322 Humanities Building

Martin, TN 38238


(731) 881-7470


(731) 881-7584


David Coffey, Chair


110 The Adventure of Ideas (3) A historical survey of the philosophical quest for understanding and wisdom from Socrates to Kant, covering classical Greek, Asian, medieval, and early modern thought.

120 The Adventure of Ideas (3) (TBR: PHIL 1030) An introductory study of the philosophical quest for understanding and wisdom in contemporary thought, covering philosophical theories about God’s existence, mind, free will, knowledge, morality and government.

130 Ethics and Race (3) An introductory course which explores the morality of race relations in America, from the points of view of secular and religious value systems. The goal of the course is the enhancement of understanding and philosophical rigor in matters of values among races.

160 Introduction to Ethics (3) A topical introduction to the main theories and problems in ethics, including utilitarian, Kantian, and virtue theories, and contemporary issues such as abortion, euthanasia, animal rights and environmental ethics.

210 Elementary Logic (3) An analysis of the fundamental logical categories and skills which are needed for academic studies and the ordering of life's experiences: meaning, informal fallacies, tests of truth, rules of evidence, types of language, interference, argument, and methodology (scientific and otherwise).

300 Questions of Right and Wrong (3) Advanced investigation of questions about the nature and foundations of morality, with applications to contemporary moral controversies.  Topics discussed may include religion and morality, gender and morality, moral relativism vs. objectivism, consequentialism vs. nonconsequentialism, and applied ethical issues in bioethics and environmental ethics.

301 Major Religions of the World (3) A survey of the history and philosophy of major living religions: Hinduism, Jainism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam. (Same as RLST 301.)

310 Aesthetics (3) A basic course in aesthetics, dealing with such conceptual issues as the criteria of identity of works of art, the idea of style, of expression, the notion of aesthetic attitude, the relevance of artists' intentions to interpretation, and truth in literature and the arts. Analysis of these and similar notions with reference to examples from various art forms (painting, music, literature, etc.). Written reports and oral presentations are required. (Same as FA 310).

314 History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (3) A survey of philosophy from its beginnings through the medieval period; pre-Socratics, sophists, Plato, Aristotle, Hellenistic philosophy, selected major medieval figures (Augustine, Aquinas, and some Arabic and/or Jewish figures).

315 History of Modern Philosophy (3) An examination of the leading philosophical ideas of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries; the scientific revolution, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkley, Hume, and Kant.

316 History of Late Modern and Contemporary Philosophy (3) An examination of the leading philosophical ideas of the 19th, 20th, and 21st centuries in both the analytic and continental traditions. Philosophers include Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Derrida, Russell, Moore, Wittgenstein, Quine, Searle.

320 Traces of God (3) An analysis of the contemporary question of the existence and nature of God and the relevance to that question of experience, faith, revelation, mysticism, proofs, history, relationships, and creativity. Also an exploration of the relation of God and the World in terms of creation/evolution, time/eternity, and culture/values. Position paper required. (Same as RLST 320)

330 Love, Sexuality, and Living (3) A contemporary study of relationships, particularly those of love, human sexuality, caring, authenticity, friendship, family, fellowship, creative living, and appreciation/manipulation. Position paper required.

340 Death, Suffering, and Evil (3) A study of the essential limits and boundary situations of life, particularly the dark shadows of death, suffering, and evil. Special attention given to an investigation of the possible meaningfulness of these limits and their value for authentic life. Other considerations include: suicide, abortion, war, crime, punishment, illness, insanity, perversion, inequality, waste. Position paper required. (Same as RLST 340).

350 Principles of Bioethics (3) Introduction to ethical principles of paternalism, utilitarianism, autonomy, nonmaleficence, beneficence, and justice, and application of those principles to problem areas in the allocation of medical resources, genetic counseling, human experimentation, and other areas of medical science.

360 Symbolic Logic (3) A first course in symbolic logic designed to introduce students to the idea of a logistical system, the propositional calculus, the predicate calculus with identity, functions, decidability and completeness, Prereq: PHIL 210 or equivalent, or instructor's approval.

370 God and Human Happiness (3) Studies in selected philosophers, religious thinkers and religious texts where a primary concern is the nature of human happiness and its relationships to beliefs about God or the ultimately real. Texts may include works from such philosophers as Plato or Nietzsche, such authors as Tolstoy or O’Connor and such texts as the New Testament or the Bhagavad Gita. Issues may include the relative importance of moral or nonmoral goodness for happiness, the nature of God or ultimate reality as it bears upon human life and destiny and related issues. Position paper required. (Same as RLST 370.)

380 Topics in the Philosophy and History of Religion [Selected Topics] (3) Intensive coverage of issues in the philosophy of religion (such as the theistic attributes, theistic proofs, religious language) or in the history of religion (such as non-Western religious traditions, eras of reform, the history of interpretation). Course may be repeats with total credits not to exceed six (6) hours. (Same as RLST 380).

385 Topics in the History of Philosophy [Selected Topics] (3) Intensive coverage of individual philosophers or of periods only surveyed or not covered in PHIL 314 and 315, such as 19th and 20th century philosophy. Course may be repeated with total credits not to exceed not to exceed six (6) hours.

395 Philosophy and Film (3) An examination of philosophical elements in film. The course will focus on how these media confront traditional philosophical questions about such issues as good and evil, the existence of God, the possibility of knowledge of self and the real, the nature of time. The ways in which the structure of these media themselves raise philosophical questions may also be addressed. Students will be required to attend out of class screenings of assigned films.

410 Political and Legal Philosophy (3) An examination of classic and recent discussions of the foundations of society, and of conceptions of justice and law. Topics may include classical theories of the state, theories of natural law, 20th century discussions of law and liberty, legal idealism, legal realism and legal studies. Some focus on court decisions as illustrative of philosophical assumptions in legal reasoning. (Same as POSC 401)

430 (630) Science and Human Values (3) An examination of the philosophical foundations of the scientific enterprise with particular emphasis on the social/value implications of the natural, biological, social, and behavioral sciences. (Same as PSYC 430).

440 Topics in African-American and Feminist Studies (3) An examination of the status of African-Americans, including a focus on such matters as economic, social, political and educational status. An exploration of the global status of women and the effects on women of major social institutions.

450 Existential and Phenomenology (3) Studies in selected contemporary existentialist philosophers and phenomenologists Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Husserl, Sartre, Heidegger, Marcel, and Jaspers. Existentialism's dominant themes, its historical and social origins, its use of the phenomenological method, and its current impact on thought and culture are considered.

460 Contemporary Metaphysics and Epistemology (3) Survey of contemporary discussions in metaphysics and epistemology. Issues include idealism, materialism, dualism, realism, theories of knowledge, theories of truth, epistemological skepticism.

470 Internship in Race Relations (3) Experience with local, state, national, international authorities in matters of race relations. Internship is under the supervision of faculty. Course performance is based on an agreement between student and instructor which stipulates specific academic and work assignments. Prereq: Approval of instructor and wither PHIL 130 or 440.

490 (690) Topics in Philosophy [Selected Topics] (3) Studies in selected issues in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, and philosophy of science, such as philosophy of mind, theories of truth, cognitive relativism, concepts of virtues, literary theory and the like, with each seminar devoted to one such topic. Course may be repeated with total credits not to exceed six (6) hours.


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