Philosophy (PHIL)

PHIL A201 Practical Logic 3 crs.

This course will introduce the student to the application of practical logical techniques in the analysis and formulation of rational arguments. Topics will include how to find premises and conclusions in an argument, definitions, informal fallacies, syllogisms, Venn diagrams, induction, Mill’s methods, etc.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A206 Introduction to Symbolic Logic 3 crs.

This course is an introduction to the techniques of symbolic logic in argument analysis and to the science of logic as the analysis of formal deductive systems.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A210 Metaphysics 3 crs.

This course is a historical and theoretical examination of the question, "What does it mean to be?" or "What is reality, as distinct from mere appearance?" The course begins with a study of ancient philosophical explanations of reality and goes on to study the historical evolution of both the problem of metaphysics and its various resolutions.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A215 Ethics 3 crs.

This course is a historical and problematic investigation of traditional ethical positions and texts, especially focusing on teleological, deontological theories, and virtue ethics and on contemporary responses to them.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A220 Epistemology 3 crs.

This course takes a historical and problematic approach to the problems of knowledge, with emphasis on the main theories of knowledge in ancient and modern philosophy as well as contemporary discussions of the nature of knowledge.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A225 Philosophy of Law 3 crs.

This course is an inquiry into the nature of law, the relevance of law to morality, the concepts of responsibility in the law, punishment, and the relevance to law of the concepts of justice, equality, and liberty. The philosophical assumptions that underlie criminal law and private law will be explored. Readings will be taken from classical and recent philosophers of law.

PHIL A230 Philosophy of Religion 3 crs.

This course is a study of several philosophical problems that arise from belief in the existence of God.  Topics to be examined include: evidentialism and religious belief, the meaningfulness of religious language, arguments for the existence of God, problems of divine omnipotence, the difficulty of reconciling divine ominiscience with human freedom, the problem of evil, and the conceivabiity of life after death.

PHIL A300 Philosophy of Science 3 crs.

This course is an introduction to basic themes of recent philosophy of science including scientific methodology, concepts and presuppositions. Through an examination of different models of scientific explanation, the course will expose the student to problems of justifying scientific theories, and the relationship between theories and reality.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A307 Philosophy of Mind 3 crs.

This course examines different theories of the nature of mind. It begins with an examination of the traditional mind-body problem in the works of Descartes. It will subsequently explore alternative positions which have been presented by Descartes’ contemporaries in the classical period, as well as contemporaries of our own. Emphasis will be placed on such areas as mind-body identity/interaction, brain process, language, perception, sensation, emotion, personal identity, and free will.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A309 Naturalism and Its Critics 3 crs.

The natural sciences present an admirable model for knowledge.  But naturalism (the idea that nature as understood by the sciences is all there is) can seem ill-equipped to explain some important phenomena (including values and consciousness).  This class will evaluate naturalism by considering naturalist, anti-naturalist, and compromise views.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A320 Social and Political Philosophy 3 crs.

This course is an inquiry into the origin, nature, and necessity of political order. The relation of the individual to the social and political whole, the origin, nature, and just use of political authority, the nature of rights and duty, the problem of freedom, and the philosophical prerequisites of a just social order will be treated.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A330 Modern Political Theory 3 crs.

This course is an introduction to modern political theory through explication and critique of readings from classics of modern political thought. Readings will be selected from works by major theorists such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Montesquieu, Rousseau, Kant, Burke, Bentham, de Tocqueville, Hegel, Marx and Mill.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A340 Being and God   3 crs.

This course is an examination of the nature of being and the existence of God from the standpoint of classical metaphysics. It studies topics such as the structure of finite being, the transcendentals, analogy and univocity of being, metaphysical causality and the problem of creation.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A400 History of Ancient Philosophy 3 crs.

The Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, the Epicurians, Sceptics, Stoics, Plotinus, and early Christian thought are discussed.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A405 History of Medieval Philosophy 3 crs.

Historical study of the main ideas of the medieval period from St. Augustine to the Renaissance.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A408 Philosophy of Thomas Aquinas 3 crs.

This course offers an introduction to the central philosophical positions of Thomas Aquinas. It examines Aquinas' views on the relationship between faith and reason, his metaphysics of being, his analysis of human knowledge, his theory of human nature, and his defense of human freedom. Special attention will also be devoted to the Greek and Arabic sources of Aquinas' philosophy and to his place in the history of medieval philosophy.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A410 History of Modern European Philosophy 3 crs.

This course will discuss readings from works of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant.

PHIL A416 History of 19th-century Philosophy 3 crs.

A survey of the major traditions in post-Kantian philosophy ending with Nietzsche, the course will explore the interrelations between different themes in 19th-century thought and how they laid the foundation for 20th-century philosophy.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A430 American Philosophy 3 crs.

This course is a study of the philosophies of Pierce, James, Dewey, Royce, Santayana, Mead, Lewis, and Whitehead, with emphasis on the emergence of classical American philosophy as a response to philosophic, social, and scientific developments.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A435 Existentialism 3 crs.

