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Philosophy & Religion | Courses

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Fall 2012 Course Offerings

Philosophy Fall 2012

PHIL 105 Western Philosophy
.001
MTH 8:55AM-10:10AM Marquis, J
.003 MTH 4:00PM-5:15PM Fristedt, P
This course is a historical introduction to the Western philosophical tradition. Students closely examine classic and contemporary texts on the nature of reality, truth, morality, goodness, and justice; the possibility of knowledge; faith, reason, and the existence of God; and the issue of freedom and determinism.

.004 TF 8:55AM-10:10AM Sigrist, M
.005 TF 10:20AM-11:35AM Sigrist, M
This course will introduce students to the history of Western philosophy by beginning with the question, "How should one live?" Unsurprisingly, many philosophers answer this question with, "Philosophically!" We will let our philosophers make their case, but we will not take their word for it. Examining the question closely will involve addressing most of the perennial issues in the history of Western philosophy: the nature of ethical responsibility, the foundation of value, the possibility of knowledge, what it means to be a self, and the nature of reality. We will study works from ancient Greece to the twentieth century. Students should be prepared to learn how to examine a text closely for a sustained period of time; to analyze, comprehend and construct arguments; and to participate actively and respectfully in classroom discussion.

.002 MTH 11:45AM-1:00PM Feder, E
006H TF 11:45AM-1:00PM Feder, E
(Section 006H open only to students in the University Honors program)
The history of philosophy, like that of humanity, may be read as a history of love and desire. From the famous "Platonic love" that seeks wisdom to the historical desires that make up human consciousness for Hegel, from the medieval passion for God to the postmodern desire for Otherness, love and desire have been central to the philosophical constructions of human identity, moral meaning, and the very project of understanding. In this course we undertake a survey of Western philosophy from the perspective of love and desire, exploring the ways in which these terms have been understood and have in turn formed our philosophical understanding.

.080UC MTH 1:10PM-2:25PM Tschemplik, A
This is a survey course of Western Philosophy which spans 2500 years. The focus of the course is about the connection between knowledge and morality which will provide us with the opportunity to examine a variety of philosophical concepts. The central concern which we will address throughout the semester is whether or not there is a connection between what we know and how we act. We will examine a variety of proposals for knowledge and evaluate the critiques offered by other thinkers. At the same time we will question why it is that some thinkers insist on separating knowledge from morality insisting on a division between "science" and "ethics". If the two are completely divorced from one another, then what is the point of education?

PHIL-200 Introduction to Logic
.001
TF 11:45AM-1:00PM Stam, J
Basic principles of formal deductive logic, both Aristotelian (syllogistics) and modern (propositional and predicate calculus), with some attention to informal logic also. Text and exercises supplemented by discussions on history, applications, and critical appraisal of different logical systems.

PHIL-220 Moral Philosophy
.001
MTH 10:20AM-11:35AM Weis, L
Leading theories of the nature, purpose, and meaning of artistic activities and objects examined through writings of philosophers, artists, and critics of ancient and modern times. Both Western and non-Western viewpoints are considered. Student projects apply critical ideas to particular works in an art form familiar to them.

.002 W 5:30PM-8:00PM Carr, R
By nature all human beings evaluate experiences. Some experiences are good, some shameful, some praiseworthy. This evaluation is the basis of morality. How does one determine whether an experience is good or bad, harmful or beneficial? What role do reason, principles, intuition, and feeling play in the determination? How does thinking well about morality impact our decisions on vegetarianism, euthanasia, and poverty?

PHIL-230 Meaning and Purpose in the Arts
.001
MTH 11:45AM-1:00PM Marquis, J
.002 MTH 2:35PM-3:50PM Marquis, J
Leading theories of the nature, purpose, and meaning of artistic activities and objects examined through writings of philosophers, artists, and critics of ancient and modern times. Both Western and non-Western viewpoints are considered. Student projects apply critical ideas to particular works in an art form familiar to them.

.003 TF 10:20AM-11:35AM Pathak, S
This course focuses on the interpretation of works of art through increased understanding of the artworks themselves, the lives of those who create them, and the societal influences on these artists. In addition to considering premodern, modern, and postmodern criticism of a variety of forms of literary and visual art, students will interpret the oeuvres of particular artists of interest to them. To prepare for these projects, students will study four ways in which artists create meaning in their works: mythologization, memorialization, mobilization, and universalization.

PHIL-235 Theories of Democracy and Human Rights
.001
MTH 8:10PM-9:25PM Cooke, E
.002 MTH 1:10PM-2:25PM Valdes, E
This course analyzes traditional Western theories of democracy and rights, both separately and in relation to each other, as well as contemporary approaches such as Habermasian, post-modern, feminist, and critical race theory. It also considers the East-West debate on human rights.

PHIL-240 Ethics in the Professions
.001
TF 4:00PM-5:15PM Leighton, K
This course provides a framework for thinking generally about ethics, and more specifically about professional ethics. In addition, it addresses ethical dilemmas that arise in the professions of government, law, business, medicine, the media, and the academy.

