NC Wieland

Teaching

Spring 2017

No teaching anticipated outside of student supervision. I will be working on administrative duties and on research leave.

Fall 2016

Philosophy of Literature, upper-division section. This course is about (A) philosophical questions about literature, and (B) philosophical views within literary works. The units that will be covered in the first half of the course are: (1) What is literature? Here we use philosophical tools to demarcate a work of literature itself. (2) What is a work of fiction? (3) What is the ontology of fiction and fictional entities? (4) What is the logic of assertion, truth, and meaning in fictional worlds? (5) How do we psychologically participate in fictions? Our primary text for investigating these questions is Kendall Walton's Mimesis as Make-Believe. We will supplement with excerpts and readings from Plato, Friedrich Nietzsche, David Lewis, Amie Thomasson, and Jorge Luis Borges. The second half of the course is on this semester's theme: self-knowledge. We will read a couple philosophical works on this theme (including an essay by Charles Taylor), and then we will look at this theme in a variety of literary works. There will be some student choice in this list (meaning: students pursue their own reading interests from a fairly long list), which may include work by: St. Augustine, George Eliot, Ralph Ellison, Saul Bellow, Marcel Proust, Milan Kundera, Henry James, Lydia Davis, David Foster Wallace, Virginia Woolf, David Markson, and Karl Ove Knausgaard.

Spring 2016

No classes. I am on sabbatical.

Fall 2015

Philosophy of Language, upper-division/graduate combined section. This is a greatest hits course in twentieth century philosophy of language. Units: meaning & language, definite descriptions, names, indeterminacies. Readings include Frege ("The Thought" and "On Sense and Reference"), Wittgenstein (from Philosophical Investigations), Quine (from Word and Object), Grice ("Logic and Conversation"), Chomsky ("Language and Problems of Knowledge"), Russell ("Descriptions"), Strawson ("On Referring"), Donnellan ("Reference and Definite Descriptions"), Kripke ("Speaker's Reference and Semantic Reference" and material from Naming and Necessity and material from On Rules and Private Language), Searle ("Proper Names"), Evans ("The Causal Theory of Names" and "Understanding Demonstratives"), Kaplan ("Demonstratives..." and "Dthat"), and Perry ("The Problem of the Essential Indexical").

Spring 2015

Introduction to Ethics, lower-division section. Introduction to major historical ethical theories and select topics in normative ethics.

Fall 2014

Philosophy of Literature, upper-division section. This course is about (A) philosophical questions about literature, and (B) philosophical views within literary works. The units covered this semester were: (1) What is literature? Here we use philosophical tools to demarcate literature itself. What goes into the creation of literary works? Do they need to contain fictional elements? Does the author need to intend for them to be literary? How can literature be defined such that it allows for the production of new work? (2) What is the purpose of literature? Is literature ever bad for societies? Is it necessary for understanding the harshness of reality? Can it make philosophical claims in ways that are unavailable to philosophers? Should it aim toward something good? Can literature written with immoral intentions still be good literature? (3) What is an author? (4) The ontology of fiction: how can we talk about fictional events, objects, and persons, fictional events in non-fictional settings, non-fictional events that are partially fictionalized, the language games of fiction and reality. (5) Personal identity. (6) Memory and immortality. Readings included work by Robert Stecker, Monroe Beardsley, E.D. Hirsch, Peter Lamarque & Stein Haugom Olson, Plato, Friedrich Nietzsche, Raymond Carver, Catherine Wilson, Edith Wharton, Martha Nussbaum, Oscar Wilde, Jorge Luis Borges, Roland Barthes, Michel Foucault, David Foster Wallace, Nelson Goodman & Catherine Elgin, John Searle, David Lewis, and Amie Thomasson. Students selected novels to work on from Oscar Wilde, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Ralph Ellison, Virginia Woolf, Milan Kundera, or their own choice.

Critical Thinking, lower-division section. Introduction to philosophical principles and methods of clear reasoning. Includes discussion of the psychological literature on heuristics and biases.

Spring 2014

Kant, upper-division/graduate combined section. In this course we study Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason carefully, critically, and thoroughly. This will take us through a number of topics central to philosophy including reason, knowledge and its limits, experience, space and time, self-knowledge, and appearances and reality. Students will leave this course better prepared to discuss this extremely important episode in the history of philosophy, and will be better prepared to take the richness of Kant’s philosophy and apply it to many contemporary philosophical debates. First Critique material covered included: B preface, B introduction, B33-B202, Axvi-Axvii, B218-B256, B294-B315, B349-B396, A338-A405, B432-B453, B472-B479, B560-B586, B595-B503, B823-B858 (some of the material near the end was optional for students depending on paper topic). Graduate students were required to attend additional discussion seminars where we read and discussed Karl Ameriks' "From Kant to Frank: The Ineliminable Subject" and "Identity," Manfred Frank, "Is Subjectivity a Non-Thing, an Absurdity [Unding]? On Some Difficulties in Naturalistic Reductions Self-Consciousness," Dieter Heinrich, "Self-Consciousness: A Critical Introduction to a Theory," Thomas Nagel, from The View from Nowhere, and portions of Henry Allison's Transcendental Idealism.

