Philosophy courses

PHIL 1010 Introduction to Philosophy
Introduction to Philosophy
A general introduction to problems concerning knowledge, reality, and conduct.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 1020 Philosophies of the Self
Philosophies of the Self
An examination of several theories of the nature of self and its relation to society and to the world.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 1030 Ethics
Ethics
A critical study of alternative theories of the good life, virtue and vice, right and wrong, and their application to perennial and contemporary moral problems.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 1040 Beginning with Minds
Beginning with Minds
A topical introduction to philosophy which surveys historical and current work in philosophy of mind and the study of cognition. The material revolves around the reasons we have to attribute minds to people. We explore several reasons for having a mind: the capacity for knowledge, innate representations, language, consciousness, agency, control over the body, freedom from natural causality. This course is particularly useful for those students interested in the cognitive studies program, a coordinate major.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 1060 Critical Thinking
Critical Thinking
This course is intended to enhance the student's analytical reasoning skills. Emphasis is placed on the study of arguments and the development of techniques of informal logic for assessing their cogency.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 1210 Elementary Symbolic Logic
Elementary Symbolic Logic
The course concerns techniques of analyzing sentences and arguments by uncovering the formal structures and relations which underlie them. This involves translating ordinary language into the symbolic formulas of elementary logical systems and proving formalized arguments.
Notes: This course satisfies the mathematics proficiency requirement.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 1330 The Meaning of Life
The Meaning of Life
The question, What is the meaning of life?, has been regarded as one of the most important and profound of human inquiries. This course will examine a number of different philosophical attempts to address this question.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 2010 History of Ancient Philosophy
History of Ancient Philosophy
A study of ancient Greek philosophy, focusing on the thought of the Pre-Socratics, Plato, and Aristotle.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 2020 History of Modern Philosophy
History of Modern Philosophy
A study of early modern philosophy, focusing on the period from Descartes through Kant.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 2030 Minds, Machines, and Experience
Minds, Machines, and Experience
Introduction to philosophical issues in the study of mind and consciousness. Topics include: the place of mind in the natural world; mechanism and thought; computer intelligence; consciousness and the mind-body problem; mental causation and explanation.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 2110 Classics of Ancient Political Philosophy I
Classics of Ancient Political Philosophy I
A study of classical works of political philosophy in the Western tradition, primarily Plato's Republic and Aristotle's Politics.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 2120 Classics of Ancient Political Philosophy II
Classics of Ancient Political Philosophy II
A study of classical works of modern political philosophy in the Western tradition, including those of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx, or Mill.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 2190 Philosophy and History of Natural Science
Philosophy and History of Natural Science
Scientific method will be analyzed as a process of stages and illustrated by historical examples. The philosophical presuppositions of science are examined in light of the historical shift from Aristotelian to modern science. Whether change in scientific theories is revolutionary or evolutionary is studied with reference to actual case histories.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 2200 Matter and Consciousness
Matter and Consciousness
A systematic survey of philosophical and foundational theories of mind and cognition of this century. The course begins with the philosophical legacy of earlier centuries (mind/body dualism, consciousness and privileged access, introspection, sense data, and phenomenology), considers the first scientific response to this legacy (behaviorism and the rise of scientific psychology), and then follows the major theoretical positions and debates of this century such as physicalism and reductionism, functionalism and the computer model of the mind, eliminative materialism and neurophilosophy, instrumentalism, and common sense psychology.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 2600 Ethics in Business
Ethics in Business
This course is about how to deal with moral problems in business management with integrity. The scope and resources for making principled responses to ethical challenges will be examined and a variety of cases will be analyzed.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 2880 Writing Practicum
Writing Practicum
Notes: Fulfills the college intensive-writing requirement.
Pre-requistites: Successful completion of the First-Year Writing Requirement.
Co-requisites: Three-credit departmental course.
credit hours: 1

