Current Courses

Fall 2014

PHIL 1105. Critical Thinking (3) (W), Multiple sections taught at various times. Professor Reginald Raymer, Professor William Jarrett

Fundamental skills of clear thinking that will help people reason better during communication, problem-solving, and design, particularly as these integrate scientific/engineering with social needs and values. The course will focus on clarifying goals, identifying constraints, and generating and evaluating ideas or solutions.

PHIL 1106. Critical Thinking. (3), Multiple sections taught at various times. Dr. Jayne Tristan, Professor Sean Riley

Fundamental skills of clear thinking that help students reason better during communication, problem-solving, and design, particularly as these integrate scientific/engineering efforts with social needs and values. Focuses on clarifying goals, identifying constraints, and generating and evaluating ideas or solutions. Students are ineligible to take this course if credit has already been received for PHIL 1105.

PHIL 2101. Introduction to Philosophy (3), M, W, F 11:00-11:50. Dr. Lisa Rasmussen

Exploration of some of the basic problems that have shaped the history of philosophy (truth, knowledge, justice, beauty, etc.) and remain relevant to students today on personal and professional levels. Readings will range from classical to contemporary texts by a variety of philosophers representing diverse perspectives on these problems. Please see the descriptions in Banner attached to each section to appreciate the different ways this course will be taught every semester. Crosslisted as PHIL 2102, but does not fulfill the general education writing goal. Students can receive credit for either PHIL 2101 or PHIL 2102, but not both.

PHIL 2102. Introduction to Philosophy (3) (W), Multiple sections taught a various times. Dr. Tina Talsma, Professor Beth Mason, Dr. Eddy Souffrant, Dr. Trevor Pearce, Dr. Phillip McReynolds

Exploration of some of the basic problems that have shaped the history of philosophy (truth, knowledge, justice, beauty, etc.) and remain relevant to students today on personal and professional levels. Readings will range from classical to contemporary texts by a variety of philosophers representing diverse perspectives on these problems. Please see the descriptions in Banner attached to each section to appreciate the different ways this course will be taught every semester. Makes substantial use of writing as a tool for learning. Crosslisted as PHIL 2101, but fulfills the general education writing goal. Students can receive credit for either PHIL 2101 or PHIL 2102, but not both.

PHIL 2105. Deductive Logic (3), Multiple sections taught at various times. Dr. Tina Talsma, Dr. Dan Boisvert, Professor Sean Riley

Principles of deductive logic, both classical and symbolic, with emphasis on the use of formal logic in analysis of ordinary language discourse

PHIL 3010. Ancient Philosophy. (3), M & W 11:00-12:15. Dr. Michael Kelly

Western intellectual and philosophic thought from the early Greeks to the post Aristotelian period, often with an eye to issues in contemporary philosophy. Readings from the pre Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Epicureans, Stoics, Skeptics, and Neoplatonists

PHIL 3130. American Philosophy. (3), T&R 3:30-4:45. Dr. Mark Sanders

Analyzes the question of what constitutes American Philosophy, examining the interaction between America and philosophy and exploring some of the characteristics that may help contribute to the characterization of American Philosophy including: individualism, community, practicality, fallibility, and meliorism.  Critically examines the narrative of American philosophy, focusing on pragmatism, America’s distinctive contribution to philosophy, and assesses the role that American philosophy has, can, and should play concerning social and cultural issues in America.

PHIL 3190. Topics in History: Nietzsche. (3), M&W 3:30-4:45. Dr. Michael Kelly

PHIL 3230. Healthcare Ethics. (3), W 3:30-6:00. Professor Regginald Raymer

Major ethical dilemmas within medical science and biology are examined to assist students to identify, analyze, and decide ethical issues in such a way that they can defend their positions to themselves and others.  Issues include reproductive and genetic technology, death and dying, patient rights, and justice in distribution of healthcare benefits and burdens.

PHIL 3240. Ethics Bowl I. (3) (O, W), T&R 2:00-3:15. Professor Beth Mason

Prerequisite: PHIL 3239.  Students prepare for and participate in the Mid-Atlantic Regional Ethics Bowl competition.  Students intensively research cases (developed by the Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl), and work both collaboratively and individually on written case analyses.  Significant amounts of in-class time scrimmaging and working on public-speaking and oral communication skills.

