Phil 101: Announcements, Readings, and Lecture Notes

The front webpage for the course is at

Here are Zoom links for course meetings and office hours.

Here is the Canvas page for course, where you’ll need to submit assignments. But most of the static information there will also be published below.

Prof Pryor’s office hours are on Mondays from 3–4:30 and Wednesdays from 1:30–3. His email is


Here are some guidelines about philosophical writing. See the front webpage for information about extensions and how you’ll be graded.


These are in reverse-order, so the newest posts will always be at the top. The dates are when the post was first made.

Readings are in a restricted part of this site. The username and password for these were emailed to you, and will also be announced at the start of class.

Here is a sparser evolving index of all the handouts, webnotes and readings we’ve used during the course.

Thu May 2
Final papers due before Final Exam Session at noon
Meeting 28 / Mon Apr 29
Sections / Fri Apr 26
Meeting 27 / Wed Apr 24
More on AI
Meeting 26 / Mon Apr 22
Read for this session: Schwitzgebel and Garza
Peer feedback due
Sections / Fri Apr 19
Meeting 25 / Wed Apr 17
Read for this session: Leiber Chapter 3; Learning to Be Me
Drafts of final papers due
Meeting 24 / Mon Apr 15
Read for this session: Searle; Einstein’s Brain
Sections / Fri Apr 12
Meeting 23 / Wed Apr 10
More on Turing Test
Read for this session: Turing
Meeting 22 / Mon Apr 8
Turing Test
Sections / Fri Apr 5
Wed Apr 24

Here are some notes:

Our readings for Monday (our last class) is this paper by Schwitzgebel and Garza. I’ll plan to run Monday’s meeting as a discussion section about this paper. Coming to class prepared to explore and argue about those issues will be a good way to boost your participation/engagement grade for the course, should you need to do that.

The final versions of your final papers are due on Thursday May 2 (eight days from today) at noon. At that time, we’ll also have a retrospective discussion of the class, held on the normal Zoom link for class meetings.

Mon Apr 22

As I said in class, to this point we’ve only been considering which views you have most sympathy for: whether any way of giving the same I/O as Braden would is enough to have his mental states? (Or if souls are needed, is enough to be a suitable physical home for a soul that has his mental states.) Or whether the system has to be getting that I/O from a program that’s the same as Braden’s brain is running (or at least, a program that has close enough to the same structure)? Or whether the hardware is what matters: that is, some kinds of hardware running the Braden brain program would have his mental states, but there are some limits, and other kinds of hardware running that program would not have the same mental states. They’d just be faking it, that is, giving us the same behavior as Braden does in the same kinds of situations, when asked the same questions and so on, but not thoughts or feelings or any of that really going on inside.

For those who take the last kind of view, the question arises where the dividing line is between the “good” kinds of hardware and the “bad” kinds of hardware. You might think that only biological hardware can be “good.” Or you might think that what makes hardware “bad” is not that it’s inorganic, but rather that we designed and constructed it. Or you might have some other, perhaps more complicated view.

All of this is just mapping out the possible views, and figuring out where our sympathies lie. We haven’t yet been considering arguments for or against any of the views. What we’re tutning to now is a famous argument by John Searle called the Chinese Room argument, that’s meant to show that the hardware is what matters. The views that say all you need is the right program (or that all you need is the right I/O, though this view isn’t so popular these days) have to be wrong, he’s arguing. Because he’s going to describe one kind of hardware which is running the right program but (he says) definitely does not have the mental states.

The two readings assigned for today (listed under the Monday Apr 15 entry below) deal with Searle’s argument. The two readings assigned for Wednesday (also listed below) are easier reading, and continue developing these themes.

Remember your peer feedbacks are due by the end of the day (11:59 pm) tomorrow. I sent a Canvas announcement around explaining where to find the papers you’ve been assigned, in case you had trouble finding them.

Here are lecture notes on Other Minds and the Turing Test. These summarize ideas I’ve presented in class over the last couple of sessions.

Wed Apr 17

Sorry I forgot to post the handout to the website before class. Here it is.

It’s likely that sections will continue discussing the range of cases set out on the handout, so try to get familiar with them beforehand. Bring the handouts to your section meetings, and bring them to class again next week.

Readings for next Monday (and the remaining classes after that) are posted below.

Remember the first drafts of your papers need to be submitted to Canvas by 11:59 pm on Friday. Just submit your drafts for the time being, but hold on to your work-in-progress files and work logs, because you’ll have to submit them when you turn the final versions of the papers in.

Mon Apr 15

For our remaining classes, any quizzes given will be in-person only, and those who get them mostly correct will earn extra credit towards their final grade. These quizzes will be a bit more difficult than the multiple choices you’ve seen before; but doing well on them won’t take any special insights. You’ll only need to have followed the basics of the previous lecture or two, and be caught up with the assigned readings.

The readings that were assigned up until now are:

Here are our readings for the rest of the semester:

Thu Apr 11

For Monday’s class:

Tue Apr 9

Your final papers were originally on this schedule: first drafts due for peer feedback on next Wednesday, peer feedback due the following Monday, and final versions due at the start of our final exam session. We’ve decided to give you a few more days to work on the earlier stages. So now the first drafts will instead be due next Friday, Apr 19. I’ll be posting the instructions and paper prompts here this evening. updated Here are the second paper instructions.

Fri Apr 5

We’ve been talking about computers made out of unfamiliar hardware, including mechanical devices instead of the electronic circuitry we’ve become used to. Here are some pictures, videos, and other links illustrating that:

Another kind of unfamiliar hardware we’ve mentioned involves organic components, such as bacteria or other cells, or DNA molecules, or perhaps neurons taken from an animal’s brain (or grwon in a lab). Here are some links about that:

We’ll be returning your exams soon and your midterm papers early next week. I don’t know yet how the grades on the midterm papers are distributed. But it’s clear that many of you will have done worse on the exam than you’ve done in your earlier work. We’re curving the results to some extent, but still half of you were not able to answer correctly even half of these questions, about the most basic ideas and positions that we and our reading have been developing over the past weeks. Our semester is running out, but if you’re able to put appropriate amounts of time and effort into improving your participation adnd engagement with the course, and developing your own final papers (and giving each other good constructive feedback to help them improve theirs), those are all still good opportunities for you to improve your grades, and also get more educationally out of this course.

