Courses: Current and Upcoming

Next Semester Courses

FALL 2016

PHILOSOPHY

PHIL 10100-01 Introduction to Philosophy 1 HM HU LA TIDE TMBS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Jonathan Peeters, Rothschild Place 138, Ext. 43077, jpeeters@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITE: None.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will focus on perennial philosophical problems including: (1) Does God exist? (2) What is the extent and possibility of knowledge? (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, quizzes, papers, exams.

PHIL 10100-02 Introduction to Philosophy 1 HM HU LA TIDE TMBS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Craig Duncan, Rothschild Place 144, Ext. 43580, cduncan@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, the foundations of knowledge, free will, personal identity, and theories of moral obligation.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Papers and exams; 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) What is the extent and possibility of knowledge? (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, quizzes, papers, exams.

PHIL 10100-05,-06 Introduction to Philosophy 1 HM HU LA TIDE TMBS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Serge Grigoriev, Rothschild Place 142, Ext. 4-5713, sgrigoriev@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25 per section
PREREQUISITES: None.
STUDENTS: Students from all disciplines are welcome. Expect willingness to engage in critical in-class discussion.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course introduces the students to the discipline by featuring a selection of classical readings and arguments pertaining to the problems of knowledge, morality, free will, individuality and authenticity.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Three exams; quizzes; participation.

PHIL 10100-07,-08 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. 
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is a broad introduction to philosophy. We shall cover a sampling from some of the main areas of philosophy. Topics covered will include free will, personal identity, existence of God, knowledge & scepticism, a variety of moral theories, and moral relativism.

PHIL 20300-01 Introduction to Logic 2B LA NS QL TWOS
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 homework problems.

PHIL 20300-02,-03 Introduction to Logic 2B LA NS QL TWOS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Robert Klee, Rothschild Place 141, Ext. 41276, klee@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25 per section
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities, sciences, or mathematics.
STUDENTS: Any.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: To introduce the students to the fundamentals of formal reasoning and symbolic logic.
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: Lecture, group work through problems, discussion of philosophical issues.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Homework, exams, and participation.

PHIL 21200-01,-02 Introduction to Ethics 1 HM HU LA TIDE
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Frederik Kaufman, Rothschild Place 145, Ext. 41260, kaufmanf@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25 per section
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 22300-01 Introduction to the Philosophy of Art HM HU LA TIII
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Serge Grigoriev, Rothschild Place 142, Ext. 4-5713, sgrigoriev@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences; sophomore standing.
STUDENTS: Students from all disciplines are welcome. Expect willingness to engage in critical in-class discussion.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course examines some of the central questions in contemporary philosophy of art pertaining to topics such as the value of art, the nature of artistic expression, and the relationship between art and society.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Tests, quizzes, class participation.

PHIL 23000-01,-02 Bioethics 1 HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Austin Duggan, Rothschild Place 140, Ext. 41378, philosophy-religion@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25 per section
PREREQUISITES: Sophomore standing or above.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: 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.

PHIL 30100-01 Seventeenth-Century Philosophy HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Frederik Kaufman, Park Hall 238, Ext. 41260, kaufmanf@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: One course in philosophy; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences.
STUDENTS: Junior and senior standing.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: We will study the birth of modern philosophy with particular emphasis on the debate between the British empiricists and the continental rationalists. Attention will be given to the effect of the scientific revolution on philosophical thinking.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Traditional grading.

PHIL 34000-01 GLOBAL ETHICS HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Craig Duncan, Park Hall 233, Ext. 43580, cduncan@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: One course in philosophy; two courses in the humanities and/or social sciences.
STUDENTS: All who meet the prerequisite are welcome.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This 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 duties, if any, do we have to the global environment? What is the difference between a just and unjust war, and between just and unjust ways of fighting terrorism? Morally speaking, what can be said in defense of economic globalization, and against it? Are global inequalities in wealth morally defensible?
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Papers and exams; A-F.

PHIL 36000-01 Philosophy of Mind 1 HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Robert Klee, Rothschild Place 141, Ext. 41276, klee@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: One course in philosophy; one course in psychology (excluding PSYC-10000); one additional course in the humanities or social sciences, or permission of the instructor.
STUDENTS: Those interested in the issues described below.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course we shall investigate philosophical issues that occur in various theories about the human mind. Topics include such questions as: Is the mind physical or nonphysical? What is the relation between mental states and bodily behaviors? What is a mental state of mind? What kinds of beings or complex systems can possess minds? What is psychological explanation?
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture/discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS: Three exams and one paper.

RELIGION

RLST 10300-01 Hebrew Scriptures
 3A H HM HU LA TIDE TMBS
3 credits 
INSTRUCTOR: Rebecca Lesses, Muller 413, Ext. 43556, rlesses@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: None. 
STUDENTS: All students interested in learning more about the Bible. 
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The Hebrew Bible (referred to by Christians as the Old Testament) is one of the foundational books of both western and world culture, and serves as the basis for Judaism and Christianity. In this course, we will read the books of the Bible critically as literature, as religious and moral text, and as a source of sociological knowledge. This course surveys the biblical literature, acquaints the students with critical methods for the study of the Bible, situates the Bible within the literature and culture of the ancient Near East, and discusses the religion of ancient Israel. We will deal with questions of history and archaeology, and with questions of meaning—what the biblical text meant to its ancient readers, and what meaning it has today. RLST-10300 is cross-listed with JWST-10300. A student may not earn credit for both RLST-10300 and JWST-10300. 
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Readings, lectures, discussions (both in the class and in student study groups), and student presentations. 
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Readings will include the Bible and The Old Testament: A Historical and Literary Introduction to the Hebrew Scriptures, by Michael D. Coogan. 
Grading: A-F.

