Philosophy Course List
Examines the questions: What is the nature of reality? How do I know what is real and what is misleading appearance, error, or illusion? What is knowledge? How do I find out who I am and how I relate to the world around me?
A critical survey of theories concerning human nature, the meaningful life, and the moral evaluation of actions, persons, and institutions. Theories applied to such issues as abortion, justice, and moral problems faced by professionals.
Basic concepts in logic and critical thinking: argument, validity, deduction and induction, logical form, formal and informal fallacies. Introduction to the logic of truth functions and of categorical statements. Critical analysis of arguments in ordinary language.
Western philosophical thought through the medieval period. 2115: ancient philosophy, including Presocratics, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. 2116: main trends in Post-Aristotelian Greek and Roman philosophy and medieval philosophy, including Augustine, Aquinas, and Ockham.
Western philosophical thought from Descartes through Kant. 2125: 17th Century Philosophy, including Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, and Locke. 2126: 18th century philosophy, including Berkeley, Hume and Kant, with special attention to significant predecessors.
Ethical issues in international context. Application of the principles of moral theory to such issues as the obligations of richer nations toward poorer ones, cultural and other forms of relativism, emigration and immigration, nationalism, war, deterrence, intervention, environmental degradation, preservation of natural diversity, and responsibilities toward future generations.
Study of philosophical approaches to understanding and justifying modes of human reasoning both in science and everyday life. 2605: nature of theory confirmation and falsification; 2606: justifying changing paradigms of human inquiry.
Integrated study of philosophy, politics, and economics. Trains students to make decisions that are not only economically sound, but also socially, ethically, and politically informed. Topics include: models of human nature, rational choice theory, social cooperation, distributive justice, markets, and democracy.
Pass/Fail only. Variable credit course.
Analysis of the fundamental ideas in the history of political theory. 3015: The thought and ethical implications of philosophers from the ancient Greeks to early modern times. Analysis of writings from Plato through medieval theorists to those of the Seventeenth Century. 3016: The thought and ethical implications of philosophers from the late Seventeenth Century to the present. Analysis of key concepts in the thought of theorists from the early modern period until the present. Pre: PSCI 2014.
This course focuses on the assumptions and methods of one or more contemporary or historically important movements in philosophy such as Existentialism, Feminism, Local Positivism, Phenomenology, Pragmatism, or Naturalism. Pre-requisite: 3 Philosophy credits required. May be repeated twice for credit under different topics, up to 9 hours total.
Careful examination of some important historical and/or contemporary ethical theories. Includes coverage of such topics as the assessment of character and action, the foundations of ethical theories, their justification, their relationship to scientific theories, and their objective or subjective status. 3 Philosophy credits required.
Philosophical analysis of ethical issues in medicine and biotechnology, such as problems arising in connection with the relations between physicians and patients, the challenges of cultural diversity, practices surrounding human and animal research, decisions about end of life care, embryonic stem cell research, genetic engineering, biotechnological human enhancement, and social justice in relation to health-care policy.
Studies the basic concepts used in the analysis and evaluation of art works; considers problems of art criticism as treated within major types of aesthetic theory.
A consideration of religious belief and its justification with attention to such philosophical issues as the nature and existence of God, the problem of evil, and the notion of faith.
Logic and logical theory and the history of its development. 3505: Validity of arguments. Syllogistic logic from Aristotle to modern times. Deductive methods in truth functional and quantificational logic through the theory of identity. Translation from English into symbolic form. 3506: Metalogic and the history and philosophy of modern logical theory. Decidability and undecidability, completeness and incompleteness of formal systems. Developments from Cantor to Goedel. Must have 3505 to take 3506.
Critical examination of special issues or figures of current philosophical interest at an advanced level. Sample topics: Philosophy and Race; Ludwig Wittgenstein; Origins of Analytic Philosophy; and Animals, Minds and Morality. May be repeated 2 times with different content for a maximum of 9 credits. Pre: 3 Philosophy credits required. (3H,3C)
Current issues in the philosophy of mind such as relation of mind and body, status of the mental, knowledge of one's own and other minds, personal identity, consciousness, mentality of animals and machines, topics in the philosophy of psychology. 3 Philosophy credits required.
Examination of some of the central problems of metaphysics. Topics may include: existence, necessary truth, the problem of universals, causation, the identity of the self through time, free will. Attention will be given both to the historical development of these problems and to contemporary philosophical responses to them. 3 Philosophy credits required.
Theory of knowledge. Is all knowledge based on experience? Does knowledge have a foundation? Can knowledge of the present and the nearby give us reasons for beliefs about the future, the past, or about events far away? 3 Philosophy credits required.
Study of fundamental topics in political philosophy, such as distributive justice, equality, individual rights, constitutional government, and the justification of political authority. 3 Philosophy credits required.
An inquiry into the fundamental norms of conduct in business and other professions and their justification in relation to the most important ethical theories. Special attention will be given to moral problems such as the ethics of hiring and firing, bribery, and professional responsibility to society.
An examination of the nature of law and legal systems with attention to traditional theories of law and to such topics as judicial decision and discretion, law and morality, and the justification of legal coercion. 3 Philosophy credits required.
Topics that build upon a knowledge of classical deductive logic: extensions of classical logic, alternatives to classical logic, philosophy of logic, and philosophy of language. Topics to be announced each semester course is offered. Pre: 3505.
This course is designed primarily for students of biology or philosophy students with a strong interest in biology. Topics vary from year to year, but include the changing character of biology as a science, the special character of biological explanations and methods, and the place and value of reduction (e.g., of Mendelian to molecular genetics) in biology.
An examination of the structure and methodology of science as well as key concepts such as explanation, confirmation, realism, and instrumentalism. One year of science and 3 philosophy credits required.
Advanced topics at the intersection of philosophy, politics, and economics. Core methods and concepts: utility theory, game theory, social choice theory, public choice theory, markets, justice, and democracy. Senior research project. Advanced discourse. Pre: 2894 or PSCI 2894 or ECON 2894. Senior standing.