College of Liberal Arts & Sciences
Philosophy and Religion

Philosophy Catalog

 

TI 241-PL. Classics of Social and Political Thought 

A critical study of major texts of the history of Western social and political thought, such as Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics, Machiavelli's The Prince, Hobbes' Leviathan and Marx's Communist Manifesto.  Attention will be given to both the historical and contemporary relevance of the texts.

TI 240-PL. Ethics of War and Peace

This course will focus on two normative approaches to war, just war theory and pacifism.  We will first examine how soldiers learn to kill and how killing impacts them psychologically and morally.  Next, we will explore just-war principles for justly starting and executing war on basis of case studies, such as the terror bombing in the Second World War, the Gulf War, the Kosovo intervention, the Afghanistan war and the second Iraq War.  Special attention will be paid to humanitarian intervention, terrorism and the doctrine of preventive war.  During the final weeks of the semester we will discuss the philosophy of nonviolence and antiwar pacifism. 

TI 243-PL. Knowledge and Reality

Fundamental philosophical questions about knowledge and reality will be studied through the analysis of classical and contemporary texts.  Topics may include skepticism, the relationship between faith and reason, the nature of mind, free will, the nature and existence of the external world, and the nature and existence of God.

TI 244-PL. Ethics, The Good Life, & Society

Fundamental philosophical questions about right conduct, virtues and vices, the good life and social policy will be examined on the basis of classical and contemporary texts. Topics include issues of personal and social ethics, such as forgiveness, tolerance and hate speech, abortion, animal rights, and world poverty. Theories of justice, human rights, and meta-ethical topics may also be covered.  

AR 231-PL.  Principles of Reasoning

A survey of principles of reasoning used in a variety of disciplines, including philosophy, mathematics, statistics, the natural and social sciences, and the law.  Attention also will be paid to how to recognize and avoid fallacies.  

PL 310. Logic

An introduction to formal logic. Topics will include systems for proving logical propositions, the interpretation of formal systems, and the relationship between formal and natural languages. Consideration will be given to the applications of formal logic to problems in philosophy, mathematics, computer science and the natural sciences. Prerequisite: MA 101 or equivalent. (U) (3)

PL 245. Classics of Social and Political Philosophy

A critical study of major texts of the history of Western social and political thought, such as Plato's Republic, Aristotle's Politics, Machiavelli's The Prince, Hobbes' Leviathan, and Marx's Communist Manifesto. Attention will be given to both the historical and contemporary relevance of the texts. (U) (3)

PL 311. History of Ancient Philosophy

A study of important figures of ancient philosophy, with particular emphasis on Plato and Aristotle. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or permission of instructor. (U-G) (3)

PL 312. History of Medieval Philosophy

A study of important figures of medieval philosophy, with particular emphasis on Augustine and Aquinas. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or permission of instructor. (U-G) (3)

PL 313. History of Modern Philosophy

A study of important figures of modern philosophy, including Descartes, Hume and Kant. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or permission of instructor. (U-G) (3)

PL 314. History of 19th-Century Philosophy through Nietzsche

A study of major 19th-century philosophers, including Fichte, Schelling, Hegel and Nietzsche. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or permission of instructor. (U-G) (3)

PL 320. Theory of Knowledge

A study of some fundamental problems of epistemology: the nature of knowledge and certainty, the relation of knowledge to belief, evidence and the justification of beliefs, and the problem of skepticism. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or permission of instructor. (U-G) (3)

PL 323. Introduction to Analytic Philosophy

A survey of some of the important themes in analytic philosophy from the late 19th century to the present, focusing on such figures as Russell and Wittgenstein. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or permission of instructor. (U-G) (3)

PL 327. Philosophical Classics

A detailed study of a selected philosopher or philosophical text: e.g., Socrates, Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Aquinas, Hume's Inquiry or Hegel. (May be repeated with different topic.) Prerequisite: one philosophy course or permission of instructor. (U-G) (3)

PL 340. Philosophy of Art

A study of some of the major problems in the philosophy of art with special emphasis on music. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or sophomore standing. (U-G) (3)

PL 342. Philosophy of Religion

A study of the logic and function of religious language with special reference of the problem of religious knowledge and the validity of religious claims. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or sophomore standing. (U-G) (3)

PL 343. Philosophy of Science

An analysis of some philosophical questions about the natural sciences, including the problem of distinguishing science from pseudoscience, the nature of scientific explanation, the structure and confirmation of scientific theories, scientific revolutions, and the relationship between science and reality. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or permission of the instructor. (U-G) (3)

PL 344. Philosophy of Law

Consideration of general theories of law and justice; nature of judicial reasoning; topics such as relation of law and morality, punishment, legal rights and legal liabilities. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or sophomore standing. (U-G) (3)

PL 345. Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy

A critical study of major contemporary social and political philosophies, such as welfare liberalism, libertarianism, communitarianism, democratic socialism, and feminism. Topics include economic justice within the state, global justice, rights, equality, the family, and workplace democracy. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or permission of instructor. (U-G) (3)

PL 346. Philosophy of Mind

A study of philosophical questions concerning the mind: the nature of mind, the mind-body problem, the problem of free will and methodological approaches to the study of mind. Discussion of the power and limits of contemporary cognitive science. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or permission of instructor. (U-G) (3)

PL 347. Existentialism

A study of existentialism, one of the most important philosophical movements of the twentieth century, focusing on the philosophical essays, novels, and plays of Jean-Paul Satre, Albert Camus and Simone de Beauvoir. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or permission of instructor. (U-G) (3)

PL 348. Philosophy of Feminism

A study of cultural values, social practices and policies that shape women's lives, and the philosophical responses to these. Topics include the workplace, the legal system, pornography, art and popular culture, abortion, reproductive rights, sexual practice, alternative families, militarism, and ecofeminism. Prerequisite: One philosophy course or sophomore standing. (U-G) (3)

PL 349. Philosophy of Biology

A study of philosophical problems in biology. The course explores both theoretical problems within biology, like the evolution of altruism and problems of taxonomy, and philosophical problems that are influenced by biological theory, including the nature of morality and the status of religious belief. Prerequisite: BI 110 or permission of instructor. (U-G) (3)

PL 360. Ethics

An examination of the fundamental concepts and problems of morality, facts and values, duty and self-interest, and the logic and justification of moral judgments. Attention to major figures in history of ethical theory such as Aristotle, Butler, Kant and Mill. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or permission of instructor. (U-G) (3)

PL 363. Biomedical Ethics

A study of fundamental ethical problems in medical practice, health policy, and biomedical research. Topics include patients' rights and professional responsibilities, abortion, physician-assisted suicide, surrogate motherhood, justice in the allocation of medical resources, human genetics, and experimentation on human subjects and animals. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or sophomore standing. (U) (3)

PL 364.  Ethics & International Relations

A study of foundational and contemporary writings on the ethics of international relations. Key concepts and issues include realism, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, sovereignty, global poverty, immigration, humanitarian intervention, and global warming. Prerequisite: sophomore standing; IS101 or one Philosophy course.           

PL 375. Topics in Philosophy

Treats a specific subject area of philosophy that is not the major subject of a regularly scheduled course. (U-G) (3)

PL 401, 402, 403. Independent Study

Individual study of a specific topic in philosophy under supervision of a member of the department. Assigned readings, papers and tutorials. Obtain permission from department head before enrolling. (U-G) (1, 2, 3)

PL 410. Seminar in Philosophy

Advanced course in a major philosophical figure or issue. Non-majors need permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: two philosophy courses and junior standing. (U) (3)

PL 499. Honors Thesis

Undergraduate honors thesis in philosophy. (U) (3)