Philosophy Courses


PHIL200. Introduction to Philosophy

A critical examination of some basic problems and techniques of philosophy. The focus will be on issues in logic, epistemology, and metaphysics. Particular emphasis will be placed on using the Socratic method to discover, clarify, and answer big questions about topics such as the nature of truth, knowledge, freedom, good and evil, and what it is to be a human being. 3 credits.

PHIL210. Foundations of Western Philosp

An introduction to the Ancient Period in the history of Western philosophy, with emphasis on primary texts and major figures such as Plato and Aristotle. Students will learn to reconstruct arguments from philosophical texts and examine them both on their own merits and in the context of the historical circumstances in which they emerged. Philosophical texts may be supplemented with historical, literary, or other materials that serve to illuminate this context. 3 credits. FHCI, WI.

PHIL211. Survey of Medieval Philosophy

A survey of the development of western thought during the Medieval and Renaissance periods. Emphasis on the Christian philosophies of Augustine and Aquinas and on the humanistic philosophies of the Italian renaissance. 3 credits.

PHIL212. Survey Early Mod Phil

A survey of the development of western thought from the 16th century through the 19th century. Emphasis on the philosophical traditions from Hobbes in the British Isles and from Descartes on the continent, especially on Descartes, Locke, and Hume. 3 credits.

PHIL213. Survey 19th Cent Phil

A survey of the development of western from Kant to the beginning of the 20th century. Emphasis on Kant's position as a solution to problems raised in the 18th century, and to the development of German philosophy in Schopenhauer, Hegel, and Marx. The foundations of existentialism. 3 credits.

PHIL214. Survey 20th Cent Anal Phil

A survey of the development of analytic philosophy of the twentieth century. Topics covered will include the early paradigms of Moore and Russell, logical atomism in Russell and early Wittgenstein, logical positivism, the later Wittgenstein, the ordinary language school of philosophy, Quine's naturalism in semantics, Davidson's views on truth, Kripke's reconceptualization of semantic and metaphysical categories, and the legacy of the 20th century analytic philosophy. 3 credits.

PHIL220. Rules of Play: Sports as Legal

An introduction to the intersection of philosophy of sport and philosophy of law through consideration of controversial issues in sport, such as doping, instant replay, strategic fouls, officiating discretion, paying college athletes, retaliatory fouls, age and gender classifications, sportsmanship, and off-field conduct. 3 credits. FHBS, WI.

PHIL292. Internship in Philosophy

A semester-long, on-the-job learning experience designed to apply the principles of philosophy. 1-18 credits.

PHIL295. Special Topics Philosophy

The topics will vary from semester to semester. Descriptions will be available from academic advisors. May be repeated for credit when topics change. Prerequisite none. 1-3 credits.

PHIL300. Logic

The fundamentals of deduction and induction which aid the student in developing habits of valid thinking and in understanding the scientific method. Emphasis on deductive logic and on tools for analysis of issues in different fields of inquiry. 3 credits.

PHIL308. Introduction to Ethics

An introduction to ethical theories and their applications to moral issues. This course has three major components: (1) a survey of the main normative and metaethical theories; (2) a detailed examination of the method of philosophical analysis; and (3) the application of ethical theories and philosophical analysis to contemporary moral issues. 3 credits. *Fulfills General Education Goal 12.

PHIL315. Biomedical Ethics

Ethical inquiry into the concepts of person, autonomy, rights, responsibility, and justice relevant to biomedicine and their application to issues of euthanasia, abortion, genetic control, the definition of death, allocation of scarce medical resources, experimentation with human beings, and intentional deception in biomedicine. 3 credits. *Fulfills General Education Goal 12.

PHIL316. Environmental Ethics

A study of how the principles of ethical theory can be applied to contemporary environmental controversies. The class will examine a variety of theoretical approaches to environmental ethics, comparing human-centered (anthropocentric), animal-centered (zoocentric), and nature-centered (biocentric) value systems. Students will study local, national, and global environmental issues including factory farming, pollution and pesticides, loss of biodiversity, habitat destruction, and global warming. 3 credits *Fulfills General Education Goal 12.

PHIL320. Markets and Morals

This course will examine ethical issues relating to market systems and economic activity. Topics could include the ethical responsibilities of corporations, the comparative merits of market-based (e.g., capitalist) versus planned (e.g., socialist) economies, or applied topics in business ethics such as sweatshops, whistleblowing, or price-gouging. Our investigation will include arguments in ethics and political philosophy and will make substantial contact with other disciplines such as economics, political science, history, and psychology. Pre-requisites: Completion of FHCI pillar. 3 credits. PHBS

PHIL325. Love, Sex, and Friendship

What is the nature of love? What contributes to a good friendship? What do close relationships demand of us? This course will examine love, sex, and friendship by engaging with philosophy and several other disciplines, which could include: literature, theology, psychology, and sociology. By the end of this course the student should know what others have said about love, sex, and friendship, and have begun to form a considered personal view concerning these phenomena. Prerequisite: Completion of FHBS pillar. 3 credits. PHBS. WI.

