Philosophy (PHI)

PHI-1101  Basic Problems in Philosophy  (3 Credits)  

An examination at a strictly introductory level of the character of philosophical questioning. Instances chosen for treatment are from the several areas of philosophy such as ethics, epistemology and metaphysics, and they are studied in the context of brief selections from the writings of philosophers from antiquity to the present.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-1114  Logic and Argumentation  (3 Credits)  

An introduction to logic and critical thinking. Emphasis is on the identification of arguments and the assessment of their validity. The course includes the analysis of terms, propositions, arguments and their linguistic contexts; common fallacies; the structure of deductive and inductive arguments.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-2201  Human Nature  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI  

Do human beings have a fundamental nature? Do our environments and embodiment shape our nature, or is it inherent-or both? To answer these and related questions, we investigate such fun¼damental philosophical issues as death and immortality, mind and body, perception and conception, reason and emotion, and freedom and determinism as they appear in writings of philosophers from antiquity to the present.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-2203  Theories of Knowledge  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

We think we know what it means to know until someone asks us to explain it ourselves. This course pursues a clearer understanding of the personal operations and wider social contexts that compose human knowing. It inquiries into the nature of knowledge by means of an exami¼nation of such explanations of knowledge as empiricism, ideal¼ism, skepticism, pragmatism, and various realisms, but also an examination of ourselves as specimens, as knowers and as persons in pursuit of new knowledge. Readings of philosophers from antiquity to the present.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-2204  Utilitarianism  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

Utilitarianism, the view that goods are worth pursuing when they benefit a majority, is an important moral theory. It continues to influence economics, business, government, law, criminal justice and medical ethics. This course examines the basic issues of utilitarian thought by studying the origins and development of the core utilitarian principles from ancient Greek philosophy in the ethical theory of Epicurus to later formulations in works by David Hume, Jeremy Bentham, and John Stuart Mill.

Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-2205  Happiness and Pleasure  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

In the search for happiness, how important is pleasure? Can happiness be explained solely in terms of pleasure? Is happiness the fundamental or an intrinsic good? Ought we pursue or avoid pleasure? This course examines different answers to these questions developed by philosophers from antiquity to today, with a focus on how much importance or priority to accord pleasure.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-2210  Descartes  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

This intensive intermediate-level course aims to acquaint the student with the thought of Ren? Descartes, who many regard as the founder of modern philosophy and a towering figure in the history of metaphysics. The basis of the course will be a careful reading of Descartes' major works. Through these readings, students will examine key philosophical notions or themes including skepticism, truth, God, the self, the infinite, mind and body.

Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-2211  Existentialism  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

Course Description: This course serves as an introduction to the most widely known contemporary Western philosophical movement, Existentialism. We examine different approaches to its major themes of human existence (authenticity, absurdity, freedom, responsibility, nothingness, the possibility of a meaningful life) by key existentialist authors Camus, de Beauvoir, and Sartre, and perhaps also Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, or others. We may examine its treatments of social issues such as anti-black racism or the construction of gender, and its impact in other areas of culture such as American literature, jazz, and film.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-2212  Latin American Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

This course introduces students to Latin American Philosophy from the 19th Century to the present. Accordingly, it addresses the history of philosophy in Latin America, Latin American culture, identity theory, political philosophy and literature. What does it mean to be Latin American, and is there such a thing as Latin American philosophy? Is there a Latino identity? What implications do our answers to such questions have for other urgent questions about cultural, ethnic, racial and gender identities?

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-2237  Theory of Being  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): PHI-1101 or PHI-1114  

This course is a systematic study of basic reality. What is real, and what is reality? These and related questions about the meaning of being in general serve as our starting points. Readings may draw from pre-Socratic authorities on the basic ingredients or building blocks of existence through to Immanuel Kant's account of the limits of our rational capacities and competencies and, from there, into contemporary scholarship too. Topics include the nature of entities, finitude, space, time, the universe, God, and the place of human being and doing among these.

