Philosophy (PHIL)

PHIL 100.  Introduction to Philosophy.  4.  

Major philosophical problems, methods and positions, as set forth in selected historical and contemporary philosophical texts, including works by Plato, Descartes, Hume and others. Fulfills humanities and social justice/ environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Arts/humanities and evaluating systems and environments requirements (2019).

PHIL 111.  Ethics.  4.  

Chief theories of the nature and principles of the moral life, with regard to both the ends human beings seek and the obligations which claim their commitment. Fulfills humanities and social justice/ environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Arts/humanities and evaluating systems and environments requirements (2019).

PHIL 150.  Special Topics.  1-8.  

Recent examples include Philosophy of Science, Free Will and Moral Responsibility. May also be offered at 250, 350 and 450 levels.

PHIL 200.  Informal Logic.  4.  

General aspects of reasoning and argumentation, including inferences, evidence and the construction and evaluation of arguments.

PHIL 231.  Philosophy and Sexuality.  4.  

Inquiry into the relationship between values and sexuality. Topics include pleasure, love, homosexuality, prostitution, monogamy and sexual perversion. Fulfills social justice/environmental responsibility requirement (1998). Evaluating systems and environments requirement (2019).

PHIL 232.  Philosophy and Gender.  4.  

Interrelated topics in the metaphysics and phenomenology of gender. Questions include: What is it to be a woman or man? How do Western conceptions of gender affect individual experience? How do other aspects of peoples’ identities (e.g., race, sexuality) enter the conversation? How do individuals move beyond harmful gender stereotypes? Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Arts/humanities and evaluating systems and environments requirements (2019).

PHIL 241.  Ethics In a Digital World.  4.  

Ethical questions connected with computer technology. For example: What is distinctive about ethics in this context? How do digital media force people to reconsider longstanding notions of “ownership” and “theft”? How do computer technologies reflect or undermine the values of privacy and anonymity? How does electronic communication change one’s understanding of what it means to be human? Fulfills humanities and social justice/ environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Arts/humanities and evaluating systems and environments requirements (2019).

PHIL 242.  Environmental Ethics.  4.  

Exploration of environmental topics from several theoretical, cultural and religious perspectives. Questions include: What are our responsibilities to the environment? To what extent are these responsibilities affected by the interests of other persons or groups? What is the source of these responsibilities and to whom are we obligated? Fulfills humanities and social justice/ environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Arts/humanities and evaluating systems and environments requirements (2019).

PHIL 244.  Bioethics.  4.  

Bioethics is an interdisciplinary field that concerns itself with normative investigations of innovations, policies, and practices in health care (including public health) and medical research. Topics range from the duties of physicians and researchers to social justice implications of organ donation and gun control. Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Arts/humanities and evaluating systems and environments (2019).

PHIL 247.  Philosophy of Law.  4.  

Conceptual analysis and moral evaluation of laws and legal systems: the nature and validity of law, law and morality, the obligation to obey the law, law and judicial decision-making, criminal responsibility, and the nature of punishment. Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Arts/humanities and evaluating systems and environments requirements (2019).

PHIL 249.  Pacifism and Just War Theory.  4.  

Examines conditions under which violence, and especially war, may be morally justified; distinctions between war and other forms of armed conflict; and philosophical and spiritual foundations of pacifism. Includes discussion of particular wars in which the U.S. has been engaged, including World War II and the war on Iraq. Fulfills social justice/environmental responsibility requirement (1998). Evaluating systems and environments requirement (2019).

PHIL 250.  Special Topics.  1-8.  
PHIL 260.  Independent Study.  1-8.  

May also be offered at 360 and 460 levels.

PHIL 261.  Philosophy and Race.  4.  

Examines race and racism, exploring the relationship between liberal ideas of freedom and equality and the reality of group exclusion. Key questions include: What conception of race will do justice to individuals’ experience of social realities while avoiding scientific errors? What conception of race and racism are needed in order to help dismantle systemic racism? Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Arts/ humanities and evaluating systems and environments requirements (2019).

PHIL 290.  Internship.  1-8.  

May also be offered at the 390 level.

PHIL 292.  Formal Logic.  4.  

