PHL 100 - Introduction to Philosophy

Are you looking for answers to life's important questions? This course offers the student an introduction to the major views on important philosophic topics such as reality, personal identity, freedom, knowledge, morality, religion, and social justice.

Sheryl Tuttle Ross         TuTh  3:55 – 5:20

Stewart Eskew               MWF 9:55 – 10:50

Sam Cocks                     TuTh  12:40-2:05


PHL 101 - 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.

Daniel Schneider            TuTh 9:25 – 10:50


PHL 205 - History of Ancient Philosophy

Introduction to principle questions of philosophy and history of their analysis from the pre-Socratic period to the Renaissance. 

Daniel Schneider           TuTh  2:15 – 3:40


PHL 303 - Ethics and Meta-Ethics: Theory and Justification

We look for the ethical theory having the strongest justification. Topics include: is justification in ethics of a different kind than in matters of fact; are moral expressions definable; are moral claims true or false or only expressions of feeling; do only consequences count; are principles crucial for ethics; can at least some ethical claims be known to be true and justified; what is the best approach for resolving disagreement about ethical claims?

Stewart Eskew             MW 2:15 – 3:40


PHL 301 - Theory of Knowledge

An intensive examination of three major questions: (1) What are the principal grounds of knowledge? (2) How certain can we 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 knowledge representation.

Stewart Eskew              MWF 12:05 – 1:00


PHL 349 - Asian Philosophy

Introduction to the main questions found in the Asian philosophical traditions. We will read Indian, Chinese, and Japanese philosophers, with a special emphasis on Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. Questions will be centered in ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics. Conceptual connections will be made with Western philosophical traditions.

Sam Cocks                  TuTh 9:25 – 10:50


PHL 420 - On Humor and Happiness

What is happiness? Is it something that we should devote our lives pursuing? What is the relationship between happiness and other sorts of experiences we value? Can happiness ever be wrong or mistaken? What makes something funny or amusing? What is the relationship between humor and happiness? Is comedy just tragedy plus time? Is it okay to laugh at morally reprehensible jokes? This class will address those questions and include study of the philosophy of emotions, in particular the emotion of happiness and the experience of laughter as it relates to the various theories of comedy and humor. 

Sheryl Tuttle Ross       Wed 5:30 – 8:15


PHL 330 - Philosophy of Food

This course explores the aesthetic, ethical and existential features of the dining experience. Beginning with the pleasure features of food it moves to discussion on the relation of the disgusting and delicious, of the role of taste and food taboo, the proper relation of food and beauty, the question of whether food can constitute art, the relation of food and the sexual, and the role of the aesthetic in unpacking ethical evaluation of food choices. Phenomenological accounts are provided of the experiences of eating disorders and models of thinness and obesity. Next it looks at the metaphysics and epistemology of establishing criteria for nutritional value, the ideology of nutritionism, analysis of functional foods, the defenses/critiques of genetically modified organisms (GMO) and so-called Frankenfoods. Further it investigates ethical discourse on eating behavior, ethical arguments for vegetarianism, veganism, carnism and omnivorism, and gendered accounts of proper eating behavior. Lastly, philosophical arguments about appropriate ethical responses to world hunger are evaluated as well as development of arguments about the proper role of being a world food citizen.

Sheryl Tuttle Ross       ONLINE


PHL 332 - Philosophy of the Arts

An examination of production, appreciation, and criticism of art. Topics may include the nature of art, the nature of beauty, the function(s) of art (if any), the moral status of works of art, aesthetic evaluation, the antimony of taste, the paradoxes of fiction, tragedy, and horror, and public financing of art. Theories may include the imitation/representation theory, expressionism, formalism, aesthetic experience theory, and institutional theory.

Sheryl Tuttle Ross       ONLINE