• Spring 2016

    Spring 2016

    Philosophical Anthropology

    Darwinian evolution has challenged our self-understanding. Man is capable of sublime art, selfless giving and rich conscious experience. Yet our brain evolved primarily as a tool of survival, competition and cooperation.

    What does our evolutionary origin mean for who we are? Are we mere bio-machines that have been directed towards other ends?

    This course aims to give the student a basic understanding of some important contemporary and historical responses to this question. After a primer on evolutionary theory and evolutionary psychology, the body of the course will focus on three philosophical responses: embracing physicalism, defending mind-body dualism, and finding new solutions through metaphysical innovation. We will read both contemporary and historical texts.

Past courses:

2018-’19 The Ethics of Monogamy: Feminism and Evolution (module for course ‘Philosophy and Contemporary Society’)

The Ethics of Genetic Enhancement (module for course ‘Human Genetics, Ethics, and Policy’)

2017-’18 Philosophy of Science (co-taught with Grant Ramsey)

The Ethics of Cognitive Enhancement (module for course ‘Philosophy and Contemporary Society’)

The Ethics of Genetic Enhancement (module for course ‘Human Genetics, Ethics, and Policy’)

2016-’17 Metaphysics

2015-’16 Philosophical Anthropology

2014-’15  Logic

2013-’14 Research and Writing Tutorial