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Philosophy course descriptions

GPHIL 101. Introduction to Philosophy.
3 credits. Offered fall and spring.
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 120. Critical Thinking.
3 credits. Offered fall and spring.
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 reasonableness of the arguments' premises will be examined. This course cannot be used to fulfill the B.A. Philosophy requirement.

GPHIL 150. Ethical Reasoning.
3 credits. Offered fall and spring.
An introduction to the principles and techniques of rational decision making in ethics, including analysis of arguments and fallacies, ethical theories, and applications of moral principles to moral issues. This course cannot be used to fulfill the B.A. Philosophy requirement.

PHIL 210. Philosophy Through Film.
3 credits. Offered summer.
This course combines feature length films and classic philosophical writings as points of departure for considering perennial philosophical questions such as: What is real? (Metaphysics) How can I know? (Epistemology) What is of value? (Morality).

PHIL/REL 218. Philosophy of Religion.
3 credits. Offered once a year.
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 240. Greek Philosophy in Context.
3 credits. Offered summer.
This course will involve exploration of the intellectual world of the Ancient Greeks, with particular emphasis on the philosophical, historical, and literary works produced during the period. The course will include lectures and site visits throughout Greece.

PHIL 250. Introduction to Symbolic Logic.
3 credits. Offered fall and spring.
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. Offered every two years.
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. Offered every two years.
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. Offered every year.
An extensive examination of theories of knowledge and philosophical problems concerning knowledge and belief. Prerequisite: GPHIL 101 or permission of the instructor.

PHIL/ART 305. Seminar in Aesthetics.
3 credits. Offered fall and spring.
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 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. Prerequisite: PHIL 250 or consent of the instructor.

PHIL 311. Metaphysics.
3 credits. Offered every year.
Examination of central questions regarding the fundamental nature of reality. Possible topics: universals and particulars, possibility and necessity, identity of objects over time and puzzles of material constitution, the problem of free will and determinism, and the nature of time. Prerequisite: At least one other philosophy course or approval of the instructor.

PHIL/IA 312. Causal Analysis.
3 credits.
Examines causal analysis in national, military, counter-, and competitive intelligence. By assessing a factor's amount and kind of efficacy, students will learn the most reliable methods for distinguishing between relevant/irrelevant events and factors, identifying and excluding pseudo-causes, and anticipating higher order effects of a causal process. Prerequisite: IA 261 or permission of instructor.

PHIL/IA 313. Counterfactual Reasoning.
3 credits.
Examines counterfactual reasoning in national, military, counter-, and competitive intelligence. By analyzing alternate scenarios and their consequences, students will learn the most relevant methods for employing creative thinking in generating, developing, and assessing possibilities; substantiating after-action reports, and structuring futures analysis. Prerequisite: IA 261 or permission of instructor.

PHIL 314. Rational Decision Theory.
3 credits.
Explores the fundamental principles of making reasonable choices. The course considers both the conceptual, epistemological and logical insights of these principles, as well as applies them to numerous real-world cases faced by recent decision-makers in areas such as intelligence, information analysis, business or politics. Prerequisite: GPHIL 120 or instructor consent.

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 330. Moral Theory.
3 credits. Offered fall and spring.
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. Offered every two years.
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. Offered fall and spring.
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. Offered fall and spring.
A selective survey of major issues and thinkers in Western philosophy from Descartes to Kant.

PHIL 342. Medieval Philosophy.
3 credits. Offered every two years.
A survey of the major issues and thinkers of medieval philosophical world with emphasis on the philosophical writings of those within the Western tradition, such as Augustine, Anselm, Aquinas and Scotus. Prerequisite: One other philosophy course or approval of the instructor.

PHIL 344. Existentialism.
3 credits. Offered every year.
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/WMST 350. The Philosophy of Feminism.
3 credits. Offered every two years.
An intermediate-level examination of philosophical problems in feminist theory and feminist contributions to philosophy.

PHIL 367. Topics in Philosophy of Law.
3 credits. Offered every year.
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. Prerequisite: PHIL 270, PHIL 262, PHIL 330 or PHIL 335.

PHIL 370. American Philosophy.
3 credits. Offered every two years.
A study of the main philosophical ideas in America, especially pragmatism, with particular emphasis being given to Pierce, James, Royce, Dewey and Whitehead. Prerequisite: GPHIL 101 or permission of the instructor.

PHIL/REL 375. Nineteenth Century Philosophy and Theology.
3 credits. Offered every two years.
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/REL 377. Hermeneutics.
3 credits. Offered every two years.
This course will examine the main features of hermeneutics with particular emphasis on its contemporary perspectives. Discussion will focus on such themes as human understanding and human finitude, the nature of history and tradition, linguisticality and textuality of experience. Readings may address Gadamer, Ricoeur, Schleiermacher, and Dilthey. Prerequisite: GPHIL 101 or permission of the instructor.

PHIL/REL 385. Buddhist Thought.
3 credits. Offered every year.
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 390. Special Topics in Philosophy.
3 credits. Offered fall and spring.
Topics for this intermediate-level course may be drawn from any area or period of philosophy chosen by the instructor. The course is designed primarily for Philosophy majors and minors, but any suitably prepared student may take the course with the permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: GPHIL 101 or instructor consent.

