Courses

PHIL 1000 Introduction to Philosophy.

An introduction to the fundamental questions of philosophy through a study of several major philosophers in the history of philosophy. 

PHIL 1020 Ethics.

Introductory study of major philosophies on the nature of the good for humans, principles of evaluation, and moral choice.  Some attention is given to contemporary topics such as violence and abortion. 

PHIL 1040 Individual & Society.

Critical introduction to ideas and values used to justify key institutions of advanced technological society.

PHIL 1050 Philosophy & Religion.

An introduction to philosophy through religious topics such as sacredness, faith, reason, revelation, creation, immortality, and God’s existence. 

PHIL 1100 Introduction to Religion.

An introduction to the study of religious phenomena such as myth, symbols and rituals as they relate to religious beliefs.  The concepts of sacred narratives, sacred histories, and religious experiences will be discussed along with different approaches (e.g., psychological, sociological, anthropological) to the study of religion.

PHIL 1120 Critical Thinking.

Introduction to the formal and informal standards and critical techniques used in the evaluation of daily reasoning and argument.

PHIL 1150 Ethics in the Professions.

An examination of the applicability of some standard ethical thoeries to the specific moral issues raised by and encountered in the practice of professions such as business, engineering, law, health care, politics and teaching.

PHIL 1300 Philosophies of Asia

Covers classic and recent representatives of the major philosophical and religious traditions of Asia, including Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, Daoist and Shinto thought.

PHIL 1310 A Lab of Her Own - Science and Women.

An introduction to natural science and its methods for non-science majors. It focuses on women's participation in both the formation of scientific concepts and the development of methodology. Modern concepts of science and mathematics with an emphasis on women's contributions to these fields will be presented. This course will offer a feminist critique of the traditional methods of science.

PHIL 1400 Introduction to Sustainability and Environmental Ethics.

This introductory course explores the nature, scope, and complexity of environmental challenges facing us. It utilizes Western and non-Western philosophical and ethical perspectives.

PHIL 3080 Religion and Consumer Culture.

Explores the place of faith in modern society by focusing on the role that consumer culture plays in its interaction with people's faith and practice in the west.

PHIL 3100 World Religions.

A reading-discussion course which explores the major world religions and the nature of their appeal to the spiritual aspirations of members of the human family.

PHIL 3110 Women and Religion.

Examines the way(s) in which women have been, and continue to be, viewed in various religions through comparing sacred and other texts with actual religious practices and beliefs. This course engenders an appreciation of the tension between the ideal expectations for and the real possibilities available to women in religious traditions.

PHIL 3120 Greek and Roman Myth.

A philosophical examination of Greek and Roman myth based on a variety of ancient and modern hermeneutical methods, including approaches from the Presocratics, Platonism, Aristotle, Stoicism, Structuralism, Semantic Theory, Psychoanalysis and Ritual Theory.

PHIL 3130 Health Care Ethics.

Ethical dimensions of the patient-physician relationship and the impact of medical technology. Topics include informed consent and experimentation with human subjects, technological manipulation of birth and death processes, allocation of medical resources, genetic screening in the work-place, and genetic engineering.

PHIL 3160 Philosophical Issues in Death and Dying.

The meaning of death and dying in the history of Western philosophy from antiquity to contemporary Existentialism. Detailed examination of ethical issues raised in the care of the dying. Euthanasia and termination of treatment, care of the seriously ill, newborn, etc.

PHIL 3170 Theories of Knowledge.

Consideration of the classical and contemporary contributions to the analysis of the nature, limits, and conditions of knowledge.

PHIL 3180 Practical Ethics.

An examination of the applicability of some standard ethical theories to the specific moral issues raised by and encountered in the practice of professions, such as business, engineering, law, health care, politics, and teaching.

PHIL 3200 Politics and the Law.

Examination of the most influential recent works expressing the conservative, liberal, Marxist and anarchist contributions to contemporary social and political theory.

PHIL 3230 Gender, Race and Sexuality.

An introductory course that presents both the history of philosophical treatments of women and contemporary philosophical analyses of women's social, political, artistic, scientific, and philosophical roles.

PHIL 3240 Philosophy of War and Terrorism.

