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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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... Continue Reading →

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