School of Humanities and Sciences

Philosophy Courses

PHIL 10100 - Introduction to Philosophy 1 HU LA

Introduction to philosophy that focuses on perennial philosophical problems, such as the relation of the mind to the body, the possibility of truth and objectivity, the purpose of human life, and the existence of God, utilizing classical, modern, or contemporary works. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)

PHIL 10200 - Introduction to Philosophy: Greek Foundations HU LA

Introduction to philosophy through the study of Greek thought as the foundation of the Western philosophical tradition. Covers the pre-Socratics, Plato, and Aristotle. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 11000 - First Year Seminar: Philosophy 1 HU LA

The formation of a personal perspective on enduring human questions is one important goal of education. Though this life long endeavor will certainly not be completed by graduation, students can develop methods of reflection that will help them sharpen and evaluate their insights as they continue the project of shaping a personal philosophy. In this first year seminar, students select ten or twelve questions form a list of twenty great questions that challenge all men and women. For example, are we free to choose what to do? Does God exist? Wha is justice, and can we establish just policies? How can we get along together? What is beauty? What kind of
knowledge about reality do we get from science? From ethics and religion? Students formulate their own perspectives on these questions after considering what their classmates and some classical and contemporary philosophers have thought about them. 4 credits

PHIL 15100 - Reasoning 2B HU LA

An introduction to the techniques of organized thinking. The course focuses on three areas: (1) the analysis and evaluation of passages that contain reasoning; (2) the fundamentals of logic; and (3) problem solving by deduction. The first two areas serve to increase the student's comprehension of argumentative discourse. The third involves the marshaling of facts and data to arrive at
conclusions. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)

PHIL 17500 - Selected Topics in Philosophy 1 HU LA
PHIL 17600 - Selected Topics in Philosophy HU LA

Topics to be determined according to teacher and student interest. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 20100 - Plato and Aristotle HU LA

Study of selected texts and ideas of the founders of classical Western philosophy. Texts include selected dialogues of Plato and selections from Aristotle's writings, including the "Metaphysics" and "Nichomachean Ethics." Prerequisites: One course in humanities, social sciences, or science. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 20300 - Introduction to Logic 2B LA NS

Covers the traditional logic of the syllogism and the logic of truth functions. Prerequisites: One course in the humanities, sciences, or mathematics. 3 credits. (F-S,Y)

PHIL 20600 - The Problem of Evil HU LA

Considers explanations for physical and moral evil: the religious view, that all evil serves a divine purpose; the existentialist view, that moral evil results from a lack of authentic purpose; and the sociological view, that some categories of good and evil reflect basic social-political relations in a given society, with an emphasis on images of women as evil or potentially dangerous and destructive. Prerequisites: One course in the humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (Y)

PHIL 21200 - Introduction to Ethics 1 HU LA

Introduction to the problems and theories of normative thinking. Is there a right thing to do, and how can we tell what it is? Contemporary moral issues, such as abortion, capital punishment, discrimination, war, aid to the needy, require us to reflect carefully on fundamental topics in ethics, including rights, human dignity, responsibility, and the value of life. Readings selected from both classical and modern sources. Prerequisites: One course in humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (Y)

PHIL 22000 - Political Philosophy 1 HU LA

Introduction to the central questions of political philosophy. Topics include the disputed necessity of a political authority; various attempts to justify a political obligation to comply with the demands of the state; an examination of the merits and weaknesses of democracy as a legitimate form of governing; the proper scope of a right to liberty within a democratic society; and questions of distributive justice, including the justice of redistribution of wealth to rectify large social inequities. Prerequisites: One course in the humanities or social sciences; sophomore standing. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 22300 - Introduction to the Philosophy of Art HU LA

Analysis of the problem of defining art, examination of criteria used to evaluate artworks, illustration of Langer's principles of art, and consideration of avant-garde and Marxist views of art. Prerequisites: One course in the humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 22500 - Science and Pseudoscience HU LA

Examination of selected issues concerning scientific methodology and the demarcation of genuine science from phony science (pseudoscience). Issues include the role of observational evidence in confirmation and disconfirmation of scientific hypotheses, properties a hypothesis must have to be empirical and therefore refutable, and the ways scientific explanation differs from nonscientific explanations. Students learn how to distinguish legitimate science from nonscientific belief systems that attempt to pass as science in the eyes of the public. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; one course of biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, or anthropology. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 23000 - Bioethics 1 HU LA

Bioethics focuses on moral questions about life, human and non-human. It explores the reasoning and moral principles at stake in medical decisions, including, for example, abortion, euthanasia, medical experimentation, and distribution of health care. The moral dimensions of broader life issues, such as cloning and reproductive technology, are also relevant. Such practical topics in bioethics force us to reflect on fundamental ethical matters, including the nature of morality, rights, and the value of life. Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or above. 3 credits. (F-S)

