Please note: The course descriptions displayed here are current as of Wednesday, May 6, 2015, but the official Course Catalog should be used for all official planning.

PHIL 100
Introduction to Philosophy: Problems

An introduction to philosophical analysis and intensive study of selected philosophical classics. Topics include the existence of God, the problem of evil, problems of knowledge, the relationship between mind and body, free will, determinism, and moral obligation. Recommended for freshmen and sophomores. Units: 6. Prerequisite: Recommended for freshmen and sophomores

PHIL 105
Introduction to Cognitive Science

An introduction to the interdisciplinary study of how the mind works. Topics include: the nature of perception; what human language reveals about the mind; the basis of morality and altruism; how sexual selection has shaped human psychology; and the cognitive science of religious and spiritual belief. We will discuss tools, theories, and assumptions from philosophy, psychology, computer science, linguistics, anthropology, behavioral economics, and neuroscience. Units: 6.

PHIL 110
Business Ethics

An introduction to ethical issues that arise in the practice of business. Topics include professional virtues, regulation, employer and employee rights, and social responsibility. Students are required to complete a community service project as part of this course. Units: 6. Prerequisite: Recommended for freshmen and sophomores

PHIL 115
Food Ethics

Eating has become a complicated activity. We will examine some of the hard ethical questions facing policymakers and individuals: How should government regulate our food choices? When, if ever, is it ethical to eat animals? Are there any moral reasons to favor local food producers? Is gluttony a moral fault? Units: 6.

PHIL 120
Applied Ethics: Introduction to Biomedical Ethics

The course will examine moral dilemmas created or intensified by recent advances in medical technology and study ways of analyzing those dilemmas to make them more tractable. We will focus on examples such as euthanasia and the right to die, abortion, behavior modification, allocation of scarce medical resources, in vitro fertilization, genetic screening and engineering, and human experimentation. Units: 6. Prerequisite: Recommended for freshmen and sophomores
Also listed as Biomedical Ethics 120

PHIL 125
Critical Thinking

This introduction to argumentation focuses on how to identify arguments, their structure, and their strengths and weaknesses. We examine historical texts, newspapers, legal cases, political debates and blogs to explore what distinguishes good reasoning from bad inference. Units: 6.

PHIL 130
Meditation and Virtue: Contemplative and Analytic Perspectives on Character

This course focuses on different theories of the good and of the virtues that lead to a good life. It covers a variety of readings that discuss the good and the good life and also critically examines a variety of meditations designed to cultivate moral virtues. Requirements for the class include writing two papers and undertaking a daily meditation practice. Units: 6. Prerequisite: Recommended for freshmen and sophomores

PHIL 140
Introduction to Philosophy: Knowing and Valuing

Is there a plausible distinction between (real!) knowing and (mere!) opinion? Can we make any warranted claims about how humans might best lead meaningful lives? We will carefully analyze the responses to such questions offered by Plato and by two 20th-century philosophers. Units: 6. Prerequisite: Recommended for freshmen and sophomores

PHIL 150
Symbolic Logic

Formal study of the notions of validity, consistency, and equivalence in the languages of sentential logic and predicate logic, plus an introduction to semantics for these languages. Units: 6. Prerequisite: Recommended for freshmen and sophomores

PHIL 191
Directed Study in Philosophy

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work. Units: 1 TO 98. Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

PHIL 200
History of Philosophy: Plato and Aristotle

An examination of themes in selected classical Greek tragedies and their development in the philosophies of Plato (The Republic, Gorgias) and Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics). Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, sophomore standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 210
History of Philosophy: Descartes, Locke, and Leibniz

We will explore some exciting developments of the 16th and 17th centuries. Specifically, we will look at how the study of metaphysics, epistemology, and the mind, were transformed by the scientific revolution. The works of three thinkers will serve as our primary window in to this era: French philosopher and mathematician, Rene Descartes(1596-1650); English philosopher and physician, John Locke (1632-1704); and German philosopher and mathematician, Gottfried Leibniz (1646-1716). But we will also read excerpts from some other prominent figures of this era, including Thomas Hobbes, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia, Nicolas Malebranche, and David Hume. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, sophomore standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 220
History of Philosophy: Berkeley, Hume, Kant, and Mill

An examination of selected works of 18th- and 19th-century philosophers. Epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics are emphasized. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, sophomore standing, or consent of the instructor.

