Philosophy Course Offerings


Professor P. Wilson
; Associate Professors Hight, Janowski

Chair: Patrick A. Wilson

The requirements for a Philosophy major are Philosophy 102, 201, 210, 302 or 303, 304 or 305, 412, 413, and an additional 9 hours in the discipline (30 total hours). Interdisciplinary majors involving philosophy may be developed and pursued with the approval of the departments concerned.

For more information about the department, see its web page.

PHILOSOPHY 102. (3)
INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY. An introduction to philosophical thinking and argument by consideration of specific philosophical problems, such as the existence of God, the meaning of life, the nature of knowledge, the relationship between mind and body, and the nature of morality. Prerequisite: none. Offered: each semester.

PHILOSOPHY 201. (3)
LOGIC. An introduction to the skills and practice of critical reasoning, including argument analysis and some formal logic. Prerequisite: none. Offered: each semester.

PHILOSOPHY 210. (3)
ANCIENT AND MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY. A study of philosophical classics from the early Greeks through the medieval period, typically with an emphasis on the thought of Plato and Aristotle. Prerequisite: none. Offered: fall semester.

PHILOSOPHY 217. (3)
PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION. A study of the major issues and figures in contemporary reflection on religion. Prerequisite: none. Offered: spring semester of odd-numbered years.

PHILOSOPHY 218. (3)
PHILOSOPHY OF ART. An exploration of some of the major issues, questions, and theories in aesthetics. Topics for discussion include the nature and aim of art, the nature of aesthetic experience, the nature of aesthetic value, and the moral, social, and political questions that arise in thinking about the various arts. Prerequisite: none. Offered: on sufficient demand.

PHILOSOPHY 302. (3)
MODERN PHILOSOPHY: RATIONALISTS. A study of philosophical classics in the Rationalist tradition, typically emphasizing Descartes, Spinoza, Malebranche, and Leibniz. Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy, or consent of instructor. Offered: spring semester of even-numbered years.

PHILOSOPHY 303. (3)
MODERN PHILOSOPHY: EMPIRICISTS AND KANT. A study of philosophical classics in the Empiricist tradition (typically emphasizing Locke, Berkeley, and Hume) and Kant's reaction to that tradition. Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy, or consent of instructor. Offered: spring semester of odd-numbered years.

PHILOSOPHY 304. (3)
NINETEENTH-CENTURY PHILOSOPHY. A study of European philosophy in the nineteenth century that may include movements such as idealism, materialism, and existentialism and thinkers such as Hegel, Schopenhauer, Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Mill. Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy, or consent of instructor. Offered: fall semester of even-numbered years.

PHILOSOPHY 305. (3)
TWENTIETH-CENTURY PHILOSOPHY. A study of central themes in twentieth-century philosophy that may include topics such as early philosophy of language, pragmatism, ordinary-language philosophy, continental convergences with analytic philosophy, ethics, social philosophy, philosophy of mind, metaphysics, and epistemology.  Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy, or consent of instructor. Offered: fall semester of odd-numbered years.

PHILOSOPHY 312. (3)
PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE. A consideration of the aims, methods, social dimensions, and limits of science, including the relationship of empirical data to laws, models, theories, and explanation. Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy. Offered: fall semester of even-numbered years.

PHILOSOPHY 313. (3)
SCIENCE AND RELIGION. A seminar on the philosophical and religious implications of the Big Bang and biological evolution. Topics for discussion include cosmological arguments for and against God's existence, divine foreknowledge, the concept of design, evolutionary accounts of consciousness and morality, theistic and naturalistic methodologies, and the limits of explanation. Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy. Offered: fall semester of odd-numbered years.

PHILOSOPHY 314. (3)
ETHICS. An examination of some of the major issues and theories in philosophical ethics. Topics for discussion include the nature and ground of morality, human nature, reason, sentiment, virtue, happiness, the criteria of morally rightful action, and the scope of moral obligation. Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy, or consent of instructor. Offered: fall semester.

PHILOSOPHY 316. (3)
SOCIAL PHILOSOPHY. An exploration of various conceptions of justice and the ideally good society. Topics for discussion include distributive justice, rights, needs, desert, economic efficiency, the relation between the individual and community, and the authority of the state. Although the approach to these topics is primarily theoretical, practical issues such as affirmative action, inheritance, and taxation will be discussed against the backdrop of theory as appropriate. Prerequisite: one course in Philosophy, or consent of instructor. Offered: spring semester.

PHILOSOPHY 412-413. (3-3)
JUNIOR/SENIOR SEMINAR. A capstone sequence, required for junior and senior philosophy majors, which usually focuses on an individual philosopher or issue in some depth. The course involves seminar discussions and philosophical research. Prerequisite: major in philosophy, or consent of instructor. Offered: 412 in the spring semester of even-numbered years; 413 in the spring semester of odd-numbered years.