Post Grad 2011
Philosophy and the Concern with Colour
Semester 1, 2011
Prof W. Jones
This is a course in metaphysics, epistemology, the history of philosophy, and the nature of philosophy. Colour has been a pressing concern to philosophers since the rise of atomism in the 17thC. The issue arose when Galileo, Descartes, Locke, and others argued that since the material world is made up of miniscule objects without colours, then it follows that colours do not exist.
We will begin this class with a selection of readings representing the range of philosophical positions on the nature of colour. After that, we will work through the most recent book by Barry Stroud, one of the finer working historians of philosophy. In his book, Stroud is concerned with not only offering an account of the nature of colour, but with what we want from such an account.
Readings: Barry Stroud, The Quest for Reality (Oxford, 2000), & various readings.
Love, Morality, and Plato's Symposium
Semester 1, 2011
Dr. S. Vice (with Prof W. Jones)
The nature of love and the role of love in the good and right life has been discussed by philosophers at least since Plato?s dialogue *Symposium*. In this seminar, we will divide our time equally among the following three topics. (1) Plato?s Symposium and how to interpret it, (2) modern philosophical work on the nature of love, and (3) recent work on the relationship between the norms of love and the norms of morality.
Readings: Plato's *Symposium* & various readings.
Philosophy Honours Semester 1 — Libido Dominandi: The Fallout of the Sexual Revolution (Mr. F. Williamson)
We examine the philosophical underpinnings of the sexual revolution of the 1960’s to the present in order to assess the overall consequences for human well-being. Has the sexual revolution been a good thing, or has it been a disastrous development for humanity as a whole? We examine this issue by way of considering a number of indicator topics which bring the issues into sharper relief — contemporary views about romantic or erotic love, sexual promiscuity, pornography, prostitution, homosexuality, sexual alterity, marriage and so forth. Are the rival ethical systems of contemporary philosophy (such as consequentialism or deontology) able to offer any light in this area, or do the facts (both empirical and philosophical) rather suggest the need for a different ethical system such as Natural Law Theory as the only schema which can make sense of the confusing legacy of the sexual revolution?
Honours Semester 2
Human Rights: Western & Chinese Views (Prof M. Vermaak)
What are human rights? Are they universal and objective norms or social constructions with a recent history? Which rights are human rights? How should we understand the continuing tension between Western democracies and China regarding human rights? This course will cover meta-ethics, comparative philosophy and political philosophy. Readings will be announced.