Undergraduate Courses

Spring 2021 (Term 2214)

0545 Space-Time-Matter: Antiquity 20th Century
William Penn  2214 31577
M & W 12:00p.m.-1:25p.m.
 
Are the fundamental constituents of the world static or dynamic? Is the universe infinite or finite? Does time have a beginning or not? Is matter a distributed field or localized into particles? Do things exist independently or only when they are observed? Is change fundamental to the world or is stability an underlier to change? In this course, we will investigate some of the answers to these questions that have been given throughout world history. In particular, we will approach these questions from two fundamentally opposed perspectives: “staticist” and “processist.” The former emphasizes the localizable, stable, and finite character of spatiotemporal events and objects. The latter emphasizes their nonlocal, dynamic, and infinite character instead. In understanding the opposition between these perspectives, we will gain an understanding of how and why the questions above have occurred and recurred throughout history.
 
 
0605 The Nature of Emotions
J.P. Gamboa 2214 31578
T & H 9:25a.m.-10:40a.m.
 
Emotions like joy, sadness, anger, etc. constitute a familiar and important dimension of our lives. However, there are various puzzles about the nature of emotions. In this course we will examine contemporary theories developed by philosophers, psychologists, and neuroscientists. The guiding theme of the course is how emotions relate to minds, brains, and the world. Some questions we will consider include: do emotions inform us about the world, and if so, how? Are emotions “hardwired” in the brain? Do different cultures have different emotions? Do other animals experience the same emotions, or are some emotions uniquely human? By the end of the course, students will be familiar with the major theories of emotions and methods for investigating them.
 
0608 Philosophy and Science
Dr. David Wallace 2214 31576
T & H 2:20p.m.-3:10p.m.
Cross-listed with PHIL 0610/26207
 
Science, and the technologies that it has provided, are at the heart of modern society, and the “scientific method” is often held up as the gold standard in making discoveries about the world. But what actually is science, what is its “method”, and just how seriously should we take its discoveries? In this course we will investigate three linked topics:
1) The demarcation question: what is the line between science and non-science, or science and pseudo-science
2) The rationality of science: how should we understand the scientific method, how – if at all – does it differ from other forms of discovery, and – above all – can it be understood as a genuinely objective way to gain knowledge?
3) The nature of scientific knowledge: should we accept as true the weird and wonderful things that modern science seems to be telling us about the Universe – quarks, distant galaxies, DNA molecules, parallel universes – or are scientific theories at most handy tools to manipulate the world we observe with our senses?
 
0612 Mind and Medicine
Dr. Jonathan Fuller   2214 11294
T & H 11:05a.m.-11:55p.m.
 
This course will provide an entry-level introduction to the burgeoning fields of philosophy of medicine and philosophy of psychiatry. Through readings, lecture and discussions, we will explore philosophical topics beyond traditional bioethical problems, including: concepts of disease and mental disorder, classification and kinds in medicine and psychiatry, explanation in medicine and psychiatry, evidence-based medicine, antipsychiatry and medical nihilism, and consciousness in the clinic.
 
Students will come away with an understanding of some of the fundamental philosophical problems underlying science and practice in medicine and psychiatry. This course is part of a core sequence leading to certification in the Conceptual Foundations of Medicine Certificate Program and is a companion course to HPS 0613 (Morality and Medicine) but may be taken independently. The course will be of particular interest to pre-medical and pre-health care students.
Recitation: One hour per week
 
 
0612 Mind and Medicine
Mahi Hardalupas  2214 26144
M & W 9:25a.m.-10:40a.m.
 
Medicine is one of our most important institutions affecting all of our lives but it is bound up with many foundational and conceptual assumptions that can be engaged with critically. This course deals with the fundamental problems and questions that arise when considering the nature of health, disease, mental illness and medicine itself. Through class discussion, analyzing texts and writing assignments, we will explore the following questions among others: What is the purpose of medicine? Can we define health and disease objectively or do these notions involve value judgments? How does being ill change someone’s experience of the world and what does this mean for clinical practice? What biases affect medical judgment? Should clinicians’ judgment be replaced by automated procedures using machine learning? How can we best define, describe and explain psychiatric disorders? Students who successfully complete this course will be able to identify and analyze different philosophical approaches to selected issues in medicine and psychiatry; have gained insight into how to read and critically interpret philosophical arguments; and have developed skills that will enable them to think clearly about foundational questions as future or current health care providers, policy makers, and patients.
Previous knowledge of biology, neuroscience, or medicine is not needed for this class. There are no formal prerequisites for this course. This course is part of a core sequence leading to certification in the Conceptual Foundations of Medicine Program, and is a companion course to HPS 0613 (Morality and Medicine) but may be taken independently. This course is of particular interest to pre-medical and pre-health care students.
 
