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Philosophy (PHI) Course Descriptions

Department of Philosophy and Classics, College of Liberal and Fine Arts


PHI 1043  Critical Thinking [TCCN: PHIL 2303.]
(3-0) 3 hours credit.
Introduces students to principles of informal reasoning, especially in practical contexts. Topics may include: forms of reasoning, decision making, organizing data, forming strategies, giving reasons, inductive reasoning, informal fallacies, and obstacles to sound thinking (perceptual, cultural, emotional, intellectual, and expressive) may also be addressed. May be applied toward the Core Curriculum requirement in Language, Philosophy and Culture.

PHI 2013  Basic Philosophical Problems [TCCN: PHIL 1301.]
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
Introduction to philosophy through general problems in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, political philosophy, and philosophy of religion; emphasis on the writings of philosophers of various historical periods, especially as these doctrines apply to contemporary problems.

PHI 2023  Introduction to Ancient Philosophy [TCCN: PHIL 2316.]
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
Introduction to ancient philosophy through the study of Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus, and others; emphasis on the Greek contribution to the moral and political ideas of the Western world. May be applied toward the Core Curriculum requirement in Language, Philosophy and Culture.

PHI 2033  Introduction to Early Modern Philosophy [TCCN: PHIL 2317.]
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
Introduction to early modern philosophy from the Renaissance to the Enlightenment through the study of Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Spinoza, Leibniz, Kant or others. May be applied toward the Core Curriculum requirement in Language, Philosophy and Culture.

PHI 2043  Introductory Logic [TCCN: PHIL 2303.]
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
Introduces students to some of the modern formal systems used to distinguish between good and bad forms of reasoning in either or both of the deductive or inductive realms. Topics may include: translation from natural to formal languages, probability theory, scientific inductive reasoning, Bayesian reasoning, propositional calculus, predicate calculus, other kinds of formal deductive reasoning (e.g., modal, deontic or belief logics), natural deduction and/or other formal proof methods, problems in philosophical logic (denoting, elementary meta-logic, consistency and completeness of formal systems, elementary model theory etc.) May be applied toward the Core Curriculum requirement in the Component Area Option.

PHI 2063  Philosophy of Law
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
Examination of the major issues in the philosophical foundations of law. Topics may include the nature of law, the interpretation of law, the limits of legal regulation, the nature of the obligation to obey the law, the justification of punishment, and a variety of ethical issues that arise in legal contexts. Recommended for pre-law students.

PHI 2073 Philosophy of Art
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Cur­riculum requirement in rhetoric.
Examination of major philosophical theories of art, beauty, and aesthetic judgment, with emphasis on such problems as form and structure, communication in art, and meaning in aesthetic judgment. May be applied toward the Core Curriculum requirement in Creative Arts. (Formerly PHI 3053. Credit cannot be earned for both PHI 2073 and PHI 3053.)

PHI 2123  Contemporary Moral Issues
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
Examination of major moral theories and how they afford a rational approach to specific moral issues and a rational basis for resolving moral conflict. Emphasis may be placed on medical, social, engineering and business ethics. May not be repeated for credit. May be applied toward the Core Curriculum requirement in Language, Philosophy and Culture. (Formerly titled “Moral Issues in Contemporary America.”)

PHI 3013  Philosophy of Religion
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
Examination of traditional religious beliefs and such concepts as faith and knowledge, mysticism and theology, the existence and nature of God, and the relation of religion to experience and social life.

PHI 3033  Philosophy of Science
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
Examination of major issues in the philosophical foundations of the natural and social sciences, including scientific explanation, laws and theories, probability and induction, and the relation of scientific inquiry to the Western philosophical tradition.

PHI 3073  Asian Philosophy
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
Examination of the philosophical and religious traditions of the East, with emphasis on various schools such as Vedanta, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism.

PHI 3213  Ethics
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
Examination of ethical theory and of the nature and scope of ethical discourse, with emphasis on the concepts of good, human happiness, self-realization, virtue, duty, responsibility, and the means-ends relationship. Reading will include selected classical and contemporary texts.

PHI 3223  Approaches to Knowledge and Reality
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
Examination of the interrelations between the theory of knowledge and theory of reality, with emphasis on the nature and scope of human knowledge, sensation and understanding, truth and error, change and causality, possibility and actuality, and meaning and existence. Reading will include selected classical and contemporary texts.

PHI 3303  Nineteenth-Century Philosophy
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
Examination of some of the major figures and topics in nineteenth-century philosophy and its intellectual background, including (but not limited to) these figures: Kant, Maimon, Bentham, Fichte, Schelling, Schopenhauer, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marx, Mill, Nietzsche, Peirce, James, Dewey, Emerson, Thoreau; and these topics: philosophical aspects of German romanticism, idealism, utilitarianism, materialism, pragmatism, transcendentalism.

PHI 3343  Issues and Movements in Contemporary Philosophy
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
Sustained study of one or more specific issues or movements from the end of the nineteenth century to the present day, such as philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, epistemology, political philosophy, theoretical or applied ethics, phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, or postmodernism. May be repeated for credit when topics vary. (Formerly titled “Issues and Movements in Twentieth-Century Philosophy.”)

PHI 3403  Philosophy in Literature
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
Examination of important philosophical questions, such as personal identity, the nature of moral value, and the limits of knowledge, as reflected in world literature, including such genres as fiction, drama, and poetry.

PHI 4013  Studies in Individual Philosophers
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Examination of the works of an individual philosopher or of several philosophers studied in relationship to one another. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

PHI 4113  Contemporary Analytic Philosophy
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
An in-depth examination of the major trends in the development of the Anglo-American philosophical tradition since its inception at the end of the nineteenth century up to the present day, including the early analysts, the development of logical positivism, and the emergence of nonformal linguistic analysis.

PHI 4123  Contemporary Continental Philosophy
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
A sustained treatment of the major trends in Continental European philosophy since the end of the nineteenth century up to the present day, including movements such as phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, and postmodernism; emphasis on historical development.

PHI 4333  Philosophy of Language
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Completion of Core Curriculum requirement in rhetoric.
A critical examination of traditional problems dealing with the nature and function of language. Representative issues include analyticity, reference, proper names, metaphorical meaning, and speech-act theory.

PHI 4911-3  Independent Study
1 to 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Permission in writing (form available) of the instructor, the student’s advisor, the Department Chair, and the Dean of the College in which the course is offered.
Independent reading, research, discussion, and/or writing under the direction of a faculty member. May be repeated for credit, but not more than 6 semester credit hours of independent study, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree.

PHI 4953  Special Studies in Philosophy
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.
Organized course offering the opportunity for specialized study not normally or not often available as part of the regular course offerings. Special Studies may be repeated for credit when topics vary, but not more than 6 semester credit hours, regardless of discipline, will apply to a bachelor’s degree.

PHI 4973  Seminar for Philosophy Majors
(3-0) 3 hours credit. Prerequisite: 12 upper-division semester credit hours in philosophy or consent of the instructor.
An advanced investigation of a single author, text, issue, or problem. Primary emphasis on supervised research on various aspects of the topic. May be repeated once for credit when topics vary.

PHI 4991-3  Honors Thesis
1 to 3 hours credit. Prerequisites: Consent of instructor and Department Scholarship and Honors Committee.
Supervised research and preparation of an Honors Thesis for the purpose of earning Philosophy Honors. May be repeated once with advisor approval.


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