Mike Deigan /
Teaching /
Con­tact & Of­fice Hours

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Cur­rent Teach­ing
730:225 In­tro to Phi­los­o­phy of Sci­ence
Spring 2021
syl­labus | course page |
An on­line asyn­chro­nous but still live dis­cus­sion-based in­tro­duc­tion to a range of is­sues in phi­los­o­phy of sci­ence, in­clud­ing ques­tions about the­o­ret­i­cal en­ti­ties, the ef­fec­tive­ness of math­e­mat­ics in sci­ence, laws of na­ture, nat­ur­al kinds, sci­en­tif­ic method­ol­o­gy, progress, and in­cen­tives and val­ues in sci­ence.
730:329 Minds, Ma­chines, and Per­sons
Spring 2021
syl­labus | course page |
An on­line asyn­chro­nous but still live dis­cus­sion-based in­ter­me­di­ate course about the pos­si­bil­i­ty and con­se­quences of cre­at­ing think­ing ma­chines. Top­ics cov­ered in­clude the na­ture of in­tel­li­gence, the pos­si­bil­i­ty and risks of su­per­in­tel­li­gent ma­chines, the moral sta­tus of ma­chines, con­scious­ness, in­ten­tion­al­i­ty, and per­son­al iden­ti­ty.
Re­cent Teach­ing
Phil 292: The­o­ry of Knowl­edge
Spring 2020 (Wes­leyan)
syl­labus | course page |
An in­ter­me­di­ate-lev­el in­tro­duc­tion to epis­te­mol­o­gy, fo­cus­ing on nor­ma­tive is­sues (Should we be­lieve there is an ex­ter­nal world? Should we be­lieve for prac­ti­cal rea­sons? Which ex­perts should we trust? How should we arrange so­cial struc­tures to pro­mote epis­tem­i­cal­ly bet­ter out­comes? Etc.).
Syl­labi

Here are sam­ple syl­labi for some oth­er cours­es I would like to teach.

In­tro to Ear­ly Mod­ern Phi­los­o­phy
in­tro­duc­to­ry un­der­grad­u­ate course
syl­labus |
An in­tro­duc­tion to philo­soph­i­cal ar­gu­ment, close crit­i­cal read­ing, and sys­tem­at­ic the­o­riz­ing by way of philo­soph­i­cal works from the Ear­ly Mod­ern pe­ri­od. Fo­cus is on Descartes, Spin­oza, Hume, and their crit­ics, end­ing with a taste of Kant.
The Ethics of At­ten­tion and Dis­trac­tion
in­tro­duc­to­ry un­der­grad­u­ate course
syl­labus |
An in­tro­duc­tion to philo­soph­i­cal ar­gu­ment, ethics, and phi­los­o­phy of mind through con­sid­er­a­tion of ap­plied eth­i­cal is­sues about di­rect­ing one’s own at­ten­tion and di­rect­ing the at­ten­tion of oth­ers.
Se­man­tics & Prag­mat­ics for Phi­los­o­phy
grad­u­ate/ad­vanced un­der­grad­u­ate sem­i­nar
syl­labus |
An ad­vanced in­tro­duc­tion to some philo­soph­i­cal­ly use­ful tools and ideas from se­man­tics and prag­mat­ics, with ap­pli­ca­tions to so­cial and po­lit­i­cal phi­los­o­phy, phi­los­o­phy of gen­der and race, metaethics, epis­te­mol­o­gy, meta­physics, and metaphi­los­o­phy.
Con­cep­tu­al Ethics & En­gi­neer­ing
grad­u­ate sem­i­nar
syl­labus |
A grad­u­ate sem­i­nar on re­cent work on con­cep­tu­al ethics and its in­ter­sec­tions with oth­er ar­eas of phi­los­o­phy.