Philosophy Courses


Philosophy Courses


PHIL 210. CRITICAL THINKING. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: successful completion of ENGL 101 and pre-university basic skills in mathematics.
Satisfies: GECR for humanities and fine arts, list 3, philosophy and reasoning.
Logic as a tool for the analysis of informal arguments. The course develops techniques for formalizing and testing arguments from everyday life.

PHIL 211. INTRODUCTORY PHILOSOPHY. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: successful completion of ENGL 101.
Satisfies: GECR for humanities and fine arts, list 3, philosophy and reasoning.
Some traditional problems about the nature of the world and human knowledge. Typical problems concern the existence of God, personal identity and free will, the relations of minds to bodies and of perception to the external world.

PHIL 212. INTRODUCTORY ETHICS. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: successful completion of ENGL 101.
Satisfies: GECR for humanities and fine arts, list 3, philosophy and reasoning.
An examination of the nature and content of morality. Two questions are central: Is morality based on knowledge or on emotion? Is there a rational motive to act morally?

PHIL 213. MORAL ISSUES IN AMERICA. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: successful completion of ENGL 101.
Satisfies: GECR for humanities and fine arts, list 3, philosophy and reasoning.
An introduction to normative moral issues in current thought and life. Typical problems concern social justice, the relation of work to a person’s concept of himself, manipulation and indoctrination in a technological society and relationships between social success and human flourishing.

PHIL 214. PHILOSOPHICAL VOICES AND POP CULTURE. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: ENGL 101.
Satisfies: cultural and gender diversity university graduation requirement.
This course is a thematic survey of several areas of basic philosophical problems. It will combine an examination of philosophical themes in media and popular culture—including fiction, television and cinema—with retrieval of under-represented, diverse voices addressing each thematic area. Themes may include, but are not restricted to: metaphysics, theory of mind and knowledge, aesthetics, ethics and social and political theory.

PHIL 296. EXPERIMENTAL COURSE. 1-5 Credits.

Experimental course.

PHIL 299. INDEPENDENT STUDY. 1-5 Credits.

Independent Study

PHIL 301. INTRODUCTION TO FORMAL LOGIC. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: successful completion of ENGL 101 and and MTHD 104 or placement into college-level MATH. PHIL 210 suggested.
Logic as a formal deductive system. The course develops sentential logic and introduces predicate logic. It examines arguments typical of science and mathematics and covers some elementary metatheorems for sentential logic.

PHIL 311. SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY. 5 Credits.

Cross-listed: HONS 311.
Pre-requisites: successful completion of ENGL 101.
Major political theories and analysis of arguments that attempt to justify actual or proposed political and social institutions.

PHIL 312. PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION. 5 Credits.

Cross-listed: HONS 312.
Pre-requisites: successful completion of ENGL 101.
Philosophical problems with religion and theology. Typical problems concern the existence of God, God’s relation to evil, the immortality of the soul, the meaning of religious language and the criteria for theological verification.

PHIL 320. HISTORY OF ANCIENT WESTERN PHILOSOPHY. 5 Credits.

Cross-listed: HONS 320.
Pre-requisites: successful completion of ENGL 101.
The history of Greek philosophy from the first theories about the causes of the universe to the Socratic inquiry about how to live and to Plotinus’ theory of the soul.

PHIL 321. HISTORY OF MODERN WESTERN PHILOSOPHY. 5 Credits.

Cross-listed: HONS 321.
Pre-requisites: successful completion of ENGL 101.
16th–18th century European philosophy against the background of religion and science. The main theme is the relation of knowledge to reason and experience.

PHIL 322. HISTORY OF CONTEMPORARY WESTERN PHILOSOPHY. 5 Credits.

Cross-listed: HONS 322.
Pre-requisites: successful completion of ENGL 101.
This course is a survey of the major European and American schools of the 19th and 20th century philosophy. Course material includes German idealism, existentialism, utilitarianism, Marxism, pragmatism, feminism, logical positivism and post-modernism.

