Philosophy

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program

Bachelor of Arts (BA)

The Department of Philosophy offers an undergraduate major in Philosophy leading to the Bachelor of Arts (BA) degree.

Declaring the Major

To declare the major, students should pick up a Declaration of Major form from 206 Evans Hall. They need to fill it out, bring it to 314 Moses Hall (Philosophy Department office) for signature, and then return it to 206 Evans.

Honors Program

With the consent of the major adviser, a student with an overall 3.5 grade point average (GPA) or higher and a GPA of 3.7 or higher in courses in the major may apply for admission to the honors program. Students in this program must complete a graduate seminar in the Department of Philosophy and write an acceptable honors thesis, for which four units of credit will be given under PHILOS H195

Minor Program

To declare the minor, students should get a Declaration of Minor form from 206 Evans Hall. After filling it out, they should take the form to 314 Moses Hall and ask the Student Affairs Officer to verify that they have taken the required courses or are in the process of taking them. The Student Affairs Officer will then file the form at the end of the semester after students have received their final grades. Normally the minor is declared at the start of a student's last semester at Berkeley.

Visit Department Website

Major Requirements

In addition to the University, campus, and college requirements, listed on the College Requirements tab, students must fulfill the below requirements specific to their major program.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the major requirements below must be taken for graded credit, other than courses listed which are offered on a Pass/No Pass basis only. Other exceptions to this requirement are noted as applicable.
  2. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs with the exception of minors offered outside of the College of Letters & Science.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in both upper and lower division courses used to fulfill the major requirements.

For information regarding residence requirements and unit requirements, please see the College Requirements tab.

One of the following courses may be taken on a Pass/No Pass basis.

Lower Division Requirements

PHILOS 12AIntroduction to Logic4
PHILOS 25AAncient Philosophy4
PHILOS 25BModern Philosophy4

Upper Division Requirements 

Methods
PHILOS 100Philosophical Methods (or equivalent see footnote 1 below) 14
Ethics
Select one of the following:
Ethical Theories
Moral Psychology
Contemporary Ethical Issues
History of Political Philosophy
Political Philosophy
History
Select one course numbered between PHILOS 160-PHILOS 178.
Select one course from below:
PHILOS 153
Medieval Philosophy
Foundations of Analytic Philosophy: Frege
Plato
Aristotle
Special Topics in Greek Philosophy
Descartes
Hobbes
Spinoza
Leibniz
Hume
Kant
Hegel
Schopenhauer and Nietzsche
Nietzsche
Heidegger
Later Wittgenstein
Special Topics in the History of Philosophy
Phenomenology
Phenomenology
Epistemology/Metaphysics
Select two courses from different groups below.
Group A:
Theory of Knowledge
Group B:
Metaphysics
Group C:
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Perception
Group D:
Philosophy of Language
Form and Meaning
Theory of Meaning
Electives
Three courses total. Two must be upper division and one may be either upper division or lower division. 2,3
1

You may satisfy this requirement without taking PHILOS 100 by presenting evidence that you received an A or an A+ in at least two out of the first three eligible philosophy courses that you have taken at Berkeley. Here are the eligible philosophy courses: PHILOS 25A; PHILOS 25B; any upper division philosophy course except PHILOS 140A or PHILOS 140B

2

One elective may be a course offered in another department, provided the course is approved by the undergraduate adviser.

3

 PHILOS H195PHILOS 198, and PHILOS 199 do not count as electives.

Minor Requirements

Students who have a strong interest in an area of study outside their major often decide to complete a minor program. These programs have set requirements and are noted officially on the transcript in the memoranda section, but they are not noted on diplomas.

General Guidelines

  1. All courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements below must be taken for graded credit.
  2. A minimum of three of the upper division courses taken to fulfill the minor requirements must be completed at UC Berkeley.
  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 is required for courses used to fulfill the minor requirements.
  4. Courses used to fulfill the minor requirements may be applied toward the Seven-Course Breadth requirement for Letters & Science students.
  5. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor programs.
  6. All minor requirements must be completed prior to the last day of finals during the semester in which the student plans to graduate. Students who cannot finish all courses required for the minor by that time should see a College of Letters & Science adviser.
  7. All minor requirements must be completed within the unit ceiling. (For further information regarding the unit ceiling, please see the College Requirements tab.)

