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T. Allan Hillman


Abstracts of various courses that I am either offering now or have offered in the past. Click on the links to be directed to the relevant



Introduction to Philosophy (110)

This course is intended as an introductory account of a few of the primary problems that have arisen in traditional western philosophy. Along the way, particular methods of dealing with such problems will be highlighted, and possible solutions will be discussed in some detail. Figures such as Plato, Anselm, Descartes & Berkeley will be central to our study, and the student will become familiar with the primary texts (and theories) associated with these philosophers. (Syllabus Fall 2008)


Metaethics (431)

The purpose of this course is to introduce you to a few of the primary debates in contemporary metaethical theory, i.e., a study of the commitments and presuppositions whether they be logical, semantic, epistemological, psychological or metaphysical of moral discourse and practice. That is, metaethics purports to answer certain intrinsically interesting philosophical questions about ethics itself. Much of the semester will be spent reading, analyzing, and criticizing influential articles and book-selections from leading thinkers who propose their own answers to some intrinsically interesting metaethical questions. (Syllabus Fall 2008)


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Renaissance/Enlightenment (245)

Our concern here is an introduction to a few of the predominant themes and figures central to 16th, 17th, and 18th Century philosophical thought. Our study will be primarily metaphysical and epistemological topics including, for instance, the existence or non-existence of God, the scope and limits of knowledge, the nature of the mind and the body, and the character of causal interaction (if any) between individual objects such as bodies and minds. Figures given due assessment will include Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant. (Syllabus Spring 2008)