College of Liberal Studies
Department Chair: Eric Kraemer
245E Graff Main Hall,
Associate Professor: Ross;
Assistant Professors: Cocks, Glass, Rivera, Scherwitz.
(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 30 credits – PHL 100, 101, 201 or 303, 205, 206, 496; electives in philosophy. 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.
(All colleges, excluding Teacher Certification programs) — 18 credits – PHL 100, 205, 206; electives in philosophy.
Philosophy Department Honors Program Requirements
- Junior standing
- 12 credits in the major
- 3.25 cumulative grade point average in the major
- Recommendation of two faculty members in the major
- Completion of the regular major program
- PHL 496
- Cumulative grade point average of 3.60 in the major at graduation
- Cumulative grade point average of 3.50 in all university courses
- Presentation of the thesis to a colloquium of faculty and students in the major
- Final examination
+ next to a course number indicates a General Education course.
+ PHL 100 Cr. 3 Introduction to Philosophy
An introduction to the major views on important philosophic topics such as morality, knowledge, reality, religion, personal identity, freedom, responsibility, art, feminism, and social diversity. Offered Fall, Spring.
+ 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.
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 and the opportunity for an application of ethical theories to a service learning project. Prerequisite: PHL 100. 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. 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. Offered Spring.
PHL 220 Cr. 3 Introduction to Comparative Religion
Comparative study of religious expressions and the human situation in the major religions of the world. Exploration of the historic, social, and economic influences on religious world-views. The role of each religion in shaping cultural values. Prerequisite: PHL 100. Offered occasionally.
+ PHL 229 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. Offered occasionally.
+ PHL 230 Cr. 3 International Multicultural Philosophy
This survey course will examine philosophical ideas and systems that are generated from a wide range of cultural traditions world wide. 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. Offered occasionally.
PHL 240 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. Offered occasionally.
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 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. Offered Fall.
PHL 307 Cr. 3 19th and 20th Century Philosophy
A study of the major philosophical movements of the 19th and 20th centuries. Beginning with a response to the Enlightenment, this course will first explore 19th century philosophy, including post-Hegelian, 19th century British, and American philosophy, pragmatism, and transcendentalism. Second, it will discuss 20th century analytic philosophy, including logical positivism, epistemology, linguistic analysis, and philosophy of mind. Finally the course will study 20th century continental philosophy, including existentialism, phenomenology, feminist thought, and postmodernism/ poststructuralism. Prerequisite: PHL 100. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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 poststructuralism 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. 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. 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. Offered occasionally.
PH 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. Offered Fall.
+ PHL 332 Cr. 3 Philosophy of the Arts
An examination of aesthetic experience and the questions that are relevant to works of art. Questions discussed include: What is art? What is artistic creation? What is artistic expression? What is artistic form? What is artistic criticism? Prerequisite: PHL 100. 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 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. PHL 101 is also recommended. Offered Fall.
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. 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. May only earn credit in PHL 339 or SOC 340. Offered Winter.
PHL 340 Cr. 3 Business and Professional Ethics
Ethical issues in the conduct of business and professions will be examined by focusing on case studies in business and professions that raise ethical issues. A variety of ethical theories will be used to illuminate the ethical features of business and professional 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 and professions. Prerequisite: PHL 100. 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 ecofeminism. 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. Offered occasionally.
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. Offered alternate years.
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. Offered occasionally.
PHL 350 Cr. 3 Philosophy of Creativity
An examination of a number of philosophical issues that arise in connection with creativity. Issues include: Can creativity be defined? What is the meaning of creativity as a fundamental philosophical category? What is the relation of creativity to self, society and God? Emphasis upon both Asian and Western perspectives of philosophy of creativity. Prerequisite: PHL 100. 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. 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 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. Prerequisite: 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. Prerequisite: 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. Prerequisite: 18 credits including PHL 100, 101, 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. Prerequisite: 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.