The texts for this course will consist mostly of philosophy articles written during the past 50 years.

You need to buy two books, and also a coursepack of Xeroxed readings.

The coursepack can be purchased at the Gnomon Copy on Mass Ave in Harvard Square. Be careful: there are several Gnomon Copys in the area; the one you want is across from Widener Library and next to Toscanini's.

We will also put the individual readings on reserve in Robbins Library, on the second floor of Emerson Hall. This is in case you'd prefer to copy them yourself, one-by-one. (Perhaps you already have copies of some of them.)

During the term, we will also put additional, optional readings on reserve in Robbins.

The books will be available at the Coop in Harvard Square. Or you can purchase them online. There are several ways to do this.

One option is to use the Undergrad Council's UC Books site: <>. This site checks several online retailers and tells you whether they have the books for this course in stock, how much they cost, and how long it will take to get them to you. As I write this (Wednesday 1/9), the UC Books site doesn't yet have this course listed, but it should be working by the time classes start.

Two other online sources are and Barnes& I put links to these stores on the web version of this syllabus.

The books are:

Requirements of the Course

You will write two 8-12 page papers for this class.

For the first paper: you'll submit a version of this paper on Fri Mar 15. We'll grade that version and give you feedback on it, by Mon Apr 1 (that's right after spring break). Then you'll rewrite your paper, and submit the revised version on Wed Apr 10. We'll also grade these rewrites.

For the second paper: you'll submit a 1-page proposal to us by Mon Apr 22. We'll meet with you individually and discuss these proposals. Then you'll write up a full draft of your paper. We'll group you into "writing groups" of 2-3 students, and the members of each group will exchange drafts by Fri May 3 (that's the last day of term). You'll do peer reviews of each other's drafts. Then, armed with the feedback you've given each other, you'll write up the final version of your paper, and submit that on Mon May 13 (that's near the end of reading period). We will only grade this final version.

In addition to these two papers, we expect you to come to class each week with intelligent questions about, or reactions to, that week's reading. You should write these out in a paragraph or so. These won't be graded, but we'll collect them after class and look them over. More importantly, though, during class we will randomly call on a few of you to use your paragraphs to start our discussions.

It's important that you come to class with questions that we as a group can discuss and try to answer. Or objections. Or other philosophically substantial reactions that we can use to start discussion. Not just complaints, like "The part where the author discussed blah was totally unclear."

If we do allow auditors into the class, they will also be expected to do these weekly paragraphs.  

Schedule of Topics and Readings

Date Topics Assigned Readings
Mon 2/4 Introduction  
Mon 2/11 Dispositionalism, Take 1 Selections from Locke and Reid (in coursepack)
Jackson and Pargetter (Ch. 6 in Byrne & Hilbert)
Recommended: Curley, "Locke, Boyle, and the Distinction between Primary and Secondary Qualities" (in coursepack)
Recommended: Mackie, Ch. 1 from Problems from Locke (in coursepack)
Mon 2/18 Presidents' Day
Mon 2/25 Physicalism, Take 1 Armstrong, Ch. 12 from A Materialist Theory of the Mind (in coursepack)
Armstrong, "Smart and the Secondary Qualities" (Ch. 3 in Byrne & Hilbert)
Color Science and Error-Theories about Color
Mon 3/4 Color Science Hardin, Ch. 1; plus pp. 67-80 on "standard conditions" and "normal observers," plus pp. 82-88 on constancy, plus pp. 113-127 on similarity and difference relationships
Mon 3/11 Error-Theories Hardin, "Color and Illusion" (in coursepack)
Landesman, "Why Nothing Has Color" (in coursepack)
Recommended: Hardin pp. 61-7 against physicalism; and reread pp. 67-80 against dispositionalist's appeal to "standard conditions" and "normal observers"
Fri 3/15 First papers due!
Mon 3/18 Boghossian & Velleman's Arguments for Error-Theory Boghossian and Velleman, "Colour as a Secondary Quality" (Ch. 7 in Byrne & Hilbert)
Recommended: Hardin pp. 90-109 against colored sense-data
Mon 3/25 Spring Break
Preserving the Colors
Mon 4/1 Dispositionalism, Take 2 Johnston, "How To Speak of the Colors" (Ch. 9 in Byrne and Hilbert)
Mon 4/8 The Intentionalism Debate and its Bearing on Dispositionalism Peacocke, Ch. 1-2 from Sense and Content (in coursepack)
Tye, "Visual Qualia and Visual Content" (in coursepack)
Wed 4/10 Rewrites of first papers due!
Mon 4/15 Catch-up time  
Mon 4/22 Physicalism, Take 2
Proposals for second papers due!
Byrne & Hilbert, "Colors and Reflectances" (Ch. 14 in Byrne & Hilbert)
Byrne, "Color and Similarity" (in coursepack)
Mon 4/29 Broackes' Theory Broackes, "The Autonomy of Color" (Ch. 11 in Byrne & Hilbert)
Fri 5/3 Exchange second papers
Mon 5/6 Discuss second papers
Mon 5/13 Second papers due!


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