Philosophy Program

Undergraduate Curriculum

120  Introduction to Philosophy
Tasks and the subject matters of philosophy, including the major theories of reality, knowledge, religion, morality and social justice. Attention to several classic philosophical texts as primary source readings. (M3) Every Semester, Cantens, Naraghi, Staff

210  Symbolic Logic
Traditional formal logic together with discursive logic, fallacies, and argument construction.  Spring, Cantens

222  Ethics
Formulating principles defining the good human being and to applying these to relevant problems of vocation and social and political justice. (M3) Fall, Moeller, Staff

224 Applied Ethics                            
A study of the application of ethical theory to complex real and fictitious cases concerning contemporary moral issues such as euthanasia, abortion, capital punishment, animal rights, cloning, torture, same sex marriage, etc.  (U2) Falll, Cantens

226.2 and 227.2 Ethics Bowl (.2 Units)
This course examines, within teams, ethical cases with the purpose of developing ethical positions supported by arguments, debated at the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Competition. Fall, Cantens Prerequisite: PHIL 222 or PHIL 224 or permission of the instructor.

241  Ancient Philosophy
A critical examination of the history of Greek philosophy including the pre-Socratics, Thales, Anaxagoras, Parmenides, Heraclitus, Empedocles, Plato and Aristotle.  (M3) Spring, Alternate Year, Naraghi

243  Medieval Philosophy
A study of the original works of philosophers in the Middle  Ages such as Augustine, John Scotus Eriugena, Anselm of Canterbury, Avicenna, Bonaventure, Thomas Aquinas, John Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham. (M3) Fall, Alternate Year, Cantens

245  Early Modern Philosophy
A study of the development of important concepts of modern philosophy beginning with Beacon, Descartes and Locke, and ending with Kant and Hegel. It examines and evaluates the modern period's turn to study of knowledge and its increasing preference for reason and science over religion. (M3) Fall, Alternate Year, Cantens

247  Nineteenth and Twentieth Century Philosophy
A study of trends in recent Philosophy inaugurated by Nietzsche, Marx and Kierkegaard on the one hand, and by Mill, Russell and Ayer on the other. It continues through the present times the manifestations of these trends in contemporary phenomenology and contemporary analytic philosophy. In a given semester the course will have an emphasis on either Continental or British-American traditions in current philosophy. (Writing Intensive) (M3) Spring, Alternate Year, Moeller

250  Environmental Ethics
An overview of the ethical, metaphysical, cultural, and political issues involved in understanding humankind’s complex relationship with the natural world and with other-than-human animals. Examines positions and philosophies of radical environmentalists, environmental ethicists, animal-rights advocates, and political ecologists. (U2) Fall, Alternate Year, St. John

251  Philosophy of Psychology (Also Psychology 261)
An examination of philosophical and empirical theories of mind. Main questions will be: What is the mind? How does the mind relate to the brain and behavior? Can the mind be studied scientifically?  What is the nature of conscious experience? Different accounts of the nature of mind will be discussed such as behaviorism, materialism, and functionalism. In addition, we will survey main approaches to the mind found in contemporary cognitive science, a multi-disciplinary field consisting of (among other things) artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, cognitive neuroscience, and philosophy. Fall, Alternate Year, Staff

252  Philosophy of Technology
An examination of how technology shapes our understanding of ourselves and our world as well as the moral dilemmas that it presents for us.(U1) Spring Alternate Year, Falla.

253  Philosophy of Religion
A philosophical examination of nature of religion and beliefs concerned with the existence, nature, and knowledge of God, with alternative positions to theism. (U2) Fall, Alternate Year, Naraghi

255  Social and Political Philosophy
An examination of central issues in social political thought such as: What is justice?  How can considerations of justice negotiate our great differences of culture, identity, and circumstance?  How are non-Western and Western approaches to philosophy to engage productively, across such historical legacies as imperialism, colonialism, and neo-colonialism? Spring, Alternate Year, Moeller

257   Bio-Ethics and Social Justice
A study of what is health, and how it relates to social justice issues, such as: How do such factors as income, race, and gender correlate with health?  In health research and healthcare delivery how do lingering patterns of inequality get rewritten into the social fabric or transformed out of it?  How can we learn from the legacies of unethical medical experimentation and other ugly parts of medical history?   (U2) Spring, Alternate Year, Moeller

259  Medical Ethics
An examination of the basic theory of bioethics as it is set in the broader field of moral philosophy.  Contemporary ethical issues in biomedicine will be examined, and the student will learn to think ethically about them within the context of the current ongoing debate. (U1) Spring, Falla.

