Ohio State nav bar

Undergraduate Courses

Below is a list of upcoming undergraduate courses with full descriptions (when available) and other specific information. For a full listing of undergraduate-level courses offered by the Department, please see the course catalog. For a complete listing of courses offered in the current and upcoming semester see the schedule of classes.

Please note the following regularities as you plan for upcoming semesters, but be aware that there will be exceptions in some semesters. Please contact the Director of Undergraduate Studies or the Academic Advisor for Philosophy for help planning your Major or Minor in Philosophy.

  • Every Fall and Spring semester we typically offer 1100, 2120, 2450, 2465 and 2500, as well as a wide variety of other elective courses at the introductory level. 
  • Every Fall and Spring semester we offer 3000, the Gateway Seminar for Majors, as well as at least two courses from each category of courses required for the Major (i.e. at least 2 history of philosophy courses at the 3000 level; at least 2 topics courses at the 3000 level; and at least 2 advanced electives at the 5000 level, in addition to a variety of other electives.)
  • Every Summer we offer a variety of courses at the introductory level.

GE Categories

Philosophy Courses in the General Education Program

Course # and Title  Summer  Autumn  Spring
    
PHILOS 1100:  Introduction to Philosophy 
 
 

X

X

PHILOS 1100H:  Honors Introduction to Philosophy 
 
 

X

 

PHILOS 1300:  Introduction to Ethics
 
 

X

X

PHILOS 1332:  Engineering Ethics
 

X

X

X

PHILOS 2120:  Asian Philosophies
 
 

X

X

PHILOS 2455:  Philosophy and Videogames
 
 

X

 
PHILOS 2680:  Scientific Controversies
 
 

X

 
Course # and Title  Summer  Autumn  Spring
    
PHILOS 1420: Philosophical Approaches to Racism and Sexism

X

X

X

Course # and Title  Summer  Autumn  Spring
    
PHILOS 1500:  Introduction to Logic

X

X

X

PHILOS 1501:  Introduction to Logic and Legal Reasoning

X

X

 
PHILOS 2500:  Symbolic Logic

X

X

X

Course # and Title  Summer  Autumn  Spring
    
PHILOS 2120:  Asian Philosophies

 

X

X

PHILOS 2450:  Philosophical Problems in the Arts 

X

X

Course # and Title  Summer  Autumn  Spring
    
PHILOS 2367:  Contemporary Moral and Social Problems

X

X

X

Course # and Title  Summer  Autumn  Spring
    
PHILOS 2332:  Engineering Ethics for a Diverse and Just World

 

X

X

PHILOS 2338:  Computing Ethics for a Just and Diverse World

 

X

X

PHILOS 2390:  Ethics and Leadership in a Diverse World

 

X

 

PHILOS 3440:  Theorizing Race

 

X

X

Course # and Title  Summer  Autumn  Spring
    
PHILOS 2340:  The Future of Humanity

 

X

X

PHILOS 2342:  Environmental Ethics 

X

 

Course # and Title  Summer  Autumn  Spring
    
PHILOS 3210:  History of Ancient Philosophy

 

X

 
Course # and Title  Summer  Autumn  Spring
    
PHILOS 2660:  Metaphysics, Magic and the Scientific Revolution

 

X

 

Upcoming Course Offerings


Summer 2024 Courses

1332 - Engineering Ethics
Instructor: Zoe Ashton
async - 
DL

An examination of contemporary issues in engineering ethics in the context of major ethical theories 

GE: Cultures and Ideas; and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation
Prerequisites: 

1332 - Engineering Ethics
Instructor: Layne Garrelts
async - 
DL

Imagine you, an engineer at a large company, are given the task of working on a project that will come to bring about harm to society. Are you responsible for this harm to any extent? Is the company? If you know about the future harm ahead of time, what ought you to do? Should we proceed on projects that may result in harm? How much harm matters? These questions showcase the kinds of unique ethical considerations engineers routinely face. In this course, we will explore the ethical considerations that arise in engineering contexts such as: whistleblowing, risk and responsibility, AI ethics, authorship, leadership, and more.

GE: Cultures and Ideas; and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation

1332 - Engineering Ethics
Instructor: Nathan Dowell
async - 
DL

The purpose of this course is to equip engineering students with the skills necessary for resolving moral issues that are likely to arise in professional contexts. We will begin the course with a brief introduction to ethics and will then turn to contemporary issues in engineering ethics. We will discuss issues such as whistleblowing, chatbots, addictive technologies, privacy and surveillance, sustainability, and the ethics of artificial intelligence. 

GE: Cultures and Ideas; and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation


1332 - Engineering Ethics
Instructor: Vaughn Papenhausen
async - 
DL

Have you ever wondered why, despite good intentions, engineering disasters and ethical snafus keep happening? In this course, we'll learn about some of the ways that even the best of us can get into ethical hot water, and, more importantly, how to steer clear of them. A big part of this is about mastering the art of communication, especially when it comes to flagging ethical concerns to those in charge. It's a skill that's as crucial as any technical expertise in engineering, so we will learn and practice how to voice concerns in a way that gets results. We may also talk about questions like: What is the point of an engineering code of ethics? What is whistleblowing, and when is it necessary? and What are the hallmarks of a truly outstanding engineer? If you're curious about the ethical dimensions of engineering, this course is your gateway to understanding and navigating them skillfully.

GE: Cultures and Ideas; and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation

1420 - Philosophical Approaches to Racism and Sexism
Instructor: Lyla Turner
MWF 9:50 AM - 11:25 AM 
in person

What does it mean for a person to be a race or a gender? How do these categories come to be? What is involved in such belonging? What are the differences between race and ethnicity, and gender and sex? What are the differences between interpersonal discrimination and systemic discrimination? What is intersectional discrimination? How does discrimination against a group of people begin? How do discrimination and oppression differ? What can we do to fight against racism and sexism, and is there any hope that we might abolish them? Is there any hope that we might abolish oppressive systems in general? We will explore these questions and more through the lens of academic philosophy. We will also explore how the answers to these questions can inform our actions outside of the classroom, to make us better, more ethical people; as well as how we as individuals can promote a more just society for everyone.

GE: Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Diversity Foundation

1500 - Intro to Logic
Instructor: Jason DeWitt
async - 
DL

Humans are always trying to convince each other (and themselves) of many things. For example, we often encounter people saying that we should buy some product, or that we should vote for some candidate, or that we should believe in some philosophy/religion, or that we shouldn’t (or should) eat meat. In other words, we are constantly faced with what logicians call “ arguments”: political arguments, moral arguments, statistical arguments, legal arguments, etc. These arguments come in many forms and in many media: newspapers, ads, movies, conversations, etc. Logic is the study of arguments and what makes them good or bad. In this class, we’ll talk about the different types of arguments and discuss what separates the good ones from the bad ones. We’ll also take a quick look at the history of logic and examine how systems, like African and Buddhist logic, are a bit different from the classical Greek logic most people use in Western philosophy. This course should enrich your ability to think critically about any topic, and to develop good reasons and arguments of your own.

