Fall 2012

Dr. H. E. Baber


“Learning outcomes” Students will be able to give an account of the main problems
of metaphysics in the analytic tradition,to understand the fundamental concepts that figure in the discussion of these problems, to assess arguments critically and to formulate their own arguments.

Office                           Founders 165c

Telephone                    USD: Extension 2749
Cellphone: (619) 805-6838 (voice or text)


Class Website    

Message Board                 Term papers will be submitted through PW = metaphysics; course ID = 5208268. Instructions for submission to be provided

Office Hours                Tue 1:15 – 2:15 pm; Wed 3:30 – 5:30 pm; Thu 12:15 - 2:15 pm; and by appointment.

Class Meetings             TueThu                        9:15 – 10:35 am          Camino 117

Readings                     All readings, handouts and powerpoints are linked to the class website.

Grade                          Your grade for the semester will be based upon two tests and a term paper. In addition, you must submit a written proposal for your term paper to be discussed in class and approved by your instructor.

Dates/Deadlines           Test I               Tue Oct 16                   30% of final grade

                                    Test II              Tue Nov 20                 30% of final grade

                                    Proposal           due Tue Dec 4             must be approved

                                    Presentations    Dec 11 and Dec 13      required

                                    Term Paper      due Fri Dec 21             40% of final grade


USD subscribes to, a web-based application that compares the content of submitted papers to the database and checks for textual similarities. All required papers for this course will be subject to submission to for textual similarity review and to verify originality. All submitted papers will be included as source documents in the reference database solely for the purpose of detecting textual similarities and verifying originality. Each student is responsible for submitting his or her papers in such a way that no identifying information about the student is included. A student may not have anyone else submit papers on the student’s behalf to A student may request in writing that his or her papers not be submitted to However, if a student chooses this option, the student may be required to provide documentation in a form required by the faculty member to substantiate that the papers are the student’s original work.




Dennett. "Where Am I?"

Descartes. Meditation I

Bouwsma. "Descartes Evil Genius"

Berkeley Principles of Human Knowledge(selections)

Chalmers. "The Matrix as Metaphysics"

Quine. "On What There Is"


Black. "The Identity of Indisernibles"

Wiggins. "On Being in the Same Place at the Same Time"

Frege. "On Sense and Reference"


Quine. "Identity, Ostension, Hypostasis"

Lewis. "Paradoxes of Time Travel"


Kripke. "Identity and Necessity"

Putnam. "Meaning and Reference"


Descartes. Meditation II, VI

Locke. "Of Identity and Diversity"

 Olson. "An Argument for Animalism"

Lewis. "Survival and Identity"

Parfit. "Personal Identity"