Typically offered: Fall Only  
PHI-2310  American Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.,AMS-1001 for students pursuing AMS minor  

American philosophy consists of a wide variety of movements and sentiments; what might unify them is their strong connection to other areas of society and culture, such as social activism, American politics and policy making, education and its reform, the arts (esp. literature), psychology, and environmentalism. This course surveys a representation of its innovative contributions, which could include works by Jonathan Edwards, Thomas Paine, the Grimk? sisters, the authors of The Federalist Papers, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Henry David Thoreau, Frederick Douglass, Charles Sanders Peirce, William James, Anna Julia Cooper, W.E.B. Du Bois, John Dewey, Alain Locke, Angela Davis, Grace Lee Boggs, or others. Attention will be paid to authors' wider contexts, whether Puritanism, pragmatism, or otherwise.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-2316  Art and Aesthetics  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI  

This course examines the nature of art and the character of our aesthetic experiences. It deals with such issues as: the concept of beauty; the role of art in society; censorship, propaganda, and advertising; imagination; taste; art as imitation, representation, or expression; the relation of art to knowledge, freedom, or truth; symbol and metaphor; the status of things and events purported to be art; emotional responses to art; artistic process and creative expression; aesthetic experiences outside of artistic ones. We engage with a wide variety of historical and contemporary philosophical texts as well as artworks and other aesthetic experiences.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-2341  Authority and Law  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

Must we obey the law? Why or why not? This intermediate course in legal philosophy focuses on the related concepts of authority and law through a study of different explanations of what law is, especially addressing the relations of law to justice and morality. Augustine contends an unjust law is no law at all, and assuming he is right, today we continue to revise or overturn many legal statutes. But why is there law in the first place? What good is it, given its deeply ambivalent track record for repressing and promoting human virtue? Clean air, healthy food, fair wages and taxes, public safety and the protection of basic rights all depend on a carefully organized legal system. But can we justify punishment for those who break the law? And what legal challenges do mass incarceration and the war on terror pose to a democracy? This course will also identify arguments put forward by groups, such as anarchists, pirates and terrorists, who rebuke some or all legal authority, and who thus see themselves to be acting somehow outside it.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: Fall Only  
PHI-2342  Business Ethics  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

Economic freedom is a hallmark of the contemporary west. But is such freedom merely asserted? If not, where does it come from, and what good is it? By working through recent controversies in applied ethics and paying attention to personal acts of deliberation and decision, this course articulates an understanding of our commercial institutions to identify and educate economic liberty and to promote the common good.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-2343  Philosophy of Sport  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

This course will examine the history and theory of sport, and athletic excellence, through the lens of philosophical texts, selections from world literature, and scholarly articles from the fields of cultural studies. By reading, and analyzing such works, it is to be hoped that students will come to understand the important features of the history, theory, and social relevance of sport and athletics.

Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-2344  Philosophy and the Nature World Ethical Perspectives  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

Scientists have begun to refer to our current geological age as the anthropocene to denote the degree to which human life now dominates the planet. They draw from climatology, geology, hydrology, ecology and other earth systems studies to make their case. This course introduces students to the study of nature. In antiquity nature was understood to be the internal principle of an entity as it moves, grows and dies. Modern figures dreamed of mastering nature. Today's conservationists and ecological theorists often speak of nature as a whole. What is nature, and what is our relation to it? What are our moral responsibilities to the natural world? For our planet and our species to survive future challenges, we must rehabilitate our relation to nature at a very basic level. Accordingly, this course examines themes of emergence, environmental responsibility, stewardship for the natural world, and also themes of devastation, extinction and collapse.

Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-2403  The Good Life  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

Moral reasoning is a function of education more than training. We all have to make up our minds about what is good and what is worth doing. This course focuses on theory and practice as it examines the basic questions of moral philosophy and the positions taken up in response to them with particular atten¼tion to the question of the relationship between a given ethic and its corresponding conceptions of humankind and reality. Readings draw from philosophers from antiquity to the present.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-2404  Political Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

Aristotle says we are political animals by nature. But it is not obvious what he means with this designation. What does it mean to be political, especially today, when so many presume politics obstructs the good? Does the meaning of the political change, and if so, why? Beginning with Plato and Aristotle, this course surveys the fundamental concepts of political philosophy by way of their origin, history and contemporary relevance. Topics include authority, justice, freedom, violence and the state.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-2431  Ancient Greek Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

The major figures and issues in classical philosophy from the Pre-Socratics to the Hellenistic schools, with particular emphasis on Plato and Aristotle. Analysis of representative texts.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: Fall Only  
PHI-2441  Early Modern Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

This intermediate course guides students through the contentious history, key concepts and influential personalities of modern European philosophy. Its focus is the 17th- and 18thcentury texts of the period, especially the rationalisms of Descartes and Spinoza and the empiricisms of Hume and Locke. Particular attention will be devoted to questions about mind, reality and the foundations of science.

Typically offered: Fall Only  
PHI-2502  Medical Ethics  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI. ,PHI 1101 or PHI 1114 strongly recommended.  

This course studies moral issues in the health professions with special attention to practitioners and patients. Some of these issues are recent, such as those surrounding pharmaceutical use and abuse, organ transplantation, gene therapies, and other issues surrounding emerging technologies. Other topics are more enduring and include meta-ethical accounts of personhood, animal and human experimentation, the doctor-patient relationship, informed consent, euthanasia, and, more broadly, careful decision-making in the context of medicine and health care.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-3308  Introducation to Jewish Thought  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take on course in PHI.  

The Western tradition can be viewed as the encounter of two seemingly irreconcilable ways of understanding the world:philosophy and faith. The former relies on the autonomous exercise of the speculative mind; the latter trust revelation as the ultimate source of authority and truth. This course examines the Jewish philosophical tradition in light of philosophy and faith and explores whether or not the two are indeed irreconcilable.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-3310  American Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.,AMS-1001 for students pursuing AMS minor  

This course aims to acquaint students with a broad range of American thought, as expressed by the distinctively American philosophy of the Pragmatists, but also through considering the works of other writers who have made important contributions to the religious, literary, political, and social aspects of American life. Our approach is primarily historical, but also thematic, as we focus on how the writings of such authors as Jonathan Edwards, the American Founding Fathers, the Transcendentalists, and representatives of the schools of Positivism and Pragmatism, Idealism, Naturalism and Realism, Linguistic Analysis and Postmodernism, have influenced and shaped the American intellectual landscape. The course concludes with a focus on political and social justice, incorporating ongoing American themes with contemporary writings, noting the struggle to extend our founding ideals to all Americans, addressing issues of civil rights and feminism, and comparing the political theories of libertarianism, egalitarianism, and communitarianism--attempting throughout to make applications to todays America as well as to our historical past. Students mastery of the material is exhibited through their performance on objective tests, as well as in short papers in which they are expected to develop their own arguments with respect to a theme or issue suggested by the readings. Students are not specifically graded on class participation, but questions and discussion are strongly encouraged.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-3312  Gender and Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI (2000-level recommended) or ENG-2150,or WGS-2001.  

Gender is an important aspect of our personal lives, social experience, cultural norms, and political issues. This course offers and critically examines a variety of philosophical perspectives on gender, including feminist theory and how gender intersects with race, class, age, ability, and sexuality. Issues concerning self-identity, gender expression, oppression, privilege, justice, the patriarchal and heteronormative structures of society, and the role of women and gender in philosophy itself may be explored in historical and contemporary texts.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-3315  Meaning of History  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

The decisions by some in the past make the present unsustainable and the human future unlikely. But is it possible to understand history as an intelligible process, or as a narrative? Is the process cyclical or directional? How does historicism, the idea that things are consequences of their development, challenge our expectations about realism? Is history, when understood as anything more than sound and fury signifying nothing, just another myth? This course examines the philosophical account of history from antiquity to today.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-3316  Philosophy of Art  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

