2017-2018 Academic Year

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Note: PHIL 1010 is not a prerequisite for other courses in philosophy.

PHIL 1010
Introduction to Philosophy

0.5 unit
A study of some basic issues designed to familiarize the student with patterns of thinking characteristic of philosophy. The course will touch on broad areas of human experience such as knowing, responsible action, and religious belief. Some historical milestones in philosophy will also be discussed.

PHIL 2201
Knowledge, Truth, and Opinion

0.5 unit
Is one opinion as good as another? What is it to know something? Might we know nothing at all? Is science the only avenue to truth? These and other questions of epistemology provide the content of the course which analyzes them in dialogue with philosophers past and present.

PHIL 2202/FSGN 2202
The Roots of Peace and Conflict

0.5 unit
Definitions of peace and conflict. Analysis of the patterns of peace and conflict in personal, family, school, cultural, national and global contexts. An interdisciplinary approach will stress the inter-relatedness of ecological, technological, military and developmental issues. Themes for study may include domestic violence, conflicts in the workplace, racial and gender discrimination, cross-cultural communication, world hunger and food security, poverty and international trade relations, appropriate technology and resource utilization, and sustainable development.

PHIL 2209
Introduction to Ethics

0.5 unit
An introductory study of the ideas of morality and of moral values. The point of the course is to explore the possibility of creating a philosophical framework within which it would be reasonable to ground claims about right and wrong, good and bad. A central question will be whether it makes sense to speak of universal and objective moral values. The discussion will be illustrated in reference to several contemporary ethical issues.

PHIL 2210/POLS 2210
Theories of Human Nature

0.5 unit
An examination of competing views of what being human fundamentally is, with consideration of their implications both for individuals and life in society. Discussion will include relevant ideas from Confucianism, Buddhism, and Christianity, from the writings of Plato, Marx, and Sartre, and also from scientific perspectives such as evolutionary psychology.

PHIL 2212
Freedom and Responsibility

0.5 unit
A study of the notion of freedom, its relation to human action in general and moral responsibility in particular. Challenges, past and present, to the very idea of human freedom will form the context of discussion. Is morality possible without freedom?

PHIL 2213/POLS 2213
Classical Political Thought

0.5 unit
An introduction to the important political ideas and issues addressed from Plato to modern Western European thought. The course explores the relationships between individual and community, the tensions between morality and politics, the justification of warfare, the nature of political justice and the ideal society, among other timeless themes.

PHIL 2214/POLS 2214
Social and Political Justice

0.5 unit
An exploration of the major currents of political thought in the twentieth century. The course focuses on critical debates concerning distributive justice in such areas as social inequality, property rights, individual freedom and limits to state authority with particular attention to the important challenges to the prevailing liberal perspectives posed by communitarian, libertarian and feminist perspectives.

PHIL 2217/RELS 2217
Reason and Religious Belief

0.5 unit
A study of topics in the philosophy of religion selected from the following: the nature of religion, the existence of God, theism and it alternatives, religion and science, miracles, belief in an afterlife, religious experience, faith and rationality.

PHIL 2219/RELS 2219
Does God Exist?

0.5 unit
A close examination of arguments for and against the truth of the claim that God exists. Both classical and contemporary formulations of arguments will be discussed.

PHIL 2220
Reasoning and Argumentation

0.5 unit
An examination of the principles of correct reasoning in areas of ordinary language, fallacies that can infect such reasoning and procedures for their detection. Consideration of extended arguments in issues of public concern, moral debate, and philosophy.

PHIL 2221
Introduction to Logic

0.5 unit
An introduction to methods for determining the validity or invalidity of deductive argument forms. A symbolic apparatus suitable for elementary deduction will be developed and utilized. Although the focus of the course is not on ordinary language arguments, application to ordinary language contexts will be made throughout.

PHIL 2229/RELS 2229
Contemporary Moral Problems

0.5 unit
An investigation of issues in applied ethics, such as war, reproductive choice, euthanasia, minority rights, animal rights, sexual practices, and religious tolerance.

