Courses

An introduction to the critical method of philosophy and the logic which lies at its base. This method is taught by studying some of the classic problems in philosophy and being exposed to several of the most important philosophers in history. Topics may include: proofs of God, free will/determinism, problems of knowledge, metaphysics, personal identity, and the meaning of life.

Credit Hours: 3

An introduction to, and study of, the rival philosophical theories that claim to provide a foundation for our ethical outlooks. Topics include: utilitarianism/consequentialism, deontology, and virtue ethics. In addition, a study of some applied ethical issues (abortion, euthanasia, death penalty) in light of these theories may be included.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 or permission of instructor

Logic is the science of good reasoning, and is thus essential to improving critical thinking skills. This course introduces the formal, mathematical aspects of deductive reasoning. It may also discuss informal logical principles and common mistakes in reasoning.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

Investigates, both historically and systematically, philosophical questions concerning the human person: the nature of sensory, intellectual, emotional and volitional life; the spirituality and immortality of the soul; freedom; the foundation of the human person’s moral and social being.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

At its core, epistemology attempts to explain what makes a belief a good one. Topics include the nature of knowledge, philosophical skepticism, the structure of justification for beliefs, and the sources of such justification.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

A study of classical, modern, and contemporary social and political theories; the values toward which the social process is directed; the power and authority of the state; law as an agent of social control; political obligations; the idea of justice.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

Science seems to be a paradigm source of knowledge, but it is unclear just what science is, and in what sense it is successful. Topics include the distinction between science (astronomy, evolution) and pseudoscience (astrology, creationism), the nature of scientific explanations and laws, the reality of theoretical entities, and the role of values and aesthetics in scientific theorizing.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

Metaphysics is the most general study of things and how they are— of existents and their properties. Topics include free will, personal identity, realism and idealism, possibility and necessity, cosmology, causation, and time.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

This course is a study of some central questions about the human mind and its place in nature. Topics will include: theories of the relation between mental states and physical states, artificial intelligence, the nature of mental representation, and the place of consciousness in a physicalistic worldview.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

A study of the main problems of Philosophy in the thought of the Greens and Romans. The primary focus of the course will be on the philosophical writings and arguments of the two most important philosophers of antiquity, Plato and Aristotle. There will also be some attention given to the Presocratic philosophers, and to the Stoic and Epicurean philosophers.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

A study of the main problems of philosophy in the thought of Medieval Philosophers. Typical authors whose positions are studied include Boethius, Anselm, Abelard, Aquinas, Scotus and Ockham. General topics that may be studied include: relation of philosophy to theology, medieval ontology, anthropology, ethics and action theory.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

This course will examine the major trends in philosophy from the development of the scientific method around 1600 to the birth of idealism in the writings of Immanuel Kant around 1800. Through the writings of authors such as Descartes, Berkeley, Leibniz and Hume, the course will examine the debate between rationalism and empiricism over the nature of human knowledge. It will also examine counter-enlightenment thinkers such as Pascal, Rousseau and Vico who questioned the value of the new scientific method.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

An introduction to the historical development of phenomenology and existentialism from its origins in the problems of classical idealism as developed in the writings of authors such as Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Husserl, Scheler, Heidegger, Marcel, Sartre, Merleau- Ponty and Ricoeur.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

The philosophy of language examines the relationship between meaningful symbols and the world they represent--semantics, broadly understood. Topics include meaning and truth, the analytic and synthetic, speech acts, linguistic pragmatics, proper names, demonstratives, metaphors, concepts, and the normativity of meaning.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

An investigation into the principal mainstreams of thought which have most influenced the cultural trends and patterns of Eastern thought in general, with particular reference to the effects in India, China, Japan and the Philippines.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

This course will lead students to respond to the question: What is art? The students will examine many philosophical topics that bear on this question including the nature of beauty (aesthetics), the metaphysical significance of art, the nature of emotional expression, the relationship of art to culture, and art as political expression.

Through the application of general moral principles this course develops the student’s ability to think critically about the diverse moral relationships that occur in the economic order. This course investigates the relationship of what is good and right to decision-making in the field of business both at the corporate and individual levels.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

A philosophical examination and exploration of issues surrounding religion, religious beliefs, and religious concepts. Issues that may be covered include: the relationship between faith and reason, what counts as a good reason to believe in a Divine Being, can a God be proven to exist, the attributes of God, the problem of evil, the possibility of miracles and religious pluralism.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

A survey of contemporary ethical issues in medicine. Possible topics of study include informed consent, advanced directives, abortion, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, reproductive technologies, gene therapy, the ethics of organ donation, stem-cell research, the ethics of both animal and human experimentation, resource allocation, and patient autonomy.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

This course will introduce students to major topics in environmental ethics. Questions to be addressed include: does nature have intrinsic value? Is there a real distinction between the “natural” and the “non-natural”? What interventions in the natural world by humans are justified? Ought nature to be preserved or conserved?

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and 206

This course is designed to develop the student’s ability to think critically about the philosophical basis of law. Topics include the evaluation of opposing arguments on the distinction between natural law theory versus legal positivism, the relationship between the law and morality, rights theory, notions of responsibility, and punishment theory.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

This course offers in depth study of contemporary debates in philosophy. The course may focus on specific topics in different areas of philosophy or on debated issues in the study of the history of philosophy. May be taken up to three times with different course material.

Credit Hours: 3   /   Prerequisites: PHI 105 and PHI 206

The course will be structured as a capstone, senior seminar course in which the student will complete an individually tailored research project commensurate with the skills of an advanced student in philosophy. The student will be required to learn how to do philosophical research, write an intensive philosophical paper, and present and defend his or her findings.

Credit Hours: 3

Individual research of a substantive nature pursued in the student’s major field of study. The research will conclude in a written thesis or an original project, and an oral defense.

Credit Hours: 6

Open to the superior junior or senior student whose project has been accepted for direction by a department faculty member and approved by the chairperson.

Credit Hours: 3