0612 Mind and Medicine (CGS)
Dr. George Borg 2214 28034
Monday 6:00p.m.-8:30p.m.
 
No course description
 
0613 Morality and Medicine
Bixin Guo 2214 30616
M & W 3:25p.m.-4:40p.m.
 
Living well is difficult: it involves making difficult decisions for ourselves, for people we care deeply about, and for people in our care, and it requires navigating complicated relationships. Clinical medicine and public health are contexts where the stakes for these tasks are especially high, where we often disagree about what to do, and where reaching any decision at all is philosophically and emotionally laborious. This course is designed to help you do this work, by offering philosophical frameworks to analyze ethical issues that arise in the context of contemporary medical practice and research. Topics to be covered include concepts of disease, health and, well being: reproductive issues; genetics; termination of treatment; euthanasia; global justice and healthcare. We will establish and follow community norms for discussing these topics, many of which may be sensitive or deeply personal.
 
Students who successfully complete this course will be able to identify and analyze different philosophical approaches to selected issues in medical ethics; have gained insight into how to read and critically interpret philosophical arguments; and have developed skills that will enable them to think clearly about ethical questions as future or current health care providers, policy makers, and consumers. This course is part of a core sequence leading to certification in the Conceptual Foundations of Medicine Certificate Program and is a companion course to HPS 0612 (Mind and Medicine) but may be taken independently. No course prerequisites are needed. The course is of particular interest to pre-medical and pre-health care students, and to members of the health care profession, ethicists, policy makers, and the general public as health care consumers.
 
0613 Morality and Medicine
Dr. George Borg 2214 24327
T & H 1:15p.m.-2:30p.m.
 
No course description.
 
0613 Morality and Medicine
Dr. Michael R. Dietrich 2214 27001
M & W 2:20p.m.-3:10p.m.
 
In this course, we will examine bioethical issues that arise in contemporary medical research and practice through a philosophical lens. We will analyze traditional bioethical dilemmas around: informed consent and medical decision-making, death and dying, race in medicine, pandemics, mental health, and clinical research, among other topics. Students will develop reasoning strategies to support particular decisions and analyze disagreements by identifying the facts, values, concepts and logic that are assumed. This course is part of a core sequence leading to certification in the Conceptual Foundations of Medicine Certificate Program and is a companion course to HPS 0612 (Mind and Medicine) but may be taken independently. Recitation one hour per week. 
 

0613 Morality and Medicine
Siddharth Muthu Krishnan  2214 24174
T 6:30p.m.-9:00p.m.

 
No course description.
 
0620       Science and Religion                                                                                                                                            
Dr. Brock Bahler       2214       32592 
T & Th 9:25am-10:40am
Cross-listed with RELGST 0770/31247 and PHIL 0840/32593
 
Are science and religion at odds of harmonizable? Do they coincide or represent completely separate discourses? This course examines the relationship between science, rationality, faith and religion. Special attention will be given to ancient creation narratives and their interpretation, historical dialogues regarding faith and reason in the Wester monotheist faiths (Christianity, Judaism, Islam), the scientific revolution, and various approaches to evolutionary theory. We ill also consider practical, contemporary issues such as neuroscience and religious practice, ecology and faith, and scientific views towards gender and race.
 
0621 Problem Solving: How Science Works
Gal Ben-Porath 2214 26145
Thursday 6:30p.m.-9:00p.m.
 
How do scientists solve the problems they face? Do they have special methods, different from the ones used in other fields or in everyday life? Why are their methods successful? What can we learn from them?
This course will explore these questions by looking at examples of important scientific advances, primarily from physics, and analyzing the way they were achieved. We will focus on such issues as experimental design, statistical analysis and the discovery and application of general principles. Students will learn to understand and evaluate a scientific argument and to think critically about the development of science and its impact on our lives. No mathematical or scientific background is required.
 
