Philosophy (PHIL)

PHIL 1301. Introduction to Philosophy. 3 Hours. [TCCN: PHIL 1301]

Students examine the fields and issues of philosophy as discussed by both classical and modern philosophers. Philosophical problems discussed may include the existence of God, the nature of knowledge and truth, the issue of human free will, and theories of moral judgement. Course Equivalents: PHIL 2361 .

PHIL 2303. Critical Thinking. 3 Hours. [TCCN: PHIL 2303]

Students examine the fundamentals of deductive reasoning, the identification of common fallacies, and an introduction to inductive reasoning. Further, students investigate some of the ways information is distorted, e.g., by advertising and news management. This course is designed to improve students' ability to think critically.

PHIL 2306. Contemporary Moral Issues. 3 Hours. [TCCN: PHIL 2306]

Students study major moral issues in contemporary society. Topics may include abortion, euthanasia, censorship, capital punishment, and other issues that confront today's society.

PHIL 2352. Introduction to Contemporary Logic. 3 Hours.

Students explore the principles of ordered thought and the terminology and rules of symbolic logic. Further, students examine the logic of statements and the logic of predicates, qualifiers, and identity.

PHIL 3364. Ancient & Medieval Philosophy. 3 Hours.

Students survey philosophical thought from the time of the pre-Socratics to about 1500, which may include the thought of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Hellenistic schools, and medieval philosophy through the late scholastic period. Students also explore the artistic, scientific, ethical, political and general cultural ramifications of the major systems of thought.

PHIL 3365. Modern Philosophy. 3 Hours.

Students survey philosophical thought from about 1500 through the twentieth century via an examination of topics that may include the philosophical significance of the rise of modern science, the classical philosophies of rationalism, empiricism, the philosophy of Kant, and the development of these philosophies through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

PHIL 3366. Aesthetics. 3 Hours.

Students examine the nature and meaning of art and aesthetic theories concerning representation, form, and expression. Further, students engage in analyses of aesthetic experience and the relation of art to value. This course satisfies 3 semester hours of the fine arts requirement for the BA degree program.

PHIL 3367. Philosophy of Religion. 3 Hours.

Students examine the nature and meaning of religion and religious expression with consideration of philosophical and scientific critiques of religious faith and experience. Topics may include the nature of faith and reason, the question of the existence and nature of God, and the relation of religion and value.

PHIL 3371. Existentialism and Self-Awareness. 3 Hours.

Students examine the major themes of existentialism and its impact on contemporary society via existential works in a variety of forms, which may include philosophy, literature, psychology, psychoanalysis, and religion. Further, students examine existential concepts, which may include anxiety, fear, guilt, meaninglessness, death, and authentic and inauthentic existence. Taught with PSYC 3371.

PHIL 3372. Philosophy of Science. 3 Hours.

Students survey topics in philosophy of science, which may include the logic of explanations in the physical and social sciences, the relationship between science and society, and metaphysical or sociological critiques of science. Course content includes attention to historically prominent examples from social and natural sciences that demonstrate the applicability of important concepts from the philosophy of science.

PHIL 3373. American Philosophy. 3 Hours.

Students survey key figures and ideas of the American intellectual tradition. Themes may include democracy, freedom, cultural and racial identity, ethical and religious pluralism, and interpretations of nature from various perspectives, including current developing traditions such as African American, Native American, and Feminist movements.

PHIL 4306. Philosophy of Biology. 3 Hours.

Students investigate philosophical questions concerning the development and application of evolutionary theory. Students will also develop an understanding of key concepts, which may include adaptation, speciation, the comparative method, levels of selection, and phylogenetic reconstruction. This course is offered in the Spring semester of even years.

PHIL 4333. Bioethics. 3 Hours.

Students survey bioethics using various ethical theories and moral principles to analyze and critically evaluate moral dilemmas in medicine. Students will investigate and discuss topics that may include the patient-physician relationship, bias in medicine, health care delivery systems, and the ethics of research. To enhance critical thinking skills and decision-making skills, students will develop and defend views on given bioethical issues. Credit: 3.
Prerequisite: Sophomore standing.

