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current reading groups

There are always a host of reading groups taking place in the Department. Details are below. Readings groups are typically limited to Philosophy faculty and graduate students.


Fall 2013

1. Latin Philosophical Texts.

Contact Robert Pasnau.
One hour per week, minimum of one year of college Latin required. Text to be determined. Time to be determined. If you want to take it, you might as well sign up for the course (if you're still doing coursework.)

2.Judith Jarvis Thomson's Normativity.
Contact David Boonin.
I would like to organize a reading group this fall that will work its way through Judith Jarvis Thomson's 2008 book, Normativity. We will meet on Fridays from 2:00 to 3:00 in the Center. We'll start on Friday, August 30 and plan to discuss Chapter 1 at that session. The book has 12 chapters so we will probably read one chapter for each week, skip a few weeks over the course of the term, and finish up at the end of the semester. At that point, Professor Thomson has offered to meet with the group via Skype to discuss her work.

Normativity is a work in meta-ethics. You can find a nice relatively brief overview of the book in a piece by Gilbert Harman here:

http://www.princeton.edu/~harman/Papers/Thomson.pdf

In case you don't have the time to look at that, here is the opening paragraph of Harman's piece: "Normativity is a careful, rigorous account of the meanings of basic normative terms like good, virtue, correct, ought, should, and must. Along the way Thomson refutes almost everything other philosophers have said about these topics. It is a very important book."

I expect that we will start at the end of the first week of classes but will write back later to confirm. In the meantime, if you would like to participate in the group, please let me know and go ahead and arrange now to secure a copy of the book.

3. Medieval Philosophical Texts.
Contact Robert Pasnau.
We'll be reading some Latin work for one hour a week. You can get 1 credit for this, or just attend for the great fun of it. Text to be decided by participants. To participate, you should have a minimum of one year of college Latin, or the equivalent.

(Spencer and I may also run a medieval Arabic reading group: if by chance anyone out there has some Arabic, and wants to join in, let me know.)

4. History in Translation.
Contact Robert Pasnau.
This fall, we're due to do something medieval, and I'd like to propose we look at medieval sophismata. A sophism, if you don't know, is a genre of medieval logical writing, dealing with puzzles such as, most famously, the liar, but also ranging into puzzles about time and space, knowledge, motion, and much else. There are some excellent translated examples of this available, most prominently that of John Buridan.

5.The Knitted Brow
Contact Claudia Mills.
Hello, dear philosophy people. I am interested in starting up the Knitted Brow again. For those who don't know, for many years The Knitted Brow was the philosophy department's knitting group (crocheters were also welcome! - anyone interested in spending an hour a week on some kind of crafty project is welcome). You don't need to know how to knit to come; we will teach you. All we do in the group is sit and knit or crochet together for an hour a week, chatting about knitting and crocheting and anything else we feel like chatting about. For Fall the Brow meets on Monday from 3-4 in the Reading Room. Thanks!


past reading groups
Fall 2012

1. Latin Philosophical Texts. One hour per week, minimum of one year of college Latin required. Text to be determined. Time to be determined. If you want to take it, you might as well sign up for the course (if you're still doing coursework.) Contact Bob Pasnau.

2.History-in-translation Reading Group. Once a week. This semester, we'll be reading something from the 17th-18th cc. At this point, the leading contender is Malebranche, the great proponent of occasionalism who is also well worth reading on a great many other topics. Time to be determined. Other suggestions for texts welcomed. Contact Bob Pasnau.

Spring 2012

1. History of Philosophy Reading Group.
Focus is on the philosophical ideas rather than learning languages. This semester: Aristotle's De Anima. We'll meet once a week for 90 minutes or so. The text and meeting time will be determined by participants. Contact Bob Pasnau.


Fall 2011

1. Latin Reading Group.
We meet once a week, for an hour, and go around the room, taking turns translating our text into English. You must have studied the language already, but you don't need to be very good. A year at the college level typically suffices. You can get one hour credit for these courses, or just audit it, if you don't need/want the credit. The time of meeting, and the text we read, will be determined by the participants. Contact Bob Pasnau.

