Courses: Current and Upcoming

Current Semester Courses

SPRING 2016

PHILOSOPHY

PHIL 10100-01 Introduction to Philosophy  1,HM,HU,LA,TIDE,TMBS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Frederik Kaufman, Rothschild Place 145, Ext. 41260, kaufmanf@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: None.
STUDENTS: Any.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: To introduce students to basic philosophical methods and problems. Topics to be covered include the existence/nonexistence of God, theory of knowledge, the mind/body problem, theories of moral obligation and social and political organization.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Three exams, final exam, class presentation and class participation.

PHIL 10100-02 Introduction to Philosophy 1,HM,HU,LA,TIDE,TMBS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Brendan Murday, Rothschild Place 143, Ext. 47029, bmurday@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: None.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Introduction to philosophy that focuses on perennial philosophical problems, such as: the possibility of knowledge, the relation of the mind to the body, criteria for survival over time, the compatibility of freedom and determinism, and the relation between freedom and moral responsibility, utilizing primarily contemporary primary-text readings.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture with emphasis on class discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Three exams, smaller assignments, and class participation; A-F.

PHIL 10100-03,-04 Introduction to Philosophy 1,HM,HU,LA,TIDE,TMBS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Jonathan Peeters, Rothschild Place 138, Ext. 43077, jpeeters@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25 per section
PREREQUISITE: None.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will focus on perennial philosophical problems including: (1) Does God exist? (2) Are we free? (3) What is the relationship between the mind and the body? (4) What sorts of changes can I as an individual survive? (5) What ought we to do? We will read mostly contemporary philosophical works.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture with significant amounts of time devoted to discussion. The focus is on learning analytical philosophical skills.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Participation, reading/reading guides, homework, paper, exams.

PHIL 10100-05,-06 Introduction to Philosophy 1,HM,HU,LA,TIDE,TMBS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Theodore Korzukhin, Rothschild Place 140, Ext. 43178
ENROLLMENT: 25 per section
PREREQUISITES: None.

PHIL 10200-01 Introduction to Philosophy: Greek Foundations HM HU LA TIII
3 CREDITS
INSTRUCTOR: Robert Klee, Rothschild Place  141, Ext. 41276, klee@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: None.

PHIL 20300-01 Introduction to Logic 2B,LA,NS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Brendan Murday, Rothschild Place 143, Ext. 47029, bmurday@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities, sciences, or mathematics.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Study translation between English sentences and logical notation, the logic of truth functions, and proofs in sentential and predicate logic, with an ultimate aim of assessing the validity of arguments.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture with homework problems.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Five exams and class participation; A-F.

PHIL 20300-02 Introduction to Logic 2B,LA,NS,QL
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Robert Klee, Rothschild Place  141, Ext. 41276, klee@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities, sciences, or mathematics.
STUDENTS: Any.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: To introduce the students to the fundamentals of formal reasoning.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Four exams.

PHIL 20400-01 Choosing Wisely 1,HU,LA,QL
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Jonathan Peeters, Rothschild Place 138, Ext. 43077, jpeeters@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: We face decisions of how best to pursue our goals all the time. Are some principles of choosing what to do more rational than others? Answering this question is the goal of rational choice theory; a joint effort of philosophers, mathematicians, economists, and other social scientists. The applications of rational choice theory are diverse, being used in economics, evolutionary biology, sociology, political science, and philosophy. We will look at some applications in all of these areas. The course is divided roughly into thirds. The first third of the class will deal with individuals making decisions on their own (think: choosing the smartest investment given your own particular goals). The second third will deal with making decisions partially based on what you think the decisions of other reasonable people will be (think: making the best move in a game based on both your own goals and knowledge of the other person's goals). The final third will deal with both how to aggregate the preferences of many individuals to come to a conclusion about the group's preference, and principles of how to divide goods among many people in a fair way (think: different ways of voting and dividing a cake equally at a party).
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: "Flipped" course, lecture/reading at home, group work through problems in class, discussion of philosophical issues.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Homework and exams.

PHIL 21200-01 Introduction to Ethics 1,HM,HU,LA,TIDE
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Frederik Kaufman, Rothschild Place 145, Ext. 41260, kaufmanf@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Introduction to the problems and theories of normative and critical ethics. Readings are selected from both classical and contemporary sources. We will consider a wide range of contemporary moral issues, such as abortion, war, capital punishment, the treatment of animals, and aid to the needy.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture/discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: 3 exams, final exam, short written assignments (class participation too); traditional grading.

PHIL 21200-02 Introduction to Ethics 1,HM,HU,LA,TIDE
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Serge Grigoriev, Rothschild Place 142, Ext. 45713, sgrigoriev@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences.
STUDENTS: Students from all disciplines are welcome. Expect willingness to engage in critical in-class discussion.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Classical and modern readings on the foundations of moral theory.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Three exams; quizzes; participation.