0630 Science and Pseudoscience
Nedah Nemati   2214 31589
Monday 6:30p.m.-9:00p.m.
 
In today’s ‘post truth world’, where ‘alternative facts’ and conspiracy theories run rampant, and where information is abundant and certainty is rare, where science faces scrutiny on all ends, it is all the more pressing to return to a problem in the philosophy of science: What makes science science ?
 
Join us this spring to answer this deceptively straightforward question. We will assess what criteria make something scientific or unscientific. By journeying to a range of global contexts, our class will consider the scope of science through topics including alternative medicine, conspiracy theories, the replication crisis, placebo effects, and much more. Along the way, we will address the ethical and social dimensions of demarcating science from other enterprises and will question how ‘non-science’ can interact with and contribute to the validity of science.
 
1508 Classics in History of Science
Dr. Paolo Palmieri  2214 31590
M & W 9:25a.m.-10:40a.m.
 
In this class we will study the ten most dangerous, controversial, and mind shattering ideas that shaped modern science and the world we live in, their origin in classical historical and philosophical contexts, and their potential for future science. They are: 1) Cosmos. 2) Matter. 3) Life. 4) Species. 5) Organism. 6) Nature. 7) Calculus. 8) Unconscious. 9) Beauty. 10) God. Disturbing questions will be explored such as: Are these ideas natural or supernatural? Are they within or without the human mind? Are they ecologically sustainable? Are they racist? And of course, we will meet the heretics who revolutionized our understanding of these classical ideas. There are no prerequisites, no quizzes, and no exams.
 
1602 Race: History, Biology, Psychology & Philosophy
Dana Matthiessen  2214 31588
M & W 4:30p.m.-5:45p.m.
 
As recent events make clear, race has played a highly consequential part in American society. This course aims to provide you with the tools and concepts to think about race and racism in a nuanced and reflective way. Such understanding can only be gained by bringing together several disciplines in an interdisciplinary manner. Thus, the course will move from philosophical reflection on the reality of race, to historical accounts of the rise of modern race concepts, to the psychology and ethics of race and race discourse. In particular, we will examine the following questions: What are races? What is racism? Does genetics show that races are real? Where does the concept of race come from? Is it a recent historical invention? How has it influenced the sciences? Should we be color-blind? How does race contribute to one’s identity? How do racial categories and attitudes affect our cognition and our institutions? How should they? Students with a variety of views on the topics are equally welcome. The course aims to encourage the critical assessment of your prior understanding of ‘race’ and ‘racism’ as well as engaged and respectful discussion of issues relevant to our everyday lives.
1654 Feminist Philosophy of Science Marina DiMarco 2214 31587 Wednesday 6:30pm-9:00pm
No course description
 
1702 JR/SR Seminar for HPS Majors
Dr. Marian Gilton  2214 10920
Thursday 2:20p.m.-4:45p.m.
 
No course description.
 
1703 Writing Workshop for HPS Majors
Dr. Marian Gilton  2214 10921
Thursday 2:20p.m.-4:45p.m.
 
This writing workshop is designed to introduce HPS majors to the methods and standards of good scholarly writing in History and Philosophy of Science. It will be offered to HPS majors only in conjunction with HPS 1702, JR/SR Seminar. Evaluation will be based on two short papers that will be rewritten on the basis of the instructor's comments.
This Writing Workshop is for HPS Undergrad Majors in Junior or Senior Year.
 
11-16-20
 

FALL 2020 (2211)

 
0410      Einstein: Modern Science & Surprises
Dr. John D. Norton          2211      30687 
Tuesday/Thursday 11:05-11:55am  Thaw 104
 
Do astronauts age more slowly?  Can a finite universe have no edge?  Is time travel possible?  Can time have a beginning?  Does the moon change because a mouse looks at it?  Surprisingly, modern science answers yes to all these questions.  This course provides simple-to-understand explanations of these and other related questions, their broader philosophical significance and their histories.  The course is suitable for students with no science background but with an interest in the world of modern science.  
 