2. History of Philosophy Reading Group. Focus is on the philosophical ideas rather than learning languages. Last spring we read some Leibniz. I would propose that this coming year we work our way backward in time, beginning with Aquinas in the fall, and then either Plato or Aristotle next spring. The text and meeting time will be determined by participants. Contact Bob Pasnau.

3. Philosophy of Religion Reading Group. We will meet every few weeks on Friday from 1:30-3 pm; the first meeting is tentatively scheduled for September 9. Contact Brad Monton.

4. Political Philosophy Reading Group. A group of us plans to meet every two weeks to read Elizabeth Anderson's The Imperative of Integration (Princeton U Press, 2010). Our first meeting will be 4:00 Thursday, 8 September, and every other Thursday thereafter. Contact Alison Jaggar.


Spring 2011

1. Latin Reading Group.
We meet once a week, for an hour, and go around the room, taking turns translating our text into English. You must have studied the language already, but you don't need to be very good. A year at the college level typically suffices. You can get one hour credit for these courses, or just audit it, if you don't need/want the credit. The time of meeting, and the text we read, will be determined by the participants. Contact Bob Pasnau.

2. Arabic Reading Group. We meet once a week, for an hour, and go around the room, taking turns translating our text into English. You must have studied the language already, but you don't need to be very good. A year at the college level typically suffices. You can get one hour credit for these courses, or just audit it, if you don't need/want the credit. The time of meeting, and the text we read, will be determined by the participants. Contact Bob Pasnau.

3. Logical Positivism Reading Group. We would probably start with readings from Russell and Moore on sense data before moving onto the Vienna Circle proper: Schlick, Neurath, Carnap ... . Contact Todd Grassman.

4. History of Philosophy Reading Group. I would like to begin what I hope will become a long-running institution --- a history of philosophy reading group. You don't need to know Latin, Arabic, or anything else to participate --- we will read translations, and will focus on the philosophical ideas. When and how often we'll meet will be determined by participants. This semester, I'm proposing that we read the Leibniz-Arnauld correspondence. These letters are among the greatest metaphysical works of all time, and have been extremely influential on recent authors such as Peter van Inwagen. Contact Bob Pasnau.

5. Style and Usage Reading Group. For too long have the complexities of academic writing style and modern American English usage been viewed as too complex. In this reading group, we will pore over two linguistically invaluable tomes: The Chicago Manual of Style: 16th Edition and Garner's Modern American Usage. Of the former, Wikipedia says: "Its 16 editions have prescribed writing and citation styles widely used in publishing. It is considered the de facto guide for American English style, grammar, and punctuation". Of the latter, the great David Foster Wallace says: "Really, really good. . . . Thorough and timely and solid. . . . Bryan Garner is a genius." I'd like to meet once every two weeks for each for an hour or so. Contact Andrew Chapman.

6. Dan Kaufman Reading Group. Our reading list will consist of exclusively Dan Kaufman-authored articles. We will begin with the articles "Locke on Individuation and the Corpuscular Basis of Kinds" and "Locks, Schlocks, and Poisoned Peas: Boyle on Actual and Dispositive Qualities." We will then move on to the articles "Descartes's Creation Doctrine and Modality" and "Descartes on Composites, Incomplete Substances, and Kinds of Unity." We will finish up the semester with Dan Kaufman readings decided upon by the group. I'd like to meet once every two weeks for each for an hour or so. Contact Andrew Chapman.


Fall 2010

1. Truth Reading Group.
Our goal is to get clear on the nature of correspondence, the nature of the attacks on correspondence, and to attempt a defense of correspondence in light of those attacks. Readings from Devitt, Tarski, Horwich, Hanna, Brandom, Dummett, Peirce, James, Davidson, and Rorty. Mondays, 2-4. Contact Andrew Chapman.

