eventually. We normally encounter the death of our family and friend s before we must deal with our own. These themes too are the subject of philosophical reflection. We finish the semester with a discussion of the connection between individual significance and the future of humanity. This class will integrate references to art and literature as well as to science where appropriate, but its main focus is on contributions by recent thinkers in the analytical tradition of philosophy.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Core: Structures of Thought Society (New)
  • Bulletin Categories: Core: Structures of Thought Society (pre-2016)
  • Bulletin Categories: Core: Structures of Thought Society
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Introductory Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Previous Core: Structures of Thought Society
  • Crosslisted with: Core: Structures of Thought Society (New)
  • Crosslisted with: Core: Structures of Thought Society (pre-2016)
  • Crosslisted with: Core: Structures of Thought Society
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy: General Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy
  • Crosslisted with: Previous Core: Structures of Thought Society
  
PHIL-UH 1111  Minds and Machines  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
An introduction to philosophy through the study of issues at the intersection of philosophy and cognitive science. Discussion will focus on the conflict between computational and biological approaches to understanding the mind. Topics will include whether a machine could think, the Turing Test, mental imagery, the possibility of artificial intelligence, the reduction of the mind to the brain, and the function of consciousness.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Introductory Electives
  
PHIL-UH 1112  Life and Death  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
We are all going to die. This course examines a number of puzzles that arise once we start to think about our mortality. Is death bad for us? How could it be, when we will no longer be around to be the subject of the harm? Is death any worse for us than our nonexistence was prior to our birth? Is it bad not to be born at all? If so, for whom is it bad? Are we, in some sense, immortal? Is immortality even desirable? What is the appropriate attitude toward death? Can suicide be moral or rational? Is there any sense in which we could survive our deaths? How should the knowledge that we are going to die affect the way we should live our lives?
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Introductory Electives
  
PHIL-UH 1113  Freedom and Responsibility  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
Do we have free will? Can we think of ourselves as responsible agents while also regarding ourselves as part of the natural order? Some philosophers have argued that if our actions are causally determined, then freedom of the will is impossible. Others have argued that freedom does not depend on the truth or falsity of causal determinism. Is free will possible in a world where every event is causally determined? Are there different kinds of freedom? If so, are all kinds of freedom equally worth having? Must we act freely in order to be responsible for our actions? Do the social institutions of reward and punishment depend for their justification upon the existence of responsible, free agents? Students will discuss the nature of persons, action, freedom, and responsibility in an effort to answer these questions.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Introductory Electives
  
PHIL-UH 1115  Fear of Knowledge  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
It is often thought that knowledge is inherently valuable and that "truth" is an objective notion independent of social considerations. This course examines various reasons we might have for holding these views and various challenges that have been raised against them. Why should we care about knowledge as long as our beliefs prove useful and efficacious? Is truth and thus knowledge more accurately understood as a culturally relative notion, so that what's true for you might not be true for me?
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Core: Structures of Thought Society (New)
  • Bulletin Categories: Core: Structures of Thought Society
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Introductory Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Core: Structures of Thought Society (New)
  • Crosslisted with: Core: Structures of Thought Society
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy: General Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy
  
PHIL-UH 1117  Law and Philosophy  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
This course aims to provide you with a set of analytical tools distinctive of philosophy that will help you to think systematically and critically about issues of legal relevance. We will begin by exploring foundational issues concerning the nature of the law and its authority over us. We will then examine whether and how particular patterns of assigning legal responsibility and imposing legal punishment are justified, with an emphasis on the criminal law.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Legal Studies: Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Introductory Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Legal Studies
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy: General Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy
  • Crosslisted with: Pre-Professional: Law
  
PHIL-UH 1118  Bioethics  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
This course provides a survey of contemporary issues in bioethics. Students will be introduced to a variety of ethical issues and questions arising in health care and the biological sciences, as well as with emerging technologies. Topics include the moral status of animals, personhood at the margins of life, euthanasia and suicide, the nature of health and well-being, disability and mental illness, autonomy and addiction, paternalism and manipulation, genetic engineering and human enhancement, and the allocation of scarce medical resources. The focus throughout will be on moral questions and how decisions in these domains should be made.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Introductory Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy: General Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy
  
PHIL-UH 1810  Introduction to Logic  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
All philosophers are wise, and Socrates is a philosopher. Therefore, Socrates is wise. The topic of this course is the nature of this "therefore." Logic is the science of reasoning, the study of the ways in which statements support or contradict one another. In this course, we will investigate and expose the logical structure of everyday language and see how the correctness or incorrectness of reasoning depends on this structure. To aid discussion, we will develop a formal language that makes this underlying structure more perspicuous. With this formal language as a tool, we will be able to construct elaborate proofs and explore the logical relations among the various steps of complex arguments.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Logic Courses
  
