PHI - Philosophy

PHI 110 Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophical Problems

Course Description: An examination of some of the major philosophical problems, and an introduction to some of the great figures in the history of philosophy. The emphasis will vary from semester to semester, but the course will generally focus on questions concerning the sources of knowledge, the meaning of moral and other value judgments, the nature of the human mind, the justifications for political authority, and the intellectual presuppositions of religious belief.

Course Rotation: Fall, Spring, and Summer.

3 credits

PHI 110M Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophical Problems - Learning Community

Course Description: This course will examine the most influential ideas regarding what it means to be human that have emerged from the traditions of religion, psychology, and philosophy.

3 credits

Corequisites

PSY 111M

PHI 110T Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophical Problems - Learning Community

Course Description: This Learning Community develops a vocabulary for thinking philosophically and then, through regular, guided composition, applies philosophical concepts to the realities of our time and place.

3 credits

Corequisites

ENG 120T

PHI 113 Ancient Philosophy

Not open to students who have completed PHI 111.

New Core: Fulfills 3 credits in Area of Knowledge II.

Course Description: An exploration of ancient patterns of thought and how they emerged in response to human experience from about 600 B.C.E. to about 200 C.E. Major themes focus on questions about how we come to know about our world, the relationships between the gods, nature, and man and on human concerns with ethical and political issues.

Course Rotation: Fall, Spring, and Summer.

3 credits

PHI 115 Normative Ethics: Contemporary Moral Problems

Course Description: A philosophical examination of such issues as abortion, homosexuality, prostitution, criminal punishment, euthanasia, medical ethics, business ethics, civil disobedience, and just and unjust wars. Discussion of these issues will be framed by an examination of major ethical theories.

Course Rotation: Fall, Spring, and Summer.

3 credits

PHI 115C Normative Ethics: Contemporary Problems (CAP)

Old Core: Exploratory.

New Core: Fulfills 3 credits in Area of Knowledge V.

Course Description: A philosophical examination of such issues as abortion, homosexuality, prostitution, criminal punishment, euthanasia, medical ethics, business ethics, civil disobedience, and just and unjust wars. Discussion of these issues will be framed by an examination of major ethical theories.

3 credits

PHI 116 Modern Philosophy

Not open to students who have completed PHI 112.

Course Description: A selective introduction to the works of philosophers from Descartes to Nietzsche. Special emphasis will be placed on some of the principal issues that concerned these philosophers, including the nature of reality, the sources of our knowledge of ourselves and of the world around us, the fundamental assumptions of science, the apparent conflict between free will and determinism, and the foundations of morals.

Course Rotation: Fall, Spring, Summer.

3 credits

PHI 121 Ethics in the Workplace

Not open to students who have taken PHI 115, except by permission of the Department Chair.

Course Description: This course offers a survey of some of the key issues that face the whole range of corporate stakeholders, from shareholders to the general public. We begin with two classical ethical theories, utilitarianism and deontological ethical theory, and with the relationship between justice and the market system. We continue with ethical issues involving the relationship between the employee and the company, such as whistle-blowing; discrimination, affirmative action, sexual harassment; issues involving the consumer and employee protection, such as product and occupational safety; and finally issues of the relationship between the corporation and society, such as corporate responsibility.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring - Odd years.

3 credits

PHI 152 Critical Thinking

Old Core: Exploratory. New Core: Fulfills 3 credits in Area of Knowledge II or Area of Knowledge V.

Course Description: A philosophical examination of such issues as abortion, homosexuality, prostitution, criminal punishment, euthanasia, medical ethics, business ethics, civil disobedience, and just and unjust wars. Discussion of these issues will be framed by an examination of major ethical theories.

Course Rotation: Fall, Spring, and Summer.

3 credits

PHI 153 Formal Logic

3 credits

PHI 170 Introduction to Aesthetics

New Core: Fulfills 3 credits in Area of Knowledge IV.

Course Description: In the West, analysis and reflection about literary and artistic expression begins a relatively brief time after the earliest literary and artistic expression. By the 4th century BC, Plato and Aristotle are creating sophisticated works analyzing topics such as "history", "epic poetry", "rhetoric", "tragic poetry", and more generally, "the beautiful." Texts included in this course will not only provide the analytic tools needed for philosophical deliberation on the various arts, but will also provide some important examples of aesthetic objects.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall - Even years.

3 credits

PHI 170A Introduction to Aesthetics - Learning Community

New Core: Fulfills 3 credits in Area of Knowledge IV.