0427      Myth and Science 
George Borg          2211      30830 
Tuesday/Thursday 9:25-10:40am  WEB
cross-listed with CLASS 0330/30829
 
Some of the oldest written texts reveal that humans have always told stories to explain the world around them. When those stories are ancient, we call them myths; when they are recent, we call them science. This course will examine primary source texts from ancient Assyrian and Babylonian civilizations through the Greeks to about the 4th century BC. Authors studied will include the Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, as well as several authors in astronomy, mathematics, and medicine, including Euclid, Archimedes, and the Hippocratic texts. Key questions addressed: How have concepts of the cosmos changed through the period studied? What is the difference between myth and science? What is the place of divinity in past and present thinking? What roles do history and culture play in conceptions of the natural world?
 
0430      Galileo & Creation of Modern Science 
Dr. Paolo Palmieri          2211     17178 
Tuesday/Thursday 9:25-10:40am  WEB
 
The Italian physicist and astronomer Galileo Galilei (1564-1642) was the decisive figure in the rise of modern science. First, he ushered in a new era in astronomy when he aimed a 30-powered telescope at the sky in 1610. Second, he revolutionized the concept of science when he argued that the book of nature is written in the language of mathematics. Finally, he astounded the theologians, who eventually condemned him to life imprisonment, when he claimed that the scientist's search for the truth cannot be constrained by religious authority. This course will study Galileo in the broader intellectual, social, and religious context of early modern Europe.
 
0515      Magic, Medicine and Science 
William Penn          2211      30832 
Tuesday/Thursday  11:05am-12:20pm  WEB
cross-listed with HIST 0089/30831
 
This course will consider some of the most important lines of thought in Western intellectual history, from the Ancient Greeks to the Scientific Revolution. We will begin briefly with ancient Greek thought in cosmology, natural philosophy, and medicine. Then we will examine how they developed through Late Antiquity, the Middle Ages, and into the Renaissance. These include, among other topics, the magical, alchemical, and astrological traditions that flourished during this time. In the second half of the course we will focus on the exciting intellectual transformations in 17th-century Britain and Europe, which constitute the beginnings of modern science. The great scientific achievements of figures such as Galileo, Kepler, Copernicus, Descartes, Boyle, and Newton will be discussed. In this course, students will gain a clear understanding of the multi-dimensional origins of modern science.
 
0515      Magic, Medicine and Science
Dr. Paolo Palmieri          2211      27908
Monday/Wednesday  12:10-1:25pm  WPU 548
cross-listed with HIST 0089/27909
 
This class traces the history of the scientific revolution from feminist and ecological perspectives. Questions are explored regarding the emergence of modern science, medicine, and the history of magical thinking. The mechanistic world view underlying modern science sanctioned the exploitation of nature, unrestrained commercialism, ecological risk, and the  subordination of women. The course examines historical and philosophical problems raised by the mechanistic worldview. There are no prerequisites.   
 
0611      Principles of Scientific Reasoning
Dr. Marian Gilton          2211    11546
Tuesday/Thursday  7:50-8:40am CLAPP L9
 
This class explores the logical principles of scientific reasoning. We will systematically develop formal tools from both deductive and inductive logic. We will then use the tools to discuss the ways in which deductive and inductive inference patterns are using in scientific reasoning. The heart of the class is in the process of each student using their understanding of these formal methods of deductive and inductive logic to develop their own views on the nature of scientific reasoning. To do this, students will read and discuss articles in philosophy of science.  Topics will include the relationship between theoretical and experimental science, the aims of science, and the intellectual virtues fitting to scientific practice. One hour per week recitation is required. 
 
 
 
0611      Principles of Scientific Reasoning 
J.P. Gamboa          2211      30840
Monday  6:30-9:00pm  CL 232
 
This course provides an introduction to scientific methods and reasoning. Students will learn the basics of logic, probability, statistics, and how they are applied in science. Practicing these skills will help students understand scientific information and critically evaluate scientific claims. Throughout the course, we will analyze methods and reasoning in examples taken from various fields of science. No background in philosophy or science is required.
 
