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COURSES OFFERED IN PHILOSOPHY

The catalogue descriptions for PHI courses appear below. For descriptions of LOG courses, which may also be taken toward major and minor programs in Philosophy, click here. To determine which courses are being offered in current and upcoming teaching sessions, search here.

PHI 205 Introduction to Philosophy

3 Credits. Introduction to selected problems of enduring philosophical importance, including such topics as the nature of morality, knowledge, human freedom, and the existence of God. Content varies with different sections. PHI 205 and PHI 210 may not both be used toward PHI major or minor requirements.

PHI 210 Representation, Reason and Reality

3 Credits. An introduction to topics such as language, thought, knowledge, reason, truth, and reality through the study of problems, puzzles and paradoxes. PHI 205 and PHI 210 may not both be used toward PHI major or minor requirements.

PHI 214 Issues in Business Ethics

3 Credits. An analysis and evaluation of major issues in business ethics. Topics include the social responsibility of business; social justice and free enterprise; the rights and duties of employers, employees, manufacturers, and consumers; duties to the environment, the world's poor, future generations, and the victims of past injustices; the moral status of the corporation; and the ethics of advertising.

PHI 221 Contemporary Moral Issues

3 Credits. Philosophical analysis and theory applied to a broad range of contemporary moral issues, including euthanasia, suicide, capital punishment, abortion, war, famine relief, and environmental concerns.

PHI 250 Thinking Logically

3 Credits. Deductive arguments attempt to guarantee their conclusions. Inductive arguments attempt to make their conclusions more probable. Using a small number of simple, powerful logical techniques, this course teaches you how to find, analyze and evaluate deductive and inductive arguments, and thus how to avoid the most common errors in reasoning.

PHI 298 Special Topics in Philosophy

3 Credits. Selected studies in philosophy that do not appear regularly in the curriculum. Topics will be announced for each semester in which the course is offered. A copy of any papers, with instructor's comments, will be kept in a department file to help with evaluation of teaching and the curriculum.

PHI 300 Ancient Philosophy

3 Credits. Western philosophy of the ancient world, with special emphasis on Plato and Aristotle.

PHI 301 Early Modern Philosophy

3 Credits. Western philosophy of the 17th and 18th centuries, including such philosophers as Descartes, Hobbes, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. [PHI 301 may, at the instructor's discretion, limit its coverage to views and arguments representative of rationalism, empiricism and Kant, so long as students are provided at least brief acquaintance with the philosophers not given detailed consideration. So, for example, the instructor might provide greater depth in discussion of Descartes, Leibniz or Spinoza, Hume, perhaps Locke or Berkeley, and Kant (four or five philosophers in all), rather than surveying the usual seven philosophers.]

PHI 302 19th Century Philosophy

3 Credits. Western philosophy of the 19th century, including such philosophers as Kant, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Marx and Nietzsche.

PHI 305 Philosophy of Religion

3 Credits. The existence and nature of God, including such topics as traditional proofs of God, skeptical challenges to religious belief, miracles, the problem of evil, faith and reason, and religious experience.

PHI 309 Contemporary Political Philosophy

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): One philosophy course. Current theories about basic concepts in political philosophy, such as liberty, equality, justice, natural rights, and democracy, with special attention to disputes concerning the nature of a just social order.

PHI 310 Existentialism

3 Credits. Philosophy of Existentialism, including such thinkers as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Doestoevsky, Sartre, Heidegger, and Camus.

PHI 312 Philosophy of Law

3 Credits. Fundamental legal issues such as what constitutes a law or legal system. Justifications of legal inferences with individual liberty. Philosophical legal issues illustrated by specific legal cases.


PHI 313 Ethical Problems in the Law

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): PHI 221 or 375. Explores uses of the legal system, including such topics as the death penalty, plea bargaining, legalizing euthanasia, censorship, Good Samaritan laws, the insanity defense, civil disobedience, preferential treatment.

PHI (STS) 325 Bio-Medical Ethics

3 Credits. Interdisciplinary examination and appraisal of emerging ethical and social issues resulting from recent advances in the biological and medical sciences. Abortion, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, compromised infants, AIDS, reproductive technologies, and health care. Focus on factual details and value questions, fact-value questions, fact-value interplay, and questions of impact assessment and policy formation.

PHI 330 Metaphysics

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): One course in philosophy. Problems of metaphysics, including such topics as: possibility and necessity, paradoxes of time travel, nature of space and time, free will and determinism, causation, mind-body problem and identity-over-time.

PHI 331 Philosophy of Language

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): One course in philosophy. Introduction to traditional and modern accounts of the relations between language and reality, the nature of truth, problems of intentionality and propositional attitudes.

PHI 332 Philosophy of Psychology

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): One course in philosophy or one course in psychology. Problems and controversies that overlap the boundary between philosophy and psychology: the mind/body problem, behaviorism vs. cognitivism, the prospects for artificial intelligence, and language and the questions of innate knowledge.

