Courses in Philosophy
PHIL 100 – General Logic (3 hours)
An introduction to induction, deduction, and common fallacies, the primary aim of the course being to develop skill in applying basic principles of sound reasoning.
PHIL 120 – Introduction to Philosophy (3)
An introduction to perennial philosophical questions concerning topics such as knowledge, doubt, God, freedom, necessity, good and evil, immortality, time, the cosmos, and the meaning of life, and to some of the most noteworthy attempts to answer them.
PHIL 140 – Philosophy and the Bible: Old Testament (3)
A study of the Old Testament, focusing on how it came to be written, on the social, cultural, and physical worlds it describes, on the meaning and interpretation of important passages and books, and especially on philosophical questions it raises, such as those concerning the problem of evil, the creation and evolution debate, and the relation between ethics and religion.
PHIL 170 – World Religions (3)
A study of the world’s major religious traditions, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Students will explore the basic histories and beliefs of these religions as well as some of the ethical issues that arise for modern practitioners. The course will also consider related philosophical questions such as the definition of religion and the relation of religion to morality and the good life.
PHIL 200 – Philosophy of Knowledge (3)
A study of philosophical questions about knowledge, such as whether it can be defined, whether it is one thing in the sciences and something entirely different in the humanities or in mathematics, and to what extent it is achievable by and desirable for human beings.
PHIL 201 – Political Philosophy (3)
A critical introduction to topics such as state authority, human rights, justice, liberty, and equality, which are at the heart of understanding the nature of politics and what it is to live responsibly in society.
PHIL 220 – Classical Greek Philosophy (3)
A study of topics such as the fundamental nature of reality, the place of human beings in reality, the difference between knowledge and opinion, the nature of the good life, and the concept of freedom, through selections from the writings of the principle philosophers of the ancient Mediterranean world, especially Plato and Aristotle.
PHIL 240 – Philosophy and the Bible: New Testament (3)
A study of the New Testament, focusing on how it came to be written, on the social, cultural, and physical worlds it describes, on the meaning and interpretation of important passages and books, and especially on philosophical questions it raises, such as those concerning Jesus’ divinity, the Trinity, the Resurrection, Salvation, and the relation between ethics and religion.
PHIL 320 – Foundations of Modern Philosophy (3)
A study of topics such as the mind-body problem, the quest for certainty, the justification of governmental authority, and the place of values in a mechanistic world, through selections from the writings of the principal philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries, including Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant.
PHIL 340 – Ethics (3)
A critical examination of attempts by philosophers to understand the moral dimension of human life, which involves topics such as good and evil, rights and duties, reason and emotion, and the objectivity of values.
PHIL 350 – Philosophy of Mind (3)
An overview of fundamental topics in the philosophy of mind such as whether or not mental processes are physical, the puzzle of mental causation, the nature of consciousness and intentionality, and the similarity of minds to computers.
PHIL 360 – Philosophy of Religion (3)
A study of questions which arise in philosophical reflection on beliefs and concepts central to Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, such as whether God can be defined, whether God’s existence can be proven, and whether faith in God is reasonable given the variety and extent of suffering in the world.
PHIL 370 – Eastern Philosophy (3)
A study of the wisdom found in Asian traditions such as Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism. Topics may include atman, karma, reincarnation, nirvana, and yin-yang philosophy. Special attention will be paid to the manner in which such beliefs arise out of personal experience and are instantiated in practices such as yoga, meditation, and non-duality.
IDS 400 – Bioethics (3)
An examination of ethical issues which result from our expanding biological knowledge such as animal rights, genetic testing, biological engineering, abortion, euthanasia, the impact of humans on the environment, and the just allocation of resources.
IDS 401 – Ethical Issues in the Professions and Business (3)
An examination of ethical issues in the professional lives of people in science, education, medicine, law, and business arising from the challenge of maintaining personal integrity in the face of apparent conflicts of duty.
PHIL 401 – Philosophy of Law (3)
A study of topics such as the nature of law, the relation of morality to the law, the moral justification of the use of coercion in enforcing the law, the significantly different types of law, and challenges to traditional understandings of the law.
PHIL 458 – Philosophy of Art (3)
A study of philosophical questions about artistic creation and aesthetic experience, such as whether art can be defined, whether aesthetic value judgments can be justified rationally, how aesthetic values relate to ethical and religious values, and what the proper role of art is in a life well lived.
PHIL 476 – Apprenticeship in Philosophy (1-3)
A supervised practical experience in teaching and administering courses in philosophy. The content of this course will vary from semester to semester, and students may enroll more than once. Requires permission of the instructor.
PHIL 490 – Topics in Philosophy (1-3)
A study of a particular philosopher or philosophical topic not otherwise available in the curriculum. The content of this course will vary from semester to semester, and students may enroll more than once.
PHIL 499 – Senior Thesis (2)
A tutorial course for senior philosophy majors the aim of which is to conduct a philosophical inquiry into a topic of interest to the student, produce a detailed essay on the topic, and present it to a public gathering of faculty and students.
PHIL 672 – Readings in Philosophy (1-3)
A tutorial course intended for those with some concentration in philosophy. The content of this course will vary from semester to semester, and students may enroll more than once. Requires permission of the instructor.
PHIL 675 – Seminar in Philosophy (1-3)
An intensive examination of a particular philosopher or philosophical topic. The content of this course will vary from semester to semester, and students may enroll more than once. Requires permission of the instructor.