Courses in English in Philosophy in Spring 2016
FLFI.00.102 Critical Thinking (3 ECTS)
Tue 16-18, Jakobi 2-336
During the course we will look at the philosophical foundations of critical thinking (logic, common fallacies, etc.) and practice applying these to analyzing and reconstructing arguments both in academic and ordinary texts. All levels.
FLFI.00.104 Introduction to Philosophy of Technology (3 ECTS)
Wed 10-12, Jakobi 2-336
This introductory series of lectures on philosophy of technology seeks to offer an historical overview of the origin, development and current state of the philosophical underpinnings of our "technological age" both from the Continental and Analytic perspectives. In a fairly broad sense, the philosophy of technology is an understanding of the consequences of technological impacts relating to environment, the society and human experience. In the lectures and seminars, we will discuss the notion of techne [τέχνη] from Pre-Socratics to Plato and Aristotle, explore the intellectual ideas behind The Industrial Revolution and familiarise ourselves with the philosophical works of some of the most important 20th century philosophers of technology. In addition, we will engage in the contemporary debates between science and technology, technology and ethics, technology and culture and others. All levels.
FLFI.02.117 Social and Ethical Aspects of Engineering (4 ECTS)
Mats Volberg, Margit Sutrop, Ave Mets, Francesco Orsi, Edit Talpsepp
Tue 10-14, Ravila 14A - 1020
Social and value dimensions of technologies. Overview of ethical theories. Environmental ethics and engineering. Research ethics and professional ethics. Moral relativism and cultural context of engineering. All levels.
FLFI.02.143 History of Political Thought (6 ECTS)
Fri 12-14, Jakobi 2-336
Beginning with Greek tragedy, the course will examine fundamental questions in the long tradition of political thought. Who is a citizen? Why should we obey the law? When is civil disobedience higher than the law? What is freedom and how is related to equality? What is political obligation? Why do individuals have the right to be treated with dignity and respect? Comprised of three parts: ancient, medieval and modern; the readings are selections from classical authors, rather than from secondary sources. Basic concepts such as justice, the rule of law, citizenship, power, liberty, equality, reason and representative government are traced from their origins in Greek thought to their development in the Renaissance to show how they guide political thinking today. All levels.
FLFI.02.144 David Hume's Practical Philosophy (3 ECTS)
Thu 12-14, Jakobi 2-337
Hume said: "Nothing is more usual in philosophy, and even in common life, than to talk of the combat of passion and reason, to give the preference to reason, and to assert that men are only so far virtuous as they conform themselves to its dictates." Focusing on books 2 and 3 of his Treatise, we will see how Hume's theory of the passions and moral theory aimed to overcome such a simplistic picture of human psychology and moral virtue. We will try to understand and evaluate Hume's famous statements that reason is and ought to be the slave of the passions, and that you cannot derive an 'ought' from an 'is'. We will compare Hume's own picture with contemporary Humean and anti-Humean approaches to practical philosophy, as regards the analysis of emotions, the theory of moral judgment, and the nature of virtue and vice. All levels.
FLFI.03.036 Introduction to Philosophy of Language (3 ECTS)
Wed 14-16, Jakobi 2-336
Introduction to contemporary theories of reference and meaning, the basic concepts of formal semantics, and its central problems. The course also covers influential historical positions: Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Quine, Davidson, Grice, Austin, Kripke, Kaplan, and Stalnaker. All levels.
FLFI.04.013 Introduction to Epistemology (3 ECTS)
Alexander Stewart Davies
Tue 10.45-11.45, Jakobi 2-322
An introduction to contemporary epistemology. The course introduces the main topics in epistemology: the concepts and accounts of knowledge and justification, accounts of perception, scepticism, amongst others. All levels.
FLFI.04.048 Introduction to Epistemology II (3 ECTS)
Alexander Stewart Davies
Thu 12-14, Jakobi 2-322
This course builds on the knowledge students gain of contemporary epistemology from Introduction to Epistemology. The aim is to develop student's capacity to critically engage with, rather than merely learn facts about, contemporary epistemology. Generally, this course must be taken simultaneously with Introduction to Epistemology I. Exceptions may be made--but you must discuss this with the course lecturer. All levels.
FLFI.04.041 Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (3 ECTS)
Giovanni Mion, Erik Thomsen
Will be held in May as one-week intensive course (Mon-Fri). Dates TBA.
Introduction to Ludwig Wittgenstein's Tractatus and its main theses: - "All propositions are results of truth-operations on elementary propositions" (5.3). - "A proposition is a picture of reality" (4.01). The topics to be covered include: Wittgenstein's philosophy of logic, mathematics, and science; logical/lexical, mathematical, scientific/empirical, and cognitive aspects of language; how this maps to semantic technologies. Using the Tractatus to build minds. Graduate students with some knowledge of logic.
FLFI.05.008 Postcolonialism (3 ECTS)
Mon 16-18, Wed 16-18, Jakobi 2-336
The course introduces the foundational concepts of postcolonial thinking, with examples from the various histories from the "tricontinent," (India, Africa and Latin America) and to grasp the intellectual genealogies of post-colonial thinking. "Postcoloniality" was a condition being experienced and theorized outside of the academy long before the advent of academic postcolonial studies - during and after the post World War II struggles for independence spurred by activist writing and thinking led to the dismemberment of European cultural empires overseas. Topics to be discussed include: the act and process of colonization; colonialism and race; colonialism, sexuality, and domesticity; colonial violence; orientalism, subalternity, the problematic of the modernity; hybridity, mimicry, and cultural production. At the close of the course we will also discuss more recent theoretical proposals topics: "internal colonization" (A. Etkind), and "semicolonialism" (David Lloyd). All levels.