PHIL 24000 - Philosophy in Film 1 HU LA

Exploration of various philosophical issues conveyed in film. The course uses the narratives in film to illustrate various philosophical issues and offers philosophical reflection as an interpretive medium to understand films. Prerequisites: One course in the humanities or CNPH 10100; sophomore standing. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 25000 - Environmental Ethics 1 HU LA

A critical examination of various moral problems raised when considering environmental issues. Questions regarding the moral status of animals, future generations, and the environment as a whole are explored. Also taken up are the moral aspects of famine relief, population control, and resource use. These issues and others generate challenging and fundamental questions of moral philosophy: What is the basis of obligation? Do animals have rights? What does it mean to say something is intrinsically valuable? Prerequisites: Sophomore standing or above. 3 credits. (Y)

PHIL 26000 - Difference and Community HU LA

Individuals sometimes find themselves at odds with the larger community, as do minority groups whose ways of life are unfamiliar or alarming to those in the majority. How should we balance the often competing demands of individuals, groups, and the larger community? What sort of community, if any, is possible despite our individual and group differences? To answer questions such as these, this course will examine philosophical debates over individual liberty, toleration, and multiculturalism. Prerequisite: One course in the humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (F,O)

PHIL 26500 - Philosophical Problems in Law HU LA

Examination and evaluation of basic practices and principles of law, focusing on such topics as the nature and extent of legal liability; "good Samaritan" laws and the legal enforcement of community moral standards; and the justification of punishment, including capital punishment. Examination of prominent legal cases and their underlying principles. Emphasis is placed on philosophical analysis and moral evaluation. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy. 3 credits. (Y)

PHIL 27500 - Selected Topics in Philosophy 1 HU LA
PHIL 27600 - Selected Topics in Philosophy HU LA

Topics to be determined according to teacher and student interest. This course may be repeated for credit when topics vary. Prerequisites: One course in the humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 28300 - Introduction to Buddhism 1 G H HU LA

Study of the life and teaching of Gautama Buddha, and of the development of Theravada Buddhism in Southeast Asia and Mahayana Buddhism in the Far East. Reading and discussion of the Buddhist scriptures and Zen writings. Prerequisites: One course in the humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (E)

PHIL 30100 - Seventeenth-Century Philosophy HU LA

Study of early British empiricism and continental rationalism with an emphasis on the works of Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 30200 - Eighteenth-Century Philosophy HU LA

Study of Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 31100 - Philosophy of Religion HU LA

Study and discussion of a broad range of issues in the philosophy of religion, such as religious epistemology, the ontological argument, the cosmological argument, the teleological argument, religion and science, and the problem of evil. Primary source readings. Prerequisites: two courses in philosophy, with at least one at level 2. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 31300 - Marxist Philosophy HU LA

Analysis of the basic elements of Marx's philosophy: dialectical materialism, economic determinism, ethical relativism, ideology and science, and the thesis of class struggle and exploitation. Examines how these concepts might be applied to contemporary capitalist development. Seminar. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 32100 - Symbolic Logic LA NS

A continuation of PHIL 20300 Introduction to Logic. Logical techniques instrumental to the development of 20th-century philosophy: truth-functional analysis, quantification, the logic of relations, definite descriptions, modal logic, etc. Prerequisites: PHIL 20300 or MATH 26000. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 32500 - Philosophy of Public Policy HU LA

Critical analysis of the alternative ways that criteria of "efficiency, adequacy, and equity" are interpreted and applied to evaluation of some basic questions in public policy. These differences are linked to different economic models (neoclassical, institutional, and socialist). Applications include at least some of the following issues: comparable worth, for-profit health care, plant-closing legislation, cost-benefit analysis of risk, growth of part-time and "leased" non-unionized employees. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; two additional courses in humanities and/or social sciences. It is recommended that students taking this course have taken ECON 12100 Principles of Macroeconomics or comparable courses in politics, business, or administration. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 32600 - Seminar in Aesthetics HU LA

Examination of traditional and contemporary aesthetic concepts such as empathy, psychic distance, the beautiful and the sublime, and expressive form, with special attention to the nature of aesthetic responsiveness and judgment, and the kind of meaning to be found in art. Prerequisites: A background in philosophy or the arts, including three courses in the humanities or the fine arts. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 33000 - The Good Life HU LA

This course examines one of the oldest and most compelling questions of all time: What is a good life? We all want good lives and we all strive to achieve good lives, but despite the overriding importance of the question, we give little reflective thought to what a good life might be. Is there one particular form that a life must exemplify in order to be good, or are there many kinds of good lives? Is judging a life to be good sufficient for it to be good, or is this the sort of thing one can get wrong? The course will consider what great thinkers -- classical, modern, and contemporary -- have written on this issue. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; two additional courses in humanities; sophomore standing or above. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 34000 - Global Ethics HU LA

