The Elusive Self: On Mind, Brain, and Consciousness.
No concept is more central to our lives than the notion of "I." We could not navigate the world if we lacked a fundamental sense of self-hood. Yet, for philosophers and psychologists alike, this commonplace idea has been the starting point for much speculation, research, and wonder. This course explores various dimensions of what we call the self from both psychological and philosophical perspectives. We begin with questions on the nature of consciousness, with special emphasis on the relationship between the mind and the brain. We then explore issues related to personal identity, self-awareness, and memory. We next consider the prospects for consciousness and self-hood in non-human animals and machines. Finally, we reckon with the self's ultimate limitation, death.
Philosophical Reasoning. 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.
Course will be offered every two years, in the fall semester.
Ethical Reasoning, Faith & Reason-Philosophy. 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.
In a seminar setting, a discussion of preselected 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.
The senior paper is an original work a student prepares under the guidance of a professor in the Philosophy Department. It must provide evidence of scholarship in any of the major philosophical areas and is approved by the Department Chair.