• Philosophy

  • Courses

    » Please see the Schedule of Classes for the current semester’s offerings.


    1100 Logic 3 credits
    Methods and principles used in distinguishing correct from incorrect reasoning; traditional deductive logic and symbolic logic.

    1120 Advanced Logic 3 credits
    Continuation of PHIL 1100. Identity and the logic of relations, then on to metalogic: axiomatic systems, set theory, completeness, and consistency. Prerequisites: PHIL 1100 and a math course, or permission of the instructor.

    1220 Philosophy of Language 3 credits
    Theories of meaning; the relation of meaning to reference; Quine’s skepticism about translation; Kripke’s views on necessary truth; Grice’s theory of nested intentions; Chomsky on innate ideas and universal grammar.

    1320 Theories of the Mind 3 credits
    Examination of rival conceptions of mind and self, and of differing explanatory models for human behavior. 

    1360 Theory of Knowledge 3 credits
    Concepts of sense perception, memory, knowledge, and belief; principle of verifiability and problems of induction.

    1400 Philosophy of Science 3 credits
    Fundamental conceptions of the empirical and mathematical sciences, such as explanation, law, theory, space, determinism, and reduction.

    1425 Philosophy and New Technologies 3 credits
    Philosophical issues—among them, ethics, property rights, and personal identity— raised by biological advances such as cloning, stem cell research, and IVF; digitization of media; and the possibility of uploading memories and extending human capabilities.

    1550 Metaphysics 3 credits
    Current metaphysical problems, with topics to be selected from the following: nature of metaphysical reasoning, problems of language and reference, mind-¬body problem, determinism and free will, causality, personal survival, time, and the philosophical concept of God.

    1600 Ethics 3 credits
    The problems of relativism and subjectivism; utilitarian versus deontological approaches to moral concepts; contemporary moral dilemmas.

    1710 Religion and Philosophy 3 credits
    Examination of differing conceptions of the role of reason in the religious life and of major philosophic arguments that focus on religious beliefs.

    2170 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. 3 credits
    From the pre-Socratics to Thomas Aquinas, with emphasis on Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas.

    2420 Modern Philosophy 3 credits
    Continental rationalism and British empiricism, from Descartes to Kant.

    2532 Philosophy of Art 3 credits
    What is a work of art and what are the criteria for evaluating its goodness? These questions will be answered by reading the works of some classic philosophers, from Plato through Kant to Dewey and Wollheim. We will also read some contemporary  philosophers’ discussions of current issues such as the status of fakes, of photographs, and of ugliness and horror, and the relation of art to morality.

    2560 Philosophy in the 19th and 20th Centuries 3 credits
    The chief contributions of Hegel, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Husserl, Dewey, Russell, and Ayer.

    2650 Phenomenology and Existentialism 3 credits
    Critical examination of these two related movements, with special attention to the works of Husserl, Heidegger, and Sartre.

    2740 Science and Religion 3 credits
    This course examines: differing models for understanding the relationship between science and religion; the methods of science and the methods of religious thought; options for approaching ostensible conflicts between science and religion; questions about divine activity, miracles, and related topics; the impact of contemporary science on arguments for religious belief..

    3100 Theories of Justice 3 credits
    Examines the concept of justice and its relation to government from ancient to contemporary times. Principal thinkers discussed are Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Rawls, and Nozick.

    3200 Classical Political Philosophy 3 credits
    Theories of great political philosophers from Plato to Hegel; analysis of various interpretations of history, the nature of man, justice, liberty, and authority. Not open to students who have taken POLI 2405.

    3300 Just and Unjust Wars 3 credits
    Examination of the criteria for justly initiating war and the limits that must be observed during the fighting through a close reading of Grotius, Walzer, and the Geneva Conventions.

    3402 Philosophy of Law 3 credits
    The nature and scope of law; arguments for obeying law; civil disobedience; law and morality; constitutional interpretation; ;  and the justification of particular legal practices, such as punishment and paternalism.

    3500 Medical Ethics 3 credits
    Discussion of ten of the main issues in the chronological order in which they appeared in the public arena, including experiments on humans by Nazi doctors, allocation of scarce resources in dialysis, paternalism and patient autonomy, brain death, AIDS and the duty to treat, genetic testing, and cloning.

    3620 Environmental Ethics 3 credits
    This course analyzes the ethical bases for the preservation and conservation of non-human and even non-living things (like the everglades) – not just for human benefit, but also for their inherent value. We will use these philosophical tools to help make sense of global warming, pollution, animal rights etc.

    4925; 4926; 4927; 4928; 4929; 4930 Selected Topics 3 credits
    Special topics, issues, and movements in philosophy. Prerequisites: one semester of PHIL and permission of the instructor.

    4931, 4932 Seminar 3 credits
    Intensive analysis of a philosopher, a philosophic concept, or a philosophic movement. Prerequisites: one semester of PHIL  or  permission of the instructor.

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