PHIL-767 Metaphysics Proseminar
Spring for 2017-2018
This course is a general introduction, at the graduate level, to some of the main topics in metaphysics. The topics this term are: the nature of time, causation, personal identity, minds and free will. We will read excerpts from the writings of many great philosophers, both historical and contemporary, extract key concepts and arguments and then analyze those arguments. Questions we will wrestle with include:
I. What is time? Does the past/future exist? Should time be understood in terms of a moving now or as a series of events related by being earlier/later than each other?
II What must be the case for one event to cause another event?
III. How can things change yet be the same? When is a = b? When is a the same person as b?
IV. What are minds? How are minds related to brains and bodies? Can computers think?
V. Do we have free will? Are we determined? Or both? What is determinism? What is free will?
Three 7-page papers; one debate; one comprehensive exam.
Other academic years
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