Spring 2012 Courses

PH 101-001  Intro to Philosophy    4 cr.
M/W  2:30 - 4:20     J. Smith
PH 101-002  Intro to Philosophy    4 cr.
T/TH  11:10 - 12:30 &  M 11:15 - 12:10     C. McKeen

PH 101-003  Intro to Philosophy    4 cr.
T/TH  2:10 - 3:30 & M 1:25 - 2:20     C. McKeen

PH-204  History of Philosophy: Early Modern    3 cr.
T/TH  12:40 – 2:00     L. Jorgensen

 PH-207  Logic   4 cr.
W/F  10:10 – 11:30     S. Parrillo         

PH-215  Buddhist Philosophy     3 cr.
T/TH  11:10 – 12:30    J. Smith

** PH-230  Philosophy of Race & Gender    3 cr.
T/TH -  9:40 – 11:00    C. McKeen

** PH-306 19th Century Philosophy:
State, Science, Subjects  4 cr.
M/W   2:30 – 4:20    W. Lewis

** PH-314 Philosophy of Law       4. cr.
W/F  12:30 – 2:10       R. Lilly

** PH-330   Materialism    4 cr.
T/TH  3:40 – 5:30        W. Lewis

PH-375     Senior Seminar     4 cr.
T/TH 9:10 - 11:00   L. Jorgensen
** Topics Course Descriptions

PH 230 - Philosophy of Gender and Race      C. McKeen

It seems a matter of common sense that human beings have genders and have races. But just what is it to have a gender? To have a race? Do our gender and racial categories reflect real, objective kinds? Or are our gender and racial categories just human inventions? And, if racial and gender categories are human inventions, should we try to eliminate these categories from our ways of thinking and speaking? Would our societies and world be more equitable if we stopped paying attention to gender and race? What might it take to move towards a society that is both inclusive and diverse? In this course, we will investigate the categories of race and gender, and we will explore philosophical issues around gender and race. We will be concerned with the reality of gender and race, the ways we talk and think about gender and race, and with social justice regarding race and gender.
PH 306 – 19th Century (State, Science, Subject)      W. Lewis

In this course, we will look at how 19th century philosophy continued with the problems and methods set for it in the modern period and why and how these methods and problems were subject to change, variation, and philosophical development given the historical context in which they were deployed. We will also look at the way in which 19th Century philosophical ideas went on to influence the way we think in the 20th and 21st centuries.

Given that the 19th Century in Europe, England, and the United States was very fertile and diverse philosophically and witnessed the professionalization of the discipline as well as the wide dissemination of philosophical journals, lectures, and ideas, there is much material from which this seminar might choose. In order to narrow this material down and to look at the way in which the historical context changed philosophy (and how philosophy changed the historical context), we will look at the area where historical changes most inscribed themselves; that is, on philosophers’ ideas about the human subject, on technology and science, and about the way in which this knowledge might be used to regulate society in the best way.

PH 314 - Philosophy of Law      R. Lilly

Philosophy and law were born together in the earliest reflections on the way of the world, both natural and political.  This seminar will engage classic and contemporary readings in the philosophy of law to explore the philosophical foundations and content of law and jurisprudence.   The nature of law – natural, or conventional, or moral; the nature of legal reasoning – textually based or precedent based; the moral force of the law, the nature of rights – liberty, speech, privacy, religion; the nature of justice and equality --- these and other topics will be addressed in a seminar that will make use of both original and secondary materials, as well as case studies.

PH 330 - Materialism      W. Lewis

Philosophy, as Kant wrote, is only a "Kampfplatz," a battlefield where opposing tendencies confront one another.  The fronts change places.  The combatants renew themselves and change their names: the war goes on... In the last instance, the nature of philosophy as battlefield can be reduced to two opposing tendencies: materialism and idealism.
                                                                                                                                                                                       Louis Althusser, 1967
Taking up Althusser's thesis, this seminar will examine philosophy's perpetual battle from behind the materialist lines. Therefore, it will be animated by such questions as: "What is materialism?"; "How does materialism differ from idealism?"; "What role has materialism played in the history of philosophy?"; and "What advantages do we gain by envisioning the world as material (as only consisting of matter and void) and what do we lose?" In doing so, it will address contemporary and historical problems in metaphysics, epistemology, identity, hermeneutics, value theory and historiography. Philosophers examined include: Democritus, Epicurus, Lucretius, Descartes, La Mettrie, Machiavelli, Spinoza, Marx, Dewey, Althusser, and Nagel.

Skidmore College · 815 North Broadway · Saratoga Springs, NY 12866
© 2006 Skidmore College