PHIL 3410. Knowledge and Reality. (3), M,W,F 2:00-2:50. Dr. Tina Talsma

An examination of interrelated issues concerning belief, justification, knowledge, and existence and the implications of these for broader philosophical issues.  "Narrower" issues may include:  What is the source of our beliefs?  How do these sources affect our determinations of what fundamentally exists and what those things are like?  How do our assumptions about what exists affect the objects and methods of knowing?  When do beliefs become knowledge?  Are there some things about the world that we cannot know about?  Broader issues may include:  What kind of thing is a mind or a self?  How does such a thing fit into a natural world?  What can non-human animals or computers tell us about intelligence?  In what sense can collective entities engage in intentional behavior?

PHIL 3510. Advanced Logic. (3), M 3:30-5:15 Dr. Daniel Boisvert

Advanced systems of logic, with emphasis upon symbolic logic and formal systematic characteristics such as axiomatics and proof techniques.

PHIL 3590. Topics and Knowledge/Language: Nature as Technology: From Alchemy to Biomimicry. (3), M&W 11:00-12:15 Dr. Trevor Pearce

Specific topics in the Knowledge/Language.  May be repeated for credit with permission of department.

PHIL 3810. Social and Political Philosophy. (3), M&W 8:00-9:15 Dr. Eddy Souffrant

Cross-listed as POLS 3177.  Examination of basic concepts involved in understanding the nature and structure of political and social formations.  Issues may include topics such as justice, human rights, the nature of political power, and the relations between individuals and political/social institutions.  Readings from historical and/or contemporary sources, and may include figures such as Plato, Hobbes, Marx, Rawls, Arendt, Foucault and Butler.

PHIL 3940. Philosophy of Education. (3), T&R 12:30-1:45 Professor Beth Mason

Exploration of classic Western approaches to education and the contemporary moral problems faced by America’s schools.  Issues to be considered are the effect of race, class, and gender on school culture and teacher preparation.

PHIL 4050. Topics: Ethics and Technology. (3) M&W 9:30-10:45 Dr. Gordon Hull

Cross-listed with PHIL 5050.

LBST 1102. The Arts and Society: Film. (3), T&R 12:30-1:45 Dr. Phillip McReynolds

An introduction to the art of film in the context of the arts and society. Analysis of the elements of narrative and documentary film, including works made for television. Examines the role of Hollywood, international, and independent cinema (including television) in reflecting, shaping, and critiquing society. May not be repeated for credit.

LBST 2101. Western Cultural and Historical Awareness. (3), R 3:30-6:00 Professor Regginald Raymer

All sections of this course explore a major aspect of Western culture. Particular attention is given to an examination of the constructed nature of the present through a close examination of the past and the ways that selected institutions, ideas, or practices change over time and spread in human society, producing both continuity and novelty. May not be repeated for credit.

LBST 2211. Ethical Issues (3),Multiple sections taught at various times. Professor Ellyn Ritterskamp

LBST 2211. Ethical Issues: Technology (3),Multiple sections taught at various times. Professor William Jarrett, Professor Sean Riley

LBST 2213. Science, Technology, and Society. (3), Multiple sections taught at various times. Dr. Jayne Tristan 

History of selected technical innovations with the aim of better understanding the roles of science and technology in bringing about global social and political changes. We will examine arguments to understand the relation between the social and political aims of those financing technical and scientific discoveries and the technologies created and adopted. Evidence about China’s technological past are explored, the diffusion of technology from China to Europe, examine evidence for its role in stimulating Europe’s Renaissance and the age of exploration. Accessible introduction to questions concerning technology and society. Do technologies have politics? Are innovations inevitable?  How do decisions about funding of science and technology influence political and social conditions? Science wars: we’ll explore a variety of social sources of resistance to ‘science’ and sources of resistance to technological changes. The role of science and technology in society. The appreciation and understanding of science and the public policy issues related to science and technology. Issues such as science vs. pseudo-science, the ethics of science and technology, the methods of the sciences, the importance of major scientific discoveries, and public expectations of the sciences. May not be repeated for credit.

LBST 2215. Citizenship. (3), Multiple sections taught at various times. Dr. Mark Sanders

A study of the concept of citizenship as it has evolved in different cultures with an emphasis on scholarly understandings of the rights and responsibilities of citizenship. Includes an examination of the ethical dimensions of citizenship in political, social, and religious contexts. Includes a service component that allows students to explore the relations of citizenship and public service. During the semester the course meets a total of 27 hours for classroom lectures and discussions and requires completion of 25 hours of voluntary service in the community. May not be repeated for credit.