Courses in Philosophy

The School of Arts and Humanities has a number of undergraduate offerings in philosophy including introductory courses in the history of philosophy and upper level courses that investigate the philosophy of science, medicine and theories of justice.

A&H faculty members provide descriptions of courses offered each semester. These descriptions are specific to the current/upcoming semester and more detailed than the descriptions below. Be sure to take a look at these Course Descriptions when looking for information specific to each semester.

Course Lookup is the University's semester-by-semester guide to finding classes using a customized search. Consult it for general scheduling. Not all courses are taught each semester.

View our degree plans to find out the requirements a student must complete in order to graduate.

Undergraduate Courses

Philosophy

PHIL 1301 (PHIL 1301) Introduction to Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) An introduction to philosophy through an exploration of select philosophical texts, problems, topics, and traditions. (3-0) S

PHIL 1305 (PHIL 2321) Introduction to Philosophy of Religion (3 semester credit hours) A study of the major issues in the philosophy of religion such as the existence and nature of God, the relationships between faith and reason, the nature of religious language, religious experience, and the problem of evil. (3-0) T

PHIL 1306 (PHIL 2306) Introduction to Ethics (3 semester credit hours) The systematic evaluation of classical and/or contemporary ethical questions or theories concerning the good life, human conduct in society, morals, and standards of value. (3-0) T

PHIL 2303 (PHIL 2303) Introduction to Logic (3 semester credit hours) Introduction to formal methods of deductive and inductive logic including, but not limited to, syllogisms, propositional and predicate logic, and logical proofs in a system of rules. (3-0) S

PHIL 2304 Understanding Scientific Inquiry (3 semester credit hours) A course on the nature, processes, and evaluation of scientific reasoning, scientific method, and scientific inquiry. The actual scientific process is distinguished from the inaccurate stereotype presented in many popular venues, including textbooks, the press, and the scientific journal article. The complex pattern of scientific inquiry is examined, including the processes of observation, reasoning, and experimentation that comprise it, as well as the formal methods that scientists use to assist them in these tasks. Several cases from the history of science are examined that exemplify various parts of the scientific process. Students will learn how to apply the basics of statistical and causal reasoning, as well as to understand and evaluate the uses of scientific evidence in policy-making and personal decision-making. (3-0) R

PHIL 2316 (PHIL 2316) History of Philosophy I (3 semester credit hours) A survey of the history of philosophy from antiquity through the Renaissance. (3-0) Y

PHIL 2317 History of Philosophy II (3 semester credit hours) A survey of the history of philosophy from the early modern period to the present. (3-0) Y

PHIL 2V71 Independent Study in Philosophy (1-3 semester credit hours) Independent study under a faculty member's direction. May be repeated for credit (9 semester credit hours maximum). Instructor consent required. ([1-3]-0) R

PHIL 3304 Contemporary Conceptions of Human Nature (3 semester credit hours) Emphasis on contemporary conceptions of human nature and the human condition, stressing the cultural and historical settings. Prerequisites: (Upper-division standing or any previous PHIL course) or instructor consent required. (3-0) R

PHIL 3309 Philosophy of Technology (3 semester credit hours) An examination of the nature of technology and its role in personal life and society. Focus on the conceptualization of technology, the relation of science to technology, the impact of technology on science and ethics, and the influence of technology on culture. Prerequisites: (Upper-division standing or any previous PHIL course) or instructor consent required. (3-0) Y

PHIL 3320 Medical Ethics (3 semester credit hours) This course will focus on the underlying principles of medical ethics, such as personal autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice will be examined as philosophic issues and in their application to medical problems. Readings and discussion will center on end of life issues, beginning of life issues, inherited abnormalities, allocation of scarce medical resources, and research protocols involving human subjects. Prerequisites: (Upper-division standing or any previous PHIL course) or instructor consent required. (3-0) T

PHIL 3321 Philosophical Traditions I (3 semester credit hours) An exploration of one or more major philosophical traditions, focused on an understanding of major figures and ideas as well as how that tradition approaches philosophical inquiry. Possibilities include Continental, Analytic, American, Feminist, Latin American, African, or Asian philosophical traditions. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (6 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: PHIL 1301 or equivalent. (3-0) Y