Critical examination of the philosophic commitments that underlie and affect war, conflict resolution, and peace; evaluation of various questions involved in conducting war and resolving disputes; consideration of the feasibility of pacifism.

PHIL 3300 Philosophy of Mind.

Consideration of the central problems in the philosophy of mind, including the mind-body problem; the knowledge of other minds; free will and determinism; as well as discussion of such concepts as action, intention, motive, desire, memory, etc.

PHIL 3330 Understanding Emotion.

Philosophy has tended to relegate emotions and emotional life to a minor role in the exposition of traditional philosophical questions or to eliminate emotions altogether from consideration. This course will rethink the role of emotions in philosophy.

PHIL 3340 Love and Hatred.

Examines the concepts of love and hatred in philosophy beginning with the Ancient Greeks and continuing through contemporary philosophy in order to examine the influence of the Greeks on contemporary thought and to develop new ideas about what constitutes love and hatred.  Prer., one philosophy course (not PHIL 1120).

PHIL 3350 Metaphysics.

Traditional and contemporary theories of the basic categories used to describe reality and the human relationship to it, including concepts such as substance, identity, space and time, causality, determination, and systematic ontology.

PHIL 3390 Philosophy of Psychology.

Course covers classical and contemporary discussions of philosophical issues raised by psychological theory. Issues include introspectionism (James), psychoanalytical models of the self (Freud, Horney), learning theory (Piaget), depth psychology (Jung), behaviorism (Skinner), feminist psychology (Chodorow, Gilligan), cognitive science, psychology and language (Lacan), and existential psychology (Merleau-Ponty).

PHIL 3400 Holocaust.

Detailed analysis of the holocaust and its educational importance. Main focus is the Jewish holocaust with attendant eugenic policies, with possible attention to other examples of holocaust. Examination of philosophies that support organized social violence and principles that achieve a humane philosophy of life.

PHIL 3420 Symbolic Logic I

An exposition of the ideas and techniques of modern symbolic logic including several formal systems to distinguish between valid and invalid arguments and discussion of the foundations of arithmetic and set theory.

PHIL 3450 Mathematical Logic

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to mathematical logic. Topics will include first-order quantification theory, formal number theory, axiomatic set theory, computability, and second-order logic. Incompleteness, undecidability, and recursive function theory will be discussed.

PHIL 3480 History of Philosophy: Philosophies of India.

Historical development and a critical analysis of the major philosophical texts and school of India, including the Vedas, Upanishads, and Bhagavad-Gita; the 6 orthodox schools; Jainism; Buddhism; and modern Indian thinkers including Gandhi and Radhakrishnan.

PHIL 3490 History of Philosophy: China.

Historical development and critical analysis of the major philosophical schools and texts of China, including Confucianism, Taoism, Ch’an (Zen) Buddhism, Neo-Confucianism and modern Chinese thought.

PHIL 3500 History of Philosophy: Buddhist Philosophy.

General survey of key Buddhist philosophical concepts of both the Theravada and Mahayana traditions, such as dukha, nirvana, anatman and voidness. The relationship between Pali Sutta’s and the Theravada tradition will be discussed as well as the relationship between Mahayana and the Prajna Paramita Suttas. Key schools of Mahayana, such as Cittamattra and Madhyamaka will also be introduced.

PHIL 3510 History of Philosophy: Ancient Greek.

Systematic examination of the development of western philosophy from its inception among the pre-Socratics through Socrates to Plato and Aristotle.

PHIL 3530 History of Philosophy: Hellenistic.

History of Western Philosophy during the Hellenistic period (c. 310 B.C.E. To 450 C.E.). Covers Stoicism, Epicureanism, Skepticism, Atomism, neo- Platonism and the introduction of Jewish and Christian thought into philosophy via Philo of Alexandria and St. Augustine, respectively.

PHIL 3540 History of Philosophy: Medieval and Renaissance.

History of Western Philosophy from the Medieval period to the beginning of modern times. Course covers Christian, Jewish and Islamic philosophers, including Augustine, Anselm, Avicenna, Averroes, Maimonides, Aquinas, Ockham, Machiavelli, and F. Bacon.

