Department of Philosophy and Religion

GPHIL 101. Introduction to Philosophy. 3 credits.

An introduction to the basic problems and concepts of philosophy—the nature of man and the self, ethics, theories of knowledge, philosophy of religion, etc. as revealed in the writings of major philosophers.

GPHIL 120A. Critical Thinking. 3 credits.

An introduction to the techniques for analyzing and evaluating information in everyday experience. The functions of language will be discussed. Techniques for judging the strengths of arguments and the probable truth of the arguments’ premises will be examined.

PHIL/REL 218. Philosophy of Religion. 3 credits.

An intensive examination of religion from the standpoint of  philosophical thinking with particular emphasis on the way philosophers view such problems as the existence of God, evil, immortality,  religious language, etc.

PHIL 250. Introduction to Symbolic Logic. 3 credits.

An introduction to the languages and techniques of propositional logic and first-order quantification theory.

PHIL 262. Problems in Applied Ethics. 3 credits.

Ethical theories are used to analyze contemporary moral issues in areas such as business and health care. Course content varies.

PHIL 270. Introduction to Ethics. 3 credits.

An introductory study of the basic ethical theories past and present with some application to moral problems.

PHIL 285. Philosophy, Art and Literature. 3 credits.

This course will study artistic works (literary or otherwise) for their philosophical content. Related issues in the philosophy of art for example, the nature of tragedy, theories of interpretation may also be considered.

PHIL 300. Knowledge and Belief. 3 credits.

An extensive examination of theories of knowledge and philosophical problems concerning knowledge and belief. Prerequisite: GPHIL 101, GPHIL 120 or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 310. Symbolic Logic. 3 credits.

The study and application of the principles and techniques of  modern deductive logic to natural language. Also, examination of  the properties of formal systems and of the logical implications and paradoxes of language.

PHIL 311. Metaphysics. 3 credits.

Examination of central questions regarding the fundamental  nature of reality. Possible topics: universals and particulars, possibility and necessity, mind and body, identity over time, free will causality, time and God. Prerequisite: at least on other philosophy course or approval of the instructor.

PHIL 315. Logic and Legal Reasoning. 3 credits.

Application of symbolic logic (first-order logic with identity) to  legal language and deductive legal argument. Will include close logical analysis of at least one of the following: Supreme Court brief,  Supreme Court decision, Supreme Court oral argument. Prerequisite: PHIL 250 or instructor consent.

PHIL 320. Inductive Logic. 3 credits.

Introduction to inductive logic and philosophical problems it raises.  Topics discussed: the traditional problem of induction, the Goodman paradox and the new riddle of induction, the probability calculus and  kinds of probability, Mill’s methods of experimental inquiry and the nature of causality, abduction (inference to the best explanation) and confirmation theory.

PHIL 325. Crime, Punishment and Justice. 3 credits.

Theories of criminal punishment are examined in the context  of philosophical theories of justice and in conjunction with material  from the social sciences on crime, criminal offenders and the effects of penal sanctions.

PHIL 330. Moral Theory. 3 credits.

An examination, at the intermediate level, of both classical and contemporary moral theories. Critical analysis of the normative and meta-ethical issues these theories raise.

PHIL 335. The Individual, the State and Justice. 3 credits.

Mid-level class in political philosophy. Will read classic and/or contemporary texts in philosophy influential on political thought. Focus may be on views of the justification for, and role of, the state. Consideration may also be given to the proper relationship of individuals and the state, political freedom autonomy. Prerequisite: GPHIL 101 or approval of the instructor.

PHIL 340. Ancient Greek Philosophy. 3 credits.

This course traces philosophical problems raised by the pre-Socratics, Parmenides, Heraclitus, Pythagoras and the Sophists, through their treatment by Plato and Aristotle. Emphasis is placed on selected writings of Plato and Aristotle. Prerequisites: GPHIL 101 and junior standing, or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 341. Modern Philosophy. 3 credits.

An examination of the basic philosophic tendencies in the period from the Renaissance through the 19th century. Emphasis will be placed on the major philosophers from Descartes to Nietzsche.

PHIL 342. Medieval Philosophy. 3 credits.

A survey of the major issues and thinkers of the medieval  philosophical world with emphasis on the philosophical writings  of those within the Western tradition, such as (e.g.) Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas, and Scotus. Prerequisite: One other philosophy course, or approval of the instructor.

PHIL 344. Existentialism. 3 credits.

An examination of existentialism and its major spokesmen including such authors as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, Camus, Marcel and Heidegger. Prerequisite: GPHIL 101 or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 367. Topics in Philosophy of Law. 3 credits.

