PHL 105 - Introduction to Philosophy
A general introduction to the problems, methods, scope and history of philosophical inquiry as exemplified by the course of moral theory. In particular, the major views on human nature and morality are examined in their philosophical and historical contexts, tracing the development of ethics from Socrates through the medieval and the modern eras down into the 20th century. Metaphysical and epistemological issues are treated as needed for the proper exposition and criticism of the various moral theories studied, giving students an introductory knowledge of the full range of philosophical problems and demonstrating their interconnections.
PHL 107 - Introduction to Logic
An introduction to the principles of valid reasoning designed to develop analytical skills and abilities. Emphasis is placed on the evaluation of arguments through both informal and formal methods. Topics covered include informal fallacies, syllogisms, inductive logic and probability. No prerequisites.
PHL 211 - Ancient Philosophy
A historical survey of ancient philosophy from Thales to St. Augustine. Attention will be given to the pre- Socratics, the Sophists, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Stoics and Epicureans, Plotinus, the early Church Fathers and St. Augustine.
PHL 212 - Medieval Philosophy
A historical survey of medieval philosophy from St. Augustine to the late Scholastics. St. Augustine, the later Church Fathers, Boethius, John Scotus Erigena, Anselm, Abelard, Bonaventura, Aquinas, Ockham, Scotus and other medieval thinkers are studied.
PHL 213 - Modern Philosophy
A historical survey of modern philosophy from Bacon to Kant. Major emphasis is placed upon the Rationalists (Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza), Empiricists (Locke, Berkeley and Hume) and Kant’s synthesis of those two traditions.
PHL 217 - Nineteenth-Century Philosophy
A study of the major philosophical developments in the 19th century. Figures covered include Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche, Comte, Mill, Brentano and Frege.
PHL 320 - American Philosophy
A survey of American philosophical thought. Emphasis is placed on the views of the major Pragmatists of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Peirce, James and Dewey. Attention is also given to contemporary American philosophers who have incorporated aspects of Pragmatism in their thought, as, for example, Quine, Putnam and Rorty.
PHL 330 - Ethical Theory
A critical review of recent developments in ethical and value theory. Topics covered may include the dispute between utilitarianism and deontological theories, the nature of justification in ethics, the distinction between facts and values, and meta-ethical theories.
PHL 335 - Agency, Self and Other
Readings in the phenomenology of action, selfhood and otherness, especially in light of decisive modern and postmodern breaks with a broadly Cartesian conception of self and other. Phenomenological and existential thinkers (Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Levinas, Derrida) will usually be central, but comparative reference points may include pragmatism (especially George Herbert Mead) and thinkers commonly associated with "analytic" philosophy (Wittgenstein, Ryle, Searle, Dennett, et. al.).
PHL 340 - Twentieth-Century Continental Philosophy
An examination of some of the main themes in recent philosophical thought in Europe, including phenomenology, existentialism, structuralist and post-structuralist thought and hermeneutics. Figures to be covered include Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merieau-Ponty, Gadamer and Derrida.
PHL 341 - Twentieth-Century Analytic Philosophy
A survey of the development of analytic philosophy from Frege and Russell to Quine and other contemporary analytic philosophers. Emphasis is placed upon Russell, the Positivists, the early and later Wittgenstein, Austin and the “ordinary language” school, Sellars and Quine.
PHL 342 - Issues in Contemporary Epistemology
Readings in contemporary theories and disputes in epistemology. Topics will vary from offering to offering, so students will be able to take the course for credit more than once.
PHL 343 - Issues in Contemporary Metaphysics
Readings in contemporary theories and disputes in metaphysics. Topics will vary from offering to offering so students will be able to take the course for credit more than once.
PHL 344 - Issues in Contemporary Axiology
Readings in contemporary theories and disputes in value theory (eithics and/or aesthetics). Topics will range from offering to offering so students will be able to take the course for credit more than once.
PHL 350 - Philosophy of Law
An analysis of key issues in legal philosophy. Special emphasis is placed on such questions as the proper role and the justification of punishment, the relationship between law and morality, and the objectives and requirements of the rule of law.
PHL 410 - Philosophy of Mind
A study of contemporary issues in the philosophy of mind, including the concept of personhood, knowledge of other minds and the relation between mind and body.
PHL 420 - Philosophy of Religion
A philosophical examination of the nature of religious belief, experience and activity. The course will also include an examination of such concepts as God, freedom and immortality.
PHL 435 - Knowledge, Thought and Society
Readings from both philosophers and social scientists on the social dimensions of knowledge and cognition. The course usually will include some historical attention to the emergence of sociology of knowledge under the influence of Nietzsche, Marx and Durkheim, culminating in the 20th-century formulations by Karl Mannheim and by Peter Berger and Thomas Luckmann. Other specific topics may vary.
PHL 450 - Social and Political Philosophy
A philosophical examination of major social and political concepts such as authority, justice, law, obligation and rights. Special attention will be given to the use of these concepts in such ideologies as communism, fascism and democracy.
PHL 451 - Philosophy of Science
A survey of the major views on the nature and methods of science. Included will be a brief historical introduction to the philosophy of science in the 19th century, the development of logical positivism and recent criticisms of it, and proposed alternatives to the traditional view. The positions of Hempel, Carnap, Popper, Kuhn, Hanson, Toulmin, Hesse, Quine and Van Fraasen will be considered.
PHL 493 - Seminar in Philosophy
A seminar for advanced students in philosophy. Topics may include the philosophy of a historical figure such as Plato, Aristotle, Kant or Wittgenstein, or the study of a major philosophical topic in epistemology, metaphysics or ethics. May be repeated for credit.
PHL 575 - Philosophy Senior Thesis
Students wishing to graduate with honors in philosophy must write a substantial thesis under the direction of one of the members of the Department or another qualified faculty member. Upon completion, the student must defend the thesis before a committee of three faculty members.
PHL 597 - Special Problems
Investigation of special philosophical problems, under direction. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.
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