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Courses: Philosophy (PHIL)

Undergraduate Bulletin
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Undergraduate & Graduate Dates to Remember*

Fall Term 2009

August 26-30 Wolfpack Welcome
August 31 Classes begin
September 4
Add deadline
October 30 Last day to withdraw & last day
to apply for graduation
December 11 Last day of classes
December 12-18 Final Exams

Spring Term 2010

January 8 New Student Orientation
January 11 Classes begin
January 15 Add deadline
March 12 Last day to withdraw & last day to apply for graduation
April 28 Last day of classes
April 30 - May 6 Final Exams
May 8 Commencement - all colleges

*College of Law dates on Law Bulletin

PHIL A201 Practical Logic 3 crs.

This course will introduce the student to the application of practical logical techniques in the analysis and formulation of rational arguments. Topics will include how to find premises and conclusions in an argument, definitions, informal fallacies, syllogisms, Venn diagrams, induction, Mill’s methods, etc.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A206 Introduction to Symbolic Logic 3 crs.

This course is an introduction to the techniques of symbolic logic in argument analysis and to the science of logic as the analysis of formal deductive systems.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A210 Metaphysics 3 crs.

This course is a historical and theoretical examination of the question, "What does it mean to be?" or "What is reality, as distinct from mere appearance?" The course begins with a study of ancient philosophical explanations of reality and goes on to study the historical evolution of both the problem of metaphysics and its various resolutions.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A215 Ethics 3 crs.

This course is a historical and problematic investigation of traditional ethical positions and texts, especially focusing on teleological, deontological theories, and virtue ethics and on contemporary responses to them.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A220 Epistemology 3 crs.

This course takes a historical and problematic approach to the problems of knowledge, with emphasis on the main theories of knowledge in ancient and modern philosophy as well as contemporary discussions of the nature of knowledge.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A225 Philosophy of Law 3 crs.

This course is an inquiry into the nature of law, the relevance of law to morality, the concepts of responsibility in the law, punishment, and the relevance to law of the concepts of justice, equality, and liberty. The philosophical assumptions that underlie criminal law and private law will be explored. Readings will be taken from classical and recent philosophers of law.

PHIL A230 Philosophy of Relgion 3 crs

This course is a study of several philosophical problems that arise from belief in the existence of God.  Topics to be examined include: evidentialism and religious belief, the meaningfulness of religious language, arguments for the existence of God, problems of divine omnipotence, the difficulty of reconciling divine ominiscience with human freedom, the problem of evil, and the conceivabiity of life after death.

PHIL A300 Philosophy of Science 3 crs.

This course is an introduction to basic themes of recent philosophy of science including scientific methodology, concepts and presuppositions. Through an examination of different models of scientific explanation, the course will expose the student to problems of justifying scientific theories, and the relationship between theories and reality.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A307 Philosophy of Mind 3 crs.

This course examines different theories of the nature of mind. It begins with an examination of the traditional mind-body problem in the works of Descartes. It will subsequently explore alternative positions which have been presented by Descartes’ contemporaries in the classical period, as well as contemporaries of our own. Emphasis will be placed on such areas as mind-body identity/interaction, brain process, language, perception, sensation, emotion, personal identity, and free will.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A320 Social and Political Philosophy 3 crs.

This course is an inquiry into the origin, nature, and necessity of political order. The relation of the individual to the social and political whole, the origin, nature, and just use of political authority, the nature of rights and duty, the problem of freedom, and the philosophical prerequisites of a just social order will be treated.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A330 Modern Political Theory 3 crs.

This course is an introduction to modern political theory through explication and critique of readings from classics of modern political thought. Readings will be selected from works by major theorists such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Kant, Burke, Bentham, de Tocqueville, Hegel, Marx and Mill.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A400 History of Ancient Philosophy 3 crs.

The Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, the Epicurians, Sceptics, Stoics, Plotinus, and early Christian thought are discussed.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A405 History of Medieval Philosophy 3 crs.

Historical study of the main ideas of the medieval period from St. Augustine to the Renaissance.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A408 Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas 3 crs.

This course offers an introduction to the central philosophical positions of Thomas Aquinas. It examines Aquinas' views on the relationship between faith and reason, his metaphysics of being, his analysis of human knowledge, his theory of human nature, and his defense of human freedom. Special attention will also be devoted to the Greek and Arabic sources of Aquinas' philosophy and to his place in the history of medieval philosophy.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A410 History of Modern European Philosophy 3 crs.

This course will discuss readings from works of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant.

PHIL A416 History of 19th-century Philosophy 3 crs.

A survey of the major traditions in post-Kantian philosophy ending with Nietzsche, the course will explore the interrelations between different themes in 19th-century thought and how they laid the foundation for 20th-century philosophy.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A430 American Philosophy 3 crs.

