PHIL-101 Critical Thinking 3cr. Introduction to the study of persuasive devices, semantic pitfalls, informal fallacies, rational vs. emotional appeals, and the techniques used in evaluating arguments.
PHIL-102 Introduction to Philosophy 3cr. Introduction to the main problems of philosophy, i.e. knowledge, reality, morality, religion and art.
PHIL-105 Feminist Philosophy 3cr. Analysis of recent work in feminist theory in order to investigate woman's situation and its foundations in culture, perception, and reality.
PHIL-201 Logic I 3cr. Introduction to formal logic, including Aristotelian categorical logic and modern propositional logic.
PHIL-202 Comparative Religion 3cr. A comparative study of the main beliefs and practices of early and primal religions. Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
PHIL-210 Arguing Philosophically 3cr. An in-depth examination of philosophical argumentation, with a particular emphasis on informal arguments and fallacies. This course satisfies the University Writing Intensive Program. Prerequisite: ENGL-101 minimum grade of C.
PHIL-211 Philosophy of Religion 3cr. Philosophical scrutiny of some of the central themes in religion, i.e. the existence of God, the problem of evil, human freedom and immortality, the nature of faith, and the role of reason in theology.
PHIL-213 Ethics 3cr. Introduction to some of the main problems of ethics, including the nature of morality, the meaning of ethical terms, standards for evaluating choices and actions, and the major ideas of important moral philosophers.
PHIL-214 Medical Ethics 3cr. This course will focus on the ethical dilemmas both doctors and patients confront as practitioners and patients in medicine. We will pay careful attention to the issues of paternalism, voluntary informed consent and personhood and apply these ideas to actual cases.
PHIL-215 Business Ethics 3cr. Philosophical introduction to the ethical content of some of the current problems confronting the business community, such as the social responsibility of business, poverty and equal rights, the ethical implications of ecology, advertising, and consumerism.
PHIL-222 History of Ancient Philosophy 3cr. Critical survey of the development of philosophy in the West from the pre-Socratics to Plotinus. Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle are primary philosophers of this period.
PHIL-231 History of Medieval Philosophy 3cr. Critical survey of the development of philosophy in the West from the rise of Christendom to the dawn of the Renaissance. Augustine, Anselm, Maimonides, and Aquinas are primary philosophers of this period.
PHIL-241 History of Modern Philosophy 3cr. A critical survey of the development of philosophy in the West in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries. Hobbes, Descartes, Locke, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, Rousseau, and Kant are primary philosophers of this period.
PHIL-243 Nineteenth Century Continental Philosophy 3cr. The 19th century was one of the most diverse periods of philosophy as philosophers reacted to changes in the sciences and the arts. This class focuses on four key thinkers: Hegel, Marx, Kierkegard, and Nietzsche.
PHIL-247 Phenomenology & Hermeneutics 3 cr. A study of knowledge through consciousness, the first-person point of view, and the study of interpretive practices.
PHIL-251 Philosophy of Art 3cr. This course will explore the meaning of creativity and beauty as articulated by major thinkers throughout Western History.
PHIL-291 Philosophical Foundations of Oppression 3cr. An analysis of concepts emerging from Anglo-European philosophy that normalize and support domination, particularly as they function in colonialism, ethnocentrism, racism, sexism and heterosexism.
PHIL-303 Logic II 3cr. Study of the theory and development of axiomatic systems, including the problems of definability, completeness, and consistency. Prerequisite: PHIL-201 or consent of instructor.
PHIL-306 Logic III 3cr. Systematic inquiry into some of the philosophical problems of logic, such as the nature of propositions, the logical paradoxes, undecidability, types of logic and the relation of logic to truth, language and existence. Prerequisite: PHIL-303 or consent of instructor.