PHIL-UH 1910  Philosophy of Quantum Mechanics  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
Quantum mechanics (QM) continues to fascinate physicists and non-physicists alike in virtue of its strikingly unorthodox characterization of the world. Some of the counter-intuitive features we've learned to accept, whereas others continue to generate controversy. This course begins by introducing students to the basic structure of QM, its experimental basis, and some of the bizarre (if well-established) features of the quantum world. We then examine two conceptual problems in the theory's foundations the measurement problem and the problem of local beables that threaten to render the entire theoretical edifice incoherent, and survey proposed ways to address those problems. Among the interpretations of quantum mechanics, we'll investigate are spontaneous collapse theories, pilot wave theories, and many-worlds theories, each of which aims to solve existing issues but often at the expense of raising new ones. This is not a 'popular science' course: we'll be reading physicists and philosophers who engage substantively with the foundational questions. However, there are no prerequisites, and none of the texts we use presuppose any familiarity with either QM or philosophy.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Other Philosophy Electives
  
PHIL-UH 2210  Ancient Mediterranean Philosophy  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring term of even numbered years  
This course is an examination of the origins of Western philosophical thought in ancient Greece and Rome, with a special focus on the views of Plato and Aristotle. Through their work, students will grapple with a range of pressing philosophical questions, including: Is happiness more than a subjective state of consciousness? Is death harmful? Do we have free will? Do we have obligations to others that override the pursuit of our own self-interest? What is the relation between the mind (or the soul) and the body? Since most of the philosophers that will be studied thought that philosophy must be systematic, we will also try to evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of this kind of approach to philosophical questions.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Ancient World Studies
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: History of Philosophy Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Ancient World Studies
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy: General Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy
  
PHIL-UH 2211X  Classical Arabic Philosophy  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall of even numbered years  
An introduction to Arabic philosophy as developed and debated by Muslims, Christians, and Jews from the eighth to the twelfth century. The Arabic authors were heirs to the entire Greek philosophical legacy and took it in a number of important and innovative directions, some of which have remained with us to the present day. Topics for this course include knowledge, certitude, and the rules of rational debate; the metaphysical distinction between essence and existence and the attendant notions of necessity and contingency; the medieval analysis of the soul, the psychic faculties, and moral psychology; and the role of religion in society and the analysis of religious claims within philosophy.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Ancient World Studies
  • Bulletin Categories: Arab Crossroads Studies: History Religion
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: History of Philosophy Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Ancient World Studies
  • Crosslisted with: Arab Crossroads Studies Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Arab Crossroads Studies
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy: General Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy
  
PHIL-UH 2212  Classical Indian Philosophy  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring term of odd numbered years  
An exploration of the thought of major philosophers from the Indian subcontinent, beginning with the ancients in the fifth century BCE and concluding with thinkers on the eve of colonialism in the eighteenth century CE. Indian philosophy has been and continues to be a major world philosophy. The reach of its ideas has been vast, both historically and geographically, spanning the philosophies of Buddhism, Jainism, Islam, and Hinduism, as well as the philosophy of law, of medicine, of mathematics, and of politics and society. It is most strongly associated with wide-ranging discussions in the philosophy of mind, the study of language, epistemology, and metaphysics. The aim of the course is to present a balanced and impartial picture of the richness, diversity, and depth of philosophy in this region.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Ancient World Studies
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: History of Philosophy Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Ancient World Studies
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy: General Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy
  
PHIL-UH 2222  Early Modern European Philosophy  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall of odd numbered years  
This course is a survey of European philosophy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, one of the most important and exciting times in the history of philosophy. We will be focusing on six philosophers who lived and worked in this period: René Descartes, Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, John Locke, George Berkeley, David Hume, and Immanuel Kant. Through their writings, we will trace and study philosophical arguments and debates concerning the possibility and extent of our knowledge of the external world, the nature of the self, the nature of substance and causation, the existence of God, and the relation between our minds and our bodies.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: History of Philosophy Electives
  
PHIL-UH 2223  Nineteenth- and Twentieth-Century European Philosophy  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
A survey of philosophy on the European continent in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, beginning with German Idealism and proceeding through Marxism, existentialism, phenomenology, critical theory, and structuralism. This course will introduce students to many of the major thinkers of this period, including Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Arendt, Sartre, Horkheimer, Adorno, and Foucault. These philosophers stand in the background of a great deal of contemporary political, social, and literary theory: their reactions to and criticisms of the Enlightenment's celebration of reason continue to challenge modern society.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: History of Philosophy Electives
  
