100. Introduction to Philosophy. -- What philosophy is and how to learn from it. Elementary philosophical questions, methods, and ideas. Ideas typically include: God, freedom, knowledge, the basis of morality, the relation of mind and brain. Classical and/or contemporary readings. 3 hours.
115. Contemporary Moral Issues. -- Today's moral problems and dilemmas; elementary methods and concepts of moral philosophy. Problems typically include: abortion, capital punishment, euthanasia, respect for animals and nature, among others. 3 hours.
116. Bioethics. -- Moral problems and dilemmas in medicine and health affairs; elementary methods and concepts of moral philosophy. Problems typically include: abortion, AIDS, human and animal experimentation, among others. 3 hours.
120. Practical Reasoning. -- Nature of reason and inference; informal reasoning skills; assessment of arguments. 3 hours.
125. Introduction to Ethics. -- Elements of moral philosophy. Moral objectivity, connections among morality, rationality, and religion; nature and significance of moral value. 3 hours.
135. The Rule of Law. -- Law and legal institutions and processes, with emphasis on civil law. Development of legal ideas in such areas as torts, contracts, and property law. Role and history of legal institutions within a political framework. Relations between courts and legislatures. 3 hours.
203. Philosophy of Religion. -- Religion; its nature, warrant, and significance. God, evil, religious experience, faith and reason. 3 hours.
204. Philosophy and Christianity. -- What Christians believe and why they believe it; foundations of Christian philosophical thought. Christian concepts of God, Christ, salvation, atonement, faith, and ethics. 3 hours.
205. Existentialism. -- What existentialists believe and why they believe it; foundations of existentialist philosophical thought. Existentialist concepts of freedom, commitment, anxiety, and authenticity. 3 hours.
208. Philosophy of the Arts. -- Art; its nature, scope, and significance. Concepts of expression, beauty, artistic creation, and standards of art criticism. 3 hours.
215. History of Moral Philosophy. -- Socrates to present, focusing on historical development of moral tradition that has shaped Western society. Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Mill, and Nietzsche, among others. 3 hours.
220. Introduction to Symbolic Logic. -- (Also MA 120.) Formal reasoning and formal reasoning skills. Deductive inference and validity; truth function theory and elementary concepts of quantification theory. 3 hours.
230. Social and Political Philosophy. -- (Also PSC 252.) Basic principles of political life; their nature, warrant, and scope. Political authority; proper role of government; economic justice; freedom, rights, and the free enterprise system. 3 hours.
232. Classical Political Thought. -- (Also PSC 361.) Development of western political thought from Plato to Augustine; emphasis on theories of major political thinkers. 3 hours.
233. Modern Political Theory. -- (Also PSC 362.) Development of western political theory from the early modern era to contemporary debates in works of Machiavelli to Mill. Emphasis on theories of major political thinkers. 3 hours.
239. Classical Thought of India, China, and the West. -- Conceptions of self, society, and natural world. 3 hours.
240. History of Philosophy: Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. -- Origins and development of western philosophic tradition, with emphasis on writings of Plato and Aristotle. Concepts of knowledge, reality, and the good life. 3 hours.
270. The Scientific Enterprise. -- Science; its nature, scope, and significance. Scientific reasoning; science as a social institution; ethical issues in science. 3 hours.
290-291-292. Topics in Philosophy. -- In-depth examination of one or more problems, authors, or ideas of current or historical interest. 3 hours.
305. Epistemology. -- Human knowledge; its nature, sources, and limits. Concepts of truth, objectivity, evidence, and belief. Prerequisite: One previous PHL course or permission of instructor. 3 hours.
308. Metaphysics. -- Reality; its basic elements, principles of existence and identity, appearance and reality. Concepts of cause, matter, mind, realism and anti-realism. Prerequisite: One previous PHL course or permission of instructor. 3 hours.
314. Philosophy and Feminism. -- Feminism; conceptual foundations, scope, and applications. Problems typically include, among others, feminist concepts of gender, reasoning, knowledge, and ethics. 3 hours.
315. Ethics: Theories of Good and Evil. -- Morality; its nature, principles, and scope. Normative and critical problems in moral philosophy; moral obligation. Prerequisite: One previous PHL course or permission of instructor. 3 hours.
320. Intermediate Symbolic Logic. -- (Also MA 224 and continuation of PHL 220.) Quantification theory; identity and definite description; soundness and completeness; skill in formal proof and ability to express arguments from natural language into artificial language. Prerequisite: PHL 220 (MA 120) or permission of instructor. 3 hours.
321. Cooperation and Competition. -- (Also EC 330–2C) This is an introductory course in game theory. Game theory is the study of strategic situations--that is, situations in which the consequences of your choices depend on the choices of others. Game theory illuminates problems in many disciplines, including economics, business, political science, international relations, law, evolutionary biology, and animal behavior. All necessary mathematics will be covered within the course or familiar from EC 210 (Principles of Microeconomics).
335. Philosophy of Law. -- Theories of the nature of law (natural law, realism, positivism, critical legal theory); interpretation of precedents, statutes, and Constitution; Constitutional protections such as freedom of speech and religion and the right of privacy; selected issues in criminal and civil law. 3 hours.
342. History of Philosophy: Kant and the 19th Century. -- Western philosophic tradition from Kant through end of 19th Century. Kant, Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, and Mill, among others. 3 hours.
