PHIL 880 Pro-Seminar

Fall Semester 2011| Day


INSTRUCTOR   P. Hanson, WMX 5658



  1. Foot, Philippa.  “Morality as a System of Hypothetical Imperatives,” The Philosophical Review, Vol. 81,No. 3 (Jul., 1972) pp. 305-316.
  2. Williams, Bernard. “Morality, the Peculiar Institution,” in Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy, Harvard University Press (Cambridge, 1985)  pp. 174-196.
  3. Russell, Bertrand.  “On the Notion of Cause,” Proceedings of the Aristotelian Society, New Series.  Vol. 13 (1912-1913).  pp. 1-26.  Hitchcock, Christopher.  “What Russell Got Right,” in Price, Huw and Corry, Richard (eds.) Causation, Physics, and the Constitution of Reality, Oxford University Press (NY, 2007)  pp. 45-65.
  4. Cartwright, Nancy.  “Causal Laws and Effective Strategies,” Nous 13 (1979) pp. 419-437.   Bigelow, John and Malina, Gary, “Simpson’s Paradox,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy (2009).
  5. Quine, Willard van Orman. “Ontological Relativity,” in Ontological Relativity and Other Essays (Columbia University Press, 1969) pp.
  6. Quine, W. v. O.  “Epistemology Naturalized,” ibid.,  pp. 69-90.
  7. Stroud, Barry. “The Significance of Naturalized Epistemology,”in French, Peter, et. al. (eds.) Midwest Studies in Philosophy VI, University of Minnesota Press (Minneapolis, 1981)  Quine,  W.v.O. “Reply to Stroud,”ibid., pp. 473-5.
  8. Goldman, Alvin. “Epistemic Folkways and Scientific Epistemology,” in Liaisons, Philosophy Meets the Cognitive and Social Sciences,  Bradford/MIT Press (Cambridge, 1992) pp. 155-175.
  9. Kitcher, Philip. “A Priori Knowledge,” The Philosophical Review, Vol. 89 No.1 (January 1980) pp. 3-23.
  10. De Pierris, Graciela.  “The Constitutive A Priori,” Canadian Journal of Philosophy, Supp. Vol. 18 (1992)  pp. 179-214.
  11. Burge, Tyler.  “Content Preservation,” The Philosophical Review, Vol. 102 No. 4 (1993) pp. 457-488.
  12. Dennett, Daniel.  “Real Patterns,”The Journal of Philosophy, Vol. 88, No. 1 (January, 1991) pp. 27-51.



The pro-seminar, required for incoming graduate students, provides an opportunity to work on key skills of the profession – writing, presenting, and critical discussion – while examining together a range of influential philosophical work, mostly papers written in the past 50 years, some of them classics. Many of these papers are available on-line through JSTOR and the like. Hard copies of the others will be made available for personal photocopying. The selection covers topics in 'analytic' epistemology and metaphysics, with some value theory, and a soupçon of history and formal studies. Areas and the particular papers chosen doubtless reflect interests of the instructor.


  • General:  attendance; reading in advance the material to be discussed; participation in class discussion;
  • Class participation: 10% (may also include a few short – paragraph length – in-class assignments);
  • Class presentation one of the assigned readings: 30% (outline of presentation to be submitted to instructor at time of presentation);
  • 3 written assignments on topics to be set by the instructor: 20%, 25%, 25% (Each paper will be about 5-6 pages long (max 2000 words), and will begin with an abstract that describes in a few sentences the topic of the paper and main points to be made. One rewrite of one of the first two papers will be allowed per student.)