Philosophy

 

Philosophy Course Descriptions

PHL

050(I)

INDEPENDENT STUDY

One to four credit hours

See Independent Study Program, Section II

PHL

259,359,459

FACULTY-STUDENT COLLABORATION

Credit hours to be arranged

See FSC Program, Section II.

PHL

101

PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS

Three credit hours

An introduction to philosophical reflection and questioning through the examination of some of the central themes of philosophy.

PHL

102

ETHICS

Three credit hours

Classic Ethical theories such as virtue ethics, utilitarianism, and duty ethics are used to analyze current moral problems involving issues such as social justice, war, legal punishment, global issues, science and technology, and professional ethics.

PHL

103

PHILOSOPHY OF HUMAN NATURE

Three credit hours

A study of theories of human nature and their capacities to improve the human condition. Among the questions this area of philosophy considers are: What is the essential nature of the human being? What should characterize human life? Is there anything more to human life than what we experience with our senses? Readings are drawn from various disciplines, cultures, and/or historical periods.

PHL

104

CRITICAL THINKING

Three credit hours

A study of the basic skills of good reasoning needed for the intelligent and responsible use of reasoning in everyday life. Topics include identifying arguments and judging their validity and strength; identifying common fallacies of reasoning, use and abuse of language in persuasion, and principles of fair play in argumentation and debate.

PHL

201

LOGIC

Three credit hours

An introduction to the principles and methods of symbolic logic.

PHL

205(I)

TOPICS IN ETHICS

Three to four credit hours

A detailed study of a selected topic in ethics, such as Development Ethics and International Justice, War and Terrorism, or Cross-cultural Moral Disagreement. Topics vary from semester to semester in accordance with current interests of students and faculty; therefore this course may be repeated for credit.

PHL

207(D)

TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY 

Three to four credit hours

An inquiry at the intermediate level into philosophical issues, problems, or applications, such as Feminist Theory, Asian Philosophy, or Philosophy of Sex and Love. Topics vary from semester to semester in accordance with current interests of students and faculty; therefore this course may be repeated for credit.

PHL

209

POLITICAL AND SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY

Four credit hours

Critical evaluations of selected political and social concepts with historical and contemporary significance, including the state, law, government, power, political obligation, justice, rights, freedom, and equality. Extensive reading in original texts is required. May be offered less frequently than once a year.

PHL

211

CLASSICAL PHILOSOPHY

Four credit hours

Whitehead has correctly observed that "Philosophy is but a footnote to Plato."  Beginning with the Pre-Socratics and focusing on the great contributions of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, students will explore the Greek creation of philosophy as "the love of wisdom," and witness the birth of metaphysics, epistemology and ethics.  Offered biennially.

PHL

213

MODERN PHILOSOPHY

Three to four credit hours

An exploration of the two great developments of modern philosophy: the rationalist system-builders who endeavored to place the categories of religious metaphysics on firm scientific foundations, and the empiricists who started the modern preoccupation with subjectivity and the limits of knowledge.  Offered biennially.

PHL

214

NINETEENTH-CENTURY PHILOSOPHY

Four credit hours

An exploration of the great philosophies emerging from the rubble of the enlightenment ediface, with a focus on the human condition after the eclipse of system and sanity: Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marx, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche.  Offered biennially.

PHL

249F

PHILOSOPHY OF ART

Four credit hours

An examination of the problems that arise when we reflect upon the nature and basis of criticism of works of art. May be offered less than once a year.

PHL

263(D)

SEMINAR

Three or four credit hours

Varied topics of specialized interest. Offered to advanced and qualified students.

PHL

270D

FEMINIST PHILOSOPHY

Four credit hours

This course will explore contemporary feminist theory across a range of topics including oppression and resistance, sexualities, race and racism, feminist political and ethical theories, feminist epistemologies and ontologies.  It is meant as a broad introduction to a number of key areas of feminist philosophy.

PHL

271D

PHILOSOPHY OF SEXUALITY

Three or four credit hours

This course introduces students to a range of issues related to sexuality, with a particular focus on the relevance of gender to sexuality in the West.  We will investigate issues such as sexual orientation, transsexuality, marriage and fidelity, pornography and prostitution, and sexual violence.  Warning: this course contains some graphic materials, students must be 18 years old.

PHL

272I

INTERNATIONAL ETHICS

Three credit hours

An exploration of the philosophical and ethical foundations of human rights with a view to the relevance of human rights to the just war tradition and modern security challenges, cultural disagreements, and global poverty.  Students examine their own ethical obligations in connection to these international issues.

PHL

273I

ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS

Three credit hours

An exploration of the ethical issues associated with the impact of human activity on the environment, eco-systems, and biodiversity.  Course addresses broad questions such as: how should we conceive our relationship to the natural environment?  Does sustainability demand a new biocentric ethic?  Do non-humans (e.g. other animals, natural objects) have rights? What responsibilities do we have to future generations?  Students will also explore some specific issues (e.g. energy, food production), their personal obligation to sustainable living, and the local context.

PHL

314(I)

CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY

Four credit hours

Prerequisite: One 100 or 200-level PHL course, or LAS 200, or consent of the instructor.

A detailed investigation of the works of a significant philosopher or movement of the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. Topics vary from semester to semester in accordance with current interests of students and faculty; therefore this course may be repeated for credit.

PHL

371

ADVANCED TOPICS

Four credit hours

Prerequisite: One 100 or 200-level PHL course, or LAS 200, or consent of the instructor.

A detailed study of a selected topic in philosophy. Student interest will help to determine what topics will be offered. May be repeated for credit, provided that the topic is different from any for which the student has already received credit. Topics to be announced. May be offered less frequently than once a year.

PHL

372

GREAT PHILOSOPHERS

Four credit hours

Prerequisite: One 100 or 200-level PHL course, or LAS 200, or consent of the instructor.

A detailed investigation of the works of a significant philosopher or philosophic tradition. Student interest will help to determine what topics will be offered. May be repeated for credit, provided the topic is different from any for which the student has already received credit. Topics to be announced. May be offered less frequently than once a year.

PHL

464

SENIOR TUTORIAL

One to three credit hours

Prerequisite: Senior major status.

Under tutorial supervision, students are given extensive training in the analysis of a philosophical problem or system with a view to producing a senior thesis.

PHL

491,492

DEPARTMENTAL THESIS/PROJECT

Credit hours to be arranged

See Departmental Thesis/Project, Section II.

 

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