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  • All Philosophy Courses

    Undergraduate Courses

    PHL 101 Introduction to Philosophy (A,H)

    Provides a general introduction to the study of philosophy, including discussion of major problems of philosophy, based on the writings of historical and contemporary thinkers. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

    PHL 102 Introduction to Ethics (A,H)

    Provides for the study of major ethical systems in Western philosophy, including their intuitive, authoritarian, deontological, utilitarian, pragmatic or other justifications, through study of selected works of the chief moral philosophers. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

    PHL 103 Introduction to Philosophy of Religion (A,H)

    Examines basic issues such as arguments for the existence of God, the coherence of the concept of God, the problem of evil, the relation between faith and reason, and the evidence of religious experience and miracles. 3 Cr. Spring.

    PHL 104 Critical Thinking (A,H)

    Provides a study of the kinds of fallacious reasoning and arguments found in editorials, political statements, advertising, philosophical works, textbooks and statistics. Focuses on the functions of language, the construction of valid arguments, the avoidance of fallacy, and the relationships among opinion, belief, evidence and fact. 3 Cr.

    PHL 202 Logic (A,H)

    Provides a study of deductive and inductive processes of reasoning, including the relation of logic to scientific inquiry and method, and the identification of fallacies in reasoning and discourse. 3 Cr.

    PHL 203 Political Thought (A)

    Crosslisted with PLS 203. Studies the works of major political philosophers, including Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, and J.S. Mill. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

    PHL 205 Modern logic (A)

    Uses the mechanism of an artificial language to provide a systematic study of deductive reasoning. Students will learn to translate English sentences into an artificial language and construct formal proofs of validity for deductive arguments. Covers classical sentential logic and predicate logic with identity. 3 Cr. Fall.

    PHL 304 Ancient Philosophy (A)

    Provides a critical analysis of the central ideas of the ancient Greek philosophers, especially those of Plato and Aristotle. 3 Cr. Fall.

    PHL 305 Modern Philosophy ()

    Provides a systematic study of the views of major modern philosophers such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Hume and Kant. 3 Cr.

    PHL 320 Philosophy of Science (A,I)

    Offers a general introduction to the philosophy of sciences. Topics considered include Aristotelianism and the scientific revolution, the possibility of scientific progress, the nature of scientific explanation, what, if anything, science can tell us about the external world, and how the natural and social sciences might inform our philosophical theorizing. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

    PHL 321 Medical Ethics (A,I)

    Using case studies, examines some of the complex ethical issues in medicine today: abortion on demand; euthanasia for defective newborns and for the terminally ill; medical experimentation and informed consent; psychosurgery and behavior control; genetic counseling and research; and allocation of medical resources. 3 Cr. Spring.

    PHL 323 Epistemology (A)

    Offers a careful consideration of competing answers to basic philosophical questions such as: What is truth? What is the difference between belief and knowledge? Is knowledge based on reason or experience? How much force do skeptical arguments regarding sense perception, reason, memory and induction have? 3 Cr.

    PHL 326 Political Philosophy (A,I,W)

    Studies major political theories in the Western tradition, and critically examines such salient questions as: Why should some people have political power over others? Why should people obey any government? What are the alternatives, if any, to a political society? 3 Cr.

    PHL 329 Philosophy and Evolution (A,I)

    Focuses on how evolution through natural selection bears upon philosophical questions about things such as knowledge, consciousness, language, sex, gender, religion, and morality. 3 Cr.

    PHL 332 Death and Dying (A)

    Critically examines competing answers to controversial philosophical issues surrounding death and dying. Includes topics such as defining death, the morality and rationality of suicide, euthanasia, ethical problems of pain alleviation, and the rights of the terminally ill. 3 Cr.

    PHL 333 Metaphysics (A)

    Provides an introduction to certain basic metaphysical problems, such as the existence of God, freedom vs. determinism, the mind/body problem, personal identity, the problem of immortality, substance, universals, primary and secondary qualities. 3 Cr.

    PHL 342 Business Ethics (A)

    Studies ethical issues arising in business practice. Considers, for example, corporate responsibility, the nature of meaningful work, the morality of the marketplace, and competition. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

    PHL 343 Data, Robots, and Value: Ethics in the Age of Technology (A,I)

    Using case studies, this course considers diverse ethical issues in the design and use of emerging technologies. Such issues include algorithmic fairness, big data and privacy, the ethics of artificial intelligence, the value of simulated lives and virtual reality, as well as issues regarding autonomy, misinformation, and polarization. 3 Cr. Spring.

    PHL 345 Ethical Theory (A)

    Addresses a number of questions regarding the nature of morality-including whether there is a societal morality or a single true morality. Class will discuss what it is to be a morally good agent and how to reach those decisions. Recommended for students who have taken at least one prior philosophy class. 3 Cr.

    PHL 352 Philosophy of Mind (A)

    Studies the nature of the mind from various philosophical perspectives. Considers phenomena such as consciousness, volition, intentionality, motivation and emotion. 3 Cr. Spring.

    PHL 360 Philosophy of Sport, Play and Exercise (A)

    Pre/Corequisite: PES350.

    Crosslisted with PES360. Examines fundamental issues in sport from a philosophical perspective. Focuses on the theoretical frameworks through which these issues can be understood. Emphasizes the practical import that different theories of sport have and institutional decision-making and practices. Examines the philosophical underpinnings of the experience of sport participation. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

    PHL 362 Women in Western Political Thought (A,I,W)

    Cross-listed as WMS 362 & PLS 362.

    Covers major theories of sexual politics, which include Freud's theory of femininity, reform liberalism, socialist theory, and the theory of radical feminism. 3 Cr. Every Semester.

    PHL 396 Seminar on Philosophical Problems (topics) (A)

    Studies specific philosophic problems and issues (e.g., justice, freedom, skepticism, etc.). Subject matter varies as topics change. 3 Cr. Spring.

    PHL 439 Practicum in Teaching Philosophy (A)

    Allows students to assist philosophy faculty in lower-division courses. Their specific duties are determined by the supervising faculty member(s). Not repeatable for multiple credit for assisting with the same course. Graded exclusively on a Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory basis. 3 Cr.

    PHL 460 Ethics of Sports (A)

    Crosslisted with PES460. Examines how basic ethical theories relate to problems facing sport communities and professionals today. Provides critical analysis of ethical dilemmas in contemporary sport. Emphasizes the understanding of ethical frameworks and the application of these frameworks to ethical problems arising in sport contexts. 3 Cr.

    PHL 491 Seminar on Individual Philosophers (A,Y)

    Provides an in-depth study of the writings of one or two major philosophers, such as Descartes, Hume, Kant, Dewey, Sartre and Rawls. Content varies with appropriate subtitles provided. May be repeated as subtitle varies. 3 Cr. Fall.

    Graduate Courses

    PHL 528 Philosophy of Art (A)

    Critically examines competing answers to selected central questions in the philosophy of art using contemporary as well as historical writings. Includes these topics: the definition of art, the nature of artistic expression, validity in interpretation, what makes art representational and the nature of creativity. 3 Cr.

    PHL 591 Seminar in Individual Philosophers (A)

    Provides an in-depth study of the writings of one or two major philosophers, such as Descartes, Hume, Kant, Dewey, Sartre and Rawls. Content varies with appropriate subtitles provided. May be repeated as subtitle varies. 3 Cr.