PHIL 402 - SPRING 2019 - DR. KEITH KORCZ
How To Contact Professor Korcz:
My office is in H. L. Griffin Hall,
rm. 563. My office hours are MWF 11:00 – 12:00, MW 1:00 - 2:30, and Th
12:00 – 3:00. We can also meet at other times by arrangement - just
ask. The best way to contact me (or ask questions) is by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. My office phone number is 482-6806.
1. Michael Jubien, Contemporary Metaphysics, (Malden, MA: Blackwell, 1997).
2. Robert Kane, A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will, (New York, NY: Oxford
University Press, 2005).
3. Course Pack
The course pack is available via Moodle.
There will be two in-class short-answer exams,
each worth 20% of the course grade. There will also be a cumulative
short-answer final exam worth 25% of the course grade. The exams will
cover both lectures and assigned readings (material in lectures and
assigned readings will not always overlap). All exams are closed
There will also be a term paper (approx. 12 - 15
pages in length). The term paper will be completed in two successive
drafts. The first draft will be worth 10% of the course grade and the
final draft worth 25% of the course grade. Each draft of the term paper
will consist of two parts. The first part of the paper should be a
critical discussion of a published article in metaphysics. The second
part of the paper should consist of an original, positive
contribution regarding one of the issues raised in the first part of
the paper. Topics must be approved by the instructor. Suggested
topics and all the details will be provided later on a separate handout.
course grades will initially be determined according to the standard
scale, i.e., 90-100% = A, 80-89% = B, 70-79% = C, 60-69% = D, 59% and
below = F, and then may be modified as follows: Course grades
might be curved, but, if so, the curve would not be such that any
student's grade is lowered. Such factors as improvement over the length
of the course, class participation, etc., may be taken into
consideration, especially where doing so may improve a borderline
grade. You must complete all course assignments (namely all exams and
both drafts of the paper) to receive a passing grade (i.e., a grade
other than F, NC or U).
If you must miss class, for whatever reason, it is your responsibility
to get class notes from another student. If you wish your absence to be
excused, promptly provide me with an appropriate excuse, e.g., illness
requiring medical attention, participation in certain
university-sanctioned events, dangerous weather, etc. For every five
unexcused absences or partial absences, your course grade will be
dropped by a letter grade.
If you miss an assignment due date, you must notify me within one week
of either the due date or the cessation of a medically documented
persistent vegetative state in order to make up the assignment. Missed
assignments can be made up for full credit only if an appropriate
excuse is promptly provided. An unexcused late assignment will be
dropped 2/3 of a letter grade per day it is late.
All assignments for this class must be completed individually, and any
instance of academic dishonesty (e.g., cheating, plagiarism, furnishing
false information regarding absences, etc.) will be sufficient to fail
Neither lectures nor any class materials may be posted on the internet
or otherwise published. Students who rely on internet sites (other than
my own, listed below) or search engines for class notes, quizzes, study
guides, etc., tend to do poorly in my classes. Such sites are often
unreliable, and they prevent you from learning valuable note-taking and
study skills. Do not use them. In general, you will get much more out
of your classes if you do your own work.
University Policies: Be sure you are familiar with all university policies described in the UL Lafayette Undergraduate Bulletin and Code of Student Conduct.
The course home page (http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~kak7409/402Home.html)
contains links to useful sites regarding the subject matter of the course, and the
on-line syllabus. The on-line syllabus contains links to the home pages of the
authors of our readings, etc.
You are also encouraged to visit my home page, which contains a link to the
home page for this class as well as hundreds of organized links to research
and philosophy oriented web sites, among other things, that you may find
interesting and useful. The address for my home page is
http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~kak7409. A Moodle page for the course will
Students needing academic accommodations for a disability must first be registered with the Office of Disability Services (ODS)
to verify the disability and to establish eligibility for
accommodations. Students may call 337-482-5252 or visit the ODS office
in the Conference Center/Agnes Edwards Hall,
room 126. Once registered, students should then schedule an appointment
with the professor to make appropriate arrangements. If your needs are
not being met for any reason, inform the instructor and ODS as soon as
possible so that we may rectify the problem.
Emergency Evacuation Procedures:
map of this floor is posted near the elevator marking the evacuation
route and the Designated Rescue Area. This is an area where emergency
personnel will go first to look for individuals who need assistance in
exiting the building. Students who may need assistance should identify
themselves to the teaching faculty.
COURSE CALENDAR & PLANNED READING ASSIGNMENTS
should complete each of the readings before they are discussed in
class. Some of the readings are difficult, and you may find that you
need to re-read them after they have been discussed in class in order
to fully understand them.
