Philosophy

The courses on this page have been renumbered to reflect the University's updated numbering system.  Below is a quick reference guide to these changes.

Old Course Number New Course Number
PHIL 260 PHIL 101
PHIL 262 PHIL 102
PHIL 265 PHIL 103
PHIL 268 PHIL 104
PHIL 315 PHIL 201

PHIL 101. (Old Number, PHIL 260). Introduction to Philosophy Credit 3(3-0)
This is an introductory course covering such topics as theories of reality, the nature of mind and knowledge, and the higher values of life. (S)

PHIL 102. (Old Number, PHIL 262). Logic Credit 3(3-0)
This is an introductory course designed to give a critical analysis of the principles, problems and fallacies in reasoning. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 103. (Old Number, PHIL 265). World Religions Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines the teachings and practices of the world’s major religions. This exploration is conducted as a factual approach in which the history, beliefs, philosophy, practices and important figures of each religion are presented. Religions covered include African and Native American oral traditions, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, Shinto, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and new religious movements. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 104. (Old Number, PHIL 268). Introduction to Ethics >Credit 3(3-0)
This introductory course covers basic ethical theory, its history, and major authors. This course is designed to give students a vocabulary for discussing ethics as well as the skills necessary to articulate and apply normative positions. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 201. (Old Number, PHIL 315). Business Ethics Credit 3(3-0)
This course will introduce students to ethical challenges faced in an international business world. Using a case studies approach, students will survey major theories of ethics, examine current ethical practices in business, and learn to formulate, articulate, and defend their own answers to business ethics' questions. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 261. The Meaning of Life Credit 3(3-0)
This course will examine two interrelated questions. What is the meaning of life? What makes a particular life meaningful or meaningless? By analyzing literature, philosophical writings, and film, students will participate in a reflective investigation of subjective and objective answers to these questions. (DEMAND)

PHIL 263. Ethics of Good Life and Character Building Credit 3(3-0)
This course explores the role of ethics in achieving a good life. The goal is to encourage students to reflect about their motivations and to contemplate the sort of character they might aspire to build. Questions examined include: What virtues make a person good? To what extent is self-interest compatible with being a virtuous person? What makes life meaningful? Why should we act morally and show concern for others? (F;S;SS)

PHIL 264. Contemporary African American Philosophy Credit 3(3-0)
This course has two objectives. First, it exposes students to the contributions made by African Americans to philosophy. Second, it explores issues of philosophy unique to the African American experience. Readings are drawn from both contemporary and classic sources. Comparisons between African American and African philosophy will be made. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 266. Contemporary Moral Problems Credit 3(3-0)
This course begins with an examination of various ethical theories and then applies these theories to address moral challenges faced by today’s society. Topics include the environment, abortion, treatment of animals, drug use, pornography, hate speech, euthanasia, famine relief, affirmative action and the death penalty. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 267. Philosophy of Love and Friendship Credit 3(3-0)
In this course students will undertake a conceptual analysis of the terms “love” and “friendship.” Questions addressed include: What are the various types of love? Does a person need friends in order to achieve happiness? And what are the minimal requirements of friendship? Students will survey a variety of philosophical and contemporary literature along with examples from film and popular culture to investigate the nature of love and friendship. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 309. Contemporary Philosophy Credit 3(3-0)
This course involves a critical investigation of some contemporary movements in philosophy with special emphasis on existentialism, pragmatism, and positivism. (DEMAND)

PHIL 310. Feminist Philosophy Credit 3(3-0)
This course will introduce students to some of feminist theory's contributions to philosophy. Students will explore various feminist perspectives and analyze the intellectual commitments, world views, and values of each school of thought. Students will then investigate how feminist theory relates to contemporary philosophical issues such as development programs in third world countries, pornography and reproductive. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 311. Philosophy of Punishment Credit 3(3-0)
This course introduces students to philosophical theories of punishment and investigates what types of punishments are morally justified. Issues examined include the normative scope for criminalization, the moral permissibility of capital punishment, the insanity defense, the prosecution of minors as adults and other related issues. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 312. Political Philosophies of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. Credit 3(3-0)
This course contrasts the philosophies of Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. on race and racism, nonviolence and self-defense, integration and separatism, and Christianity and Islam. Students will be introduced to the political and social culture that shaped the thoughts and worldviews of Malcolm X and Dr. King. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 313 Philosophy of Sports Credit 3(3-0)
This course will consider several philosophical problems in sport: What is sport? What is the value of sports? How should we conduct ourselves when we play sports? Are there sports which are morally wrong? Students will examine ethical and political issues which have arisen in sports including Title IX, gender equity, racism, sexism, drug use, cheating and doping. Prerequisites: None. (F;S;SS) 

