Philosophy (PHIL)

PHIL 010: Ancient Philosophy (3 Credits)

History of European philosophy from the Pre-Socratics through the Stoics, with primary emphasis on Plato and Aristotle. Topics include the relation of philosophy to mythology; early scientific speculation on the origin of the cosmos; the problem of the one and the many; Socratic irony; Platonic and Aristotelian theories of the Forms; the nature of the good and the beautiful; Aristotle's theory of science; and the role of social and historical forces in shaping Greek philosophy.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Written and Oral Communication II

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Historical Perspectives, Written Communication

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PHIL 011: Early Modern Philosophy (4 Credits)

History of European philosophy from the Renaissance through Kant. Topics include the philosophical foundations of the Scientific Revolution, the relation between subjectivity and the objectivity of knowledge, human freedom and the existence of evil, and the self. In addition to metaphysical and epistemological issues, we examine the influence of modern philosophy on the development of classical liberalism and the Enlightenment view of humanity.

Note(s): Prerequisite: ENG 001 or consent of instructor.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Written and Oral Communication II

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Historical Perspectives, Written Communication

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PHIL 015: Introduction to Philosophy (3 Credits)

A critical examination of works by classical and contemporary philosophers and the questions they raise. Topics vary, but include the problem of social organization and the nature of justice; the scope and limits of human knowledge; the fundamental nature of the cosmos; the concepts of art and beauty; and the Socratic question: what is the best kind of life for a human being to lead?

Note(s): Prerequisite: ENG 001 or consent of instructor.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Written and Oral Communication II

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Human Institutions and Behavior, Written Communication

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PHIL 028: Political Philosophy (3 Credits)

An examination of fundamental concepts and issues in political theory, such as the relationship between power and justice, the nature of freedom and obligation, and the relationship between the individual and the community. Attention is given to contemporary concerns such as race and gender.

Note(s): Prerequisite: ENG 001 or consent of instructor.

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Human Institutions and Behavior, Historical Perspectives, Written Communication

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PHIL 043: Existentialism (3 Credits)

A study of Existentialism as a movement in late 19th- and early 20th-century European philosophy, the central problems of which continue to plague the modern world. Focus on Sartre and Heidegger, plus works by Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Camus, and de Beauvoir. Topics include the importance of Existentialism to later movements in 20th-century philosophy.

Note(s): First years may not take PHIL 143. They may take PHIL 043.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Written and Oral Communication II

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Written Communication

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PHIL 051: Formal Logic (4 Credits)

An introduction to the study of inference and truth. Topics covered include modeling natural language arguments in the formal languages of propositional and predicate logic; constructing and evaluating deductive arguments using mathematical techniques; developing semantical procedures to assign meaning to formal expressions; and examining elementary metalogical results, including the soundness of fragments of first-order logic. This course should be of interest to students interested in better understanding the structure of reasoning and the logical analysis of language.

Meets the following Core requirements: Quantitative Literacy

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Quantitative and Computational Reasoning

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PHIL 060: Philosophy of Religion (3 Credits)

Through our reading of classical works in the philosophy of religion, we explore perennial questions about the existence and nature of the divine, the relation of God and nature, the problem of theodicy, the nature of virtue and sin, the reasonableness of theistic belief, miracles, and the limits of language to express religious truths, supposing there are any.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Written and Oral Communication II

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PHIL 062: Ethics (3 Credits)

A critical introduction to moral philosophy, its key theories, and central problems. We address core ethical questions—What should we do? What is the good life?—as well as meta-ethical questions—What about the world makes a thing good or right? Are there really moral truths? Does the contemporary scientific view leave room for ethics? We may also address normative topics such as abortion, euthanasia, war, and animal rights.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Written and Oral Communication II

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Human Institutions and Behavior

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PHIL 063: Environmental Ethics (3 Credits)

A critical introduction to theories of value of the natural world. Topics include the relation between scientific and moral principles; theories of the moral worth of persons, animals, plants, and other natural objects; historical and cultural influences on conceptions of nature; alternative accounts of human relationships and responsibilities to nature, including deep ecology and ecofeminism; and the connection between moral and political values and economic policies.

