Philosophy

Philosophy

N.B.: For information on the courses being offered in Fall 2014, please click here

Courses & Curriculum

Qualifications: 

Students must maintain an overall 2.0 GPA in their undergraduate studies and a 2.0 average in their philosophy programs to graduate with a degree in Philosophy. All students must complete a minimum of 120 credit hours to graduate.  For an Ignatian major, 36 hours must be philosophy courses, according to the specifications below.  For a Hypatian major, 30 hours must be philosophy courses, according to the specifications below. 

For a Minor in Philosophy, 15 hours must be philosophy courses, according to the specifications below.

Please note also that Canisius offers a minor in Ethics as well as a minor in Justice

Advisement:

All philosophy students have a philosophy professor as an adviser. Each philosophy student should contact the department directly to consult with his/her department adviser. All philosophy majors should work closely with their advisers in choosing major courses, developing their entire academic program, discussing career expectations, and planning co-curricular or supplemental academic experiences.

Curricular Components of a Philosophy Major:

Students desiring to major in philosophy might have scholarly interests to pursue graduate study in philosophy or to acquire competence in philosophy for a diversity of reasons including advanced study in other disciplines. To help students satisfy these interests, the Philosophy faculty offers two major programs (Ignatian and Hypatian) that maintain intellectual and academic rigor while promoting the mission to educate for others with attention to the principle of cura personalis

The Ignatian major curriculum consists of 12 courses (36 credit hours) beyond PHI 101 (Introduction to Philosophy), while the Hypatian major curriculum consists of 10 courses (30 credit hours) beyond PHI 101. Each curriculum combines a historical, a topic, and a fields approach to construct a unified program of instruction. Since our mission emphasizes concern with critical examination of values and principles of ethics and justice, each major curriculum requires one course in study and analysis of argumentation and two courses in the study of ethics, one of which is theoretical.

Ignatian Scholars Philosophy Curriculum

This curriculum prepares scholars specifically for advanced study in philosophy and consists of 12 courses (36 course hrs.) beyond PHI 101.

For the titles and brief descriptions of the courses, please see the Courses list below.

For information on the courses being offered in Fall 2013please click here.  

Course / Course Area

Course Name / Course Options

Credits

PHI 225

Logic

3

PHI 301

Ancient Philosophy

3

PHI 302

Medieval Philosophy

3

PHI 303 or PHI 304

Early Modern Philosophy - or - 19th Century Philosophy

3

PHI 305 or PHI 306

Contemporary Continental Philosophy - or - Contemporary Analytic Philosophy

3

PHI 451

Senior Thesis

3

PHI Ethics

Choose from among: PHI 240, PHI 241, PHI 251, PHI 252, PHI 261

3

PHI Applied Ethics

Choose from among: PHI 242, PHI 243, PHI 244, PHI 245, PHI 246, PHI 247, PHI 379

3

PHI Elective 1
(400)

Any PHI 400 course not duplicating another major requirement.

3

PHI Elective 2 (Free)

Any PHI course not duplicating another major requirement.

3

PHI Elective 3 (Free)

Any PHI course not duplicating another major requirement.

3

PHI Elective 4 (Free)

Any PHI course not duplicating another major requirement.

3

Total   36 Hours

Hypatian Scholars Philosophy Curriculum

This curriculum prepares scholars for advanced study in disciplines other than philosophy and consists of 10 courses (30 course hrs.) beyond PHI 101.

For the titles and brief descriptions of the courses, please see the Courses list below.

For information on the courses being offered in Fall 2013please click here.

Course Area

Courses that will Fulfill Requirements

Credits

PHI Logic

PHI 225 or PHI 325 

3

PHI Ethics

PHI 240, PHI 241, PHI 251, PHI 252, PHI 261

3

PHI Applied Ethics

Chosen from among PHI 242, PHI 243, PHI 244, PHI 245, PHI 246, PHI 247, PHI 379

3

History Series I

Either PHI 301 or 302

3

History Series II

Any one course of PHI 303, 304, 305, or 306

3

PHI Elective 1 (300)

Any PHI 300 course not duplicating another major requirement.

