Department of Philosophy Minors

A minor is a related set of academic courses consisting of no fewer than 15 credit hours. The Department of Philosophy is home to two minors:

PHIL-MN Philosophy Minor

The philosophy minor provides students with the critical skill of philosophical analysis while they take courses on a wide variety of issues central to everyone’s existence. Students get a solid grasp of the major philosophers, movements, and topics of philosophical debate that continue to shape our lives and how we act. This minor is closed to students majoring in philosophy.

Course
Electives
Choose five of the following:*
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
PHIL-302
Symbolic Logic
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PHIL-308
Environmental Philosophy
A variety of decision procedures may be and have been used to determine what to do regarding various environmental issues. We might make the choice that has the least worst alternatives, or the best alternatives, or is approved by the majority of those who vote or of those who are affected, etc. Each alternative can determine what is reasonable and moral, and assessing them presents theoretical problems. We examine each in terms of morality, examine their presuppositions and consequences, determine whether we can assess them, and if so, how. Students begin to learn to be conscious of and assess the decision procedures that are often buried in policy recommendations regarding particular environmental problems.
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.
PHIL-310
Theories of Knowledge
Epistemology, or the theory of knowledge, examines how we come to know what we know. This course covers historical and contemporary approaches to the question of what knowledge is, what makes a belief true, and how beliefs are justified. Philosophical skepticism, the idea that we actually know nothing at all, will also be discussed, as well as possible responses. Other topics may include epistemic relativism, feminist epistemology, naturalism, the internalism/externalism debate, and the application of epistemology to other fields.
PHIL-311
East Asian Philosophy
This course is an introduction to the origin and development of the philosophical traditions of primarily China and Japan through a consideration of selected thinkers, schools, and classic texts of Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Zen. Questions of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics are emphasized with reference to the nature of reality and the person, social harmony and self-realization, causality, right action, and enlightenment. Comparisons may also be made with Western philosophers, both contemporary and classical.
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.
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.
PHIL-314
Philosophy of Vision and Imaging
This course examines how philosophers and others have understood the nature and primacy of sight. It explores how technologies of seeing and imaging have influenced theories of sight and our most dominant and authoritative practices of seeing and representing in the humanities and the arts, as well as in the natural and social sciences. The course will focus on the impact these theories and practices of seeing and representing both analogue and digital have on the nature of knowing, as well as on how they shape and mediate our experiences of personal and social identity and agency more generally.
PHIL-315
Responsible Knowing
What we do is connected to what we know. Acting well depends on appropriate evaluation of perception, logic, and evidence, and acting on our beliefs commits us to various ethical outcomes. In addition, understanding how our minds work and how we produce knowledge in teams and institutions can improve the reliability of what we know and can assist us in achieving ethical goals. This course develops advanced critical thinking skills and investigates how knowledge claims and value claims interact in order to shed light on the conditions that make responsible knowing possible. We will study how we produce responsible knowledge individually and collectively: from how we make ethically rational choices in our own lives to how society directs research priorities in science and technology. Topics may include: rational decision-making, cognitive bias, moral psychology, social epistemology, epistemic and ethical relativism, risk and uncertainty, research integrity, and values in science.
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.
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.
PHIL-401
Great Thinkers
An examination of the thought of some of those philosophers who have been most influential in the history of ideas. An attempt is made to cover in some depth the works of one or more of these great thinkers. The student will begin to recognize the enduring nature of some of our most pressing problems, as well as the intellectual foundation of proposed solutions. (Prerequisite: one course in philosophy, or permission of instructor) Class 3, Credit 3 (varies)
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.
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.
PHIL-404
Philosophy of Mind
The Philosophy of Mind includes issues of metaphysics, epistemology, logic, psychology, aesthetics, linguistics, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and biology, to name a few. Issues to be investigated include: Is there an ontological difference between minds and bodies? Could there be minds without bodies? Can I know that I have a mind? Are there other minds in the universe? Can I be conscious of my own consciousness? Can other things have the kinds of experiences which I have?
PHIL-405
Philosophy of the Social Sciences
This course examines the methods, foundations, assumptions and purposes of the social sciences. In particular, it will examine the ways in which science and non-science are distinguished as well as the similarities and differences between the social and natural sciences. Special attention will be paid to the ways in which both Anglo-American and European philosophical traditions approach the social sciences. Other topics may include the role of values in social scientific inquiry, the processes of explanation and theory confirmation in the social sciences, and various conceptions of interpretation and meaning in the social sciences. The course will also examine how the tensions between claims of universality and claims of relativism, claims of objectivity and claims of partiality should be understood within the social sciences.
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.
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.
PHIL-408
Critical Social Theory
Introduces students to models of cultural critique that arose in pre-war Germany and that have burgeoned in our contemporary aesthetic and philosophical practices. These models combine philosophical, aesthetic, economic and psychoanalytic methods of analysis. Among the topics considered are alienation and reification, hegemony or false consciousness, trauma, fetishism, the authoritarian personality and state, advertising and modern technology, and the relative autonomy of art.
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.
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.
PHIL-411
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is the study of the general features of existence or reality. This course focuses on the fundamental concepts of being as developed in several major philosophers from the Greeks to the present. Discussion will focus on such topics as God, time, space, substance, essence, existence, process, causality, possibility, necessity, chance, and value.
PHIL-412
Nineteenth Century Philosophy
The nineteenth century marks a radical shift in the history of philosophy and culture and stands in its own right as a distinct period of thought between the modern era and the contemporary era. This course will consider such philosophical positions as idealism, empiricism, existentialistic romanticism, Marxism, evolution, nihilism, positivism, pragmatism, and the role of the arts and aesthetics. Philosophers considered include Schelling, Fichte, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Mill, Marx, Darwin, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Comte, Bradley, Green, Peirce, and James.
PHIL-413
Philosophy and Literary Theory
Introduces students to models of literary theory from the mid-twentieth century to the present and familiarizes them with the key works of literature to be analyzed. Prepares students to practice questioning and critiquing texts using the philosophical, aesthetic, economic and psychoanalytic methods of analysis which have come to form the foundation of contemporary literary theory. Among the topics considered are culture and imperialism, performativity, the encounter of modern literature and modern technology, structuralism and semiotics, the role of psychoanalysis, the role of the academy, and the relative autonomy of art.
PHIL-414
Philosophy of Language
This course examines how philosophers and others have understood the nature of language. It explores the classical philosophical contexts in metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics and rhetoric in which concerns about the nature of language arose. In addition, the course focuses on recent debates, within both contemporary analytic and continental traditions of philosophy. Some likely areas of inquiry will be: theories of reference, description and naming; theories of meaning, metaphor and narrative; functionalist, pragmatist and naturalist accounts; structuralist, post-structuralist, and hermeneutic accounts, among others. The prominence of one or the other of these debates and approaches will vary.
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.
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.
PHIL-417
Continental European Philosophy
This course will provide an overview of some of the major currents in Continental European philosophy, the distinctive philosophical approach and style of thinking that emerges in the early twentieth century largely as a critical response to German Idealism, Marxism, and the antecedent existentialism of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. Continental European philosophy is rooted in the history of philosophy, attentive to the world of experience, and develops in constant conversation with various other areas of human activities such as literature, politics, psychoanalysis, and religion. Among the major currents to be examined in the course are phenomenology, hermeneutics, deconstruction, structuralism, poststructuralism, French feminist theory, posthumanism, and speculative realism. Traditional philosophical topics such as ontology, metaphysics, epistemology, language analysis, feminist theory, ethics, and politics will be considered in the light of their reassessment by Continental European philosophy. Figures covered may include Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Gadamer, Foucault, Levinas, Deleuze, Nancy, Derrida, Agamben, Irigaray, and Žižek, among others.
PHIL-449
Special Topics
A critical examination of issues in some area of philosophy not covered in other philosophy courses.
PHIL-571
Honors Philosophy
A critical examination of issues in some area of philosophy, but especially geared for honors students and others who wish to participate in an honors section.

