Philosophy Courses

Philosophy (PHIL)
CO = Co-requisite ● POI = Permission of Instructor ● PR = Prerequisite ● RE = Recommended ● XL = Cross-listed

203 Introduction to Ethics (3) A study of what it means to live a good human life, including reflection on questions of good versus evil, right versus wrong, and virtue versus vice. In the course of our study, we will explore ethical questions that confront us as individuals, as members of society at large, and as members of more specific communities.

205 Logic (3) A study of how to analyze, evaluate, and present arguments. The class will examine arguments in many fields, including law, science, economics, politics, religion, and philosophy. The class will also pay attention to the most effective ways to present arguments.

258 Special Topics (1-6) Special topics courses are those that cover subject matter that is not part of the regular curriculum. A special topics course must have the prior approval of the department and the Provost and may be offered twice. Students may enroll in and receive credit for an unlimited number of special topic courses as long as any prerequisites or other requirements are met.

301 Ancient Philosophy (3) A study of the Pre-Socratic Philosophers and the major works of Plato and Aristotle. (Alternate years)

304 Early Modern Philosophy (3) (PR: PHIL 301 or POI) A survey of European philosophy from Descartes through Kant with special emphasis on epistemology, metaphysics, and questions of religious belief. (Alternate Years)

305 19th Century Philosophy (3) (PR: PHIL 304 or POI) A survey of European philosophy from Kant to Nietzsche. Attention will be given to idealism, positivism, utilitarianism, and roots of existentialism.

306 Continental Philosophy (3) (PR: PHIL 304 or POI) In this seminar course, students will focus on careful reading of some of the pivotal texts of Continental philosophy. Through discussion and writing, we will explore the major areas of Continental thought: phenomenology, hermeneutics, critical theory, and deconstruction. (Alternate years)

308 Analytic Philosophy (3) (PR: PHIL 304 or POI) A survey of Analytic Philosophy in the 20th and 21st centuries, with an emphasis on the continuity with the history of Western philosophy. Questions to be discussed include methodology, epistemology, metaphysics, language, mind, freedom, determinism, and personal identity. (E.g., How do we know what we think we know? What is there in the world? What does it mean to be a self? What does it mean to be meaningful?) (Alternate years)

310 Philosophy of Science (3) A study of the nature of science with special attention to the history of western science. The class will consider the scientific theories and methods of Aristotle, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton, and Einstein. It will also consider the relationships of natural science to other areas such as religion, philosophy, and the social sciences.

315 Medical Ethics (3) An introduction to moral issues in modern health care and to ethical concepts and analytic skills relevant to addressing them. We will focus on classic cases in the development of medical ethics.

316 Business Ethics (3) (XL: BADM 316) A study of ethical issues in business with the aim of strengthening our moral discernment and practical judgment. We will focus on classic and contemporary cases in the ethics of business.

317 Environmental Ethics (3) What matters? Why does it matter? And what should we do about it? This course will survey the challenges that environmental concerns present to traditional ethical theory and practice. In particular, we will explore the relation of human and non-human value as environmental issues (such as global warming and species extinction) intersect with human problems (such as poverty, population growth, and economic development). (Alternate years)

322 Aesthetics (3) (XL: THEA 322) A consideration of beauty and what various philosophers (such as Plato, Aristotle, Hume, and Kant) have had to say about it. The class will also consider art forms such as painting, sculpture, poetry, music, and photography to appreciate the presence or absence of beauty therein.

