16 November 2011


Academic Integrity

Jeff Guo, "Why Smart Kids Shouldn't Use Laptops in Class," The Washington Post (16 May 2016)

"Philosophy Projected as Top-Paid Class of 2016 Humanities Major"

The University of Texas at Arlington Online University Catalog, 2015-2016

Requirements for Letters of Recommendation

You Are Not My Customer

W. T. Stace, The Snobbishness of the Learned (1936)

Brand Blanshard, On Philosophical Style (1954)

Elizabeth Garrett, The Socratic Method (1998)

Which College Majors Pay Best?

Full Disclosure for Student Borrowers

How to Make Law School Affordable

The Lawyer Glut

UTA Pre-Law Center

Studies Find More Students Cheating, with High Achievers No Exception


Joel Feinberg, Doing Philosophy: A Guide to the Writing of Philosophy Papers, 3d ed. (2005)

William J. Bennett and David Wilezol, "Is College Worth It?" (2013)

Leon Wieseltier, "'Perhaps Culture Is Now the Counterculture': A Defense of the Humanities," The New Republic (28 May 2013)

Bill O'Reilly, "Colleges' Liberal Faculties Intimidate Students," The New Haven Register (31 May 2013)

College Students Say No to Costly Textbooks

American Bar Association, "Preparing for Law School"

Mark Oppenheimer, "The Philosopher Kingmaker," The Boston Globe (20 April 2008)

Jonathan H. Adler, "The Professor Who Ranks and Rankles," The Washington Post (26 September 2014)

Peter Schmidt, "The Man Who Ranks Philosophy Departments Now Rankles Them, Too," The Chronicle of Higher Education (26 September 2014)

23 June 2005

Logic (PHIL 2311)

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How to Do Well in My Courses

Course Outline

Logic Dictionary

Valid Argument Forms (Boolean Interpretation)

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) on the Value of Logic

Ambrose Bierce's Devilish Definition of "Logic"

Basic Concepts and Distinctions

Understanding Validity

Argument Analysis

Validity and Truth

Exercise Set 1 (Basic Concepts and Distinctions)

Validity, Truth, Knowledge, and the Good Life

Exercise Set 2 (Basic Concepts and Distinctions)

Aristotle's Logic (Organon) (Note from KBJ: You will not be tested on this handout.)

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873) on Syllogistic Logic

Further Immediate Inferences (Boolean Interpretation)

Exercise Set 3 (Categorical Logic) (Boolean Interpretation)

A Taxonomy of Arguments (Boolean Interpretation)

The 15 Valid Standard-Form Categorical Syllogisms (Boolean Interpretation)

Why Standard Form Matters (Boolean Interpretation)

Refutation by Logical Analogy

The Square of Opposition (Boolean Interpretation)

A Sampling of Examination Questions

How to Use Venn Diagrams to Test Standard-Form Categorical Syllogisms for Validity

A Taxonomy of Propositions

Exercise Set 4 (Propositional Logic)

How to Read the Logical Operators

Logical Properties of Propositional Forms

Logical Relations Between (Among) Propositional Forms

Logical Relations Between Logical Properties (Note from KBJ: You will not be tested on this handout; I post it for students who are interested in advanced work in logic.)

Logical Relations Between Logical Relations (Note from KBJ: You will not be tested on this handout; I post it for students who are interested in advanced work in logic.)

Truth Tables

Consistency and Truth

Technical Validity

Rules of Inference, Propositional Logic

Basic Argument Forms

Implication and Equivalence

The Logical Equivalence of the Laws of Thought

In-Class Proof Exercises

In-Class Proof Exercises (Solutions)

Propositions in Predicate Logic

Exercise Set 5 (Predicate Logic)

The Indispensability of Predicate Logic

Quantification Rules

Exercise Set 6 (Predicate Logic)

Peirce's Law

Exercises, Predicate Logic (Quantification Rules)

Laws of Distribution (LD)

Exercises, Predicate Logic, Conditional Proof

Exercises, Predicate Logic, Indirect Proof

Ethics (PHIL 2312)

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Reading List


What Is a Normative Ethical Theory?