Course Description: The linked philosophical and studio components of this learning community move back and forth between philosophical aesthetics and actual art-making as if the student were taking a course in ornithology while training to become a bird. The readings for this course range from ancient to contemporary philosophy, while the art assignments will be executed in a variety of media.

3 credits

Corequisites

ART 196FA

PHI 115CJ Normative Ethics: Contemporary Problems - (CAP) Learning Community

Course Description: Love, sex, sacrifice, honor and destiny – the themes explored in this Learning Community inspired the visions and ideas of sages and philosophers whose legacy will be the subject of our study. We will examine the human condition with special regard to the ethical life, matters of death, and issues of human sexuality that will serve as a stimulus for discussion, critical thinking, and enhancement of academic writing skills.

3 credits

Corequisites

ENG 105CJ, ENG 110CJ

PHI 214 The Inward Journey

3 credits

PHI 215 Inward Journey: Search for Self/Contemporary World

Course Description: This course is a journey into the depths of the self and out to the expanse of reality. With the help of both Eastern and Western Philosophical and Religious traditions it investigates the various ways persons have sought to achieve wholeness and "beyond". Topics to be considered are the self, the body, nature, other persons and meditative experiences.

3 credits

PHI 217 Existentialism

Course Description: This course examines the works of existential philosophers who emphasize the need for each of us to choose for ourselves and "become what we are" in the face of death, alienation, and the threats of modern mass society.

Course Rotation: Spring - Even years.

3 credits

PHI 218 Legal and Political Philosophy

3 credits. Enhancement.

Course Description: The nature and origins of law, and the relations of law to morals. An exploration of the question of whether there is an eternal law, or a divine law, to which human legislation must conform. The relations of rights, duties, and the foundations of human society are explored.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring - Even years. PLV: Fall - Even years.

3 credits

PHI 222 Philosophy for Children

Course Description: Using select children's literature, curricular materials from the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children as well as typical philosophical texts, this course offers a practical introduction to techniques for enabling both children and adults mutually inquire into issues of both traditionally philosophical and directly personal concern, such as: meaning; thinking for one's self; choice; change and growth; the good, the right and the fair; standards and rules, sharing and community.

3 credits

PHI 223 Environmental Ethics

Course Description: Philosophers have always been interested in the world of nature and continue to be. In this class we will examine how philosophers and religious thinkers have broached the question of the proper relationship between nature and civilization. Through readings from primary sources we will study how various thinkers approach the question of the value of nature and of the possibility and desirability of extending moral consideration of the natural world. Writings from ancient, medieval, modern and contemporary philosophers will help frame our discussion and assist in answering the perennial question: ¿Is there a proper relationship between humans and nature?¿

Course Rotation: NY: Fall- Even Years; PLV: Fall-Even Years

3 credits

Prerequisites

PHI 110 Minimum Grade of D or PHI 115 Minimum Grade of D

PHI 224 Medieval Philosophy

3 credits. Enhancement

Course Description: A study of western philosophy in the medieval period, from the 4th to the 15th centuries, with particular emphasis on those concepts and issues that have been most influential in the development of modern ethical, political and religious thought.

Course Rotation: NY, PLV: Fall

3 credits

PHI 225 Contemporary Philosophy

Course Description: Contemporary Philosophy can be characterized as an extension or continuation of modern enlightened thought (modernity) and as a radical departure from its philosophical heritage. By way of contrast this course examines this apparent inconsistency through the work of influential late 19th and 20th century philosophers. Themes to be discussed may include phenomenology; pragmatism, instrumentalism logical positivism; existentialism; feminist theory; deconstructionism and post-modernism. Thinkers to be discussed may include Martin Heidegger; Hannah Arendt; Bertrand Russell, Alfred North Whitehead; Willard von Norman Quine and Jean-Paul Sartre.

Course Rotation: Spring.

3 credits

PHI 253 Logic

Course Description: An introduction to modern symbolic logic. The student will develop a facility with propositional logic, truth tables, and a range of natural arguments, including syllogisms and fallacies, and investigate topics such as problem solving, the nature of assumptions and induction.

Course Rotation: Fall:Spring

3 credits

PHI 256 Philosophy of Art: Aesthetics

Prerequsite: PHI 110 or 111 or 112. Enhancement

Course Description: What are art and beauty? How are these terms defined, and how are they experienced? This course examines these questions through a study of actual works of art and the writing of great philosophers and artists.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall - Odd years. PLV: Spring - Odd years.

3 credits

Prerequisites

PHI 110 Minimum Grade of D or PHI 111 Minimum Grade of D or PHI 113 Minimum Grade of D

PHI 260 Business Ethics

3 credits

PHI 289 Political Philosophy from Machiavelli to Marx

New Core: Fulfills 3 credits in Area of Knowledge II.

