Courses

Code Course Credits

PHL 100

The Examined Life (Core)

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

An introductory examination of the history and nature or Western philosophical thought from the ancient Greeks to the present.

Fulfills the Philosophy Cornerstone requirement.

3

PHL 110

Gods, Souls, and Bodies (First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

In this course, we will wrestle with big philosophical questions about ourselves, God, and the world. Why does God allow suffering? How do you know that this table is real? Do we have souls or are we just thinking meat? What happens when we die? Is everything relative?

Prerequisite(s): Open to First-Year Students only.
Fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Philosophy Cornerstone Requirements.

4

PHL 111

Questioning Love and Desire (First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

The very word "philosophy" means love of wisdom, and love has been one of the central preoccupations of philosophers from ancient Greece to present times. This course will introduce students to philosophy through exploring the question of love and desire and their role in living meaningfully.

Prerequisite(s): Open to First-Year Students only.
Fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Cornerstone Philosophy Requirements.

4

PHL 112

Face it, You're Going to Die - Philosophical Answers and Questions (First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

This course will focus mainly on philosophical questions about the self and death: What am "I"? Do we have souls or are we just physical bodies? Does "person" necessarily mean "human"? What makes someone the same person over time? What happens after death? If death is the end, is that a bad thing? Is suicide ever rational or morally acceptable?

Prerequisite(s): Open to First-Year Students only.
Fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Philosophy Cornerstone Requirements.

4

PHL 113

Philosophy: What Does it All Mean? (First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

In this course, we will examine some perennial issues in philosophy, including the nature of the self, knowledge, friendship and love, tragedy, and freedom and justice.

Prerequisite(s): PHL 113 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
Fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Philosophy Cornerstone requirements.

4

PHL 114

Philosophy: Our Bodies, Ourselves (First Year Seminar)

Offered: Fall Semester

This course explores some of the questions that are raised by recognizing that we are not just minds- we are embodied creatures. How should we organize society to provide for our bodily needs? Should we worry about the death of our bodies? Are our minds and our bodies really different?

Prerequisite(s): PHL 114 is a First-Year Seminar and open to First-Year Students only.
Fulfills the First-Year Seminar and Philosophy Cornerstone requirements.

4

PHL 221

Ethics and the Good Life

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Discussion of major ethical theories in the history of philosophy in search for answers to fundamental moral questions: What makes actions right or wrong? Is morality relative or objective? Does morality depend on God? What is the purpose of life and what does morality have to do with it? Does morality conflict with personal happiness?

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.
Fulfills the Moral Inquiry requirement.

3

PHL 222

Freedom and the Just Society

Offered: Spring Semester

This course will explore questions about the relationship between the individual and society: What gives society authority over the individual? Would we be better off without society? Should we obey all of society's laws or only those we think are just? What basic rights should people have in society? How could society be more just? How should wealth be distributed?

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.
Fulfills the Moral Inquiry Requirement.

3

PHL 223

Introduction to Moral Reasoning

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

A non-historical introduction to ethics that will focus on basic theories and problems.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course and Junior standing.
Fulfills the Moral Inquiry requirement.

3

PHL 224

Contemporary Moral Issues

Offered: Fall Semester

We will discuss a variety of contemporary ethical issues. Topics covered will vary from semester to semester but may include animal rights, moral relativism, physician-assisted suicide, the death penalty, cloning, and the extent to which we have an obligation to help those less fortunate.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.
Fulfills the Moral Inquiry requirement.

3

PHL 235

Biomedical Ethics

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Discussion and resolution of ethical problems associated with the practice of medicine and the pursuit of biomedical research. Topics include: ethical issues in human experimentation; euthanasia; abortion; fetal research; and reproductive technologies.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.
Fulfills the Moral Inquiry requirement.

3

PHL 236

Ethics and the Arts

Offered: Spring Semester

Philosophy in dialogue with the Arts. Problems of ethics are examined using philosophic texts and works of literature and other arts.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.
Fulfills the Moral Inquiry requirement.