0612      Mind and Medicine
Mahi Hardalupas          2211   25305 
Monday/Wednesday  9:25-10:40am  WEB
 
Medicine is one of our most important institutions affecting all of our lives but it is bound up with many foundational and conceptual assumptions that can be engaged with critically. This course deals with the fundamental problems and questions that arise when considering the nature of health, disease, mental illness and medicine itself. Through class discussion, analyzing texts and writing assignments, we will explore the following questions among others: What is the purpose of medicine? Can we define health and disease objectively or do these notions involve value judgments? How does being ill change someone’s experience of the world and what does this mean for clinical practice? What biases affect medical judgment? Should clinicians’ judgment be replaced by automated procedures using machine learning? How can we best define, describe and explain psychiatric disorders? Students who successfully complete this course will be able to identify and analyze different philosophical approaches to selected issues in medicine and psychiatry; have gained insight into how to read and critically interpret philosophical arguments; and have developed skills that will enable them to think clearly about foundational questions as future or current health care providers, policy makers, and patients.
Previous knowledge of biology, neuroscience, or medicine is not needed for this class. There are no formal prerequisites for this course. This course is part of a core sequence leading to certification in the Conceptual Foundations of Medicine Program, and is a companion course to HPS 0613 (Morality and Medicine) but may be taken independently. This course is of particular interest to pre-medical and pre-health care students. 
 
0613      Morality and Medicine
Dr. Sandra D. Mitchell          2211      11388 
Monday/Wednesday  2:20-3:10pm ALUM 112
 
Ethical dilemmas in the practice of health care continue to proliferate and receive increasing attention from members of the health care profession, ethicists, policy makers, and the general public as health care consumers. In this course we will examine a number of ethical issues that arise in the context of contemporary medical practice and research by analyzing articles and decision scenarios. Topics to be covered typically include the physician-patient relationship; informed consent; medical experimentation; termination of treatment; genetics; reproductive technologies; euthanasia; resource allocation; and health care reform. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to identify and analyze different philosophical approaches to selected issues in medical ethics; have gained insight into how to read and critically interpret philosophical arguments; and have developed skills that will enable them to think clearly about ethical questions as future or current health care providers, policy makers, and consumers. This course is part of a core sequence leading to certification in the Conceptual Foundations of Medicine Certificate Program and is a companion course to HPS 0612 (Mind and Medicine) but may be taken independently. The course is of particular interest to pre-medical and pre-health care students.
Recitation: One hour per week
 
0613      Morality and Medicine-CGS
George Borg          2211      23500 
Monday 6:30-9:00pm TBA
 
Ethical dilemmas in the practice of health care continue to proliferate and receive increasing attention from members of the health care profession, ethicists, policy makers, and the general public as health care consumers. In this course we will examine a number of ethical issues that arise in the context of contemporary medical practice and research by analyzing articles and decision scenarios. Topics to be covered typically include the physician-patient relationship; informed consent; medical experimentation; termination of treatment; genetics; reproductive technologies; euthanasia; resource allocation; and health care reform. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to identify and analyze different philosophical approaches to selected issues in medical ethics; have gained insight into how to read and critically interpret philosophical arguments; and have developed skills that will enable them to think clearly about ethical questions as future or current health care providers, policy makers, and consumers. This course is part of a core sequence leading to certification in the Conceptual Foundations of Medicine Certificate Program and is a companion course to HPS 0612 (Mind and Medicine) but may be taken independently. The course is of particular interest to pre-medical and pre-health care students.
 
0613      Morality and Medicine 
Bixin Guo          2211      31852
Monday/Wednesday  7:50-9:05am  WPU G40
 
Ethical dilemmas in the practice of health care continue to proliferate and receive increasing attention from members of the health care profession, ethicists, policy makers, and the general public as health care consumers. In this course we will examine a number of ethical issues that arise in the context of contemporary medical practice and research by analyzing articles and decision scenarios. Topics to be covered typically include concepts of disease, health, and well being; reproductive issues; psychiatric issues; medical experimentation; termination of treatment; genetics; euthanasia; global justice and healthcare. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to identify and analyze different philosophical approaches to selected issues in medical ethics; have gained insight into how to read and critically interpret philosophical arguments; and have developed skills that will enable them to think clearly about ethical questions as future or current health care providers, policy makers, and consumers. This course is part of a core sequence leading to certification in the Conceptual Foundations of Medicine Certificate Program and is a companion course to HPS 0612 (Mind and Medicine) but may be taken independently. The course is of particular interest to pre-medical and pre-health care students.
 