* At least one course must be at the 400 level.

For further information, contact the Philosophy Minor Advisor:

John T. Sanders
John T. Sanders
Professor
(585) 475-2465

ETHICS-MN Ethics Minor

The ethics minor provides students with the ability to recognize ethical issues and to think critically to resolve them, both generally and within their chosen discipline. Students also learn how ethical problems can result from complex social structures and how changing structural features may avoid ethical problems. Three courses in philosophy are required plus two electives from the approved list, at least one of which must be outside philosophy. Only one 100-level course may be counted as part of the minor. This minor is closed to students majoring in philosophy.

Course
Required Courses
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?
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.
Electives
Choose three of the following (at least one course must be in philosophy and at least one course must be outside philosophy)
BIOL-255
Genetics and Society
Students will learn how genetic underpinnings of human health are discovered and how new discoveries impact societal values, prompting debates around ethical consideration of their use.
CRIM-299
Crime, Justice, and Ethics
This course provides an introduction to ethical theories, consideration of justice as operationalized in contemporary criminal justice and emerging issues that accompany technological advancements such as video surveillance. Students will explore how ethical frameworks are embedded, implicitly and explicitly, in fundamental questions that are resolved by police, judges, and prosecutors. Conceptions of justice and criminal justice will be considered as they relate to criminological and criminal justice theories such as Procedural Justice/Legitimacy theories, Restorative Justice, as well as rationales for punishment. Implications for evaluation of technological changes in criminal justice will also be considered from the perspectives of ethical choices.
DHSS-103
Ethics in the Digital Era
The course will examine various contemporary and global issues of digital citizenship and new ethical challenges raised by digital technology. The course will raise questions regarding how digital technology has changed citizenship practices: Who has access to full citizenship, and why? What responsibilities are entailed in digital citizenship? Themes may include the nature and value of digital technology; the relations between digital technologies and knowledge-making/meaning-making; the value of information privacy; the role of digital media in society and human interactions; issues arising from the life-cycle of new digital tools and data repositories; and questions broadly related to questions of accessibility, representation, and sustainability as applied to digital technologies. Topics may also include research ethics, piracy and file sharing, hacktivism, copyright and fair use, end-user license agreements, alternative news media, and participatory culture. Students will take up both broad ethical issues and specific professional codes and policy in diverse domains.
ECON-102
Economics, Ethics, and Society
This course introduces students to an historical overview of economic theories and policies with special emphasis on their ethical perspectives and implications. The course examines the main economic theories including, but not limited to, Classical Economics, Keynesian Macroeconomics, Austrian and Marxist Economics. The course will also examine the ethical aspects of Capitalism, Feudalism, Socialism and other economic forms.
ENGL-314
Ethics in the Graphic Memoir
Graphic novels demonstrate a concern for constructed narrative within a visual structure, character development, and plot strategies. Graphic memoirs, or “auto-graphic novels,” tell true tales of human experiences and global events, exploring the boundaries between fact and fiction, public and private, interior and exterior, visual and textual, seen and unseen, traumatic pasts and their futures. Graphic memoirs are interested in how these distinctions, and the questions of individual and collective truth, transparency, and communicability they open onto, help to delineate ethical behavior and belief systems. Holding a mirror up to the multiple ways in which contemporary cultures frame and reframe individual and collective experience, graphic memoirs render their subjects’ and cultures’ ethical premises and guidelines explicit, and, therefore, enable readers to revisit, rethink, and redraw accepted ways of behaving, understanding, and circulating. Texts used in this course will be explored through this lens. We will focus on the ethical considerations and concerns conveyed in and by graphic memoirs in order to uncover unique forms of book-length sequential art, as well as enhance critical thinking about ethics and media literacy skills. Designated as writing intensive, this course emphasizes writing practices, recognizing the role writing plays in the formation of knowledge, and the framing of a specific academic specialization, as well as genre.
ISSE-684
Engineering and the Developing World
ISTE-110
Ethics in Computing
Computing and the Internet are now integral parts of our lives. In this course, we consider and discuss how ethical theories and principles can inform and provide guidance about interactions and uses of computing technologies. Topics include the development interpretation, and application of ethical theory, moral values, personal responsibility, codes of conduct, ethics in the real and virtual worlds, intellectual property, and information security. This is a Writing Intensive (WI) course. Students are provided with guidance and opportunities for improving informal and formal writing skills. Grades received on writing assignments will constitute a significant component of the final course grade.
MEDS-360
Placebo, Suggestion, Research, and Health
This course provides a foundation for understanding the history and science of placebo effects with a focus on how these effects influence research design, therapeutics and health. A model of placebo effects – comprised of conditioning, expectation, social influence and paradigm – is developed and applied to both health and common diseases in order to recognize that all health interventions are at least placebos. The question is whether they are anything more. The course structure and process include assigned readings, quizzes, creative class projects, studying advertisements, hearing from pharmaceutical company representatives, and class discussion designed to provoke critical thinking.
MGMT-340
Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility
This course applies concepts of ethics to business at the macro level and at the micro level. At the macro level the course examines competing business ideologies exploring the ethical concerns of capitalism as well as the role of business in society. At the micro level the course examines the role of the manager in establishing an ethical climate with an emphasis on the development of ethical leadership in business organizations. The following topics are typically discussed: the stakeholder theory of the firm, corporate governance, marketing and advertising ethics, the rights and responsibilities of employees, product safety, ethical reasoning, business's responsibility to the environment, moving from a culture of compliance to a culture of integrity, and ethical leadership.
NSSA-221
System Administration I
This course is designed to give students an understanding of the role of the system administrator in large organizations. This will be accomplished through a discussion of many of the tasks and tools of system administration. Students will participate in both a lecture section and a separate lab section. The technologies discussed in this class include: operating systems, system security, and service deployment strategies.
PHIL-102
Introduction to Moral Issues
This course examines ethical questions that arise in the course of day-to-day individual and social life. Some consideration will be given to ethical theory and its application to such questions, but emphasis will be on basic moral questions and practical issues. Examples of typical issues to be examined are: What are the grounds for moral obligations like keeping promises or obeying the law? How do we reason about what to do? Examples of typical moral issues that may be introduced are capital punishment, euthanasia, abortion, corporate responsibility, the treatment of animals, and so forth.
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.
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.
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.
PHIL-308
Environmental Philosophy
A variety of decision procedures may be and have been used to determine what to do regarding various environmental issues. We might make the choice that has the least worst alternatives, or the best alternatives, or is approved by the majority of those who vote or of those who are affected, etc. Each alternative can determine what is reasonable and moral, and assessing them presents theoretical problems. We examine each in terms of morality, examine their presuppositions and consequences, determine whether we can assess them, and if so, how. Students begin to learn to be conscious of and assess the decision procedures that are often buried in policy recommendations regarding particular environmental problems.
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.
PHIL-311
East Asian Philosophy
This course is an introduction to the origin and development of the philosophical traditions of primarily China and Japan through a consideration of selected thinkers, schools, and classic texts of Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Zen. Questions of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics are emphasized with reference to the nature of reality and the person, social harmony and self-realization, causality, right action, and enlightenment. Comparisons may also be made with Western philosophers, both contemporary and classical.
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.
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.
PUBL-201
Ethics, Values, and Public Policy
This course focuses on the connections and interplay between personal and social values, ethics, and public policy. It explores how values and norms influence public policies and how the resulting expressions of values through public policies impact the implementation and effectiveness of policy choices. It also delves into how different countries make widely different policy choices based on their citizens’ values and social norms. The course also considers how new developments in science and technology influence the interplay between values, ethics, and policy across multiple issues. In addition, this course explores how to formulate values-based explanations of certain public policy preferences. Topics range across the policy issue spectrum.
SOCI-225
Social Inequality
This course examines various forms of social inequality, including economic, political, health, higher education, race and sex inequality. It uses a variety of sociology's ideas to explain why these kinds of inequality exist, how they persist and what can be done about them.

