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Course Descriptions

Philosophy Course Listings - Spring 2013

PHIL 110R 1M and 2M.  Logic and Critical Reasoning
4 credits
Bailey, Julius

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.

PHIL200A   01 and 02.  Philosophy and the Modern Drama
4 credits
Bailey, Julius

Prerequisite:  None.
The primary aim of the course is to provide students with the abilities to recognize and evaluate ethical issues and perspectives as they relate to economic, social, cultural, political, and technological globalization.  More specifically, students will be working through plays and short stories that examine what it means to be human and wrestle with “social evils” of the day. By “evil” what we mean are enactments and experiences of unmerited suffering, undeserved harm, or unjustified pain that humans create amongst themselves and others.
Course Objectives:

  • To understand the conventions of the modern drama, specifically Tragedies.
  • be engaged critically and delve into philosophical topics such as:  anxiety and alienation; freedom and responsibility; authenticity and bad faith; individuality and mass society; rationality and the absurd; values and nihilism; and God and meaninglessness.  
  • Enhance awareness of globalization issues and perspectives,  ranging from the growing rates of economic inequalities, poverty, housing, healthcare, and sexism and its effects on the human family.

Course Evaluation:  There will be 4 exams and 1 term paper (6-8 pages).   Attendance is also required and calculated.

PHIL 203R 01 and 02.  Mysteries of Self & Soul
4 credits
Reed, Don

Prerequisite:  none
In this course students will explore the relationships between 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 initial 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 read a book by a well known neuroscientist about findings from studies of the brain and will reflect on what these findings mean for the four questions listed above. Evaluations will be based on daily quizzes, periodic tests, and a final exam.

PHIL 303  1W.  Ethics and Philosophy
4 credits
Reed, Don

Prerequisite:  PHIL 103R or 203R or permission of instructor.
This is a course focusing on issues at the intersection of ethical theory and developmental and social psychology.  The goal of the course is to explore and evaluate theories of moral development, moral functioning, and moral education, especially as articulated by psychologists, sociologists, and anthropologists who base their empirical work on self-consciously philosophical concepts of morality and by philosophers in dialogue with them.  Primary texts by such theorists as Piaget, Kohlberg, and Gilligan will be read.  Recent work in the field of moral development and social psychology will also be considered. Students will write several short reflection papers as part of their seminar presentations, three 700 word book reviews, and a research paper to be delivered as a conference presentation.  Writing intensive.

Phil 311 1W.   Modern Philosophy
4 credits
McHugh, Nancy

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 400 1W.   Senior Seminar
4 credit hours
McHugh, Nancy

Prerequisite:  PHIL 312  or permission of instructor.
The goal of this course is to complete a senior thesis in philosophy.  We will work on writing time management, thesis construction, research techniques, drafting, editing, writing collaboration, paper presentation and critiquing others' work. The course will include a symposium in which students will deliver brief versions of their theses for a department colloquium.  Writing intensive. 

PHIL 490 00.  Independent Study
1-4 credits
Prerequisite:  Permission only.

PHIL 491 00.   Internship
1-4 credits
Prerequisite:  Permission only.

PHIL 499 00.  Senior Honors Thesis
0-4 credits
Prerequisite:  Departmental Permission.

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