3

PHI Elective 2
(300)

Any PHI 300 course not duplicating another major requirement.

3

PHI Elective 3
(400)

Any PHI 400 course not duplicating another major requirement.

3

PHI Elective 4
(Free)

Any PHI course not duplicating another major requirement.

3

PHI Elective 5
(Free)

Any PHI course not duplicating another major requirement.

3

Total

 

30 Hours

Ignatian and Hypatian Scholars may wish to concentrate their selections of philosophy electives according to a theme. Below are some possible concentrations that are provided as suggestions. This usually consists of five PHI courses (or 15 credit hours). Students are free to concentrate their philosophy electives according to their interests and course availability.

Opt 1 — Catholic Social Thought
Opt 2 — Modern Moral Challenges
Opt 3 — Metaphysics/Epistemology
Opt 4 — History of Philosophy
Opt 5 — Identity, Race & Gender
Opt 6 — A combination to student interest

Curricular Components of a Philosophy Minor
Philosophic Associates

A minor in philosophy consists of five (5) courses at middle and upper levels of study that might complement another major or provide personal intellectual satisfaction.

For the titles and brief descriptions of the courses, please see the Courses list below.

For information on the courses being offered in Fall 2013please click here.

Course Area

Courses that will Fulfill Requirements

Credits

History Series I

Either PHI 301 or 302 3
History Series II Any one course of PHI 303, 304, 305, or 306

3
PHI Elective 1
(Free)

Any PHI course not duplicating another minor requirement.

3

PHI Elective 2
(Free)

Any PHI course not duplicating another minor requirement.

3

PHI Elective 3
(Free)

Any PHI course not duplicating another minor requirement.

3

Total

 

15 hours


Co-Curricular Activities:
The Philosophy faculty encourages majors and minors to participate in the on-going activities of the Department. Students are invited to the regular colloquia at which faculty present their current research. Students are invited to make presentations to try out the results of their research. In addition there are the Philosophy Club and the Philosophy Honors Society, Phi Sigma Tau. All philosophy majors and minors are members of the Undergraduate Philosophy Association. Membership enables philosophy students to participate in department activities, such as reviewing semester course offerings and considering department policies that affect their undergraduate careers.

Recommended Semester Schedule for Major Course Requirements:
The following four-year schedule maps out a course of study that a philosophy major may pursue. However, this schedule is provided only to suggest one way among many that a student might design his/her program of undergraduate philosophy study.

Year

 

Fall Semester

 

Spring Semester

Freshman

 

FYS 101

 

ENG 101

   

PHI 101

 

RST 101

   

Core Field 3

 

PHI 225 Logic
(Core Field 2)

   

Free Elective

 

Core Field 4

   

Free Elective

 

Free Elective

 

       

Sophomore

 

PHI History Component

 

PHI History Component

   

PHI Ethics Theory

 

PHI Applied Ethics

   

Core Field 1

 

Core Field 5

   

Free Elective

 

Free Elective

   

Free Elective

 

Free Elective

 

       

Junior

 

PHI 300 Elective

 

PHI Elective

   

PHI Elective

 

PHI 400 Elective

   

Core Field 6

 

Core Field 7

   

Free Elective

 

Free Elective

   

Free Elective

 

Free Elective

   

Free Elective

 

Free Elective

 

       

Senior

 

PHI Elective

 

PHI Elective

   

Free Elective

 

PHI 451

   

Free Elective

 

Free Elective

   

Free Elective

 

Free Elective

   

Core Capstone

 

Free Elective

Dual Majors:

Students who wish to expand their educational opportunities may decide to declare a second major. The decision may be based on career goals or planned graduate studies. Before a student declares a dual major it is important to meet with the appropriate academic departments for advisement. Some dual major combinations can be completed within the minimum 120 credit hour degree require¬ment, but in some cases additional course work may be required. In order to declare a dual major, a student must complete the appropriate dual major request form and secure the signature of each department chair and the appropriate Associate Dean.

