Courses

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2017-18

Fall 17

Phil 1112-102: Augustine’s Confessions: A Search for Meaning [First-Year Writing Seminar] (MW 7:30-8:45pm; room 240 Hans Bethe House)

Phil 2530: Religion and Reason (MW 2:55-4:10)

Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts (tba)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts
  • Permission of instructor required
  • Text for Fall 17: tba

Spring 18

Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts
  • Permission of instructor required
  • Text for Spring 18: tba

Phil 4210/6210: Augustine’s Philosophy of Mind

2016-17

On sabbatical leave

2015-16

Fall 15

Phil 1900: Bethe Ansatz: Building a Life Worth Living (W 7:15-8:15pm) – http://blogs.cornell.edu/betheansatz/

Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts (T 7:45-9:45)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts
  • Permission of instructor required
  • Text for Fall 15: Aquinas’s Quaestiones disputatae X: De mente

For medieval philosophy courses, see Nate Bulthuis’s Phil 3210 (TR 10:10) and Phil 6210 (R 2:30) <http://philosophy.cornell.edu/courses>

Spring 16

Phil 1900: Bethe Ansatz: Building a Life Worth Living (W 7:15-8:15pm) – http://blogs.cornell.edu/betheansatz/

Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts (M 7:30-9:30)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts
  • Permission of instructor required
  • Text for Spring 16: Hisdosus, De anima mundi in Platonis Timaeum

2014-15

Fall 14

Phil 1900: Bethe Ansatz: Building a Life Worth Living (W 7:15-8:15pm) – http://blogs.cornell.edu/betheansatz/

Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts (R 7:30-9:30)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts
  • Permission of instructor required
  • Text for Fall 14: Anselm’s Monologion

For medieval philosophy courses, see Sydney Penner’s Phil 3210 (TR 10:10) and Phil 6210 (T 4:30) <http://philosophy.cornell.edu/courses>

Spring 15

Phil 1900: Bethe Ansatz: Building a Life Worth Living (W 7:15-8:15pm) – http://blogs.cornell.edu/betheansatz/

Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts (T 7:30-9:30)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts
  • Permission of instructor required
  • Text for Spring 15: Seneca

2013-14

Fall 13

Phil 1900: Bethe Ansatz: Building a Life Worth Living (W 7:15-8:15pm)

Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts (T 7:30-9:30pm)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts
  • Permission of instructor required
  • Text for Fall 13: Eriugena, Periphyseon

Spring 14

Phil 1900: Bethe Ansatz: Building a Life Worth Living (W 7:15-8:15pm)

Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts (M 7:30-9:30pm)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts
  • Permission of instructor required
  • Text for Spring 14: Augustine, De genesi ad litteram 7

2012-13

Fall 12

Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts (T 7:30-9:30pm)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts
  • Permission of instructor required
  • Text for Fall 12: Boethius’ commentary on the Categories

Spring 13

Phil 2530/RelSt 2630: Religion & Reason (MWF 11:15; Lewis Aud, GS)

What must (or could) God be like, and what reasons do we have for thinking that a being of that sort actually exists? What difference would (or could) the existence of God make to our lives? Religion & Reason examines the idea, shared by several major world religions, that God must be an absolutely perfect being. What attributes must a perfect being have? Must it have a mind, be a person, care for human beings? Is the concept of a perfect being coherent? Is the existence of a perfect being compatible with the presence of evil in the world and the existence of human freedom? Does human morality depend in any important way on the nature or will of a perfect being? Is a perfect being among the things that actually inhabit our universe? The course approaches these questions with the tools and methods of philosophical reason and through readings drawn from both classic texts and contemporary philosophical discussion.

Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts (T 7:30-9:30pm)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts.
  • Permission of instructor required.
  • Text for Spring 13: Roger Bacon’s De signis

2011-12

Fall 11

Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts (meeting tba)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts
  • Permission of instructor required
  • Text for Fall 11: tba

Spring 12

Phil 6210: Seminar: Medieval Philosophy – TBA

Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts (meeting time tba)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts.
  • Permission of instructor required.
  • Text for Spring 12: tba

Summer 12

  1. Cornell Adult University (July 15-21)
  2. Seven Deadly Sins
  3. cau website

2010-11

Spring 11

Phil 2530/RelSt 2630: Religion & Reason (TR 1:25; RCK 115)

Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts (meeting time tba)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts.
  • Permission of instructor required.
  • Text for Spring 11: tba

Fall 10

  1. Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts (meeting time T 8:00-10:00)
  2. Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts
  3. Permission of instructor required
  4. Text for Fall 10: Duns Scotus’ cognitive psychology

Summer 10

  1. Cornell Adult University (August 1-7)
  2. When Moses Met Plato: Reading Genesis in Late Antiquity
  3. course website
  4. cau website

2009-10

Spring 10

Phil 2530: Religion & Reason (TR 10:10-11:25)

Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts (meeting time tba)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts.
  • Permission of instructor required.
  • Text for Spring 10: something of Peter Abelard’s

