PHIL - Philosophy

Although there is no graduate degree in philosophy, the following courses are available for graduate credit.

Courses numbered 500 to 799 = undergraduate/graduate. (Individual courses may be limited to undergraduate students only.) Courses numbered 800 to 999 = graduate.

PHIL 501.  Philosophy of Language   (3).

Examines the relationships between philosophy and language. Focuses on questions such as: What is the relation between language and thought? Language and the world? What can the study of language contribute to the resolution of philosophical problems? Prerequisite: one 300-level or higher course in philosophy.

PHIL 525.  Evidential Reasoning   (3).

Explores philosophical issues related to reasoning about evidence. Topics may include: induction, confirmation, falsification, the under-determination of theories by evidence, theories of probability, and scientific method. Examines some case studies of reasoning about evidence in, for example, poker, medicine, risk analysis, forensic sciences and the law.

PHIL 530.  Ethics of Space Exploration   (3).

General education humanities and fine arts advanced further study course. Surveys various philosophical and ethical questions raised by the exploration of the space environment and in space policy discussions. Topics may include, for example: rationales for space exploration, space resource exploitation, and space settlement; planetary protection and preservation of the space environment; duties to extraterrestrial microbial life; and regulation and policy for space exploration. Prerequisites: at least one course in philosophy.

PHIL 540.  Theory of Knowledge   (3).

A critical examination of the nature of knowledge and of the philosophical problems concerning skepticism, knowledge of the self, material objects, other minds, the past, present and future, universals, and necessary truths. Includes selections from both historical and recent writings. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy.

PHIL 546.  Rationalism   (3).

A study of the philosophical views that emphasize reasoning rather than sensory experience as the source of knowledge with particular attention to the philosophies of Descartes, Spinoza and Leibniz.

PHIL 549.  Topics in Ancient Philosophy   (3).

Explores one decisive issue in philosophy from the time of Thales through the Stoics. The examination of an issue may confine itself to one period within the total span of ancient philosophy or it may trace the issue throughout the span, indicating its contemporary treatment. Some issues treated are: the nature of what is, the concept of the sacred, the meaning of truth, the relation of invariance and process, the existence of universal standards of thought and conduct, the problem of knowledge, skepticism, the nature of language, and the character of philosophical inquiry.

PHIL 550.  Metaphysics   (3).

An exploration of some basic topics in the theory of reality. Includes such notions as space, time, substance, causality, particulars, universals, appearance, essence and being. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy.

PHIL 555.  Philosophy of the Social Sciences   (3).

Studies such topics as the relation of social sciences with natural sciences and philosophy, methodological problems peculiar to social sciences, the nature of sound explanation concepts and constructs, and the roles of mathematics and formal theories in social sciences.

PHIL 557.  Contemporary European Philosophy   (3).

An exploration of a theme, issue, philosopher, or movement in contemporary European philosophy. Includes philosophers Husserl, Heidegger, Jaspers, Gadammer, Habermas, Marcuse, Adorno, Bergson, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Bachelard, Lacan, Derrida, Foucault, and Ricoeur. Examines philosophical movements such as phenomenology, idealism, existentialism, structuralism, process philosophy, hermeneutics, and Marxism.

PHIL 565.  Topics in Asian Philosophy   (3).

An in-depth examination of selected topics in Asian philosophy. The topics covered in any particular semester vary. Representative topics include movements such as Confucianism, Taoism or Buddhism. Prerequisite: one philosophy course.

PHIL 577.  Philosophy of The Arts   (3).

General education humanities and fine arts advanced issues and perspectives course. Intensively examines one or more fundamental problems or themes in the philosophy of art or in the special aesthetics of painting, music, sculpture, literature, drama, movies and so forth. Includes the problem of tragedy, the character of the aesthetic attitude, the function of the arts, the legitimacy of general art theory, the presuppositions of specialized art theory, the creative act, art and truth, art and life, and the nature and function of art criticism.

PHIL 585.  Studies in a Major Philosopher   (3).

A concentrated study of the thought of one major philosopher announced by the instructor when the course is scheduled. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: instructor's consent.

PHIL 585R.  Major Philosopher: Nietzsche   (3).

Examines Nietzsche's writings as philosophy and as literature, and considers the implications of Nietzsche's "perspectivism" for philosophy, morality and interpretation. Nietzsche's own writings are, of course central, although students also engage the celebrated book, "Nietzsche: Life as Literature," and consider Nietzsche's influence on contemporary approaches to literary, biblical and constitutional interpretation.

PHIL 585RH.  Major Philosopher: Nietzsche Honors   (3).

Examines Nietzsche's writings as philosophy and as literature, and considers the implications of Nietzsche's "perspectivism" for philosophy, morality and interpretation. Nietzsche's own writings are, of course central, although students also engage the celebrated book, "Nietzsche: Life as Literature," and consider Nietzsche's influence on contemporary approaches to literary, biblical and constitutional interpretation.

PHIL 590.  Special Studies   (1-3).

Topic for study announced by instructor. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: instructor's consent.

PHIL 590AD.  Environmental Ethics   (3).

Surveys various philosophical and ethical questions raised by human interaction with, and impact on, the natural environment. Focuses on historical and contemporary, theoretical and applied, issues in environmental ethics. Topics include: anthropocentrism versus nonanthropocentrism; environmental justice and rights; progress and innovation versus stewardship and restoration; the science of climate change.

PHIL 590K.  Philosophy of Medicine   (3).

Covers topics related to the metaphysics and epistemology of medicine, not excluding their human impact. Topics of philosophical investigation may include for example concepts of disease and disability, evidence based medicine, medical models and mechanisms, reductionism, constructivism, expert consensus, clinical judgment, categorization and classification, epidemiology, and outcome measurement. May include historical and multicultural approaches to health and medicine.

PHIL 699.  Directed Readings   (1-3).

For the student interested in doing independent study and research in a special area of interest. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: departmental consent.

PHIL 850.  Directed Readings   (2-3).

For the graduate student desiring independent study and research in an area of special interest. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: departmental consent.