PHIL 3322 Ancient Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) Intensive study of texts significant in the history of philosophy from the ancient world. Prerequisites: (Upper-division standing or any previous PHIL course) or instructor consent required. (3-0) R

PHIL 3323 Early Modern Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) Intensive study of texts significant in the history of philosophy from the Renaissance through the Age of Enlightenment, circa 1500-1800. Prerequisites: (Upper-division standing or any previous PHIL course) or instructor consent required. (3-0) R

PHIL 3324 19th and 20th Century Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) Intensive study of texts significant in the history of philosophy of the 19th and 20th centuries. Prerequisites: (Upper-division standing or any previous PHIL course) or instructor consent required. (3-0) R

PHIL 3328 History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine (3 semester credit hours) An exploration of the development of philosophical ideas in science and medicine. Topics may include comparison of Eastern and Western philosophies of natural knowledge and medicine and scientific and medical concepts in philosophical and ethical contexts. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (9 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or any previous PHIL course or completion of a 060 core course or instructor consent required. (Same as HIST 3328) (3-0) T

PHIL 3373 Philosophy of Mind (3 semester credit hours) An examination of one or more major issues in the philosophy of mind and of cognitive sciences, such as the mind/body problem, the nature of consciousness, the problem of other minds, the social aspects of mind, the possibility of artificial intelligence, emotions, and the internalism/externalism debate Prerequisites: (Upper-division standing or any previous PHIL course) or instructor consent required. (3-0) R

PHIL 3375 Contemporary Ethical Issues (3 semester credit hours) An examination of various ethical problems in contemporary society, against the backdrop of social and political events. Issues may include abortion, capital punishment, sexual morality, world hunger, and war. Prerequisites: (Upper-division standing or any previous PHIL course) or instructor consent required. (3-0) R

PHIL 4308 Theories of Knowledge (3 semester credit hours) A study of central topics in the theory of knowledge, including skepticism and the limits of knowledge, relativism and objectivity, and the role of perception, memory, introspection and reason as sources of knowledge. Prerequisite: Any previous PHIL course. (3-0) R

PHIL 4321 Philosophy of Medicine (3 semester credit hours) This course will focus on various theories related to the philosophy of medicine. Topics include how historical, social factors, and cultural values influence health care practices. Prerequisite: Any previous PHIL course or HIST 3328 or registered prehealth student. (3-0) T

PHIL 4322 Philosophical Traditions II (3 semester credit hours) This course will be an in-depth study of one or more specific approaches within contemporary philosophical traditions, such as existentialism, phenomenology, pragmatism, process philosophy, analytic metaphysics, radical philosophy, postcolonialism, Buddhism, Daoism, hermeneutics, critical theory, feminism, naturalism, and neurophilosophy. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (6 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: Any previous PHIL course. (3-0) R

PHIL 4323 Ethical Theories (3 semester credit hours) Systematic and/or historical perspectives on central issues in ethical theory. Prerequisite: Any previous PHIL course. (3-0) R

PHIL 4324 Social and Political Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) Historical or contemporary perspectives on central issues in social and political philosophy, such as theories of justice, the nature of state authority and political obligation, the limits and legitimacy of government and individual liberty. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (6 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: Any previous PHIL course. (3-0) T

PHIL 4325 Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics (3 semester credit hours) An exploration of the meaning and self-understanding of art. In addition to readings in philosophical aesthetics, this course will also directly consider individual artists, art movements, and individual works of art. By reading and thinking through select theoretical writings about art, the aim of the course will be not only to improve students' interpretations of specific works of art, but also to enhance their ability to reflect critically on the meaning of art's ethical significance. We will focus on art not as a fixed, institutional given, but as an engaged, performative interpretation of the world. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (6 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: Any previous PHIL course. (3-0) T

PHIL 4326 Major Figures (3 semester credit hours) A study of the major works and central ideas of a major philosopher, such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Cavendish, Kant, Nietzsche, Dewey, Du Bois, Heidegger, Arendt, Rawls, or Nussbaum. May be repeated for credit as figure varies (9 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: Any previous PHIL course. (3-0) R

