Courses

The first part of this page lists Philosophy courses for the upcoming semester. After that, you will find a comprehensive list of all courses offered by the Philosophy Department.

Please note that if you need advising your should contact Prof. Elise Crull ( ecrull@ccny.cuny.edu ). Her office hours are by appointment.


Spring 2021 courses

PLEASE NOTE: Philosophy and Film is NOT being offered by the Department of Philosophy, but by CWE. Students who wish to enroll in the course need to get on a the waitlist here: https://forms.gle/2EnFcXxKKPhsZHXV7

Logical Reasoning {PHIL 20100} {Lecture Day/Time t.b.a.} W 11:00am-12:15pm Th 11:00am-12:15pm W 12:30pm-1:45pm Th 2:00pm-3:15pm, Discussion Sections: Soo-Jin Lee

Introduction to the basic elements of logical reasoning, including rules & methods of assessing validity (such as truth tables and rules of inference), and proving arguments as they occur in natural language. The goal of the course is to enable students to translate and evaluate arguments in everyday language using basic logical tools. As such this course serves as excellent preparation for LSAT, GRE, GMAT and other standardized tests, and also helps to create a sturdy analytic foundation for further academic work in any discipline.

Introduction to Formal Logic {PHIL 20200} Tu/Th 11:00am-12:15pm, Ralph Jenkins

Introduction to modern formal logic and its applications. It focuses both on rules for producing formal proofs, and for translating natural language arguments into logical notation. Designed as preparation for advanced logic, this course also serves as excellent preparation for LSAT, GRE, GMAT and other standardized tests, and provides training in complex reasoning advantageous to many fields – from computer science and engineering to architecture, economics and finance.

History of Philosophy II: Modern {PHIL 30600} M/W 12:30pm-1:45pm, Elise Crull

This course is a survey of Western philosophers from the modern period (which covers 1550–1900) and their hearty engagement with niggling questions about the nature of perception, the existence of free will, the concept of justice, and so on. In addition to studying the usual persons of interest from this era (Descartes, Locke, Hume, Kant) we will examine women philosophers whose work has recently begun to receive the attention it deserves, as well as philosophers who are today mainly considered “scientists” (although no such distinction existed at the time). By incorporating a variety of voices, we will not only engage with the ideas central to this period on their own merit, but furthermore situate them within a rich historical context.

Ethics {PHIL 30800} Tu/Th 2:00pm-3:15pm, Jeffrey Blustein

Analysis of the concepts employed in moral reasoning, such as good, right, duty, obligation, virtue, freedom and choice. Critical study of various theories of moral justification-such as utilitarianism, deontological ethics, virtue ethics-and of status of moral judgments-such as subjectivism, objectivism, relativism and skepticism. The relation between morality and religion, moral dilemmas, and some problems in practical ethics (abortion, famine, the environment, etc.).

Issues in Epistemology {PHIL 35200} M/W 3:30pm-4:45pm, David Weissman

Epistemology is the theory of knowledge. Who am I, and how could I know? What do I believe, and why do I
believe it? How are beliefs different from knowledge? We'll be reading books and essays--by Plato, Aristotle,
Descartes, Hume, Peirce, and Dewey--that answer some or all of these questions. These authors disagree. We'll
be looking for reasons that justify preferring some responses to others.

Contemporary Phenomenology {PHIL 31122} M/W 2:00pm-3:15pm, Chad Kidd

This course provides an introduction to contemporary phenomenological philosophy. It begins with an
introduction to the basic questions and methods of phenomenological philosophy as conceived in the work of its
two most prominent trailblazers: Edmund Husserl and his student (and eventual intellectual rival) Martin
Heidegger. We will carefully investigate the methods of phenomenological reflection on experience and
hermeneutic analysis of being proposed by each. After that, we will consider applications of these
phenomenological methodologies to four topics as they are addressed in both classical and contemporary
phenomenological texts: self-consciousness, time-consciousness, embodiment, and gender.

