Formal theories of rationality in the context of decision-making and games; uses of these formal theories to address traditional philosophical issues such as rationality, knowledge, choice, social welfare, cooperation, and communication.
The theories of rational choice and games have long been considered important tools for philosophers who are interested in formal approaches to traditional philosophical issues. Philosophers have contributed both to their formal development and to their application to traditional questions in philosophy ranging from the nature of rationality itself, to social welfare, to the nature of cooperation and communication, and more. While a course on these topics has occasionally been offered in the Honors College by the proposer, there is no course in the bulletin that covers this material, which is becoming increasingly prominent in philosophy, and which needs to have some coverage in our curriculum.
The proposed course will be offered at the 300 level with a prerequisite of one ARP course (with a grade of C or higher). There are courses in game theory at U of SC at the 500 level (MATH 525, MATH 576, ECON 555). Those courses address techniques for the solution of games, mathematical foundations of game theory, and economic applications of game theory. They do not address, in a systematic way, the philosophical analyses and uses of game theory and decision theory to address traditional problems in philosophy, which is the distinctive aim of this course.
Please accept this email as a "letter of concurrence" from the Department of Mathematics. I have consulted with our chair,
Anton Schep, and we have no objection to creation of a new course PHIL 365 Formal Theories of Rationality as it has no
substantial overlap with any course offered under the MATH designator. Indeed it appears to be an interesting application
of mathematics outside of the usual ones and should be of interest to the handful of our majors who are interested in philosophy.
September 15, 2017
Re: PHIL 365 (Proposed)
Dear Prof. Michael Dickson,
The Economics department is in concurrence with the proposal to create a new course – PHIL 365 – on the use of game and decision theory to address philosophical questions. This change should not affect our undergraduate programs in economics.
James A. Morris Professor of Economics
Department Chair, Economics
Darla Moore School of Business
Banner is not able to enforce the prerequisite at the time of registration because it is not course specific.
Thank you for submitting your proposal to the Committee on Curricula & Courses. We are moving your proposal forward to the Faculty Senate. It is recommended someone from the department attend the next Faculty Senate meeting in case there are questions from the floor regarding your proposal.
We appreciate your patience and commitment to undergraduate and graduate education.
John Gerdes, Chair
Faculty Senate Committee on Curricula and Courses