The course examines the nature of art and the character of our experience of art. It deals with such issues as the concept of beauty, imagination and taste; the roles of imitation, representation and expression; style; the relation of works of art to knowledge and truth; the meaning of symbol and metaphor; the nature of narrative and genre; the philosophical status of works of art; the emotional responses to art. The course concentrates on the texts of selected major figures in the history of philosophy from Plato to Hans Urs von Balthasar.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-3317  Renaissance Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

Renaissance philosophy is neither the tail end of Medieval philosophy nor the first chapter of Modern Philosophy. It is not merely a transitional"" period, but a philosophical period in its own right, covering essentially the 15th and 16th centuries in Europe. It possesses an inner consistency, connected with other aspects of Renaissance culture and occupying a unique place in the general history of Western philosophy. This upper-level course will examine the key figures, trends and themes of Renaissance philosophy in the areas of metaphysics, natural philosophy, epistemology, philosophical psychology, moral philosophy and political philosophy. Special emphasis will be placed on Renaissance Platonism and Neoplatonism, which has produced some of the greatest figures in the history of philosophy as a whole. The role of humanism in the development of Renaissance philosophy, and the expression of philosophical concepts in poetry and art during the Renaissance, will also be examined.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-3318  19th Century Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one 2000 Level PHI course.  

The rich period in Western philosophy that begins with the intellectual revolution started by Kant offers us such seminal and diverse thinkers as Hegel, Marx, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche, just to name a few. The focus will be on Idealism and reactions to it, for example from Materialism, Pessimism, and Romanticism, among others. Issues concerning the nature of reason, knowledge, self, and freedom and their relationships to social formations and to nature will be examined from various perspectives. Problems in logic, ethics, and aesthetics may also arise in these examinations, along with topics in religion, politics, history, and economics.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-3319  Philosophy and Literature  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one 2000 Level PHI course.  

Are literature and philosophy rivals in asking big questions or seeking a deeper truth? If so, which is better at doing these? If not, what sort of relationship should they have? This course explores various relationships between literature and philosophy, such as philosophy's suspicion of art and literature's disdain of philosophy. With a focus on philosophy of literature and philosophical theories as they appear in or through thelens of literature, we critically engage diverse perspectives on issues in ethics, aesthetics, and metaphysics. Topics covered may include imagination, authorship, appropriation, genre, truth, fiction, intention, meaning, emotion, freedom, morality, and human nature. Philosophy and literature will mutually illuminate each other as new insights on works of literature are gained through philosophy, and as literary imagination complements the rigor of philosophical thought.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-3326  Philosophy of Science  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

Why and how does science work? This course examines the epistemological and ontological requirements of natural science. This examination is carried out by means of a consideration of the idea of science in Greek philosophy, the emergence of modern natural science in the 17th century, logical positivism's account of natural science, and the recent criticisms of the logical positivist account. Readings from ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary sources.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-3327  Theory of Being  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

An inquiry into the problem of being and into the concepts in terms of which it has been eludidated; the possibility of this question. Readings from ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary philosophers.

Typically offered: Fall Only  
PHI-3333  Philosophical Theology  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

This course studies major themes in the western tradition about the existence and nature of God. Religion brings out the best and the worst in people. Philosophy purports to be guided by reason and careful argument. Are our religious commitments subject to rational scrutiny? How compatible are faith and reason? What does God's existence or lack of existence have to do with our living? God's existence or non-existence may have important implications for morality and the ground of careful decision-making as well as, more generally, the meaning, value and ongoing determination and differentiation of human life.

