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Philosophy

Philosophy Courses

1010 Introduction to Philosophy (3) A first course in philosophy designed to introduce students to the major philosophic positions.

1020 Contemporary Moral Problems (3) Introduction to the application of basic moral concepts and theories to contemporary moral issues. Discussion topics will vary and may include: distribution of wealth and resources, environmental ethics and sustainability, animal rights, capital punishment, torture, euthanasia, abortion, cloning, genetic engineering, privacy rights, drug laws, marriage and sexuality, gun control, and affirmative action.

1210 Critical Reasoning (3) A study of the principles of correct reasoning: induction, deduction, formal and informal fallacies. Critical Reasoning is excellent preparation for the LSAT and the reasoning portions of other examinations for graduate study.

2010 Symbolic Logic (3) A first course in symbolic logic designed to introduce students to formal systems of propositional and predicate logic. Logic is excellent preparation for the LSAT and the reasoning portions of other examinations for graduate study.

2020 Introduction to Philosophy of the Mind (3) This course is an introductory overview of fundamental issues in the study of mind, thinking and consciousness. Provides a forum for students to explore these philosophical issues from the perspective of current research in psychology, neuroscience, linguistics and computer science. Prereq: 3 hours in philosophy or permission of instructor.

2030 Introduction to Ethics (3) A critical study of basic moral concepts and problems contained in ethical theories of important western philosophers: relativism, egoism, happiness, obligation, justice, freedom, conscience, love, religious precepts, moral rules, moral attitudes and moral language.

2040 Introduction to East Asian Philosophy (3) This course makes a critical and philosophical inquiry into the fundamental questions raised in East Asian Philosophy, typically including a critical evaluation of the traditional theories in Confucianism, Buddhism, and Taoism of China, Korea, and Japan, as well as contemporary responses to those theories, e.g., Kyoto School or Maoism. Prereq: No prerequisite

2300 Human Values in Medicine(3) An opportunity for pre-medical students and students preparing for other health professions to confront questions of meaning and value that arise in the context of medical research and practice.

3010 Philosophy of Justice (3) An examination of the concept of justice from Greek moral philosophy to modern moral philosophy with focus on the problems of modern moral philosophy and the application of those ideas in government and society. Prereq: Junior or three credits in philosophy.

3020 The Justification of Punishment (3) The course examines the major philosophical arguments concerning the conditions under which punishment is justifiable, and provides a background of ethical theory in order to make these arguments comprehensible. Prereq: Junior, or three credits in philosophy, or one course in criminal justice.

3040: Philosophy of Law (3) An overview of central issues in the philosophy of law, including the nature, source, and legitimacy of law, the relationship between law and morality, competing theories of legal reasoning and interpretation, the sources and structure of rights and responsibilities, and theories of punishment. rereq: Junior, or six credits in philosophy

3050 Ethical Theory (3) A detailed examination of selected topics in normative ethics and/or metaethics. Normative ethical questions to consider may include: Is the morally right thing to do always the thing that has the best consequences, as so-called "consequentialists" believe? What sorts of things are intrinsically good, i.e., good in themselves, regardless of their effects? Metaethical questions to be considered may include: Are there any objective moral facts? If so, where do they come from? Prereq: PHIL 2030 or six hours in philosophy or permission of instructor.

3110 History of Ancient Philosophy(3) A survey of philosophy from its beginning to the Middle Ages: pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Cynics, Epicureans, Stoics, Skeptics, Neo-Platonists.

3130 History of Modern Philosophy (3) An examination of the leading philosophical ideas of the 17th and 18th centuries: Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant. This course also fulfills the writing requirements for the philosophy majors. Prereq: 6 hours in Philosophy or permission.

3140 Nineteenth Century Philosophy (3) An examination of major views in 19th century philosophy including the development of German idealism, British empiricism and Marxism. Special attention will be paid to the origins of existentialism, pragmatism and modern empiricism as reactions to 19th century positions. Prereq: Junior or permission of instructor.

3150 Philosophy of History (3) An introduction to representative problems of historical interpretation including theories of historical facts, history and values, periodization of history, history and political actions. The course will emphasize certain major philosophies of history such as Christianity, idealism, positivism and Marxism. Prereq: Junior or three credits in philosophy.

3170 Ethics in Business (3) An application of ethical concepts and principles to moral issues arising in business: corporate responsibility, discrimination, advertising, competition, whistle-blowing, trade secrets, multinationals, environmental protection, workers' rights, government regulation, investment, bribes, product liability and consumerism.

3180 Environmental Ethics (3) Analysis and evaluation, from ethical viewpoints, of such topics as: animal rights, intrinsic value of animals, plants and ecosystems; pollutions of nature; preservation of historic structures and rare species; environmental law and politics; obligations to future generations; cost/benefit analysis of natural resources; agribusiness; hazardous technologies and wastes; and the worth of wilderness. Prereq: Junior or three hours of philosophy.

3200 Philosophy of Religion (3) A study of the major arguments for and against the existence of God, religious knowledge, miracles, morality without religion and immortality. Prereq: Three credits in philosophy or junior.

3210 Social Philosophy (3) An examination of the problems and concepts of social and political philosophy. Prereq: Three credits in philosophy or junior or permission of instructor.

3220 Philosophy of Art (3) An inquiry into historical and contemporary philosophical perspectives on the making, interpreting and criticizing of works of art, including relations of the arts to other dimensions of cultures. Prereq: Junior or three credits in philosophy. (Cross-listed with PHIL-8225.)