Latin American Philosophy {PHIL 31187} Fr 1:30pm-4:10pm, Teófilo De Souza Carmo Reis

This course will focus on select philosophical topics in Latin American Philosophy from both past and contemporary sources. Topics include identity, race, political philosophy, feminism, and the colonial and decolonial turn. We will pursue answers to questions such as "What does Latino/Latina/Latinx mean?", "How significant is race to Latin American philosophical debate?", "Is there a unique Latin American feminism? If so, what are its distinctive features?", "What is the colonial matrix of power, and how is it used to characterize political matters?" Readings include texts by Las Casas, Simon Bolívar, María Lugones, Domingo Sarmiento, Linda Martín Alcoff, José Vasconcelos, Lélia Gonzalez, Paulo Freire, Walter Mignolo, among others.

African-American Philosophy {PHIL 31188} Fr 10:00am-12:40pm, Damion Scott

This course will engage a number of central concepts, themes, and figures within the distinctive and flourishing field of African-American Philosophy. African-American Philosophy along with Africana Philosophy more broadly construed tends to be concerned with topics such as self-determination and self-knowledge, freedom, liberation, violence, ethnicity, the nature of persons, social ontology, justice, Afrofuturism, Afro-Pessimism and the Critical Theory of Race. As with any type of philosophical thinking and debate, African-American Philosophy may make claims of a general, universal scope. Students will develop an appreciation of the unique philosophical voices in the Black/Africana intellectual traditions. The course will further focus on contemporary issues in the U.S. centering on structural and inter-personal racism and Black and/or African-American Aesthetics.

Philosophy & Film {PHIL 31404} Th 6:00pm-9:20pm, Martin Woessner

This course examines the artistic medium of film as a possible site of popular philosophical inquiry. By putting cinematic works in conversation with classic and contemporary texts in the western tradition—ranging from René Descartes to Stanley Cavell, Donna Haraway, and Robert B. Pippin—this course offers an introduction to both western philosophy and film studies. Topics to be discussed include not just the nature of truth, beauty, and justice, but also faith, freedom, skepticism, and moral responsibility. Our interdisciplinary approach will be both chronological and thematic. The cinematic works that will be discussed include: the silent films of Charlie Chaplin and Harold Lloyd; Weimar-era classics such as The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and M; examples of film noir, screwball comedy, and science fiction; as well as genre-bending films by Akira Kurosawa, Luis Buñuel, Alfred Hitchcock, Douglas Sirk, Chantal Akerman, Terrence Malick, and Jordan Peele.

Philosophy of Science {PHIL 32200} M/W 9:30am-10:45am or  M/W 11:00am-12:15pm, Elise Crull

A critical survey of philosophical theories of scientific explanation and development. The course will ask questions like the following: is there really such a thing as the “scientific method”? Is science objective? Who gets to participate in science, and what constitutes “good” science? How are scientific theories confirmed? How and when do revolutions occur in science? Students will also consider the particular ethical problems posed in a society that is dependent upon, driven by, and saturated with technology.

Practical Ancient Philosophy {PHIL 33100} Tu/Th 11:00am-12:15pm, Massimo Pigliucci

Philosophy was born as a practical guide to living a life worth living. This course examines a number of Greco-Roman philosophies (including Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Aristotelianism) that can be valuable today just as they were two millennia ago. Practical philosophy, then and now, is not an oxymoron.

Philosophy and the Emotions {PHIL 34102} Tu/Th 3:00pm-4:45pm, Jeffrey Blustein

Emotions pervade our social, personal, and moral lives, affecting our judgments, actions, relationships, and personal wellbeing. In this course, we examine competing theories of the nature of emotion; the differences between emotions, feelings, and moods; the alleged conflict between reason and emotion; the universality of so- called basic emotions; and the relationship between emotions and values, including moral values and their corresponding moral judgments. Analysis of specific emotions and emotional states will be provided for illustration, including anger, sadness, and love. Readings are drawn from ancient, classical, and contemporary philosophical and psychological sources.

Chinese Philosophy {PHIL 34402} Tu/Th 9:30am-10:45am, Lou Marinoff

Chinese Philosophy examines the "Three Jewels" of classical Chinese thought: Confucianism, Daoism, and Buddhism. It surveys the metaphysical, moral, social and political perspectives of each tradition. It compares Lao Tzu's vision of utopia with that of Plato, Hobbes, and Marx. We will see how Daoism—sublimely abstract yet intensely practical— applies to martial arts, medical sciences, and modern physics. Ultimately, we will consider how ancient Chinese philosophy informs contemporary China's re-emergence as a global superpower.