PHIL 331. CHINESE PHILOSOPHY. 5 Credits.

Cross-listed: HONS 331.
Pre-requisites: successful completion of ENGL 101.
Confucius’ humanistic ethics, the naturalistic philosophy of Taoism and Buddhism—especially the Zen Buddhist method of enlightenment.

PHIL 398. SEMINARS ON SELECTED TOPICS. 1-5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: 5 credits of philosophy and successful completion of ENGL 101.

PHIL 400. SPECIAL PERIODS IN THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY. 5 Credits.

Cross-listed: HONS 400.
Pre-requisites: successful completion of ENGL 101.
Intensive study of a period in the history of philosophy that is not included in the 320–322 sequence.

PHIL 411. THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: 5 credits of philosophy and successful
completion of ENGL 101. The nature, grounds, and limits of human knowledge. Topics typical of the course are perception, memory, truth, knowledge of other minds, and the relations among knowing, believing and doubting.

PHIL 417. WOMEN AND ETHICS. 5 Credits.

Cross-listed: WMST 417.
Pre-requisites: at least one of the following: WMST 101 or WMST 310 or PHIL 211 or PHIL 212.
Satisfies: cultural and gender diversity university graduation requirement.
The course will begin with a brief examination of the treatment of women within traditional ethics. We will then address the views of early women philosophers, followed by a close analysis of contemporary feminist approaches to ethics.

PHIL 420. QUEER THEORY. 5 Credits.

Cross-listed: WMST 420.
Pre-requisites: junior standing.
This course examines the emerging field of queer theory. Queer theory questions the stability of various identity categories, suggesting instead that all performances of sex, gender, and sexuality are influenced by cultural, historical and political factors.

PHIL 435. MAJOR AUTHORS IN THE HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY. 5 Credits.

Cross-listed: HONS 435.
Notes: repeatable for credit with different authors.
Pre-requisites: successful completion of ENGL 101.
Intensive study of a single major philosopher.

PHIL 440. WOMEN AND PHILOSOPHY. 5 Credits.

Cross-listed: WMST 440.
Pre-requisites: at least 4 credits in WMST and/or PHIL.
The course offers an examination of the treatment of concepts relating to women and femininity, both by traditional philosophers and by more recent feminist philosophers. The course will address key issues within philosophy while simultaneously exploring the role of gender in the production of philosophical knowledge.

PHIL 445. BIOMEDICAL ETHICS. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: ENGL 101.
This course is an examination of a variety of moral theories as well as professional oaths and codes of ethics in order to clarify, analyze and propose solutions to significant contemporary ethical problems in biological research and medical practice. These may include abortion, genetic research on humans, animals and crops, stem cell research, advance directives, end-of-life issues, etc.

PHIL 447. ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: PHIL 212 or PHIL 213 or permission of instructor.
This course is a study of mainstream and alternative moral theories regarding the environment, including the application of these theories towards contemporary environmental problems, such as climate change, pollution, resource depletion, species extinction and land use.

PHIL 490. PHILOSOPHY SENIOR CAPSTONE. 5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: completion of PHIL 301, PHIL 320, PHIL 321 and PHIL 322.
Satisfies: senior capstone university graduation requirement.
In this seminar, the advanced student of philosophy consolidates and synthesizes philosophical scholarship and community-focused, practical application. Working collaboratively, instructor and students relate the theories and methods of public intellectuals and social critics across various disciplines, drawing conclusions about the nature of critical thinking, public argumentation, and social change.

PHIL 496. EXPERIMENTAL COURSE. 1-5 Credits.

PHIL 497. WORKSHOP, SHORT COURSE, CONFERENCE, SEMINAR. 1-5 Credits.

PHIL 498. SEMINARS. 1-5 Credits.

PHIL 499. DIRECTED STUDY. 1-5 Credits.

Pre-requisites: 10 credits of philosophy and successful completion of ENGL 101; permission of the instructor, department chair and college dean.