2. Greek Reading Group. Sextus Empiricus, Outlines of Pyrrhonism. Possibly Plato's Republic. All in the original Greek. Mondays 3-4. Contact Mitzi Lee.

3. Metametaphysics Reading Group. We'll meet every other week, discussing one paper per meeting from the book Metametaphysics, edited by Ryan Wasserman, David Chalmers, and David Manley. The group will likely continue through both the fall and spring semesters. For a favorable review of the book, see: http://ndpr.nd.edu/review.cfm?id=17845. Contact Michaela McSweeney.

4. Global Justice Reading Group.
A group of graduate students and faculty members in Political Science and Philosophy has arranged a reading group on Richard W. Miller's new book, Globalizing Justice: The Ethics of Poverty and Power (Oxford UP, 2010). Miller assesses the responsibilities of US (and other developed countries) citizens in the light of what he calls the modern American empire. His conclusions are what he calls "quasi-cosmopolitan" but he also gives weight to the moral significance of independent statehood. He ends by defending "global social democracy." The group will meet every Thursday at 5:00 beginning Sept 2. The plan is to read a chapter each week, ending on Oct 28. Group members will take responsibility for leading discussion on one chapter. If you plan to come, please read the intro and ch 1 before the first meeting. Contact Eamon Aloyo (Eamon.Aloyo@colorado.edu).

5. Probability and Rational Choice Reading Group. Psuedo-problems concerning probability, the proper interpretation of probability and conditional probability, decision theory, game theory, and social choice theory. Fridays 11-11:50am, starting September 10. Contact Eric Chwang.

Spring 2010

1. Richard Rorty Reading Group.
We'll be focusing on Philosophy and the Mirror of Nature. Tuesdays, 12 - 2. Contact Andrew Chapman.

2. Wittgenstein Reading Group.
We'll focus mainly on the first part of the Philosophical Investigations, after a quick overview of Wittgenstein's main arguments from the Tractatus. Wednesdays, 12 - 2. Contact Andrew Chapman.

3. Neuroethics Reading Group. Readings and discussions will be centered on the ethical implications of recent developments in neuroimaging and psychopharmacology. Contact Jonathan Dang.


Fall 2009


1. Consciousness Reading Group. Our basic plan is to read and discuss the essays in Alter and Walter (eds.), Phenomenal Concepts and Phenomenal Knowledge (OUP, 2007). Every other Tuesday, from 3:00- 5:00 p.m. Contact Rob Rupert or Brad Monton.

2. Language and Modality Reading Group. Kripke's Naming and Necessity, Putnam's "The Meaning of 'Meaning'," a posteriori necessities, a priori contingencies, and their critics. Maybe a bit of conceivability vs. possibility stuff at the end. Contact Chad Vance.

3. The Do/Allow and Intend/Foresee Distinctions in Ethics. Contact Chad Vance.

4. Human Rights Reading Group. We will start with Are Women Human?: And Other International Dialogues by Catharine A. MacKinnon. Contact April Shaw.

5. W.D. Ross Reading Group. We'll read The Right and the Good as well as some of Ross' fans and critics. Contact Barrett Emerick.

6. Truthmakers and Modality Reading Group. Contact Michaela McSweeney.

7. Virtue Ethics Reading Group. Fridays. Contact Spencer Case.

8. Greek Reading Group. Aristotle's Posterior Analytics in the original Greek. Contact Mitzi Lee.


Summer 2009


1. Applied Ethics Reading Group. David Boonin's manuscript on applied ethics issues having to do with race. Contact Barrett Emerick.

2.
Ethics Reading Group. Ben Bradley's Well-Being and Death (OUP, 2009). 3:00 p.m. Thursdays, Hellems 269. Contact David Boonin.


