List of Courses

PHI 101 The Examined Life: an Introduction to Philosophy (3 credits)

This course introduces students to some of the main issues in Western philosophy. Students will be exposed to classic and contemporary writings from core areas of philosophy such as epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of religion, social/political philosophy, and aesthetics. By critically evaluating the arguments that arise in these areas, students will develop a deeper understanding of the nature of philosophical inquiry. Emphasis will also be placed on how thinking philosophically can help us address many important contemporary issues.

PHI 102 History of Philosophy - Ancient (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the problems of philosophy through the critical examination of the earliest developments of Western thought. Philosophers covered are: the Presocratics, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

PHI 103 Critical Thinking (3 credits)

The aim of this course is to equip students with the capacity to critically consider various claims, arguments, and other purported reasons for belief and action. Students will learn to identify and construct arguments; discern whether the premises of arguments support their conclusions; and discover many common valid and invalid argument forms. Students will also learn to identify common logical fallacies in real-world examples; evaluate and construct arguments for should conclusions (e.g., arguments with the conclusion that such-and-such should be done); analyze analogies; and identify common heuristics and related cognitive biases.

PHI 104 History of Philosophy: Early Modern (3 credits)

An introductory course in which students will critically examine the problems of philosophy that were addressed by the major philosophical movements of 17th- and 18th-century Europe. Emphasis will be placed on issues in metaphysics and epistemology. Representative readings will be selected from among the works of Descartes, Malebranche, Leibniz, Spinoza, Bacon, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Reid and Kant. No Prerequisite.

PHI 105 Nineteenth Century Philosophy (3 credits)

This course is primarily concerned with the post-Kantian trends in the philosophy of 19th century Europe. Emphasis will be placed on the most conspicuous figures of this period including Hegel, Schopenhauer, Marx, Mill, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche.

PHI 106 Twentieth Century Philosophy (3 credits)

Students will be introduced to major philosophical movements of the 20th century, which may include Analytic Philosophy, Existentialism, Phenomenology and Postmodernism through selected writings of such philosophers as Moore, Russell, Austin, Wittgenstein, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus and Lyotard.

PHI 107 Logic (3 credits)

An introductory course in symbolic logic. Students will be introduced to the basic principles of logical analysis, including argument recognition, the distinction between deductive and inductive arguments, validity, and soundness. Students will also learn how to construct truth tables and proofs in propositional logic. The fundamentals of predicate logic will also be covered.

PHI 108 Ethics (3 credits)

An introduction to basic problems about the application of the concepts of right, wrong, good and bad to persons and their actions. Topics covered may include major ethical traditions, relativism and absolutism, morality and religion, and the foundations of moral obligation.

PHI 109 Philosophy of Religion (3 credits)

An introductory course examining issues in the traditions of western religious thought, e.g., proofs of the existence of God, the problem of evil, the relationship between religious belief and moral belief, religious experience and knowledge, immortality.

PHI 110 American Philosophy (3 credits)

This course is devoted to the investigation of characteristically American contributions to modern philosophy. It will examine how the issues of the great traditions of Western philosophy, including existence, knowledge, ethics, and politics, have been addressed by writers such as Emerson, Thoreau, Pierce, James, Dewey, Margaret Fuller, and also by Native American thinkers.

PHI 111 Philosophies of India (3 credits)

This course will explore the various philosophical traditions that have played a central role in India over the centuries, including the post-Vedic traditions, Buddhist philosophy, Jainism, Islamic philosophy, and Gandhi's philosophy of non-violence (ahimsa). While many of these schools of thought are strongly associated with religious traditions, the course will focus on their philosophical aspects and arguments. Comparisons and contrasts to western philosophical traditions will be considered, though no previous experience with philosophy is required.

PHI 120 Ethics in Engineering and Technology (3 credits)

This course is an investigation into fundamental ethical issues relating to the fields of engineering and technology. It will focus on organizing principles and ethical theory to frame problems that are typically encountered in the engineering industry. Topics to be discussed include: professional responsibility and accountability; honesty and integrity in the workplace; intellectual property; conflicts of interest; environmental issues; risk, safety and product reliability; legal liability; and diversity in the workplace. Contemporary case studies will be examined and debated in the context of such traditional philosophical schools of thought as Utilitarianism and Kantian ethics. Prerequisite: ENG 103 or permission of instructor.

PHI 130 Environmental Ethics (3 credits)

This course introduces students to moral concepts that will help them understand humanity's relationship with the natural world. The first part of the course considers the extent to which traditional moral concepts can be extended to non-human aspects of the world. Later, students will explore more non-traditional approaches to the issue, including biocentrism, ecocentrism, ecofeminism and Native American perspectives. Students will also have the opportunity to apply theoretical tools to an examination of some practical issues surrounding the environment and sustainability, such as global climate change, overpopulation and pollution.

PHI 206 Philosophy of Law (3 credits)

This course concerns the fundamental nature of law, and the relations between law and morality. It covers natural law, imperative and rule-based theories of the nature of law, and alternative statements of the justice of law. The philosophers covered in the course will include Aristotle, Aquinas, Austen, Hart and Rawls. Prerequisite: one prior course in PHI or permission of instructor.

PHI 210 Philosophy of Science (3 credits)

This course is concerned with the nature of scientific theories and the evidence for them, as well as the ways these theories develop and change. Examples of the sorts of problems to be considered are: the distinction between science and pseudo-science, the status of theoretical entities, confirmation and disconfirmation of theories, falsifiability, induction, explanation, empirical equivalence and underdetermination, and realism vs. antirealism about scientific theories. Examples of theories will be drawn from classical as well as contemporary science. Prerequisite: one prior PHI course or permission of instructor.

PHI 211 Metaphysics and Epistemology (3 credits)

This course will focus on a particular philosophical topic(s) in the area of metaphysics or epistemology, which are branches of philosophy concerned with fundamental questions about the nature of reality and our knowledge of it. Topics covered in this course might include: free will, philosophy of mind, skepticism or identity. Prerequisite: one prior course in PHI or permission of instructor.