GE: GEL: Quantitative Reasoning: Math and Logical Analysis; GEN: Math & Quant Reasoning
Prerequisites: Math 1060 or 1075 or equiv; or an ACT Math subscore of 22 or higher; or Math Placement Level R or better. Not open to students with credit for 1501. 

1500 - Intro to Logic
Instructor: Owain Griffin
async - 
DL

Alice in Wonderland


“Then you should say what you mean," the March Hare went on. "I do," Alice hastily replied; "at least-at least I mean what I say-that's the same thing, you know." "Not the same thing a bit!" said the Hatter. "Why, you might just as well say that 'I see what I eat' is the same thing as 'I eat what I see'!" "You might just as well say," added the March Hare, "that 'I like what I get' is the same thing as 'I get what I like'!" "You might just as well say," added the Dormouse, which seemed to be talking in its sleep, "that 'I breathe when I sleep' is the same thing as 'I sleep when I breathe'!" "It is the same thing with you." said the Hatter,” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland

 
What kind of logical error did Alice make? We will join Alice in her adventures in Wonderland to learn about reasoning, sound and valid arguments, logical fallacies, and critical thinking. The course will prepare you for courses in logic such as PHILOS 2500 Symbolic Logic, but more importantly for life! You will be able to reason well, be better informed, and make choices based on sound reasoning.
 

GE: GEL: Quantitative Reasoning: Math and Logical Analysis; GEN: Math & Quant Reasoning
Prerequisites: Math 1060 or 1075 or equiv; or an ACT Math subscore of 22 or higher; or Math Placement Level R or better. Not open to students with credit for 1501. 

1501 - Logic and Legal Reasoning
Instructor: Donald Soles
async - 
DL

This course equips students with the tools of logic and critical thinking especially as they apply to the assessment of legal reasoning. By examining court cases and legal materials, students will learn to assess the strength and validity of legal reasoning, and thus to be able to evaluate and weigh legal evidence and testimony to reach justified conclusions. The critical reasoning practiced in the legal context will generalize to other domains. 

GE: GEL: Quantitative Reasoning: Math and Logical Analysis; GEN: Math & Quant Reasoning
Prerequisites: Math 1075 or equiv, or an ACT Math subscore of 22 or higher, or Math Placement Level R or better. Not open to students with credit for 1500. 

2367 - Contemporary Social and Moral Problems in the US
Instructor: William Marsolek
TR 3:20 PM - 4:55 PM 
in person

Most of the time, figuring out whether something is ok or not is pretty straightforward: it’s probably ok if I eat a bagel instead of cereal, it’s probably not ok if I punch a dog instead of petting it. Sometimes however, we’re confronted with situations and questions where it’s not at all obvious what the right action is, or how we should even think about our actions and their implications. These questions often come to the fore of our public discourse and play a prominent role in decision making for our communities. What kind of society do we want to live in? What kind of actions do we want to condone or condemn, and why? In this course we’ll be exploring these sorts of questions, trying to get clearer on the big issues facing America today. Since this is a WIL Course, there will be a focus on how to express our ideas in writing, and will involve refining these ideas through feedback and revisions so that they can be understanding and compelling to a diverse audience.


GE: GEL: Social Diversity in the US; GEN: Writing and Information Literacy Foundation
Prerequisites: GEL: English 1100 or equiv and sophomore standing or above. GEN: none. 


2455 - Philosophy and Video Games
Instructor: Erich Jones
async - 
DL

This course examines video games from a philosophical perspective. In our course, we will explore central questions related to the philosophy of video games. What is a game in the first place, and what is a videogame? Are video games art and if so, are they a distinct form of art from movies or other visual arts? Are achievements that you are awarded in video games real achievements. Do these achievements have much value or are videogames largely a waste of time? Is it ever wrong to perform an action in a video game that would be wrong to perform in real life? Is it wrong to modify, for example, one’s computer or gaming console in order to have an unfair advantage in online multiplayer games? Is it wrong for tech companies to develop and market video games that are highly addictive for users? What connection is there between video games and utopia, if any? Throughout our course, we will also examine philosophical issues in broader philosophy that arise in the creation and play of videogames. For example, what can we learn from video games about the nature of personal identity or free will? 

GE: Cultures and Ideas; and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation


2456 - Philosophy of Sport
Instructor: Dylan Flint
F 11:40 AM - 1:15 PM 
Hybrid

Sports are a central part of many people's lives, but despite the popularity and ubiquity across cultures and histories, there are still a number of questions about it that we've yet to answer. Unit one begins with the nature of sports: Can we define what a sport is? How are sports similar to and different from games and other forms of art? What is distinctive about sports? In unit two we’ll look at the value of sports and its relationship to wellbeing: Why do sports contribute so highly to the wellbeing of so many people? What role do sports have within a happy and flourishing life? Are sports especially useful in teaching ethics or other cultural values? In unit three we'll spend some time looking at ethical issues unique to sports: How should we understand fairness and cheating? How do these considerations bear on “doping,” or other drug use, in sports? Should collegiate athletes be paid? Should sports be politicized or is it by its very nature political? How do considerations of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and discrimination intersect with sports? In addressing these questions we'll draw on insights from a wide range of subjects including philosophy, psychology, and exercise science.

GE: GEN: Health and Wellbeing

2465 - Death and the Meaning of Life
Instructor: Jacob MacDavid
MWF 12:00 PM - 1:05 PM 
DL

Human beings are prone to existential crises. That is, we worry that our lives may be pointless, or meaningless. When we contemplate our own mortality, our physical and temporal tinyness compared to the universe, the possibility of God’s non-existence, and our potential lack of free will, we often worry whether we can attain meaning in life. This course will examine various views on the meaning of life, and consider whether the above worries are threats to our meaningfulness.


GE: GEL: Literature; GEN: Health and Wellbeing

2500 - Symbolic Logic
Instructor: Robert Kraut
TWF 1:30 PM - 3:05 PM 
in person

Ordinary physical objects have a basic structure. Various natural sciences (physics, biology, chemistry, etc.) help us understand this structure, thereby enabling better prediction and control of the world around us. Analogously: ordinary language and ordinary arguments have a basic structure; part of the role of symbolic logic is to help us understand this structure, thereby facilitating more effective reasoning and argumentation. In this course we develop a theory of valid deducibility adequate to handle most deductive reasoning to be found in science, mathematics, and legal discourse. Along the way we will reflect upon such notions as logical truth, logical form, the nature of language, the relation between truth and derivability, the idea of a “correct logic,” and the very idea of a valid argument. Students should emerge from the course more sensitive to the structure of deductive arguments and better equipped to evaluate them. The course is self-contained and requires no special background beyond familiarity with the techniques of high school algebra. There will be three mid-term exams and a cumulative final exam. TEXT: E.J. Lemmon, Beginning Logic.

