Below are links to some of my syllabi. They are, of course, works in progress!
Philosophy Without Borders: Self and World, East and West What is the nature of the self? What can I know? What really exists and what is it like? This mid-level seminar explores how philosophical luminaries from diverse cultural and historical backgrounds have tackled some of the great questions of philosophy. Proceeding by topic, this course covers issues including the existence and nature of the self, person, matter, mind, and mental content as well as the sources and limits of human knowledge. For each of topic, students will read, analyze, and critically assess influential arguments from both Early Modern European philosophers as well as Indian Buddhist philosophers. Along the way, the potential benefits, risks, and challenges of cross-cultural philosophy will also be discussed.
Buddhist Philosophy In this mid-level seminar, students reconstruct and critically analyze some of the most important metaphysical and epistemological arguments in Indian Buddhist philosophy from influential philosophers ranging from the second to the eleventh centuries. The course focuses on works of three of the most important philosophers of Buddhist India: Nāgārjuna, Vasubandhu, and Dharmakīrti. Additional readings will be drawn from influential figures including Dignāga, Candrakīrti, Śāntarakṣita, Śāntideva, and Ratnakīrti. Topics include the existence and nature of the external world, the self, and person, as well as the problem of induction, epistemological skepticism, the impact of the Buddhist theory of selflessness on moral responsibility, the nature and source of mental content, and the problem of other minds.
Early Modern Philosophy This introductory course exposes students to works of groundbreaking European philosophers from the early modern period (17th-18th centuries), including René Descartes, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia, Nicolas Malebranche, Margaret Cavendish, John Locke, David Hume, and Immanuel Kant. The course focuses on central philosophical debates that are representative of the period’s radical shifts in the approach to metaphysics and epistemology. These debates will be considered in the context of contemporaneous dramatic developments in natural philosophy, referred to collectively as the “scientific revolution.” Topics include the existence and attributes of matter, mind, God, and the self, as well as mind-body interaction, the problem of induction, and the sources and limits of human cognition and knowledge.