|PHIL 2020 Ethics||3 hours|
|PHIL 2030 Critical Thinking||3 hours|
|PHIL 2040 Ancient Philosophy||3 hours|
|PHIL 2060 Modern Philosophy||3 hours|
|Values-emphasis (select from the following):||3 hours|
|PHIL 4980 Senior Seminar||3 hours|
|Philosophy electives||9 hours|
|PHIL 4990 Senior Thesis||3 hours|
An introduction to moral philosphy. We will analyze the meanings of moral concepts such as virtue and vice, good and evil, and moral obligation, and consider historical attempts (mostly Western) to determine what, if any, moral system is true. Our aim will be to sustain and strengthen our capacity for the making of moral decisions.
This is an excellent course for students looking to enhance their own argument skills generally and especially for those planning to take the standardized tests for law or graduate school. Students will learn to understand and evaluate formal and informal arguments, the principles that support their logical forms, and how to apply these principles in the construction of arguments. Students will learn to distinguish arguments from other forms of language (e.g. descriptive or imperative uses of language) as well as develop the ability to recognize good and bad reasoning. This will include general examinations of common fallacies, valid and invalid deductive and strong and weak inductive arguments, standards of reasoning and the principles that sustain these standards in professional fields.
(Normally offered each spring semester.)
This course will examine the origin of western philosophy in ancient Greece and trace the development of philosophical thought from the received wisdom prior to Plato, through the works of Plato, Artistotle, representative Stoics, Skeptics, and the new Platonism that culminates classical thinking. Topics include but are not limited to: questions about the origin of democracy and community, the character of the divine, ancient concepts of nature, the concepts of the soul, the scope of human knowledge, the conditions for rationality, and the good life.
This course will examine the western philosophical tradition as manifested in the works of prominent European and/or American philosophers of the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries. Philosophers who may be included are Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Pierce among others. Topics may include but are not limited to: issues such as the existence and nature of God, responses to whether or not the mind (or soul) can exist separately from the body, skepticism and doubt, the nature of the self, and the relation of the individual to society.
Most Americans have some understanding of how the categories of race and gender influence our personal and social identities. Yet many Americans also assume that race and gender are "natural," i.e., that we are born into a certain race and naturally embody a certain sex. In this course, we will examine these assumptions by reading, discussing, and critically assessing the arguments for and against the "naturalness" of race and gender. We will consider how categories of race and gender position us, historically and philosophically, as a person of a certain "type" from whom certain behaviors are expected. We will look at socio-economic conditions and philosophic positions that support or challenge racism, sexism, classism, segregation, and violence.
This course will begin with a close examination of some classic works of social and political philosphy, which may include but are not limited to Aristotle's Politics, Hobbes' Leviathan, Locke's Second Treatise on Government, Rousseau's Social Contract, Marx's Grundrisse, and Mill's On Liberty. Once this historical foundation is put in place, students will move on to examine current trends in social and political philosphy that may include but are not limited to: what is the best form of government, the social contract, socialism, the nature of justice, democracy, nationalism, and environmentalism.
An exploration of the varieties of contemporary feminist thought. We will examine ideas of convergence among feminist philosophers but also attend to the issues that divide them. Special consideration will be give to race, class, and gender both in terms of the sex/gender distinction and theorists who argue against this distinction. Having established that feminism is not a single, homogeneous system, we will also explore the local, national, and global implications of feminisms for the 21st century.
A research seminar in which students conducting their research to satisfy the senior comprehensive requirement meet regularly to share insights, progress, and problems encountered along the way.
A semester-long project for philosophy majors involving a study of some philospher or philosophical problem or movement and a paper submitting the results. The student will present an oral defense of the thesis to members of the departments and, usually, nondepartmental readers.