Spring 2010

PHI 111 – Basic Problems of Philosophy – FRESHMEN ONLY
Patrick Toner
MWF – 8:00-8:50am and 9:00-9:50am – Tribble Hall A306

This is a historical introduction to philosophy. What makes it historical is that the readings shall, for the most part, be drawn from the works of the great dead philosophers. But what makes it philosophical is that our objectives are to take seriously the questions these great dead philosophers asked, to think carefully about the answers they offered, and to critically analyze the arguments the used in supporting their answers. We will ask whether it can be shown that God exists, or that he doesn’t exist; whether we have a soul; whether we can be certain that there really is an external world; what kind of life we ought to live; and other central philosophical questions. Our main readings will be drawn from Plato, St. Thomas Aquinas, Rene Descartes, George Berkeley and David Hume.

PHI 111 – Basic Problems of Philosophy
Win-chiat Lee
MWF – 12:00-12:50pm – Tribble Hall A306

Students will be introduced to the subject of philosophy through the careful study of representative writings from three different periods: ancient Greek (Plato), early modern European (Descartes and Hume), and contemporary American (Frankfurt, Nagel and Searle). The goal is not only to study what some great philosophers of the past or influential philosophers of the present think about certain subjects, but also to help students, through the examination of these philosophers’ work, develop skills to philosophize and think critically for themselves. The topics discussed will include the existence of God, the relation between the mind and the world, skepticism and the nature of knowledge, free will and determinism, responsibility, the nature of moral and value judgments, the mind-body problem, and the nature of the self.

PHI 112 – Introduction to Philosphical Ideas
Charles Lewis
MWF – 11:00-11:50am – 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 115 – Introduction to Philosophy of Religion
Clark Thompson
TR – 1:30-2:45pm and 3:00-4:15pm – Tribble Hall A303 & Tribble Hall A306

We shall examine philosophical arguments concerning the existence and nature of God to see how far reason can establish and defend various beliefs about God. Among the topics we shall explore are: Is it rational to believe in the existence of God, understood as an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving being? Is it reasonable to believe in miracles? Can we reconcile human freedom with divine foreknowledge, and the existence of evil with God’s perfect goodness?

PHI 161 – Medical Ethics Hannah
Hardgrave
MW – 3:00-4:15pm – Tribble Hall B13

Contemporary medical ethics is a development of the last half of the 20th century, the result of the progress of medical research and its application in clinical practice. Bioethics is a field of applied ethics, applying fundamental ideas of philosophical ethics to problems arising out of developments in medical research and practice.
The written course requirements will consist of a quiz on each of the philosophical works and three papers on assigned topics.

PHI 164 – Contemporary Moral Problems
Emily Austin
MWF – 10:00-10:50am – Tribble Hall A309

Study of pressing ethical issues in contemporary life, such as abortion, euthanasia, animal rights, affirmative action, marriage, cloning, pornography, and capital punishment.

PHI 164 – Contemporary Moral Problems
Earl Crow
MWF – 10:00-10:50am - Wingate 209

A study of pressing ethical issues in contemporary life, such as abortion, euthanasia, animal rights, affirmative action, marriage, cloning, pornography, and capital punishment.

Three PHI 164 (Contemporary Moral Problems) classes
Anabella Zagura
TR 9:30-10:45, 1:30-2:45, and 4:30-5:45 - Tribble Hall A306

A study of pressing ethical issues in contemporary life, such as abortion, euthanasia, animal rights, affirmative action, marriage, cloning, pornography, and capital punishment.

PHI 165 – Introduction to Philosophy of Law
Clark Thompson
TR – 12:00-1:15pm – Tribble Hall A306

An examination of prominent legal cases and their unde3rlying principles, with an emphasis on philosophical analysis and moral evaluation. Topics include the rule of law, constitutional interpretation, judicial review, legal enforcement of morality, punishment, and freedom of speech and of religion.

PHI 221 - Symbolic Logic
Stavroula Glezakos
MWF – 10:00-10:50 and 11:00-11:50am – Wingate 302

In this course, we will study logical relations that obtain between sentences and parts of sentences. We will learn a symbolic language that can be used to represent the structure of sentences in our natural (English) language, and will develop techniques for determining whether arguments in that symbolic language are deductively valid or not. No prior study of logic or mathematics will be assumed. Requirements: completion of regular homework assignments; three chapter exams; one final exam.

PHI 237 – Medieval Philosophy
Patrick Toner
MWF – 10:00-10:50 – Tribble Hall A307

There was a time, not all that long ago, when professional philosophers could get away with dismissing medieval philosophy as unimportant or uninteresting or otherwise unworthy of serious consideration. Fortunately,this attitude is in full retreat. Over the last century, scholars—ranging from Gilson and Geach to Kretzmann and Kenny, and many more—have decisively shown the extraordinary sophistication, and undeniable historical importance, of the philosophical works of the middle ages. In this course, we will study a few of the major players, including St. Augustine, Averroes, Maimonides, and St. Thomas Aquinas, with focus on matters epistemological and metaphysical. Much of the epistemological work done in the medieval period had to do with the relation between faith and reason, and much of the metaphysical work had to do with getting clear on the nature of God, so “religious” matters will loom large throughout the semester, and students should be prepared for serious discussions of such material.

