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Course Descriptions

PHIENV 304 Environmental Ethics (3) (V)

PHIL 101 Individual and Society (4) (V)

An introduction to philosophy as critical thinking and analysis through an examination of questions of human value(s). Students learn how to recognize and analyze the values by which they live, examine the issues of self and society, and develop a philosophical skill in seeing the basic values that influence these personal and social issues. Offered each fall.

PHIL 102 Contemporary Moral Issues (4) (V)

Introduces the practice of moral reasoning through the study of representative moral theories and their application to controversial issues in contemporary life. Students develop the critical and analytical skills required for thinking clearly about moral problems and forming their own conclusions about them. Offered each spring.

PHIL 102 Contemporary Moral Issues (3) (V)

Introduces the practice of moral reasoning through the study of representative moral theories and their application to controversial issues in contemporary life. Students develop the critical and analytical skills required for thinking clearly about moral problems and forming their own conclusions about them. Offered each spring.

PHIL 105 Meaning, Happiness and The Good Life (3) (V)

Examines key texts from philosophy and literature, East and West, on the meaning of life. We attempt to grapple with questions such as "Can happiness be found in the fulfillment of our desires, or in their elimination?", "Or in the worship and service of a universal being?", "Is a meaningful life a happy life?" and "What does the question "What is the meaning of life?" mean?" Offered intermittently.

PHIL 105 Meaning, Happiness, and the Good Life (4) (V)

Examines key texts from philosophy and literature, East and West, on the meaning of life. Students attempt to grapple with questions such as, Can happiness be found in the fulfillment of our desires, or in their elimination?, Or in the worship and service of a universal being?, Is a meaningful life a happy life? and What does the question "What is the meaning of life?" mean? Offered intermittently.

PHIL 110 Perennial Questions (4) (V)

A critical examination of several great issues that confront us in modern philosophical thought, including the question of the existence of God, the nature of ultimate reality, the sources of human knowledge, the principles of moral values, and the problems of aesthetic judgments. Offered each spring.

PHIL 203 The Examined Life (4)

Approaches philosophy through the close reading and interpretation of Socratic dialogues. Engages the substance of the dialogues, the sort of knowledge Socrates seeks, how he searches for it, and why he thinks this search is necessary. Literary technique and the role of rhetoric in philosophical argument are considered. Prerequisite: ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher. Offered each fall.

PHIL 209 Methods of Logic (4)

Analysis and evaluation of argument, along with an introduction to induction, correlation and causation, and to specific methods of argument evaluation such as categorical logic, propositional logic, truth tables, truth trees, and first-order logic. Background readings in the philosophy of logic and the psychology of reasoning. Offered each spring.

PHIL 209 Methods of Logic (3)

A continuation of Phil 109, this course is an introduction to first-order logic. Primary emphasis is placed on the translation of ordinary language into symbolic notation and the application of formal proof techniques. The presentation of formal methods concludes with a brief examination of selected questions in philosophical logic. Offered each spring.

PHIL 212 Practical Ethics (4) (V)

Explores the potential of moral reasoning as a tool for conflict resolution and consensus building. Through a series of practical exercises, students learn to use moral argumentation as a means of fostering constructive dialogue and mutual understanding. Students develop the ability to listen carefully, distinguish real from apparent disagreements, discover common ground, and find creative solutions to moral problems. Offered intermittently.

PHIL 215 Philosophy of Religion (4) (V)

Addresses major questions that have emerged in the history of philosophy concerning the justification of theistic belief, the meaning of religious language, the nature of miracles, and mystical experience. Offered on demand.

PHIL 221 Ethics & Health Care (4) (V)

Foregoing life-sustaining treatment . . . procurement of organs and tissue for transplantation . . . artificial reproduction . . . allocation of scarce health resources . . . AIDS: public health vs. private rights. Such questions of health care confront all of us at some time both as matters of individual concern and as issues of public policy. Students study the ethical principles that should undergird decisions in health care. It focuses on the application of ethical principles to concrete cases. Offered each spring.

PHIL 253 Social and Political Philosophy (4) (V)

Other humans: can't live with them, can't live without them. This course surveys theoretical tools for understanding this dilemma and specific social issues. Theoretical topics include self and society, friendship and justice, authority and anarchism, democracy and other forms of government; issues such as identity politics, social change, and political rhetoric. Identical to PHIL 353. Offered spring of even-numbered years.

