Courses

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  • COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

     

    FYE 103 Environmental Ethics (3) 

    For our survival, confronting the consequences of human activity on the environment is of vital importance. Environmental Ethics is an exploration of ethical values and principles which are necessary in investigating the causes of the environmental crisis and in searching for solutions for pollution, use of resources, production of food and distribution, and consumption of energy. What is our responsibility

    for the environment and other species? Do we have an obligation to preserve nature’s resources for future generations?

    PHIL 101 Philosophy: Persons and Problems (3) 

    This course is an introduction to the main issues in philosophy, such as good and evil, mind and body, life and death, justice and freedom, creation and evolution. The focus is on philosophical concepts and methods. Topics include the nature of being and reality, the right and the good, knowledge and belief, personal identity, and beauty and truth.

    PHIL 102 Critical Thinking: Critical and Creative Thinking (3) 

    Critical thinking is an art and science of asking questions, gathering facts, providing reasons, and formulating values and beliefs. It is applicable to all spheres of knowledge and activity: art, science, religion, politics, and economics. This course is designed to develop the ability to think clearly, solve problems, and distinguish valid and sound arguments from fallacious arguments.

    PHIL 103 Ethics: Contemporary Moral Issues (3) 

    This course is an exploration of the ways to distinguish right from wrong, and good from bad. It addresses conceptions of justice, views of human nature, and standards of moral judgment. Classical and contemporary ethical theories are considered and applied to contemporary problems in politics, environmental policy, medicine, business, and personal relations.

    PHIL 105 Issues in Religion (3) 

    This course is a philosophical examination of the nature and the significance of religious thought and practice. Topics include the nature of faith, the role of reason, the ethical significance of religious belief, and the existence of God.

    PHIL 106 Comparative Religion (3) 

    This course is a study of the religions of the world: Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Confucianism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. The emphasis is on the origin of the universe, the concepts of divinity and the Supreme Being, the nature of ultimate reality, and visions of the good life.

    PHIL 110 Mythology (3) 

    All cultures have created myths as ways of interpreting the whole of nature and the inner world of human reality. There is an affinity among civilizations transcending space and time. The origins of myths are buried in the shifting sands of time, but our present understanding of the significance of the myths establishes a continuity. The central themes in mythology are: the origin of the cosmos, the conflict of good and evil, free will and destiny, and the quest for eternal life.

    PHIL 112 Bioethics and Technology (3) 

    This course studies advances in biology and technology with an ethical perspective. Students will begin with a brief introduction to ethics to prepare them to explore the bioethical and technological issues relevant in the 21st century such as cloning, stem cell research and genetics. With the expansion of research in cloning, stem cells and genetic modification there is a pressing need to introduce students to the ethical consequences of this research in order to make informed and intelligent arguments regarding these topics.

    PHIL 115 Business Ethics (3) 

    There is a consensus regarding the importance of a greater ethical awareness in the contemporary business world. In this course we will examine the classical and contemporary theories of right and wrong action which can guide principles of right judgment and action. Building on the major ethnical theories, students will acquire a deeper understanding of the central ethical concerns involved in the general business environment.

    FYE 122 Health, Medicine and Biomedical Ethics (3) 

    This course will focus on applying ethical principles to important biological and medical issues facing the world today. Students will examine the ethical consequences of modern biological and medical procedures.

    PHIL 125 Life, Medicine, and Morality (Medical Ethics) (3) 

    A study of the moral implications of medical practice and ethical questions which arise from such issues as genetics, birth regulation, cloning, euthanasia, and patient-health professional relationships, organ transplants.

    PHIL 202 Philosophy Today (3) 

    This course focuses on developments in many areas of philosophy – epistemology, philosophy of mind, ethics, and political and social philosophy – which are relevant to education and help shape its perspectives of the present. Justice, truth, freedom, goodness, equality and beauty are ideas of enduring interest which have been explored in all philosophical traditions. Approaching the central concerns of individual and universal value from divergent cultures, we construct a continuous dialogue. We aspire to arrive at an understanding of the interconnections among the divergent paths.

    PHIL 203 Philosophy of Religion (3) 

    A systematic philosophical examination of the major issues in religious experience and history, such as the problems of the relation of faith and reason, the nature and existence of God, mortality and immorality, good and evil, and human values and destiny.

    PHIL 204 Introduction to Logic (3) 

    This course examines the consistency and validity of human thinking and reasoning. It introduces the beginning student in logic to the principles and methods of formulating logical inferences. It is designed to develop in the student a recognition of the rational basis of human judgments and to encourage skills in weighing evidence, analyzing complex arguments, and presenting conclusions.

