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 PDF icon Course Bulletin. For a complete listing of courses offered in the current and upcoming semester see the schedule of classes.

Upcoming Undergraduate Courses

Summer 2017
Autumn 2017

 

Summer 2017

 

1100 Introduction to Philosophy
Instructor: TA
ML 175; MWF 11:25-2:35

Examination of major problems, such as the nature of reality, knowledge, truth, morality, and the relation of philosophy to science and religion.

GE culture and ideas course

1332  Engineering Ethics
Instructor: TA

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

GE cultures and ideas course

1500.01  Introduction to Logic
Instructor: TA
SM 2150; MTWR 12:20-12:45

Deduction  and  induction; principles of clear statement and valid reasoning; fallacies; and the methods by which theories and laws are established.

GE quantitative reasoning: math and logical analysis course

1500.02  Introduction to Logic (online)
Instructor: H. Sample

Deduction  and  induction; principles of clear statement and valid reasoning; fallacies; and the methods by which theories and laws are established.

GE quantitative reasoning: math and logical analysis course

2120  Asian Philosophies
Instructor: TA
ML 185; TR 12:40-3:00

A survey including at least three of the following philosophical systems of Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Zoroastrianism, Taoism, and Confucianism.

GE for literature and diversity global studies course

2450  Philosophical Problems in the Arts
Instructor: TA
HH 246; MWF 11:40-1:15

Introduction to major philosophical issues in the arts; examination of artistic intention, representation v. abstraction, the grounds and objectives of art criticism, the import of cultural differences and their application to specific works of art.

GE for visual and performing arts course

2465 Death and the Meaning of Life
Instructor: TA
ML 125; MTWR 11:40-1:15

Explore the question of whether there is a relation between mortality and a meaningful life.

GE lit course.

 

Autumn 2017

(course descriptions forthcoming)

1100 Introduction to Philosophy
Instructor: E. Lin
UH 014; MW 12:40-1:35

GE culture and ideas course

1100H Introduction to Philosophy
Instructor: E. Lin
UH 347; MW 9:35-10:55

Does God exist? Can we really know anything about the world outside our minds? Are our hopes, thoughts, feelings, desires, and experiences nothing more than states of our brains and bodies, or does the realm of the mental outstrip the physical world? If everything that happens was determined to happen by the initial state of the universe and the laws of nature, do we have free will, and are we morally responsible for our actions? What makes a person's life go well? What does it take for a life to be meaningful, and is humanity significant in the grand scheme of things? These are some of the central questions in philosophy. In this course, we will attempt to answer them.   

GE culture and ideas course

1100H Introduction to Philosophy
Instructor: A. Roth
HH 024; TR 11:10-12:30

GE culture and ideas course

1300 Introduction to Ethics
Instructor: T. McPherson
OR 110; MW 11:30-12:25

GE cultures and ideas course

1332  Engineering Ethics
Instructor: TA

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

GE cultures and ideas course

1338 Ethics in the Professions: Introduction to Computing Ethics and Effective Presentation
Instructor: TA

An introduction to ethical theory with a special focus on ethical issues that arise in the computing profession. It includes student presentations and feedback to improve discussion skills.

GE cultures and ideas course

1500.01  Introduction to Logic
Instructor: TA

Deduction  and  induction; principles of clear statement and valid reasoning; fallacies; and the methods by which theories and laws are established.

GE quantitative reasoning: math and logical analysis course

1501  Introduction to Logic and Legal Reasoning 
Instructor: TA
MP 1041; MWF 10:20-11:15

An informal introduction to elementary deductive and inductive logic, concentrating on application to reasoning in legal contexts (e.g., courtroom argumentation and jury deliberation).

GE quantitative reasoning: math and logical analysis course

1520  Probability, Data, and Decision Making
Instructor: C. Pincock
ML 191; MWF 10:20-11:15

GE Data Analysis

2120  Asian Philosophies
Instructor: S. Brown
HH 180; MWF 11:30-12:25

GE for literature and diversity global studies course

2342  Environmental Ethics
Instructor: C. Katz
KL 330; MWF 10:20-11:15

2367 - Contemporary Social and Moral Problems in the U.S.

Instructor: TA

An intensive writing course concentrating on the analysis and evaluation of philosophical argumentation concerning contemporary social and moral problems about race, gender, class, and ethnicity. Does not count on a philosophy major or minor program.

GE Diversity: Social Diversity in the US, GE Writing and Communication: level 2
 
2400 Political and Social Philosophy

Instructor: D. Hubin
MP 1046; WF 9:35-10:55

GE Cultures and Ideas

2450  Philosophical Problems in the Arts
Instructor: R. Fletcher
KL 207; WF 12:45-2:05

GE for visual and performing arts course

2465 Death and the Meaning of Life
Instructor: J. Jorait
CZ 150; MW 1:50-2:45

Some philosophers claim that if there is no afterlife, our lives are meaningless; all of our efforts are hopelessly and absurdly pointless.  Nothing we do in life, according to these authors, can have any genuine significance.  Others are far less pessimistic and argue that even without an afterlife, our existence can be meaningful.  They claim that things like achievement, happiness, and engaging in valuable projects can give meaning to our lives.  In fact, some philosophers even contend that death is a crucial feature of a meaningful life; immortality would inevitably drain our lives of meaning and undermine our happiness.  Which of these claims, if any, is correct?  The course will explore this and related questions.