3

PHL 241

Elementary Logic

Offered: Spring Semester

The art of reasoning or argument: deductive and inductive. Terms as signs. Definition and division of terms and concepts. Relations between statements. Categorical deductive reasoning. Propositional logic. Predicate logic.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 251

Political Philosophy

Offered: Spring Semester

A discussion of the major themes in the history of Western political philosophy. Key figures include Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and Rawls.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 252

Minds, Brains and Technology

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

A discussion of questions that lie at the intersection of psychology, neuroscience and philosophy, including: How are psychological states like pain related to brain states? Could a digital computer have beliefs? feel pain? fall in love? What can brain-based psychological disorders teach us about the mind? Will advances in neuroscience show that we are not free? or morally responsible?

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.
Course may be applied to the Neuroscience program.

3

PHL 253

Asian Philosophies

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

What is the nature of the self? What is the divine like? How should we live? What happens when we die? In this course, we discuss answers to these and many other questions from some of the rich philosophical traditions outside the Western world.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.
Course may be applied to the Asian Studies minor.

3

PHL 254

Nietzsche and the Critique of Religion

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

Nietzsche's critique of traditional religion goes far beyond his famous pronouncement that God is dead. His attack on traditional religious thought provides insight into his rejection of traditional morality and his proposal for new ways of action. In this course the students will analyze his new ways of moral thought.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 262

Philosophy of Film

Offered: Fall Semester

Film and video have become increasingly important and pervasive in our world. This course will examine what philosophical theories might teach us about film, and it will interrogate film in order to find out what it might teach us about philosophy as a way of questioning reality and discerning or creating meaning.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 265

Readings in Contemporary Thought

Offered: Spring Semester

An introduction to the philosophy of our time. Texts chosen to be readable. A focus on humanistic issues: how the unconscious controls behavior, where meaning and value come from, how one can be hoodwinked by political ideologies, whether the mind really exists, what to do about the loss of meta-narratives in our modern lives.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 266

Topics in Philosophy

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

This course offers students and faculty an opportunity to investigate in some depth a specific area of the study of philosophy not normally otherwise addressed by the department.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.
May be repeated with permission of Department Chair.

3

PHL 270

Freedom, Self, and Reality

Offered: Fall Semester

We will discuss three issues: 1. Determinism: Is what you do 'up to you' or did genes make you do it? 2. Personal Identity: Are you the same person now as when you were twelve or six? How can you tell? 3. Reality: Are only physical objects real? What about persons, morality, and the future?

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 283

Aesthetics

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

Philosophical principles of art and beauty. Review of major classical and modern theories. Discussion of specific works of art from different historical periods.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 285

Philosophy of Science

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

A study of basic philosophical questions pertaining to the scientific endeavor and its methodology. Topics for discussion include: the foundations of science and the criteria for distinguishing science from non-science; conditions for the emergence and development of scientific theories; reductionism and the unity of science project; skepticism and limitations of the scientific method; implications of the scientific viewpoint for our understanding of the world in which we live and of the human condition (social and political implications of science).

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 286

Genetics and Human Nature: Born that Way or Becoming Who We Are?

Offered: Spring Semester

This course explores the implications of modern biology, particularly genetics, for our understanding of human nature. How does the biological viewpoint change how we distinguish normal from abnormal, natural from artificial, health from disease? What is its impact on the debate concerning nature and nurture, as well as on questions about race, sexual orientation, altruism, and gender?

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.
Course may be applied to the Gender & Sexuality Studies program.