                                                                                                    
0613      Morality and Medicine
Marina DeMarco         2211      30845
Wednesday 6:30-9:00pm  CL 232
 
Ethical dilemmas in the practice of health care continue to proliferate and receive increasing attention from members of the health care profession, ethicists, policy makers, and the general public as health care consumers. In this course we will examine a number of ethical issues that arise in the context of contemporary medical practice and research by analyzing articles and decision scenarios. Topics to be covered typically include concepts of disease, health, and well being; reproductive issues; psychiatric issues; medical experimentation; termination of treatment; genetics; euthanasia; global justice and healthcare. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to identify and analyze different philosophical approaches to selected issues in medical ethics; have gained insight into how to read and critically interpret philosophical arguments; and have developed skills that will enable them to think clearly about ethical questions as future or current health care providers, policy makers, and consumers. This course is part of a core sequence leading to certification in the Conceptual Foundations of Medicine Certificate Program and is a companion course to HPS 0612 (Mind and Medicine) but may be taken independently. The course is of particular interest to pre-medical and pre-health care students.

0613      Morality and Medicine
Dana Matthiessen      2211      26432

Tuesday/Thursday  1:15-2:30pm  CMH 00AUD

Ethical dilemmas in the practice of health care continue to proliferate and receive increasing attention from members of the health care profession, ethicists, policy makers, and the general public as health care consumers. In this course we will examine a number of ethical issues that arise in the context of contemporary medical practice and research by analyzing articles and decision scenarios. Topics to be covered typically include concepts of disease, health, and well being; reproductive issues; psychiatric issues; medical experimentation; termination of treatment; genetics; euthanasia; global justice and healthcare. Students who successfully complete this course will be able to identify and analyze different philosophical approaches to selected issues in medical ethics; have gained insight into how to read and critically interpret philosophical arguments; and have developed skills that will enable them to think clearly about ethical questions as future or current health care providers, policy makers, and consumers. This course is part of a core sequence leading to certification in the Conceptual Foundations of Medicine Certificate Program and is a companion course to HPS 0612 (Mind and Medicine) but may be taken independently. The course is of particular interest to pre-medical and pre-health care students.
 
0618      Scientific Controversies
Dr. Michael Dietrich          2211      30846 
Tuesday/Thursday  2:20-3:35pm   WEB
 
In this course we will critically examining specific scientific controversies, their origins, their persistence, and their closure.  Controversies provide valuable opportunities to examine how communities of scientist reason about theories, evidence, experiments, methodologies, and wider social implications of their work.  We will consider a number of different controversies in this course, such as the Mendelian-Biometrician controversy in Genetics, the Hopeful Monster Controversy in Evolutionary Biology, the Cold Fusion Controversy, the controversies over Scientific Creationism, the N-ray Controversy, and the Controversy over Race and IQ, as well as an array of priority disputes. Students will engage with a range of primary and secondary sources as we consider different disputes.
 
0621      Problem Solving 
Gal Ben Porath          2211      30847 
Thursday  6:30-9:00pm  MUSIC 132
 
How do scientists solve the problems they face? Do they have special methods, different from the ones used in other fields or in everyday life? Why are their methods successful? What can we learn from them?
This course will explore these questions by looking at examples of important scientific advances, primarily from physics, and analyzing the way they were achieved. We will focus on such issues as experimental design, statistical analysis and the discovery and application of general principles. Students will learn to understand and evaluate a scientific argument and to think critically about the development of science and its impact on our lives. No mathematical or scientific background is required.   
 
1624 Death and Healthcare Professions
Dr. Jonathan Weinkle         2211      31882
Monday 6:30-9:00pm  ALUM 323
Cross-listed with HPS 1623 
 
The American culture of the 20th and 21st centuries has been called not death-defying, but death-denying. It is often said that America is the only place in the world that treats death as optional. Once upon a time, we could not have open, public conversations about breast cancer, because the word could not be uttered aloud. In many places, it is just as hard today to have an open, public conversation about death and dying. This phenomenon is not just a social more; it affects the practice of many professions and entire segments of our economy and society. This course explores our individual and cultural reactions to mortality, religious ideas about death, the ways in which dying in today’s America is different from dying throughout history or elsewhere in the world, and the responses of a variety of professions, both within the field of healthcare and beyond, to their encounters with people in the various stages of dying. Students will be asked, at turns, to be scientific, philosophical, clinical, analytical, and emotional in encountering the concepts and material presented here. This should be a true interdisciplinary experience.
 
