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Courses - Fall 2021
PHIL
Philosophy Department Site
PHIL100
Introduction to Philosophy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: HO
GenEd: DSHU
An introduction to the literature, problems, and methods of philosophy either through a study of some of the main figures in philosophic thought or through an examination of some of the central and recurring problems of philosophy.
PHIL140
Contemporary Moral Issues
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: HO
GenEd: DSHU
The uses of philosophical analysis in thinking clearly about such widely debated moral issues as abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, pornography, reverse discrimination, the death penalty, business ethics, sexual equality, and economic justice.
PHIL170
Introduction to Symbolic Logic
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: MS
GenEd: FSAR
This course will introduce the basic concepts and techniques of modern symbolic logic, with an emphasis on developing skills in two areas: first, translating between ordinary language and logical notation; second, establishing the validity or invalidity of arguments using the methods of truth tables, deductions, and countermodels. Although the subject of symbolic logic was developed by mathematicians and philosophers for their own special purposes (which we will discuss), logical concepts and techniques have found applications in a variety of disciplines, including computer science, economics, law, linguistics, and psychology. We may also consider some of these applications.
PHIL171
Reasoning For Humans: Clear Thinking in an Uncertain World
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
GenEd: FSAR
Credit only granted for: PHIL171 or PHIL218A.
Formerly: PHIL218A.
Reasoning is a transition in thought in which some beliefs or thoughts provide grounds or reasons for others. What makes certain transitions of thought rational or reasonable and others irrational or erratic is a major focus of investigation in diverse research areas, such as philosophy, logic, artificial intelligence, cognitive science, and psychology. This course is an introduction to logic and probability with a focus on applications to the study of the foundations of human reasoning.
PHIL201
Spooky Action at a Distance? Where Physics Meets Metaphysics
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: HO
GenEd: DSHU, SCIS
Recommended: Students should be comfortable with moderately mathematical presentations. Placement into MATH110 or higher is strongly recommended.
Credit only granted for: PHIL201 or PHIL209I.
Formerly: PHIL209I.
Einstein believed that physics should represent a "reality in space and time, free from spooky action at a distance." He worried that quantum theory failed this test. Later developments suggest that quantum systems really can influence one another instantly, no matter how far apart they are, but the question remains controversial and experiments are not sufficient to provide an answer. This self-contained course will draw on philosophy and physics to investigate the controversy.
PHIL202
Know Thyself: Wisdom Through Cognitive Science
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHS or DSHU, SCIS
Credit only granted for: PHIL209N or PHIL202.
Formerly: PHIL209N.
How do we improve our decision making? Cognitive science demonstrates that self-knowledge isn't as easy as we think, and that there are numerous biases and fallacies that impact our decision-making in ways that are hard for us to be aware of. In this course you will learn what some of these are and how they have been discovered, and you will explore potential strategies for avoiding these fallacies and for making wiser choices.
PHIL203
The Rights and Wrongs of Killing People
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU, SCIS
Credit only granted for: PHIL209J or PHIL203.
Formerly: PHIL209J.
Virtually everyone thinks it's permissible to kill people only in special circumstances. But why is killing usually wrong? Is it ever acceptable to kill an innocent human being intentionally? This course raises these and related questions and examines cases such as terrorism, suicide, abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, war. Except for a brief discussion of animals, all the controversies considered deal with killing and causing death to human beings.
PHIL209D
