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Course Descriptions: Philosophy (PHIL)

General education courses are marked with an asterisk (*).


*1000 Introduction to Philosophy (3) Credit will not be given for both this course and PHIL 1001. Major works on such themes as appearance and reality, human nature, nature of knowledge, relation of mind and body, right and good, existence of God, and freedom and determinism.



*1001 HONORS: Introduction to Philosophy (3)
Same as PHIL 1000, with a special honors emphasis for qualified students. Credit will not be given for both this course and PHIL 1000.

 

*1021 Introduction to Logic (3) No special background presupposed. Formal and informal reasoning; introduction to propositional logic; formal and informal fallacies; scientific reasoning.

 

2000 Contemporary Moral Problems (3) Philosophical study of contemporary moral problems such as capital punishment, preferential treatment, sexual equality, sexual liberation, terrorism, war and nuclear arms, animal rights, world hunger, environmental ethics, and the morality of suicide.

 

*2010 Symbolic Logic I (3) Classical propositional and first-order predicate logic; syntax and semantics of formal languages; translation between formal languages and English; formal methods of proof.

 

2018 Professional Ethics (3) Special problems of obligation and valuation related to law, medicine, politics, and education, as well as business, engineering, and architecture; altruism, trust, vocation, codes of honor, professional privilege, and responsibilities for others arising from differential abilities.

 

*2020 Ethics (3) Classical and recent theories of obligation and value, including works of philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hume, and Nietzsche; topics including freedom, rights, justification of moral judgments.

 

2021 Environmental Ethics (3) Ethical relations to other humans through the environment and to non-humans within the environment. Topics may include: animal rights, the intrinsic value of nature, deep ecology, climate change, and pollution.

 

2022 Philosophy and Popular Culture (3) May be taken for a max. of 6 sem. hrs of credit when topics vary. Philosophical themes in works of popular culture from television, film, science fiction, fantasy, comic books and/or music.

 

*2023 Philosophy of Art (3) Philosophical theories of beauty, art, and art criticism.

 

*2024 Philosophy in Literature (3) Philosophical themes in world literature: fiction, poetry, drama, and autobiography.

 

2025 Bioethics (3) Defining health and disease; deciding on rights, duties, and obligations in the patient-physician relationship; abortion and the concept of a person; defining and determining death; euthanasia and the dignity of death; allocation of medical resources, both large-scale and small-scale; experimentation with fetuses, children, prisoners, and animals; genetic testing, screening, and interference.

 

*2028 Philosophy of Religion (3) Same as REL 2028. Essence and meaning of religion as a pervasive phenomenon in human societies; faith and reason, nature of divinity, arguments for and against God's existence, religious knowledge and experience, morality and cult, the problem of evil.

 

*2033 History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (3) An honors course, PHIL 2053, is also available. Credit will not be given for this course and PHIL 2053. Introduction to philosophy through a study of some of the main writings of classical and medieval philosophy.

 

2034 HONORS: Tutorial in Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (1) To be taken concurrently with PHIL 2033. 1 hr. of tutorial instruction per week for honors students.

 

*2035 History of Modern Philosophy (3) An honors course, PHIL 2036, is also available. Introduction to philosophy through a study of some of the main writings of modern philosophy.

 

2036 HONORS: Tutorial in Modern Philosophy (1) To be taken concurrently with PHIL 2035. 1 hr. of tutorial instruction per week for honors students.

 

*2053 HONORS: History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (3) Prereq.: one course in philosophy, or permission of instructor. Same as PHIL 2033 with a special honors emphasis for qualified students. Credit will not be given for this course and PHIL 2033. Supervised reading, discussion, research, and writing.

 

2745 Knowledge and Reality (3) Introduction to central epistemological and metaphysical questions: mind and matter; causation and free will; space and time; meaning and truth; the nature of knowledge and justified belief; perception, memory, reasoning, and testimony as sources of knowledge and justified belief.

 

2786 Logic, Science, and Society (3) Prereq.: completed analytical reasoning area of general education or consent of instructor. Logic, evidence, probability, and induction; objectivity and relativism; technology and utopia.

 

2953 HONORS: Philosophical Colloquium (3) Prereq.: a grade of "B" or higher in at least one other philosophy course; or consent of instructor. Subject drawn from prominent philosophical works.

 

2963, 2964, 2965 HONORS: Independent Work for Honors Students (1,1,1) Prereq.: sophomore standing, completion of at least 3 hrs. of philosophy with a grade of "B" or higher, and a GPA of at least 3.00 in all work taken. Readings, conferences, and reports under faculty direction.

 

3001 Existentialism (3) Basic themes of existentialist philosophy; the works of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Jaspers, Heidegger, Camus, Marcel, and Sartre.

