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Courses - Fall 2024
PHIL
Philosophy Department Site
Open Seats as of
07/19/2024 at 10:30 PM
PHIL100
Introduction to Philosophy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
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
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
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.
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.
PHIL211
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSSP
Credit only granted for: PHIL209D or PHIL211.
Formerly: PHIL209D.
An introduction to a major subfield of contemporary Philosophy, namely applied ethics, and the experience of using some major tools in the practice of philosophy more generally, namely, the construction and formal evaluation of arguments, conceptual analysis, the use of thought experiments, and clear, direct and persuasive writing. Learning how to execute the latter will involve an intense iterative process. The substantive focus of the course will be the ethical evaluation of Artificial Intelligence (AI) in some of its current and potentially future incarnations. We'll examine algorithmic opacity, algorithmic bias and decision-making, autonomous weapons systems, human-robot interaction, and artificial moral agents, in order to uncover what, if any, ethical issues they give rise to.
Is Alexa spying on you? How will autonomous vehicles make decisions on the road? Has a relative of yours been denied a loan on account of their zip code? Would you have sex with a robot? Will lethal autonomous weapons make the world safer or more dangerous? Could a robot ever have rights? Does it matter if we can't understand how AI does what it does? What is the future of (human) work? What is a moral machine? Can and should we build one? These are among the questions we will tackle in this up-to-date course on some of the ethical problems and puzzles that artificial intelligence (AI) gives rise to. We will be interested in the problems and puzzles themselves and also in whether they can be ameliorated or solved.
PHIL245
Political and Social Philosophy I
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
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.
PHIL308U
Studies in Contemporary Philosophy; Philosophy of Yoga
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
In the U.S. we tend to think of yoga as a form of gentle exercise or, less charitably, as a bit of New Age nonsense. However, Yoga is actually an ancient practical philosophy that addresses our deepest questions about human life and existence. The many rich theories and practices of Yoga have a single point: the realization of our True Self. We will bring our curiosity to two central Yoga texts- Patanjali's Yoga Sutras and the Bhagavad Gita attempting to understand them in their own terms and to embrace their (timeless) relevance in our 21st century lives. Our study of these ancient texts and some recent secondary literature will be complemented by weekly asana practice. Students enrolling for this course must commit to being on their mats, in appropriate clothing and ready to practice, at 9:25am each Thursday.
PHIL309K
Philosophical Problems; Political Epistemology
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with PHPE308B. Credit only granted for PHIL309K or PHPE308B.
PHIL310
Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
GenEd: DSHU
Prerequisite: Must have completed 6 credits in philosophy or classics.
A study of the origins and development of philosophy in ancient Greece and Rome, focusing on Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans, and Stoics.
Cross-listed with PHPE308Y and CLAS310. Credit only granted for PHIL310, PHPE308Y, or CLAS310.
PHIL338E
Studies in Value Theory; Black Existentialism
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with ENGL368O, AASP340, and PHPE308C. Credit only granted for ENGL368O, AASP340, PHIL338E, or PHPE308C.
PHIL338R
Studies in Value Theory; Life's Meaning
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
This course will introduce students to a range of questions concerning life's meaning. What is the meaning of life? Does it have a single meaning or any meaning(s) at all? What kind of meaning is even at issue when we inquire into life's meaning? Is a meaningful life a good life? Are things like pleasure, knowledge, beauty, or achievements ingredients of a good life? Why if so? If life can be meaningful, then it seems like it makes sense to want it to never end- it makes sense to want to be immortal. But does it? Could an immortal life be a meaning ful life? If not, then that seems to suggest that death isn't so bad. But death also seemsquite bad! What is it about death that makes it bad? Is it possible to make sense of death in a philosophically rigorous way? These are some of the many questions that will be explored in this course, using texts and tools from the intellectual tradition of contemporary analytic Western philosophy.
PHIL338T
Studies in Value Theory
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?
PHIL360
Philosophy of Language
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: LING311; or 2 courses in PHIL and (PHIL170 or PHIL370); or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department.
Cross-listed with: LING350.
Credit only granted for: LING350 or PHIL360.
The nature and function of language and other forms of symbolism from a philosophical perspective.
PHIL364
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses.
Formerly: PHIL464.
The study of some central metaphysical concepts and issues including the nature and validity of metaphysical thinking, universals, identity, substance, time, God, and reality.
PHIL370
Logical Theory I: Metatheory
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Prerequisite: PHIL271 or CMSC250; or permission of the instructor.
This course is an introduction to logical "metatheory", that is, to logical reasoning about logic systems themselves. Topics include alternative alternative proof-theoretic presentations of logical systems as well as soundness and completeness theorems for propositional and first-order logic. Along the way, we will deepen our understanding of the elementary set-theoretic concepts underlying first order logic. Other topics may include basic results in the semantics of first order logic (such as the Craig interpolation theorem, the Beth definability theorem, or the Lowenhein-Skolem theorem).
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.
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.
Cross-listed with PHPE408J. Credit only granted for PHIL412 or PHPE408J.
PHIL428D
Topics in the History of Philosophy; Political Realism
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, P-F, Aud
Cross-listed with PHPE308D. Credit only granted for PHIL428D or PHPE308D.
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.
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.
PHIL660
Metaphysics, Mind, and Language
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
A basic course on selected issues in metaphysics, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language for beginning graduate students, covering a number of topics in depth, to provide a springboard for further study and research in the area.
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
PHIL808N
Seminar in the Problems of Philosophy; Naturalism, Nonnaturalism, and Normativity
Credits: 3
Grad Meth: Reg, Aud
A traditional and still central topic in metaethics concerns morality's location. Naturalists claim that morality is located where science and experience reveal it to be, namely, right here in the natural world. Nonnaturalists claim that morality cannot be located in the natural world - it's its own separate kind of thing entirely. Henry Sidgwick's The Method of Ethics and G. E. Moore's Principia Ethica set the agenda for the debate at the turn of the 20th century. David Copp's Ethical Naturalism and the Problem of Normativity and John Bengson's, Terence Cuneo's, and Russ Shafer-Landau's The Moral Universe are two forthcoming books that are well placed to have a similar influence in the 21st century. Participants in this seminar will work through these books along with other recent, forthcoming, and draft papers on the topic. A few seminar sessions will also be attended and co-instructed in person by Copp, Bengson, and Cuneo.
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.