Requirements

Lower Division
History
PHILOS 25AAncient Philosophy4
or PHILOS 25B Modern Philosophy
Upper Division
Ethics, select one of the following:4
Ethical Theories
Moral Psychology
Contemporary Ethical Issues
History of Political Philosophy
Political Philosophy
Epistemology/Metaphysics, select one of the following:4
Theory of Knowledge
Metaphysics
Philosophy of Mind
Philosophy of Language
Form and Meaning
Theory of Meaning
Philosophy of Perception
Electives: three additional upper division philosophy courses12

College Requirements

Undergraduate students in the College of Letters & Science must fulfill the following requirements in addition to those required by their major program.

For detailed lists of courses that fulfill college requirements, please review the College of Letters & Sciences page in this Guide.

Entry Level Writing

All students who will enter the University of California as freshmen must demonstrate their command of the English language by fulfilling the Entry Level Writing requirement. Fulfillment of this requirement is also a prerequisite to enrollment in all reading and composition courses at UC Berkeley. 

American History and American Institutions

The American History and Institutions requirements are based on the principle that a US resident graduated from an American university should have an understanding of the history and governmental institutions of the United States.

American Cultures

American Cultures is the one requirement that all undergraduate students at Cal need to take and pass in order to graduate. The requirement offers an exciting intellectual environment centered on the study of race, ethnicity and culture of the United States. AC courses offer students opportunities to be part of research-led, highly accomplished teaching environments, grappling with the complexity of American Culture.

Quantitative Reasoning

The Quantitative Reasoning requirement is designed to ensure that students graduate with basic understanding and competency in math, statistics, or computer science. The requirement may be satisfied by exam or by taking an approved course.

Foreign Language

The Foreign Language requirement may be satisfied by demonstrating proficiency in reading comprehension, writing, and conversation in a foreign language equivalent to the second semester college level, either by passing an exam or by completing approved course work.

Reading and Composition

In order to provide a solid foundation in reading, writing and critical thinking the College requires two semesters of lower division work in composition in sequence. Students must complete a first-level reading and composition course by the end of their second semester and a second-level course by the end of their fourth semester.

Breadth Requirements

The undergraduate breadth requirements provide Berkeley students with a rich and varied educational experience outside of their major program. As the foundation of a liberal arts education, breadth courses give students a view into the intellectual life of the University while introducing them to a multitude of perspectives and approaches to research and scholarship. Engaging students in new disciplines and with peers from other majors, the breadth experience strengthens interdisciplinary connections and context that prepares Berkeley graduates to understand and solve the complex issues of their day.

Unit Requirements

  • 120 total units, including at least 60 L&S units

  • Of the 120 units, 36 must be upper division units

  • Of the 36 upper division units, 6 must be taken in courses offered outside your major department

Residence Requirements

For units to be considered in "residence," you must be registered in courses on the Berkeley campus as a student in the College of Letters & Science. Most students automatically fulfill the residence requirement by attending classes here for four years. In general, there is no need to be concerned about this requirement, unless you go abroad for a semester or year or want to take courses at another institution or through UC Extension during your senior year. In these cases, you should make an appointment to meet an adviser to determine how you can meet the Senior Residence Requirement.

Note: Courses taken through UC Extension do not count toward residence.

Senior Residence Requirement

After you become a senior (with 90 semester units earned toward your BA degree), you must complete at least 24 of the remaining 30 units in residence in at least two semesters. To count as residence, a semester must consist of at least 6 passed units. Intercampus Visitor, EAP, and UC Berkeley-Washington Program (UCDC) units are excluded.

You may use a Berkeley Summer Session to satisfy one semester of the Senior Residence requirement, provided that you successfully complete 6 units of course work in the Summer Session and that you have been enrolled previously in the college.

Modified Senior Residence Requirement

Participants in the UC Education Abroad Program (EAP) or the UC Berkeley Washington Program (UCDC) may meet a Modified Senior Residence requirement by completing 24 (excluding EAP) of their final 60 semester units in residence. At least 12 of these 24 units must be completed after you have completed 90 units.

Upper Division Residence Requirement

You must complete in residence a minimum of 18 units of upper division courses (excluding EAP units), 12 of which must satisfy the requirements for your major.

Student Learning Goals

Mission

The Undergraduate Student Learning Initiative (USLI) is a campuswide project that has been under development at Berkeley since Fall 2007. This initiative is designed to promote and facilitate learning for undergraduates across campus. In connection with this initiative, the Philosophy Department has articulated the following goals for our undergraduate majors.

