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Philosophy

Requirements for the Major in Philosophy. Philosophy majors complete, with a grade of C- or better, at least 36 hours in philosophy. In order to graduate with a philosophy major, students must have a minimum GPA of 2.00 in their philosophy courses. To ensure that students acquire adequate breadth and depth, they consult with a major adviser to select a balance of upper- and lower-level courses. Requirements include PHIL-241 Ancient Philosophy, PHIL-243 Modern Philosophy, PHIL-245 19th- and 20th-century Philosophy, PHIL-213 Symbolic Logic, at least one course in ethics (may be a Central Curriculum ethics course but must have a PHIL prefix), and one 300-level course. 

Minor in Philosophy. The philosophy minor completes, with a grade of C- or better, at least 20 semester hours in philosophy. Students consult with a minor adviser to select courses and are expected to take a balance of upper- and lower-level courses.

PHIL-101 Problems in Philosophy

An introduction to philosophy and philosophical problems. Emphasizes standards and ideals of morality and truth. 4 SH. CC: Ethics.

PHIL-105 Philosophy of Love and Desire

An introduction to philosophy, this course examines theories of love, desire and friendship from ancient, medieval, modern, and 19th- and 20th-century philosophers. 4 SH. CC: Ethics.

PHIL-115 Social Justice Leadership

This course is designed to introduce students to a number of theoretical frameworks in the fields of philosophy, leadership and social justice. Using multiculturalism and social justice as guideposts, the course will help student leaders understand diversity using the central tenets of mentoring, leadership and agency. Through these theories, the concepts of oppression, activism and advocacy will be investigated. 2 SH.

PHIL-122 Resolving Moral Conflicts

Investigates problems involved in moral decision making, providing students with a better understanding of what it means to be a good individual, a good family member and a good citizen of the nation and world. 4 SH. CC: Ethics.

PHIL-125 Justice

This introductory course is a philosophical inquiry into the idea of justice. Rather than focusing on personal morality, we will investigate issues of public policy. How ought we, through our laws and institutions, distribute the benefits and burdens of society, income and wealth, duties and rights, powers and opportunities, offices and honors? Philosophical writings, as well as practical issues that illustrate competing theories of justice, will be investigated. 4 SH. CC: Ethics.

PHIL-130 Philosophy and Hip-Hop

This course provides an introduction to moral theory through examining the content of socially conscious rap songs in relation to traditional philosophical assumptions about the good life, the nature of justice, and the pursuit of wisdom. This course also provides an introduction to the field of critical race theory through examining how several rap songs express ideas or theories that are now prominent in the field. 4 SH. CC: Diversity, Ethics.

PHIL-150 Race, Class and Ethics

Examines ethical theory and practice in connection with the relevant social and political philosophy, focusing on the philosophical issues that arise in everyday life. 4 SH. CC: Ethics, Diversity Intensive.

PHIL-210 Philosophy of Religion

Focus on classical and contemporary writings to determine the credibility of religious faiths and beliefs. Same as RELI-210. 4 SH.

PHIL-211 Existentialism

An intensive study of the themes and ideas that inform different existentialist texts.  This course also examines the historical context for the emergence of this contemporary school of thought.  Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. 4 SH. CC: Ethics Intensive, Interdisciplinary.

PHIL-212 Feminist Philosophy

An examination of the various forms of feminist philosophy (e.g., liberal feminism, radical feminism, existential feminism, Marxist/socialist feminism, psychoanalytic feminism, postmodern feminism, eco-feminism, and multicultural and global feminism). Emphasizes how feminism differs from common (mis)understandings of it. Some attention is also given to various women in professional philosophy. Same as WMST-200. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or one course in women's studies or completion of the Diversity Central Curriculum requirement or instructor's permission. 4 SH. CC: Diversity.

PHIL-213 Symbolic Logic

Examines basic procedures for determining the validity or invalidity of deductive arguments. Emphasizes standard notations, principles and methods used in modern symbolic logic. Also covers aspects of set theory.  4 SH. CC: Analytical Thought.

PHIL-221 Applied Ethics

Examines a variety of practical ethical issues and problems using the tools of philosophical analysis and moral theory. Subject area for course changes on a rotating basis and includes ethics of war and peace and environmental ethics. 2-4 SH. CC: Ethics Intensive.

PHIL-222 Advanced Ethical Theory

Principal theories of moral value and duty in the history of Western thought, as well as in contemporary philosophy. Readings may include works from such thinkers as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Mill, Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Held, Korsgaard, Hursthouse, Hooks, Bordo, de Waal, MacIntyre, Blackburn and Lear. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or instructor's permission. 4 SH. CC: Ethics.

PHIL-223 Business Ethics

A systematic and philosophically informed consideration of some typical moral problems faced by individuals in a business setting, and a philosophical examination of some common moral criticisms of the American business system. 4 SH. CC: Ethics Intensive.

