Undergraduate Catalog 2019-2021

PHIL - Philosophy

PHIL 0001 First Year Academic Seminar

This course serves to introduce philosophy majors to the discipline of philosophy and to aid their transition to college by introducing students to services and opportunities at the University and skills necessary for successful college work.

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PHIL 2010 Survey of Philosophy

A first study of the major themes and issues of philosophy. Recommended but not required for the advanced philosophy course.

3

PHIL 2020 Logical & Critical Thinking

A study of the requirements of clear thinking in all areas of human experience.

3

PHIL 3000 Prof Life after College

This course will help prepare students to be successful in their professional lives after college. The course will include developing an Electronic Portfolio to be submitted to future employers in addition to a resume. Students will also learn to write effective resumes; how to use campus resources to find appropriate experiential learning opportunities including internships; and how to use campus resources to find appropriate graduate schools or employment opportunities.

1

PHIL 4100 What is a Good LIfe?

Among other questions we will explore: How can we live a good life? How necessary are material goods for a good life? What is the relationship between a good life and an ethical life? How do accounts of the good life vary across ancient and modern ways of thought from the Western and the Non-Western world?

3

PHIL 4125 Christianity & the Environment

This course will explore some Christian theological and ethical approaches to our proper place and role in the environment. We will critically examine some recent theological attempts to reclaim the focus on the original goodness of creation which has historically been overshadowed by an exclusive emphasis on a human fall and redemption narrative.

3

PHIL 4345 Harry Potter and Philosophy

The Harry Potter series, in its forms of literature and film, is a rich, entertaining, and highly accessible source of philosophy. This course will embark on a magical tour of several philosophically vigorous concepts, all mapped on the series, like: the philosophy of friendship and love, animal ethics, ethics of care, critical race theory, oppression, epistemology, feminist theory, aesthetics, and death. The course will be divided into units, each framed by a magical spell made famous by Harry Potter.

3

PHIL 4305 Myth, Magic and Psychoanalysis

Prerequisite: PHIL 2010. This course will investigate the meanings and origins of myth and magic from a couple of different perspectives. It will be concerned mainly with the historical and psychological origins of mythical and magical entities and practices, their efficacies and social and religious functions, as well as their impacts on the psychological development of individual personalities.

3

PHIL 4310 Phil of Art & Art of Living

Prerequisite: PHIL 2010. Nietzsche claims that art and not morality is the real metaphysical activity of life. We will examine several philosophers who argue art can be much more than a pleasant diversion. We will investigate their claims about art while also considering whether selected paintings, films, pieces of music, and installations do what philosophers believe they do. This will be a discussion based seminar. (Prerequisite: Survey of Philosophy or permission of the instructor).

3

PHIL 4315 Philosophy of Love & Sex

Each one of us has our views about love and sex. These convictions may come from our culture, religion, vicarious or personal experiences. This course is an introduction to some of the philosophical discourse about love and sex with the intent to examine these beliefs. We will explore these questions among others: What is the relationship between procreation and sex? Are some sex acts good and others bad? What is romantic love? What role does race play in considerations about love and sex? We will read texts representing philosophical perspectives aoubt love and sex from the Ancient period to the contemporary. The topics covered in these readings include race, intersectionality and LGBTIA issues. Prerequisite: PHIL 2010 or permission of instructor.

3

PHIL 4320 Epistemology

Prerequisite: PHIL 2010. Problems in the concept of knowledge, such as the definition of knowledge, theories of truth, and the acquisition and justification of belief.

3

PHIL 4325 Race Theory

Prerequisite: PHIL 2010 or permission of instructor. The goal of this course is to facilitate discussions that will help students be able to better articulate a response to current concerns about race and racism. In order to establish both a framework and a purpose for class discussions, content will alternate between theories from the history of race and racism of philosophers such as Immanuel Kant with current theories and events that influence thoughts about race.

3

PHIL 4330 Metaphysics

Prerequisite: PHIL 2010. A study of problems such as personal identity and human nature; freedom and determinism; teleology; space, time, matter, and causality; and paradigm shifts.

3

PHIL 4335 African American Philosophy

Prerequisite: PHIL 2010 or permission of the instructor. This course will survey the writings of African American thinkers in such areas as African American Feminism and Womanism, Black Theology, Pan-Africanism, and Race philosophies, among others. This course will introduce students to the voices of African Americans in the discipline in philosophy, which, in turn, will help them understand how necessary it is to include diverse perspectives in the discipline.

3

PHIL 4340 Social & Political Philosophy

Prerequisite: PHIL 2010. Issues such as the definition and justification of the state, human rights, justice, social welfare, and social obligations. Readings from classical and modern sources.

3

PHIL 4410 Ethical Theory

Prerequisite: PHIL 2010. Major Western theories, such as relativism, egoism, utilitarianism, naturalism, and so on.

