Courses tagged with "Free" (76)
This course focuses on phonological phenomena that are sensitive to morphological structure, including base-reduplicant identity, cyclicity, level ordering, derived environment effects, opaque rule interactions, and morpheme structure constraints. In the recent OT literature, it has been claimed that all of these phenomena can be analyzed with a single theoretical device: correspondence constraints, which regulate the similarity of lexically related forms (such as input and output, base and derivative, base and reduplicant).
This course is the second of the three parts of our graduate introduction to semantics. The others are 24.970 Introduction to Semantics and 24.954 Pragmatics in Linguistic Theory. Like the other courses, this one is not meant as an overview of the field and its current developments. Our aim is to help you to develop the ability for semantic analysis, and we think that exploring a few topics in detail together with hands-on practical work is more effective than offering a bird's-eye view of everything. Once you have gained some experience in doing semantic analysis, reading around in the many recent handbooks and in current issues of major journals and attending our seminars and colloquia will give you all you need to prosper. Because we want to focus, we need to make difficult choices as to which topics to cover.
This year, we will focus on topics having to do with modality, conditionals, tense, and aspect.
This course will acquaint the student with some of the ancient Greek contributions to the Western philosophical and scientific tradition. We will examine a broad range of central philosophical themes concerning: nature, law, justice, knowledge, virtue, happiness, and death. There will be a strong emphasis on analyses of arguments found in the texts.
Western philosophy and theoretical mathematics were born together, and the cross-fertilization of ideas in the two disciplines was continuously acknowledged throughout antiquity. In this course, we read works of ancient Greek philosophy and mathematics, and investigate the way in which ideas of definition, reason, argument and proof, rationality and irrationality, number, quality and quantity, truth, and even the idea of an idea were shaped by the interplay of philosophic and mathematical inquiry.
This course is a detailed investigation of the major issues and problems in the study of lexical argument structure and how it determines syntactic structure. Its empirical scope is along three dimensions: typology, lexical class, and theoretical framework. The range of linguistic types include English, Japanese, Navajo, and Warlpiri. Lexical classes include those of Levin's English Verb Classes and others producing emerging work on diverse languages. The theoretical emphasis of this course is on structural relations among elements of argument structure.
This course does not seek to provide answers to ethical questions. Instead, the course hopes to teach students two things. First, how do you recognize ethical or moral problems in science and medicine? When something does not feel right (whether cloning, or failing to clone) — what exactly is the nature of the discomfort? What kind of tensions and conflicts exist within biomedicine? Second, how can you think productively about ethical and moral problems? What processes create them? Why do people disagree about them? How can an understanding of philosophy or history help resolve them? By the end of the course students will hopefully have sophisticated and nuanced ideas about problems in bioethics, even if they do not have comfortable answers.
The Buddha said that human suffering—ranging from anxiety to sadness to unfulfilled craving—results from not seeing reality clearly. He described a kind of meditation that promises to ease suffering by dispelling illusions about the world and ourselves. What does psychological science say about this diagnosis and prescription—and about the underlying model of the mind?
Introduces students to (i) the history of Buddhist contemplative traditions in India and Tibet (meditation, yoga, mindfulness, visualization, etc.), (ii) innovations in scientific research on understanding such contemplative practices, (iii) recent adaptations of such practices in multiple professional and personal areas, and (iv) the practices themselves through brief secular contemplative exercises.
This course will introduce you to the Western philosophical tradition through the study of thinkers such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Cavendish, Hume, and Kant. You'll grapple with questions that have been significant to philosophy from its beginnings: Questions about the nature of the mind, the existence of God, the foundations of knowledge, and the good life. You'll also observe changes of intellectual outlook over time, and the effect of scientific, religious, and political concerns on the development of philosophical ideas.
This course will consider the claim that there is no such thing as race, with a particular emphasis on the question whether races should be thought of as natural kinds: is our concept of race a natural kind concept? Is the term 'race' a natural kind term? If so, is Appiah right to conclude that there are no races? How should one go about "analyzing" the concept of race?
Foundations and philosophical applications of Bayesian decision theory, game theory and theory of collective choice. Why should degrees of belief be probabilities? Is it always rational to maximize expected utility? If so, why and what is its utility? What is a solution to a game? What does a game-theoretic solution concept such as Nash equilibrium say about how rational players will, or should, act in a game? How are the values and the actions of groups, institutions and societies related to the values and actions of the individuals that constitute them?
The letters of Paul are the earliest texts in the Christian scriptures, written by a Jew at a time when the word “Christian” hadn’t yet been coined. What is the religious and political context into which they emerged? How were they first interpreted? How and why do they make such an enormous impact in Christian communities and in politics today?
Archaeological materials and ancient writings will help you to enter the ancient Mediterranean world and to think about religious groups, power, poverty, health, and the lives of elites and slaves in the Roman Empire. We’ll explore how immediately controversial these letters were, and how these letters are used today to debate relations between Christians and Jews; issues such as love, law, and grace; and topics such as charismatic Christianity, homosexuality, and women’s religious leadership.
Whether you’ve been studying Paul’s letters for years or are merely curious about what Christian scriptures are, this course will provide you with information to deepen your understanding of the ancient contexts and present-day controversies about these texts.
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This will be a seminar on classic and contemporary work on central topics in ethics. The first third of the course will focus on metaethics: we will examine the meaning of moral claims and ask whether there is any sense in which moral principles are objectively valid. The second third of the course will focus on normative ethics: what makes our lives worth living, what makes our actions right or wrong, and what do we owe to others? The final third of the course will focus on moral character: what is virtue, and how important is it? Can we be held responsible for what we do? When and why?
This course is a seminar on creativity in art, science, and technology. We discuss how these pursuits are jointly dependent on affective as well as cognitive elements in human nature. We study feeling and imagination in relation to principles of idealization, consummation, and the aesthetic values that give meaning to science and technology as well as literature and the other arts. Readings in philosophy, psychology, and literature are part of the course.
This course examines problems in the philosophy of film as well as literature studied in relation to their making of myths. The readings and films that are discussed in this course draw upon classic myths of the western world. Emphasis is placed on meaning and technique as the basis of creative value in both media.
This course explores the values (aesthetic, moral, cultural, religious, prudential, political) expressed in the choices of food people eat. It analyzes the decisions individuals make about what to eat, how society should manage food production and consumption collectively, and how reflection on food choices might help resolve conflicts between different values.
This course is designed to allow participants to engage in the exploration of the grammatical structure of a language that is unknown to them (and typically to the instructors as well). In some ways it simulates traditional field methods research. In terms of format, we work in both group and individual meetings with the consultant. Each student identifies some grammatical construction (e.g. wh questions, agreement, palatalization, interrogative intonation) to focus their research: they elicit and share data and write a report on the material gathered that is to be turned in at the end of the term. Ideally, we can put together a volume of grammatical sketches.
The first three to four weeks of the term, our group meetings will explore the basic phonology, morphology and surface syntax for a first pass overview of the language, looking for interesting areas to be explored in more detail later. During this period individual sessions can review material from the general session as well as explore new areas. At roughly the fifth meeting, individual students (typically two to three per session) guide the group elicitations to explore their research topic.
This course studies what is language and what does knowledge of a language consist of. It asks how do children learn languages and is language unique to humans; why are there many languages; how do languages change; is any language or dialect superior to another; and how are speech and writing related. Context for these and similar questions is provided by basic examination of internal organization of sentences, words, and sound systems. No prior training in linguistics is assumed.