This course is a study of the philosophies of Pierce, James, Dewey, Royce, Santayana, Mead, Lewis, and Whitehead, with emphasis on the emergence of classical American philosophy as a response to philosophic, social, and scientific developments.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A435 Existentialism 3 crs.

This course examines the treatment of the characteristic existential themes as exemplified in the writings of Kierkegard, Nietzsche, Heideggar, Jaspers, Marcel, and Sartre.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A440 Phenomenology 3 crs.

This course treats the problems which gave rise to contemporary phenomenology, existential phenomenology, and hermeneutic phenomenology, and various writers in that tradition, such as Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, and Ricoeur.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A455 Marx and Technology 3 crs.

This course is an examination of Marx’s theory in the light of contemporary technology and an evaluation of technology in terms of Marxian theory.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A465 Introduction to Analytic Philosophy 3 crs.

This course is a study of the movement of 20th-century Anglo-American analytic philosophy as practiced by Russell, Moore, Wittgenstein, the logical positivists, ordinary language analysts, Quine, and contemporary language analysts.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL A490 Seminar: Ancient Philosophy 3 crs.

PHIL A491 Seminar: Medieval Philosophy 3 crs.

PHIL A492 Seminar: Modern Philosophy 3 crs.

PHIL A493 Seminar: Major Author 3 crs.

This course is an in-depth analysis of the thought of a major philosopher. Content varies.

Prerequisite: permission of instructor.

PHIL A495 Special Project arr.

This project focuses on the creative or productive efforts of one or more students. A special project is distinguished from a research project in its lack of the historical or experimental method and perspective characteristics of research.

PHIL A496 Seminar/Workshop arr.

In a seminar, a supervised group of students share the results of their research on a common topic. In a workshop, a supervised group of students participate in a common effort.

PHIL A497 Senior Research Project arr.

This senior research seminar is a requirement for all philosophy majors and minors, to be taken during the senior year. Students pursue their own research interests, following self-assessments of their portfolios near the beginning of the course (to ascertain inquiries in need of development). Participants share and discuss the philosophical issues raised by their research in progress under the direction of the course instructor. All students are expected to produce final papers of high quality.

PHIL A498 Philosophy Honors Thesis 3 crs.

Students undertake a research project under the supervision of a professor that culminates in the writing of an undergraduate thesis.

PHIL A499 Independent Study arr.

PHIL H233 Honors Philosophy I: Ethics 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: University Honors Program

This course examines questions in ethics. The student will be introduced to philosophical inquiry through an investigation of basic ethical questions. The course will include some reading of primary texts and the examination of some contemporary ethical problems.

PHIL H234 Honors Philosophy II: Metaphysics 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: University Honors Program

This course examines questions in metaphysics. It will include a historical and theoretical examination of such questions as "What does it mean to be?" and "What is reality, as distinct from mere appearance?"

PHIL H235 Honors Philosophy III: Epistemology 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: University Honors Program

This course examines questions in the theory of knowledge. Involved is an intensive examination of basic issues concerning the foundations and justification of human knowledge, with a focus on such topics as perception, truth, and meaning.

PHIL H236 Honors Philosophy– Scientific Revolutions 3 crs.

The philosophical analysis of natural science has developed, in the past 40 years, from a field dominated by a single "received view" to an arena of volatile debate with no single dominant contender for an acceptable model of scientific knowledge. This course examines the somewhat chaotic present state of this pivotal debate in late 20th-century intellectual history and its implications for basic questions regarding knowledge, reality, and both cognitive and social values.

Students may not receive credit for both this course and PHIL V164, Scientific Revolutions.

PHIL T122 Introduction to Philosophy 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Introductory

This course will introduce the student to philosophy through a consideration of selected fundamental questions of ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics, as seen in the thoughts and writings of significant philosophers.

PHIL U230 Aesthetics 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

This course offers an introduction to the major issues of aesthetics. Topics for consideration include: a brief survey of the history of art, the nature of art, the nature of beauty, the criterion for aesthetic goodness, the interpretation of artwork, metaphor and representation in art, and the aesthetic experience.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL U234 Buddhist Philosophy 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

PHIL U237 Indian Philosophy 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

A survey of philosophical traditions of India. This course is designed to help the student to extend his/her knowledge to the wisdom of the East. The study includes the philosophies of the Vedas, Upanishads, Buddhism, Jainism, Mimamsa, Nyaya, Vaisesika, Sankhya, Yoga, Vedanta, Bhagauadgita, and of some contemporary thinkers such as Aurobindo, Vivekanada, Tagore, Gandhi, and Radhakrishnan.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL U238 Philosophy and Literature 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

This course acquaints students with the multifarious relationship between philosophy and literature as staged in some seminal texts of philosophy. The course also demonstrates that (the definition of) literature has often been inscribed in philosophical frameworks by tracing some concepts (metaphor, work, text, author) central to both philosophy and literature/literary theory.