 

3002 Philosophy and Film (3) Films as philosophical texts.

 

3003 French Existentialism (3) Major themes, issues, and theories of the French existentialist; existence, essence, and the question of Being; death, nothingness, and anxiety; freedom, responsibility, and values; the ethical and the other; authors include Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone De Beauvoir, Maurice Merleau-Ponty; Albert Camus, Emmanuel Levinas, Jean Beaufret, Gabriel Marcel, Emmanuel Mounier.

 

3015 Christian Philosophy (3) Prereq.: one course in either philosophy or religious studies or equivalent. Also offered as REL 3015. Applications of philosophy to such themes in Christianity as knowing God, the nature, and structure of faith, revelation, incarnation, faith and science, Christianity and other faiths.

 

3020 Special Topics in Philosophy (1-3) May be taken twice for credit when topics vary.

 

3052 Moral Philosophy (3) May be taken twice when topics vary. Topics in ethics and meta-ethics: egoism, consequentialism, deontology, moral relativism, virtue ethics, values, ethics and religion; naturalistic fallacy, truth and justification, realism and objectivity, motivation and practical reasoning, autonomy, and game theory.

 

3062 Introduction to Political Philosophy (3) Fundamental concepts and theories that deal with justice and liberties of individuals, entitlements and distributive justice, the role and limit of State power.

 

3072 Philosophy of Rawls (3) A close examination of some of the key texts in the political philosophy of John Rawls.

 

3090 Friedrich Nietzsche (3) See GERM 3090.

 

3110 The Philosophy of Socrates (3) Early dialogues of Plato; Socrates on pleasure, friendship, virtue, justice, courage, temperance, wisdom, and happiness; on knowing the better and following the worse; on reason and inspiration; Socratic irony.

 

3950 Introduction to Epistemology (3) Survey of central issues in the theory of knowledge; knowledge as justified true belief; the Gettier problem; induction as a source of justification; a priori knowledge; fallibilist vs. infallibilist and internalist vs externalist conceptions of justification; structure of justification.

 

4002 Philosophy of Film (3) Theories of film.

 

4003 Contemporary French Philosophy (3) Major contemporary French philosophers, including Bergson, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, De Beauvoir, Levinas, Derrida, Foucault, Nancy Ricoeur, Marion, Janicaud; themes such as the rethinking of ethics, the question of humanism, and political thought; intellectual movements such as structuralism and post-structuralism, phenomenology, hermeutics and deconstruction, feminism and psychoanalysis.

 

4010 Symbolic Logic II (3) Prereq.: PHIL 2010 or consent of instructor. Syntax and basic model theory of classical first order logic; soundness and completeness.

 

4011 Topics in Advanced Logic (3) Prereq.: PHIL 4010 or consent of instructor. Also offered as LING 4011. Topics may include advanced metatheory of symbolic languages, intentional logics and Montague grammar.

 

4015 Philosophy of Male and Female (3) Philosophical examination of the concepts of human nature that underlie a variety of theories about women and femininity.

 

4098 Politics and Ethics (3) See POLI 4098.

 

4786 Selected Topics (3) May be taken for a max. of 6 sem. hrs. when topics vary.

 

4914 Philosophy of Language (3) Prereq.: one logic course or consent of instructor. Also offered as LING 4914. Various theories of meaning, their implications and presuppositions, and their relevance to issues in such areas as theory of perception, theory of truth, metaphysics, ethics, philosophy of mind and action.

 

4920 Presocratic Philosophy (3) Prereq.: PHIL 2033 or equivalent. Study of the major Presocratic Philosophers from Thales up to and including the Sophists.

 

4922 Plato (3) Prereq.: PHIL 2033 or equivalent. Topics from Plato’s epistemology and metaphysics.

 

4924 Aristotle (3) Prereq.: PHIL 2033 or equivalent. Topics from Aristotle's Metaphysics, Physics, De Anima, and the logical treatises.

 

4926 Hellenistic Philosophy (3) Prereq.: PHIL 2033 or equivalent. Study of the major Hellenistic Philosophical Schools: the Epicureans, the Stoics, and the Sceptics.

 

4928 Medieval Philosophy (3) Also offered as REL 4928. Analysis of key themes, traditions, and figures in medieval philosophy.

 

4931 Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz (3) Prereq.: 6 hrs. of philosophy or consent of instructor. 17th century rationalism, with emphasis on epistemology and metaphysics.

 

4933 Locke, Berkeley, Hume (3) Language, epistemology, ontology, self, God, causation, realism, and idealism in the writings of these British empiricists.

 

4935 Kant (3) Prereq.: PHIL 2035 or equivalent. Basic topics and arguments of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason.

 

4936 19th Century Philosophy (3) Prereq.: PHIL 2033 and 2035; or equivalent. 19th century philosophy, with emphasis on German thought; readings in Fichte, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Bergson, and others.