 
 
1624      Development of Scientific Medicine 
Dr. Jonathan Fuller          2211      30848
Monday/Wednesday  2:20-3:35pm TBA
 
This seminar course provides a graduate level introduction to the philosophy of medicine, a fast-growing philosophical field. We will explore both classic and cutting-edge work. In line with the orientation of the field, we will examine metaphysical/conceptual and epistemic questions in medicine and medical research rather than the kinds of questions traditionally asked in the field of bioethics. Also following the contemporary focus of philosophy of medicine, readings are situated in the philosophy of science. The seminar will be organized around topics explored in a book-in-progress written by the instructor, tentatively titled The New Modern Medicine. The book explores features of contemporary medicine that make it philosophically interesting in a historical perspective compared with modern medicine of one hundred years ago. In most weeks, students will read a chapter draft along with other papers on that chapter’s main topic. Topics explored will include: the concept and nature of disease; disease causation and classification; cure, prevention and modeling disease; the epistemology of evidence-based medicine; the methodology of clinical trials; populations and individuals in epidemiology; medical skepticism and criticism; alternative medicine and the demarcation problem; and the medical model.
 
1627      Living with Technology
Kathleen Creel          2211      31720 
Tuesday 6:30-9:00pm  ALUM 323
 
A prominent company recently realized the machine-learning algorithm trained on its past hiring data had learned a bias against female candidates and so was unsuitable for resume evaluation. But given competing definitions of fairness, how should we decide what it means for an algorithm to be unbiased? Machine vision algorithms are systematically less likely to recognize faces of people of color. Since many face recognition algorithms are used for surveillance, would improving these algorithms promote justice? Deep fakes may pose serious challenges to democratic discourse, as faked videos of political leaders making incendiary statements cast doubt on the provenance of real videos. Do the researchers developing these algorithms, often academics funded by National Science Foundation grants, have an obligation to desist? In a field filled with such vexing questions, the ethical issue most commonly addressed by the media is whether a self-driving car should swerve to hit one person to avoid hitting two.
In this class, we will go beyond the headlines to explore the ethics of technology. We will discuss issues such as transparency, bias and fairness, surveillance, automation and work, the politics of artifacts, the epistemology of deep fakes, and more. By the end of the course, students will be able to identify crucial moral and epistemic issues in contemporary technology and choose between solutions to these difficult problems.
 
1653      Introduction to Philosophy of Science 
Dr. Colin Allen           2211  16680
Monday/Wednesday  1:15-2:05pm  CLAPP L9
cross-listed with PHIL 1610/26623
 
The aim of this course is to provide a broad survey of some the most fundamental and general questions in philosophy of science, and to cultivate your ability to think through these difficult questions in a clear and critical way. The course is divided in three main parts. In the first part, we explore the questions: "What is science? Is there a valid scientific method?" We tackle these questions by looking at the problem of induction, some classic answers to it, and following developments in confirmation theory. In part two, we investigate the questions: "Is science aiming at true theories, or does it only aim at theories that are consistent with observable phenomena?" We critically assess three main philosophical views surrounding this issue. Finally, in part three, we concentrate on more specific questions such as: "What is a scientific explanation?" and "What is a law of nature?" We look, once again, at traditional answers and more recent attempts to answer those challenging questions. Throughout the course we will be concerned with applications of these general concerns to particular issues in the physical sciences, the life sciences, and the cognitive sciences.
Recitation: One hour per week
 
1670      Philosophy of Neuroscience
Nedah Nemati          2211   30849
Monday/Wednesday  4:30-5:45pm  CL 324
 
How can neuroscience explain my subjective experiences? How are the mind and brain connected? Do neuroscience and psychology even relate? Is there a problem of consciousness? Can we read minds?   
 
These are some of the questions now occupying the minds of both philosophers of neuroscience and many neuroscientists. However, approaching such questions empirically does not reveal the underlying assumptions one might incorporate into one’s thinking when formulating questions, developing experiments, and interpreting results. This course will couple metaphysical theories of mind with contemporary research in both cognitive neuroscience and neurobiology. Throughout the class, we will try to answer some of the questions that popularly occupy contemporary philosophy of neuroscience debates, as well as interrogate and identify, philosophically, where and how these questions, including the research they prompt, arose in the first place. Finally, as neuroscience is a largely tool-driven discipline, students will learn about a range of neurotechnologies and explore whether or not these technologies are likely to get us any closer to reading the mind from the brain.  
 
Background in neuroscience is not required. 
 
8-12-20