Mon Apr 1

Remember our in-class exam is at the start of class on Wednesday. At 9:30 we will continue discussing the possibility of machines/AIs having mental states/processes of the same fundamental shape as our own.

I realize your main focus for now will be on preparing for the exam. But here is some more relatively accessible reading on our new topics. (Some was already listed last week.) When you get the opportunity over the next days, continue reading through this list. You should aim to be caught up on all this reading by next Monday, Apr 8.

Wed Mar 27

I’ve updated the notes on libertarianism to include discussion of agent-causation theory, as defended in the Taylor article assigned for today.

For instructions on turning in your midterm papers, see the entry below for Monday Mar 25. For information about the upcoming second in-class exam (of two), see the entry below for yesterday.

There is no section this week.

Next week, we’ll be starting our last unit of the course, on the possibility of machine minds. Here are some short stories to read for Monday:

Here will be our readings for next Wednesday:

Tue Mar 26

Here are instructions for the second exam, which will be given in class next Wednesday.

Mon Mar 25

Readings for this Wednesday are posted below (in the entry for Wed Mar 20).

new Here is the quiz we took this morning in class.

Here are initial notes on libertarianism. I’ll expand that page after Wednesday’s lecture.

Here’s a short video giving a good overview of the problem of moral luck, that we discussed today, by Victor Kumar (6 min).

Optional: Here’s a longer video (another episode of The Free Will Show, that we linked to before) discussing the Problem of Luck for Libertarianism (38 min, Alfred Mele).

For the rewrites of your midterm papers, due at the end of the day on Thursday, we already gave you some instructions in items G4, G5 and G6 of the feedback page. Briefly reminding you:

Some more clerical instructions:

Wed Mar 20

Here are webnotes summarizing today’s continued discussion of Compatibilism.

For Monday, read:

For next Wednesday Mar 27, read:

Mon Mar 18

As I said at the end of class, we’ll be releasing the grades and feedback on your midterm papers later today.

Here are webnotes summarizing today’s discussion of Compatibilism.

For Wednesday, refresh yourself on the Lemos Chapter 2 I asked you to look at for today, and also read this next article. (I said van Inwagen in class, but that’s wrong, we’ve already read that before break. If you haven’t read that yet, though, then do get caught up.)

new Your v1 paper grades and feedback has been posted; here is a page with general feedback.

Wed Mar 6

Here is the quiz we took in-class today:

The first part of today’s lecture was reviewing and reinforcing things we introduced last time. At the end, we presented and discussed the Consequence Argument for incompatibilism. Here are notes summarizing the Consequence Argument.

Apologies to those Zooming for the very sub-optimal managing of where the camera is focused. We will try (the TAs will try to remind me) to handle this better going forward. Hopefully the audio plus the web summaries will help you track what was discussed. But Zoom is always going to be an inferior way to keep up with this course. We’re glad to provide it as a fallback to those of you who can’t be there in person, but we’re not able to make it equally good.

As you know, the first versions of your midterm papers are due tomorrow evening.

Here is the reading for our next lecture meeting, Monday Mar 18 after spring break:

Mon Mar 4

Here are notes summarizing last Wednesday’s and today’s lectures on free will.

Readings for Wednesday:

Wed Feb 28

We hope those of you who took the exam found it to be straightforward.

We’ll continue our discussion of free will in sections and in next week’s lectures. In addition to the readings for today, another required reading for Monday is:

Optional but strongly recommend are this additional paper:

And this YouTube video:

Don’t put off starting on your midterm papers. You should already now be settling on a topic, thinking about it, starting to take notes, and figuring out how to orgnaize them. Your best ideas and arguments may not come to you right away, but rather in the course of outlining/planning the basic structure of what you aim to say.

Tue Feb 27

Here is general feedback on your expository writing exercises. Your TAs will be releasing the scores and individual feedback through Canvas.

Mon Feb 26

Today’s class will be in-person.

We’ll be returning feedback on on your expository exercises soon — we’re hoping by tomorrow.

Here are instructions and prompts for your midterm papers. The first version of these will be due at the end of next week (before spring break begins).

As you know, on Wednesday we’ll begin with our in-class exam. This is designed to be relatively easy for those of you who are caught up on all the reading, have followed all the discussion so far in lectures and sections, and so on. Those of you who aren’t there yet, we hope it may prompt you to get there. At 9:30, we’ll collect the exams and begin introducting our next topic, free will. We posted some readings last week on this; here they are again:

Sat Feb 24

A couple of you have asked for access to the in-class quizzes, to help with your studying for the exam. Here are the ones we’ve given so far:

With the first question on the Meeting 9 Quiz, Felix pointed out afterwards that the question’s phrasing was taking it for granted that physical bodies exist. (Else Option b wouldn’t be sufficient for being a dualist: you might think that only minds exist.) That’s true, and we are taking bodies for granted in this class. But I agree with Felix it would have been better if we had been more explicit here.

Wed Feb 21

Sent out an announcment by Canvas, but noting here also: will also have to do today’s meeting by Zoom.

Here are lecture notes from today, on challenges to whether dualists can tell a plausible story about how souls interact with physical brains and bodies. Those notes also summarize the arguments that we didn’t get to yet, but will take up on Monday.

There’s no new reading for Monday. You can spend time budgeted for this course on preparing for the exam (see the entry below). Also, for next Wednesday, after the exam, we’ll begin discussing free will. There are some light readings to prepate for that discussion:

As I said at the start of today’s lecture: we’ll post the topics for your midterm papers (the first version of which you’ll need to submit by Thursday Mar 7) by Monday.

Tue Feb 20

Here are instructions and a review sheet for our upcoming exam next Wednesday. Have a look at it as soon as you can, so that you’ll be able to ask us any questions this week.

I’ll send out a Canvas post tomorrow morning letting you know whether our class meeting will be in-person or again by Zoom.

Mon Feb 19

Here are some lecture notes on Huxley.

Reading for Wednesday:

Sun Feb 18

As announced on Canvas, I’ll have to conduct tomorrow’s class by Zoom. See [restricred/zoom.html] for the course link.

Wed Feb 14

Here are more lecture notes from today’s dicussion of Leibniz’s Law.

Read for Monday:

Tue Feb 13

Here are the instructions for the expository exercise, which is due this coming Monday, Feb 19.

Wed Feb 7

Sections meet this week, but no lecture next Monday (it’s a Wellness Day).