3250 Limits of Consciousness (3) An upper division undergraduate course focusing on the scientific study of the psychology, neurology, and philosophy of the mind. This course is designed for students who are interested in thinking about thinking. Prereq: PSYC 1010; or 6 hours in Philosophy. (Cross-listed with PSYC-4250, PSYC-8256.)

3260 History of American Philosophy: 20th Century (3) A study of the thinkers and movements in 20th century American thought: pragmatism, critical realism, new realism, along with selected readings from contemporary American thinkers. Prereq: Junior or three credits in philosophy.

3300 Analytic Philosophy (3) This course studies a number of fundamental issues in the philosophy of language and the philosphy of logic by considering some of the classic papers of Gottlob, Frege and Bertrand Russell and the Tractatus of Ludwig Wittgenstein. It will provide a foundation for the study of many of the central works of 20th century philosophy. Prereq: Three credits in philosophy or permission of instructor.

3370 Concepts of Nature (3) An examination of key philosophical conceptions of nature from the Greeks through the 20th century.

3400 Philosophy of Natural Science (3) An examination of the philosophical problems associated with the methods of the natural sciences, the presuppositions of scientific inquiry, and the nature of scientific laws and theories. Prereq: Six credits in philosophy and junior, or permission of instructor.

3410 Philosophy of the Social Science (3) An examination of the history and nature of the goals and methods of social science in general and certain social-science disciplines in particular. Prereq: Three credits in philosophy and junior, or permission of instructor.

3430 Philosophy of Biology (3)An examination and evaluation of contrasting views on philosophical issues in the biological sciences, including explanation, observation, reduction, units of description analysis and the role of values. Attention will be paid to ways in which the study of biology has produced a new understanding of the nature of scientific inquiry. Prereq: Six hours in philosophy or biology or permission of the instructor.

3490 Gender and Philosophy (3)This course examines philosophical arguments concerning gender and sexual difference, gender issues and women in the history of philosophy, and major views in feminist theory.. Prereq: Junior or six hours in philosophy or WGST. (Cross-listed with WMST-3490.)

3500 Problems in Philosophy (3) Seminar on specialized topics in philosophy. Topics to be arranged. Prereq: Junior or six hours in philosophy.

3510 Phenomenology and Existentialism (3) A critical examination of phenomenology and existentialism as historical and philosophical movements. Course focus includes such thinkers as Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Simone De Beauvoir. Prereq: Junior or three credits in philosophy.

3520 Hermeneutics in Philosophy (3) Introduction to hermeneutics or the notion of interpretation in certain thinkers and philosophy movements since the late 19thC. Focus includes Nietzsche, pragmatism, Peirce, James, Dewey, Gadamer, Frankfurt School, and Derrida. Course to exclude topics or things covered in PHIL3510. Prereq: Three hours in philosophy, junior or permission of instructor.

3570 Understanding Self-Deception (3) This course is designed to introduce students to a variety of problems associated with the special issues of self-deception. Conceptual and linguistic issues concerning the paradox of self-deception, as well as epistemological issues concerning self-deception are considered. Prereq: Junior or six hours in philosophy or permission.

3600 Theory of Knowledge (3) An examination of the nature and limits of human knowledge and related issues such as skepticism, certainty, rationality and perception, and the problem of other minds. Prereq: Six hours of philosophy or permission of instructor.

3610 Philosophy of Language (3) A course dealing with classical philosophical problems about language such as meaning and reference as well as with conceptual issues raised by contemporary linguistics and psycholinguistics. Prereq: Six hours in philosophy or background in linguistics or psycholinguistics or permission of instructor.

3650 Philosophy of Mind(3) A discussion of the various accounts of the nature of minds which focuses upon philosophical problems such as whether the mind is identical with the brain, the extent of similarities between human minds and computers, the nature of personal identity, and the relationship of mental activity to behavior. Prereq: Six hours of philosophy or permission of instructor. (Cross-listed with PHIL-8655.)

3700 Metaphysics (3) This course introduces students to the critical study of selected philosophical theories of reality. Some representative views from the history of philosophy will be covered as well as contemporary debates. The course includes examination of the relation of metaphysical positions to other areas of knowledge and belief and the critical evaluation of metaphysics as an intellectual enterprise. Prereq: Six hours of philosophy or permission of instructor.

3960 Readings in Philosophy (1-3) Readings in specialized areas or individual problems in philosophy. Prereq: Permission of instructor.

4000 Advanced Philosophy Writing Seminar (3) This is the capstone course of the philosophy major, designed to teach students to write at an advanced level. Students will present their own writing and critique the writing of others, under close guidance of the instructor. By the end of the seminar, each student will have produced a professional-length (approximately 20-page) paper on a philosophical topic, and gained extensive experience in revising a paper and editing the work of others. Prereq: Junior standing and 15 hours in philosophy including 9 hours consisting of 3000-level courses, or instructor permission. Not open to nondegree students.

8225 Philosophy of Art (3) An inquiry into historical and contemporary philosophical perspectives on the making, interpreting and criticizing of works of art, including relations of the arts to other dimensions of cultures. Prereq: Graduate standing. (Cross-listed with PHIL-3220.)

8655 Philosophy of Mind (3) A discussion of the various accounts of the nature of minds which focuses upon philosophical problems such as whether the mind is identical with the brain, the extent of similarities between human minds and computers, the nature of personal identity, and the relationship of mental activity to behavior. (Cross-listed with PHIL-3650.)

8900 Readings in Philosophy (3) An individually organized program of readings pertinent to one or more topics subordinate to the heading of Philosophy. To be carried out under the supervision of a member of the graduate faculty. May be repeated once for credit. Prereq: Graduate, permission of instructor, and no "incompletes" outstanding.