Philosophy

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Philosophy

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Course Offerings

2016–2017

One unit of credit equals four semester hours.

PHL 106 Critical Reasoning
This course provides the fundamentals of reasoning necessary for academic and everyday life. The course will examine informal fallacies, rhetorical devices, induction and deduction, argument analysis, argument construction, the writing process, problem solving and decision making, the scientific method, and traditional syllogistic argument forms to assure that students are well equipped for understanding and formulating arguments concerning crucial issues in their educations and lives.

PHL 210 Introduction to Philosophy
A critical examination of some of the basic problems of philosophy. Topics of discussion include the nature of reality; of human knowledge; and of moral, aesthetic and religious values.

PHL 220 Formal Logic
Introduction to the formal study of logical implication. Propositional and first-order logic will be treated in detail. Additional topics will include alternative logics such as modal and deontic logic and selected topics in metalogic.

PHL 260 Philosophy of Education
A multicultural and critical study of the metaphysical, epistemological, axiological and logical underpinnings of prominent historical and contemporary philosophies of education.

PHL 300 Neuroethics
See BID 300.

PHL 303 Ancient Philosophy
A survey of the philosophical tradition of the Western world from the beginnings among the pre-Socratics, through the classic periods of Greece and Rome.

PHL 304 Modern Philosophy
A study of the development of modern systems of philosophical thought, including Continental rationalism, British empiricism, and Kantianism and the idealist tradition.

PHL 305 Philosophy of Science
A philosophical examination of the methods of science, including such topics as the nature of scientific explanations, the problem of induction and scientific paradigm shifts. Especially recommended for science majors.

PHL 306 Ethics
An analytical and critical examination of classical and contemporary moral theories, supplemented by an examination of selected moral problems. Topics include the principles and methods of both ethical theory and moral choice.

PHL 309 Philosophy of Art
Consideration of classical and contemporary theories of the nature of art and the aesthetic experience. Attention to problems inherent in any attempt to understand, interpret and evaluate works of art.

PHL 310 Business Ethics
A study of ethical theory as applied to individual and corporate behavior in business as it functions in a complex society.

PHL 311 Kant
A close reading of major portions of Kant’s philosophical project. Topics to be considered include the nature of knowledge, the essence of human freedom and the powers of imagination.

PHL 312 Environmental Ethics
Emphasizes careful thinking about ethical concepts such as right and wrong, justice and injustice, duty and obligation, in relation to environmental concerns: population, pollution, land development, preservation of ecosystems and the rights of animals and future generations.

PHL 315 Philosophy of Law
An introductory study regarding the nature of law and legal authority and obligation. Emphasis is placed on naturalist versus positivist theories of law; legal rights (explored via U.S. Supreme Court jurisprudence); and criminal responsibility and punishment. Especially recommended for students planning to apply to law school.

PHL 316 Ethical Aspects of Health Care
Application of classical ethical theories to problems encountered in health care fields. Theories of prominent ethical philosophers provide conceptual grounding for discussions of the moral issues confronted in health care.

PHL 320 Social and Political Philosophy
A historical and topical orientation to several central problems of social and political philosophy. Topics to be covered include but are not limited to: justice, equality, citizenship, authority, institutions and law.

PHL 349 Philosophy of Religion
A critical and constructive examination of basic religious beliefs and concepts such as God (including arguments for the existence of God), faith, immortality and the problem of evil.

PHL 381 Critical Theories of Pornography
A critical examination of ethical, political and aesthetic issues raised by pornography. Special attention will be given to debates in contemporary feminist theory, media theory and psychoanalysis. Prerequisite: junior standing or above.

PHL 405 Contemporary Philosophy
A study of one or several of the main movements in philosophy from the latter half of the 19th century to the present, such as phenomenology, existentialism or analytic philosophy. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy. Fall Term.

PHL 406 Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness
Is the mind produced by the workings of the brain, or is it more than this? Is the mind like a computer? Do we have free will, or are our choices determined by unconscious brain events? Is your mental life permanently private and accessible only to you? How might the brain produce the mind? What are concepts? How does the human mind achieve the skills needed to speak a language? Will advances in science change the way we speak about our minds? These questions will be addressed by reading current texts and by analytical writing as well as class discussions.

PHL 492/292 Independent Study
Regular meetings are arranged with the instructor. The topic must be approved by the staff of the department two weeks prior to the beginning of the term. A written report must be submitted at the conclusion of the course. Repeatable for credit.

PHL 495 Honors Independent Research
.50 credit
This course gives Honors Program students the opportunity to design and implement a significant research project in the field of philosophy, culminating in an appropriate public dissemination of research methods and findings. This research must build upon previous coursework taken within the major or minor, facilitating faculty supervision and guidance. Repeatable for credit. Permission of the faculty supervisor and the director of the Honors Program required prior to registration.

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