PHIL 314. Social and Political Philosophy Credit 3(3-0)
This course considers the essential features of various types of government (democracy, monarchy, fascism, etc.) and justifications for the existence of any form of government. Through a historical, thematic and analytic exposition, students will survey the political theories of philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Hegel, Mill, Marx, Rawls, Nozick, Foucault, Althusser, Fanon and Nkrumah. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 316. Environmental Ethics Credit 3(3-0)
This course is an introduction to the philosophical study and moral assessment of human interaction with other species and the environment in which we live. Students will survey several environmental ethics theories including biocentrism, ecocentrism, deep ecology and social ecology and then apply these ethical tools to address real-world environmental problems. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 317. Medical Ethics Credit 3(3-0)
This course introduces students to ethical challenges arising within the practice of medicine. Topics considered include truth-telling, informed consent, confidentiality, medical futility, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, gene therapy, social justice in health care, use of animals and humans subjects in medical research, and organ transplantation. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 318. Honors in Philosophy Credit 3(3-0)
This course includes an examination of selected philosophical topics. May be repeated for credit. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 319. Wabash-Provost Scholars Research Credit 1(1-0)
This course provides student researchers training in collection, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of qualitative and quantitative institutional research data. May be repeated for credit. Prerequisite: Acceptance in Wabash-Provost Scholars Program. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 320. Ethics and Technology Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines ethical issues arising from scientific and technological advancements. After exploring various standards of morality, students analyze issues such as reproductive technologies, cloning, genetic engineering, stem cell research, life-span extension, genetically modified foods, and ethical concerns within nanotechnology. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 322. Death & Dying Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines philosophical questions surrounding human mortality. Topics include what happens after death, immortality, the harm or benefit of death, grief, the act of dying, the good death, and the role technology and ethics play in this inevitable process. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 323. Critical Theories Credit 3 (3-0)
This interdisciplinary course explores various ways that critical theorists have envisioned human liberation. Topics include ideology, social justice, economic justice , and political liberation. Cross listed with LIBS323.

PHIL 400. Ancient Philosophy Credit 3(3-0)
This course will examine the history of philosophy from the ancient Greeks t medieval Europeans.  Philosophers discussed include the pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, and Augustine. Topics will range from theories of nature, persons happiness, human knowledge, the good life, and the existence of God. Special focus will be on how each philosopher progressed ideas during this time period, thus setting the stage for modern philosophy. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 401. Modern Philosophy Credit 3(3-0)
This course will examine the history of philosophy from Descartes through Kant. Special focus will be given to the Rationalists (Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza) and the Empiricists (Locke, Berkeley and Hume). Topics discussed include the possibility of human knowledge, the existence of God, the nature of causation, and the mind-body problem. How the moderns differed from the ancients, the impact the moderns had on the direction of philosophy, and the role women played in this philosophical change will also be explored. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 402. Philosophy of Law Credit 3(3-0)
This course is a philosophical investigation into the nature of law. Students will examine various theories of  jurisprudence including natural law, legal positivism, legal naturalism, and legal realism. The course will also consider the relationship between law and morality and between equality and the law. Finally, students will investigate various philosophical problems in criminal and tort law.

PHIL 403. Philosophy of Science Credit 3(3-0)
This course will examine the most basic concepts and principles at work in scientific inquiry. Students will investigate the nature of scientific explanation, consider various scientific theories, theories of truth, and explore the distinction between science, metaphysics, and pseudoscience. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 404. Philosophy, Marxism, and the Africana World Credit 3(3-0)
This course analyzes the main ideas of Marxism and their development in the Africana world. Through an examination of early socialist and late twentieth century thinkers, students will acquire a basic understanding of Marxist theory and a historical understanding of Marxism in Africa and the Africana Diaspora. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 405. Philosophy of Religion Credit 3(3-0)
This course examines the origins of the religious impulse, and religious myth and ritual as they have developed in the history of human societies. It considers classical arguments for and against the existence of god(s) and the immortality of the human soul, various views of the nature of god, and the challenge to the religious worldview posed by suffering and “evil.” (F;S;SS)

PHIL 406. Logic for the Legal Profession Credit 3(3-0)
This course focuses on the development of the logical and analytical reasoning skills required in the legal profession. Students will practice argument analysis, identification of assumptions, parallel reasoning, drawing inferences, applying general principles, and recognition of flawed reasoning. The course will be offered for a Pass/Fail grade. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing. (F;S;SS)

PHIL 408. Law, Humanities & the Social Sciences  Credit 3(3-0)
This interdisciplinary topical course examines legal concepts and issues as depicted in the humanities and the social sciences. Topics include freedom and the law, justice and equality, and freedom and responsibility. Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing. Cross listed with LIBS 408(F;S;SS)

PHIL 409. Science and Religion  Credit 3(3-0)
This course explores the relationship between science and religion from an interdisciplinary perspective through readings, films. and case studies. Are scientific and religious ways of knowing compatible, conflictory, or how might these disciplines coexist and influence each other? Prerequisite: Junior or Senior standing. Cross listed with LIBS 409(F;S;SS)

PHIL 441. Media Ethics Credit 3(3-0)
This course applies ethical theory to issues within the media profession. The course begins with an examination of major ethical approaches and decision-making strategies and examines some ethical challenges faced by  media professionals. Topics include privacy versus “the right to know.” Accuracy, fairness, exploitation in advertising, deceptive practices, media accountability, conflicts of interest, the public interest versus ratings, and the Digital Millennium Act.

PHIL 492. Seminar in Philosophy Credit 3(3-0)
This course is designed for students to examine special philosophical topics or conduct a senior research project.