University of Notre Dame

Philosophy Seminar Stubenberg

Course Number: PHIL 13185-5
Instructor: Leopold Stubenberg

We will start this course by reading a new dialogue by one of the leading philosophers of our time—Timothy Williamson’s book Tetralogue. This will force us to think about truth and falsity, knowledge and fallibility, and the difference subjective and objective truths and opinions. Then we will survey a number of different philosophical questions, guided by Thomas Nagel and his book What Does It All Mean? One of the great 18th century philosophers—David Hume—will acquaint us with some deeply probing questions about religious belief. This will be followed by an investigation of free will, especially the question contemporary science (neuroscience and the social sciences in particular) rule out the possibility of human freedom. We’ll close the course with some puzzling and unsettling questions about ethics.

Requirements:

Five short papers, amounting to roughly 25 written pages.
Participation in classroom discussion.

Books:

Timothy Williamson: Tetralogue. I’m Right, You’re Wrong
Thomas Nagel: What Does It All Mean?
David Hume: Dialogues on Natural Religion (a free online version of this text will be provided)
Mark Balaguer: Free Will
Thomas Cathcart: The Trolley Problem