Fall 2015 (Undergrad)

PHI 1000-001, 003 Knowledge, Reality, Self

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

Instructor: Amrit Heer

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.

PHI 1000-002, 004 Knowledge, Reality, Self

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

Instructor: Joshua Nunziato

In this course, we will study philosophy as a series of stories about the soul’s desire for wisdom. These stories teach us about ourselves. They teach us about how we come to know ourselves. And they teach us about how our self-knowledge connects us—and sometimes disconnects us—from reality.

PHI 1000-005, 007 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 9:30 - 10:20, MWF 10:30 - 11:20

Instructor: Bryant Rodemich

Who are we?  Why are we here?  What is reality and how can we know it?  Does God exist?  What is the meaning of life?  And how are we supposed to live it?  These of course are major philosophical questions that arguably every human being has considered.  However, this course will introduce students to some of the great thinkers of the Western philosophical tradition throughout the last two and a half millennia who rigorously devoted their lives and work to precisely these questions.  Through an engagement with the thought and texts of these philosophers we will trace the historical development of philosophy in some of its major phases: The “Rationalism” of Ancient philosophy; the synthesis of Ancient philosophy with Christianity in the Medieval era; the “Enlightenment” philosophy of the Modern period; and finally the critique of the previous philosophies in the “Existentialism” of the 19th and 20th century.  

PHI 1000-006, 014 Knowledge, Reality, Self

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

Instructor: Rachel Aumiller

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.

PHI 1000-008, 011 Knowledge, Reality, Self

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

Instructor: Thomas Busch

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.

PHI 1000-009, 015 Knowledge, Reality, Self

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

Instructor: Charles Prusik

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.

PHI 1000-010, 012 Knowledge, Reality, Self

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

Instructor: Luis Salazar

In this course we will study a number of thinkers regarding what knowledge is, how knowledge is acquired, and how different answers to these questions relate to our understanding both of our world and of ourselves as human beings. The focus will be on careful reading of the texts, together with critical thinking and writing on the philosophical issues that our readings bring forth. While students will become acquainted with certain philosophical approaches to answering questions about knowledge, reality, and self, they will also develop reading and writing skills applicable beyond their philosophical pursuits.

PHI 1000-013, 017 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 12:30 - 1:20, MW 1:30 - 2:45

Instructor: Jingchao Ma

In this course, we will find our way through some very difficult texts ranging from 5thcentury B.C.E. to 2008, written by authors from Europe, North America, South America, and Asia.  Our topic will be knowledge, reality, and self, and we will ask some questions to the authors and to ourselves, such as: how to understand the role of knowledge in our life and in society? How to know the reality of the world and of society? Are we free, in what sense do we talk about freedom and liberty? How to understand ourselves as human beings who share a world?  

We are also going to focus on our skills of reading, writing, and thinking critically. Reading difficult texts means that it is more difficult to follow the argument or to grasp the meaning, but it is often very rewarding.  Writing to express your opinions in a clear and articulate manner is a skill that you will find useful in many things you do. Honing these skills not only helps you to do better in this course, but also contributes to your other endeavors in and out of university.

PHI 1000-016 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 1:30 - 2:45

Instructor: James Wetzel

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.

PHI 1000-018, 019  Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 3:00 - 4:15, MW 4:30 - 5:45

Instructor: Chaone Mallory

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.

PHI 1000-020, 023 Knowledge, Reality, Self

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

Instructor: Christopher Drain

PHI 1000-021, 024 Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 8:30- 9:45, TR 11:30 - 12:45

Instructor: Emre Gurer

Philosophy is not an inaccessible, obscure endeavor of interest only to professional philosophers. It pertains to fundamental practices that are common to all human beings who seek to know themselves and the world they inhabit. Our knowledge, sense of reality and self are all formed and limited, in the first place, by the physical constraints of our bodies, and secondly by the cultural and historical conventions we are born into. This course aims at familiarizing students with some of the major questions and concepts involved in coming to know themselves and the world in order to help them acquire the tools necessary for carrying out their own philosophical engagements. Philosophers often do this by standing on the shoulders of giants and learning from the texts and perspectives of ancient and modern writers. Adopting this methodology, we will read selective texts by canonical authors such as Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas and Descartes. We will also draw from contemporary writers and juxtapose their views with those of the canon.

PHI 1000-022 HON: Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 10:00 - 11:15

Instructor: Gabriel Rockhill

Drawing on an array of texts that surpass the standard ‘Western’ canon, this course will grapple with some of the most expansive and intimidating philosophic questions: What is the meaning of life? What is the nature of reality? Who are we? What—if anything—can we know? What is philosophy itself, and how might it help to elucidate some of these questions? In each case, we will approach these issues from multiple and diverse perspectives, often reframing or displacing them in order to reveal hidden philosophic assumptions.

Rather than seeking to find definitive closure or unanimous consensus, this seminar will cultivate a process of open-ended collective inquiry in which students will be encouraged to think autonomously and challenge facile solutions. The material covered will include ancient, Christian, modern and contemporary sources, as well as texts from beyond the canonized—and largely white, male, European—history of philosophy. This will allow us to critically reflect on the deep-seated presuppositions of particular cultural traditions, while engaging with radically different practices of philosophic interrogation. Students should come away from the course with an expanded sense of theoretical possibilities, as well as an arsenal of critical tools for developing creative and rigorous thinking.