For next Wednesday, continue reading the van Inwagen. You should aim to get on top of at least all the arguments for dualism (pp. 230-245). In class we’ll still be talking about the first argument, using Leibniz’s Law, but the other arguments for dualism will be prompts for your expository writing exercises. We’ll give you more instructions about those next week. They wll be due on Monday Feb 19.

Starting on Feb 19, we’ll be discussing different options that dualists have for how to think souls and bodies are causally related. van Inwagen raises this early on in his text, around pp. 226 – middle p. 229 (this is where he uses labels like “interactionist” and “epiphenomenalist”). These issues play a large role in his discussion of arguments against dualism, starting on p. 260.

Mon Feb 5

Read for Wednesday:

As I said before, the whole reading is long and complex, so work on making progress on this during this week and next; for Wednesday please read at least up to top p. 233 (including his discussion of the differences between dualism and physucalism, and the “first argument” in support of dualism).

When trying to get on top of the van Inwagen reading, you should really try to map out for yourself which paragraphs are explaining core commitments of dualism (things you have to say, to count as a dualist), which paragraphs are explaining options that some dualists might take but others reject, and so on. The same with physicalism. And which paragraphs are presenting the first argument for dualism, which the second, and so on.

When you get to van Inwagen’s discussion of a “second argument” for dualism, you’ll notice that it’s longer and more complex than his discussion of any of the other arguments, either for or against dualism. It will take some work to follow the backs and forths and understand what’s happening. It might help to have some signposts and ways of breaking that long discussion of the “second argument” into smaller pieces. Here are my suggestions for how to do that:

So in the end, even though the physicalist is giving us less than we’d like, and still leaving things unsatisfyingly mysterious, arguably so too is the dualist. If van Inwagen is right, the considerations of this “second argument” don’t really end up giving us more reason to accept dualism.

Wed Jan 31

The lecture notes for today’s meeting were already assigned to be read in advance.

We’ll continue to discuss the debate between physicalists and dualists over the next few weeks. Our reading for upcoming classes will be some parts of the Gennaro textbook (I already assigned pp. 5-21 to be read for today, and will assign more later), a longer reading from Peter van Inwagen that I’ll talk about in a moment, and the following webnotes:

Our thin textbooks like Gennaro’s may be clear and straightforward enough that you don’t need to work hard to understand the structure of their text. The ideas may be hard, but I hope it won’t be a challenge to follow these texts’ discussion of them. Other readings we look at in the course will demand more work from you as a reader.

This includes a reading selection from Peter van Inwagen’s book Metaphysics. As philosophical writing goes, this reading should be clear and accessible to beginners in philosophy like yourselves. At least, individual sentences and paragraphs should be clear. But it is a longer and more complex text than anaything we’ve looked at so far. So you should expect to spend some time working on understanding it. You should also expect to read it more than once.

The author’s last name is “van Inwagen”; he was an important metaphysician based at Syracuse and Notre Dame, but is now retired from teaching. (He still sometimes visits at Duke.) Note that our selection has three parts (all in the linked PDF). First an “Introduction to Part 3,” where van Inwagen contrasts “rationality” to some ways of understanding “intelligence,” and explores what’s included in our concept of “rational.” Next is Chapter 10 of his book, which distinguishes two large proposals about “what kind of thing” rational beings like us are. These are views that philosophers call “dualism” on the one side, and “physicalism” or “materialism” on the other. The initial parts of Chapter 10 explain what these competing proposals say, and then from p. 230 to p. 245 discuss four arguments that are supposed to support the dualist side. In fact van Inwagen mentions “five arguments,” but the fifth is in part of his Chapter 11 that our reading selection skips. We resume again on p. 260, where van Inwagen discusses four arguments that are supposed to support the physicalist side.

Unlike the earlier long reading from the Dr Dolittle book, here it won’t be enough to just get the big picture and overall feel of the text. You need to go through the reading carefully and understand the details.

reading philosophy

We’ll spend several meetings talking about issues in this reading. I’ll ask you to have started reading it by Wednesday of next week, and to have read the whole thing by Wednesday Feb 14. Some of the issues discussed in this reading we’ll only be turning to in class even after that.

For this coming Monday Feb 5, I’m just asking you to read the Guidelines on Reading, to help prepare you for these readings that need more intellectual work from your side. But since the van Inwagen reading will take a while for you to master, you may want to get started on that early.

Mon Jan 29

Handouts to be discussed in class today:

Optional: If you want to read more about Alex the parrot, here is a Wikipedia entry, and here is an older NY Times article.

Readings for Wednesday:

Mon Jan 22

I had proposed some additional reading for Wednesday, but in fact you only need to read them before sections on Friday, so I’ve updated these pages to reflect that. Here again is the next reading:

Here are some notes on these readings bumped from earlier.

For the “Star Witness” reading, note that the “Reader Assignment” at the end is just part of the original text. It’s not a written assignment for our course. Also, the specific nature of the crime the parrot may be a witness to is not crucial to the story. For our purposes, neither do we need to sort out the legal issues discussed in the text, such as whether witnesses need to be cross-examinable. We’re reading and discussing this text just to get leverage on questions about what cognitive abilities it’s reasonable to think a parrot might have, and why.

The Leiber textbook is one of the three you need to purchase for the course: it’s available in the bookstore, or you can find links on the front webpage There’s part of this reading that I think is over-complicated. Here’s some context and explanation to help you track what’s going on:

One of the people taking part in that dialogue is named Mary Godwin. Some backhistory: William Godwin and Mary Wollstonecraft were philosophers in late 1700s. They had a daughter Mary Godwin (Mary Wollstonecraft then died shortly after childbirth) who grew up, got involved with the poet Shelley and wrote Franksentein. The mother was born with the name Wollstonecraft but took her husband’s name Godwin on marriage; the daughter was born with the name Godwin but took Shelley’s name when she eventually married him. The dialogue refers to the mother as “Mary Godwin” and it’s a story about her that’s discussed in the first chapter.

Thomas Paine wrote The Rights of Man in 1791, arguing (in defense of the French Revolution) that all citizens (not just aristocrats) had “natural rights,” and that they can/should revolt when their government doesn’t protect these rights. Paine also argued for education and welfare reforms. Around the same time, Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman, arguing that women deserved “rational education” (versus just “domestic education”), and that they had the same natural rights as men.

Thomas Taylor then wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Brutes in 1792; this was meant to be a satire of Paine’s and Godwin’s arguments. The absurdity of counting animals as persons was meant to imply it was also absurd to count poor servants and women as equals to their superiors.