GE: GEL: Quantitative Reasoning: Math and Logical Analysis; GEN: Math & Quant Reasoning or Data Analysis
Prerequisites: Math 1075 or equiv, or an ACT Math subscore of 22 or higher that is less than 2 years old. 
 

Return to top


Autumn 2024 Courses

1100H - Intro to Philosophy Honors
Instructor: Christa Johnson
TR 2:20 PM - 3:40 PM 
P

Philosophy is the art of thinking critically about the world. A lot of the issues we will be examining are difficult to avoid; so, most of us will approach the conversation with definite opinions. Nevertheless, we will try to look at the reasons behind our views—often they will prove deficient or inadequate. Sometimes a person hears an argument or claim that sounds compelling, and they come to claim it as their own definitive position. But it is much harder to reason through a complex issue, from basic assumptions to a conclusion. Most of us avoid doing this—we do not in general have the time or energy to evaluate all our beliefs. In this course, we will devote time and energy to evaluating our core beliefs and seeing if they are justified. Insofar as it is possible, we will try to be open to reasoned arguments—both to make our own beliefs more stable and, perhaps, to provide a basis for revising them. In particular, we will examine questions in five areas of philosophy. (1) Religion: Does God exist? Is faith compatible with reason? (2) Knowledge: What, if anything, we can know with certainty? Do we have good reason to trust our senses? (3) Mind: Is the mind separate from the body? Should the mind be identified with the brain? Can we ever know what it’s like to have someone else’s experiences? (4) Identity: Do we act freely or are we somehow determined to act as we do? What is gender? What is race? What is the meaning of life? (5) Morality: Is morality just made up? Is it relative? What are the moral rules? And, how can we apply them to real world issues?

GE: Cultures and Ideas (legacy); and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation (new)
Prereq: Honors standing or permission of department or instructor. 



1100 - Intro to Philosophy
Instructor: Steven Brown
MW 11:30 AM - 12:25 PM F 10:20 - 11:15 AM and 11:30 AM -12:25 PM
P

What is the ultimate nature of right and wrong? Can values be objective? Why is there something rather than nothing? Does God exist? Do we have free will? Does it matter? Does anything matter, really? Believe it or not, these are all serious philosophical questions that have important implications for how we should live our lives. This class will strive to engage them using historical and contemporary philosophical sources from around the globe.

GE: Cultures and Ideas (legacy); and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation (new)


1100 - Intro to Philosophy
Instructor: Seungsoo Lee
TR 3:55 PM - 5:15 PM 
P

How do the universe and nature work? Not philosophy but natural sciences will tell us. How does the human mind, behavior, and society work? Not philosophy but social sciences will tell us. Then, one might wonder, are there any questions that remain to be dealt with by philosophy? This course introduces you to some important such questions, which tentatively include: Can we ever know that we are not dreaming and the world is out there as we see it? If so, how? How should we decide what is the right thing to do? Do we ever act freely? Is the mind just a part of the brain? If not, how does it relate to the body? Is it rational to believe in God? You will be practicing how to read critically, write clearly, and reason carefully along the way.

GE: Cultures and Ideas (legacy); and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation (new)


1300 - Intro To Ethics
Instructor: Justin D'Arms
MW 10:20 AM - 11:15 AM F 10:20 - 11:15 AM and 11:30 AM -12:25 PM
P

An introduction to philosophy through the discussion of questions about ethics and morality. We begin with some foundational questions: Can we rationally debate moral questions? Do value and morality depend on God’s commands? Are they relative to the views of an individual or culture? What makes a person’s life go well? Are people fundamentally selfish? Then we consider how philosophical issues are relevant to some controversial social questions. Some topics will be chosen by student interest. Possible options include: freedom of speech and hate speech; the justification of mask and vaccine mandates; the ethical treatment of animals; the case for and against affirmative action and reparations; performance enhancement through drugs, genes, and technology; the moral status of abortion and euthanasia; the nature and justification of punishment; the ethics of war. 

GE: Cultures and Ideas (legacy); and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation (new)


1300 - Intro To Ethics
Instructor: Vaughn Papenhausen
TR 3:55 PM - 5:15 PM 
P

In this course, we delve into the ethics that underpin our daily choices and interactions. We'll tackle the kinds of real-life ethical issues you likely face: Is it acceptable to laugh at certain jokes? Should you eat meat? What about downloading content without paying for it? How should you relate to your family and to society's less fortunate? These aren't hypotheticals; they're the stuff of everyday life. If you're curious about how ethics can inform our daily decisions and interactions, this course offers a place to explore those questions in a thoughtful and critical way. This course won't provide easy answers, but it will equip you with the tools to think through the ethical dimensions of your own life choices. Join us to explore the ethics of everyday life.

GE: Cultures and Ideas (legacy); and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation (new)


1332 - Engineering Ethics
Instructor: Pranav Ambardekar
TR 12:45 PM - 02:05 PM P
WF 12:45 PM - 02:05 PM P        

DL

An examination of contemporary issues in engineering ethics in the context of major ethical theories

GE: Cultures and Ideas (legacy); and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation (new)
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 1300.


1332 - Engineering Ethics
Instructor: Zoe Ashton

DL

An examination of contemporary issues in engineering ethics in the context of major ethical theories

GE: Cultures and Ideas (legacy); and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation (new)
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 1300.
 


1332 - Engineering Ethics
Instructor: Owain Griffin

DL

Engineering students are uniquely positioned to face a number of ethical considerations throughout their career. In this course, we'll be equipping students with the skills necessary for addressing moral issues that are likely to arise in professional contexts. We will begin the course with a brief introduction to ethics and will then turn to contemporary issues faced by engineers. Topics to be discussed include; whistleblowing, conflict of interest, diversity, risk and uncertainty, privacy and surveillance, sustainability, autonomous weapons systems, and artificial intelligence.

GE: Cultures and Ideas (legacy); and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation (new)
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 1300.



1332 - Engineering Ethics
Instructor: Abe Wang
TR 11:10 AM - 12:30 PM P
WF 11:10 AM - 12:30 PM P
WF 2:20 PM - 3:40 PM P
 

Engineering brings changes to the world, and changes can potentially bring harm to people. Atomic bombs killed hundreds of thousands of people; addictive APPs like TikTok makes focusing increasingly hard; intentionally hiding crucial information about risk costs human lives in favor of profits. Engineers need to be sensitive to such moral issues in order to avoid doing unnecessary hard to others. This course aims to help engineering students to think philosophically about moral issues that they are likely to encounter in their careers. Potential topics include risk and responsibility, whistleblowing, privacy and surveillance, sustainability, addictive technologies, AI ethics, among others determined by student interests.


