Philosophy (PHL)

Courses

Course usage information

PHL-111. Introduction to Philosophy. 3 Credits.

LECT 3 hrs
An introduction to major themes of Western and Asian philosophical thought designed to give the student a grasp of the fundamental option which reflective persons face between opposing views of the world. The way in which this option was formed is traced, and the manner is shown in which this choice influences one's thinking about topics such as the nature of the self, truth, religion, morality and government.
Prerequisites: Placement basis or ENG-025 or ENG-007 or ENG-022.

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PHL-114. Ethics. 3 Credits.

LECT 3 hrs
A survey of the most influential efforts of philosophers from diverse traditions to bring reason into the process of making appropriate and adequate choices in matters basic to the flourishing of human beings. Contemporary problems analyzed include end-of-life, reproductive, genetic engineering, punishment, business and environmental issues.
Prerequisites: Placement basis or ENG-025 or ENG-022 or ENG-007.

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PHL-115. Logic. 3 Credits.

LECT 3 hrs
Logic is the study of reasoning, good and bad. Good reasoning moves from credible statements to others that are well supported by them. Bad reasoning obscures this process. This course examines features that make reasoning good or bad, develops critical skills in recognizing formal and informal patterns of reasoning, and deepens one's talent in constructing arguments that exemplify good reasoning.
Prerequisites: Placement basis or ENG-007 or ENG-022 or ENG-025.

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PHL-180. Introduction to Philosophy-Honor. 3 Credits.

LECT 3 hrs
This seminar follows, conceptually and historically, dominant lines of philosophical thinking on themes widely taken to be fundamental in Western and Asian culture. The course also compares and contrasts classical with contemporary perspectives.
Prerequisites: Permission of department chair or honors advisor.

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PHL-210. American Philosophy. 3 Credits.

LECT 3 hrs
This course surveys important ideas, perspectives, and theories in the writings of prominent 19th and 20th century American philosophers, focusing on the classical pragmatism of Peirce, James, Dewey, and Mead. We will examine the larger intellectual and cultural context of American thought, referencing pivotal historical, legal, and intellectual events and traditions, especially the Civil War, Transcendentalism, and Darwinian evolutionary biology. This course aims to provide an understanding of the classical American pragmatist tradition and the relation of American philosophy to the history of philosophy and to American culture. Of central importance is the pragmatist connection between theory and action, that is, the effort not merely to make thought practical, but to make our practices, and our lives, intelligent.
Prerequisites: Placement basis or ENG-007 or ENG-022 or ENG-025.

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PHL-211. Philosophy of the Person. 3 Credits.

LECT 3 hrs
A lecture-discussion course of classical readings from religious and humanist authors centering on related notions of human nature, person, self, self-actualization and freedom. An effort is made to assess some social policies by reference to an adequate notion of the person.
Prerequisites: Placement basis or ENG-025 or ENG-022 or ENG-007.

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PHL-212. Philosophy and Religion. 3 Credits.

LECT 3 hrs
This course surveys the development and interaction of world religions, such as Judaism, Christianity, Islam, African religions, Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism and Shintoism. It examines major figures, stories, rituals and beliefs of the religions, and shows how they shape the lives of believers. Finally, it analyzes philosophical concepts such as God and gods, faith and reason, immortality, good and evil, karma, love, meditation, mysticism and nirvana.
Prerequisites: Placement basis or ENG-025 or ENG-022 or ENG-007.

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PHL-221. Philosophy of Plato. 3 Credits.

LECT 3 hrs
Concentrated readings and in-depth discussion of several of the great dialogues of Plato, chosen from the following: Meno, Republic, Laws, Phaedo, Symposium, Phaedrus, Apology and Crito.
Prerequisites: Placement basis or ENG-025 or ENG-022 or ENG-007.

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PHL-280. Ancient Philosophy-Honors. 3 Credits.

LECT 3 hrs
This seminar critically examines the central ideas of Plato and Aristotle on knowledge, mind, body, freedom, nature, ethics, politics and religion. The course also contrasts their ideas with those of other ancient philosophers, such as Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, Zeno, Epicurus, Epictetus, Cicero and Aurelius. Students develop the ability to formulate their own views on philosophic issues.
Prerequisites: Permission of department chair or honors advisor.