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Spring 2021 Course Offerings

PHI 1010 - Introduction to Philosophy (3 credits) (HON 1011)
Prerequisite(s): Minimum performance standard scores on the reading and writing preassessment placement tests
Description: This is a first philosophy course designed to introduce students to basic philosophical issues, primarily in the areas of metaphysics (what there is) and epistemology (how we know). This course covers fundamental questions such as, for example: “Do humans possess free will of is everything a matter of causal necessity?” or “Is there a God or an afterlife?” Important cultural achievements, in the form of original and complete works, will be emphasized.
General Studies: Arts and Humanities Guaranteed Transfer: GT-AH3
Note: Credit will be granted for only one prefix: PHI or HON.

PHI 1030 - Introduction to Ethics (3 credits)
Prerequisite(s): Minimum performance standard scores on the reading and writing preassessment placement tests
Description: This is a first philosophy course designed to introduce students to basic philosophical issues, primarily in the areas of moral and social philosophy. This course covers fundamental questions such as, for example: “What is the relation, if any, between morality and religion?” or “How should society be best organized?” Important cultural achievements, in the form of original and complete works, will be emphasized.
General Studies: Arts and Humanities Guaranteed Transfer: GT-AH3

PHI 1040 - Introduction to Eastern Religions (3 credits)
Prerequisite(s): Minimum performance standard scores on the reading and writing preassessment placement tests
Description: An introductory survey of the major religious communities of the East, with primary emphasis on the historical evolution and living traditions of Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism.
General Studies: Arts and Humanities, Global Diversity

PHI 1050 - Introduction to Western Religions (3 credits)
Prerequisite(s): Minimum performance standard scores on the reading and writing preassessment placement tests
Description: An introductory survey of the major religious communities of the West (originating in the Near East), with primary emphasis on the historical evolution and living traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.
General Studies: Arts and Humanities

PHI 1110 - Language, Logic and Persuasion (3 credits)
Prerequisite(s): Minimum performance standard scores on the reading and writing preassessment placement tests
Description: This course is an introduction to critical analysis, thinking and expression, covering three main areas: (1) language: the significance of words, and their arrangements, in psychological appeals to the senses and the emotions; (2) logic: the structures of formal reasoning in arguments and in appeals to reason; and (3) persuasion: the rhetorical aspects of discourse and presentation, especially in appeals to ideals or character. Practical skills and applications will be emphasized.
General Studies: Arts and Humanities, Oral Communication

PHI 2040 - Philosophy of Religion (3 credits)
Prerequisite(s): PHI 1040 or PHI 1050 recommended
Description: This is a course on the philosophical dimensions of religious faith and practice, the nature and scope of religious experience, and the existence and source of divinity.

PHI 2440 - Symbolic Logic (3 credits)
Description: This course is a general introduction to formal or symbolic logic. Topics covered include all aspects of sentential or propositional logic, beginning with the rules for determining the validity of deductive arguments and continuing through to the symbolization and syntax of the first-order predicate calculus.
General Studies: Arts and Humanities

PHI 3000 - History of Ancient Philosophy (3 credits)
Description: This course is a survey of the history of ancient philosophy, focusing on the Greeks. The life and work of Socrates, Plato and Aristotle receive special attention.
General Studies: Arts and Humanities

PHI 3020 - History of Modern Philosophy (3 credits)
Description: This course is a survey of the history of modern philosophy, from the Renaissance to Romanticism. The work of Descartes, Hume, and Kant receive special attention.
General Studies: Arts and Humanities

PHI 3120 - Philosophy of Language (3 credits)
Description: The philosophy of language can plausibly claim to be the most fundamental area of philosophy on the ground that the subject matter of philosophy is thought itself, and this can be studied only through language, its public vehicle. This course surveys major theories in this area.

PHI 3360 - Business Ethics (3 credits)
Prerequisite(s): At least junior standing
Description: This course investigates the value conflicts that may arise from current circumstances in the modern business world. Designed to assist students in becoming effective business professionals, it examines four main areas of current practice in some detail: the responsibility of business in society, corporate governance, ethical decision-making, and ethical leadership. Interpretive, critical and analytical skills will be emphasized and cultivated.
General Studies: Arts and Humanities

PHI 3370 - Computers, Ethics, and Society (3 credits)
Prerequisite(s): One of the following: Any PHI course or any CSI course or equivalent
Description: This course contains two main components: first, the ethical frameworks, relating to the nature of the person, in which three main concepts may emerge and be critically discussed: professionalism, privacy, and property; and second, the wider social, legal and political implications of computers, in particular for the nature of work, risk and legal liability, and the social context of computing (and other digital technologies).
General Studies: Arts and Humanities

PHI 341I- Eastern Philosophy: Buddhism (3 credits)
Prerequisite(s): 
Description: This course serves as a comprehensive historical introduction to Buddhist philosophies and religious traditions. We begin by studying the origins of Buddhism and the emergence of the early philosophical schools. We then examine the two main Buddhist schools, the Theravada (Conservative School) and the Mahayana (Great Vehicle), including several sub-schools which fall under the Mahayana.

PHI 345B- VT:Hegel's Philosophy of Right (3 credits)
Prerequisite(s): PHI 3000 or PHI 3020
Description: Liberal theories of justice are committed to a form of methodological individualism, or a negative conception of merely individual freedom. The end result: the "anomie" and the "pathologies" of contemporary existence. True freedom, what Hegel calls "the ethical life," requires that full self-realization can only be achieved through shared commitments in civil society. Personal (or moral) freedom, although necessary, is insufficient. It is through, for instance, friendship and love that one can discover the "we" that is more than (and yet nonetheless constitutive of) "me" -for it is there that inclination and duty can correspond.

PHI 3530- Philosophy of Mind (3 credits)
Prerequisite(s): 
Description: A study of the nature of mental phenomena, both those that occur in other animals and those that make special human nature, including consciousness, thought, reason, perception, feeling and will.

PHI 39AC Virtues, Ancient and Modern (3 credits)
Prerequisite(s): none
Description: What are the excellences we need to achieve happiness as individuals and to make our communities function well? This class explores ancient and contemporary responses to this question. We begin with Ancient Greek, Roman, and medieval accounts of what the virtues are and why individuals and societies need them, considering the thought of Plato, Aristotle, and Thomas Aquinas. We then look at debates around virtue in the early modern period, including the critiques of virtue put forward by Niccolò Machiavelli and Friedrich Nietzsche. We conclude by considering contemporary accounts of justice and the virtues put forward by thinkers such as John Rawls and Martha Nussbaum. We examine which excellences are needed for us to live well and be good citizens in our current social and epistemic context. For your final project, you conduct an in-depth study of a virtue and create a plan for how to practice it at an individual level or encourage it a social level.

 

PHI 4100 - Senior Seminar (3 credits)
Prerequisite(s): Completion of all General Studies requirements and senior standing
Description: This course is a capstone course and is required of all philosophy majors. It is an in-depth consideration of a topic or author (or group of topics or authors) involving synoptic reflection, detailed interpretation, and thematic synthesis, with in-class presentations and an emphasis on philosophical writing. Please see the description for PHI 305C for more information. 
University Requirement(s): Senior Experience


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