Department of Philosophy

Dr. Lisa O'Neill, Chairperson

The Philosophy Department offers a major and minor in Philosophy, with three concentrations in:  Ethics and Moral Philosophy, Ethical Leadership, and Traditional track. Philosophy as part of a double-major is especially encouraged.

Requirements for Philosophy Major - Traditional Concentration

Degree of Bachelor of Arts

PL-100Introduction to Philosophy I3
PL-101Introduction to Philosophy II3
PL-153Logic3
PL-240General Ethics3
Capstone Experience 10
PL-xxxElectives in History of Philosophy, Ethics, and Topical Areas18
Total Credits30
History of Philosophy Electives
PL-284Medieval Christian Philosophy3
PL-285American Philosophy3
PL-288Recent European Philosophy3
PL-306Existentialism: Dostoevsky to Sartre3
PL-311Philosophy and Bob Dylan3
PL-316The Philosophy of Immanuel Kant3
PL-320Asian Philosophy3
PL-448Plato's Dialogues3
Ethics and Moral Philosophy Electives
PL-230Critical Moral Thinking3
PL-241Environmental Ethics3
PL-252Justice and Human Rights3
PL-253Business Ethics3
PL-254Contemporary Issues in Bioethics3
PL-259Technology, Society and Values3
PL-287Humanoids Morals and Machines3
Topical Area Electives
PL-231Philosophy of Religion3
PL-232Philosophy of Human Nature3
PL-330Beauty and the Beast3
PL-340Feminist Philosophy3
PL-353Philosophy of Mind3
PL-376Modern Philosophy and Literature3
PL-388Philosophical Issues on Film3
PL-390Special Projects in Philosophy3
PL-425Symbolic and Mathematical Logic3
1

 To be satisfied in an upper division Philosophy course during the senior year.

Requirements for Philosophy Major - Ethics and Moral Philosophy Concentration

PL-100Introduction to Philosophy I3
PL-101Introduction to Philosophy II3
PL-153Logic3
PL-240General Ethics3
Capstone Experience0
Electives in Interdisciplinary Ethics and Moral Philosophy (at least 4 PL courses)18
Total Credits30
Interdisciplinary Ethics and Moral Philosophy Electives
PL-230Critical Moral Thinking3
PL-241Environmental Ethics3
PL-252Justice and Human Rights3
PL-253Business Ethics3
PL-254Contemporary Issues in Bioethics3
PL-259Technology, Society and Values3
PL-287Humanoids Morals and Machines3
CU-255Ethics in Communications3
CJ-258Criminal Justice Ethics3
TH-482Christian Morality Today3
TH-484Christian Medical Ethics3
TH-486Morality in the Marketplace3
TH-487Theology of Social and Racial Justice3

Requirements for Philosophy Major - Ethical Leadership Concentration

PL-100Introduction to Philosophy I3
PL-101Introduction to Philosophy II3
PL-153Logic3
PL-240General Ethics3
One Additional PL Course in Ethics and Moral Philosophy3
Electives (Chosen in consultation with Faculty advisor)9
PL-200Rhetoric, Speech and Argument3
PL-380Ethics and Leadership (Capstone)3
Total Credits30

Special Notes on Philosophy Major Requirements

1

Up to 6 credits of the required Philosophy Electives may be taken in other departments, in cognate courses approved by the Philosophy Department Chair.

2

Required Philosophy electives are not always offered every year, so they should be taken as soon as possible after completing the core courses.

Requirements for a Minor in Philosophy

PL-100Introduction to Philosophy I3
PL-101Introduction to Philosophy II3
PL-Philosophy Electives12
Total Credits18

Courses

PL-100. Introduction to Philosophy I. 3 Credits.

An introduction to Philosophy and its history, with special emphasis on the classical philosophies of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

PL-101. Introduction to Philosophy II. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the history of modern philosophy, with a special emphasis on the philosophy of Rene Descartes, and the debate between Rationalism and Empiricisn. Prerequisite: PL-100 Prerequisites: PL-100.