PHIL 3300
Issues in Contemporary Epistemology

0.5 unit
Prerequisite: one full unit of philosophy or permission of the instructor
We commonly evaluate beliefs as rational or irrational, justified or unjustified, warranted or unwarranted. But what do these terms mean, and when are they correctly applied? These and related questions are hotly debated by contemporary epistemologists. This course seeks to interpret and assess the main competing views.

PHIL 3301/RELS 3301
God and Evil: The Current Debate

0.5 unit
Prerequisite: 1.0 unit of PHIL or permission of the instructor
Does the existence of evil entail the nonexistence of God? Does it, at the very least, make the existence of God improbable? This course will seek to facilitate an understanding and assessment of the contributions of contemporary analytical philosophy to the resolution of these issues.

PHIL 3312/POLS 3312
Human Rights: Theory and Practice

0.5 unit
Prerequisite: 1.0 unit of POLS or PHIL or permission of the instructor
A critical examination of interpretations of the idea of human rights. Issues explored are the evolution from ideas of natural rights to the concept of human rights, as well as the character of political, social and cultural rights, and contemporary disputes about their status as universal moral norms which may govern relations among nations, and the debate about equal concern for recognizing individual responsibilities.

PHIL 3314/POLS 3314
Democracy and Deliberation

0.5 unit
Prerequisite: 0.5 unit of POLS or permission of the instructor
A study of fundamental concepts in democratic theory such as rights, equality, liberty, citizenship, and deliberation from the classical era to the present. Special emphasis is placed on new initiatives to enhance the deliberative and participatory character of contemporary democracy. 

PHIL 3350
Philosophy and Women

0.5 unit
Prerequisite: 1.0 unit of PHIL or permission of the instructor
An investigation and assessment of the place of women in philosophical tradition. (Also listed under Women's Studies)

PHIL 3351/RELS 3351
The Nature of Faith

0.5 unit
Prerequisite: 1.0 unit of PHIL or permission of the instructor
An analysis of the concept of religious faith, with special reference to the relation between faith and belief. What form(s) does faith take? Does religious practice entail faith? How is faith different from hope and love? Could someone who believes no religious claim be a person of religious faith?

PHIL 3373/EDUC 5423
Introductory Philosophy of Education

0.5 unit
This course examines the nature of philosophy of education and its relation to other areas of knowledge, analyzes such crucial concepts as teaching, learning, discipline, curriculum, human rights, responsibility, equality, freedom, and considers the implications of these concepts for classroom practice.

PHIL 3374/EDUC 5424
Philosophical Foundations of Education

0.5 unit
This course focuses on the following topics: educational aims and objectives; the student as a person; the teaching-learning process; liberal, vocational and technical education. Special consideration will be given to basic issues such as human rights.

PHIL 3380/RELS 3380
Selected Topics in Philosophy/Religious Studies

0.5 unit

PHIL 3381/RELS 3381
Selected Topics in Philosophy/Religious Studies

0.5 unit
Prerequisite: permission of the instructor may be required for certain topics
An opportunity to explore selected topics in philosophy and/or religious studies at an advanced level. Topics will vary from year to year.

PHIL 4410
Directed Study

0.5 unit

PHIL 4411
Directed Study

0.5 unit
Prerequisites: 0.5 unit of PHIL at the 2000 level or above and the permission of the instructor
An open course permitting students to pursue study in a specific area of philosophy. The student and professor will design the program of study together. The program will be implemented through tutorial meetings, assigned readings, and written submissions.

PHIL 4414/RELS 4414
Major Thinkers

0.5 unit
An examination of the life, thought and contribution of important thinkers in religious studies and/or philosophy.

Academic Note: This web-based calendar information is applicable for the upcoming 2017-2018 academic year which runs from September 01, 2017 to August 31, 2018. 

For information on the current 2016-2017 academic year, which concludes August 31, 2017, please consult the Undergraduate Academic Calendar (PDF) and Graduate Academic Calendar (PDF).

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