This course examines the treatment of the characteristic existential themes as exemplified in the writings of Kierkegard, Nietzsche, Heideggar, Jaspers, Marcel, and Sartre.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A440 Phenomenology 3 crs.

This course treats the problems which gave rise to contemporary phenomenology, existential phenomenology, and hermeneutic phenomenology, and various writers in that tradition, such as Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, and Ricoeur.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A465 Introduction to Analytic Philosophy 3 crs.

This course is a study of the movement of 20th-century Anglo-American analytic philosophy as practiced by Russell, Moore, Wittgenstein, the logical positivists, ordinary language analysts, Quine, and contemporary language analysts.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL A490 Seminar: Ancient Philosophy 3 crs.

A detailed study of an author or texts from the ancient period.

PHIL A491 Seminar: Medieval Philosophy 3 crs.

A detailed study of an author or texts from the medieval period.

PHIL A492 Seminar: Modern Philosophy 3 crs.

A detailed study of an author or texts from the modern period.

PHIL A493 Seminar: Major Author 3 crs.

This course is an in-depth analysis of the thought of a major philosopher. Content varies.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor

PHIL A495 Special Project credits vary

This project focuses on the creative or productive efforts of one or more students. A special project is distinguished from a research project in its lack of the historical or experimental method and perspective characteristics of research.

PHIL A496 Seminar/Workshop credits vary

In a seminar, a supervised group of students share the results of their research on a common topic. In a workshop, a supervised group of students participate in a common effort.

PHIL A498 Philosophy Honors Thesis 3 crs.

Students undertake a research project under the supervision of a professor that culminates in the writing of an undergraduate thesis.

PHIL A499 Independent Study credits vary

PHIL H295 Honors Seminar 3 crs.

University Honors Program

This course is an in-depth analysis of a major topic/theme in philosophy. Content varies.

PHIL T122 Introduction to Philosophy 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Introductory

This course will introduce the student to philosophy through a consideration of selected fundamental questions of ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics, as seen in the thoughts and writings of significant philosophers.

PHIL U230 Aesthetics 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

This course offers an introduction to the major issues of aesthetics. Topics for consideration include: a brief survey of the history of art, the nature of art, the nature of beauty, the criterion for aesthetic goodness, the interpretation of artwork, metaphor and representation in art, and the aesthetic experience.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL U234 Buddhist Philosophy 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

This course will consitute an introduction to Buddhist philosophy through the study of basic themses and concepts, classic texts, and major thinkers and schools.  We will investigate theories concerning the nature of reality, knowledge and value, and basic theoretical concepts such as emptiness, dependent origination, impermanence, selflessness, suffering and release.

PHIL U237 Indian Philosophy 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

A survey of philosophical traditions of India. This course is designed to help the student to extend his/her knowledge to the wisdom of the East. The study includes the philosophies of the Vedas, Upanishads, Buddhism, Jainism, Mimamsa, Nyaya, Vaisesika, Sankhya, Yoga, Vedanta, Bhagavadgita, and of some contemporary thinkers such as Aurobindo, Vivekanada, Tagore, Gandhi, and Radhakrishnan.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL U238 Philosophy and Literature 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

This course acquaints students with the multifarious relationship between philosophy and literature as staged in some seminal texts of philosophy. The course also demonstrates that (the definition of) literature has often been inscribed in philosophical frameworks by tracing some concepts (metaphor, work, text, author) central to both philosophy and literature/literary theory.

PHIL U239 Divine Madness 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

This course is an exploration of the relationship among philosophy, mysticism, and madness following the theme of theosis (divine madness) introduced by Plato through a selective reading of the history of philosophy, Christian mysticism, and modern psychology.

PHIL U258 Philosophical Anthropology 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

This course acquaints students with basic issues in the philosophy of human nature. It also teaches students to think critically and constructively about philosophies of human nature by drawing out the implications of basic statements about the nature of human beings.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL U260 Worldviews and Ethics 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

Our morality cannot be divorced from our understanding of reality. This course will explore how our view of reality affects our moral judgments by examining the worldviews and moralities of both the ancient Greeks and subsequent Christian philosophers. Readings will be taken from Homer, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Aquinas.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL U262 Classics in Moral Literature 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

This course is a study of classics that reflect the gradual transformation of moral consciousness in antiquity, including readings from Plato and Aristotle. The implications of ancient moral thought and its abandonment by modernity will be examined in two classics of modern moral literature, one from Kant and the other from Nietzsche.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL U270 Philosophy and Religion in the Middle Ages 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Pre-modern

This course examines the nature and goals of philosophy as it was practiced in the medieval world.  It looks at the vaious ways in which philosophy was transformed by its encounter with Christianity and the extent to which it remained an autonomous discipline in the Middle Ages.

PHIL U286 Religious Experience and Philosophy 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

Accounts of religious experience unfold their fundamental meaning and structures in relation to those of human experience in general. Students will come to understand explicitly the nature, limits and implications, and the foundations in existence of religious experience.