For further information, contact the Ethics Minor Advisor:

Wade L. Robison
Wade L. Robison
Ezra A. Hale Professor of Applied Ethics
(585) 475-6643

Department of Philosophy Immersions

An immersion is a set of three related general education courses in a focused area linked by a theme or discipline. The Department of Philosophy is home to five immersions:

PHIL-IM Philosophy Immersion

The philosophy immersion provides students with an opportunity to study the nature, methods, problems, and achievements of philosophical inquiry. The immersion emphasizes the following goals: the ability to think rationally and critically, an awareness of ethical values, an appreciation of aesthetic values, an awareness of how the past affects the present and future, and an understanding of the relationship between individuals and the social settings with which they interact. This immersion is closed to students majoring in philosophy.

Course
Electives
Choose three of the following:*
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?
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?
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?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
PHIL-308
Environmental Philosophy
A variety of decision procedures may be and have been used to determine what to do regarding various environmental issues. We might make the choice that has the least worst alternatives, or the best alternatives, or is approved by the majority of those who vote or of those who are affected, etc. Each alternative can determine what is reasonable and moral, and assessing them presents theoretical problems. We examine each in terms of morality, examine their presuppositions and consequences, determine whether we can assess them, and if so, how. Students begin to learn to be conscious of and assess the decision procedures that are often buried in policy recommendations regarding particular environmental problems.
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.
PHIL-310
Theories of Knowledge
Epistemology, or the theory of knowledge, examines how we come to know what we know. This course covers historical and contemporary approaches to the question of what knowledge is, what makes a belief true, and how beliefs are justified. Philosophical skepticism, the idea that we actually know nothing at all, will also be discussed, as well as possible responses. Other topics may include epistemic relativism, feminist epistemology, naturalism, the internalism/externalism debate, and the application of epistemology to other fields.
PHIL-311
East Asian Philosophy
This course is an introduction to the origin and development of the philosophical traditions of primarily China and Japan through a consideration of selected thinkers, schools, and classic texts of Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Zen. Questions of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics are emphasized with reference to the nature of reality and the person, social harmony and self-realization, causality, right action, and enlightenment. Comparisons may also be made with Western philosophers, both contemporary and classical.
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.
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.
PHIL-314
Philosophy of Vision and Imaging
This course examines how philosophers and others have understood the nature and primacy of sight. It explores how technologies of seeing and imaging have influenced theories of sight and our most dominant and authoritative practices of seeing and representing in the humanities and the arts, as well as in the natural and social sciences. The course will focus on the impact these theories and practices of seeing and representing both analogue and digital have on the nature of knowing, as well as on how they shape and mediate our experiences of personal and social identity and agency more generally.
PHIL-315
Responsible Knowing
What we do is connected to what we know. Acting well depends on appropriate evaluation of perception, logic, and evidence, and acting on our beliefs commits us to various ethical outcomes. In addition, understanding how our minds work and how we produce knowledge in teams and institutions can improve the reliability of what we know and can assist us in achieving ethical goals. This course develops advanced critical thinking skills and investigates how knowledge claims and value claims interact in order to shed light on the conditions that make responsible knowing possible. We will study how we produce responsible knowledge individually and collectively: from how we make ethically rational choices in our own lives to how society directs research priorities in science and technology. Topics may include: rational decision-making, cognitive bias, moral psychology, social epistemology, epistemic and ethical relativism, risk and uncertainty, research integrity, and values in science.
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.
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.
PHIL-401
Great Thinkers
An examination of the thought of some of those philosophers who have been most influential in the history of ideas. An attempt is made to cover in some depth the works of one or more of these great thinkers. The student will begin to recognize the enduring nature of some of our most pressing problems, as well as the intellectual foundation of proposed solutions. (Prerequisite: one course in philosophy, or permission of instructor) Class 3, Credit 3 (varies)
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.
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.
PHIL-404
Philosophy of Mind
The Philosophy of Mind includes issues of metaphysics, epistemology, logic, psychology, aesthetics, linguistics, cognitive science, artificial intelligence, and biology, to name a few. Issues to be investigated include: Is there an ontological difference between minds and bodies? Could there be minds without bodies? Can I know that I have a mind? Are there other minds in the universe? Can I be conscious of my own consciousness? Can other things have the kinds of experiences which I have?
PHIL-405
Philosophy of the Social Sciences