GE Literature course.

2500 Symbolic Logic

Instructor: S. Shapiro
ML 115; MW 12:40-1:35

What is it to reason?  What is it to reason correctly?  What role do symbols play in reasoning?  We will try to answer these questions.

In this course we will present a symbolic deductive system to model correct reasoning.  It will be shown how many arguments in ordinary language can be “translated” into this system, where they can be checked for validity.  Important logical concepts, like consistency, consequence, validity are presented via the system, and the techniques of mathematical logic are illustrated with it.

There will be exercises for homework (checked with occasional short quizzes) and a midterm and final examination.

GE Quantitative Reasoning: Math and Logical Analysis

2660  Metaphysics, Religion, and Magic in the Scientific Revolution
Instructor: L. Downing
ML 115; TR 2:20-3:40

GE Historical Study

3000  Gateway Seminar
Instructor: D. Smithies
MP 1045; MW 12:45-2:05

3210 History of Ancient Philosophy
Instructor: A. Shuster
TO 247; TR 12:45-2:05

About 2500 years ago, the western philosophical tradition emerged from the myths, values, and politics of the peoples who inhabited the Mediterranean coasts around ancient Greece. Rather than appealing to conventional sources of authority like common opinion and faith, ancient philosophers used reflection and reasoning to answer fundamental questions about the natural and social world. This course will focus on the works of Plato and Aristotle, and also draw upon the pre-Socratics, Epicureans, Stoics, and Skeptics. This course will assess their responses to questions like:  What is the nature and origin of the universe?  What is real and what is a figment of our imagination or psychology?  What is the best life for a human to live and how should one pursue it?  Given the conditioning of culture and habit, what is the scope and value of freedom and moral action?  How, or to what extent, can we be certain of an answer to any of these questions?  Students will be asked to explain basic concepts and compare responses of various thinkers, and then argue for positions of their own.

GE Literature, GE Diversity: Global Studies

3230 History of 17th-Century Philosophy
Instructor: L. Downing
JR 239; TR 11:10-12:30
 
GE Literature, GE Diversity: Global Studies

3261 Fundamental Concepts of Existentialism
Instructor: T. Rudavsky
DE 238; WF 9:35-10:55
 

GE Literature

3420 Philosophical Perspectives on Issues of Gender
Instructor: A. Shuster
EL 2002; TR 9:35-10:55
 

Simone de Beauvoir inaugurated a new set of questions for philosophical inquiry when she wrote in 1949: “One is not born, but rather becomes a woman”.  This course critically and sympathetically examines the premises, conclusions, significance, and implications of this statement.  We consider the following metaphysical problems:  Does gender exist? If so, what (sort of thing) is it?  And (how) can gender be distinguished from sex, sexuality, class, race, ethnicity, and nation?  We discover how leading answers to these questions point to epistemological problems:  How are answers to these questions discovered and justified?  What might be a more justifiable way of investigating these questions?  Finally, these questions have important implications for social and political philosophy:  To what extent are answers to these questions helpful to those who seek to resist domination, exploitation, marginalization, powerlessness, imperialism, and/or violence?  How does gender operate in our lived experiences?  How does gender appear in surprising ways in contemporary politics, especially in the so-called War on Terror?  Where can we find hope for change and by what method(s) should we pursue it?  This course explores these questions from a broad range of feminist perspectives as well as from ones that are not feminist.  This course fulfills the following General Education requirements: Social Diversity in the United States, and Culture and Ideas.

GE Cultures and Ideas, GE Diversity: Social Diversity in the US
 
3650 Philosophy of Science
Instructor: N. Tennant
UH 347; WF 11:10-12:30
 

3800 Introduction to Philosophy of Mind
Instructor: R. Samuels
UH 038; MW 2:20-3:40

3810 Philosophy of Action
Instructor: A. Roth
EC 240; TR 2:20-3:40

5260 Studies in 20th-Century Philosophy
Instructor: C. Pincock
UH 353; WF 12:45-2:05

5300 Advanced Moral Philosophy
Instructor: J. D'Arms
UH 353; TR 12:45-2:05

5600 Advanced Philosophy of Language
Instructor: S. Shapiro
UH 353; MW 9:35-10:55

The aim of this course is to explore some core topics in the philosophy of language.  We will approach these topics by reading original works, starting with seminal papers by Gottlob Frege, Bertrand Russell, and P. F. Strawson, and ending with some influential work by Saul Kripke.  The topics on which we will focus, while hardly exhaustive of those of concern to contemporary philosophers of language, are nevertheless foundational.  One particular focus, this time, is on the semantics of plural expressions and the relationship (if there is one) between plural terms and so-called higher-order logic.

The final grade will be based on class participation, a series of short essays, and a substantial term paper.

5840 Advanced Philosophy of Cognitive Science
Instructor: R. Samuels
UH 353; MW 11:10-12:30
 


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