PHIL 3560 History of Philosophy: Modern Classical.

Systematic examination of some fundamental philosophic problems treated by Rationalists and Empiricists in the 17th and 18th centuries (Hobbes, Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume), especially those concerning the foundations and limits of knowledge and attempts to overcome the limitations of these two traditions.

PHIL 3570 History of Philosophy: Kant and the Enlightenment.

Study of the Enlightenment (Age of Reason) with special emphasis on Kant’s work and some of his precursors and critics.

PHIL 3580 History of Philosophy: From Hegel to Nietzsche.

In-depth survey of some of the major thinkers in the 19th century such as Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche.

PHIL 3590 History of Philosophy: Analytic Philosophy

‘Analytic philosophy’ is a name both for a specific movement in academic philosophy and for a general style of philosophizing. In this course, we investigate both. The movement began as a revolt against 19th-century idealism. Emphasizing logic and the analysis of language in settling philosophical problems, it culminated in hilarious positivist tirades against metaphysics and in dogmatic pronouncements about the proper role of philosophy. Positivism is now an object of derision, and with it died also the analytic movement. But the failure of the movement did not entail collapse of the general style, and in the latter part of the course we trace some of the subsequent evolution of analytic philosophy. We conclude by showing how the subjects most taboo to the positivists--metaphysics and ontology--resurface as legitimate and ineliminable topics of philosophical inquiry.

PHIL 3600 Philosophy of Religion.

Detailed analysis of religious experience from Eastern and Western traditions, including mysticism, mythology, cosmology, knowledge of God and the divine attributes, salvation, immortality, and the influence of secularism.

PHIL 3610 Philosophical Approaches to the Hebrew Bible.

The formation of the Old Testament; manuscript traditions and canonization; an investigation of the major genres within the Old Testament (history, poetry, prophecy); the historical developments of the ancient Near East as they refl ect upon the Old Testament and the history of biblical interpretation.

PHIL 3620 Philosophical Approaches to the New Testament.

An investigation of the development of the New Testament, incorporating the history of the individual books and the Hellenistic and Jewish background to the New Testament itself.  The course focuses on the historical problem of the emergence of various theological perspectives within the New Testament writings, especially the contrast between the teachings of Jesus and those of Paul.

PHIL 3630 Gender and Race in Biblical Literature.

Course examines the presence(s), result(s), and interpretation(s) of gender and race in biblical literature and the issues and problems those categories present to the reader.

PHIL 3700 Aesthetic Theory.

Investigation of concepts such as the aesthetic object, the artistic experience, and creative expression and a critique of certain theories designed to solve problems of aesthetic evaluation.

PHIL 3730 Philosophy and Literature.

A study of the intersection of philosophy and literature, the benefits each derives from the other and of philosophical themes expressed in literary works and philosophical problems raised by literature.

PHIL 4040 Continental Philosophy: Early Twentieth Century.

Critical analysis of early 20th century philosophical movements such as phenomenology, structuralism, and hermeneutics  emphasizing their origins and the philosophical and non-philosophical issues that gave rise to them.

PHIL 4060 Continental Philosophy: Mid-Twentieth Century.

An intensive examination of the major European philosophical movements of the mid 20th century including, phenomenology, existentialism, linguistics and post-structuralism, emphasizing their relation to key philosophical and non-philosophical issues of the period.

PHIL 4070 Existentialism.

Main themes of existentialist thought from its origins in Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to such 20th century figures as Jaspers, Heidegger, Sarte and Camus.

PHIL 4080 Continental Philosophy: Late Twentieth Century.

An intensive examination of major figures, such as Husserl, Heidegger, Habermas, Foucault, and Derrida; and of major movements, such as phenomenology, critical theory and deconstruction.

PHIL 4100 American Pragmatism.

Analysis and appreciation of America’s most important contribution to intellectual life, pragmatism. Also discussed are two of pragmatism’s predecessors, transcendentalism and naturalism.

PHIL 4140 Philosophy, Globalization and Sustainability.

The philosophical significance of ecology, for establishing an environmental ethic.Application of environmental ethics to such issues as responsibilities to future generations, the problem of the moral standing of nonhuman species and wilderness, and the defi ciencies of cost- benefi t analysis as a basis for decision making.

