The art of correct reasoning, advanced by studying forms of argument. Emphasizes deductive arguments, both categorical and sentential, and informal fallacies. Fall, Spring.
Critical readings in works of the Greek, Medieval, and Modern periods of Western philosophy. Skills of analyzing, evaluating, and paraphrasing are nurtured and applied to philosophical arguments, classifications, definitions, explanations, and refutations. Fall, Spring.
Are abortion, euthanasia, and capital punishment morally acceptable? This course will examine the most influential philosophical approaches to resolving ethical questions such as these. We will apply philosophical theories and principles to a variety of moral dilemmas, with the aim of developing the skills necessary to successfully analyze ethical arguments. Fall, Spring.
A philosophical introduction to many of the world's religions, including Buddhism, Christianity, Confucianism, Hinduism, Islam, Judaism, and Taoism. Investigates the differing aspects of human religious experience and examines the similarities and differences both between religions and among the denominations within them.
Feminism is concerned with securing women’s rights and gender justice. But what is gender? What is gender justice? And what are women’s rights? This course explores feminist theory from a philosophical and historical perspective. Topics include: the sex/gender distinction, gendered knowledge, and the possibility of choice under oppression. Spring.
How do you know you're not dreaming? What is knowledge, and what kinds of knowledge can we have? What makes you the same person you were yesterday? Do people have free will? We will examine philosophical answers to these questions as we explore central issues in metaphysics and epistemology. Occasionally.
Examines a selected topic, or the works of one or two major thinkers, at an intermediate level. May be repeated as topics change. Occasionally.
An opportunity for a qualified student to explore work in an area of individual interest, selected and pursued in consultation with a faculty member. Consent required of the instructor who will supervise the independent study. May be repeated for a total of 8 credits.
An examination of Western philosophy among the Greeks and Romans, from Thales through Plotinus. Reading and discussion of primary sources. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy or permission of instructor. Alternate years.
A critical study of American Pragmatism, its critique of earlier Modern philosophy, and its appropriation of evolutionary theory. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy or permission of instructor. Occasionally.
An examination of philosophic writings, novels, and plays from writers such as Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Kafka, Camus, Beckett, Ionesco, and Sartre. Attempts are made to isolate and evaluate typical existentialist themes and contrast them with nonexistentialist themes.
This course examines ethical, philosophical, and theological issues relating to the experience of the Holocaust and the broader human concerns of evil and suffering. Topics include the uniqueness and universality of the Holocaust as well as questions of justice. Cross-listed as HGS 313. Fall.
Citizens in contemporary democracies have a wide variety of different religious and cultural beliefs. Should we tolerate these beliefs? What if the beliefs are undemocratic? We will examine different philosophical approaches to these questions in order to understand the complicated relationship between democracy and multiculturalism. Prerequisites: 4 credits in PHIL or permission of instructor. Fall.
A philosophic introduction to a variety of influential theories of art in areas as diverse as literature, dance, and film. Examination of the role of the creative process in human experience as perceived by philosophers from Plato to Derrida.
Examines questions in the area of the philosophy of law including discussions of the appropriate roles of liberty, justice, and responsibility in a society that reconciles a respect for the individual with the need for legitimate governmental authority. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy or permission of instructor. Occasionally.
What gives words meaning? How do pointing and other contextual factors influence interpretation? What role do intentions play? How do Superman and Santa Claus differ from the names of real people? We will explore questions such as these from a philosophical perspective, through readings by Russell, Kripke, Putnam, and others. Prerequisite: IHPHIL 100. Occasionally.
Liberal political theory begins with the assumption that our government is immensely powerful. It can tax us, execute us, or draft us into wars. This course examines whether or not such power is ever acceptable in a democratic society. Is democracy really the best form of government? Why not anarchy? Spring.
The success of many films derives not only from their entertaining qualities, but also from existential themes. Philosophical perspectives are applied to the films of directors such as Woody Allen and Alfred Hitchcock. Occasionally.
Examines a selected topic, or the works of one or two major thinkers at an advanced level. May be repeated as topics change. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy or permission of instructor. Occasionally.
Independent reading and study in a selected area of philosophy, conducted on a tutorial basis. Students must obtain approval of the supervising faculty member before registering. May be repeated for a total of 8 credits. Occasionally.