50:730:111. INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY (R) (3)
An exploration of philosophical problems, such as truth, justice, mind, and person, with a view to surveying the field and locating such particular philosophical specialties within it as logic, ethics, and metaphysics.
50:730:141. CRITICAL THINKING (R) (3)
An introductory course designed to develop and refine critical thinking skills. These include, but are not limited to, the identification, analysis, construction, and evaluation of arguments. Topics drawn from among the following: inductive arguments (such as those based on analogical and casual reasoning), fallacies, deduction, definitions, theories, and systems of classification.
50:730:181. PROBLEMS OF IDENTITY (3)
What makes you the particular individual that you are? Your body? Your thoughts and memories? Your personality? Your values and actions? Your community? Are any of these necessary for remaining the same person over time? Could our notion of the self be an illusion? In this course we will explore how these questions are addressed in philosophy, film, and literature.
50:730:201. INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC (R) (3)
An introduction to modem symbolic logic, with an emphasis on methods for the evaluation and construction of deductive arguments, and on the concepts of validity, consistency, and implication. Topics selected from among the following: informal fallacies, logic and ordinary language, induction, the scientific method, the logic of Aristotle, and the relation between logic and other areas in philosophy.
50:730:211. HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY I (R) (3)
The beginnings and early developments of Western philosophy. Readings selected from among the pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Maimonides, Aquinas, and Occam. Topics may include the nature of argument, political loyalty and political dissent, justice, normative ethics, causality, and the existence of God.
50:730:212. HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY II (R) (3)
The career of philosophy from its modern beginnings in Descartes. Readings selected from the classical modern period, from Descartes through Kant, and also from such contemporary approaches as existentialism and analytic philosophy. Topics include the relationship between mind and body, the origins and extent of human knowledge, skepticism and belief, and the meaning of personal identity.
50:730:215 EASTERN PHILOSOPHIES (R) (3)
This course provides an introduction to the philosophical traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism, focusing on issues of metaphysics, mysticism, epistemology, ethics, and the nature of consciousness.
50:730:216 AFRICANA PHILOSOPHY (3)
Africana (or African-American) Philosophy, the modern intellectual tradition of the African diaspora in North America and the Caribbean, deals with philosophical issues related to identity, race, and culture; the phenomenonand experience of oppression and liberation; and contemporary philosophical concerns about the black past, present, and future.
50:730:226. ETHICS (3)
An examination of the quest for knowledge concerning the nature of human goodness, including the relation of duty to pleasure and happiness, the nature of moral obligation and responsibility, the resolution of conflicts between individual and social values, and the possibility of objective justification of value judgments.
50:730:256. PHILOSOPHY OF LITERATURE (3)
An exploration of philosophical questions about literature, including interpretation in criticism, the nature of critical evaluation, truth in fiction, and metaphor. Specific literary work selected to serve as a base for the discussion of these philosophical issues.
50:730:260. ETHICS AND BUSINESS (3)
An examination of basic questions and perplexities of commercial and corporate life. Are the economic imperatives of free enterprise compatible with ethical imperatives of justice and community? Are there some ethical principles so general that they are applicable in every case? Can one be good at business and also be a good person? Can conflicts among duties to family, company, and self be resolved? Contemporary case studies augmented with basic texts in ethics.
50:730:270. PHILOSOPHY OF SPORT (3)
A consideration of the important ethical, social, political, and other philosophical issues concerning sports.
50:730:303. TOPICS IN MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY (3)
A study of the major philosophers in the medieval world.
50:730:305. ADVANCED TOPICS IN ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY (3)
A study of the major philosophers in the ancient world.
50:730:307. NINETEENTH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY (3)
Movements in nineteenth-century philosophical thought. Readings from such philosophers as Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and Kierkegaard.
50:730:308. CONTEMPORARY PHILOSOPHY (3)
Concentration on the existentialist and analytic traditions, with attention also given to such philosophers as Bergson and Whitehead.
50:730:313,314. SEVENTEENTH AND EIGHTEENTH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY (3,3)
Critical examination the conflict between rationalism and empiricism as discussed in major works selected from the following: Descartes, Malebranche, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Course content varies from year to year, either by dealing primarily with particular issues (metaphysics, ethics, or aesthetics) or by dealing primarily with the works of one philosopher.
50:730:315 CONTEMPORARY MORAL ISSUES (3)
A consideration of such issues as prejudice and discrimination, abortion and fetal research, poverty and hunger, crime and punishment, war and death, suicide and euthanasia.
50:730:319. MODERN SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY (3)
Critical examination of the philosophical problems involved in theories of the state and society. Topics include the nature and justification of political obligation, civil disobedience, violence, natural rights, and justice.
50:730:320. PHILOSOPHY OF LAW (3)
Introduction to philosophical issues concerning the nature of law and its relations to morality and to power. Focuses on the concepts of justice and punishment, the function of law, and types of legal argument. Legal materials include cases drawn from constitutional law, contracts, torts, and criminal law.