Typically offered: Spring Only  
PHI-3340  Special Problems in Ethics  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

Examination of selected contemporary and traditional ethical problems, such as abortion, sex-education, euthanasia, cenorship, war, and capital punishment; some study of the presuppositions, instruments; and procedures of ethical analysis will be involved.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-3341  Philosophy of Law  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

An inquiry into the nature of law through a study of different explanations of what law is. This course addresses itself to the issues that have been raised concerning the connection of law to justice and of legality to morality. Prerequisites PHI 101 or 114 and 201 or 203. 3 CREDITS.

Typically offered: Fall Only  
PHI-3342  Business Ethics  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): One 2000 level PHI course  

An introduction to the philosophical questions and theories associated with business ethics, with discussions based on the study of sample actual business cases. Topics include: applying moral philosophy to business ethics, social responsibility, organizational culture and ethical decision-making, development of an effective ethics program and business ethics in a global economy.

Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-3343  Philosophy of Sport  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

This course will examine the history and theory of sport, and athletic excellence, through the lens of philosophical texts, selections from world literature, and scholarly articles from the fields of cultural studies. By reading, and analyzing such works, it is to be hoped that students will come to understand the important features of the history, theory, and social relevance of sport and athletics.

Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-3344  The Environment: Philosophical and Ethical Perspectives  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

This course aims to elucidate contemporary environmental issues by examining them in the light of a range of philosophical and ethical perspectives. Through readings and discussions, students will be introduced to a variety of religious, philosophical, and cultural views of the relationship between human beings and their environment, and will consider the ethical implications of the various approaches. A basic introduction to ethical theory will serve as the ground for the application of ethical principles to a broad spectrum of contemporary environmental problems. Students mastery of the material is exhibited through their performance on objective tests, as well as in a short paper in which they are expected to take a position on one of the issues raised in the readings, developing their own arguments and applying relevant ethical principles. Students are not specifically graded on class participation, but questions and discussion are strongly encouraged. In borderline situations, class participation which is particularly strong, or clearly lacking, will be taken into account in determining the final grade.

Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-3354  The Holocaust and Forgiveness: Looking In the Abyss  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

Forgiveness is not a theoretical attitude- it is a decision that one must make. However one ultimately decises, to make this decision in a properly informed way, it is necessary to reflect on the evil against which the possibility of forgiveness is be measured, and what- if anything- would constitute repenance for such an evil. This course will examine the efforts to address these matters with repsect to the holocaust. Among the questions to be considered are: What are the evil of Naziam? Why does it remain a source of fascination? Is it possible for Germany to repent of its past? Is forgiveness possible after Auschwitz?

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-3403  Moral Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

An examination of the basic questions of moral philosophy and the positions taken up in response to them with particular attention to the question of the relationship between a given ethic and its corresponding conceptions of man and being. Readings of philosophers from antiquity to the present.

Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-3404  Political Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

Aristotle says we are political animals by nature. But it is not obvious what he means with this designation. What does it mean to be political, especially today, when so many presume politics obstructs the good? Does the meaning of the political change, and if so, why? Beginning with Plato and Aristotle, this course surveys the fundamental concepts of political philosophy by way of their origin, history and contemporary relevance. Topics include authority, justice, freedom, violence and the state.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM  
Typically offered: All Sessions  
PHI-3431  Greek Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

The major figures and issues in Classical philosophy from the Presocratics to Neoplatonism, with particular emphasis on Plato and Aristotle. Analysis of representative texts.

Typically offered: Fall Only  
PHI-3432  Medieval Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

This course offers an examination and analysis of representative texts of major figures from Christian, Arabic, and Jewish traditions with particular attention to the question of the relation between philosophical inquiry and religious beliefs. Other topics may include the nature of basic reality, the existence and attributes of transcendent being, and the relation of faith to reason.

Typically offered: Spring Only  
PHI-3441  Modern Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

European philosophy from the 16th through the mid-19th centuries. The canonical figures and issues in modern philosophy from Bacon and Descartes through Hegal. The emphasis in this course is on epistemological, logical, and metaphysical issues. Analysis of represntative texts.