A Plethora of Normative Ethical Theories

Ethical Terminology

Theory, Objection, Reply

Theological Voluntarism: Objections and Replies

Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

Natural Law: Objections and Replies

Formulations of Utilitarianism

Classical Utilitarianism

Jeremy Bentham's Felicific Calculus

Act-Utilitarianism: Objections and Replies

Jim and Bob

Rule-Utilitarianism: Objections and Replies

Act-Egoism: Objections and Replies

Ryan Wagoner, "Know Your Alcohol Limit," The Shorthorn, 6 March 2013

Keith Burgess-Jackson, "Psychological Egoism" (2013)

Keith Burgess-Jackson, "Ethical Egoism" (2013)

Rule-Egoism: Objections and Replies

"Philosophy Projected as Top-Paid Class of 2016 Humanities Major"

Optional Paper Assignment

The Golden Rule: Objections and Replies

The Golden Rule and Its Variants

John F. Kennedy, Report to the American People on Civil Rights, 11 June 1963

Applying the Golden Rule

Kantianism: Objections and Replies

First Formulation of Kant's Categorical Imperative

Understanding Kant's Categorical Imperative

Simon Blackburn, "Königsberg Confidential" (2001) Note from KBJ: This is optional reading.

My Philosophical Family Tree

Leviathan (Excerpts)

The Hobbesian Dilemma (Political Version)

How to Do Well in My Courses

The Hobbesian Dilemma (Moral Version)

Richard B. Brandt (1910-1997) on Moral Sanctions

Hobbesian Contractarianism: Objections and Replies

Edwin Curley, "Introduction to Hobbes' Leviathan" (1994)

John Rawls, A Theory of Justice, rev. ed. (1999) Students: Please print and read Section 3 ("The Main Idea of the Theory of Justice"), Section 4 ("The Original Position and Justification"), and Section 24 ("The Veil of Ignorance").

Understanding Rawls

Applying Rawls

A Taxonomy of Contractarianism

Rawlsian Contractarianism: Objections and Replies

Ross's Prima Facie Duties

Rossian Pluralism: Objections and Replies


Paragraph-by-Paragraph Summary of W. D. Ross, "What Makes Right Acts Right?" (1930)

Rosalind Hursthouse, "Normative Virtue Ethics"

Virtue Theory: Objections and Replies

Lecture Notes on Hursthouse, "Normative Virtue Ethics" (1996)

Normative Ethical Theories 1

Normative Ethical Theories 2


Sacrificial Dilemmas

Normative Ethical Theories (Moral Code)

Encyclopedia Entry:
Roger Crisp, "Ethics," Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Seminar in Research Methods and Philosophical Writing (PHIL 3307)


Readings and Assignments

Philosophy of Religion (PHIL 3316)

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How to Do Well in My Courses

Reading List


The Elements of Argument

A Taxonomy of Religions

Locating Philosophical Essays Online Via the UTA Library

The Religiosity of Scientists

Arguments A Priori and A Posteriori

The Reductio ad Absurdum

Anselm's Ontological Argument

Anselm's Ontological Argument (Diagram)

Refutation by Logical Analogy

Gaunilo's Attempted Refutation of Anselm's Argument

Keith Burgess-Jackson, "Anselm, Gaunilo, and Lost Island," Philosophy & Theology 8 (spring 1994): 243-9

Keith Burgess-Jackson, "Does Anselm Beg the Question?," International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 76 (August 2014): 5-18

Aquinas's Third Way

Aquinas's Third Way, Reconstructed

Aquinas's Third Way (Diagram)

A Sampling of Examination Questions

Summary of William Paley's Natural Theology (1802), Chapters I-III

Analogical Argumentation

David Hume, Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion (1779) Please read Part V.

Bertrand Russell, "The Free Man's Worship," The Independent Review 1 (December 1903): 415-24

George I. Mavrodes, "Religion and the Queerness of Morality" (1986)

C. D. Broad, "Arguments for the Existence of God. II," The Journal of Theological Studies 40 (April 1939): 156-67

Will M. Gervais, "Everything Is Permitted? People Intuitively Judge Immorality as Representative of Atheists," PLoS ONE 9 (April 2014)

Lecture Notes on Mavrodes

The Argument from Religious Experience

The Logical Problem of Evil

Rowe's Argument from Evil

William L. Rowe (1931-2015), R.I.P.