The primary goal that we expect our undergraduate philosophy majors to achieve is to become capable of engaging with the main topics and issues in contemporary academic philosophy and with the historical tradition by which contemporary philosophy is informed. Students who graduate from our program should be able to think both analytically and creatively about philosophical issues and texts. They should be able to analyse and raise objections to philosophical views and arguments that are presented to them, and to develop and defend their own views on philosophical topics. They should be able to do this both in writing and in oral discussion with other students and with instructors. Achieving these objectives requires that students acquire more general skills in writing, reading, and oral argument: they need to be able to organize their ideas, express them clearly both in writing and in speaking, and construct plausible arguments in their defense.

Learning Goals for the Major

This primary goal includes the following more specific goals:

  1. A broad general understanding of the work of major figures in the history of philosophy, including Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Kant.
  2. A deeper and more detailed understanding of the work of at least two historically important philosophers.
  3. Familiarity with the most important topics in a range of areas which are typically regarded as lying at the center of contemporary philosophical thought, including metaphysics, theory of knowledge, philosophy of mind, and the philosophy of language.
  4. Familiarity with the most important topics in ethics and the related field of political philosophy.
  5. Familiarity with formal logic, including both the ability to understand the logical symbolism used in many contemporary philosophical texts, and to carry out logical proofs and derivations within a formal system.
  6. The general capacity to think analytically and creatively about philosophical texts and issues.
  7. The general capacity to express philosophical ideas and defend them effectively in argument, both in writing and orally.

Assessment

Students’ attainment of these goals is measured by assessment of their performance in the courses required for the major. All philosophy undergraduate courses, with the exception of those in logic, require students to write several essays over the course of the semester; many of them also require a final exam where the questions also take the form of short philosophical essays. These essays are evaluated by the instructor with an eye both to the student’s mastery of the specific subject matter covered by the course, and to the student’s mastery of more general skills in philosophical thinking and writing. A higher standard of thinking and writing is required for upper division than for lower division courses. More ambitious students have the option of taking graduate seminars as electives, where the standard for philosophical writing is higher still.

In logic courses, students’ competence in formal logic is evaluated through assessment of their performance in weekly problem sets and examinations (typically including a midterm and a final).

All of our courses, again with the exception of those in formal logic, require students to engage in oral philosophical discussion, typically during sections taught by graduate student instructors. In many courses, students’ contributions to discussion are assessed as part of the overall assessment of their performance in the class. We recognize it as a shortcoming in our program, however, that our courses are often too large to allow much discussion, and as a result, we are not confident that all of our students do in fact become proficient in this aspect of the primary goal of the program. We think it very important that students have the opportunity to develop their skills in oral discussion of philosophical issues, and we are hoping to be able to introduce as a requirement that students take one undergraduate seminar which offers ample opportunity for discussion with a faculty member and with their peers. So far, the small size of the faculty compared with the large size of enrollment in philosophy classes has prevented us from doing this, but we hope that faculty size will increase to a degree that will make this change in the program feasible.

Curriculum

Students are required to take 12 courses overall, including a number of required courses; these required courses are selected and designed with reference to the specific goals from the numbered list above, as follows:

The goals described in this statement will be communicated to our undergraduate students by posting a prominent link to this statement on our department website, on the same page that is used to inform students about the course requirements for the philosophy major.

Courses

Philosophy

PHILOS R1B Reading and Composition Through Philosophy 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Spring 2015, Spring 2013
Training in writing expository prose in conjunction with reading philosophical texts. Satisfies the second half of the Reading and Composition requirement.

Reading and Composition Through Philosophy: Read More [+]

PHILOS 2 Individual Morality and Social Justice 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 8 Week Session, Summer 2017 First 6 Week Session, Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session
Introduction to ethical and political philosophy.

Individual Morality and Social Justice: Read More [+]

PHILOS 3 The Nature of Mind 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 First 6 Week Session, Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Spring 2017
Introduction to the philosophy of mind. Topics to be considered may include the relation between mind and body; the structure of action; the nature of desires and beliefs; the role of the unconscious.

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PHILOS 4 Knowledge and Its Limits 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
Introduction to the theory of knowledge.

Knowledge and Its Limits: Read More [+]

PHILOS 5 Science and Human Understanding 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2012, Spring 2007, Fall 2005
Introduction to the Philosophy of Science.

Science and Human Understanding: Read More [+]

PHILOS 6 Man, God, and Society in Western Literature 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2013, Summer 2011 Second 6 Week Session
Philosophical issues as expressed in poetry, drama, and the novel. This course will compare and contrast the Greek, Medieval, and modern worlds, as reflected in their greatest literature, with special emphasis on the role of the community in reconciling conflicts between sub-groups in society and the individual's ability to understand and control his own life. We will also follow man's realization that the changing answers
to these questions are themselves self-interpretations.
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PHILOS 7 Existentialism in Literature and Film 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Summer 2013 10 Week Session, Summer 2013 Second 6 Week Session
Christian, agnostic, and atheistic existentialism as expressed in the works of Dostoyevsky, Melville, Kafka, Antonioni, Goddard, etc.

