Website description: What exactly is the ideal government? Let some of history's leading philosophers give you their take. In this government philosophy lesson, students explore how philosophers have explained the relationship between people and their governments and examine how those ideas influenced America's founding documents.
What's the relationship between government and power? And how do the concepts of authority, legitimacy, and sovereignty influence that relationship? In this lesson, students are introduced to these key characteristics of government, consider how governments establish and maintain them, and analyze government forms to determine if and how each characteristic exists.
Student Learning Objectives:
*Explain how governments get their power, authority, legitimacy, and sovereignty
* Analyze governments for key characteristics
* Describe the relationships power, authority, legitimacy, and sovereignty share
* Consider a government’s legitimacy
This course focuses on an in-depth reading of Principia Mathematica Philosophiae Naturalis by Isaac Newton, as well as several related commentaries and historical philosophical texts.
This course examines the history of MIT through the lens of the broader history of science and technology, and vice versa. The course covers the founding of MIT in 1861 and goes through the present, including such topics as William Barton Rogers, educational philosophy, biographies of MIT students and professors, intellectual and organizational development, the role of science, changing laboratories and practices, and MIT's relationship with Boston, the federal government, and industry. Assignments include short papers, presentations, and final paper. A number of classes are concurrent with the MIT150 Symposia.
The Republic of Plato is one of the classic gateway texts into the study and practice of philosophy, and it is just the sort of book that has been able to arrest and redirect lives. How it has been able to do this, and whether or not it will be able to do this in your own case, is something you can only discover for yourself. The present guidebook aims to help a person get fairly deep, fairly quickly, into the project. It divides the dialogue into 96 sections and provides commentary on each section as well as questions for reflection and exploration. It is organized with a table of contents and is stitched together with a system of navigating bookmarks. Links to external sites such as the Perseus Classical Library are used throughout. This book is suitable for college courses or independent study.
This course studies what is language and what does knowledge of a language consist of. It asks how do children learn languages and is language unique to humans; why are there many languages; how do languages change; is any language or dialect superior to another; and how are speech and writing related. Context for these and similar questions is provided by basic examination of internal organization of sentences, words, and sound systems. No prior training in linguistics is assumed.
This is an introductory textbook in logic and critical thinking. The goal of the textbook is to provide the reader with a set of tools and skills that will enable them to identify and evaluate arguments. The book is intended for an introductory course that covers both formal and informal logic. As such, it is not a formal logic textbook, but is closer to what one would find marketed as a critical thinking textbook. Downloadable as a pdf file.
This course explores the nature of meaning and truth, and their bearing on the use of language in communication. No knowledge of logic or linguistics is presupposed.
In the decades following the Second World War, a cluster of extraordinary French thinkers were widely translated and read in American universities. Their works were soon labeled as "French Theory." Why would sharing the same nationality make authors such as Lacan, Cixous, Derrida, Foucault or Debord, ambassadors of a specifically "French" theory? The course will explore the maze of transatlantic intellectual debates since 1945 and the heyday of French existentialism. We will study the debates on communism, decolonization, neo_liberalism, gender, youth culture and mass media. This course is taught in English.
This course explores the ideal of social justice. What makes a society just? We will approach this question by studying three opposing theories of justice - utilitarianism, libertarianism, and egalitarian liberalism - each foundational to contemporary political thought and discourse.
24.901 is designed to give you a preliminary understanding of how the sound systems of different languages are structured, how and why they may differ from each other. The course also aims to provide you with analytical tools in phonology, enough to allow you to sketch the analysis of an entire phonological system by the end of the term. On a non-linguistic level, the course aims to teach you by example the virtues of formulating precise and explicit descriptive statements; and to develop your skills in making and evaluating arguments.
