PHI 100 - Introduction to Philosophy 3 credits; Offered fall and spring
What is philosophy? What does it mean to be a “lover of wisdom?” In this course philosophy is introduced as a way of asking very basic questions about the value and limitations of human knowledge, the basic meaning of human values and how we measure the ethical worth of human actions, and the ultimate perspectives on one’s view of reality and life.
Philosophical thinkers who have offered original views on these subjects will be studied to help students develop their own opinions.
PHI 102 - Critical Thinking 3 credits; Offered spring
This course is an inquiry into the justification of knowledge and value claims and their relationship to each other. It introduces concepts of critical thinking, including background knowledge, the web of belief, the limits of evidence, the nature of proof, and the twin pitfalls of dogmatism and relativism.
Students are also introduced to some basic concepts of logical thinking such as the difference between deductive and inductive reasoning, reasoning about cause and effect, and some common reasoning fallacies. The course seeks to show how good critical thinking characterizes both scientific and moral reasoning. Emphasis is on thinking critically about issues from everyday life.
PHI 201 - History of Philosophy–Ancient and Medieval 3 credits; Offered fall; Required of all philosophy majors
Students review philosophical questions and theories from Greek thought to the Middle Ages. This course emphasizes the philosophies of the Presocratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the Medievals.
PHI 202 - History of Philosophy–Modern 3 credits; Offered fall; Required of all philosophy majors
Students review philosophical questions and theories from the early moderns to Kant. Some contemporary approaches to problems also are considered. The course treats Descartes and Continental rationalism, Hume and British empiricism, and culmination of rationalism and empiricism in Kant’s critical philosophy.
PHI 208 - Biomedical Ethics 3 credits; Offered spring alternate years
This course examines the ethical dilemmas presented by modern medicine, including patient autonomy, informed consent, paternalism, letting die, scarcity of resources, abortion, and the right to health care.
PHI 211 - Business Ethics 3 credits
Students examine such basic issues as the relationship between moral goodness and good business practice, the role of the individual within an organization and the social obligations of corporations. Course investigates specific issues, including affirmative action, cost-benefit analysis, and product liability, as well as offering a critical look at the market itself.
PHI 220 American Political Philosophy 3 credits
This course emphasizes foundational theories and concepts in American political philosophy; their embodiment in myth and the on-going attempts to realize them in practice. The course promotes a greater understanding of contemporary America by showing how ideas and culture influence events and vice versa.
PHI 223 - Contemporary Moral Problems 3 credits; Offered fall and spring
A basic philosophical examination of some current problems that have surfaced in contemporary life and society. These problems may include terrorism and torture, abortion, capital punishment, famine relief, the future of the environment, animal rights, cloning, gender, and race issues.
PHI 224 - Love 3 credits; Offered spring
This course examines the main attitudes toward love that have developed in the Western literary, psychological, and philosophical traditions, beginning with the ancient Greeks and finishing with contemporary views. Emphasis is placed on the close connection between accounts of love and accounts of value.
PHI 225 - Philosophy of Sport 3 credits; Offered fall
A philosophical investigation of the Western tradition of sport and athletics and their significance for human experience. Topics include the role of sport in character development and human fulfillment, the value and limits of competition, and the current professionalization of sport.
PHI 226 - Environmental Ethics 3 credits; Offered spring alternate years
This course examines the various traditions that have shaped attitudes toward the environment: the tradition of human dominion over nature, the tradition of human stewardship of nature and the recent tradition that accords ethical standing or even rights to nature.
The role of these traditions in contributing to and/or solving environmental problems is then considered. Finally, a sketch of an environmental ethics adequate to deal with such problems as pollution, overpopulation, our responsibility for future generations, endangered species, and animal rights is offered.
PHI 270 - Introduction to Africana Philosophy (V) 3 credits; Offered on demand
What is Africana philosophy? This course responds to this question and the challenges that have been posed to the viability of the concept of Africana philosophy by introducing Africana philosophy and the issues around which it has developed: the meaning of racial identiy, concepts of personhood, the nature of racial oppression and its relation to gender and class oppression, and strategies for black liberation.
The course plays close attention to the ways in which Africana philosophy is simultaneously a development of and a radical critique of Anglo-American and European philosophy.
PHI 275 - Philosophy of Women 3 credits
In this course students will critically examine the way wellknown Western philosophers (including Plato, Rousseau, and Mill) have portrayed women in their groundbreaking works.
Second, Students will examine and discuss contemporary feminist theory that responds to these portrayals of women and suggest ways to resolve gender and oppression.
Finally, students will consider how race and class are intertwined with gender and oppression. Students will see how feminism and philosophy are dynamic disciplines that tackle the gender oppression entrenched in the everyday workings of the 21st century.
PHI/LIS 280 - Global Ethics 3 credits; Offered spring
This course examines global economic disparities and disparities of power, and looks at alternative approaches to economic development. It uses the lens of global health and neglected tropical diseases to explore issues of poverty, the status of women, and global citizenship.
The emphasis is on engagement in global justice through an in-depth investigation of a particular health problem as it affects Africa south of the Sahara and through commitment to an international aid agency. Prior familiarity with basic ethical theories is not required.
