Philosophy Undergraduate Upper-Division Courses

This course traces the path of philosophical and scientific world views from Aristotle, to Newton, to Relativity and the corresponding philosophical and cultural transformations that each worldview gives rise to. Emphasis will be placed on the philosophical ideas of each era and on the application of these ideas to culture.

Approved for LAS Global Awareness area requirement and Humanities area requirement. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirements: Navigate; Writing Intensive.

Attributes: CLAS Core: Global Awareness Requirement, CLAS Core: Humanities, Navigate, Writing Intensive.

This course examines the familiar yet strange figure that occupies a central place within our culture, science, and imagination - the cyborg. The course explores philosophy addressing the figure of the cyborg and its counterpart, the monster, in relation to mechanistic and non-mechanistic theories.

Approved for LAS Humanities Area requirement. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Navigate.

Explores the relationship between religion and popular culture. Through several pop cultural expressions, such as movies, television, music and art, religious themes and practices will be uncovered and analyzed.

Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Writing Intensive.

Attributes: Writing Intensive.

Explores the complex relationship between religion and capitalism. The course will address issues of religious accommodation to capitalistic culture as well as religious critique of the economy. Special attention is paid to consumer culture.

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.

Approved for Compass Curriculum requirements: Explore-Arts, Humanities, and Cultures; Writing Intensive. Prer., previous course in philosophy.

Attributes: CLAS Core: Global Awareness Requirement, CLAS Core: Humanities, Explore - Arts, Humanities, and Cultures, Writing Intensive.

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 workplace, and genetic engineering.

Approved for Compass Curriculum requirements: Navigate, Writing Intensive. Meets with PHIL 5130.

Attributes: Navigate, Writing Intensive.

Analysis of the philosophical views of women and by women in ancient Greek, Roman and Egyptian thought. Meets with HIST 3010 and WEST 3140.

Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement:  Inclusiveness (Global/Diversity).

Attributes: Inclusiveness.

Examination of virtue ethics from antiquity to the present.  Investigates what virtues are, whether virtues are better than vices, whether virtues are culturally relative or objectively good, and what anthropology best supports virtue ethics.

The meaning 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. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Explore-Arts, Humanities, and Cultures; Writing Intensive.

Attributes: CLAS Core: Humanities, Explore - Arts, Humanities, and Cultures, Writing Intensive.

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.

Approved for LAS Humanities area and Cultural Diversity requirements. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirements: Explore-Arts, Humanities, and Cultures; Writing Intensive.

Attributes: CLAS Core: Cultural Diversity Requirement, CLAS Core: Humanities, Explore - Arts, Humanities, and Cultures, Writing Intensive.

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

Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Writing Intensive. Meets with PHIL 5190.

Attributes: Writing Intensive.

Examination of the most influential recent works expressing the conservative, liberal, Marxist and anarchist contributions to contemporary social and political theory. Approved for LAS Social Science area requirement.

Approved for Compass Curriculum requirements: Explore-Society, Health and Behavior; Writing Intensive.

Attributes: CLAS Core: Social Sciences, Explore - Society, Health, & Behavior, Writing Intensive.

This course traces the historical origins of capitalism, explains the enlightenment ideals on which it is based, and then the various critiques it has endured.

Approved for LAS Social Sciences area requirement. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirements: Navigate; Sustainability; Writing Intensive.

An introductory course that provides an overview of first, second, and third wave feminism. Focus will be on how to avoid essentializing the category "Woman" and will examine how the intersection of various forms of oppression (gender, race, sexuality, economic class, and physical ability) shape and change feminist politics in the United States and globally.

Approved for LAS Cultural Diversity requirement. Prer., PHIL1000 or WEST 2010. Meets with WEST 3130.

Attributes: CLAS Core: Cultural Diversity Requirement.

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. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Navigate.

Attributes: CLAS Core: Global Awareness Requirement, Navigate.

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.

Prerequisite:  One prior Philosophy course or instructor's permission.

