Philosophy

Philosophy

Philosophy Course Offerings - Fall 2014

The faculty of the Department of Philosophy invites you to join us during Fall 2014 to experience the wonders of contemplation and the challenges of rational examination of matters important to human beings.   

Besides multiple sections of PHI 101 Introduction to Philosophy, we offer Field 2 (PHI 200) level courses listed below, as well as a selection of PHI 300 courses and one PHI 400 level course.

Please note that successfully completing PHI 101 (or its equivalent in the Honors (HON) program) is a prerequisite for any 200-or-higher level PHI course.

Relevant Abbreviations:

CB = this section includes an optional service learning component.  
SL = this section includes a required service learning component
TL = this section is a team learning section.  
ONL = this section is conducted online.  See course description for further details.

Credit for the Core Curriculum and Other Programs

Here's a list of the PHI courses offered in Fall 2014 that can count for core curriculum credit and/or credit for other programs.

Core Curriculum Credit Type Fall 2014 PHI Courses that Count for this Credit
Core Curriculum Foundation Courses

PHI 101: Introduction to Philosophy

Field 2 (Philosophy)

All PHI 200-level courses, including:
PHI 225 - Logic
PHI 281 - World Wisdom

Ethics Attribute PHI 241 - Ethics
PHI 242 - Ethical Issues in Business
PHI 243 - Bio-Medical Ethics
PHI 245 - Animal Ethics
PHI 252 - Happiness, Virtue, and the Good Life
Justice Attribute PHI 261 - Philosophy of Law
PHI 267 - Catholic Social Thought
PHI 271 - Philosophy of Human Rights
PHI 272 - Gender and Philosophy
PHI 273 - Race and Philosophy
PHI 274 - Social & Political Philosophy
PHI 305A - Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Capstone Course PHI 399 - Ethics, Justice, and the Problem of Poverty

 

Other Major / Minor Programs Fall 2014 PHI Courses that Count for this Credit
Catholic Studies PHI 267 - Catholic Social Thought
Ethics (Minor)  PHI 241 - Ethics
PHI 242 - Ethical Issues in Business
PHI 243 - Bio-Medical Ethics
PHI 245 - Animal Ethics
PHI 252 - Happiness, Virtue, and the Good Life
European Studies PHI 301A - Ancient Philosophy
PHI 305A - Contemporary Continental Philosophy
Justice (Minor) PHI 261 - Philosophy of Law
PHI 267 - Catholic Social Thought
PHI 271 - Philosophy of Human Rights
PHI 272 - Gender and Philosophy
PHI 274 - Social & Political Philosophy
Women & Gender Studies PHI 272 - Gender and Philosophy
PHI 274 - Social & Political Philosophy (Section B only)
PHI 305A - Contemporary Continental Philosophy

 

PHILOSOPHY 101 - Introduction to Philosophy

A Core Curriculum Foundations Course
ACB LOUGHEAD MWF 9:00 am - 9:50 am
BTL ZEIS MWF 9:00 am - 9:50 am
CCB LOUGHEAD MWF 10:00 am - 10:50 am
D
MOSKO MWF 10:00 am - 10:50 am
E
MOSKO MWF 11:00 am - 11:50 am
F RAGUSA MW 12:00 pm - 1:15 pm
GCB MUKHERJEE MWF 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
H TBA MWF 2:00 pm - 2:50 pm
ICB HAVIS TR 8:30 am - 9:45 am
J TBA TR 10:00 am - 11:15 am
K DUGAN TR 11:30 am - 12:45 pm
M TBA TR 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm
O MORAN T 6:00 pm - 8:45 pm
* TL = Team Learning Course
* CB = Community Based Learning: service learning is optional toward the final grade for this section

 

PHI 200-LEVEL COURSES

Prerequisite: Successful completion of PHI 101
All PHI 200-level courses can count for Field 2 (Philosophy) Credit

 

PHI 225 A - LOGIC - REED - TR 10:00 am - 11:15 am

Sound reasoning is important in every career and, indeed, is crucial for good living.  This course provides the tools necessary to distinguish correct from incorrect reasoning.  It focuses on evaluating deductive reasoning in ordinary language; also covered are informal fallacies and inductive argumentation by analogy.  This course contains a component on analytical reasoning that may be helpful for pre-law students planning to take the LSAT.

