PHILOSOPHY

PHILOSOPHY

PHILOSOPHY 1000
Introduction to Philosophy

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

The branches of philosophy study humanity's ultimate questions. Metaphysics considers what is truly real. Does God exist? Is there free will? How real is the past or the future? Epistemology asks whether answers to such questions can be known. Ethics investigates rights and duties, vices and virtues, and tries to define the good life for humans. Social and political philosophy study and assess human communities.

PHILOSOPHY 2000
Studies in Philosophy (Series)

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

The 2000 series makes available to students special courses that are not offered regularly. Some of these courses reflect the research interests of members of the faculty, and thus offer students an early glimpse of how research is done. In other cases, the course could be a response to student interest.

Prerequisites and recommended backgrounds will be specified for individual offerings.

PHILOSOPHY 2010
Ancient Philosophy

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

We study the first thousand years of Western philosophy and its importance today, focusing on Plato and Aristotle, the most influential thinkers of all time. Includes the Presocratics (Thales, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Zeno) and their relations to Greek mythology; the Sophists (Protagoras, Gorgias); Cynics, Epicureans, Stoics, Plotinus and their influence on early Christianity.

Recommended background: Philosophy 1000.

PHILOSOPHY 2030
17th-Century Philosophy: Descartes to Leibniz

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

Seventeenth-Century Western philosophy (like science) challenged ideas that had dominated thought for centuries. Philosophers set out to rebuild our view of the world from the ground up. A new philosophy of human nature and the world emerged, becoming what we now call the modern world view. Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke and Leibniz.

Recommended background: Philosophy 1000.

PHILOSOPHY 2065
Continental Philosophy

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

Post Kantian thought such as European Idealism and Phenomenology, Marxist political theory, Neitzschean Anti-Christian Individualism, Sartre and French Existentialism, and the more recent Postmodern movement. Particular focus will be determined by the instructor.

Recommended Background: Philosophy 1000.

Note: Credit is not allowed for Philosophy 2065 and Philosophy 2060 or 3340.

PHILOSOPHY 2111
Introduction to Value Theory

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

We probe the nature and kinds of values and evaluation, including morality, legality, normality, health and sanity, virtue and vice, quality of life and ethics; and the nature of ideologies such as Democracy, Feminism, Socialism, Capitalism, Liberalism, Religious Fundamentalism.

Recommended background: Philosophy 1000.

PHILOSOPHY 2120
Contemporary Moral Problems

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

Is it possible, or even necessary, to resolve public debate about the moral issues that divide us? We clarify, criticize and test conflicting arguments about issues such as euthanasia, abortion, censorship and pornography, minority and animal rights, and the environment.

Recommended background: Philosophy 1000 or 2111.

PHILOSOPHY 2150
Aesthetics

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

We study major philosophical views of art and literature in such thinkers as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, Croce and Dewey.

Recommended background: Philosophy 1000.

PHILOSOPHY 2210
Philosophy of Religion

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

We make use of analytical resources found in present-day cosmology, formal semantics, decision theory and other branches of natural science. Issues to be examined usually include God's nature, the problem of evil, the rationality and prudence of religious belief and the alleged conflict between religion and science.

Recommended background: Philosophy 1000.

PHILOSOPHY 2220
Philosophy of Mind

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

We probe the nature of mind (soul, consciousness), cognition, perception, emotion, voluntary action, religious beliefs about the mind, and unconscious mental states; and we compare ideas to language, personal to bodily identity and explanations in 'folk' psychology to neuroscience.

Recommended background: Philosophy 1000.

PHILOSOPHY 2233
Philosophy and the World View of Science: Earth and Life Sciences

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

A philosophical approach to the world view of contemporary earth and life sciences. We discuss the origins of modern geology and the modern synthesis in biology of genetics and evolution by natural selection. Issues include the status of evidence about the past, evolution versus creationism and the idea of fitness.

Recommended background: Philosophy 1000.

PHILOSOPHY 2234
Philosophy and the World View of Science: Space, Time and Matter

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

Philosophical controversies in the world view of contemporary physical science, including the special and general theories of relativity, quantum mechanics and cosmology. Issues include reductionism, the nature of scientific theories, evidence for theories, different theories of space and time, causality, scientific revolutions and the status of theoretical entities.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1000.