This course examines the methods, foundations, assumptions and purposes of the social sciences. In particular, it will examine the ways in which science and non-science are distinguished as well as the similarities and differences between the social and natural sciences. Special attention will be paid to the ways in which both Anglo-American and European philosophical traditions approach the social sciences. Other topics may include the role of values in social scientific inquiry, the processes of explanation and theory confirmation in the social sciences, and various conceptions of interpretation and meaning in the social sciences. The course will also examine how the tensions between claims of universality and claims of relativism, claims of objectivity and claims of partiality should be understood within the social sciences.
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.
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.
PHIL-408
Critical Social Theory
Introduces students to models of cultural critique that arose in pre-war Germany and that have burgeoned in our contemporary aesthetic and philosophical practices. These models combine philosophical, aesthetic, economic and psychoanalytic methods of analysis. Among the topics considered are alienation and reification, hegemony or false consciousness, trauma, fetishism, the authoritarian personality and state, advertising and modern technology, and the relative autonomy of art.
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.
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.
PHIL-411
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is the study of the general features of existence or reality. This course focuses on the fundamental concepts of being as developed in several major philosophers from the Greeks to the present. Discussion will focus on such topics as God, time, space, substance, essence, existence, process, causality, possibility, necessity, chance, and value.
PHIL-412
Nineteenth Century Philosophy
The nineteenth century marks a radical shift in the history of philosophy and culture and stands in its own right as a distinct period of thought between the modern era and the contemporary era. This course will consider such philosophical positions as idealism, empiricism, existentialistic romanticism, Marxism, evolution, nihilism, positivism, pragmatism, and the role of the arts and aesthetics. Philosophers considered include Schelling, Fichte, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Mill, Marx, Darwin, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Comte, Bradley, Green, Peirce, and James.
PHIL-413
Philosophy and Literary Theory
Introduces students to models of literary theory from the mid-twentieth century to the present and familiarizes them with the key works of literature to be analyzed. Prepares students to practice questioning and critiquing texts using the philosophical, aesthetic, economic and psychoanalytic methods of analysis which have come to form the foundation of contemporary literary theory. Among the topics considered are culture and imperialism, performativity, the encounter of modern literature and modern technology, structuralism and semiotics, the role of psychoanalysis, the role of the academy, and the relative autonomy of art.
PHIL-414
Philosophy of Language
This course examines how philosophers and others have understood the nature of language. It explores the classical philosophical contexts in metaphysics, epistemology, aesthetics and rhetoric in which concerns about the nature of language arose. In addition, the course focuses on recent debates, within both contemporary analytic and continental traditions of philosophy. Some likely areas of inquiry will be: theories of reference, description and naming; theories of meaning, metaphor and narrative; functionalist, pragmatist and naturalist accounts; structuralist, post-structuralist, and hermeneutic accounts, among others. The prominence of one or the other of these debates and approaches will vary.
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.
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.
PHIL-417
Continental European Philosophy
This course will provide an overview of some of the major currents in Continental European philosophy, the distinctive philosophical approach and style of thinking that emerges in the early twentieth century largely as a critical response to German Idealism, Marxism, and the antecedent existentialism of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. Continental European philosophy is rooted in the history of philosophy, attentive to the world of experience, and develops in constant conversation with various other areas of human activities such as literature, politics, psychoanalysis, and religion. Among the major currents to be examined in the course are phenomenology, hermeneutics, deconstruction, structuralism, poststructuralism, French feminist theory, posthumanism, and speculative realism. Traditional philosophical topics such as ontology, metaphysics, epistemology, language analysis, feminist theory, ethics, and politics will be considered in the light of their reassessment by Continental European philosophy. Figures covered may include Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Gadamer, Foucault, Levinas, Deleuze, Nancy, Derrida, Agamben, Irigaray, and Žižek, among others.
PHIL-571
Honors Philosophy
A critical examination of issues in some area of philosophy, but especially geared for honors students and others who wish to participate in an honors section.

* At least one course must be at the 300 level or higher.

Philosophy Immersion Coordinator:

John T. Sanders
John T. Sanders
Professor
(585) 475-2465

ETHICS-IM Ethics Immersion

The ethics immersion helps students to understand more deeply the nature of ethical thinking, to recognize and understand ethical dilemmas in private, professional, and public settings, and to think clearly and critically about possible answers to ethical problems. The immersion also provides students with the opportunity to acquaint themselves with some of the most influential writings and thinkers in the philosophical canon. Courses are especially well suited to students considering careers in law, medicine, business, or politics. This immersion is closed to students majoring in philosophy.

