Spring 2012 Course Descriptions
101 Introduction to Philosophy 3 hrs.
Introduction to philosophical reflection focusing upon central problems in each of the major branches of the western tradition: metaphysics, epistemology and axiology.
150 Technology, Science and Human Values 3 hrs.
Introduction to philosophical reflection through an examination of the role technology and science play in modern society. Topics may include the nature and value of technology, the extent of scientific knowledge, and political and ethical implications of technological change.
201 Introduction to Logic 3 hrs.
Methodology of correct formal and informal reasoning.
202 Introduction to Ethics 3 hrs.
Major ethical positions in both classical and modern thought. The course will include a consideration of case studies drawn from practical contexts in engineering, medicine and other areas.
301 Ancient Philosophy 3 hrs.
Survey of classical philosophy from the Pre-Socratics through Aristotle. Prerequisite: PHL 101, PHL 202, or permission of instructor.
302 Modern Philosophy 3 hrs.
Survey of the British and Continental traditions from Descartes through Kant. Prerequisite: PHL 101, PHL 202, or permission of instructor.
303 Contemporary Philosophy 3 hrs.
Examination of some of the most important trends in late nineteenth and twentieth century thought. Prerequisite: PHL 101, PHL 202, or permission of instructor.
310 Philosophy of Art 3 hrs.
Major aesthetic theories of the western tradition, with emphasis on the relation between artistic and discursive expression. Prerequisite: PHL 101, PHL 202, or permission of instructor.
311 Philosophy of Science 3 hrs.
Critical assessment of the historical and logical foundations of the natural and theoretical sciences. Prerequisite: PHL 101, PHL 202, or permission of instructor.
312 American Philosophy 3 hrs.
Survey of American thought with emphasis upon the development of pragmatism in the work of Peirce, James, and Dewey. Prerequisite: PHL 101, PHL 202, or permission of instructor.
314 Philosophy of Eastern and Western Religions 3 hrs.
Philosophical examination of eastern and western religious thought. Central tenets of some of the following traditions will be discussed: Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, Taoism. Topics include: the roles of reason and faith in the religious life, proofs for the existence of God, the nature of God or the Absolute, mysticism, religious accounts of human nature or the self. Prerequisite: PHL 101, PHL 202, or permission of instructor.
315 Biomedical Ethics 3 hrs.
Introduces basic concepts of biomedical ethics; fosters careful reflective thought about the challenging value questions raised by advances in biology, medicine, and medical technologies. Prerequisite: PHL 101 or 202.
317 Philosophy of Mind 3 hrs.
From philosophers to computer and brain scientists, cognition has become a central area of philosophical and scientific inquiry. This course examines the various models, theories, and arguments generated by this research. Prerequisite: PHL 101, PHL 202 or permission of instructor. Cross-listed with PY 317.
320 Symbolic Logic 3 hrs.
Symbolic deductive logic, including propositional calculus (truth-functional logic), predicate calculus (propositional functions and quantification), and the logic of relations. Prerequisite: PHL 201.
330 Classical Political Philosophy 3 hrs.
(Formerly PHL 316) Careful analysis of the roots of political inquiry in selected works of ancient and medieval political philosophers such as Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine and Aquinas. Major themes include the search for the just social order, the proper relationship between the citizen and the state, and other fundamental concepts of western political institutions. (Same as PSC 330.)
332 Modern Political Philosophy 3 hrs.
(Formerly PHL 317) Critical examination of the philosophical foundations for modern politics that emerged from the 15th through the 19th century in western Europe. Major themes and theorists include the concepts of individual rights, property, representation, majority rule, limited government, and revolution discussed in selected writings of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and J.S. Mill among others. (Same as PSC 332.)
335 Philosopihy of Gender 3 hrs.
Philosophical examination of the status of gender and sexuality in contemporary society, dealing with basic issues in feminist epistemology, the debate between essentialist and constructionist views on gender, and the intersections of gender issues with racism and other forms of oppression. May also cover issues in queer theory, feminist political theory ,and feminist ethics. Prerequisite: PHL 101, PHL 202, or permission of instructor.
385 Selected Topics in the History of Philosophy 3 hrs.
Intensive examination of particular problems, periods, or movements in the history of philosophy. Prerequisite: Determination in accordance with course content.
395 Junior Research Seminar 3 hrs.
Intensive examination of selected topics leading to the preparation of a substantial philosophical paper. Required of all majors. May be taken twice for credit. Prerequisites: 6 hours of PHL not including PHL 201.
399 Directed Study in Philosophy 1-3 hrs.
Independent study in an area of philosophy selected in consultation with faculty advisor. Prerequisite: Approval of department chair.
401 Metaphysics 3 hrs.
Critical examination of traditional and contemporary responses to questions about the nature of reality, the relation between determinate and indeterminate being, being and becoming, the infinite and the finite. Prerequisite: 6 hours of PHL not including PHL 201.
402 Epistemology 3 hrs.
Investigation of fundamental problems of knowledge such as the relation of knowledge and belief, truth, certainty and skepticism, perception, logic, explanation, and justification. Prerequisite: 6 hours of PHL not including PHL 201.
403 Advanced Moral Philosophy 3 hrs.
Critical examination of significant works in moral and political philosophy focusing on such issues as the relationship between morality and human nature, the individual and the state, and the consequences of actions. Prerequisites: 6 hours of PHL not including PHL 201.
438 Contemporary Political Thought 3 hrs.
Intensive study of several contemporary trends in political theory. Topics may include liberalism, critical race theory, or the distinct character of modernity. Authors may include Foucault, Habermas, Arendt, Rawls, and Mills.