Introduction to fundamental concepts in syntactic theory and its relation to issues in philosophy and cognitive psychology. Examples and exercises from a variety of languages. This course will acquaint you with some of the important results and ideas of the last half - century of research in syntax. We will explore a large number of issues and a large amount of data so that you can learn something of what this field is all about. From time to time, we will discuss related work in language acquisition and processing. The class will emphasize ideas and arguments for these ideas in addition to the the details of particular analyses. At the same time, you will learn the mechanics of one particular approach (sometimes called Principles and Parameters syntax). Most of all, the course tries to show why the study of syntax is exciting, and why its results are important to researchers in other language sciences. The class assumes some familiarity with basic concepts of theoretical linguistics, of the sort you could acquire in 24.900.
This seminar explores experiments in education and discusses how education and learning might be done, through reading and discussion. This seminar is not a survey of experiments in education, but rather, its goal is to determine how learning should happen and what kinds of contexts allow it to happen.
" This class explores the creation (and creativity) of the modern scientific and cultural world through study of western Europe in the 17th century, the age of Descartes and Newton, Shakespeare, Milton and Ford. It compares period thinking to present-day debates about the scientific method, art, religion, and society. This team-taught, interdisciplinary subject draws on a wide range of literary, dramatic, historical, and scientific texts and images, and involves theatrical experimentation as well as reading, writing, researching and conversing. The primary theme of the class is to explore how England in the mid-seventeenth century became "a world turned upside down" by the new ideas and upheavals in religion, politics, and philosophy, ideas that would shape our modern world. Paying special attention to the "theatricality" of the new models and perspectives afforded by scientific experimentation, the class will read plays by Shakespeare, Tate, Brecht, Ford, Churchill, and Kushner, as well as primary and secondary texts from a wide range of disciplines. Students will also compose and perform in scenes based on that material."
In this course we will cover central aspects of modern formal logic, beginning with an explanation of what constitutes good reasoning. Topics will include validity and soundness of arguments, formal derivations, truth-functions, translations to and from a formal language, and truth-tables. We will thoroughly cover sentential calculus and predicate logic, including soundness and completeness results.
This course begins with an introduction to the theory of computability, then proceeds to a detailed study of its most illustrious result: Kurt GĚŚdel's theorem that, for any system of true arithmetical statements we might propose as an axiomatic basis for proving truths of arithmetic, there will be some arithmetical statements that we can recognize as true even though they don't follow from the system of axioms. In my opinion, which is widely shared, this is the most important single result in the entire history of logic, important not only on its own right but for the many applications of the technique by which it's proved. We'll discuss some of these applications, among them: Church's theorem that there is no algorithm for deciding when a formula is valid in the predicate calculus; Tarski's theorem that the set of true sentence of a language isn't definable within that language; and GĚŚdel's second incompleteness theorem, which says that no consistent system of axioms can prove its own consistency.
This seminar focuses on the cognitive science of moral reasoning. Philosophers debate how we decide which moral actions are permissible. Is it permissible to take one human life in order to save others? We have powerful and surprisingly rich and subtle intuitions to such questions. In this class, you will learn how intuitions can be studied using formal analytical paradigms and behavioral experiments. Thursday evening, meet to learn about recent advances in theories of moral reasoning. Overnight, formulate a hypothesis about the structure of moral reasoning and design a questionnaire-based experiment to test this. Friday, present and select 1-2 proposals and collect data; we will then reconvene to analyze and discuss results and implications for the structure of the moral mind.
This annotated bibliography offers some direction and insights for educators interested/concerned about the use of mindfulness in environmental education.
This course is an introduction to many of the central issues in a branch of philosophy called philosophy of mind.
Modal logic is the logic of necessity and possibility, and by extension of analogously paired notions like validity and consistency, obligation and permission, the known and the not-ruled-out. This a first course in the area. A solid background in first-order logic is essential. Topics to be covered include (some or all of) the main systems of propositional modal logic, Kripkean "possible world" semantics, strict implication, contingent identity, intensional objects, counterpart theory, the logic of actuality, and deontic and / or epistemic logic. The emphasis will be more on technical methods and results than philosophical applications.