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Philosophy (PHIL) Courses

Lower Division

PHIL 101 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY (3-0-3)(F,S)(FH). An introduction to some major issues in metaphysics and epistemology, such as free will, the existence of God, the rationality of religious belief, the mind/body problem, personal identity, skepticism about external world, and the problem of induction.

PHIL 102 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY: GREAT THINKERS (3-0-3)(F,S)(FH). An introduction to the thought of some major figures from the history of western philosophy, such as Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Anselm, Locke, Hume, Descartes, Berkeley, Kant, and Marx.pull

PHIL 103 INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS (3-0-3)(F,S)(FH). An introduction to philosophical thinking about selected moral problems, such as famine, abortion, euthanasia, the moral status of animals, and whether killing is worse than letting-die.

PHIL 209 THINKING WELL: INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC (3-0-3)(F,S)(FH). How do we tell when one claim follows from, or is supported by, another? This course aims to answer that question, and to teach you how to prove that a conclusion follows logically—or that it doesn’t. This skill is important both inside and outside of the classroom—it is central to reading, thinking, and writing well about any question. The focus will be on evaluating reasoning in a formal language—one designed to make the logical features of our reasoning clear.

PHIL 220 (STEM-ED 220) PHILOSOPHICAL PERSPECTIVES ON SCIENCE AND MATHEMATICS (2-3-3)(F,S)(FH). Introduction to the historical, social, and philosophical implications of math and science. Laboratory focuses on replication of significant discoveries. May be taken for either PHIL or STEM-ED credit, but not both.

Upper Division

PHIL 301 PUZZLES AND PARADOXES (3-0-3)(F,S). Puzzles can be both fun and frustrating. Working to solve them can provide fascinating insights. This course will cover a variety of challenging philosophical puzzles about the nature of reality, morality, and what we can know about the world. These puzzles have not yet been solved. Even if you don’t solve a particular puzzle completely, working toward the answer can generate illuminating methods and ideas. Thinking about puzzles and paradoxes hones your skills as a thinker—and is lots of fun. PREREQ: ENGL 102, PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 303 PHILOSOPHY OF LAW (3-0-3)(F). Examines fundamental issues in the philosophy of law. Includes the nature and content of law, its relation to morality, theories of legal interpretation, and the obligation to obey the law. Philosophical issues and problems associated with punishment and responsibility, liberty, and legal ethics. PREREQ: PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 304 SYMBOLIC LOGIC (3-0-3)(Offered as Justified). A study of techniques of validation in propositional and predicate logic, with emphasis on the construction of formal proofs. Some attention will be given to metalogical notions such as consistency and completeness. PREREQ: PHIL 209.

PHIL 305 ANCIENT GREEK PHILOSOPHY (3-0-3)(F). An introduction to the origins of Western philosophy in the ancient world, with emphasis on Plato and Aristotle. PREREQ: PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 306 PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE (3-0-3)(Offered as Justified). A study of philosophical issues raised by reflection on the nature of science and the results of scientific inquiry. PREREQ: PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 307 MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY (3-0-3)(Offered as Justified). A survey of major developments in Western philosophy from St. Augustine through William of Ockham, with emphasis on selected figures. PREREQ: PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 308 PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE (3-0-3)(Offered as Justified). An investigation of basic philosophical problems concerning language and communication. Topics may include: truth, meaning, reference, proper names, descriptions, the distinction between semantics and pragmatics, and context-sensitivity. PREREQ: PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 309 MODERN PHILOSOPHY (3-0-3)(F). Covers important developments in Western philosophy from the 17th and 18th centuries, developments that still have ramifications today. Philosophers covered may include Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Hume and Kant. Issues covered may include the foundations of knowledge, rationalism vs. empiricism, the nature of the self, the relation of objects to their properties, whether God exists, and the just organization of society. PREREQ: PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 310 PHILOSOPHY OF MIND (3-0-3)(Offered as Justified). An examination of various solutions to the mind/body problem, the problem of other minds, as well as related mental concepts. Problems of action theory may be explored. PREREQ: PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 311 NORMATIVE ETHICS (3-0-3)(Offered as Justified). Examines views and issues in normative ethics, such as utilitarianism, egalitarianism, libertarianism, Kantianism, virtue theory, rights, fairness, desert, and causing versus allowing harm. May include the application of these views and issues to the political domain. PREREQ: PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 312 META-ETHICS (3-0-3)(Offered as Justified). Examines views and issues in meta-ethics, such as naturalism, non-naturalism, non-cognitivism, error theory, moral epistemology, moral disagreement, moral motivation, and reasons for action. PREREQ: PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 313 ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY (3-0-3)(Offered as Justified). An investigation of major themes in Anglo-American philosophy during the twentieth century. PREREQ: PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 315 PHENOMENOLOGY AND EXISTENTIALISM (3-0-3)(Offered as Justified). An exploration of the nature of conscious experience and the place of dread and choice in human existence, with emphasis on selected figures in the tradition of European philosophy established by Kierkegaard and Husserl. PREREQ: PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 316 PHILOSOPHY AND CRITICAL THEORY (3-0-3)(F/S). Presents the rich philosophical context of critical theory, which comprises a variety of critiques that seek to understand and alter our social practices and lived realities, and which presupposes and refashions ideas developed primarily in late modern and contemporary western philosophy. Topics typically covered include power and knowledge, democracy and enlightenment, faith and inter-subjectivity, historical materialism and humanism, racial and sexual difference, globalism and post-colonialism.