PHIL 2930 Special Topics in Philosophy
Special Topics in Philosophy
Examination of philosophical issues not typically covered in existing courses.
Notes: Primarily for freshmen and sophomores.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3010 Philosophy of Religion
Philosophy of Religion
A study of major philosophical ideas and figures in the philosophy of religion.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3020 Topics in Bible and Philosophy
Topics in Bible and Philosophy
The Western tradition has two roots—Jerusalem and Athens, or the Bible and Greek philosophy. This course will be devoted to a reading of the Bible with a view to the fundamental philosophic questions it raises. Courses in different semesters will focus on various biblical texts (Genesis; Exodus and Deuteronomy; Samuel & Kings; Job), with relevant philosophic reflections drawn from Plato, Aristotle, Maimonides, Machiavelli, Kant, Kierkegaard, and others.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3030 Philosophy of Art
Philosophy of Art
A philosophical inquiry into the nature of art in its various forms, including poetry and literature, painting and sculpture, dance and music. Based on readings of classical and contemporary texts, we will address questions such as: What makes an object a work of art? How do different forms of art influence each other? How is art related to scientific inquiry and philosophy? What is the role of art in social and political life?
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3050 Moral Philosophy
Moral Philosophy
A critical inquiry into the major issues of normative and critical ethics. Problems and positions concerning moral conduct and responsibility and the meaning and justification of ethical discourse are discussed in connection with readings from classical and contemporary sources.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3070 Mathematical Logic
Mathematical Logic
An introduction to and survey of the mathematical study of formalized logical systems.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3090 Existentialism
Existentialism
A study of characteristic existentialistic themes as exemplified in the writings of thinkers like Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, or Sartre.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3100 19th-Century European Philosophy
19th-Century European Philosophy
A study of major philosophical ideas and figures from Hegel through Nietzsche.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3110 Contemporary European Philosophy
Contemporary European Philosophy
A study of major philosophical issues and figures in 20th-century continental philosophy, including Husserl, Heidegger, and Sartre, among others.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3120 Analytic Philosophy
Analytic Philosophy
An introduction both to major figures in the analytic tradition such as Frege, Russell, and Quine, and to major problems such as meaning, reference, and truth.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3130 Classic American Thought
Classic American Thought
Readings in American philosophy from early 17th century to late 19th century, covering representative thinkers from the Puritans to the pragmatists.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3140 Recent American Philosophy
Recent American Philosophy
Readings in American philosophy from the pragmatists to the present.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3150 Logical Empiricism: Meaning and Metaphilosophy
Logical Empiricism: Meaning and Metaphilosophy
Survey of main figures and movements in logical empiricism. Topics may include meaning and verification, the nature of philosophical inquiry, the unity of scientific discourse.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3200 Plato
Plato
An in-depth reading of one or more of the Platonic dialogues.
Pre-requistites: PHIL 201 or permission of instructor.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3240 Medieval Philosophy
Medieval Philosophy
A study of major thinkers in the Christian, Islamic, and Jewish traditions, such as Augustine, Aquinas, Alfarabi, Averroes, or Maimonides.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3340 Humanity's Place in Nature
Humanity's Place in Nature
This course will compare the predominant Western conception of humanity's place in nature with alternative conceptions, including those held by non-Western thinkers.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3410 Theory of Knowledge
Theory of Knowledge
An introduction to epistemology. Topics may include the problem of skepticism, theories of epistemic justification, the nature of empirical knowledge, a priori or mathematical knowledge, and our introspective knowledge of our mental states.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3420 Metaphysics
Metaphysics
An introduction to one or more topics in metaphysics, including causality, identity, modality, existence, persons and minds, universals and particulars, space and time, and the nature and possibility of metaphysics itself.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3430 Semantics of Natural Language
Semantics of Natural Language
An introduction to the study of meaning in natural languages. The central techniques involve extending the methods of logical semantics for formal languages. No prerequisites, but prior exposure either to generative grammar (e.g., ANTH 3590) or symbolic logic (e.g., PHIL 1210) would not be wasted.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3500 Buddhism
Buddhism
This course examines the metaphysical, epistemological, religious, and psychological dimensions of Buddhism, while also tracing its development from India into Southeast Asia, China, Japan, and the West.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3510 History of Ethics
History of Ethics
The historical development of philosophies concerning the good life, moral duty and right, choice and consequences, freedom and necessity in their personal and social nature.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3550 Medical Ethics
Medical Ethics
A systematic and critical study of ethical problems in medicine concerning the physician-patient relationship, life and death, and social responsibility.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3560 Social and Political Ethics
Social and Political Ethics