Spring 2009

1. Greek Reading Group. Aristotle's Topics in the original Greek. 2:00-3:00 p.m. Fridays. Contact Dominic Bailey.

2. Latin Reading Group.
Latin philosophical texts. 1:00-2:00 p.m. Fridays. Contact Bob Pasnau.

3. David Boonin Reading Group.
In preparation of the Kayden Author-Meets-Critics Symposium to be held on David Boonin's The Problem of Punishment on April 4, 2009, we'll be reading it. Mondays at 3:30-5:00. Contact Chris Heathwood.

4. German Reading Group. The Transcendental Aesthetic from Kant's first Critique. Contact Janella Baxter.


Fall 2008

1. Greek Reading Group. This term we'll be reading Aristotle's Topics. 2:00 p.m. Fridays. Contact Dominic Bailey or Mitzi Lee.

2. Metaethics Reading Group. We'll be reading Terence Cuneo's The Normative Web: An Argument for Moral Realism (Oxford University Press, 2007). Contact Chris Heathwood.

3. Latin Reading Group. A reading group on medieval Latin philosophical texts. One hour a week. Reading to be announced. Time to be announced. The only prerequisite is one year of college Latin. Contact Bob Pasnau.

4. Human Rights Reading Group. Meetings tentatively scheduled for Friday afternoons. The next book that we will be reading is the 2007 edition of James Nickel's book Making Sense of Human Rights. Contact April Shaw.


Spring 2008

1. Free Will and Ethics Group.
We're interested in the metaphysics of free will (esp. as it relates to issues in the philosophy of mind), freedom & moral responsibility, intentional agency & personal identity, the metaphysical foundations of ethics, & normative & applied ethical issues in relation to all the other stuff. We'll read & talk about classical, recent, & contemporary papers, parts of books, or books in these areas, & chat a little bit about the weather too. We'll meet weekly on Fridays from 1-3 pm in the Barnes Room (HLMS 196). Contact Robert Hanna or Kristin Demetriou.

2. Nietzsche Reading Group.
We're meeting every other Monday night, starting at 5 in Hellems 269 on January 14th. We'll be reviewing the first chap of Ecce Homo and going through the second chapter. We're using Kaufmann's combined edition of Genealogy of Morals and Ecce Homo. Contact Sheralee Brindell.

3. Greek Reading Group.
This term we'll be going through Aristotle's De Generatione et Corruptione. Time and place TBD. Contact Dominic Bailey.

4. Infinity Reading Group.
We are going to study puzzles involving infinite quantities and infinite value and infinitesimals and stuff having to do with infinity. Time and place TBD. Contact Christian Lee or Mike Huemer.

5. Human Rights Group. Fridays at 2:00 at Buchanan's. Contact April Shaw.


Fall 2007

1. Medieval Latin Philosophical Texts Group: contact Robert Pasnau.

2. Cambridge History of Medieval Philosophy Group: contact Robert Pasnau.

3. Cognition, Content, & Consciousness Group: T he deepest thinking, funnest, longest running (2 years this Fall), & most thoroughly Canadian reading group in the department. Currently discussing Mark Rowlands's Body Language (MIT, 2006). Time & place TBA. Interested people, whether faculty, graduate students, or undergraduates, should contact Bob Hanna.

4. Greek Group: Meeting Wednesdays from 4-5 in Hellems 197, starting 9/12. Reading Aristotle, Physics V 1, in Greek. It's a translation/discussion group: contact Mitzi Lee.

5. Economics Applied to Ethics Group: Meeting Thursday nights at 6pm, and the first meeting will be September 6. Basically, the goal is to become conversant with various economic principles and theories, and to see how these can sharpen and even inform our positions in (normative, and occasionally applied) ethics. The first reading is: "A Positive Account of Property Rights" by David Friedman [Social Philosophy & Policy, volume 11, number 2 (Summer 1994)]. We will meet bi-weekly, Thursdays at 6:00pm.  The first meeting is Sept. 6.  Please let Dan Demetriou know if you're interested.

6. Human Rights Group: Mondays at 2:00 at Buchanan's. Contact April Shaw if you're interested.

  

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