 

4947 Topics in Philosophy of Law (3) Applied issues in philosophy of law, including philosophical analysis of Supreme Court rulings.

 

4938 Philosophical Thought in America (3) Late 19th and early 20th centuries; topics from such philosophers as Peirce, James, Royce, Dewey, Santayana, Ward, and Mead.

 

4939 Kierkegaard (3) Also offered as REL 4939. Study of his works, such as, Either/Or, The Sickness Unto Death, Fear and Trembling, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, Stages on Lifes Way, and The Present Age.

 

4940 Aesthetics (3) Meaning and truth in the arts; artistic intention; critical canons.

 

4941 Philosophy of Mind (3) Prereq.: PHIL 2033 and 2035; or equivalent. Recent philosophical treatments of human nature; the mind-body problem, identity of the person in time, the person as rational and volitional, and relation of the person to the world.

 

4942 Topics in Meta-Ethics (3) Prereq.: two courses in philosophy or consent of instructor. May be taken for a max. of 6 sem. hrs. of credit when topics vary. Naturalistic fallacy, truth and meaning, realism an objectivity, motivation and practical reasoning, autonomy, and justification of ethical theory.

 

4943 Problems in Ethical Theory (3) Prereq.: two courses in philosophy or consent of instructor. May be taken for a max. of 6 sem. hrs. of credit when topics vary. Egoism, utilitarianism, deontological systems, intuitionism, moral particularism, virtue ethics, relativism, weakness of will, and value theory.

 

4944 Philosophical Theology (3) Prereq.: two courses in philosophy and/or religious studies. Also offered as REL 4944. Major themes and works in philosophical theology.

 

4945 Problems in Political Philosophy (3) Prereq.: PHIL 1000 or 2020 or 3052 or equivalent. Freedom, obligation, authority, justice, law, the state, and revolution.

 

4946 Philosophy of Law (3) Core philosophical issues in legal theory and jurisprudence. Applied issues in philosophy of law, including philosophical analysis of Supreme Court rulings.

 

4947 Topics in Philosophy of Law (3) Applied issues in philosophy of law, including philosophical analysis of Supreme Court rulings.

 

4948 Phenomenology (3) Prereq.: PHIL 2035 or 4936 or equivalent. Contemporary phenomenology; readings in Husserl.

 

4950 Advanced Epistemology (3) Prereq.: PHIL 3950 or consent of instructor. Topics may include naturalized epistemology, internalism vs. externalism about justification; a priori knowledge; justification and truth; skepticism, Bayesian approaches to justification, contextualist theories of knowledge and the possibility of non-inferential justification. 

 

4951 Philosophy of Science (3) Prereq.: consent of instructor. Philosophical issues related to concept formation and theory construction in the natural, behavioral, and social sciences.

 

4952 Topics in Metaphysics (3) May be taken for a max. of 6 sem. hrs. of credit when topics vary. Topics include ontology, modalities, universals, truth, causation, reductionism, identity (physical and personal), realism, and the meaning of life.

 

4953 Contemporary Analytic Philosophy (3) Prereq.: one logic course and either PHIL 2035 or 4933. Topics from leading philosophers in such contemporary movements as logical empiricism, formalism, and ordinary language analysis, including readings from Moore, Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Goodman, Ryle, Strawson, and Quine.

 

4954 Recent Speculative Philosophy (3) Prereq.: two other philosophy courses or consent of instructor. Theories of being and knowing in recent absolute idealism, process philosophy, and phenomenological existentialism.

 

4972 Kant’s Moral Philosophy (3) Study of selected Kant’s works in moral philosophy such as, Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, Metaphysics of Morals, Critique of Practical Reason, and Anthropology From A Pragmatic Point of View.

 

4991 Independent Reading and Research (1-3) Prereq.: written consent of instructor and department. May be taken for a max. of 6 hrs. of credit when topics vary. Total credit earned as a graduate student in PHIL 4991 and PHIL 7991 combined may not exceed 9 hrs.

 

7901 Seminar in Contemporary Analytic Philosophy (3) Philosophy of language, metaphysics, realism, anti-realism, and philosophy of logic and mathematics.

 

7903 Seminar in Continental Philosophy (3) Major figures and/or movements in continental philosophy.

 

7905 Seminar in History of Philosophy (3) May be taken for a max. of 9 hrs. of credit when topics vary. Study of a major philosopher or school of philosophy.

 

7910 Seminar (3) May be taken for a max. of 6 hrs. of credit when topics vary. May be offered as LING 7910 when topic is appropriate.

 

7991 Independent Reading and Research (1-6) Prereq.: written consent of instructor and departmental director of graduate studies. Total credit earned as a graduate student in PHIL 4991 and PHIL 7991 combined may not exceed 9 sem. hrs.

 

8000 Thesis Research (1-12 per sem.) “S”/”U” grading.