Courses in Philosophy

The School of Arts and Humanities has a number of undergraduate offerings in philosophy including introductory courses in the history of philosophy and upper level courses that investigate the philosophy of science, medicine and theories of justice. Students may pursue philosophy as a part of their history major, as a minor, or as elective courses.

A&H faculty members provide descriptions of courses offered each semester. These descriptions are specific to the current/upcoming semester and more detailed than the descriptions below. Be sure to take a look at these Course Descriptions when looking for information specific to each semester.

Course Lookup is the University's semester-by-semester guide to finding classes using a customized search. Consult it for general scheduling. Not all courses are taught each semester.

View our degree plans to find out the requirements a student must complete in order to graduate.

Undergraduate Courses

Philosophy

PHIL 1301 (PHIL 1301) Introduction to Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) An introduction to philosophy through an exploration of select philosophical texts, problems, topics, and traditions. (3-0) S

PHIL 2303 (PHIL 2303) Introduction to Logic (3 semester credit hours) Introduction to formal methods of deductive and inductive logic including, but not limited to, syllogisms, propositional and predicate logic, and logical proofs in a system of rules. (3-0) S

PHIL 2316 (PHIL 2316) History of Philosophy I (3 semester credit hours) A survey of the history of philosophy from antiquity through the Renaissance. (3-0) T

PHIL 2317 History of Philosophy II (3 semester credit hours) A survey of the history of philosophy from the early modern period to the present. (3-0) T

PHIL 2V71 Independent Study in Philosophy (1-3 semester credit hours) Independent study under a faculty member's direction. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (9 semester credit hours maximum). Instructor consent required. ([1-3]-0) R

PHIL 3304 Contemporary Conceptions of Human Nature (3 semester credit hours) Emphasis on contemporary conceptions of human nature and the human condition, stressing the cultural and historical settings. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or instructor consent required. (3-0) R

PHIL 3309 Philosophy of Technology (3 semester credit hours) An examination of the nature of technology and its role in personal life and society. Focus on the conceptualization of technology, the relation of science to technology, the impact of technology on science and ethics, and the influence of technology on culture. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or instructor consent required. (3-0) Y

PHIL 3320 Medical Ethics (3 semester credit hours) This course will focus on the underlying principles of medical ethics, such as personal autonomy, beneficence, non-maleficence, and justice will be examined as philosophic issues and in their application to medical problems. Readings and discussion will center on end of life issues, beginning of life issues, inherited abnormalities, allocation of scarce medical resources, and research protocols involving human subjects. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or instructor consent required. (3-0) Y

PHIL 3321 Philosophical Traditions I (3 semester credit hours) An exploration of one or more major philosophical traditions, focused on an understanding of major figures and ideas as well as how that tradition approaches philosophical inquiry. Possibilities include Continental, Analytic, American, Feminist, Latin American, African, or Asian philosophical traditions. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (6 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: PHIL 1301 or equivalent. (3-0) Y

PHIL 3322 Ancient Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) Intensive study of texts significant in the history of philosophy from the ancient world. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or instructor consent required. (3-0) R

PHIL 3323 Early Modern Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) Intensive study of texts significant in the history of philosophy from the Renaissance through the Age of Enlightenment, circa 1500-1800. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or instructor consent required. (3-0) R

PHIL 3324 19th and 20th Century Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) Intensive study of texts significant in the history of philosophy of the 19th and 20th centuries. Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or instructor consent required. (3-0) R

PHIL 3328 History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine (3 semester credit hours) An exploration of the development of philosophical ideas in science and medicine. Topics may include comparison of Eastern and Western philosophies of natural knowledge and medicine and scientific and medical concepts in philosophical and ethical contexts. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (9 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or instructor consent required. (Same as HIST 3328) (3-0) T

PHIL 3373 Philosophy of Mind (3 semester credit hours) An examination of one or more major issues in the philosophy of mind and of cognitive sciences, such as the mind/body problem, the nature of consciousness, the problem of other minds, the social aspects of mind, the possibility of artificial intelligence, emotions, and the internalism/externalism debate Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or instructor consent required. (3-0) R

PHIL 3375 Contemporary Ethical Issues (3 semester credit hours) An examination of various ethical problems in contemporary society, against the backdrop of social and political events. Issues may include abortion, capital punishment, sexual morality, world hunger, and war. Prerequisite: PHIL 1301 or equivalent. (3-0) R

PHIL 3380 Twentieth Century Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) This course will involve an in-depth study of one or more major traditions or movements in twentieth century philosophy, including but not limited to existentialism, phenomenology, pragmatism, logical positivism, hermeneutics, critical theory, analytic philosophy, feminist philosophy, Africana philosophy, and neurophilosophy. This course will involve reading primary texts by the figures in the movement(s) covered, as well as discussions of the nature of each movement and its relationship to the other movements and the context of the discipline as a whole. Prerequisite: PHIL 1301 or PHIL 2316 or PHIL 2317 or equivalent. (3-0) R

PHIL 4305 Philosophical Concepts (3 semester credit hours) A study of the origin, continuity, and diffusion of major philosophical ideas, viewed primarily in historical context. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (9 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: Upper-division standing or instructor consent required. (3-0) T