PHI 333 Knowledge and Skepticism

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): One course in philosophy. Analysis of such central concepts as knowledge, belief, and truth, and the investigation of the principles by which claims to knowledge may be justified.

PHI 340 Philosophy of Science

3 Credits. Nature of science highlighted by differences between science and pseudoscience, relationships between science and religion, and roles of purpose-directed (teleological) and causal explanation in physical, life and social sciences.

PHI 375 Ethics

3 Credits. Examination of traditional questions of philosophical ethics: What are the principles of moral conduct? What sort of life is worthy of a human being? Includes both classic and contemporary literature. [As a prerequisite for higher-level value theory courses, PHI 375 covers: utilitarianism (act and rule), ethical egoism, Kant's moral theory and/or a rights-based moral theory, moral relativism, distributive justice and the differences among moral claims, empirical claims, moral principles and moral arguments.]

PHI 376 History of Ethics

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): One course in philosophy. Topics in the history of ethics. Philosophers to be studied may include Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Butler, Hume, Kant, Sidgwick and Nietzsche.

PHI 401/501 Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): For 401, six credits in PHI; for 501, graduate status. Credit cannot be given for both PHI 401 and PHI 501. A text-based critical study of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason focusing on such topics as perception, judgment, knowledge, space, time, substance, causation, and reality.

PHI 420/520 Global Justice

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): For 420, one course in PHI; for 520, graduate status. Credit cannot be given for both PHI 420 and PHI 520. The applications of the ideas of justice and right beyond and across the borders of individual nation states, attending to the facts of globalization and their consequences for political and economic justice and human rights. Topics: skepticism about global justice; transnational distributive justice, pollution, and poverty; national sovereignty, self-determination, and intervention; the ethics of war; international human rights; and global democracy. Course flyer for Spring 2015 section

PHI (PSY) 425/525 Introduction to Cognitive Science

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): For 425, one upper-level course in either PHI, PSY, CSC or Linguistics; for 525, graduate status. Credit cannot be given for both PHI/PSY 425 and PHI/PSY 525. Philosophical foundations and empirical fundamentals of cognitive science, an interdisciplinary approach to human cognition. Topics include: the computational model of mind, mental representation, cognitive architecture, the acquisition and use of language.

PHI 440/540 The Scientific Method

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): For 440, one course in philosophy; for 540, graduate status. Credit cannot be given for both PHI 440 and PHI 540. Detailed examination of core issues in the philosophy of science: the confirmation of scientific theories, falsification, projectability, the nature of scientific explanation, laws of nature, and causation.

PHI 447/547 Philosophy, Evolution and Human Nature

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): For 447, one 300-level or higher course in philosophy, biology, psychology or anthropology, or permission of instructor; for 547, graduate status. Credit cannot be given for both PHI 447 and PHI 547. This course covers philosophical issues in the evolutionary study of human cognition: the role of adaptationism; the value of psychological vs. behavioral approaches; the phenotypic gambit; the evolution of morality and altruism; the nature of culture and the possibility of cultural evolution; innateness, genetic determinism and development; and case studies of evolutionary explanation of human behavior or psychology.

PHI 475/575 Ethical Theory

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): For 475, PHI 375 or PHI 376; for 575, graduate status. Credit cannot be given for both PHI 475 and PHI 575. An introduction to some central themes and issues in ethical theory. Topics in normative and meta-ethics such as consequentialism, deontology, virtue ethics, constructivism, realism, relativism, subjectivism, and expressivism. Readings primarily from contemporary literature.

PHI 494 Research and Writing in Ethics

1 Credit. PREREQUISITE(S): One of PHI 250, LOG 201, 335 plus one other philosophy course; COREQUISITE(S): one of PHI 298, 309, 310, 313, 325, 375, 376, 420, 475, or 498. (If PHI 298 or 498 is used, its topic must be in value theory.) Not available during summers. A substantial paper in ethics, assigned by the instructor of the corequisite. This must be an addition to work assigned for the corequisite. It is the student's responsibility to secure the agreement of the corequisite instructor to supervise this work. Only tenured or tenure-track faculty may offer PHI 494; see the list of Philosophy faculty included on this website. A copy of any papers, without the instructor's comments, will be kept in a department file to help with evaluation of teaching and the curriculum.

PHI 495 Research and Writing in History of Philosophy

1 Credit. PREREQUISITE(S): One of PHI 250, LOG 201, 335 plus one other philosophy course; COREQUISITE(S): one of PHI 298, 300, 301, 302, 303, 310, 401, or 498. (If PHI 298 or 498 is used, its topic must be in history of philosophy.) Not available during summers. A substantial paper in history of philosophy, assigned by the instructor of the corequisite. This must be an addition to work assigned for the corequisite. It is the student's responsibility to secure the agreement of the corequisite instructor to supervise this work. Only tenured or tenure-track faculty may offer PHI 495; see the list of Philosophy faculty included on this website. A copy of any papers, without the instructor's comments, will be kept in a department file to help with evaluation of teaching and the curriculum.

