Fall 2014 (Undergrad)

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:  Amrit Heer

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:  Chris Ma

PHI 1000-003, 007 Knowledge, Reality, Self

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

This course engages with some of the principle texts in the history of Western philosophy, as well as some excellent pieces of ancient and contemporary literature, in order to explore questions fundamental to the human condition.  In particular, we shall enquire into the nature of human beings and into the nature of the good life.  Who and what are we as human persons?  What is our relationship to other human persons and to the social and political world in which we find ourselves?  What is the good, how can we know it, and in what ways are we answerable to it?  The course will be divided into three principle parts.  First, we shall engage with texts from the Ancient and Medieval period that explore the human being as the “political animal,” but also that discover the limitations of the political realm for adequately addressing the inner life of the human individual and the individual’s relationship to the divine.  Second, we shall turn to some major texts in modern political philosophy in order to explore the tensions between the values of individualism, power, consent, and fairness that characterize many of our modern views of politics.  Finally, we shall raise questions related to the topics of embodiment and exploitation through a study of contemporary critiques of modern politics, always with an eye to the relationship between human nature, the good life, and the political.  Authors studied in this course include Sophocles, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, Machiavelli, Locke, Marx, de Beauvoir, and Baldwin.

Instructor: Laura McMahon

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:  Sirin Yilmaz

PHI 1000-0009, 012 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 1000-010, 013 Knowledge, Reality, Self

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

The inscription gn?thi seauton, “Know Thyself,” could once be found above the lintel at the oracle at Delphi. An interesting command, but what does the statement mean? If one were to know anything at all, wouldn’t one know oneself? This call to know, and to know oneself, stalks the Dialogues of Plato and, indeed, philosophers have pursued this line of inquiry for the past 2,500 years. It is the call to know what it is to be human, and what it is to be in a community. Moreover, it is a call to know how one ought to live. This semester, we will be addressing fundamental questions as to the nature of the human and her community, namely, how do we know what we know, about ourselves and about our relationships with others? In the first half of this course, we will read and analyze several Ancient and Medieval philosophical texts from Plato, Aristophanes, Cicero, and Augustine. Through these thinkers, we will examine the question, “How do we know what we know about ourselves?” In the second half of this course, we will focus on Modern and Contemporary philosophers such as Descartes, Žižek, de Beauvoir, and Gruen, keeping in mind their Ancient and Medieval roots. In this section of the course we will consider the question, “How do we know what we know about our relationships with others?”

Instructor:  Patricia Grosse

PHI 1000-011, 014 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 10:30-11:20, 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 1000-015 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:  Katherine Filbert

PHI 1000-016 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 1000-017  Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 12:30-1:20

This course is 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. We will explore historical responses to these questions as they have been offered in the Western philosophical tradition by thinkers such as Plato, Thomas Aquinas, David Hume, Immanuel Kant, Simone Weil, and Jean-Paul Sartre. We will also explore contemporary questions concerning the relations between philosophy and religion, feminism, economics, and politics.

Instructor: John Garner

PHI 1000-018, 022 Knowledge, Reality, Self

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

Dare to Know! Knowledge, Reality, Self is one of Villanova's core courses alongside ACS, Ethics, and Theology. By taking this Philosophy course, students participate in a conversation that has been occurring for millennia. In addition to learning a history of Western Philosophy, students will endeavor to (a) read and think critically, (b) write well, (c) excel in oral communication, and (d) apply new perspectives to one's own ideas and values. This course has four main units. In the first unit, students will consider what philosophy means, what is the nature of the present, what it means to critique, and what we might do to imagine a better future. Readings in this unit include Hannah Arendt, Immanuel Kant, and Bertrand Russell. The middle portion of the semester will involve a series of questions—how can I know, what is the nature of reality, and how am I that person that I am. By asking such questions, students engage in the ongoing quest for answers to some of humanity's most perennial problems. Readings in this unit include Plato, St. Augustine, Rene Descartes, and Baruch Spinoza. In the third unit, students will read William James, Martin Buber, and Frantz Fanon as three representatives of early twentieth century responses to the so-called Western Tradition. The semester will conclude with a unit on contemporary responses to all that has been read and discusses previously in the semester. Readings for this last unit include Susan Bordo, Peggy McIntosh, Linda Martin Alcoff, and George Yancy.

