Category: Course Notes

  • Sources of Human Diversity

    by Kevin Currie-Knight ___ People differ in all sorts of ways. Most of our differences generally go unnoticed when we interact. For example, with regard to a store clerk yesterday, I didn’t notice what her eye color or dominant hand is. But other differences, as the saying goes, make a difference. Historically and into the…

  • Dilemmas of Difference

    by Kevin Currie-Knight _____ When confronted with those different from us, when should we notice and take the difference seriously, and when is it best to look past the difference and act as if it doesn’t exist? To use the language of a modern discussion, should we be “colorblind” and move to treat people of…

  • three lectures on ethics and animals

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ Three lectures from my Ethics and Contemporary Issues course on the subject of animals and ethics.  I cover material from Peter Singer, Cora Diamond, and Bernard Williams. First Lecture: Peter Singer on Our Ethical Obligations to Animals https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYe6z7EUXaQ&list=PLYpFt8HxKBGvo2CSBGfHUx2_sm6zcZMvg&index=8&ab_channel=AravisTarkheena Peter Singer, a contemporary philosopher at Princeton University, is most famous for…

  • Four Lectures on danto

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The complete lecture notes and video for my unit on Danto, in my upper-division Aesthetics course, PHI 320. Danto 1 ____ In my view Danto’s Transfiguration of the Commonplace represents the most sophisticated, best effort to define ‘art’ in what I have called “the New Wave” in the Philosophy of…

  • Three Lectures in Aesthetics

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ____ Three lectures from this semester’s upper-division course in Aesthetics [PHI 320] at Missouri State University.  My topics include: Formalism; Clive Bell; The Wittgenstein-inspired view that ‘art’ cannot be defined; Morris Weitz; Maurice Mandelbaum; Relational Definitions; and The Institutional Theory of Art. Following the video lecture links are the three sets…

  • Two Introductory lectures on ethical theory

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ This semester, I am once again teaching all-online [hopefully for the last time].  Here are the two opening lectures for my Ethics and Contemporary Issues course, in which I give a brief overview of ethical theory.  Below them you will find the lecture notes that accompany the videos and which…

  • Course Notes: Arthur Danto on “Surface” and “Deep” Interpretation

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ Before the coronavirus turned everything upside-down, the students in my upper-division Aesthetics course and I were working through Arthur Danto’s theory of interpretation, so as eventually to bring it into tension with Susan Sontag’s take in her famous essay, “Against Interpretation,” on which I wrote in the early days of…

  • Course Notes — Themes from the Incomparable Philip K. Dick

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The end of the Fall semester is rapidly approaching, and it will mark the last time I will have taught the current iteration of my Philosophical Ideas in Literature course, devoted to five novels by Philip K. Dick: The Man in the High Castle (1962); The Three Stigmata of Palmer…

  • Course Notes: Three Lectures on Knowledge

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ As readers of Course Notes will know, I created an entirely new Introduction to Philosophy course this year. Profound changes in the student population over the last several years, including an apparent inability to understand or even just read classics from the history of philosophy, as well as a troubling…

  • Course Notes — A New Introduction to Philosophy Course

    by Daniel A. Kaufman ___ The Fall 2019 semester has begun, so it is time to return to our long-running series, “Course Notes.” This year I have unveiled a brand new version of Philosophy 110, our Introduction to Philosophy course, which I intend to feature in Course Notes, throughout the semester. The course faces a…