PHIL-312 Philosophy and Literature 3cr. The study of the intersections between literary and philosophical studies including the aesthetics of literature, theory of criticism, philosophical interpretation of literature, and literary treatment of philosophy. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-313 Ethical Theory 3cr. Study of theories about the meaning and justification of moral judgments: good and bad, right and wrong, human rights, justice, punishment, freedom and responsibility, self-interest, the common good, pleasure and happiness, religion and morality, relativism, subjectivism, and skepticism. Prerequisite: junior standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-332 Contemporary Philosophy 3cr. This course will track some of the most salient schools of contemporary philosophy and critical theory, including post-structuralism, post-modernism, deconstruction, psychoanalysis, postcolonialism, aesthetic theory, and existentialism. Prerequisite: junior standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-333 American Philosophy 3cr. Intensive study of the trends prevalent in the modern American philosophical scene, notably pragmatism, idealism, naturalism, positivism, philosophical analysis, and phenomenology. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor. Prerequisite: junior standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-335 Analytic Philosophy 3cr. An approach to philosophical problems analyzing language focusing on clarity, logic, and argument. Prerequisite: junior standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-337 Existentialism 3cr. A study of the condition of human existence exploring themes such as freedom, alienation, despair, authenticity, self-consciousness, and bad faith from thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, Beauvoir, Camus. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-339 Postmodernism 3cr. Developing out of problems arising from Modern Western philosophy, postmodernism deconstructs meta-narratives such as universal man, autonomous man, ideal language, unitary consciousness, the mind/external world distinction and objective truth, and the individual as producer (rather than product of social constructions). Prerqueisite: junior standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-341 Metaphysics 3cr. Systematic analysis of some of the main problems of metaphysics, such as existence, substance and attribute, change and permanence, essence and accident, universals and particulars, mind and body, identity, individuation, and causality. Prerequisite: junior standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-343 Religion and Globalization 3cr. The course will examine the impact of various forms of religious expression of ecularization and the resulting marginalization of religious ideolThe course will examine the impact on various forms of religious expression of secularization and the resulting marginalization of regional ideological perspectives that are a result of increased globalization. Attention will be given to the roles played by religious nationalism and fundamentalism as they stand in tension with growing ecumenicalism, religious parochial and relativistic pluralism, and the increased growth of alternative religions. Special attention will be given to the philosophical arguments that are employed in support of these conflicting perspectives. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-344 Buddhism as a World Religion 3cr. The course will begin with an analysis of Buddhism's origins within Hinduism and the early development of its religious beliefs and philosophical concepts in India. It will continue with an in depth look at its spread throughout Asia and the transformation of its core beliefs and concepts within the main traditions of Theravada, Mahayana, and the Vajrayana. The course will include a study of current global trends, such as the rise of politcal and social engagement and the impact of Buddhism on western philosophical traditions including existentialism and phenomenology. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-345 Social and Political Philosophy 3cr. Systematic investigation of some of the salient issues currently discussed by social and political philosophers, such as the nature and origin of the state, political obligation, justice, human rights, authority, liberty, and evaluation of social and political institutions. Prerequisite: junior standing, or consent of instructor. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-351 Sexism and the Philosophy of Language 3cr. An investigation of ways language is involved in the social construction of reality, in particular, ways English is used to maintain sexism (as well as racism and classism), and also ways many speakers use language to break silencing and challenge standard meaning. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-353 Feminism and the Philosophy of Science 3cr. An investigation of ways science has been involved in the maintenance of sexism, racism, and colonialism in both content and structure; and the study of contributions feminist theorists have made to the development of the philosophy of science. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-354 Indian Philosophy 3cr. This course is an introduction to central themes in Indian Philosophy. Students will explore issues in the metaphysics, epistemology and ethics of the Vedas and Unaishads, Carvaka, Buddhism, Jainism, Sankhya Yoga, Nyaya Vaiseshika, and Advaita Vedanta. Includes trip to India. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-362 Philosophy of Law 3cr. In this course, we will engage in an examination of law and legal systems, as well as of the ideas, ideologies, and principles that are at the core of the establishment and interpretation of law. The pervasive presence of law in our lives should encourage us not only to understand it, but to scrutinize its foundations and presuppositions. Toward this end, we will pay special attention to three aspects of philosophy of law: analytic jurisprudence, normative jurisprudence, and critical law theory. Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-363 Latin American Decolonial Theorizing 3cr. Latin American decolonial theorists argue that European Modernism's beginnings lie in 1492 with the Spanish occupation of what we call the Americas, and that Enlightenment ideals are embedded in practices developed through conquest and colonization. Highlighting the Eurocentrism of Anglo-European Philosophy, these theorists offer significantly different and interesting philosophical understanding which attend to colonial power relations, and move us toward polycentric thinking and action. In addition, we will explore a particular history of resistance from within the Indigenous Zapatista movement in Mexico against global capital. Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-364 Critical Race Theory 3cr This course begins with the recognition that racism is prevalent in the United States. The course will examine the law's role in the construction and maintenance of social domination, and subordination in order to understand and articulate a critical race theoretical approach to the intersections of race, gender, class and the law. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-365 Environmental Ethics 3cr. How ought we behave towards nature and what are the implications of human interaction with ecosystems? We will pay special attention to the value of restored nature and whether it is a form of human domination or whether restoration is a legitimate endeavor to be pursued out of moral obligation. We will integrate actual cases into the class in order to flesh out the policy implications of our philosophical commitments. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-366 Feminist Ethics 3cr. What is feminism? What is Feminist Ethics? How do feminists differ in their ways of thinking about the good life and acting in the world than a non-feminist? Why do they differ in their understanding of these issues? How should we live our lives in a way that reflects feminist values? These are just some of the questions we will explore in this class. Specifically, we will explore the key concepts of different types of feminist ethics and the ways to apply it to our everyday lives. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-367 Postcolonialism 3cr. Postcolonialism is a body of thought arising from the margins of Anglo-European discourse, within societies Europeans colonized. They challenge Eurocentrism, or the practice of understanding Anglo-European thought as the culmination of all rational thought, a practice that erases other cultural productions. There will be several centers of Postcolonial discourse in the form of theoretical analyses, novels, and political tracts. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-368 Multiculturalism 3cr. This course is a course in contemporary philosophy and politics where you are a protagonist. In understanding your possibilities, you will be able to understand yourself as a possible resistor to the paths, roles, identities, positions which are seemingly socially determined by you. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-370 Re-Thinking Race & Gender 3cr. This is an intensive summer course that runs for ten days over three weeks and provides a concentrated exploration of how we read, see, and inhabit issues of race and gender. Grounded in a conceptual framework that opens to against-the-grain logics, it will engage students in re-reading relations of race and gender naturalized by dominant ideology. Students will participate in workshops, lectures, and sessions with invited speakers. Designed for graduates, undergraduates, and teachers. Prereqs: Graduate status or junior-senior status in Philosophy, English, Political Science, Sociology, Women¿s Studies, LLAS, or AFAM.