PHIL V234 Medical Ethics 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

After a brief introduction to some basic principles useful in moral decision making, the course introduces the student to problems of general interest in bioethics such as: experimentation on humans, relations of patients and health care professionals, just allocation of health care, refusal of lifesaving treatment/euthanasia, abortion, and moral problems surrounding assisted reproduction, developments in genetics (e.g., cloning), etc.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL V235 Philosophy of Right 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course is a philosophical expose of the life, struggles, death, and ultimate transformation of the concept of "right." The central issue of the course: Is the violation of a human right a crime against nature?

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL V240 European World Views 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course attempts to clarify the philosophical framework underlying contemporary thought, expression, and science in contrast to the framework of the modern period of philosophy (17th — 18th centuries) by investigating four or five contemporary European philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Marcel, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Sartre.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL V241 Philosophical Perspective on Woman 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course covers the philosophical development of three feminist theories–liberal, Marxist, and radical feminism. Various philosophical frameworks that have served as the basis of feminist critiques, such as positivism, liberalism, Marxism, functionalism, existentialism, and Freudism are discussed. Students will address critically a number of women’s issues, including women’s self-concept, their biology, their place in the public sphere, and their representation in language and culture.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL V243 Environmental Philosophy 3 crs.

Common Curriculum; Humanities/Arts Modern

This course offers an overview of the environmental crisis and evaluates the leading contemporary philosophical accounts of both the origins of the crisis and the ethical orientations needed for its resolution.

PHIL V244 Law and Morality 3 crs.

Common Curriculum; Humanities/Arts Modern

This course examines ethical principles as they bear on disputed legal issues, such as capital punishment, equal protection, school integration, affirmative action, and welfare/taxation/economic justice.

PHIL V245 Environmental Ethics 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

The course will address the question: “What are our moral responsibilities in relation to the earth, ecosystems and eco-communities, other species and life forms, and future generations?” It discusses major theories in environmental ethics, consider the many dimensions of global ecological crisis, and examine carefully a number of important contemporary issues in environmental ethics.

PHIL V247 Global Ethics 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course will investigate issues in social ethics in a global context. Topics include globalization, poverty, world hunger, population, status of women, models of development, and the role of transnational corporations, states and voluntary organizations. Perspectives studied include rights theory, contract theory, utilitarianism, virtue ethics, human capabilities theory, and the ethics of care.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122 

PHIL V252 Making Moral Decisions 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course treats the nature of personal and moral decision making leading to consideration of some ethical positions influential on the current philosophical scene (e.g., teleology, Kantian deontology, utilitarianism, natural law theory, etc.) and their application to contemporary moral problems.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL V260 Social Justice 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

An examination of the concept of social justice by means of a careful reading of classic texts from the Old Testament, New Testament, Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, and Locke.  Central issues of the course include interpretations of property rights (private, public, common), alternative economic systems (markets, planning, mixed economies), poverty and poverty alleviation, and governments' roles in establishing social justice.

PHIL V267 Technology and Human Values 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

A study of the relationships among technology, social change, and human values, this course includes analyses of several visions of the promises and threats of technology and a survey of the history of technology. Other topics include human nature, freedom, the impact of technology upon nature, and alternative technologies.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL V270 Philosophy of Knowledge 3crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course focuses on a philosophic question that is important to every other intellectual discipline: how do we know what we know? Questions covered may include: Is knowledge something forged independently by individual inquirers, or is it inherited from a social tradition? Does it have foundations in our observations of the world, as in natural science, or in purely intellectual axioms, as in mathematics? Has our knowledge any solid "foundations" at all, or is it more like a living, organic whole? What are the implications of different answers to these questions for science, religion, and our commonsense view of the world?

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL V277 Minds and Machines 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This is a course in philosophy that focuses on the structures and nature of human consciousness. It will serve as an introduction to contemporary discussion and issues associated with the philosophy of mind. Criteria for determining the nature and structure of consciousness will be developed through models employed in computers by artificial intelligence programs. No computer experience is required for this course.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL V278 Philosophy of God 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course will treat the existence and the nature of God according to the philosophies of Kant, Anselm, Aquinas, and Whitehead. Among the topics of discussion will be: atheism, agnosticism, theism, and the process philosophy.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL V280 Freedom and Oppression 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course explores the conceptual relationship between freedom and oppression, how the philosophical limits of the former determine our understanding of the latter, and how such an understanding would help us to address the problem of oppression. Readings will be taken from Sartre, Marx, Camus, Skinner, and others.

Prerequisite: PHIL T122

PHIL V281 Philosophical Reason and Catholic Faith 3 crs.

Common Curriculum: Humanities/Arts Modern

This course considers the relation between reason and faith, and philosophy and theology, with special attention to Catholic faith. It will focus upon contrasting views of these relations in such authors as Augustine, Aquinas, Lonergan, Rahner, Kierkegaard, Peperzak, Ricoeur, Jean-Luc Marion, John Caputo, John Haldane, and John Paul II.