PHI 225 ONL- LOGIC ON LINE - ZEIS - TBA

Sound reasoning is important in every career and, indeed, is crucial for good living.  This course provides tools necessary to distinguish correct from incorrect reasoning.  This course is delivered entirely online, using the powerful and user-friendly Aplia logic course available from Cengage publishing in conjunction with the course’s Angel site.  The Angel site includes an Elluminate room which enables teacher-student online office visits.

 

PHI 241 A -  ETHICS: TRADITIONS IN MORAL REASONING - DJUTH - MWF 9:00 am - 9:50 am
PHI 241 B - ETHICS: TRADITIONS IN MORAL REASONING - DJUTH - MWF 10:00 am - 10:50 am
PHI 241 C -  ETHICS: TRADITIONS IN MORAL REASONING - PERCESEPE - TR 11:30 am - 12:45 pm
PHI 241 D - ETHICS: TRADITIONS IN MORAL REASONING - PERCESEPE - TR 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

* Core Curriculum Ethics Attribute
* Ethics Minor Credit

A survey of principal traditions in moral reasoning with attention to moral principles and their applications to contemporary social realities. 

 

PHI 242 A - ETHICAL ISSUES IN BUSINESS - JOHNSTON - MWF 9:00 am - 9:50 am

* Core Curriculum Ethics Attribute
* Ethics Minor Credit                                                                       

The continuing economic downturn is a powerful reminder of the impact that business practices can have on all our lives.  This course asks if the ethics of business is incompatible with the business of ethics.  We examine the ethical implications of the relationships between businesses and their shareholders, employees and society at large.  This course asks the important question of whether ethics is simply an obstacle that must be overcome in the pursuit of profit or if an ethical critique of role of business in society can or should fundamentally constrain the way businesses operate.

 

PHI 243 A - BIO-MEDICAL ETHICS - REED - MWF 10:00 am - 10:50 am
PHI 243 B - BIO-MEDICAL ETHICS - REED - MWF 11:00 am - 11:50 am

* Core Curriculum Ethics Attribute
* Ethics Minor Credit

This course is designed to advance reasoned analysis in an effort to clarify and resolve some of the central dilemmas which arise in the field of medical ethics.  Students will be introduced to diverse points of view in medical ethics by considering paradigmatic cases in the field of medicine and responses to those cases by doctors, philosophers, and policy-makers.  Among the areas we will consider are: informed consent, truth-telling, confidentiality, genetic and reproductive control, allocation of scarce medical resources, abortion, euthanasia, and the right to healthcare.  The course intends to acquaint students with the main issues in contemporary bioethics and to allow students to respond to these issues critically and courageously.

 

PHI 245 A - ANIMAL ETHICS - FIX - M 6:00 pm - 8:45 pm

* Core Curriculum Ethics Attribute
* Ethics Minor Credit

This course is specially designed for ABEC students but open to everyone.  Topics treated include the philosophical principals (Utilitarianism, Kantian Theory, Virtue Ethics, etc.) that underlie concern for animal welfare/animal rights. Students will explore through lecture, discussion, and presentations the most highly contested issues within animal ethics.

 

PHI 252 ASL - HAPPINESS, VIRTUE & THE GOOD LIFE - CHANDERBHAN - MWF 10:00 am - 10:50 am
PHI 252 BSL - HAPPINESS, VIRTUE & THE GOOD LIFE - CHANDERBHAN - MWF 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm

* Core Curriculum Ethics Attribute
* Ethics Minor Credit
* Service Learning Required (15 Hours)

When you say, “I’m happy,” what does that mean?  To answer this question, we will first investigate different theories about the self to investigate what is meant by ‘I’ in that question.  Next, we will consider what is meant by ‘happy’ in that question by studying different theories of happiness. After this, we’ll see if we can be both morally good and happy.  The answer to this depends on what it means to be virtuous.  So we’ll consider different theories of ethics (utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics) and see how well each account corresponds with the different accounts of happiness and self we will have studied.  Questions at the intersection of these topics will also be investigated through one's service learning experience throughout the semester.