PHIL 272 Beyond the Western Tradition (4) (V)

We live in a world characterized by multiplicity, plurality, and difference. Students are provided with the opportunity to enter into frames of reference of people with differing experiences of, and assumptions about, the world. We are educated in this world to the degree that we are aware of our own boundedness, and that we become skilled in critically understanding and integrating the perspectives of others. Examines the beliefs of Native Americans, West Africans, Chinese thinkers, and philosophers of India. Offered each spring.

PHIL 290 Guided Study/Independent Research (1-6)

PHIL 304 Environmental Ethics (4) (V)

From ancient Sumer to the present, ecological realities have required human beings to reflect on their values and their responsibilities to nature. Students examine the relevance of philosophy to environmental questions and, in particular, explore the connection between the environment and ethics. Identical to ENVS 304.

PHIL 316 Needs of the Soul (4) (V)

Investigates a model for political theory found in the writings of Simone Weil, Simone de Beauvoir, Hannah Arendt and Danielle Allen. History, religion, culture, and human nature are considered in order to formulate a politics that addresses the true needs of human beings. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy or consent. Offered in selected Winter Sessions.

PHIL 321 Ethics & Health Care (4) (V)

Foregoing life-sustaining treatment . . . procurement of organs and tissue for transplantation . . . artificial reproduction . . . allocation of scarce health resources . . . AIDS: public health vs. private rights. Such questions of health care confront all of us at some time both as matters of individual concern and as issues of public policy. Students study the ethical principles that should undergird decisions in health care. It focuses on the application of ethical principles to concrete cases. Offered each spring.

PHIL 328 Buddhist Philosophy (4) (V)

Introduces the major themes in Buddhist philosophy. Readings and lectures are aimed at understanding the way Buddhist thinkers approach questions in ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, and philosophy of mind. Course readings are drawn from various canonical sources that record the teachings of the historical Buddha. These are supplemented by additional readings that discuss the development of these teachings in various schools of Buddhist thought. Special emphasis is placed on the Mahayana and Zen Buddhist traditions. Offered fall of even-numbered years.

PHIL 332 Ancient Greek Philosophy (4) (H,W)

An introduction to ancient Greek philosophy. Focuses on Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle; may also include the early scientific thinkers or "pre-Socratics", who abandoned the supernatural and the Hellenistic schools, which conceived of philosophy as a way to find peace of mind. Prerequisites: ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher and sophomore/junior/senior status. Freshmen by consent. Offered each fall.

PHIL 336 Early Modern Philosophy (4)

Surveys the development of early modern philosophy in light of the scientific background from which it emerged. Major works by Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant are supplemented by readings from women philosophers of the period. Offered each spring.

PHIL 337 The Enlightenment: A Movement and Its Critics (4) (V,W)

Examines a constellation of ideas about art, economics, education, psychology, politics, science and philosophy that defined the Enlightenment as an intellectual movement and an historical phenomenon. Reading of selected primary texts grounds the discussion. Students have extensive opportunities for writing. Prerequisites: ENG 105 with a grade of C or higher and sophomore status or consent. Offered fall of odd-numbered years.

PHIL 338 19th-Century Philosophy (4)

Surveys major trends in post-Kantian European philosophy. Readings are drawn from the work of Fichte, Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and others. Offered spring of even-numbered years.

PHIL 353 Social and Political Philosophy (4) (V)

Other humans: can't live with them, can't live without them. This course surveys theoretical tools for understanding this dilemma and specific social issues. Theoretical topics include self and society, friendship and justice, authority and anarchism, democracy and other forms of government; issues such as identity politics, social change, and political rhetoric. Identical to PHIL 253. Prerequisite: one previous PHIL course. Offered spring of even-numbered years.

PHIL 372 Beyond the Western Tradition (4) (V)

We live in a world characterized by multiplicity, plurality, and difference. Students are provided with the opportunity to enter into frames of reference of people with differing experiences of, and assumptions about, the world. We are educated in this world to the degree that we are aware of our own boundedness, and that we become skilled in critically understanding and integrating the perspectives of others. Examines the beliefs of Native Americans, West Africans, Chinese thinkers, and philosophers of India. Offered each spring.

PHIL 400 Philosophy Seminar (4)

An in-depth study of the work of a single major philosopher. The figure selected changes with each offering. Contact the department coordinator for the current selection. May be repeated for credit. Offered intermittently.

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