Undergraduate

Courses

PHI-0100 Introduction to Philosophy
An introduction to the methods and problems of philosophy and to important figures in the history of philosophy. Topics include the nature of knowledge and reality, free will and determinism, the mind/body problem, the existence of God, and the meaning of life. Readings from classical and contemporary sources. Offered fall semester. 3 credits. This course fulfills the Developing the Core/Humanities requirement in the Undergraduate College’s General Education program.

PHI-H100 Honors Introduction to Philosophy
The aim of this course is to introduce the student to some of the central problems discussed by prominent philosophers of both the past and present, to critically examine fundamental beliefs and concepts, and to develop in the student an interest and ability in thinking philosophically, expressing such thought clearly, comprehending philosophical works and positions, and reasoning intelligently about pivotal questions. 3 credits. This course fulfills the Developing the Core/Humanities requirement in the Undergraduate College’s General Education program.

PHI-0120 Critical Thinking
An introduction to the fundamentals of logical reasoning, designed to aid students in understanding and applying the essential principles underlying the theory and practice of reasoned decision making. Covers elementary methods of argument analysis and composition, meaning and definition, informal fallacies, scientific method, and causal reasoning. Offered fall semester. 3 credits.

PHI-0200 History of Western Philosophy: Ancient and Medieval
A survey course in the history of western philosophy intended to introduce students to the theories of prominent ancient and medieval philosophers. Concentration on works by the Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Plotinus, St. Augustine, St. Thomas Aquinas, and others. No prerequisite. Offered fall semester in alternate years. 3 credits. This course fulfills the Developing the Core/Humanities requirement in the Undergraduate College’s General Education program.

PHI-0201 History of Western Philosophy: Early Modern Thought
Examines the development of modern western philosophy with special emphasis on Continental Rationalism and British Empiricism. Concentration on works by Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and their influence on Kant. No prerequisite. Offered spring semester in alternate years. 3 credits. This course fulfills the Developing the Core/Humanities requirement in the Undergraduate College’s General Education program.

PHI-0205 History of Western Philosophy: 19th Century Idealism and Romanticism
An analysis and evaluation of the philosophies of Hegel and Nietzsche, Idealism and Romanticism in philosophy and literature, and the origin of philosophy of science and social science. No prerequisite. Offered fall semester in alternate years. 3 credits.

PHI-0210 History of Western Philosophy: 20th Century Philosophy
Examines works and themes of significance in 20th century thought as well as discussing emerging issues of philosophical import for the 21st century. No prerequisite. Offered spring semester in alternate years. 3 credits.

PHI-0230 Introduction to Logic
An introduction to the basic concepts, principles, and methods of argument analysis and evaluation, including deductive vs. inductive reasoning, validity, soundness, truth tables, deductive proof, and probability and statistical reasoning. May also include Aristotelian logic, informal fallacies, and causal reasoning and scientific method. Helpful for students preparing for GREs or LSATs. No prerequisite. Offered in alternate years. 3 credits.

PHI-0240 Social and Political Philosophy I
An introduction and analysis of the founding texts of western political thought – Plato’s Republic, Aristotle’s Politics, Machiavelli’s Prince – as well as of Roman legal and political thought and medieval political philosophy. No prerequisite. Offered fall semester in alternate years. 3 credits.

PHI-0241 Social and Political Philosophy II
A survey of the major political philosophies of the modern and contemporary world including classical and reform contractarianism, communitarianism, conservatism and neo-conservatism, socialism, fascism, and post-modern and other current political theories. No prerequisite. Offered spring semester in alternate years. 3 credits.

PHI-0260 Philosophy and Feminism
An examination of classical and contemporary views on the nature of woman and the variety of responses within the feminist movement to the situation of women in modern society; emphasis is placed on discovery of underlying philosophical presuppositions concerning human nature, human good, equality, masculinity, and femininity. No prerequisite. Offered occasionally. 3 credits. This course fulfills the Multiculturalism and Gender requirement in the Undergraduate College’s General Education program.

PHI-0270 Business Ethics
An analysis of ethical issues arising in contemporary business life. Sample topics include fair and unfair competition; responsibilities towards employees, society, and the environment; honesty and integrity in business; and the moral status of corporations. Readings from texts in business, philosophy, law, and other relevant fields. No prerequisite. Offered spring semester in alternate years. 3 credits. This course fulfills the Ethics in Action requirement in the Undergraduate College’s General Education program.

PHI-0272 Ethics and Social Values
An introductory survey of philosophical approaches to contemporary moral and social problems. Emphasis will be on theories about how we ought to act and about goals, rights, and responsibilities appropriate to human beings. Topics may include capital punishment, equality and discrimination, economic justice, globalization, and terrorism, among others. No prerequisite. Offered in alternate years. 3 credits. This course fulfills the Ethics in Action requirement in the Undergraduate College’s General Education program.

