Fall 2015

FYS 100 – Movies & Metaphsics – Stavroula Glezakos
T & TR – 2:00-3:15 pm – Tribble Hall A307

In this seminar, we will examine some central issues in philosophy, including: the appearance-reality distinction, free will, personal identity, and the nature of love. We will read classic and contemporary writings by philosophers, as well as view movies, in which these and other philosophical themes are explored..​

FYS 100 – Sports and Society – Adam Kadlac
T & TR – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble Hall A304

This course takes a critical approach to sports and examines the role sports play in our lives, both as participants and as spectators.  Among the questions to be considered are the following: What is the value of participating in sports?  Does being a sports fan really make our lives better?  Are the resources we devote to sports as a society better devoted to other things?  How do our sporting ideals influence our culture, and how are our cultural ideals reflected in our sports?  Is the ideal of the student-athlete outdated?  Throughout the class, we will also consider how issues of race and gender affect our responses to these and related questions.

PHI 111 – Basic Problems of Philosophy – Tyron Goldschmidt
T & TR – 2:00-3:15 pm and 3:30-4:45 pm – Tribble A306

This course introduces some big philosophical debates through dialogues. We’ll read dialogues about:

  • Free will: What is free will? Do we have it?
  • Knowledge: How do you know that you’re not in the matrix?
  • God: Is there any evidence for or against the existence of God?
  • Body and soul: Are we purely material beings? Or do we have souls?
  • Abortion: Is abortion morally permissible or wrong? Is it ever obligatory?

And maybe a few other questions too, depending on time and student interest.

PHI 111 – Basic Problems of Philosophy – Ralph Kennedy
T &TR  – 9:30-10:45 am  – Tribble A306

What is it for a life to have meaning? Is life meaningless or absurd if there is no God? Can life be meaningful if there is no afterlife? Are there objective facts about morality? Do we know anything for certain? Does all knowledge come from sense-experience, or can we know some things (math, for instance) simply by thinking? Is the world thoroughly material or does it have irreducibly mental aspects? Could a machine think? Is there such a thing as free will?

Objectives: To introduce students to central philosophical questions and to help them improve their abilities to read, write, and think critically about philosophical issues.

PHI 111 – Basic Problems of Philosophy – Christian Miller (FO)
M, W, & F – 10:00-10:50 am, 12:00-12:50, and 1:00-1:50 pm – Tribble A306

This course will be concerned with some of the most challenging and interesting questions in all of human experience. For example, we will consider some of the arguments for the existence of God, whether God would allow evil to exist, whether faith is compatible with reason, whether there is an objective morality, whether we should be moral at the expense of self-interest, whether the death penalty is morally permissible, and what we should do about famine. In each case, we will examine particular questions not only with an aim at arriving at the truth, but also with an aim at determining what relevance these questions have to our ordinary lives.  The text will be Joel Feinberg and Russ Shafer-Landau, Reason and Responsibility (Wadsworth Press, most recent edition) and our readings will be drawn from both classic and contemporary sources.

PHI 111 – Basic Problems of Philosophy – Clark Thompson
M & W – 12:30-1:45 pm- Tribble A304
M & W – 2:00-3:15 pm – Tribble A306

Examines the basic concepts of several representative philosophers, including their accounts of the nature of knowledge, persons, God, mind, and matter.

PHI 112 – Introduction to Philosophical Ideas – Charles Lewis
M & WF – 11:00 – 11:50 p.m. – Tribble Hall A306

This course, after examining the common sense and religious background of the first scientific thinkers or philosophers, turns to the study of Plato and Aristotle, the major shapers of pre-modern scientific, theological, and philosophical thought.  Then the course turns to Descartes, the first great architect of the modern scientific and philosophical ways of thinking.  An examination of the new Cartesian science of nature and its momentous departure from pre-modern belief in the teleology of all natural processes is followed by the study of Hume, one of Descartes’ major critics, who takes modern skepticism to a new level.  Twentieth-century existential nihilism is introduced along the way in order to consider its place in modern thought and its radical rejection of conventional assumptions about the meaning or purpose of human existence.  Attention is given throughout to how an examination of modern and pre-modern ways of thinking can help us to understand contemporary conceptions of self and world.

PHI 161 – Introduction to Bioethics – Hannah Hardgrave
M & W – 2:00-3:15 pm – Tribble A304

Study of moral problems in the practice of medicine, including informed consent, experimentation on human subjects, truthtelling, confidentiality, abortion, and the allocation of scarce medical resources.

