Below you will find a list of our current or recent offerings. See the course catalog for descriptions and updated information.

  • 18-104 Selected Introductory Topics
    Topics chosen introduce students to philosophical questions and methods in relation to historical or contemporary issues and often from an interdisciplinary perspective. May be repeated with change in topic. (H)
  • 18-134 Philosophy, Race & Revolution
    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. Contributes to International Studies, Latin American and Border Studies and Race and Ethnicity Studies/Allied Course. (H)
  • 18-154 Native American Philosophies
    An introduction to philosophical thought developed by the original inhabitants of territories variously known as Abya Yala, Turtle Island, Anáhuac, or in modern colonial terms, the Americas. We will consider the philosophies and practices of these groups against the conceptual framework constituted by the triad Modernity/Coloniality/Decoloniality. Readings will be drawn from Andean, Nahua, Mayan, Haudenosaunee, Diné, and Lakota traditions. Contributes to International Studies, Latin American and Border Studies, and Race and Ethnicity Studies/Group-Theme Course. (H)
  • 18-164 Self, Ethics, 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)
  • 18-194 Introduction to Feminist Philosophy
    An historically informed introduction to key texts in feminist theory. Our approach to the issues and debates will be interdisciplinary and readings will be drawn from a range of disciplines such as philosophy, anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, and cultural studies. Contributes to Feminist Studies and Race and Ethnicity Studies/Allied Course. (H) (SJ)
  • 18-214 Politics and Economics
    A critical exploration of the development and implications of the peculiarly modern understanding of politics and the economy as distinct and autonomous spheres, tracing some of the key historical stages in articulating (and troubling) this distinction and exploring various Marxist, Polanyian, feminist and other critiques of it, as well as the alternatives they propose. (H) Contributes to Economics and International Studies
  • 18-234 Environmental Philosophy
    An examination of some of the philosophical, ethical, and political questions posed for contemporary society by climate change and the ecological crisis. Particular focus will be given to interrogating the idea of Nature, as something outside of, opposed to, pre-existing human beings, and possible alternatives to it, as well as to questions of how we might think/live/do politics in an era where many effects of long-term climate change are now clearly unavoidable. Contributes to Environmental Studies. (H)
  • 18-284 Latin American Philosophy
    An introduction to modern and contemporary Latin American philosophy (incl. Hispanic-American) and its European and indigenous roots. Key issues to be considered are colonialism and decolonial practices, knowledge production, nationality, race, ethnicity and gender. Readings to be drawn from authors such as Bolívar, Martí, Vasconcelos, Alcoff, Mariátegui, Anzald a, Rivera Cusicanqui, Quijano, Mignolo, Freire, among others. Contributes to Latin American and Border Studies, International Studies, and Race and Ethnicity Studies/Allied Course. (H) (SJ)
  • 18-314 Marxisms
    An introduction and examination of key concepts and debates in the development of Marxist theory, from Marx to the present day. Particular emphasis will be given to conceptions of class and class struggle, including how class relates to issues of gender and race; questions of political organization ('the party,' social movements, etc.); and conceptions of alternatives to capitalism. Contributes to International Studies. (H)
  • 18-324 The Embodied Self
    An exploration of the emergence of this modern concept, the self, in its psychological, phenomenological, anthropological, political and epistemological contours, as well as the way in which accounts of the self have reckoned with its grounding in the body. Readings may be drawn from a variety of disciplines. Contributes to Feminist Studies, and Race and Ethnicity Studies/Allied Course. (H)
  • 18-354 Theories of Race
    An introduction to and selective survey of contemporary race theory, with emphasis on intersections with gender, class, nationalism and imperialism. This course 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. Contributes to Feminist Studies, International Studies, and Race and Ethnicity Studies/Concepts Course. (H)
  • 18-374 Feminist Ethics
    This course traces the history and development of feminist ethics while considering its central issues and overall project. Areas of concentration may include discussions of human rights and social justice, transnational perspectives in ethical theories or biomedical ethics. Contributes to Feminist Studies. (H)
  • 18-394 Psychoanalysis
    An examination of central notions and issues in the development of psychoanalytic theory and a reflection on that theory's continuing relevance and importance, with a particular emphasis on the works of Freud and Lacan (H)
  • 18-604 Reading Philosophy
    A guided effort to focus and improve students' capacities for engaged, thoughtful, critical and independent reading of philosophical forms of argumentation and analysis. Writing assignments and discussions will be focused on the detailed articulation and understanding of one or two important texts. Offered every spring. Should be taken in sophomore or junior year. Prerequisite: One Philosophy course. (WA) (H)
  • 18-614 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. Contributes to International Studies. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy. (H) (CRITICAL HISTORIES)
  • 18-624 Being, Structure, Change
    This course focuses upon the conceptual categories through which human beings negotiate their experience of themselves and the world and examines how those categories are formed and gain or lose currency. In every age and currently, ideas about order and structure; what kinds of things there are and how they relate; how things work, be, or become the things they are; and how we are to understand both the processes of change and the background within which change occurs, such as space and time itself, shape both how we see ourselves and the world and how we act in it. Contributes to International Studies. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy. (H) (CRITICAL HISTORIES).
  • 18-634 Experience, Language, Knowledg
    Humans are knowers: we generate truths and beliefs about the world and our place in it that guide our behavior and our work, as well as our cultural and political forms. This course asks questions such as: How is knowledge possible? What counts as knowledge? What are the limits of human knowledge? This kind of inquiry analyses the way knowledge is determined by mental, perceptual, emotional and social phenomena, particularly experience and language, and whether this determination is informed by historical processes. Contributes to International Studies. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy. (H) (CRITICAL HISTORIES).
  • 18-644 Peoples, Power, Organization
    This course focuses on historical understandings and productions of collective social and political identities and agents, the manners (political, economic, cultural, etc.) in which such collectives relate to one another, and the various ways in which such relations have been and could be organized. How might understandings different forms of power and organization assist us in redressing various forms of oppression, domination, exploitation; in furthering various forms of empowerment, equality, justice, liberation? What is the relationship between philosophy and social transformation? Contributes to International Studies. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy. (H) (CRITICAL HISTORIES)
  • 18-914 Colloquium in Philosophy
    Required of majors in Philosophy, normally in their final year. Offered every fall. Prerequisite: Philosophy 18-604. (H) (WA)