3

PHL 305

Hermeneutics

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

What is involved when we "interpret" a book, a poem, a movie, a painting, or any "text"? A philosophical analysis of the activity of understanding and interpretation as discussed by several Continental philosophers of the twentieth century.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 307

Philosophy of Religion

Offered: Spring Semester

Religious experience; faith and reason; proofs for the existence of God and criticisms of them; the divine attributes.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 332

Philosophy of Knowledge

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

Nature and conditions of the act of human knowledge as such; the origin of human understanding and the possibility of knowing truth within diverse human sciences.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 341

Plato

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

Selected dialogues of Plato. Problems and topics include: Plato's criticisms of Greek philosophy; the roles of love, poetry, and rhetoric in human knowledge and morality; the concept of forms.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 342

Aristotle

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

Aristotle's psychology, ethics, and metaphysics, and his importance to subsequent philosophers.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 343

Socrates

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

A course on the philosophy of Socrates. Students will study Plato's early Socratic dialogues as well as texts by Xenophon and Aristophanes.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 353

Medieval Philosophy

Offered: Fall Semester

Encounter of Greek philosophical theories with Christianity as seen through the works of representative medieval thinkers, especially Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus and William of Ockham.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 354

Thomas Aquinas and His Contemporaries

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

In the 13th century when Aristotle's ideas were presented in Latin to the Christian theologians, a revolution in Western philosophical thought resulted. At the center of the intellectual controversies is the figure of Thomas Aquinas. Thomas, the most rational of theologians or the most religious of philosophers provided profound and innovative solutions to metaphysical, epistemological and moral problems. This course will examine his sources, his solutions and the responses of his contemporaries.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 361

Descartes to Hume

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

Renaissance skepticism and the birth of Cartesianism. Descartes' mathematicism and the methodic doubt. The Meditations. The thinking self, proofs for God's existence, Cartesian dualism, and the problem of mind-body interaction. Locke's critique of innate ideas. Berkeley's immaterialism. Hume's empiricism as a prelude to Kantianism.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 363

Kant

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

Issues from The Critique of Pure Reason will be addressed first, such as the difference between the thing in itself and appearance. Then Kant's moral philosophy will be discussed in detail. Slow and careful reading required.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 364

Hegel and Marx

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

Roots of Marxism in Hegel and Feuerbach. Humanism of young Marx. Praxis and alienation. History as dialectical. Nature of communism. Collaborative works of Marx and Engels.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 371

Existentialism

Offered: Fall Semester

The Existentialist thinkers of the 20th Century vigorously protested the abstraction and sterility of certain kinds of philosophical and theological discourse and demanded that we confront the life and death, flesh and blood issues of our existence. The course will examine the sources of their existential protest in the thought of the 19th Century thinkers Nietzsche and Kierkegaard and progress through a discussion of the major figures and works in the Existentialist movement of the 20th Century.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 372

Heidegger and His Influence

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

An introduction to the thought of the most seminal philosopher of the 20th century. Topics discussed include the critique of metaphysics, theology, science, and technology; the structure of being-in-the-world; time and history; anxiety, death, radical finitude and authentic existence. Consideration of Heidegger's influence on contemporary thinking in philosophy and in all the major disciplines.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.

3

PHL 375

Foucault: Power, Truth, Subjectivity

Offered: Not Offered 2014-2015

Michel Foucault, an influential French thinker of the 20th century, is best known for his analyses of the positive and productive relations between power and knowledge and his exploration of an ethics understood in terms of the care of the self and others. This course is intended to be an in-depth study of his thought, and the primary means of study will be a careful reading and evaluation of a selection of his key writings.

Prerequisite(s): One 100-Level Philosophy course.
Course may be applied to the Gender & Sexuality Studies program.

3

PHL 421

Senior Philosophy Colloquium

Offered: Spring Semesters

A senior philosophy major completes a capstone essay (plus an oral presentation and defense) on a philosopher or philosophical topic under the supervision of a department faculty member. Generally, this course is taken in the spring semester of the senior year.

Prerequisite(s): Senior standing.

3

PHL 475

Internship in Philosophy

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Prerequisite(s): Junior standing and permission of Internship Coordinator and Department Chairperson required.

3

PHL 490

Directed Study

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Supervised reading and research on selected topics.

Prerequisite(s): Approval of faculty member directing the project and Department Chairperson required.

3