The dialogue invokes this historical exchange for several purposes: (1) to remind us that Paine and (the orginal) Godwin had to argue that all men, and women, deserved the same rights as others — it took work to overcome people’s doubts about this; (2) to remind us that the arguments Paine and Godwin offered had to do with reason and intelligence, which as Taylor observed, are present to some degree in animals too; (3) the modern Godwin agrees with Taylor that there’s a “slippery slope” from the arguments of Paine and (the original) Godwin to accepting that animals also have rights. Taylor thought therefore those arguments must be wrong (hence his satire). The modern Godwin instead endorses the arguments and this further conclusion.

Sat Jan 20

This semester a Film and Philosophy class is screening a variety of philosophy-related films on Thursday nights in Caldwell 105, at 6 pm. Anyone is welcome to drop in. Here is the schedule:

Some were confused about the reading for Monday. The linked PDF has all the sections I am recommending you to read. The PDF is long, but the material to read adds up to about 87 pages. That’s pretty long, but as I said earlier, this reading (unlike others for the class) is one where you don’t need to master detaila and can read through quickly and shallowly. I will remind you of some key parts when we meet next week.

Fri Jan 19

Normally I have office hours on Monday afternoons from 3-4:30 (also on Wednesday afternoons at 1:30), but this coming Monday, Jan 22, I won’t be able to hold office hours. I’ll be glad to Zoom with you on Tuesday or meet on Wednesday afternoon instead.

Wed Jan 17

Here are notes summarizing some new material introduced today:

The second page discusses what might unify and be distinctive to all mental states. I touched briefly on that question at the end of today’s class, but didn’t have time to talk through privileged access. I’ll briefly address that at the start of Monday’s class. Then we’ll begin discussing mentality in animals.

Read for Mon Jan 22:

This is a rather long reading (around 87 pages), but you don’t need to master details. Its role in our course is to give us some background familiarity with what research into animal communication looks like (especially, how it argues), what results this research has produced, and what the controversies are. It also introduces us to a distinction between the general category of communication systems, and more specific structural properties that researchers see as fundamental to human language (and that seem to be mostly absent from animal communication).

Read by Wed Jan 24 Fri Jan 26:

(Some notes on these two readings moved to the Mon Jan 22 entry.)

Fri Jan 12

We’ve moved our lectures to Coker Hall (CO) 201. We’ll be meeting there from now on, instead of in Hanes Art Center.

I sometimes bookmark YouTube videos that look like they might be relevant to this course. Viewing these is entirely optional, but you may find some of them useful or interesting. I’ll link to two playlists now, more later in the term. Note that I’ve only previewed some of these videos, and I can’t vouch for any of them. Many times I’m just adding them to the playlists based on their titles, or familiarity with the channel that published them. If you come across any that you think are dumber or less helpful than average, or inappropriate in some other way, please let me know. Also if some of them are especially good, or you come across some other good videos on these topics that I haven’t included, please also let me know.

(Also anyone want to propose a better name for the series?)

Here are the first two playlists:

Mon Jan 8

Our first class meeting is on Wed Jan 10. I’ll introduce you to our course topics and to what philosophical activity looks like.

There is no reading assigned before that meeting. But there is a substantial chunk of reading you should do afterwards, and be ready to discuss/ask questions about in our subsequent meetings. That is the group of web pages at this link:

(The last of those pages is a Glossary that I hope will be useful but is less important than the earlier pages.) Also this brief selection:

(Pages with a “restricted” URL like that one need a username/password, which have been emailed to those registered for the course.)

Recitation sections meet starting this Friday, and may begin discussing some of these materials. We’ll also provide an opportunity to raise questions about them when we meet for our second lecture, which is Wed Jan 17. (No classes meet on MLK Day, Mon Jan 15.)

Those pages already have developed explanations of the relevant concepts, and I’m not planning to repeat/summarize those in class. But we will consider the Review lists at the end of the pages, and whatever you think is confusing or it’d be helpful to explore further, let’s discuss.

prep for discussing

How to prepare for Wednesday’s class: re-read or skim again the text about the parrot and the first chapter in the Leiber book. Everyone should come to class armed with two or three points in these readings that they either strongly agree with, or disagreed with and had some thoughts about how to challenge, or just thought of ways that it’d be promising for the argument on one side to continue. I know some of you will be ready to volunteer these points, but we want to try to get everyone participating. So expect you may be asked if you don’t volunteer.

How do I suggest prepping for the class meetings when we have group discussion? Just do the kinds of things I wrote on the Monday post (below): have a good familiarity with the texts we’ll be discussing, and think ahead of time about what seemed to you to be important or problematic moves that were happening in those texts. Ideally, you’ll have some questions already in mind, or some objections or responses to objections already in mind, when you come to class.

expos writing

What should you expect for writing assignments, especilly the first one that’s due in about two weeks? The first exercise (which doesn’t get a letter grade) will be you having to summarize part of one of our readings. The challenge will be for you to step back, drop lots of the details, and explain how the passage is organized, what the main points it’s making are, and so on. I will show you an example of how to do this. The other exercises will be you writing a paper that addresses some philosophical question from a list of choices I give you. You’ll have to set up the issue, then make some reasonable argumentative steps pushing for or against some proposed answers to the issue. I know most of you — perhaps all of you — don’t have experience doing this before. That’s why this is an Intro class. We’ll be working on developing these skills. If you want to read ahead about some of things it’ll be important for you to pay attention to, go to the index/table-of-contents link above, and see the several links about writing philosophy and sample papers in the “Admin handouts” section at the top.

The expository exercises were initially due tomorrow, but then after our first round of cancelled classes I moved them to next Tuesday. Now I’ve moved them again until Thursday of next week. Here are the instructions. That link also gives you some examples of the kind of thing I’m asking you to do, and some advance warning of shortcomings I’ve talked to people about when they did this kind of exercise in past semesters. As I say in the instructions, the exercise will be graded only High quality/Satisfactory/Low Quality, and though everyone must do it as part of your class participation, my evaluation of this exercise won’t be included in your overall course grade. It’s meant to give your practice and feedback. Also, though I say on the main syllabus that written work will be graded anonymously and that you must submit a log of your work and drafts along with the final submission, these only apply to the more substantial papers you’ll be writing later in the semester.



As I said in class, we’re going to set aside for now questions about how to know that other creatures have minds (we’ll return to them later). Our next readings and discussions will instead wrestle with questions about what having a mind consists in, what is the fundamental nature of minds?

