Spring 2014 (Undergrad)

PHI 1000-001, 004 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, 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:  Robert Lieb

PHI 1000-003, 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: Charles Prusik

PHI 1000-007, 010 Knowledge, Reality, Self

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

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:  Maria Cuervo

PHI 1000- 008, 011 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:  John Immerwahr

PHI 1000-009, 012 Knowledge, Reality, Self

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

Philosophy is a conversation that has been going on, in its Western version, since the time of the Greek philosophers. It is a conversation whose themes are radical: what is real; what is knowledge, its kinds, its limitations?; who are we, what’s it all about? The conversation continues as each generation takes up these questions in terms of its own life experience. While the answers are not definitive, the questions are compelling and persist. This course will look at, through selected philosophers, the course of the conversation and some of its major themes, as well as invite you to enter it through class participation, reading and writing.

 Books:

Descartes: Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy (Hackett)

James: Pragmatism (Hackett)

Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays (Vintage)

Bordo: Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body (California)

Teilhard de Chardin: The Phenomenon of Man (Harper)

 Outline: The conversation will be followed historically and thematically, offering historical context to the development and debate over recurring problems that serve to unify the conversation: the intelligibility of reality, sensible and intellectual knowledge, humanism, personal identity, freedom, the existence of God.

 Foundations: Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas on the intelligibility of reality, degrees of knowledge, the place of humans in nature, the existence of God. (Handouts)(Time out: Beauvoir and a challenge to Aristotle on human identity.)

 Challenges: The rise of modern science and its impact on the tradition. Measurement and reality; reductionism. Descartes’ dualistic response. Pragmatic and feminist critique of dualism. Perspectivism, levels of intelligibility, inseparability of culture and nature. Debate on the meaning/meaninglessness of life. (Readings)

Instructor:  Thomas Busch

PHI 1000-013 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 skeptical perspectives.

Instructor:  John Garner

PHI 1000-014, 015 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 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:  Staff

PHI 1000-016,017 Knowledge, Reality, Self

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

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:  Richard Strong

PHI 1000-018 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 4:30-5:45 

In most fields of study, people set out to acquire knowledge about the world.  But in philosophy, we take a step back and probe into knowledge itself – by asking questions about the sources of knowledge, its nature and limitations, and what methods we have for arriving at true knowledge.  Philosophers have thought hard about these questions, with the hope of thereby gaining a more reflective understanding of the nature of reality and the capacities of the knowing self.  To illustrate the virtues of philosophical inquiry, and how it differs from both science and religion, we will look at a range of influential theories and arguments proposed by Plato, St. Anselm, St. Aquinas, Descartes, and Hume.  Finally, we turn to the emerging area of consciousness studies, in which philosophers interact with psychologists and neuroscientists to examine puzzling topics such as how subjective experiences can arise from objective brain processes, the nature of free will, the unity of the self, dreams and meditation, and the possibility of machine consciousness.

Instructor: Georg Theiner

PHI 1000-019, 022 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 1000-020, 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 1000-021, 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: Neil Brophy

PHI 1000-025, 026 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 1000-027, 028 Knowledge, Reality, Self

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

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 Eltringham

PHI 1000-100 Knowledge, Reality, Self

R 6:00-9:30 FF

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:  Helen Lang

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:  John Garner

PHI 2115-001, 002 Ethics for Healthcare Professionals

TR 10:00-11:15, 11:30-12:45

This course will expose us to contemporary philosophical problems in medicine and health care.  Through reading, critical reflection and classroom dialogue, you will learn to see yourself as part of a society that must take responsibility for its goals and uses of power concerning issues of life and death.  This course is geared toward future clinicians.  As such, we will pay close attention to the way that certain ethical dilemmas challenge health care professionals in particular.  This course will teach a method for ethics clinical case consulation.  Non-clinicians are welcome to take the course, but need to be aware of the professional focus of the readings and assignments. We will learn the philosophical basis from which to address and to discuss moral problems.  When relevant, we will explore the differences in approach to medical ethics between the philosophical and the theological.  Topics include: cultural competency, genetics, human experimentation, organ transplantation, physician-patient relationship, physician-nurse relationship, informed consent, end of life challenges, assisted-suicide, new reproductive technologies, and managed care

Instructor:  Sarah-Vaughan Brakman

PHI 2115-003, 006 Ethics for Healthcare Professionals

TR 11:30-12:45,4:00-5:15

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 2115-004/005

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

This section of Health Care Ethics will deal with ethical issues embedded in the clinical practice of health care professionals.  We will consider the ethical dimensions of clinical decision making, with special emphasis given to principles of biomedical ethics, the character of health care professionals, health-care-team interactions, interactions with patients and families, and narrative ethics. Specific topics will include issues surrounding death and dying, reproductive technologies, distribution of health care resources, and values-based decision making within health care organizations.

Note: This is a discussion based course. Students who are not willing to prepare actively for and participate in class discussion should not enroll in this course.

Instructor:  James McCartney, O.S.A.