Existentialism in Literature and Film: Read More [+]

PHILOS 10 Comparative Ethics 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015
A comparative study of topics in Chinese and Western ethical traditions. Topics include love, compassion, benevolence; rituals, filial obligations, the individual and the family; pride, shame, guilt; conscientiousness, courage, wisdom; trustworthiness, forms of integrity; concepts of the self; self-cultivation; human nature, destiny, the cosmic order; the concept of morality, morality and tradition. The course will conclude with a discussion of metaethical issues concerning
the confrontation between rival ethical traditions and methodological issues in the study of comparative ethics.
Comparative Ethics: Read More [+]

PHILOS 11 Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2016 Second 6 Week Session, Spring 2016, Spring 2015
A survey of basic issues in contemporary philosophy of religion, exploring arguments about God's existence, the status of religious experiences and beliefs, how souls might interact with bodies, and the relationship of God to morality.

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PHILOS 12A Introduction to Logic 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 First 6 Week Session, Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Spring 2017
Syntax, semantics, and proof theory of sentential and predicate logic.

Introduction to Logic: Read More [+]

PHILOS 13 Business Ethics 3 Units

Terms offered: Summer 1997 10 Week Session
This course addresses the nature of ethical motivation and agency, with special attention to the individual's role in a business organization. Topics include theories of ethical motivation; individual character and organizational culture; personal integrity; corporate agency; corporate responsibility to society.

Business Ethics: Read More [+]

PHILOS 16 Introduction to Metaphysics 3 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2002 10 Week Session, Summer 2001 10 Week Session, Summer 2000 10 Week Session
This course is an introduction to some of the traditional questions in metaphysics--the study of what there is in the world and how what there is is structured. Topics will include free will and determinism, the mind-body problem, and personal identity. If time permits, we will also examine arguments for the existence of God.

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PHILOS 17 Concepts of the Person in Novel, Drama, and Film 3 Units

Terms offered: Prior to 2007
In any culture, the way we act implies some view of what it is to be a person, and indeed what it is to be a particular kind of person, e.g., black or white, male or female, citizen or non-citizen. This view determines what roles and privileges are available to specific individuals and how these individuals will think of themselves and evaluate their actions and obligations. We will focus on works of philosophy, literature and film which have had a powerful and
lasting impact on our culture.
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PHILOS 18 Confucius for Today 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
The teachings of Confucius (6th to 5th century B.C.) have had a profound influence on Chinese and East Asian cultures, and have attracted significant interest throughout the world. In what ways are they still of relevance to life in the twenty-first century? The course will consider the contemporary implications of Confucius’ teachings for such topics as: family, rituals, life and death, fate, contentment and anxiety, anger and resentment, courage
, respectfulness, modesty and humility, trustworthiness, learning, self-cultivation, semblances of virtue. In addition to reading selected passages from the Analects, we will also consider commentaries by later Confucians and read contemporary philosophical articles on the relevant topics.
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PHILOS 24 Freshman Seminar 1 Unit

Terms offered: Fall 2013, Fall 2012, Spring 2012
The Freshman Seminar Program has been designed to provide new students with the opportunity to explore an intellectual topic with a faculty member in a small-seminar setting. Freshman seminars are offered in all campus departments, and topics vary from department to department and semester to semester. Enrollment is limited to 15 freshmen.

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PHILOS 25A Ancient Philosophy 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 First 6 Week Session, Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Fall 2016
The history of ancient philosophy with special emphasis on the Presocratics, Plato, and Aristotle.

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PHILOS 25B Modern Philosophy 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 First 6 Week Session, Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Spring 2017
The history of modern philosophy from Descartes through Kant.

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PHILOS 39 Freshman Seminar 2 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2014
Study of various fields of philosophy of special interest to freshman. Topics will vary from semester to semester and will be individually announced. Freshman seminars are restricted to fifteen students each.

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PHILOS 98 Directed Group Study for Lower Division Students 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Fall 2015, Spring 2015
Directed study on special topics.

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PHILOS 98BC Berkeley Connect 1 Unit

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016
Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program, offered through various academic departments, that helps students build intellectual community. Over the course of a semester, enrolled students participate in regular small-group discussions facilitated by a graduate student mentor (following a faculty-directed curriculum), meet with their graduate student mentor for one-on-one academic advising, attend lectures and panel discussions featuring department
faculty and alumni, and go on field trips to campus resources. Students are not required to be declared majors in order to participate.
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PHILOS 100 Philosophical Methods 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016
The course is designed to acquaint students with the techniques of philosophical reasoning through detailed study of selected philosophical texts and through extensive training in philosophical writing, based on those texts. Should be taken as early as possible after declaring the major.

