Upcoming Offerings

Fall 2020

Philosophy of Education

PHIL 5050 · Dr. Mark Sanders · Tuesday & Thursday, 11:30-12:45

This class will explore the philosophy of education theories of John Dewey and approaches to education that take into account the problems faced by America’s schools, including the effect of race, class, and gender on school culture. It will also look specifically at the role that philosophy can and should play in education. Class members will work in groups to put together a Philosophy lesson plan and go to a high school class to lead the class through the lesson plan.

Theories of Neoliberalism

PHIL 5050 · Dr. Robin James · Monday, 5:30-8:15

Though people often dismiss "neoliberalism" as a term that has been overused to the point of meaninglessness, it really does have a precise meaning: neoliberalism is the overlapping set of ideologies and practices that aim to transform everything, especially traditionally non-economic activities like friendship, into private markets. In this class, we examine scholarship across philosophy, political theory, feminist/queer/critical race theory, and popular music and popular culture that defines what neoliberalism is, explores why it is harmful, and identifies alternatives and ways to resist it. The course will focus primarily on two kinds of neoliberalism: the ones Foucault talks about in his 1970s lecture courses, which rely on probabilist models of the market, and the speculative ones used by contemporary finance capitalism. We will read authors such as Lisa Adkins, Melinda Cooper, Dale Chapman, Kara Keeling, Adam Kotsko, and Lester Spence.

Caribbean Philosophy

PHIL 6050 · Dr. Eddy Souffrant · Tuesday, 2:30-5:15

We shall consider the nature of Caribbean Philosophy and explore its critical and expansive aspects with the works of Aimé Césaire, Maryse Condé, Frantz Fanon, Édouard Glissant, Jean Price-Mars, David Scott, Michel-Rolph Trouillot, and Sylvia Wynter.

Biopsychosocial Health

PHIL 6050 · Dr. Shannon Sullivan · Monday, 12:20-3:00

How is human health transactionally constituted by biological, psychological, and social factors? "Transactional" here means that the bio, the psycho, and the social of biopsychosocial health are not separate and additive, but instead co-constitute each other in dynamic ways. This course will examine these questions both philosophically and empirically/psychologically. It will be team-taught (with Dr. Jeanette Bennett of the Department of Psychological Science) and cross-listed with the PhD program in Health Psychology. The course will examine empirical and applied research pertaining to the promotion and maintenance of health, the prevention and treatment of illness, and the examination of health behaviors. We will focus particularly on the impact of stress on health. Throughout the course, we also will ask meta-questions about what counts as "good health" and how, for example, that concept often is implicitly shaped by social dynamics related to white privilege, male privilege, and class privilege. While the empirical readings will emphasize the biological underpinnings of health, students in PHIL 6050 are not expected to be or to become experts in analyzing or conducting empirical studies on health, as Health Psychology students might be. The assignments for PHIL 6050 students will include an in-class presentation and leading discussion on the day’s readings, plus a final term paper in which each student researches philosophically a health-related topic with the benefit of their new understanding of empirical studies related to biopsychosocial health.

Philosophical Methods & Analysis

PHIL 6120 · Dr. Ruth Groenhout · Thursday, 2:30-5:15

This course is an introduction to the various methods of doing philosophy, examining both the various philosophical traditions as well as the reading and writing skills necessary for success in a philosophy graduate program. Because the MA program at UNC Charlotte is an Applied Philosophy program, the focus of this class will be on significantly different approaches to various applied issues in philosophy, beginning with historical approaches, the analytic/continental divide, and concluding with alternative approaches that fall outside these three major categories. Members of the department will also visit the class, to introduce their approaches to these various methods as well as their analysis of specific issues in topics such as health care ethics, feminist theory, Africana philosophy and other prominent approaches.

Ethics of Public Policy

PHIL 6250 · Dr. Gordon Hull · Thursday, 10:00-12:45

In many ways, modern policymaking might appear to be a technical matter, concerned with scientifically or economically provable matters of administration. Aside from local conflict of interest concerns, cases of inappropriate employee conduct, and compliance with statutory law, ethics might appear to be irrelevant. That appearance is an illusion, and the primary goal of this course is to think about how policy decisions, even at a micro level, are deeply value-laden. Even the decision to pursue economic efficiency—the central move in the modern welfare economics that dominates policymaking circles—is itself a decision with moral implications. The course combines theoretical reading with current literature on exemplary policy topics such as intellectual property and privacy.

Feminist Theory and Its Applications

PHIL 6320 · Dr. Emek Ergun · Wednesday, 5:30-8:15

This course is a seminar that focuses on two themes or subfields in feminist theory. The first theme is political philosophy and political economy. We will study feminist analyses of private property. These analyses touch on key issues in feminist theory, such as: personhood, the public/private distinction, consent, marriage, work, neoliberalism, and race. The second theme focuses on feminist and queer methods in the discipline of sound studies, and touches on many of the same issues as the first theme. Students will do a literature review of recent research in feminist theory on a topic closely related to their own research interests, and will write a seminar paper addressing course material.

Master's Research Paper

PHIL 6999 · Dr. Lisa Rasmussen · Wednesday, 2:30-5:15

Students begin with a previously submitted course paper and spend the semester revising it. The goal is for each student to produce a polished, professional paper worthy of submission to a philosophical journal. Additional reading and research on the topic is conducted, and multiple steps of revision and presentation of work in progress to the class are included.