PHI 241 – Modern Philosophy
Adrian Bardon
MWF – 3:00-3:50pm – Tribble Hall A307

Examines the central ideas of some of the most influential European philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries; this time period is also known as the “early modern” period of Western philosophy. The early modern period was characterized by a revolution in scientific thought, which led to evolutions in thought regarding knowledge, metaphysics, theology, moral theory, and political theory. The central concern of the great philosophers of that period –including Descartes, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, and Hume—was the possibility and nature of scientific knowledge, and the relevance of scientific methodology to religious belief and moral knowledge.

PHI 331/631 – Plato
Emily Austin
MWF – 1:30-2:45pm – Tribble Hall B13

Detailed analysis of selected dialogues, covering Plato’s most important contributions to moral and political philosophy, theory of knowledge, metaphysics, and theology.

PHI 350 – Main Streams Chinese PHI
Patrick Moran
MWF – 2:00-2:50pm – CARS 016

Introduces the most important traditions in Chinese philosophy and religion: Confucianism, Daoism (Taoism), and Chinese Buddhism or Chinese Chan (Zen) Buddhism.

PHI 352/652 – Hegel, Kierkegaard, & Nietzsche
Charles Lewis
TR – 3:00-4:15 p.m. – Tribble Hall A307

Is there a way to think about the natural world that also makes sense of human life and history? Is anything gained, or lost, by thinking holistically about the world as a whole? Is a life dedicated to thinking about the world (and living accordingly) a way of avoiding an authentic human life? What does it mean to live authentically? Does nihilism provide the answer or is it a form of avoidance? What motivates avoidance and is there a remedy? *Note: Officially, this class meets from 3:00 to 4:15, but in fact the class generally lets out considerably later than 4:15. 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 366 – Global Justice
Win-chiat Lee
MWF – 1:00-1:50pm – Tribble Hall A307

In this course, we are interested in discerning the extent, if any, to which national boundaries matter morally? This question presumably has implications for many practical issues, including the proper scope of our concern for justice. Part I of the course deals with the relevant foundational issues in moral philosophy, including those concerning citizenship as a possible source of normative demands. The existence of a plurality of norms among nations and cultures and its implications for value relativism and pluralism will also be discussed. We will discuss these questions especially in relation to human rights. The moral foundation of national sovereignty and self-determination will also be examined. In Part II, we approach the more specific problems of justice in international relation, especially in the context of war and peace. Just War Doctrine, humanitarian intervention and the nature and legitimacy of international law are some of the topics we will discuss. Part III deals with global distributive justice and environmental concerns. Readings for the course will be drawn from writers such as John Rawls, Samuel Scheffler, Charles Beitz, Will Kymlicka, Thomas Pogge, Joseph Raz, Martha Nussbaum, Amartya Sen, and Peter Singer.

PHI 370/670 –Philosophy and Christianity
Christian Miller
TR – 12:00-1:15 p.m. – Tribble Hall A307

This course will examine central claims of the Christian creeds from a philosophical perspective. In particular, we will consider in detail most if not all of the following topics: the trinity, original sin, incarnation, atonement, grace, resurrection and life everlasting, and heaven and hell. Our readings will draw from medieval as well as contemporary analytic authors, with a focus on work by the latter. Examples of medieval authors include Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas. Examples of contemporary authors include Peter van Inwagen, Trenton Merricks, Philip Quinn, Richard Swinburne, Eleonore Stump, Robert Adams, and Lynne Rudder Baker. Right now I envision 2-3 short papers and a final exam.

PHI 373/673 Philosophy of Science
Ralph Kennedy
MWF 11:00-11:50 – Tribble Hall A307

Systematic and critical examination of major views concerning the methods of scientific inquiry, and the bases, goals, and implications of the scientific conclusions which result from such inquiry.

PHI 379 – Feminist Philosophy
Stavroula Glezakos
MWF – 2:00-2:50pm – Tribble Hall A307

In this course, we will examine feminist challenges to the traditional categories and methods of mainstream western philosophy, along with responses that have been offered to those challenges. We will also consider topics that have been of particular interest to feminist philosophers, including the ontological status of gender, women’s roles in family and society, and whether certain words and ways of using language are ‘sexist’ (and, if so, what ought to be done about it).

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Wake Forest
WFU Philosophy Department, P.O.Box 7332, Winston-Salem, NC 27109
Phone: 336-758-5359, Fax:336-758-7183, Email:simmonde@wfu.edu