Introduction to Ethics, lower-division section. Introduction to major historical ethical theories and select topics in normative ethics.

Fall 2013

Graduate proseminar: Speech Acts and Pragmatics. This course is designed to initiate first-semester graduate students into the program and into philosophy as it is practiced at higher levels of professional academic competence. The initiation into advanced philosophy will be achieved by equipping students with the skills in analysis, composition, and research that are appropriate for meeting the expectations of our MA program. Students will be trained in how to conduct themselves in a graduate-level setting, how to analyze texts through presentations and discussion, how to write focused, argumentative papers, how to conduct philosophical research, how to properly cite sources, and related skills. Students will know the expectations of the department and its faculty, including the requirements of the program, the department’s basic qualifying examination (BQE), the thesis option and non-thesis comprehensive exams. Students will understand the arguments of major texts in the area or subdiscipline that constitutes the subject matter of the proseminar. Students will be able to analyze philosophical texts, and will develop their ability to perform at a passing level on the department’s basic qualifying examination. Students will practice the mechanics of in-class presentations appropriate to graduate-level coursework. Students will know the standard resources for doing philosophical research. Students will practice composition skills, including topic selection, outlining and drafting, clear argumentation, prospectus and abstract writing, revision and editing, and proper citation. The theme for the proseminar for Fall 2013 was ‘Speech Acts and Pragmatics’. We read and discussed classic and contemporary papers related to these topics including work by Grice, Austin, Searle, Szabo, Salmon, Strawson, Carston, Bach & Harnish, Saul, Lewis, Stalnaker, and others.

Critical Thinking, lower-division section. Introduction to philosophical principles and methods of clear reasoning. Includes discussion of the psychological literature on heuristics and biases.

 Spring 2013

Philosophy of Language, upper-division/graduate combined section. This is a greatest hits course in twentieth century philosophy of language. Units: meaning & language, definite descriptions, names, demonstratives. This semester material included Frege ("The Thought" and "On Sense and Reference"), Wittgenstein (from The Blue and Brown Books), Quine (from Word and Object), Grice ("Utterer's Meaning and Intentions"), Davidson ("Truth and Meaning"), Russell ("Descriptions"), Strawson ("On Referring"), Donnellan ("Reference and Definite Descriptions"), Neale ("Context and Communication"), Searle ("Proper Names"), Burge ("Reference and Proper Names"), Kripke (from Naming and Necessity), Evans ("The Causal Theory of Names" and "Understanding Demonstratives"), Kaplan ("Dthat"), and Perry ("Frege on Demonstratives").

Introduction to Ethics, lower-division section. Introduction to major historical ethical theories and select topics in normative ethics.

Fall 2012

Race, Ethnicity, and Gender in American Law, upper-division section. This course covers philosophical questions concerning race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity in the history of American law. Readings include work by J.S. Mill, Naomi Zack, Michelle Alexander, Martha Minow, Ronald Dworkin, Susan Okin, Angela Harris, Dean Spade, Richard Delgado, Catherine MacKinnon, and J. Angelo Corlett. We also read many court opinions in this course, including U.S. v. The Amistad, State v. Post (1845), Dred Scott v. Sanford (1857), Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), Brown v. Board of Education (1954 and 1955), Strauder v. West Virginia (1879), Korematsu v. United States (1944), Washington v. Davis (1976), McCleskey v. Kemp (1987), Loving v. Virginia (1967), University of California v. Bakke (1978), Craig v. Boren (1976), Michael M. v. Sonoma County Superior Court (1981), Rostker v. Goldberg (1981), Bowers v. Hardwick (1986), Watkins v. U.S. Army (1990), Steffan v. Perry (1994), Boy Scouts of America v. Dale (2000), Goodridge v. Dept. of Public Health (2003), Lawrence v. Texas (2003), Skinner v. Oklahoma (1942), Harper v. Virginia State Board of Elections (1966), City of Mobile v. Bolden (1980), San Antonio Independent School District v. Rodriguez (1973), Griswold v. Connecticut (1965), Roe v. Wade (1973), Planned Parenthood of Southeastern Pennsylvania v. Casey (1992), Miller v. California (1973), American Booksellers Assoc. v. Hudnut (1985), Skokie v. National Socialist Party of America (1977), Beauharnais v. Illinois (1952), R.A.V. v. City of St. Paul (1992)

Critical Thinking, lower-division section. Introduction to philosophical principles and methods of clear reasoning. Includes discussion of the psychological literature on heuristics and biases.

