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Philosophy Courses

The following section contains a complete list of courses for its curriculum. For current course listings please see the Course Description  section of our website.

PHIL-1000/3 History of Philosophy I: An introduction to Western philosophical thought from the classical period to the medieval period.

PHIL-1010/3 History of Philosophy II: An introduction to Western philosophical thought from early modern to contemporary times.

PHIL-2020/3 Postmodern Philosophy: An examination of several key themes of postmodern philosophy, including the interrelationship between power and knowledge, otherness, difference, madness, punishment, multiplicity, deconstruction, and gift. Special attention will be given to the work of Michel Foucault, Jacques Derrida, and Gilles Deleuze.

PHIL-2030/3 Aquinas and Wittgenstein—Language, Reality, and God:
An examination of the philosophy of Thomas Aquinas and Ludwig Wittgenstein, focusing on questions concerning the meaning of language, the nature of reality, and the possibility of human talk about God. Special
attention will be given to an exploration of the implications of our understanding of language for how and what we think about reality, knowledge, the self, ethics, and God.

PHIL-2040/3 Lying and Truthfulness—An Introduction to Epistemology: How might we distinguish truth from the lie? In discussing this question, this course serves as an introduction to the field of contemporary epistemology. It examines questions concerning the nature of knowledge, its
sources, goals, limits, and social forms. Foundationalism, coherentism, virtue epistemology, and a variety of other approaches will be considered.

PHIL-2050/3 Nihilism—An Introduction to Metaphysics: Do we understand the world as the expression of something (that which is) or nothing (that which is not)? Is reality best approached through categories of presence or absence? In discussing these questions, this course serves as an
introduction to the field of contemporary metaphysics.

PHIL-2060/3 Hegel and Kierkegaard—Subjectivity, System, and Paradox:
For Hegel, philosophy is defined by its systematic character, its movement towards a resolution. Kierkegaard, by contrast, was resolutely anti-systematic, emphasizing paradox and the necessity of proceeding in the absence of reasoned justifications. Focusing on Hegel and Kierkegaard, this course examines some basic options in 19th Century philosophy. Topics to be considered include the Absolute, Spirit, transcendence, subjectivity, love, paradox, sacrifice, choice and the possibility of repetition.

POLS/SOCI/PHIL-2600/3 Social and Political Philosophy: What is human nature? Should society be organized to reflect this? What is justice? Are states coercive by nature? How does property inform politics? What is ethical citizenship? These questions are explored through a survey of Western political thinkers including Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, de Gouges, Burke, Wollstonecraft, Mill, and Marx,
and by examining their contemporary legacy.

PHIL-2950/3 Topics in Philosophy: The content of this course will vary from year to year, depending on the needs of students and the interests and availability of instructors.

MATH/PHIL/INTG-3000/3 Philosophy of Mathematics:
The philosophy of mathematics includes matters of metaphysics, semantics , and epistemology. This course will provide an overview of the philosophy of mathematics, including (1) the views of some historical philosophers of mathematics, from Plato and Aristotle to Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill, (2) the three major positions of the twentieth century, namely,
logicism, intuitionism, and formalism, and (3) some contemporary accounts of mathematics, such as ontological realism, anti-realism, and structuralism. Prerequisite: 30 credit hours of university-level studies, including MATH-2000 with a minimum grade of “C.”

PCTS/PHIL-3800/3 Whose Violence? Which Peace? The art of naming peace and violence well requires an appreciation of the different and related varieties of peace and violence. It also requires an understanding of how peace and violence are bound up with a variety of complex related practices and realities that might not appear on the surface to be relevant matters. For example, what do speed, technology, media, and virtual reality have to do with questions of violence and peace? What difference does it make if we think about peace and violence in terms of the categories of nation-state, civil society, or church? Prerequisite: 30 credit hours of universitylevel study, including either PCTS-1010/3 and 1020/3 or former PCTS-1100/6 or 6 credit hours of Philosophy.

PHIL-3950/3 Topics in Philosophy: The content of this course will vary from year to year, depending on the needs of students and the interests and availability of instructors. Prerequisite: 30 credit hours of university level study, including 6 credit hours of Philosophy at the 1000- or 2000-level.

PHIL-4940/3 Independent Study in Philosophy: A study in a specific area of Philosophy under the direction of a faculty member. Prerequisites: fifteen credit hours of Philosophy and a minimum of 60 credit hours of university-level studies.

PHIL-4950/3 Topics in Philosophy: The content of this course will vary from year to year, depending on the needs of students and the interests and availability of instructors. Prerequisite: 30 credit hours of university level study, including six credit hours of Philosophy at the 1000- or 2000-level.