Course Description: Classical Political Philosophy began with questions about the nature of political things. Modern Political Philosophy begins with a radical critique of the answers provided by the classical political philosophers and ends with a radical critique of the possibility of political philosophy. This course begins with Machiavelli's Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy and so the two volumes of Livy are recommended texts. The course ends with Selected Writings of Karl Marx. In between we read Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu and Kant.

Course Rotation: NY and PL: Fall and Spring, odd years.

3 credits

PHI 290 Philosophical Perspectives on Technology

Course Description: The primary objective of this course is to analyze the role(s) of technology in society by first attempting to define it. Is technology merely an instrument in the service of social/political ideology, or does it have a substantial life of its own - an implicit logic of development immune from social values, i.e., technological determinism? If technology is seen to be immune from the social/political sphere of normative action and has evolved to its highest level in industrial society then, is history over; has humanity come to the final resting place in a culture of utter banality, or what one author calls, "the age of consummate meaninglessness"?

3 credits

PHI 296 Special Topics in Philosophy

Course Description: Topics vary from year to year but provide an opportunity to examine either the work of an author, issue, or a specific philosphical problem.

Course Rotation: Fall and Spring.

3 credits

PHI 296B Political Philosophy: From Machiavelli to Marx

New Core: Fulfills 3 credits in Area of Knowledge II.

Course Description: Classical Political Philosophy began with questions about the nature of political things. Modern Political Philosophy begins with a radical critique of the answers provided by the classical political philosophers and ends with a radical critique of the possibility of political philosophy. This course begins with Machiavelli's Discourses on the First Ten Books of Livy and so the two volumes of Livy are recommended texts. The course ends with Selected Writings of Karl Marx. In between we read Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Montesquieu and Kant.

0 - 3 credits

PHI 296E Topic: Philosophical Themes in Modern Film

Course Description: This course examines how films articulate philosophical themes such as the nature of reality, knowledge and illusion, morality and the right conduct, and the experience of being human. At the same time, it reflects on the cinema as a model of thinking through image, sound, words, and stories. Through a selection of philosophical texts and a variety of films, the course offers an exploration of film as philosophy while philosophizing about film.

3 credits

PHI 296G Topic: Philosophical Perspectives on Technology

Course Description: The primary objective of this course is to analyze the role(s) of technology in society by first attempting to define it. Several questions will be examined in order to define it, such as: Is technology merely an instrument in the service of social/political ideology, or does it have a substantial life of its own; an implicit logic of development immune from social values, i.e., technological determinism? Although this is a philosophy course it will be structured to accommodate significant input from other disciplines. The principal objective will be to enhance student skills in understanding and critiquing important philosophical, social, and political issues and clearly articulate them. Emphasis is placed on critical reading and presentation skills both oral and written.

0 - 3 credits

PHI 296I Topic: Existentialism, Feminism, Gender and Race

Course Description: In this course we study gender and race from a philosophical perspective – specifically from the perspective of Existentialism. At the same time we will study Existentialism from the perspective of feminism, gender and race. A central focus for this exploration will be questions about the meaning of agency, coercion, oppression and freedom.

3 credits

PHI 269P Women and Nature

3 credits

PHI 296Q Philosophical Issues in Feminism

3 credits

PHI 296S Topic: Feminism and Human Rights

Course Description: In this course we will examine several theories concerned with feminist perspectives on women and international justice. These theories may include liberal human rights theory, Neoaristotelian capabilities theory, such as that developed by Martha Nussbaum in her work on women and international development, and theories of the politics of difference, as developed by Iris Young. We well be concerned with whether any feminist theory is adequate to questions of international justice, as well as with particular questions regarding violence against women, just distribution of goods and opportunities, and the intersection of gender with other group affiliations, such as race, ethnicity, disability, age, sexual preference, and religion.

3 credits

PHI 296T Classical Political Philosophy

Course Description: Classical Political Philosophy begins with Plato. In order to achieve a proper understanding of Plato's political philosophy we will begin by reading the great pre-Platonic political thinkers, the historians, Herodotus and Thucydides, followed by Plato's Republic and Statesman, Xenophon's On Tyranny and Aristotle's Constitution of Athens and Politics.

3 credits

PHI 296U Topic: Feminism Film and Philosophy

Course Description: This course explores the construction of gender in and through film. Adopting philosophical approaches, we will focus on how masculinity and femininity, in their various forms and combinations, are signified in film and how film a feminist philosophy represent and conceptualize women's "oppression", and form of resistance to oppression.

