Philosophy


110 Adventure of Ideas: Historical (3) A historical introduction of philosophy course covering classical Greek, Asian, medieval, and early modern philosophical thought. Philosophers covered include Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Locke, Hume, and Kant.

120 Adventure of Ideas: Contemporary (3) (TBR: PHIL 1030) A topical introduction to philosophy course covering recent philosophical discussions of 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 Exploring 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 Logic (3) An examination of argumentation, with emphasis on identifying, analyzing, and evaluating argument. Topics include argument diagrams, informal fallacies, syllogistic logic, propositional logic, truth tables, quantification, inductive logic, and modal logic.

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 The Ancient and Medieval Mind (3) An examination of the leading philosophical ideas from ancient Greece through the medieval period. Figures may include pre-Socratic philosophers, Plato, Aristotle, Hellenistic philosophers, Augustine, Maimonides, and Aquinas.

315 The Modern Mind (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 The Contemporary Mind (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, Seale.


320 Traces of God (3) An examination of key issues in the philosophy of religion, including arguments for God’s existence or non-existence, the nature of God, the relationship between faith and reason, religious diversity, belief in the after-life, and non-Western approaches to religion. (Same as RLST 320)

325 What Do We Know? (3) A course in contemporary epistemology that examines the philosophical questions “What do I know?” and “What should I believe?” Special consideration is given to knowledge and rational belief in the domains of morality, science, and religion.

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) An examination of the problem of evil from theistic, atheistic, theological and skeptical perspectives. May include selections from the Book of Job, Aquinas, Hume, Dostoevsky, Camus, and Wiesel. (Same as RLST 340).

350 Bioethics (3) Discussion of major ethical controversies in biology and health care including abortion, euthanasia, human cloning, stem cell research, genetic manipulation, allocation of medical resources, and medical paternalism.

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 Goes to the Movies (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 Philosophy (3) A course covering classical and contemporary political philosophers on key topics such as justice, the social contract, natural rights, revolution, legal positivism, socialism, anarchism, and minimal government. (Same as POSC 401)

430 (630) Science and Human Values (3) A course in philosophy of science that examines the philosophical foundations of science and the philosophical implications of the natural and social sciences for morality, religion, and society. (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 Existentialism and Human Experience (3) A course in existentialism and phenomenology: Topics include existentialism’s worldview, human responsibility, the phenomenological method, and meaning of life. Figures may include Kierkegaard, Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Nietzsche, Husserl, Sartre, Heidegger, Beauvoir, Merleau Ponty.

460 Mind, Knowledge and Reality (3) A course in contemporary metaphysics and epistemology. Possible topics covered include individuality, externality, temporality, objectivity, the problem of material constitution, minds, persons, freewill, the nature of knowledge, naturalistic epistemology, and 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.

Programs of Study

The history and philosophy curricula lie at the heart of a liberal arts education.

Learn more >

What's New

The Department of History and Philosophy Has Established The Stan Sieber Student Travel Award

Learn more >