Biomedical Ethics {PHIL 34905} {Lecture Day/Time t.b.a.} Discussion Sections: W 11:00am-12:15pm W 12:30pm-1:45pm, Th 11:00am-12:15pm Th 2:00pm-3:15pm

Biomedical Ethics is a philosophical overview of leading theories, principles, and problems in the field of bioethics. Ethical theories and principles are examined to provide a theoretical structure for analysis of concrete ethical problems. The course considers the ethics of the doctor-patient relationship, including paternalism, informed consent, confidentiality, and truth telling, as well as larger systemic issues of social justice and access to health care. Topics in reproductive ethics, end-of-life ethics, and some of the newest developments in the field arising from genetics and neuroscience are also discussed. Extensive use is made of case studies.

 


All Philosophy courses

INTRODUCTORY COURSES

10200: Introduction to Philosophy
An introduction to some of the central questions of philosophy, concerning our knowledge of the external world, causation,God, mind and body, freedom, justice,and moral judgment, via analysis of classical and contemporary philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Hume, Mill, Kant, Russell, Wittgenstein and Rawls. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

11100: Critical Thinking
An informal analysis of inference and evidence employed in everyday arguments, including study of the principles held to justify forms of argument in morality, politics, the law and aesthetics. The aim of the course is to develop critical skills in reasoning and the evaluation of arguments, and sensitivity to the distinction between substantive argument and persuasive rhetoric, through a detailed analysis of examples drawn from a wide variety of sources, including the media. Attention will be paid to some elementary but critical distinctions relating to meaning, definition, and implication. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

11250: Scientia, the Unity of Knowledge
A survey of the different methods by which diverse disciplines, from the natural to the social sciences, from medicine to engineering, and from history to philosophy, gather knowledge and increase human understanding. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

11200-12000: Special Topics in Philosophy
Selected topics and experimental courses are offered on a variety of topics. No prerequisites. Variable cr.

20100: Logical Reasoning
This course provides students with an introduction to the elements of logical reasoning. Basic rules and methods of assessing validity and proving arguments as they occur in natural language are introduced (such as truth tables and rules of inference). The goal of the course is to enable students to translate and evaluate  arguments in natural language using the basic tools of modern logic. The focus of this course enables it to serve as an excellent form of preparation for SATs, LSATs and other standardized tests, as well as an analytic resource for further academic studies. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

20200: Introduction to Logic
This course introduces students to the basics of modern logic. Topics covered include truth-tables, the rules of inference for the propositional calculus, and introduction to quantification theory. It focuses both on rules for producing formal proofs, and for translating natural language arguments into logical notation. Primarily designed as a preparation for advanced logic (Philosophy 32100: Symbolic Logic), the course would also be very useful for anyone expecting to deal extensively with complex reasoning.
3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

20600: Philosophy of Science Fiction
An analysis of some of the central questions of philosophy as they are represented in science fiction (and occasionally, science fact). Selections from science fiction works will range over topics such as space and time, infinity and eternity,  identity, knowledge of other minds; artificial intelligence; moral dilemmas and technology; the meaning of life. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

ELECTIVE COURSES

30100-30400: Honors I-IV
Approval of Dean and Department Honors Supervisor required. Apply no later than December 10 in the Fall term or May 1 in the Spring term. (W) variable credit, but usually 3 cr./sem.

30500: History of Philosophy I: Ancient
A survey of early Greek philosophy, centered on the figures of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Some attention is paid to pre-Socratic philosophers (e.g. Heraclitus, Parmenides) and to at least one current of thought after Aristotle (e.g. Stoicism, Skepticism, neo-Platonism, or early Christian theology). (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

30600: History of Philosophy II: Modern
The formulation of the subjects and methods of modern philosophy in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Rationalism: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz. Empiricism: Locke, Berkeley, Hume. Transcendental idealism: Kant. Topics include the human mind, free will and determinism, knowledge of the external world and God. (W)
3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

30700: Metaphysics and Epistemology
A survey of classic problems and contemporary theories of reality and knowledge. ncludes topics such as appearance and reality; substance and accident; the relation between mind and body; causation; freedom and determinism; the relation between knowledge, belief, and certainty; skepticism, solipsism, relativism, and reliabilism. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

