Philosophy Course Descriptions

PHIL 101 Invitation to Philosophy (Gen.Ed. Goal 4)
A critical inquiry into life, death, and the meaning of human existence. Issues such as the nature of reality, knowledge, the problem of truth, the existence of God, free will, and justice are examined from varying perspectives and sources: Western, global, classical, or modern.

PHIL 102 Introduction to Ethics: Why Be Moral? (Gen.Ed. Goals 4, 12)
An exploration of moral reasoning, and the claims of morality on self and society through an assessment of ethical theories, both classical and modern. The course considers topics such as human sexuality and the preservation of integrity in human decision making. The dynamics of self and society and subjects of social responsibility are pursued by focusing attention on issues such as freedom and justice; rights and duty; race, gender, and class; and the meaning of work.

PHIL 103 Introduction to Logic (Gen.Ed. Goal 4)
A study of fundamental topics in logic: classical logic, truth functional logic, inductive reasoning, and informal fallacies. The study of logic is presented as a fascinating mental exercise and as the acquisition of skills essential to clear and reasonable thought and discourse.

PHIL 105 Introduction to Political and Social Philosophy (Gen.Ed. Goals 4, 12)
A study of conflicting philosophical views about politics and social institutions. Salient historical and contemporary theories including those of gender, race, and class are analyzed and discussed. Attention is given to the philosophical presuppositions directing socio-political institutions.

PHIL118 Introduction to Philosophy of Science (Gen.Ed. Goal 4)
An introduction to commonly discussed philosophical issues about science, such as the matter in which scientific theories are justified. The course makes reference to specific episodes in the history of science, such as the adoption of the Copernican view that the earth travels around the sun, and the rejection of some ideas of classical physics in favor of modern relativity theory and quantum mechanics.

PHIL 201 History of Ancient Philosophy
Development of philosophical thought beginning with Thales. Attention is given to the pre-Socratics and their influence on Plato. Main emphasis is on Plato and Aristotle. 

Prerequisite: One introductory philosophy course.

PHIL 203 History of Modern Philosophy
The main lines of philosophical thought from Francis Bacon through Kant. Primary attention given to the Continental Rationalists, British Empiricists, and the Kantian synthesis. 

Prerequisite: One introductory philosophy course.

PHIL 214 Aesthetics
An examination of the role of art in human life, the nature of criticism, and the justifiability of critical judgment.

Prerequisite: One introductory philosophy course.

PHIL 221 Contemporary Philosophy
Analysis of recent philosophical trends and their major representatives: instrumentalism (Pierce, James, Dewey), existentialism (Jaspers, Heidegger, Sartre), logical and linguistic analysis (Russell, Wittgenstein, Carnap, Ayer, Ryle). 

Prerequisite: One introductory philosophy course.

PHIL 226 Nineteenth-Century Philosophy
A study of Idealism, Materialism, Empiricism (Mill), and Existentialism (Kierkegaard and Nietzsche).

Prerequisite: One introductory philosophy course.

PHIL 234 Environmental Ethics
A critical inquiry into human values and habits as they reveal the good and the bad in human beings' relationships to nature or the environment. The course emphasizes the historical and ethical changes in the philosophy of nature and the natural world. Ways in which attitudes and values regarding nature are grounded in cultural, religious, and societal beliefs are also discussed.

Prerequisite: One introductory philosophy course.

PHIL 490 Independent Study in Philosophy
Topic(s) of philosophical interest to be chosen by the student.  Prerequisite: Two introductory courses or one introductory and one intermediate course in philosophy.

The following course also carries credit as a Philosophy elective:

INTD 222 Bioethics (Gen. Ed. Goal 4)
An examination of moral issues in modern biology. Major theories of ethics, as well as biological aspects of development, genetics, genetic engineering, and the environment, are investigated. Themes such as brain death and euthanasia, abortion, scarcity of medical resources, reproductive control, patient confidentiality, and environmental issues are explored.

Prerequisite: One college biology course.

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