Return to 2008-09 UGB Menu

Philosophy Courses (PHI)

GE Core denotes General Education Core credit;
GE Marker
denotes General Education Marker credit;
CAR denotes College Additional Requirement credit.

Courses for Undergraduates

111 Introduction to Philosophy (3:3)

GE Core: GPR

Discussion of views and methods of major philosophers. Topics drawn from metaphysics and epistemology, such as the foundations and scope of human knowledge, personal identity, freedom and determinism, and the mind-body problem.

115 Practical Reasoning (3:3)

GE Core: GRD

Introduction to basic principles of reasoning and argumentation. Topics taken from syllogistic reasoning, probability, informal fallacies, the structural analysis of statements, and scientific methods.

119 Introduction to Ethics (3:3)

GE Core: GPR

Fundamental questions of ethics, such as the nature of the distinction between good and evil, moral right and wrong, the foundation of moral judgments, relativism, absolutism, and subjectivism. Readings from major figures in the history of ethics.

121 Contemporary Moral Problems (3:3)

GE Core: GPR

Philosophical readings and discussion of such current topics as abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, censorship, sexual morality, affirmative action and preferential hiring, environmental ethics, population control, and the morality of war.

220 Medical Ethics (3:3)

GE Core: GPR

Moral problems in medicine including the patient’s right to know, the confidentiality of doctor-patient communications, informed consent and experimentation with human subjects, abortion, euthanasia, socialized medicine, conflicts between medicine and religion, and genetic engineering.

251 History of Ancient Philosophy (3:3)

GE Core: GHP

GE Marker: GL


Survey of Western philosophical thought in the ancient period from the pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, the Sceptics, Stoics, Epicureans. Particular choices of texts and philosophical ideas may vary. (Fall)

252 History of Modern Philosophy (3:3)

GE Core: GHP

GE Marker: GL


Survey of Western philosophical thought in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, its historical background and its influences on subsequent intellectual developments. Reading from major figures of the period, such as Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Leibniz, Spinoza, Hume, and Kant. (Spring)

267 Existentialism (3:3)

Introduction to the fundamental ideas of existentialism. Readings from Kierkegaard, Heidegger, Sartre.

301 Topics in Philosophy (3:3)

May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

Variable content.

310 Introduction to Formal Logic (3:3)

GE Core: GRD

Validity, consistency, implication, and the formal analysis of language. Propositional logic and quantification theory.

311 Intermediate Formal Logic (3:3)

Pr. 310 or permission of instructor

Quantification theory with completeness results, identity, functions, decidability, and axiomatic methods.

319 Knowledge, Truth, and Belief (3:3)

Pr. PHI 310

Discussion of concepts central to an understanding of the nature of human knowledge, such as truth, evidence, certainty, intuition, perception, the reasonableness of belief, and the reliability theory of justification.

321 Ethical Theory (3:3)

Analysis of the meaning of moral concepts such as good, right, ought, duty, and of the nature of ethical argument. Attention to current theories in normative ethics.

322 Philosophy of the Arts (3:3)

Philosophical problems concerning description, interpretation, and evaluation of the visual, performing, and literary arts, discussed generally and in relation to specific works of art. Readings in philosophy and art theory.

325 Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (3:3)

One course in natural science recommended

Concepts important to an understanding of the nature and goals of research in the natural sciences, such as observation, experiment, theory, law, and explanation. Philosophical problems about objectivity and conceptual change in science based on examples from the history of science. Nature of scientific knowledge.

330 Philosophy in Literature (3:3)

Basic philosophical issues in literature such as personal identity, the problem of evil, free will, ethical ideals, the nature of reality, truth in literature, and reference to fictional objects. Major works of fiction studied for their philosophical content.

331 Social and Political Philosophy (3:3)

GE Core: GPR

Major writings on social freedom or liberty, coercion, human rights, justice, and the basis of political authority.

335 Philosophy of Law (3:3)

Theories of the origin and justification of legal systems, our obligation to obey the law, justice, punishment, and related issues. Readings from classical and contemporary sources.

336 Philosophy of Crime and Punishment (3:3)

GE Core: GPR

Critical discussion of philosophical questions raised by criminal law, including the moral justification of punishment, the theoretical underpinnings of various criminal defenses, and the conceptual distinctions among types of crimes. (Spring)

338 Ethics and International Affairs (3:3)

GE Core: GPR

Critical discussion of topics such as human rights, the morality of war and terrorism, international distributive justice, poverty and international aid, self-determination and secession, immigration policy, and global environmental issues. (Fall or Spring)

348 Existentialism, Phenomenology, and Structuralism (3:3)

Recent philosophical movements in France and Germany. Application of structuralist models to the human sciences. Post-structuralist developments such as Deconstruction and Hermeneutics. Selections from such writers as Husserl, Levi-Strauss, Foucault, Lacan, Althusser, Derrida, Gadamer, and Ricoeur.

351 Major Philosophers (3:3)

May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

Systematic examination of the works of a major philosopher.

353 Major Philosophies (3:3)

May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

Systematic examination of a major historical movement in philosophy, such as rationalism, empiricism, positivism, materialism, and idealism.

357 Metaphysics (3:3)

Pr. PHI 111 or 251 or 252

Selected metaphysical issues such as personal identity and the immortality of the soul, freedom and determinism, the nature of space, time and substance, the problem of universals, forms of realism, and theory of reference.

359 Philosophy of Religion (3:3)

GE Core: GPR

Arguments concerning God’s existence, the problem of evil, God’s foreknowledge and human freedom, the analysis of divine attributes, immortality, and the soul.

361 Ethical Issues in Business (3:3)

GE Core: GPR

GE Marker: GN

Ethical theory and its application to business: economic justice, corporate responsibility, self-regulation and government regulation, conflict of interest, investment policy, advertising, and environmental responsibility.

363 Environmental Ethics (3:3)

The ethics of our relationship to the environment. Traditions in environmentalism; treatment of animals, nature, plants, and species; application of environmental ethical theory to real-world environmental problems. (Fall or Spring)

401 Reading Course for Seniors (1–3)

Pr. permission of instructor

May be repeated for credit.

Supervised reading and research for philosophy majors.

402 Independent Study (1–3)

Pr. satisfaction of requirements for the major in philosophy and permission of instructor

May be repeated for credit.


493 Honors Work (3–6)

Pr. permission of instructor; 3.30 GPA in the major, 12 s.h. in the major

May be repeated for credit if the topic of study changes.


494 Senior Capstone Course (3:3)

Pr. 251, 252, 310; Philosophy major; senior standing

Variable content. Senior-level philosophical work on some thematic topic. Elements and methods of philosophical argument, research and debate. Technology competencies and information skills/ research competencies in the major. (Spring)