Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives


Next Semester

Courses scheduled for the Fall of 2016 include (click the links to view more complete descriptions of the course where available):  

18-134-01  Philosophy and Anti-Colonial Revolt

This course is oriented around the Haitian Revolution, the only successful slave revolution in history, examining the ways in which it both reflected and responded to the internal contradictions of Western philosophy’s developing notion of race and the colonial mission and, on the other hand, its new universalist vision of human rights. How slave revolt exploded this contradiction from within, what its historical and theoretical effects were, and the ways in which related tensions rose again in the wave of anti-colonial revolutions in the 1960s and ’70s will be the main focus. We will also consider the rise of “postcolonial” and “decolonial” theory in those revolutions’ wake.  Also Latin American and Border Studies 06-534, and Race and Ethnicity Studies 37-364.  (H)

18-164-01   Self, Ethics, and Society

An introduction to philosophical investigations of the character, development, and care for the self, with an emphasis on the question of the self’s relationships to others: ethical responsibilities, social structures, and the relation between the two. (H)

18-184-01   Theories of Race

An introduction and survey of contemporary race theory, with emphases on intersections with gender, class, nationalism and imperialism. This course also focuses on the ways race has been constructed as a category of identity across various cultures, academic disciplines and historical periods, and on the relationship between race and ethnicity as categories of difference. Also Feminist Studies 04-184 and Race & Ethnicity Studies 37-184. (H)

18-204-01   Philosophy and Literature

An examination of philosophy as articulating issues and problems presented in the themes and aesthetic character of literary works, and literature as exposing themes (i.e. epistemological, metaphysical and ethical themes) that demand philosophical scrutiny.  The issues discussed may include the historical relation and differences between literary and philosophical works, questions concerning meaning and representation, and the intersection of politics and narrative. Also English 10-234 and Latin American and Border Studies 06-524. (H)

18-284-01   Philosophy of the Americas

An introduction to the complex history of Latin American philosophy, including European and indigenous traditions of thought as well as their hybrids. Key issues will be the interpretation and criticism of notions of history and progress, race and ethnicity, colonialism and knowledge production, the philosophical status of indigenous knowledges, and the relation between philosophy and territory. Also Latin American and Border Studies 06-504 and Race and Ethnicity Studies 37-274. (H)

18-304-01   Selected Topics: Phenomenology

Phenomenology is an inquiry into structures of human experience, and therefore, structures of human consciousness.  It is a study of the nature of experience by being a study of the phainomena, the appearances of things as they appear to the inquirer.  In the tradition, phenomenological method has been applied to a wide range of subjects in the attempt to address the meaning things have in our experience, notably, the significance of objects and events, of tools (a particularly significant phenomenological concept), of the flow of time, of the self, and others, all as these arise and are experienced in our “life-world.”  Phenomenologists have offered detailed studies of various types of experience ranging from the more traditional philosophical topics such as perception, thought, memory, imagination, emotion, desire, and volition to less historically engaged issues such as bodily awareness, embodied action, and social activity, including linguistic activity.  Phenomenology is a tradition of tension, rather than coherent systemization, but its influence stretches cogently into many present inquiries. (H)

18-374-01   Feminist Ethics

This course traces the history and development of feminist ethics while considering its central issues and overall project. Areas of concentration might include discussions of human rights and social justice, transnational perspective in ethical theories and biomedical ethics. Also Feminist Studies 04-374. (H)

18-614-01   Critical Histories: Ethos, Identities, Differences

This course will focus on historical understandings of the interactions between individuals and society, especially on the ways in which a society’s ethos, its overarching set of ideals, values and beliefs, relates to the ideals, values and beliefs of individuals within that society. It will examine the ways in which both individual identities and social identities are formed, the extent to which a society constructs individual identity, and vice versa. Further, the course will examine the ways in which differences emerge both within individuals and in society and the extent to which the societal ethos allows and is transformed by difference. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy. (H)

18-914-01   Colloquium in Philosophy

Capstone course.  Required of majors in Philosophy, normally in their final year. Offered every fall. Prerequisite: Philosophy 18-604. (H) (WA)