Courses in English
The Department of Philosophy regularly offers courses in English, which are usually open to everyone, although sometimes they do require advanced knowledge of the discipline. Be sure to also check the Seminars and reading groups section for other regular academic activities which are sometimes given in a less formal manner.
Fall semester 2019
Introduction to Philosophy FLFI.00.113 (6 ECTS)
Mon 12-14 Jakobi 2-336, weeks 2-12
An introduction to a diverse handful of philosophical questions and to the argument-based approach to answering these questions that is typical of contemporary analytic philosophy.
The following fields will be covered:
* Ethics (two topics)
* Metaphysics (two topics)
* Epistemology (two topics)
* Political Philosophy (two topics)
* Philosophy of Mind (two topics)
Introduction to History of Philosophy FLFI.01.111 (6 ECTS)
Roomet Jakapi, Pärtel Piirimäe, Toomas Lott
Tue 16-18 Jakobi 2-336, weeks 2-15
The course focuses on the ideas and arguments of some key thinkers in Ancient Greek and Early Modern Philosophy such as Plato, Sextus Empiricus, Cicero, Descartes, and Locke. More specifically, the course will concentrate on the historical development of skepticism in the context of epistemology, moral and political philosophy. Seminar texts will include both primary and secondary literature.
Main Topics in Ethics FLFI.02.148 (6 ECTS)
Merike Reiljan, Sergei Sazonov
Wed 10-12 Jakobi 2-336, weeks 2-15
The course introduces the students to the main problems and terms in ethics: what are ethics and morality? Descriptive vs evaluative judgments. The origin of moral norms. Are values subjective or objective? Are moral standards universal or relative to culture? Responsibility. Moral motivation. Self-interest. The course also gives a brief overview of the main theories of ethics: ethics of virtue, utilitarianism, Kantianism, contractualism. In seminars, students read and discuss central texts that deal with the aforementioned topics.
Classics in Moral Philosophy FLFI.02.153 (6 ECTS)
Fri 14-16 Jakobi 2-337, weeks 2-13
The central focus of this seminar will be Kant's Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals (1785). According to Kant, the only thing which is unconditionally good is a good (or autonomous) will, whereas all other things - talents of the mind, qualities of temperament, gifts of fortune, and happiness - can be good only conditionally. We will engage in a close reading of the text to gain both a sympathetic and critical understanding of Kant's moral philosophy.
Modernity and Its Discontents FLFI.02.169 (6 ECTS)
Wed 12-14 Jakobi 2-337, weeks 1-15
The course presents an overview of classical and contemporary social theory and discussions of major themes in contemporary social thought. Beginning with thinkers such as Rousseau, Marx and Weber, we will discuss ways in which the advent of industrialization and emergence of capitalism have affected social relations between individuals. Secularization, mass production, urbanization and the growing importance of technology are part of modern society. During the semester, we will examine thinkers, who embraced the modern ideals of progress and science and others who despaired at the tyranny and power inherent within modern society. Throughout the course, we will examine different conceptions of modernity. Readings may include some of the following authors: Rousseau, Marx, Weber, Freud, Arendt, Adorno, Horkheimer, Habermas, Foucault, Appadurai, Lyotard and Bauman.
Practice-Based Philosophy of Science Reading Group FLFI.03.094 (3 ECTS)
Mon 14-16 Jakobi 2-327, weeks 1-14
Postphenomenology reading group is a preparatory course for an intensive workshop "Postphenomenology, Technoscience and Hermeneutics" with Don Ihde in 4-7 May 2020, see more under FLFI.03.107.
FLFI.04.060 Philosophy of Mind (6 EAP)
Wed 14-16 Jakobi 2-336, weeks 2-11
An introduction to main issues in the philosophy of mind, including the main approaches to the mind-body problem, consciousness, artificial intelligence, thought and language etc.
FLFI.04.054 Formal Semantics (6 EAP)
Mon 16-18, Thu 12-14 Jakobi 2-337, weeks 2-12
Formal semantics is the empirical project of providing and testing precise hypotheses about the semantic properties of linguistic expressions. These hypotheses are stated using the tools of formal logic and some related areas of mathematics. The course will introduce the methods of formal semantics by working through a variety of examples of linguistic expression, their semantic behaviour and attempts to construct models of this behaviour in light of the available evidence. For all the students interested in the subject matter.
FLFI.04.077 Formal Semantics: Supplement (3 EAP)
Mon 16-18, Thu 12-14 Jakobi 2-337, weeks 12-16
Supplement course for all the students taking the main course in Formal Semantics (FLFI.04.054).
Philosophy of Art FLFI.04.080 (6 ECTS)
Mon 18-20, Wed 18-20 Jakobi 2-336, weeks 2-12
This course serves as an introduction to philosophy of art/ aesthetics. The course will begin trying to answer the seemingly simple but deceptively difficult question of "what is art?" To attempt to answer this question we look into real world examples of art forgery and what this can tell us about art's nature. The course will then look at relationships between works of art and those who view them. Specifically, we will discuss the way we value and judge art, the nature of art appreciation, and how we interpret, or ought to interpret, art. The course will then move on to examining the moral status of art; we will try to understand what makes an artwork immoral and look at the relationship between art and society. Lastly, we will look at specific aesthetic issues that arise due to the nature of music.
Paradoxes in Philosophy FLFI.04.081 (6 ECTS)
Tue 14-16 Jakobi 2-336, weeks 1-15
In this course we'll examine in great detail some of the most intractable metaphysical paradoxes in philosophy, the kind that have kept philosophers--and logicians and some scientists--confused for many centuries: the Liar, Vagueness, and Material Composition. We will finish the course by considering what these paradoxes mean for our knowledge of reality.
Introduction to Estonian Culture FLFI.05.006 (6 ECTS)
Tue and Thu 10-12 Jakobi 2-336, weeks 2-15
The course begins with an overview of some signs in contemporary Estonian culture, and continues to read them in historical perspective, with particular attention to material culture of daily life (food, textiles, housing), transportation and innovation; social and ritual events (country fairs, customs practiced at birth, marriage, death), and the phenomenon of the folk song. The deeper dynamics of Estonian culture are approached through the secular and sacred imprint of colonization, town vs village (city vs rural) dialectics, cultural hybridity, and the perplexities of "becoming modern" in a provincial corner of Europe, recognized by its self-described identity.
Philosophical Disagreements HVFI.01.003 (6 ECTS)
Kadri Simm et al.
Thu 16-18 Jakobi 2-327, weeks 2-15 (or fully Web-based)
Elective course for PhD students from all over the University. The first module focuses on critical thinking and argumentation skills (3 ECTS), the second module introduces the students to various interdisciplinary philosophical topics (3 ECTS). The course has no prerequisite subjects. It is possible to participate in only one module of the course (Argumentation Theory or Philosophical Disagreements); passing the first module is not required for participation at the second module.