conferences will begin on June 4 and continue through June 10. All will
be held in Sem II E 4102. Please bring your self-evaluation and faculty
evaluation to the conference.
and Mind: Classics in 20th-Century Philosophy
New Program, Not in printed catalog
Spring quarter 2003-04
Rather than spending the quarter entirely on 20th
century philosophy, we will spend the first three weeks gaining background
in historical work that lies behind 20th c. discussions in the philosophy
of mind and language.
first reading will be Descartes'Meditations on First Philosophy, then
we will turn to sections of Locke's Essay on Human Understanding,
followed by Kant's Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics. After
that we will adhere to the outline in the catalog copy I wrote up last
two and a half centuries, a central debate in Western philosophy had
been whether reason or empirical experience lay at the foundation of
human knowledge. In the early 20th century, this dispute was transformed
by a “linguistic turn” and language rather than mind became
the central subject of discussion. For fifty years “logical positivism”
(or “logical empiricism”) dominated the “analytic”
wing of Western thought. Then, in mid-century, a profound shift occurred
that undercut the very distinction between “rationalism”
and “empiricism,” a shift that laid the groundwork for many
currents in “post-modern” thought. Virtually every discipline
in the humanities and social sciences has been deeply affected by this
the background of A. J. Ayer’s Language, Truth and Logic,
a key formulation of “logical positivism,” we will read,
closely and completely, three
seminal mid-century works: Wittgenstein’s Philosophical
Investigations , W.V.O Quine’s “ Two Dogmas
of Empiricism ” and Wilfrid Sellars’ Empiricism and the
Philosophy of Mind.
student will be responsible for a weekly formal presentation, and each
will commit to a quarter-long independent study on problems of language
and mind discussed either in contemporary philosophy or in earlier historical
work. Evaluations will focus on the student’s presentations, contributions
to seminar discussions and a paper resulting from independent study.
will be awarded in: the philosophy of language and mind, the history
of philosophy and for work accomplished independently.
Total: 16 credits.
Program is preparatory for careers and future studies in philosophy,
the humanities and social sciences.