Course
Required courses
Choose one of the following:*
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?
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.
Electives
Choose two of the following:**
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?
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.
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.
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.
PHIL-308
Environmental Philosophy
A variety of decision procedures may be and have been used to determine what to do regarding various environmental issues. We might make the choice that has the least worst alternatives, or the best alternatives, or is approved by the majority of those who vote or of those who are affected, etc. Each alternative can determine what is reasonable and moral, and assessing them presents theoretical problems. We examine each in terms of morality, examine their presuppositions and consequences, determine whether we can assess them, and if so, how. Students begin to learn to be conscious of and assess the decision procedures that are often buried in policy recommendations regarding particular environmental problems.
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.
PHIL-311
East Asian Philosophy
This course is an introduction to the origin and development of the philosophical traditions of primarily China and Japan through a consideration of selected thinkers, schools, and classic texts of Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Zen. Questions of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics are emphasized with reference to the nature of reality and the person, social harmony and self-realization, causality, right action, and enlightenment. Comparisons may also be made with Western philosophers, both contemporary and classical.
PHIL-315
Responsible Knowing
What we do is connected to what we know. Acting well depends on appropriate evaluation of perception, logic, and evidence, and acting on our beliefs commits us to various ethical outcomes. In addition, understanding how our minds work and how we produce knowledge in teams and institutions can improve the reliability of what we know and can assist us in achieving ethical goals. This course develops advanced critical thinking skills and investigates how knowledge claims and value claims interact in order to shed light on the conditions that make responsible knowing possible. We will study how we produce responsible knowledge individually and collectively: from how we make ethically rational choices in our own lives to how society directs research priorities in science and technology. Topics may include: rational decision-making, cognitive bias, moral psychology, social epistemology, epistemic and ethical relativism, risk and uncertainty, research integrity, and values in science.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
MGMT-340
Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility
This course applies concepts of ethics to business at the macro level and at the micro level. At the macro level the course examines competing business ideologies exploring the ethical concerns of capitalism as well as the role of business in society. At the micro level the course examines the role of the manager in establishing an ethical climate with an emphasis on the development of ethical leadership in business organizations. The following topics are typically discussed: the stakeholder theory of the firm, corporate governance, marketing and advertising ethics, the rights and responsibilities of employees, product safety, ethical reasoning, business's responsibility to the environment, moving from a culture of compliance to a culture of integrity, and ethical leadership.

*Students are required to take either Foundations of Moral Philosophy (PHIL-202) or Ethical Theory (PHIL-415). If students take one of these courses, they will choose two elective courses to complete the immersion. If they choose both of these courses students will choose one additional elective.

** At least two courses must be at the 300 level or higher.

Ethics Immersion Coordinator:

Lawrence Torcello
Lawrence Torcello
Associate Professor
(585) 475-2327

RELST-IM Religious Studies Immersion

Religion plays a major role in human affairs. To understand more fully the nature of the relationship between society and the individual, it is essential to have some understanding of religion. The religious studies immersion engages students in the study of religion from the perspective of major Western and non-Western traditions through courses in disciplines such as anthropology, history, literature, philosophy, and psychology.

Course
Electives
Choose three of the following:*
ANTH-245
Ritual and Performance
The world’s cultural diversity is most vividly and dynamically displayed through ritual and festival. Ritual is anything but superfluous; rather, some of the most important “work” of culture is accomplished through the perfor-mance of ritual. Through cross-cultural comparison, by way of readings and films, we explore the following dimensions of ritual: symbols, embodiment, emotion, discipline, contestation of tradition and authenticity, and the orchestration of birth, childhood socialization, gender, maturation, marriage, community, hierarchy, world renewal, and death. Written expression is enhanced through drafting, revision, and peer review.
ANTH-275
Global Islam
This course examines the spread of Islam beyond its origins in the Middle East, and the cultural and social clashes, but also the mutual adjustments that have followed. This course explores core tenets of Islam, but also how its practices and beliefs are altered as practitioners in different countries alternately adopt, co-opt, massage, react to, and reject elements in accordance with the meaningful social, cultural, and political lives they build for themselves. The compatibility of Islam with Western society is often debated in contemporary public discourse. This debate is typically marked by an assumption that Islamic beliefs clash with Western secular democratic ideals, an assumption which results in tensions over mosque building, headscarves, and other public signs of Islamic faith. We will explore the diverse ways of being Muslim from a cross-cultural perspective and the sometimes-challenging negotiation of fulfilling these religious tenets while living in Muslim-minority places.
ANTH-365
Culture and Politics in the Middle East
With a focus on everyday life in families, communities, and nations, we examine the diverse cultures and peoples of the Middle East in the context of political and economic forces that have shaped their lives in the past and present. We examine European colonialism and its modern-day legacies, including ethnic inequalities, economic vulnerability, labor migration, urbanism, and social unrest. We look at how art, music, oral traditions, and literatures have engaged critically with the forces of political change and neo-colonialism. We consider political activism, religious diversity, changing experiences and expectations of women and men, rebellion, revolution, and war, and the impacts of and creative responses to globalization. The cultural, political, social, and religious dynamics of Middle Eastern peoples will be discussed from a humanistic perspective.
ENGL-409
Mythology and Literature
HIST-369
Histories of Christianity
The history of Christianity is not simply the history of the religion of the west. Rather, Christian history is a long and complex movement that has profoundly affected Asia, Africa, Europe, and the New World. At various times there were several competing ideologies of Christianity, of which the west's was only a single example. Christianity also has a long history of interacting with other religions, from Zoroastrianism and Manichaeism to Judaism and Islam. This course will trace the development of Christianity paying special attention to how the Christian tradition developed in places such as Africa and Asia. We will, of course, also study Christianity in its western forms, but we will make an effort to dive into the rich tradition of this religion in all its many forms.
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.
PHIL-311
East Asian Philosophy
This course is an introduction to the origin and development of the philosophical traditions of primarily China and Japan through a consideration of selected thinkers, schools, and classic texts of Daoism, Confucianism, Buddhism, and Zen. Questions of metaphysics, epistemology, and ethics are emphasized with reference to the nature of reality and the person, social harmony and self-realization, causality, right action, and enlightenment. Comparisons may also be made with Western philosophers, both contemporary and classical.
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.
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.
PHIL-411
Metaphysics
Metaphysics is the study of the general features of existence or reality. This course focuses on the fundamental concepts of being as developed in several major philosophers from the Greeks to the present. Discussion will focus on such topics as God, time, space, substance, essence, existence, process, causality, possibility, necessity, chance, and value.
PHIL-412
Nineteenth-Century Philosophy
The nineteenth century marks a radical shift in the history of philosophy and culture and stands in its own right as a distinct period of thought between the modern era and the contemporary era. This course will consider such philosophical positions as idealism, empiricism, existentialistic romanticism, Marxism, evolution, nihilism, positivism, pragmatism, and the role of the arts and aesthetics. Philosophers considered include Schelling, Fichte, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Mill, Marx, Darwin, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Comte, Bradley, Green, Peirce, and James.
PSYC-238
Psychology of Religion
This course examines (primarily social) psychological approaches to religious and spiritual belief, behavior, and experience. Topics include psychological approaches to religion, religious development in children and adolescents, religious development in adults and old age, religious conversion, religious orientation, religious attitudes and behaviors, religion and well-being, group dynamics in religious communities, religion as a “total institution‚” cults and deprogramming, need theories and religion, and religion and politics.

