Philosophy

Department of Philosophy

The Department of Philosophy at Yale offers a wide range of graduate and undergraduate courses in various traditions of philosophy, with strengths and a well-established reputation in the history of philosophy, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of art as well as other central topics. The Department has affiliated faculty members in the Law School, the Linguistics Department, the Political Science Department, and the Divinity School, and has close connections with the Cognitive Science Program and with the Program in Ethics, Politics, and Economics. Learn more at http://www.yale.edu/philos

There is one thing I can be sure of: I am going to die. But what am I to make of that fact? This course will examine a number of issues that arise once we begin to reflect on our mortality. The possibility that death may not actually be the end is considered. Are we, in some sense, immortal? Would immortality be desirable? Also a clearer notion of what it is to die is examined. What does it mean to say that a person has died? What kind of fact is that? And, finally, different attitudes to death are evaluated. Is death an evil? How? Why? Is suicide morally permissible? Is it rational? How should the knowledge that I am going to die affect the way I live my life?

Philosophy and the Science of Human Nature pairs central texts from Western philosophical tradition (including works by Plato, Aristotle, Epictetus, Hobbes, Kant, Mill, Rawls, and Nozick) with recent findings in cognitive science and related fields. The course is structured around three intertwined sets of topics: Happiness and Flourishing; Morality and Justice; and Political Legitimacy and Social Structures.