Course Descriptions

PHIL 110  (3)
Critical Thinking
A survey of concepts and methods geared to the advancement of skills in critical thinking.  Subject matter includes the nature of critical thinking; the relations between logic and language; the relations between rhetorical persuasion and relational argumentations; the nature of word definition; the practical functions of language; the structure of arguments, deductive and inductive; the difference between valid and invalid, or strong and weak reasoning; methods for analyzing and evaluating arguments; common argumentative fallacies; basic symbolic logic.

PHIL 210 (3)
Symbolic Logic
Use of symbolic notation to understand the structure of logical arguments. Translation of sentences from ordinary language into logical notation, construction of truth tables, and the use of formal deduction rules to prove the validity of arguments. Prerequisite: Completion of the Entry-Level Mathematics (ELM) requirement or completion of the Critical Thinking General Education requirement.

PHIL 310 (3)
Western Philosophy: Ancient Greece and Rome
Surveys the development of Western philosophy in ancient Greece and Rome, from 700 BCE to 300 CE. Study of philosophy is set against background consideration of broader historical and cultural developments in the arts, sciences, and technology, and the context of political, social, and economic life. May not be taken for credit by students who have received credit for PHIL 320.

PHIL 311 (3)
Western Philosophy: The Middle Ages and the Renaissance
Surveys the development of Western philosophy in the Middle Ages and Renaissance. Study of philosophy is set against background consideration of broader historical and cultural developments in the arts, religion, and sciences, and the context of political, social, and economic life.

PHIL 312 (3)
Western Philosophy: The Early Modern Period
Surveys the development of Western philosophy in the early modern age, 1600-1800. Study of philosophy is set against background consideration of broader historical and cultural developments in the arts, sciences, and technology, and the context of political, social, and economic life.

PHIL 314 (3)
Western Philosophy: Late Modern and Post-Modern
Surveys the development of Western philosophy in the late modern age, 1800-2000. Study of philosophy is set against background consideration of broader historical and cultural developments in the arts, sciences, and technology, and the context of political, social, and economic life.

PHIL 315 (3)
Ethics: Theory and Application
An introduction to ethical theory and applied ethics. Surveys the major ethical theories developed in Western philosophy, and examines the ways in which theoretical  approaches are applied to contemporary personal and social issues. Study of philosophy is complemented by discussion of intellectual history and exploration of a range of related disciplines such as bioethics, environmental ethics, business ethics, and public policy.

PHIL 318 (3)

Non-Western Philosophy: Theories of Value and Action
A survey of ethical traditions from non-Western cultures. Emphasis is on the religious and philosophical traditions of Asia, but African and Native American traditions are also discussed. Subjects include Hinduism and the Vedic traditions, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and others.

PHIL 320 (3)
Philosophy and Culture of Ancient Greece
Offers a survey of ancient Greek philosophy, anchored in a study of the ancient Greek cultural world. Readings of the Pre-Socratic philosophers, of Plato, and Aristotle are related to an examination of Greek civilization in its broadest dimensions. Begins with a study of the historical, political and economic conditions of Greek life. Students read philosophic works, examine the epic poetry of Hesiod and Homer, the dramatic arts of tragedy and comedy, the ancient traditions of Greek mythology, and the values expressed through the visual arts of the Greeks. Emphasizes ethics, tracing linkages and similarities of sensibility between philosophical and non-philosophical expressions of the Greek view of human life. Serves well as a first course in philosophy, and as a more general survey of ancient Greek culture.

PHIL 335 (3)
Social and Political Philosophy
A survey of classical social and political thinkers of Western world. Intends to heighten critical awareness of the basic conceptual presuppositions of life in political society, the fundamental issues and problems that arise from political life, and the values underpinning democratic political traditions. Theses include: the basic nature of social existence, the purposes of government, the role of the state, and the dissemination of political power.

PHIL 340 (3)
Ethics and the Environment
A study of recent developments in the field of environmental ethics: Examines the moral and ethical status of the natural world. Environmental ethics is the attempt to think through issues such as: the proper place of human beings in nature, the extent of our moral and ethical obligations to the natural world, the ethical foundations of public environmental policy, the principles that govern environmental use and protection, and the legitimacy of various approaches to environmental advocacy. A survey of classical ethical theories will provide context for discussion of environmental ethics, and examination
of current environmental issues (i.e., the Endangered Species Act, the debate over use of public lands) will serve as a “testing ground” for the practical application of environmental ethical theories.

PHIL 345 (3)
Bioethics and Medical Ethics
A survey of ethical issues in biological and medical research and practice. Offers and introductory survey of ethical and moral theory, and investigates the application of moral and ethical theory to issues such as animal and human research, the doctor-patient relationship, reproductive technologies, and biotechnology.

PHIL 355 (3)
Philosophy of Religion
A philosophical investigation of the religious dimension of human experience. Explores the standard, classic texts in the philosophy of religion, discussing a range of viewpoints regarding the significance of religious experience. Subjects include phenomenology of religious experience, the intelligibility of religious belief and disbelief, and various approaches to the nature of divinity and its meaning for human life.

PHIL 390 (3)
Topics in Philosophy
Selected topics of study drawn from the sub-disciplines of philosophy. Topics will vary according to the instructor and semester offered. Students should check the Class Schedule for listing of actual topics. May be repeated for a total of six (6) units of credit as topics change.

PHIL 490 (1)
Exit Seminar for the Minor
The Exit Seminar allows students and faculty to reflect on the learning experience of the Philosophy Minor. Students construct a brief portfolio of essays written for coursework in the Minor, and complete a reflective essay discussing their overall experience of the Minor. Students are interviewed by faculty regarding their progress through the Minor, and share their experiences with one another in guided discussions of the Minor curriculum. To be taken in the final semester of coursework
for the Minor. Graded Credit/No Credit. Prerequisite: Consent of Program Director.

PHIL 499 (3)
Supervised Independent Study
Addresses a special interest not covered in a regular course or provides an opportunity to explore in greater depth a subject introduced in a regular course. Discussion in individual conferences. May be repeated for a total of six (6) units of credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.