* To complete the immersion, students must select three courses from at least two distinct disciplines (e.g., anthropology, English, history, philosophy, or psychology). Philosophy majors must take two courses in disciplines other than philosophy. The Great Thinkers courses (offered within the philosophy department) will be considered on an individual basis, subject to approval by the religious studies immersion coordinator.

Religious Studies Immersion Coordinator:

Brian Schroeder
Brian Schroeder
Professor and Department Chair
(585) 475-6346

GLOJUST-IM Global Justice Immersion

The global justice immersion examines attempts to create lasting peace and social justice on the international scale. Courses in philosophy and the social sciences help students to understand concepts of human rights, world poverty, and global solidarity. The immersion is well suited for students considering careers in law, politics, or public policy related fields.

Course
Electives
Choose three of the following:*
ANTH-280
Sustainable Development
The global economy has demonstrated extraordinary power in gathering resources from and distributing goods to the farthest reaches of the globe. At the same time there is an increase in inequality and in the numbers of poor and hungry, often associated with environmental degradation. These changes are especially obvious in cities, but not limited to them. Since 1987 there has been a concerted effort by the United Nations, as well as by non-governmental organizations, individuals, and some nation-states to explore paths of more sustainable development. This course explores varied strategies now employed to achieve sustainable development, with particular attention to less developed countries.
ANTH-340
Divided Europe
ANTH-330
Cultural Images of War
This course critically examines the visual culture of war and terror in a global world from an anthropological perspective. Representations of violence are endlessly transmitted on television, on the internet, in print media, in cinema, and recreational games to become part of our everyday visual culture. Whether disseminated as news, documentary truth, or entertainment, the ubiquitous encounters with images of violence require a new form of visual literacy that not only highlights the intersection of the local and the global, but also recognizes the ways in which visual technologies, cultural politics of memory and history, media practices, and national ideologies intervene in the formation of a visual culture of war and terror.
ANTH-345
Genocide and Post-Conflict Justice
The destruction and survival of societies often hinges upon the ideas and the social, cultural constructions of identity and belonging. When ideas fail to incorporate people, essentialist categories of identity, historical memory, and accounts of extreme violence become interrelated, potent sources of destruction. Slavery and exclusive ownership of resources leave people starving or living in perilously polluted environments. Globalizing cultural economies threaten local systems and self-representation. Group identities may be "sites" of crises within nation-states and global political, economic and cultural processes. In this course, we will take critical, anthropological approaches to studies of ethnocide, genocide and post-conflict justice. Students will use critical, anthropological approaches to assess ethnocides and genocides from the 19th century forced assimilation and slaughter of Native Americans and Amazonian Indians to more recent genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda, and the Sudan, to understand the impact of globalization on techniques and technologies of genocides, the legal, moral/personal responsibility for genocides, media representations of genocides, and the affects of cultural, historical memory and social, global inequities upon future genocides. Students will use anthropological perspectives on genocide to assess post-conflict concepts of justice, reconstruction and reconciliation and local-global debates about their cultural resonance and effectiveness.
ANTH-350
The Global Economy and the Grassroots
Economic globalization has given birth to global, grassroots social movements. This course examines how global economic integration is brought about through multilateral institutions, multinational corporations, outsourcing, trade agreements, international lending, and neoliberal reforms. We consider impacts (cultural, economic, and health) of these trends on employees, farmers, small businesses, consumers, and the environment in the developed and developing worlds (with special emphasis on Latin America). We examine beliefs, alternative visions, and strategies of grassroots movements responding to these challenges.
ANTH-365
Culture and Politics in the Middle East
With a focus on everyday life in families, communities, and nations, we examine the diverse cultures and peoples of the Middle East in the context of political and economic forces that have shaped their lives in the past and present. We examine European colonialism and its modern-day legacies, including ethnic inequalities, economic vulnerability, labor migration, urbanism, and social unrest. We look at how art, music, oral traditions, and literatures have engaged critically with the forces of political change and neo-colonialism. We consider political activism, religious diversity, changing experiences and expectations of women and men, rebellion, revolution, and war, and the impacts of and creative responses to globalization. The cultural, political, social, and religious dynamics of Middle Eastern peoples will be discussed from a humanistic perspective.
ANTH-375
Native American Cultural Resources and Rights
Indian nations have substantial interests in access to and control of their cultural resources. In addition to land, those resources may include objects, traditions, and symbols. Many of those interests may be treated under tribal, federal, and/or international law as forms of property (including access to sacred sites, possession of funerary objects, masks); intangible resources (such as intellectual property of tribal names, symbols, stories), and/or liberty interests (including religious freedom, preservation of tribal languages, customs, Indian arts and crafts). Classroom lectures will be supplemented with round-table discussions and instructions by museum professionals, guest speakers, and Native American representatives. At the conclusion of the course, students will comprehend the breadth of federal legislation regulating tribal cultural resources as well as the complex legal and social issues facing museums, academic institutions, and the community.
ANTH-425
Global Sexualities
By exploring issues of gender and sexuality in a global context, students will be introduced to anthropological perspectives on the experience of men and women, as gendered subjects, in different societies and historical contexts, including colonialism, nationalism, and global capitalism. In turn, we will explore how cultural constructions of masculinity and femininity are configured by race, class, ethnicity, and sexual orientation. Course materials are drawn from an array of sources, reflecting various theoretical perspectives and ethnographic views from different parts of the world.
INGS-201
Histories of Globalization
