An introduction to the central philosophical questions that have historically spanned and conceptually founded Western civilization. The course surveys key thinkers, philosophical movements, and academic fields of the discipline. Questions regarding the meaning of existence, the freedom of the self, the nature of a just society, and the workings of human knowledge expose students to the pursuits of metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, philosophy of science, moral and political philosophy, and ethics.
An introduction to historical and contemporary approaches to epistemology, philosophical methodology, logic, systems of classification, and methods of validation. Emphasis is placed on critical inquiry into the complex relationship among logic, empiricism, and rationalism, while focusing on the real-world implications of the epistemological assumptions of logic itself. Prerequisite: PHIL 101
An introduction to the central philosophical questions which have conceptually founded Eastern philosophy. This course surveys primary texts, intellectual movements, and cultural traditions that inform and influence Eastern philosophy while investigating the theoretical spaces that exist between philosophical assumptions of the East and West. Prerequisite: PHIL 101
A discussion of the significance of women and gender in the development of philosophy. This course questions how the philosophical canon has appropriated, incorporated, and sometimes erased women's contributions. Drawing upon a variety of discourses in and outside of philosophy itself (including feminist and queer theory), students will assess how the philosophical endeavor changes in light of previously overlooked and currently influential gender studies work. Students will use gender and sexuality as a framework that enriches and interrogates philosophical fields ranging from cultural theory to epistemology. Prerequisite: PHIL 101
An examination of influential moral philosophers and contrasting theories concerning how one "ought" to live, from ancient Greek and Eastern philosophers to contemporary thinkers. Central questions of the course explore the "good life," critique ideologies that limit ethical options, and imagine how to expand individual choices in cultivating a just society. The course concludes with student applications of ethical theories to current global issues. Prerequisite: PHIL 101.
An exploration of the significance of faith in our human worldview. Through a comparative approach to major world religions, students investigate the underlying assumptions behind the ways of “knowing” God and participating in the “divine,” and how those assumptions diversely manifest themselves culturally, metaphorically, and psychologically. Prerequisite: PHIL 101.
An exploration of the ongoing relationship between philosophy and science, and an examination of how philosophical movements have informed some of the major shifts in scientific paradigms throughout history. The course concludes with an examination of how scientific revolutions potentially “de-center” humans and reorient the relationship between the self and the world. Prerequisite: PHIL 101.
The course analyzes, and provides students the opportunity to more deeply investigate, the philosophical foundations of spoken and written representation through a broad survey of theoretical readings in aesthetics, authorship, interpretation, realism, and subjectivity. Examining a diverse range of classic and contemporary thinkers in philosophy and cultural studies, the course explores the ways representation frames the experience of being in the world, and asks such questions as: ‘How do ideas become the words we speak?’; ‘Do the words we speak mean the same when writ-ten?’; and ‘What makes the narrative possible?’ The answers to these questions have broad philosophical, political, and cultural implication. Prerequisite: PHIL 201 or PHIL 335 or ENG 371.