Courses: Current and Upcoming

Current Semester Courses

SPRING 2018

If you experience enrollment issues in HOMER with any of our courses, please let the instructor for that course know.

PHILOSOPHY

PHIL 10100-01 Introduction to Philosophy 1 HM HU LA LMPS 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,-03 Introduction to Philosophy 1 HM HU LA LMPS 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) Can I survive my death? (2) Am I free? (3) What is the relationship between the mind and the body? (4) Does God exist? (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, short essay exams.

PHIL 10100-04 Introduction to Philosophy 1 HM HU LA LMPS 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 10100-05,-06 Introduction to Philosophy 1 HM HU LA LMPS TIDE TMBS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Theodore Korzukhin, Rothschild Place 140, Ext. 43178, 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 & scepticism, a variety of moral theories, and moral relativism.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: TBA
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: TBA

PHIL 20100-01 Plato & Aristotle

PHIL 20300-01,-02,-03 Introduction to Logic

PHIL 20400-01 Choosing Wisely LA NS 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 Introduction to Ethics 1, HM, HU, LA LMSP, TIDE
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Frederik Kaufman, Rothschild Place 145, Ext. 41260, kaufmanf@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: Sophomore standing, or permission of instructor.
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 LMSP, TIDE
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Serge Grigoriev, Rothschild Place 142, Ext. 45713, sgrigoriev@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: Sophomore standing, or permission of instructor.
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 HM LA LMSP TMBS
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 26500-01 Philosophical Problems in Law HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Craig Duncan, Rothschild Place 144, Ext. 43580, cduncan@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: Sophomore standing, or permission of instructor.
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.

PHIL 27504-01 Selected Topics in Philosophy: Food Ethics 1 HU LA
3 Credits
INSTRUCTOR: Frederik Kaufman, Rothschild Place 145, Ext. 41260, kaufmanf@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
PREREQUISITES: Sophomore standing, or permission of instructor.
STUDENTS:
COURSE DESCRIPTION: In this course we will examine ethical questions surrounding the production, consumption, and meaning of food. Specific topics will include hunger, consumer choices, raising plants and animals for food, food workers, overconsumption, climate change and agriculture, food and paternalism.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture/discussion
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Three exams, several short written assignments, class participation, final exam.

PHIL 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: Sophomore standing, or permission of instructor.
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, Thoughts Without a Thinker;
Charles Johnson, Taming the Ox.
Journals and two exams.

PHIL 31100-01 Philosophy of Religion HU LA LMSP
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Craig Duncan, Rothschild Place 144, Ext. 43580, cduncan@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: At least one 20000-level PHIL course or permission of instructor.
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.

PHIL 32600-01 Seminar in Aesthetics HU LA
3 credits                     
INSTRUCTOR: Serge Grigoriev, Rothschild Place 142, Ext. 45713, sgrigoriev@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: At least one 20000-level PHIL course or permission of instructor.
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 a) respective roles of interpretation and experience in responding to artworks b) artwork as a form of expression and the problem of authorial intention c) relationship between artistic activities and biological capacities and needs of our species.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Seminar.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Two tests; participation; short papers.

PHIL 36200-01 Philosophy of Language LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Theodore Korzukhin, Rothschild Place 143, Ext. 47089, tkorzukhin@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: One level-2 course in philosophy; junior standing.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course will cover some of the recent work in the semantics of natural language. Much of the work done in recent years has been concerned with the meaning of modal vocabulary: various expressions of English whose meaning expresses some kind of possibility or necessity. The most interesting examples of such language are the epistemic ‘might’ ('The beer might be in the fridge’), the deontic ‘ought’ ('You ought to do your homework’), and the indicative and subjunctive conditionals ('If Oswald did not kill Kennedy, someone else did’ and ‘Had Oswald not killed Kennedy, someone else would have’). The main focus of our discussion will be on conditionals, with the aim to work through Bennett’s excellent Philosophical Guide to Conditionals.

