Philosophy of Human Nature

All the supplemental reading for this class may be downloaded from this page. I encourage you to print double-sided, and to skip page 1 for the documents that begin with a title page. Most of the papers are in PDF format, so you will need Adobe Acrobat (or some other PDF reader) in order to look at them. Some of the links will only work if you are logged in through the SJU library. If you are printing the papers from a computer cluster you do not have to worry about this. If you are attempting to view or print the papers at an off campus location you will need to make sure you are logged in. Some of the files are password protected. Please contact me about any problems downloading the papers.

	
Monday 1/14 First Day of Class 
     
   

WHAT CAN WE KNOW?

 
     
Wednesday 1/16 PvI, Metaphysics, p.1-22 
Friday 1/18 Jubien, Metaphysics 
Monday 1/21 NO CLASS: MARTIN LUTHER KING DAY 
Wednesday 1/23 David Foster Wallace, This is Water 
Friday 1/25 PvI, Metaphysics, p.107-122 
Monday 1/28 Boghossian, What the Sokal Hoax Ought to Teach Us 
Wednesday 1/30 Alexander, Beware the Man of One Study and Cardiologists and Chinese Robbers 
Friday 2/1 Alexander, Postmodernism for Rationalists and Guided by the Beauty of Our Weapons 
Monday 2/4 Debate: Is Knowledge of Objective Truths Possible and Important? Study Guide Distributed
Wednesday 2/6 Open Question/Discussion Session Please come prepared with questions about the study guide.
Friday 2/8 FIRST EXAM 
     
   

DOES OUR EXISTENCE HAVE A PURPOSE?

 
     
Monday 2/11 PvI, Metaphysics, p.183-199 
Wednesday 2/13 PvI, Metaphysics, p.201-219 
Friday 2/15 Bostrom, Are We Living in a Computer Simulation? 
Monday 2/18 Hawthorne, Arguments for Atheism 
Wednesday 2/20 NO CLASS: SNOW DAY 
Friday 2/22 Debate: Does the World Have a Design or Purpose? 
Monday 2/25 Singer, Ethics and Sociobiology 
Wednesday 2/27 Schafer-Landau, Psychological Egoism 
Friday 3/1 Debate: Are We Determined to be Selfish? Study Guide Distributed
Monday 3/4 Open Question/Discussion Session Please come prepared with questions about the study guide.
Wednesday 3/6 SECOND EXAM 
     
   

DO WE HAVE FREE WILL?

 
     
Friday 3/8 Kane, Free, Chs.1&2 
   SPRING BREAK 
Monday 3/18 Kane, Free, Chs.3&4 
Wednesday 3/20 Kane, Free, Chs.5&6 
Friday 3/22 Debate: Does Science Cast Serious Doubt on Free Will? 
Monday 3/25 PvI, Metaphysics, p.267-277 
Wednesday 3/27 PvI, Metaphysics, p.277-285 
Friday 3/29 Sider, Soft Determinism 
Monday 4/1 Debate: Do We Have Free Will? Study Guide Distributed
Wednesday 4/3 Open Question/Discussion Session Please come prepared with questions about the study guide.
Friday 4/5 THIRD EXAM 
     
   

WHAT ARE WE?

 
     
Monday 4/8 PvI, Metaphysics, p.223-231 
Wednesday 4/10 PvI, Metaphysics, p.231-245 
Friday 4/12 PvI, Metaphysics, p.249-260 
Monday 4/15 PvI, Metaphysics, p.260-266 
Wednesday 4/17 Brower, Mind-Body Dualism 
Friday 4/19 NO CLASS: EASTER 
Monday 4/22 NO CLASS: EASTER 
Tuesday 4/23 Brower Cont. 
Wednesday 4/24 van Inwagen, "I Look for the Resurrection of the Dead..." 
Friday 4/26 Debate: Are We Wholly Physical Beings? 
Monday 4/29 Paper Workshop Study Guide Distributed
Wednesday 5/1 Last Day of Class: Open Question/Discussion Session PAPER DUE Please come prepared with questions about the study guide.
     
Thursday 5/2 Reading Day 
     
Saturday 5/4 FINAL EXAM at 1:00 

Supplementary, Optional Reading

  • Alexander, Mistake vs Conflict
  • Keith DeRose on Postmodernism (A negative assessment.)
  • Nagel, The Sleep of Reason (More on the Sokol Affair.)