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PHILOS 104 Ethical Theories 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Fall 2014
The fundamental concepts and problems of morality examined through the study of classical and contemporary philosophical theories of ethics.

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PHILOS 107 Moral Psychology 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2015, Fall 2011
An investigation of central issues in moral psychology, such as: free will, weakness of will, self-deception, moral motivation, emotions, virtues, moral education.

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PHILOS 108 Contemporary Ethical Issues 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Spring 2014, Fall 2012
This course will be devoted to in-depth discussion of a variety of problems in moral philosophy raised by real-life questions of individual conduct and social policy. Its contents will vary from occasion to occasion. Possible topics include philosophical problems posed by affirmative action, abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, terrorism, war, poverty, and climate change.

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PHILOS 109 Freedom and Responsibility 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Summer 2010 10 Week Session, Summer 2010 First 6 Week Session
A systematic examination of freedom and responsibility. The following topics will be addressed (among others): the relations between freedom of will, freedom of action, and autonomy; moral responsibility and its conditions; naturalism, determinism, and their relevance for human freedom; practical deliberation and the structure of the will; weakness and strength of will. Readings may be drawn from both
historical and contemporary sources.
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PHILOS 110 Aesthetics 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Spring 2017, Summer 2015 Second 6 Week Session
Visual arts/literature and music. Form, expression, representation style; interpretation and evaluation.

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PHILOS 112 Special Topics in Aesthetics 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2013
This course is intended to allow a more focused exploration of particular topics in aesthetics than is possible in Philosophy 110. Its contents will vary from occasion to occasion. Topics may include philosophical questions arising for particular art forms such as painting, music, or dance; questions about form, expression, representation, and emotion in aesthetic experience; or the ideas of particular aesthetic movements or schools of thought.

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PHILOS C112 Music and Meaning 3 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2013
This course will explore the question of whether music has meaning, and if so, what kind. Can music represent, say, birdsong, or the sea, or merely imitate? If music expresses emotions, then whose--those of the listener? The composer? The performer? We will consider parallels and contrasts between linguistic and musical meaning, theories of how music can be expressive, and the question of whether music can convey political meaning.

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PHILOS 114 History of Political Philosophy 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2016 Second 6 Week Session, Spring 2012, Spring 2007
A survey of the major political philosophers, including some or all of Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Kant, Bentham, Mill, and Marx.

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PHILOS 115 Political Philosophy 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Summer 2015 Second 6 Week Session
Analysis of political obligation and related problems.

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PHILOS 116 Special Topics in Political Philosophy 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2015, Fall 2011
This course is designed to deal with a variety of topics in political philosophy. Its contents will vary from occasion to occasion. Possible topics include problems in liberal theory; justice, desert, and responsibility; communitarianism, nationalism, and cosmopolitanism.

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PHILOS 117AC The Philosophy of Race, Ethnicity, and Citizenship 4 Units

Terms offered: Not yet offered
This course explores philosophical questions of race, ethnicity, and citizenship, with special attention to the experiences of African Americans, Asian Americans, Latino Americans, and indigenous peoples of the United States. Topics include the meaning of “race,” “ethnicity,” and “citizenship,” border control and immigration, reparations for past wrongs, discrimination and affirmative action, civic obligation and group solidarity, and the right to vote.

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PHILOS 119 Feminism and Philosophy 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2014 Second 6 Week Session, Fall 2012
This course will introduce students to a range of historical and contemporary feminist issues.

Feminism and Philosophy: Read More [+]

PHILOS 122 Theory of Knowledge 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Fall 2014

Theory of Knowledge: Read More [+]

PHILOS 125 Metaphysics 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Fall 2016, Fall 2015
An advanced introduction to contemporary metaphysics, focusing on the ideas of objectivity, existence, naturalness, identity, time, causation, and possibility.

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PHILOS 127 Rationality and Irrationality in Science 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2004
Science is often regarded as preeminently rational. Yet recent work in philosophy, history and sociology of science suggests that scientific knowledge is no more rationally established than other sorts of knowledge, and that scientists' convictions are driven more by party loyalty and ego than by a pureminded pursuit of truth. This course will consider the case for and against the rationality of science. It will also consider the recent controversy concerning "scientific"
creationism.
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PHILOS 128 Philosophy of Science 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2016 First 6 Week Session, Fall 2013, Spring 2013
A survey of main topics in the logic of science and of other issues coming under the general heading of philosophy of science.