Lecture Notes on Rowe

Pascal's Three Arguments

Encyclopedia Entry:
Eleonore Stump, "Philosophy of Religion," Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Trigger Warning


Global Index of Religiosity and Atheism (2012)

Bertrand Russell and F. C. Copleston, "The Existence of God," Humanitas 2 (autumn 1948): 2-17

Thomas Nagel, "The Fear of Religion," review of The God Delusion, by Richard Dawkins, The New Republic 235 (23 October 2006): 25-9

Daniel C. Dennett, "The Bright Stuff" (2003)

Blaise Pascal (1623-1662)

Pascal's Wager

Antony Duff, "Pascal's Wager and Infinite Utilities," Analysis 46 (March 1986): 107-9 (available through JSTOR)

Jeff Jordan, "Duff and the Wager," Analysis 51 (June 1991): 174-6 (available through JSTOR)

James Franklin, "Two Caricatures, I: Pascal's Wager," International Journal for Philosophy of Religion 44 (October 1998): 109-14 (available through JSTOR)

Philip L. Quinn, "The Recent Revival of Divine Command Ethics," Philosophy and Phenomenological Research 50 (autumn 1990): 345-65 (available through JSTOR)

Zoroastrianism in the News

William Kingdon Clifford (1845-1879)

William James (1842-1910)

Saint Anselm (1033-1109)

Ontological Arguments


Saint Thomas Aquinas (1225-1274)

Cosmological Argument

J. L. Mackie (1917-1981)

William Paley (1743-1805)

Teleological Arguments for God's Existence

Knowing the Universe in Detail

Moral Arguments for the Existence of God

Alvin Plantinga

The Epistemology of Religion

The Problem of Evil

John Hick


William L. Rowe

Antony Flew

Basil George Mitchell

Theology & Falsification: A Golden Jubilee Celebration

David Hume (1711-1776)


A Free-for-All on Science and Religion

Richard Swinburne


Religious Diversity (Pluralism)

Biomedical Ethics (PHIL 3319)

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How to Do Well in My Courses

Reading List

Requirements for the Thesis-Defense Paper

Locating Philosophical Essays Online Via the UTA Library

A Taxonomy of Euthanasia

Robert D. McFadden, "Karen Ann Quinlan, 31, Dies; Focus of '76 Right to Die Case," The New York Times (12 June 1985)

Lecture Notes on James Rachels, "Active and Passive Euthanasia" (1975, 1997)

Note to my students, 3 February 2015: As I explained on the handout entitled "Requirements for the Thesis-Defense Paper," and as I repeated in class today, I don't want you to do any research (in fact, I want you not to do any research), in the sense of gathering data or seeing what others have written about your thesis. Please read (and take to heart) Section 5 of this handout by Yale University philosophy professor Shelly Kagan.

Exemplary Thesis-Defense Paper #1: Hugh LaFollette, "Licensing Parents," Philosophy & Public Affairs 9 (winter 1980): 182-97. Available through the UTA Library.

Exemplary Thesis-Defense Paper #2: Gary Bartlett, "An Argument Against Spanking," Public Affairs Quarterly 24 (January 2010): 65-77. Available through the UTA Library.

Jonathan Gruber, "Taxing Sin to Modify Behavior and Raise Revenue," Expert Voices, National Institute for Health Care Management (April 2010)

Anti-Abortion and Pro-Choice Arguments

Lecture Notes on Don Marquis, "Why Abortion Is Immoral" (1989)

Four Models of the Physician-Patient Relationship

"Gov. Lamm Asserts Elderly, If Very Ill, Have 'Duty to Die,'" The New York Times (29 March 1984)

John Hardwig, "Going to Meet Death: The Art of Dying in the Early Part of the Twenty-First Century," The Hastings Center Report 39 (July-August 2009): 37-45

Peter Singer

Michael J. Selgelid

Kate Murphy, "The Ethics of Infection," The New York Times (8 November 2014)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, "Top 10 Things You REALLY Need to Know About EBOLA" (13 January 2015)

Arguments in Favor of and Against Cryonics


Nathan I. Klinge, "The Rod of Asclepius" (2008)

