Requirements

Students must successfully complete 45 credits in Philosophy, 18 of which must be at the 300 level or above and one CW course.

Required Courses:

PL-208  Symbolic Logic
Variable; Yearly; 3 Credits; N,H,WK-FR; 
An introduction to the basics of first-order logic: the concept of artificial language, techniques for symbolizing ordinary languages and arguments, formal inference systems (either truth- free method or natural deduction), and other advanced topics in first-order logic. It has no prerequisites beyond high school algebra.  


PL-450  Senior Thesis
Variable; Variable; 3 Credits; H; 
Students will engage in independent research and write a substantial final paper which evidences sustained engagement with the secondary literature on a topic selected in consultation with faculty members. This course is designed as a capstone experience.  Prereqisite: Senior standing. 


Students must successfully complete courses in the following three areas:

History component: (3 courses; 12 credits)

PL-205  Ancient Philosophy
Fall; Odd Years; 4 Credits; H,CW; 
This course is a historical survey of ancient Greek philosophy which will cover representative figures (including the major pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle and important authors/movements from the Hellenistic period, such as Epicurus, Stoicism and Skepticism).  


PL-275  Modern Philosophy
Variable; Yearly; 4 Credits; H,CA,CW,WK-HT; 
Selections from the founders of the twin pillars of modernity, i.e., Modern Philosophy (F. Bacon, Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant) and Modern Science (Copernicus, Spinoza, Galileo, Pascal, Newton, and Boyle) are studied with an emphasis on the philosophical origins of modern psychology and the epistemic foundations of contemporary scientific methodology.  Prereq or coreq: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109 


Take one course from:

PL-245  Chinese Philosophy
Spring; All Years; 4 Credits; CA,H,I,SWGH1; 
The course will focus on the mainstream of the development of Chinese philosophy in the past two thousand years, namely, classical Confucianism and Taoism.  prerequisites: Sophomore, Junior, or Senior standing. 


PL-304  Existentialism
Fall; Odd Years; 4 Credits; H,CW; 
Philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger and Sartre are studied as an introduction to existentialist thought. Theistic and atheistic types are considered, as is significance of existentialism as a contemporary philosophy.  Prerequisites: Any Philosophy course or Permission of instructor. 


PL-308  Hegel to Nietzsche
Either Semester; Variable; 4 Credits; H; 
This course will provide students with an overview of nineteenth-century philosophy, beginning with the tradition of German Idealism and proceeding through thinkers such as Kierkegaard, Marx, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche.  Prerequisite: Take 1 course from the PL department. 


Epistemology & Metaphysics Component: (2 courses; 6 - 8 credits)

Take two courses from:

PL-250  Science and Human Values
Variable; Yearly; 4 Credits; H,WK-HT,CTGES; 
This course examines the reciprocal influence between science and social values, from the perspective of the humanities. It asks, " What good is science? " Through selected readings and discussion, students consider how everyday life is shaped by scientific innovation and technology, just as society provides a framework of cultural values for science.  Prereq or coreq: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109 


PL-260  Philosophy of Science
Variable; Variable; 4 Credits; H,WK-HT,CTGES; 
Lays out some central philosophical problems raised by natural sciences. The possible topics to be discussed: Is science rational and objective? Does science really make progress? If so, in what sense? How to distinguish science from pseudoscience. Is science superior knowledge to other types? What is a good scientific explanation? Could we ever know about unobservable physical entities and events? Is it ever legitimate to regard a scientific theory as true?  Prereq or coreq: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109 


PL-255  Philosophy of Religion
Spring; Yearly; 3 Credits; H; 
A critical investigation of some of the main concepts of religion and theology. The course focuses on problems in the definition of religion, the idea of God, the nature of religious experience, the relation of faith and reason and the meaning of religious language.  


PL-318  Knowledge, Truth and Skepticism
Either Semester; Variable; 4 Credits; H; 
The course is a study of the nature of human knowledge and justification of beliefs with special attention to three conceptually related topics: the nature and value of knowledge and the nature and structure of epistemic justification, the nature of truth, and the challenges from skepticism and influential responses to it.  Prerequisites: Take any 1 Philosophy course, or by instructor consent.


Values Studies Component; (2 courses; 6 - 8 credits)

Take two courses, of which one must be explicitly designated as an ethics course.