PHIL-224 Bioethics

Examines the major ethical controversies in medicine, subjecting them to close philosophical analysis. Subjects addressed include the patient/doctor relationship, informed voluntary consent, beginning and end of life issues, abortion, reproductive rights, genetic therapies and cloning, human subject medical experimentation, and health care resource allocation. 4 SH. CC: Ethics Intensive.

PHIL-225 Just War Theory

Examines from a philosophical perspective the ethical issues raised by the Just War Tradition. Subjects addressed include pacifism, realism, the criteria for starting and conducting a just war, international law, terrorism, humanitarian interventions, and the moral responsibility for war and war crimes. 4 SH. CC: Ethics Intensive.

PHIL-235 Aesthetics

Examines artistic and aesthetic values reflected in both past and present philosophies of art and beauty. Readings may include selections from Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant and Tolstoy, as well as 20th-century philosophers and artists. 4 SH. CC: Artistic Expression.

PHIL-240 Being Awesome At Life

This course offers a cross-cultural examination of the pursuit of a good human life, and how one learns to live better. In other words, it is about the theory and practice of being awesome at life. We focus on ethical dispositions (skills, habits and virtues) as critical features of ethics, explored through texts from various religious and philosophical figures in English translation, as well film and other media. Prerequisite: Junior standing. Previous experience in philosophy or religious studies is helpful, but not required. 4 SH. CC: Ethics, Team Intensive.

PHIL-241 Ancient Philosophy

The origins of Western philosophical thought in ancient Greece and Rome. Emphasizes Plato and Aristotle and the Stoics. 4 SH. CC: Ethics Intensive.

PHIL-243 Modern Philosophy

Focuses on the ideas of European and British philosophers from Descartes through Kant. 4 SH. CC: Writing Intensive.

PHIL-245 19th- and 20th- century Philosophy

This course is a study of works by noted philosophers in the 19th and 20th centuries that represent the dominant movements that arose in response to the critique of idealism and metaphysics, such as existentialism, phenomenology, psychoanalytic theory, analytic philosophy and postmodern philosophy. 4 SH. CC: Oral Intensive.

PHIL-255 Philosophy and the City: Plato's Republic and HBO's The Wire

This course examines HBO's The Wire in comparison with Plato's Republic. Both the Republic and The Wire concern life in a city and which factors foster justice and which foster injustice. These texts raise philosophical questions, such as: What is justice? Who should rule? What are the obligations of rulers? How should children be educated? Who is best suited to protect the city, and how should they be educated for this important job? How should desire be managed in society? Our task is, first, to work to understand the philosophizing being done in both these texts and, second, to philosophize on our own about the topics raised by both texts. 4 SH. CC: Diversity, Ethics Intensive.  

PHIL-301 Plato Seminar

An intensive study of the works of Plato. Topics vary and may include Plato's theory of education, Plato and the Greek literary tradition, Plato's Republic, the role of the body in Plato's epistemology, and dialectic and dramatic dialogue. Prerequisite: PHIL-241 or instructor's permission. 4 SH.

PHIL-302 Philosophy in the Wake of the Holocaust

This course examines the validity of certain traditional philosophical assumptions in the aftermath of the Nazi genocide. In this effort the class will read texts by scholars in a variety of fields who throw doubt on the moral value of rational thought, the teleological worldview, the Western conception of "human nature," and the legacy of the Enlightenment through an analysis of the Holocaust and other genocides in the 20th and 21st centuries. Same as JWST-302. Prerequisite: Junior standing. 4 SH. CC: Ethics Intensive, Interdisciplinary.

PHIL-305 Topics in Philosophy

Examines selected topics in philosophy, depending on student and instructor interest. Course may be repeated for credit if topic is different. 2-4 SH.

PHIL-310 Philosophy of Science

Investigates the logic of the scientific method, the history of scientific thought and the philosophical underpinnings of modern science. Focuses on developing an understanding of the nature, origins and growth of modern science and the application of scientific knowledge to human affairs. Prerequisites: One course in philosophy and junior standing. 4 SH. CC: Interdisciplinary.

PHIL-312 Theories of Knowledge and Reality

Do we have knowledge of the world around us, the so-called external, objective world? Are there any objective truths about the world for us to discover? If there are, how do we come to have knowledge of these truths? These and other related questions of epistemology constitute the subject matter of this course. 4 SH.

PHIL-214 Black Existentialism

This course examines the work of key figures in black existential philosophy from the early twentieth century to the present day. These philosophers take up ideas central to the existentialist movement in the course of analyzing the lived conditions of black life under systems of colonialism and antiblack racism. Prerequisite: sophomore standing. 4 SH. CC: Interdisciplinary, Diversity Intensive, Ethics Intensive.

PHIL-400 Independent Study

Individual work on selected topics for qualified students under faculty direction. Requires approval of supervising professor and department head.  1-4 SH.

PHIL-500 Directed Reading and Research

Study of a specific topic in the field for qualified students in consultation with the department. 2-4 SH. Capstone.