Metaphysics

 

INSTRUCTOR: Dr Bradley Rettler

CONTACT: rettlerb@gmail.com

OFFICE HOURS: Tuesday 2-3, and by appointment

OFFICE: Morrison Hall 220

MAILBOX: Morrison Hall 212

 

Resources

  • Course Syllabus

  • On How to Write Good Philosophy Papers

  • On How To Read Philosophy

  • On How to Understand Philosophy

  • What is a Good Argument?

  • Glossary of Philosophy Terms

  • Good and Bad Arguments

 

Schedule and Readings

 

Introduction

Aug 26:

 

Ontology

Aug 28: Willard van Orman Quine - "On What There Is" (7-16 in anthology)

Sep 2: David and Stephanie Lewis - "Holes" (27-32) And a video!

Sep 4: Peter van Inwagen - "Meta-ontology"

Sep 9: Jonathan Schaffer - "On What Grounds What" (73-97)

Sep 11: Ontology, Review

 

Modality

Sep 16: David Lewis - "A Philosopher's Paradise" (208-230)

Sep 18: Lewis, continued

Sep 23: Alvin Plantinga - "Actualism and Possible Worlds"

Sep 25: Plantinga, continued

 

Persistence

Sep 30: David Lewis - "The Problem of Temporary Intrinsics" (504-506)

Oct 2: Judith Thomson - "Parthood and Identity Across Time"(480-492)

Oct 7: Mark Heller - "Temporal Parts of 4-Dimensional Objects" (492-504)

Oct 9: Sally Haslanger - "Endurance and Temporary Intrinsics" (506-511)

 

Time

Oct 14: J.M.E. McTaggart - "The Unreality of Time"

Oct 16: Ted Sider - "Against Presentism"

 

Free will

Oct 21: Richard Taylor - "Fatalism"

Oct 23: Peter van Inwagen - The Consequence Argument

Oct 28: Peter van Inwagen - The Mind Argument

Oct 30: Harry Frankfurt - "Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility"

 

Composition

Nov 4: Ted Sider - "The Argument from Vagueness"

Nov 6: Sider, Continued

Nov 11: Peter van Inwagen - Material Beings, Chapters 2,9

Nov 13: Composition, Review

 

Human Persons

Nov 18 2: Eric Olson - "An Argument for Animalism" (in MBQ)

Nov 20: Lynne Rudder Baker - "The Ontological Status of Persons"

Nov 25: Human Persons, Review

 

Metaphysics of Race

Dec 2: Alyssa Ney and Allan Hazlett - "The Metaphysics of Race"

Dec 4: Charles Mills - "But what are you really?"

 

Dec 9: Final Papers Due (No Class)

 

Dec 13: Final Exam, 4:30 - 6:30 p.m.