The course surveys significant ethical challenges that are global in scope: Are there such things as universal human rights, or is morality ultimately relative to one's particular culture? What, if any, duties do we have to the global environment? What is the difference between a just and unjust war, and between just and unjust ways of combating terrorism? Morally speaking, what can be said in defense of economic globalization, and against it? Are global inequalities in wealth morally defensible? Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; two courses in the humanities and/or social sciences. 3 credits. (F, E)

PHIL 35000 - Philosophy of Science HU LA

A comprehensive survey of issues in the philosophical foundations of science. Topics include the structure and function of scientific theories; the dispute over the existence or nonexistence of theoretical entities; reductionism and antireductionism; laws of nature and models of scientific explanation; Kuhn and historicist models of science; the realism/antirealism dispute over the philosophical implications of scientific theories. Prerequisites: PHIL 20300; one course from biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, sociology, or anthropology. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 35200 - Moral Philosophy HU LA

Critical exploration of foundational issues in metaethics and normative ethical theory. Topics for consideration include moral relativism, moral realism, and morality and self-interest, along with utilitarian, deontological, natural law, and contractarian theories of ethics. Moral concepts such as rights, duty, and value will also be considered. Readings will be from both classical and contemporary sources. Prerequisites: PHIL 21200, PHIL 23000, or PHIL 25000, or two courses in philosophy and one additional course in the humanities. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 35500 - Metaphysics 1 HU LA

Metaphysics is the philosophical investigation into the ultimate nature of reality. This course examines issues and answers in traditional and contemporary metaphysics. Topics include personal identity, causality, determinism, essence and accident, mind and matter, and the nature of God. Prerequisites: One level-2 course in philosophy; two additional courses in the humanities. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 36000 - Philosophy of Mind 1 HU LA

The distinctive feature of human beings that traditionally has been held to separate us from the rest of the universe is our supposed possession of a special thing/capacity called "mind." In this course we investigate what kind of thing (or non-thing) the mind is, what relation it has to bodily behavior, and how and why the mind has the extraordinary ability to represent the world truly or falsely. Topics include such questions as, Is the mind physical or non-physical? What is a mental state? What kinds of beings can possess minds? Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; one course in psychology (excluding PSYC 10000); one additional course in the humanities or social sciences. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 37500 - Selected Topics in Philosophy HU LA
PHIL 37501 - Selected Topics in Philosophy HU LA
PHIL 37600 - Selected Topics in Philosophy HU LA
PHIL 37601 - Selected Topics in Philosophy HU LA

Topics to be determined according to student and teacher interest, with primary focus on a problem or a person. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences. 1-4 credits per semester, to be arranged. (IRR)

PHIL 38100 - Nineteenth-Century Philosophy HU LA

Major philosophical movements in the 19th century. Emphasis is placed on selections from the works of Hegel, Mill, Marx, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 38200 - Twentieth-Century Philosophy HU LA

Contemporary thought, including pragmatism, logical positivism, phenomenology, existentialism, Marxism, and analytic philosophy. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 38600 - Philosophy in Literature HU LA

Exercise in conceptualizing philosophical themes as found in a group of selected novellas, novels, and plays by such authors as Dostoyevsky, Tolstoy, Chekhov, Kafka, Gide, Beckett, Camus, and Sartre. Seminar. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences; permission of instructor. 3 credits. (IRR)

PHIL 39100 - Independent Study: Philosophy LA
PHIL 39200 - Independent Study: Philosophy LA

Study or research project of the student's own devising. Minimal consultation with professor; final projects evaluated by professor. Offered on demand only. May be repeated for credit for different projects. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor; one course in philosophy; two additional courses in the humanities and/ or social sciences. 1-4 credits, depending on instructor and student interest. (IRR)

PHIL 39300 - Tutorial in Philosophy LA
PHIL 39400 - Tutorial in Philosophy LA

Work by student and teacher on a problem or project of interest to both. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences; permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit. 1-4 credits, depending on instructor and student interest. (IRR)

PHIL 49100 - Independent Study: Philosophy LA
PHIL 49200 - Independent Study: Philosophy LA

Study or research project of the student's own devising. Minimal consultation with professor; final projects evaluated by professor. Offered on demand only. May be repeated for credit for different projects. Prerequisites: Permission of instructor; one course in philosophy; two additional courses in the humanities and/ or social sciences. 1-4 credits, depending on instructor and student interest. (IRR)

PHIL 49300 - Tutorial in Philosophy LA
PHIL 49400 - Tutorial in Philosophy LA

Work by student and teacher on a problem or project of interest to both. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences; permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit. 1-4 credits, depending on instructor and student interest. (IRR)

PHIL 49500 - Philosophy Seminar HU LA
PHIL 49600 - Philosophy Seminar HU LA

Small group study of a topic not otherwise offered in the curriculum or not offered at the same level. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences; permission of instructor. 1-4 credits, depending on instructor and student interest. (IRR)