PHIL331. Ancient Mediev Pol Phil

Survey of the principal political theories and philosophies from ancient Greece through the Middle Ages, including the contributions of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, St. Augustine, and St. Thomas Aquinas. Fulfills General Education Goal 12. 3 credits.

PHIL332. Modern Political Philosophy

Survey of modern political theories and philosophies, including the contributions of Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Burke, and Marx. Fulfills General Education Goal 12. 3 credits.

PHIL350. Aesthetics

A study of theories of art and beauty, including the relation between beauty and the arts, the function and value of the arts in culture, and standards for criticism and judgments of beauty. 3 credits.

PHIL351. Philosophy and Literature

Literature and philosophy are both means by which people attempt to assign meaning, shape, and value to human life and experience. This course will apply philosophical methods and questions to the interpretation of specific literary texts and will explore the possibility that literary narrative also possesses its own contribution to make to philosophical reasoning. Pre-requisites: Completion of FHBS and FAES. PHBS. WI. 3 credits.

PHIL355. Philosophy of Mind

A study of such leading theories as dualistic interactionism, behaviorism and materialism, which concern the nature of the person, self-knowledge, the relation to the mental and the physical and human action. Emphasis on theories of the self or person and on criteria for the evaluation thereof. Classical, modern, and contemporary sources. 3 credits.

PHIL360. Philosophy of Religion

A critical examination of certain problems in religion, including the nature of religion, grounds for belief and disbelief in God, the varieties of religious experience and immortality. Classical, modern and contemporary sources. 3 credits.

PHIL361. The Problem of Evil

If God is all powerful, all knowing, and supremely good, then why is there so much evil in the world? In philosophy of religion this problem is known as “the problem of evil”. In the first half of this course we will examine philosophical arguments against belief in God based on evil (and responses to them). The second half of the course fills out our conception of evil with units that could include evil in literature, the psychology of evil, and evil in film. Ultimately this course seeks to help students think seriously about the nature of evil and what this means for how we respond to it. Prerequisite: Completion of FHCI pillar. 3 credits. PHCI. WI.

PHIL365. Hist & Phil of Science

An examination of such issues as the logic of scientific reasoning and method, the distinction between science and pseudoscience, the analysis of central concepts in science, especially causality, law and explanation, and finally, the relation of science and values in our culture. Attention will be given to the development of a consistent point of view on these issues. Examples will be drawn from a broad range of sciences, both natural and social. 3 credits.

PHIL380. Doping in Sport & Society

This class will examine the science and ethics of doping in amateur, elite, and professional sport with special consideration of the physiology, economics, and ethics of sport as a social institution. Pre-requisite: Completion of FHBS Pillar. 3 credits.

PHIL390. Directed or Independent Study

Must be approved by the head of the department. May be repeated as 391. 1-18 credits.

PHIL391. Directed Independent Study

Must be approved by the head of the department. 1-18 credits.

PHIL392. Internship in Philosophy

A semester-long, on-the-job learning experience designed to apply the principles of philosophy. 1-18 credits.

PHIL398. Ethics in Sport & Physical Edu

An examination of the basic philosophic issues concerning ethics and moral reasoning and how these issues relate to sport. Students will be encouraged to develop their ability to make informed ethical choices and decisions relating both to sport and to their own personal and professional lives. 3 credits. *Fulfills General Education Goal 12.

PHIL461. Seminar in Philosophy

An intensive study of one of the major philosophers emphasized in the introductory four-course sequence in the history of western philosophy. Lectures on the systematic position in general and student papers on particular topics on or about that position. Readings from major works of the philosopher chosen and from important critical secondary sources. Prerequisites: completion of the other specified required courses for either the major or minor programs in philosophy or permission of instructor. 3 credits.

PHIL490. Independent Study

A directed reading and/or research program on a topic or thinker selected by the student and approved by the director. 1-18 credits. *Fulfills General Education Goal 14.

PHIL492. Internship in Philosophy

Experiental learning designed to apply the principles of philosophy. Prerequisite: A minimum cumulative GPA of 2.5 is required to enroll. 1-18 credits. Fulfils General Education Goal 14.

PHIL495. Special Topics

Selected topics in Philosophy. The topics will vary from semester to semester. Descriptions will be available from academic advisers. May be repeated for credit when topics change. 1-3 credits.

PHIL498. Honors Research in Philosophy

Students conduct research in philosophy under the direction of a faculty member and the Senior Honors Research Committee. May be repeated as 499. 3 credits.

PHIL499. Honors Research in Philosophy

Students conduct research in philosophy under the direction of a faculty member and the Senior Honors Research Committee. 3 credits.