In re Quinlan, 70 N.J. 10, 355 A.2d 647 (1976)

Roger Collier, "American Medical Association Membership Woes Continue" (2011)

William Neuman, "Citing Hazard, New York Says Hold the Salt" (2010)


Group Appointments with Doctors

David A. Asch, Ralph W. Muller, and Kevin G. Volpp, "Conflicts and Compromises in Not Hiring Smokers," The New England Journal of Medicine 368 (11 April 2013): 1371-3

Jonathan V. Last, "America's Baby Bust," The Wall Street Journal (12 February 2013)

Philosophy of Law (PHIL 3320)

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Reading List

Lecture Notes on Kerr, "How to Read a Legal Opinion"

Prude v. Clarke, 675 F.3d 732 (7th Cir. 2012) Note from KBJ: This is the case I mentioned in class on Thursday, 21 January. The opinion was written by Richard A. Posner.

Paul Butler, "Jurors Need to Know That They Can Say No," The New York Times (20 December 2011)

Hard and Easy Cases (at Law)


Lincoln Caplan, "Rhetoric and Law," Harvard Magazine (January-February 2016) Note from KBJ: This is the interview I mentioned in class on Thursday, 4 February, in which Judge Richard A. Posner admits that he did an experiment in his office.

Steven M. Wise's Argument for Abolition of the Factory-Farm System

Warrick, "They Die Piece by Piece" (2001)

Rachel Feltman, "New York Court Rules That Tommy the Chimp Is Not a 'Person,'" The Washington Post (4 December 2014)

Varieties of Retributivism

Edwards v. State, 202 Tenn. 393, 304 S.W.2d 500 (1957)

Lecture Notes on Steinbock, "Drunk Driving"

"Philosophy Projected as Top-Paid Class of 2016 Humanities Major"

The Logic of Torture

Posner and Vermeule on Coercive Interrogation

Four Views on the Morality of Interrogational Torture

Joel Feinberg, "A Ride on the Bus," in Offense to Others (New York: Oxford University Press, 1985), 10-3

United States Courts of Appeal

Standards of Judicial Review

Baker v. Nelson, 291 Minn. 310, 191 N.W.2d 185 (1971)

How to Do Well in My Courses

George Sher's Argument Against the Decriminalization of Narcotics

Ian Sample, "Cannabis" (2016)

Texas Penal Code (Inchoate Offenses)

Douglas Husak, "The Persistence of Drug Prohibition" (YouTube Lecture)

Lecture Notes, "The Case for Compulsory Voting in the United States (2007)

Mary Brophy Marcus, "Heavy Teen Marijuana Use May Cut Life Short by 60" (2016)

Lecture Notes, Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304-54 (2002)

Eighth-Amendment Cases

Atkins v. Virginia, 536 U.S. 304-54 (2002)

Encyclopedia Entries:
Beverley Brown and Neil MacCormick, "Philosophy of Law," Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Kenneth Einar Himma, "Philosophy of Law," The Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy
Orin S. Kerr

Lon L. Fuller (1902-1978)

Steven M. Wise

Bonnie Steinbock

Antonin Scalia, John Paul Stevens, Stephen Breyer

Michael Bayles

Sanford Levinson

Henry Shue

Richard H. Weisberg

Eric Posner

Adrian Vermeule

Robert E. Goodin

Martha Nussbaum

Joel Feinberg (Obituary)

Joel Feinberg (Encyclopedia Entry by Keith Burgess-Jackson)

Douglas Husak

George Sher

Sue Russell, "Animal Research's Changing Equation" (19 December 2011)

Sue Russell, "Should Animals Be Considered People?" (20 December 2011)

Sue Russell, "Five Orcas, Five Slaves or Five Persons?" (2 February 2012)

Michael Todd, "'Orcas as Slaves' Argument Sinks" (9 February 2012)

Melody McDonald, "Chronic Drunken Drivers Leave a Trail of Tragedy on Texas Roads" (12 April 2010)

Cigarette Health Warnings, United States Food and Drug Administration

UTA, Clearing the Air on Campus

H. L. A. Hart (1907-1992)

Ronald Dworkin (b. 1931)

Antonin Scalia (b. 1936)

Martin Luther King Jr (1929-1968)