The first reading is a brief part of the Gennaro textbook (namely p. 5 – middle of p. 21).

The second and third readings are two webpages of mine:

These webnotes give a broad overview of some basic philosophical distinctions in “ontology.” (They also explain what that word means.) The material in those pages will be especially dry and “abstract” and super-conceptual. Much more so than will be normal for our course. I hope some of the distinctions described in those pages will seem intuitive, even if the philosophical vocabulary for talking about it is unfamiliar. Other distinctions proposed there may be challenging to wrap your head around. That’s why I want us to talk through them in an informal Q & A way, rather than delivering them to you as a lecture. In addition to their being especially “abstract,” another challenge with this material is that many of the issues are controversial among philosophers, so there’s widespread disagreement about how to draw the conceptual maps, what divisions we need and which we don’t, and what count as examples of different places on the map. But I hope these webpages will give you a good enough introductory tour.

But let me emphasize again that I don’t regard this material as established doctrine that you have to master. It’s meant as an initial survey, so that you can get a feel for some distinctions that philosophers may want to draw (even if other philosophers argue against them), and get a feel for how philosophers talk about these different categories, and what might naturally be offered or argued to be examples of each category.

Everyone should read these texts, and come to class ready to ask about what you find confusing. Those who are “on-call” for Wednesday will be expected to be especially ready to engage with the readings.

  1. This afternoon, we’ll discuss ontology, substances, dualism vs materialism as we were planning to last Wednesday; if feasible, we’ll also begin discussing some arguments for dualism like the discussion of divisibility in the Gennaro reading. The group (Brandon, Ty, Mak) who were to be on-call last week will be on-call today instead.

What we did today: we reviewed a map of the different ontological categories, focusing on a 2x2 table of concrete/specific in one column, versus abstract/general in the second column, and individuals on one row, versus other things on the second row. We spent most of our time trying to get a handle on the notion of a substance or Thing-with-a-capital-T, which is a smaller subgroup of the concrete individuals. Small-t things like wrinkles, echos, and so on are thought to be logically derivative in some way from the capital-T Things. We discussed that some philosophers would argue that only the fundamental building blocks of reality, such as electrons, can be substances, but other philosophers think that at least some larger objects made up out of smaller, more fundamental parts, could also be substances. For example, human bodies might also be substances.

After talking through what ideas lied behind those debates, and what the philosophers are disagreeing about, we turned to our main topic for the next series of classes: the debate between materialists/physicalists on the one side, who think that the only substances there are are physical, and dualists, who think humans also have non-physical “soul substances,” that are necessary for some or all of the mental aspects of our lives. The soul is what does our thinking, perhaps also our feeling, imagining, nad so on.

We started to discuss one argument from our reading in support of dualism, namely the view that complex physical objects like bodies or brains have smaller parts, but minds (so the argument claims) do not. We discussed some challenges to that second claim, and started to discuss how dualists might refine or clarify their argument to get around those challenges.

I’ve linked the webnotes introducing Leibniz’s Law (part of the reading for Wednesday) in this morning’s post.

more on animal minds

As evidence of animal mentality, you may enjoy watching this clip.

: That was a nice discussion! Of course we’re only getting started sorting out the issues, and making initial steps, but we’ve already been doing philosophy together in these discussions. I thought we made good use of our limited time and you guys raised good questions. Before we move on, I wanted to float some additional ideas that also came up in the readings, or in discussions of these issues that I’ve had with other groups. They may be helpful landmarks for you too as you continue thinking this stuff through.

We talked in class about how the notion of a “person” is often linked to the idea of some special rights or “mattering” in different ways for ethical questions. Some interesting further questions here are: Is the notion of “personhood” we’re working with all-or-nothing, or can it comes in degrees? Are there going to be universal, non-arbitrary criteria for being a “person,” or is every species just going to count its own members as persons? (This last question came up in our discussion on the first day of class.)

One kind of question to ask is what does having a mind consist in? We will be talking about that in upcoming classes. The questions we’re focusing more on now (and will return to again later thinking more about AIs) are, how can we know what things have minds. These two kinds of questions obviously bear on each other, but they’re not the same questions. (This is a theme that is emphasized in the readings for Monday.) I’ve already said in class, when we ask about how we can know something, there’s a choice of how high we want to understand the threshhold to be. If we’re asking, how can we prove with certainty that some non-human animals have minds, well clearly that’s not going to be possible. But neither is it possible to prove with certainty that other people really have minds, either. Still we do think it is pretty reasonable to think other people have minds, and we can ask, what would make it also reasonable to think such-and-such animals have minds? It doesn’t necessarily have to be as reasonable to think so, as to think that other people do. But it’s interesting to sort out what kinds of evidence would make it more reasonable, and how much more reasonable they’d make it.

We can approach those questions by asking what would make it reasonable to think a creature had any kind of mentality at all? Or we could ask about specific capacities: what would make it reasonable to think it had beliefs? what about plans? what about emotions? what about feelings like pain? and so on. These are more specific questions, and presumably they’d call for evidence of different kinds. What we learned about a creature might make it plausible that it had some of these mental capacities but not others.

The last two paragraphs cover ground that we’ve also stepped on several times in our discussions. But here is a new idea. One kind of question you can ask about is whether, for some general capacity we have, whether the creature also has that. Does it have thoughts, for example? or memories? or conscious sensations? A different kind of question is whether the creature has the same specific experiences, say, or specific concepts, that we have. Maybe a parrot has thoughts, but the concepts it thinks in terms of don’t map exactly onto our own concepts. The question whether the parrot’s concepts are the same as ours comes up many times in that reading. Those are interesting questions, but even if we don’t count the specific experiences or concepts as the same, the more general questions, about whether they have thoughts, or so on, at all, are also interesting.

One important part of the parrot reading was when they were discussing what the difference might be between ant’s mechanical, “dumb” responses to their dead nestmates, and people with our concept of “death.” The reading framed this in terms of what it takes to have the same concept we have, but the issues here are more general. You might argue there’s a difference between the ants and creatures that are thinking about a phenomenon like death using any concepts at all, even if we allow it’s probably not exactly the same as our own concept.

