Courses: Current and Upcoming

Next Semester Courses

FALL 2015

PHILOSOPHY

PHIL 10100-01,-03 Introduction to Philosophy
1 HM HU LA TIDE TMBS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Frederik Kaufman, Rothschild Place 145, Ext. 41260, kaufmanf@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25 each section
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,-05 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 10100-04,-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 110, Ext. 45155, tkorzukhin@ithaca.edu  
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 & skepticism, a variety of moral theories, and moral relativism.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: TBA
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: TBA

PHIL 10200-01 Introduction to Philosophy: Greek Foundations HU LA
3 CREDITS
INSTRUCTOR: Robert Klee, Rothschild Place 141, Ext. 41276, klee@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: None.
STUDENTS: Any.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Introduction to philosophy through the study of Ancient Greek thought as the foundation of the Western philosophical tradition. Covers the pre-Socratic Philosophers, Plato, and Aristotle.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: TBA 

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
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: Lecture, group work through problems, discussion of philosophical issues.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Homework, exams, and participation.

PHIL 21200-01,-02 Introduction to Ethics 1 HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Craig Duncan, Rothschild Place  144, Ext. 43580, cduncan@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25 per section
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is an introduction to the philosophical study of ethics. We will examine such questions as: Is there such a thing as objective ethical truth, or is ethics just relative to a culture or even to an individual? If it can be objective, how are we supposed to know what is right and what is wrong? As part of this examination, we will look critically at several prominent philosophical attempts to supply an objective foundation to ethics—for example, attempts to found ethics on Virtue, or Reason, or God, or Happiness. We will also examine what implications these different approaches to ethics have for real-life moral dilemmas. 
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: papers, exams, participation.

PHIL 22000-01 Political Philosophy HU
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Robert Klee, Rothschild Place 141, Ext. 41276, klee@ithaca.edu 
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: One course in the humanities or social sciences; sophomore standing.
STUDENTS: Any.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course is an introduction to the central questions of political philosophy.  Topics include the disputed necessity of a political authority; various attempts to justify a citizen's political obligation to comply with the demands of the state; an examination of the merits and weaknesses of democracy as a form of governing; the proper scope of a right to liberty within a democratic society; and questions about distributive justice, including the redistribution of wealth to achieve various socio-political ends. 
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: TBA.

PHIL 23000-01 Bioethics 1 HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Tatiana Patrone, Rothschild Place 146, Ext. 47347, tpatrone@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
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 23000-02 Bioethics 1 HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Jonathan Peeters, Rothschild Place 138, Ext. 43077, jpeeters@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITE: Sophomore standing or above.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will focus on a selection of applied ethical topics. Possible topics include: abortion, cloning, euthanasia, and resource allocation.
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, quizzes, term paper, exams.

PHIL 25000-01 Environmental Ethics 1 HM HU LA TQSF 
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Frederik Kaufman, Rothschild Place 145, Ext. 41260, kaufmanf@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITE: Sophomore standing or above, or the permission of the instructor.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: 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?
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: 3 exams, final exam, several short written assignments (class participation); traditional grading.

PHIL 32600-01 Seminar in Aesthetics HU LA
3 credits                      
INSTRUCTOR: Serge Grigoriev, Rothschild Place 142, Ext. 45713, sgrigoriev@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: A background in philosophy or the arts, including three courses in the humanities or the fine arts.
STUDENTS: Students with background and interest in philosophical arguments
COURSE DESCRIPTION: We will discuss some of the currently debated topics in aesthetic theory and philosophy of the arts, focusing specifically on the respective roles of interpretation and experience in responding to artworks. We will examine the way in which this issue is addressed by the post-modernist and existentialist traditions, as well as by the pragmatist theory of aesthetic experience and the general expression theory of the arts.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Seminar.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two tests; participation; short papers.