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PHIL 63: ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS (3 Credits)

PHIL 065: Bioethics: Medicine, Law, and Philosophy (3 Credits)

Advances in medical knowledge and technology raise troubling new questions at the intersection of medicine, law, and philosophy, including questions about refusing treatment, advance directives, assisted suicide, euthanasia, defining death, human experimentation, reproductive technologies, stem cell research, human cloning, organ transplants, and healthcare justice. Students will read some of the best that has been written about these and related matters and develop and defend informed philosophical responses to them.

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PHIL 080: Special Topics in Philosophy (0.25-1.25 Credits)

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Historical Perspectives, Written Communication

PHIL 090: Metaphysics (3 Credits)

An examination of issues in ontology, the study of being. We investigate fundamental questions about the nature and structure of reality, including questions about the most general categories of being and the shape of the ontological enterprise itself. Is everything that exists identical to a physical object, or is the ontology of the physical sciences inadequate to the reality of the manifest world? What is the place of psychological and social phenomena in the world order? Is there an ontological structure built into the world itself, or is an ontology relative to a language or theory?

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Written Communication

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PHIL 101: PROMETHEUS ENTANGLED (0.25-1.25 Credits)

PHIL 118: LANGUAGE,MIND & COMMUNIC (0.25-1.25 Credits)

PHIL 120: INTERM SYMBOLIC LOGIC (0.25-1.25 Credits)

PHIL 125: Philosophy of Law (3 Credits)

A critical introduction to the philosophical analysis of legal concepts and related issues in political theory and applied ethics. We analyze the foundation of the concept of law in theories of political obligation and legitimacy, focusing on the proper relation between laws and morals; survey natural law theory, legal positivism, and critical theories of the nature of law; explore the role of liberty and justice in constitutional decisions regarding privacy rights and discriminatory practices in distributing social goods; and evaluate competing theories of constitutional interpretation.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment, Written and Oral Communication II

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Human Institutions and Behavior, Written Communication

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PHIL 128: Political Philosophy (3 Credits)

An examination of fundamental concepts and issues in political theory, such as the relationship between power and justice, the nature of freedom and obligation, and the relationship between the individual and the community. Attention is given to contemporary concerns such as race and gender.

Note(s): Prerequisite: ENG 001 or consent of instructor.

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Human Institutions and Behavior, Historical Perspectives, Written Communication

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PHIL 131: Aesthetics (3 Credits)

A critical survey of philosophical writings on art and aesthetic experience. Central questions for the course include: What is the nature of beauty? What distinguishes art as a field of objects and practices? Is artwork a manifestation of freedom and rationality, or is it an expression of psychological and social conflicts? What is the relationship between art and politics? Does "art" as a value-laden category still carry weight in the contemporary world?

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Creation and Criticism in the Arts

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PHIL 142: Epistemology (3 Credits)

A survey of rationalist, empiricist, pragmatist and feminist approaches to the traditional problems of knowledge including justification, objectivity, and the nature of knowledge itself.

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PHIL 143: Existentialism (3 Credits)

A study of Existentialism as a movement in late 19th- and early 20th-century European philosophy, the central problems of which continue to plague the modern world. Focus on Sartre and Heidegger, plus works by Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Camus, and de Beauvoir. Topics include the importance of Existentialism to later movements in 20th-century philosophy.

Note(s): First year students may take PHIL 043.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment, Written and Oral Communication II

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Written Communication

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PHIL 144: Language, Meaning, and Understanding (3 Credits)

A critical examination of fundamental questions about the nature of communication and language, with special attention paid to the concepts of meaning and linguistic understanding. Topics covered include the social character of language, the relation between meaning and use, the nature of truth and reference, the concept of rule and convention, the nature of metaphor, and the interdependence of thought and language.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment, Written and Oral Communication II

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Written Communication

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PHIL 145: Philosophy of Mind (3 Credits)

Examination of questions raised by the existence of psychological phenomena. Topics include the relation between psychological states and physical states of a person's neural system; the adequacy of computer models of mind and the possibility of artificial intelligence; the nature of consciousness; naturalistic theories of mental representation; the role of social factors in determining the contents of mental states; and the implications of different theories of mind for our understanding of ourselves as moral beings.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment, Written and Oral Communication II

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Written Communication

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PHIL 158: CLASSICS OF ASIAN PHILOSOPHY (0.25-1.25 Credits)

PHIL 162: Philosophy of Science (3 Credits)

The structure and methods of empirical science and the connections between science and human values.