The readings distinguish between brain and biological evidence that creatures have some mental capacities, and evidence from a creature’s more readily observable behavior. Some kinds of behavioral evidence that people have wanted to spend time talking about are: communication (even if it doesn’t count as “language”), and other kinds of social intelligence (like deception or empathy); also behaviors like avoiding or expecting threats, planning, reasoning, solving problems, learning to do new things, and being able to reflect on one’s own limits or resource constraints, and compensate for them.

Well, lots more here to talk about…!

Sat Dec 2

I added some additional (short) reading for next week to the entry for Thursday Nov 30 (see below).

For a short but good overview of the problem of moral luck, that we discussed last Monday, see this video by Victor Kumar (6 min).

Here are two longer videos that go over ground we’ve talked about in the past weeks:

  • Episode 1 of The Free Will Show (40 min)

    • discusses different approaches to understanding what freedom would involve
    • how to understand Determinism
    • discusses contrast between having a choice versus the feeling of making a choice
    • discusses contrast between being responsible or accountable for some action and being held responsible for it
    • importance of relations between responsibility, deserving some reaction/treatment, and freedom
    • relations between freedom and other valuable parts of our lives, like creativity; acting for reasons; virtues like honesty, courage, avoiding temptation; and love
    • one misconception about free will: whether Determinism and freedom are incompatible is not straightforward, this is a hard controversial question
    • another misconception: there’s no clear reason why believing in free will should require being a dualist
  • Another episode of that show discussing the Problem of Luck for Libertarianism (38 min, Alfred Mele)

    • expand TODO

Finally, here is another episode of that program that addresses some of the issues about the relation between free will and physics that get discussed in the readings assigned for this week:

  • Physics and Free Will (Jennan Ismael, 59 min)
    • discussses how to understand “freedom” and the apparent conflict between our ordinary experience of deliberating and the kind of Determinism we find in classical Newtonian physics
    • encourages a broadly Compatibilist picture with respect to classical Newtonian physics
    • considers objection that your development into the kind of person who’d make the choices you did was itself determined by a past that’s outside your control
    • starts discussing how the concept of our world being “deterministic” changes in light of what relativity tells us about time, and what quantum mechanics might be telling us about our laws of nature
    • at several places, talks about how all this relates to van Inwagen’s Consequence Argument

Instead of trying to continue with Zoom lectures this week, I propose that you instead “watch” those four videos (the longer ones are audio-only), to reinforce and expand on our readings and discussions so far.

I will aim to be available by Zoom at my office hours link during our class times on Monday and Wednesday. I’ll be happy to discuss with any (or all) of you questions you have about these issues, or ideas that you’re developing for your papers.

Remember that drafts of your papers should be submitted to Canvas by the end of the day on Wednesday; the system will then assign you papers from three of your peers, and you should email them back feedback (cc:ing me) by Friday. Some of you have already discussed with me challenges to having a fully developed draft available by Wednesday. I’m not grading or even reviewing the drafts that you share with each other. If a complete draft isn’t possible, you should still develop your paper plans as much as you can by then, so that your peers can still be in a position to give you maximally useful feedback.

Here are some optional videos if you want to dig into any of our recent topics further:

Thu Nov 30

Here are notes on Libertarianism.

The reading already assigned for next Monday is Lemos Chapter 4. updated Here are some additional short readings:

I’m also reviewing a number of videos presenting and discussing the theories and argumnets we’ve been discussing these past weeks about free will. I will post the best and most useful of these here later.

Mon Nov 20

Here are the second part of our lecture notes for Compatibilism. (The first part of the notes are linked in the entry below.)

Here are the prompts for your final papers.

Sat Nov 18

I’ll post a summary of our discussion so far of Compatibilism in the next couple of days. updated Here are the notes on Compatibilism.

Here are our readings for Monday, and for the sessions after that:

  • For Mon Nov 20: Beebee
  • For Mon Nov 27: Lemos Chapter 3
  • For Wed Nov 29: Taylor, also the parts of van Inwagen we skipped earlier (pp. 279-81)
  • For Mon Dec 4: Lemos Chapter 4
  • For Wed Dec 6 (last day of classes): No readings

Fortune willing, I’m planning for us to meet in person this coming Monday, but for the four meetings after that, and our meeting during finals period (on Thu Dec 14 at 4 pm), I think we’ll probably have to meet by Zoom. Assume that’s what we’re doing unless you hear otherwise. I’ll aim for each of the Zoom sessions to be “live” (synchronous), but there’s a fair chance that some of them will end up needing to be recorded, and then you can view them as best suits your schedule.

Mon Nov 13

Here are notes about the Consequence Argument for Incompatibilism.

Read for Wednesday: all of Lemos Chapter 2.

For submission instructions for the rewrites (due tomorrow night), see the entry below for Wed Nov 8.

Wed Nov 8

I’ve gotten a number of requests for extensions for the rewrite, which I’ve been granting on a one-by-one basis. But I’m deciding now to give everyone until the end of the day (11:59 pm) on Tuesday Nov 14 to turn the revisions in. As we discussed in class, you should turn in both the “submission” version of your revision, that you want me to evaluate — these don’t need to be anonymized, but should be PDFs. And also turn in a work log describing how you went about doing the revision. In most cases, you don’t need to submit any “wip” documents. If you used AI tools for additional help in the rewriting process, in that case you should also submit “wip” documents showing your prompts and the AI replies.

For Monday, read this chapter from van Inwagen. The parts in the pale blue box on pp. 279 – top of p. 281 you can skip for now. We’ll read these parts later when we talk in class about the “agent-causation theories” that van Inwagen is discussing here.

Also read pp. 21 – middle of p. 25 in the Lemos textbook. The “Consequence Argument” that they discuss there is the same argument that van Inwagen presents from bottom p. 273 – p. 276 in his chapter, using the concept of an “untouchable fact” and “The Principle” about one untouchable fact implying another one.

The part of the van Inwagen reading from p. 277 – top of p. 279, where he argues that the lack of determinism seems to take away free will too, corresponds to what the Prof Goldfarb character in Lemos’ First Act called “the problem of luck” (p. 10–12).

updated Here are initial lecture notes about free will and determinism.

new For Monday, bring the Lemos text to class, also whatever version (electronic or paper) you’re using of the other free will readings we’ve looked at.

Mon Nov 6

Here is today’s recorded lecture. The passcode is “r##W0UUe”.

Let me know if you have any problems viewing, and I’ll address as soon as I’m able to. (But it may take until tonight.) I think you’ll need to be logged into Zoom using your UNC credentials.