Globalization is a human process, influenced by contemporary and historical issues that are routinely conceived of as affecting or pertaining to the world’s population in its entirety, such as human rights, humanitarianism, environmental degradation, trade, and military power. We use the world and its population as the unit of analysis with an emphasis is placed on issues that appear to be in tension with the role of the nation-state and nationality, and highlight world and global citizenship. We explore critiques of the conceptualization of globality and worldliness as a factor in determining social, cultural, and historical change.
INGS-210
Culture and Politics in Urban Africa
With a focus on African societies, we examine the diverse cultures of African peoples in the context of political and economic forces that have shaped their lives in the past and the present. Topics include European colonialism and its modern-day legacies, ethnic inequalities, economic vulnerability, labor migration, urbanism, and social unrest. We look at how art, music, oral traditions, and literatures have engaged critically with the forces of political change and neo-colonialism. We consider political activism, religious diversity, changing experiences and expectations of women and men, rebellion and revolution, impacts of and creative responses to globalization, and cultural transformations of African diasporas in the U.S and elsewhere.
INGS-310
Global Slavery and Human Trafficking
This course examines historical and contemporary dimensions of global slavery and human trafficking. The trans-Atlantic slave trade was the world's largest forced migration between continents, but it was only one of many slave trades that shaped societies throughout the world. In order to understand the historical significance of global slave trades, we will compare it to other systems of slavery. In examining the historical significance and legacies of the slave trade, we will link different regional histories to the growth of market-based capitalist economies into the twentieth century. The course will also examine the changing meaning of the term ‘slavery’ and examine some modern forms of forced labor, bondage, and slavery that persist to this day in all sectors of the global economy. We will explore the rise of human trafficking, and global anti-trafficking programs and campaigns.
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?
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.
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.
PHIL-308
Environmental Philosophy
A variety of decision procedures may be and have been used to determine what to do regarding various environmental issues. We might make the choice that has the least worst alternatives, or the best alternatives, or is approved by the majority of those who vote or of those who are affected, etc. Each alternative can determine what is reasonable and moral, and assessing them presents theoretical problems. We examine each in terms of morality, examine their presuppositions and consequences, determine whether we can assess them, and if so, how. Students begin to learn to be conscious of and assess the decision procedures that are often buried in policy recommendations regarding particular environmental problems.
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.
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.
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.
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.
POLS-320
American Foreign Policy
A study of the formulation and execution of American foreign policy, including the examination of the instruments, procedures, and philosophies shaping the development of foreign policy.
POLS-440
War and the State
Explores the enduring reality of war through an analysis of regional and global conflicts since the establishment of the modern international system. Key concepts include deterrence, appeasement, offensive-defensive military strategies, and international balances of power. These will be applied to several historical cases to explain why wars occur and how they might be avoided.
SOCI-235
Women, Work and Culture
In this course, we analyze historical and contemporary patterns of gender, race/ethnicity, sexuality, and the organization of work. Using the theoretical perspectives we analyze the work historically undertaken by women in societies and its relationship to broader political and economic structures. While our primary focus is on the U.S., we will also conduct a cross-cultural analysis of gender and work in developing and industrializing societies. Specific issues include gender discrimination (e.g., wage discrimination, sexual harassment), sexuality, reproduction, and women organizing to control their work and working conditions.
SOCI-245
Gender and Health
This course examines connections between gender and health that are both conceptual and empirical. Students will explore the causes of gender-based differences in health outcomes through case studies of sexual and reproductive rights, HIV/AIDS epidemics and violence. Students will also examine global gender and health trends. The course concludes with an examination of gender inequity in health care and policy implications of these inequities.
SOCI-255
Disaster, Public Health Crisis, and Global Responses
Disasters as global states of emergency result from complex relationships between human populations and environmental hazards. Disasters threaten sustainable development, especially in the global south and among the world’s most vulnerable people. Global states of emergency incur significant human and economic costs, which, in addition to increasing demographic, environmental, socio-economic and related pressures, result in increasing population vulnerability. Explanations of the causes and consequences of disasters include examinations of how human vulnerability is impacted by interactions among diverse social, economic, and other factors with environmental hazards. We will discuss social vulnerability theories; sustainable development theories; the causes and consequences of disasters and interventions to manage and reduce these risks.
SOCI-315
Global Exiles of War and Terror
Daily we watch, seemingly helplessly, as people are displaced from their communities, homelands, and countries and subsequently seek asylum around the world, sometimes within our own local communities. Causes of displacement include war, violence, persecution, and modes of terror that increasingly affect the lives of women and children. In addition to the loss of human life and potential, the ensuing consequences of violent displacement include poverty, disease, physical and psychological trauma, hopelessness, and vulnerability to human rights abuses. In this course, we explore how the rights and dignity of refugees can be protected. We also examine resettlement processes and, for those who are eventually repatriated, we address how they can successfully reintegrate into reconstructing societies that remain barely functional. Most importantly, we consider how the trauma of displacement can be minimized.
SOCI-451
Economies or Women and the Family
Women make choices concerning marriage, fertility and labor market participation on the basis of many factors, including government policies targeting those decisions. This course uses economic theory and empirical research in order to describe the changing demographic profile of families, poverty, and the labor force and to explore how economic theory and practice fit into the larger social science goals of describing human behavior by focusing on women and on the family.

