Course descriptions

[*All course marked with an asterisk are either not yet approved or need to change from a 300 to a 400 level course.]

PHIL 501 / GRADUATE SEMINAR

In this seminar students in their first year will cover a variety of topics designed to introduce the practical and theoretical skills necessary for graduate-level philosophy.

PHIL 590 / THESIS SEMINAR

In this seminar students in the second year present work relevant to their thesis research.

PHIL XXX  VIRTUE, JUSTICE, AND THE GOOD IN THE ANCIENT WORLD*

This course offers an in-depth examination of a topic in ancient Greek and Roman ethical or political philosophy, broadly construed. Topics might focus on a figure or school (e.g. Aristotle’s political theory or Stoic moral psychology); a question or area (e.g. ancient views of akrasia or Greek “virtue ethics”); or a relevant text (e.g. Plato’s Philebus or Aristotle’s Politics). The course aims to enable students to engage with contemporary scholarly debates on the chosen topic with expertise.

 

PHIL XXX MIND AND REALITY IN THE ANCIENT WORLD*

An advanced study of a topic in ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, emphasizing issues related to metaphysics, epistemology, and theoretical approaches to phenomena we would call “mental”. Topics might focus on a particular figure or school (e.g. Plato’s theory of Forms, Stoic epistemology), a general question or theme (e.g. ancient skepticism), or a relevant text (e.g. Aristotle’s Metaphysics); but in every case students will engage with contemporary scholarship on the chosen topic as well as recent work on related philosophical problems.



PHIL 450 / FALLIBILISM, CERTAINTY, AND DOGMATISM

Discussion of epistemic and ethical questions concerning fallibilism; whether certainty is a condition for knowledge, whether claims to knowledge is always a dogmatic attitude, how to be open-minded without being a skeptic.

PHIL 350 / PHILOSOPHY OF CURIOSITY*

Discussion of historical, epistemic, semantic, and ethical questions related to the notion of curiosity; defining curiosity; its historical background; how curiosity relates to awareness of ignorance, Meno’s Paradox, asking questions, knowledge, belief, acquaintance, understanding, truth and epistemic virtues.

PHIL 315 / ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY*

Analytic philosophy has been the dominant philosophical tradition in the English-speaking world from at least the middle of the last century. Over the last two decades its influence has also been steadily growing in the non-English-speaking world. As a first approximation, in its most inclusive sense, analytic philosophy can be characterized as the tradition that originated in the work of Gottlob Frege (1848- 1925), Bertrand Russell (1872-1970), G. E. Moore (1873- 1958), and Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889- 1951) and developed and ramified into the complex tradition that we know today. This course is an introduction to the methodological and historical basis of the approaches, arguments, concepts, doctrines, moves, positions, texts, themes, and theories that gradually accumulated in their interconnectedness to form this tradition. As it will be shown in the introductory lecture, although there are some obvious candidates—such as, the emphasis on the role of analysis, the focus on the question of language, the hostility to metaphysics, anti-psychologism, ahistoricism, naturalism, the demand for argumentation, clarity, and, rigor— there is no common theme, set of values, or methods which provide a more definitive characterization of this tradition.  Therefore, our approach will be reading seminal texts from the first half of the last century and focus on the activity of the analytic philosophizing in these texts through which the tradition was born.

PHIL 438 / PHILOSOPHY OF ACTION

This course is an introduction to twentieth century, analytic philosophy of action. We will consider three interrelated sets of questions: (i) questions about how, if at all, to analyze bodily action and its explanation into psychological and non-psychological components; (ii) questions about how to understand the special sort of knowledge ‘from within’ an agent has of what she does intentionally; (iii) questions about the shape of practical reasoning, reasoning about what to do, focusing on whether it concludes in an inner psychological state or an action. Various philosophers will be considered but we will devote considerable attention to the work of G. E. M. Anscombe and Donald Davidson.

PHIL 451 / PHILOSOPHY OF PERCEPTION

An investigation into the nature of perception; an assessment of different philosophical accounts about the structure of perception; a detailed examination of the debate between direct realism and indirect realism; an investigation into the nature of the connection between believing and perceiving; an examination of the role of perceiving in the acquisition of knowledge about the external world; an assessment of different philosophical accounts about the contents of perception.

PHIL 423 / PHILOSOPHY OF VALUE

The concept of value. The nature of value judgment. The evaluation of values.

 

PHIL 436 / PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE

The analysis of the philosophical problems that issue from the nature

and structure of language. These include meaning, reference, speech

acts and contemporary descriptive linguistics.

