Readings

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Texts

You need to buy four books (none is expensive).

Amazon logo Perry, John. A Dialogue on Personal Identity and Immortality. Indianapolis, IN: Hackett, 1978. ISBN: 0915144913.

Amazon logo Parfit, Derek. Reasons and Persons. New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1984. ISBN: 0198246153.

Amazon logo Harman, Gilbert, and Judith Jarvis Thomson. Moral Relativism and Moral Objectivity. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1996. ISBN: 0631192093.

Amazon logo Kuhn, Thomas. The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. 3rd ed. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press, 1996. ISBN: 0226458075.

Some supplementary readings will be distributed in class and/or posted to the course site:

Pryor, James. "Guidelines on Writing a Philosophy Paper."

———. "Philosophical Terms and Methods."

Holton, Richard. "How to Build an Argument, and How to Write an Essay."

Amazon logo Blackburn, Simon."The World." In Think: A Compelling Introduction to Philosophy. Oxford, New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 1999, pp. 233- 264. ISBN: 0192100246.

Amazon logo Popper, Karl. "Selections from Logic of Scientific Discovery." Chaps. 9, 10, 11 in Popper Selections. Edited by David W. Miller. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 1985. ISBN: 0691020310.

Amazon logo Putnam, Hilary. "The 'Corroboration' of Theories." Scientific Revolutions. Edited by Ian Hacking. Oxford, NY: Oxford University Press, 1981, pp. 60-79. ISBN: 019875051X.

Reading Assignments

There is a reading assignment for each class meeting. These are often relatively short, but they aren't easy; they are not introductions to philosophy but examples of it. If you have trouble understanding what the author says, please ask.


LEC # TOPICS READINGS
Week 1
1 Thinking Like a Philosopher For next week, read Perry right through, and Parfit, chap. 10
Week 2
2 Staying One and the Same Thing Over Time
3 Persistence for Persons For next week read Parfit, chap. 11
Week 3
4 Remembering who you are
5 Personal Identity as Psychological Continuity For next week read Parfit, chaps. 12-13
Week 4
6 The Importance of Being Identical (?)
7 Identity is Not what Matters For next week, read Parfit, chap. 15
Week 5
8 The Truth will Set you Free
9 First Debate For next week, read Harman and Thomson, chap. 6
Week 6
10 Knowing Right from Wrong
11 What's your Evidence? For next week, read Harman and Thomson, chap. 7
Week 7
12 Not a Fact but a Feeling
13 True for you, Maybe For next week, read Harman and Thomson, chaps. 1-5
Week 8
14 Lessons from Einstein on Ethics
15 What are we Arguing about? For next week, read Harman and Thomson, chaps. 9 and 10
Week 9
16 Insiders, Outsiders
17 Second Debate For next week, read Blackburn "The World", Popper selections, and Putnam, "The 'corroboration' of
theories"
Week 10
18 Galileo, Descartes, Berkeley, Locke, Kant
19 Hume, Popper, Putnam For next week, read Kuhn, chaps. 1-5
Week 11
20 Kuhn as Kant all Over Again For next week, read Kuhn, chaps. 6-13
Week 12
21 Four Kinds of Incommensurability
22 No Shared Reasons For next week, read chaps. 6-13 again, plus the Postscript
Week 13
23 No Shared Meanings
24 No Shared World For next week, reread the Postscript
Week 14
25 The Idea of Progress
26 Third Debate