PHIL 102R 01/02. Introduction to Philosophy
This course is an introductory examination of the basic areas of philosophy, addressing questions like the following: What is Justice, and what is it to be just? What sorts of things exist, and how can we distinguish reality from mere appearance? How does the mind work, and is it a physical part of our being, or is it something extra-physical, like the soul? Can the soul "control" the body? Can we understand creatures with minds different from our own? Do any non-physical things even exist, for instance, minds, souls, or spirits? What does it mean to reason, and to reason well? Do we have free will, or are our behaviors and thoughts determined by chemical and physical events in our brains? Is knowledge possible, and how do we know what we know?
PHIL 110R 1M and 2M. Logic and Critical Reasoning
Prerequisite: Math placement of 22
An introduction to traditional and symbolic logic that typically includes : (1) informal fallacies, (2) syllogistic logic, and (3) elementary sentential and predicate logic. Students are required to construct proofs using a variety of formal methods. There will be a critical thinking element that will evaluate and engage in critiques of love, music, and popular culture. Math reasoning intensive. Supplemental Instruction is available for both sections.
PHIL 200R 01.The Art of Living Ethically
The Art of Living Ethically is taught as an "Inside-Out" class and in conjunction with Project Jericho at the Clark County Juvenile Detention Center. An Inside-Out class is one in which individuals who are incarcerated (inside) and individuals who are "traditional" college students (outside) participate in a learning environment together in a detention center or prison setting. Project Jericho is an organization that engages at risk youth through the arts. The course enrollment is limited to 15 outside students (Wittenberg students) because there will be an equal number of inside students, bringing our total to 30.
In The Art of Living Ethically we will engage a number of different views regarding what it means to live a good life on a personal and social level through course readings, artistic projects, and conversations. We will be challenged to examine our assumptions about ourselves and others in order to think more fully about how we can craft lives that are meaningful, thoughtful and socially engaged. During this course you will develop your philosophical skills through speaking, reading, writing and creating artwork, as well as through developing, hopefully, a deep appreciation for the importance of asking yourself questions that trouble you and the value of seeking to answer these questions.
A student who took the course Fall 2011 describes it in the following way: "The Art of Living Ethically is a course that utilizes the Inside-Outside program to educate students in our community. The engagement between the Wittenberg students and the Detention Center students enables a broader, more diverse perspective in the classroom. Class discussions in this course are unlike any other offered at Wittenberg. The class is a combination of critical thinking in class discussion, and outside reading and reflection papers. The material is extremely relevant to both sets of students. This course was a great addition to Wittenberg academics as well as to the Springfield community."
PHIL 203R 01 and 02. Mysteries of Self & Soul
In this course students will explore their answers to four classic problems: (1) How does your mind relate to your body? (2) Do you have free will, or are your actions and choices determined? (3) Will you survive the death of your body? And (4) is possession by a demon or other spirit possible? The two primary prompts for our considerations will be movies such as The Matrix and The Exorcist and texts from the history of philosophy and psychology. Students will also learn about findings from studies of the brain and will reflect on what they mean for the four questions listed above. Evaluations will be based on daily quizzes, informal journal writing, and a final exam.
Phil 311 1W.Modern Philosophy
Prerequisite: PHIL 310 or permission of instructor.
Modern philosophy (1600-1900) is one of the most fascinating time periods philosophy. It is during the modern period that philosophy began to be concerned with the kinds of methods and ideas that we think of today as philosophical. Perhaps the most interesting thing about modern philosophy is that it is a period of radical scientific and social upheaval. The beliefs we have in democracy and the faith we have in scientific method, for example, developed during the modern period, as did navigation methods and optics. The modern period was one of the most hopeful times for social reform, but it also was a period of imperialism and colonialism, which did not have social reform for Others in mind. We will study Descartes, Locke, Hume, Kant, Wollstonecraft, Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche as well as contemporary texts critiquing these readings.
The goals of this class are for you to engage texts from the modern period, to think critically about these texts and to understand the socio-political climate that lead to the development of these beliefs.You will be assessed through your writing of a book review and a final paper, as well as a midterm, final, and reaction papers. Writing intensive.
Optional Course Component: Cultures and Language Across the Curriculum
Interested in using your foreign language skills to earn extra credit connected to this course and to learn more about the subject matter of this course at the same time? If so, register for the CLAC components offered here. You don't need to be fluent in the language to exercise this option. In fact, you need only to have completed two credits beyond 112 or to be currently enrolled in a course beyond 112. Your work will be guided by your professor and by faculty from the Languages Department. The CLAC module is designed for intermediate level language learners.
This course offers a foreign language component or CLAC component in the following languages:
German, Spanish, French, and Russian
Students who select the CLAC option will complete work in a foreign language that will supplement the work in this course. Students who complete the CLAC assignments successfully will earn 1 credit for the CLAC component.
To register for the CLAC component, you must also register for a one-credit LANG 230 CLAC module listed among the Language Department's offerings. Meeting times and location will be arranged at the beginning of the semester. Credit for CLAC modules may be counted toward the requirements for International Studies and as elective credit in the Language department.
PHIL 380 1W. Love, Desire and Death: Philosophy of Literature
Prerequisite: One prior course in Philosophy or permission of instructor.
"Death is Certain, Life is Uncertain". We tend to hear that phrase quoted often but what am I to make of that fact? The aim of the course is to provide opportunities for students to engage in the deepest of all philosophical questions about love, lust and death. This course will examine a number of issues that arise once we begin to reflect on our mortality. I know, I know, you are too young to talk Death. Well we will also look at love through a two-fold classification-three objects of love (things, persons, and ideals) & three types of love (sexual, social, and religious); and ultimately raise the fundamental question, does love provide any exposure to how creative, powerful and mysteriously meaningful (or meaningless) and valuable (or valueless) your life is? Or is love an illusion sought to avoid the isolated, emptiness that life often provides, and death ultimately awaits. Maybe immortality is desirable? Also, a clearer notion of what it is to die is examined. What does it mean to say that a person has died? What kind of fact is that? And, finally, different attitudes to death are evaluated. Is death an evil? How? Why? Is suicide morally permissible? Is it rational? How should the knowledge that I am going to die affect the way I live my life?WHEW... can you handle that?
Requirements: 2 class presentations and 1 final project (written in two stages).
Eros, Agape and Philia: Readings in the Philosophy of Love by Alan Soble The Metaphysics of Death by John Fischer
PHIL 400 1W. Senior Seminar
4 credit hours
Prerequisite: PHIL 312 or permission of instructor.
The goal of senior seminar is to produce and present a substantial, high quality research paper in philosophy.To this end you will be engaging in research, critically assessing the materials you find and learning to critically assess your own writing. You also will be working collaboratively with your fellow students, assisting their research, helping them to assess the quality of their materials as well as the quality of their writing.
The course will begin with us talking about time management and writing and research methods. We will move on to read and discuss readings that directly pertain to your research. Each of you will provide an article or book excerpt for the class to help you work through and to expand your own knowledge base in philosophy. Writing Intensive.
PHIL 490 00. Independent Study
Prerequisite: Permission only.
PHIL 491 00.Internship
Prerequisite: Permission only.
PHIL 499 00. Senior Honors Thesis
Prerequisite: Departmental Permission.