PHI 301 - Philosophical Issues and the Law 3 credits; Offered fall alternate years
Students are introduced to basic concepts of law including the relationship between law and morality, the nature of legal reasoning and the ethical problems of professional practice.
Special emphasis is placed on contemporary issues before the courts such as civil rights and affirmative action, right to privacy, free speech and the death penalty. Course is ecommended for pre-law students.
PHI 303 - Logic 3 credits; Offered spring; Required of all philosophy majors
This course is an introduction to traditional Aristotelian logic and symbolic logic. Emphasis is on the nature of deductive reasoning and formal systems of deduction. Course is recommended for LSAT preparation.
PHI 304 - History and Philosophy of Science 3 credits; Offered spring alternate yearsPrerequisite: Two courses in philosophy or permission of the instructor
This course addresses contemporary issues in the philosophy of science through examination of examples from the history of science. These issues include what it means for a theory to be scientific, the nature of discovery, what constitutes a scientific theory, how theories are confirmed, and the problems of inductive reasoning. Contemporary issues in science are used to illustrate scientific practice.
H-PHI 305 - Honors Philosophy: Existentialism 3 credits; Offered fall alternate yearsPrerequisite: Two courses in philosophy or permission of the instructor
This course offers an examination of philosophies of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche as well as an exposition of major phenomenologists as Husserl, Heidegger and Sartre. Course is supplemented with readings from contemporary literature.
PHI 306 - Myths, Symbols, and Images 3 credits; Offered spring alternate years
The course examines a variety of cultural mythologies such as Native American, Latin American, Nordic, Greek, and African to determine the meaning and significance of these myths as they reveal human experiences.
The use of myths, symbols and images are analyzed within the context of the cultural history and as expressions of profound relationships that humankind bear with each other and their surroundings.
PHI/COM 307 - Ethics and Communication 3 credits; Offered fall alternate years
Ethical theories are applied to actual cases in the media industry. All aspects of the media are considered: broadcast and print media, advertising and public relations, as well as entertainment. Students analyze the loyalties of case participants to understand the underlying moral values and ethical principles.
H-PHI/HIS 309 - Honors Philosophy/History: Baseball and the American Tradition 3 credits
Within the context of the game of baseball, this course examines significant historical/cultural aspects of American life. The history of the game itself sets the stage for analyzing class stratification of rich and poor; race and gender relations; the “level playing fields” of baseball as a business; the inspiring influence that the game has had on literature and the arts and the psychology of the human drama of triumph and tragedy played out on and off the field.
H–PHI 310 - Honors Philosophy: American Philosophy 3 credits; Offered spring alternate years
This course analyzes the philosophical writings of American thinkers from colonial times to the twentieth century. Two fundamental questions are addressed throughout the course: What are the philosophical theories that support the development of America? Is there a uniquely American philosophy that is independent of European thinkers?
PHI/LIS 312 - Philosophy on Film 3 credits; Offered fall
Course examines the hugely popular form of entertainment of film. The title of the course is intentionally ambiguous: the course is concerned with “philosophy on film” both in the sense of the philosophical issues raised in films and in the sense of what philosophy has to say about film.
Students look at films, read about films and make films. Readings include philosophies raised in the films viewed.
Students attempt to give at least provisional answers to questions such as: Are films inherently philosophical? and Are films more or less effective than written works for raising certain philosophical issues?
PHI/LIS 315 - Ethics 3 credits; Offered fall alternate years; Required of all philosophy majorsPrerequisite: Two courses in philosophy or permission of the instructor
This course offers a philosophical inquiry into the nature and meaning of ethical values.
Classic and contemporary views of ethics will be studied.
PHI/LIS 320 - Political Philosophy 3 credits; Offered fall alternate yearsPrerequisite: Two courses in philosophy or permission of the instructor
Students read selections from the classical political philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, and Mill. The focus is on the relation between politics and morality, the contemporary problems of democracy and the problem of achieving both wisdom and consent in government.
PHI 325 - The Idea of Beauty/The Philosophy of Art 3 credits; Offered fall alternate years
The course explores the human response to aesthetic experience. Art forms such as painting, drama and music are analyzed in light of the philosophical contributions of Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, and others.
PHI 401 - Special Topics 3 credits; Offered upon sufficient enrollmentPrerequisites: PHI 201 and PHI 202 or permission of the instructor
This course covers selected topics from the history of philosophy such as Plato’s later dialogues, Kant and German idealism, contemporary analytic philosophy and post modernism, and philosophy of religion.
R-PHI 466 - Undergraduate Research 3 credits; Offered fall, spring, and summer; Required of all senior philosophy majors Prerequisite: Department approval
This course offers an independent but directed collaborative course of study involving a specific research agenda in the discipline under departmental faculty supervision.
Research projects typically require a review of the literature, a paper developing and defending a hypothesis, and a poster or an oral presentation of the completed research project.
PHI 499 - Independent Study 3 credits; Offered fall and spring; FeePrerequisite: Approval of instructor, department chair and dean for academic affairs
This course offers independent but directed study on a topic of interest to the student but not included in the regular course offerings.