GE: Cultures and Ideas (legacy); and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation (new)
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 1300.


1332 - Engineering Ethics
Instructor: N/A
TR 2:20PM - 3:40PM 
P


Engineering brings changes to the world, and changes can potentially bring harm to people. Atomic bombs killed hundreds of thousands of people; addictive APPs like TikTok makes focusing increasingly hard; intentionally hiding crucial information about risk costs human lives in favor of profits. Engineers need to be sensitive to such moral issues in order to avoid doing unnecessary hard to others. This course aims to help engineering students to think philosophically about moral issues that they are likely to encounter in their careers. Potential topics include risk and responsibility, whistleblowing, privacy and surveillance, sustainability, addictive technologies, AI ethics, among others determined by student interests.


GE: Cultures and Ideas (legacy); and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation (new)
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 1300.



1338 - Comp Ethics & Pres
Instructor: Scott Brown,Sc
TR 3:55 PM - 5:15 PM F 1:50 PM - 2:45 PM
P

Computers have changed our world in wonderful ways, but they also present special challenges. They are ubiquitous, and technology advances quickly enough that it is easy for morally questionable uses of computers to become widespread. This is significant, since the questionable uses often affect our lives in meaningful, tangible ways. This course helps students practice the skills they need to identify, understand, and respond to the moral issues that can arise due to how we use computers across a variety of professional and personal contexts. Topics will include, among others, the ways that people use computers to make money, pursue romance and sex, oppress people, and influence elections. The course also includes student presentations and feedback to help students express themselves more clearly and effectively.

GE: Cultures and Ideas (legacy)
Prereq: Not open to students with credit for 1300, 1332 or 1337.



1420 - Phil Approaches to Racism and Sexism
Instructor: William Marsolek
TR 9:35 AM - 10:55 AM P
WF 11:10 AM - 12:30 PM  P

What does it mean for a person to be a race or a gender? How do these categories come to be? What is involved in such belonging? What are the differences between race and ethnicity, and gender and sex? What are the differences between interpersonal discrimination and systemic discrimination? What is intersectional discrimination? How does discrimination against a group of people begin? How do discrimination and oppression differ? What can we do to fight against racism and sexism, and is there any hope that we might abolish them? Is there any hope that we might abolish oppressive systems in general? We will explore these questions and more through the lens of academic philosophy. We will also explore how the answers to these questions can inform our actions outside of the classroom, to make us better, more ethical people; as well as how we as individuals can promote a more just society for everyone.


GE: Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Diversity Foundation


1420 - Phil Approaches to Racism and Sexism
Instructor: Lyla Turner
WF 9:35 AM - 10:55 AM 
P

What does it mean for a person to be a race or a gender? How do these categories come to be? What is involved in such belonging? What are the differences between race and ethnicity, and gender and sex? What are the differences between interpersonal discrimination and systemic discrimination? What is intersectional discrimination? How does discrimination against a group of people begin? How do discrimination and oppression differ? What can we do to fight against racism and sexism, and is there any hope that we might abolish them? Is there any hope that we might abolish oppressive systems in general? We will explore these questions and more through the lens of academic philosophy. We will also explore how the answers to these questions can inform our actions outside of the classroom, to make us better, more ethical people; as well as how we as individuals can promote a more just society for everyone.

GE: Race, Ethnicity, and Gender Diversity Foundation


1500 - Intro to Logic
Instructor: Anand Ekbote
WF 12:45 PM - 02:05 PM 
P
 

Alice in Wonderland


“Then you should say what you mean," the March Hare went on. "I do," Alice hastily replied; "at least-at least I mean what I say-that's the same thing, you know." "Not the same thing a bit!" said the Hatter. "Why, you might just as well say that 'I see what I eat' is the same thing as 'I eat what I see'!" "You might just as well say," added the March Hare, "that 'I like what I get' is the same thing as 'I get what I like'!" "You might just as well say," added the Dormouse, which seemed to be talking in its sleep, "that 'I breathe when I sleep' is the same thing as 'I sleep when I breathe'!" "It is the same thing with you." said the Hatter,” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland What kind of logical error did Alice make? We will join Alice in her adventures in Wonderland to learn about reasoning, sound and valid arguments, logical fallacies, and critical thinking. The course will prepare you for courses in logic such as PHILOS 2500 Symbolic Logic, but more importantly for life! You will be able to reason well, be better informed, and make choices based on sound reasoning.

GE: Quantitative Reasons: Math and Logical Analysis (legacy) and Math & Quant Reasoning or Data Analysis Foundation (new)
Prereq: Math 1060 or 1075 or equiv; or an ACT Math subscore of 22 or higher; or Math Placement Level R or better. Not open to students with credit for 1500.01, 1500.02, or 1501.



1500 - Intro to Logic
Instructors: N/A
MWF 10:20 AM - 11:15 AM P
DL
 

Humans are always trying to convince each other (and themselves) of many things. For example, we often encounter people saying that we should buy some product, or that we should vote for some candidate, or that we should believe in some philosophy/religion, or that we shouldn’t (or should) eat meat. In other words, we are constantly faced with what logicians call “ arguments”: political arguments, moral arguments, statistical arguments, legal arguments, etc. These arguments come in many forms and in many media: newspapers, ads, movies, conversations, etc. Logic is the study of arguments and what makes them good or bad. In this class, we’ll talk about the different types of arguments and discuss what separates the good ones from the bad ones. We’ll also take a quick look at the history of logic and examine how systems, like African and Buddhist logic, are a bit different from the classical Greek logic most people use in Western philosophy. This course should enrich your ability to think critically about any topic, and to develop good reasons and arguments of your own.

GE: Quantitative Reasons: Math and Logical Analysis (legacy) and Math & Quant Reasoning or Data Analysis Foundation (new)
Prereq: Math 1060 or 1075 or equiv; or an ACT Math subscore of 22 or higher; or Math Placement Level R or better. Not open to students with credit for 1500.01, 1500.02, or 1501.



1501 - Intro to Logic and Legal Reasoning
Instructor: N/A
MW 05:30 PM - 06:50 PM P

This course equips students with the tools of logic and critical thinking especially as they apply to the assessment of legal reasoning. By examining court cases and legal materials, students will learn to assess the strength and validity of legal reasoning, and thus to be able to evaluate and weigh legal evidence and testimony to reach justified conclusions. The critical reasoning practiced in the legal context will generalize to other domains.

