Fall 2013 (Undergraduate)

PHI 1000-001, 005 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 8:30-9:20, MWF 9:30-10:20

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor:  Rachel Aumiller

PHI 1000-002, 006 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 8:30-9:20, MWF 9:30-10:20

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor:  James Eric Butler

PHI 1000-004, 008 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 8:30-9:20, MWF 9:30-10:20

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor:  Robert Lieb

PHI 1000-009, 012 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 10:30-11:20, MWF 11:30-12:20

In this course we read selected ancient to modern texts to engage with some fundamental questions: how can we know, how is knowledge possible, what is the nature of the real, and what does it mean to be human? During the first part of the course we focus on classical and early modern approaches to these questions through a study of Plato, Augustine, and Descartes. In the second part, we take a more thematic approach through readings from Kant, Hegel, and others as we continue to think about these questions in the context of what it means for us today to live what Socrates calls the ‘examined life.’

Instructor:  Maria Cuervo

PHI 1000- 010, 013 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 10:30-11:20, MWF 11:30-12:20

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor:  Richard Strong

PHI 1000-011, 014 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 10:30-11:20, MWF 11:30-12:20

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor:  Thomas Busch

PHI 1000-015 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 12:30-1:20

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor:  Christopher Noble

PHI 1000-016 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 12:30-1:20

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor:  Michelle Falcetano

PHI 1000-017 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 1:30-2:45

Philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of human existence that explore the dialogue between Catholic, Christian, secular and skeptical perspectives on these questions. 

Instructor:  Ryan Feigenbaum

PHI 1000-018, 022 Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 8:30-9:45, 10:00-11:15

How do we know what we know, about ourselves and about our relationships with others? In this course, we will explore philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person within a political and historical context. The readings will explore the history of philosophy with a focus on these issues.

Course Goals:

To become familiar with the history of philosophy to the extent limited in the purview of this course.

To learn how to understand and interpret difficult primary source texts, complex philosophical ideas, and philosophical arguments.

To learn how to better articulate and defend philosophical ideas and concepts in class discussions and in philosophical writing. It is very important to be able to evaluate arguments and clearly express ideas, especially in areas where there are no clear answers.

To develop an ability to move beyond purely practical questions, to also address broader issues of meaning and value.

Instructor: Charles Prusik

PHI 1000-019, 023 Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 8:30-9:45, 10:00-11:15

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor:  Jessie Dern

PHI 1000-020, 024 Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 8:30-9:45, 10:00-11:15

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor: Katherine Filbert

PHI 1000-021, 025 Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 8:30-9:45, 10:00-11:15

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor: Neil Brophy

PHI 1000-026 Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 11:30-12:20

Is life a puzzle to be solved, a story to be told, a labor to be endured, or a beauty to be uncovered? Perhaps it is none of these; perhaps it is all. This course speaks to the pain and the promise of nascent self-awareness. What does living a human life have to do with knowing a self? On the inside of this ancient and persistent question, we take up philosophy and the quest for the real.

 Instructor: James Wetzel

PHI 1000-027, 028 Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 1:00-2:15, 2:30-3:45

Philosophy asks these kinds of questions—and lots of others just as odd.  All of us kind of know who we are, and kind of know stuff about things.  We’ll talk about whether who we think we are is really us, and whether it makes any sense to say that we really know stuff about anything.

 We’ll need to be careful though, because our conversations could lead us to believe that we’re thinking philosophically.  And if we start believing that, we might suspect that we’re engaged in philosophical discourse, and realize that philosophy isn’t that much more odd than the kind of stuff we think about all the time.

 Our conversations will derive from two distinct sources:

  1. What we’ve always “thought/believed/known” (whatever that means), and
  2. A set of common texts/images/presentations (for whatever they’re worth).

 Texts:

  • Thomas Kuhn, The Structure of Scientific Revolutions
  • Lisa Anderson, Pursuing Truth, Exercising Power: Social Science and Public Policy in the 21st Century
  • C. D. Wright, One with Others: A Little Book of Her Days
  • Friedrich Nietzsche, Philosophy in the Tragic Age of the Greeks
  • Plato, Symposium
  • Augustine of Hippo: On Free Choice of the Will, and Other Writings
  • Soren Kierkegaard, Fear and Trembling
  • Friedrich Schiller, On the Aesthetic Education of Man

Our foundational question is “What are the ‘producers of culture’ producing, and what are the “receivers of culture” receiving?”  We shall examine ways in which Western culture has ‘produced’ individual persons; ways in which individual persons have transformed ‘received’ culture; and ways in which our own global consciousness has enlarged meanings of culture itself.  

Assignments include individual and group summaries, reviews, critiques, reports and research projects.  All writing assignments will be collected in portfolios, and will be evaluated in accordance with a “Culture of Evidence” appropriate to the culture of expectations that develops within the course

All principles of academic integrity will be observed in accord with the student handbook, which governs course expectations regarding intellectual honesty, attendance and other behaviors.