 

PHIL 4XX / EXISTENTIALISM AND PHENOMENOLOGY*

This is a survey course on the early 20th century philosophical currents of phenomenology and existentialism in contemporary European philosophy. It begins with the concept of intentionality in Edmund Husserl’s phenomenology, takes up the question of Being and the related notion of being-in-the-world in Martin Heidegger’s Being and Time, explores the ontology of freedom in Jean-Paul Sartre’s Being and Nothingness and Simone de Beauvoir’s The Ethics of Ambiguity, and analyzes the problem of perception in Maurice-Merleau-Ponty’s Phenomenology of Perception and The Visible and The Invisible   as culminating in a new ontology. The course aims at discussing some of the most important problems of contemporary philosophy in the European tradition by exploring and navigating the philosophical relations between aforementioned philosophers.

 

PHIL 4XX / THE OTHER IN PHILOSOPHY

The philosophical problem of the other minds goes back to Descartes. In the phenomenological tradition, in Edmund Husserl’s Cartesian Meditations, it is considered as inseparable from the notion of the living body.  Jean-Paul Sartre and Maurice Merleau-Ponty claim that the relation to the others is inseparable from the question of the constitution of the sense of the world. The central problem is the following: At the fundamental ontological level, are we separated or related to the others? In Emmanuel Levinas the relation to the other is considered as an ethical relation beyond normative ethics. In an intriguing way, he argues that ethics precedes ontology. In Paul Ricoeur the alterity emerges at the heart of the problem of personal identity and of the narrative constitution of selfhood.  This course explores the ontological and ethical dimensions of the philosophical debates over alterity in Contemporary Philosophy and shows why this problem is still very important for us today.    



PHIL 450 / SELECTED TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY

Detailed examination of current topics in philosophy.



PHIL 490 / INDEPENDENT STUDY

The goal of this course is to give students the opportunity to do in-depth research on a topic in which they are interested under the guidance and direction of a faculty member. This course is mostly available to senior students and is subject to the consent of the instructor.


PHIL 101 / FRESHMAN SEMINAR: AN INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY AND PHILOSOPHICAL THINKING
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

Providing basic knowledge on the subject-matter of philosophy, including the various kinds of philosophy and the areas they correspond to. Introduction on how to think philosophically and write critically. Learning about the basic idea of philosophy, about knowledge, logical and critical reasoning, philosophies of nature and science, about ethics, the philosophy of art and political philosophy.

PHIL 131 / LOGIC
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

In this course, we will study propositional logic and first-order monadic quantifier calculus.

PHIL 213 / ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

Introduction to key thinkers and texts in the history of ancient philosophy, from the Pre-Socratics to Late Antiquity. A survey of key debates on theoretical and practical philosophy, an examination of basic interpretative issues, and an evaluation of the ancient proposals and our modern interpretations using the tools of historical contextualisation and philosophical analysis. Aiming to the appreciation of the significance of the history of ancient philosophy in our understanding of that chronologically remote and extensive period (6th century BCE to 6th century CE) and of its relevance to our contemporary philosophy.

PHIL 215 / EPISTEMOLOGY
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

An examination of the concept of knowledge with respect to the origins, limits and validity of human knowledge.

PHIL 216 / ETHICS
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

An examination of ethical views from Ancient times until present. An in-depth analysis of the issues in ethics.

PHIL 217 / MODERN PHILOSOPHY
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

Western philosophy from Descartes to Kant. An examination of the texts of philosophers such as Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Hume, Hobbes, Spinoza and Kant.

PHIL 301 / CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL THEORY
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

The course aims to discuss various social and political theories of the 20th century which respond both to the tradition of social contract theory and to the contemporary political issues. Rather than focusing only on the analysis of different approaches to state and citizenship with regard to Hobbes, Locke, and Rousseau for example, we will gear towards more contemporary approaches, where the relations of social contract, sovereignty, oppression, power and resistance are analyzed in reference to lived experience and social movements. While we will begin with the traditional ideas of social contract with Aristotle and onward to Rousseau, we will focus mostly on debates and questions on identity-politics, humanism, individualism, liberalism, communtarianism, and the politics of singularity via close readings of some excerpts from Marx, Althusser, Foucault, Agamben, Arendt, Fanon, Derrida, Butler and Nancy.

PHIL 303 / TOPICS IN ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY
Kredi: 3Önkoşul: Prerequisite: PHIL. 213 or consent of the instructor

A critical examination of topics in the history of ancient philosophy. Emphasis may be placed on a particular thinker or on the development of a particular trend through the close study of the primary texts and engagement with the interpretative debates in the secondary bibliography.

