Philosophy (PHL)

 

College of Liberal Studies

Department Chair: Eric Kraemer

245E Graff Main Hall, 608.785.8424

e-mail: kraemer.eric@uwlax.edu

 

www.uwlax.edu/philosophy

 

Professor: Kraemer;

Associate Professor: Ross;

Assistant Professors: Cocks, Glass, Scherwitz.

 

Philosophy Major

(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 30 credits

       I.            Core Courses (18 credits): PHL 100 or 200, 101, 201 or 303, 205, 206, 496

      II.            Elective Courses in Philosophy (12 credits)

 

Note: Majors must take four philosophy courses at the 300/400 level including PHL 496. No more than six credits of PHL 494/495/497 shall count toward the major.

 

Philosophy Minor

(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 18 credits

        I.            Core Courses (nine credits): PHL 100 or 200, 205, 206

       II.            Elective Courses in Philosophy (nine credits)

 

Philosophy Department Honors Program Requirements

                I.              Admission

                                A. Junior standing

                                B. 12 credits in the major

                                C. 3.25 cumulative grade point average in the major

                                D. Recommendation of two faculty members in the major

                II.             Program

                                A. Completion of the regular major program

                                B. PHL 496

                                C. Thesis

                III.            Evaluation

                                A. Cumulative grade point average of 3.60 in the major at graduation

                                B. Cumulative grade point average of 3.50 in all university courses

                                C. Presentation of the thesis to a colloquium of faculty and students in the major

                                D. Final examination

 

+ above a course number indicates a

General Education course.

 

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PHL        100          Cr. 3

Introduction to Philosophy

An introduction to the major views on important philosophic topics such as personal identity, freedom, knowledge, morality, religion, and social justice. Students cannot earn credit for the philosophy major/minor in both PHL 100 and PHL 200. Offered Fall, Winter, Spring and Summer.  

 

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PHL        101          Cr. 3

Introduction to Logic

An introduction to logic, the science of valid reasoning. This course introduces the student to both formal and informal methods of reasoning and evaluating arguments. Offered Fall, Spring.    

 

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PHL        200          Cr. 3

Introduction to the Literature of Philosophy

An examination of the expression, development and conflict of the ideas and values in current and time-honored works of philosophy from major world cultures. Topics to be studied include religion, ethics, knowledge, personal identity, justice and freedom. Prerequisite: ENG 110 or 112. Students cannot earn credit for the philosophy major/minor in both PHL 100 and PHL 200. Offered Fall and Spring.

 

PHL        201          Cr. 3

Introduction to Ethics

A study of important ethical views in the history of philosophy. An examination into the nature of virtues and values, principles of right action, and character. There will be additional introductory emphasis on selected issues in applied ethics from multicultural points of view. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered annually.

 

PHL        205          Cr. 3

History of Philosophy I

Introduction to principle questions of philosophy and history of their analysis from the pre-Socratic period to the Renaissance. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered Fall.

 

PHL        206          Cr. 3

History of Philosophy II

Principal questions of philosophy, and history of their analysis from the Renaissance through the Enlightenment. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered Spring.

 

PHL        300          Cr. 3

Topics in Philosophy

Study of a philosophical topic of special interest. Topics will vary according to the interests of the instructor. For the current content, consult the instructor or the department chair. Prerequisite: six credits in philosophy or permission of the department chair. Repeatable for credit — maximum six. Offered occasionally.

 

PHL/PSY 301        Cr. 3

Theory of Knowledge

An intensive examination of three major questions: (1) What are the principal grounds of knowledge? (2) How certain can we really be of what we think we know? (3) Are there limits beyond which we cannot hope to extend knowledge? Strong emphasis is placed on the problems of perception, learning, and representation. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200 or PSY 100. (Cross-listed with PSY 301; may only earn credit in PHL or PSY, not both.) Offered alternate years.