PHIL 4327 Great Texts (3 semester credit hours) An in-depth study of a major philosophical text, e.g., Plato's Republic, Heidegger's Being and Time, Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, de Beauvoir's The Second Sex, or Dewey's Experience and Nature. May be repeated for credit as key text varies (9 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: Any previous PHIL course. (3-0) R

PHIL 4328 Philosophy Capstone Project (3 semester credit hours) Independent study under a faculty member's direction in fulfillment of the senior capstone requirement. Student will complete a thesis or capstone project following School requirements. Signature of instructor and Associate Dean on proposed project outline required. Prerequisite: PHIL 3321 and instructor consent required. (3-0) R

PHIL 4330 Continental Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) This course will deal with major figures in modern continental philosophy (Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gadamer, Benjamin, Arendt, Levinas, Derrida, Foucault, et al.). Content will focus on close textual readings of major European philosophical texts 1870-present and will introduce students to the most important currents within continental thinking - hermeneutics, phenomenology, deconstruction, critical theory, feminism - especially as they concern issues of language, translation, art, literary theory, and ethics. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (6 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: Any previous PHIL course. (3-0) R

PHIL 4331 Philosophy and Poetry (3 semester credit hours) This course will focus upon a philosophical reading of poetry that tries to grasp philosophy as a kind of poetic thinking. Texts will draw from poets who write in a philosophical register (such as Holderlin, Celan, Rilke, Trakl) as well as from philosophers whose aim is to offer a new kind of poetic thinking (such as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Benjamin, Derrida, Blanchot). Interdisciplinary in focus and conceptual structure, the course will consider an approach to the philosophy of language attuned to translation theory, rhetoric, and social-political themes. Prerequisite: Any previous PHIL course or LIT 3314 or CRWT 3351. (3-0) R

PHIL 4332 Philosophy of Race (3 semester credit hours) A study of major historical and contemporary concepts and theories of race and racism from several approaches, among which are the philosophy and history of science, existentialism, phenomenology, archaeology of knowledge, biopolitics, postcolonial and decolonial theory, sociology of race, Black or intersectional feminism, liberal political theory, and Critical Theory. The philosophical study of race and racism touches on genocide, colonialism, capitalism and labor, gender, European empires, anti-colonial nationalism, and decolonization. Prerequisite: Any previous PHIL course. (3-0) R

PHIL 4333 Feminist Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) An examination of major writings by feminist philosophers and theorists. This course may examine the historical development of feminism and/or explore major feminist topics such as oppression, sexism, embodiment, and gender. Questions to be pursued might include: What is it be a woman? Are women oppressed? How do institutions pertaining to marriage, motherhood, and sex shape the lives of women? In what ways might feminist concerns intersect with current issues in philosophy of race, queer theory, and philosophy of disability? May be repeated for credit as topics vary (6 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: Any previous PHIL course. (3-0) R

PHIL 4344 Philosophy of Science (3 semester credit hours) Exploration of one or more current topics in the philosophy of science, such as the nature of scientific explanation, reductionism, the unity of science, the role of values in science, realism and antirealism, the interpretation of quantum mechanics, or the nature of explanation in the natural versus the social sciences. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (6 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: Any previous PHIL course or HIST 3328 or upper-division coursework in the sciences. (3-0) R

PHIL 4380 Topics in Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) May be repeated for credit as topics vary (6 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: Any previous PHIL course. (3-0) R

PHIL 4V71 Independent Study in Philosophy (1-3 semester credit hours) Independent study under a faculty member's direction. Signature of instructor and Associate Dean on proposed project outline required. May be repeated for credit (9 semester credit hours maximum). Instructor consent required. ([1-3]-0) R

PHIL 4V99 Senior Honors in Philosophy (1-3 semester credit hours) Independent study under a faculty member's direction in fulfillment of the honors capstone requirement. Student will complete a thesis or capstone project following School requirements. Signature of the instructor and secondary reader on proposed project outline required. May be repeated for credit (6 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: Instructor consent required. ([1-3]-0) R