PHIL 36200-01 Philosophy of Language LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Brendan Murday, Rothschild Place 143, Ext. 47029, bmurday@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisites: One level-2 course in philosophy; junior standing.
STUDENTS: One course in logic (PHIL 20300, PHIL 32100, or equivalent) is strongly recommended as a prerequisite or co-requisite.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Examination of some of the prominent topics in contemporary philosophy of language in the “analytic” tradition (that is, we will not take be investigating postmodernist and “continental” philosophy of language in this course). Here are a few topics one might discuss in a philosophy of language course (though not all of these will be addressed in this particular class): can an adequate theory of linguistic meaning allow that each of us speak our own language, or is linguistic meaning essentially shared?  Does a word have a meaning because the speaker intends to convey something by using it, or because there is a convention within a community to use a word in that way?  How do words refer – does the name ‘Obama’ refer to a certain individual because that individual has certain properties, or because I intend to be talking about that individual, or because that is whom other people refer to when they use the name, or is there another explanation? Is there a sense of “meaning” in which both words have meaning and natural phenomena have meaning: i.e., do thunderclouds mean rain, and if so, is that the same kind of “meaning” that words exhibit?  Do the expressions ‘Barack Obama’ and ‘The 44th President of the United States’ have the same meanings?  What about ‘Mark Twain’ and ‘Samuel Clemens’?  What is the meaning of the name ‘Moloch’ in the sentence, ‘There is no such thing as Moloch’?  What is the relationship between literal meaning and metaphorical meaning, or between denotative meaning and connotative meaning? Are slurs and pejoratives meaningful expressions? 
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture with heavy emphasis on class discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Four papers and one exam or term paper; class participation.

PHIL 38400-01 Existentialism HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Tatiana Patrone, Rothschild Place 146, Ext. 47347, tpatrone@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: One course in philosophy; two additional courses in humanities or social sciences.
STUDENTS: Interested students of all disciplines (who meet the prerequisites) are welcome.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will focus on the XX-C existentialism, and will mostly deal with the philosophical (not literary) works of Heidegger and Sartre. We will relate the thought of the XX-C existentialists to the phenomenological tradition (especially to Husserl). We will not explicitly address the thought of the pre-cursors to existentialism (such as Kierkegaard and Nietzsche). The students should expect to do a fair bit of reading (about 40 pages of primary sources, and 20 pages of secondary literature per week).
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Three papers (3-page summary paper, 4-page compare-and-contrast paper, and 10-page research paper); weekly contributions to electronic discussion board; grading based on the preceding requirements; attendance and participation will be taken into consideration.

RELIGION

RLST 10500-01 through -03 Introduction to World Religions: Indigenous and Eastern 1 G H HM HU LA
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 Walshe, The World of Shamanism;
Leslie Marmon Silko, Ceremony;
Damien Keown, Buddhism: A Very Short Introduction;
Alan Watts, The Way of Zen;
Joanna Macy, Widening Circles.
Letter grade based on exams and class discussions.

RLST 10600-01-02 Introduction to World Religions: Western and Modern 1 G H HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Staff, Rothschild Place 140, Ext. 41378
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 G H DV 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. [Check with instructor about status of paperwork to add ICC Diversity attribute to this course for Fall 2015.]
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion-oriented, with short lectures.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Letter grade based on exams, written assignments, and class participation.

RLST 37502-01 Selected Topics in Religion: Religion and the 1960s 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 Religion minors; any others interested.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will study the religious aspects of the decade of the 1960s. The cultural and intellectual crosscurrents of the sixties profoundly affected global religions both at the time and for the ensuing period. We will study the period both for its own sake in terms of historical interest and for its continuing influences on our culture up to the present.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Seminar style discussions.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Journals and class discussion.
Readings may include:
Robert Ellwood, The Sixties Spiritual Awakening;
Martin Luther King Jr., Where Do We Go From Here: Chaos or Community?;
Daniel Berrigan, The Geography of Faith;
Mary Daly, Beyond God the Father;
Vine Deloria, God is Red;
Chogyam Trungpa, Cutting Through Spiritual Materialism;
Ram Dass, Be Here Now.

RLST 37509-01 Selected Topics in Religion: Religion and Prisons HU LA 
3 credits 
INSTRUCTOR: Nancy Menning, Rothschild Place 139, Ext. 45802, nmenning@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: One course in religion; two additional courses in the humanities and/or social sciences.
STUDENTS: Motivated students who do not meet the course prerequisites are encouraged to request an override through IC Workflow.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course explores incarceration in the United States and elsewhere, through the lens of eastern, western, and indigenous religious systems. We will explore the history of incarceration, cultural (including scriptural) perspectives on imprisonment, religious influences on prison design, religious arguments for prison reform, and restrictions on religious practices in prison settings.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Reading-centered discussion and projects.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Letter grade based on reading journals, written assignments, creative projects, and class participation.

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