Spring 2012

Kant, upper-division/graduate combined section. In this course we study Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason carefully, critically, and thoroughly. This will take us through a number of topics central to philosophy including reason, knowledge and its limits, experience, space and time, self-knowledge, and appearances and reality. Students will leave this course better prepared to discuss this extremely important episode in the history of philosophy, and will be better prepared to take the richness of Kant’s philosophy and apply it to many contemporary philosophical debates. First Critique material covered included: B preface, B introduction, B33-B202, Axvi-Axvii, B218-B256, B294-B315, B349-B396, A338-A405, B432-B453, B472-B479, B560-B586, B595-B503, B823-B858 (some of the material near the end was optional for students depending on paper topic).

Introduction to Ethics, lower-division section. Introduction to major historical ethical theories and select topics in normative ethics.

Fall 2011

Graduate proseminar: Autonomy and Objectification. This course is designed to initiate first-semester graduate students into the program and into philosophy as it is practiced at higher levels of professional academic competence. The initiation into advanced philosophy will be achieved by equipping students with the skills in analysis, composition, and research that are appropriate for meeting the expectations of our MA program. Students will be trained in how to conduct themselves in a graduate-level setting, how to analyze texts through presentations and discussion, how to write focused, argumentative papers, how to conduct philosophical research, how to properly cite sources, and related skills. Students will know the expectations of the department and its faculty, including the requirements of the program, the department’s basic qualifying examination (BQE), the thesis option and non-thesis comprehensive exams. Students will understand the arguments of major texts in the area or subdiscipline that constitutes the subject matter of the proseminar. Students will be able to analyze philosophical texts, and will develop their ability to perform at a passing level on the department’s basic qualifying examination. Students will practice the mechanics of in-class presentations appropriate to graduate-level coursework. Students will know the standard resources for doing philosophical research. Students will practice composition skills, including topic selection, outlining and drafting, clear argumentation, prospectus and abstract writing, revision and editing, and proper citation. The theme for the proseminar for Fall 2011 was ‘Autonomy and Objectification’. We read and discussed classic and contemporary papers related to these topics including work by Kant (Groundwork, Lectures on Ethics, Metaphysics of Morals), Henry Allison, Christine Korsgaard, Jane Kneller, Barbara Herman, Sally Haslanger, Martha Nussbaum, Jennifer Saul, Rae Langton, Charles Taylor, Susan Wolf, Linda Barclay, Paul Benson, and Natalie Stoljar.

Critical Thinking, lower-division section. Introduction to philosophical principles and methods of clear reasoning. Includes discussion of the psychological literature on heuristics and biases.

Spring 2011

Philosophy of Language, upper-division/graduate combined section. This is a greatest hits course in twentieth century philosophy of language. Units: meaning & language, definite descriptions, names, demonstratives. This semester material included Frege ("The Thought" and "On Sense and Reference"), Wittgenstein (from The Blue and Brown Books), Quine (from Word and Object), Grice ("Utterer's Meaning and Intentions"), Davidson ("Truth and Meaning"), Russell ("Descriptions"), Strawson ("On Referring"), Donnellan ("Reference and Definite Descriptions"), Neale ("Context and Communication"), Searle ("Proper Names"), Burge ("Reference and Proper Names"), Kripke (from Naming and Necessity), Evans ("The Causal Theory of Names" and "Understanding Demonstratives"), Kaplan ("Dthat"), and Perry ("Frege on Demonstratives").

Introduction to Ethics, lower-division section. Introduction to major historical ethical theories and select topics in normative ethics.