PL-151. Contemporary Ethical Issues. 3 Credits.

A philosophical examination of contemporary moral issues, which may include sexual morality, abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, economic justice, discrimination, just war theories, and/or animal rights. Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100, PL-101.

PL-153. Logic. 3 Credits.

An examination of the basic principles of human reasoning, with emphasis on traditional logic and critical thinking. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.

PL-200. Rhetoric, Speech and Argument. 3 Credits.

This course studies and practices the art and process of persuasion. Students will learn to develop good arguments, identify fallacies, present a position in a convincing manner, and develop ethos or ethical appeal. Prerequisites: PL-100.

PL-213. 19th Century Philosophy. 3 Credits.

Nineteenth century thinkers like Hegel, Marx, Mill, and Nietzsche explored values as they are shaped in history and within the spheres of ethical and social life, economics, and politics. Key topics and themes, including the interpretation of modernity, liberalism, and utilitarianism, are examined. Prerequisites: PL-100, PL-101.

PL-230. Critical Moral Thinking. 3 Credits.

PL-100 PL-101;.

PL-231. Philosophy of Religion. 3 Credits.

A philosophical investigation of the nature and existence of God, including the problem of evil, the relationship between faith and reason, and the relationship between God and the world. Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.

PL-232. Philosophy of Human Nature. 3 Credits.

A course in philosophical anthropology. This course will investigate some ancient and modern theories that offer explanations for the nature, meaning, and purpose of human beings. Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.

PL-240. General Ethics. 3 Credits.

A study of the various approaches to ethical theory, including Natural Law theory, Kantian deontology, Utilitarian consequentialism, virtue-based ethics, and modern rights theory. These general normative theories will then be applied to select moral issues. Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.

PL-241. Environmental Ethics. 3 Credits.

Basic theories of environmental ethics and philosophy are examined in connection with contemporary issues and problems involving the environment. Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.

PL-252. Justice and Human Rights. 3 Credits.

A philosophical investigation of what constitutes a fair distribution of benefits and burdens, rights and duties, within a truly just society. Discussion of historical and contemporary theories of justice and individual rights, including Rawls and Nozick. Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.

PL-253. Business Ethics. 3 Credits.

An examination of contemporary moral issues in business, including the nature of economic justice, the rights and duties of economic agents, and the nature of a just society. Prerequisites: PL-100, PL-101.

PL-254. Contemporary Issues in Bioethics. 3 Credits.

An examination of contemporary issues in biomedical ethics, including abortion, euthanasia, the doctor-patient relationship, confidentiality, truth-telling, genetics, cloning, reproductive technologies, the just allocation of scarce medical resources. Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.

PL-259. Technology, Society and Values. 3 Credits.

This course is a study of ethical considerations related to technology and its impact on society. Prerequisites: PL-100, PL-101.

PL-284. Medieval Christian Philosophy. 3 Credits.

An investigation of Christian medieval philosophy from the Patristic period to the fourteenth century, including Augustine, JS Erigena, Abelard, Anselm, Bonaventure, Aquinas, Duns Scotus and Ockham. Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100, PL-101.

PL-285. American Philosophy. 3 Credits.

A philosophical examination of the historical and cultural origins of America as related to the genesis of the American philosophy of experience. Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.

PL-287. Humanoids Morals and Machines. 3 Credits.

An investigation of the charge that technology is ideology. An analysis of the problems created for human values by the fact that humans are increasingly understood in terms of machines. An evaluation of arguments for and against technological development. Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.

PL-288. Recent European Philosophy. 3 Credits.

This course examines thinkers in the areas of phenomenology and existentialism, which have dominated much of continental European philosophy during the past century. Prerequisites: PL-100, PL-101.

PL-306. Existentialism: Dostoevsky to Sartre. 3 Credits.

