Current Courses

FALL 2020

Philosophy of Death and Dying                       PHIL 1001              MWF 10:10-11:00 Dr. Groenhout

Philosophers have often asked, “What is the meaning of life?” In this course, we will be asking, “What is the meaning of death?” and other related questions. The course serves as an introduction to philosophy that focuses upon the topics of death and dying. Uses philosophical texts, concepts, and methods, the class will consider how death affects the way living people and things relate to one another.

Introduction to Philosophy (W)                       PHIL 1102                                     Various Instructors

Exploration of some of the basic problems that have shaped the history of philosophy. Some sections are online.

Critical Thinking (W)                                      PHIL 1105                                   Various Instructors

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.

Deductive Logic                                               PHIL 2105                                    Various Instructors

Principles of deductive logic, both classical and symbolic, with emphasis on the use of formal logic.

Ethical Theory                                                PHIL 3210                         TR 1:00-2:15 Dr. Souffrant

Selective examination of major normative and metaethical theories that undergird our practical judgments about morally right actions and virtuous persons. Normative theories studied may include virtue ethics, deontology, consequentialism, and representative feminist theories. Metaethical theories studied may include cognitivism, expressivism, realism, and error theory.

Aesthetics                                                        PHIL 3220                                M 2:30-5:15 Dr. Kelly

HYBRID Course: classes in person every two weeks, otherwise online.

Aesthetics is as old as philosophy, though its modern form emerged in the 18th century. After discussing some classical texts and issues in modern aesthetics, we’ll focus on Black Aesthetics, which itself has a long history, though it has taken on a new vibrancy and relevance in the last few years. Against the background of 18th century aesthetics, what is Black Aesthetics, a question that philosophers, artists, and others answer in many different, mostly complementary ways? Is Black Aesthetics a critique of modern aesthetics because of the racism (colonialism and sexism) in its conceptual foundations? Is it also a new form or mode of doing aesthetics? Might this new form also be an invitation and a challenge to the rest of contemporary aesthetics to rethink what it’s doing and thinking?

Healthcare Ethics                                            PHIL 3230                 MWF 11:15-12:05 Prof. Raymer

Major ethical dilemmas within medical science and biology are examined, including reproductive and genetic technology, death and dying, patient rights, and justice in distribution of healthcare benefits and burdens.

Advanced Logic                                               PHIL 3510                            W 2:30-5:15 Dr. Boisvert

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

Philosophy of Religion                                      PHIL 3530                     MWF 11:15-12:05 Dr. Talsma

Philosophical implications of religious experience including problems of belief and reason in modern thought.

Senior Seminar: Nature (W, O)                       PHIL 3620                            TR 10-11:15 Dr. Sullivan

Senior seminar gives majors the opportunity to demonstrate proficiency and professionalism as a researcher in philosophy. We will study different philosophical perspectives on the theme of nature, including various Asian, Indigenous, and Western philosophies. The class also will give students experience thinking about and translating how philosophical skills fit with careers outside of academia.

Philosophy of Body                                            PHIL 3930                             M 5:30-8:15 Prof. Yartey

Opportunity to explore the implications of the Eastern and Western philosophical literature on what the body means to individuals and societies.

Philosophy of Education                                    PHIL 3940                       TR 11:30-12:45 Dr. Sanders

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.

Topics: Ecofeminism                                         PHIL 3990.001                 TR 11:30-12:45 Prof. Wilson

Ecofeminism is a political and philosophical movement that explores overlapping themes within ecological ethics and feminist philosophy. Ecofeminism recognizes, critiques, and seeks to deconstruct the three-part “Master Mentality”: (1) Dualism, whereby all life is ordered into two opposing categories; (2) Value-laden Hierarchies, whereby such dualism is not neutral; and (3) The role of the “lower” is to serve the needs of the “higher.” Emphasis is placed upon evaluating the role of patriarchy in both environmental degradation and the in the suppression and marginalization of women’s interests. Students will also explore how women, globally, are disproportionately impacted by ecological crises.

Topics: Philosophy of Sport                             PHIL 3990.090                      W 5:30-8:15 Prof. Yartey

Examines various philosophical issues related to sports.

Topics: Neoliberalism                                      PHIL 4990                                M 5:30-8:15 Dr. James

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.