PHI 496 Research and Writing in Contemporary Philosophy

1 Credit. PREREQUISITE(S): One of PHI 250, LOG 201, 335 plus one other philosophy course; COREQUISITE(S): one of PHI 298, 305, 330, 331, 332, 333, 340, 425, 440, 447, 498. (If PHI 298 or 498 is used, its topic must be in contemporary philosophy.) Not available during summers. A substantial paper in contemporary philosophy, assigned by the instructor of the corequisite. This must be an addition to work assigned for the corequisite. It is the student's responsibility to secure the agreement of the corequisite instructor to supervise this work. Only tenured or tenure-track faculty may offer PHI 496; see the list of Philosophy faculty included on this website. A copy of any papers, without the instructor's comments, will be kept in a department file to help with evaluation of teaching and the curriculum.

PHI 497 Research and Writing in Logic, Representation and Reasoning

1 Credit. PREREQUISITE(S): LOG 201 or 335, and one other philosophy course, not PHI 250; COREQUISITE(S): one of LOG 335, 435, 437, PHI 298, 330, 331, 332, 333, 425, 440, 445, 447, 498. (If PHI 298 or 498 is used, its topic must be in logic, representation and reasoning.) Not available during summers. Training in writing and research in logic, the representation of knowledge and belief, formal accounts of reasoning, and other uses of formal methods in philosophy. Topic chosen by instructor. Requires one substantial paper. This must be an addition to work assigned for the corequisite. It is the student's responsibility to secure the agreement of the corequisite instructor to supervise this work. Only tenured or tenure-track faculty may offer PHI 497; see the list of Philosophy faculty included on this website. A copy of any papers, without the instructor's comments, will be kept in a department file to help with evaluation of teaching and the curriculum.

PHI 498 Special Topics in Philosophy

1-6 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): Six credits in PHI. Detailed investigation of selected topics in philosophy. Topics determined by faculty members in consultation with head of the department. Course may be used for individualized study. A copy of any papers, without the instructor's comments, will be kept in a department file to help with evaluation of teaching and the curriculum.

PHI 501 Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): Graduate status. Credit cannot be given for both PHI 401 and PHI 501. A text-based critical study of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason focusing on such topics as perception, judgment, knowledge, space, time, substance, causation, and reality.

PHI 520 Global Justice

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): Graduate status. Credit cannot be given for both PHI 420 and PHI 520. The applications of the ideas of justice and right beyond and across the borders of individual nation states, attending to the facts of globalization and their consequences for political and economic justice and human rights. Topics: skepticism about global justice; transnational distributive justice, pollution, and poverty; national sovereignty, self-determination, and intervention; the ethics of war; international human rights; and global democracy. Course flyer for Spring 2015 section

PHI (PSY) 525 Introduction to Cognitive Science

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): Graduate status or consent of instructor. Credit cannot be given for both PHI(PSY) 425 and PHI(PSY) 525. Philosophical foundations and empirical fundamentals of cognitive science, an interdisciplinary approach to human cognition. The computational model of mind, mental representation, cognitive architecture, the acquisition and use of language.

PHI 540 The Scientific Method

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): Graduate status. Credit cannot be given for both PHI 440 and PHI 540. Detailed examination of core issues in philosophy of science: confirmation of scientific theories, falsification, projectibility, nature of scientific explanation, laws of nature, and causation.

PHI 547 Philosophy, Evolution and Human Nature

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): Graduate status. Credit cannot be given for both PHI 447 and PHI 547. This course covers philosophical issues in the evolutionary study of human cognition: the role of adaptationism; the value of psychological vs. behavioral approaches; the phenotypic gambit; the evolution of morality and altruism; the nature of culture and the possibility of cultural evolution; innateness, genetic determinism and development; and case studies of evolutionary explanation of human behavior or psychology.

PHI 575 Ethical Theory

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): Graduate status. Credit cannot be given for both PHI 475 and PHI 575. An introduction to some central themes and issues in ethical theory. Topics in normative and meta-ethics such as consequentialism, deontology, virtue ethics, constructivism, realism, relativism, subjectivism, and expressivism. Readings primarily from contemporary literature.

PHI 598 Special Topics in Philosophy

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): Must have graduate standing. Detailed investigation of selected topics in philosophy under supervision of a faculty member.

PHI 798 Advanced Topics in Philosophy

3 Credits. PREREQUISITE(S): Must have graduate standing. Detailed investigation of selected advanced topics in philosophy. Topics determined by faculty members in consultation with head of department.

PHI 816 Introduction to Research Ethics

1 Credit. PREREQUISITE(S): Graduate standing. Institutional rules guiding the responsible conduct of research (RCR) and their philosophical justification. Rudiments of moral reasoning and their application to RCR. Topics: plagiarism, falsification and fabrication of data, and ethics versus custom, law, science, and religion.