Philosophy

Course Listing

Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy offers courses in philosophy and art, the history of philosophy, twentieth-century philosophy, logic, ethics, epistemology, the philosophy of science, Plato, Hegel, Heidegger, Kant, Spinoza, and Wittgenstein.

For questions about specific courses, contact the department:

Departmental Office: 708 Philosophy
212-854-3196
Office Hours: Monday–Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.

Web: www.columbia.edu/cu/philosophy


Directory of Classes

The course information displayed on this page relies on an external system and may be incomplete. Please visit Philosophy on the Directory of Classes for complete course information.

After finding your course in the Directory of Classes, click on the section number to open an expanded view. The "Open To" field will indicate whether the course is open to School of Professional Studies students. If School of Professional Studies is not included in the field, students may still be able to cross-register for the course by obtaining permission after being admitted to an academic program.


PHIL BC1001 Introduction to Philosophy. 3 points.

Survey of some of the central problems, key figures, and great works in both traditional and contemporary philosophy.  Topics and texts will vary with instructor and semester.

Spring 2018: PHIL BC1001
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 1001 001/09632 M W 1:10pm - 2:25pm
323 Milbank Hall
Elliot Paul 3 44/65
PHIL 1001 002/03579 M W 2:40pm - 3:55pm
323 Milbank Hall
Elliot Paul 3 36/60

PHIL G4055 Aesthetics: Modern Survey II. 3 points.

Open to senior undergraduates with previous work in the history of philosophy and to graduate students. Priority is given to students who have taken Aesthetics: Historical Survey I.

This course is a critical examination of the major texts in aesthetics including Dewey, Collingwood, Croce, Wittgenstein, Heidegger, Adorno, Benjamin, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Wollheim, Goodman, Cavell, and Danto. Aesthetics: Modern Survey I is not a pre-requiste, but preference is given to those students who have taken it.

PHIL G4415 Symbolic Logic. 4 points.

Discussion Section Required

Advanced introduction to classical sentential and predicate logic. No previous acquaintance with logic is required; nonetheless a willingness to master technicalities and to work at a certain level of abstraction is desirable. Note: Due to significant overlap, students may receive credit for only one of the following three courses: PHIL V3411, V3415, G4415.

PHIL G4455 Special Topics in Logic: Modal Logic. 3 points.

A logical treatment of necessity, possibility, and other intentional operators.

PHIL G4580 Topics in Political Philosophy. 3 points.

The purpose of the course is to familiarize students with topics at the centre of discussion in contemporary political philosophy, regarding the scope of justice, and the demands that it lays on individuals.  The readings for each topic present opposed points of views, and it is hoped that the seminar will be a site of signicant debate

PHIL G5010 Addiction and Agency. 3 points.

It is commonly believed that one cannot be blamed for actions that one is compelled to perform. Addiction is often taken to be an archetypical; case of a condition that can compel actions. But what is addiction? Is there a principled division between paradigmatic addictive behaviors such as heroin use and, e.g., excessive cell phone use? The answers to questions like these turn out to be highly controversial. Drawing on psychiatric as well as philosophical literatures, we will seek an analysis of the concept of addiction that can illuminate its moral significance. We will conclude by discussing arguments for skepticism about responsibility judgments more broadly. According to such arguments, none of us are responsible for anything, not because responsible action is incompatible with determinism, but because there is no principled explanation for why addicts would fail to be responsible which not overgeneralize to non-addicts.

PHIL G6801 Aesthetics: Wittgenstein. 3 points.

The seminar for Aesthics and Politics will comprise an intensive reading of writings by Wittgenstein, Dewey, Sarte, and Danto on the topics of politics, art, imagination, and games.

PHIL G9670 Modern Philosophy. 3 points.

PHIL UN1401 Introduction to Logic. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Quantitative and Deductive Reasoning (QUA).

Explicit criteria for recognizing valid and fallacious arguments, together with various methods for schematizing discourse for the purpose of logical analysis. Illustrative material taken from science and everyday life.

Spring 2018: PHIL UN1401
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 1401 001/01435 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
304 Barnard Hall
John Morrison 3 61/80

PHIL UN2101 The History of Philosophy I: Presocratics to Augustine. 4 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., Recitation Section Required

Corequisites: PHIL V2111 Required Discussion Section (0 points).

Exposition and analysis of the positions of the major philosophers from the pre-Socratics through Augustine.  This course has unrestricted enrollment.

Fall 2018: PHIL UN2101
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 2101 001/71623 T Th 10:10am - 11:25am
517 Hamilton Hall
Dhananjay Jagannathan 4 59/80

PHIL UN3411 Symbolic Logic. 4 points.

