Course Descriptions

PHIL: Philosophy Courses

Department of Philosophy

All 100 and 200 level philosophy courses may be taken in any order, and any one of them will satisfy CORE requirements. 100 level courses are usually more general introductory courses, while 200 level courses focus on some specific area or topic of philosophy. All philosophy courses numbered 300 or above have a prerequisite of one previous philosophy course or consent of the instructor.

PHIL 101 Perspectives in Philosophy 3 Cr
An introduction to philosophical thinking and writing with a focus on important philosophers and classical philosophical questions. Course readings are humanities-oriented literature from various historical periods. Though PHIL 101 is open to all students, the content is directed to those who have little or no acquaintance with philosophy. Each semester.

PHIL 107 Ethics 3 Cr
An introduction to moral theories and an analysis of the moral concepts of goodness, right, and obligation, and the ways in which they operate in society, religion, and law. These concepts will be further enhanced in classroom discussions of contemporary moral issues. Each semester.

PHIL 113 Formal Logic 3 Cr
The analysis of arguments and the rules which determine valid from fallacious reasoning. Mathematical notation is introduced as a part of course content. Subject matter is particularly useful to students majoring in computer science and political science (pre-law interests). Not recommended as a second core course after PHIL 114 Critical Thinking. Fall semester.

PHIL 114 Critical Thinking 3 Cr
A study of the informal logic of the use of language in everyday contexts. The course emphasizes factors such as ambiguity, generalization, and analogy operating in common argument situations. Not recommended as a second core course after PHIL 113 Formal Logic. Spring semester.

PHIL 121 Philosophy of Human Being 3 Cr
An introduction to philosophy through a consideration of what constitutes humanity. The course examines such features as the existence of a soul, the nature of human knowing, and the possibility of human freedom. Subject matter is particularly useful to students in biology, psychology and the social sciences. Each Fall; Spring semester, oddnumbered years.

PHIL 151 Ancient Philosophy 3 Cr
An examination of the origins of philosophical speculation in Western culture. Special emphasis is given to the writings of Plato and Aristotle, the cultural setting for these writings, and their continued effect on Western civilization. PHIL 151 is the initial course in the History of Philosophy sequence. Each semester.

PHIL 202 Medieval Philosophy 3 Cr
An examination of philosophical thought from early Christian times through the late Middle Ages and Renaissance. Special emphasis is given to the period’s neo-Platonic and neo-Aristotelian synthesis. Some acquaintance with Plato and Aristotle’s work is advised. PHIL 202 is the second course in the History of Philosophy sequence. Spring semester.

PHIL 203 I slam: Philosophy and Culture 3 Cr
A survey of the Islamic faith and its expression in a variety of cultures around the world. Because Islam is reality-defining for its adherents, the religion is examined by reviewing its philosophy, theology, history, and social dimension. Fulfills Global Diversity requirement. Each semester.

PHIL 206 Environmental Ethics 3 Cr
An ethical examination of human responsibilities and obligations to the environment and other species. The course includes a consideration of different environmental perspectives as well as applications to local issues like land use, wilderness protection, and food resources. Spring semester, even-numbered years.

PHIL 207 Business Ethics 3 Cr
The ethical investigation of business, business life, and their relationship to the good life. Course content includes an analysis of economic justice, corporate and personal responsibility, employee and consumer rights, and the meaning of work. Case studies give students practice in making rationally defensible moral judgments in accord with sound moral principles. Fall semester.

PHIL 208 Bioethics 3 Cr
An examination of moral issues that arise in medicine and related fields. Course topics include the right to life, forgoing medical treatment, informed consent, confidentiality, medical experimentation, and reproductive control. Case studies give students practice in making rationally defensible moral judgments in accord with sound moral principles. Spring semester.

PHIL 216 Philosophy of God and Religion 3 Cr
An exploration of the philosophical reflection on God and other topics key to religious thinking and practice. Course material includes arguments for and against the existence of God, the relation between theology and philosophy, the problem of evil, and the nature of religious experience. This course would be of special interest to students in theology. Spring semester, even-numbered years.

