Current and Projected Future Upper-Level Philosophy Offerings

The following list is tentative only, but it should give some idea of upcoming course offerings at the 200 level and above. (All of the 100 level philosophy courses are offered multiple times per year.)

Fall 2017 - 2018

PHIL-201 Ancient Philosophy

This course examines the origin and development of Western philosophy in ancient Greece from Thales in the sixth century down to at least the fourth century B.C.E., concentrating on the central ideas of the pre-Socratics, the Sophists, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Some attention might also be given to the Hellenistic philosophers (Epicureans, Stoics, and Sceptics). This was a period of remarkable intellectual creativity in philosophy, mathematics, medicine, rhetorical theory, ethics, aesthetics and cosmology. Questions to be considered in this course will include: What are the nature and limits of knowledge? Is knowledge even possible? What is the nature of language? How reliable is perception? What is the true nature of reality? What is the origin and nature of the material world? Is moral knowledge possible? What is the nature of happiness, and what sort of life would make people happy?

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Fall

PHIL-202 Foundations of Moral Philosophy

This course is a survey of foundational, and normative, approaches to moral philosophy and their motivating moral questions. Topics will include virtue ethics, deontology, consequentialism, and other approaches. Some of the questions to be examined are: How is human nature related to morality? What are the grounds for moral obligations? Is there an ultimate moral principle? How do we reason about what to do? Can reason determine how we ought to live? What are moral judgments? Are there universal goods? What constitutes a morally worthwhile life? Can morality itself be challenged?

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Fall

PHIL-205 Symbolic Logic

An introduction to symbolic, or formal, deductive logic and techniques, such as truth tables, truth trees, and formal derivations. The emphasis will be on propositional (or sentential) logic and first-order predicate logic.

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

PHIL-304 Philosophy of Law

An introduction to philosophical analysis centering on the nature, extent and justification of law, the nature of legal thought, and the problems and theories of justice and the relationship between law, ethics and morality.

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Spring

PHIL-306 Professional Ethics

This course critically examines ethical issues that arise in professional life. The course will examine not only the general relationship between ethics and professional life but the particular consequences of ethical considerations within the student's own profession and the professions of others with whom the student must live and work.

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Fall

PHIL-307 Philosophy of Technology

Technology is a ubiquitous and defining force in our world. This course investigates how our conceptions of technology have emerged within philosophy, as well as the role technology plays in shaping how we live and how we reflect upon questions of meaning and value in life. Technological modes of understanding, organizing and transforming the world shape our relationships with others, with ourselves and with nature at fundamental levels. We will explore how these modes have emerged and why they emerged so predominantly within a Western social and intellectual context.

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Fall

PHIL-309 Feminist Theory

This course examines the main currents in contemporary feminist thought. Feminist theory explores the nature and effects of categories of sex and gender upon our ways of living, thinking and doing, while also challenging how gendered assumptions might shape our conceptions of identity and inquiry more generally. Different conceptions of sex and gender will be discussed, and the course will investigate how these concepts affect our lives in both concrete and symbolic ways. Special attention will be paid to how gendered assumptions color our understanding of knowledge production, experiences of embodiment and emotion, public and private activities, and the nature of ethical decision making.

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture 3, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Fall

PHIL-312 American Philosophy

This course examines the contributions of American philosophers from the colonial era to the present day. From the New England Transcendentalists of the 19th century, to the Pragmatism and Neo-Pragmatism of the 20th and 21st, American philosophy has responded to the demands of a pluralistic, ever-changing society. Because American philosophy is a reflection of American culture, it has also offered a unique perspective on perennial philosophical problems in ways that have differed sharply from dominant forms of European philosophy. Authors may include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Susan B. Anthony, C.S. Peirce, Jane Addams, William James, John Dewey, Richard Rorty, and Cornel West.

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Fall

PHIL-313 Philosophy of Film

Introduces students to models of film interpretation and critique that arose in pre-war Europe and that have burgeoned since; these models combine philosophical, aesthetic, economic and psychoanalytic methods of analysis. Among the topics considered are the nature of the image, ideology and alienation, trauma, fetishism, magical realism, realism and anti-realism in film.