Typically offered: Fall Only  
PHI-3442  Twentieth-Century Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

A survey of the major figures and movements in twentieth-century philosophy, such as postmodernism, phenomenology, logical positivism, ordinary language analysis, existentialism, and pragmatism.

Typically offered: Spring Only  
PHI-3443  Philosophy and the Moving Image  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one course in PHI.  

Throughout history, philosophy has attempted to address a number of questions. Why are we here? What type of beings are we? Is there a purpose to the lives we lead? What is the nature of evil? How can we live moral, purposeful lives- and is it necessary for us to attempt to do so? With the invention of moving pictures,"" these philosophical questions began to be addressed within the context of commercial films and, later, television, raising the possibility that the very nature of these questions becomes altered through the lens of the movingimage. In this course, we will combine philosophical readings with the viewing of films and television programs in an attempt to address the question, ""Has the moving image changed the way we think?

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-4000  Special Topics in Philosophy  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one PHI course.  

The course wil explore specific identified topics in the discipline of philosophy. The subject matter will be selected by the instructor and chairman. Students may be granted for multiple sections of PHI-4000, provided the topic differs.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-4001  Special Topics in Philosophy: Philosophical Principles in Catholicism  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one 2000-level PHI course  
Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-4002  Special Problems in Philosophy: Justice And Piety  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one 2000-level PHI course  
Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-4004  Topic: Franciscan Signposts On the Road to Modernity  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): 2000-level PHI course  

An examination of some of the writings of St. Francis of Assisi, Roger Bacon, St. Bonaventure, Alexander of Hales, Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham. The emphasis will be on the contribution of each of these to the formation of philosophical modernity.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-4005  Special Topic: Radial Issues  (3 Credits)  
Requisite(s): Take one PHI course.  

Martin Luther King, Jr.'s greatest philosophical influence was Hegel, whom he studied at Harvard and Boston University. Angela Davis to this day advocates the ideas of Herbert Marcuse, who mentored her while studying for her PhD in Philosophy. Philosopher Simone Weil died on a hunger strike for her belief in our duty to have sympathy for others. Meanwhile, today's radical acceptance movement comes from Ancient Stoic Philosophy. This discussion-based course examines the influence of philosophy from antiquity to the present on our personal choices and social change, and offers students the chance to explore any related ideas or people they are interested in. No tests or quizzes.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-4995  Independent Study  (1-4 Credits)  

This course allows the student to engage in a semester-long detailed examination of a philosophical topic. The course may be taken only with the permission of the instructor and the department chairman.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-5401  Plato and Neo-Platonisma  (3 Credits)  

Neoplatonism, a philosophical movement beginning with Plotinus, offers itself as an elucidation of what Plato really meant"" and a continuation of his thought. Along with Plato?s philosophy itself, it has been profoundly influential on Western philosophy, mysticism, and literature. The two major sections of this seminar will be (a) a study of Plato, with particular attention given to the aspects of his thought emphasized by Neoplatonic thinkers; and (b) a study of Plotinus?s philosophy in its triple dimension - as a reading of Plato, as a metaphysical system, and as a religious path. Since Neoplatonism did not immediately grow out of Plato, the seminar will examine more briefly, between these two sections, the key concepts of intervening philosophical systems that Neoplatonism either built itself against or incorporated (or both). The last section will be devoted to the later pagan Neoplatonists, and to the synthesis of Christian doctrine and Neoplatonic themes in two towering figures at the juncture of ancient and early-Medieval thought.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-5402  The Infinite  (3 Credits)  

Cross-listed with: MAT-5400. The infinite is a rich and dynamic notion situated at the crossroads of several fields of study and reflection. This team-taught interdisciplinary seminar approaches the infinite from two distinct perspectives: that of philosophy, and that of mathematics.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: NPW, PEM  
Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-5403  Science Fiction and the Examined Life  (3 Credits)  

What is the nature of man? Does the existence of evil indicate the non-existence of God? How can a person tell reality from illusion? Why are we here? This seminar will examine these classic philosophical questions through significant works of science fiction that guide students toward ways of thinking about issues such as free will vs. determinism, cloning and genetic manipulation, the question of evil, reality vs. illusion, and the question of being itself (perhaps philosophy's largest and most significant question of all).

