PHIL 497 - Dr. Keith Korcz - Fall 2006
How To Reach Professor Keith Korcz:
office is in H. L. Griffin Hall, rm. 563. My office hours are MW
12:00-1:30 and 3:00-4:00,TR 12:00-2:30, and F 12:00-12:30. We can also
meet at other times by arrangement - just ask. My office phone no. is
482-6806. You can also contact me (or ask questions) by e-mail at email@example.com.
Kane, A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will, (New York,
NY: Oxford University Press, 2005).
2. Gary Watson,
ed., Free Will, Second Ed., (New York, NY: Oxford University
3. Course Pack
(I will provide this to you).
will complete a term paper at least 20 pages in length in two drafts.
The first draft will be worth 20% of your course grade, and the final
draft worth 60% of your course grade. There will be two assignments
(each worth 5% of your course grade) in which you each (a) find an
article on free will, (b) get it approved by the instructor, and then
(c) a copy will be provided to other class members and discussed in
class. The remaining 10% of your course grade will be based on session
attendance and participation.
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. 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).
strongly recommend taking advantage of the following resources!
The home page
for this class contains links to an on-line syllabus (which contains
numerous links to home pages of authors we'll be reading, readings
available on-line, etc.), and links other resources you will find
helpful. The web address is: http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~kak7409/497FreeWill.html
My home page
contains links to all my course home pages, extensive links pages on
philosophy, general research, fun sites, and lots of other information.
The web address is: http://www.ucs.louisiana.edu/~kak7409.
you miss class, for whatever reason, it is your responsibility to get
class notes from another student. If you miss an assignment due date,
you must notify me within one week of either the due date of the
assignment or the cessation of a medically documented persistent
vegetative state in order to make up the assignment. Missed exams or
other assignments can be made up for full credit only if an
appropriate excuse, e.g., illness requiring medical attention,
participation in certain official university events, etc., is provided.
An unexcused late assignment will be dropped 2/3 of a letter grade per
day it is late. If you have a disability and require assistance
with fulfilling class assignments, don't hesitate to notify the
instructor and the Office
for Services to Students with Disabilities at 482-5252. Finally, be
sure you are familiar with all university policies described in the UL Undergraduate Bulletin. All
assignments for this class must be completed individually (i.e.,
without the help of anyone except the instructor), and any instance of
academic dishonesty on any assignment will be sufficient to fail the
Emergency Evacuation Procedures:
of this floor is posted near the elevator marking the evacuation route
and the Designated Rescue Area. This is an area where emergency service
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
You 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 gone over in class in order
to fully understand them.
*NOTE: All planned topics, readings, assignments and due dates are
tentative and may be altered or deleted.
(K) = Robert Kane, A Contemporary Introduction to Free Will
(W) = Gary Watson, ed., Free Will, Second Ed.
(CP) = Course Pack
I. Why It Is Essential That We Have Free Will (Week of Aug. 21)
"The Significance of Free Will" by Laura Waddell Ekstrom;
"What Our Not Having Free Will Would Mean" by Peter
Monday, September 4 - Labor Day - No Classes
II. Overview of the Issues
Chapter 1, "The Free Will Problem."
III. Theories of Free Will
(K) Chapter 2,
(K) Chapter 3,
"Incompatibilism"; (W) Chapter 2, "An Argument For Incompatibilism" by Peter
van Inwagen, Chapter 6, "Are We Free to Break the Laws?" by David
(K) Chapter 4,
"Libertarianism, Indeterminism and Chance"; (W) Chapter 3, "Free Will,
Praise and Blame" by J. J. C.
Smart and Chapter 15, "Responsibility, Luck and Chance: Reflections
on Free Will and Indeterminism" by Robert
Agent Causation Theories
(K) Chapter 5,
"Minds, Selves and Agent Causes" and Chapter 6, "Actions, Reasons and
Causes"; (W) Chapter 1, "Human Freedom and the Self" by Roderick
Chisholm, Chapter 11, "The Impossibility of Moral Responsibility"
Strawson and Chapter 14, "Toward a Credible Agent-Causal Account of
Free Will" by Randolph
Skepticism About Free Will
(K) Chapter 7,
"Is Free Will Possible? Hard Determinists and Other Skeptics."
(K) Chapter 8,
"Moral Responsibility and Alternative Possibilities" and Chapter 9,
"Higher-Order Desires, Real Selves and New Compatibilists"; (W) Chapter
8, "Alternate Possibilities and Moral Responsibility" by Harry Frankfurt,
Chapter 9, "Libertarianism and Frankfurt's Attack on the Principle of
Alternative Possibilities" by David Widerker,
Chapter 16, "Freedom of the Will and the Concept of a Person" by Harry Frankfurt and "Chapter 17 "Free
Agency" by Gary
Thursday & Friday, Oct. 5-6 - Fall Holiday - No Classes
Reactive Attitude Theories
(K) Chapter 10,
"Reactive Attitude Theories"; (W) Chapter 4, "Freedom and Resentment"
by Peter Strawson.
FIRST DRAFT OF PAPER DUE: WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 1
IV. Free Will and the Ethics of Belief
"The Ethics of Belief" by W. K. Clifford, "The Ethics of Belief" by
Richard Feldman"; (W) Chapter 20, "Freedom in Belief and Desire" by Philip Pettit and Michael Smith.
V. Free Will and Divine Foreknowledge
Chapter 13, "Predestination, Divine Foreknowledge and Free Will."
FINAL DRAFT OF PAPER DUE: WEDNESDAY, NOV. 22
Thursday And Friday, November 23-24: Thanksgiving Holiday, No Classes.
LAST DAY OF CLASSES: FRIDAY, DECEMBER 1; STUDY DAY: WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER