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Undergraduate Bulletin 2007-2008
 
Bulletin Homepage |College of Arts & Sciences | Courses in Philosophy

Courses in Philosophy

A Phi 110 Introduction to Philosophical Problems (3)

Survey of representative problems in some of the major areas of philosophy; topics such as free will, morality, justice and social order, knowledge and truth, God and religion, art, and beauty. [HU]

A Phi 111/Y The Mind and the World (3)

A critical examination of contemporary topics concerning the relationship between the human mind and the natural world. The topics vary with semesters, but typically include the state of knowledge about the mind and its relationship to the brain, the possibility of a science of the mind, skepticism about knowledge, free will and determinism, and the limits of scientific knowledge. In addition to regular lectures, students will attend a weekly discussion section.

A Phi 112 Critical Thinking (3)

This is a course in informal logic. It centers on the meaning of claims, and whether a claim, should be accepted or rejected, or whether suspension of judgment is appropriate. This course is intended to help students think clearly and effectively. [HU]

A Phi 114 Morals and Society (3)

Philosophical study of the conflict between personal values and the needs of society. Topics include personal and social values, the nature of moral reasoning, and ways to resolve conflicts between values. Readings from philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Locke and Mill. [HU]

A Phi 115 Moral Choices (3)

Critical examination of contemporary moral problems in the light of the most influential moral theories. The problems discussed vary with semesters, but they typically include such topics as abortion, affirmative action, animals and the environment, capital punishment, euthanasia, free speech and censorship, liberty and paternalism, sex and love, terrorism, and world hunger. [HU]

A Phi 116 (= A Rel 116) World Views (3)

Examination of some of the major systems of assumptions and values humans have used in attempting to understand reality, the meaning of life, and their dealings with others. World views studied may vary from semester to semester. Examples are Greek, Judeo-Christian, Marxist and libertarian. Only one of A Phi 116 & A Rel 116 may be taken for credit. [HU]

A Phi 140 (formerly A Phi-240) Introductory Topics in Philosophy (1–4)

Introduction to philosophy through the study of a selected topic. May be repealed with different topics. Consult class schedule for specific topic.

A Phi 199Z Writing in Philosophy (1)

A student enrolled in a 100- or 200-level philosophy course may, with the consent of the instructor of that course, fulfill a writing intensive version of it by registering concurrently for A Phi 199Z. The instructor will assign the student written work in addition to that required for the companion course and will meet with him or her over the course of the semester to discuss this work. (A student who subsequently withdraws from the companion course will also be dropped from A Phi 199Z.) Co-requisite(s): concurrent registration in a 100- or 200-level philosophy course. S/U graded. [WI]

A Phi 210 Introduction to Logic (3)

Introduction to classical and modern logic with an emphasis on the theory and application of truth functions. Introduction to quantification; discussion of the structure and properties of formal systems of logic. Students should be prepared to do daily homework assignments. [HU MS]

A Phi 212 Introduction to Ethical Theory (3)

Introduction to the dimensions of ethical experience, the factors in value judgments, and alternative theories and methods of reasoning about such notions as right and wrong, obligations, moral codes, moral conflicts and responsibility. [HU]

A Phi 214 (= A Rel 214) World Religions (3)

Survey of the major religions of the world, concentrating on those practices and beliefs that contribute to their value systems. Religions include Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism and Taoism. Only one of A Phi 214 & A Rel 214 may be taken for credit. [DP if taken before Fall 2004; GC]

A Phi 218 Understanding Science (3)

Introduction to problems of scientific reasoning such as: the nature of scientific method, hypothetical-deductive testing of hypotheses, fallacies of testing, and the relevance of science to society and religion. Examples drawn from the physical and social sciences. A Phi 112 or 210 recommended. [HU]

A Phi 301 (= A Lin 301 & A Psy 301) Introduction to Cognitive Science (3)

Cognitive science investigates the nature of the human mind and cuts across several disciplines (e.g., psychology, computer science, philosophy, linguistics). This course examines the approaches these disciplines use to promote our understanding of various mental phenomena (e.g., perceiving, reasoning, production and comprehension of language, memory.) Only one of A Lin 301, A Phi 301 & A Psy 301 may be taken for credit.

A Phi 310 Ancient Philosophy (3)

The philosophies of representative thinkers of the West from the pre-Socratics to Plotinus. Prerequisite(s): a 100- or 200-level course in philosophy.

A Phi 311 History of Medieval Philosophy (3)

The philosophies of representative thinkers of the West from Plotinus to Descartes. Prerequisite(s): a 100- or 200-level course in philosophy.

A Phi 312 Seventeenth- and Eighteenth-Century Philosophy (3)

The development of modern thought from its medieval and Renaissance background, concentrating on some of the principal European philosophies from Descartes through Kant. Prerequisite(s): a 100- or 200-level course in philosophy.

A Phi 315 Twentieth-Century Philosophy (3)

Contrasting philosophical movements in the 20th century, emphasizing divergent tendencies in the United States, Britain and on the European continent. Prerequisite(s): a 100- or 200-level course in philosophy.

A Phi 320 Political and Social Philosophy (3)

The philosophical bases for social and political institutions and practices. Such issues as the following: the nature of the state, justice and law, rights and natural rights, equality, social utility and public interest. Prerequisite(s): a 100- or 200-level course in philosophy.

A Phi 321 Seventeenth–Nineteenth-Century Ethical Theory (3)

Historical and critical study of some ethical theories selected from the period beginning with Hobbes and ending with Kant. Prerequisite(s): a 100 or 200-level course in philosophy.

A Phi 322 (= A Rel 322) Philosophy of Religion (3)

Philosophical analysis of selected religious concepts and programs, based upon the writings of representative philosophers and theologians. Focuses on Judeo-Christian tradition. Only one of A Phi 322 & A Rel 322 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): a 100- or 200-level course in philosophy.

A Phi 324 Philosophy of Art (3)

Philosophical analysis of concepts and sentiments pertaining to creation, appreciation and criticism of the arts in the generic sense of the semester. Prerequisite(s): a 100- or 200-level course in philosophy.

A Phi 325 Philosophy of Law (3)

The nature and function of law, the relation of law to morality, standards of judicial reasoning and the limits of law. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing and one course in philosophy.

A Phi 326 Moral Philosophy (3)

Critical examination of the nature, justification, and different approaches to moral evaluation. The topics to be covered may include right actions, good lives, responsibility, moral obligation, virtues, happiness, and justice. Prerequisite(s): a 100 or 200-level course in philosophy.

A Phi 329 American Philosophy Since 1860 (3)

Survey of the main figures in American philosophy, concentrating on Peirce, James, Royce, Dewey and Santayana. Topics include pragmatism and evolution, idealism and naturalism, and theories about the nature of religion. Prerequisite(s): a 100- or 200-level course in Philosophy.

A Phi 332 Intermediate Logic (3)

An introduction to predicate logic, emphasizing formal properties of logic systems rather than their application to the analysis of everyday reasoning. Topics may include the syntax and semantics of first-order languages, theories of identity and description, alternative formalizations of logic, and some elementary meta-theory. Prerequisite(s): Phi 210 or permission of instructor

A Phi 336 Existentialist Philosophies (3)

Existentialist thinking approached through the writings of representative authors such as Heidegger, Sartre, Jaspers and Merleau-Ponty. A Phi 336Z is the writing-intensive version of Prerequisite(s): a 100- or 200-level course in philosophy.

A Phi 338 Moral Problems in Medicine (3)

An investigation of moral problems in medicine, such as the health professional–patient relationship, medical paternalism, informed consent, social justice and health policy, the treatment of severely defective newborns, and the withholding of life-prolonging treatment. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing.

A Phi 340 Topics in Philosophy (1–4)

Problems selected on the basis of faculty and student interest. May be taken more than once with different content. Consult fall and spring schedules for specific topics. Prerequisite(s): a 100- or 200-level course in philosophy. 

A Phi 350 (= A Wss 350) Philosophy and Feminism (3)

Examination of the theories of the oppression of women and proposals for solutions. Particular attention will be paid to existentialism, biological determinism, Marxism and feminist psychology and epistemology. Only one of A Phi 350 and A Wss 350 may be taken for credit. Prerequisite(s): one course in philosophy or women’s studies.

A Phi 355 Global Justice (3)

Issues of justice across borders. Approaches discussed may include various forms of realism, cosmopolitanism, and nationalism. Topics may include human rights, the duty of assistance, distributive justice, just war theory, humanitarian intervention, globalization, and environmental concerns. Prerequisite(s): a 100 or 200 level course in Philosophy.

A Phi 360 Philosophy and Literature (3)

The study, through philosophical and literary texts, of the relation between philosophy and literature: philosophy in literature, philosophy as literature, and the philosophy of literature. Prerequisite(s): a 100- or 200-level course in philosophy.

