B.A. Philosophy Course Sequence

First Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
PHL 100 Introduction to Philosophy3PHL 200 Ethical Theory3
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
Core3SCI Core (with lab)4
Total Credits15Total Credits16

Sophomore Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
Free elective3

Free elective

3

Free elective

3

Free elective

3
Core3Core3
Core3Core3
PHL 105 Introduction to Logic3

PHL Major elective

3
Total Credits15Total Credits15

Junior Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
PHL 320 Ancient Philosophy3PHL 330 Early Modern Philosophy3

Free elective

3

Free elective

3

Free elective

3

Free elective

3

Free elective

3

Free elective

3
Core3Core3
Total Credits15Total Credits15

Senior Year
First SemesterCreditsSecond SemesterCredits
PHL 340 19th Century Philosophy3

PHL 430 20th Century Philosophy

3
PHL Major elective3

PHL Major elective

3

Free elective

3

Free elective

3

Free elective

3

Free elective

3
Free elective3

Free elective

3
Total Credits15Total Credits15
Total required for graduation: 121 credits

Course Descriptions

PHL 100 Introduction to Philosophy, 3 credits

This course examines those pivotal philosophies that have most significantly shaped the evolution of Western culture. Its aim is to critically reflect on the defining ideas of both tradition and the modern world, and to explore the specific challenges modernity poses to traditional thought. This course is a core requirement, and a prerequisite for all other philosophy courses. It is also offered in the honors colloquia. Students who complete PHL 100 cannot take PHL 151: University Writing Seminar, nor may students who complete PHL 151 take PHL 100.
Fall and Spring

PHL 111 Makers of the Modern Mind (Honors), 3 credits

This course examines the pivotal philosophies from Descartes to Heidegger that have most significantly shaped the evolution of modern Western culture. Its aim is to critically reflect on the defining ideas for both tradition and modernity so that students may explore the meanings of modernity.

Prerequisite: Reserved for Honors Students. Spring

PHL 151 University Writing Seminar, 3 credits

This course introduces and develops skills and abilities fundamental to proficient academic writing. This course emphasizes the critical reading and the summary, synthesis and analysis of primary materials in the study of Western philosophic systems. Students who complete PHL 151 cannot take PHL 100: Introduction to Philosophy, nor may students who complete PHL 100 take PHL 151.

PHL 200 Ethical Theory, 3 credits

This course investigates the basic issues and problems encountered in the field of ethical theory. These issues include the prescriptive/descriptive distinction, the motivation for morality, virtue vs. rule-based ethics, deontological vs. consequentialist theories, moral psychology, and meta-ethical analysis. As a philosophical reflection upon our moral experience, special emphasis is placed upon rational justification for the stances we take in these issues.
Fall and Spring

Prerequisite: PHL 100

PHL 201 Law, Justice and Society, 3 credits

This course will focus on the main themes of the philosophy of law: the nature and limits of the law, the relation between legal and ethical reasoning, the notion of rights, the justifiability of punishment, and the law's role in establishing and upholding justice, freedom, and equality. Special emphasis will be given to the acquisition of ethical reasoning skills.
Prerequisite: PHL 100

PHL 202 Environmental Philosophy, 3 credits

This course is a survey of the fundamental principles and traditions underlying what we call today “environmental philosophy.” Students will explore the roots of our contemporary ideas about nature and ecology, animal rights, whether or not nature has intrinsic or merely instrumental value, ecofeminism, “deep” ecology, non-western perspectives on the environment, population, hunger, global warming and the Gaia theory that the planet is a living organism.
Prerequisite: PHL 100

PHL 203 Philosophy, Art and Film, 3 credits

This course will critically examine the philsophical literature on the appreciation of nature, beauty, and the arts. It will apply this literature to the interpretation of contemporary artistic practice in film, music and the visual arts with a special emphasis upon the ethical significance of art and on ethical reasoning skills.

Prerequisite: PHL 100

PHL 205 Medieval Philosophy, 3 credits

This course covers the philosophical discussions and debates that dominated the interchange between philosophical and theological discourse in the Latin West from the 11th to the 16th centuries. In the speculations of medieval philosophers, we find the constitutive elements of Western culture and philosophy.

PHL 206 Logic, 3 credits

This course is intended to provide students with the skills needed to apply logical principles and techniques of critical thought and argumentation to the analysis of their own words and the words of others. Emphasis will be on assessing the legitimacy of arguments, detecting common fallacies, evaluating evidence and improving skills in formal reasoning.
Prerequisite: PHL 100 (approved 10/30/2014; first offered in 2015-16 academic year)

PHL 210 Philosophy of Person, 3 credits

A dominantly phenomenological approach to analyzing the existential structures that constitute a person. Exploration of the possibilities for personal growth and evaluation of the various social forces that limit these possibilities.
Prerequisite: PHL 100

PHL 215 Wisdom Traditions, 3 credits

The course will critically examine the non-western philosophic traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism through a small sampling of primary and secondary texts. These systems will be examined on their own merits as well as in contrast to Western alternatives.