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PHIL 163: Environmental Ethics (3 Credits)

A critical introduction to theories of value of the natural world. Topics include the relation between scientific and moral principles; theories of the moral worth of persons, animals, plants, and other natural objects; historical and cultural influences on conceptions of nature; alternative accounts of human relationships and responsibilities to nature, including deep ecology and ecofeminism; and the connection between moral and political values and economic policies.

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PHIL 164: FRANKFURT SCHOOL & BEYOND (0.25-1.25 Credits)

PHIL 165: Bioethics: Medicine, Law, and Philosophy (3 Credits)

Advances in medical knowledge and technology raise troubling new questions at the intersection of medicine, law, and philosophy, including questions about refusing treatment, advance directives, assisted suicide, euthanasia, defining death, human experimentation, reproductive technologies, stem cell research, human cloning, organ transplants, and healthcare justice. Students will read some of the best that has been written about these and related matters and develop and defend informed philosophical responses to them.

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PHIL 180: Special Topics in Philosophy (3 Credits)

Exploration of themes and/or topics not offered as part of the regular curriculum. Course content to be determined by the instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics differ.

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PHIL 180A: Special Topics (0.25-1.25 Credits)

PHIL 180B: Special Topics (0.25-1.25 Credits)

PHIL 183: Advanced Seminar in Philosophy (3 Credits)

Topic to be announced.

Note(s): Advanced standing and consent of instructor required.

PHIL 184: 19th Century European Philosophy: Hegel, Marx, & Nietzsche (3 Credits)

A survey of 19th-century European philosophy as defining critical problems and strategies that remain fundamental today. Topics include the scientific self-consciousness of modern philosophy and the persistent problem of life's purpose, the emergence of art and history as fundamental philosophical concerns, the dissolution of philosophy's problems in revolutionary social praxis, and the loss of faith in reason and history. Authors discussed include Kant, Schiller, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, and Freud.

Note(s): One prior course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment, Written and Oral Communication II

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Written Communication

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PHIL 185: Wittgenstein and Heidegger (3 Credits)

In complementary ways, Wittgenstein and Heidegger criticize conceptions of meaning and human existence bequeathed to modernity by the European intellectual tradition. We examine their criticisms of representationalism and atomism and their alternative understanding of language and human agency; Wittgenstein’s construction and undermining of representationalism in the “Tractatus”; his account of language-games and non-reductive treatment of normativity; and Heidegger’s theory in “Being and Time” of Dasein, especially his critique of Cartesian intellectualism and account of being-in-the world.

Note(s): At least two prior courses in Philosophy or a related discipline, or consent of instructor.

Meets the following Core requirements: Critical Analysis, Create, Innovate & Experiment, Written and Oral Communication II

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PHIL 186: PHILOSOPHY OF COMMUNICATION (0.25-1.25 Credits)

PHIL 190: Metaphysics (3 Credits)

An examination of issues in ontology, the study of being. We investigate fundamental questions about the nature and structure of reality, including questions about the most general categories of being and the shape of the ontological enterprise itself. Is everything that exists identical to a physical object, or is the ontology of the physical sciences inadequate to the reality of the manifest world? What is the place of psychological and social phenomena in the world order? Is there an ontological structure built into the world itself, or is an ontology relative to a language or theory?

Meets the following Gen Ed requirements: Written Communication

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PHIL 191: Senior Seminar (4 Credits)

Directed original research culminating in a senior thesis. Class work includes oral presentation of work in progress.

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PHIL 198: INTERNSHIP (1 Credits)

PHIL 201: PROMETHEUS ENTANGLED (0.25-1.25 Credits)

PHIL 280: Special Topics (0.25-1.25 Credits)

PHIL 283: HISTORICAL STUDIES (0.25-1.25 Credits)

PHIL 284: HISTORICAL STUDIES (0.25-1.25 Credits)

PHIL 291: ADV SEM: NIETZSCHE (0.25-1.25 Credits)

PHIL 296: INDEPENDENT STUDY (0.25-1 Credits)