Wed Nov 1

Here is today’s handout with discussion questions about Schwitzgebel and Garza.

Mon Oct 30

Here is the handout with today’s discussion questions.

Here is our reading for the next few classes:

  • for Wed Nov 1: Schwitzgebel and Garza
  • for Mon Mov 6: Feinberg (we won’t meet in person, but there will be a recorded lecture)
  • for Wed Nov 8: Chapter 1 of the Lemos textbook, also this article by Rachels
Wed Oct 25

updated Here are notes on our discussion of Searle.

If you want to read more about it, here is some optional advanced discussion.

Sometime in the next few days I’ll also post links to some videos about Searle’s argument, though as I warned in class, many misrepresent the details of what Searle and his opponents are each committed to. Often, videos describe Searle as though he were just arguing that passing the Turing Test doesn’t guarantee that something is intelligent. (Most contemporary philosophers already agree with that; Searle was trying to demonstrate something more specific and controversial.)

Our reading for next Monday is:

  • this dialogue-form discussion about Einstein’s Brain — I had already assigned this before.
  • Greg Egan, Learning to Be Me — I mentioned this earlier in the term as optional reading, but the way our discussion of Searle is evolving, I think will be useful for everyone to take a look at now.
  • Chapter 3 of the Leiber textbook, which goes over many of the issues Turing and Searle are disputing

We’re at an awkward point in the class. I was prepared to go through the discussion of Searle more slowly, but today’s discussion led us directly to the punchline, so I followed the discussion’s lead. I think the core of you who were tuned in to today’s discussion do now understand the main shape of Searle’s argument and (what seems to me to be) the most promising way to resist it. On the other hand, a number of people were missing today, and more were present but not really tuned in. I don’t think it will be effective or appropriate for me to just repeat the walkthrough. Those of you who haven’t tracked where we’ve gotten to, should try to catch up via the webnotes that I’ll post summarizing what we talked through today. I think the best way forward is for us to read the dialogue/short story texts I assigned for Monday, and we’ll have class discussions of them, starting with small groups as we’ve done before. I will expect everyone to be caught up with the reading and ready to discuss it on Monday. It’s OK if you continue to find some parts of the argument confusing, and need to talk them through to understand them better. It won’t be OK if you’re not ready to discuss just because you haven’t put the work in yet.

Mon Oct 23

Here are the pages with sample papers with feedback. The paper we discussed today in class is Paper 1. You can see written-up versions of the feedback that we instructors, and some past classes, would give to the (imaginary) author of that paper. You can also see a revised version of the paper that responds to that feedback (especially recommended). The revised version is still not perfect, but much better in the respects we criticized. Note that in my browser, I usually have to “reload” the page to get it display properly. Something changed in browsers to make it clumsier than it used to be.

There are also two more sample papers responding to the same prompt.

Our readings for Wednesday were already listed below, but here they are again: read about Searle’s Chinese Room. Also get started on this dialogue-form discussion about Einstein’s Brain — though we may not discuss it until the next Monday.

Fri Oct 20

Thanks for submitting your papers. Some of you had extensions, but I received 18 papers from the rest of you. 11 of these followed all the instructions for submitting their work (at least with respect to the “submission” documents, I haven’t yet gone through the logs or wip documents). 7 unfortunately did not manage to do so. I regret not being able to give you all full credit for this component of the assignment, but it wouldn’t be fair to the other students, and to me, who’s had to spend more than an hour this morning sorting everything out, to give full credit also to the papers that didn’t manage to follow all the instructions. Hopefully with the next assignment you’ll all do better.

Examples of instructions these papers didn’t follow (many of them messed up in several ways):

  • Two papers didn’t follow the instructions to give your PID and not give your name (one gave both, one gave only the name)
  • One paper wasn’t named properly, so it took some work to find (it was named “final” instead of “submission”)
  • One submission paper was a Word document instead of a PDF (the log and wip files could be in any format, but I requested these as PDFs)
  • One paper didn’t announce at the top which prompt it was addressing (it’s clear enough once you start reading the paper, but this makes it harder to sort them)
  • Two papers didn’t include the Honor Pledge at the top (one included it at the end of the paper, the other omitted it altogether)

Now that I’ve sorted these issues out, I look forward to diving into your papers and seeing what you have to say.

Wed Oct 18

Here are notes on the Turing Test and related issues we’ve been discussing.

Here is a summary of the dialogue-form discussion of the Turing Test.

Remember your papers are due by tomorrow night. There is no new reading for Monday. For next Wednesday, read about Searle’s Chinese Room. Also get started on this dialogue-form discussion about Einstein’s Brain — though we may not discuss it until the following Monday.

My understanding is that we can move back to our original classroom starting on Monday. So let’s do that unless you hear otherwise from me.

Mon Oct 16

For Wednesday, re-read the Turing article, with a special eye to the question “Is he saying that we should think passing the Turing Test logically suffices for/guarantees that the creature has thoughts/intelligence/and so on? Or just that it makes it likely/makes it reasonable to count them as having thoughts/being intelligent?” Also to his discussion of the objections, and the final discussion of learning (which is connected to his discussion of Lady Lovelace’s objection about originality).

Also read this dialogue-form discussion of the Turing Test.

Those are the required readings. If you want to dig further into the Turing Test:

Thu Oct 12

I sometimes bookmark YouTube videos that look like they might be relevant to this course. You may find some of them useful or interesting. I’ll link to a few playlists now, and perhaps some more later. Note that I’ve only previewed some of these videos, and I can’t vouch for any of them. Mostly I’m just adding them to the playlists based on their titles. If you come across any that you think are dumber or less helpful than average, please let me know. Also if some of them are especially good, or you come across some other good videos on these topics that I haven’t included, please also let me know.

Wed Oct 11

Here is today’s handout on computing history, for reference/interest. You’re not expected to remember details. The goals of going through the timeline were:

  1. to see many times when “computers” were built to run programs, without yet relying on the kinds of electronic hardware (or any electronics at all) we use now

    Some pictures, videos, and links of mechanical computers: updated

  2. to get some context for talk about “Turing Machines” and the “Turing Test”

  3. to get some context for talk about simple early chatbots like ELIZA, which we’ll talk more about later. Here are some links to online versions of ELIZA, if you want to experiment

Our readings for next week were linked already below. Those of you who were on-call today, but didn’t get opportunities to contribute, I encourage to next week bring us back to points raised in today’s readings (Gennaro and Leiber) that come up over the next week. The next group of you are on-call for next Wednesday. As I said below, focus on being prepared to discuss Turing’s proposals. (Which are presented both in his article that we’re reading for Monday, and discusssing the whole week; and also the reading for next Wednesday.)