Examination of the philosophical issues raised by the law, including the nature, foundations, and limits of the law, theories of its interpretation, and the fundamental interest it aims to protect. Prerequisites: PHIL 270 or PHIL 262 or PHIL 330 or PHIL 335 (Note: In a concurrent request, the department proposes renumbering of PHIL 333 to PHIL 262).

PHIL 370. American Philosophy. 3 credits.

A study of the main philosophical ideas in America, especially pragmatism, with particular emphasis being given to Pierce, James, Royce, Dewey and Whitehead.

PHIL/REL 375. 19th Century Philosophy and Theology.  3 credits.

A selected study of 19th-century thought, with emphasis on controversies concerning the nature and limits of reason, the ultimate meaning of history, and the inner meaning and social significance of religion. Pertinent thinkers include Hegel, Marx, Schleiermacher, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and others.

PHIL/ART 380. Seminar in Aesthetics. 3 credits.

Readings and discussions in the persistent philosophical problems of the arts, centering on consideration of the work of art, the artist and the audience. Prerequisite: GART 200, GARTH 205, GARTH 206 or GPHIL 101.

PHIL/REL 385. Buddhist Thought. 3 credits.

Buddhist thought from its origins to the contemporary world in South Asia and East Asia. Emphasis on the understanding of the human condition; analysis of the mind and of the nature of the cosmos; and the expression of Buddhist thought in the fine arts and social activism.

PHIL 392. Philosophy of Mind. 3 credits.

An examination of competing theories of the intrinsic nature of mental states and mental processes, including careful consideration of questions concerning the relation between the mind and the physical world. Prerequisite: GPHIL 101 or approval of the instructor.

PHIL 395. Philosophy and Scientific Inquiry. 3 credits.

An analysis of philosophical problems in science, such as the  nature of scientific explanation, theory formation and confirmation of scientific hypotheses. Issues discussed include the role of models  in theory formation, the relationships between experience and  reasoning in theory construction and confirmation and the roles of paradigms in scientific thought.

PHIL 430. Analytic Philosophy. 3 credits.

An examination of the origins and development of contemporary philosophical analysis, with special attention given to the nature and uses of language as well as logical structures of confirmation and explanation. Prerequisite: GPHIL 101, GPHIL 250 or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 440. Advanced Moral Philosophy. 3 credits.

Class will closely examine recent or historical work in (largely  normative) moral philosophy, including at least two of the following: teleology (e.g. virtue theory), deontology, (e.g. Kantianism) and consequentialsim (e.g. utilitarianism). Prerequisite: GPHIL 101, PHIL 330 or approval of the instructor.

PHIL 445. Advanced Political Philosophy. 3 credits.

In a seminar format, we will examine, in depth, questions of political philosophy. These may include: autonomy, democracy, freedom, impartiality, universalism, toleration and the normative priority of individuals and communities. Prerequisite: GPHIL 101, PHIL 335, or approval of the instructor.

PHIL 460. Topics in Classical Philosophy. 3 credits.

An advanced study of major issues in or the writings of one or more  thinkers in ancient Greece through the western medieval period. Prerequisite: PHIL 340 or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit with change of topics.

PHIL 465. Topics in Modern Philosophy. 3 credits.

An advanced study of some of the major issues in or the writings of one or more 17th, 18th, or 19th century philosophers. Prerequisite: PHIL 101, PHIL 341, PHIL 375, or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

PHIL 470. Topics in Contemporary Continental Philosophy.  3 credits.

Intensive study of one or two major thinkers or themes in 20th-centry European philosophy. Possible topics include figures such as Heidegger, Habermas, Foucault or Derrida; or themes such as phenomenology, critical theory, post-structuralism, or the critique of Enlightenment ideals. Prerequisite: PHIL 341, PHIL/REL 375, or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit.

PHIL 475. Major Thinkers and Issues in Philosophy. 3 credits.

An advanced study of some of the major issues in philosophy or of the writings of one or two of the major persons in the history of philosophy, such as Aristotle, Aquinas, Descartes, Kant and Wittgenstein.  May be repeated for credit. Fulfills the College of Arts and Letters writing-intensive requirement for the major. Prerequisite: GPHIL 101 or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 490. Special Studies in Philosophy. 3 credits.

Designed to give capable students an opportunity to complete independent study in philosophy under faculty supervision.

PHIL 499. Honors. 6 credits.

Year course.

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Last Modified: 6/6/2003