CC/GS: Partial Fulfillment of Science Requirement, Recitation Section Required

Corequisites: PHILV3413 Required Discussion Section (0 points).

Advanced introduction to classical sentential and predicate logic. No previous acquaintance with logic is required; nonetheless a willingness to master technicalities and to work at a certain level of abstraction is desirable. This course has unrestricted enrollment.

Spring 2018: PHIL UN3411
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3411 001/29919 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
602 Hamilton Hall
Achille Varzi 4 58/60
Fall 2018: PHIL UN3411
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3411 001/67835 M W 4:10pm - 5:25pm
203 Mathematics Building
Tamar Lando 4 74/80

PHIL UN3601 Metaphysics. 4 points.

Discussion Section Required

Corequisites: PHIL V3611 Required Discussion Section (0 points).

Systematic treatment of some major topics in metaphysics (e.g. modality, causation, identity through time, particulars and universals). Readings from contemporary authors.

Fall 2018: PHIL UN3601
Course Number Section/Call Number Times/Location Instructor Points Enrollment
PHIL 3601 001/74671 T Th 11:40am - 12:55pm
717 Hamilton Hall
Achille Varzi 4 77/86

PHIL V3121 Plato. 3 points.

Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

Prerequisites: One philosophy course or permission of the instructor.

Introduction to Plato's philosophy through analysis of characteristic dialogues.

PHIL V3131 Aristotle. 3 points.

Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

Prerequisites: One philosophy course or permission of the instructor.

Introduction to Aristotle's philosophy through analysis of selected texts.

PHIL V3237 Late Medieval and Modern Philosophy. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA).

Prerequisites: One philosophy course or permission of the instructor. \nCourse not offered in Fall 2016, will be offered in Spring 2017

Study of one or more of the major philosophers from the Renaissance through the 18th century. Sample topics: substance and matter; bodies, minds, and spirits; identity and individuation; ideas of God; causation; liberty and necessity; skepticism; philosophy and science; ethical and political issues. Sample philosophers: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Conway, Locke, Berkely, Hume, Kant.

PHIL V3352 Twentieth Century European Philosophy. 3 points.

Prerequisites: one prior philosophy course.

Reading and discussion of selected texts by central figures in phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, critical theory, and recent Continental philosophy. Authors may include Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Gadamer, Horkheimer, Adorno, Foucault, Bourdieu.

PHIL V3420 Mathematical Logic. 3 points.

Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

PHIL V3710 Law, Liberty and Morality. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.
Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

Prerequisites: Enrollment limited to 40 students.

Examination of classic philosophical theories about the rule of law, relations between law and morality, legal reasoning, and their implications for selected contemporty legal problems.

PHIL V3720 Ethics and Medicine. 3 points.

BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Reason and Value (REA)., BC: Fulfillment of General Education Requirement: Ethics and Values.
Not offered during 2018-19 academic year.

Prerequisites: Limited enrollment by permission of the instructor. First-day attendance required.

Philosophical examination of moral issues in medical theory and practice. Analysis of the ethics of the doctor-patient relationship, e.g., informed consent, truth-telling, paternalism; topics in bioethics, e.g., abortion, euthanasia, experimentation on humans; justice and access to health care; human genetics.

PHIL W2003 Introduction to the Philosophy of Art. 3 points.

This is an introductory course in the Philosophy of Art. We will consider questions including (but not limited to) the following: What is art? Should we try to define art? Should photographs count as art? What does it mean to have an aesthetic experience? Can one person's judgement regarding works of art be better than another's? Why do we enjoy watching horror films or tragedies?\n \n\n

PHIL W3248 Darwin. 3 points.

Darwin offered a view of life and its history that radically altered the ways in which we think about many things. Two hundred years after his birth, andone hundred and fifty years after the publication of the *Origin of Species*, we are still coming to terms with the implications of his ideas. This course will examine Darwin's achievements in historical context, paying attention to the exact character of his proposals, the evidence he amassed for them, the debates he inspired, and the social and philosophical messages that have been drawn from him.

PHIL W3264 19th Century Philosophy: Hegel. 3 points.

Examines major themes of Hegel's philosophy, with emphasis on social and political thought. Topics include Hegel's critique of Kant, the possibility of metaphysics, the master-slave dialectic, and the role of freedom in a rational society. Readings from Fichte help explain how Hegel's project develops out of Kant's transcendental idealism.  Some knowledge of Kant's moral theory and his Critique of Pure Reason is presupposed. Prerequisite: at least one of PHIL 2201, 2301, or 3251.

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