Philosophy Courses

Code Course Credits

PHL 100

What Does It All Mean? (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Offered Periodically

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.

3 for 4

PHL 100

Our Bodies, Ourselves (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Offered Periodically

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?

3 or 4

PHL 100

Friendship, Love, and Sex (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Offered Periodically

This course will introduce students to philosophy through studying what philosophers have had to say about the nature of friendship, love, and sexuality. Our aim will be to learn what the philosophical investigation of friendship, love, and sex can tell us about who we are and to understand better the role they can play in living meaningful, fulfilling lives.

3 or 4

PHL 100

What You Thought You Knew (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Offered Periodically

What is true happiness? Is morality real, or is it just a made up thing? Everything we experience is put together by our brains --- how, then, can we be sure any of it is really true? Are we secretly biased? Does God exist? Should all protests be non-violent or is violence sometimes allowable?

3 or 4

PHL 100

Mind, Body, Self, and Science (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Offered Periodically

An examination of how philosophers have historically treated questions pertaining to the relationship between mind and body, the concept of the self, the human condition, and the limits of what we can know about such things. What makes these problems philosophical in nature? Could they be resolved by science instead?

3 or 4

PHL 100

Questions of Culture and Value (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Offered Periodically

Why do we enjoy sitcoms where the characters suffer social and romantic disasters: are we just cruel or is there some other explanation? Is morality something real or is power the only reality and morality just an illusion? What kind of compassion is the best kind? Why are flowers beautiful? What's the hidden meaning of the marriage ceremony?

3 or 4

PHL 100

The Examined Life (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Offered Periodically

An introductory examination of philosophical thought.

3 or 4

PHL 100

Philosophical Conversations (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Offered Periodically

An introduction to philosophical thinking primarily through dialogue. We will read classic dialogues by thinkers such as Plato, Buddha and Hume, and students will compose their own conversations about a variety of philosophical topics including the nature of morality, the prospect of life after death, the existence of God and whether we have free will.

3 or 4

PHL 100

Philosophy as a Way of Life (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Offered Periodically

Philosophy is often taught as a theoretical discipline about abstract ideas and arguments. This course will emphasize how the ideas and insights of different philosophers may be applied to our daily lives and potentially change the way we live, helping us lead wiser, better and more authentic lives.

3 or 4

PHL 100

Questions without Answers? (Core/First-Year Seminar)

Offered: Offered Periodically

What do we do when great questions have no answers? This class explores timeless questions about God, free will, right & wrong, purpose & meaning, life after death and other deep mysteries at the heart of what it means to be human. How should we respond when what we most need to know seems unknowable?

3 or 4

PHL 210

God, Darwin and America's Struggle with Creation

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Examination of the relationship between science and religion from the perspective of evolution. Course engages the contemporary cultural controversy over Darwin's theory, looking at the reasons why so many reject it on religious grounds. Consideration will be given to the growth of self-proclaimed scientific alternatives to evolution like young earth creationism and intelligent design, the response to such movements from the scientific community, and attempts to find harmony between evolution and Christian concepts of creation.

Students may not take both PHL 210 and PHY 193 - Science and Belief.

3

PHL 211

Cosmology and the Problem of Creation

Offered: Spring Semester

Examination of the relationship between science and religion from the perspective of cosmology. From the presocratics to contemporary speculations about multiple universes, the course traces the emergence of the naturalistic understanding of the world within the religiously oriented Western cultural context. The response of the Church to the earth-centered medieval cosmos popularized by Dante, the sun-centered cosmos of Galileo, the mechanical universe of Newton, the Big Bang Theory, and the Multiverse will receive special emphasis.

Students may not take both PHL 211 and PHY 193 - Science and Belief

3

PHL 220

Topics in Ethics

Offered: Offered Periodically

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

3

PHL 221

Ethics and the Good Life

Offered: Not Offered 2019-2020

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?

3

PHL 222

Freedom and the Just Society

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

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?

3

PHL 224

Contemporary Moral Issues

Offered: Not Offered 2019-2020

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.

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.

3

PHL 236

Ethics and the Arts

Offered: Not Offered 2019-2020

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

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.