PHIL U239 Divine Madness 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

This course is an exploration of the relationship among philosophy, mysticism, and madness following the theme of theosis (divine madness) introduced by Plato through a selective reading of the history of philosophy, Christian mysticism, and modern psychology.

PHIL U254 Postmodernism and Feminism 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

Masculinity and femininity are no longer accepted as fixed positions within ontologies mapped out by man’s objectifying look. Postmodernist deconstruction of traditional engendered representations discloses the exchangeability of genders and thus works toward a liberation of the "engendered subject" in the multitudinous affinities between beings.

Prerequisites: PHIL T122, ENGL T122.

PHIL U258 Philosophical Anthropology 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

This course acquaints students with basic issues in the philosophy of human nature. It also teaches students to think critically and constructively about philosophies of human nature by drawing out the implications of basic statements about the nature of human beings.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL U260 Worldviews and Ethics 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

Our morality cannot be divorced from our understanding of reality. This course will explore how our view of reality affects our moral judgments by examining the worldviews and moralities of both the ancient Greeks and subsequent Christian philosophers. Readings will be taken from Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL U262 Classics in Moral Literature 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

This course is a study of classics that reflect the gradual transformation of moral consciousness in antiquity, including readings from Plato and Aristotle. The implications of ancient moral thought and its abandonment by modernity will be examined in two classics of modern moral literature, one from Kant and the other from Nietzsche.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL U286 Religious Experience and Philosophy 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

Accounts of religious experience unfold their fundamental meaning and structures in relation to those of human experience in general. Students will come to understand explicitly the nature, limits and implications, and the foundations in existence of religious experience.

PHIL V234 Medical Ethics 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

After a brief introduction to some basic principles useful in moral decision making, the course introduces the student to problems of general interest in bioethics such as: experimentation on humans, relations of patients and health care professionals, just allocation of health care, refusal of lifesaving treatment/euthanasia, abortion, and moral problems surrounding assisted reproduction, developments in genetics (e.g., cloning), etc.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL V235 Philosophy of Right 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course is a philosophical expose of the life, struggles, death, and ultimate transformation of the concept of "right." The central issue of the course: Is the violation of a human right a crime against nature?

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL V240 European World Views 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course attempts to clarify the philosophical framework underlying contemporary thought, expression, and science in contrast to the framework of the modern period of philosophy (17th — 18th centuries) by investigating four or five contemporary European philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Marcel, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Sartre.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL V241 Philosophical Perspective on Woman 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course covers the philosophical development of three feminist theories–liberal, Marxist, and radical feminism. Various philosophical frameworks that have served as the basis of feminist critiques, such as positivism, liberalism, Marxism, functionalism, existentialism, and Freudism are discussed. Students will address critically a number of women’s issues, including women’s self-concept, their biology, their place in the public sphere, and their representation in language and culture.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL V243 Environmental Philosophy 3 crs.

Common Curriculum; Humanities/Arts Modern

This course offers an overview of the environmental crisis and evaluates the leading contemporary philosophical accounts of both the origins of the crisis and the ethical orientations needed for its resolution.

PHIL V245 Environmental Ethics 3 crs

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

PHIL V252 Making Moral Decisions 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course treats the nature of personal and moral decision making leading to consideration of some ethical positions influential on the current philosophical scene (e.g., teleology, Kantian deontology, utilitarianism, natural law theory, etc.) and their application to contemporary moral problems.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL V260 Social Justice 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

PHIl V267 Technology and Human Values 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

PHIL V273 Auschwitz and After 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

The annihilation of six million European Jews by the Nazi totalitarian state constitutes the subject matter of the course. After exploring the history of anti-Semitism and the Nazi destruction process, the course turns to the ethical, religious, and philosophical dilemma posed by this mass murder.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL V277 Minds and Machines 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This is a course in philosophy that focuses on the structures and nature of human consciousness. It will serve as an introduction to contemporary discussion and issues associated with the philosophy of mind. Criteria for determining the nature and structure of consciousness will be developed through models employed in computers by artificial intelligence programs. No computer experience is required for this course.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL V278 Philosophy of God 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course will treat the existence and the nature of God according to the philosophies of Kant, Anselm, Aquinas, and Whitehead. Among the topics of discussion will be: atheism, agnosticism, theism, and the process philosophy.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL V280 Freedom and Oppression 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course covers the conceptual relationship of freedom and oppression, how the philosophical limits of the former determine our understanding of the latter and hence, our ability to resolve the problems of oppression. Readings in Marx, Skinner, and Camus will disclose the three major conceptions of freedom presupposed in actions and concerns of modern humans.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122.

PHIL V281 Philosophical Reasons and Catholic Faith 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern