Illustration of orbiting planets. Fall 2016 Courses


Some course names on BlazerNET will show Topics in Philosophy or Philosophy Seminar. Please click VIEW SECTIONS to see the specific course title and to register.

PHL 100: Introduction to Philosophy — Survey of select philosophic problems and themes, typically including God, knowledge, mind, freedom, and moral valuea; contemporary and/or historical reading may be used.

PHL 115: Contemporary Moral Issues — Survey of contemporary moral problems and dilemmas; introduction to methods and concepts of moral philosophy. Topics may include abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, economic justice, homosexuality, animal rights, and respect for nature.
  • TR 9:30 - 10:45 a.m., Pence
  • TR 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., Abrams
  • TR 3:30 - 4:45 p.m., Abrams
  • ONLINE, Price (two classes)

PHL 116: Bioethics — Moral problems and dilemmas in medicine and health affairs, as well as elementary methods and concepts of moral philosophy. Topics may include: abortion, euthanasia, assisted reproduction, AIDS, human cloning, human and animal experimentation, psychiatric treatment, medical financing, and neuroethics (e.g. brain enhancement, mind-reading technologies, moral & legal responsibility).

  • MWF 9:05 - 9:55 a.m., Welch
  • MWF 10:10 - 11:00 a.m., King
  • MWF 11:15 a.m. - 12:05 p.m., Welch
  • MWF 1:25 - 2:15 p.m., Professor King
  • TR 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., May
  • TR 12:30 - 1:45 p.m., Welch
  • TR 2:00 - 3:15 p.m., Whall
  • T/TH 03:30 - 4:45 p.m., Whall
  • ONLINE, May

PHL 120: Practical Reasoning
Survey of skills in critical thinking and scientific reasoning, including the ability to identify different kinds of arguments, recognize common fallacies of reasoning, and evaluate analogical, causal, and statistical arguments.
  • MWF 9:05 - 9:55 a.m., Professor Ball
  • MWF 12:20 - 1:10 p.m., Professor Ball

PHL 135: The Rule of Law — Law, legal institutions, and legal processes, with emphasis on civil law. Overview of legal ideas in civil procedure, torts, contracts, property, and criminal law, including social and political aspects of various areas of law.

PHL 220: Introduction to Symbolic Logic — Modern theory of deductive inference. Emphasis on recognizing valid forms of reasoning. Truth-function theory and some beginning concepts of quantification theory.
  • TR 11:00 a.m. - 12:15 p.m., Price

PHL 270: Science, Knowledge, and Reality — Science affects our lives every day, but few people stop to think about the nature of science. Does science reveal a hidden reality, or does it just give us ways to manipulate things we see and touch? Does it give us the truth, or is it a game played for social status? What does it mean to say that some things are "unscientific"? And what are the roles of experiments, theory, and creativity in scientific knowledge? Can the history of philosophy and science give us insight into the nature of reality?

PHL 290: Exploring Political Authority — Governments exercise a tremendous amount of authority over citizens. Citizens are at times required to pay taxes, abide by government regulations, perform military service, and so on. The authority that governments have is clearly significant, but is it morally justified? Do governments exercise legitimate authority over citizens or is their political authority illegitimate? What makes one government the rightful power and another something that should be overthrown? In this course we will examine what is required for political authority to be legitimate, and we will explore whether governments meet these requirements for legitimate authority.

PHL 291: Philosophy and Superheroes — Greetings, true believers! While philosophy is largely ignored in pop culture, superheroes are positively ubiquitous. This course examines a range of philosophical topics through the lens of superheroes and the worlds they inhabit. Pairing primary readings in philosophy with accessible characters and scenarios from comic books, TV, and film, the course aims to demonstrate the virtues of philosophical thinking. No particular familiarity with superheroes, comic books, or philosophy required. Excelsior!

PHL 315: Ethics: Theories of Good and Evil — Morality; its nature, principles, and scope. Normative and critical problems in moral philosophy; moral obligation. One previous PHL course or permission of instructor required.

PHL 342: History of Philosophy: Kant-19th Century — Western philosophic tradition from Kant through end of nineteenth century. Kant, Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, and Mill, among others. Prerequisites: PHL 100, 115, 116, or 215.

PHL 442: History of Philosophy: Kant-19th Century — Western philosophic tradition from Kant through end of nineteenth century. Kant, Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, and Mill, among others. Prerequisites: PHL 100, 115, 116, or 215.

PHL 490: Exploring Political Authority — Governments exercise a tremendous amount of authority over citizens. Citizens are at times required to pay taxes, abide by government regulations, perform military service, and so on. The authority that governments have is clearly significant, but is it morally justified? Do governments exercise legitimate authority over citizens or is their political authority illegitimate? What makes one government the rightful power and another something that should be overthrown? In this course we will examine what is required for political authority to be legitimate, and we will explore whether governments meet these requirements for legitimate authority.