Philosophy III is a year-long course comprised of four, distinct term-long Papers.
Three of these are lecture/tutorial courses, the other (in 2nd Term) is a small-class, seminar-based course.
Term 1: Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics (Prof. Marius Vermaak)
The course will focus on key concepts, arguments and methods in Aristotle’s ethics. You should develop a good understanding of the Nicomachean Ethics, probably the most influential text in Western philosophical ethics.
Primary text: Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics (translated and edited by Roger Crisp, 2000).
Term 2: Options (Kelland, Jones, Flockemann, Williamson)
Students choose one from a set of options:
Option 1: Sex, Gender and Discrimination (Dr. Lindsay Kelland)
Despite the current backlash against feminism, the oppression of women living in patriarchal societies still warrants attention. The situation of women may not seem as dire as it was some 50 years ago, perhaps because in most western societies huge advances have been made towards gender equality. However, these advances should not blind us to the fact that women are still largely subjugated by patriarchy, which is evidenced by the annually increasing numbers of female rape victims both globally and in South Africa. Importantly, philosophical work in this area is able to help us make sense of the situation that women find themselves in, and, crucially, enables an acknowledgement of the severity of this situation. In this course, we will explore a number of classic feminist texts, including seminal work by Simone de Beauvoir, Sandra Bartky, Iris Marion Young, Martha Nussbaum and Debra Bergoffen, as well as more recent work coming out of the US and UK on women’s embodied situation, epistemic injustice, objectification, and rape.
Option 2: Race and Racism (Prof. Ward Jones)
What are races? Are they biological? Are they social entities? What role do they play in our lives? What is the relationship between the nature of races and racism? In this course, we will look at some interesting and challenging new work, mostly from America, on the metaphysics of race. The aim of this course is for you to come to grips with yourself as a racial being, to form your own informed ideas about what it means to live in a world in which people are raced and treat each other as raced.
Option 3: Self-Knowledge (Dr. Richard Flockemann)
When we are in pain, or when we are daydreaming, imagining certain things or entertaining certain beliefs, it seems we know that we are. This knowledge of our own minds, it seems, is highly unusual in several ways. For instance, it is direct -- it is not based on any obvious evidence -- and it seems especially resistant to sceptical doubt (that he was thinking was the one thing Descartes could not bring himself to doubt). In this course we will examine the nature and extent of this special form of self-knowledge. The sorts of questions we will ask are: how exactly do we know our own minds? Is self-knowledge really immune to scepticism? What kinds of facts about our own minds are available to us via this special introspective access? Is the idea that we have privileged access to our own minds compatible with naturalism?
Option 4: Physicalism: The Best Case(Mr. F. Williamson)
We read Jaegwon Kim’s book Physicalism, or Something Near Enough. In this book Kim presents what he thinks of as the best case for the best type of physicalism we can hope for. Along the way he presents his case against non-reductivist types of physicalism which still dominate the field today, and argues for a version of reductive physicalism which, he thinks, is good enough. But it still has problems, and our quest is to determine whether these problems are enough to sink the physicalist project in favour of some other non-physicalist or anti-physicalist scheme.
Term 3: to be announced (pending new appointment)
Term 4: to be announced (pending new appointment)
Lecture times and venue
All lectures will be held in Physics Upper. Lectures will begin on Monday the 16th of February.
Lectures will be on Monday Periods 7 & 8, Wednesday Period 2, Thursday Period 3 & Friday Period 4.
There are weekly group tutorials in Terms 1, 3 & 4. Tutorial times will be arranged each term.
Assessment is by way of examinations and essays