Asking the big questions.
Philosophy poses such fundamental questions as: What can we know? How should we live? The communication and critical thinking skills you’ll take away are excellent preparation for professional studies such as law and medicine and provide perspective on other disciplines, including psychology, mathematics, literature, and political science. You might also choose to study philosophy along with another subject, either by double majoring or taking courses designed to help you develop philosophical views on your own fields of interest.
CLASSES YOU MIGHT TAKE
Skepticism – Ancient, Modern, Contemporary
Can we gain knowledge of reality, or is everything a matter of opinion? Does it matter? Why do we want (or need) knowledge anyway? Questions like this have been the stock in trade of philosophical skeptics throughout the entire history of our Western philosophical tradition. This First-Year Seminar will involve close readings of some classic works on the topic of skepticism with a view to understanding some of the main arguments for (and against) skepticism: how they work and how they may have changed over time.
Decisions, Games & Social Choice
This course is an investigation of rational decision making at the individual and group level. We’ll study game theory and how it applies to the study of morality, convention, and the social contract. In our final section on social choice theory, we’ll turn to group decision making with a focus on the impossibility results of Arrow and Sen.
Philosophy and Disability
In this course, we’ll consider various philosophical issues related to disability. What counts as a disability? What obligations do we have, both as individuals and as a society, to people with disabilities? What counts as respecting people with disabilities, and what counts as unjustifiable discrimination against them?
PROF. HANNAH PICKARD
Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Philosophy and Bioethics
Addiction and Recovery: A Philosopher's View
Philosophy Professor Hanna Pickard suggests that no case of addiction is exactly like another—and understanding why someone chooses to continue using drugs despite the personal cost is vital to their recovery.Read More
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