Philosophy (PHIL)

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.); 800 to 999 = graduate.

PHIL 501.  Philosophy of Language   3 credit hours

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 510.  Philosophy of History   3 credit hours

A philosophical examination of the meta-level issues that arise in the discipline and practice of history. Issues investigated include:?What is history? What is the proper form of explanation in history? How are causal claims in history to be understood? Is it possible to achieve objectivity in historical explanations? What criteria should be employed in evaluating historical explanations? What are the moral obligations which should guide historical research and presentation? Prerequisite: instructor's consent.

PHIL 525.  Evidential Reasoning   3 credit hours

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 540.  Theory of Knowledge   3 credit hours

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 credit hours

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 credit hours

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 credit hours

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 credit hours

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 credit hours

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 credit hours

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 credit hours

General education 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 credit hours

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 credit hours

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   3 credit hours

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. Honors section.

PHIL 590.  Special Studies   1-3 credit hours

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

PHIL 699.  Directed Readings   1-3 credit hours

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 credit hours

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

PHIL 900.  Ethics & Psychology   3 credit hours

Cross listed as PSY 900. An in-depth analysis of moral issues that arise in the profession of psychology. Provides a detailed familiarization with current moral controversies and develops ethical reasoning skills that will enable one to address new issues as they arise. Representative topics include: informed and voluntary consent, rights of human research subjects, privacy and confidentiality, assessment, conflicting obligations, ownership of research results, multiple relationships in teaching, research and practice, conflicts between therapeutic and forensic roles, objectivity in research, the nature and boundaries of teaching psychology, etc.