PHIL 230
History of Philosophy: Early Analytic Philosophy

An examination of the early 20th-century works of G. E. Moore and Bertrand Russell against the background of the then-dominant Hegelian Idealism. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, sophomore standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 240
History of Philosophy: The American Pragmatists

An examination of the attempts by pragmatists such as C. S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey to reconceptualize “traditional” issues in Western philosophy. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, sophomore standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 260
Feminism and Philosophy

A consideration of the contribution of feminism to a range of subjects of philosophical inquiry, including: the philosophy of mind, ethics and the history of philosophy. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, sophomore standing, or consent of instructor
Also listed as Gender Studies 261

PHIL 275
Existentialism

An introduction to existentialist philosophy, with emphasis on its development throughout the 19th and 20th centuries in the Continental tradition of philosophy. This course pays special attention to such existentialist themes as the possibility of meaninglessness, the necessity of first-personal experience, and authenticity. Units: 6. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing, one previous course in philosophy, or consent of instructor

PHIL 280
Women and Friendship

An introduction to philosphical theories of friendship, with emphasis on feminist responses. This course examines historical and contemporary accounts of the value of friends and the role they play iin our self-development, as well as moral accounts of the special obligations friendships involve. This course can be counted as the equivalent of GEST 280. Units: 6. Prerequisite: Sophomore standing, one previous course in philosophy, or consent of instructor

PHIL 300
Epistemology

An examination of some basic questions concerning the nature and extent of human knowledge, focusing on the topics of skepticism, justification, certainty, the a priori and the a posteriori, and analyses of knowledge. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 305
Experimental Philosophy

An introduction to experimental philosophy. The course will examine the ways in which experimental techniques can be applied to problems in epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of language, ethics, and other subfields of philosophy. Special attention will be paid to the question of whether experimental research is a legitimate methodology for philosophy. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 310
Metaphysics

An examination of some central philosophical questions about reality, such as: What basic kinds of things are there? Is truth always and only relative to a conceptual scheme? What is the nature of necessity and possibility? What is the nature of change over time? Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 320
Ethics

An examination of theories about how we should live. Issues include the role of rights, duties, and virtues in decision making, the scope of morality, the limits of our obligations to others, and the foundations of morality. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 325
Metaethics

An examination of the nature of ethical properties and ethical judgments. Are facts and values completely independent? Are goodness and badness objective properties? What does the persistence of moral disagreement tell us about the nature of ethics? Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 330
Philosophy of Science

We will examine some important philosphical questions surrounding science. They will include (1) What is a science; and what is the relation between different sciences? (2) What is it to explain a phenomenon or confirm a hypothesis? (3) Do the explanatory posits of a science—such as quarks and strings—actually exist? (4) Are there scientific laws? We will explore some of the more plausible answers to such questions. Readings will include selections from a variety of contemporary and 20th century philosophical texts. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 340
Philosophy of Art

An examination of major theories of the essence of art, of the major 20th-century critique of the thesis that art has an essence, and of recent attempts to analyze art in light of the critique. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 350
Political Philosophy

A seminar examining one topic in political philosophy, typically either distributive justice or war. If the topic is distributive justice, the focus is on different accounts of the just distribution of social benefits and burdens. Issues include the right to health care and other social goods, as well as accounts of the ideals of equality, liberty, and community. If the topic is war, the focus is on political and moral dilemmas of warfare. Issues include war crimes, nuclear deterrence, the status of non-combatants, the use of economic sanctions, and terrorism. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 360
Environmental Ethics

An examination of some ethical assumptions that might figure in discussions of environmental policy by economists, legal experts, philosophers, and policy scientists. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in economics or environmental studies or government or philosophy; or junior standing
Also listed as Environmental Studies 360

PHIL 365
Compassion and Other Virtues

We will explore philosophical writings that analyze the nature and significance of compassion, forgiveness, gratitude, and other virtues. This course has a meditation component, as we will also explore meditations designed to cultivate the virtues that we cover in our readings. By approaching the topics with both philosophical analysis and contemplative methods, we will aim at a more thorough understanding than we could accomplish by only using one method. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 370
Advanced Studies in Bioethics

A seminar examining one particular issue or set of issues in bioethics. Units: 6. Prerequisite: PHIL 120 or two courses in philosophy
Also listed as Biomedical Ethics 370

PHIL 375
Philosophy of Sex and Love

This course uses feminist theories to explore philosophical questions concerning sex and love. How do gender norms affect our sexual desires and the power dynamics in loving relationships? How responsible are we for our sexual preferences and loving attitudes? How do we relate ethically to lovers and htose we love? Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, sophomore standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 380
Ethics of Technology

