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One of the many majors at UC Davis is philosophy. Many rude things have been said by and about philosophers.

UC Davis's Philosophy department is composed mostly of Analytic philosophers though there are such classes as 19th Century and 20th Century Philosophy, and Winter 2005 has a Religious Existentialism class (198A).


Second Annual Undergraduate Writing Contest

See http://philosophy.ucdavis.edu/undergraduate-program/2012EssayPoster.pdf for details. Submission deadline is April 30, 2012.

Food for Thought

An afternoon of discussion and free pizza in the Philosophy Department library.

Apr 20, 2012

From 03:00 PM to 05:00 PM Facebook event: https://www.facebook.com/events/406861145993042/

IS TRUTH RELEVANT TO SCIENCE? led by Professor Emeritus Paul Teller

Traditionally we think of science as seeking – and finding! - the exactly correct, universal laws of nature. This lecture will trace how this terrible misconception of science arose, how it has misdescribed science from the very beginning, and how it is finally coming unraveled.

UCD Philosophy Courses

Rev. Chad's recommended courses

Most classes by Prof. Mattey, who teaches most of the non-analytic and some of the symbolic logic classes, which is an interesting combination. He puts class notes online with hyperlinks and such. Very amusing lecturer, and he uses examples from the news and his family life. In Theory of Knowledge, he started each day with "Philosophy in the news" from that or the previous day.

Prof. Cummins is also an interesting lecturer. Expect not to understand everything from readings since he assigns articles from people deeply imbedded in whatever research and doesn't expect the students to understand everything. Plan to read through and get the basic idea. He also tends to give take home exams.

11. Philosophy East and West is generally only taught during the Summer, but has a really funny prof, as long as you are into dark humor. The only other place to get eastern philosophy is "Chinese Philosophy" in the Religious Studies Dept.

If you are good at logic and math, take 12. Intro to Symbolic Logic. If you are a Philosophy major who is not good at math and logic, good luck.

15. Bioethics is a great course with interesting current topics. Prof. Dworkin is a great lecturer.

102. Theory of Knowledge amused RevChad and reinforced his general skepticism.

151. Nineteenth Century European Philosophy is about crazy people and their theories, such as "Idealism in Schopenhauer and Hegel, dialectical materialism in Marx, irrationalism in Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Dostoevsky." Take it when you can since it is rarely offered.

156. Contemporary Analytic Philosophy is fun and Cummins offers an interesting critique of the Analytic Philosophy you will see so much of in UCD's philosophy department.

157. Twentieth Century European Philosophy RevChad took Winter '05, since Mattey is cool and the philosophers seem crazy enough to be interesting. It turned out that he was right and the philosophers were crazy. This class is worth taking for a different kind of philosophy, but can be annoying as much of the work seems non-sensical to some.

aec's recommendations

108. Philosophy of Biology. This (I've heard said) is supposedly one of the hardest philo classes. I took it my first quarter at UCD, and it's still my favorite class.

119. Philosophy of Law. Take this class. Rosati is a great lecturer and the course gives valuable insights to current incoherent views of justice.

157. Twentieth Century European Philosophy I'm looking forward to this class. Of course I don't play well with analytic philosophy.

this will actually be useful and updated soon.


Other recommendations

128. Rationality- This class is taught by Pekka and is really a great. Take it after you have taken some logic courses but before upper division ethics classes because it will help out in those more than you think.

168. Descartes- I like the classes the department offers about one philosopher and his combined works. I don't get to attend the class much due to work but when I go Mattey lays it out in a very easy to understand way Descartes not being so easy independent from a guiding light. Its a great class because it is the formal birth of an anti-Aristotleian rationalist program and some argue modern philosophy itself.

174. Hume- This class is amazing when it is offered. I took it when it was taught by Allison who is a powerhouse on Hume and Kant so the class is very enlightening in the scheme of empirical epistemology. Hume also isn't the easiest guy to jump in and understand but Allison lays out the work methodically and raises interesting objections that commentator's have somehow missed over the years. NOT for the faint of heart.

137. Philosophy of Language- This class was taught by Glanzberg who is also quite awesome though he has a large soft spot for Mr Frege. The class revolves around definite descriptions for the most part and works in some Strawson and Searle to counter russell and Frege as the bug guns. Since a lot of modern philosophy degrades into semantic bickering this class allows one to shovel some of the muck aside that has been growing thorugh the 20th century.

160. Presocratics - This was one of the best classes I have taken, not only is professor Wedin awesome, the perspective gained from the review of the 'first philosophers' is such that it better defines what philosophy ought to be. As there are few texts this class offers additional insight into argument reconstruction, rather than simple presentation of arguments. (see the review below for a further prior testament to Wedin's awesomeness)

162. Aristotle- The classes about one philosophy and his collected works are great. If you have not taken a class taught by Wedin you're a fool because he is arguably the best lecturer in the department and a case can be made to crown him the best on campus. A thoroughly engaging class it analyzes his scientific program in the analytics, physics and metaphysics.

189A-K. Special Topics in Philosophy (4) Lecture/discussion—3 hours; extensive writing. Prerequisite: one course in the area of the special topic. Special topics in (A) History of Philosophy, (B) Metaphysics, (C) Theory of Knowledge, (D) Ethics, (E) Political Philosophy, (F) Philosophy of Law, (G) Aesthetics, (H) Philosophy of Mind, (I) Philosophy of Science, (J) Philosophy of Language, (K) Logic. May be repeated up to 8 units of credit. Not offered every year.

I took 189B without ever having taken any other Philosophy course before and it wasn't difficult at all. - KenjiYamada

I was really looking forward to 189I next quarter, does anyone know why it was cancelled? -aec