Philosophy


Department of Philosophy and Religion
*PHIL 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.
*PHIL 200A. Philosophers in Cultural Context: Ancient Greek Philosophy. 3 credits.
An examination, at the introductory level, of selected philosophical writings in their cultural context, including some attention to history, politics, literature, the theater, religion, visual arts, music, science, technology and daily life of the period.
PHIL 250. Introductory Logic. 3 credits.
A critical examination of the formal principles of sound reasoning.
*PHIL 260. Philosophy and Contemporary Life. 3 credits.
The application of philosophical principles to contemporary life. Not available for credit toward the major.
*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 300. Reasoning: Methods and Problems. 3 credits.
The analysis and evaluation of ways of thinking in areas such as everyday experience, inductive logic, morality, religion, and the natural and social sciences. Prerequisite: Junior standing.
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 permission of the instructor.
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. Prerequisite: PHIL 101 or PHIL 270, or permission of instructor.
PHIL 333. 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 337. Plato and the Pre-Socratics. 3 credits.
A study of ancient Greek philosophy including the atomists, Heraclitus, Parmenides, the Sophists, Socrates and Plato. Emphasis will be placed on the political, educational, metaphysical and ethical theories of Plato's early and middle dialogues. Prerequisite: PHIL 101 or permission of instructor.
PHIL 338. Aristotle and His Contemporaries. 3 credits.
A study of ancient Greek philosophy beginning with the Platonic background of Aristotle's writings. Emphasis will be placed on ethical and political theories of Aristotle with some attention to his metaphysical, rhetorical and logical theories. Prerequisite: PHIL 101 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. Prerequisite: PHIL 101 or permission 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: PHIL 101 or permission of the instructor.
PHIL/REL 350. 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. Prerequisite: PHIL 101 or permission of the instructor.
PHIL 360. Philosophy and Literature. 3 credits.
The study of selected literary works in light of their philosophical background. Authors studied include Plato, Pascal, Sartre, Camus and Eliot. Prerequisite: PHIL 101 or permission of the instructor.
PHIL 365. Philosophy, Law and Public Policy. 3 credits.
A study of moral, legal and political theories as developed by selected classical and contemporary philosophers, and the application of these principles to such problems of public policy as civil disobedience, economic injustice, the just war and conscientious objection, discrimination and reverse discrimination, and the implementation of social changes. Prerequisite: PHIL 101 or permission of the instructor (Formerly PHIL 380.)
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. Prerequisite: PHIL 101 or permission of the instructor.
PHIL/REL 375. The 19th Century: Age of Ideology. 3 credits.
A study of selected 19th century philosophers and theologians with special attention to rationalism, romanticism and idealism. Views of Hegel, Schleiermacher, Ritschl, Marx and others are considered. Prerequisite: PHIL 101 or permission of the instructor.
*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: Three hours from ART 200, ARTH 201 or permission of instructor.
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 in social activism.
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. Prerequisite: PHIL 101 or permission of instructor.
PHIL/SOSC 400. Philosophical Foundations of Social Science. 3 credits.
An examination of the philosophical aspects of social scientific knowledge and explanation as these are contained in logical empiricist, interpretive/hermeneutical and critical theory approaches. Prerequisite: 15 hours of social science and/or philosophy.
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: PHIL 101 or 250, or permission of the instructor.
PHIL 450. Knowledge and Belief. 3 credits.
An extensive examination of theories of knowledge, philosophical problems concerning knowledge and belief. Prerequisite: PHIL 101 or permission of the instructor.
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. Prerequisite: PHIL 101 or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit.
PHIL 490. Special Studies in Philosophy. 3 credits.
Designed to give capable students an opportunity to complete independent study in philosophy under faculty supervision. Prerequisite: Permission of the department head.
PHIL 499. Honors. 6 credits. Year course.

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Undergraduate Catalog Contents


1996-97 Undergraduate Catalog
Last reviewed: 30 November 1996
Information Publisher: Division of Academic Affairs
James Madison University