A study of the arguments and positions advanced by philosophers with regard to the need for and justification of social and political institutions and with regard to the character of human rights, justice, and the good society.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3580 Ethical Theory
Ethical Theory
This course surveys the prominent ethical theories of the late nineteenth and twentieth centuries. It considers both theories of meta ethics and normative ethics. Theories to be examined include: relativism, subjectivism, egoism, moral realism, utilitarianism, Kantianism, contractualism, virtue theory, and Existentialism.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3590 Greek Philosophy and Jewish Thought
Greek Philosophy and Jewish Thought
Western culture has a double source, the Bible and Greek philosophy, or Jerusalem and Athens. Are the two traditions harmonious or do they stand in some essential tension with each other? This course will approach that question by examining the response of some important Jewish thinkers, Maimonides in particular, in their encounter with the teachings of Plato and Aristotle.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3640 Philosophy of Law
Philosophy of Law
A study of the character and justification of law and legal systems. Legal realism, legal positivism, and natural law theories are explored as are such law-related issues as punishment, the enforcement of morals, and the grounds of legal responsibility.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3650 Crime and Punishment
Crime and Punishment
This course offers a critical examination of philosophical issues involving crime and punishment. In the first half, we will ask what forms of behavior, if any, the state is entitled to declare to be criminal, focusing on such issues as drug abuse, prostitution, blackmail, gambling, hate speech, suicide, pornography, ticket scalping, insider trading, and gun control. In the second half, we will ask what forms of punishment, if any, the state is entitled to impose on those who violate those laws, if any, which are permissible, focusing on such issues as capital punishment, corporal punishment, and competing justifications of punishment in general.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3660 Anarchy
Anarchy
This course examines diverse philosophic treatments of anarchy. Specific topics may include: various anarchist views, such as those embracing private or communal property; defenses of anarchism based in natural rights, autonomy, efficiency, or avoidance of pernicious tendencies of states; theories according to which the state is justified as a means for addressing conflicts or deficiencies endemic in an anarchic state of nature; arguments regarding the authority of states and our obligations to obey laws; philosophical fiction concerning anarchistic utopias or related themes.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3740 Consciousness
Consciousness
This course addresses questions such as the following: What is consciousness and why is it puzzling, if not mysterious? Is consciousness one phenomenon or many? What mechanisms and competencies underpin consciousness? Where (brain location)? Who are the possessors of consciousness, phylogenetically and ontogenetically? Why consciousness: its rationale and functions? How does consciousness emerge from matter (if at all)?
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3750 Foundations of Cognitive Science
Foundations of Cognitive Science
This course will serve as an overview to theoretical approaches and debates in cognitive science, viewed through a philosophical lens.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3760 Interpreting Minds
Interpreting Minds
A systematic introduction to the recent and dynamic interdisciplinary research area in naive psychology or theory of mind. The course begins with the philosophical debates about naive or folk psychology, then surveys the main empirical data, key experiments and hypotheses about ape and child interpretation of minds, and concludes with a comparative analysis of several much debated proposals about how the interpretation of minds is accomplished through innate mechanisms (modules), by simulation or in terms of a naive theory.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3765 Imagination
Imagination
This class is an advanced undergraduate overview of imagination, construed as cognitive competence. In an interdisciplinary spirit, covering data and theories from philosophy, cognitive and developmental psychology as well as neuroscience, the class surveys such topics as the evolutionary reasons for imagination; the cognitive and cerebral mechanisms of imagination; the format of imaginative representations-pictorial versus symbolic; the ontogeny of imagination; and connections between imagination and reasoning, deliberation and foresight.
Notes: Counts as an elective in Cognitive Studies
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3800 Language and Thought
Language and Thought
An introduction to the philosophy of language and mental representation. Major topics: the relations between language and thought, models of mind, representation as computation, the language of thought, mental imagery, propositional attitudes, meaning and intentionality.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3850 Terrorism
Terrorism
An examination of terrorism and counter terrorism with emphasis on moral issues.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3870 Mind in Evolution
Mind in Evolution
As any biological capacity, the mind must have evolved. Can evolution explain its design? The mind has many components, from perception to language and thinking. Are they all products of natural selection, of other evolutionary forces, or of no such forces at all? Can evolution explain the uniqueness of the human mind? What could be the factors that explain this uniqueness: tool making, language, social life? In attempting to answer these questions, the class brings an evolutionary perspective to some important topics in philosophy of mind and philosophical psychology and offers a multidisciplinary introduction to the emerging but rapidly developing field of evolutionary cognitive science.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3880 Writing Practicum
Writing Practicum
Notes: Fulfills the college intensive-writing requirement.
Pre-requistites: Successful completion of the First-Year Writing Requirement..
Co-requisites: Three-credit departmental course.
credit hours: 1