This course focuses on ethical issues that arise from the development of new technology. Specific topics may include artificial intelligence, information technologies, human enhancement, transhumanism, transgenesis, ectogenesis, nanoethics, and neuroethics. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of the instructor
Also listed as Biomedical Ethics 380

PHIL 385
Value Theory

This course focuses on theories of the good and related philosophical issues. Questions that we will explore include: What is happiness? How are happiness and satisfaction related? Can we measure happiness or well-being? Is virtue valuable in itself? Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 390
Tutorial Studies in Philosophy

Senior majors undertaking honors projects should elect one or more terms. Units: 1 TO 98. Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

PHIL 391
Directed Study in Philosophy

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work. Units: 1 TO 98. Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

PHIL 399
Independent Study in Philosophy

Advanced students of philosophy may elect one or more terms. Units: 1 TO 98. Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

PHIL 400
Philosophy of Language

An examination of major theories of meaning, reference, and cognitive content and an attempt to understand how language functions to relate “internal” psychological states to things in the “external” world. Contemporary philosophers are emphasized. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor; PHIL 150 recommended
Also listed as Linguistics 400

PHIL 405
How to Do Things With Words

An examination of major and cutting edge topics in the philosophy of language and linguistics. Where do word meanings come from? How can one word mean different things in different contexts? How do we promise or make commitments? Why do slurs hurt and jokes amuse? What is the nature of metaphor? Where does the border between what words mean and what speakers mean with words lie? These and other questions will be considered. Appropriate for students with an interest in philosophy, linguistics, or cognitive science. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of the instructor
Also listed as Linguistics 405

PHIL 410
Philosophy of Mind

What is the relationship between the mind and the body? What is the nature of conscious experience? How do mental states represent states of the world? Is our common sense conception of mental states and processes compatible with the methods and assumptions of cognitive science? These and other questions in the philosophy of mind will be considered. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, PSYC 340, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 420
Topics in Logic

An investigation of topics selected from among the following: consistency and completeness theorems for both sentential and predicate logic, Gödel’s Incompleteness Theorem, logical paradoxes (Russell’s Paradox, the Liar Paradox, and Newcomb’s Paradox), and modal-tense logic and its formal semantics. Units: 6. Prerequisite: PHIL 150 or consent of instructor
Also listed as Linguistics 420

PHIL 430
Philosophy of Law

An exploration of questions such as: To what extent may a decision in a legal controversy be deemed uniquely correct (as contrasted with an exercise of the judge’s discretion)? What purposes and assumptions underlie branches of the law such as criminal law or torts? What are the functions of precedent? What are the various relationships between morality and the law? Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 440
Morality, Rationality, and Self-Interest

If acting morally conflicts with my long-term self-interest, what is it rational for me to do? Why be moral? Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, junior standing, or consent of instructor

PHIL 448
Enlightenment Selves

An interdisciplinary investigation of key concepts of identity and the emotions as understood during the Enlightenment. Students examine philosophical and literary texts to uncover how seventeenth and eighteenth century people conceived of their mental and emotional existence, and how these histroical conceptions still influence contempoary theories of mind and self. Units: 6. Prerequisite: One course in either English or philosophy, or junior standing, or consent of instructor
Also listed as English 448

PHIL 590
Tutorial Studies in Philosophy

Senior majors undertaking honors projects should elect one or more terms. Units: 1 TO 98. Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

PHIL 591
Directed Study in Philosophy

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work. Units: 1 TO 98. Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

PHIL 599
Independent Study in Philosophy

Advanced students of philosophy may elect one or more terms. Units: 1 TO 98. Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

PHIL 600
Studies in Philosophy

Specific topics for the year will be published as classes are scheduled.

Topic for Spring 2015: Possible Worlds
An examination of various concepts of possible worlds, the history of the use of possible worlds in philosophy, and arguments for and against the claim that there are possible worlds. Units: 6. Prerequisite: Three courses in philosophy or consent of instructor

PHIL 690
Tutorial Studies in Philosophy

Senior majors undertaking honors projects should elect one or more terms. Units: 1 TO 98. Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

PHIL 691
Directed Study in Philosophy

Directed study follows a syllabus set primarily by the instructor to meet the needs or interests of an individual student or small group of students. The main goal of directed study is knowledge or skill acquisition, not research or creative work. Units: 1 TO 98. Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

PHIL 699
Independent Study in Philosophy

Advanced students of philosophy may elect one or more terms. Units: 1 TO 98. Prerequisite: Counter Registration Required.

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