Recommended background: Science 30, or a 1000-level course (3.0 credit hours) in Science or Mathematics.

PHILOSOPHY 2235
Philosophy of Feminism

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours: 3-0-0

The course examines feminist criticism of traditional approaches to ethics, political theory and philosophy. At the same time, it examines the philosophical assumptions of feminism itself, taking into account issues that may include sexuality, race, social class, disabilities and globalization.

Recommended background: Philosophy 1000.

PHILOSOPHY 2236
Environmental Philosophy

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours: 3-0-0

Is there really an environmental crisis? Do we even know what the environment is? How can we resolve conflicts between environmental and economic priorities? Do we have ethical obligations to the environment or to future generations? Using techniques of philosophical analysis, students are introduced to key issues in this growing and important field of applied philosophy.

Recommended background: One of Agricultural Studies 1000, Biology 1020, Economics 1010 (2001), Geography 1000, History 1000 or Philosophy 1000.

PHILOSOPHY 3000
Studies in Philosophy (Series)

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

The 3000 series has the same function as the 2000 series but at levels of study appropriate to more senior students.

Prerequisites and recommended backgrounds will be specified for individual offerings.

PHILOSOPHY 3260
Metaphysics

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

Metaphysics is the attempt to construct the biggest possible picture of the world. Students will be introduced to such questions as these: Is God ultimately real? What is time? Do we have free will? Are there other possible worlds? Can we understand the relation between mind and matter? Do such questions even have answers?

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1000.

Recommended background: Philosophy 2030 or 3409.

PHILOSOPHY 3270
Theory of Knowledge

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

An introduction to epistemology, focusing on the rational justification of belief, the nature of knowledge and learning (ordinary, mathematical and scientific), perception and the use and abuse of skepticism. Special topics, including epistemology of religion, scientific method and mathematics, may also be taken up.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1000.

Recommended background: Philosophy 2030.

PHILOSOPHY 3280
Philosophy of Language

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

The nature of language and representation in general and their emphasis in 20th-Century philosophy. The reality of symbolic forms, relations between language and thought, reality, communication, translation, human action and culture, meaningfulness, nonsense, truth and falsehood. Thinkers discussed include Peirce, Austin, Quine, Chomsky and their followers.

Recommended background: Philosophy 1000 or Logic 1000.

PHILOSOPHY 3350
Analytic Philosophy

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

Today's analytic philosophy is marked by the centrality of the philosophy of language, the rise of naturalized epistemology, reductionist theories of the mind, evolutionary ethics, and feminist challenges to traditional ways of philosophizing. By tracing these developments we will see what is fueling philosophy at the turn-of-the-millennium.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1000.

Recommended background: Logic 1000.

PHILOSOPHY 3401
Social and Political Philosophy

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

A critical examination of the concepts that lie at the core of our social commitments and the political institutions that support them. What, if anything, do we owe to the State? What laws, if any, may we, or even must we, disobey? What justifies private property? Why do we value liberty and equality? What do we do when liberty and equality conflict in cases such as affirmative action or pornography?

Recommended background: One of Philosophy 1000 or 2120, or Political Science 1000.

PHILOSOPHY 3402
Biomedical Ethics

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

This course examines a number of difficult moral issues lying at the intersection of health, medicine, science and social policy. Issues to be examined may include euthanasia, abortion, genetic engineering, informed consent, patient competence, medical experimentation and the right of all citizens to an adequate and equal level of health care.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1000, 2111 or 2120.

PHILOSOPHY 3403
Philosophy of Love and Sex

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

We examine the ideology of love, sex and related matters, such as masculinity, femininity and the ethics and politics of personal relationships.

Recommended background: One of Philosophy 1000, 2111, 2120 or Logic 1000.

PHILOSOPHY 3404
Philosophy of Law

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

We study historical and contemporary controversies about analytical, normative and historical jurisprudence: the reality of legitimacy laws and legal systems; adversarial and inquisitorial systems, common law and civil law systems, branches of law (criminal, civil, tort, contract, administrative, etc.), law and morality, liability and entitlement, defenses and rights and duties.

