211 — Philosophical Problems
— This course is an introduction to the topic of personal identity as treated
in the theory of knowledge and in metaphysics. Readings are contemporary and interdisciplinary.
Topics include mind and body, memory, artificial intelligence, and cultural relativism.
Offered every fall. Three hours. Dr. Turney.
212 — Ethics — This course is an introduction to philosophy
focused on ethical thinking. Its fundamental aim is to occasion the clarification
of our thought concerning how to live, what sorts of persons to be, which kinds
of actions and principles to affirm and which not in our relations to others. We
will pursue this inquiry by reading classical texts, contemporary dialogues and
essays on ethics, and decided cases in law. Our thinking about ethics will attend
to three broad approaches to ethical situations: Utility, Rights and Duties, Virtue.
Our discussion of these and other considerations will constantly attend to specific
moral problems (e.g., abortion, sexual morality, affirmative action, animals, and
the environment). Offered every spring. Three hours. Dr. Huff.
220 — Philosophy East and West —
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the classic philosophic traditions
of Greece, Rome, India, China, and Japan. This introduction might consist of a study
of representative texts or of a comparative analysis of central concepts and assumptions.
Offered alternate years. Three hours. Dr. Huff.
225 — Women's Nature — A philosophical and psychological
inquiry into the concept of women's nature. Topics include genetic determinism,
moral development, Freud's views of sexuality, pornography and race, and gender
and culture in feminist theory. This course may be applied to the psychology major
as a related course. Offered alternate years. Three hours. Dr. Turney.
234 — Philosophy of Education — What are the proper goals
of education, and how can we best achieve those goals? In this course we read and
discuss classic works in the philosophy of education by authors such as Plato, Rousseau,
and Confucius, contemporary writings by philosophers and educators, and recent news
articles spotlighting pressing questions in education today. We will consider the
roles of autonomy and authority, the development of values and desires as compared
with skills and information, and the opportunities and dangers of specialization.
Students will reflect on their own experiences in education, and develop their views
as to what sort of education they should pursue for themselves. They will also develop
and argue for their views on what kind of education is best to build a healthy,
flourishing society. Offered alternate years. Not open to students who have passed
HONR 262. Three hours. Dr. Huff.
251 — History of Western Philosophy: Ancient — A study
of classical philosophers who importantly shaped Western thinking and sensibility.
Readings include the Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and Epictetus. Emphasis
is placed on the writings of Plato and Aristotle. Offered every fall. Three hours.
252 — History of Western Philosophy: Modern — This course
focuses on the critical evaluation of important philosophers from the Renaissance
through the 18th century. Emphasis is placed on emergence of modern science and
secular humanism in the works of Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Leibniz and Kant.
Offered every spring. Three hours. Dr. Turney.
260 — Philosophy of Religion — This course investigates
the relation between philosophy and religion and applies philosophic methods to
such problems as the nature of religious experience, the nature of religious language,
the question of the existence and nature of God, the problem of the reality of evil
or suffering as it relates to assertions of the benevolence and omnipotence of deity,
and the issue of the relevance of religious experience to human existence. Offered
alternate years. Three hours. Dr. Huff or Dr. Turney.
280 — Philosophy of Science — This course examines science
as a distinctive way of approaching the world with a unique methodology associated
with truth. How is this view of science to be justified? What are its historical
origins? Particular attention to the characterization of scientific objectivity
and the views of knowledge and reality this entails. Topics include: logic and probability,
rationality and irrationality, science and gender, relativism, objectivity and truth.
Readings are primarily contemporary. Offered every three to four years. Three hours.
308 — Feminist Theory — Critical examination of contemporary
theories in feminism according to a variety of discourses on difference. Topics
include: the politics of sexuality, black feminism, feminist theories of knowledge
and reality, marginality, and Post-Colonial theory. Interdisciplinary readings,
seminar format. Prerequisite: At least one course in women's studies or consent
of instructor. Recommended: One course in philosophy. Offered in alternate years.
Three hours. Dr. Turney.
313 — Environmental Ethics —
This course addresses basic issues of environmental ethics: the value of ecosystems
(both inherent and instrumental), human beings' treatment of animals and non-animal
nature, the meaning and justification of moral obligations to species and to the
environment, and the complex and profound ways in which our actions with regard
to the environment affect our fellow human beings. We will apply moral theory to
environmental problems in the enterprise of formulating an adequate ethical approach
to our environment. Prerequisite: Phil 212 or consent of instructor. Not open to
students who have passed Phil 213. Three hours. Dr. Huff.
328 — Bio-Medical Ethics — An examination of the ethical
dimensions of decision-making in medical practice, research, and medical technology.
Among the issues considered are: the concepts of health and illness, experimentation
and consent, abortion, death and dying, rights and justice in health care, and the
allocation of scarce medical resources. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy (PHIL
212 recommended) or consent of instructor. Offered every two to three years. Three
hours. Dr. Turney.
343 — Confucian Tradition — An in-depth study of the Confucian
philosophical tradition, including both classical sources and neo-Confucian developments,
guided by recent scholarship. The Confucian philosophical tradition has been a pillar
of Chinese culture for millennia, with a primary emphasis on ethics and social/political
thought, in the context of a uniquely Chinese anthropology and cosmology. We will
explore debates within the tradition over key questions such as the relationship
between virtue and human nature and the authority of tradition versus individual
insight. We will also consider Confucian thought’s potential to address contemporary
philosophical and practical challenges in both the East and the West. Students should
have prior experience in philosophy and/or Asian Studies. Prerequisites: Either
Phil 212 or 220 or consent of instructor. Offered every three years. Three hours..