PHIL 391. Advanced Special Topics in Philosophy.
3 credits. Offered fall and spring.
Topics for this advanced course my be drawn from any area or period of philosophy chosen by the instructor. The course is designed primarily for philosophy majors and minors, but any suitably prepared student may take the course with the permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: six hours of philosophy or consent of the instructor. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Six hours of PHIL credits.

PHIL 392. Philosophy of Mind.
3 credits. Offered every two years.
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 394. Self and Identity.
3 credits. Offered once every two years.
This course will explore the philosophical aspects of personal identity, with particular emphasis on the metaphysics of the self. Other issues considered may include the nature of the soul, the status of self-knowledge, and the ethical aspects of personhood. Prerequisites: GPHIL 101 or permission of instructor.

PHIL 396. Philosophy of Physics.
3 credits. Offered once every three semesters.
This course examines the philosophical foundations of physics. Some of the philosophical issues explored in the course may include how various theories in physics impact metaphysics, ontology and/or epistemology. Topics may include the nature of space and time, special relativity, general relativity, quantum theory, classical mechanics, thermodynamics and/or cosmology. Prerequisite: GPHIL 101.

PHIL 397. Philosophy of Space and Time.
3 credits.
This course will survey debates about the nature of space and time. Topics may include Zeno's paradoxes, time travel, relationism vs. substantivalism, classical accounts of space and time, and relativistic spacetime.

PHIL 398. Philosophy of Quantum Theory.
3 credits.
Quantum theory describes atoms and particles and is one of the most empirically successful physical theories. However, quantum theory seems to have revolutionary conceptual implications for metaphysics and epistemology. This course offers an introduction to philosophical problems raised by quantum theory. Topics may include the measurement problem, quantum entanglement, different interpretations of quantum mechanics, the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) paradox, and Bell's theorem.

PHIL 410. Philosophy of Science.

3 credits This course surveys a number of topics about the nature of science. The topics may include the problem of distinguishing science from pseudoscience, the nature of scientific explanation, the notion of progress in science, and the realism and anti-realism debate.

PHIL 420. Philosophy of Language.
3 credits. Offered every two-three years.
An examination of the central issues in contemporary (mainly 20th century) philosophy of language. Potential topics to be covered include meaning, reference, the nature of language and the nature of truth. Potential philosophers to be examined include Mill, Frege, Russell, Kripke, Lewis and Grice. Prerequisite: PHIL 250 and one other course in philosophy, or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 430. Analytic Philosophy.
3 credits.
An examination of the central issues in contemporary (mainly 20th Century) philosophy of language. Potential topics to be covered include meaning, reference, the nature of language, and the nature of truth. Potential philosophers to be examined include Mill, Frege, Russell, Kripke, Lewis and Grice. Prerequisite: GPHIL 101, PHIL 250 or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 440. Advanced Moral Philosophy.
3 credits. Offered every two years.
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 consequentialism (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. May be repeated for credit with change of topics. Prerequisite: PHIL 340 or permission of instructor.

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: GPHIL 101, PHIL 341, PHIL 375 or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

PHIL 466. Kant.
3 credits. Offered every two years.
An examination of the theory of knowledge and the critique of traditional metaphysics set forth in Kant's Critique of Pure Reason, and of the ethical theory and the moral metaphysics defended in his Groundwork to the Metaphysics of Morals and Critique of Practical Reason. The course may also more briefly explore some related topics, such as Kant's views on aesthetics and teleology, or the key ideas of important post-Kantian philosophers like Fichte, Schelling or Hegel. Prerequisite: PHIL 341,PHIL/REL 375 or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 468. Phenomenology.
3 credits. Offered once every two years.
A study of phenomenological investigation into the fundamental structures and conditions of conscious experience – meaning-laden, first person experience of objects, of events, of one's self, of other persons, of one's world, and so forth. The course will devote special attention to the work of Husserl and of Heidegger. Additional authors may be studied, such as Sartre, Merleau-Ponty or Levinas. Prerequisites: PHIL 341 or PHIL 344 or PHIL 466 or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 470. Topics in Contemporary Continental Philosophy.
3 credits.
Intensive study of one or two major thinkers or themes in 20th-century 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. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: PHIL 341, PHIL/REL 375 or permission of the instructor.

PHIL 475. Philosophy Seminar.
3 credits. Variable offerings.
Seminar topics may be drawn from any area or period of philosophy chosen by the instructor. The course is designed primarily for seniors majoring in Philosophy, but any suitably prepared student may take this course with the permission of the instructor. Prerequisite: Senior philosophy major or permission of instructor. May be repeated for credit.

PHIL 490. Special Studies in Philosophy.
3 credits. Offered fall and spring.
Designed to give capable students an opportunity to complete independent study in philosophy under faculty supervision.

PHIL 495. Philosophy Course Assistantship.
1-6 credits. Offered fall and spring.
Students participate as course assistants in philosophy. Assistantships provide students with a sense of what it is like to teach a philosophy course by allowing them to work closely with faculty members through different phases of course preparation, presentation and evaluation. Assistantships may also provide opportunities for student assistants to lead discussion and to help their peers review the material outside of the classroom. Prerequisites: May be repeated once if assisting a different course, with 6 maximum total credit hours for both courses combined. Only three credit hours can apply to the major or minor.

PHIL 499. Honors.
6 credits. Offered fall and spring.
Year course.