Fall and Winter quarters

FacultyCharles Pailthorp philosophy

Major areas of study include philosophy, critical reading and writing, and the humanities.

Class Standing: Sophomores or above; transfer students welcome.

Accepts Winter Enrollment: This program will accept new students, without signature. Students interested in joining the program winter quarter should speak with the faculty.

Winter Quarter (new): Winter quarter will offer studies in contemporary Western philosophy. It has been designed for students with background in the history of philosophy, but success will depend primarily on willingness to read difficult works slowly and carefully. Students will have time to learn the background presupposed by our studies.

Study of seminal works by three 20th c. philosophers will be the crux of the curriculum: Ludwig Wittgenstein (Philosophical Investigations and On Certainty), Wilfrid Sellars (Empiricism and the Philosophy of Mind) and Richard Rorty (Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature). These have been central in the development of contemporary philosophical thought. They have inspired rich, insightful controversy both within the philosophy of mind and about the nature of philosophical inquiry itself. As time permits, we will pursue such controversies in works by Quine, Donald Davidson, John McDowell, Richard Bramdon, Rebecca Kukla and others.

Neo-Kantian developments in 20th and 21st century philosophy have had wide influence in the humanities, particularly in contributing to “post-modernist” themes: claims that ultimately the world in which we find ourselves is one of our own devising, that the “real” world actually is a construct based on our dispositions and habits of language. We will consider these claims critically and assess whether they are better than philosophical slogans.

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