    PHIL 205 Metaphysics: Appearance and Reality (3) 

    This course probes the nature of ultimate reality. Topics include appearance versus reality, being and becoming, essence and existence, space and time. Is there knowledge beyond the reach of science? How can we know what really exists?

    PHIL 206 Epistemology: The Theory of Knowledge (3) 

    This course examines the nature and the scope of knowledge. What does it mean to know, and what is the nature of truth? What can be known, and can we be justified in our beliefs about what goes beyond the evidence of our senses? Is all knowledge innate or acquired in experience? What are the grounds and the limits of knowledge?

    PHIL 207 Ethics: Friendship, Happiness, and the Good Life (3) 

    This course is a study of moral concepts and principles. Topics include happiness, friendship, virtue, intention, and duty. Ethics asks: Is there a supreme good that all rational beings seek? Are there universal moral values? What is the difference between judgments of value and judgments of fact?

    PHIL 208 Great Philosophers: Voices of Wisdom (3) 

    This course is a systematic study of the ideas of the great philosophers: Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Laozi, Zhuangzi , Kant, and Marx. Philosophy is a continuous dialogue about ideas of enduring interest: truth, goodness, beauty, the nature of the mind, the basis of right action, conceptions of happiness, and the good life.

    PHIL 209 Philosophy through Literature (3) 

    An exploration of essential human problems such as evil, death, freedom, love, justice, suffering, passions, and happiness as reflected in literature. The readings range from classical to contemporary world literature.

    PHIL 210 Meaning and Mind (3) 

    The nature of meaning will be investigated as it is approached and understood in philosophy, religion, philosophical anthropology, and art. Special emphasis will be given to the implications such studies shed on the nature of mind and the way in which people invent and utilize symbols through language.

    PHIL 216 Aesthetics: Creativity and Imagination (3) 

    This course is concerned with theories of art, beauty, and philosophical ideas within the various forms of art, as well as concepts in the interpretation of art: meaning, intention, style, purpose, and value. It addresses various ideas of art as representation of reality, imitation of appearances, significant form, and expression of feeling. Guest artists, visits to museums, and attendance at concerts are features of the course.

    PHIL 217 Eastern Philosophy, Religion, and Literature (3) 

    This course is a study of the historical development of philosophical ideas of India and China. The perspectives of Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, and Confucianism on the nature or reality, knowledge, and the moral life will be discussed. The main themes are the knowledge of ultimate reality, the cultivation of the individual life as the basis of harmony in the world, and being one with reality.

    PHIL 222 Religion and Personality Development (3) 

    The course seeks to establish a functional description of religion and of the primary religious categories, with particular emphasis on their psychological dynamics in the human personality. Examples of such categories are the following: forgiveness, faith, hope, redemption, salvation, and sense of community. Representative Eastern and Western religious traditions are explored.

    PHIL 224 Computer Logic (3) 

    A critical assessment of the logic of computer technology. Developments in artificial intelligence will b be studied for the light it sheds on the similarities and differences between the functioning of the human brains and machines.

    PHIL 228 Philosophy of Yoga (3) 

    This course is a systematic study of both the theory and practice of yoga as a method of attaining harmony through understanding the interconnection between the physiological mental and mental discipline.

    PHIL 230 Philosophy of Law (3) 

    An examination of the normative (justificatory) and analytic (conceptual) questions concerning the meaning, obligation, aims, evaluation, and administration of laws to enhance our moral reasoning especially pertaining to justice.

    PHIL 235 Perspectives on Death (3) 

    Mythological, philosophical, religious, literary, and historical perspectives on the phenomenon of death.

    PHIL 290 Myth, Magic, and Mysticism (3) 

    Mysticism crosses over the traditional borders of formal religions and its expression illuminates aspiration of the spirit and imagination beyond tangible reality. The insights in myths have found expression in art, literature, and philosophy.

    PHIL 303 Existentialism and Phenomenology (3) 

    This course is an examination of the human predicament: What are we doing on this earth? If God does not exist, is everything permitted? Are we condemned to be free? Are anguish, dread, fear and trembling, and despair inescapable? Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Jaspers, Marcel, Heidegger, and Sartre answer these questions in our survey of the origin and development of existentialism, and its impact on psychology, religion, literature, and art.

    PHIL 308 Political and Social Philosophy (3) 

    This course engages in discussions of central topics in political philosophy: the origins and limits of political authority, the duties of the citizen to the government, the rights of the individual vis-a-vis the state, the conflict between civic duty and individual freedom, justice and the ideal society. Readings are drawn from Plato, Aristotle, Locke, Hobbes, Rousseau, Hegel, and Marx.

