BASics

Code
PHIL-SHU 130 1 (22925)

Instructors

Time and Place
Room 825, Wednesdays 6:00pm–9:00pm

Assessment
Integrity

It is a condition of passing this course that students read and adhere to the NYU Shanghai policy on academic integrity as described in the current NYU Shanghai Academic Bulletin.

Schedule

Week 1: Descartes (Wednesday 24 January)

  • Jessica RiskinThe Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2016, Introduction and Chapter 2, pp. 1–10 and pp. 44–76.
  • [Recommended] René DescartesPrinciples of Philosophy, 1644, selections; and Description of the Human Body, 1664, selections. Translations from John Cottingham, Robert Stoothoff and Dugald Murdoch (Eds), The Philosophical Writings of Descartes, Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, 1985, pp. 223–247; and pp. 314–324. [PDF] [PDF]

Week 2: Leibniz (Wednesday 31 January)

  • Jessica RiskinThe Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2016, Introduction and Chapter 2, pp. 1–10 and pp. 44–76.
  • Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, The Principles of Philosophy, or The Monadology, 1714. Translation from Roger Ariew and Daniel Garber (Eds), G. W. Leibniz: Philosophical Essays, Hackett, Indianapolis, 1989, pp. 213–225. [PDF]
  • [Recommended] Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz, A New System of the Nature and Communication of Substances, and of the Union of the Soul and Body, 1695. Translation from Roger Ariew and Daniel Garber (Eds), G. W. Leibniz: Philosophical Essays, Hackett, Indianapolis, 1989, pp. 138–145. [PDF]
  • [Recommended] Elizabeth GroszThe Incorporeal: Ontology, Ethics, and the Limits of Materialism, Columbia University Press, New York, 2017, Chapter 2, pp. 54–91. [PDF]

Week 3: Kant (Wednesday 7 February)

  • Jessica RiskinThe Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2016, Chapter 6, pp. 189–213.
  • Immanuel Kant, Critique of Judgement, 1790, §§61–68. Translation from James Creed Meredith and Nicholas Walker (Eds), Critique of Judgement, Oxford University Press, Oxford, 2007, pp. 185–212. [PDF]
  • [Recommended] Mary Wollstonecraft ShelleyFrankenstein; or, The Modern Prometheus, Lackington, Hughes, Harding, Mavor, & Jones, London, 1818. [PDF]

Week 4: Darwin (Wednesday 14 February)

  • Jessica RiskinThe Restless Clock: A History of the Centuries-Long Argument over What Makes Living Things Tick, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2016, Chapter 6, pp. 214–249.

Week 5: Disenchantment (Wednesday 28 February)

  • Jason A. Josephson-Storm, The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2017, Introduction, pp 1–21. [Library] [PDF]
  • Jeremy Stolow (Ed), Deus in Machina: Religion, Technology, and the Things in Between, Fordham University Press, New York, 2013, Introduction, pp. 1–22. [PDF]
  • [Recommended] Jeffrey SconceHaunted Media: Electronic Presence from Telegraphy to Television, Duke University Press, Durham NC, 2000.

Week 6: Disenchantment and Time (Wednesday 7 March)

  • Jason A. Josephson-Storm, The Myth of Disenchantment: Magic, Modernity, and the Birth of the Human Sciences, University of Chicago Press, Chicago, 2017, Conclusion, pp 302–316. [Library] [PDF]
  • Wolfgang Ernst, “Ticking Clock, Vibrating String: How Time Sense Oscillates Between Religion and Machine”, in Jeremy Stolow (Ed), Deus in Machina: Religion, Technology, and the Things in Between, Fordham University Press, New York, 2013, pp. 43–60. [PDF]
  • [Recommended] Norbert WienerGod and Golem, Inc.: A Comment on Certain Points where Cybernetics Impinges on Religion, MIT Press, Cambridge MA, 1964. [PDF]

Week 7: Technology and Time (Wednesday 14 March)

  • Peter Galison, Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps: Empires of Time, W. W. Norton, New York, 2003, Chapter 1, pp. 13–47.
  • Sean CarrollFrom Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time, Dutton, New York, 2010, Chapter 4, pp. 67–81. [PDF]

Week 8: Technology and Space (Wednesday 21 March)

  • Peter Galison, Einstein’s Clocks, Poincaré’s Maps: Empires of Time, W. W. Norton, New York, 2003, Chapter 3, pp. 84–155.
  • James W. Carey, “Technology and Ideology: The Case of the Telegraph”, in Prospects, Vol. 8, October 1983, pp. 303–325. [PDF]

Week 9: Midterm (Wednesday 28 March)

Week 10: Bioengineering (Wednesday 11 April)

Visiting professor: S. Matthew Liao.

  • S. Matthew Liao, “Selecting Children: The Ethics of Reproductive Genetic Engineering”, in Philosophy Compass, Vol. 3, No. 5, September 2008, pp. 1–19. [PDF]

Week 11: Artificial Intelligence (Wednesday 18 April)

  • Alan Turing, “Computing Machinery and Intelligence”, in Mind, Vol. 59, No. 236, October 1950, pp. 433-460. [PDF]
  • [Recommended] Ned Block, “Psychologism and Behaviorism”, in The Philosophical Review, Vol. 90, No. 1, April 1981, pp. 257–274. [PDF]

Week 12: Ethics and Artificial Intelligence (Wednesday 25 April)

  • Peter Railton, “Moral Learning: Conceptual Foundations and Normative Relevance”, in Cognition, Vol. 167, October 2017, pp. 172–190. [PDF]

Week 13: Reality and Virtual Reality (Wednesday 2 May)

Virtual visiting professor: David Chalmers.

Week 14: Recap (Wednesday 9 May)