50:730:322 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION AND DEMOCRACY (3)
An application of social, political, legal, and ethical ideas to the topic of religion and democracy. Can political theory defend religious freedom and tolerance? Should religious arguments be used to justify laws such as regarding abortion or homosexual marriage? Does liberalism privatize or disenfranchise religious citizens? These and other vital questions for contemporary politics will be examined from various perspectives such as liberalism, communitarianism, and discourse ethics.
50:730:326. PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION (3)
An exploration of religious issues which are live options. Examples: Do science and reason leave any room for faith? Without a belief in a supreme being who is supremely good, is life pointless? Can an atheist be moral? Can God’s existence, or human immortality, be proven? Do religious experiences occur, and do they prove anything? (cross-listed with 840:326)
50:730:327. PHILOSOPHY OF SEX, GENDER, AND SEXUALITY (3)
This course considers challenges to mainstream philosophy by way of addressing the following questions: Are philosophical conceptions of rationality gender-biased? Do women and men have a distinctive way of understanding the world, or of evaluating ethical situations? In what ways are our conceptions of femininity and masculinity created and reinforced through cultural and social norms? How do assumptions about sex, gender, and sexuality shape and limit research in natural and social sciences? In what ways are feminist and multiculturalist goals potentially at odds? Is sex and sexuality the public’s business? We will consider applications of these questions to a variety of contemporary debates concerning parenting, pornography, sex education, same sex marriage, sexual harassment laws, and sexual reassignment.
50:730:332. INTERMEDIATE LOGIC (R) (3)
Prerequisite: 50:730:201 or permission of instructor.
A continuation of 50:730:201, with an emphasis on application. Predicate logic with identity, soundness, and completeness. Topics selected from among axiomatic theories, nontruth-functional logics (such as modal, deontic, and epistemic), set theory, and issues in the philosophy of logic and language.
An examination of the phenomenon of evil, particularly moral evil, through close readings of ancient and modern philosophical, religious, political, and literary texts. Questions include whether humanity is evil, how evil could be explained, whether it is compatible with belief in God, and if it sheds useful light on contemporary issues like terrorism, genocide, racism, and poverty.
50:730:334. PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE (3)
Examination of major philosophical issues concerning science. Topics selected from among science and pseudoscience; scientific explanation, method, theories, laws, falsification; scope and limits of science; revolutions in science; science and ethics.
50:730:344. EXISTENTIALISM AND PHENOMENOLOGY (3)
An examination in the historical setting of Husserl’s phenomenology and such philosophers as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Jaspers, Buber, Marcel, Sartre, and Merleau-Ponty.
50:730:349. BIOMEDICAL ETHICS (3)
An examination of ethical theories and their application to such issues as abortion, cloning, physician-patient relations, genetic manipulation, and health-care justice. (cross-listed with 840:349)
50:730:361. PHILOSOPHY OF ART (3)
A study of selected texts on the philosophy of art from the Greeks to contemporary writers, with the purpose of investigating the relationships among the arts, and the status of art and the aesthetic judgments as modes of discovery and communication.
50:730:367. AMERICAN PHILOSOPHERS (3)
Examination of the principal philosophers in nineteenth- and twentieth-century America. Critical discussion of the transcendentalists, the idealists, Pierce, James, Dewey, and Whitehead.
50:730:390, 391. SPECIAL TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY (3)
50:730:412. THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE (3)
An investigation of what it means to know. Topics include theories of meaning, evaluation of evidence, the meaning of and criteria for truth, and the nature of belief.
50:730:415. METAPHYSICS (3)
A study of the major problems of metaphysical theory, focusing on modes of existence and the presuppositions, methodologies, and consequences of different metaphysical systems.
50:730:417. ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY (3)
Examination of methods of analysis as they appear in such writers as Russell, Moore, Wittgenstein, and Carnap, and in contemporary linguistic philosophy.
50:730:418. PHILOSOPHY OF MIND (3)
Critical examination of the mind-body problem and various proposed solutions. Topics selected from among immortality, freedom, artificial intelligence, parapsychology, psychological theories, the unconscious, reasoning, emotions, and intentions.
50:730:430. ADVANCED LOGIC (3)
Prerequisite: 50:730:332 or (with permission of instructor) 50:730:201.
Topics from among such “deviant” logics as many-valued and intuitionistic logics, foundations of mathematics, paradoxes, nontruth-functional logics, and issues in the philosophy of language and logic.
50:730:451,452. ADVANCED SEMINAR IN PHILOSOPHY (3,3)
The focus could be either a concentrated study of a particular text, philosopher, or school of thought, or an examination of a particular philosophical concept, methodology, or problem.
50:730:495,496. INDEPENDENT STUDY IN PHILOSOPHY (BA,BA)
Prerequisite: Permission of department.
An individual reading and research project under the guidance of a member of the philosophy department in an area of interest to the student.