Problems of Philosophy Philosophy 1, Fall 2006

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Class notes


  1. Singer’s argument
    Singer outline
  2. Singer’s principle
  3. Cohen on responsibility
    Cohen outline
  4. Thomson’s analogy
    Thomson outline
    Thomson handout [pdf]
  5. The right to abortion
  6. Moral luck
  7. Moral realism and relativism
    Moral relativism handout [pdf]
    Iranian examples [pdf]
    Dostoyevsky’s Grand Inquisitor chapter [pdf]


  1. Descartes
  2. Hume on causation:
    Hume’s psychology lecturette [pdf]
    The problem of induction
    What is a cause?
    Cause vs. correlation handout [pdf]
  3. Hume on miracles
    Handout: background [pdf]
    Handout: Hume’s letters on miracles [pdf]
    Hobbes’s letter on miracles [pdf]
  4. Hume on design: providence and a future state


  1. Locke on personal identity
    Handout: Locke’s pinky [pdf]
    Tutorial: necessary and sufficient conditions
    Handout: Alternatives to Locke’s position [pdf]
    Problem cases for Locke
  2. Williams on personal identity:
    Williams on the body-switching cases
    Can questions about personal identity have indeterminate answers?
  3. Parfit on personal identity:
    Parfit’s teletransporter
    Parfit’s spectra
  4. Williams on death
    Handout: Unamuno [pdf]
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Problems of Philosophy