Kareem
Office
Twilight Hall 303A
Tel
(802) 443-5194
Email
kkhalifa@middlebury.edu
Office Hours
on leave academic year 2022-23

Kareem Khalifa earned his M.A. and Ph.D. in Philosophy from Emory University, and a BA with a double major in Philosophy and Mathematical Methods in the Social Sciences from Northwestern University. His teaching interests include philosophy of science, theory of knowledge, and logic.

His website is http://www.kareemkhalifa.com.

Courses Taught

Course Description

Reason, Morality, and Cultural Difference
Different cultures have different standards of what counts as true, rational, and moral. Are all of these standards equally good? Which considerations could possibly support this position? Furthermore, should we accept the consequences that follow from the claim that all of these standards are equally good—for example, that the structure of the universe changes in accordance with a culture’s commitments to modern science, or that it is morally acceptable for some cultures to engage in genocide? By reading, discussing, and writing about contemporary philosophical readings on these topics, we will address these questions.

Terms Taught

Fall 2020

Requirements

CW, PHL

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Semantics, Logic, and Cognition
Using logical and mathematical tools, formal semantics answers the following questions: Why do sentences mean what they mean? How is reasoning possible? How does language structure our understanding of time, change, knowledge, morality, identity, and possibility? We will evaluate several formal-semantic models from philosophical, linguistic, and psychological perspectives. This course is well suited for students interested in computer science, linguistics, logic, mathematics, neuroscience, philosophy, or psychology. (Some prior familiarity with formal logic is recommended, but not required.) 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

DED, PHL

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Introduction to Modern Logic
Logic is concerned with good reasoning; as such, it stands at the core of the liberal arts. In this course we will develop our reasoning skills by identifying and analyzing arguments found in philosophical, legal, and other texts, and also by formulating our own arguments. We will use the formal techniques of modern propositional and predicate logic to codify and test various reasoning strategies and specific arguments. No prior knowledge of logic, formal mathematics, or computer science is presupposed in this course, which does not count towards the PHL distribution requirement but instead towards the deductive reasoning requirement. 3 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc.

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2022

Requirements

DED

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Science and the Quest for Truth
On a fairly conventional view, science exemplifies humankind's rational inquiry into the true structure of the world. But what exactly is science? In what sense is it rational? Are scientific claims true or merely useful in predicting and controlling our environment? To answer these questions, we will examine scientific activities such as theory construction, explanation, confirmation, and experimentation, and their role in debates concerning the role of rationality and truth in scientific knowledge. (This course presupposes no prior knowledge of philosophy or science.)

Terms Taught

Spring 2019, Winter 2022

Requirements

PHL

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Philosophy of Race
In this course we will explore different answers to philosophical questions about the nature and reality of race, the nature of racism, and social or political questions related to race or racism. 3 hrs. lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2021

Requirements

CW, PHL, SOC

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Semantics, Logic, and Cognition
Using logical and mathematical tools, formal semantics answers the following questions: Why do sentences mean what they mean? How is reasoning possible? How does language structure our understanding of time, change, knowledge, morality, identity, and possibility? We will evaluate several formal-semantic models from philosophical, linguistic, and psychological perspectives. This course is well suited for students interested in computer science, linguistics, logic, mathematics, neuroscience, philosophy, or psychology. (Some prior familiarity with formal logic is recommended, but not required.) 2 hrs. lect./1 hr. disc

Terms Taught

Spring 2021, Spring 2022

Requirements

DED, PHL

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Philosophy of Science
Science raises several philosophical issues. These include epistemological issues about scientific practices such as theory construction, explanation, confirmation, experimentation, modeling, and measurement. They also include metaphysical issues about causation, laws of nature, reductionism, dispositions, chance, space, and time. Finally, specific sciences—from fundamental physics to the social sciences—raise unique philosophical puzzles. We will examine a small subset of these topics in depth. (Previous course in philosophy or waiver) 3 hrs lect.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2021

Requirements

PHL

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Seminar in Metaphysics and Epistemology
In this course, we will explore a specific topic in either epistemology (the philosophical study of knowledge), metaphysics (the philosophical study of reality), or the intersection thereof. Possible epistemological topics include specific theories of knowledge (foundationalism, coherentism, externalism, internalism, contextualism, etc.), skepticism, different sources of knowledge (perception, inference, testimony, a priori, etc.), the nature of representation, and the value of knowledge. Possible metaphysical topics include whether various entities (possibilities, universals, time) exist independently of our minds, theories of truth, and theories of causation. Points of intersection include the epistemologies characteristic of different metaphysical domains. Readings will be mostly contemporary. (Junior and senior majors, or by waiver) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Spring 2021

Requirements

PHL

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Research in Philosophy
Supervised independent research in philosophy. (Approval required).

Terms Taught

Fall 2018, Winter 2019, Spring 2019, Fall 2020, Spring 2021, Fall 2021, Spring 2022

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Senior Thesis
(Approval Required)

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

View in Course Catalog

Course Description

Senior Independent Research
In this course senior philosophy majors will complete an independent research project. The course has two components: (1) a group workshop in which students refine their research skills and develop parts of their projects, and (2) individual meetings with an adviser who is knowledgeable about the student's research topic. Students will engage in research activities such as tutorials and peer reviews. Before the course begins, students’ research topics and advisers will be decided in consultation with members of the department. (Senior majors.) 3 hrs. sem.

Terms Taught

Fall 2018

View in Course Catalog