Supplemental Study:

The Philosophy faculty encourages each philosophy major to supplement his/her course of study by taking advantage of the large number of free electives available. We recommend that students advance their study of classical and modern languages, and to complement their history of philosophy sequence with appropriate history courses. There is a wide arrange of fine liberal arts courses in the various departments of the College of Arts and Sciences. Philosophy requires a breadth of knowledge in many disciplines.

Courses

N.B.: For information on the courses being offered in Fall 2013, please click here.

PHI 101: Introduction to Philosophy     3 credits
Core Curriculum Foundation Course. This course aims to develop a capacity to interpret common experience in a philosophic way by becoming familiar with principal branches of philosophy — metaphysics, epistemology, ethics — being able to identify the elements of good argumentation, and recognizing the value of reason in a meaningful personal life. PHI 101 is a prerequisite for PHI 200 courses.

PHI 200 Courses — Conversing with Philosophers      3 credits
PHI 200 level courses are Core Curriculum Field 2 courses that cover a wide range of topics to enrich a sense of the importance and relevance of philosophy. Each course broadens exposure to issues and deepens appreciation of philosophic analysis. Many PHI 200 courses have an attribute attached — Ethics, Justice, Diversity, or Global Awareness. At least one PHI 200 level course is prerequisite for upper level PHI courses.

PHI 201 — Philosophy of the Person      3 credits
A study of various notions of person, human nature, and the relationship between persons and their natural and social environments.

PHI 205 — Philosophy of Nature and Reality      3 credits
A study of philosophical notions of nature, treating such topics as substance and universals, change and causality, space, time and infinity, freedom of the will and determinism, and materialism and idealism.

PHI 211 — Philosophy of Religion      3 credits
A study of principal contemporary and classical discussions about the existence and nature of God, God’s relationship to the world, the individual and society.

PHI 221 — Critical Thinking      3 credits
A study and exercise of forming good judgments for making decisions and for solving problems, considering evidence, context, relevant criteria and theories of argument.

PHI 225 — Logic      3 credits
An introductory study of logic treating such topics as: deduction, and demonstrate techniques for evaluating reasoning, language and meaning, and various formal and informal fallacies, and the notion of implication.

PHI 231 — Thinking, Knowing, and Believing      3 credits
A study of epistemology, treating concepts and problems of such topics as sense perception, distinguishing knowledge and belief, the roles of necessity, universality, contradiction, and truth in knowing.

PHI 240 - Justice      3 credits
A study of enduring questions, such as, (What does it take to be a just person and to create a just society?) Includes investigations of theories of justice and various contemporary problems of justice relating to matters such as race, class and gender.

PHI 241 — Ethics: Traditions in Moral Reasoning      3 credits
A survey of principal traditions in moral reasoning with attention to moral principles inclusive of ulility, deoutology and virtue, and their applications to contemporary social realities.

PHI 242 —Ethical Issues in Business      3 credits
A study of important concerns in business and market realities with special concern to applying moral principles in decision making.

PHI 243 — Bio-Medical Ethics      3 credits
A study of important moral issues in relation to current concerns in medicine, medical technology, and the life sciences.

PHI 244 — Environmental Ethics      3 credits
A study of classical and contemporary moral theories concerning the relationship of human beings to the manifold of their natural surroundings.

PHI 245 — Animal Ethics      3 credits
An examination of the traditional notion that animals are things, machines, commodities, or resources, and whether sentient beings have intrinsic value and should be respected.

PHI 246 — Ethics of Technology      3 credits
A study of how prominent technologies such as television, cellular phones, and medical breakthroughs affect individual persons and our society, and in what ways technological innovations make us better or worse.