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.

This course explores philosophical questions, topics, and themes concerning the body in Western and Indian traditions. The approach to the material in this course is historical, cross-cultural, and above all philosophical.

Approved for LAS Global Awareness requirement.

Attributes: CLAS Core: Global Awareness Requirement.

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.

Approved for LAS Global Awareness requirement.

Attributes: CLAS Core: Global Awareness Requirement.

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.

Satisfies the LAS and Compass Curriculum Quantitative and Qualitative Reasoning requirement as a logic course when taken by a student who has either 1) successfully completed MATH 1040 (or a mathematics course that has college algebra as a prerequisite), OR 2) scored 87% or higher on the College Algebra placement test and scored 50% or higher on the Business Calculus placement test.

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.

Approved for Compass Curriculum requirements: Inclusiveness (Global/Diversity); Writing Intensive.

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.

Attributes: CLAS Core: 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.

Provides an in-depth analysis of Plato's texts. Besides hermeneutic issues as to how one ought to read the dialogues; ethical, cosmological, metaphysical and political questions emerging from Plato's works will be addressed. Prer., One previous Philosophy course.

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.

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.

Offers a careful reading of several Aristotelian works ranging from biology to ontology and ethics, with an eye towards how these may fit together as well as how Aristotle is situated in relation to Plato, the Presocratics, and Hellenistic thinkers. Prer., One previous course in Philosophy.

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.

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.

Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Writing Intensive.

Attributes: Writing Intensive.

This course will present a survey of thinkers who have reflected philosophically on the tenets and scripture of Judaism. The course begins with in-depth analysis of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament) and then moves through major figures such as Maimonides and Buber.

This course will present a survey of thinkers who have reflected philosophically and theologically on the tenets of the Christian faith. The course begins with the New Testament and moves through major figures such as Augustine, Aquinas, and Kierkegaard.

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.

An exploration of the development of Arab Islamic philosophy, history and culture through the Ottoman and Colonial periods into the construction of the modern Arab states and the emergence of contemporary Islamic political philosophy. Topics include nationalism, globalization, democracy, human rights and women.

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.

Relation between philosophical issues and film to show how philosophical concepts are embodied in film and filmmaking. Meets with PHIL 5720.

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 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. Req.: Previous philosophy course. Meets with PHIL 5060.

Main themes of existentialist thought from its origins in Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to such 20th century figures as Jaspers, Heidegger, Sartre and Camus. Approved for LAS Humanities area requirement.

Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Explore-Arts, Humanities, and Cultures. Meets with PHIL 5070.

Attributes: CLAS Core: Humanities, Explore - Arts, Humanities, and Cultures.

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

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.

Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Sustainability. Prer., Previous course in philosophy. Meets with PHIL 5140.

Attributes: Sustainability.

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, Health and Behavior. Meets with PHIL 5260.

Attributes: CLAS Core: Social Sciences, Explore - Society, Health, & Behavior.

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.

Approved for LAS Social Science area requirement. Meets with PHIL 5400.

Attributes: CLAS Core: Social Sciences

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.

Satisfies the LAS and Compass Curriculum Quantitative and Qualitative Reasoning requirement as a logic course when taken by a student who has either 1) successfully completed MATH 1040 (or a mathematics course that has college algebra as a prerequisite), OR 2) scored 87% or higher on the College Algebra placement test and scored 50% or higher on the Business Calculus placement test. Prer., PHIL 3420 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 3420 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.

Attributes: CLAS Core: Cultural Diversity Requirement.

This course is available to students interested in applied philosophy. Students will intern for organizations outside and inside the university community and reflect philosophically on their experience. Instructor approval required.

A thorough study of a single philosophical problem, system, or single philosopher. Meets with PHIL 5910

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.

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.

Approved for LAS Oral Communication requirement. Approved for Compass Curriculum requirement: Summit. Open to juniors/seniors only.

Attributes: CLAS Core: Oral Communication Requirement, Summit.