PHIL-UH 2224  Classical Chinese Philosophy  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
This course examines the intellectual development of early Chinese philosophical thought by focusing on four major schools: Confucianism, Mohism, Daoism, and Legalism. Through the translated writings of various representative thinkers, including Confucius, Mozi, Laozi, Zhuangzi, Xunzi, Han Feizi, and Mencius, we will explore questions about human nature, ethics, moral psychology, and self-cultivation. We will read translations of major texts with commentaries and interpretations.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: History of Philosophy Electives
  
PHIL-UH 2410  Epistemology  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
Epistemology is the study of knowledge and rational belief. In this course we will examine various central epistemological questions, including: What is knowledge, and how does it differ from belief? Can we ever know that the world actually is the way it appears to us, or must we concede to the skeptic that we do not really know anything? Does knowledge always have to be based on secure foundations? If you know something, will you always know that you know it? Will you always be able to prove that you know it? What sort of attitude is belief, and what sort of control do we have over what we believe? What is evidence, and what is the connection between knowledge and evidence? Do we have any good reasons to believe some things rather than others? Is it ever rational to believe in the absence of evidence? What should we do when our epistemic peers disagree with us?
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Theoretical Philosophy Electives
  
PHIL-UH 2411  Metaphysics  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall of even numbered years  
Metaphysics is the investigation of the nature of reality. In this course we will wrestle with some of the most fundamental questions such as: What kinds of things exist? Are there minds or material bodies? What, for that matter, is existence? Is change illusory? What is truth? To what extent is reality independent of our thoughts about it? What is the difference between the possible and the actual? Are human actions free or causally determined? What is a person?
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Theoretical Philosophy Electives
  
PHIL-UH 2412  Philosophy of Language  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring term of even numbered years  
"Socrates was poisoned." With those vocal sounds or marks on a page, I can make a claim about someone who lived in the distant past. How is that possible? How do our words manage to pick out or latch onto particular portions of reality, even ones with which we've never had any contact? How does language enable us to convey thoughts about everything from Abu Dhabi, to the hopes of a friend, to the stars beyond our galaxy? For that matter, what are the thoughts, or the meanings, that our words carry or communicate? We will explore these and other philosophical questions about language through a reading of seminal works by twentieth-century thinkers.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Theoretical Philosophy Electives
  
PHIL-UH 2413  Philosophy of Mind  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall of odd numbered years  
The course will be an examination of the relationship between mind, body, and brain. How does this hunk of meat relate to the rich and variegated mental lives we experience every day? We consider various attempts to grapple with one of the oldest problems in philosophy - the mind/body problem. Topics to be covered include dualism vs. materialism, eliminativism, behaviorism, identity theory, functionalism, the computational theory of mind, and the hard problem of consciousness.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Theoretical Philosophy Electives
  
PHIL-UH 2414  Philosophy of Science  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring term of odd numbered years  
Science is often taken to be a distinctly rational form of empirical inquiry. This course examines various questions concerning the nature and practice of science that arise from this widespread attitude. For example, scientific theories are often thought to be subject to empirical scrutiny in ways that other theories are not. To what extent is this belief well-founded? Is it rational to believe that our best scientific theories are even approximately true? What justifies the claim that different types of evidence lend varying degrees of support to a particular theory, or that a single piece of evidence supports one theory more than another? Similarly, it is often claimed that scientific theories provide us with "real" explanations of physical phenomena, whereas other theories aren't "genuinely explanatory." To what extent is this true? What exactly is a scientific explanation, and how is it different (if at all) from a mere prediction or mathematical derivation? Can false theories provide good explanations? Some familiarity with science would be helpful but is not required.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Theoretical Philosophy Electives
  
PHIL-UH 2415  Philosophy of Mathematics  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
This course examines a variety of issues in the metaphysics and epistemology of mathematics. Mathematics poses interesting questions for philosophers. Mathematical statements appear to state objective truths, but it is difficult to see what the grounds of that truth are. Does mathematics somehow depend on us and our practices? Is it grounded in logic? Does it instead depend on the arrangement of some pre-existing objects, "the numbers"? These numbers appear not to be located in space-time. If they are not, how do we come to know about them? What explains the tremendous success of mathematics in providing useful applications in other disciplines? What does it take for something to count as a mathematical "proof"? We consider some surprising mathematical results, including Godel's incompleteness theorems, multiple sizes of infinity, and the status of the continuum hypothesis, and examine their philosophical significance. This is a course in the philosophy, not the practice, of mathematics. No specific mathematical knowledge or skills will be assumed. Students will, however, be asked to cope with sometimes difficult and abstract mathematical concepts.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120), plus PHIL-UH 1810, unless waived by the instructor.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Theoretical Philosophy Electives
  