PHI 2180-001, 002 Computer Ethics

MW 2:30-3:45, 6:10-8:50

In this course, we consider the ways in which computers and allied technologies are changing or rendering uncertain our ideas about privacy, property, power, autonomy, responsibility, human culture and perhaps even human intelligence. We investigate the effects of technologically-driven change on the personal, professional, and civic behavior of individuals.  We also explore the effects of such change on social, legal, and political norms.  Specific cases studied include the Therac-25 accidents, the Challenger disaster, and problems with electronic voting.  We also discuss lessons learned from American and Soviet missile attack warning system failures, questions concerning the development and use of robotic weapons, and the role of information technologies in both planning and defending against terrorist acts.

We consider recent conflicts and emerging legal standards pertaining to privacy of personal information.  We will consider the subtle and not entirely intuitive link between surveillance and security of computer and communications systems. Classroom (and, possibly, panel) discussions treat ethical, social and legal aspects of software copyright, patent, and secrecy protection, as well as the controversy surrounding sharing of digital music and video files.  This year, our discussions will deal intensively with the controversies surrounding the prosecution of Aaron Swartz, and the revelations of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden concerning the warrantless wiretapping of everyone’s communication (but not yours, right?)

We make extensive use of resources available on the World Wide Web (and reflect on some of the implications of their availability). In particular, the readings on the course syllabus are either available on the World Wide Web or distributed by the instructor with the permission of their authors.

This course is intensively reading, writing, discussing, and (at the discretion of the participant) thinking enriched. 

Philosophy 2180 is officially designated as Writing Enriched.

Enrollment in Philosophy 2180 is open to all students.

The course is required of Computing Sciences and Information Sciences majors.

Instructor:  William Fleischman

PHI 2410-001 Philosophy of Sex and Love

MW 1:30-2:45

 Instructor:  Chaone Mallory

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 2650-001 Philosophy of Sport

TR 3:00-4:15

 

Instructor:  John Doody

PHI 2990-001 Adoption Ethics

TR 2:30-3:45

This course will examine philosophical and selected theological resources for addressing ethical questions entailed by adoption.  We will consider how ethical theories and/or theologies of adoption influence our moral evaluation of biological kinship and how these challenge traditional ethics of sex, marriage, and family.  The course will engage a variety of  ethical resources to examine different types of adoption—domestic, international, foster, trans-racial, embryo, open vs. closed—and the ethical issues which each type raises.  We will evaluate the ethics of different avenues for relinquishing or terminating parental rights, such as safe haven laws and putative father registries.  Finally, we will examine portrayals of adoption and members of the adoption triad (birthparents, adoptee, adoptive parent(s)) in the media.  In addition to philosophical texts, we will draw on material from psychology, sociology, theology, and law where it is relevant.

Instructor:  Sarah-Vaughan Brakman

PHI 2990-002 Philosophy of the Emotions

TR 1:00-2:15

In this course we will examine how emotions contribute to our sense of self, the social nature of various emotions, and more generally the connections between emotions, thought, desire, and action. We will consider what it means to talk about “collective emotions” and “public emotions” given the way that emotions are usually understood as private and primarily individual. Drawing on psychoanalysis, feminism, and critical theory, we will explore passion, love, hope, fear, sentimentality, melancholy, and cultural memory.

Instructor:  Annika Thiem

 PHI 3020-001 History of Ancient Philosophy

TR 11:30-12:45

Philosophy appeared in Athens around the 800 B.C.E, composed in poetry because writing had not yet been invented. Philosophers ask what does it mean to say we know something and what, exactly, is it that we know? What is happiness and what makes us desire happiness? Around the 500B.C.E. writing begins and the debates concerning these questions become a cornerstone of European culture. In this course we consider these debates about problems in human experience.

 Instructor:  Helen Lang

 

PHI 3040-001 History of Early Modern Philosophy

MW 3:00-4:15

Philosophy 3040 is an intensive study of six key figures in seventeenth and eighteenth century European philosophy: Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, and Kant.  The philosophical scene in this period is diverse and contentious.  Looking at topics in metaphysics and epistemology, we will see that Descartes’ substance dualism is contested by Hobbes and Spinoza. Spinoza and Leibniz, while sometimes similar, disagree profoundly about the origins and order of the world. Hume rejects the entire project of Cartesian-Leibnizian rationalism in favor of empiricism.  Kant proposes to resolve the debate between rationalism and empiricism with what he calls a transcendental or critical philosophy.  We will pay equal attention to topics in social and political philosophy, focusing particularly on Hobbes, Spinoza, and Kant in this regard. Philosophy 3040 has no formal prerequisites beyond Knowledge, Self, and Reality.  Some background in ancient and/or medieval philosophy is extremely useful. 

Instructor:  Julie Klein

PHI 3720-001 Marx & Marxism

TR 4:00-5:15

In this course we will examine the genesis and evolution of Marxist thought and its appropriations in the 20th century. We will explore the ways critical Marxists have challenged the more authoritarian versions of Marxism and consider the appropriations of Marxian thought for economic, social, and political criticism. Key thematics that we will investigate include commodity fetishism, labor and alienation, ideology, revolution, hegemony, and culture. We will also consider what Marx’s ideas can mean for us today. What are the legacies of Marxism? In what ways might Karl Marx’s and Marxists’ questions and critique of society have new value, especially as the finance economy has come into crisis?