 

PHI 261 A - PHILOSOPHY OF LAW - DJUTH - MWF 11:00 am - 11:50 am

* Core Curriculum Justice Attribute
* Justice Minor Credit

This course examines the concepts and principles for describing and understanding legal systems, and the relationships between law and legal systems, society and morality.  It serves those pursuing careers in law, criminal justice, public affairs, politics, the social sciences, and philosophy.

 

PHI 267 A - CATHOLIC SOCIAL THOUGHT - CHANDERBHAN - TR 11:30 am - 12:45 pm

Core Curriculum Justice Attribute
Justice Minor Credit
* Catholic Studies Minor Credit
Service Learning Required (15 Hours)

In this course, our goal will be to uncover and learn all about the Catholic Church’s “best kept secret.” From the time of Pope Leo XIII through the present day, the Church has continued to develop a comprehensive set of views on issues such as (1) the fundamental rights and responsibilities of individuals and communities, (2) the relationships of workers to their labor and to political and economic structures, and (3) the reciprocal relationships among the Church, the individual, and the state.  

We will begin by studying philosophical themes foundational to these views.  We’ll also survey other accounts of social and political philosophy to understand principled objections to Catholic views.  We will then study the issues listed above through a close reading of relevant passages of Papal encyclicals and exhortations.  Students will learn firsthand about Catholic commitments to social justice through their service learning experience.

 

PHI 271 A - PHILOSOPHY OF HUMAN RIGHTS - WALSH - M 6:00 pm - 8:45 pm
PHI 271 BCB - PHILOSOPHY OF HUMAN RIGHTS - SIMMONDS-PRICE - TR 2:30 pm - 3:45 pm 

* Core Curriculum Justice Attribute
* Justice Minor Credit

Service Learning Optional (for PHI 271 BCB only, not PHI 271 A)

Concerns of human rights are part of global politics.  This course asks whether human rights transcend political orders or are tied to political systems of national sovereignty.  It also addresses the dynamic of cultural relativism vs absolutism that informs the debate about whether human rights are Western and Eurocentric or whether they can truly be applied universally to all human beings.

 

PHI 272 ACB - GENDER & PHILOSPHY - LOUGHEAD - MW 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

* Core Curriculum Justice Attribute
* Women and Gender Studies Program Credit
* Justice Minor Credit
* Service Learning Optional

This course studies feminist theories and analyzes what gender is, the role that gender plays as a social structure and how it forms masculine and feminine subjects/subjectivities.  We will study various theories of what might constitute justice with respect to living in a gendered society. In doing so, we will study the power dynamics that constitute gender at the levels of individual subjectivity and interpersonal relationships as well as in economic and political life.

 

PHI 273 A - RACE & PHILOSPHY - BUCKMAN - R 6:00 pm - 8:45 pm

* Core Curriculum Justice Attribute

This course studies the philosophical assumptions underlying concepts of race that treats designations of racial identities, the political effects of racial classification, the ethics of race, the metaphysical legitimacy and social reality of racial classifications.  In addition, Hip Hop theory is used as a lens for exploring the intersections between race, identity, gender, and class.

 

PHI 274 A - SOCIAL & POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY - MOSKO - MWF 1:00 pm - 1:50 pm
PHI 274 B - SOCIAL & POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY - TBA - W 6:00 pm - 8:45 pm

* Core Curriculum Justice Attribute
* Justice Minor Credit

Women's Studies Credit (for PHI 274 B only, not PHI 274 A)

This course examines basic questions concerning human values, social organization, and the principles of political association.  It has a special concern to examine modern political issues and their historical antecedents and examines some key political and social concepts: equality, liberty, legitimization, social class, race relations, social justice, cultural tradition and cultural meaning.  There is a particular emphasis on the political and social upheavals associated with the formation of modern society, the rise of democratic republics displacing feudalism, the radical critique of a new capitalist society, the beginnings of a critique of white supremacy, and an early philosophical assessment of modernity.

