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College of Liberal Arts
Rochester Institute of
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Rochester NY 14623-5604


Copyright ©2008–2011
Department of Philosophy,
Rochester Institute of Technology

Department of Philosophy

Last updated 5 January 2015

Current and/or upcoming
“variable topic” philosophy courses

Spring 2014–2015

Great Thinkers: Gilles Deleuze. This class will map how Deleuze formulated, invented, and fabricated the concepts that came to define what we can now call Deleuzian philosophy. We will take two Deleuze texts from early on in his career — Différence et Répétition (DR) and Logique du sens (LS) — as the guiding texts of our mapping. We will also look at relevant sections from Deleuze’s work on Lucretius, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, Kant, and Bergson. One of Deleuze’s most important contributions to the philosophy is his innovative and stimulating understanding of the history of philosophy, and part of the student assessment will be to read and present on the ways in which Deleuze’s reading of the history of philosophy contributes to philosophy written “in his own name”. (Prerequisite: at least one prior course in philosophy) (Instructor: Johnson.)

Seminar in Philosophy: A Tangled/Entangled World. The term “entanglement” has been adopted to describe an extremely interesting phenomenon in sub-atomic physics, wherein particles interact in such a way that their states cannot fully be described individually, but rather only in terms of their quite describable joint state. This, though, is but one of the more dramatic manifestations of ways in which optimal description of the world, and of the role of people in it, may best be understood as “tangled”. In this course we will touch on quantum entanglement, but only as it reflects a more general possibility: that an improvement of our understanding of the world might emerge from a generally “holistic” approach that emphasizes process, interaction, and evolution of systems rather than analyses of those systems into discrete particles, discrete causes, and discrete effects. Topics on the table include process philosophy, quantum entanglement, biological evolution, the “ecological” understanding of perception, and “distributed” cognition. Likely authors include Alfred North Whitehead, Abner Shimony, Stephen Jay Gould, J.J. Gibson, Karen Barad and Andy Clark. Since this course is a seminar, students will have an important role in determining how the semester proceeds. (Prerequisite: At least two prior courses in philosophy.) (Instructor: Sanders.)

Fall 2015–2016

Seminar in Philosophy (topic TBA). (Instructor: Engström.)

Special Topoics (topic TBA). (Instructor: Robison.)