PHIL-UH 2416  Images  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
Images depict, words describe. A picture of the cat of the mat depicts the cat as being on the mat. The sentence 'the cat is on the mat' describes the cat as being on the mat. Both represent the world as being in a certain state, but they do so in different ways. What is the difference in these ways of representing? What does it take for an image to depict? This course covers most major theories of depiction, including resemblance, experience, recognition, pretense, and structural theories. We then expand the scope of inquiry to include topics such as systems of depiction, analog vs. digital representation, maps, film, comics, maps, mental imagery, and relations to the cognitive science of vision.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Theoretical Philosophy Electives
  
PHIL-UH 2417  Philosophical Foundations of Space, Time and Motion  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
This course will examine the roles of space, time, and motion in physical theorizing, and various metaphysical and epistemological puzzles associated with those concepts. Among the questions we'll investigate are: Do space and time (or spacetime) exist in the same sense as material objects? Do material objects really have instantaneous velocities? How might we come to know facts about the geometry of physical space? Does time 'pass' or 'flow' in a particular direction, such that only the present moment is real? Is time travel possible, conceptually and physically? Indeed, how do the considerations relevant to addressing the preceding questions change (if at all) as we move from classical physics to the modern spacetime frameworks of special and general relativity? No background in physics is presupposed, but you should be prepared to engage with the scientific material introduced in class. This course fulfills the theoretical elective distribution within the Philosophy major.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Theoretical Philosophy Electives
  
PHIL-UH 2610  Ethics  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall of even numbered years  
What are our most basic values? What are the ethical principles by which we should judge our actions, ourselves, and our lives? What is involved in living a good human life? How can we reconcile the demands of morality with the personal obligations that spring from friendships and other relationships? Do the ends ever justify the means? This course will grapple with these and other questions through exploration of three of the most influential theories in Western ethical philosophy: Aristotle's ethics of virtue, Immanuel Kant's moral rationalism, and John Stuart Mill's utilitarianism. Students will also encounter one of modern morality's harshest critics: Friedrich Nietzsche.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Practical Philosophy Electives
  
PHIL-UH 2611  Applied Ethics  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
Torture, abortion, taxes, physician-assisted suicide, terrorism. People disagree fiercely about the morality of these and countless other human concerns. What moral theories and concepts shape these debates? Can we use these debates to refine or evaluate those theories and concepts? Is it possible to find common ground in shared ethical principles that will allow us to engage in rational debates rather than in disrespectful shouting matches (or worse)? These topics will be the guiding questions in this course as we investigate several contemporary moral controversies.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Practical Philosophy Electives
  
PHIL-UH 2613  Aesthetics  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
This course addresses a number of questions that arise in philosophical discussions of the arts. What is art, and how do we evaluate it? Is there a standard of taste? Are there special aesthetic properties? Is there a special aesthetic attitude or a special aesthetic experience? Does it matter for the aesthetic value of a supposed work of art if it is a forgery? What is beauty, and how is it related to the sublime? What is the relation between aesthetic and moral values? Can there be great works of art that are morally bad? Why do we feel for fictional characters? Why do we enjoy horror films? How and what do pictures represent? How does music express emotions? What is it to give an 'authentic' performance of a piece of music? How does our aesthetic appreciation of art differ from our aesthetic appreciation of nature?
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Practical Philosophy Electives
  
PHIL-UH 2614  Political Philosophy  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall of odd numbered years  
The state has authority over its citizens: if you fail to comply with its dictates, you can be punished. What justifies the state's exercise of such authority? Could it be justified because we have at least implicitly given our consent to it? This is only one central question in political philosophy. Others include: What form of government best serves the people? Who are the people, anyway? What is justice? Do we have fundamental rights to property or to free expression? If so, what is the source of these rights? What is freedom, and are there different kinds? What is the proper relation between freedom and equality? Is equality desirable? Can we live in a genuine community that is not a community of equals? Students will grapple with such questions and draw on writings from both classical and contemporary philosophers.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one Introductory Elective in Philosophy (PHIL-UH 1101-1120).  
  • Bulletin Categories: BOS Major: Social Science Required
  • Bulletin Categories: Economics Major: Social Science Required
  • Bulletin Categories: Legal Studies: Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Practical Philosophy Electives
  • Bulletin Categories: Political Science Major: Social Science Required
  • Bulletin Categories: Political Science
  • Bulletin Categories: SRPP: Major Soc Sci Required
  • Bulletin Categories: Social Research Public Policy
  • Bulletin Categories: Social Science: SPET Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Business, Organizations, and Society
  • Crosslisted with: Economics Major: Required
  • Crosslisted with: Economics
  • Crosslisted with: Legal Studies
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy: General Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy
  • Crosslisted with: Political Science Major: Social Science Required
  • Crosslisted with: Political Science
  • Crosslisted with: Pre-Professional: Law
  • Crosslisted with: SRPP: Major Soc Sci Required
  • Crosslisted with: Social Research Public Policy
  • Crosslisted with: Social Science Foundations
  • Crosslisted with: Social Science: Required
  
