Expand AU Menu

Philosophy & Religion | Courses

For current class offerings, times, and additional information, visit the Office of the Registrar.

Fall 2009 Course Offerings

Philosophy

PHIL 105 Western Philosophy
.001
MTH 8:30-9:45AM Rosen, N
.002 MTH 11:20-12:35PM Rosen, N
.006 TF 11:20-12:35 Gougelet, D
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.

.003 TF 9:55-11:10AM Weis, L
.004H TF 12:45-2:00PM Weis, L
.005 TF 3:35-4:50PM Weis, L
Philosophy is concerned with examining the meaning of human existence. This means that philosophy is most interested in the fundamental questions that arise when one attempts to make sense of his or her experience, for example, ‘Who am I and how should I live? What is the meaning of the good, of friendship, of dignity? Is my society a just one?’ Philosophy does not always answer these questions! Often, the most important feature of philosophy is that the activity of asking philosophical questions gives rise to even more questions than answers. In exploring these and other questions we will read and analyze classic texts of philosophy and literature from the Western tradition, we will discuss the meanings of these texts in detail, and you will provide further written analysis of these texts.

.080UC TF 2:10-3:25 Erfani, F
In this course, 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.
This course is a foundation-level course in the General Education Program, Area 2, Cluster 2: "Traditions that Shape the Western World".

PHIL 200 Introduction to Logic
.001 MTH 12:45-2:00PM 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 3:35-4:50PM Romanovskaya, T
.002 TF 2:10-3:25PM Carr, R
.003LC MTh 11:20-2:00PM Tschemplik, A
The theories concerning the nature of goodness found in Western philosophy. The major discussion issues are traditional principles for evaluating goodness and telling right from wrong; the difference between fact and value; the justification of normative judgments; objectivity in ethics; and the relationship between moral and non-moral goodness.
This course is a second-level course in the General Education Program, Curricular Area 2, Cluster 2: Traditions that Shape the Western World.
Prerequisites for General Education credit: GOVT-105 Individual Freedom vs. Authority, HIST-115 Work and Community, JLS-110 Western Legal Tradition, PHIL-105 Western Philosophy, or RELG-105 Religious Heritage of the West.

PHIL 230 Meaning and Purpose in the Arts
.001 MTH 9:55-11:10AM 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.

.002 TF 2:10-3:25 Gougelet, D
.003 TF 3:35-4:50 Gougelet, D
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. 
Prerequisite for General Education credit: ARTH-105 or COMM-105 or LIT-120 or LIT-135.This is a second-level course in the General Education Program, Curricular Area 1, Cluster 2: Understanding Creative Works.
Prerequisites for General Education credit: ARTH-105 Art: The Historical Experience, COMM-105 Visual Literacy, LIT-120 Interpreting Literature, or LIT-135 Critical Approach to the Cinema.

PHIL 235 Theories of Democracy
.001 TF 11:20-12:35PM Raven, F
.002 TF 12:45-2:00PM Raven, F
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.
This course is a second-level course in the General Education Program, Curricular Area 2, Cluster 2: Western Heritage and Institutions.
Prerequisites for General Education credit: GOVT-105 Individual Freedom vs. Authority, HIST-115 Work and Community, JLS-110 Western Legal Tradition, PHIL-105 Western Philosophy, or RELG-105 Religious Heritage of the West.

PHIL 300/600 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
.001 W 5:30-8:00PM Tschemplik, A
In this course we will examine and puzzle through the fragments of the “Pre-Socratic” thinkers, engage Plato’s dialogues, analyze Aristotle’s intricate arguments, and map out the Hellenistic thinkers’ path to happiness. We will concentrate on the development of the following concepts: Logos (Reason, Speech, Definition, Argument, etc.), Psyche (Soul, Animating Principle), and Kosmos.
Prerequisites for PHIL-300: PHIL-105 or permission of instructor.

PHIL 312/612 Nietzsche
.001
Th 5:30-8:00PM Bisticas-Cocoves, M
In this course, we will engage in a close reading of a number of Nietzsche’s texts, such as The Birth of Tragedy, Beyond Good and Evil, and On the Genealogy of Morality. We will then consider some contemporary appropriations of Nietzsche’s thought.
Prerequisites for PHIL-312: PHIL-105 or permission of instructor.

PHIL 386/686 Selected Topics in Philosophy
.001 Kant’s Ethics
W 2:10-4:50PM Reiman, J
This course will explore Kant’s ethics, from his earliest essays on moral topics through the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals and the Critique of Practical Reason to later works such as Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone. We will look at the relation between Kant's ethics and the rest of his philosophy, and we will consider challenges to Kantianism from feminism and virtue ethics.

.002 Marxism
T 5:30-8:00PM Erfani, F
This course is about Marx and his followers in nineteenth and twentieth centuries. We begin with Marx’s philosophical writings, with a particular focus on the Philosophical Manuscripts and the German Ideology. Adorno, Macuse, Gramsci, Althusser, Sartre Laclau and Mouffe, Derrida, Zizek, Lacan will be the main Marxists we shall study.
Prerequisite for PHIL-386: PHIL-105 or permission of instructor.

PHIL 391/691 Internship in Philosophy
.001 W 8:10-10:40PM Feder, E
Prerequisite: permission of instructor and department chair.