 

PHL        302          Cr. 3

Symbolic Logic

This course offers the student a systematic presentation of symbolic logic. Proof techniques as well as consistency and completeness of the propositional calculus and predicate calculus are discussed. The student is also introduced to logical systems involving obligation and necessity as well as to systems of three-valued logic. Prerequisite: PHL 101 or MTH 151. Offered occasionally.

 

PHL        303          Cr. 3

Ethical Theory

A study of traditional and contemporary philosophical statements by which ethical problems may be approached. An examination of the search for general standards of value and of conduct as well as a critical examination of the answers put forth by the main types of ethical theories. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered Fall.

 

PHL        307          Cr. 3

19th Century Continental Philosophy

A study of the major continental philosophical movements of the 19th century. Beginning with Fichte's response to Immanuel Kant, the course explores Romantic philosophy (Schleiermacher and Schlegel), Idealism (Schelling and Hegel), and post Hegelian philosophy (Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche). The course will take into consideration a number of metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, and aesthetic issues. Questions concerning self, religion, language, the natural environment, beauty, and our relationship with others, will all be broached. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered occasionally.

 

PHL        310         Cr. 3

Metaphysics

Metaphysics is the science of what it is to be something. Topics include: (1) how metaphysics differs from natural science, (2) in what sense is anything general, universal, particular, continuing, an event, a process, a substance, a relation, abstract, subjective, or objective, (3) in what ways possible worlds can differ from this one, (4) what kind of thing could have body and a mind, (5) what the difference between a thing and its parts in an arrangement is, (6) what is required for two seemingly different things to turn out to be the same thing, (7) how space and time differ from each other and other things, and (8) what natural laws and numbers are. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered occasionally.

 

PHL        311          Cr. 3

Philosophy of Language

A survey of issues concerning the meaning of words. Their referential, syntactic and pragmatic features are explored. Description and causal theories of reference of names, description, indexicals, reflexives and kind terms and their relation to various theories of truth, necessity, and possibility are considered. The nature and roles of linguistic rules of use, competence and their relation to word, speaker and hearer meaning are explored in view of speech act theory. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered occasionally.

 

PHL        320          Cr. 3

American Philosophy

A survey of the American philosophical canon under the rubric question of what should count as American philosophy. We study Native American philosophies, the Puritans, the Congregationalists and Quakers, the American enlightenment philosophies, the transcendentalists, the evolutionary thinkers, the social philosophers, the American idealists, the pragmatists, and the neo-pragmatists. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered occasionally.

 

PHL        321          Cr. 3

American Indian Thought

Reflections of the Native American ways of thinking as manifest in the literature of various select tribes, on the essential characteristics of thinking commonly shared by Native Americans, and on the fundamental differences of the Native American ways of thinking and those of the dominant (white) culture. The “primal world” of Native American thought will be studied as an alternative to the western way of thinking. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200.  Offered occasionally.

 

PHL        323          Cr. 3

Phenomenology, Existentialism and Postmodernism

A study of the three major components of Continental philosophy: existentialism, phenomenology, and postmodernism. Existentialism: rejecting the rationalistic conception of objective knowledge, a philosophy of the lived experience of concrete individuals. Phenomenology: thinking and learning to describe the world as it appears rather than in terms of the preconceptions of a “totally rational” and “absolutely certain” system. Postmodernism, including post-structuralism and deconstruction: tending to the fragmentation of text and of subject, recognizing the impossibility of any definitive conception of reality, releasing hidden layers (traces) of texts unto polymorphic indeterminacies. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered annually.

 

PHL        324          Cr. 3

Feminism and Philosophy

Students explore various feminist and anti-feminist frameworks addressing the philosophical question of what it means to be a woman, what are the conditions of women’s experiences, and what are the best kinds of goals, strategies, and policies to maximize women’s lives. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered Fall.

 

PHL        326          Cr. 3

Philosophical Concepts in Literature

Philosophical Concepts in Literature explores how literary technique in used in philosophical texts and how philosophical issues are addressed in various literary forms. Students discuss issues such as love, death, evil, tragedy, identity, fortune, and the good life. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered occasionally.

