Stanley Bates

Professor Emeritus of Philosophy

Phone: work802.443.5283
Office Hours: MW 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m., 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m., and by appointment.
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Stanley Bates (Professor Emeritus of Philosophy) was educated at Dartmouth College, Oxford University (where he was a Marshall Scholar) and received his Ph.D. from Harvard University where he worked most closely with John Rawls and Stanley Cavell. He taught at Harvard, the University of Chicago, and at Middlebury College from 1971 to his retirement in 2008. He usually teaches a course each year, and has advised senior theses, post retirement. He has published over 60 articles and reviews in ethics, aesthetics and political philosophy, and has special interests in Kant, Nietzsche and Wittgenstein. Some recent work includes:: “Cavell and Ethics,” in Stanley Cavell (Cambridge Univ. Press, 2003); “Walter Cerf as Philosopher in Walter Cerf: A Personal Odyssey, 2007; “Character” in The Oxford Handbook of Philosophy and Literature, 2009; and “Critical Notice of Moral Literacy in Philosophical Books in 2008.



indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

PHIL 0210 - Contemporary Ethical Theory      

Contemporary Ethical Theory
In this course, we will explore some of the major texts on moral and political philosophy of the past 40 years. We will begin with John Rawls's A Theory of Justice, which attempts to develop a substantive theory of justice, and continue to Robert Nozick's libertarian critique of Rawls in Anarchy, State, and Utopia. Finally, we will study a series of works that consider whether substantive moral and political theory is still possible: Bernard Williams's Ethics and the Limits of Philosophy, Alasdair MacIntyre's After Virtue, and Richard Rorty's Contingency, Irony and Solidarity. (Previous PHIL course or PSCI 0101 recommended, but not required.) 3 hrs. lect.


Fall 2012

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PHIL 0255 - Kierkegaard/Marx/Nietzsche      

Kierkegaard, Marx, and Nietzsche
This course will investigate the works of three of the central philosophical and cultural critics of the nineteenth century. All of these thinkers revolted against the apotheosis of Reason that had occurred in the Enlightenment and that reached its culmination in the works of Hegel. We shall read Kierkegaard's Either/Or, Philosophical Fragments, and Concluding Unscientific Postscript; Marx's early essays criticizing Hegel, the Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, and other selections concentrating on Marx's philosophical views, not his economic analysis; and Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy, The Use and Abuse of History, Thus Spoke Zarathustra (selections), and The Genealogy of Morals.


Fall 2014

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PHIL 0285 - Idea of the Ethical      

The Idea of the Ethical
What is the basis for morality? The great turning point of the history of modern European philosophy, particularly ethical philosophy, came at the end of the 18th century and the beginning of the 19th century with Kant's new account of the possibility of moral philosophy and Hegel's critique of that account. In this course, we shall investigate Kant's moral philosophy and Hegel's response to it, and then we will consider the ways in which a series of major thinkers attempted to rethink the idea of the ethical in the light of this dispute. We will consider Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Marx, Emerson, and Nietzsche and conclude with an account of 20th century developments. (Some prior work in philosophy would be useful background) 3 hrs. lect.


Spring 2012

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PHIL 0423 - Wittgenstein's Philosophy      

Wittgensein's Philosophy
In this course, we shall trace the development of the views of one of the 20th century’s most important philosophers, Ludwig Wittgenstein. We shall begin with the roots of Wittgenstein’s early philosophy in the logical analysis of Frege and Russell. This early philosophy culminated in the publication of Wittgenstein’s Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, a strange and fascinating work. Wittgenstein’s later philosophy as presented in his Philosophical Investigations will be the main focus of this course; it is a work which has had a decisive influence on much of contemporary philosophy of language and philosophy of mind in the analytical tradition and has significant affinities to the continental tradition (e.g., Heidegger). We shall consider some contemporary interpreters of Wittgenstein, including Stanley Cavell (Designed for senior majors; open to others by waiver.) 3 hrs. sem.


Fall 2013

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PHIL 0500 - Resrch In Philosophy      

Research in Philosophy
Supervised independent research in philosophy. (Approval requiredl.

Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Spring 2016

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PHIL 0700 - Senior Thesis      

Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Winter 2012, Spring 2012, Fall 2012, Winter 2013, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Winter 2014, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Spring 2016

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