Fall 2010

Philosophy of Law, upper-division section. Study of the historical development of the philosophy of law and examination of the problems in the field ranging from general theories to analysis of fundamental legal concepts and normative issues. Includes readings by Lon Fuller, Carlos Nino, Thomas Aquinas, H.L.A. Hart, Martin Luther King, Robert Jackson, Charles Wyzanski Jr., Oliver Wendell Holmes, Ronald Dworkin, Margaret Jane Radin, A.M. Honore, Judith Jarvis Thompson, Norval Morris, Stephen Morse, John Stuart Mill, Patrick Devlin, and Robert Bork. We also read many court opinions, including Lawrence v. Texas, Bowers v. Hardwick, Riggs v. Palmer, Henningsen v. Bloomfield Motors, Ryan v. New York Central R. Co., Lynch v. Fisher, Palsgraf v. The Long Island Railroad Co., Quirke v. City of Harvey, Derdiarian v. Felix Contracting Corp., Summers v. Tice, Yania v. Bigan, State v. Cameron, McGowan v. Maryland, Reynolds v. United States, South Florida Free Beaches, Inc. v. City of Miami, Florida, Griswold v. Connecticut, Village of Skokie v. National Socialist Party of America, Cohen v. California, Texas v. Johnson, Michigan v. Boomer, Ashcroft v. The Free Speech Coalition, Perry v. Schwarzenegger.

Critical Thinking, lower-division section. Introduction to philosophical principles and methods of clear reasoning. Includes discussion of the psychological literature on heuristics and biases.

Spring 2010

Kant, upper-division/graduate combined section. In this course we study Kant’s Critique of Pure Reason carefully, critically, and thoroughly. This will take us through a number of topics central to philosophy including reason, knowledge and its limits, experience, space and time, self-knowledge, and appearances and reality. Students will leave this course better prepared to discuss this extremely important episode in the history of philosophy, and will be better prepared to take the richness of Kant’s philosophy and apply it to many contemporary philosophical debates. First Critique material covered included: B preface, B introduction, B33-B202, Axvi-Axvii, B218-B256, B294-B315, B349-B396, A338-A405, B432-B453, B472-B479, B560-B586, B595-B503, B823-B858 (some of the material near the end was optional for students depending on paper topic).

Introduction to Ethics, lower-division section. Introduction to major historical ethical theories and select topics in normative ethics.

Fall 2009

Critical Thinking, lower-division section. Introduction to philosophical principles and methods of clear reasoning. Includes discussion of the psychological literature on heuristics and biases.

Spring 2009

Philosophy of Language, upper-division/graduate combined section. This is a greatest hits course in twentieth century philosophy of language. Units: meaning & language, definite descriptions, names, demonstratives. This semester material included Frege ("The Thought" and "On Sense and Reference"), Wittgenstein (from The Blue and Brown Books), Quine (from Word and Object), Grice ("Utterer's Meaning and Intentions"), Davidson ("Truth and Meaning"), Russell ("Descriptions"), Strawson ("On Referring"), Donnellan ("Reference and Definite Descriptions"), Neale ("Context and Communication"), Searle ("Proper Names"), Burge ("Reference and Proper Names"), Kripke (from Naming and Necessity), Evans ("The Causal Theory of Names" and "Understanding Demonstratives"), Kaplan ("Dthat"), and Perry ("Frege on Demonstratives").

Introduction to Ethics, lower-division section. Introduction to major historical ethical theories and select topics in normative ethics.

Fall 2008

I was on partial leave this semester, but for part of the semester I taught Critical Thinking, lower-division section. Introduction to philosophical principles and methods of clear reasoning. Includes discussion of the psychological literature on heuristics and biases.

Spring 2008

Graduate seminar: The Nature of Language. In this course we studied philosophical theories on the nature of language. We were not primarily concerned with the narrow problems that have occupied most contemporary philosophy of language (e.g., reference, meaning, quantification domains, indexicality, contextualism, etc.). Rather, we tried to answer the most general philosophical about language, namely What is language? Readings included Plato (Cratylus), Locke ("Of Words"), Leibniz ("Of Words"), Humboldt (from On Language), Austin ("Performative Utterances" and from How to Do Things with Words), Searle ("What is a Speech Act?" and "Literal Meaning"), Grice ("Logic and Conversation" and "Meaning"), Quine (from Word and Object), Davidson ("Belief and the Basis of Meaning"), Saussure ("On the Dual Essence of Language"), Sapir (from Language, An Introduction to the Study of Speech), Lewis ("Language and Languages"), Chomsky (from Language and the Problems of Knowledge and from Knowledge of Language: Its Nature, Origin, and Use), Langacker (from Cognitive Grammar), Clark ("Languages and Representations"), Sperber & Wilson (from Relevance), and Cappelen & Lepore (from Semantic Minimalism).

Critical Thinking, lower-division section. Introduction to philosophical principles and methods of clear reasoning. Includes discussion of the psychological literature on heuristics and biases.

Fall 2007

Feminism, undergraduate/graduate combined section. Classic readings in the history of feminist theory.

Critical Thinking, lower-division section. Introduction to philosophical principles and methods of clear reasoning. Includes discussion of the psychological literature on heuristics and biases.