PHI 1000-025, 026  Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 11:30 - 12:45, TBD

Instructor: N/A

PHI 1000-027  Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 2:30 - 3:45

Instructor: John Carvalho

This course will situate the classical Greek and Christian philosophical traditions in the context of philosophy as it has been practiced from the dawn of “modern” western humanism, roughly from the end of the 18th century to the present. The relevant philosophical practice will be an evaluation of responses to the question, how is knowledge possible or how do I know?  In the course of this study, students will learn to master the art of making and evaluating arguments in their abstract articulation as philosophical theories, in the flesh as they might be realized in our experience generally, and in their concrete expression in the lives of individual human beings. Students will not be told what to think but taught to think for themselves.

PHI 1000, 028 Minds and Bodies, Humans and Animal

TR 4:00 - 5:15

Instructor: Julie Klien

Philosophers have spilled much ink defining what makes us human and how our souls or minds are related to our bodies.  For example, is the mind different from the brain?  Do we think the way we do because we have a particular neuro-anatomy?  Our culture is full of expressions like “mind over matter,” but what do we really mean?  What am I really? These questions will be our entry points to the theme of Knowledge, Reality, and Self.  Topics for our class include the nature of the mind or soul and the nature of body; ideas about knowledge and consciousness; how to think about what some have called the human or rational animal in relation to other animals; and how we are or inhabit our own bodies.  We’ll work with classic texts in the history of philosophy and contemporary reflections.  Philosophers work in many different literary genres.  We will read dialogues, treatises, essays, letters, memoirs, and fiction. We’ll also watch some films together.  Throughout the course, we will rely on discussion to figure things out together.

PHI 2010-001, 002 Logic & Critical Thinking

TR 10:00 - 11:15, TR 1:00 - 2:15

Instructor: Robert Leib 

PHI 2115-001, 002 Ethics for Healthcare Professionals

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

Instructor: Stephen Napier

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.

PHI 2115-201 Ethics for Healthcare Professionals


Instructor: James McCartney

Ethics for Health Care Professionals (Clinical Ethics) considers the goods, duties, and character of health care professionals and patients/clients and attempts to organize these into theories and principles. It also deals with the many ethical dilemmas raised by contemporary health care technology and practice, such as reproductive technologies, issues of death and dying, informed consent, patient privacy, and respect for persons and attempts to resolve or at least address them in a philosophically acceptable way

PHI 2121-001 Environmental Ethics  

MW 1:30 - 2:45

Instructor: Chaone Mallory

PHI 2300-001 Philosophy of Law

TR 2:30 - 3:45

Instructor: James McCartney, O.S.A.

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.

PHI 2420-001 Philosophy of Women

MWF 10:30 - 11:20

Instructor: Sally Scholz

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.

PHI 2450-001 Catholic Social Thought

MWF 11:30 - 12:20

Instructor: Daniel Regan

PHI 3020-001 History of Ancient Philosophy

TR 11:20 - 12:45

Instructor: Helen Lang

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.

PHI 3030-001 History of Medieval Philosophy

TR 2:30 - 3:45

Instructor: Julie Klien

Philosophy 3030 surveys medieval philosophy in the Christian, Islamic, and Jewish traditions.  We shall consider each tradition on its own terms and also study the ways texts and issues cross traditions.  All of the texts we shall study exhibit the encounter of monotheism and revelation with the corpus of Greek and Roman philosophy and science.  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.

PHI 4125-001 Topics in Bioethics

TR 10:00 - 11:15

Instructor: Stephen Napier

This course intends to survey some of the main issues which occupy contemporary bioethical disputes. There will be treatment of the more “traditional” issues such as abortion, euthanasia, human embryonic stem cell research. But we will also explore up and coming issues in research ethics such as the role of Big Pharma in medical research, payment to so called “professional guinea pigs,” and the morality of biomedical enhancements. The course aims to be relevant for any of the following majors, engineering, political science, public administration, philosophy, theology, humanities, pre-med majors, and business majors given our focus on Big Pharma’s influence on medical research.

PHI 4150-001 Philosophy and Film

TR 11:30 - 12:45

Instructor: Gabriel Rockhill

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. 

PHI 4610-001: Philosophy of Mind 

TR 1:00 - 2:15

Instructor: Georg Theiner

The goal of this course is to survey contemporary debates on the mind-body problem. In particular, we will discuss the place of consciousness in a physical world, the special nature of self-knowledge and the first-person perspective, different conceptions of free will and human agency, social cognition and intersubjective understanding, theories of embodied and enactive cognition, the question of whether machines can think, the ‘extended mind’ thesis, and the history and future of ‘cognitive enhancement’ technologies. Throughout the course, we will actively engage with recent work in psychology, cognitive science, neuroscience, cultural anthropology, human-computer interaction, and related fields. Approaching the mind-body problem from this interdisciplinary perspective will challenge us to reflect on the perennial question of what it means to be human.

PHI 5000-001 SEM: Philosophy, Emotion, and Society

MW 3:00 - 4:15

Instructor: Yannik Thiem