PL-221  American Political Thought
Fall; Variable; 4 Credits; S,H,CW; 
(see PS221)  

--OR--

PS-221 American Political Thought
Variable; Variable; 4 Credits; H, CW, SW-US; 
Covers development of American Political Thought from the Revolution to the modern-day. Special attention is given to the tension between liberty and equality in our system, especially as those tensions are revealed in writings of women and African-American writers.  


PL-222  Western Political Thought
Spring; Yearly; 4 Credits; H,S; 
See PS222.  

--OR--

PS-222 Western Political Thought
Variable; Variable; 4 Credits; H, WK-HT; 
Surveys selected works of philosophers from Plato to Nietzsche. The course will focus on enduring questions -- what is the good, the nature of the best regime, how do freedom and authority intersect, and so on. Pre-Req or Co-Req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109


PL-230  Business Ethics
Variable; Yearly; 3 Credits; H,SW-ER; 
Asks the student to examine his/her personal values relative to those professional values of the business world. In particular, students will examine the claims of society, government, labor, management as they impact upon the individual who contemplates a career in the business world. Issues such as safety in the workplace, the right to privacy, and the obligations of the corporation to its employees, its customers, and to society itself will be covered.  Pre-Req or Co-Req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109 


PL-235 Ethics of Health Care
Variable; Yearly; 4 Credits; H,SW-ER; 
This course is a seminar-style course in 'professional ethics'. It will explore the various codes, value assumptions, and dilemmas faced by those who practice the health care professions. Specific topics (or dilemmas) will be determined by each class, based upon the specific POEs of the enrolled students.  Pre-req or co-req: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109 


PL-241  Philosophy of Love
Either Semester; Yearly; 3 Credits; H; 
A philosophical examination and reconstruction of the concept of erotic/romantic love in Western culture, with particular attention to its historical development and critical analysis by modern and contemporary philosophers and thinkers.  


PL-265  Environmental Ethics
Variable; Yearly; 4 Credits; H,SW-ER; 
As the life-support system for everyone, the environment is unquestionably of high value. Yet decisions about its care and its uses evoke controversy. This course explores contrasting viewpoints and practices that impact the earth and its plant and animal life. Through readings, projects, and critical discussion of cases, students apply ethical theories to selected contemporary issues.  Prereq or coreq: FYC-101 or EN-110 or EN-109 


PL-310  Contemporary Political Philosophy
Either Semester; Variable; 4 Credits; S,H,CW; 
This course will focus on important political orientations and figures in the twentieth/early twenty-first century. Instructors may also focus on specific topics which have driven recent debates in contemporary political philosophy, including distributive justice, the normative foundations of liberalism/democracy or the tension between state sovereignty and international law (among others). Prerequisites: Take 1 course from the PL department or permission of the instructor. 


PS-320 Topics Political Philos & Jurisprudence
Variable; Variable; 3 Credits; H; 
Examines specific topics in the area of political philosophy and law. Topics will include " Foundations of American Constitutionalism, " " African-American Social and Political Thought, " " Liberalism, " and " Shakespeare's Politics. " Students may take each course for credit.  


RU-335  Tolstoy
Spring; Variable; 4 Credits; CA,I,H,CW,CS; 
See RU235. Meets with RU235. Additional work is assigned in Russian.  Prerequisite: RU235.


PL-340  Philosophy of Art
Variable; Variable; 4 Credits; F,H; 
A study of the main theories about art in the western tradition, with particular attention to classical views as well as modernist conceptions and post-modern critical reactions.  Prerequisite: AR-110 or permission of instructor.


RU-340  Dostoevsky
Spring; Variable; 4 Credits; CA,H,I,CS,CW,SW-ER; 
See RU240. Meets with RU240. Additional work is assigned in Russian.  Prerequisites: RU230.


RL-450  God, Evil & the Holocaust
Either Semester; Variable; 3 Credits; H; 
If God is so powerful and so good, why is there so much Evil in the world? This course examines this problem from Jewish, Christian and agnostic perspectives, with special attention to the Holocaust, and studies ancient and modern attempts to confront this problem, including readings from the Bible, philosophers, theologians, Holocaust survivors, modern fiction, and contemporary films.  Prerequisites: Junior or Senior standing. 


Total POE credits = 45