A Phi 399Z Writing in Philosophy (1)

A student enrolled in a 300- or 400-level philosophy course may, with the consent of the instructor of that course, fulfill a writing intensive version of it by registering concurrently for A Phi 399Z. The instructor will assign the student written work in addition to that required for the companion course and will meet with him or her over the course of the semester to discuss this work. (A student who subsequently withdraws from the companion course will also be dropped from A Phi 399Z.) Co-requisite(s): concurrent registration in a 300- or 400-level philosophy course. S/U graded. May be repeated for credit. [WI]

A Phi 410 Perspectives on Reasoning (3)

The major philosophical questions that arise in connection with reasoning in general. Are there distinctively different kinds of reasoning in different subject matters? Is reasoning relative or absolute? Prerequisite(s): A Phi 112, 210, 218; or permission of instructor.

A Phi 412 Metaphysics (3)

A systematic examination of such philosophical concepts as existence, essence, causality, purpose, value, mind, freedom and unity. Prerequisite(s): A Phi 210 and a 300-level course in philosophy.

A Phi 415 Philosophy of Language (3)

The structure and properties of language with regard to philosophical issues. Examines such issues as meaning, reference, analyticity, truth and psychoanalytic dream interpretation in the context of the contemporary theories of meaning and linguistic structure. Prerequisite(s): A Phi 210 and a 300-level course in philosophy; or permission of instructor.

A Phi 416 Philosophy of Mind (3)

A systematic discussion of various contemporary and historically important issues concerning mind: classical theories of mind and body, including dualisms, materialism, double-aspect theories and functionalism; cognitive science and theoretical linguistics; artificial intelligence; and the nature of belief, desire, intention and other psychological notions. Prerequisite(s): A Phi 210 and a 300-level course in philosophy, or permission of instructor.

A Phi 417 Bioethics (3)

Critical study of one or more topics in bioethics. Possible topics include advance directives; assisted reproductive technologies; death; genetic engineering; screening, and testing; health care reform; informed consent; maternal-fetal conflicts; medical experimentation; medical futility; organ transplantation; physician-assisted suicide; proxy consent; and the right to refuse treatment. Prerequisite(s): A Phi 338 or permission of instructor

A Phi 418 Philosophy of Science (3)

Basic issues in philosophy of science, such as the nature of laws and theories, verifiability and confirmation, explanation and prediction, statistics and probability. Prerequisite(s): A Phi 210 and a 300-level course in philosophy; or permission of instructor.

A Phi 422 Theory of Knowledge (3)

Systematic study of theories of knowledge, including such topics as theories of perception, the character and value of logical systems, theories of the nature of truth and of the nature of proof. Prerequisite(s): A Phi 210 and a 300-level course in philosophy; or permission of instructor.

A Phi 423 The Skeptical Tradition (3)

Examination of the skeptical tradition from the ancient Greeks to the present. The focus will be on the arguments for thinking knowledge is impossible. Topics include skepticism as a way of life, Hume’s skepticism, religious skepticism, common-sense philosophy, and the relation between knowledge and certainty. Prerequisite(s): A Phi 210 and a 300-level course in philosophy.

A Phi 425 Contemporary Ethical Theory (3)

Selected normative and meta-ethical theories, with emphasis on issues of interest in contemporary discussions of values and the nature of valuation. Prerequisite(s): A Phi 212 and a 300-level course in philosophy. [OD]

A Phi 432 Completeness and Decidability (3)

An introduction to the meta-theory of first-order logic. Topics will include the completeness theorem and its corollaries, as well as a discussion of questions concerning the undecidability of validity. Prerequisite(s): A Phi 332 or permission of instructor.

A Phi 442 Phenomenology (3)

Examination of historical and conceptual development of phenomenology in the 20th century, starting with Husserl’s “presuppositionless and purely descriptive science of the structures of consciousness”, including works by Sartre, Heidegger, and Merleau-Ponty. Emphasis on (a) the idea of a presuppositionless account of consciousness; (b) the motivations for and nature of the “existential turn”; and (c) connections between phenomenology and both analytic philosophy and scientific psychology. Prerequisite(s): junior or senior class standing or permission of instructor.

A Phi 474 Society and Values (3)

Critical study of ethical and/or political concepts, such as freedom, equality, happiness, duty, rights, virtue, or theories, such as liberalism, pluralism, consequentialism, deontology, and virtue theory through the examination of historical and contemporary works. Prerequisite(s): A Phi 212 and a 300-level course in Philosophy, or permission of instructor.

A Phi 497 Independent Study and Research (1–4)

Guided research and writing on a selected problem in philosophy on a tutorial basis. May be repeated more than once with different content. Prerequisite(s): a 300-level course in philosophy and the approval of the individual faculty member acting as project supervisor and of the departmental Undergraduate Studies Committee.

A Phi 498 Honors Thesis in Philosophy (4)

Independent honors thesis written under the direction of an appropriate faculty member, and received and evaluated by the Honors Committee. Prerequisite(s): Admission to the Honors Program in Philosophy.