30800: Ethics
Analysis of the concepts employed in moral reasoning, such as good, right, duty, obligation, virtue, freedom and choice. Critical study of various theories of moral justification—such as utilitarianism, deontological ethics, virtue ethics—and of status of moral judgments—such as subjectivism, objectivism, relativism and skepticism. The relation between morality and religion, moral dilemmas, and some problems in practical ethics (abortion, famine, the environment, etc.). (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

30900: Social and Political Philosophy
An analysis of the concepts and principles employed in reasoning about the social and political aspects of human life, such as social structure and function, equality and justice, property and rights, social and political obligation. A critical analysis of theories of the state of society, such as liberalism, Marxism, communitarianism,
conservatism, and anarchism. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

31000: Independent Study and Research
A planned program of reading in philosophy to meet special needs of individual students, under guidance of a member of the department. Limited to upper seniors able to take a course before graduation when needed for graduate preparation. For advanced or specialized work beyond available offerings already completed. Permission of instructor required before registration. (W) Variable credit, but usually 3 cr./sem.

31100-3200: Special Topics in Philosophy
Special and experimental courses offered on a variety of topics. Consult Department for offerings and prerequisites. Variable credit, but usually 3 cr./sem.

32100: Symbolic Logic
This course extends the work of  Philosophy 20200. The focus is on rigorously formulated systems of propositional and predicate logic, with emphasis on theorem-proving and the formalization of natural-language reasoning. Attention will be paid to the theory of relations, definite descriptions, the translation of elementary
arithmetical concepts into logic and proofs of the deductive completeness of various systems of logic. Prereq: Phil 20200. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

32200: Philosophy of Science
A critical survey of philosophical theories of scientific explanation and development. The course will focus on topics such as inductive and hypothetico-deductive accounts of scientific method; confirmation and falsification of scientific theories; the logic of scientific explanation; theories and models; the structure of scientific revolutions. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

32300: Philosophy of Mind
Examination of some classical and contemporary problems relating to our concepts and theories of mind, and of psychological phenomena such as intelligence, rationality, and emotion. Topics are likely to include theories of the relation between  mind and brain (varieties of dualism and materialism); self-knowledge and knowledge of other minds; psychopathology; artificial intelligence; and personal identity. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

32400: Philosophy of Language
Examination of the relationship between thought, language and the world. The course will cover topics such as meaning, truth, reference, synonymity, necessity, names and descriptions, logical form, and pragmatics. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

32500: Aesthetics: The Philosophy of Art
The philosophical study of art, and of our judgment of art, through classical readings and contemporary developments. Includes topics such as representation, taste, artist intention, and mechanization. Special attention is paid to the problem of trying to speak generally about art in the face of the differences among specific arts. (W) 3
hr./wk.; 3 cr.

32600: Philosophy of Law
A critical analysis of some central concepts employed in legal reasoning and judgment, such as justice, crime, evidence, responsibility, legal and civil rights, punishment, civil disobedience, and constitutional interpretation. Examination of major theories of law such as natural law theory, legal positivism and social realism, and of the relation between the law and morality. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

32700: Philosophy of Religion
Critical analysis of the question: What is religion? in light of the variety of religious beliefs and practices. Examination of different approaches to religion, including faith, rational argument, sensory experience, mystical and religious experience. Exploration of the relation between faith and reason, and between morality and religion. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

32800: Philosophy of Social Science
Critical analysis of the concept of the social as it is employed in classical and contemporary social scientific theories of social action, social structure, social collectivity and social explanation. Attention will be paid to topics such holism and individualism; social and psychological explanation; structural and functional explanation; rationality assumptions; understanding alien societies; theories and values in social science; and the autonomy of historical understanding. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

32900: Philosophy of History
A survey of some classical and contemporary problems in both speculative and analytical philosophy of history. The course focuses on topics such as general theories of history (Vico, Kant, Herder, Hegel, Marx, Toynbee); varieties of historical explanation; objectivity in history; concepts of causation in history; methodology;
history as an autonomous discipline. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

33100: Practical Ancient Philosophy
Philosophy was born as a practical guide to living a life worth living. This course examines a number of Greco-Roman philosophies (including Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Aristotelianism) that can be valuable today just as they were two millennia ago. Practical philosophy, then and now, is not an oxymoron.