Instructor: Mark Westmoreland

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: Rachel Aumiller

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:  Robert Lieb

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:  Charles Prusik

PHI 1000-026  Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 11:30-12:45

Is life a puzzle to be solved, a story to be told, an equation to be squared, 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 have to do with coming to know? On the inside of this most basic and most persistent of questions, we take up philosophy.

Instructor:  James Wetzel

PHI 1000-027  Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 11:30-12:45

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:  Julie Klein

PHI 1000, 028 Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 1:00-2:15

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 1000-101 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 2010-00, 002 Logic & Critical Thinking

MWF 10:30-11:20, 12:30-1:20

The goal of this course is to introduce the basic concepts of logic and to develop technical proficiency with formal logic, in both its traditional and modern forms, in and through a study of categorical and propositional logic.

Instructor:  John Karas

PHI 2115-001, 002 Ethics for Healthcare Professionals

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

 

Instructor:  Katherine Eltringham

PHI 2121-001 Environmental Ethics 

MW 1:00-2:15

 

Instructor: Chaone Mallory

PHI 2300-001 Philosophy of Law

TR 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. 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 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 2710-001 Belief, Doubt, Certainty

TR 11:30-12:45

Belief, Doubt, and Certainty

What is knowledge?  We often operate as if the answer to this question were self-evident, but upon deeper exploration we find that there are as many answers as there are academic disciplines. For some, knowledge is belief justified by observation.  For others, it is found through the exercise of reason.  And some think that the path to wisdom is paved not by certainty of any kind, but by letting go of the expectation that we can truly have knowledge at all.

In this course we will look at three traditional epistemological approaches: rationalism, empiricism, and skepticism.  We will also look at the roles of causality, certainty, and doubt in our understanding of knowledge, with a particular focus on the philosophy of science and the epistemology of religion.

Instructor:  Michelle Falcetano

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 3030-001 History of Medival Philosophy

TR 1:00-2:15

 

Instructor:  Julie Klein

 PHI 4125-001 

TR 1:30-2:45

 

 Instructor:  Sarah-Vaughan Brakman

 

PHI 4140-001 Philosophy of Contemporary Music

TR 2:30-3:45

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 4150-001 Philosophy and Film

MW 1:30-2:45

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 be 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 Philosophy and Revolution

MW 3:00-4:15

This course explores the recent transformations in our political culture, understood as the practical mode of intelligibility that dictates 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.  After a brief methodological and historiographical introduction, we will study the historical emergence of the modern concept of revolution and the transformations in the temporal horizons of the political due to the opening up of the future as an unknown field of possibility.  We will examine, in this light, historical writings on various revolutions as well as theoretical attempts to conceptualize the specificity of revolutionary social transformation.  Against this historical backdrop, we will then inquire into whether or not there has been a change in the very nature of political practice due to the apparent shift from an era of revolutionary politics (roughly 1789 to 1968) to a purportedly post-revolutionary epoch (1968-present).  More specifically, we will ask such questions as the following:  Is the belief in an unprecedented future a thing of the past?  Is such a future, in fact, a future past?  Is our age resolutely “presentist” insofar as the present has come to engulf both the future and the past?  If so, what are we to make of the recent revolutionary activity around the world, from Latin America to the entire Mediterranean region, the Occupy movement and beyond?  What is the status of revolutionary activity in the present, and does it require a reworking of the very category of revolution?

Instructor: Gabriel Rockhill

PHI 5000-002  Great Women Philosophers

TR 4:00-5:15

This is a chance to explore some great women thinkers in the history of European philosophy.  Many texts are just beginning to be translated and studied in depth, so our seminar will be on the cutting edge of a new field.  Some of the writers are fairly well-known—e.g. Mary Wollstonecraft.  Others are unfamiliar but fascinating—e.g. Mary Astell, Margaret Cavendish, Anne Conway, Emilie du Châtelet, Sophie de Grouchy de Condorcet.  They discuss include metaphysics, early modern science, the philosophy of education, and politics.  Many of them advocate directly for women’s equality, and many of their concerns are surprisingly contemporary. Several experts on these authors are at universities in our area, and we will be able to consult with them during the semester.

Requirements: Seminar participation and a research paper of 15-20 pages.

Instructor:  Julie Klein