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Academic Programs

Philosophy Courses

PHIL 1024 Introduction to Philosophy
An introduction to the methods and viewpoints of philosophy and their applications to the basic questions of life. Not open to seniors. II Humanities

PHIL 1154 Practical Logic
A general course on the methods of logical/critical thinking: principles of reasoning, argument forms, logical models, dialectical techniques, the use of modern symbolic notation, fallacies, and illustrations in applied logic.

PHIL 2004 Feminist Philosophies
Covering authors from the 1700s through the present, this course presents a survey, exploration, and critical assessment of the varieties of philosophical thought orbiting around what have been known as the ’woman question’ and ’feminism.’ Topics may include educational reform, suffrage, equal rights, psychoanalysis, socialism, radical feminism, post-modernism, and feminist critiques of popular culture. Also listed as WS 2004. IV

PHIL 2084 Environmental Philosophy
A philosophical investigation of conceptions of our relations and responsibilities to the environment. Issues to be explored include animal rights, the preservation of biological diversity, and population control. IV; V

PHIL 2164 Bioethics
Study of the value conflicts that arise from developments in biology and medicine. Issues include abortion, euthanasia, medical experimentation, reproductive technologies, and the allocation of scarce medical resources. IV; V

PHIL 2174 Anarchism
Anarchism presents a distinctive critical tradition of social-political philosophy. This course will survey the major strains of anarchist philosophy regarding the state, religion, gender, private property, human nature, the natural environment, social change, liberty, and equality. Special attention will be given to the contrasting anarchist thought against various strains of Marxism. The place of an anarchist thought in the panoply of American political philosophy will be addressed through an analysis of the Haymarket bombing of 1886 and the IWW. Thinkers addressed will include Bakunin, Proudhon, Kropotkin, Goldman, Boochkin, and the Situationist International. IV

PHIL 2294 Special Topics
Exploration of a theme, author, or philosophical movement that may be of special interest but is not fully treated in other courses in the program. Usually offered in May term, with topics announced in advance. Class may be repeated for credit if topic is different. Standard or CR/NC grading. IV

PHIL 2434 Machine Intelligence
Familiarizes the student with the growing field of artificial intelligence. The course will describe what artificial intelligence is, how it is presently being used, and its future uses. Students will learn to design artificial intelligence systems, such as game systems and production systems. Prerequisite: CS 2444, PHIL 1024, or PSY 1004. Also listed as CS 3434. IV; V

PHIL 2504 Ancient Chinese Thought
Between the sixth and the second centuries BCE, China burgeoned with philosophical schools and their texts. Students will read those texts closely and critique them, concentrating especially on the Analects, the Chuang-Tzu, the Mencius, and the Hsun-Tzu. Special emphasis will be placed on how the traditions such texts represent react to each other as they develop increasingly sophisticated defenses of their positions. The course will also attempt to identify, assess, and avoid popular Western readings of the Chinese philosophical tradition by151in part 151incorporating recent historical findings and textual apparatus. Also listed as REL 2504. III A or IV

PHIL 2514 Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy
Examines the dawn of philosophy in ancient Greece:the early natural philosophers, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic world views;the relationship of philosophy to art and science;and the meanings of Greek philosophical experiencefor modern times. Standard or CR/NC grading. Also listed as CLA 2514. III B or IV

PHIL 2524 Philosophy of Mind
A study of the development and current status of the concept of mind. The course begins with traditional historical conceptions (dualism, behaviorism, identity theory) and proceeds to an examination of how the disciplines of cognitive science, cognitive ethology, and evolutionary psychology have affected recent thinking on the concept of mind. Special emphasis will be placed on the way in which ideology influences formulations of the mental. IV

PHIL 2534 Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy
A survey of the principal philosophical achievements of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance. The course will address thought developed from the birth of Augustine in 354 to the burning of Giordano Bruno in 1600. The course will explore the Judaic, Islamic, and Christian traditions. Figures covered will include Augustine, Boethius, Avicenna, Anselm, Hildegard von Bingen, Averro235s, Maimonides, Aquinas, Scotus, Ockham, Cusanus, Ficino, Erasmus, Paracelsus, Montaigne, and Bruno. Standard or CR/NC grading. Prerequisite: PHIL 2514. III B; or IV

PHIL 2554 History of Modern Philosophy
A study of seventeenth- and eighteenth-century philosophers, including the Rationalists, Empiricists, and Kant. Standard or CR/NC grading. III B or IV

PHIL 2614 Animal Minds/Human Values
An examination of human attitudes and obligations to nonhuman animals through an exploration of questions surrounding the existence, kinds, and implications of mental states in non-human animals; the conditions for and implications of ascribing rights to these non-human species; and, overall, the ways in which ideologies such as ecofeminism figure in such arguments. IV

PHIL 3054 Philosophy of Religion
A discussion and lecture course dealing with the intellectual problems of religion (such as those of God, freedom, faith, immortality, evil, and religious knowledge). Time is also given to a study of the various schools of religious philosophy. Also listed as REL 3054. IV; V

PHIL 3094 Special Readings in Philosophy
Writing of a philosophical essay based on readings on an approved topic with a given bibliography and tutorial conferences. Prerequisites: One 2000-level PHIL course and permission of instructor.