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PHILOS 132 Philosophy of Mind 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 Second 6 Week Session, Spring 2017, Summer 2016 First 6 Week Session
Mind and matter; other minds; the concept "person."

Philosophy of Mind: Read More [+]

PHILOS C132 Philosophy of Mind 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2008, Fall 2006
Mind and matter; other minds; the concept of "person."

Philosophy of Mind: Read More [+]

PHILOS 133 Philosophy of Language 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2014

Philosophy of Language: Read More [+]

PHILOS 134 Form and Meaning 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Fall 2011
How is the meaning of a whole sentence determined by the meanings of its parts, and by its structure? This question is addressed in empirical semantic theories for natural language. The character and content of such theories has been a central concern both of the philosophy of language and of recent linguistics, and it is the central focus of this course.

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PHILOS 135 Theory of Meaning 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 First 6 Week Session, Fall 2016, Summer 2016 Second 6 Week Session
Language as social behavior. Language compared to other sign systems. The foundations of semantics, truth, meaning, reference. Issues of logical form in belief sentences, indirect discourse, sentences about causality, events, actions. Relations between thought and language.

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PHILOS 136 Philosophy of Perception 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Fall 2014, Fall 2013
The philosophy of perception is a microcosm of the metaphysics of mind. Its central problems - What is perception? What is the nature of perceptual consciousness? How can one fit an account of perceptual experience into a broader account of the nature of the mind and the world? - are problems at the heart of metaphysics. It is often justifiably said that the theory of perception (and especially vision) is the area of psychology and neuroscience
that has made the greatest progress in recent years. Despite this progress, or perhaps because of it, philosophical problems about perception retain a great urgency, both for philosophy and for science.
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PHILOS 138 Philosophy of Society 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
This course deals with the ontology of society and thus provides a foundation for the social sciences. The main questions discussed are: 1) What is the mode of existence of social reality? 2) How does it relate to psychological and physical reality? 3) What implications does social ontology have for social explanations?

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PHILOS 140A Intermediate Logic 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Spring 2014, Spring 2010
Major concepts, results, and techniques of modern logic. Basic set theoretic tools. Model theoretic treatment of propositional and first-order logic (completeness, compactness, Lowenheim-Skolem). Philosophical implcations of these results.

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PHILOS 140B Intermediate Logic 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2014, Spring 2012
Major concepts, results, and techniques of modern logic. Turing machines, computability theory, undecidability of first-order logic, proof theory, Godel's first and second inompleteness theorms. Philosophical implications of these results.

Intermediate Logic: Read More [+]

PHILOS 141 Philosophy and Game Theory 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Spring 2014, Summer 2013 10 Week Session
An exploration of how game theory and rational choice theory shed light on traditional philosophical problems; and of new paradoxes and problems introduced by these theories.

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PHILOS 142 Philosophical Logic 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2016, Spring 2014, Fall 2012
The course aims at introducing students to the basic topics in philosophy of logic. Among the topics to be treated are the notions of validity, truth and truth functionality, quantification, and necessity.

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PHILOS 143 Modal Logic 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2015, Fall 2012, Spring 1999
An introduction to the logical study of modality in its many forms: reasoning about necessity, knowledge, obligation, time, counterfactuals, provability, and other modal notions. Covers core concepts and basic metatheory of propositional modal logic, including relations to first-order logic; basics of quantified modal logic; selected philosophical applications ranging from epistomology to ethics, metaphysics to mathematics.

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PHILOS 146 Philosophy of Mathematics 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2015, Spring 2013, Spring 2010
Foundations of mathematics: logicism, intuitionism, formalism. Set theoretical parardoxes, definition of numbers, problems of continuum.

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PHILOS 149 Special Topics in Philosophy of Logic and Mathematics 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2013, Fall 2010, Spring 2008
This course is conceived in analogy with Philosophy 129 (Special Topics in Philosophy of Science). It is supposed to allow the class to focus on more specific problems in philosophy of logic or mathematics than can be treated in a broad introductory course such as Philosophy of Mathematics (Philosophy 146) or Philosophical Logic (Philosophy 142).

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PHILOS 151 Early Chinese Thought 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2004, Summer 1997 10 Week Session, Spring 1996
An examination of early Chinese thought via a study of representative thinkers and texts. Topics include: pre-Ch'in Confucianism and Taoism, development of Confucian thought in Han dynasty and of Taoist thought in the Wei-Chin dynasties, development of Buddhist thought.