261 Islamic Philosophy, Theology, and Mysticism (Also religion 261)
An exploration of key notions and figures in Islamic philosophy, theology,, and mysticism. Some issues imbedded in the enormous body of scholarship in Muslim intellectual heritage are employed to examine current global issues such as the struggle for justice and peace and the fight against violence and absolutism. Special attention is given to the structure of Being, the notion of the truth, and the way to attain the truth in the three systems. (M5) Spring, Alternate Year, Naraghi

263 Latin American Philosophy
An examination of different aspects of philosophical thought related to Latin American nations and culture, including the works of Bartolomé de las Casas, Francisco de Vitoria, Simón de Bolívar , José Martí, José Vasconcelos, Francisco Romero, José Carlos Mariátegui,  and Risieri Fondizi. Fall, Alternate Year, Cantens

265  Feminist Philosophy
An exploration of a diversity of feminist writing. Students consider questions such as: How do the legacies of gender inequality persist today? What would gender justice look like? Is there such thing as gender-neutral point of view? And how do gender, race, class and sexuality relate? (U2) Fall, Alternate Year, Moeller

267  West African Philosophy: Akan Ethics
Through study of philosophical texts, writings, proverbs, and other sources, we shall explore West African values.  The foci will be both traditional and contemporary, primarily oriented toward the Akan people of what is now Ghana.  Among the first nations to achieve political independence in the de-colonization movements, Ghana has kept traditional values alive, not in isolation from the rest of the world, but in active engagement with it.  What do the values of the Akan have to teach us? (M5) Spring, Alternate Year, Moeller

271  Race, Gender, Identity, and Moral Knowledge
A study of the relationships among identities, experiences and moral knowledge.  Some of the issues discussed are the following: How do our unique experiences shape our moral views?  How are those experiences shaped by such differences as race, culture, gender and family background?  Can we gain moral knowledge from the testimonies of others, and if so, how? Spring, Alternate Year, Moeller

311  American Pragmatism
A study of classical American Philosophy with emphasis on the works of Charles S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey. Spring, Alternate Years, Prerequisites: PHIL 120 Introduction to Philosophy or consent of instructor, Cantens.

313  Philosophy of Science
A study of what is science, how it works, what distinguishes it from other disciplines, and what is the nature and value of scientific inquiry and scientific theories. Spring, Alternate Years, Prerequisites: PHIL 120 Introduction to Philosophy or consent of instructor, Cantens.

323  Tibetan Buddhist Thought
A study of Tibetan Buddhist philosophy, worldview and spiritual practices. The course examines Tibetan Buddhist answers to questions traditionally asked in Western philosophy, at times looking at contrasts and parallels to Continental and British-American traditions in Western philosophy. Spring, Alternate Years, Prerequisites: PHIL 120 Introduction to Philosophy or consent of instructor, Moeller

351  Epistemology
Philosophical inquiry into the nature of knowledge, kinds of experience belief and truth, justification and verification. Fall, Alternate Years, Prerequisites: PHIL 120 Introduction to Philosophy or consent of instructor, Naraghi.
353  Metaphysics   
A study of contemporary analytic metaphysics, adopting a pre-Kantian or traditional metaphysical perspective. The course approaches metaphysics as the study of first causes and of being qua being, or as the most general discipline of all that studies the nature and structure of reality. Fall, Alternate Years, Prerequisites: PHIL 120 Introduction to Philosophy or consent of instructor, Cantens.

355 Meta-Ethics
A study of the fundamental concepts of morality from metaphysical, epistemological, semantic, and psychological perspectives. Spring, Alternative Year, Naraghi Prerequisite: PHIL 222 or PHIL 224 or permission of the instructor.

370. Seminar
Selected topics in Philosophy. Non-majors require permission from instructor. Staff

381-384 Independent Study.

386-388 Field Study.

400 - 401. Honors
Doing honors in philosophy is a wonderful way to take control of your education and give your own ideas the depth of attention they deserve. Students majoring and minoring in philosophy may choose to do an honors project in the department. (Please see the Honors web site for details on eligibility and procedures. But please note: Applications for Honors are due spring of the junior year!) Honors students earn credit for two philosophy courses, and pursue a topic of their own choosing, working independently with a faculty member from the department for their entire senior year. The two-semester research project culminates in the writing of an honors thesis.

190-199, 290-299, 390-399. Special Topics.