NOTE: Topics, readings and assignments are tentative and may be changed.
CP = Course Pack
CM = Contemporary Metaphysics
FW = A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will
Topic 1: What Is Metaphysics?
(CM): Chapter 1, "Metaphysics,” (CP): "On What There Is” by W. V. Quine, "Nominalist
Things" by Henry Fitzgerald.
Monday, January 16 - Martin Luther King Day - No Classes.
Topic 2: What Is Truth?
a. What Do We Want From A Theory of Truth? (no readings)
b. Truth and Objectivity:
(CM): Chapter 5, "Is Truth Relative?"
c. A Pragmatic Conception of Truth:
(CP): “Pragmatism's Conception of Truth" by William James.
d. Coherence Theories of Truth:
(CP): "The Coherence Theory" by Frederick Schmitt.
e. Correspondence Theories of Truth:
(CP): "Correspondence Theories of Truth" by Chase Wrenn.
f. A Deflationary Theory of Truth:
(CP): selections from Meaning, Truth and Reality by Paul Horwich.
EXAM #1: WEDNESDAY, FEBRUARY 27.
Monday, March 4 through Wednesday, March 6 - Mardi Gras Holiday - No Classes.
Topic 3: What Are Numbers?
(CM): Chapter 2, "Numbers."
b. Historical Background:
(CP): "Gottlob Frege and Mathematical Logic" by W. C. Kneale.
c. A Defense of Nominalism About Numbers:
(CP): “What Numbers Could Not Be" by Paul Benacerraf.
d. A Defense of Realism About Numbers:
(CP): "Perception and Mathematical Intuition" by Penelope Maddy.
e. Full-Blooded Platonism:
(CP): “Full-Blooded Platonism” by Mark Balaguer.
Topic 4: What Are Properties? Relations? Propositions?
a. Overview: Platonism & Nominalism
(CM): Chapter 3, "Platonism."
b. Propositions and Truth:
(CP): "Meaning and Truth" by W. V. Quine, "Alethic Realism" by William Alston.
Monday, March 18 - Advising for FA19 begins.
FIRST DRAFT OF PAPER DUE: MONDAY, MARCH 18, AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS.
Topic 5: Identity
(CM): Chapter 4 "Identity" and Chapter 9 "Things and Their Parts."
EXAM #2: WEDNESDAY, MARCH 27.
Topic 6: Do We Have Free Will?
(FW): Chapter 1, "The Free Will Problem."
b. Classical Compatibilism:
(FW): Chapter 2, "Compatibilism."
(FW): Chapter 3, "Incompatibilism."
(FW): Chapter 4, "Libertarianism, Indeterminism and Chance."
e. Agent-Causation Theories:
(FW): Chapter 5, "Minds, Selves and Agent Causes" and Chapter 6, "Actions,
Reasons and Causes."
f. Skepticism About Free Will:
(FW): Chapter 7, "Is Free Will Possible? Hard Determinists and Other Skeptics."
g. The New Compatibilism:
(FW): Chapter 8, "Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities" and Chapter 9,
"Higher-Order Desires, Real Selves and New Compatibilists."
Topic 7: What Are Possibilities?
(CM): Chapter 8, "Modality."
b. Realism About Possible Worlds:
(CP): "Possible Worlds" by David Lewis.
c. Trans-World Identity:
(CP): "Transworld Identity or Worldbound Individuals?" by Alvin Plantinga.
d. In Defense of Essentialism:
(CP): "Meaning and Reference" by Hilary Putnam.
e. Iterated Modalities: (no readings)
Monday, April 15 through Friday April 19 – Spring Break - No Classes.
Topic 8: What Are Fictions?
a. Realism About Fictional Entities:
(CP): "A Theory of Objects" by Alexius Meinong.
b. Fiction and Analysis:
(CM): Chapter 10, "Is There Truth In Fiction?"
FINAL DRAFT OF PAPER DUE: MONDAY, APRIL 29, AT THE BEGINNING OF CLASS.
LAST DAY OF CLASSES: FRIDAY, MAY 3.
FINAL EXAM: THURSDAY, MAY 9, FROM 11:00AM – 1:30PM, IN REGULAR CLASSROOM.
Some Helpful Tips:
1. On class evaluations, students often state that they would tell friends planning to
take this class that good class attendance and good class notes are essential to
doing well on the exams.
2. Keep up with the readings - they further explain and help you to remember test
3. If you're having trouble understanding course material, do not hesitate to
discuss it with the instructor!