Instructor:  Edwin Goff

PHI 1000-101 Knowledge, Reality, Self

R 6:00-9:30 FF 10/21-12/12

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor:  Annika Thiem

PHI 2010-001 Logic & Critical Thinking

MWF 10:30-11:20

The study of logic and critical thinking. Topics include: argument identification and analysis; formal and informal logic; fallacies; inductive argument; the role of argumentative structures in various philosophical traditions. 

Instructor:  Ryan Feigenbaum

PHI 2115-001, 002 Ethics for Healthcare Professionals

TR 2:30-3:45, 4:00-5:15

The purpose of this course is to help students become more effective in dealing with ethical questions in professional nursing, medical practice, and research. The course focuses on concrete and specific actions related to health care delivery. Some of the questions we will address are: Is abortion immoral? Are all reproductive technologies permissible? Is assisted suicide immoral? What if a patient or doctor asks you to do something against your conscience? What counts as informed consent? Should all advance directives be followed? What are the criteria for permissibly withdrawing life support? How do we allocate scarce healthcare resources? Additional time is spent on issues in research ethics. Research on human beings represents a paradigm example of using people. How can this be morally justified? By the end of the semester you should be able to answer each question and give comprehensive reasons for your answers.

Instructor: Stephen Napier

PHI 2116-001 Bioethics

TR 11:30-12:45

This course will examine philosophical resources for addressing 3 topics in bioethics which are the subject of current bioethics scholarship:  1) ethical issues relating to cultural competency and global health care; 2) ethical issues related to assisted reproductive technologies and; 3) ethical issues related to medical research and drug development. The course will engage the themes of the just role of the market economy and the debate between universalistic versus relativistic morality, both in light of the conception of human nature and the demands that human dignity makes on clinicians and institutions .  This is an advanced course in bioethics that assumes some background in philosophical and/or theological ethical theory.

Intructor:  Sarah-Vaughan Brakman

PHI 2121-001, 002 Environmental Ethics

MW 1:30-2:45, 3:00-4:15

Environmental Ethics examines the ethical relationship between human beings and the natural world we inhabit. How ought we behave toward, and interact with what environmental philosophers call the “more-than-human world”? How have the ideas we currently hold toward beings and entities in nature emerged throughout western intellectual history? What is the connection between environmental degradation and social inequality?

 In addition to looking critically at cultural values, beliefs, and practices that affect the environment, this course explores emerging liberatory positions, movements, and ideas that resist human destruction of the natural environment and seek to transform the way humans relate with the natural world.

 Areas of environmental ethics explored include:

 Anthropocentric (human-centered) and ecocentric ethics

  • Environmental Justice
  • Ecofeminism
  • Social, Political, and Economic Thought and the Environment
  • Deep Ecology
  • Religious and Faith-Based Responses to Environmental Crisis

 Instructor:  Chaone Mallory

PHI 2300-001, 002 Philosophy of Law

TR 1:00-2:15, 2:30-3:45

Law ( jus, juris in Latin),  a more abstract term than laws (leges in Latin), will be the primary subject matter of this course. Is law something specific; is it an ideal; is it the will of a sovereign or a constitutional assembly or a judge; is it a process? How does it relate to ethics; to rights; to justice; to politics? The course will both begin and end by asking some of these fundamental philosophical questions concerning the law. We will also consider legal reasoning and discuss how laws are created and how law is developed.  This analysis of legal decision-making will include statutory law, common law, and Constitutional law. We will also consider specific issues in the law, such as crime and punishment, the death penalty, racism, sexual orientation, affirmative action and feminist legal theory.

Instructor:  James McCartney, O.S.A.

PHI 2400-001 Social and Political Philosophy

MW 1:30-2:15

This course explores the historical evolution of “political cultures,” understood as the practical modes of intelligibility that dictate the very nature of politics by determining who qualifies as a political subject, what is visible as a political action, and how the spatio-temporal framework of politics is structured.  The first section of the course is dedicated to analyzing the historical emergence and evolution of three major political configurations that have marked the history of the Euro-American world:  natural political culture (Plato and Aristotle), ecclesiastical political culture (Augustine), and contractual political culture (Locke, Rousseau and other modern political theorists).  The second section of the class will examine the specificity of our own socio-political ethos by studying contemporary debates on political liberalism, communitarianism, multiculturalism, radical democracy, minority rights, gender and race inequality, postmodernism, globalization and terrorism.