363 — Social and Political Philosophy — A consideration
of the justification of political authority, fundamental social principles and the
social policies that follow from them. Issues considered include: anarchism and
political authority, freedom, justice and equality, rights, as well as such contemporary
social controversies as reverse discrimination, free expression and censorship,
property rights, and social welfare. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy (PHIL
212 recommended) or consent of instructor. Offered every two to three years. Three
hours. Dr. Huff.
370 — 19th Century European Philosophy — An introduction
to the thought of several important 19th century philosophers: Hegel, Kierkegaard,
Marx, Mill, Nietzsche, Freud. Central considerations: rationality/irrationality;
objectivity/subjectivity; freedom/bondage; community/individuality; theory/practice;
integration/alienation. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy (PHIL 252 is especially
recommended) or consent of instructor. Offered every two to three years. Three hours.
371 — 20th Century European Philosophy — This course focuses
on the work of several important 20th-century philosophers in different traditions:
Existential Phenomenology (Sartre, Heidegger, or de Beauvoir), Logical Positivism
(Ayer or Carnap), the Philosophy of Language (Wittgenstein), Structuralism and Post-Structuralism
(Piaget, Foucault, and the New French Feminists). Prerequisite: Two courses in philosophy
or consent of instructor. Offered every two to three years. Prerequisite: Phil 370
or Phil 252 or consent of instructor. Not open to students who have passed Phil
412. Three hours. Dr. Turney.
381-382 — Special Topics — Taught by departmental staff
and designed to meet the needs and interests of advanced students of philosophy
and related majors. Topics vary but may be an intensive study of a major figure
or movement in recent or contemporary philosophy. Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
401 — Philosophy Capstone — Intensive writing of one's
personal philosophy. Students examine their own beliefs about philosophical issues
by reflecting on matters of importance to them to which they were exposed in their
courses in philosophy. Students meet bi-weekly to share their writing and discuss
their ideas. Prerequisite: permission of instructor. One hour. Staff.
404 — Freedom — A study of human freedom and how the causality
of the human will is to be understood in light of the laws of nature. If humans
are a part of the natural world, governed by the laws of biology, physics and chemistry,
can we be free? Is freedom simply the ability to carry one's desires into action?
To be truly free, must we also be free with respect to the contents of our wills?
Contemporary readings from the analytic tradition will be combined with readings
from the hustory of philosophy that provide both context and critical perspective.
Prerequisite: Either Phil 212 or 252, and one other course in philosophy, or consent
of instructor. Offered every two to three years. Three hours. Dr. Huff.
405 — Emotion — Traditional conceptions of objectivity
devalue the influence of emotion in rationality. This course examines a variety
of approaches to thinking that insist on the importance of feeling. Topics include:
emotion as a kind of judgment, self-deception and the problem of self-knowledge,
mind-body dualism, and the politics of emotion. Readings from cognitive psychology,
ethics and moral psychology, cultural anthropology and feminist theories of knowledge.
Prerequisite: Phil 211 or Phil 252, and one other course in philosophy or consent
of instructor. Not open to students who have passed Phil 305. Offered every three
to four years. Three hours. Dr. Turney.
408 — Virtue — In ancient Greece, philosophical discussions
of ethics typically centered on a notion of good character, or virtue. A virtuous
person has good judgement of what to do, and desires to do it. This
approach fell out of favor during the modern period as desire was given less attention,
and Kantian and utilitarian approaches came to dominate philosophical ethics. In
recent decades, however, there has been a strong revival of interest in virtue as
a central concept in ethical theory. We will typically examine both historical sources
for virtue ethics, such as texts by Plato and Aristotle, and contemporary work.
Prerequisite: Either Phil 212 or Phil 251 and one other course in Philosophy, or
consent of instructor. Offered every three years. Three hours. Dr. Huff.
450 — Internship in Philosophy — Students complement their
classroom study of philosophy with practical experience in a career setting consistent
with their goals, preparation, and interests. Students will complete tasks mutually
agreed on by the student, the supervisor, and the instructor. Quarterly reports
reflecting on the application of philosophy. Prerequisites: six hours of upper-level
philosophy and permission of instructor. Open to juniors and seniors who are majoring
in philosophy. Application required; see details under Bassett Internship Program.
Three hours. Dr. Turney.
455 — Directed Field Study in Philosophy — This course
provides an opportunity for interested students to gain practical experience with
the application of philosophical principles to actual situations through field placement
with an appropriate community agency. Prerequisites: six hours of upper-level philosophy
and permission of instructor. Open to juniors and seniors who are majoring in philosophy.
Students must meet with the department chair and then submit a proposal for field
study placement and anticipated goals at the time of pre-registration of the course.
Three hours. Dr. Turney.
491-492 — Independent Study — The department staff offers
programs of a tutorial nature for qualified students. At least a 3.25 cumulative
quality point ratio and approval by the curriculum committee are required. Topics
will vary and will be determined in part by the specific interests of the students.
Prerequisite: consent of instructor. Three hours. Staff.
496-498 — Senior Project — Seniors may select an area of
intensive study and write a thesis on some topic arising from that study. Consent
of instructor required. Three hours. Staff.