PHIL 311 / PHILOSOPHY IN THE MIDDLE AGES AND RENAISSANCE
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

PHIL 312 / ONTOLOGY
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

PHIL 314 / PHILOSOPHY IN THE CONTEMPORARY AGE
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

Western philosophy from Kant until present. An examination of the texts of philosophers such as Hegel, Mill, Nietzsche and Heidegger.

PHIL 324 / POSTSTRUCTURALIST THOUGHT
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

A study of the writings of Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Guattari and Lyotard et. al. on existence, experience, knowledge, science, power and ethics.

PHIL 325 / PROBLEMS IN PHENOMENOLOGY
Kredi: 3Önkoşul: Prerequisite: PHIL. 101 or consent of the instructor

A study of Husserl's phenomenology and after, including the philosophies of Heidegger, Fink, Schutz, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Levinas as well as a phenomenological exploration of new philosophical problems.

PHIL 330 / APPLIED ETHICS
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

Examination of the various issues in Applied Ethics such as bioethics, environmental issues, poverty and global justice, religious, ethnic, racial and sexual equality.

PHIL 334 / PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE
Kredi: 3Önkoşul: Prerequisite: PHIL. 202 or consent of the instructor

Examination of the philosophical questions arising in scientific inquiry. The goals of science.

PHIL 338 / PHILOSOPHY OF MIND
Kredi: 3Önkoşul: Prerequisites: PHIL.101 or consent of the instructor

A study of the nature of mental phenomena and their relationship to the rest of reality. A survey of both metaphysical and epistemological problems mental phenomena have given rise to: how our minds are related to our bodies; whether our minds have effects in physical world; how we acquire knowledge of our own minds, and the minds of others; whether we have privileged knowledge of our own minds. An examination of the phenomena of consciousness and intentionality—mental states’ being about things in the world—and an inquiry into the mental faculties of the will and imagination.

PHIL 350 / SELECTED TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

Detailed examination current topics in philosophy.

PHIL 353 / SELECTED TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

Detailed examination current topics in philosophy.

PHIL 354 / PHENOMENOLOGY AND DECONSTRUCTION
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

Extensive study of Martin Heidegger (Phenomenology) and Jacques Derrida (Deconstruction). On Phenomenology: the work of both Husserl, the founder of the movement, and Heidegger, with an emphasis on Heidegger?s idea of Dasein as a being-toward-death, as well as his claim that we have entered the era of the end of metaphysics. On Deconstruction: Derrida?s attempt to develop the idea of deconstruction as a theory of both reading and writing, or of what he calls écriture, and texts from Jean-Luc Nancy, another very prominent deconstructionist

PHIL 355 / SELECTED TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

Detailed examination current topics in philosophy.

PHIL 372 / EXISTENTIALISM AND POLITICS
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

Focus on the motto of existentialism: one is thrown to be free. Contextualizing this motto in Turkey and discussing its appropriation as a desire to be different and rebellious against one?s environment that is perceived as banal, impersonal, or oppressive. Emphasis also on the other way this claim can lead: solitude and strangeness. Fundamental issues brought out by thrownness to freedom, such as the meaning of life, anxiety, death, suicide, faith, peace, responsibility, writing, being oneself, identity, politics and action. Tracing these issues in the literature of existentialism: some mainstream selections of existentialist writings from Sartre, Dostoyevsky, Heidegger, Camus, Kierkegaard, de Beauvoir, and Fanon.

PHIL 380 / FEMINISM AND ITS DISCONTENTS: IF FEMINISM IS THE ANSWER, WHAT IS THE QUESTION?
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

Introduction to the issues, debates and themes in the contemporary feminist theory. Emphasis on the impact of recent social theories and their destabilizing influences in comparison to the unifying theme of the earlier feminist theories. Special focus on the conceptual debates surrounding issues such the body, sexuality, sexual identity, the category of woman and the politics of difference.

PHIL 381 / FEMINIST THEORIES: GENDER AND SOCIAL IDENTITY
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

A thematic course on contemporary feminist theories. Dealing with issues in sex and gender, as well as other forms of social identity including race, ethnicity, nationality, sexual orientation, disability, age and religion from the perspective of social and political philosophy. Discussing the distinction between mainstream feminist theory that prioritizes the category of ?Woman? And contemporary queer theory that questions this category. Special focus on Intersectionality theory that proposes that various forms of social identity and oppression intersect in terms of history and politics.

PHIL 382 / WOMEN, DISCRIMINATION AND HUMAN RIGHTS
Kredi: 3Önkoşul:

Examination and clarification of critical concepts such as equality, equity, justice, intersectionality, cultural relativism, ?right? and rights. Developing the foundational understanding of the centrality of gender equality for human rights in general. Discussion of the contemporary situation of gender equality from an international perspective in the light of the various historical, legal and normative developments for the promotion of women's human rights.