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-5404  Existentialism: Philosophical Analysis Of Human Experience  (3 Credits)  

This course is designed to provide the student with an experience of reading, critically analyzing and discussing primary philosophical texts, in translation, which highlight the existentialist movement through the 19th and 20th centuries. Beginning with the premise that philosophy itself is less a body of rigid ideas or a mere collection of information, the so-called existentialist tradition portrays a wide range of perspectives on human experience and the uniqueness of human existence. This philosophical text-based study will be complemented by additional literary sources as well as films which serve to provide the student with a firm grounding in philosophical concepts, terminology and historical continuity of ideas in the Modern era.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-5405  Philosophy of Gender in Film  (3 Credits)  

By reinforcing, bending, or breaking stereotypes, gender in film can perpetuate prejudice, oppression, and discrimination, or can open new possibilities for expression, re-evaluation, and acceptance. Philosophy allows us to understand just how and why this is so. The philosophy of gender when applied to film articulates the meaning and ethical import of various representations of gender in movies. Readings in this course explore ethical and aesthetic issues of representations of gender in film, including but not limited to feminist criticisms of popular film, transgender characters and actors, masculine stereotyping in superhero and action film, and alternative or progressive representations of gender in specific films. Through the lens of philosophy, we will critically analyze creative works of cinema, being mindful of their social, cultural, and historical context, and discuss the ways they inform our understanding and experiences of gender, which also intersects with sexuality, race, class, and other related categories.

Fulfills General Education Requirement: PEM, HCE  
Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-5406  Myth and Social Order  (3 Credits)  

Philosophy is said to originate in mythology. But during the Enlightenment, philosophers imagined a world finally free from myth. The traditional superstitions inhibiting scientific and political progress could be set aside once and for all, they hoped. By the 19th century this fantasy was exposed as a myth too. Recent scholarship has rehabilitated myths and other traditional forms of discourse, refusing to dismiss them as mere products of the primitive mind. This seminar studies the stories we tell ourselves and each other about where we came from and where we are going. It does so through an examination of the development of reason in history. Such stories are the rhetorical vehicle for communicating important existential truths about us. Myths have the capacity to inspire but also to control, to promote as well as to threaten human maturity.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-5433  Neo-Platonism (Honors)  (3 Credits)  

Honors seminar. An examination of the philosophical movement, beginning with Plotinus, and of its influence on Western philosophy, mysticism, and literature. The foundation of the course will be laid with a study of Plotinus's philosophy, in its triple dimension-as a reading of Plato, as a metaphysical system, and as a religious path. The Neo-Platonic vein will then be traced through medieval philosophy in the Christian, Jewish, and Islamic worlds; connections with Indian thought will also be considered. The continuing life of Neo-Platonic themes in modern philosophy and literature will finally be brought to light.

Typically offered: As Needed  
PHI-6995  Independent Study in Philosophy  (1-3 Credits)  

Independent research and study in a topic in Philosophy including submission of a written report. Prerequisites: graduate standing and approval of the department chairperson.

Typically offered: On Demand  
PHI-7342  Business Ethics  (3 Credits)  

This graduate course is designed to illustrate the importance and nuances of ethical behavior in our various roles in today's competitive business world and our complex consumer society. We learn fundamental ethical theo¼ries in philosophy and apply them to issues in business with sample cases. Issues examined include the merits of affirmative action, privacy rights of employees, environmentalism, social respon-sibility, consumer rights, whether cost savings justify outsourcing production to countries with little or no protection for workers, and whether whistle blowers are protecting the public or betraying others.

Typically offered: As Needed