Head of Department: Professor Donald Baxter
Department Office: Room 101, Manchester Hall
Topics may include skepticism, proofs of God, knowledge of the external world, induction, free-will, the problem of evil, miracles, liberty and equality. CA 1.
Techniques for evaluating inductive and deductive arguments; applications to specific arguments about philosophical topics, for example the mind-body problem or free will vs. determinism. CA 1.
Discussion of selections from such philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Hume. CA 1.
Topics may include the nature of the good life, the relation between social morality and individual rights, and practical moral dilemmas. CA 1.
Topics may include proofs of the existence of God, the relation of religious discourse to other types of discourse, and the nature of religious commitment. CA 1.
Classic non-Western texts on such problems as the nature of reality and of our knowledge of it, and the proper requirements of social ethics, along with comparison to classic Western approaches to the same problems. CA 1. CA 4-INT.
Topics concern social ethics and gender, such as gender equality and the impact of gender norms on individual freedom. Specific topics are examined in light of the intersections between gender and race, ethnicity, class, and sexual orientation. CA 1. CA 4.
Philosophical problems raised by, and illuminated in, major works of literature. CA 1.
Theories of ethics, with specific application to ethical issues in modern health care. CA 1.
Philosophical examination of the ethical and human rights implications of recent advances in the life and biomedical sciences from multiple religious and cultural perspectives. CA 1.
The fundamentals of aesthetics, including an analysis of aesthetic experience and judgment, and a study of aesthetic types, such as the beautiful, tragic, comic and sublime. Recent systematic and experimental findings in relation to major theories of the aesthetic experience.
Theories of knowledge and justification. Topics may include skepticism, induction, confirmation, perception, memory, testimony, a priori knowledge.
Fundamental questions about the nature of things. Topics may include universals and particulars, parts and wholes, space and time, possibility and necessity, persistence and change, causation, persons, free will.
Systematic analysis of deductive validity; formal languages which mirror the logical structure of portions of English; semantic and syntactic methods of verifying relations of logical consequence for these languages.
Issues concerning the nature and foundations of scientific knowledge, including, for example, issues about scientific objectivity and progress.
Judgments of good and evil, right and justice, the moral ‘ought’ and freedom; what do such judgments mean, is there any evidence for them, and can they be true?
Conceptual, ontological, and normative issues in political life and thought; political obligation; collective responsibility; justice; liberty; equality; community; the nature of rights; the nature of law; the justification of punishment; related doctrines of classic and contemporary theorists such as Plato, Rousseau, John Rawls.
Greek philosophy from its origin in the Pre-Socratics through its influence on early Christianity. Readings from the works of Plato and Aristotle.
Central philosophical issues as discussed by philosophers such as Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant.
Nature, value and limitations of self-knowledge; introspection, unconscious phenomena, self- deception, affective forecasting, interaction of neurophysiological and psychological explanations of behavior. Western as well as non-Western (specifically Buddhist) perspectives on the self. Readings from classical and contemporary sources. CA 1.
Philosophical dimensions of problems in contemporary life. Topics vary by semester.
Three credits. Prerequisite: PHIL 2211.
Logical concepts developed in PHIL 2211 applied to the study of philosophical issues in the foundations of mathematics.
Inquiry into obligations to, or concerning, the environment, particularly the moral standing of animals, species, ecosystems, and natural objects.
Philosophical issues in feminist theory. Topics may include the nature of gender difference, the injustice of male domination and its relation to other forms of domination, the social and political theory of women’s equality in the home, in the workplace, and in politics.
(Also offered as HRTS 3219.) Three credits. Prerequisite: One three-credit course in Philosophy or instructor consent; open to juniors or higher. With a change in content, may be repeated for credit.
What are human rights? Why are they important? Topics may include the philosophical precursors of human rights, the nature and justification of human rights, or contemporary issues bearing on human rights.
(Also offered as HRTS 3219W.) Three credits. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; one three-credit course in Philosophy or instructor consent; open to juniors or higher. With a change in content, may be repeated for credit.
Ontology and epistemology of human rights investigated through contemporary and/or historical texts. CA 1.
The reaction, after Russell, against formal theories and the belief in an ideal language, and the turn to familiar common-sense “cases” and everyday language in judging philosophical claims. Russell, Moore, Wittgenstein, Ryle and Strawson.
The nature of law; law’s relation to morality; law’s relation to social facts; the obligation to obey the law; interpreting texts; spheres of law; international law; the justification of state punishment; the good of law; related doctrines of contemporary theorists such as Herbert Hart and Ronald Dworkin.
Doctrines advanced by recent American philosophers.
Various religious absolutes, their meaning and validity, existentialism and religion, the post-modern religious quest.
An analysis of the concepts used in thinking about language.
Conceptual issues in theoretical psychology. Topics may include computational models of mind, the language of thought, connectionism, neuropsychological deficits, and relations between psychological models and the brain.
Prerequisite: At least one 2000-level or above, three-credit course in Physiology and Neurobiology (PNB), and at least one three-credit course in philosophy or consent of instructor; ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011.
Three credits. Prerequisite: At least one 2000-level or above, three-credit philosophy course.
Contemporary issues in the philosophy of mind. Topics may include the nature of the mental; the mind-body problem, the analysis of sensory experience, the problem of intentionality, and psychological explanation.
Conceptual problems in contemporary models of perception. Topics may include the nature of color perception, direct perception and its alternatives, computation and representation in perception, and the connections between perception and awareness.
Readings from the principal philosophers between the fourth and fourteenth centuries.
The historical, religious, and philosophical development of Asian systems of thought.
Classical Chinese philosophy, including such works as The Analects of Confucius and the works of Chuang Tzu, and their influence on Chinese culture.
Credits and hours by arrangement. Prerequisites and recommended preparation vary. With a change in content, may be repeated for credit.
Three credits. Prerequisites and recommended preparation vary. With a change in topic, may be repeated for credit.
Credits and hours by arrangement. Prerequisite: Open only with consent of instructor. May be repeated for credit with a change in topic.
Advanced and individual work.
Credits and hours by arrangement up to a maximum of six credits. Prerequisite: Consent of Department Head required, preferably prior to the student’s departure.
Special topics taken in a foreign study program.
Three credits. Hours by arrangement. Prerequisite: ENGL 1010 or 1011 or 2011; open only with consent of instructor and Department Head; twelve credits in Philosophy at the 2000-level or above, three of which may be taken concurrently. Independent study authorization form required.
Credits and hours by arrangement. Prerequisites and recommended preparation vary; open to juniors or higher. With a change in topic, may be repeated for credit.
Three credits. Prerequisites and recommended preparation vary; open to juniors or higher. With a change in topic, may be repeated for credit.