Instructor:  Gabriel Rockhill

PHI 2420-001 Philosophy of Women

MWF 12:30-1:30

In this course students will compare and contrast various contemporary feminist theories in ethics and politics, language, epistemology, and metaphysics.  We will look at how race, class, and sexuality affect experiences of gender and how feminist praxis has changed over the years. In part our goal is to sustain a cooperative learning environment in which we look deeply at some of the subareas of philosophy from a different perspective.  Students also will be challenged to explore how various theories and practices affect other oppressed social groups.

Instructor:  Sally Scholz

PHI 2450-001 Catholic Social Thought

MWF 11:30-12:20

Instructor:  Daniel Regan

PHI 2710-001 Theories of Knowledge

TR 11:30-12:45

Claims to knowledge often prove false. Even experts, e.g., doctors, think they know and then are proven wrong. So how can we “know for sure”, i.e., know that we really do know? This question originates in ancient philosophy, but finds its real home in modern philosophy. In this course we consider it in various forms, especially modern problems of doubt, certainty, the role of sensation in knowledge and the difference between knowledge and psychological feelings.

Instructor:  Helen Lang

PHI 2990-001 Intro to Symbolic Logic

TR 11:30-12:45

Logic is the study of reasoning.  Since arguments are the basic units of reasoning, logic is concerned with the analysis and evaluation of arguments.  It provides us with rigorous techniques for distinguishing correct from incorrect forms of reasoning.  Since the correctness of reasoning is determined by the logical form of an argument, as opposed to its content, logicians have developed symbolic languages that are designed to bring out the logical structure of arguments.  We will first work with the language of propositional logic, and then gradually expand our language to encompass what is known as first-order predicate logic.  Throughout the course, we will focus on translating English into our symbolic languages, and on constructing formal proofs in those languages to establish the validity of various arguments.  The main goal of this course is to convey the relevance of symbolic logic to philosophical thinking, and to teach students the effective use of symbolic logic to improve their reasoning skills.

Instructor:  Georg Theiner

PHI 3020-001 History of Ancient Philosophy

TR 2:30-3:45

This is a course that will focus on the origins of Western thinking.  We will study Thales, Anaximander, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides and Democritus as examples of early Greek thinking.  We will then turn to Plato and a study of two of his major works, The Republic, still considered one of the great classics of literature and political philosophy in the West and The Symposium, his famous dialogue on love.  Finally we will study parts of Aristotle’s Physics, Metaphysics and Ethics, works that still today are formative for our culture. 

We will begin with the earliest writings in ancient Greece.  These early thinkers represent cosmological and mythological relationships to the world that provide alternative approaches to what in later Greek philosophy became more “philosophical” and scientific views.  Plato’s Republic is an especially important source book.  Many of his ideas about human community have been formative throughout the ages.  Aristotle is considered the “father” of metaphysics, a field of study often directly associated with philosophy.

Our objectives will be to 1) acquire an in depth knowledge of ancient Greek philosophy. 2) Learn the concepts and vocabulary and fundamental frameworks that guided ancient Greek thinking and formed the basis for the tradition of the West.  3) consider the extent to which these fundamental principles and grounding concepts are still formative in the way we think about human beings and about reality today.

Texts

Hyland, Drew  The Origins of Philosophy  Humanity Books  1573923508

Plato  The Republic of Plato trans. A. Bloom, Basic Books    0465069347

Plato  The Symposium, trans. Nehamas and Woodruff,  Hackett 0872200360

Aristotle, McKeon, R. ed., The Basic Works of Aristotle         0375757996

Instructor:  Walter Brogan

PHI 3030-001 History of Midieval Philosophy

TR 1:00-2:15

This course surveys medieval Christian, Islamic, and Jewish philosophy.  These three traditions represent the encounter of monotheism and revelation with the corpus of Greek and Roman philosophy and science.  The thinkers we will study were committed to the Hebrew Scriptures, Greek Scriptures, and the Qu’ran, respectively, and to philosophy as exemplified by Plato, Aristotle, and their successors.  We will pay special attention to relationship of philosophical speculation and revealed teachings by studying three major themes: the interpretation of texts, the nature of the human soul and its perfection, and arguments for the existence of God.  We will look at each text in its own context, in its connections with other texts on our syllabus, and in comparative perspective.