PHIL 4150 Ethics.

The problem of rational justification of ethical standards, including a selected treatment of the history of ethics.

PHIL 4160 Business and Management Ethics.

Designed to teach students to appreciate the ethical dimensions of the decision-making process in which most business managers are engaged during their careers.

PHIL 4200 Consciousness.

Consciousness has re-emerged as a fundamental topic in psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, and philosophy.  This course introduces students to some of the recent neuroscientific studies of consciousness and surveys some of the philosophical problems posed by consciousness.  Meets with PHIL 5200.

PHIL 4250 Topics in Social Theory.

In-depth examination of a particulartrend in contemporary social theory such as critical theory, the Frankfurt school, Marxism and post-Marxism, economic democracy, deep ecology, postmodernism and deconstruction.

PHIL 4260 Philosophy of Law.

A consideration of various views of the nature of law, its role in society and its relation to other disciplines. Examination of the philosophic commitments that underlie and affect legal convention and procedures.

PHIL 4350 Analytic Philosophy.

“Analytic Philosophy” is a term used to describe both a particular method and a style of philosophizing. This course examines that method and that style and shows the promise the former once held for settling traditional philosophical issues and problems and the continuing influence of the latter.

PHIL 4400 Philosophy of Science.

A close examination of issues in the history, philosophy and sociology of science. Attention will be given to contemporary debates on such topics as the methodology of science, the growth of scientific knowledge, the logic of scientific discovery and the value-neutrality of science.

PHIL 4410 Philosophy of Biology.

A broad examination of pertinent issues in biology, from the theory of evolution to contemporary debates concerning DNA and the human genome project.

PHIL 4430 Symbolic Logic II.

An intensive study of issues in philosophy of logic and advanced logic. Topics examined include: modal logic, many-valued logic, second- order logic, fuzzy logic, semantics and syntax, and incompleteness.

PHIL 4440 Decision Theory and Game Theory.

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to decision theory and game theory. Topics will include the concept of rationality, strategic reasoning; Nash equilibria; strategic games; symmetric and non-symmetric games; extensive games with and without perfect information; coalitional games; cooperation; zero- and non-zero-sum games, and Prisoner's Dilemmas. Some attention to practical applications will be made.

PHIL 4460 Theories of Human Nature.

An examination of the meaning of human nature from various perspectives, including Greek thinking, religious explanations, naturalist, existentialist and pragmatist theories.

PHIL 4490 Philosophy of Language.

A historical survey of developments in philosophy of language. Topics covered include sense and reference, signifier and signified, rule-following, ordinary language philosophy, deconstruction, and casual theories of reference. Authors covered include Frege Husserl, De Saussure, Wittgenstein, Austin, Derrida, and others.

PHIL 4550 Feminism, Sexuality, and Culture.

An examination of selected philosophical issues in the context of recent developments in feminist thought. Course will consider the question of whether traditional patterns of philosophical thought express gender bias, and if so, why.

PHIL 4600 Theory of Film.

Relation between philosophical issues and film to show how philosophical concepts are embodied in film and filmmaking.

PHIL 4910 Systematic Philosophy.

A thorough study of a single philosophical problem, system, or single philosopher.

PHIL 4930 Advanced Topics in Philosophy.

Detailed examination of a special topic taken from the history of philosophy which is not covered by the regular departmental course offerings (variable content).

Philosophy 4950 Senior Seminar and Thesis.

A research project directed under the supervision of a full time departmental faculty member.  The topic of the research is chosen by the student in consultation with the project advisor.  Required of all philosophy majors.

PHIL 5040 Twentieth Century Philosophy.

Critical analysis of such influential 20th century philosophical movements as logical positivism, analytical philosophy, pragmatism, Marxism, existentialism, phenomenology, hermeneutics, and deconstruction.

PHIL 5070 Existentialism.

Main themes of existentialist thought from its origins in Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to such 20th century figures as Jaspers, Heidegger, Sarte and Camus.

PHIL 5080 Contemporary Continental Philosophy.

An examination of major figures, such as Husserl, Heidegger, Habermas, Foucault, and Derrida; and of major movements, such as phenomenology, critical theory, and deconstruction.