GE: Quantitative Reasons: Math and Logical Analysis (legacy) and Math & Quant Reasoning or Data Analysis Foundation (new)
Prereq: Math 1075 or equiv, or an ACT Math subscore of 22 or higher, or Math Placement Level R or better. Not open to students with credit for 1500 (150) or 151.



1520 - Probability, Data and Decision-Making
Instructor: Zoe Ashton
WF 11:10 AM - 12:30 PM 
P

When was the last time you took a risk? It’s far more recent than you think. We constantly undertake risks including deciding to drive to work and deciding to go bungee jumping. One of these is a risk we undertake without much hesitation while the other seems to require careful consideration. In this course, we will examine the rational processes by which we make decisions in the face of uncertainty. To cash out this decision theory, we’ll examine (a) what probability is and how it relates to uncertainty, (b) evaluate the data needed to determine the probability of an event, (c) how to weigh the benefits of an outcome against its risks, and (d) how our actions and beliefs ought to be guided by the probabilistic information we gain. 

GE: Quantitative Reasons: Data Analysis (legacy) and Math & Quant Reasoning or Data Analysis Foundation (new)
Prereq: Math 1075 or equiv, or an ACT Mathematics Subscore of 22 or higher, or Math Placement Level R or better. Not open to students with credit for 153.



2120 - Asian Philosophies
Instructor: Steve Brown 
TR 9:35 AM - 10:55 AM P

This class will explore the main philosophical traditions that underlie the cultures of India, China, Korea, Japan, and a number of other countries in south and east Asia. Specifically, we will work toward understanding some of the essential texts from Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Confucianism, Daoism, Shinto, Sufism, and Sikhism. However, we will not be approaching these texts merely for their historical value. We will be engaging them as potential sources of wisdom and insight into the nature of the world around us and our place within it. 

GE: Literature (legacy); Diversity: Global Studies (legacy); Literary, Visual & Performing Arts Foundation (new); and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation (new)


2120 - Asian Philosophies
Instructor: Erich Jones
TR 3:55 PM - 5:15 PM P

This class will explore the philosophical tradition of Buddhism and trace its course from India to China, then to Korea, and finally Japan culminating in the Kyoto School, discussing the evolution that Buddhist philosophy underwent during its history as well as devoting attention to other philosophical traditions that influenced it, particularly Daoism. We’ll focus on questions such as “what does it mean to have no self?”, “what do buddhists mean when they say that everything is empty?”, as well as “what is nirvana/enlightenment like?” and “what does Buddhism have to say about contemporary moral problems?”. While we will be engaging this philosophical tradition on its own terms, we will also be interrogating it with Western concerns in mind, coming to see the value of cross-cultural philosophy and the syncretic methodology of East Asian Philosophy.

GE: Literature (legacy); Diversity: Global Studies (legacy); Literary, Visual & Performing Arts Foundation (new); and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation (new)


2332 - Engineering Ethics for a Diverse and Just World
Instructor: Ali Aenehzodaee
TR 2:20 PM - 3:40 PM P
TR 3:55 PM - 5:15 PM  P


Engineering transforms the world. Given this remarkable potential, engineers undertake special ethical responsibilities. This course affords an opportunity to understand the nature of these responsibilities and to articulate and cultivate your own core ethical values as an engineer. Throughout the course, we will study the ethical contours of central cases, how to apply leading ethical theories to such cases, and what we can learn from the emerging field of machine ethics.

GE: Citizenship for a Diverse and Just World Theme (new)
Prereq: GE foundation writing and info literacy course; and GE foundation race, ethnicity and gender div course; and GE foundation historical and cultural studies course.


2332 - Engineering Ethics for a Diverse and Just World 
Instructor: Jason DeWitt
WF 9:35 AM - 10:55 AM 
P

Engineering ethics is the study of ethical issues that fall within the professional engineering sphere. This course starts with a toolkit for arguing persuasively and reasoning clearly about ethical matters. We discuss a variety of questions including: Is ethics objective or subjective? Why be good? When deciding what to do, should we focus on the consequences of our actions (like how much happiness an action brings about), on certain rules (like “don’t lie”), or on cultivating good habits (like becoming and being more generous people)? The second part of the course focuses on applying ethical reasoning to justice and diversity issues within the engineering profession. Are the designs of certain devices and technologies contributing to social inequality? How can we increase diversity in engineering? What is environmental racism and how can engineers use their work against it? What is sustainability and what can engineers do in their work to mitigate climate change? In the end, this course aims to refine moral commitments through philosophical conversation and argumentation.

GE: Citizenship for a Diverse and Just World Theme (new)
Prereq: GE foundation writing and info literacy course; and GE foundation race, ethnicity and gender div course; and GE foundation historical and cultural studies course.


2332 - Engineering Ethics for a Diverse and Just World
Instructors: N/A
WF 11:10 AM - 12:30 PM P
WF 12:45 PM - 2:05 PM P

WF 2:20 PM - 3:40 PM P


This course provides students in engineering fields analytical and critical tools to become ethically attuned citizens who promote and sustain justice in a diverse world.

GE: Citizenship for a Diverse and Just World Theme (new)
Prereq: GE foundation writing and info literacy course; and GE foundation race, ethnicity and gender div course; and GE foundation historical and cultural studies course.


2338 - Computing Ethics for a Just and Diverse World
Instructor: Scott Brown,Sc
TR 9:35 AM - 10:55 AM F 9:10 AM - 10:05 AM P
TR 11:10 AM - 12:30 PM F 11:30 AM - 12:25 PM P


Computers have made our world bigger, by making us all global citizens of an interconnected community, but also more intimate, by making it easy to directly interact with people from all walks of life. Living in a bigger, more intimate world lets us do many wonderful new things, but these new abilities come with new responsibilities. This course will help students understand and navigate the personal and professional responsibilities they have as citizens and engineers of a diverse, interconnected world. How can we design software to make the world more inclusive and just? How can we be good citizens of our local, national, and global communities at the same time? Throughout the course, students will complete a personalized, guided research project of their own design, eventually presenting their project at an end-of-the-semester conference celebrating their work. 

GE: Citizenship for a Diverse and Just World Theme (new)
Prereq: GE Foundations in Writing and Information Literacy; Race, Ethnicity and Gender; Historical and Cultural Studies; and Math and Quantitative Reasoning.



2340 - Future of Humanity
Instructor: Eden Lin
WF 2:20 PM - 3:40 PM 
P

What will life be like in a hundred, two hundred, or five hundred years? Some believe that further advances in technology will make human life unimaginably joyous and prosperous. Others have a much darker vision of our future, one in which our descendants are left with a depleted planet and face extinction at the hands of technological forces they cannot control. The future of humanity raises important philosophical and ethical questions. Why should we act more sustainably for the sake of future people? How large should the human population become? Should we use technology to enhance ourselves? Will we someday be able to transcend our bodies by uploading ourselves into computers, and if so, would this be a desirable thing to do? How might artificial superintelligence change human life, and could it destroy it? These are some of the questions that we will consider.