PHIL 23000-01,-02 Bioethics 1,HU,LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Tatiana Patrone, Rothschild Place 146, Ext. 47347, tpatrone@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25 per section
PREREQUISITES: Sophomore standing or above.
STUDENTS: Interested students of all disciplines are welcome.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This is an introductory course in biomedical ethics. The developments in biomedical science that occurred in the course of the XX century have opened the door to some important philosophical problems: When – if at all – is it morally appropriate to terminate a pregnancy? Are doctors morally justified in helping patients to end their lives? Is it morally permissible to change the genetic make-up of our children? Is cloning morally objectionable? To what extent should the state be allowed to legislate over issues such as these? The course in bioethics is meant to acquaint you with some key arguments, perspectives, ideas, and positions that philosophers have developed concerning these questions. While the course does not promise to give simple answers to these questions, it will aim at helping you to acquire the philosophical skills necessary to develop such answers. You will learn how to read and to understand philosophical texts dealing with issues in bioethics, how to parse and to assess philosophical arguments, and how to come up with both critical and constructive arguments of your own.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture, discussion, group-work, debate.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two exams (midterm and the final), research paper (10 pages long), weekly contributions to Sakai discussion board; grading based on the preceding requirements; attendance and participation will be taken into consideration.

PHIL 24000-01 Philosophy in Film 1,HU,LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Serge Grigoriev, Rothschild Place 142, Ext. 45713, sgrigoriev@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or CNPH 10100; sophomore standing.
STUDENTS: Students from all disciplines are welcome. Expect willingness to engage in critical in-class discussion.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Problems in philosophy of film: realism, authorship, narration, evaluative criteria, and social significance of film.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and Discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Exams; quizzes; participation.

PHIL 26500-01 Philosophical Problems in Law HU,LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Craig Duncan, Rothschild Place 144, Ext. 43580, cduncan@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: One course in philosophy.
STUDENTS: All who meet the prerequisite are welcome.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Examination and evaluation of basic practices and principles of law, focusing on such topics as the nature of law and extent of legal liability; competing theories of constitutional interpretation; and the justification of punishment, including capital punishment. Examination of prominent legal cases and their underlying principles. Emphasis on philosophical analysis and moral evaluation.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture, and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Papers, exams, in-class debates; traditional grading.

PHIL 28600-01 Philosophy and Literature HU,LA,WI
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Tatiana Patrone, Rothschild Place 146, Ext. 47347, tpatrone@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: Sophomore standing
STUDENTS: Interested students of all disciplines are welcome COURSE DESCRIPTION: Discussion of issues emerging from the relation between philosophy and literary fiction: Why are we emotionally invested in what happens to fictional characters? Can the author ask the reader to imagine anything at all, or are there some things that a work of fiction simply cannot violate? What can a philosopher learn from the great works of fiction? The course will focus on philosophical texts, both classical and contemporary. The readings will not be long, but they will be dense and challenging. This is a writing intensive course, which means that we will be spending quite a bit of time on improving our writing skills by revising drafts and talking about writing as such.
COURSE FORMAT: Lecture and discussion
COURSE REQUIREMENTS AND GRADING: Short summary paper (5 pages), compare-and-contrast paper (5-7 pages long), research paper (10-12 pages long); weekly contributions to the Sakai Forum; grading will be based on the above requirements.

PHIL 31100-01 Philosophy of Religion HU,LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Craig Duncan, Rothschild Place 144, Ext. 43580, cduncan@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: Two courses in philosophy, with at least one at level 2.
STUDENTS: All who meet the prerequisite are welcome.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Study and discussion of a broad range of issues in 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. Please note: PHIL-31100 is cross-listed with RLST-31100. Students may not earn credit for both PHIL-31100 and RLST-31100.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lectures and discussions.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Exams, papers, participation.
Books: Steven Cahn, Exploring the Philosophy of Religion;
William Rowe, Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction, 4th Ed.
Traditional grading.

PHIL 35200-01 Moral Philosophy HU,LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Frederik Kaufman, Rothschild Place 145, Ext. 41260, kaufmanf@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: PHIL 21200, PHIL 23000, or PHIL 25000, or two courses in philosophy and one additional course in the humanities.
STUDENTS: Those interested in moral philosophy.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Critical exploration of foundational issues in metaethics and normative ethical theory. Topics for consideration will include moral relativism, moral realism, morality and self-interest, utilitarian, deontological, natural law and contractarian theories. Moral concepts such as rights, obligation, and desert will also be considered, along with several practical moral problems, such as abortion, war, euthanasia, global poverty, and the moral status of animals.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and class discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: 2 philosophy papers, weekly written commentaries on the material, and class participation. Traditional grading.

