Fall 2016

FYS 100 – PHI of War
M & W – 5:00-6:15 – Tribble Hall A201
Clark Thompson

This course studies the implications of moral theory for the determination of when war is morally permissible and of how war is to be conducted if it is to be waged in a morally acceptable way.  Our questions include the following: To what extent is military action justified when used to address humanitarian concerns, to promote liberal or democratic values, or to head off potential threats? Can a meaningful distinction be drawn between combatants and noncombatants? Should a defense of superior orders shield military subordinates from accountability for illegal or immoral acts they commit in war?

FYS 100 – Good and Evil in Tolkiens the Lord of the Rings
W & F – 9:30-10:45 – Tribble Hall A307
Patrick Toner

 The Lord of the Rings is one of the most popular books ever written, but what is it really about?  Is it just fantasy literature?  What is its connection to the great epics?  What is its connection to fairy stories?  What does it have to teach us?  Is it great literature?  Should we care?  What does the Ring of Power symbolize?  We will study the book particularly in its relation to Tolkien’s Catholicism and with some consideration given to his near-contemporary GK Chesterton, and his friend CS Lewis.  Students must re-read the book prior to the start of the semester.

PHI 111 – Basic Problems of Philosophy
M, W, & F – 9:00-9:50 – CRN: 93583 and 10:00-10:50 – CRN: 93586
Tribble Hall A306
Ralph Kennedy

A study of perennial issues at the heart of philosophy, such as the nature and extent of our knowledge of the world, the role of evidence in justifying belief, the nature of causality, self-knowledge, personal identity, the nature and possibility of free will, and the nature of morality.

PHI 111 – Basic Problems of Philosophy
T& R – 9:30-10:45 – Tribble Hall A304 – CRN: 93957
T & R – 12:30-1:45 – Tribble Hall A304 – CRN: 93661
T & R – 2:00-2:50 – Tribble Hall A306 – CRN: 93734
Staff

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

PHI 111 – Basic Problems of Philosophy
M, W, & F –10:00-10:50 – CRN: 93585 – Tribble Hall A304 – FRESHMAN ONLY
M, W, & F – 11:00-11:50 – CRN: 93607 – Tribble Hall A306 – FRESHMAN ONLY
Christian Miller

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 116 – Meaning and Happiness – CRN: 93629
T & R – 12:30-1:45 – Tribble Hall A306
Julian Young

Beginning with Plato (c. 400 BCE) and ending with Foucault (died 1984) the course will look at the views of Western philosophers who have discussed the question of how to live a happy, meaningful life. Particular attention will be paid to ‘post-death-of-God’ philosophers (e.g. Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Marx, Sartre, Camus, and Heidegger) who reject the traditional Christian answer to the question of meaning and seek to provide an alternative. Since these philosophers all (a) argue for their positions and (b) disagree with each other, we shall improve our skills in critical thinking in seeing with whom we agree (if anyone) and with whom we disagree. At the end of the course we should have an outline grasp of the history of Western philosophy.

PHI 160 – Intro to Political Philosophy
M, W, and F – 2:00-2:50 – Tribble Hall A304 – CRN: 93632
M, W, and F – 5:00-5:50 – Tribble Hall A306 – CRN – 93639
Adrian Bardon

From what does government derive its authority? Is the proper purpose of organized society to protect individual rights, or to promote the general welfare? Is there a basic right to property? Should community moral values override individual choice? This course examines the role of views about justice in determining attitudes about liberty, equality, and authority, and, in so doing, provides an overview of major issues in social and political thought.

PHI 161 – Intro to Bioethics – CRN: 93668
T & R – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble Hall A304
Ana Iltis

A study of ethical issues that arise in health care and the life sciences. Topics to be explored include questions about death and dying, organ donation, regenerative medicine, genetic testing and research, and mandatory vaccination, among others.

PHI 161 – Intro to Bioethics – CRN: 93842
T & R – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble Hall A305
Hannah Hardgrave

A study of ethical issues that arise in health care and the life sciences such as informed consent, experimentation on human subjects, truth-telling, confidentiality, abortion, and the allocation of scarce medical resources.