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Fall

PHIL-402 Philosophy of Science

An examination of the nature of the scientific enterprise; possible discussion topics include the presuppositions of science, its logic, its claims to reliability, and its relationships to society and to problems of human values.

Prerequisites: Completion of one (1) course in philosophy (at the 200 level or higher) or a major in the College of Science or College of Health Science & Technology or PSYC-BS.

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Fall

PHIL-407 Philosophy of Action

This course explores the three central philosophical issues of action theory: what is an action, what is an agent, and what is metaphysical freedom. The first part of the course examines the most significant theories of action and the different ways in which they characterize intentional behavior. The second part of this course explores the nature of agency. The third part of this course focuses on the classical problem of free will and its relation to moral responsibility.

Prerequisites: Completion of one course in philosophy is required.

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Spring

PHIL-410 Medieval Philosophy

This course is an introduction to the philosophical thought during the medieval period (approximately 300 C.E. to 1500 C.E.). It will consider the thought of various major figures from the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic traditions, and will take up this period's two principal areas of concern: the philosophy of religion and theology, on the one hand, and metaphysics and epistemology, on the other.

Prerequisites: Must have completed at least one PHIL course - 200 level or higher.

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Spring

PHIL-416 Seminar in Philosophy

Examines some area of philosophy at an advanced undergraduate level. The area examined may vary from semester to semester. The seminar is designed especially for those whose interest in philosophy goes beyond the requirements of the Liberal Arts curriculum.

Prerequisites: Completion of two (2) courses in philosophy is required.

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Spring

PHIL-449 Special Topics

A critical examination of issues in some area of philosophy not covered in other philosophy courses.

Prerequisites: Completion of one course in philosophy is required.

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Spring

Spring 2017 - 2018

PHIL-202 Foundations of Moral Philosophy

This course is a survey of foundational, and normative, approaches to moral philosophy and their motivating moral questions. Topics will include virtue ethics, deontology, consequentialism, and other approaches. Some of the questions to be examined are: How is human nature related to morality? What are the grounds for moral obligations? Is there an ultimate moral principle? How do we reason about what to do? Can reason determine how we ought to live? What are moral judgments? Are there universal goods? What constitutes a morally worthwhile life? Can morality itself be challenged?

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Fall

PHIL-203 Modern Philosophy

This course examines the history of modern philosophy, from Descartes through Kant. It concentrates on the development of modern thought, examining the concepts of mind, body, and causation among others. This period marked the beginning of modern science, with a rich ferment of ideas, and the philosophy of the period is essential to understanding modern science as well as contemporary problems about consciousness, mind/body interaction, causation, and so on. Questions to be considered in this course include the following: What can we know? How do we come to know what we can know? What is the scope and what are the limits of our knowledge? What is the nature of reality? Do we have access to reality? How is causal interaction possible, if at all? Does God exist, and if so, how do we know and what relation does God have to the world?

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Spring

PHIL-205 Symbolic Logic

An introduction to symbolic, or formal, deductive logic and techniques, such as truth tables, truth trees, and formal derivations. The emphasis will be on propositional (or sentential) logic and first-order predicate logic.

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer

PHIL-301 Philosophy of Religion

This course will examine critically definitions, assumptions, and arguments central to religion. Topics may include interpreting the nature of religion, arguments for and against the existence of God, the relation between theology and philosophy, the relation between God and the world, paganism, the problem of evil, and the nature of religious language and experience.

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Fall

PHIL-303 Philosophy of Art/Aesthetics

This course introduces students to thinking philosophically about the nature of art and its relation to other human experiences. Among the topics considered are the aesthetic experience, the relation between morality and art, ugliness in art and truth in art.

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Spring

PHIL-305 Philosophy of Peace

An introduction to some of the philosophical dimensions of the search for world peace, including the elements that would constitute a just and lasting peace, nations as moral entities, justice and national self-interest, force and violence, the morality of the use of force, peace-making and peace-keeping groups.