* Students must select courses from at least two different disciplines. Students majoring in philosophy, sociology and anthropology, or political science must choose two of the three required courses from outside their respective major.

Global Justice Immersion Coordinator:

Lawrence Torcello
Lawrence Torcello
Associate Professor
(585) 475-2327

RENAISS-IM Renaissance Studies Immersion

The Renaissance studies immersion is an interdisciplinary set of courses focused on the study of cultural events (artistic, literary, philosophical, religious, scientific, among others) occurring during the Renaissance period (c. 1300-1600). The Renaissance saw the formation of new concepts and the occurrence of groundbreaking events such as the beginning of modern science and technology, the religious Reformation, the birth of the nation-state, the establishment of the banking system, the expansion of geographical horizons, the encounter with new cultures and populations, and the development of the notions of human dignity and human rights. Studying the Renaissance is also crucial to understanding contemporary debates centered on post-humanism, trans-humanism, technological humanism, and the various critiques of humanism, all of which have their conceptual basis in the Renaissance notion of homo universalis, or universal human being.

Course
Electives*
Choose three of the following
ARTH-311
Art of Italy 1250-1400
The subject of this course is painting, sculpture and architecture of the second half of the Dugento and the Trecento in Italy and its aim is to provide insight into the ways in which society and culture expressed its values through art;1250 marks the death of the last Hohenstaufen Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II and 1401 is considered by many to mark the beginning of the Early Renaissance, with the competition for the second set of bronze doors for the Baptistery of Florence. Artist students will study will include Nicola and Giovanni Pisano, Arnolfo di Cambio, Cimabue, Pietro Cavallini, Giotto, Duccio, Simone Martini, Pietro and Ambrogio Lorenzetti, Tino da Camaino, Andrea Pisano, Orcagna, Andrea Bonaiuti, Giusto de’ Menabuoi, Altichiero, and Paolo Veneziano. The works students will study will include altarpieces, private devotional images, mural cycles, tombs, churches, chapels, town halls, palazzi and piazze. Questions for consideration will include: the nature and meaning of this proto-Renaissance, the importance of Antique and Medieval precedents, the increasing attention to the effects of nature, the role of the patron, and the relevance of documents, literary sources and visual precedents for our interpretation of images.
ARTH-317
Art and Architecture in Florence and Rome: 15th Century
The subject of this course is 15th century painting, sculpture and architecture in Florence and Rome and its aim is to provide insight into the ways in which society and culture expressed its values through art; 1401 the year when the Calimala Guild announced a competition for a second set of bronze doors for the Baptistery of Florence and 1500 the year when Michelangelo completed work on the Roman Pietà. Artists students will study include Filippo Brunelleschi, Lorenzo Ghiberti, Donatello, Nanni di Banco, Luca della Robbia, Michelozzo, Leon Battista Alberti, Lorenzo Monaco, Gentile da Fabriano, Masaccio, Fra Angelico, Fra Filippo Lippi, Paolo Uccello, Bernardo and Antonio Rossellino, Andrea del Verrocchio, Antonio del Pollaiuolo, Sandro Botticelli, Domenico del Ghirlandaio, Leonardo da Vinci, Filippino Lippi and Michelangelo. The works students will study will include altarpieces, private devotional images, portraits, mural cycles, paintings and sculpture of mythological subjects, allegories, ceilings, doors, tombs, churches, chapels, palazzi, villas and piazze. Questions for consideration will include: the nature and meaning of the Early Renaissance, developments in artistic theory and practice, the importance of Antique and Medieval precedents, the increasing attention to the effects of nature, the role of the patron, and the relevance of documents, literary sources and visual precedents for our interpretation of images.
ARTH-318
Art and Architecture in Florence and Rome: 16th Century
The subject of this course is 16th century painting, sculpture and architecture in Florence and Rome and its aim is to provide insight into the ways in which society and culture expressed its values through art; 1501 the year when Michelangelo returned from Rome to Florence to begin carving the colossal marble David and 1600 marks the emergence of the Baroque style in Rome. Artists students will study include Leonardo da Vinci, Bramante, Michelangelo, Raphael, Sebastiano del Piombo, Jacopo Sansovino, Baccio Bandinelli, Jacopo Pontormo, Agnolo Bronzino, Benvenuto Cellini, Bartolommeo Ammannati, Giorgio Vasari, and Giovanni Bologna. The works students will study will include altarpieces, private devotional images, portraits, mural cycles, paintings and sculpture of mythological subjects, allegories, ceilings, tombs, churches, chapels, palazzi, villas, piazze, fountains and equestrian monuments. Questions for consideration will include: the nature and meaning of the High Renaissance, Mannerism, and the late Renaissance, developments in artistic theory and practice, the importance of Antique and Medieval precedents, the increasing attention to the effects of nature, the role of the patron, and the relevance of documents, literary sources and visual precedents for our interpretation of images.
ARTH-379
Renaissance Painting in Flanders
The history of Renaissance painting in the Southern Netherlands from the beginning of the 15th century to the end of the 16th century with specific focus on women, gender, and illness and the birth of Early Modern Europe. We will consider the meaning of the Renaissance in Flanders, the observation and recording of natural appearances, “hidden symbolism” and sacramental themes in Early Netherlandish painting, the connections between Flemish, German, and Italian art, the development of new genres in the 16th century, “originality” and artistic progress.”
ENGL-308
Shakespeare: Drama
In this course students will read, study, and discuss some of Shakespeare's dramatic work in an attempt to determine the nature of his significance. What political and institutional factors account for the reverence accorded to Shakespeare? In addition to reading a range of Shakespeare’s plays, the course will develop deeper understandings of contemporary literary theory and practices that allow various interpretations of these plays. The approach will be comparative and reflect on the influence and effect of Shakespeare’s work on contemporary culture. Attention will be paid to issues of gender, historicity, iconicity and textual analysis among others
ENGL-406
Shakespeare: Tragedies
For almost four hundred years Shakespeare's work has stood as a monument to the literary imagination. In this course, we will study Shakespeare's tragedies with a view toward exploring the influence of his work through the ages, as well as addressing questions of canonicity. Through class discussion, interactive activities, and examination of film, students will develop strategies both to investigate the literary and theatrical power of these works as well as to consider their cultural presence in both contemporary American culture and Shakespeare's England. Particular attention will be devoted to literary theory and the variety of interpretation in order to inform readings of the plays.
FNRT-209
Medieval and Renaissance Music
The beginning of the Western tradition of art music can be traced to Medieval Europe ca. 600 CE, as systems of music notation began to develop in and disseminate through important liturgical text sources. This desire to preserve and disseminate certain musical-textual traditions grew and developed steadily throughout Christendom over the next millennium, in both sacred and secular contexts. This course examines this development of music and text during the Medieval and Renaissance periods (ca. 600-1600 CE), with attention drawn to specific aspects of cultural context and performance practices that offer modern musicians and music connoisseurs a solid basis for experiencing the music in live performance, both in active listening (concert/liturgy attendence) and in participating (in-class singing).
FNRT-303
Shakespeare The Dramatist
A course in Shakespeare’s drama that emphasizes the plays as potential theatre productions. Studying a selection of plays representative of the different acknowledged types of Shakespearean drama (comedy, tragedy, history, problem comedy, romance), students gain a broad understanding of the character and range of Shakespeare’s poetic-dramatic art. Experimenting with production activities such as oral interpretation, character presentation, and scene rendering, they acquire a practical appreciation of Shakespearean drama’s theatrical potency, of the original staging conventions, and of how each type of play makes particular generic demands on both performer and spectator. Augmenting the reading and expressive activities is a term research project focused on collaborative realization of a staging interpretation of selected scenes from the Shakespeare plays on the syllabus.
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.

* In order to complete this immersion and ensure interdisciplinarity, students must select their courses from three different disciplines.

Renaissance Studies Immersion Coordinator:

Silvia Benso
Silvia Benso
Professor
(585) 475-4116