Department of Philosophy

Philosophy Course Descriptions

El Pomar Center with Pikes Peak In the Background

Current Philosophy Courses Offered

All Philosophy Courses

An introduction to the fundamental questions of philosophy through a study of several major philosophers in the history of philosophy. Approved for LAS Humanities area requirement. GT-AH3.d

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. Approved for LAS Humanities area requirement. GT-AH3.

An introduction to philosophy through religious topics such as sacredness, faith, reason, revelation, creation, immortality, and God's existence. GT-AH3.

Introduction to the formal and informal standards and critical techniques used in the evaluation of daily reasoning and argument. Approved for LAS Humanities area requirement. GT-AH3.

Introduction to the formal and informal standards and critical techniques used in the evaluation of daily reasoning and argument. Approved for LAS Humanities area requirement. GT-AH3.

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. Approved for the LAS Natural Science area requirement. Meets with PES 1310 and WEST 1310.

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.

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. Approved for LAS Humanities area and Global Awareness requirements. Prer., previous course in philosophy.

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. Meets with WEST 3110.

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.

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.

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. Approved for LAS Humanities area requirement.

Consideration of the classical and contemporary, contributions to the analysis of the nature, limits, and conditions of knowledge. Meets with PHIL 5180.

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.

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. Approved for LAS Global Awareness requirement.

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.

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.

An examination of love and hatred utilizing texts from philosophy, psychology, cognitive studies, literature and science to develop new ideas about love and hatred. Prer., previous course in Philosophy.

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. Prer., three hours of philosophy.

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).

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.

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. Meets with PHIL 5440.

Introduces students to mathematical logic. Topics will include first-order quantification theory; formal number theory; axiomatic set theory; computability. Incompleteness, undecidability, and partial recursion will be discussed. Prer., MATH 1040 or MATH 2150 or PHIL 3440.

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. Approved for LAS Global Awareness requirement.

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. Approved for LAS Global Awareness requirement.

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. Approved for LAS Global Awareness requirement.


Systematic examination of the development of Western philosophy from its inception among the pre-Socratics and their impact on Plato and Aristotle. Prer., One philosophy course.

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.

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.

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

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

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.

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.

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.

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. Meets with WEST 3630.

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. Meets with PHIL 5700.

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.

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. Prer., Previous course in philosophy. Meets with PHIL 5040.

An intensive examination of major figures, such as Irigaray, Deleuze, Baudrillard, Habermas, Foucault and Derrida, and of major movements such as critical theory. Prer., One philosophy course. Meets with PHIL 5080

Analysis and appreciation of AmericaAnalysis and appreciation of America's most important contribution to intellectual life, pragmatism. Also discussed are two of pragmatism's predecessors, transcendentalism and naturalism. Meets with PHIL 5100. squo;s most important contribution to intellectual life, pragmatism. Also discussed are two of pragmatism’s predecessors, transcendentalism and naturalism.

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 deficiencies of cost-benefit analysis as a basis for decision making. Prer., Previous course in philosophy. Meets with PHIL 5140.

The problem of rational justification of ethical standards, including a selected treatment of the history of ethics. Meets with PHIL 5150

Designed to teach students to appreciate the ethical dimensions of the decision-making process in which most business managers are engaged during their careers. Meets with PHIL 5160.

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.

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, postmodernism and deconstruction. Prer., Three hours of philosophy. Meets with PHIL 5240.

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. Approved for LAS Social Science area requirement. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Explore: Society, Institutions, and Health. Meets with PHIL 5260.

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. Meets with PHIL 5350.

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. Meets with PHIL 5400.

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

An intermediate course in symbolic logic that introduces students to quantified predicate logic with identity, intensional logic, second-order logic, and many-valued logic. Certain meta-logical results such as the Loewenheim-Skolem theorem, completeness, soundness, computability, Church's thesis, and incompleteness are discussed. Prer., PHIL 3440 or consent of instructor. Meets with PHIL 5420.

Introduces students to decision theory and game theory. Topics will include rationality; strategic reasoning; Nash equilibria; strategic games; symmetric and non-symmetric games; coalitions and cooperation; zero and non-zero-sum games; and, prisoner's dilemmas. Prer., PHIL 3440 or MATH 1040.

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

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. Meets with PHIL 5490.

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. Approved for LAS Cultural Diversity requirement. Prer., one course in PHIL, WEST, WMST, Meets with WEST 4550.

Detailed examination of a special topic taken from the history of philosophy which is not covered by the regular departmental course offerings (variable content). Prer., Philosophy majors or consent of instructor. Two courses in Philosophy. Meets with PHIL 5930 and WMST 4900.

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. Prer., previous course in philosophy. Meets with PHIL 4040.

Main themes of existentialist thought from its origins in Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to such 20th century figures as Jaspers, Heidegger, Sartre and Camus. Meets with PHIL 4070.

Analysis and appreciation of America's most important contribution to intellectual life, pragmatism. Also discussed are two of pragmatism's predecessors, transcendentalism and naturalism. Meets with PHIL 4100.

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. Prer., Previous course in philosophy. Meets with PHIL 4140.

The problem of rational justification of ethical standards including a selected treatment of the history of ethics. Meets with PHIL 4150.

Designed to teach students to appreciate the ethical discussions of the decision-making process in which most business managers are engaged during their careers. Meets with PHIL 4160.

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. Meets with PHIL 4250.

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. Meets with Phil 4260.

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. Meets with PHIL 3000.

'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. Meets with PHIL 4350.

An intermediate course in symbolic logic that introduces students to quantified predicate logic with identity, intensional logic, second-order logic, and many-valued logic. Certain meta-logical results such as the Loewenheim-Skolem theorem, completeness, soundness, computability, Church's thesis, and incompleteness are discussed. Meets with PHIL 4420.

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

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. Meets with PHIL 4490.

Detailed examination of a special topic taken from the history of philosophy which is not covered by the regular departmental course offerings. Variable content. Prer., Consent of instructor. Meets with PHIL 4930.

Prer., Prior consent of faculty required.

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 chosen and arrangements are made to suit the needs of each student. Prer., Consent of instructor.

College of Letters, Arts & Sciences | Department of Philosophy
Phone: (719) 255-4552 | Location: CoH 2025
Chair / Professor: Dr. Dorothea Olkowski | Phone: (719) 255-4086 | dolkowsk@uccs.edu
Program Assistant: Monica Beltran | Phone: 719-255-3016 | mbeltran@uccs.edu
 
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