Prerequisite: PHL 100

PHL 220 Philosophy and Literature, 3 credits

The exploration of philosophical issues through the medium of literature, as distinct from the argumentative format common to straight forward philosophical discourse. Major emphasis is on tracing the changing conceptions of human nature and individual human action in the context of changing conceptions of nature, the human community, political legitimacy and morality.
Prerequisite: PHL 100

PHL 223 Social Ethics, 3 credits

An examination of the leading ethical theories in normative discourse, and their application to the most urgent social problems that address us. Topics such as poverty, war, animal rights, economic justice, and the morality of sex and reproduction are debated.
Prerequisite: PHL 100

PHL 257 Philosophy of Religion, 3 credits

An inquiry into the nature of religion and the objects of thought and feeling associated with religion, such as the nature and existence of God, the nature of religious experience and symbolism, evil, creation, and immortality.

Prerequisite: PHL 100

PHL 261 Philosophy of Women, 3 credits

A philosophical examination of the literature and central issues of the women’s liberation movement.
Prerequisite: PHL 100

PHL 270 Social and Political Philosophy, 3 credits

An examination of the key issues in the history of Western social and political philosophy. These include the nature and purpose of government, political legitimacy, the relationship between theories of human nature and political systems, and the evolution of rights.
Prerequisite: PHL 100

PHL 310 Medical Ethics, 3 credits

This course in applied ethics explores the ethical questions related to modern science and the health professions. Topics such as abortion, human experimentation, genetic engineering, patient-rights, and the delivery of health care are analyzed.
Prerequisites: Completion of Philosophy core

PHL 315 Philosophy of Medicine, 3 credits

This course examines the philosophical foundations of various models of the practice of medicine, focusing on philosophical conceptions of human health and well-being. The emphasis of the course is on understanding medicine within a human and humane context. This approach is occasioned by the prevalence of what is known as the biomedical model, a model that sees the human being primarily as a biological manifestation, emphasizing cure over care and healing. This course examines the epistemological, metaphysical, social and ethical frameworks of this model as set against a variety of alternative humanistic models and their respective philosophical underpinnings, from the biopsychosocial model to the narrative model.
Prerequisites:Completion of Philosophy core

PHL 320 Ancient Philosophy, 3 credits

An examination of the history of philosophy from the origins of scientific thought in Asia Minor through the synthesis of St. Augustine. Major emphasis is on Plato and Aristotle.
Prerequisites: PHL 100 plus any other 100 or 200 level course

PHL 330 Early Modern Philosophy, 3 credits

An examination of the history of philosophy from the Renaissance through the early 19th century. Continental Rationalism and British Empiricism are studied in relationship to Kant and his attempt to synthesize the two. Emphasis will be on the shift from an ancient/medieval world view, and how this shift sets the stage for contemporary issues.
Prerequisites: PHL 100 and any other 100 or 200 level course

PHL 340 19th Century Philosophy, 3 credits

This course investigates the Enlightenment ideal of personhood, particularly as it is expressed in Kant’s critical project, and the various 19th century reactions to this ideal as formulated in the works of Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Dostoevsky.

Prerequisites: PHL 100 and any other 100 or 200 level course

PHL 410 Philosophy of Law, 3 credits

The focus is on four basic questions: What is the fundamental nature of law? What are the appropriate limits of legal regulations? How should the notion of responsibility be defined in the criminal law? And how and to what extent is punishment justifiable?
Prerequisites: PHL 100 and any other 100 or 200 level course

PHL 430 20th Century Philosophy, 3 credits

This course examines the following dominant 20th century philosophical methodologies: pragmatism, phenomenology, logical positivism, linguistic analysis, and existentialism.
Prerequisites: PHL 100 and any other 100 or 200 level course

PHL 440 Economics of Freedom and Justice, 3 credits

A dramatic tour through those history-shaping ideas that are of immediate relevance to a world torn by economic problems and debates about conflicting notions of social justice.

Prerequisites: PHL 100 and any other 100 or 200 level course

PHL 480 Independent Study, 3 credits

Special investigation of a selected topic.

(On demand)

PHL 485 Special Topics, 3 credits

Topics may vary from semester to semester and will be announced with preregistration information.

Prerequisites: PHL 100 and any other 100 or 200 level course. (On demand)

PHL 500 Experimental Phenomenology, 3 credits

Participants in this course will study the phenomenological method as introduced and practiced by Edmund Husserl, and as taken up by Martin Heidegger, Maurice Merleau-Ponty and other major contributors to the phenomenological tradition. In addition to studying the theory behind phenomenology, students in this course will also do phenomenology in a laboratory/workshop environment. In this way, participants will come to a better understanding of how they see the world, learn to adopt practices that will challenge their own preconceptions of reality, knowledge and human interactions (as well as the preconceptions of others), and thus enable them to bring a creativity of vision and flexibility of approach to management.

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