GE: Cultures and Ideas (legacy); Sustainability Theme (new)


2342 - Environmental Ethics
Instructor: TBA
WF 9:35 AM - 10:55 AM 
P

Would it be wrong to destroy some bit of the natural world if doing so would have no negative effects on any humans whatsoever? Why or why not? This question pushes us to explore whether we have any obligations to the non-human natural world and whether those obligations are ultimately explained by the well-being of humans. This course will focus on our moral obligations to and the value of the natural world. In addition to the above considerations, we will also explore a number of other topics such as: Do we have an obligation to mitigate the effects of climate change? Are we responsible for climate change? Why or why not, and to what extent? Is climate change an issue of justice? How is this to be explained?

GE: Sustainability Theme (new)


2344 - Human Flourishing in a Global Society
Instructor: Steven Brown
TR 2:20 PM - 3:40 PM 
P

All too often, global human development has been measured merely by the standards of economic growth. However, philosophers and other thinkers have long offered arguments suggesting that we need an account of development which includes a broader understanding of well-being, equity, empowerment, sustainability, human rights, and cultural freedom. This course will investigate the many challenges that face us as a global society and strive to develop a truly satisfying account of what our goals should be as we move forward into the future.


2367 - Contemporary Social & Moral Problems in the US
Instructors: N/A
TR 2:20 PM - 3:40 PM P
WF 12:45 PM - 2:05 PM P


Most of the time, figuring out whether something is ok or not is pretty straightforward: it’s probably ok if I eat a bagel instead of cereal, it’s probably not ok if I punch a dog instead of petting it. Sometimes however, we’re confronted with situations and questions where it’s not at all obvious what the right action is, or how we should even think about our actions and their implications. These questions often come to the fore of our public discourse and play a prominent role in decision making for our communities. What kind of society do we want to live in? What kind of actions do we want to condone or condemn, and why? In this course we’ll be exploring these sorts of questions, trying to get clearer on the big issues facing America today. Since this is a WIL Course, there will be a focus on how to express our ideas in writing, and will involve refining these ideas through feedback and revisions so that they can be understanding and compelling to a diverse audience.

GE: Diversity: Social Diversity in the US (legacy); Writing and Communication: Level 2 (legacy); Writing and Informational Literacy Foundation (new)
 


2390 - Ethics and Leadership in a Diverse World
Instructor: Christa Johnson
TR 11:10 AM - 12:30 PM 
P

Many courses concerning leadership work to teach students how to be a leader. They focus on understanding individual psychology, team building, and how to get people to do what is required, as if the individuals one leads are a single monolith. Yet, we do not live in such a uniform society with one unique psychology or viewpoint that yields one particular way of leading. We are citizens of a pluralistic and diverse, democratic society. This changes not only how one must lead, but also the responsibilities a leader has. In this course, students examine what is required of leaders who are also citizens in a pluralistic, democratic society. How do difference and disagreement shape leaders’ responsibilities? How do responsibilities differ within their organizations and as democratic citizens navigating broader social, political, legal, and economic challenges? These questions have individual and institutional aspects: they concern personal choices as well as group dynamics and general rules. Students will engage with leading scholarship on the justification of authority, democratic citizenship, morally responsible decision-making, and virtue ethics to understand how citizenship in a just and diverse society shapes our ideals and practices of ethical leadership.

GE: Citizenship for a Diverse and Just World Theme (new)
Prereq: GE Foundation in Race, Ethnicity and Gender Diversity.
 


2400 - Political & Social Philosophy
Instructor: N/A
MWF 1:50 PM - 2:45 PM 

P

This course aims to help you (1) gain familiarity with some key topics explored in social and political philosophy, (2) better understand some theoretical justifications that underlie some of our contemporary social practices, and (3) develop your skills for engaging with whatever social and political issues you care about in your life. Some topics to be discussed include speech, toleration, work, resistance, structural (in)justice, and the justification of and limits to state power. To these ends, we’ll be reading (mostly) primary texts, from some classics – e.g. John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government and J.S. Mill’s On Liberty – to works from some more recent influential scholars – e.g. Iris Marion Young and Elizabeth Anderson.


GE: Cultures and Ideas (legacy)
Prereq: English 1110.xx or 1110.xxH, GE Foundation in Writing and Information Literacy, or equiv. 
 


2450 - Philosophical Problems in the Arts
Instructor: Robert Kraut
WF 12:45 PM - 02:05 PM 
P

Our goal is to understand (and evaluate) several theories about the nature and function of art.  We will consider such questions as: What is the difference between creative innovation and fraudulence?  Is there a "correct interpretation" of a literary text or painting?  Is objective criticism possible, or is art criticism merely the expression of subjective preferences?  Can artworks be understood in isolation from social-historical forces?  Do artworks express emotions?  Is it worth theorizing about art?  Why?   

GE: Visual and Performing Arts (legacy); Literary, Visual and Performing Arts Foundation (new)


2455 - Philosophy & Videogames
Instructor: William Marsolek
TR 12:45 PM - 02:05 PM  P
 

This course examines video games from a philosophical perspective. In our course, we will explore central questions related to the philosophy of video games. What is a game in the first place, and what is a videogame? Are video games art and if so, are they a distinct form of art from movies or other visual arts? Are achievements that you are awarded in video games real achievements. Do these achievements have much value or are videogames largely a waste of time? Is it ever wrong to perform an action in a video game that would be wrong to perform in real life? Is it wrong to modify, for example, one’s computer or gaming console in order to have an unfair advantage in online multiplayer games? Is it wrong for tech companies to develop and market video games that are highly addictive for users? What connection is there between video games and utopia, if any? Throughout our course, we will also examine philosophical issues in broader philosophy that arise in the creation and play of videogames. For example, what can we learn from video games about the nature of personal identity or free will?


GE: Culture and Ideas (legacy); Visual and Performing Arts (legacy); Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation (new); and Literary, Visual and Performing Arts Foundation (new)


2456 - Philosophy of Sport
Instructor: Dylan Flint
TR 3:55 PM - 5:15 PM 
P

Sports are a central part of many people's lives, but despite the popularity and ubiquity across cultures and histories, there are still a number of questions about it that we've yet to answer. Unit one begins with the nature of sports: Can we define what a sport is? How are sports similar to and different from games and other forms of art? What is distinctive about sports? In unit two we’ll look at the value of sports and its relationship to wellbeing: Why do sports contribute so highly to the wellbeing of so many people? What role do sports have within a happy and flourishing life? Are sports especially useful in teaching ethics or other cultural values? In unit three we'll spend some time looking at ethical issues unique to sports: How should we understand fairness and cheating? How do these considerations bear on “doping,” or other drug use, in sports? Should collegiate athletes be paid? Should sports be politicized or is it by its very nature political? How do considerations of sex, gender, race, ethnicity, and discrimination intersect with sports? In addressing these questions we'll draw on insights from a wide range of subjects including philosophy, psychology, and exercise science.