PHI 247 — Food and Agricultural Ethics      3 credits
A study of the moral implications of the current food system in connection with the production, distribution, and consumption of food and aims to examine what might constitute a reasonable position regarding the ethics of what we eat and what each of us can do to help bring about a more just food system.

PHI 251 — Love, Friendship and Moral Life      3 credits
A philosophical study of the relationships among love, friendship and a moral life that treats individuals in families and society.

PHI 252 — Happiness, Virtue and the Good Life      3 credits
A study of the role of virtue and vice in the moral life, how they emerge from developments of personal character and relate to meaningful human happiness, fulfillment, and the good life.

PHI 261 — Philosophy of Law      3 credits
A study of the nature, sources and sanctions of law and legal theory, treating concerns of legal positivism, natural law theory, rights and justice, and the relationship between law and morality.

PHI 262 — Philosophy of International Law      3 credits
An examination of both conceptual and normative issues relevant to the philosophical study of international law. Topics treated include issues of self-determination and minority rights, international economic law, humanitarian intervention, the laws of war, international environmental law, and international criminal law.

PHI 266 — Philosophy of the Family      3 credits
A study of traditional and modern notions of the family with attention to challenges to the family in contemporary society.

PHI 267 — Catholic Social Thought      3 credits
A study of the legacy of Catholic social teaching from official papal encyclicals of Leo XIII to the present, from unofficial vehicles of independent social thinkers, and from social forces such as labor unions, journals, political parties, and spiritual social justice movements.

PHI 268 — Catholic and Jewish Bioethics      3 credits
A study of Catholic and Jewish thinkers working with shared values in addressing challenges in clinical medicine such as reproductive technology, beginning and end of life decisions, access to health care and rationing.

PHI 271 — Philosophy of Human Rights      3 credits
A study of various issues of human rights in global perspective to ask if human rights transcend political orders, whether they are universally applicable to all human beings, or determined to be culturally relative.

PHI 272 — Gender and Philosophy      3 credits
A study of feminist theories that analyzes the role that gender plays in society and in the formation of the masculine and feminine subjects; an examination of notions of power, structure and work; and gender as performance and representation.

PHI 273 — Race and Philosophy      3 credits
A study of philosophical assumptions underlying concepts of race that treats designations of racial identities, the political effects of racial classification, the ethics of race and the metaphysical legitimacy and social reality of racial designations.

PHI 274—Social and Political Philosophy      3 credits
A study of foundational philosophical theories on how to organize the col¬lective and social life of individual human beings, examining justifications for state authority, establishing citizen’s rights and allocating resources for human well-being.

PHI 281 — World Wisdom: Global Traditions      3 credits
A comparative study of philosophical traditions ranging from locations such as ancient Greece, Africa, Asia and the Americas.

PHI 285 — African American Philosophy      3 credits
A study of philosophical trends within the American experience with attention to the contributions of prominent African American philosophers and social activists.

PHI 286 — Latin American Philosophy      3 credits
A study of the various philosophical movements in Latin America with a focus on the way of practicing philosophy that is rooted in the lived reality of Latin American peoples.

PHI 291 — Philosophy of Art and Beauty      3 credits
A study of various approaches to thinking philosophically about art and beauty, with special emphasis on the historical variety of aesthetic theories.

PHI 300 Courses— Philosophical Challenges
PHI 300 level courses treat issues with greater attention to philosophic analysis and argumentation and expect students to demonstrate deeper capacity to compare and contrast the reasoning of different philosophers on a topic or theme. These courses are consistently more specialized and focus examination on primary texts with special attention to identify and extract the principles and premises underlying a philosopher’s argu¬mentation and then to reconstruct its chain of reasoning. At least two PHI 300 level courses are prerequisite for PHI 400 courses and senior theses experiences.