33400: Philosophy of Artificial Intelligence
Addresses philosophical issues raised by computers and other machines capable of performing tasks indicative of intelligence (e.g. multiplication, logical reasoning, playing chess, learning a language). The course will focus on topics such as the Turing test; strong and weak AI; concept of representation, memory and understanding; the frame problem; symbolic versus connectionist approaches to cognitive processing. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

33500: Philosophy of Film
Addresses philosophical issues relating to film, such as the status of film as art object; the role of the audience in the constitution of the film object; realism and surrealism in film; and particular film
genres such as comedy and cinema noire. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

33600: Philosophy of Space and Time
Addresses philosophical questions raised by our employment of the concepts of space and time in science and metaphysical thinking. The course will focus on topics such as individuation and spatio-temporal continuity; unities of space and time; substantial and relational theories of space; asymmetries of time; the theory of
relativity; infinity and eternity. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

33800: Philosophy of Wittgenstein
Critical explanation and analysis of the philosophy of Ludwig Wittgenstein, with special focus on his controversial and influential views on language, reality and forms of life, and their implications for  disciplines such as linguistics, psychology, literary criticism and feminist theory. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

33900: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Freud
A study of three authors who helped to define modernism after Hegel. The course focuses on: the philosophical critique of philosophy; the new quest for authentic individuality; reassessments of religion. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr

34000: Self and Identity
A study of major philosophical theories of self-knowledge and personal identity, and related literary, social and psychological theories. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

34100: Philosophy of Psychoanalysis
Critical analysis of central concepts of Freudian and post-Freudian psychopathology and psychotherapy. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr

34400: World Philosophies
Addresses central concepts and principles of a variety of non-Western systems and traditions in philosophy. Courses offered are likely to include (but are not restricted to) African Philosophy; Chinese Philosophy; Indian Philosophy; Islamic Philosophy; Latin- American Philosophy. Different systems and traditions will be offered in different semesters. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

34500: American Philosophy
Addresses central themes of American Philosophy, through the work of authors such as Edwards, Emerson, James, Pierce, Dewey, Quine, Putnam, and Rorty. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

34600: Feminist Philosophy
Charts the historical evolution of the feminist approach to philosophy, and the contribution of feminists to topics in epistemology, philosophy of mind and moral, social and political philosophy. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

34700: Contemporary Philosophy
A study of major philosophical theories and theorists of the late nineteenth and twentieth century. The focus of this course may vary in different semesters, with emphasis placed upon either analytical, pragmatist or continental theories and theorists. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

34800: Continental European Philosophy
A study of major concepts and principles of philosophical movements originating in Continental Europe, such as Phenomenology; Existentialism; Hermeneutics; and Critical Theory. (W) 3 hr./wk.;3 cr.

34900: Applied Ethics
Critical analysis of moral issues and dilemmas as they arise in various professions and everyday situations. Courses offered are likely to include (but are not restricted to): Business Ethics; Computer Ethics; Engineering Ethics; Environmental Ethics; Medical Ethics; Psychological Ethics. Different course topics will be offered in
different semesters. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

35000: Major Philosopher(s)
Intensive study of the work of major philosophers (such as Plato, Hume, Kant, Hegel). Different philosophers featured in different semesters. (W) 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

35400: Seminar in Advanced Topics in Philosophy
Topics selected from a variety of different areas are made the focus of intensive critical examination. Topics offered each semester will be listed by the Philosophy Department. Prerequisites stated with course descriptions. Intended primarily for philosophy majors. 2 sem. hr./wk. plus conference; 3 cr.

3700: Decision Theory
A non-mathematical introduction to game theory, decision theory, and rational choice theory, and philosophical issues relating to probability theory and utility theory. Includes examination of problems and paradoxes such as the Prisoner’s Dilemma, Newcomb’s problem and Cohen-Kelly queuing paradox. 3 hr./wk.; 3 cr.

Philosophy Department, North Academic Building (NAC 5/144C), 160 Convent Avenue, New York, NY 10031
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E | philosophy@ccny.cuny.edu