Twentieth Century Philosophy

PHIL 306, Fall 2009

Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:00-1:15 p.m.

Prof. Jacqueline Mariña

Department of Philosophy

Office:  BRNG 7134, 4-4833


Office Hours:  After class, and by appointment.

Description of Course:

This class will be an exploration of some of the major philosophical themes and figures of the twentieth century.  We will be reading parts of five of the most significant books written in the twentieth century, as well as several highly influential articles in the analytic tradition.  While the course is intended as an introduction to twentieth century philosophy, it is not for the faint of heart.  Both analytic and continental traditions will be covered and reasons underlying the Analytic/Continental split will be explored, as well as common themes underlying both traditions. Figures to be covered are Husserl, Heidegger, the early and later Wittgenstein, Russell, Frege, and Sartre.

Required Texts:

1.Edmund Husserl, Cartesian Meditations, Springer; 1 edition (May 14, 2008);  # ISBN-10: 902470068X;  # ISBN-13: 978-9024700684.

2.Ludwig Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (Routledge Classics) (Paperback) with an introduction by Bertrand Russell, Routledge 2001:  ISBN-10: 0415254086   ISBN-13: 978-0415254083

3.Ludwig Wittgenstein, Philosophical Investigations, Wiley-Blackwell; 3 edition (January 15, 1991); ISBN-10: 0631231277;  ISBN-13: 978-0631231271.

4.Martin Heidegger, Being and Time, Harper Perennial Modern Classics; Reprint edition (July 22, 2008)  ISBN-10: 0061575593;  ISBN-13: 978-0061575594.

5.Jean-Paul Sartre, Being and Nothingness, Washington Square Press (August 1, 1993), ISBN-10: 0671867806; ISBN-13: 978-0671867805.

These books are available at Follet’s, University Book Store, and Von’s.  A packet of required readings is also available at Copymat, and some of the materials are available on the web.

Course Requirements:

Quizzes and Class Participation (15%).  You are expected to attend every class and to participate in discussions.  Students will be penalized for excessive absences.  Unannounced quizzes may be given at any time, and will be factored into your class participation grade.

Two short papers (20% each).  You will be required to write two papers (approx. 5-7 pages) examining in further detail issues or problems discussed in the course.  You are expected to use both primary and secondary sources in your papers. I will be handing out a list of possible paper topics as well as guidelines for writing an academic essay later on in the course. 

Exams.  There will be an in-class mid-term (15%) and a much longer take-home final examination (30%). Exams will be comprehensive and will consist of essay questions. 

Tentative Course Outline and Readings:

Assignments and deadlines may be modified during the course of the semester. Reading of primary sources is absolutely essential.  I have provided links to on-line encyclopedia articles providing a very general background to the figures, as well as some other suggested background reading that will be very helpful to you in both your short papers as well as your take-home final.

Week One:  Introduction to 20th Century Philosophy:

August 25th:  Major Themes of the Twentieth Century.

August 27th:  Introduction to Phenomenology; Introduction to Husserl. 

Read:   Edmund Husserl, Cartesian Meditations, Meditation One, pp. 1-26.

Also read:  “Edmund Husserl,” Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy,;

“Phenomenology” in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Week Two:  Husserl & the Phenomenological Method

September 1st:  Read:  Cartesian Meditations, Meditation Two, pp. 26-55.

Jaakko Hintikka, “The phenomenological dimension,” in The Cambridge Companion to Husserl, pp. 78-105.

September 3rd:  Read:  Cartesian Meditations, Meditation Three, pp. 56-64.

Week Three:  Husserl & the Phenomenological Method

September 8th:  Read:  Cartesian Meditations, Meditation Four:  pp. 65-88

September 10th:  Skim:  Cartesian Meditations, Meditation Five, Conclusion, pp. 89-157.  I will be pointing out particularly relevant passages that must be studied in depth.

Week Four:  Heidegger

September 15th:  Introduction to Heidegger.  Read:  Martin Heidegger,

Begin reading:  Being and Time:  Introduction, pp. 21-77.

Dorothea Frede, “The question of being: Heidegger’s project,” in The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, pp. 42-69.

September 17thBeing and Time, Introduction, continued.  Focus will be on Section 7, pp. 49-63.

Week Five: Heidegger

September 22ndBeing and Time, Dasein and the World; Please read pp. 67-102.  Focus will be on §§9, 12, 14, 15, 16 & 18.

Harrison Hall, “Intentionality and world:  Division I of Being and Time, in The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, pp. 122-140.

Robert J. Dostal, “Time and Phenomenology in Husserl and Heidegger,” in The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, pp. 141-169.