PHIL-UH 2615  Philosophy of Action  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall  
Human beings, and perhaps other kinds of creatures, are agents. We are not merely a locus of events in the world; sometimes, we make things happen. Many kinds of objects can have causal consequences, as when a rock rolls down a hill and hits a tree, and many different kinds of organisms are capable of self-movement, as when a dog blinks its eyes. But agents like us bring about effects in the world intentionally: we can hit a tree with a rock on purpose, and wink as well as blink. The concern of this course is to think about what it means to be this kind of rational, autonomous agent: what capacities must a creature have and exercise in order to be an agent determining itself to perform an intentional action? In Wittgenstein's vivid image, we want to know "what is left over if I subtract the fact that my arm goes up from the fact that I raise my arm?"
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Practical Philosophy Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy: General Electives
  • Crosslisted with: Philosophy
  
PHIL-UH 2810  Advanced Logic  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Spring term of even numbered years  
This course is an advanced investigation of various aspects of symbolic logic and reasoning, with an emphasis on subjects of philosophical relevance. Specific topics vary by semester, but are generally drawn from the following: modal logic (the study of reasoning about necessity, possibility, counterfactuals, and tense); metalogic (the study of provability, completeness, and other higher-order properties of logical systems); nonclassical logic (the study of three-valued logical systems, free logics, and the logic of relevance); and mathematical logic (the study of logical systems intended to model arithmetic reasoning).
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: PHIL-UH 1810.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Logic Courses
  
PHIL-UH 3210  Topics in the History of Philosophy  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
An advanced seminar that involves the careful study of some particular movement, philosopher, or issue in the history of philosophy. Examples: Aristotle, Ibn Sina, Kant, German Idealism, theories of causation in Indian philosophy, vice in the global history of philosophy.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: one History of Philosophy, Theoretical Philosophy, or Practical Philosophy Elective (PHIL-UH 2210-2799).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Advanced Seminars
  
PHIL-UH 3410  Topics in Theoretical Philosophy  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
An advanced seminar that involves the careful study of some particular theory, philosopher, or set of issues in contemporary theoretical philosophy. Examples: realism and antirealism, David Lewis, theories of truth, formal epistemology, philosophy of logic, consciousness.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Advanced Seminars
  
PHIL-UH 3610  Topics in Practical Philosophy  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered occasionally  
An advanced seminar that involves the careful study of some particular theory, philosopher, or set of issues in contemporary practical philosophy. Examples: consequentialism, empirical moral psychology, the philosophy of law, the ethics of gender, Rawls, metaethics.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: Yes  
Prerequisites: one History of Philosophy, Theoretical Philosophy, or Practical Philosophy Elective (PHIL-UH 2210-2799).  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Advanced Seminars
  
PHIL-UH 4000  Capstone Project  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
The Capstone Project provides seniors with the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor and to conduct extensive research on a philosophical topic of their choice. The program consists of a year-long individualized thesis tutorial. During the fall semester, students explore their chosen topic, develop a bibliography, read broadly in background works, and write regular substantive response papers. During the spring semester, students hone their research and produce successive drafts of a thesis, which should be a substantial work of written scholarship. The Capstone experience culminates in the public presentation of the completed thesis.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Capstone
  
PHIL-UH 4001  Capstone Project  (4 Credits)  
Typically offered Fall and Spring  
The Capstone Project provides seniors with the opportunity to work closely with a faculty mentor and to conduct extensive research on a philosophical topic of their choice. The program consists of a year-long individualized thesis tutorial. During the fall semester, students explore their chosen topic, develop a bibliography, read broadly in background works, and write regular substantive response papers. During the spring semester, students hone their research and produce successive drafts of a thesis, which should be a substantial work of written scholarship. The Capstone experience culminates in the public presentation of the completed thesis.
Grading: Ugrd Abu Dhabi Graded  
Repeatable for additional credit: No  
Prerequisites: PHIL-UH 4000.  
  • Bulletin Categories: Philosophy: Capstone