PHI 164 – Contemporary Moral Problems – Adam Kadlac
T &TR – 9:30-10:45 am – Tribble A304
T & TR – 11:00- 12:15 pm – Tribble A306

In this course we will discuss several moral issues of contemporary concern including: truth-telling (in public and private life), performance-enhancing drugs (in sports and in the classroom), abortion, and capital punishment.  We will also think about the relationship between our modern market economy and other social values.

PHI 164 – Contemporary Moral Problems – Emily Austin
W & F – 12:30-1:45 pm – Tribble A103

Study of pressing ethical issues in abortion, euthanasia, world hunger, capital punishment, animal rights, pornography, and cognitive enhancement.

PHI 220 –Logic – Ty Goldschmidt
T & R – 11:00-12:15 pm – Tribble A305

Want to be able to think better? Want something that will help with any other course that makes use of reasoning or the construction of precise arguments? Then take this course. We’ll learn how to reason more carefully, how to recognize fallacies, and the essentials of logical analysis.

PHI 232 – Ancient Greek Philosophy – Emily Austin
W & F – 9:30 – 10:45 am – Tribble A309

Study of the central figures in early Greek philosophy, beginning with the Presocratics, focusing primarily on Plato and Aristotle, and concluding with a brief survey of some Hellenistic philosophers.

PHI 241 – Modern – Clark Thompson
M & W – 5:00-6:15 – Tribble A307

Study of the works of influential 17th– and 18th-century European philosophers such as Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, and Hume, with a concentration on theories of knowledge and metaphysics.

PHI 356 – 20th-Century European Philosophy – Julian Young
T & TR – 2:00-3:15 pm – Tribble A207

We shall look at the main trends in modern German philosophy: phenomenology, hermeneutics and critical theory. The issues to be discussed will include: the ‘disenchantment’ and ‘rationalization’ of modernity, the character of modern technology, the possibility of mutual understanding in a multicultural world, the possibility of being ‘at home’ in modernity. We will look as some of the following figures: Weber, Husserl, Horkheimer, Adorno, Marcuse, Heidegger, Gadamer, Arendt and Habermas.

PHI 361/661 – Topics in Ethics: Love and Friendship – Stavroula Glezakos
T & TR – 11:00 – 12:15 – Tribble A307

This course will examine a variety of historical and contemporary philosophical investigations of love and friendship. Among the questions that we will consider are: What is love? What is the difference between friendship and love? Can emotions be rationally justified? Are love and friendship necessary for happiness? Are they sufficient? In what way do our values guide our choices of friends and lovers?

PHI 363 – Philosophy of Law – Win-chiat Lee
M & W – 2:00-3:15 pm – Tribble A307

Inquiry into the nature of law and its relation to morality. Classroom discussions of readings from the woks of classical and modern authors focus on issues of contemporary concern involving questions of legal principle, personal liberty, human rights, responsibility, justice, and punishment.

PHI 373/673 – Philosophy of Science – Ralph Kennedy
T & TR – 12:30-1:45 pm – Tribble A307

We will focus on the following five topics: the distinction between science and nonscience, especially pseudoscience; induction and evidence; scientific revolutions (Kuhn); scientific realism; laws and scientific explanation.

Objectives: To introduce students to key themes in the philosophy of science and to help them improve their abilities to read, write, and think critically about some of the central texts and issues of the field.

PHI 372/672 – Philosophy of Religion – Charles Lewis
T & TR – 3:30-4:45 p.m. – Tribble Hall A307

An examination of such questions as the following: What is religion? Are the gods (of polytheism) dead or dying? What about God? How is religious belief to be explained? Is it a symptom of some underlying human weakness, need, or biological process? Or is it a response to the sacred? How could anyone know? Must believers rely on something less than knowledge? Are philosophical proofs the way to knowledge of God? Is the “problem of evil” a metaphysical problem? A theological problem? A critical problem? How are religious beliefs like and unlike metaphysical, moral, and modern scientific beliefs?

 *Note:  Officially, this class meets from 3:30 to 4:45, but in fact the class generally lets out considerably later than 4:45.  If you cannot stay for the entire class, Professor Lewis will work with you outside of class time so that you do not miss any of the material.

PHI 377 – Metaphysics – Patrick Toner
W & F – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble A309

Survey of such issues as the nature and existence of properties, possibility and necessity, time and persistence, causation, freedom and determinism, and dualism versus materialism about the human person.