PHI-S272 Ethics, Service Learning
This Service Learning course allows students to fulfill their experiential learning requirement by participating in a project in the community that is integrated into a Philosophy course. No prerequisite. Offered occasionally. 1 credit. This course fulfills the Enacting the Core/Experiential Learning requirement in the Undergraduate College’s General Education program.

PHI-0275 Biomedical Ethics
Introduces students to questions concerning the ethical and social policy dimensions of the health care profession. Topics examined include: the professional-patient relationship, abortion, euthanasia, research involving human subjects, justice in health care, and the ethical implications of eugenics, cloning, and genetic engineering. No prerequisite. Offered fall semester in alternate years. 3 credits. This course fulfills the Ethics in Action requirement in the Undergraduate College’s General Education program.

PHI-0279 Communication Ethics
An examination of the ethical challenges that confront communication professionals, whether in print, broadcast or Internet journalism, public relations, or advertising. The course draws heavily on case studies to teach decision-making skills for ethical dilemmas. This course cross lists with COM-0279. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. 3 credits. This course fulfills the Ethics in Action requirement in the Undergraduate College’s General Education program.

PHI-0290 Environmental Ethics
An examination of different conceptions of nature, and different theories about the relationship of humans to their natural environment, that have shaped current debates about environmental issues. Readings will be drawn from historically important moral theories as well as from contemporary philosophical writings in the area of environmental ethics. No prerequisite. Offered occasionally. 3 credits. This course fulfills either the Ethics in Action requirement or the Sustainability requirement in the Undergraduate College’s General Education program; however, it cannot be used to fulfill both requirements.

PHI-0325 Asian Philosophies
This course will explore the traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism, with a view to examining not just the various understandings of self-cultivation and its transformative effect on the individual, but also to examine the greater philosophical contexts within which the practical concerns for self-realization are situated. In so doing we will explore a variety of views on the nature of reality, knowledge, ethics, and social life. No prerequisite. 3 credits.

PHI-0330 Special Topics in Philosophy
Examination of selected ideas or topics of interest otherwise not covered; past examples have included postmodernism, philosophy of mysticism, and philosophical interpretations of evolutionary theory. No prerequisite. Offered as needed. 3 credits.

PHI-0335 Existential Philosophy
An examination of existentialism and the work of philosophers and writers associated with existentialism. Emphasis is on selected works by thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, DeBeauvoir, and Camus. No prerequisite. Offered occasionally. 3 credits.

PHI-0345 American Philosophy
Introduces students to American philosophical movements and pre-eminent American philosophers. Emphasis on the early pragmatism of C.S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey, and the reworking of pragmatic ideas since 1950 by American philosophers such as W.V. Quine, Hilary Putnam, and Richard Rorty. Selections from other influential figures such as Oliver Wendell Holmes, Donald Davidson, and Thomas Kuhn will also be included. No prerequisite. Offered occasionally. 3 credits.

PHI-0350 Philosophy of Religion
This course is an introduction to the field of philosophy which asks questions both about the phenomenon of religion in general, and about particular religious beliefs and claims. We will ask questions regarding the nature of religion, religious experience, the relation between faith and reason, the nature and existence of God, the problem of evil, life after death, and other topics. Although we will focus on the debates dominant in the Western tradition of religious and philosophical thought, we will also spend some time on non-Western traditions and on the issue of religious diversity. No prerequisite. 3 credits.

PHI-0355 Philosophy of Art
An examination of the nature of art and aesthetic experience. Readings include works by philosophers of historical importance such as Plato and Aristotle as well as the writings of contemporary aestheticians. Issues explored may include artistic concepts pertaining to form and content, representation and expression, meaning and truth, and critical interpretation and evaluation. Consideration may also be given to selected issues associated with particular arts such as meaning in music, the interpretation of poetry, and the cinematic in film. No prerequisite. Offered occasionally. 3 credits.

PHI-0360 Ethics
An evaluation and analysis of major ethical theories in the western tradition including virtue-oriented ethics, natural law, deontology, utilitarianism, and theories of justice and rights. Concentrated study of works of major historical and contemporary thinkers. No prerequisite. Offered in alternate years. 3 credits.

PHI-0401 Seminar on Individual Philosophers
Significant texts and ideas of an important philosopher to be examined in depth. May include two philosophers who can be compared and contrasted. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. Offered as needed. 3 credits.

PHI-0420 Senior Seminar
A seminar in special areas, designed according to the needs of majors. Prerequisite: Senior Philosophy major status. Offered as needed. 3 credits.

PHI-0482 Independent Study
Arranged on an individual basis. The area of study is selected by the student in consultation with the instructor. No prerequisite. 1 to 3 credits.

PHI-0485 Internship
Supervised experience in an appropriate work setting. Faculty/student conferences and evaluation sessions will be held periodically. Credits to be determined based on breadth and duration of internship. No prerequisite. 1 to 3 credits.

Faculty

Alan A. Preti
Assistant Professor, Philosophy
Discipline Chair

Esen Traub
Associate Professor, Philosophy
(Retired)

Michael Thompson
Adjunct Instructor, Philosophy