A study of the philosophy of Existentialism. Existential values as mirrored in selected texts, including Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Kafka, Jaspers, and Camus. Values course Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.

PL-311. Philosophy and Bob Dylan. 3 Credits.

An investigation of the philosophical, ethical and cultural themes in Bob Dylan's lyrics. Philosophical ideas such as appearance versus reality, truth and knowledge, and good and evil will be explored through a comprehensive study of Dylan's music. Prerequisites: PL-101 OR TH-120.

PL-316. The Philosophy of Immanuel Kant. 3 Credits.

Immanuel Kant is arguably the most important philosopher of modernity. This course explores many key themes and elements of Kant's critical philosophy, including not only his epistemology, but also his great impact on ethical theory and social and political philosophy. Prerequisites: PL-100, PL-101.

PL-317. German Idealism. 3 Credits.

In the late 18th and early 19th centuries arose the major philosophical movement called German Idealism. Against the background of Kantian philosophy, the legacy of the Enlightenment, and Romanticism, the contributions of Fichte, Shelling, Hegel, and other significant major figures of German Idealism are studied. Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100, PL-101.

PL-320. Asian Philosophy. 3 Credits.

An examination of the philosophies of India and China, including a text-based study of the Upanishads, the philosophy of Yoga, Buddhism, Confucianism and Taoism. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.

PL-330. Beauty and the Beast. 3 Credits.

Beauty once constituted a central theme for both artist and public alike. Now, in the wake of the shock aesthetics of modernism and the - anything goes attitude of postmodernism we have trash as art and the obscene as social commentary. What is the relation of artistic or aesthetic values to standards of truth and decency? Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100, PL-101.

PL-340. Feminist Philosophy. 3 Credits.

An study of feminist philosophical theory. Topics for discussion include feminist epistemology, feminist social and political philosophy, gender and reproduction, feminist ethics, and patriarchy. Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.

PL-353. Philosophy of Mind. 3 Credits.

A philosophical examination of the nature of consciousness, including such topics as the relationship between mind and body, human freedom, the soul and it's possible immortality. Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.

PL-376. Modern Philosophy and Literature. 3 Credits.

Studying the works and theories of a variety of writers and philosophers, this course takes an interdisciplinary approach to examining "modern" responses to questions, issues, and themes arising in both the literary and philosophic traditions. Writers include: Beckett, Dostoyevsky, Kierkegaard, O'Connor and others. Prerequisites: EL-123, EL-134, PL-100, PL-101.

PL-380. Ethics and Leadership. 3 Credits.

An examination of the moral foundations and ethical consideration of what makes an ethical leader. Key questions include: What is leadership? What is ethical leadership? What types of costs result from poor leadership? How can one become an ethical leader? Prerequisites: PL-100 AND PL-151 OR PL-230 OR PL-240.

PL-388. Philosophical Issues on Film. 3 Credits.

This course explores how philosophical ideas and themes are contained within works of cinema. The course will examine how directors and screenwriters present images and words that illuminate the nature of reality and the human condition. Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.

PL-390. Special Projects in Philosophy. 3 Credits.

Able students and willing teachers may design special courses or other projects for credit in philosophy. Proposals are to be submitted, for review, through the chairperson of the Philosophy Department. Credit is also available to students who wish to enroll in the Cooperative Education Program. Prerequisites: PL-100 OR PL-101.

PL-399. Tutorial. 3 Credits.

PL-425. Symbolic and Mathematical Logic. 3 Credits.

A systematic investigation of mathematical and logical structures. The primary areas of study are the logic of connectives, the logic of quantifiers, and key issues in metalogic. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.

PL-448. Plato's Dialogues. 3 Credits.

Through close study of selected longer dialogues, students will examine Plato's philosophical world-view, including the theory of value and meaning he conveys in his writings as a way of further exploring moral theory. Values course. Prerequisites: PL-100 PL-101.