Course Notes – W.D. Ross, The Right and the Good, Ch. 2.

by Daniel A. Kaufman http://spot.colorado.edu/~heathwoo/readings/ross.pdf School is back in session, so it’s time, once again, for Course Notes.  This semester I am teaching two sections of Ethics and Contemporary Issues, a course that is part of the General Education curriculum, and Aesthetics, an upper-division offering that runs every Fall. I have made a significant change to the first section of […]

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Course Notes – G.E.M Anscombe’s “Modern Moral Philosophy”

by Daniel A. Kaufman http://www.pitt.edu/~mthompso/readings/mmp.pdf We are nearing the end of the semester in my Theories of Ethics course and have just completed our discussions of my favorite reading, Elizabeth Anscombe’s “Modern Moral Philosophy.” (MMP) Not only do I think it is Anscombe’s greatest philosophical accomplishment – beyond her translating, editing, and publishing of Wittgenstein, of course – but it […]

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Course Notes – H.A. Prichard, “Does Moral Philosophy Rest on a Mistake?”

by Daniel A. Kaufman http://www.hist-analytic.com/PrichardObligation.pdf We have finished with our survey of traditional ethical theories, in my Theories of Ethics course, and the students have been given a whopper of an exam on Aristotle, Hume, Kant, and Mill.  I don’t envy them.  (Though neither do I envy myself, as I will be spending a good portion of my Spring Break […]

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Course Notes – Immanuel Kant, Groundwork for the Metaphysics of Morals

by Daniel A. Kaufman http://www.inp.uw.edu.pl/mdsie/Political_Thought/Kant%20-%20groundwork%20for%20the%20metaphysics%20of%20morals%20with%20essays.pdf I’ve just finished two rounds of teaching Kant’s moral philosophy – once for my introductory level Ethics and Contemporary Issues course and again, for my upper-division Theories of Ethics course – so it seemed like a good time to give our favorite deontologist his time in Course Notes.  (Actually, my favorite deontologist is W.D. Ross, […]

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Course Notes — Plato, Meno

by Daniel A. Kaufman Well, school is back and session and that means that it’s time to resume publishing Course Notes!  My courses have undergone a significant transformation this year, and I am looking forward to sharing some of the more interesting developments with the Electric Agora audience. Most importantly, I have completely revamped my Introduction to Philosophy course, after […]

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Course Notes – Donald Davidson, “On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme”

By Daniel A. Kaufman Well, we’ve arrived at the last set of Course Notes for the Knowledge and Reality course I taught this past Spring.  I look forward to picking the series up again, with the upper-division Aesthetics course I will be teaching in the Fall. In our last installment, we talked about Quine’s account of conceptual and ontological relativity, […]

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Course Notes – On Essential and Accidental Properties

By Daniel A. Kaufman Just got finished teaching Copi’s “Essence and Accident” (1) and Cartwright’s “Remarks on Essentialism” (2), in my Knowledge and Reality course, and the issues strike me as important – and interesting – enough, for an edition of Course Notes. The question of whether the things in the world have essential properties or “essences” is a longstanding […]

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