PHIL 5100 American Pragmatism.

Analysis and appreciation of America’s most important contribution to intellectual life, pragmatism. Also discussed are two of pragmatism’s predecessors, transcendentalism and naturalism.

PHIL 5140 Environmental Ethics and Deep Ecology.

The philosophical significance of ecology for establishing an environmental ethic. Application of environmental ethics to such issues as responsibilities to future generations, the problem of the moral standing of non-human species and wilderness, and the deficiencies of cost-benefit basis for decision making.

PHIL 5150 Ethical Theory.

The problem of rational justification of ethical standards including a selected treatment of the history of ethics.

PHIL 5160 Business and Management Ethics.

Designed to teach students to appreciate the ethical discussions of the decision-making process in which most business managers are engaged during their careers.

PHIL 5170 Health Care Ethics.

Ethical dimensions of the patient-physician relationship and the impact of medical technology. Topics include informed consent and experimentation with human subjects, technological manipulation of medical resources, genetic screening in the workplace, and genetic engineering.

PHIL 5180 Theories of Knowledge.

Consideration of major philosophers, both classical and contemporary, who have contributed to the analysis of the nature, limits and conditions of knowledge.

PHIL 5200 Consciousness.

Consciousness has re-emerged as a fundamental topic in psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, and philosophy.  This course introduces students to some of the recent neuroscientific studies of consciousness and surveys some of the philosophical problems posed by consciousness.  Meets with PHIL 4200.

PHIL 5240 Selected Topics in Social Theory.

In-depth examination of a particular trend in contemporary social theory such as critical theory, the Frankfurt school, Marxism and post-Marxism, economic democracy, deep ecology, post-modernism and deconstruction. Variable content.

PHIL 5260 Philosophy of Law.

Consideration of various views of the nature of law, its role in society and its relation to other disciplines. Examination of the philosophic commitments that underlie and affect legal convention and procedures.

PHIL 5300 Philosophy of the Mind.

Consideration of the central problems in the philosophy of mind, including the mind-body problem; the knowledge of other minds; free will and determinism; as well as discussion of concepts such as action, intention, motive, desire, memory, etc.

PHIL 5350 Analytic Philosophy.

‘Analytic Philosophy’ is a term used to describe both a particular method and a style of philosophizing. This course examines that method and that style and shows the promise the former once held for settling traditional philosophical issues and problems and the continuing infl uence of the latter.

PHIL 5400 Philosophy of Science.

A close examination of issues in the history, philosophy, and sociology of science. Attention will be given to contemporary debates on such topics as the methodology of science, the growth of scientifi c knowledge, the logic of scientific discovery and the value-neutrality of science. Meets with PHIL 4400.

PHIL 5420 Symbolic Logic II.

An exposition of the ideas and techniques of modern symbolic logic including several formal systems to distinguish between valid and invalid arguments and discussion of the foundations of arithmetic and set theory.

PHIL 5460 Theories of Human Nature.

An examination of the meaning of human nature from various perspectives including Greek thinking, religious explanations, naturalist, existentialist and pragmatist theories.

PHIL 5490 Philosophy of Language.

A historical survey of developments in philosophy of language. Topics covered include sense and reference, signifier and signified, rule-following, ordinary language philosophy, deconstruction, and casual theories of reference. Authors covered include Frege, Husserl, De Saussure, Wittgenstein, Austin, Derrida, and others.

PHIL 5600 Theory of Film.

Relation between philosophical issues and film to, show how philosophical concepts are embodied in film and filmmaking.

PHIL 5910 Systematic Philosophy.

A thorough study of a single philosophical problem, system or single philosopher. Variable content.

PHIL 5930 Advanced Topics in Philosophy.

Detailed examination of a special topic taken from the history of philosophy which is not covered by the regular departmental course offerings. Variable content.

PHIL 9400 Independent Study in Philosophy: Undergraduate.

PHIL 9500 Independent Study in Philosophy: Graduate.

Intended to give an opportunity for advanced students with good scholastic records and with appropriate courses completed to pursue independently the study of some subject of special interest. Subjects are chosenand arrangements are made to suit the needs of each student.