 

PHI 281 A - WORLD WISDOM - MUKHERJEE - MWF 12:00 pm - 12:50 pm

This course is a comparative study of different philosophical traditions ranging from different locations such as ancient Greece, Africa, Asia and the Americas. Through this course students will not only explore the meaning of Wisdom from global perspectives but also will learn the methods of applying Wisdom to situations in everyday life.

 

PHI 300-LEVEL and 400-LEVEL COURSES 

Prerequisite: Successful completion of at least one PHI 200-level course

 

PHI 301 A - ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY - PERKINS -  TR 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

* European Studies Program Credit

This course studies the ancient thinkers of Greece beginning in the 200 years before the death of Socrates with special concern to study the moral and political philosophies of Plato and Aristotle as also their metaphysics.  An overarching theme of the course is to acquire a good grasp of the classical sense of philosophy as concerned with happiness and the good life.  We begin by briefly examining some prominent philosophers before Plato — Parmenides, Zeno, Heraclitus, Protagoras, Gorgias, even Socrates — and then some of the early and middle dialogues of Plato to gain a philosophical familiarity with Plato’s epistemology, ethics, and metaphysics.  Here we shall read Euthyphro, Charmides, Meno, Protagoras, and parts of Republic.  Next we shall examine the ethics and political philosophy of Aristotle with particular attention to Nicomachean Ethics and Politics, which Aristotle took to be two parts of the same treatise.  Time permitting we shall examine some post-Aristotelian philosophers — those in the traditions of Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Skepticism.

 

PHI 305A A - CONTEMPORARY CONTINENTAL PHILOSOPHY - HAVIS - TR 10:00 am - 11:15 am

* Core Curriculum Justice Attribute
* 
European Studies Program Credit
* Women and Gender Studies Program Credit

This course explores various movements in Contemporary Continental Philosophy such as phenomenology, postmodernism, feminism, critical theory, and deconstruction. Students will analyze these movements and ideas in relation to one another and to the current world.  Students will also explore and scrutinize these contemporary movements in relation to how they understand themselves and the formation of the subject.  Such analysis requires intense critical thinking skills:  to read and interpret text; to think broadly about the world around them and investigate their assumptions about it; to dissect ideas; to deeply contemplate the issues of self, gender, language, power, freedom, death and ethics; and to extrapolate upon how various theoretical views shape our world and are shaped by our world.

 

PHI 399 A - ETHICS, JUSTICE, & PROBLEM of POVERTY - JOHNSTON - MWF 11:00 am - 11:50 am
PHI 399 B - ETHICS, JUSTICE, & PROBLEM of POVERTY - FOREST - TR 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

* Core Curriculum Capstone Course

Open to all students from all majors, this core capstone course was partly designed for Business Majors. We will consider several rival versions of our moral self-understanding and several rival versions of how to address contemporary moral problems. Our goal is to apply these different approaches to the problem of world poverty. Since by current estimates, over 1.7 billion people live in absolute poverty [less than $1.25 per day], how do different economic approaches to these problems entail different conceptions of justice and of the living well? The course considers our position as moral beings in a poverty stricken world.

 

PHI 406A A - KNOWLEDGE, POWER, and PROTEST - HAVIS - TR 11:30 am - 12:45 pm

What does it mean to protest? The newspapers are filled every day with images we associate with protest: Ukrainians pulling down walls and setting fire to piles of tires, 100,000 Egyptians marching into Cairo’s Tahrir Square, a Tibetan monk self-immolating (setting himself on fire) in front of a monastery, Venezuelans filling the streets to protest strict price controls. But how do such actions become possible?

This course will examine the different factors that prompt groups and individuals to protest. We will explore how people come to have a critical understanding of their circumstances and take action. We will discuss what constitutes resistance and the kinds of knowledge that make transgression possible. We will use the lens of Contemporary philosophy which is increasingly taking up these issues in examinations of : how movements gain credibility, who can speak for others, how non-traditional forms of knowing generate alternative perspectives as well as epistemologies of ignorance.