PHIL 3930 Special Topics in Philosophy
Special Topics in Philosophy
credit hours: 3

PHIL 3940 Special Topics in Philosophy
Special Topics in Philosophy
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6040 Philosophy of Law
Philosophy of Law
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6050 Moral Philosophy
Moral Philosophy
An advanced critical inquiry into the major issues of normative and critical ethics. Problems and positions concerning moral conduct and responsibility and the meaning and justification of ethical discourse are discussed in connection with readings from classical and contemporary sources.
Pre-requistites: One previous course in ethics or graduate standing.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6060 Advanced Symbolic Logic
Advanced Symbolic Logic
Translation of propositions into quantified formulas with single-place and relational predicates. Deduction by quantification rules. Also, theorematic development of an axiomatic logistic system.
Pre-requistites: PHIL 1210 or equivalent.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6100 Skepticism
Skepticism
A study of historical and contemporary skepticism about knowledge.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6105 Philosophy of Neuroscience
Philosophy of Neuroscience
This course will introduce students to interdisciplinary research at the intersection of philosophy and neuroscience. The course will cover both historical and current material. Topics will include the relationship between neuroscience and psychology, neuroscience and the "self," the neural correlates of consciousness, and the localization of function in the brain.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6120 Metaphysics
Metaphysics
An examination of basic problems of metaphysics (e.g. being, substance, universals, identity, freedom) as treated by the main traditions in classical and contemporary thought.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6130 Moral Psychology and Meta-Ethics
Moral Psychology and Meta-Ethics
This seminar offers students the opportunity to develop more deeply their understanding of the origins and nature of moral attitudes and beliefs, and thus to probe more fully issues to which they had been introduced in previous courses in ethics. Optional Capstone for senior majors and second semester juniors with 5110 add-on. Writing Practicum option.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6150 Freedom and the Self
Freedom and the Self
Free will is one of the main puzzles in philosophy. While human beings ordinarily think that their choices are free, it is difficult to see how this conception can go together with modern scientific conceptions of nature. The problem is not only to establish whether human beings have free will, but whether it is an intelligible conception at all. This course will examine major approaches put forward to solve this puzzle, drawn from contemporary as well as classical sources.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6170 Philosophy of Perception
Philosophy of Perception
A systematic philosophical and interdisciplinary examination of major theories of perception.
Pre-requistites: Approval of instructor.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6180 Mental Representation
Mental Representation
A survey and evaluation of major theories of mental representation drawing on recent work in philosophy of mind, cognitive psychology, linguistics, semantics, and artificial intelligence. Major topics: linguistic representation, the language of thought, propositional attitudes, mental imagery, and innate representations.
Pre-requistites: Approval of instructor.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6200 Plato
Plato
An in-depth study of one or more of the Platonic dialogues, Republic, Theaetetus, Sophist, Statesman, Parmenides, Philebus or Timaeus, with reading and discussion of related dialogues as background.
Notes: Can be repeated once for up to 6 credits.
Pre-requistites: PHIL 2010 or PHIL 2110.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6210 Aristotle
Aristotle
An in-depth study of one or more of the Aristotelian treatises, Metaphysics, Physics and De anima, Ethics, Politics, or the logical writings.
Notes: Can be repeated once for up to 6 credits.
Pre-requistites: PHIL 2010 or PHIL 2110.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6260 Rationalism
Rationalism
Descartes, Spinoza, and/or Leibniz examined individually and as contributors to one of modern philosophy's historical developments.
Pre-requistites: PHIL 2020, or equivalent.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6270 Empiricism
Empiricism
Locke, Berkeley and/or Hume examined both individually and as contributors to one of modern philosophy's historical developments.
Pre-requistites: PHIL 2020 or equivalent.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6290 Kant's Ethics
Kant's Ethics
An examination of Kant's Groundwork and Critique of Practical Reason. Topics include Kant's view of the nature of morality, the role of the Categorical Imperative, as well as his views on worth, respect, dignity and autonomy.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6330 Nietzsche
Nietzsche
A close reading and critical examination of selected major works of Nietzsche.
Pre-requistites: PHIL 2020 or 2120.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6340 Heidegger
Heidegger
A close reading and critical examination of selected major works of Heidegger.
Pre-requistites: PHIL 2020 or 2120.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6490 17th Century Political Philosophy
17th Century Political Philosophy
This course will focus on the most important political philosophers of the 17th century , e.g., Hugo Grotius, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke--authors who founded and set the agenda for much of modern western political philosophy. A central theme of the course will be the attempts by these authors to reconcile the autonomous pursuit by individuals of their own self-preservation and happiness with moral order and social cooperation. What sort of state (if any) with what sort of authority (if any) facilitates individual freedom, justice, and social order? (Optional Capstone)
Pre-requistites: Two courses at or above the 2000 level in ethics, philosophy of law, political philosophy- or comparable courses from other prog
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6510 Theories of Economic Justice
Theories of Economic Justice
A study of alternative conceptions of economic justice including the conceptions offered by utilitarians, contractarians, natural rights theorists, and Marxists. Other topics include the just distribution of natural resources and the choice between command and market economies.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6620 Philosophical Logic
Philosophical Logic
Central topics in philosophical logic are covered, including reference, predication, vagueness, logical form, counterfactuals, propositional attitudes, logical truth, paradoxes.
Pre-requistites: Approval of instructor.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6740 Contemporary Political Philosophy
Contemporary Political Philosophy
An analysis of contemporary approaches to normative concepts in politics, concentrating on political philosophers such as Arendt, Marcuse, Oakeshott, Rawls, and Strauss.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6750 Utilitarianism
Utilitarianism
An examination of the utilitarian tradition and the modern debate over whether some version of utilitarianism is likely to serve as the most adequate moral and political philosophy.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6760 Mill's Utilitarian Liberalism
Mill's Utilitarian Liberalism
A study of the liberal moral and political philosophy of John Stuart Mill, including his utilitarian ethics, doctrine of individual liberty, theory of constitutional democracy, and analysis of capitalism versus socialism.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6880 Writing Practicum
Writing Practicum
Notes: Fulfills the college intensive-writing requirement.
Pre-requistites: Successful completion of the First-Year Writing Requirement.
Co-requisites: Three-credit departmental course.
credit hours: 1