PHIL 3114 Political Theory I: Classical and Medieval
An examination of the foundations of the Western political tradition in Greek, Roman, and medieval thought. Focusing attention upon such major figures as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Machiavelli, Luther, and Calvin, explores the major questions and problems of political theory. Also listed as PS 3114. IV

PHIL 3124 Political Theory II: Modern
Surveys the development of political theory in the modern and contemporary periods, focusing on such major figures as Hobbes, Locke, Hegel, Marx, Sartre, Marcuse, and others. A chronological and logical extension of PHIL/PS 3114, but PHIL/PS 3114 is not a prerequisite. Also listed as PS 3124. IV

PHIL 3144 Existentialism
An exploration of the nature and meaning of existentialism as it has developed in philosophy and theology and in their interactions. Prerequisite: One 2000 level PHIL course. IV; V

PHIL 3214 Social Theory of Karl Marx
An examination of the critical and humanistic foundations of Marx’s theory of society and politics. The course will focus topically on the major components of Marx’s thought, including human nature, social relations, alienation, exploitation, the historical development of capitalist society, the role of the state and ideology, and visions of future society. Also listed as PS 3214. Prerequisite: PS 1004 or PHIL 1024. IV

PHIL 3304 Major Thinkers
Exploration of a major philosopher or thinker crucial to the development of philosophy, who may be of special interest to students from varied disciplinary backgrounds, but who is not fully treated in other courses in the program. Special emphasis is placed upon the intensive, historically sensitive reading of the thinker’s works in order to understand in detail the interconnections among the various aspects of the thinker’s investigations. May be repeated for credit as long as the topic is different. IV

PHIL 3404 Epistemology
An examination of traditional questions of knowledge, truth, and meaning especially as they are challenged by versions of skepticism and relativism. Special attention will be given to recent controversies, such as the realism-antirealism debate in philosophy of science, feminist critiques of rationality, and the plausibility of ’naturalized’ epistemology. Prerequisite: One 2000-level PHIL course. IV; V

PHIL 3414 Ethical Theory
An examination of several responses to the questions "How should I act?" and "What sort of person should I be?" The course will consider classical ethical theories, including those of Aristotle, Mill, and Kant, as well as recent challenges from virtue theory and feminist ethics. Prerequisite: One 2000-level PHIL course. IV; V

PHIL 3424 Metaphysics
Personal identity, causation, mind and body, numbers, free will-all of these and more are subjects which are studied in metaphysics. Students will conduct philosophical inquiries concerning a selection of these topics and will learn why the study of metaphysics is important not only to philosophy but also to a great many other disciplines (e.g., physics, psychology, and mathematics). Prerequisite: one 2000-level PHIL course. IV; V

PHIL 3444 Mental Organs
By viewing the mind as a powerful digital computer, the interdisciplinary approach known as cognitive science is unlocking secrets about thought that have puzzled humans for millennia. This seminar will provide the vocabulary, background, and skills that are needed to appreciate this interdisciplinary area. Students will investigate the narrative structure of thought and language, analyze how humans can be said to have free will, and explore the nature and limits of morality. Prerequisite: CS 2444, PHIL 1024, 2514, or 2554. Also listed as CS 3444. IV

PHIL 3534 Black Feminist Theory
Examines critical and theoretical issues in Black feminism from the 19C to the present, focusing on the influential contemporary black feminist intellectual tradition that emerged in the 1970s. From this perspective, students will explore certain themes and topics, such as work, family, politics, and community, through reading the writings of Black feminists. We will also study the ways in which women and men have worked together, towards the eradication of race and gender inequality, among other systems of oppression, which have historically subjugated Black women. Although emphasis will be placed on Black feminist traditions in the United States and Britain, at the end of the semester we will consider Black feminism in global perspective. Prerequisite: WS 1004, PHIL 2004/WS 2004, or permission of instructor. Also listed as WS 3534. III B or IV.

PHIL 3554 Nineteenth-Century Philosophy
One of the most creative and transformative centuries in the history of Western philosophy, thinkers of this age aimed to reenvision the philosophical project as a whole. Readings in Fichte, Schopenhauer, Feuerbach, Marx, Kierkegaard, Mill and Nitzsche will be introduced and contextualized by substantial readings from Hegel. Prerequisite: one 200-level PHIL course. IV

PHIL 4014 Recent Philosophy
A study of Western philosophical developments since the beginning of the twentieth century. The course will address principal currents in Continental as well as Anglo-American philosophy. Movements addressed may include psychoanalysis, Marxism, positivism, semiotics, phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, pragmatism, post-structuralism, and analytic philosophy. Prerequisite: PHIL 2514 or 2554. IV; V

PHIL 4204 Internship in Philosophy
The practical application of philosophy skills in education, law, medicine, or other areas. Students choose an appropriate organization in consultation with faculty member who supervises the work. One course credit may be counted toward major. CR/NC grading. Prerequisites: Five course units in philosophy and permission of instructor.

PHIL 4444 Senior Seminar
Extensive examination of selected philosophical topics. Preparation, presentation, and revision of senior projects. Prerequisite: Senior major in philosophy. IV

PHIL 4904 Senior Honors
Independent study of a philosophic problem involving regular conferences with the instructor andwriting of a philosophic essay. (1 or 2 course units.) Prerequisites: Senior standing, at least a 3.5 grade point average in philosophy, presentation of an acceptable project proposal, and permission of instructor.

PHIL 4908 Senior Honors
Independent study of a philosophic problem involving regular conferences with the instructor and writing of a philosophic essay. (1 or 2 course units.) Prerequisites: Senior standing, at least a 3.5 grade point average in philosophy, presentation of an acceptable project proposal, and permission of instructor.

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