Philosophical Issues; Ethics and AI
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSSP
PHIL220
Bioethics: Regulating Right and Wrong
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU or DSSP
Credit only granted for: PHIL209A or PHIL220.
Formerly: PHIL209A.
Bioethicists formulate ethical guidelines. They answer questions such as: When life-saving health resources are scarce, who should get them? Should we increase supply of one such resource, kidneys, by buying them from living "donors"? If drug trials in developing countries benefit patients who consent to participate, are the trials ethical, even if the same research would be forbidden in the US? If a sick person aims to hasten her death, how, if at all, might her doctor permissibly help her? In this course, students construct and defend ethical rules in four domains: research ethics, allocation of scarce resources, markets in organs, and physician-assisted dying.
PHIL245
Political and Social Philosophy I
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
CORE: HO
GenEd: DSHU
A critical examination of such classical political theories as those of Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Marx, and such contemporary theories as those of Hayek, Rawls, and recent Marxist thinkers.
PHIL308T
Studies in Contemporary Philosophy; Understanding Perception
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
PHIL308W
Studies in Contemporary Philosophy; World Philosophy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with RELS319W. Credit granted for PHIL308W or RELS319W.
PHIL309B
Philosophical Problems; (Anti-) Realism
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
PHIL309K
Philosophical Problems; Political Epistemology
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with PHPE308E. Credit only granted for PHIL309K or PHPE308E.
PHIL310
Ancient Philosophy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: Must have completed 6 credits in philosophy or classics.
A study of the origins and development of philosophy and science in ancient Greece, focusing on the pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
PHIL318G
Studies in Epistemology/Metaphysics; The Philosophy in AI
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
PHIL332
Philosophy of Beauty
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: 3 courses in PHIL; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department.
Philosophical theories, historical and contemporary, of beauty, sublimity, and other aesthetic qualities, of aesthetic experience, and of aesthetic judgment.
PHIL338J
Studies in Value Theory; Supreme Law: The Constitution, Morality and the Courts
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
PHIL341
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg
Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses.
A critical examination of classical and contemporary systems of ethics, such as those of Aristotle, Kant, Mill, and Rawls.
Prerequisite: 6 credit hours in philosophy.
PHIL344
Philosophy of Race
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DVUP
Credit only granted for: PHIL344 or PHIL308Y.
Formerly: PHIL308Y.
A survey of philosophical arguments involving race and racism. Guiding questions will include: How have philosophers and scientists conceived of the concept of race? Is race a coherent concept? Does it help us explain differences in performance and behavior? What makes racism, racial prejudice, and discrimination wrong? What is the point of equality? Do we owe reparations to victims of racism?
PHIL362
Theory of Knowledge
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses; and PHIL170.
Formerly: PHIL462.
Some central topics in the theory of knowledge, such as perception, memory, knowledge, and belief, skepticism, other minds, truth, and the problems of induction.
PHIL386
(Perm Req)
Experiential Learning
Credits: 3 - 6
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F
Restriction: Permission of ARHU-Philosophy department; and junior standing or higher.
Consult Director of Undergraduate Studies: C. Manekin. Prerequisites: 12 credit hours of philosophy and 3.0 GPA. Carries no credit toward philosophy major.
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL408D
Topics in Contemporary Philosophy; Theories of Democracy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with PHPE408D. Credit only granted for PHPE408D or PHIL408D.