343. History of Philosophy: Twentieth Century. -- Major movements and problems of twentieth century philosophy. Moore, Wittgenstein, Russell, and Quine, among others. Prerequisite: One previous PHL course or permission or instructor. 3 hours.
348. American Philosophy. -- Major philosophers of classical American period; Peirce, James, and Dewey. Origins and nature of American pragmatism. Prerequisite: One previous PHL course or permission of instructor. 3 hours.
350. Philosophy of Language. -- Language; its nature, structure, and uses. Reference, meaning, communication, and interpretation; Russell, Wittgenstein, Quine, and Chomsky, among others. Prerequisite: One previous PHL course or permission of instructor. 3 hours.
372. Minds and Machines.-- (Also CS 372) Artificial intelligence; its philosophical foundations and applications. Topics may include mind-body problem, nature of intelligence, machine models of mind, computational processes, and mental representation. Prerequisite: One previous PHL course or permission of instructor. 3 hours.
375. Philosophy of Mind. -- (Also PY 375.) Mind; its nature, forms, and functions. Concepts of mind/body, consciousness, rationality, free will, and personal identity. Prerequisite: One previous PHL course or permission of instructor. 3 hours.
470. Philosophical Problems in the Natural and Social Sciences.-- Nature and uses of science. Concepts of explanation, confirmation, scientific law, and theory; special problems in sciences. Prerequisite: One previous PHL course or permission of instructor. 3 hours.
490-491-492. Philosophy Seminar -- In-depth examination of one or more problems, authors, or ideas of current or historical interest. Prerequisite: Two previous philosophy courses or permission of instructor. 3 hours.
499. Directed Studies. -- Special arrangement opportunity for in-depth study. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 1, 2, 3 hours.
517. Principles of Scientific Integrity. -- (Also GRD 717.) Survey of ethical issues and principles in the practice of science. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 3 hours.
590. Directed Readings. -- Directed readings in special areas or topics of philosophy; honors thesis supervision or opportunity for graduate credit in philosophy. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 3 hours.
770. Philosophy of Science. -- Overview of philosophy of science with attention to foundational debates in social sciences, and social constructivist views of scientific knowledge. Prerequisite: Permission of instructor. 3 hours.
790-791-792. Problems Proseminar. -- Philosophic problems of current interest in graduate and professional education. Specific issues in cognitive science, the arts, or ethics and public policy may be selected for analysis. Content varies depdending upon instructor and student demand. 3 hours.
Sample Seminars and Topics in Philosophy
390-2C. Philosophy of Neuroscience. -- The contemporary neurosciences of cognition have, during the past two decades, yielded evidence that has prompted many philosophers to revise their judgments on issues traditionally considered to be in the exclusive province of philosophy including the relationship between (a) mind and brain and (b) psychology and neuroscience. However, the same scholars who have been quick to appeal to evidence from neuroscience to inform their philosophical positions have for the most part failed to evaluate the conceptual and theoretical assumptions that drive neuroscientific research. This task has fallen squarely on the shoulders of philosophers of neuroscience, and providing students with a unique venue in which to engage in such analytic work will be the primary aim of this course.
The course will begin by introducing students to a set of conceptual tools intended to serve two distinct purposes. On the one hand, they may be used to guide an evaluation of the relationship between certain philosophical claims (i.e., claims having metaphysical or ethical implications) and those neuroscientific data on which they are based. On the other, they are intended to function as a basis for critically investigating the processes of data production and data interpretation in contemporary neuroscience—particularly in those fields that study cognitive processes. Subsequent to the introduction of these tools, our strategy will be to read philosophical papers and those neuroscientific research papers on which they are based in tandem, appealing to the conceptual tools as a means to ground and structure our evaluation of both. The course is thus designed specifically to hone students’ analytic skills in a way that will positively shape and inform the development of their current and future neuroscientific and/or neuroscientifically-informed philosophical research projects.
490-7M. Holding Together: Coherence in Culture, Reason, and Action -- The idea that thoughts, concepts, emotions, and actions may “hold together” or cohere has played a central role in philosophical, scientific, and humanistic studies of knowledge, science, ethics, reasoning, action, truth, culture, and literature, among other things. This course will pursue a deeper understanding of relationships between notions of coherence in different domains. Questions covered may include: Is coherence central to knowledge? What kind of coherence? Is coherence central to truth? Do metaphors and analogies—central to many works of fiction, poetry, film, and anthropological studies of culture—depend essentially on coherence? Does scientific knowledge depend in fundamental ways on metaphors and analogies, on logical and probabilistic kinds of coherence, or on all or none of the above? Should coherence play a role in practical decisions? In ethics and political philosophy? Does emotion have a role in coherence? Do different cultures exhibit internal coherence? What are the implications of this idea for understanding cultural change, conflict, and human evolution? This is an intensive writing and discussion oriented course with papers, student presentations, and short exercises (perhaps involving computer simulations).
491. Economics, Institutions and Law -- (Also EC 450-2E) Students in this course will learn to analyze incentive structures in order to identify and solve problems involving market failures, principal-agent problems, public goods, and collective action. The course will cover the mathematical modeling of incentives; the social/political implications of incentive-related problems; the ways in which existing economic, political, and legal institutions (e.g., individual firms, the Federal Reserve, the Clean Air Act, the IMF, the World Bank, the WTO, etc.) confront and/or attempt to solve such problems; and normative justifications of and challenges to such institutions. Background in intermediate microeconomics and introductory macroeconomics is assumed.