Course List

PHIL 230 - Introduction to Philosophy

This course is an introduction to philosophy based on a reading of representative texts from the philosophical tradition. The issues connecting the texts to be read center on the nature of human being and experience.

PHIL 301 - Logic (Formerly PHIL 221)

This course introduces students to the principles of formal logic, especially insofar as they inform the fruitful analysis, translation and derivation of complex arguments. Besides the cultivation of these skills, students will encounter properly philosophical questions about the nature of thought, language and reality occasioned by their study of different logical systems.

PHIL 305 - Philosophy of Mind

This course introduces students to fundamental philosophical problems concerning the nature and properties of "mind," historical and contemporary. Specifically, it treats questions pertaining to the distinctive properties of human consciousness, intentionality, and rationality, and considers some important theoretical, practical, and spiritual implications that follow upon influential rival positions on these matters. Finally, the course deals with technological and ethical problems arising from the development of various contemporary artificial intelligence projects.

PHIL 310 - History of Political Thought I: Classical and Medieval Political Thought

Examines major developments in the history of Western political thought from the ancient Greeks and Romans through the Christian period up to the Renaissance, with particular attention given to key writings by Plato, Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas. Examines themes such as the justice, the state, politics, plurality, constitutionalism, power, war and the individual.

PHIL 311 - History of Political Thought II: Modern Political Thought

Examines the major social and political ideas developed in the modern era, focusing on select writings of major political philosophers such as Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marx and Nietzsche.

PHIL 320 - Philosophy of the Environment

A historical and systematic study of the structure and normed character of the various relationships between human beings and their environment. The ethical, aesthetic, or metaphysical ramifications of certain major environmental problems such as pollution, overpopulation, or resource exhaustion will be considered.

PHIL 321 - Metaphysics

A study of some central themes and problems in metaphysics which arise out of contemporary work in these areas. The course attempts to show the relevance of these issues to other areas of life and study. Often opinions and attitudes are shaped by unspoken metaphysical prejudices. The course takes a critical look at such presuppositions.

PHIL 322 - Epistemology

This course is an introduction to the theory of knowledge. Detailed examination is made of the concepts of justification, truth and belief. Particular attention is paid to the significance of philosophical skepticism for epistemology. Issues concerning the relativity and objectivity of knowledge, as well as debates about realism and anti-realism are also examined. Emphasis is placed on recent philosophical reflection on these issues, but students are also introduced to classical positions.

PHIL 327 - Greek Philosophy

A study of the major figures and philosophies in Pre-Socratic and classical Hellenic thought.

PHIL 332 - 20th Century Continental Philosophy

An examination of some recent figures and movements in continental philosophy. Attention is given to philosophers such as Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Gadamer, Ricouer, Adorno, Habermas, Foucault and Derrida as well as to movements such as phenomenology, existentialism, philosophical hermeneutics, neo-Marxism, structuralism and post-structuralism. Attempts are made to discover historical connections not only among various philosophies but also between those philosophies and selected developments in the arts, the sciences and European society.

PHIL 334 - Philosophy of the Sciences

The meaning and nature of science will be examined by means of a multidisciplinary dialogue. Students will be invited to understand the sciences in relation to each other, to the world, and to their faith commitments.

PHIL 339 - Philosophical Ethics

A critical examination of the nature of morality by means of an analysis of classical and contemporary texts. Questions examined include: What is the nature of moral judgment? How are moral decisions justified? What is the relationship between virtue and moral behavior? What is the relationship between happiness and moral duty? Why be moral at all?

PHIL 343 - Medieval Philosophy

The course introduces the student to the main figures and ideas in the history of philosophy from 350 A.D. to 1350 A.D. Beginning with Augustine and the Church Fathers, the course covers the development of philosophy in Western Europe through Aquinas and his immediate successors. Special attention is paid to such issues as the relation of faith and reason, the idea of Christian philosophy, and the concepts of divinity, creation, human freedom and sin.

PHIL 345 - Philosophy from Descartes to Kant

This course is a survey of the origins and development of philosophy from Descartes to Kant. Special attention is paid to the relationship between epistemological ideas and political, ethical and religious thought.

PHIL 347 - Late European Modern Philosophy

This course is an attempt to lead students into an understanding and critical engagement of the central 19th Century debate among European philosophers between the idealists (represented most importantly by G.W.F. Hegel) who advocated an understanding of the world as a rational system, and their critics (of whom S. Kierkegaard is the most vivid example) who, in the name of an otherwise lost individuality, advocated an "irrational," personal basis for understanding and life. This course will engage this philosophical issue and period with an eye toward the ongoing implications of the debate for philosophy, but also for theology, and for the human sciences.

PHIL 391 - Philosophy of Religion

An inquiry into selected philosophical issues concerning religion such as the presuppositions underlying various accounts of the origin of religion, the relationships among faith, reason and revelation, the possibility of giving a rational defense of religious belief, and such topics as the problem of evil, immortality and the supernatural.

PHIL 397 - Research In Philosophy

The course teaches students how to create innovative research that contributes to ongoing conversations in the discipline of philosophy.

PHIL 399 - Special Topics in Philosophy

A course on a topic or figure of special interest to a member of the philosophy faculty and offered on a non-recurring basis.

PHIL 401 - Phenomenology

This course will look at the philosophical foundations of, and contemporary issues in, phenomenology. We will explore key features of the phenomenological method-including the reduction, the bracketing of the `natural attitude,' the first-person methodology, intentionality, and givenness. We will also look at how the current conversations on these questions have implications for fields as diverse as psychology, religious studies, sociology, music, and more.

PHIL 494 - Advanced Topics in Philosophy

An in-depth examination and discussion of a specific topic in philosophy.

PHIL 495 - Senior Philosophy Seminar

All students with philosophy as a first subject of concentration in the B.A. program are required to take this course. Students develop skills in philosophical scholarship by preparing and presenting a written project involving interdisciplinary research on an appropriate topic.

PHIL 498 - Senior Thesis

The course requires students to complete a major research thesis in philosophy, on a topic of their choosing, in conjunction with a supervising professor.

PHIL 499 - Directed Studies in Philosophy

An opportunity to do intensive study on a special topic or figure of particular interest to the student. Students work closely with a member of the philosophy faculty in tutorial meetings. Students must apply in advance to a member of the philosophy faculty.