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PHILOS 155 Medieval Philosophy 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
A study of some of the major philosophical texts from the medieval period with a focus on issues in metaphysics and epistemology. Topics may include universals, individuation, the nature and existence of God, faith and reason, skepticism, freedom, language, human nature and human cognition.

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PHILOS 156A Foundations of Analytic Philosophy: Frege 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2012
The work of Gottlob Frege with special emphasis on his contributions to logic, the philosophy of mathematics, and the philosophy of language.

Foundations of Analytic Philosophy: Frege: Read More [+]

PHILOS 160 Plato 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Summer 2016 10 Week Session, Summer 2016 First 6 Week Session

Plato: Read More [+]

PHILOS 161 Aristotle 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2015, Fall 2014

Aristotle: Read More [+]

PHILOS 163 Special Topics in Greek Philosophy 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2015, Fall 2013, Spring 2013
The course is designed to deal with a variety of topics in Greek philosophy. Its contents will vary from occasion to occasion. Possible topics are: the close study of one or more of Plato's dialogues, the reading of one of Aristotle's texts, stoicism, scepticism, and neo-platonism.

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PHILOS 170 Descartes 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 First 6 Week Session, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
An intensive introduction to Descartes’s views on physics, metaphysics and epistemology through examination of Descartes’ early works on method, physics and physiology. This includes an in-depth study of the Meditations, focusing on both Descartes’ epistemological project and his anti-scholastic metaphysics supplemented by readings from the Objections and Replies, the Principles, and several important pieces of secondary
literature. Issues discussed include the method of doubt, the Cartesian circle, Descartes’ mode of presentation in the Meditations, the creation and ontological status of the eternal truths, the status of the human being, the nature of substance, mind-body dualism and Descartes' physics as presented in the Principles.
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PHILOS 171 Hobbes 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2001, Fall 1999, Spring 1998

Hobbes: Read More [+]

PHILOS 172 Spinoza 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2016, Spring 2015

Spinoza: Read More [+]

PHILOS 173 Leibniz 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2012

Leibniz: Read More [+]

PHILOS 176 Hume 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Fall 2015, Fall 2014

Hume: Read More [+]

PHILOS 178 Kant 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2016, Summer 2014 First 6 Week Session

Kant: Read More [+]

PHILOS 181 Hegel 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2013, Summer 2011 10 Week Session, Summer 2011 Second 6 Week Session

Hegel: Read More [+]

PHILOS 183 Schopenhauer and Nietzsche 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2014, Spring 2014, Spring 2013
An examination of the philosophy of Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.

Schopenhauer and Nietzsche: Read More [+]

PHILOS 184 Nietzsche 4 Units

Terms offered: Fall 2010, Spring 2008, Spring 2004
This course is a critical examination of the work of Friedrich Nietzche.

Nietzsche: Read More [+]

PHILOS 185 Heidegger 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2015, Spring 2011, Fall 2009
A study of Heidegger's .

Heidegger: Read More [+]

PHILOS 186B Later Wittgenstein 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Spring 2015, Spring 2014
A close reading and extended discussion of central parts of Wittgenstein's Philosophical Investigations.

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PHILOS 187 Special Topics in the History of Philosophy 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2014, Spring 2013, Fall 2012
The course’s specific content will vary from occasion to occasion but will focus on the work of a single philosopher, or several significantly linked philosophers, active before the second half of the twentieth century.

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PHILOS 188 Phenomenology 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2014, Spring 2013, Summer 2008 Second 6 Week Session
Backgrounds of phenomenology and existentialism. Husserl and Merleau-Ponty.

Phenomenology: Read More [+]

PHILOS N188 Phenomenology 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2009 10 Week Session, Summer 2009 First 6 Week Session
Backgrounds of phenomenology and existentialism. Husserl and Merleau-Ponty.

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PHILOS 189 Special Topics in Recent European Philosophy 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2015, Fall 2014
The course is designed to deal with a variety of topics in recent European philosophy. Its contents will vary from occasion to occasion. Possible topics include: further work in phenomenology and existentialism, the study of a particular text by an important figure in contemporary European philosophy, current French and German philosophy.

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PHILOS 190 Proseminar 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016
A seminar-style exploration of some topic in philosophy. The students and insturctor will investigate the topic in a collaborative way, through discussion rather than lecture. Topics vary from semester to semester. Enrollment is limited to 15 undergraduate philosophy majors.

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PHILOS H195 Philosophy Tutorial 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016
The department will designate a tutor, under whose guidance the student will seek to satisfy the thesis requirement of the Honors Program.

