Philosophy Workshop (PKU, Autumn 2020)
The fundamental objective of this course is for students to have regular, intensive practice of doing philosophy, both individually and in collaboration. In this way, the course will significantly improve each participant’s philosophical knowledge and skills.
The specific course contents will be determined by the students themselves. After an introductory first meeting, all course meetings will be devoted to a discussion of individual students’ own written work (for example, an essay or thesis chapter; note that this may be written work that has been completed for other courses or degree requirements). Each student chooses a piece of work to submit, which will be circulated so that other participants can share written comments in advance of the meeting; during the meeting, the author will give an oral presentation, followed by a formal response by another student and then an open discussion.
Each week, the teacher will also assign some additional background reading, which will normally consist of some seminal articles within the relevant field. Participants will thus both study a variety of philosophical topics and, most importantly, learn to do philosophy, and do it well, by engaging in the kinds of activity that have been fundamental to the practice of all great philosophers.
Analytic Philosophy (PKU, Spring 2020)
Analytic philosophy is the dominant philosophical tradition in the English-speaking world, and it is now steadily growing in the non-English-speaking world. This course is a detailed study of the analytic tradition—its nature, history and practice—and it will help to transform students into better, more analytic philosophers. The course will offer an introduction to the great works of early analytic philosophy by Gottlob Frege (1848–1925), G. E. Moore (1873–1958), Bertrand Russell (1872–1970) and Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889–1951) as well as excellent recent and contemporary work in analytic philosophy ranging from epistemology and metaphysics to ethics, aesthetics, and more.