SERIES IN HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY
Series I

PHI 301 — Ancient Philosophy      3 credits
An examination of principal trends in ancient philosophy in the West from the Preplatonic Greeks through Plato and Aristotle to the beginning of the Medieval period.

PHI 302 — Medieval Philosophy      3 credits
An examination of principal trends in Medieval philosophy from St. Augustine in the fifth century to Renaissance philosophical explorations.

PHI 303 — Early Modern Philosophy      3 credits
An in-depth examination of major thinkers in the modern western philosophical tradition from Descartes to Kant, from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment

Series II

PHI 304 — Nineteenth Century Philosophy      3 credits
A study of principal trends of 19th century European philosophy beginning with Kant and leading up to developments in early 20th century thinking.

PHI 305 — Contemporary Continental Philosophy      3 credits
An examination of principle philosophic trends emerging in Europe after the 19th century, treating such traditions as phenomenology, critical theory, structuralism, post-structuralism, deconstruction, and postmodernism.

PHI 306 — Contemporary Analytic Philosophy      3 credits
An examination of principal philosophic trends in the Anglo-American world including logical positivism, linguistic analysis and ordinary language philosophy.
Additional PHI 300 Courses

PHI 311 — God and the World      3 credits
Philosophical exploration of the ways in which belief in divine or spiritual entities influences relations between humans, animals and the environment.

PHI 312 — Time and Human Experience      3 credits
What is time? How is it experienced? How does an appreciation of time affect self understanding? This course explores the nature of time consciousness.

PHI 316 — Philosophy of Mind      3 credits
A study of the nature of mental phenomena and their connection to behavior, artificial intelligence, personal identity, the mind-body problem, the unity of consciousness, the problem of other minds, action, intention and the will.

PHI 317 — Chinese Philosophy      3 credits
An exploration of classical Chinese philosophical traditions with special emphasis on the Confucian and Daoist traditions.

PHI 318 — Indian Philosophy      3 credits
An examination of different schools of Indian philosophy, including Indian views about dualistic and non-dualistic views of absolute reality relating to materialism and idealism, different moral systems, systems of logic and knowledge.

PHI 319 — Buddhism and Philosophy      3 credits
A study of the core values and beliefs of Buddhism, making theoretical and practical comparisons between Buddhist ideas and Western ideas.

PHI 321 — Knowledge and Reality      3 credits
An examination of principal philosophies of nature and being and various philosophic approaches to knowledge and understanding.

PHI 322 — Philosophy of Science      3 credits
A study of the nature of scientific explanation, scientific method and scientific knowledge, confirmation of hypotheses, distinction between science and metaphysics, the structure and status of observation statements and the “unity of science” thesis.

PHI 325 — Mathematical Logic      3 credits
Advanced study of formal systems of logic, constructing artificial languages with a syntax, semantics and deduction system.

PHI 345 — Justice and the Environment      3 credits
A study of various theories of justice as they relate to questions and problems that arise from the human use of and relationship to our natural environment.

PHI 361 — The Individual and the State      3 credits
Examines different conceptions of the relationship between the individual and the state. Topics addressed will include the nature of power, freedom, justice and citizenship.

PHI 363 — Catholic Philosophical Traditions      3 credits
An introduction to Catholic philosophical traditions in metaphysics, epistemology and/or ethics through readings and discussion of figures and movements that span multiple historical periods – the Patristic era, the medieval era, the modern era and the 20th Century.

PHI 367 — Advanced Topics in Catholic Philosophy      3 credits
An examination of the philosophical principles underlying modern Catholic philosophy in dialog with contemporary political philosophies such as communitarianism, neo-liberalism, and Marxism.

PHI 371 — Concepts of Race and Post Colonial Theory      3 credits
Explores the ways in which concepts of race influence the construction of identity, foster rationales for the distribution of resources, and contribute to American and international social movements.

PHI 372 — Philosophy of Identity and Difference      3 credits
Explores metaphysical, ethical, political and social issues concerning sex/ gender identity.