PHIL 6930 Special Offerings
Special Offerings
For specific offering, see the Schedule of Classes. For description, consult department.
Pre-requistites: Two courses in philosophy and junior standing.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 6940 Special Offerings
Special Offerings
For specific offering, see the Schedule of Classes. For description, consult department.
Pre-requistites: Two courses in philosophy and junior standing.
credit hours: 3

PHIL 7030 Epistemology
Epistemology
credit hours: 3

PHIL 7060 Ethical Theory
Ethical Theory
credit hours: 3

PHIL 7200 Topics in the History of Philosophy
Topics in the History of Philosophy
credit hours: 3

PHIL 7280 Kant: The Critique of Pure Reason
Kant: The Critique of Pure Reason
credit hours: 3

PHIL 9980 Master's Research
Master's Research
credit hours: 0

PHIL 9990 Dissertation Research
Dissertation Research
credit hours: 0

PHIL H4910 Independent Studies
Independent Studies
Pre-requistites: Approval of department.
credit hours: 3

PHIL H4920 Independent Studies
Independent Studies
Pre-requistites: Approval of department.
credit hours: 3

PHIL H4990 Honors Thesis
Honors Thesis
Notes: For senior honors candidates.
credit hours: 3

PHIL H5000 Honors Thesis
Honors Thesis
Notes: For senior honors candidates.
credit hours: 3