Philosophy Department

The Philosophy Major

About that philosophy major...


       Tech Leave You Cold? Major in Philosophy!

       Why Study Philosophy? 'To Challenge Your Own Point of View'



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        Current Philosophy Course Offerings


1030 Introduction to Philosophy. Three credits. Basic philosophical problems suggested by everyday experience integrated into a coherent philosophy of life through comparison with solutions offered by prominent philosophers.

2110 Elementary Logic and Critical Thinking. Three credits. Principles of deductive and inductive reasoning, problem solving, and the analysis of arguments in everyday language.

3120 Perspectives on Science and Math. Three credits. Prerequisites: None. Readings, discussions, and activities associated with history and philosophy of science and mathematics (Effective Term: Spring 2012).

3150 Ethics. Three credits. Major ethical theories, the moral nature of human beings, the meaning of good and right.

PHIL 3160 - Philosophy of Happiness. Three credits. Examines the concept of human happiness and its application in everyday living as discussed since antiquity by philosophers, psychologists, writers, spiritual leaders, and contributors to popular culture.

3170 Ethics and Computing Technology. Three credits. This course is designed to expose the student to the fundamentals of ethical theory and to familiarize the student with some of the practical ethical and legal issues with which s/he would have to deal as a computer scientist.

3200 Asian Thought. Three credits. The origins, development, essence, and implications of leading philosophical-religious traditions originating in Asia.

3300 Philosophy of Religion. Three credits. Examines issues of religious experience, religious knowledge, faith and reason, the existence and nature of God, evil, religious diversity, life after death.

PHIL 3310 - Atheism and Philosophy. Three credits. Examines various philosophical perspectives on atheism, understood as the belief that no transcendent creator deity exists, and that there are no supernatural causes of natural events. Compares and contrasts this belief with familiar alternatives (including theism, agnosticism, and humanism), considers the spiritual significance of atheism, and explores implications for ethics and religion.

PHIL 3340 - Environmental Ethics. Three credits. Examines the relation of humans to the rest of nature, clarifying the relevant ethical issues and exploring from various perspectives their application to present and future ecological concerns.

PHIL 3345 – Bioethics. Three credits. Explores ethical issues arising from the practice of medical therapeutics, from the development of new biomedical technologies, and more largely from reflections on life's meaning and prospects in the face of changing modalities of intervention fostered particularly by the various life sciences.

3400 Symbolic Logic. Three credits. (Same as MATH 3400.)

3500 Philosophy and the African American Experience. Three credits. Examines sociopolitical and existential concerns of African Americans, especially in respect to issues of justice, equality, and the very meaning of life in a world of anti-black racism, against the backdrop of "enlightenment"; philosophical discourse on race and personhood.

3600 Philosophy and Film. Three credits. Examination of the cinematic expression of philosophical issues and development of philosophical issues in cinema.

3690 Social Philosophy. Three credits. The main problems of social philosophy are surveyed: the distinctive nature of social reality and the nature of social knowledge and how they relate to value theory.

4010 History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. Three credits. Prerequisite: PHIL 1030 or permission of instructor. The development of philosophical thought from Thales to Occam.

4020 History of Modern Philosophy. Three credits. The development of philosophical thought from Hobbes to Hegel.

4050 Nineteenth-Century Philosophy. Three credits. Emphasis on movements such as German idealism, the rise of the philosophy of the social sciences, historical materialism, utilitarianism, and early critiques of modernism.

4100 Aesthetics. Three credits. The nature of art, aesthetic experience, and artistic creation.

4150 Formal Logic. Three credits. The nature and methods of formal deductive logic, truth functional logic, quantification theory, identity relations, propositional calculus.

4200 Existentialism. Three credits. The nature, significance, and application of the teachings of several outstanding existential thinkers.

4240 Recent Continental Philosophy. Three credits. The critical examination of various movements and key figures in recent European philosophy.

4250 Philosophy of Gender. Three credits. An examination of major work in contemporary feminist philosophy and feminist theory, with particular emphases on the relation of sex and gender, feminist accounts of inquiry, feminist ethical issues, and feminist aesthetics.

4300 American Philosophy. Three credits. Development of American thought with emphasis on naturalism, idealism, and pragmatism.

4350 Philosophy of Language. Three credits. Prerequisite: PHIL 2110 recommended. Introduces students to the most influential analyses of meaning, reference, and truth of early twentieth-century Anglo-American philosophy; explores how the work of Ludwig Wittgenstein transforms canonical accounts of language; considers the role of metaphor in human communication and understanding.

4400 Analytic Philosophy. Three credits. Examines twentieth-century analytic movement including logical atomism, logical positivism, indeterminacy semantics, ordinary language philosophy.

4450 Marx and Marxism. Three credits. An examination of the development of Marxist philosophy up to and including the present.

4500 Philosophy of Science. Three credits. The methods, problems, and presuppositions of scientific inquiry.

4550 Philosophy of Mind. Three credits. Classical philosophy of mind (emphases: the mind-body problem, theories of consciousness) and contemporary applications of philosophy to psychology (emphases: logic and cognition, emotion and reason, artificial intelligence).

4560 Philosophy of Music. Three credits. Examines issues in both traditional philosophies of music and contemporary philosophies of music making and musical perception.

4600 Philosophy of History. Three credits. Nature of historical knowledge and problems of historical inquiry; meaning and value of history; reality of the past; historical determinism and human freedom.

4800 Readings in Philosophy. Three credits. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. Directed study concerning a particular philosophical problem or thinker.