PHI 164 – Contemporary Moral Problems
T & R – 9:30 – 10:45 – Tribble Hall A306 – CRN: 93584
T & R – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble Hall A306 – CRN: 93602
Adam Kadlac

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 165 – Intro to PHI of Law
M, W, & F – 12:00-12:50 – Tribble Hall A304 – CRN: 93608
M, W, & F – 1:00-1:50 – Tribble Hall A306 – CRN: 93663
Clark Thompson

An examination of prominent legal principles and cases.  Topics include the rule of law, judicial review, constitutional interpretation, the use of criminal law to enforce morality, the requirements for criminal liability, punishment, and the right to privacy.

PHI 220 – Logic
T & R – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble Hall A208 – CRN: 93813
T & R – 2:00-3:15 – Tribble Hall A304 – CRN: 93635
Stavroula Glezakos

The focus of this course will be reasoning, good and bad. In particular, we will investigate varieties of good reasoning and learn methods of evaluating and engaging in it. We will also identify varieties of bad reasoning, and spend some time considering why people might engage in it, or even be persuaded by it. Some of what we study will require mastery of formal methods of proof and calculation, but no prior knowledge of logic or mathematics will be assumed.

PHI 232 – Ancient Greek Philosophy – CRN: 93660
T & R – 9:30-10:45 – Tribble Hall A307
Staff

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 237 – Medieval Philosophy – CRN: 93601
W & F – 12:30-1:45 – Tribble Hall A307
Patrick Toner

We will focus principally on St. Augustine and St. Thomas Aquinas, but we’ll try to work our way in and out of the period by starting with some Plotinus and ending with some Descartes.  And we’ll look at some other figures in between, including perhaps Averroes, Maimonides and Nicholas of Cusa.  One of our organizing questions will be: what is the proper place of human reason, given belief in Divine Revelation?  Etienne Gilson identifies three main answers to that question in the medieval period, all of which are still very much alive today.  Another organizing question will be: how should we structure our political communities?  St. Augustine presents one massively influential answer.  St. Thomas Aquinas’s answer is remarkably different.  Why?  And do these views deserve a hearing today?

PHI 342/642 – CRNS: 93812/93934 – Topics in Modern Philosophy
T & R – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble Hall A307
Ty Goldschmidt

This course will focus on the works of George Berkeley and David Hume. They are among the most influential thinkers in the history of philosophy, and among the most delightful writers in the history of philosophy too. It’s not hard to get excited about their ideas. The arguments are direct, powerful and for radical conclusions: Berkeley tries to show that there are no material things, and Hume tries to show that we have no reason whatsoever for thinking that the sun will rise tomorrow! We’ll focus on their short classics—especially Berkeley’s Principles and Hume’s Enquiry—and see how contemporary philosophers take up their arguments too.

PHI 360/660 – CRNS: 93605/93606 – Ethics
W & F – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble Hall A307
Adam Kadlac

An examination of some of the central figures in the history of ethics (Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Mill) as well as a selection of contemporary work on ideas raised by those authors.

PHI 363 – Philosophy of Law – CRN: 93630
T & R – 12:30-1:45 – Tribble Hall A307
Win-chiat Lee

Inquiry into the nature of law and its relation to morality. Classroom discussions of readings from the works of classical and modern authors focus on issues of contemporary concern such as legal interpretation and reasoning, legal principles, personal liberty, rights, responsibility, justice, and punishment.

PHI 376 – Epistemology – CRN: 93634
T & R – 2:00-3:15 – Tribble Hall A307
Ralph Kennedy

Epistemology considers such questions as: What is knowledge? Where does it come from?, How much of it do we have and of what?, What is the distinctive role of evidence in relation to knowledge?, Can non-evidential factors play a legitimate role in securing some forms of knowledge?, Has science shown that human beings are incurably irrational? We’ll discuss these questions against the background of readings drawn from contemporary and traditional sources.

PHI 378 – Philosophy of Space and Time – CRN: 93638
T & R – 3:30-4:45 – Tribble Hall A209
Adrian Bardon

An examination of philosophical approaches to space and time from the Presocratic period to the present. Issues discussed include the reality of the passage of time, paradoxes of change and motion, puzzles about time-awareness, the status of space and time as entities in their own right, spacetime and relativity, time and freedom of the will, and the possibility of time-travel.