CU Denver Philosophy Department

Summer Intensive May 20 – May 31

Course Number Title Section Days Times Instructor Description
PHIL 1012 Introduction to Philosophy: Relationship of the Individual to the World


MTuWTh 9:30AM-3:30PM C. Shelby Why are we here? What are we, ultimately? What makes life good? What’s really real? Is there a God? Can we know the answers to any of these things? These are just a few of the significant questions that have occupied humanity for at least the past couple of millennia, and they are just a few of the ones we will address this semester, as we make a first foray into the often strange and often misunderstood field of philosophy. From the ancients to the moderns to the cutting edge neuroscientific philosophers, we will read together and attempt to understand the thought of some of the most famous minds that history has to offer.

Maymester May 20 – June 6

Course Number Title Section Days Times Instructor Description
PHIL 4040 Skepticism M01 MTuWTh 11:30AM-3:30PM R. Metcalf This course will introduce students to the long tradition of philosophical skepticism, from its ancient precursors (Xenophanes, Democritus, Socrates) and proponents (Pyrrho, Cicero, Sextus Empiricus) to its modern expression in thinkers like Montaigne, Descartes and Hume. Attention will also be given to a number of 20th century thinkers who have influenced the contemporary debate over skepticism: e.g., G.E. Moore, J.L. Austin, Thomas Nagel, Richard Rorty,
and others.

Summer June 10 – August 3

Course Number Title Section Days Times Instructor Description
PHIL 1012 Introduction to Philosophy: Relationship of the Individual to the World 001 TuTh 10:30AM-1PM M. Tanzer This course will examine fundamental philosophical issues, primarily, although not exclusively, in the theory of knowledge and in ethics. The first half of the course, focusing on the theory of knowledge, will examine the thought of Plato and of David Hume; while the second half of the course, focusing on ethics, will look at the ethical theories of John Stuart Mill and of Immanuel Kant. This section of the course will also look at how the ethical theories of Mill and Kant have been applied to the problem of animal rights, by Peter Singer and Tom Regan

Online June 10 – August 3

Course Number Title Section Days Times Instructor Description
PHIL 1020 Introduction to Ethical Reasoning



    D. Mehring In this course we will not only examine the major ethical theories (e.g., Utilitarian, Duty-based, Existentialist, etc.) But since “theory without practice is empty” we will consider how to apply these ethical theories in real-life situations. Questions of honesty are regarded as of the utmost ethical importance. Yet, virtually none of us have been taught how to tell the truth “at the right time, in the right place, in the right way, for the right reason, to the right person”. Clearly, how one tells the truth is as important as what the truth is. This course will focus on questions of how to be an effective truth-teller—and when to depart from the absolute truth. We will consider such questions such as when is it permissible (even necessary) to “slant” the truth? Under what conditions do we need to (in the words of Mark Twain) “learn how to lie healingly and well?”
PHIL 2441 Logic, Language, and Scientific Reasoning E01     B. Hackett This course teaches the basics of systematic reasoning and its relation to the sciences. We begin the semester, in Unit I, by focusing on the logician's notion of an argument. What, exactly, counts as an argument? What is the difference between a true statement and a valid argument? After discussing the answers to these (and other) questions, we distinguish two modes of reasoning (deductive and inductive), and learn two simple ways of testing deductive arguments for validity. Next, in Unit II, we learn how to carefully identify, clarify, and reconstruct important arguments so that their reasoning can be faithfully represented, accurately understood, and effectively evaluated. Finally, in Unit III, we learn methods for conducting systematic inquiry in both the deductive and physical sciences. In an effort to encourage the mastery of learned skills, we practice argument evaluation techniques throughout the semester on actual (often very simple) English arguments. Since these methods may be usefully applied to any academic inquiry, this course aims to be one of the most useful college courses you will take.