PHIL 333 Selected Topics: Philosophical Methods

Summer Semester 2011 | DAY


INSTRUCTOR: Martin Hahn, WMX 4612


  • Chris Daly: Introduction to Philosophical Methods, Broadview Press, ISBN978-1-55111-934-2 
  • Other readings will be provided.


One of the things that distinguishes philosophy as a discipline - or is it the only thing? - are its methods.  The plan for the course will be to go through some of the major methodological tendencies in philosophy: reliance on common sense, conceptual analysis, thought experiments, reliance on simplicity, formal methods, philosophy’s  relation to science and to semantics, etc.  We will more or less follow our text, with its emphasis on case studies.  We will read the relevant material for the case studies and add some other readings as well.  The course will be of particular interest to students who have done a bit more philosophy than just the introductory courses and are wondering what, if anything, makes philosophy different from other fields of inquiry.


  • Three very short papers (700 words) worth - 15% each
  • One longer paper (2000 words) - 45%
  • Participation - 10%