PHI 376 — Marx and Marxism      3 credits
A study of classic texts of Marx, Engels, and Lenin and their influences on later 19th century and contemporary philosophy.

PHI 378 — Jewish Philosophers of German Ancestry      3 credits
A study of prominent Jewish philosophers who played an important role in the intellectual life of Germany from the 18th century until the beginning of the Nazi era.

PHI 379 — Contemporary Women Philosophers      3 credits
A study of the thinking of important women philosophers of the 20th century with special concern to address their responses to the enduring questions of ethics, especially for modern times.

PHI 387 — Phenomenology and Existentialism      3 credits
A study of existential and phenomenological thought including views of the self, relationships to world, other people and God, responsibility, intentionality and phenomenological method.

PHI 388 — Diasporic Philosophy      3 credits
Investigates the philosophical heritage expressed in diasporic intellectual and social movements, treating thinkers in Latin America, Caribbean and Africana traditions.

PHI 389 — Philosophy and Psychoanalysis      3 credits
A study of the confrontation of the phenomenological and psychoanalytical notions of the development and structure of the subject and its desires, ethics, traumas, and confrontation with society.

PHI 392 — American Philosophy      3 credits
A study of principal trends in American thinking with special focus on the pragmatic philosophers.

PHI 395 — Problems in Aesthetics      3 credits
A critical examination of select problems in contemporary controversies in aesthetics treating the intersections of personal and social values and the production of art.

PHI 396 — Philosophy and Literature      3 credits
A study of philosophical themes as expressed in literary texts to examine the propriety of literature as a medium for expressing philosophical ideas, and textual interpretation.

PHI 397 — Philosophy and Film      3 credits
An examination of the basic issues in the philosophy of film, including its nature and social function as well as film’s relation to authors, aesthetics, narratives, emotions and theories.

PHI 399 — Core Capstone Philosophy Thesis      3 credits
Ethics, Justice, and the Problem of Poverty. This is a Core Capstone course. The first half of the course focuses on ethics, justice, and diversity. The second half of the course is focused on global awareness vis-à-vis the problem of poverty.

PHI 400 Courses — Philosophical Synthesis
PHI 400 level courses engage students in using their analytic skills to synthesize, evaluate and critique philosophic discourse; especially to grasp the logico-philosophic consequences of foundational principles of human nature, being, nature and society. Students demonstrate mature understanding of philosophic analysis in scholarly papers, theses or other appropriate projects.

PHI 401 — Seminar on Ancient Philosophy 3 credits
PHI 402 — Seminar on Medieval Philosophy 3 credits
PHI 403 — Seminar on Modern Philosophy 3 credits
PHI 404 — Seminar on Contemporary Philosophy 3 credits
PHI 405 — Seminar on Topics in Metaphysics 3 credits
PHI 406 — Seminar on Topics in Epistemology 3 credits
PHI 407 — Seminar on Topics in Ethics 3 credits
PHI 408 — Seminar on Topics in Aesthetics 3 credits
PHI 409 — Seminar on Topics in Social and Political Philosophy 3 credits

PHI 451 — Senior Thesis — A Philosophy Major capstone experience 3 credits

An Ignatian Scholar successfully completes a senior thesis. This is a culminating experience in which a student expresses mature habits of self-directed study and critical analysis, with an ability to integrate knowledge beyond the expectations of a seminar paper. A senior thesis addresses a select philosophic topic and is especially concerned with philosophic argumentation. An Ignatian Scholar demonstrates ability to exercise appropriate research methods, to provide critical assessment of issues, to assess theoretical presuppositions underlying a discourse and to advance well-constructed argumentation. A senior thesis ought to exhibit the values of the department mission.

PHI 499— Directed Readings in Philosophy       3 credits
Personally designed with a member of the Philosophy Department. Topics and terms mutually determined by student and mentor. Tutorial.