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PHILOS H196 Senior Seminar 3 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017
A collaborative writing workshop. Students in the honors program will develop their thesis, which they will have started to write in the fall in Philos H195. Other students will develop a paper from a previous course into a form suitable for a writing sample for applying to graduate school. Students will present drafts, followed by comments by an assigned respondent, and open discussion. As time permits, philosophical background for the work in progress may be read
and discussed.
Senior Seminar: Read More [+]

PHILOS 198 Group Study 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016
Directed study on special topics.

Group Study: Read More [+]

PHILOS 198BC Berkeley Connect 1 Unit

Terms offered: Spring 2017, Fall 2016, Spring 2016
Berkeley Connect is a mentoring program, offered through various academic departments, that helps students build intellectual community. Over the course of a semester, enrolled students participate in regular small-group discussions facilitated by a graduate student mentor (following a faculty-directed curriculum), meet with their graduate student mentor for one-on-one academic advising, attend lectures and panel discussions featuring department
faculty and alumni, and go on field trips to campus resources. Students are not required to be declared majors in order to participate.
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PHILOS 199 Supervised Independent Study and Research 1 - 4 Units

Terms offered: Summer 2017 8 Week Session, Spring 2017, Fall 2016
Enrollment restrictions apply; see the Introduction to Courses and Curricula section in this catalog.

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Faculty and Instructors

+ Indicates this faculty member is the recipient of the Distinguished Teaching Award.

Faculty

Janet S. Broughton, Professor. Descartes, Hume, 17th and 18th century philosophy.
Research Profile

Lara Buchak, Associate Professor. Game theory, decision theory, epistemology, philosophy of religion.
Research Profile

John Joseph Campbell, Professor. Theory of meaning; philosophy of mind; causation in psychology.
Research Profile

Timothy Clarke, Assistant Professor.

Klaus Corcilius, Associate Professor. Ancient philosophy.
Research Profile

Hannah Ginsborg, Professor. Philosophy, Kant and on Kantian themes in contemporary epistemology and philosophy of mind.
Research Profile

Wesley H. Holliday, Assistant Professor. Philosophy, logic, epistemology, Epistemic Logic, Modal Logic.
Research Profile

Niko Kolodny, Professor.

Geoffrey Lee, Associate Professor.

John Macfarlane, Professor. Ancient philosophy, philosophical logic, philosophy of language, epistemology.
Research Profile

Paolo Mancosu, Professor. Philosophy, philosophy of mathematics and its history, philosophy of logic, mathematical logic.
Research Profile

Michael Gerard Fitzgerald Martin, Adjunct Professor.

Veronique Munoz-Darde, Adjunct Professor. Moral philosophy, Rousseau, political philosophy.
Research Profile

Alva Noe, Professor. Cognitive science, phenomenology, consciousness, philosophy, theory of perception, theory of art, Wittgenstein, analytic philosophy origins.
Research Profile

Hans Sluga, Professor. Political philosophy, recent European philosophy, history of analytic philosophy, Frege, Wittgenstein, Foucault.
Research Profile

Barry Stroud, Professor. Language, metaphysics, philosophy, epistemology, modern philosophy.
Research Profile

R. Jay Wallace, Professor. Ethics, moral philosophy, philosophy.
Research Profile

Daniel Warren, Associate Professor. Philosophy, Kant, history and philosophy of science.
Research Profile

Seth Yalcin, Associate Professor. Philosophy of language, logic, philosophy of mind, cognitive science, semantics, metaphysics.
Research Profile

Lecturers

Timothy D. Crockett, Lecturer.

Katharina Kaiser, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Charles S. Chihara, Professor Emeritus.

Alan D. Code, Professor Emeritus.

+ Hubert L. Dreyfus, Professor Emeritus. Phenomenology, philosophy, existentialism, philosophy of psychology, philosophy of literature.
Research Profile

+ John R. Searle, Professor Emeritus. Philosophy, problems of mind and language.
Research Profile

Bruce J. Vermazen, Professor Emeritus. American popular music 1900-1920, especially the.
Research Profile

Contact Information

Department of Philsophy

314 Moses Hall

Phone: 510-642-2722

Fax: 510-642-4164

phildept@berkeley.edu

Visit Department Website

Department Chair

Hannah Ginsborg, PhD

302 Moses Hall

Phone: 510-664-9077

ginsborg@berkeley.edu

Undergraduate Student Affairs Officer

Janet Groome

Phone: 510-642-2722

jmgroome@berkeley.edu

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