PHIL 41000-01 Philosophy Capstone CP HU LA WI
3 credits                    
INSTRUCTOR: Tatiana Patrone, Rothschild Place 146, Ext. 47347, tpatrone@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: Senior standing or permission of instructor.
STUDENTS: Students finishing their major or minor in philosophy, graduating this year.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: PHIL 38100 is a survey course in the 19th century philosophy.  We will begin with a brief overview of Kant’s theoretical and practical philosophy since Kant was a precursor to German Idealism in general and to Hegel in particular.  After our first meeting on Kant, we will read and discuss seven primary texts written by 19th century thinkers (Hegel, Comte, Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and Bergson). The course has two main objectives.  First, it is meant to acquaint you with some of the important works, arguments, and concepts from the 19th century thought.  Second, it is meant to help you cultivate the skills essential for doing philosophy and, especially, for doing history of philosophy.  We will focus on reading primary texts (from Hegel to Bergson), on reconstructing the arguments in them within the context of their philosophical tradition, on assessing these arguments critically, and on writing short and longer essays in philosophy and in history of philosophy.  We will also work with some secondary sources in order to acquire the skill of writing papers in history of philosophy.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Weekly reading responses. Research paper. Completion of the ICC e-portfolio.

RELIGION

RLST 10400-01,-02 Introduction to the New Testament

RLST 10500-01 Introduction to World Religions: East and Indigenous 1 G H HM HU LA NACI MBS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Angela Rudert, Rothschild Place 110, Ext. 45155, arudert@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25
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 cultures and eastern religious cultures (primarily Hindu and Buddhist, but also including Sikh). 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; periodic written reading-responses.

RLST 10600-01,-02 Introduction to World Religions: Western and Modern 1 G H HM HU LA TIDE TMBS
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Shobhana Xavier, Rothschild Place 139, Ext. 45802, mxavier@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 25 per section
PREREQUISITES: None.
STUDENTS:
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course provides a survey of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam from a historical (pre-modern) perspective, thereafter we will engage with varied issues faced within these traditions from a contemporary perspective, particularly in terms of globalization (migration and diaspora) as well as authority and identity (gender and sexualities).
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Discussion and lecture.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: reading responses and examinations.
 
RLST 22100-01 RELIGION AND DEPTH PSYCHOLOGY 1 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, A Blue Fire;
Mark Epstein, Thoughts Without a Thinker;
Ginette Paris, Wisdom of the Psyche;
Terence Mckenna, The Archaic Revival.
Journals and two papers.

RLST 24000-01 Writing About Religion: Heaven and Hell HU LA WI
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Danielle Reuther-Wu, Rothschild Place 108, Ext. 45893, druetherwu@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 18
PREREQUISITES: WRTG 10600, ICSM 108xx, or ICSM 118xx.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Explores two thousand years of the history of heaven and hell with a focus on human meaning-making in religious practice, poetry, art, and digital media. Includes significant attention to the development of research and writing skills in the humanities.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Traditional.
 
RLST 24000-02 Writing About Religion: Heaven and Hell HU LA WI
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Marybeth Reuther-Wu, Rothschild Place 108, Ext. 45893, mruetherwu@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: WRTG 10600, ICSM 108xx, or ICSM 118xx.
COURSE DESCRIPTION: Explores two thousand years of the history of heaven and hell with a focus on human meaning-making in religious practice, poetry, art, and digital media. Includes significant attention to the development of research and writing skills in the humanities.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Lecture and discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Traditional.

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: Sophomore standing, or permission of instructor.
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, Thoughts Without a Thinker;
Charles Johnson, Taming the Ox.
Journals and two exams.

RLST 31100-01 Philosophy of Religion HU LA LMSP
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Craig Duncan, Rothschild Place 144, Ext. 43580, cduncan@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: At least one 20000-level PHIL course or permission of instructor.
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.

RLST 37513-01 Selected Topics in Religion: Islamic Mysticism HU LA
3 credits
INSTRUCTOR: Shobhana Xavier, Rothschild Place 139, Ext. 45802, mxavier@ithaca.edu
ENROLLMENT: 15
PREREQUISITES: Prerequisites: One 20000-level RLST course.
STUDENTS:
COURSE DESCRIPTION: This course introduces Sufism, a major mystical and spiritual tradition within Islam. The course will situate the development of Sufism from a pre-modern (historical) period, during which we will engage with poetry, philosophy, and theology, and work towards understanding how Sufism has transformed in the 21st century, especially in America and Europe, and its influence on popular culture.
COURSE FORMAT/STYLE: Class discussion.
COURSE REQUIREMENTS & GRADING: Writing assignments and research.

RLST 41000-01 Religious Studies Capstone

 

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