Many think that democracy is the only acceptable form of government, but it is hard to articulate why. This course will look at normative arguments in defense of democracy. It will also look at criticisms of these arguments, along with normative arguments in favor of non-democratic forms of government. The course will also look at theoretical and empirical work concerning how democracies actually function in the real world (e.g., the median voter theorem, the Hong-Page theorem, McKelvey Schofield chaos theorem, etc.), and ask how this theoretical and empirical work should inform our normative arguments for democracy.
PHIL408E
Topics in Contemporary Philosophy; The Ethics of Markets
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with PHPE408E. Credit only granted for PHPE408E or PHIL408E.

Markets are pervasive throughout our lives, but we rarely think about them from an ethical perspective. This course examines questions at the intersection of ethics and markets. It asks questions like: what is the extent of permissible market exchange? What sorts of things can be bought and sold on the market? Do markets corrupt our morals? Do markets presuppose certain morals? Does trade between nations lead to tolerance? What are the social responsibilities of business?
PHIL408K
Topics in Contemporary Philosophy; Theories of Meaning
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: One PHIL course or permission of instructor.

Humans can think about things and events in the external world, including those that are very remote. We have beliefs about Pluto, couches, the weather, and our moral obligations, to name a few. This is an obvious, but remarkable fact---and arguably, one that sets humans aside from animals like ants or mosquitoes. Philosophers have raised a number of questions about it: what does it take to have a capacity to represent the world outside of us? How is this capacity related to the capacity to draw inferences, and how is it related to consciousness? Can we have a science of meaning, in the same way as we have, for example, a science of the brain? This course will address these and related questions, focusing on contemporary work in philosophy, linguistics, and cognitive science.
PHIL412
The Philosophy of Plato
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses.
A critical study of selected dialogues.
PHIL428B
Classical Arabic Philosophy by Muslims, Jews, and Christians
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU
Recommended: A class in philosophy.
Cross-listed with: JWST429B.
Credit only granted for: PHIL428B or JWST429B.
The philosophical tradition in the Islamic world includes such important thinkers as al-Kindi, al-Farabi, Avicenna, al-Ghazali, Judah ha-Levy, Averroes, and Maimonides. In this seminar, works of, among others, these philosophers are read, with a view to the background of the debates in Islamic theology (kalam) and the transmission of ancient Greek philosophy in the Arabic language. Unlike most courses on this topics, we will speak of the Jewish (and some Christian) contribution to Arabic philosophy. In fact, a particular interest will be understanding how minority cultures appropriate philosophical doctrines and reinterpret their tradition in its light.
Cross-listed with JWST429B. Credit only granted for JWST429B or PHIL428B.

An introduction to classical Arabic philosophy from the ninth to the thirteenth centuries of the Christian era. But unlike most courses on this topic, we shall not be reading philosophy solely by Muslims but also by Jews (and maybe Christians). In a sense, the course is best described by the title of the book by Dimitri Gutas, "Greek Thought, Arabic Culture".
PHIL428N
Topics in the History of Philosophy; The Aztecs: Human Sacrifice and Conquest
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with HIST429N, RELS419J, and LASC448J. Credit only granted for HIST429N, PHIL428N, RELS419J, or LASC448J.

We examine the philosophical worldview and daily life of the Aztecs as well as arguments concerning the legitimacy of the Conquest.
PHIL445
Contemporary Political Philosophy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Restriction: Must have completed 3 credits in philosophy or political theory; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. And sophomore standing or higher.
Major trends in contemporary political philosophy: liberal, libertarian, communitarian, socialist, feminist.
PHIL478
Topics in Philosophical Logic; The Logic of Classes, Types, and Properties, and its Applications
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F
This course introduces core logical frameworks for the logic of classes, types, and properties, as well as their main application. For example, these logical systems allow us to model inferences such as the one from "That cow is courageous" and "That horse is not courageous" to the conclusion "That cow is something that the horse is not." In particular, the course presents three frameworks for thinking about classes: set theory, second-order logic and type theory. After a main block of ten weeks on these, the class will consider three kinds of application: (1) philosophical applications of higher-order logic in metaphysics; (2) linguistic applications of type theory in semantics; (3) applications of type theory in computer science, with particular attention to the foundations of programming languages. Students will be expected to have rough familiarity with each of these three applications, but to pursue only one in depth according to their background and interests.
PHIL498F
(Perm Req)
Topical Investigations; Topical Investigation
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite:Two courses in philosophy or permission of the department.
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL498G
(Perm Req)
Topical Investigations; Topical Investigation
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite:Two courses in philosophy or permission of the department.
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL688T
Selected Problems in Philosophy; Introduction to Semantics
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
Cross-listed with LING660. Credit granted for LING660 or PHIL688T.
PHIL788G
(Perm Req)
Research in Philosophy; Research in Philosophy
Credits: 1 - 6
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL788I
(Perm Req)
Research in Philosophy; Research in Philosophy
Credits: 1 - 6
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL799
Master's Thesis Research; Masters Thesis Research
Credits: 1 - 6
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL808K
Seminar in the Problems of Philosophy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
PHIL808M
Seminar in the Problems of Philosophy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud, S-F
PHIL879B
Seminar in Philosophy and Cognitive Studies
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud, S-F
PHIL888
Professional Mentoring for Doctoral Students
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL889
(Perm Req)
Pedagogical Mentoring for Doctoral Students
Credits: 1 - 3
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL898
Pre-Candidacy Research
Credits: 1 - 8
Grad Meth: Reg
Contact department for information to register for this course.
PHIL899
(Perm Req)
Doctoral Dissertation Research; Doctoral Dissertation Research
Credits: 6
Grad Meth: S-F
Contact department for information to register for this course.