Required Texts:

Augustine of Hippo (354-430), On Christian Doctrine

Anselm of Canterbury (1033-1108), Proslogion & debate with Gaunilo (Hackett)

Avicenna [Ibn Sina] (980-1037), selections from The Salvation, “Metaphysics”

Al-Ghazali (1058-1111), selections from The Incoherence of the Philosophers

Averroes [Ibn Rushd] (1126-1198), The Decisive Treatise Concerning Religion and Philosophy + selections from The Incoherence of the Incoherence

Maimonides [Moshe ben Maimon] (1138-1204), Ethical Writings of Maimonides (Dover) + selections from The Guide of the Perplexed

Thomas Aquinas (1225-74), Summa Theologiae, Questions on God, ed. Davies and Leftow (Cambridge UP 2006)

 Instructor:  Julie Klein

 

PHI 4150-001 Philosophy and Film

MW 3:00-4:15

This course will explore the relationship between film and philosophy.  We will begin by examining the philosophic debates about the historic emergence of film and its links to various conceptions of the nature of human thought.  This will lead us to the question of the relationship between film and the unconscious as well as to the problem of the connections between the appearance of film (c. 1895) and the development of psychoanalysis (c. 1900).  Against the backdrop of this first major section of the course, we will then examine the links between film and temporality since the “seventh art” is often considered to by the art of time par excellence.  In particular, we will concentrate on the nature of time, memory, and history as well as on the temporal models used to think the history of film.  In the final section of the course, we will situate film in a larger context in order to inquire into the relationship between film and the other arts, film and politics, and film and the new media of the televisual and digital age.  Through the course of our investigation, we will have the opportunity to discuss the role of technology in the arts, competing descriptions of human thought, theories of memory, psychoanalysis and its description of the human psyche, modes of representation and revelation proper to film, rival conceptions of temporality, competing historiographical paradigms, narrative structure within and outside of film, theories of ideology, the politics of film, the emergence of new digital technology, and many other topics proper to the study of philosophy and film.  

Instructor:  Gabriel Rockhill

PHI 5000-001 Green Political Theory

MW 4:30-5:15

This course will examine the environmental implications of particular political theories, discourses, and practices, as well as ask what may be implied for politics by environmental problems. Political theory can be understood as the attempt to interrogate the underlying assumptions and values that condition political institutions, policies, and practices; e.g. assumptions about human nature, ideas concerning what constitutes good social organization, beliefs regarding the principles a society ought to be governed by, expressions of citizenship, and what it means to participate in political life. Green political theory, then, is the examination of the underlying assumptions about society, nature and their interrelation that are implied by specific political theories and practices

Assignments and materials investigate a variety of political theories that have emerged in recent years that explicitly seek to address environmental problems and to "green" political discourse, such as ecosocialism, ecological economics, ecoanarchism, environmental justice, and ecofeminism. Also examined are environmental uses and critiques of “classical” political theories, such as Marxism, liberalism, and theories of democracy. Additionally, specific examples of laws, policies, and public debates on specific environmental policies including the Endangered Species Act, U.S. Forest Policy, and local, state, and international initiatives to address climate change will be evaluated to discern how the relationship between politics and the environment is being construed in the age of ecology.

A further purpose of the course will be to examine cultural sites where the meaning of ‘the political’ is itself being contested and transformed through the need to address environmental exigencies. Sites to be analyzed include media, the internet, multi-strategic activisms, and prefigurative works of fiction

Instructor:  Chaone Mallory

PHI 5000-002 Cosmopolitanism

TR 4:00-5:15

“The question was put to him what country he was from, and he replied, ‘I am a citizen of the world (cosmopolitēs)’.”

—Diogenes (404-423 BCE), recorded in Diogenes Laertius, The Lives and Opinions of the Ancient Philosophers (3rd c. CE)

 

As a tradition, cosmopolitanism holds both that all human beings belong to a shared political order, which by its very nature supersedes local or particular identities, and that human differences, be they cultural, political, or otherwise, are valuable and have something to teach us. Thus the cosmopolitan appeals to universality and to difference. We will explore two central questions: (1) What can we learn from the history of the idea of the world-citizen? and (2) What does it mean to be a world-citizen in the era of globalization?  Three important moments in the history of cosmopolitanism will orient our study: the Roman Empire (via the Emperor Marcus Aurelius’ Meditations), the Enlightenment (via the 1789 “Declaration of the Rights of Man” and Kant’s proposal for a “league of nations”), and our own time (via Kwame Anthony Appiah, Seyla Benhabib, Martha Nussbaum, Jürgen Habermas, and other living philosophers).  We will look at, among others, ideas of the human, the state, citizenship, patriotism and nationalism, difference and toleration, and the relationship between morality and politics.

 Reading List:

Marcus Aurelius. The Meditations, tr. G.M.A. Grube (Hackett 1983)

Kant, Immanuel. Toward Perpetual Peace and Other Writings, ed. Pauline Kleingeld (Yale 2006)

Appiah, Kwame Anthony. Cosmopolitanism:  Ethics in a World of Strangers (Norton 2006)

Benhabib, Seyla. Another Cosmopolitanism (Berkeley Tanner Lectures) (Oxford 2008)

Brown, Garrett Wallace and David Held. The Cosmopolitan Reader (Polity 2011)

+Select articles to be posted on our webpage

 Requirements:

Seminar presentation

Two short (2-3 page) papers

Term paper (15 pages)

Instructor:  Julie Klein