PHIL 4308 Theories of Knowledge (3 semester credit hours) A study of central topics in the theory of knowledge, including skepticism and the limits of knowledge, relativism and objectivity, and the role of perception, memory, introspection and reason as sources of knowledge. Prerequisite: PHIL 1301 or equivalent. (3-0) R

PHIL 4321 Philosophy of Medicine (3 semester credit hours) This course will focus on various theories related to the philosophy of medicine. Topics include how historical, social factors, and cultural values influence health care practices. Prerequisite: PHIL 1301 or equivalent. (3-0) R

PHIL 4322 Philosophical Traditions II (3 semester credit hours) This course will be an in-depth study of one or more specific approaches within contemporary philosophical traditions, such as existentialism, phenomenology, pragmatism, process philosophy, analytic metaphysics, postcolonialism, Buddhism, Daoism, hermeneutics, critical theory, feminism, naturalism, and neurophilosophy. May be repeated for credit as topics vary (6 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: PHIL 1301 or equivalent. (3-0) R

PHIL 4323 Ethical Theories (3 semester credit hours) Systematic and/or historical perspectives on central issues in ethical theory. Prerequisite: PHIL 1301 or equivalent. (3-0) R

PHIL 4324 Social and Political Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) Historical or contemporary perspectives on central issues in social and political philosophy, such as theories of justice, the nature of state authority and political obligation, the limits and legitimacy of government and individual liberty. Prerequisite: PHIL 1301 or equivalent. (3-0) R

PHIL 4325 Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics (3 semester credit hours) An exploration of the meaning and self-understanding of art. In addition to readings in philosophical aesthetics, this course will also directly consider individual artists, art movements, and individual works of art. By reading and thinking through select theoretical writings about art, the aim of the course will be not only to improve students' interpretations of specific works of art, but also to enhance their ability to reflect critically on the meaning of art's ethical significance. We will focus on art not as a fixed, institutional given, but as an engaged, performative interpretation of the world. Prerequisite: PHIL 1301 or equivalent. (3-0) R

PHIL 4326 Major Figures (3 semester credit hours) A study of the major works and central ideas of a major philosopher, such as Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Cavendish, Kant, Nietzsche, Dewey, Du Bois, Heidegger, Arendt, Rawls, or Nussbaum. May be repeated for credit as figure varies (9 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: PHIL 1301 or equivalent. (3-0) R

PHIL 4327 Great Texts (3 semester credit hours) An in-depth study of a major philosophical text, e.g., Plato's Republic, Heidegger's Being and Time, Nietzsche's Thus Spoke Zarathustra, de Beauvoir's The Second Sex, or Dewey's Experience and Nature. May be repeated for credit as key text varies (9 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: PHIL 1301 or equivalent. (3-0) R

PHIL 4328 Philosophy Capstone Project (3 semester credit hours) Independent study under a faculty member's direction in fulfillment of the senior capstone requirement. Student will complete a thesis or capstone project following School requirements. Signature of instructor and Associate Dean on proposed project outline required. May be repeated for credit (6 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: Upper-division standing and instructor consent required. (3-0) R

PHIL 4330 Continental Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) This course will deal with major figures in modern continental philosophy (Nietzsche, Heidegger, Gadamer, Benjamin, Arendt, Levinas, Derrida, Foucault, et al.). Content will focus on close textual readings of major European philosophical texts 1870-present and will introduce students to the most important currents within continental thinking - hermeneutics, phenomenology, deconstruction, critical theory, feminism - especially as they concern issues of language, translation, art, literary theory, and ethics. Prerequisite: PHIL 1301 or PHIL 2316 or PHIL 2317 or equivalent. (3-0) R

PHIL 4340 Philosophy of Art and Aesthetics (3 semester credit hours) An investigation into the nature of art. In addition to readings in philosophical aesthetics, this course will also directly consider individual artists, art movements, and individual works of art. By reading and thinking through select theoretical writings about art, the aim of the course will be not only to improve students' interpretations of specific works of art, but also to enhance their ability to reflect critically on the meaning of art in the world and its relationship to society. Prerequisite: PHIL 1301 or PHIL 2316 or PHIL 2317 or equivalent. (3-0) R

PHIL 4350 Senior Project in Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) A capstone course intended for students conducting independent research for theses or projects. Signature of instructor on proposed project outline required. Instructor consent required. (3-0) R

PHIL 4380 Topics in Philosophy (3 semester credit hours) May be repeated for credit as topics vary (6 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: PHIL 1301 or equivalent. (3-0) R

PHIL 4V71 Independent Study in Philosophy (1-3 semester credit hours) Independent study under a faculty member's direction. Signature of instructor and Associate Dean on proposed project outline required. May be repeated for credit (9 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisites: Upper-division standing and instructor consent required. ([1-3]-0) R

PHIL 4V99 Senior Honors in Philosophy (1-3 semester credit hours) Independent study under a faculty member's direction in fulfillment of the honors capstone requirement. Student will complete a thesis or capstone project following School requirements. Signature of the instructor and secondary reader on proposed project outline required. May be repeated for credit (6 semester credit hours maximum). Prerequisite: Instructor consent required. ([1-3]-0) R