Course Descriptions

PHIL 001: Basic Problems of Philosophy

This is an introductory course focused on questions of metaphysics and epistemology. The main learning objectives for the course are to learn to: identify some of the central questions within the Western Philosophical tradition concerning reality and human knowledge of it; discuss the range of answers that has been provided to each of these questions; practice the skills of critical reading, thinking, and discussion that allow one to develop and justify ones own views on these matters.

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PHIL 003: Persons, Moral Values, and the Good Life

This introductory course focuses on themes in ethics and in social and political philosophy. The main learning objectives are: to understand some of the central questions of the Western Philosophical traditional concerning human life and human action; to be able to discuss a range of answers that have been given to each of these questions; and to practice the skills of critical reading, thinking, and discussion that allow one to develop and justify ones own views on these matters.

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PHIL 010: Critical Thinking

This course is designed to bring students to a critical awareness of the function of argumentation in the various forms it takes, both in the academic realm as well as in the everyday world of communication media. Students examine how arguments are constructed and the means that are used to make an argument convincing. They learn to critically analyze arguments in order to detect various uses of language and common fallacies in argumentation.

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PHIL 012: Symbolic Logic

This course is an introduction to formal logic that focuses on the syntax, semantics, decision procedures, and methods of proof for propositional logic and predicate logic.

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PHIL 014: Philosophy of Love and Sex (Online)

This course is an examination of theories and attitudes concerning love and sexuality that have been prevalent in the Western world. Course topics include philosophical conceptions of the self and its relation to others, the role of love and sex in human relations, and ethical and developmental issues related to these topics.

PHIL 103: Introduction to Ethics

This course introduces students to the major aspects of ethics: the nature of ethical reasoning, the major ethical traditions and their similarities and contrasts, as well as enduring ethical issues that link theory to practice in critical ways.

PHIL 110: Introduction to Philosophy of Science

This course examines scientific assumptions about knowledge and reality, the relation between science and truth, the role of science in culture, and the nature of scientific progress.

PHIL 126: Introduction to Metaphysics

This course explores the nature of being and reality, the problem of free will and the mind/body problem, identity, and causality.

PHIL 202: Modern Philosophy

This course examines the thought and influence of major Western thinkers from Descartes to Kant, emphasizing epistemological and metaphysical themes (e.g., rationalism, empiricism, and critical philosophy; the metaphysics of substance, causality, and the physical world).

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PHIL 233: Ethics and the Design of Technology

This course looks at  ethics and individual and group decision-making in the design of technology including design projects and specific attention to institutional ethics.

PHIL 296: Independent Study (Logic)

Advanced study of first order logic with an emphasis on semantics and meta-theory, and introductory look at the semantics of Leibnizean and Kripkean modal logic.

PHIL 418: Ethics

This course examines ethical theories, justice, rights, community, and human values revolving around such issues as preservation, conservation, pollution, sustainability, and population.

PHIL 425: Epistemology

This course examines the nature of cognition and perception, experience, and the differences between classical philosophical discussions of knowledge and the 20th Century focus on refuting skepticism and on treating knowledge as justified true belief.

PHIL 455: The Enlightenment

This course focuses on the various strains of philosophical, scientific, and humanistic thinking that influence the shape of European culture during the 18th Century. Beginning with the Newtonian orientations of Locke and Hume and ending with the Anthropological and Natural Historical emphases of later French and German figures, the course traces the ways in which the models and metaphors of emerging sciences are taken up into modern discussions of classical theological, metaphysical, epistemological, and socio-political themes.

PHIL 512: Graduate Logic

This course covers topics in first-order symbolic logic with identity and advanced special topics in the philosophy of logic.

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HLS 803: Homeland Security: Social and Ethical Issues (online)

This course examines the social, political, legal, and ethical issues that arise in the context of homeland security.