PHIL 321 EASTERN PHILOSOPHY (3-0-3)(Offered as Justified). Philosophical teachings of great Eastern thinkers through a study of classical texts selected from traditions of Hinduism, Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism. PREREQ: Upper-division standing.

PHIL 322 (WORLD 322) CONFUCIANISM IN CHINESE CULTURE (1-0-1)(S). Introduction to the philosophy of Confucianism as the foundation of Chinese culture. Students will explore how Confucianism provided a framework for the development of traditional Chinese moral standards, family values, education, political philosophy, civil responsibility, and attitudes toward the natural world. May be taken for WORLD or PHIL credit, but not both.

PHIL 327 ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS (3-0-3)(Offered as Justified). Examination of environmental problems from an ethical point of view. Topics include population control, pollution, animal liberation, the moral and legal rights of nature, and social ecology. PREREQ: Upper-division standing.

PHIL 331 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION (3-0-3)(Offered as Justified). Basic philosophical issues connected with religious belief such as the nature and existence of God, the problem of evil, miracles, and the significance of religious experience. PREREQ: PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 333 METAPHYSICS (3-0-3)(F). An investigation of basic problems about the nature of reality. Possible topics include personal identity, the nature of mind, freedom and determinism, and the problems of universals. PREREQ: PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 335 EPISTEMOLOGY (3-0-3)(Offered as Justified). An investigation of basic problems concerning knowledge and the justification of belief. Possible topics include attempts to define knowledge and related concepts, the problem of skepticism, and the problem of other minds. PREREQ: PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 337 AESTHETICS (3-0-3)(Offered as Justified). The philosophy of the fine arts covering such topics as the existence and nature of works of art, aesthetic experience, artistic creativity, the species of aesthetic value, and the nature of beauty. PREREQ: PHIL 101 or PHIL 102 or PHIL 103.

PHIL 437 ADVANCED PHILOSOPHICAL TOPICS (3-0-3)(Offered as Justified). Detailed examination of a small set of issues within a selected area of philosophy. May be repeated for credit. PREREQ: PHIL 209, PHIL 301, and PERM/INST.

PHIL 441 (POLS 441) CLASSICAL POLITICAL THOUGHT (3-0-3)(F)(Odd years). Development of political philosophy from Socrates to Machiavelli. May be taken for either POLS or PHIL credit, but not both. PREREQ: POLS 315; or one upper-division philosophy course or PERM/INST.

PHIL 442 (POLS 442) MODERN POLITICAL THOUGHT (3-0-3)(S)(Even years). Development of political thought since Machiavelli. May be taken for either POLS or PHIL credit, but not both. PREREQ: POLS 315; or one upper-division philosophy course or PERM/INST.

PHIL 443 (POLS 443) CONTEMPORARY POLITICAL THOUGHT (3-0-3)(F)(Even years). Major trends in political thought from the post-French Revolutionary era, which may include German idealism, historicism, existentialism, nihilism, and Marxism. May be taken for either POLS or PHIL credit, but not both. PREREQ: POLS 315; or one upper-division philosophy course or PERM/INST.

PHIL 489 SENIOR RESEARCH (3-0-3)(F). Directed research culminating in a writing sample, suitable for graduate school applications. PREREQ: Senior standing in philosophy major and PERM/CHAIR.

PHIL 495 SENIOR COMPREHENSIVE ASSESSMENT (1-0-1)(F/S)(FF). Capstone experience resulting in a portfolio of student work. PREREQ: Senior standing in philosophy major and PERM/INST.

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