3 credits

PHI 296V Topic: Philosophical Reflections on Social Thought: The Works of Karl Polyani

Prerequisite: One 100-level Philosophy course.

Course Description: Polyani's book The Great Transformation: the political and economic origins of our time" was a monumental achievement in intellectual history. Yet it remains mostly obscure and unread. This course is an attempt to correct that oversight. Written in 1944 the book had seismic consequences shaking the foundation of political/economy. Leaving behind Karl Marx and his theory of economic determinism, Polyani argues that 'satanic mills' of capitalism are diabolical not because of human greed and relentlessness acquisition, but because capitalism tore apart the fabric of society and created in its place the isolated individual whose only attachment to others is contractual.

1 credits

PHI 296W Topic: Philosophical Reflections on Social Thought: Population According to Thomas Malthus

Prerequisite: One 100-level Philosophy course.

Course Description: Thomas Malthus-arguably the first economist-predicted a dismal future for the humanity: Population crashes caused by recurring famines. His reasoning was populations' grow exponentially while resources like food grow arithmetically. That was two hundred years ago and it hasn't happened. This course attempts to answer the following questions: 1) Was he mistaken about population dynamics? 2) Have we found and ingenious way to avoid his logic? 3) Are there too many people? and 4) Should we prohibit production?

1 credits

PHI 296X Topic: Philosophical Reflections on Social Thought: Capitalism and the Protestant Ethic

Prerequisite: One 100-level Philosophy course.

Course Description: Widely discredited today, Max Weber's classic work in economic history was destined to become a source of disagreement among a variety of academic disciplines-economics, history, philosophy, sociology, and theology. This course is an attempt to sort out these academic complaints and analyze their accuracy.

1 credits

PHI 296Y Topic: Minds, Computers and Intentionality

Course Description: Aside from all the obvious benefits of computers, they have also offered philosophers and psychologists the 'computer metaphor', which is a way of looking at issues that have been largely intractable in the history of Western thought: the mind-body problem, the relationship between mind and world, how our mental states represent, and other related issues. This metaphor, in short, states that the relationship between the mind and the brain is analogous to the relationship between the software and hardware of a computer. After introducing students to the intellectual landscape of the philosophy of mind, we will explore the implication of this metaphor in theorizing about the mind.

3 credits

PHI 296Z Do the Right Thing: An Introduction to Kant's Moral Philosophy

Course Description: The title and content of Spike Lee's powerful movie, "Do the Right Thing" evokes one of the most significant and influential works in the History of Ethical Theory: Immanuel Kant's "Fundamental Principle of The Metaphysics of Morals." Working from this seminal work, supplemented by Kant's "Lectures on Ethics" we will explore the nature and knowability of morality and the issues arising from the attempt to "do the right thing" in everyday life.

3 credits

PHI 297A Introduction to Environmental Philosophy

Course Description: A relatively new and rapidly growing field in philosophical studies, Environmental Philosophy reexamines the place of humanity in the world by focusing on its relation with non-human nature. Engaging with a variety of issues such as animal rights, biodiversity, and environmental justice, Environmental Philosophy is especially concerned with the ongoing ecological crisis by striving to reshape a conceptual worldview that could inform a course of action that will divert the catastrophic outcome scientists predict. This course reviews the core questions in Environmental Philosophy as appearing in the writing of contemporary thinkers such as J. Baird Callicott, Holmes Rolston III, Bryan Norton, Peter Singer, Karen Warren, Mary Evelyn Tucker, and others.

Course Rotation: NY and PL: Fall.

3 credits

PHI 297B Philosophy of Psychology

Course Description: In this course we will examine the systematic relationship between the concerns of philosophy and psychology. We will discuss common sense psychology, cognitive science, and neuroscience. We will discuss the relative merits and disadvantages of these conceptions of the mind, and explore how their philosophical foundations bear on various philosophical issues.

Course Rotation: NY: Fall.

3 credits

PHI 297C Topic: Kant's Critique of Pure Reason

Course Description: The Critique of Pure Reason, the first of the three great Critiques, written in 1781 was Kant’s monumental attempt to reposition metaphysics as the Queen of the Sciences, through a new Copernican revolution in epistemology and metaphysics.

Course Rotation: NY and PL: Fall

3 credits

PHI 297D Topic: Philosophy of Law

Course Description: This course teaches basic legal concepts and philosophical problems relating to law. General legal theory; human and legal rights; legal responsibility; punishment; justice; property; judicial reasoning; the legal enforcement of morals.

Course Rotation: Spring: odd years.