Fall 09

Phil 6210: Seminar: Medieval Philosophy – M 4:30-6:30 / GS 181

  • Topic: Augustine: Mind & Reality

Augustine believes that mind — divine mind — is the basis of all reality: the explanation of its existence, its nature and structure, and its most fundamental inclinations and propensities. Moreover, because he believes that an understanding of our own mind is the best route to an understanding of the divine mind, Augustine is convinced that no account of fundamental reality will be possible without significant insight into the nature of the human mind. The seminar will focus on his most sustained, sophisticated, and original investigation of the nature of mind — his treatise De trinitate — and on the broad view of the nature of reality that emerges in the course of that investigation.
Since De trinitate contains extraordinarily rich material not only in the philosophy of mind but also in metaphysics, epistemology, moral psychology, ethics, and philosophical theology, the seminar will explore a wide range of Augustine’s mature philosophical views. There will also be opportunity for interested students to explore the relations between Augustine and late ancient philosophy (e.g., Cicero, Plotinus, Porphyry), and between Augustine and medieval and early modern philosophy (e.g., Anselm, Aquinas, Descartes).
All required reading will be in English, but there will be opportunity for work with the Latin text. Consent of instructor required.

Phil 4002: Latin Philosophical Texts (meeting time tba)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts.
  • Permission of instructor required.
  • Text for Fall 09: Cicero’s De finibus book 5

2008-09

On sabbatical leave

2007-08

Summer 08

Phil 2200 (211): Ancient Philosophy (Daily 2:30-3:45)

This course focuses on the thought of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle and considers developments prior to Socrates and after Aristotle in relation to these three foundational figures. Topics include central issues in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and political philosophy.

CAU Study Tour: Heaven and Earth in the Ancient Aegean

Spring 08

Phil 410: Latin Philosophical Texts

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts.
  • Permission of instructor required.
  • Text for Spring 08: Aquinas on the cardinal virtues (fromScriptum super sententiis III)

Phil 612: Seminar: Medieval Philosophy (R 7:30-9:30)

  • Topic: Aquinas’s Moral Theory

This course examines Aquinas’s moral theory by focusing on his moral psychology and his accounts of virtue and natural law. We will read a variety of Aquinas’s texts (in English translation), including Summa theologiae, Summa contra gentiles, various disputed questions, and the commentary on Aristotle’s Ethics. We will also give some attention to important recent literature on these parts of Aquinas’s thought.

Fall 07

Phil 315: Medieval Philosophy (MW 2:55-4:10)

A selective survey of Western philosophical thought from the fourth to the fourteenth century. Topics include the problem of universals, the theory of knowledge and truth, the nature of free choice and practical reasoning, and philosophical theology. Readings (in translation) include Augustine, Boethius, Anselm, Abelard, Aquinas, Scotus, and Ockham. Some attention will be given to the development of ideas across the period and the influence of non-Western traditions on the West

  • Prerequisite: one previous course in philosophy.

Phil 410: Latin Philosophical Texts

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts.
  • Permission of instructor required.
  • Text for Fall 07: Tertullian’s De anima.
  • Tuesdays 4:45-6:15, GS 320

2006-07

Summer 2007

Cornell Adult University: Inventing Christianity: The First Six Centuries

Spring 07

Phil 263: Religion & Reason (MWF 1:25-2:15)

Phil 410: Latin Philosophical Texts

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts.
  • Permission of instructor required.
  • Text for Spring 07: Augustine, De trinitate book 9

Fall 06

On leave

2005-06

Summer 2006

Phil 101: Introduction to Philosophy

Cornell Adult University: Deadly Sins (course site)

Spring 06

Phil 100.1: Augustine’s Confessions: How to Search for God Without Losing One’s Mind (Tues/Thurs 1:25–2:40)

No thinker has done more to shape the Western intellectual tradition than Augustine (354-430 AD), and no book displays Augustine’s dynamic vision of reality more compellingly than the Confessions. Its probing and intimate reflections on the meaning of human life, the nature of God and mind, good and evil, love and sexuality, and time and eternity have challenged every generation since Augustine’s own. The seminar will be structured around a close, critically engaged reading of the Confessions. Some attention will be given to its historical context and significance. Required work will include short exegetical and analytical assignments and longer synthetic and critical essays. Attention will be given to developing tools for critical reading and thinking as well as for effective writing.

Phil 410: Latin Philosophical Texts (Tuesday 11:30-1:15)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts.
  • Permission of instructor required.
  • Text for Spring 06: Confessions 7

Fall 05

Phil 651: The Problem of Evil (co-taught with Andrew Chignell)

The seminar will focus on important recent work on the problem of evil, including Marilyn McCord Adams’sHorrendous Evils and Eleonore Stump’s 2004 Gifford Lectures on the problem of evil.

Phil 410: Latin Philosophical Texts (Tuesday 3:30–5:00)

  • Selected readings in Latin philosophical texts.
  • Permission of instructor required.
  • Text for Fall 05: Confessions 11