Recommended background: Philosophy 1000, 2111 or 2120.

PHILOSOPHY 3406
Business Ethics

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

Can sound business decisions be made independently of ethics? Topics may include the dependence effect in advertising, the ethics of investing in countries with repressive regimes, health and safety in the workplace, conflicts between shareholders and the environment, whistle-blowing, lying versus bluffing, bribery versus extortion, and affirmative action and sexual harassment.

Recommended background: Philosophy 1000.

PHILOSOPHY 3409
18th-Century Philosophy: Leibniz to Kant

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

Does our knowledge of the world come chiefly from reason, or from the senses? In the 18th Century, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume and Kant focused on the workings of perception, the relation between mind and body, and the foundations of knowledge. The tension between reason and experience that they explored continues to drive work on these problems today, influencing (for example) debates over nature versus nurture in human behaviour.

Recommended background: Philosophy 1000 or 2030.

PHILOSOPHY 3410
Advanced Ethics

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

How is knowledge about morality possible? Can reason and argument really tell us how we ought to act? And even if we can sometimes know how we ought to act, can morality act as a decisive check on self-interest? This course will examine current accounts of moral reasoning as well as deeper questions about what moral values are.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1000.

Recommended background: One of Philosophy 2111, 2120, 2210, 2235 or 2236.

PHILOSOPHY 3411
Game Theory in Philosophy

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours: 3-0-0

Philosophers, mathematicians and economists are developing a powerful tool for resolving problems in human interaction - game theory. Using the techniques of philosophical analysis, we will study this tool for its insights into disciplines as diverse as politics, economics, ethics, military strategy, psychology and evolutionary biology.

Recommended background: Logic 1000.

PHILOSOPHY 3412
Philosophy of Science

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

Our modern world has been shaped by science, and it is important for all of us to reflect on its meaning and justification. In this course we examine questions such as: How can we tell the difference between science and psuedo-science? Is science literally true? Is science biased by class, culture or gender? What really happens during a scientific revolution? Is there really such a thing as scientific progress? How do scientists test their theories? What factors threaten scientific progress? Are there limits to science? Can we have too much science, or be too much influenced by it? Which scientific developments are philosophically important? This course is accessible to students who are not specialists in science but who have an open mind to new concepts.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1000.

Recommended background: A 2000-level course in Philosophy or Logic and/or a course designated 'Science' (See Part 4 - Academic Regulations, Section 5, List III: Science Courses, pp. 73-74).

PHILOSOPHY 3450
Philosophy of War

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

Though war occupies but a tiny fraction of our lives, its implications influence our every moment. In this course we consider practical questions about the costs and benefits of war, ethical questions about deterrent threats, terrorism, and having and using nuclear weapons, social and psychological questions about the causes of war and the nature of military institutions, and strategic/game theoretical puzzles.

Prerequisite: Philosophy 1000.

Note: Credit is not allowed for Philosophy 3450 and Philosophy 3000 (Philosophy of War).

PHILOSOPHY 4000
Studies in Philosophy (Series)

Credit hours: 3.0
Contact hours per week: 3-0-0

The 4000 series has the same functions as the 2000 and 3000 series but at levels of study appropriate to senior philosophy majors or other students with a strong philosophical background.

Prerequisites and recommended backgrounds will be specified for individual courses.

PHILOSOPHY 4995
Undergraduate Thesis

Credit hours: 6.0
Contact hours per week: 1-0-0
Other hours: 0-0-10

This is a challenging, work-intensive, research-oriented course. This research will be presented in a report in the form of an undergraduate thesis which will be made publicly available and which will be the subject of an oral defence.

Prerequisites: Fourth-year standing (a minimum of 90.0 credit hours).

A cumulative GPA of 3.30 or higher in the last 30 courses.

A cumulative GPA of 3.50 or higher on all Philosophy and Logic courses.

Completion of at least one Independent Study in Philosophy or Logic at either the 3000 or 4000 level.

Note: See Part 7 - Arts and Science, Sections 4.c., 5.c. and 6.c., pp. 84-87.