    PHIL 311 Symbolic Logic (3) 

    This course is a study of the elements of formal logic. Topics are propositional and predicate logic, set theory, foundations of mathematics, and formal semantics. Readings include Frege, Russell, Goedel, and Tarski.

    Phil 312 Philosophy of Language (3) 

    An examination of the nature and structure of language and its connection to philosophical problems. The course will include discussion of the foundations and prospects of semantics, the value of ordinarylanguage philosophy, and the main developments in contemporary philosophy of language.

    PHIL 317 Philosophy and Literature (3) 

    This course is a study of philosophical ideas in literature and how literature gives visible form to truths discovered in philosophical reflection. Readings are drawn from Aeschylus, Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, Shakespeare, Byron, Goethe, Diderot, Kant, Pope, Keats, and Pushkin. Topics include truth, beauty, goodness, and free will.

    PHIL 320 Philosophy of Psychology (3) 

    This course is a study of psychological theories, principles, and concepts regarding the nature of the mind and its complex structures. The central questions are: Are thoughts and sensations related to neurological processes? Are mental states identical to brain events? Is there room for free will together with psychological causality? Responses to these questions elucidate the concept of the self and the continuity of consciousness, the problem of other minds, the nature of intention, perception, and cognition.

    PHIL 324 Western Religions: The Abrahamic Religions (3) 

    An intensive and methodical study of the scriptural foundations, original doctrines, historical development, and the present status of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

    PHIL 325 Advanced Yoga (3) 

    This courses presents methods of attaining an advanced understanding of Yoga by exploring the inter-connections among physical education, health, philosophy, and religion.

    PHIL 333 Philosophy of Structure (3) 

    Philosophy has a vital function for the sciences in defining their theoretical structure and in refining their procedures. Different systems of thought are studied in terms of the consistency, coherence, and completeness of their leading ideas. Proofs will be constructed to test for these properties. Mathematics, logic, and some systems of philosophy are studied as models of deductive rigour; science and other systems of philosophy are studied as models of inductively-based systems. The relevance and verifiability of theories are also considered.

    PHIL 401 Philosophy of Science (3) 

    Science began as “Natural Philosophy.” The epistemological questions that arise in philosophy of science are: What kinds of evidence are relevant in establishing a scientific theory? What are the necessary and sufficient criteria for the validity of a scientific theory? What is the connection between the truth of a theory and its descriptive and predictive power? What is a law of nature? The metaphysical questions addressed are: What is the ultimate structure of reality? What is an ontological commitment? Are we committed to the existence of all theoretical entities and structures postulated by an accepted theory?

    PHIL 405 Advanced Seminar in Philosophy (3) 

    This seminar is an exploration of a central topic in metaphysics (i.e. being and reality), epistemology (truth and knowledge), ethics (the meaning of morality), or aesthetics (art and beauty).

    PHIL 408 Independent Study in Philosophy (3) 

    Independent study involves individual research for students who plan to explore special topics. The topics are to be determined by the student and the faculty advisor.

    PHIL 410 Integrative Seminar (3) 

    This seminar is primarily an investigation of the connections between philosophy and the various intellectual disciplines. The focus is on the relevance of philosophy to areas of human experience, such as religion, psychology, education, history, science, and art.

    PHIL 424 Independent Study in Religion (3) 

    Independent study involves individual research for students who plan to explore special topics in religion. The topics are selected by the student and faculty advisor.

     

    Graduate Courses

     

    PHIL 500 Selected Topics in Philosophy (3) 

    This course is a study of the great visions of the universe as articulated by ancient and contemporary thinkers. The readings represent a full range of perspectives and voices from all cultures. The topics for the courses have been selected to encourage a dialogue among diverse intellectual traditions and cultural heritage with the aim of achieving a unified philosophical experience.

    PHIL 510 Ethics, Values, and Society (3) 

    This course is an exploration of global ethics and values. As the rush toward globalization gathers momentum, political and economical considerations are crowding out vital ethical questions about the shape of our future. With a global economy technology, and media, it is of great importance to present the possibilities of global ethics to which all nations and people of varied background and beliefs can commit themselves.

    PHIL 520 Contemporary Search for Meaning (3) 

    The search for truth and meaning spans over the entire human history and consists of the achievements of many minds. The aim of the course is to inspire students toward developing a sense of greater humanity and wholeness of self and to cultivate intellectual autonomy.