September 24th:  Dasein & World Continued.  Please read pp. 102-148.  Focus will be on §§16,17,18, 22, 23.

Week Six:  Heidegger

September 29thBeing and Time: Dasein & Others, pp. 149-224 (§§25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35).

October 1st: Being and Time: Care as the Being of Dasein:  pp. 225-252 (§§39, 40, 41,42)

Piotr Hoffman, “Death, time, history: Division II of Being and Time,” in The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, pp. 195-214.

Week Seven:  Heidegger

October 6th:  Heidegger, Being and Time: Death & Authenticity, pp. 349-380.

Charles B. Guignon, “Authenticity, Moral Values, and Psychotherapy,” in The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, pp. 215-239.

October 8th:  Midterm Examination

Week Eight:  The Analytic Tradition

October 13th:  Fall Break

October 15th:  Introduction to the Aims and Methods of Analytic Philosophy.  Please read:  “Conceptions of Analysis in Analytic Philosophy” in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:;  See also:  “Conceptions of Analysis in Analytic Philosophy and the Introduction of the Logical (Transformative) Conception” in the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy:

Week Nine:  Russell and Frege

October 20th:  Bertrand Russell; please read:  “Knowledge by Acquaintance and Knowledge by Description” and “On Denoting.”  Course packet.

Suggested Reading:  Nicholas Griffin, “Russell’s Philosophical Background,” in The Cambridge Companion to Bertrand Russell, pp. 84-107.

Peter Hylton, “The Theory of Descriptions,” in The Cambridge Companion to Bertrand Russell, 202-240.

October 22nd:  Frege, “On Sense and Reference,” Course packet.

Suggested Reading:  Michael Beaney, “Russell and Frege” in The Cambridge Companion to Bertrand Russell, 128-170.

Michael Kremer, “Sense and Meaning:  The Origins and Development of the Distinction,” forthcoming in The Cambridge Companion to Frege. Available at:

Week Ten:  The Early Wittgenstein

October 27th:  Introduction to Wittgenstein.  Please read:  “Ludwig Wittgenstein,” in Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, biographical sketch and section on the early Wittgenstein:  

October 29thTractatus, TBA.

Week Eleven:  Early Wittgenstein

November 3rdTractatus, TBA

Thomas Ricketts, “Pictures, logic, and the limits of sense in Wittgenstein’s Tractatus,” in The Cambridge Companion to Wittgenstein, pp. 59-99.

November 5thTractatus, TBA

Week Twelve:  Later Wittgenstein

November 10th:  Introduction to the later Wittgenstein.  Philosophical Investigations, selections TBA.  Please also read section on the later Wittgenstein at:

November 12thPhilosophical Investigations, selections TBA.

Stanley Cavell, “Notes and afterthoughts on the opening of Wittgenstein’s Investigations, in The Cambridge Companion to Wittgenstein, pp. 261-295.

Week Thirteen:  Later Wittgenstein

November 17thPhilosophical Investigations, selections, TBA.

November 19thPhilosophical Investigations, selections, TBA.

Week Fourteen:  Introduction to Sartre

November 24th:  Introduction to Sartre.  Please read:

Robert Cumming, “Role Playing: Sartre’s transformation of Husserl’s phenomenology” in The Cambridge Companion to Sartre pp. 39-66.

November 26th:  Thanksgiving Break

Week Fifteen:

December 1st: Being and Nothingness, selections, TBA.

Hazel Barnes, “Sartre’s Ontology: The revealing and making of being,” in The Cambridge Companion to Sartre pp. 13-38.

December 3rd: Being and Nothingness, selections, TBA.

Week Sixteen:

December 8th: Being and Nothingness, selections, TBA.

December 10th: Being and Nothingness, selections, TBA.

Books on reserve:

1.The Cambridge Companion to Husserl, edited by Barry Smith and David Woodruff Smith.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1995.  (HSSE: 193 H964Z Sm52 1995).

2.The Cambridge Companion to Heidegger, edited by Charles B. Guignon.  Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1993.  (HSSE: 193 H362Z G943 1993.

3.The Cambridge Companion to Bertrand Russell, edited by Nicholas Griffin, Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2003. (HSSE: 192 R911Z G875 2003).

4.The Cambridge Companion to Wittgenstein, edited by Hans D. Sluga and David G. Stern, Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 1996. (HSSE: 192 W784Z SL74 1996).

5.The Cambridge Companion to Sartre, edited by Christina Howells, Cambridge:  Cambridge University Press, 2008. (HSSE: 194 Sa77Z H839 1992).

In the event of a campus emergency, course schedule and requirements are subject to change.