Tue Oct 10

Just got a message from the University which says we must move our class after all. So our next few meetings will be in Murphey Hall 202.

Mon Oct 9

For clarity: The University told me there’d be construction in the basement of Graham Memorial Hall this week and next week, and that we might want to relocate the class, but that it was up to us. We are trying to remain in our original room and see if that can work. Today was no problem. There are misleading signs posted though, saying that all classes including ours have been relocated. It may be that someone comes and tells us we have to relocate after all. But unless and until that happens, let’s continue trying to stay in our original room. We meet late enough in the day that we may experience no real disruption. If we do end up having to move, the alternate room they’ve assigned us is Murphey Hall 202. It’s alright, but much smaller than our current room.

updated Here are notes on today’s discussion of Huxley.

What we’ll be talking about next in the course is whether computers could in principle think and/or feel, and what would give us good reason to think it’s happened? For Wednesday, read pp. 60–86 of Gennaro, and Chapter 2 of Leiber. (Some of you are on-call for then.) For next Monday, read:

We’ll spend most of next week talking about the Turing Test. Some of you are on-call for next Wednesday; the material for you to be responsible for is the Turing paper we’ll begin discussing on Monday, and also a more informal dialogue-form discussion of the arguments of that paper, that everybody should read for next Wednesday.

Here are a collection of optional sci-fi readings relevant to our next set of issues. If we hadn’t lost so many meetings to campus shutdowns, we’d spend time discussing them together in class. But instead I’ll just offer them to you as optional supplemental reading, that you may find interesting or may help fuel your thinking.

At the end of class today, I thought five or six of you said you wanted to come to my office hours this Wednesday, but when I left a sign-up sheet on the table, only two signed up for slots. The rest of you, if you do want to come this Wednesday, email me to let me know which times you are available. The slots still open are 11-11:20, 11:20-11:40, and 11:40-12. If you could make more than one, please say so in your initial email so we don’t have to waste time going back and forth.

On Wednesday of this week, and Wednesday of next week, I will also be available right after class. I also have office hours on Monday of next week from 11-1, and Wednesday of next week from 11-12:40ish (but that’s the day before the paper is due). Probably we will need to do sign-ups for those times too. If you want to discuss your paper ideas but none of these times are feasible, I’ll have some limited capacity to zoom at a few other times. (Usually between 9:30 am-12:30 on Tuesday, Thursday, or Friday.) Email me to see if we can find a time that works.

One of you asked for sample papers to look at for this assignment. Here is a page with some sample papers on a topic similar to one assigned for this class. The papers posted there are initially presented with problems, and then there’s discussion of how to improve the papers. You may find it helpful to look at some of those now. We will discuss these or other sample papers together in the classroom — after you have submitted your first versions of this next assignment, but before you’ll have started rewriting them. (Note that these sample papers are substantially shorter than what you’re expected to do for the midterm assignment.)

I may also post here later some sample common feedback that student papers at this stage in intro classes have prompted in past semesters. The assigned topics vary, but many common problems show up in different papers.

I think the most useful preparatory resource for you though will be my page on How to Write a Philosophy Paper, and also workshopping your ideas for your paper with other people — perhaps with me, perhaps with each other, ideally with both. If you’re not yet at the point of knowing what specific argument you want to push, you can also still benefit from exploring the strengths of some arguments, or some responses to arguments, through such discussions.

new Some other announcements:

Wed Oct 4

Here are the instructions for your next, graded assignment. See also the notes on How to Write a Philosophy Paper.

I’ve updated the notes on causal arguments against dualism, to include the new arguments we discussed today.

Reading for Monday: Huxley

Mon Oct 2

Here are lecture notes summarizing today’s discussion of causal arguments against dualism. After Wednesday’s discussion, I’ll update those notes with discussion of the final two arguments.

As linked below, our reading for Wednesday’s meeting is: Princess Elisabeth and Descartes. Our reading for Monday’s meeting is this article by Huxley.

When I posted the page about Using Devices in Class earlier this semester, there was an immediate change in how much engagement and participation we had during our meetings. I appreciated that you responded that way. But now many of you are again multitasking (a lot) during our meetings. I’d rather not confront this while we’re having a class, but if it continues like it has been, I will.

updated Here is general feedback on the first, expository writing exercise. I will also arrange for your grades and individual feedback (which in some cases will be brief) to be released soon, perhaps tonight but at any rate before our next meeting. As I stressed in class, the feedback is meant to be constructive and I am available, and many other resources are also available, to help you improve the kind of analytical and writing skills our course is aiming to teach you. If you approach the challenge in the right spirit, and give it enough time and effort, it’s possible to start off with a “1/3” on this first assignment, meaning your submission had substantial problems, and still end up doing great in the course.

Here are notes on How to Write a Philosophy Paper. You can get started reading that advice to prepare for your graded midterm papers, which will be due on Thursday Oct 19. (A bit over two weeks from now.)

I will post the topics and instructions for the midterm papers in the next few days. To give you a general idea, one topic will be about what’s good evidence of mentality in non-humans, and an alternative topic will be about the causal arguments against dualism that we’re exploring now.

Wed Sept 27

Today we finished discussing Leibniz’s Law. Here’s a summary of my presentation

Reminder that your first writing exercises are due tomorrow night. Also, tomorrow morning I will start signing people up randomly for on-call days if they haven’t already chosen three days on their own. (Go to the Canvas site and click on “Pages” if you still need to do this.)

Read for Monday’s meeting: Gennaro pp. 29-44, and review van Inwagen pp. 226-29 and 260-62.

If you want to read ahead for next Wednesday’s meeting: Princess Elisabeth and Descartes.

Wed Sept 20

Remember we don’t meet again until a week from today. There’s no new reading assignment for then, but you should be sure to finish reading the van Inwagen and to read especially closely the passages that you’re choosing to exposit for our first exercise. What I plan for us to discuss next Wednesday will be: (a) what’s fishy about the “Box 3” style applications of Leibniz’s Law that we drew in today’s class (this is also discussed in the Gennaro and van Inwagen texts), and (b) any questions you want to discuss about what’s happening in the passages you’re trying to exposit. Those exercises will be due at the end of the day, next Thursday.