Instructor:  Annika Thiem

PHI 4140-001 Philosophy of Contemporary Music

MW 1:30-2:45

Rock, pop, hip-hop and hip-pop, punk, grrrl, DJ, EDM and jazz: how does a philosopher respond to contemporary music? What theoretical tools does a philosopher have to make sense of why it is that young people continue to make music that speaks to their lives, their specific cultural situation, and why listeners, young and old, continue to tune in to this music? This course addresses these questions. It also attempts to answer the question, “What is music?” as well as questions about how to listen to music, what music expresses or represents and whether there is something about music that transcends all conceptual categories.

Instructor:  John Carvalho

PHI 4200-001 Philosophy of Language

MW 3:00-4:15

The goal of this course is to survey some central debates in the philosophy of language.  It is organized around three main themes: (1) the relationship between language and reality, (2) the relationship between language and thought, and (3) the relationship between language and people.

 During the first part, we shall discuss some classical theories of meaning that have had a profound influence on the development of philosophy over the past 100 years. In particular, we will look at some proponents of the “linguistic turn” in philosophy, understood broadly as the programmatic idea that the goal of philosophy is to understand the structure of our conceptual schemes, and that philosophical questions could be resolved, or laid to rest, by a careful examination of language in order to disentangle conceptual confusions.

 In the second part, we turn to the psychological basis of linguistic understanding, in particular to theories of concepts, the building blocks of thoughts. We shall survey some of the leading theories of concepts, and compare their respective strengths and weaknesses in explaining what underlies our capacities for abstraction, intentionality, categorization, analogical inference, and conceptual combination. This will allow us to explore different conceptions of the relationship between language and thought.

Finally, we shall reflect on the role which language plays for our communicative practices. Starting with the theory of speech acts, and “how to do things with words” (Austin), we shall then move on to consider the place of language in the construction of social and institutional realities.

Instructor: Georg Theiner

PHI 4610-001 Philosophy of Mind

MW 1:30-2:45

The goal of this course is to survey central themes in the philosophy of mind, with an emphasis on contemporary approaches to the mind-body problem. In particular, we shall consider the place of consciousness in a physical world, the special nature of self-knowledge and the first-person perspective, the nature of free will and its significance for understanding human agency, the “enactive” approach to perception, the debate over symbolic versus embodied theories of concepts, our knowledge of other minds and the inter-subjective character of human experience, the question of whether machines can think, the prospect of a technological singularity, the future (and past!) of cognitive enhancement technologies, and the “extended mind” thesis. Throughout the course, we will combine rigorous philosophical analysis and a critical engagement with recent developments in psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, cultural anthropology, human-computer interaction, robotics, and related fields. Examining perennial philosophical questions from this interdisciplinary perspective will not only expose us to a particularly vibrant area of current philosophical debate, but shed new light on our self-understanding as human beings.

Instructor:  Georg Theiner

PHI 4850-001 German Existen and Phenom

TR 2:30-3:45

 

Instructor:  Walter Brogan

PHI 5000-001 Irish Thought

MW 3:00-5:45 FF

Ireland is well known for its poets and writers but what of its thinkers? In the past Ireland has also been called “the island of saints and scholars” but again what of its thinkers? Thomas Duddy’s recent book A History of Irish Thought (2002) offers us helpful resources to address this question. This course will explore some of the main thinkers in the Irish tradition. It will consider whether there is a distinctive style (or perhaps styles) of Irish thought, whether there is a plurality of traditions that yet exhibit distinctive marks. The relation of reason (science) and religion is a major concern in Irish tradition(s). So also is the importance of poetry for the Irish mind. Thinkers to be considered will include Scotus Eriugena, John Toland, George Berkeley, Edmund Burke. We will also look at the explorations of thought in some writers of literature, figures such as Jonathan Swift, James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney.  The course will conclude with a consideration of some recent Irish thinkers in the 20th century, including Iris Murdoch, William Desmond, and Richard Kearney. Themes to be explored in selected texts include: (e)migrant thought; intimate/local knowing and universal reason; exile and home; the condition of “being between”; broken tradition(s); losing a language and finding a voice; the sacred and thought; Irish poetry and reflection; laughter/comedy and Irish thought.

Instructor: William Desmond

PHI 5000-002 Problem of Evil

TR 4:00-5:15

Classical and Modern Perspectives Once the problem of evil gets loosed from an obsession with crime and punishment, it takes us into negotiations with broken relationships. The need for unbreaking those broken relationships (a need seemingly impossible to satisfy) puts us somewhere between an aspiration to knowledge and a desire for forgiveness. This seminar is at root a meditation on philosophy and heartbreak.

 Readings:

 Classical:

 Oedipus the King

Gospel of Mark

Dante, Inferno

 Modern:

 Baldwin, If Beale Street Could Talk

Flannery O’Connor, Everything that Rises Must Converge

Coetzee, Disgrace

The Tree of Life (Film)

Instructor:  James Wetzel