PHIL – Philosophy

PHIL 120 Introduction to Philosophy (3)

Explores life’s most fundamental questions by discussing classic texts from the history of philosophy. What does it mean to live a good life? Why is there evil in the world? Is there a God? Do we really know what we think we know? Students will try out their own answers to these questions and learn how to argue for those answers in writing and class discussion. (LP, EXP)


PHIL 121 Ethics (3)

What is the right thing to do? What makes an action right or wrong? And why should we think there is a right or wrong, anyway? Through this course, you will encounter and learn to analyze different ways to answer these questions, including the most historically relevant responses from Utilitarianism, Deontology, and Virtue Ethics; in the process, you will also learn to apply those answers to your own life and social experiences. (LP, EXP)


PHIL 125 Logic (3)

An introduction to logic, the art of evaluating arguments and reasoning correctly. Students will learn how to analyze the structure and language of arguments and use that analysis to distinguish good from bad arguments (logical fallacies). Designed to give students the tools to construct and critique arguments in whatever discipline or career path they choose. Covers both informal logic and the basics of symbolic logic (categorical and propositional). (MR)


PHIL 127 Meaning of Life (3)

We all want to live good lives, but how can we actually achieve that goal? This course provides an investigation into this question. Through the study of ancient and contemporary answers, students are challenged to examine their own assumptions and to develop their understanding of life’s value based on logical reasoning and evidence. (LP, EXP)


PHIL 221 Classical Thought (4)

This course provides a survey of Western philosophy from Ancient Greece to the Middle Ages. We focus on Plato, Aristotle, and their inheritors, then we will see how these ancient ideas were understood by the medieval thinkers, Boethius and Aquinas. Our primary goal is to understand these authors in their own terms; but we will also be interested in thinking about how their ideas continue to influence us today. (LP, WRT)


PHIL 222 Modern Thought (4)

Focuses on the philosophical origins of our modern way of thinking-and reflects on its limitations. In the process, students will critically engage with some of the most important texts in the modern period of philosophy (c. 1600-1900). Key themes include: (1) technology and scientific progress, (2) individual freedom and subjectivity, and (3) secularism (the divide between religion and public life). What have we gained? What have we lost? (LP, WRT)


PHIL 223 Contemporary Philosophy (3)

An examination of recent thinkers and trends in philosophy. The philosophical schools and movements studied may include Existentialism, Pragmatism, Postmodernism, Deconstructionism, and Feminism. Topics will vary but may include the nature of the self, bases of ethics, and our relationship to society and God. At least one prior course in philosophy is recommended. (LP)


PHIL 240 Social and Political Philosophy (3)

This course allows students to address important questions about individual, social, and political relationships. Questions to be discussed may include: What makes a government legitimate? What rights and freedoms should a government protect, and what obligations, if any, does a citizen owe their government? How does an ever-increasing global awareness shape our responsibilities as citizens? And how ought we respond to injustice? (LP)


PHIL 244 Business Ethics (3)

Applied philosophy focusing on issues especially relevant to the business world such as affirmative action; product liability; obligations of advertisers; whistle-blowing; the social responsibility of business; privacy; sex discrimination.


PHIL 245 Environmental Ethics (4)

Examines a variety of moral and social issues regarding the relationship between human beings and non-human nature. Issues include the rights of non-humans, ecological obligations to future generations, the value of diversity of life, land use and vegetarianism, obligations to feed the world, and dominion vs. stewardship. (LP, GS)


PHIL 246 Biomedical Ethics (4)

This course offers a survey of the major ethical controversies in medical and other healthcare-related fields. Students will explore ethical challenges in medicine and encounter specific case studies that relate to concerns about balancing autonomy, beneficence, nonmaleficence, and justice. Some topics include whether a doctor can lie to her patient; whether children can give consent for medical treatment; whether parents can select for certain genes when reproducing; and whether anyone can ethically choose when and how they die. (LP)


PHIL 250 Technology and Society (4)

Explores philosophical questions related to technology, focusing on the connection between technology and human flourishing. Although the core approach is philosophical, the course also draws on a range on non-philosophical texts and media to give a fuller picture of technology in modern life. Topics include the nature and goals of technology, its potential downsides, and the relationship between technology and living meaningfully. The course also addresses ethical questions about AI and human enhancement. (LP, WRT)


PHIL 264 Theory of Knowledge (3)

This course is a philosophical investigation of the nature of knowledge and its various forms. Is real knowledge about the world possible? Can we know things in themselves or only how they appear to us? How does everyday knowledge differ from scientific or philosophical knowledge? Other topics include skepticism, relativism, and the relationship between knowledge and religious belief. (LP, WRT)


PHIL 270 Philosophy of Art (4)

A philosophical investigation of the nature of art and its role in human life. Special emphasis will be placed on music, painting, and Greek tragedy. Topics include the criteria for calling something art, the nature of aesthetic judgement, the source of artistic inspiration, and the relationship between art and contemplation. (LP, WRT)


PHIL 275 Memory and the Holocaust (4)

This course will take an interdisciplinary approach to questions about memory and the Holocaust. We will reflect on the philosophical significance of memory and apply our reflections to the history of the Holocaust and the process of its memorialization. We will also read Holocaust literature that raises ethical questions about how we remember. (LP, GPN, WRT)


PHIL 280 Plato (3)

This course will focus on Plato’s philosophic and political thought, by discussing dialogues such as the Gorgias and the Symposium. (LP, WRT)


PHIL 282 C.S. Lewis (4)

This course will focus on the life and works of C.S. Lewis. Probably no Christian writer of the 20th century has been more influential than Lewis. His life, especially his adult conversion to Christianity and his late and tragically brief marriage to Joy Davidman, has provided material for several films and documentaries. His career as an apologist, armchair philosopher, and spokesperson for the Christian faith continues into the present. Even now, millions of copies of his books are sold each year. And his fiction, especially The Screwtape Letters and The Chronicles of Narnia, continues to be enormously popular. (LP, WRT)


PHIL 321 Advanced Classical Thought (4)

Prerequisite: One 100-level and one 200-level philosophy course. This is the advanced version of PHIL 221 Classical Thought, emphasizing deeper disciplinary understanding of Classical philosophy through advanced course readings and fewer, but more rigorous course assignments. This course is open to philosophy or religion majors and minors, or by instructor permission only. Students cannot receive credit for both PHIL 221 and PHIL 321.  (WRT)


PHIL 323 Advanced Contemporary Philosophy (4)

Prerequisite: One 100- level and one 200- level philosophy course. Focuses on advanced readings by a selection of contemporary philosophers. The course will emphasize the development of the craft of philosophy through upper-level writing assignments and presentations.


PHIL 364 Advanced Theory of Knowledge (4)

Prerequisites: Minimum of one 100-level and one 200-level philosophy course. Focuses on advanced readings in epistemology. The course will emphasize the development of the craft of philosophy through upper-level writing assignments and presentations.  (WRT)


PHIL 380 Advanced Plato (4)

Prerequisites: Minimum of one 100-level and one 200-level philosophy course. Focuses on advanced readings in the study of Plato’s philosophy. The course will emphasize the development of the craft of philosophy through upper-level writing assignments and presentations.


PHIL 390 Topics in Philosophy (Arr)

Varying topics determined by the interests of students and the staff. May be repeated for credit.


PHIL 397/497 Internship (Arr)

Prerequisite: departmental approval and instructor approval. Applied experience in the major, requiring a minimum number of hours of work per credit hour. Includes conferences with the on-campus instructor and an evaluation by the job supervisor. Pass/No Credit basis.


PHIL 399 Independent Study (Arr)