PHIL-380 Colloquium: Philosophy and the Family
.001
W 10/03, 10/17, 11/07 8:10PM-10:40PM; and F 10/26 1:00PM-6:00PM
Feder, E
From the ancient period forward, the institution of the family has been foundational to political theory. Our task for this colloquium is to prepare for and reflect upon contemporary theorists' thinking about the family, the subject of the 21st McDowell Conference.

Prerequisite: one course in philosophy.

PHIL-490/690 Independent Study Project in Philosophy

Prerequisite: permission of instructor and department chair. Note for PHIL-390: generally open only to seniors.

PHIL-391/691 Internship in Philosophy
.001
W 8:10PM-10:40PM Feder, E

Prerequisite: permission of instructor and department chair. Note for PHIL-391: generally open only to seniors.

PHIL-398 Honors Project in Philosophy

Prerequisite: permission of department and University Honors Director.

PHIL-400/600 Ancient Philosophy
.001
Th 5:30PM-8:00PM Tschemplik, A
An examination of ancient Greek philosophy starting with the pre-Socratics and continuing through Plato, Aristotle, and the three major Hellenistic traditions: Epicureanism, Stoicism, and Skepticism.

Prerequisite for PHIL-400: PHIL-105 or permission of instructor.

PHIL-402/602 Nineteenth Century Philosophy
.001
T 5:30PM-8:00PM Carr, R
This course covers major philosophers from the nineteenth century—such as Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche. 

Prerequisite: PHIL-105 or permission of instructor.

PHIL-412/612 Michel Foucault
.001
W 11:45AM-2:25PM Flax, J
Michel Foucault's work poses many challenges to other constructions of ethics, subjectivity and power. We will track the evolution of his thinking about these questions and explore some practical and philosophical applications of a practice he recommends, "care of the self."

Prerequisite for PHIL-412: PHIL-105 or permission of instructor.

PHIL-485/685 Latin American Thought
.001
T 2:35PM-5:15PM Oliver, A
This course presents a range of Latin American thinkers chosen to demonstrate the power, vitality, and usefulness of Latin American intellectual life for North American social and cultural issues. Topics include the quest for identity, marginality, mexicanidad, mestizaje, critiques of power, feminist philosophy, social justice, liberation, phenomenology, and indigenous peoples.

Prerequisite for PHIL-485: PHIL-105 or permission of instructor. 

PHIL-485/685 Critical Bioethics
.002
W 2:35PM-5:15PM Leighton, K
Bioethics is philosophical discipline concerned with the scope and permissibility of science, technology, and practices of the body.  Through readings on the history of bioethics and its subjects—human subject research, death, reproduction, and euthanasia—the course asks: how does bioethics contribute to what we recognize as rational decision-making about our selves, our lives, and our bodies?     

Prerequisite for PHIL-485: PHIL-105 or permission of instructor. 

PHIL-485/685 The Idea of Nature
.003
F 2:35PM-5:15PM Berry, E
This course surveys the variation of ideas about the natural world across cultures. In particular, the course examines several major phases in western thinking about what nature "is"—Hellenic, Christian orthodox, Newtonian, and ecological—and explores the ethical significance of these changes.

Prerequisite for PHIL-485: PHIL-105 or permission of instructor. 

PHIL-520 Ethical Theory
.001
W 5:30PM-8:00PM Reiman, J
In this course, we will examine some of the most important classical works on ethical theory, and then look at some recent works that develop and/or critique the approaches in the classical works. The classical works we will read are Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics, Kant's Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals, and John Stuart Mill's Utilitarianism. Then we will read Three Methods of Ethics, in which contemporary philosophers Marcia Baron, Philip Pettit, and Michael Slote argue the pros and cons of the ethical theories presented in the classical works: virtue ethics (based on Aristotle's approach), Kantian ethics, and utilitarian ethics. We will then turn to John Rawls's Justice as Fairness: A Restatement, in which Rawls presented the final statement of his neo-Kantian liberal theory of justice. And we will consider Eva Feder Kittay's Love's Labor, which argues from a feminist/care perspective that Rawls has omitted a crucial feature of social existence that is essential to justice. A number of articles will also be assigned, which will be available online on the Blackboard course website.

Prerequisite: PHIL-220 or permission of instructor.


Religion Fall 2012

GNED-130 Religion and Globalization
.001
TF 11:45AM-1:00PM Berry, E
This course explores world religions from the perspective of globalization: we will not study religions as independent, separable traditions, but rather as participants in a series of cross-cultural interactions about meaning and morality. Religion and Globalization will trace a variety of theological, political, and economic exchanges among traditions.

RELG 105 Religious Heritage of the West
.001
TF 1:10PM-2:25PM Schaefer, M
The contribution of religion to Western civilization. An exploration of the religions that have formed the foundations of Western civilization, including: Greco-Roman and other Ancient Pagan Traditions, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Unitarianism, Mormonism, and American Civil Religion. Where possible, primary source texts, including the scriptures of the religions, will be used.