GE: Health and Well-Being Theme


2465 - Death and Meaning of Life
Instructor: Steven Brown
WF 09:35 AM - 10:55 AM 

P

What is a meaningful life? What role, if any, does the afterlife play in conceptions of meaningfulness? Can things like achievement, happiness, and engaging in valuable projects give meaning to our lives?   Would immortality or an extraordinarily long life increase or decrease the likelihood of a meaningful life? The course will explore these and related questions.  

GE: Literature (legacy); Health and Well-Being Theme (new)


2465 - Death and Meaning of Life
Instructor: Nathan Dowell
MW 2:20 PM - 3:40 PM 

P

There may be few areas where people are as divided and passionate about their positions on philosophical topics than death and the meaning of life. This is unsurprising given how central these things are to our lives. Obviously, some people claim that death is the end and there is nothing afterwards while others say that there is life after death. But even beyond this, there are many heated debates. Some people claim that life is completely meaningless if there is no God or an afterlife. Others claim that no afterlife actually makes our lives more meaningful, and God is unnecessary for meaning. Some claim that eternal life is eternal bliss or at least would be more desirable than nonexistence. Others claim eternal life would be inevitably and unbearably boring. Some claim that death is always a bad thing and should be avoided at all costs. Others claim that it is irrational to ever fear death. Some claim that we somehow “create the meaning” in our lives. Others claim that there are some ways to live that are better than others regardless of what people think. This raises still other questions. What makes for a meaningful life? Are some ways to die more meaningful than others? We will explore these debates and others in this course to help you think more clearly about your own views on them.

GE: Literature (legacy); Health and Well-Being Theme (new)


2465 - Death and Meaning of Life
Instructor: Jacob MacDavid
TR 3:55 PM - 5:15 PM 
P

Human beings are prone to existential crises. That is, we worry that our lives may be pointless, or meaningless. When we contemplate our own mortality, our physical and temporal tinyness compared to the universe, the possibility of God’s non-existence, and our potential lack of free will, we often worry whether we can attain meaning in life. This course will examine various views on the meaning of life, and consider whether the above worries are threats to our meaningfulness. 

GE: Literature (legacy); Health and Well-Being Theme (new)


2500 - Symbolic Logic
Instructor: Staff
MW 11:30 AM - 12:25 PM F 11:30 AM - 12:25 PM and 12:40 PM - 1:35 PM
P

This is a first course in symbolic logic, which satisfies the GE requirement in Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning or Data Analysis and the Legacy GE requirement in Mathematical and Logical Analysis. We will study the basic concepts and techniques of logic, including truth values, arguments, validity and soundness, and will develop formal methods for symbolizing sentences and constructing truth tables and derivations. We will cover the syntax and semantics of both sentential logic (also called truth-functional logic) and first-order predicate logic (also called first-order quantificational logic.) In this course, students will develop an acute grasp of the structure of deductive arguments and, so will be better equipped to evaluate them.

GE: Quantitative Reasoning: Math and Logical Analysis (legacy); Mathematical and Quantitative Reasoning or Data Analysis Foundation (new)
Prereq: Math 1075 or equiv, or an ACT Math subscore of 22 or higher that is less than 2 years old.



2540 - Intro Phil of Rational Choice
Instructor: Ali Aenehzodaee
WF 9:35 AM - 10:55 AM 
P

Some of life’s most important decisions must be made under conditions of uncertainty and risk. Moreover, democratic societies such as ours require cooperation in spite of clashing values. Given these basic facts of life, how can we navigate the complexities of hard choices in the most rational and productive way possible? This course pursues this question, and introduces to students to the motivations and philosophical underpinnings of rational choice theory. Along the way, we will shed light on: (i) how agents resolve decision problems in more or less productive ways, (ii) how social and political norms emerge in better or worse ways, (iii) on what grounds the social-institutional realm can be critiqued and improved.

GE: Visual and Performing Arts (legacy); Literary, Visual and Performing Arts Foundation (new)


2660 - Metaphysics, Magic and Sci Rev
Instructor: 
WF 11:10 AM - 12:30 PM 
P

The seventeenth century saw revolutionary developments in natural science, specifically, in matter theory, mechanics, chemistry, and astronomy.  These developments were intertwined with magical traditions, religious doctrines and disputes, and, especially, philosophical theories and arguments.  This course will examine some of these connections in the works of some of the most influential natural philosophers of the period.  Our main goal is a richer understanding of this crucial period in the development of modern science.  In addition, as with any philosophy class, we will evaluate the cogency of the arguments and the consistency and plausibility of the views we encounter.  

GE: Historical Study (legacy); Number Nature Mind Theme (new)


2680 - Scientific Controversies
Instructor: 
WF 2:20 PM - 3:40 PM 
P

Modern science raises many difficult questions about the nature of the universe and our place in it. This class considers several controversies that arise within science and investigates their broader philosophical significance. How does science work in different domains and at different times, and what can science tell us about ourselves and the nature of the world? This semester we will consider four questions: What is life? Can computers think? What is intelligence? Are there male and female brains? Readings will be drawn from the sciences and the philosophy of science.

GE: Cultures and Ideas (legacy) and Historical and Cultural Studies Foundation (new) 


3000 - Gateway Seminar
Instructor: Tristram McPherson
TR 12:45 PM - 2:05 PM 
P

This course will introduce new Philosophy majors to central tools for reading, analyzing, discussing, and writing philosophy that are needed to flourish in upper-division philosophy courses. We will very carefully read, discuss, and write about a small number of influential texts across central areas of philosophy, including, ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, Early Modern philosophy and the philosophies of mind and language. 


Prereq: Philosophy major or permission of instructor



3001 - PPE Core 1
Instructor: Sahar Heydari Fard and MacGilvray
TR 11:10 AM - 12:30 PM 
P

This course examines three models of human nature, each of which captures something important about social and political life, and each of which has significant blind spots. The first model sees human beings as rational actors who seek to maximize the satisfaction of their preferences. The second model sees human beings as citizens with public responsibilities that orient them toward the pursuit of the common good. The third model sees human beings as members of communities that provide an identity and a set of values that enable them to navigate the social world. We use these models to explore two fundamental social and political questions: first, the question of what makes a society a “good” society, and second, the question of whether and to what extent a good society should rely on individualistic or collective processes – markets or politics – to organize its affairs.