PHIL 4334. Environmental Ethics. 3 Hours.

Students examine philosophical theories about the principles and values that govern humanity's moral relationship to nature and the animal world. Topics covered may include theories of animal rights, the intrinsic value of nature, the ethics of global climate change, the moral implications of mass extinctions, and our moral responsibility to future generations.

PHIL 4336. Philosophy of Law. 3 Hours.

Students consider the philosophical nature of law, legal reasoning, and legal rights within a discussion of justice and equality under the law. Applying these theories to practice, students engage in a series of case studies examining major Supreme Court opinions. Students learn to answer these questions via reflection and argumentation that integrates and extends major jurisprudential theories.

PHIL 4361. Philosophy of Psychology and Mind. 3 Hours.

Students examine a range of contemporary theories of mind and the primary objections they face. Topics may include mind/brain identity theory and reductionism, the nature and function of consciousness, the nature of rationality and its relation to consciousness, the possibility of machine intelligence, and the nature of mental representation.

PHIL 4363. Ethical Theories. 3 Hours.

Students examine classical views about the foundation of ethics, which may include divine command, cultural relativism, subjectivism, egoism, utilitarianism, Kantianism, and virtue ethics. Students will also devote significant attention to a variety of contemporary approaches to understanding ethics.

PHIL 4371. Death and Dying. 3 Hours.

Students examine philosophical reflections on death and dying in a variety of forms, which may include literature, philosophy, psychology, theology, medicine, and other contemporary sources. Topics may include the nature of grief, sorrow, anxiety, fear, and suicide as related to death, and the social implications of death for the individual, family, friends, and community.

PHIL 4372. Theories of Knowledge and Reality. 3 Hours.

Students examine issues concerning the basic categories of reality, which may include individuals and universals, time and change, and mind and body. Further, students explore issues in the theory of knowledge, which may include the distinction between knowledge and belief, the criteria of knowledge, and the justification of knowledge claims.
Prerequisite: 6 hours of philosophy and sophomore standing.

PHIL 4373. Philosophy in Film and Literature. 3 Hours.

Students establish and develop philosophical literacy by highlighting the ways in which canonical philosophical works have informed the content and structure of works of film and literature. Carefully selected pairings of philosophical texts and films are used throughout.
Prerequisite: 3 hours of philosophy and at least sophomore standing.

PHIL 4374. Philosophy of Crime & Justice. 3 Hours.

Students examine foundations of the American criminal justice system, considering questions such as: is there a moral justification of punishment;what basic principles guide law enforcement in practice; how did these principles come to be in place; and how do they connect to the moral and political ideals on which the country was founded? Students critically engage with philosophical, legal, sociological, and historical resources.

PHIL 4375. Feminist Philosophies. 3 Hours.

Students examine competing feminist theories that take a distinctively philosophical approach to social hierarchies and the systems that ground, promote, or conceal them. Questions explored may include how feminist philosophers distinguish between sex and gender; what role sexuality plays in both personal and social identities; how sex, gender, and sexuality intersect with race and class; how feminist theories help us to make sense of pop culture; and how best to affirm the differences in women?s lived experiences both locally and globally.

PHIL 4377. Philosophy of Race. 3 Hours.

Students investigate the philosophical foundations of the concept of race, by analyzing distinctions among human beings according to race founded on anthropological, biological, and philosophical principles. Additionally, students consider whether racial hierarchies are morally and politically justifiable, and if not, students explore how these racial hierarchies can be eradicated through individual or collective social action. Accordingly, students analyze themes in critical race theory and the philosophy of race with the intent of appraising their capacity to help generate social justice.

PHIL 4380. Seminar in Philosophy. 3 Hours.

Students engage in an in-depth study, conducted on a seminar basis, of a particular topic or area in philosophy not covered fully in the other course offerings. As the topics vary, the course may be repeated for credit.

PHIL 4385. Readings in Philosophy. 3 Hours.

Advanced students capable of independent study will develop a program of study in conjunction with an instructor.
Prerequisite: Admission to the course requires permission of the instructor.