PHIL 392/692 Cooperative Education Field Experience
Feder, E
Prerequisite: permission of department chair and Cooperative Education office.

PHIL 486 Colloquium of Philosophy: Philosophy and Film
.001 Feder, E
M 8:10-10:40PM on October 12, October 19 and November 2
F 1:00-6:00PM on October 30
The fall colloquium will follow the theme of the 2009 McDowell conference on Philosophy and Film. Selected films and readings will include those the invited panelists will discuss at the conference. Conference attendance is mandatory.

PHIL 498 Honors Project in Philosophy
Feder, E
Prerequisite: permission of department and University Honors Director.

PHIL 520 Seminar on Ethical Theory
.001 M 5:30-8:00PM Leighton, K
.002 W 8:10-10:40 Leighton, K
This course is a survey of the development of ethical theory in Western philosophy by analysis of major works in classical and contemporary moral philosophy. Issues investigated include the nature of the good and the right, the possibility of moral knowledge, the principles of individual virtue and social justice, the problems of ethical relativism and absolutism, and the foundations of modern conceptions of human rights.
Prerequisite: PHIL-220 or permission of instructor.

PHIL 797 Master's Thesis Seminar
Prerequisite: permission of department chair.

Religion

RELG 105 Religious Heritage of the West
.001
TF 3:35-4:50PM 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.
This course is a foundation-level course in the General Education Program, Curricular Area 2, Cluster 2: Traditions that Shape the Western World.

RELG 185 Forms of the Sacred
.001
MTH 3:35-4:50PM 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.

.002 TF 8:30-9:45AM Reddy, P
This course introduces students to the complexity and diversity of the major religions of Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Confucianism, and Daoism. While focusing on the broad outlines of historical development in each tradition, we will explore the forms of sacred, major doctrines and scriptures, religious beliefs and practices. The course strongly emphasizes a comparative approach and examines different ways of understanding religion and how religious traditions developed as comprehensive systems of life in India and China.

.003 MTh 2:10-3:25PM Berry, E
This course is an introduction to the methods of studying the history of religions and a brief survey of comparative analysis of major eastern religions and philosophies, including Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism, Sikhism, Daoism, and Confucianism.
This course is a foundation-level course in the General Education Program, Curricular Area 3, Cluster 2: Global and Multicultural Perspectives.

RELG 210 Non-Western Religious Traditions
.001
TF 9:55-11:10AM Reddy, P
The course Non-Western Religious Traditions introduces students to the study of Asian religions and the major religious ideas and philosophical schools that have shaped the societies of Asia in both ancient and contemporary contexts. We ask: What questions have Asians posed about the life-death-rebirth cycle of humankind, and what philosophical and religious teachings did Asian traditions develop as responses to these questions? What are the ways in which the teachings and ideologies in these traditions were put into practice for the cultivation of body, mind and self? In the last section of the course, we will explore how the religions of Asia responded to imperialism and modernization and how they interacted with external religious traditions such as Christianity and Islam.
This course is a second-level course in the General Education Program, Curricular Area 3, Cluster 2: Global and Multicultural Perspectives.
Prerequisites for General Education credit: ANTH-110 Culture: The Human Mirror, LIT-150 Third-World Literature, RELG-185 Forms of the Sacred, SIS-140 Cross-Cultural Communication, and SOCY-110 Views from the Third World.

RELG 371/671 Jewish Views of Death
.001 W 11:20-2:00PM Berner, L
In the first part of the course, Jewish attitudes towards euthanasia, the dying process and end-of-life rituals (funeral, burial and mourning rites) will be examined. The second part of the course will focus on Jewish views of resurrection, the immortality of the soul and the afterlife. Students will be introduced to the intricate interplay in Judaism between theology, ritual practice and psychology.

RELG 375/675 Religion and Violence
.001 TH 8:10-10:40PM Greenberg, G
This course explores the religious dimensions, both ideological and cultural, of political and military conflict. Themes include sacred geography and literature as grounds for bloodshed; the sanctity of race; martyrdom/terrorism; and pacifism. Empirical data is drawn from Germany, Lithuania, the Middle East, and the Balkans.

RELG 386/686 Topics in Religious Discussion
.001 How to Compare Myths
MTH 2:10-3:25PM Pathak, S
In addition to surveying themes common to myths from different parts of the world, this course examines five major approaches to the cross-cultural comparison of myths (anthropological, historical, psychological, literary critical, and sociological), and aims to provide students with the historical awareness and methodological knowledge required both to compare myths of different cultures and to criticize constructively the comparative work of others.

.002 Religion and Environmental Ethics
Th 5:30-8:00PM Berry, E
Religious environmentalism emerges from the rich textual, philosophical, and ritual resources available to activists working within and between traditions. With an eye to the beliefs and practices of religious communities, this course explores religious contributions to environmental movements, both in the United States and globally.

RELG 390/590 Independent Reading Course in Religion
Prerequisite: permission of department chair.

RELG 490/690 Independent Study Project in Religion
Prerequisite: permission of department chair.

RELG 498 Honors Project in Religion
(Open only to students in the University Honors Program.)
Prerequisite: permission of department chair and university honors director.