RELG-185 Forms of the Sacred
.001
MTH 10:20AM-11:35AM Oliver, M
Introduces methods of studying religion and places religious traditions in comparative relief. Surveys the basic features of the major religions of Asia—including Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto—and explores how these traditions shape Asian cultures and societies. Includes study of both the sacred texts and the lived experiences of these traditions.

.002 MTH 4:00PM-5:15PM Greenberg, G
Since we live in both the global village and in our own national, but multicultural, universe, some knowledge of Eastern religions can be a real asset. The course covers three major religious traditions: the traditions developed in South Asia which form Hinduism, Buddhism as it developed in India and is transformed in East Asia, and the indigenous religious traditions of China and Japan. Throughout the course, the manifestations of religion in both high and popular culture and religion's influence on issues of gender, social structure and personal behaviors will be addressed.

RELG-210 Non-Western Religious Traditions
.001
MTH 2:35PM-3:50PM Oliver, M
Examines the categorical and theoretical assumptions of "religion" and "non-Western" when applied to the philosophical, ethical, and spiritual traditions of Asia and India. Using the Silk Road as a conceptual center, this course examines religious traditions in both their culture of origin as well as what happens when religions migrate to other lands. The course concludes with an examination of how religious traditions respond to modernity. 

RELG-330 Approaches to Studying Religion
.001
TF 2:35PM-3:50PM Pathak, S
This introductory course will cover classical and contemporary approaches to the study of religion that are grounded in the disciplines of anthropology, psychology, sociology, history, and literary criticism. While the course counts toward requirements for the religious studies major and the religion minor, the course is open to any undergraduate who is interested in learning more about how to study religion in its various forms.

RELG-490/690 Independent Study Project in Religion

Prerequisite: permission of instructor and department chair. Note for RELG-390: generally open only to seniors.

RELG-391 Internship in Religious Studies

Prerequisite: permission of instructor and department chair.

RELG-398 Honors Project in Religion

Prerequisite: permission of department chair and university honors director.

RELG-470/670 Islam
.001
M 5:30PM-8:00PM Oliver, M
Beginning with the historical context of the Qur'an and the Prophet Muhammad, this course explores the many theological, philosophical, mystical, and social interpretations of Islam. Students will examine claims about the normative understanding of the tradition from both internal and external perspectives, including those of the contemporary era.

Philosophy Summer 2012

PHIL-105 Western Philosophy
.B01
MW 5:30PM-8:40PM Greenberg, G
(May 21-June 28, 2012)
This course is a historical introduction to the Western philosophical tradition. Students closely examine classic and contemporary texts on the nature of reality, truth, morality, goodness, and justice; the possibility of knowledge; faith, reason, and the existence of God; and the issue of freedom and determinism.

PHIL-230 Meaning and Purpose in the Arts
.D01
TTH 1:00PM-4:10PM Oliver, M
(July 2-August 8, 2012)
Taking a global and broadly historical approach, students examine art from a variety of critical and philosophical perspectives. Examples will be drawn from ancient Mesopotamia, classical Greece, India, Japan, the Islamic tradition, Renaissance Europe, and modern America. Student projects engage particular works of art through both theoretical and creative avenues.

PHIL-391/691 Internship in Philosophy

Prerequisite: permission of instructor and department chair. Note for PHIL-391: generally open only to seniors.

PHIL-490/690 Independent Study in Philosophy

PHIL-596 The Biological Body
.E01L
Weis, L
Course taught entirely online.
May 14-June 28, 2012)
This course will focus on philosophical analysis of the biological body. We will examine how philosophers' views of the body have shaped current discourses about human embodiment, and engage in the creation of an online "virtual" community, reflecting philosophically on the significance of the biological foundations of our "virtual" interaction.

Religion Summer 2012

RELG-185 Forms of the Sacred
.B01
TTH 1:00PM-4:10PM Oliver, M
(May 21-June 28, 20012)
Introduces methods of studying religion and places religious traditions in comparative relief. Surveys the basic features of the major religions of Asia—including Hinduism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Shinto—and explores how these traditions shape Asian cultures and societies. Includes study of both the sacred texts and the lived experiences of these traditions.

RELG-220 Religious Thought
.D01
MW 5:30PM-8:40PM Greenberg, G
(July 2-August 9, 2012)
Religion and religion's role in life. Beginning with modern approaches to the study of religion, this course examines religious ways of defining the human situation, the quest for salvation, wholeness, and transcendence, and the problem of speaking about the divine within the terms of modern culture.

RELG-386/686 Religion and War
.B01
TTH 5:30PM-8:40PM Greenberg, G
(May 21-June 28, 2012)
Understanding religious attitudes towards war has now been recognized as critical to the conduct of international relations. Here, the subject will be studied through classical sources in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (e.g., just, mandatory, optional bases for war) as they are applied to selected contemporary areas of conflict.

RELG-391 Internship in Religious Studies

Prerequisite: permission of instructor and department chair.

RELG-490 Independent Study Project in Religion

Prerequisite: permission of instructor and department chair. Note for RELG-390: generally open only to seniors.