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Courses

The Department of Philosophy offers a wide range of courses on ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, logic, philosophy of science, and other areas of philosophical inquiry. Here is a list of our regularly offered courses, along with their short catalog descriptions. (For more detailed descriptions of courses being offered in particular semesters, please follow the links to the right.)

100-level

PHIL 100: Problems of Philosophy (GEF 5)

An elementary examination of such philosophical problems as the mind-body problem, the existence of God, freedom and determinism, and the nature of persons and their knowledge.

PHIL 130: Current Moral Problems (GEF 5)

An examination of current moral problems. Topics include some of the following: abortion, euthanasia, sexism and sexual equality, preferential treatment, animal rights, sexual morality, pornography, economic justice, paternalism, punishment, and nuclear deterrence.

PHIL 147: Philosophy and Film (GEF 6)

An introduction to philosophical questions and problems through the medium of film. Questions emphasized and films viewed will vary by semester and instructor.

PHIL 170: Introduction to Critical Reasoning (GEF 5)

An elementary study of critical thinking and reasoning. For students who want to improve their skills in recognizing fallacious patterns of reasoning, constructing acceptable arguments, and criticizing faulty lines of reasoning.

200-level

PHIL 212: Philosophy of Sport (GEF 5)

Compare and evaluate issues, ideas and arguments on the Nature of Sport, Aesthetic value in Sport, and Ethics in Sport. The course also explores the history and language of sport as it relates to understanding Sport.

PHIL 244: History of Ancient Philosophy (GEF 5)

An introduction to the philosophies of the pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans, and the Stoics.

PHIL 248: History of Modern Philosophy (GEF 5)

A study of selected writings by major philosophers of the Western world from Descartes to Kant.

PHIL 260: Introduction to Symbolic Logic (GEF 3)

An introduction to modern symbolic logic (basically, propositional logic and the predicate calculus) for students who want to acquire the skill to represent symbolically the form of deductive arguments and to test formally for validity.

300-level

PHIL 301: Metaphysics

Traditional problems associated with reality and experience, universals and particulars, causality, space and time, matter and mind, and the nature of the self.

PHIL 302: Theory of Knowledge

The nature and scope of human knowledge. Topics may include perception, belief, truth, evidence, certainty, and skepticism.

PHIL 306: Philosophy of Mind

Topics to be selected from: the mind-body problem, psychological explanation, psychology and the neurosciences, personal identity, consciousness, artificial intelligence, mental representation, emotions, intentionality, folk psychology, and other minds.

PHIL 308: Philosophy of Religion

Examines questions of belief in God's existence, life after death, the problem of evil, determinism and divine fore knowledge, or other topics bearing upon the nature of a religious orientation to life.

PHIL 310: Philosophy of Science

Philosophical problems associated with the concepts and methodology of science.

PHIL 312: Philosophy of Language

An introduction to the philosophical study of language focusing on questions and puzzles about reference, meaning, truth and necessity.

PHIL 313: Philosophy of Race

An examination of metaphysical and ethical questions about race. Topics may include the nature of race, social construction, the varieties of racism (personal, institutional, and systemic), racial cognition and implicit bias, the (mis)use of the concept of race in medicine and science, affirmative action, reparations, and integration.

PHIL 314: Philosophy of Sex and Gender

An examination of historical and contemporary philosophical debates about the nature of and ethical issues related to sex, gender, and sexuality. Topics covered include the nature of biological sex, the construction of gender, historical and contemporary works in feminist philosophy, and the ethics of sexual activities such as prostitution.

PHIL 315: Free Will and Moral Responsibility

Examines the concept of free will and the question of whether human beings are free in a way that allows them to be responsible for their behavior. Topics include the compatibility of freedom and determinism, the relationship between free will and moral responsibility, whether social factors and psychological impairments undermine freedom and responsibility, and the relationship between responsibility and punishment.

PHIL 321: Ethical Theory

Topics to be selected from the following: an examination of major ethical theories, justification in ethics, moral truth, ethical skepticism, moral rights and duties, and the meaning of ethical concepts.

PHIL 323: Social and Political Philosophy

An examination of the relationships among the individual, society and the state. Possible topics include justifications of the state, justice, rights, liberty, equality, and arguments for socialism and capitalism.

PHIL 325: Philosophy of Law

An introduction to the philosophical study of law; topics to be selected from: theories of the nature of law, legal obligation, responsibility, punishment, free speech, paternalism, legal moralism, and legal ethics.

PHIL 331: Health Care Ethics

Topics: Clinician-patient relationship, life-sustaining treatment, physician assisted death, physician-nurse conflicts, confidentiality, research, reproductive technology, abortion, maternal/fetal conflicts, genetics, rationing, and access.

PHIL 346: History of Ethics

An examination of such issues as the nature of the good life, the just society, and our moral responsibilities. Such major philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant, and Mill will be studied.

PHIL 354: Themes in Continental Philosophy

Nineteenth and twentieth-century French and German philosophers such as Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Habermas, Sartre, Foucault, Derrida; philosophers and themes will vary.

PHIL 355: Existentialism

Survey of the major existentialist thinkers.

PHIL 360: Truth, Proof, and Possibility

Concepts of mathematical, philosophical, and modal logic, including the proof theory, soundness and completeness of standard propositional and first order logic, trivalent and intuitionistic logics, and semantics for quantified modal logic.

400-level

PHIL 480: Capstone Seminar

Advanced philosophical investigation of selected problems and/or major philosophers.