PHIL 223 Oriental Philosophy 3 Cr
An historical overview of the principal philosophies of Eastern cultures including Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism. Class lectures include an analysis of the philosophical status of Eastern thought.Fall semester, even-numbered years. May fulfill Global Diversity requirement.

PHIL 252 Philosophy and History of Science 3 Cr
An exploration of the philosophical aspects of science and its methods. Central to this study is the influence of modern scientific inquiry on other disciplines, society, and religion. Spring semester, odd-numbered years.

PHIL 255 Philosophy of Art and Beauty 3 Cr
An analysis of concepts used in discussions of art and beauty and the application of this analysis to a variety of art forms. Class discussions develop the student’s skills in art criticism and aesthetic recognition Fall semester, odd-numbered years.

PHIL 256 Social and Political Philosophy 3 Cr
A critical review of theories of political, social, and economic organization that have shaped Western social and political thinking in the 19th and 20th centuries. The philosophical underpinnings of “political theory” will be explored through a close examination of historical events and the relationship between theory and practice. Spring semester. May fulfill Writing Intensive requirement.

PHIL 261 Philosophy and Gender 3 Cr
An investigation of main concepts and key issues at the heart of genderfeminist studies. Particular attention is devoted to the examination of major theories, their specific contribution, their critique, and the broad spectrum of perspectives at stake. Prerequisite: Previous philosophy course or consent of instructor. Fall semester, odd-numbered years.

PHIL 303 Modern Philosophy 3 Cr
A study of the philosophical movements known as British empiricism, Continental rationalism, and German idealism. Course material will be developed by reviewing a selection of writings from the leading philosophers of the period. PHIL 303 is the third course in the History of Philosophy sequence. Prerequisite: Previous philosophy course or consent of instructor. Fall semester, odd-numbered years.

PHIL 304 Contemporary Philosophy 3 Cr
An investigation of recent traditions and problems within philosophy. Class discussion explores the expression of these traditions and problems in contemporary philosophical literature that deals with culture and society. PHIL 304 is the fourth course in the History of Philosophy sequence. Prerequisite: Previous philosophy course or consent of instructor. Spring semester, even-numbered years.

PHIL 310 Metaphysics 3 Cr
A critical consideration of metaphysical thinking and an attempt to speak about the nature of reality, of “being as being,” and about the various categories of being. Prerequisite: Previous philosophy course or consent of instructor. Spring semester, odd-numbered years.

PHIL 313 Epistemology 3 Cr
Discussion of standard questions in the theory of knowledge. Course content explores such topics as the distinction of knowledge from belief, the sources of knowledge, the justification of knowledge claims, and the nature of evidence and truth. Prerequisite: Previous philosophy course or consent of instructor. Fall semester, even-numbered years.

PHIL 315 20th Century European Philosophy 3 Cr
An investigation of the most salient movements in philosophy that have developed in 20th century Europe. These include: Existentialism, Phenomenology, Hermeneutics, Structuralism, Post-Structuralism and Critical theory. Prerequisite: previous philosophy course or consent of instructor. Fall semester, even-numbered years.

PHIL 324 Ethical Theory 3 Cr
An intensive exploration of enduring theoretical issues in ethics such as relative and absolute moral laws, subjective and objective components of moral knowledge, the relation of facts in nature to human values, and the place of reason in ethical decisions. Prerequisite: Previous philosophy course or consent of instructor. Spring semester, even-numbered years. Fulfills Writing Intensive requirement.

PHIL 495 Philosophy Seminar 3 Cr
In a seminar setting, a discussion of pre-selected philosophical issues or important texts (seminar topics change from year to year). Required of all philosophy majors and minors, but open to any student who had a previous philosophy course and who has obtained the permission of the Philosophy Department. Prerequisite: Previous philosophy course or consent of instructor. Fall semester, odd-numbered years.

PHIL 496 Ethical Issues in Contemporary Media 3 Cr
In a seminar setting, a discussion of the ethics implicit in various modern media, including specific media presentations of ethical issues. Seminar conversation focuses on a clarification of the philosophical implications of these issues and possible resolutions based on recognized ethical theories. Required for Ethics and Values majors and minors, but open to any student who had a previous philosophy course and who has obtained permission to enroll from the class instructor. Fall semester, even-numbered years.