John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

Arthur Ripstein

Gerald Dworkin

Timeline of the War on Terror

Torture Memo

Waldron v. Yoo

Richard A. Posner, "The Supreme Court, 2004 Term—Foreword: A Political Court," Harvard Law Review 119 (November 2005): 31-102

Legal Information Institute (to have Supreme Court syllabi e-mailed to you as they are released, click on "liibulletin" on the left of the site and subscribe to the service)

Robert P. George, "What Is Law? A Century of Arguments," First Things 112 (April 2001): 23-9

Keith Burgess-Jackson, "Teaching Legal Theory with Venn Diagrams," Metaphilosophy 29 (July 1998): 159-77

Frederick Schauer, "(Re)taking Hart," review of A Life of H. L. A. Hart: The Nightmare and the Noble Dream, by Nicola Lacey, Harvard Law Review 119 (January 2006): 852-83

John Rawls et al., "Assisted Suicide: The Philosophers' Brief," The New York Review of Books 44 (27 March 1997)

Washington v. Glucksberg, 117 S.Ct. 2258 (1997)

Rumsfeld v. FAIR, 547 U.S. ___ (2006)

Keith Burgess-Jackson, "Our Millian Constitution: The Supreme Court's Repudiation of Immorality as a Ground of Criminal Punishment," Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy 18 (2004): 407-17

Grutter v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 306 (2003)

Gratz v. Bollinger, 539 U.S. 244 (2003)

Mark Tushnet, "Survey Article: Critical Legal Theory (Without Modifiers) in the United States," The Journal of Political Philosophy 13 (March 2005): 99-112

Social and Political Philosophy (PHIL 3330)

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How to Do Well in My Courses

Reading List

Requirements for Take-Home Examinations

Grading Systems

Economic Justice

John Hospers (1918-2011), Obituary, The Guardian (London)

Recommended Reading: David Miller, "Distributive Justice: What the People Think," Ethics 102 (April 1992): 555-93. Available via UTA Library (JSTOR).

Excerpts from David Miller

Hilary Putnam on Respectful Contempt

Robert Nozick (1938-2002), Obituary, Harvard Gazette

Edward Feser, "Robert Nozick (1938-2002)," Internet Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Robert Nozick, "Why Do Intellectuals Oppose Capitalism?" (1986)

First Take-Home Examination

John Rawls

Rawls's Two Principles of Justice

Model Essay (Libertarianism)

Model Essay (Radical Egalitarianism)

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit (Checklist for Preparation of Briefs and Record Excerpts)

Bad Grammar, Sexism, and Clumsiness

Rawlsian Primary Goods

Second Take-Home Examination

Smart, "Distributive Justice and Utilitarianism" (1978)

Burgess-Jackson, "Smart, John Jamieson Carswell (1920-2012)" (2013)

Rawls References

Third Take-Home Examination

Rawls on Procedural Justice: A Flowchart

William Voegeli, "Not Leveling with Us," Claremont Review of Books 12 (summer 2012): 23-30

Normative Ethical Theories 1

Normative Ethical Theories 2

Heaven on Earth: The Rise and Fall of Socialism (2005)

See here for the official PBS website.
Encyclopedia Entries:
David Miller, "Political Philosophy," Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Alex Moseley, "Political Philosophy," The Internet Enyclopedia of Philosophy

Julian Lamont, "Distributive Justice," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

Owen McLeod, "Desert," Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy

The Moral and Political Philosophy of Thomas Hobbes (PHIL 6389)

Required Books:
A. P. Martinich, Hobbes: A Biography (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999)

Thomas Hobbes, Leviathan, rev. student ed., ed. Richard Tuck, Cambridge Texts in the History of Political Thought, ed. Raymond Geuss and Quentin Skinner (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996) (Note: There are many editions of Leviathan, which was first published in 1651. You must purchase this edition, because I will be referring to it by page throughout the semester. If you have a different edition, you will not be able to follow the discussion.)

Gregory S. Kavka, Hobbesian Moral and Political Theory, Studies in Moral, Political, and Legal Philosophy, ed. Marshall Cohen (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986)
A. P. Martinich

Richard Tuck

Gregory S. Kavka
Popular References to Hobbes:
A. O. Scott