RLST 10500-01 through -03 Introduction to World Religions: Indigenous and Eastern 1 G H HM HU LA TMBS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Brian Karafin, Rothschild Place 109, Ext. 41585, karafin@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25 per section
PREREQUISITES: None.
STUDENTS: Recommended for religion minors, this course is open to all students interested in the subject matter.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course will discuss perennial religious themes such as the questions of ultimate orientation and meaning as they have been addressed by indigenous members of shamanic cultures and eastern (Hindu, Buddhist, Taoist,) religious cultures. The contemporary interest in the visionary, shamanic, and meditative aspects of these cultures will be analyzed in terms of the academic study of religion.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lectures, class discussion, and films.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Reading and class discussion emphasized; two exams, reading-journals. Reading list may include:
Roger Walsh, The World of Shamanism;
John Neihardt, Black Elk Speaks;
Damien Keown, Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction;
Stephen Batchelor, After Buddhism;
Thich Nhat Hahn, Being Peace.
Letter grade based on exams and class discussions.

RLST 10600-01,-02 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 per section
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 20100-01,-02 Religion and Culture 1 HM HU LA TIII
3 credits 
INSTRUCTOR: Rachel Wagner, Rothschild Place 111, Ext. 43249, rwagner@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25 per section
PREREQUISITES: Sophomore standing or above, or one course in religious studies.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course explores the various ways that religion and culture interact with one another in diverse expressions of what it means to be human. Students will explore the religious dimensions of human culture as reflected in select art, music, literature, ritual, and film drawn from different historical, religious, and social contexts. Students will learn how scholars of religion and culture approach this complex relationship and will apply these insights through critical analysis of cultural products with obvious and not-so-obvious religious dimensions. The course has a particular focus on religion in media and popular culture. 
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.

RLST 20500-01 Islam 1 DV G H HM HU LA TIDE TMBS
3 credits 
INSTRUCTOR: Nancy Menning, Rothschild Place 139, Ext. 45802, nmenning@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITE: Sophomore standing or above.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Introduces the origins, historical development, major institutions, and central beliefs and practices of Islamic tradition. Particular attention is given to contemporary debates in Islamic Studies that shape our understanding of Islam and to Islamic responses to modern challenges of pluralism, feminism, and violence.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion-oriented, with short lectures.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Letter grade based on exams, written assignments, and class participation.

RLST 20700-01,-02 Death and Immortality 1 H HM HU LA TMBS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Nancy Menning, Rothschild Place 139, Ext. 45802, nmenning@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25 per section
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences.
STUDENTS: All who meet the prerequisites are welcome.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Introduces eastern and western world religions through a thematic exploration of religious beliefs and practices associated with death, both in traditional and contemporary contexts.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion, short lectures, and films.

RLST 24000-01,-02 Selected Topics in Religion: Writing About Religion: Heaven and Hell 1 HU,LA 
3 credits 
INSTRUCTOR: Jonathan Jackson, Rothschild Place 134, Ext. 45893, jjackson@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25 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 27501-01 Selected Topics in Religion: Black Lives Matter: Religion and Justice HU LA
INSTRUCTOR: Kayla Wheeler, Rothschild Place 140, Ext. 41378, philosophy-religion@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences.
STUDENTS: Any.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Whereas history has attributed the success of the Civil Rights Movement to heterosexual Black men grounded in the Black Church, the Movement for Black Lives is led by "unchurched" queer and trans Black women who reject the claim that tackling sexism should be a secondary issue for activists.  Radically inclusive, these activists trace their lineage back to Assata Shakur, Ella Baker, and Ida B. Wells rather than Martin Luther King and even Malcolm X.  Black women in the Movement for Black Lives are focused on recovering the forgotten history of earlier Black women activists and centering women, girls, and femmes in conversations on state violence.  This push has shifted conversations about the role religion will play in this new movement.  Focusing on Christians, Muslims, and "religious nones" (atheists, agnostics, and unaffiliated people), this course will explore how people in the Movement for Black Lives have used religion in their activism, and how the movement has, in turn, also shaped religion.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Papers and journals; A-F.

RLST 37510-01 Selected Topics in Religion: Sex, Drugs, Spirituality HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Brian Karafin, Rothschild Place 109, Ext. 41585, karafin@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: One course in religion; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences.
STUDENTS: Recommended for majors/minors, and any interested.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: The course will be a seminar-style inquiry into the religious and spiritual implications of eroticism and psychedelic substances.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Reading and Class discussion emphasized.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Reading list may include
Jeffrey Kripal, The Super Natural;
William Richards, Sacred Knowledge: Psychedelics and Religion;
Miranda Shaw, Passionate Enlightenment: Women and Tantric Buddhism;
Barbara Tedlock, The Woman in the Shaman’s Body;
Margot Adler, Drawing Down the Moon.
Grade based on class discussions and Journal-writing.

RLST 37511-01 SELECTED TOPICS IN RELIGION: RELIGION AND COMICS HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Rachel Wagner, Rothschild Place 111, Ext. 43249, rwagner@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: One course in religion; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences.

School of Humanities and Sciences  ·  201 Muller Center  ·  Ithaca College  ·  Ithaca, NY 14850  ·  (607) 274-3102  ·  Full Directory Listing