PHIL 37507-01 Selected Topics in Philosophy: Philosophy of Culture HU,LA
3 credits                      
INSTRUCTOR: Serge Grigoriev, Rothschild Place 142, Ext. 4-5713, sgrigoriev@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: One course in philosophy; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Human agency, with its capacity for self-transformation, gives rise to a range of distinctive philosophical problems concerned with understanding human thought and human behavior.  Do languages and cultures give rise to different mindsets? How is communication possible across linguistic and cultural barriers? What is the role of empathy in understanding? 
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Seminar.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Written responses, discussion participation and, papers.

PHIL 38200-01 Themes in Twentieth-Century Philosophy: Language, Mind, and Meaning HU,LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Robert Klee, Rothschild Place 141, Ext. 41276, klee@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: One course in philosophy and two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences.
STUDENTS: Philosophy majors and minors.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: To investigate the main trends and concerns of 20th century philosophy. Readings will be from important works in logical positivism, the philosophy of the later Wittgenstein, and recent varieties of pragmatism and naturalism.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Lecture and discussion.

RELIGION

RLST 10400-01,02 Introduction to the New Testament HU,LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Rachel Wagner, Rothschild Place 111, Ext. 4-3249, rwagner@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25 per section
PREREQUISITES: None.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course provides an introduction to the most critical scholarly issues relating to the development of the New Testament and its interpretation, focusing especially on: the gospel accounts of the life and teachings of Jesus; major themes in the letters by Paul; the Book of Revelation; and early Christian writings that rivaled those canonized in the New Testament. Along the way, students will be invited to critically analyze portions of films that portray elements of the New Testament and assess their accuracy. The course provides students with the historical-critical tools necessary for understanding how the New Testament was composed, what its authors believed about Jesus, and how these ideas were shaped over the first century of the Common Era.

RLST 10600-01 Introduction to World Religions: Western and Modern 1,G,H,HM,HU,LA,TIDE,TMBS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Cynthia Hogan, Rothschild Place 110, Ext. 45155, chogan@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: None.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Introduces the academic study of religion through exploration of the historical development of the Jewish, Christian, and Muslim traditions. Emphasizes how religious beliefs and practices evolve in response to historic events and changing cultural contexts, including the challenges posed by modernity and postmodernity.

RLST 20300-01 Judaism 1,G,HU,LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Rebecca Lesses, Muller Center 413, Ext. 4-3556, rlesses@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences.
STUDENTS: Students interested in religion, philosophy, and the study of diverse cultures.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course offers an introduction to Judaism as a religious civilization, with a focus on theology, ethics, and ritual practices. Readings include selected texts from the Biblical, rabbinic, medieval, and modern periods. Theological and ethical issues include God, good and evil, covenant, death and afterlife, justice and social responsibility. The course examines how these understandings are lived out through practices associated with birth and death, marriage and commitment, sexuality, and the life of study, prayer, and devotion. This semester we will especially focus on how Jewish life is lived in a variety of Jewish communities, Sephardic, Mizrahi (Jews from Arab countries), and Ashkenazic. Please note: This course is cross-listed with JWST-20300. Students may not receive credit for both JWST-20300 and RLST-20300.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lectures, discussions, visits to local synagogues, student presentations, and films.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Exams, papers, class presentations and participation; A-F.

RLST 22100-01 RELIGION AND DEPTH PSYCHOLOGY HU,LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Brian Karafin, Rothschild Place 109, Ext. 41585, karafin@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: Sophomore standing.
STUDENTS: Any interested.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will explore the psychology of religion through an inquiry into the tradition of depth psychology. We will enter into that tradition through a focus on the psychology of Carl Gustav Jung and more recent writers in the field of archetypal psychology. We will then look at later developments in psychological thought about religion such as: the encounter between psychology and Asian religious thought, and the psycho-spiritual dimensions of non-ordinary states of consciousness.
COURSE FORMAT /STYLE: Discussions centered on intensive reading.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Readings may include:
Carl Gustav Jung, Memories, Dreams, Reflections;
James Hillman, ReVisioning Psychology
Mark Epstein, The Trauma of Everyday Life
Alan Wallace, Dreaming Yourself Awake
Rick Strassman, DMT and the Soul of Prophecy
Journals and two papers.

RLST 23500-01 Religion and Nature HM,HU,LA,TMBS,TQSF
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Nancy Menning, Rothschild Place 139, Ext. 45802. nmenning@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: Sophomore standing.
STUDENTS: All who meet the prerequisites are welcome; recommended for students interested in religious studies and/or environmental studies.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Explores interrelationships between aspects of the natural world and the beliefs and practices of diverse religions. Topics may include sacred space and time; the academic subfields of religion and ecology, religion and science, and religion and animals; religious naturalism; and religious environmentalism (especially related to climate change).
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Short lectures, discussions, and student presentations.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Letter grade based on reading journals, written assignments, and class participation.