3

PHL 243

This is What Feminism Looks Like (WID)

Offered: Not Offered 2019-2020

Taylor Swift claims she's feminist. So does Beyoncé. But are they right? What is a feminist? Feminism, at base, is any movement that seeks justice for women. But historically, feminists disagree about what justice for women looks like. This course provides students with a deeper understanding of the many forms of feminism by exploring concepts central to feminist thought.

3

PHL 251

Political Philosophy

Offered: Not Offered 2019-2020

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.

3

PHL 252

Minds, Brains and Technology

Offered: Fall Semester

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? That we are not morally responsible?

3

PHL 253

Asian Philosophies

Offered: Not Offered 2019-2020

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.

3

PHL 255

African Philosophy (WID)

Offered: Fall Semester

'What is African philosophy?' This course explores that question by engaging with various texts that emerge from the African continent.

3

PHL 262

Philosophy of Film

Offered: Not Offered 2019-2020

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.

3

PHL 265

Readings in Contemporary Thought

Offered: Fall 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.

3

PHL 266

Topics in Philosophy

Offered: Offered Periodically

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.

May be repeated with permission of Department Chair.

3

PHL 267

Race and Racism (WID)

Offered: Not Offered 2019-2020

This course approaches questions of race and racism from a philosophical perspective, including: 'What makes something/someone racist?,' 'What is institutional racism?,' 'Is there such a thing as 'reverse racism?,'' 'What is race?,' 'Are races real?' In answering those questions and others, we will explore current events and controversies surrounding race and racism in the United States.

3

PHL 270

Freedom, Self, and Responsibility

Offered: Not Offered 2019-2020

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?

3

PHL 283

Aesthetics

Offered: No Offered 2019-2020

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

3

PHL 285

Philosophy of Science (WID)

Offered: Not Offered 2019-2020

A study of basic philosophical questions pertaining to the scientific endeavor and its methodology. We will discuss 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).

3

PHL 286

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

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?

3

PHL 307

Philosophy of Religion (WID)

Offered: Spring Semester

Is it time to get over God or is it perhaps time to get back to God? Can different religions all be true? How should we conceive of God? Does everything happen for a reason? Can we prove or disprove the existence of God? Why does God allow suffering? Are we rationally justified in believing in miracles? The course will address these and other questions through a mix of contemporary and historical readings.

3

PHL 341

Plato

Offered: Not Offered 2019-2020

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.

3

PHL 342

Aristotle

Offered: Not Offered 2019-2020

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

3

PHL 351

Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy

Offered: Spring Semester

Environmental catastrophe, economic crisis, viral outbreaks, the global war on terrorism - these and other problems challenge the way we understand the nature and aims of political life. In this course, we will study the ways contemporary political philosophers such as Jurgen Habermas, Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida and Slovoj Zizek have responded to the challenges of contemporary political life.

3

PHL 353

Medieval Philosophy

Offered: Spring 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.

3

PHL 361

Descartes to Hume (WID)

Offered: Fall Semester

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.

3

PHL 366

Advanced Topics in Philosophy

Offered: Offered Periodically

This course offers students and faculty an opportunity to investigate at greater depth some area of philosophy. Course will typically involve students' conducting independent research and writing longer papers.

3

PHL 371

Existentialism

Offered: Not Offered 2019-2020

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.

3

PHL 372

Heidegger and His Influence

Offered: Not Offered 2019-2020

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.

3

PHL 422

Philosophy Seminar

Offered: Spring Semesters

A seminar class focusing on 2-5 philosophical topics selected in collaboration between the instructor and the students in the class.

This course fulfills the Philosophy Captone requirement.

3

PHL 475

Internship in Philosophy

Offered: Fall and Spring Semesters

Practical experience in a professional setting.

An Intern will typically spend at least 8-10 hours/week for a minimum of 112 hours on site to earn 3 credits.

3

PHL 490

Directed Study - Philosophy

Offered: Offered as Needed

Supervised reading and research on selected topic in which the student has special interest not covered by a normally-scheduled course.

Students must complete 45 hours work/semester per credit.

1 to 4