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Spring

PHIL-316 Bioethics and Society

This course introduces students to some of the ethical considerations and problems that arise in the context of medical practice, biological science, health care policy, and related research. Issues that may be covered include: abortion; stem cell research; human cloning; euthanasia; informed consent; human organ procurement; health care allocation and how it is approached in various countries; bioethical concerns arising from human caused climate change and other environmental issues impacting public health concerns around the globe. Students will become familiar with the concepts and principles of bioethics while engaging with case studies and related media. Part of the Philosophy immersion, the Ethics immersion, the Global Justice immersion, the Philosophy minor, the Ethics minor, and the Philosophy major. May also be taken to fulfill the Ethical perspective, the Global perspective, or as an elective.

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture 3, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Spring

PHIL-317 Renaissance Philosophy

This course provides an overview of the Renaissance (c. 1350-1650), one of the most important cultural revolutions of Western civilization affecting nearly all aspects of European life—the arts, the relation with the natural world, and the attitude toward religion, the past, and politics. The “Renaissance person” came to denote a universal individual whose knowledge spaces over the entire realm of experience. The overarching theme of the Renaissance – humanism – prefigures contemporary theories of posthumanism, transhumanism, and the critique of anthropocentrism in general. Thinkers considered in this course include Petrarca, Valla, Pompanazzi, Cusanus, Ficino, Pico della Mirandola, Machiavelli, Erasmus, Luther, Suárez, More, Bruno, Telesio, Copernicus, Kepler, Galileo, Montaigne, and Bacon.

Prerequisites: None

Credits: Lecture 3, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Biannual

PHIL-403 Social and Political Philosophy

An examination of some of the main problems of social and political philosophy through an analysis, comparison and critical examination of various views concerning the natures of individuality and society and the relations between them.

Prerequisites: Completion of one (1) course in any of the following disciplines: PHIL, POLS, SOCI, or CRIM.

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Fall

PHIL-406 Contemporary Philosophy

This course examines developments in philosophy since 1900. During this time philosophy evolved along with science, politics, and the arts. In some cases philosophy responded to new discoveries and theories while at other times it precipitated movements that had far-reaching effects. A range of philosophical approaches may be discussed, including existentialism, experimental philosophy, feminist theory, hermeneutics, logical positivism, neo-pragmatism, phenomenology, and postmodernism. The connections among different approaches may also be addressed.

Prerequisites: Must have completed at least one PHIL course - 200 level or higher.

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Fall

PHIL-409 Existentialism

Existentialism is distinguished by its emphasis on human existence and the way its meaning is created through actions and choices. Existentialism focuses on the concept of individual freedom in an effort to respond authentically to the possibilities which life presents, emphasizing the importance of certain psychological states (e.g., anxiety, anticipation of death, fear, care, responsibility, and hope) and extreme situations in bringing us to an awareness of our radical freedom. This course will consider such philosophers and writers as Dostoevski, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Berdyaev, Heidegger, Jaspers, Camus, Sartre, Kafka, Beauvoir, Marcel, Buber, Ortega, and Unamuno.

Prerequisites: Completion of one course in philosophy is required.

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Fall

PHIL-415 Ethical Theory

This course examines the theoretical basis of ethics and morality, namely the theoretical commitments that enter into any judgment that a particular action is right or wrong, with special emphasis on a particular thinker or theoretical approach. Topics may include different ways of understanding the concepts of right and wrong; the existence or non-existence of moral facts; different criteria of moral actions; different conceptions of the good life.

Prerequisites: Completion of one course in philosophy is required.

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Spring

PHIL-416 Seminar in Philosophy

Examines some area of philosophy at an advanced undergraduate level. The area examined may vary from semester to semester. The seminar is designed especially for those whose interest in philosophy goes beyond the requirements of the Liberal Arts curriculum.

Prerequisites: Completion of two (2) courses in philosophy is required.

Credits: Lecture, Credits 3

Typically Offered: Spring