Prereq: Econ 2001.XX or 2002.01 or 2002.03H; and Philos 2400 or PolitSc 2400 or 2400H; and Econ 5001 or Philos 2500 or 2540 or PolitSc 3500 or 4553 or 4553H; and Philos 3300; and Econ 3400 or IntStds 3400 or PolitSc 3780 or 3780H; and PolitSc 3280 or 4280 or 3380 or 4380 or 4381. Not open to students with credit for Econ 3001 or PolitSc 3001.



3210 - Ancient Philosophy
Instructor: 
WF 2:20 PM - 3:40 PM 
P

This course is an introduction to the philosophy of Plato and Aristotle. Roughly, we will spend weeks 9 weeks on Plato and 6 on Aristotle. While we will discuss the metaphysics—the study of what there is-- and epistemology—the study of how we know—the main focus will be on the moral psychology and ethics of these seminal thinkers—how and why we act, what we should do, and what is happiness for a human being. Readings will include the Apology, Phaedo, and parts of Republic, De Anima, and Nichomachean Ethics.

GE: Literature (legacy), Diversity: Global Studies (legacy); Traditions, Cultures and Transformations Theme (new)
Prereq: 3 credit hrs in Philosophy, or permission of instructor.



3260 - Movements in 20th Century Philosophy
Instructor: Chris Pincock
WF 11:10 AM - 12:30 PM 
P

This course considers some of the most important movements and debates that shaped and reshaped English-language philosophy in the twentieth century. Some of these debates focused on traditional philosophical questions such as the nature of truth, perception, knowledge, goodness and meaning. New questions were asked about the relationship between philosophy and sciences like physics and psychology. In particular, many philosophers argued that philosophy should distinguish itself from science by practicing some distinctive form of philosophical analysis. Other philosophers tried to place philosophy in the sciences in line with what is sometimes called “naturalism”. We will see how these debates unfolded and consider various answers to these questions through a selection of readings by philosophers such as William James, G. E. Moore, Bertrand Russell, Rudolf Carnap, Susan Stebbing, Gilbert Ryle, Philippa Foot, G. E. M. Anscombe, W. v. O. Quine and P. F. Strawson.


Prereq: 3 credit hrs of Philosophy, or permission of instructor.
 


3261 - Fund. Concepts of Existentialism
Instructor: Amy Shuster
WF 12:45 PM - 2:05 PM 
P

This course will cover basic 19th and 20th century existentialist writings, selected from among the following authors: Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Sartre, and Camus. We will read both literary and philosophical works, with an eye to understanding the underlying themes (nihilism; despair; angst) of classical existentialist writers.  midterm exam, final exam and several short written assignments.

GE: Literature (legacy)
Prereq: 3 credit hrs of Philosophy, or permission of instructor.



3300 - Moral Philosophy
Instructor: 
TR 2:20 PM - 3:40 PM 
P

What things are good? Whatever we want? Or are some things worth wanting in ways that others aren’t? What makes a person’s life go well? What is it right to do? Is this determined by the consequences of actions, or by considerations of some other kind? What is the relationship between being a rational person, on one hand, and wanting what’s good and doing what is right on the other? This course will critically assess some philosophically influential answers to these questions, and to other, related ones. This course will emphasize the development of essential philosophical skills: reading texts carefully for philosophical comprehension, writing papers that analyze arguments and philosophical positions clearly and raise critical points about them, discussing philosophical issues rigorously in a group setting. 


Prereq: 6 credit hrs of Philosophy course work, or enrollment in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics Major, or permission of instructor.



3410 - Philosophical Problems in the Law
Instructor: Donny Soles
WF 9:35 AM - 10:55 AM 
P

In this course, we'll explore questions about the ontology, meaning, and justice of laws. First, what distinguishes a law from a mere command? Does an answer to this question depend on whether the commands are moral? Next, what determines a law's meaning: is it the author's intention or is it something else, such as what a law might mean to a competent reader? Lastly, some scholars today argue that legal reasoning actually perpetuates institutionalized racism, since our standards for what counts as acceptable legal reasoning sometimes prohibit us from considering historical racial injustice. Is this criticism apt? If so, how ought considerations about race and historical injustice properly figure in legal reasoning?



3440 - Theorizing Race
Instructor: Jada Wiggleton-Little
TR 9:35 AM - 10:55 AM 
P

This course surveys the work of Charles Mills (1951-2021) who famously added the dimension of race into traditional areas in Western philosophy, like political theory, epistemology, and ethics. Throughout Mills’ critiques, he is concerned with the absence of concepts like white supremacy and oppression in our theorizing about knowledge and justice. We will begin the course by looking at the nature of race, and then turn to how one’s racial identity influences a person’s world perspective and perceived political freedoms. Students will also learn how to identify main ideas in philosophical texts, potential extensions and objections to these arguments and ideas, and reflect on the function that the concept of race plays in present-day.

GE: Citizenship for a Diverse and Just World Theme
Prereq: 3 cr hrs in AfAmASt or Philos or REGD Foundation; or enrollment in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics major, AfAmASt major, or Philos major; or permission of instructor. Not open to students with credit for AfAmASt 3440.



5300 - Adv Moral Philosophy
Instructor: Tristram McPherson
R 9:30 AM - 12:20 PM 
P

Much moral practice and philosophical work in ethics takes for granted that morality provides an especially excellent standard for regulating our lives. However, a considerable body of recent work can be interpreted as either critiquing morality, or as advocating for reforming our moral concepts and practices. This course will examine a range of such contemporary critical ideas, as well as seeking to clarify and evaluate the intelligibility and limits of such critical perspectives on morality.

Prereq: 3300, or 6 cr hrs in Philos at or above 3000-level; or Grad standing in Philos; or permission of instructor.


 

5750 - Adv Thry of Knowledge
Instructor: Jada Wiggleton-Little
TR 12:45 - 2:05 PM
P
 

This course explores topic in social epistemology, particularly those related to race and testimony. In this course, we will address the following questions: How does knowledge reflect the particular perspective of the knower? How does one's social identity facilitate or restrict their epistemic agency? How is ignorance willfully or un-willfully maintained? To tackle these questions, we will survey philosophical texts on situated knowledge, epistemic oppression, and active ignorance. We will primarily examine Miranda Fricker's definition of epistemic injustice and how it fits under the broader concepts of epistemic oppression and epistemic exclusion. To do so, we will engage with work by Jose Medina, Kristie Dotson, Charles Mills, Patrica Collins, Linda Alcoff and others. 

 

Prereq: 2500. and 6cr hrs in Philos at or above 3000-level; or Grad standing; or permission of instructor.


Return to top