3 credits

PHI 297E Topic: Liberty Justice and Community

Course Description: Liberalism, the moral foundation of state neutrality and the question of distributive justice. Liberal individualism vs. egalitarianism. Left-wing libertarianism and equal liberty. The claims of community and the politics of identity. Global injustice.

Course Rotation: NY: Fall, odd years.

3 credits

PHI 297F Topic: Socrates and the Sophists

Course Description: This course will include a thorough reading and discussion of Platonic dialogues involving discussions between Socrates and some of the most famous of the 5th century BC sophists, Protagoras and Gorgias. The course will begin with The Apology of Socrates, the speech he gave to defend himself in 399BC, part of which was aimed at proving that Socrates himself was not a Sophist.

Course Rotation: NYC and PLV: Fall, odd years; Spring, even years.

3 credits

PHI 297G Ancient Greek Philosophy and Literature

Course Description: In this course, we will read texts from ancient Greek literature and philosophy and trace the development of philosophical ideas and schools of thought in antiquity. The course includes Homer, Hesiod, some of the lyric poets, historians (Herodotus and Thucydides), dramatists such as Sophocles and Aristophanes, the Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, and the philosophers of the Hellenistic and Roman Age.

Course Rotation: NY: Fall.

3 credits

PHI 297I Topics: Hobbes's Leviathan

Course Description:Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, published in 1651, is arguably the greatest work of political philosophy ever written in English. Deemed controversial and even offensive in its time, it is a work of tremendous literary power and rhetorical force, and its ideas on the nature of the commonwealth and political sovereignty are a touchstone for all subsequent political philosophy. This course is devoted to a careful reading of this text in its entirety.
Course Rotation:Fall;NY

3 credits

PHI 297J Topic: The History of 19th Century Philosophy

New Core: Fulfills 3 credits in Western Heritage (Area of Knowledge II).

Course Description: The primary focus of this course will be on two broad developments in philosophy during the 19th century: post-Kantian idealism and reaction to it. Various metaphysical, epistemological, and axiological topics will be considered under these headings, including the nature of reason, self, and freedom, the possibility of non-empirical knowledge, and the relationship between moral and other sorts of value. Time permitting, we will also consider some key contributions on these topics of yet another 19th century philosophical development, viz. pragmatism.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall, odd years.

3 credits

PHI 305 Symbolic Logic

Prerequisite: PHI 253

Course Description: An examination of modern logical theory. The student will develop a facility with first-order sentential calculus and investigate such topics as: formal systems and their properties (consistency, completeness, decidability); theory of descriptions; the problem of induction; logic, language and reality.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall- Even Years; PLV: Fall- Even Years

3 credits

Prerequisites

PHI 253 Minimum Grade of D

PHI 355 Ethical Theories

Course Description: A critical examination of some of the classical theories of ethics, including those of Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant and Mill, as well as modern theories such as deontological ethical theory, utilitarianism, virtue ethics and the ethics of care.

Course Rotation: NYC: Spring - Odd years.

3 credits

Prerequisites

PHI 110 Minimum Grade of D or PHI 113 Minimum Grade of D or PHI 116 Minimum Grade of D

PHI 357 Philosophy of Religion

Permission of the Chair needed. 3 credits in either PHI or RES

Course Description: A critical examination of philosophical discussions concerning the existence of God, God's attributes, the creation of the universe, miracles, the sources of morality, and other issues that arise out of religious thought and practice.

Course Rotation: Fall - Odd years.

3 credits

Prerequisites

PHI 110 Minimum Grade of D or PHI 113 Minimum Grade of D or PHI 116 Minimum Grade of D or RES 101 Minimum Grade of D

PHI 395 Independent Study in Philosophy

Prerequisite: Junior standing and a minimum CQPA of 3.00.

Course Description: With the approval of the appropriate faculty member, the department chairperson, and the academic deal, students may select a topic for guided research that is not included among the regular course offerings. The student meets regularly with the faculty member to review progress. A research project or paper is required.

Course Rotation: NYC: Fall, Spring, and Summer. PLV: Fall and Spring.

1 - 9 credits

PHI 395A Independent Study in Philosophy (A)

1 - 9 credits

PHI 499 Senior Year Experience in Philosophy and Religious Studies

Course Description: Preparation of a seminar paper is the culminating experience of the program in Philosophy & Religious studies. There are three possible foci for the course: interdisciplinary, hermeneutics or applied ethics. Typically, the seminar will begin with discussion of classic texts in both philosophy and religious studies, chosen with a view to possible solutions to a central problem adopted for that year. In carrying out their research, students will be encouraged to cast as global a net as is appropriate and possible.

Course Rotation: Fall.

3 credits