PHIL-371 Theory of Knowledge 3cr. The course includes an investigation of different practices of knowing including Cartesian epistemology, Kuhnian paradigm theory, and standpoint theory. Prerequisite: sophomore standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-373 Advanced Feminist Philosophy 3cr. Analytic investigation of the latest feminist theory in order to study the development of feminism. Prerequisite: junior standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-375 Philosophy of Science 3cr. Examination of some of the main problems currently discussed by philosophers of science, such as the methodology and foundations of empirical science, the meaning and verification of scientific statements, theories, laws, hypotheses, and explanations. Prerequisite: junior standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-381 Independent Study in Philosophy 3cr. Readings, discussions, and reports on a special topic with faculty supervision. Normally open to majors in their junior or senior year. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
PHIL-384 Seminar in the Philosophy of Religion 3cr. This seminar course examines questions concerning the existence, nature and evidence for the primary and fundamental objects of religious belief. Topics may include the following: 1) Can we demonstrate God's existence? 2) Is faith irrational? 3) Can we know anything about God? 4) Is the existence of evil evidence against the existence of God? 5) Is religion necessary for morality? Prerequisite: Major or Minor in philosophy and Junior or Senior standing.
PHIL-385 Philosophy of Mind 3cr. This course examines the central issues and debates in philosophy of mind from both historical and contemporary perspectives. Topics covered may include theories of the mind's relation to the body (dualism, monism, functionalism, behaviorism, identity theory, eliminative materialism), theories of mental content, free will, personal identity and first-person experience, among others. Prerequisite: Junior standing or consent of instructor.
PHIL-386 Nietzsche Seminar 3cr. This course will confront the forceful and elusive positions of Friedrich Nietzsche, noting the ways in which such a world-view both interrupted and transformed the history of philosophy. To this degree, the course will cast itself across a wide and contorted spectrum of the author’s works, while encountering such provocative concepts as nihilism, the will to power, the eternal return, and the overman.
PHIL-387 Hannah Arendt 3cr. In this course, we will investigate the work of Hannah Arendt on politics, society and political action. Our primary questions will be what does political action require and what can it accomplish? But we will also pay careful attention to how Arendt thinks politics, because she moves with ease between theoretical abstraction and concrete political practice. Our readings will include texts on civil disobedience, the relationship between history and political theory, the meanings of power and violence, colonialism, totalitarian rule during the Third Reich and the Soviet era, and on racial prejudice as political tool.
PHIL-388 Philosophy of Language Seminar 3cr. This course focuses on language use and begins with theoretical challenges from both the analytic (Wittgenstein) and continental (Derrida) traditions in philosophy to idealized theories of language, particularly the reference theory of language as well as the idea that language is a pure and formal unity. We will explore strategies of using language to construct consensus through both syntax and semantics, generating commitment to particular and tacit understandings. We will also work on theories of metaphor and performatives to become skilled in articulating practical complexities of language use.
PHIL-389 Foucault Seminar 3cr. Michel Foucault is and will remain one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century. His work is influential not only in philosophy, but in history, sociology, gender studies, justice studies, art, and literary theory. We will focus on the shorter works and interviews found in Dits et Écrits both because they are often easier to read than the books, and because Foucault presents his philosophical conclusions most succinctly there.
PHIL-390 Classical Political Theory 3cr. Study of the philosophy and practice of just political order and virtuous action in the ancient Greek, Roman and Hebraic traditions. The course will address the classical distinction between public and private life, slavery and the politics of sex and gender in antiquity, the relationships between the good soul and the good city, ancient democracy, and the politics of empire. Readings will include texts by Plato, Aristotle, Sophocles, Aeschylus, Aristophanes, Thucydides, Polybius and the Book of Job, the Book of Matthew, and others. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.
PHIL-391 Modern Political Theory 3cr. Study of the dilemmas of political order that compel the development of modern political philosophy and practice. The course will address the emergence of modern humanism and Machiavelli’s republican vision, analyze obligation and the rule of law in the contract tradition represented by Hobbes, Locke and Rousseau, and examine ongoing conflicts between authority and freedom and power and equality that plague the 19th, 20th, and now 21st centuries. Additional readings will include works by Marx, Hegel, Wollstonecraft, J.S. Mill, Nietzsche and others. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or permission of the instructor.