PHIL101 Introduction to Philosophy (3 semester hours)

This course is intended to equip the student with a baseline understanding of issues and concepts that compose the Western philosophic enterprise, and to serve as a point of departure for their further studies in Philosophy.

PHIL110 Critical Thinking (3 semester hours)

Critical Thinking introduces skills, concepts, models, and techniques for reading, writing, and thinking critically. Critical thinking is a necessary process for identifying and solving problems in academia and the workplace, as well as interpreting information in the media. Through the use of critical and logical thought processes, students will develop practical, analytical skills that prepare them for the investigative nature of being life-long learners.

PHIL200 Introduction to Ethics (3 semester hours)

This course will examine the field of ethics and provide the tools for ethical decision-making. Students will analyze texts for meaning, apply theories learned to various areas of moral concern, such as war, euthanasia, divorce, and poverty. The course will also provide an overview of how philosophers have thought about moral problems and some of the solutions they have proposed. Students will develop the ability to think about moral problems in a clear and logically consistent manner.

PHIL202 Philosophy of Science (3 semester hours)

Philosophy of Science will introduce students to the origins and development of modern science and how that is distinguished from pseudo-science; the importance of deduction and induction and their separate methodologies; the process of the scientific method; scientific change and scientific revolutions, particularly that of Thomas Kuhn; and selected philosophical problems in the basic sciences, such as absolute space, biological classification, the modular mind, and recent discoveries of neuroscience.

PHIL300 Logic (3 semester hours)

This course is an examination of the historical and contemporary concepts and techniques used in logic and emphasizes modern and classical treatments of topics such as quantification and rules of inference. The course will cover the principles of induction, informal fallacies, and uses of logic in everyday life. NOTE: THIS COURSE UTILIZES SOFTWARE THAT CAN ONLY BE RUN ON WINDOWS OR MAC SYSTEMS. (Prerequisite: PHIL101)

PHIL302 Ancient Western Philosophy (3 semester hours)

This course examines themes in the thought of Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoic, Epicurean, and neo-Platonist philosophers of the ancient world. It enables the student to enter the “great conversation” of western civilization as well as debate the fundamental questions that surround science, religion, self-awareness, ethics, and politics. (Prerequisite: PHIL101)

PHIL303 Medieval Philosophy (3 semester hours)

This course considers the synthesis of Christianity with classical pagan philosophy achieved by St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas. What became of the ancients’ ideal of human knowledge in an age when philosophy became the “handmaid of theology"? What were the underpinnings of the “natural law” conception of moral and political philosophy? How did this medieval synthesis break down, on the scientific side with Galileo’s challenge to Aristotelian physics and astronomy, and on the moral and political side with Machiavelli’s portrayal of a Renaissance prince? (Note to Students: The course materials, assignments, learning outcomes, and expectations in this upper level undergraduate course assume that the student has completed all lower level general education and career planning coursework necessary to develop research, writing, and critical thinking skills. Students who have not fulfilled all general education requirements through courses or awarded transfer credit should strongly consider completing these requirements prior to registering for this course. (Prerequisite: PHIL101)

PHIL320 Environmental Ethics (3 semester hours)

This course is a study of environmental issues from a moral and philosophical approach. Issues raised in the course include the moral obligation, or lack thereof, to preserve and protect the environment, the ethical presumptions that underlie environmental policy, the traditional theories of moral philosophy applicable to contemporary environmental problems, and the potential for a new conception of the relationship between humanity and nature.

PHIL330 Philosophy of Law (3 semester hours)

This course surveys the main issues in the philosophy of law. We will study seminal work on questions like “what is the law?”, “what is the relationship between the law and morality?”, “what does it mean for someone to be responsible for a crime?,” and “what makes a punishment reasonable?”.

PHIL340 Bioethics (3 semester hours)

This course is the study of ethical dilemmas that arise in the practice of medicine, biomedical research, and healthcare policies. We will learn when to use one ethical principle over another in making ethical judgments and decision making. For example, when is it okay to take away individual civil liberties for the greater good, such as instituting lockdowns, quarantines and forced business closures during a pandemic? The CDC and WHO operate using utilitarian principles to protect everyone, but they do so at the expense of taking away some people’s freedom. On the other hand, there are situations in which using the utilitarian principle would be the most unethical course of action. For example, even though slavery benefited the majority of people in this country economically, it was immoral to deprive any individual of their civil rights. The abolitionists were correct to choose the deontological principle to argue, and fight for, the freedom of the slaves. Those are obvious examples, but there are many that are very hard to figure out. This course will provide a framework and guidance for critically thinking through biomedical issues. Whether or not you are heading for a career in the medical profession, this course will help you make good decisions concerning your own health and well-being.

PHIL400 Contemporary Issues in Philosophy (3 semester hours)

This course is an examination of specific topics in philosophy that are of central interest and interdisciplinary in nature. Topics are selected with reference to the areas of technology, aesthetics, philosophy of religion, as well as ethics, social, and political philosophy. Topics include but are not limited to homosexuality, abortion, drugs, civil disobedience, capital punishment, and the rights of the individual versus the rights of society. (Prerequisite: PHIL101)

PHIL405 Metaphysics and Epistemology (3 semester hours)

This course will cover basic themes in the topics of metaphysics and epistemology. It will investigate the basic question of "being," or what reality is most fundamentally, as well as the fundamental question of knowledge, or what distinguishes real knowledge from mere belief or opinion. Students will be asked to investigate questions regarding the existence or non-existence of God, and to critically examine leading metaphysical options such as theism, atheism, materialism, and idealism. They will also be considering questions regarding the acquisition and justification of various epistemic claims. Particular topics will include free will, determinism, skepticism, and truth.

PHIL410 God and World (3 semester hours)

What is it that we name, what is it that we mean, when we say God? Although we may speak of God as if we are naming some entity or being whose identity we hold in common understanding, as we will see, God is a name used to express a range of concepts and experiences that have varying and often conflicting features. In this class we will examine some of these concepts and descriptions of experiences of the divine. Ultimately, however, this is not a study of God but of man and his attempt to understand his relation within and between God and the world.

PHIL415 Enlightenment Philosophy (3 semester hours)

This course follows the development of the European philosophical tradition through the age of religious upheaval, secular enlightenment, and scientific and democratic revolutions. The key themes addressed in the course include the social contract theory, toleration, freedom of thought, and the enlightenment ideal. (Prerequisite: PHIL101)

PHIL416 Modern & Post-Modern Philosophy (3 semester hours)

This course is the contemporary discussion of philosophic thought. It addresses the leading thinkers and theories of the past two centuries and includes but is not limited to Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, Sartre, and Arendt. (Prerequisite: PHIL101)

PHIL417 Analytical Philosophy (3 semester hours)

This course is designed to introduce students to the foundations and building blocks of philosophy in the analytical tradition. Focusing on a combination of topical and chronological, students will learn about the development of a school of thinking occurring in primarily anglophone countries, as opposed to primarily non-anglophone, Continental Philosophy. Specifically, starting with individuals such as Carnap, Russell and Wittgenstein, the course covers the development of analytical philosophies of language, metaphysics, epistemology, mind, ethics, and personal identity. The class culminates by examining a few recent developments including experimental philosophy and neuroexistentialism.