SGW H- 439
Professor Justin Smith
OFFICE HOURS: MW 12-1
OFFICE LOCATION: PR-402 (2100 MACKAY STREET)
What is the difference between my doing something, and something merely happening? Or, to cite a famous formulation of this problem, what is left over when, from the fact that I raise my hand, I subtract the fact that my hand goes up? What if there is no difference, and in fact everything we as humans 'do' is just as much a part of the deterministic natural order as, e.g., the orbit of the planets or the coming and going of the tides? If there is no difference, then does this mean that we are not free? If we are not free, then how can we possibly justify praising and blaming other people (and ourselves) for what we 'do'? Is it my soul or mind that causes my body to do things? Can bodily changes bring about changes in my soul or mind? How do these two interact, given that they appear to be different from one another in so many respects? In this class, we will investigate these and related questions, drawing upon a number of classic texts in philosophy from the past four hundred years or so.
Roger Ariew and Eric Watkins, Modern Philosophy: An Anthology of Primary Sources (Hackett, 2009). ISBN-10: 0872209784; ISBN-13: 978-0872209787.
Friedrich Nietzsche, On the Genealogy of Morality, tr. Maudemarie Clark and Alan Swensen (Hackett, 1998).
Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations (State University of New York Press, 1999) ISBN-10: 0791442020; ISBN-13: 978-0791442029
In addition, there will be a packet of required readings available at Copies Concordia, on de Maisonneuve between Mackay and Guy.