 

PHL        331          Cr. 3

Philosophy of Religion

An examination of religion and religious experience. Topics considered are: theories of the proper description of God, arguments for and against the existence of God, theories of the nature of the soul, arguments for and against the existence of souls and reincarnation, the role and evidential power of religious experience and organized religion in justified belief. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered Fall.

 

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PHL        332         Cr. 3

Philosophy of the Arts

An examination of aesthetic experience and the questions that are relevant to works of art. Topics discussed include: art and the emotions, aesthetic responses to everyday experiences, morality and the arts, standards of taste, and how to define art. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered annually.

 

PHL/PSY 333        Cr. 3

Philosophy of Mind

A study of the nature of the mind from both philosophical and psychological perspectives. The course will focus on important attempts to solve the mind-body problem, how mind and body are related and also will address the related problems of consciousness, intentionality, free will and personal identity. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200 or PSY 100. (Cross-listed with PSY 333; may only earn credit in PHL or PSY.) Offered alternate years.

 

PHL        334          Cr. 3

Philosophy of Science

An examination of such topics as the attempt to demarcate science from pseudo-science, the nature of scientific inference, the structure of scientific explanation, scientific reduction and the unity of science, the interplay between theory and observation in science, the realism/anti-realism debate, objectivity of science, and the relationship between science and religion. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. PHL 101 is also recommended. Offered Fall.

 

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PHL        335          Cr. 3

Multicultural Philosophy in the United States

This survey course will examine philosophical ideas and systems that are generated from a wide range of cultural traditions found in the United States. The aim of this search will be to broaden and deepen understanding and appreciation of the diversities of philosophies in the United States. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered alternate years.  

 

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PHL        336          Cr. 3

International Multicultural Philosophy

This survey course will examine philosophical ideas and systems that are generated from a wide range of cultural traditions worldwide. The aim of this search will be to broaden and deepen our understanding and appreciation of the multiplicity of philosophical perspectives which are part of an increasingly diverse, interconnected, and globalized world. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered alternate years.  

 

PHL        337         Cr. 3

Legal, Political and Social Philosophy

An examination of philosophical issues concerning legal, political, and social structures. A discussion of philosophical accounts of the nature and justification of law and the state, of the relation of morality and the law, of the relation of morality and the state, and of the nature of legal-political obligation and responsibility. Philosophical accounts of justice, liberty, rights, and obligation and the relation of these topics to contemporary legal, political and social problems will be covered. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered alternate years.

 

PHL        339          Cr. 3

Medical Ethics

Examination of the principal moral problems that arise in the medical context including abortion, euthanasia, cloning, stem cells, human and animal experimentation, and the allocation of scarce medical resources. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. May only earn credit in PHL 339 or SOC 340. Offered occasionally.

 

PHL        340          Cr. 3

Business  Ethics

Ethical issues in the conduct of business will be examined by focusing on case studies in business that raise ethical issues. A variety of ethical theories will be used to illuminate the ethical features of business decisions and their effects on employees and society. The goal is to improve ability to identify factors and considerations that can play a role in improving the ethical character of business. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200 or junior standing. Offered occasionally.

 

PHL        341          Cr. 3

Environmental Ethics

Philosophical reflections on humanity’s relationship to the natural world. The course will examine classic American perspectives (e.g. Leopold, transcendentalists), Asian perspectives, Native American perspectives, and contemporary environmental philosophies such as social ecology, deep ecology, and eco-feminism. Course discussions will include the historical roots of the contemporary environmental crisis, the development of a personal environmental philosophy, and the role of a citizen in advancing environmental awareness and responsible land and water use. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered occasionally.

 

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PHL        342          Cr. 3

Philosophy of Love, Sex and Friendship

An examination into the nature of a variety of kinds of love including love of knowledge, love of friends, erotic love, and parental love. Philosophical consideration of topics such as the nature of desire, the politics of desire, sexual intercourse, adultery, monogamy, polygamy, homosexuality, and the obligations of friends as well as institutions of marriage and parenthood. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered alternate years.