323 Love, Sex, and Philosophy (3) (XL: WGST 323) Arthur C. Danto writes that ―love is a philosophically unruly being, and the despair of moral epistemologists. We will explore this philosophically unruly being through the writings of classical philosophers, including Plato, Augustine, Rousseau, Hegel, Freud, de Beauvoir, and contemporary philosophers such as Martha Nussbaum, Robert Nozick, Annette Baier, and Robert Solomon. We will also ask whether philosophy helps us to address problems of love and sex, including sexual violence. (Alternate years)

325 Faith and Reason (3) A study of the relationship between faith and reason, focusing on how each might complement, contradict, or correct the other. (Alternate years)

330 Philosophy of Law (3) A survey of philosophical understandings of law, in theory and in practice. Topics of discussion will include the basis of law and legal reasoning, the moral force of law, and theories of rights, responsibilities, and punishment in criminal, civil, constitutional, and international law. (Alternate years)

335 Film and Philosophy (3) (XL: FILM 335) This course invites students to apply philosophical skills of careful examination, cooperative conversation, and thoughtful writing beyond the realm of written texts. (Alternate years)

340 Theory of Religion (3) (XL: RELG 340) What is religion? What are its origins and what is its future? Is it a source of good or evil? This course will explore contested questions about the nature of religion and the proper way to study it through a survey of various approaches and topics such as theology, philosophy, history, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and cultural studies. Our central questions will be how to assess (a) religious claims and (b) claims about religion. (Alternate years)

350 Social Philosophy (3) A survey of major accounts of the origins, purposes, benefits, and dangers of human social systems. The course will include writings from Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, and others. Special attention will be given to the role of imagination in these writings.

360 Women and Philosophy (3) (PR: POI) How do gender, embodiment, and social situation impact philosophical thought? This course introduces students to the writings of major female philosophers from ancient times to the present. Students will be asked to grapple with the questions raised by women in philosophy and to explore the difference feminist methods make to our approach to philosophical problems. (Alternate years)

398 Honors Research (3-6) Departmental Honors: Students with a 3.20 GPA in all courses and a 3.40 GPA in all courses in the major field may, with the approval of departmental faculty, undertake an honors research program during the junior and/or senior years. This program must include a senior thesis or project of exceptional quality and an oral defense of the paper or project before departmental members. This defense is to be open to the College community, and honors students will participate in all other defenses within their discipline. Students who successfully complete the departmental honors research program will graduate with honors in the major field.

410 Philosophy and Music (3) What is music? Why is it important? This course surveys a number of philosophical approaches to these questions, ranging from Ancient Greek thought to contemporary feminist perspectives.

440 Senior Capstone in Philosophy (3) (PR: SR status; PHIL major) In the senior capstone, students will draw on what they have learned over the course of the major to research a specific question or topic in philosophy. This research will culminate in a substantial paper and a public presentation to the college community.

442 Directed Study in Philosophy (1-3). (PR: POI and department) Independent reading and/or research in an area of the students special interest. A plan including a statement of the purpose of the study, a bibliography, and the nature of any papers or projects must have prior approval of the instructor and department chairman. A directed study requires a minimum GPA of 2.25 with course approval by the Provost. A maximum of nine hours credit may be counted towards graduation. Each directed study will culminate in a research paper or its equivalent. A department may, at its option, allow the hours earned in a directed study to count toward its major.

444 Internships (1-6) Internships require a minimum GPA of 2.00 at the time of application (or higher if specified by the department in which the internship is taken). A maximum of six hours credit may be counted towards graduation. Internships are graded on a pass/fail basis only. A department may, at its option, allow the hours earned in an internship to count toward its major.

446 Readings (1-9) Selected readings are open to students with sophomore, junior, or senior standing. Hours earned in these readings cannot be used to meet requirements for the major. A maximum of nine hours credit may be counted towards graduation.

448 Research (1-9) Research requires a minimum GPA of 2.50 (or higher if specified). A maximum of nine hours credit may be counted towards graduation. A department may, at its option, allow the hours earned in an internship to count toward its major.

450 Seminar (1-9) Seminars are regularly offered by various departments of the College. The requirements for these courses are individually listed.

452 Special Projects (1-9) Special Projects are open to sophomore, junior, or senior students who have a GPA of 2.25 and approval by the Provost. A maximum of nine hours credit may be counted towards graduation.

458 Special Topics (1-6) Special topics courses are those that cover subject matter that is not part of the regular curriculum. A special topics course must have the prior approval of the department and the Provost and may be offered twice. Students may enroll in and receive credit for an unlimited number of special topic courses as long as any prerequisites or other requirements are met.