Methods, foundations and philosophical implications of using symbolic languages to evaluate deductive reasoning.

PHIL 293.  Infinity, Undecidability, Non-computability (MATH 232).  4.  

Algorithms, mathematical logic, axiomatization, completeness, consistency, constructing the number systems, Turing machines, Hilbert’s programme, the halting problem, infinities, the continuum hypothesis, Godel’s theorems, formalism, intuitionism, logicism, connections with artificial intelligence. Fulfills quantitative literacy requirement (1998).

PHIL 310.  Ancient Western Philosophy.  4.  

Historical development of philosophical thought in Western civilization in terms of the main periods and thinkers of ancient Greek philosophy.

Prerequiste: Historical Perspectives, and at least one prior philosophy course. Fulfills humanities requirement (1998). Arts/humanities requirement (2019).
PHIL 320.  Modern Western Philosophy.  4.  

Major developments of Western philosophical thought in the 17th and 18th centuries, emphasizing philosophical inquiry into metaphysical systems and problems of knowledge.

Prerequiste: Historical Perspectives, and at least one prior philosophy course. Fulfills humanities requirement (1998). Arts/humanities requirement (2019).
PHIL 333.  Individual Philosopher.  4.  

Intensive study of the works of an individual philosopher (e.g., Maimonides, Plato, Spinoza, Kant, Nietzsche, Mill, James) whose thought has had a lasting influence on Western philosophy.

Prerequiste: Historical Perspectives.
PHIL 336.  Social and Political Philosophy.  4.  

Principal theories of the foundation of political society; the nature of political authority; limits of political obligation; relation of theories of human nature to social/political theory.

Prerequiste: Historical Perspectives. Fulfills humanities and social justice/environmental responsibility requirements (1998). Arts/humanities and evaluating systems and environments requirements (2019).
PHIL 350.  Special Topics.  1-8.  
PHIL 360.  Independent Study.  1-8.  
PHIL 375.  Topics in the Philosophy of Mind.  4.  

Topics include The Mind-Body Problem, The Emotions and The Self.

Prerequiste: Historical Perspectives. Fulfills humanities requirement (1998). Arts/humanities (2019).
PHIL 385.  Departmental Seminar I.  4.  

Departmental Seminar I. 4. Intensive, advanced philosophical inquiry into contemporary philosophical topics. Each year the course content changes, but it always provides an opportunity for a small group of students to engage intensely and collaboratively with contemporary work in the academic discipline of Philosophy at the upper-division undergraduate level. The course is a writing-intensive seminar with two lines of enrollment (PHIL 385, PHIL 485) meeting together. Philosophy majors enroll once at the 385-level, when they are in their third year of college (or the equivalent), and once at the 485-level, when they are in their fourth year (or the equivalent). Pre-requisites for PHIL 385: PHIL 200 or 292 and at least two other Philosophy courses.

PHIL 390.  Internship.  1-8.  
PHIL 401.  Senior Seminar in Philosophy.  4.  

Main developments in 20th-century analytic philosophy with emphasis on philosophy of language, epistemology and metaphysics. Capstone course for the major.

PHIL 450.  Special Topics.  1-10.  
PHIL 460.  Independent Study.  1-8.  
PHIL 470.  Senior Thesis.  1-8.  
PHIL 485.  Departmental Seminar II.  4.  

Intensive, advanced philosophical inquiry into contemporary philosophical topics. Each year the course content changes, but it always provides an opportunity for a small group of students to engage intensely and collaboratively with contemporary work in the academic discipline of Philosophy at the upper-division undergraduate level. The course is a writing-intensive seminar with two lines of enrollment (PHIL 385, PHIL 485) meeting together. Philosophy majors enroll once at the 385-level, when they are in their third year of college (or the equivalent), and once at the 485-level, when they are in their fourth year (or the equivalent). Pre-requisite for PHIL 485: PHIL 385.

PHIL 490.  Departmental Honors.  1-8.  
PHIL 499.  PHIL 499.  4.  

An intensive writing workshop in which students choose a paper they produced in a previous course (usually PHIL 485) and revise that paper in close consultation with the course instructor, their advisor, and their colleagues (other senior majors in the course) with the aim of publishing that paper.