 

PHL        345         Cr. 3

Latin American Philosophy

Introduction to the main questions in Latin American thought. Questions will be centered in epistemology, ethics, metaphysics and political philosophy. In particular, the focus will be on the interaction between Latin American thought (from pre-conquest to the present) and traditional Western European thought. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered occasionally.

 

PHL        349          Cr. 3

Asian Philosophy

Introduction to the main questions in the Asian philosophical traditions. Questions will be centered in ethics, religion, epistemology, and metaphysics. Conceptual connections will be make with European and North American philosophical traditions. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered occasionally.

 

PHL        355          Cr. 3

Philosophy and Film

An investigation into the philosophy of film and the philosophy within film. Topics may include personal identity, knowledge, technology, ideology, morality, emotions, and truth. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered alternate years.

 

PHL        360          Cr. 3

Zen Buddhism

This course will explore the development of Zen Buddhism through an analysis of Indian, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean texts. Themes we will discuss include the enlightenment experience, the nature of reality and knowledge, the student/teacher relationship, koan practice (i.e. 'the sound of one hand clapping'), and the relationship of Zen philosophy to ethics and aesthetics (poetry, painting, etc.). The course will make a point to situate Zen within the overall philosophical environment of China and Japan. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200. Offered alternate years.

 

PHL        401          Cr. 3

World Ethics

An investigation of major ethical problems facing the world as a whole from an international perspective, including world medicine, international economic relations, world environmental ethics, international individual rights issues, world diversity concerns, and international conflict and cooperation. Prerequisite: PHL 100 or 200 or ECO/GEO/POL/ANT/SOC/HIS 202. Both are highly recommended. Offered occasionally.

 

PHL        431          Cr. 3

Advanced Philosophy of Religion

Selected readings from recent scholarly journals and Medieval philosophy are the focus of the course and background for examination of topics such as: What justifies that a human can be God? Can God make a world permitting possible contradictions such as a world in which there is an unstoppable cannonball and an immovable lamppost? Exactly how do humans, persons and souls differ if they do? Prerequisite: PHL 101 and 331 strongly recommended. Offered Spring.

 

PHL        494          Cr. 3

Advanced Topics in Philosophy

Study of a philosophical topic of special interest. Topics will vary according to the interests of students and the instructor. For the current content, consult the instructor or the department chair. Prerequisites: nine credits in philosophy and consent of department chair. This course is open to juniors and seniors. No more than six credits in PHL 494, 495, and 497 are applicable to a philosophy major or minor. Repeatable for credit — maximum six. Offered occasionally.

 

PHL        495          Cr. 1-3

Individual Study in Philosophy

Directed reading and research under the supervision of an instructor. Prerequisites: 12 hours in philosophy and consent of the philosophy department staff. No more than six credits in PHL 494, 495, and 497 combined are applicable to a philosophy major or minor. Repeatable for credit — maximum six. Offered Fall, Spring.

 

PHL        496          Cr. 3

Integrative Seminar

Integration of programmatic themes and methods in the major. Prerequisites: 18 credits including PHL 100 or 200, 101, 201 or 303, 205 and 206. May be taken for Honors credit. Offered Fall.

 

PHL        497          Cr. 1-3

Apprenticeship in Philosophy

This course allows students to combine their individual talent and achievement with academically relevant experiential learning. This course will provide majors and minors in philosophy the opportunity for a variety of significant work, service, and leadership tasks related to philosophy. This is a hands-on course which complements and enhances other academic work. Prerequisites: open to all students with 18 credit hours in philosophy who are in good standing; consent of supervising instructor and department chair. No more than six credits in PHL 300, PHL 494, PHL 495, and PHL 497 are applicable to a philosophy major. Pass/Fail grading. Repeatable for credit — maximum six. Offered Fall, Spring.