RLST 24000-01,-02 Selected Topics in Religion: Writing About Religion: Heaven and Hell HU,LA 
3 credits 
INSTRUCTOR: Jonathan Jackson, Rothschild Place 134, Ext. 45893, jjackson@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 18 per section
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course invites students to think about the history of notions of “heaven” and “hell” in the context of world religions from different cultural contexts across time and geography. In terms of understanding, students will explore different mythologies, representations, and religious experiences that shape the worldview and daily conduct of people around the world. In terms of skills, students will advance their competency and experience with various genres and techniques in writing.  Iterative writing and editing workshops encourage students to view writing as a process of discovery and refinement. This course will also introduce students to various styles, genres, and approaches to writing about religion as an exercise in communication and the cultivation of understanding for  global citizenship. Students of any major are welcome in the course, and will learn how to write about the fascinating study of human meaning-making in different religious and cultural contexts.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion and workshop.

RLST 28300-01,02 INTRODUCTION TO BUDDHISM 1,G,H,HU,LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Brian Karafin, Rothschild Place 109, Ext. 41585, karafin@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25 per section
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences.
STUDENTS: Anyone with interest.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: An historical and cultural inquiry into the major themes of Buddhism, from the teachings of the historical Buddha to applications of Buddhist teachings and practices in contemporary life. Please note: PHIL-28300 is cross-listed with RLST-28300. Students may not earn credit for both PHIL-28300 and RLST-28300.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lectures, discussions, films.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Readings may include:
Damien Keown, Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction;
Glenn Wallis, Basic Teachings of the Buddha
Thich Nhat Hanh, The Heart of the Buddha’s Teaching
Michaela Hass, Dakini Power
Mark Epstein, The Trauma of Everday Life
Charles Johnson, Taming the Ox
Journals and two exams.

RLST 31100-01 Philosophy of Religion HU,LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Craig Duncan, Rothschild Place 144, Ext. 43580, cduncan@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: Two courses in philosophy, with at least one at level 2.
STUDENTS: All who meet the prerequisite are welcome.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Study and discussion of a broad range of issues in 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. Please note: PHIL-31100 is cross-listed with RLST-31100. Students may not earn credit for both PHIL-31100 and RLST-31100.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lectures and discussions.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Exams, papers, participation.
Books: Steven Cahn, Exploring the Philosophy of Religion;
William Rowe, Philosophy of Religion: An Introduction, 4th Ed.
Traditional grading.

RLST 32300-01 Gender and Sexuality in Judaism 1,HU,LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Rebecca Lesses, Muller Center 413, Ext. 4-3556, rlesses@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 20
PREREQUISITES: Three courses in the humanities or social sciences.
STUDENTS: Those interested in studying the intersection of gender issues, sexuality, and religion. This course will be of especial interest to Women’s Studies students.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Is God male or female? Can women become rabbis? Are there gay and lesbian Jews? What do Jews think about birth control and abortion? Why are husband and wife supposed to avoid sexual relations during the woman’s menstrual period? Why do boys have to be circumcised on the eighth day? This course explores what it means to be a Jewish man or woman, and looks at how Jewish gender roles have changed throughout history, as well as how contemporary Jews deal with changes in women’s roles and demands for gender equality. We will begin with a short introduction to Judaism and then discuss specific issues in greater depth: what is “gender” and how to study it; traditional roles of men and women in Judaism; the gendered Jewish body; family and sexuality; homosexuality; Jewish feminism; the gender of God; and changing women’s religious roles. Please note: This course is cross-listed with JWST-32300. Students may not receive credit for both RLST-32300 and JWST-32300.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussions, student presentations, films, a visit to a mikveh, and occasional lectures.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: One exam, response papers, a research paper, class participation; A-F, based on exam, papers, class participation.

RLST 37700-01 Women and Religion HU,LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Angela Rudert, Rothschild Place 110, Ext. 45155, arudert@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: Three courses in religion and/or philosophy, or those courses in psychology, sociology, anthropology, and politics that address women's issues.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course, we will focus on the complex intersections between religion and women’s lives, with particular emphasis on the cultural context of South Asia. We will read critically both scholarly and fictional accounts of and by women to examine women’s religious lives in various communities, including Hindu, Buddhist, Muslim and Indigenous. We will consider how women’s experiences, desires and expectations have been shaped by religion, both positively and negatively. As a starting point, we will question the universality of the categories of “women” and “religion” and pay special attention to the ways that being a “woman” and being “religious” may shift in varied settings.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Traditional.

 

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