3

PHIL 4415 Thinking Animals

This course will take a critical look at the conventional wisdom of human exceptionalism and anthropocentric bias in light of a more current scientific paradigm. The course will explore such questions as: Do nonhuman animals matter morally? What oblicagtions might we have toward them? Should animals have rights? Which rights? Equal rights? or is rights even the best way to think about this? How can we restore right relations between us and our animal kin? What are the justice implications -- both inter-human and inter-species - of the ways in which we treat other beings? We thinking animals will try to think of the thinking animals within and as living others.

3

PHIL 4420 Philosophy of Religion

Prerequisite: PHIL 2010. Religious experiences have been playing a most important role in human activities and social evolutions. From certain perspective, the manifestations of religious feelings are much wider than the faith and ceremonies of any set of consecrated doctrines. We can observe religious implications - or what Freud calls "oceanic feelings" - in a hodgepodge of phenomena including football festivities, spending sprees, stock market skyrocketing, obsessive gambling, sexual exhilarations, substance addictions, intellectual enlightenments, aesthetic engrossments, patriotic fanaticisms, and suicide bombings. With a view to untangling some hidden mysteries underlying various religious feelings, this course intends to explore the nature and origins of religious experiences from a combination of philosophical, psychoanalytical, and comparative approaches.

3

PHIL 4421 Queer Theory

Queer theory is concerned with the power of the strange, the non-normative, and the upsetting to open up new possibilities for thought and practice. The central claim of Queer Theory is that selves and identities are products of social practices and power relations. This powerful claim allows us to ask questions that are impossible when identities are taken as simple or natural. This class will focus both on sexual identity and on race, class, gender, and ability. We will pay special attention to the history of the LGBT rights movement.

3

PHIL 4434 Feminist Philosophies

Feminist philosophy comprises a wide range of approaches which aim to critically engage with concepts such as sex, gender, personhood, and difference; to rethink the history of philosophy through the lens of gender; and to bring philosophical tools and insights to bear on contemporary issues of gendered justice. This course will provide a broad overview of methods, topics, concepts, and debates in several areas of feminist philosophy. Students will cover core texts in feminist metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and political theory. The course will consider the diversity of methods and perspectives represented in feminist philosophy, with a particular focus on the intersections of gender, race, class, ability, and sexuality.

3

PHIL 4605 Existentialism

Prerequisite: PHIL 2010. Sartre urged us to take responsibility for our lives and much of existentialist literature has explored how to go about doing that. This course will examine major works from thinkers who have been labeled as existentialists such as Camus, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, and Simone de Beauvoir. It may also include works of literature that have been labeled existentialist and ask how they relate to the theories.

3

PHIL 4610 Confucianism & Daoism

Prerequisite: PHIL 2010. This course will explore the authentic meanings of Confucianism and Daoism as well as their significance for modern life. We will study some most representative treatises on and translations of Confucian and Daoist classics. The aim of the course is to familiarize students with historical and philosophical facts about these schools of thinking and to help student to develop and in-depth understanding of selected texts from each of these schools. At the same time, the course aims to prepare students for the skills of critical thinking in the encountering of different cultural and value systems.

3

PHIL 4660 Buddhism, Daoism & Myth Mediat

Pre-requisite: PHIL 2010. This course will explore the authentic meanings of Buddhism and Daoism as well as their significance for modern life. We will study some most representative treatises on and translations of Buddhist and Daoist classics. The aim of the course is to familiarize students with historical and practical significations about these schools of thinking and to help student to develop an in depth understanding of selected texts from each of these schools. at the same time, the course aims to prepare students for the skills of critical thinking in the encountering of different cultural and religious systems.

3

PHIL 4675 Philosophy of Law

What is the basis of law? How do we decide if laws are just? Is the rule of law really merely the rule of certain interests? What is a state of exception and how have these states of exception been justified? Using recent and contemporary philosophical textswe will explore these issues as well as others. Thsi will be a discussion based seminar. Prerequisite: PHIL 2010 or permission of instructor.

3

PHIL 4680 Environmental Ethics

Prerequisite: PHIL 2010 or permission of instructor. The questions concerning technology and nature are among the most important issues in contemporary philosophy. The traditional Western conception of human beings as the master of nature by virtue of their technological domination has turned out to be more and more problematic for us today. Is there a way to understand technology and nature that will recover the animated and reciprocal relations with the sky and the earth that have inspired the growth of human beings in many communities of the ancient and non-western worlds? With original insight into the essence of human perception of and relation to nature, with open minds for the various accounts of human experiences of nature and technology in the East and West.

3

PHIL 4940 Independent Study

Prior approval of department chairperson and or the coordinator is required. Investigation of a topic of special interest, with reports to instructor.

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PHIL 4950 Special Topics

Consideration of topics in which courses are not otherwise offered, but for which there is a current need. Subject matter varies.

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