Phil 383 Course Progress

(what we did each day)


Topics Covered

Reading Assigned
(readings always due by next class meeting)

Important Announcements Made

W 9/3

 - Stuttering
 - Syllabus

Feldman, "What is Philosophy?" (first reading in packet) This is not an easy course.
F 9/5

 - What philosophy is
 - Logic (including deductive, inductive, and abductive arguments)

Feldman, "The Fundamentals of Philosophical Theology" (second reading in packet), only from page 10 on


Rowe reading will be available on electronic reserves on Monday or Tuesday.


M 9/8


 - Our Conception of God
 - Some Divine Attributes

Rowe, "The Idea of God" (from ERes)  
W 9/10  - The Divine Command Theory and The Euthyphro Problem Aquinas on omnipotence (third reading in packet) Use this link for the readings on Electronic Reserves:
F 9/12  - Three Problems with Horn 1  - Clarke, "Can God Do Evil?" (fourth reading in packet)
  - Feldman, "Some Problems with Omnipotence," (fifth chapter in packet)
M 9/15  - Definition of 'God' stated   (no additional readings assigned)  
W 9/17  - Four Puzzles about Omnipotence
 - First Attempt to Define 'Omnipotence' (D1)
  (no additional readings assigned)  
F 9/19   - Second Attempt to Define 'Omnipotence' (D2)
  - Two Interpretations of D2
  - The Thomistic Account of Omnipotence (TAO)
  - Feldman's Solution to Some of the Puzzles

  - St. Augustine, "Divine foreknowledge and Human Free Will," pp. 233-235.  (on ERes)
  - Rowe, William, "Predestination, Divine foreknowledge and Human Freedom," first two sections only pp. 147-153.  (on ERes)
 - van Inwagen, "Possible Worlds."  (on course website)

 Will probably hand out first midterm exam in one week
M 9/22

 - Basic Idea Behind Dilemma of Freedom and Foreknowledge
  - Digression on Modality and Possible Worlds

 (no additional readings assigned)  
W 9/24  - Three of the Principles for the Main Argument:
(1) Truth Entails Knowledge (TEK);
(2) God's Foreknowledge of Action (GFA);
(3) The Fixity of the Past (FP)
 read the rest of Rowe, "Predestination, Divine foreknowledge and Human Freedom" (on ERes)  First midterm will be up as soon as possible.  I'll send out an email once it's up.
F 9/26  - Two More Principles:
(1) Transfer of Powerlessness (TP);
(2) Freedom Requires the Power to Do Otherwise (FRP)
   First midterm will be put up on website tonight.  It's due one week from today.
M 9/29  - Aristotelian Reply to Foreknowledge Argument (no facts about future human action).    
W 10/1  - Exam Q&A; further discussion of Foreknowledge Argument    
F 10/3  - Ockham's Way Out; power over the past; hard facts vs. soft facts  - Feldman, "Some Popular Arguments," (in packet)
 - Aquinas, "The Five Ways," especially the Second Way (on course website)
 - Leibniz, "On the Ultimate Origination of the Universe," (in packet)


M 10/6  - Introduction to Arguments for the Existence of God
 - Introduction to Cosmological Arguments
 - Aquinas's Second Way
W 10/8  - Aquinas's Second Way (continued)   - Leibniz, excerpts from ... (on course website)
Hume, "Some Objections to the Cosmological Argument" (in packet)
F 10/10   - Aquinas's Second Way (continued)
 - Pascal, "Pascal's Wager"  Class meets only one day next week: Wednesday
M 10/13   N O   C L A S S   -   C O L U M B U S   D A Y
W 10/15  - Pascal's Wager (presented by Guest Lecturer Kris McDaniel)    
F 10/17   N O   C L A S S   -   C L A S S   C A N C E L E D
M 10/20  - Leibniz's Argument from Sufficient Reason  - Rowe, "The Cosmological Argument" (on ERes).  
W 10/22   - Leibniz's Argument from Sufficient Reason (continued)    
F 10/24  - Objections to Leibniz's Argument from Sufficient Reason  - Paley, excerpt from Natural Theology (course website)  
M 10/27  - Paley's Teleological Argument  - Dawkins, “The Blind Watchmaker” (in packet)  Second Midterm will be put up by this Sunday or Monday.  It will be due in class on Monday, November 10.
W 10/29  - Paley's Teleological Argument  - van Inwagen, “The Wider Teleological Argument” (in packet)  
F 10/31  - The Fine-Tuning Argument    
M 11/3  - The Fine-Tuning Argument  - St. Anselm, "The Ontological Argument" (in packet)  
W 11/5  - Anselm's Ontological Argument  - Guanilo, "The Perfect Island Objection" (in packet)  
F 11/7  - Anselm's Ontological Argument

 - Kant, "On the Impossibility of an Ontological Proof" (in packet)
Matthews, "The Ontological Argument" (on course website)

M 11/10  - Anselm's Ontological Argument
- Guanilo's Lost Isle Objection
 - Plantinga, "A Modal Version of the Ontological Argument" (in packet)  SECOND MIDTERM DUE
F 11/14  - The Validity of Plantinga's Modal Ontological Argument  - Mackie, "Evil and Omnipotence" (on ERes and on course website)  
M 11/17

 - Is Plantinga's Modal Ontological Argument Sound?
 - Introduction to the Problem of Evil

 - Plantinga, "The Problem of Evil," through section 2 (up to p. 24), (on ERes).  
W 11/19

 - The Logical Problem of Evil

F 11/21   - The Logical Problem of Evil (continued)   - Plantinga, "The Problem of Evil," through section 8 (on ERes).  
M 11/24

 - The Logical Problem of Evil (continued)

 - rest of Plantinga, "The Problem of Evil" (on ERes).  
W 11/26    N O   C L A S S   --   T H A N K S G I V I N G   B R E A K  
F 11/28    N O   C L A S S   --   T H A N K S G I V I N G   B R E A K
M 12/1  - Plantinga's Free Will Theodicy  - Feldman, "The Problem of Evil," pp. 70-75 in course packet.  
W 12/3  - Plantinga's Free Will Theodicy and Objection from Compatibilism  - Lewis, "Evil for Freedom's Sake?" (on ERes).  
F 12/5  - The Objection from The Possibility of Free Saints to Plantinga's Free Will Theodicy  - van Inwagen, "The Magnitude, Distribution, and Duration of Evil: A Theodicy," in course packet  
M 12/8  - The Objection from Victimless Evil-Doing to Plantinga's Free Will Theodicy    
W 12/10  - The Objection from Selective Freedom to Plantinga's Free Will Theodicy    
F 12/12