Courses

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Descriptions of course offerings are included below. For advice on course selection be sure to speak with a faculty adviser.

Course Offerings

101. Introductory Seminar in Philosophy.

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F2i.

A writing-intensive seminar that provides an in-depth exploration of philosophical approaches and ideas in the context of a specific topic in philosophy. Possible topics include the philosophy of sex, death, film, media, and the meaning of life. Open to first-year and sophomore students only.

150. Social and Political Philosophy.

Fall. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F2i, F8.

An examination of significant themes and questions related to the constitution and maintenance of social and political relations, addressed through a survey of major philosophical figures. Topics include justice, identity, the contest between individual and state, war and peace, and various ideologies (liberalism, conservativism, communism/socialism, totalitarianism, cosmopolitanism, libertarianism, contractarianism, anarchism.)

201. Ancient Philosophy.

Fall. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F1.

An examination of philosophical methods, problems, and ideas from Ancient philosophies, such as those of the Presocratics, Plato, Aristotle, Epicureans and Stoics. Issues addressed include the human good, the relation of the human to the cosmos, the nature and role of reason, and the relation between reason and pleasure.

203. Early Modern Philosophy.

Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F1.

An examination of major representatives of Early Modern Philosophy, focusing on the works of Descartes, Hume, and Kant. Issues to be considered include such things as the nature and role of rationality, the relation of the sensuous and the rational, the exercise of freedom, and the existence of God.

206. Logic.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F6.

An examination of argumentation, with emphasis on identifying, analyzing, and evaluating arguments. Issues to be considered include methods in categorical and truth-functional logic, induction, and fallacies.

230. Environmental Philosophy

Fall. Credits: 4

An examination of the historical development of philosophical conceptions of nature and their influence on contemporary environmental issues, including global warming, pollution, sustainability, population growth, animal welfare, and the relationship between the human and the natural. (Course offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2013-2014.)

240. Philosophy of Religion.

Fall. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F1.

An exploration of central problems in contemporary philosophy of religion, such as the arguments for the existence of God, the problem of evil, the meaningfulness of theological language, and the relationship of faith and reason. (Course offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2013-2014.)

250. Topics in Philosophy.

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F1. (some sections)

A seminar in which topics of current interest are presented and discussed. Topics may involve both classical and contemporary philosophical texts. Typically, topics focus on issues that raise significant moral questions in contemporary society.

255. Philosophy of Race.

Spring. Credits: 4.

An examination of the advent and evolution of the concept of “race,” how it has been treated philosophically, and its application to ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, scientific methodology, and politics. (Course offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2014-2015.)

270. Philosophy of Education.

Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F11.

A philosophical examination of education with attention to issues in ethics (what values should guide education?), metaphysics (do we educate the whole or only part of the person?), and epistemology (what is knowledge and is it the goal of education?). (Course offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2014-2015.)

301. Ethics.

Fall. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F1.

An examination of major ethical theories, typically virtue ethics, deontology, consequentialism, and care ethics with special emphasis on their central arguments and applicability to specific ethical issues.

303. Medical Ethics.

Spring. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F1.

An examination of issues concerning the practice of medicine, the application of medical technology, and the business of health care delivery that have significant implications for an understanding of the good life and/or moral duties and obligations. (Course offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2013-2014.)

315. Nineteenth Century Philosophy.

Spring. Credits: 4.

An examination of the Kantian roots of German Idealism as well as the philosophy of Hegel and that of one or more of his critics (Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche) in the later 19th Century. (Course offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2013-2014.)

Prerequisite: Philosophy 203 or by special permission of the instructor.

318. Metaphysics.

Fall. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F1.

An exploration of major metaphysical issues such as the mind-body problem, materialism vs. theism, and freedom and determinism. (Course offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2013-2014.)

319. Theory of Knowledge.

Fall. Credits: 4.

An examination of major issues in the theory of knowledge, such as the nature of knowledge and justified belief, the possibility and limitations of human knowledge, and the ethics of belief. (Course offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2014-2015.)

328. Philosophy of Mind and Consciousness.

Spring. Credits: 4.

An examination of the nature, powers, and limitations of the human mind, as well as its relationship to the body. These issues will be investigated through key works in the history of philosophy as well as various contemporary works in philosophy and/or related fields (e.g., biology, psychology). (Course offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2013-2014.)

329. Philosophy of Science.

Spring. Credits: 4.

A philosophical examination of the meaning and limitations of explanation, primarily in the natural sciences, as well as the nature and strengths of scientific methodology. (Course offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2014-2015.)

330. Aesthetics.

Fall. Credits: 4.

An examination of the major questions in aesthetic theory, through a historical overview of philosophical reflection on the fine arts. Issues under consideration include the relation between image and truth, the nature of artistic creativity, the link between beauty and morality, the significance of natural beauty, and the influence of technology upon the arts. (Course offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2014-2015.)

355. Philosophy of Gender and Sexuality.

Spring. Credits: 4.

An examination of major authors and themes informing the development of feminist theory. Aims include understanding and critiquing the social, political, moral and intellectual subordination of women to men as well as evaluating the unique contributions of feminist theory to metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and politics. (Course offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2013-2014.)

360. Existentialism.

Fall. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F1.

An examination of prominent existentialists from the 19th and 20th Centuries. Issues include the idea that human beings’ deepest desire is for meaning in their lives, and that the primary issue in human life is whether and how we own up to this.

370. American Philosophy.

Fall. Credits: 4.

Degree Requirements: F11.

An examination of the major representatives of American Philosophy, most notably the pragmatists. Emphasis is on issues such as the nature of philosophical method, the biological/social nature of human beings, the instrumentalist view of knowledge and inquiry, and the contextual nature of truth and value. (Course offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2013-2014.)

399. Tutorial for Honors Candidates.

Spring. Credits: 1.

Junior Philosophy majors wishing to read for honors are required to enroll in this preparatory tutorial. Although required for honors, enrollment in this course does not guarantee acceptance into the Honors Program.

401. Advanced Topics.

Fall or Spring. Credits: 4.

An advanced study of specific topics. The course may focus on a central historical figure (Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Whitehead), a specific period (ancient, medieval, modern, contemporary analytic or continental philosophy), or a major movement (empiricism, process philosophy, phenomenology.) (Course offered in alternate years; scheduled for 2013-2014.)

475-476. Problems in Philosophy.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 4-4.

A tutorial course for senior or junior students. Each student chooses an individual topic in consultation with the departmental faculty.

486. Senior Seminar.

Spring. Credits: 4.

Senior seminar is designed as a capstone experience in Philosophy, requiring both oral and written work. The seminar culminates in the senior paper, a sustained, sophisticated discussion of a significant philosophical issue.

495-496. Honors Tutorial.

Fall, Spring. Credits: 4-4.

A course dedicated to the development of an Honors essay.

Prerequisites: Permission of the department.