Undergraduate Catalog 2016-2017

UDM Academic Policies Course Descriptions List of All Programs Faculty
Philosophy Courses

PHL 1000 Introduction to PhilosophyCredit Hours: 3

An introduction to philosophy through a consideration of such topics as the person, human values, freedom, morality, knowledge, death, the meaning of life, God, and the nature and destiny of human existence. Students come to understand that philosophy asks the most fundamental questions about ourselves, the world, and the relationship between the two. The method of philosophical thinking and critical reflection will be stressed. Note: This course fulfills Objective 4a of the University Core Curriculum.
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PHL 1400 Topics in Critical ThinkingCredit Hours: 3

This course emphasizes the critical thinking skills necessary to particular disciplines, areas of inquiry, and subject matters. The topic studied will vary with the instructor and the semester in which the course is taught: in one semester, critical thinking for law or health care might be stressed; in another semester, the critical evaluation of visual media might be the topic. Note: This course fulfills Objective 4c of the University Core Curriculum.
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PHL 1500 Critical ThinkingCredit Hours: 3

A basic course in logic concerned with the improvement of reasoning in everyday life, this course stresses elementary argument forms, deductive and inductive reasoning, the analysis and assessment of arguments, the relationship between truth and validity, informal fallacies, and the recognition of good arguments. Although this course may include some elements of formal symbolic logic, the emphasis is on the study of arguments as expressed in a natural language such as English.
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PHL 2010 Foundations of EthicsCredit Hours: 3

An introductory course in moral theory, focusing on answers to the questions, "what makes an action right or wrong?" and "what makes someone a good person?" Topics covered include: whether right and wrong are matters of individual opinion, cultural opinion, or the commands of God; utilitarianism, Kantian ethics, and Aristotle's theory of the virtues. Additional topics that could be covered include the Natural Law Theory of morality and feminist ethics. This is NOT a course in moral problems such as abortion, animal rights, and the death penalty. Particular moral issues will be discussed only insofar as they illuminate some aspect of a moral theory.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 2020 Person and SocietyCredit Hours: 3

An in depth study of the human person and the relationship if the individual to society. This includes consideration of the person as intelligent and free, the limits of society in making decisions for the individual, as well as the obligations the individual had toward society to maintain or promote "the common good" of the group. Note: This course fulfills Objective 6a of the University Core Curriculum.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 2400 Topics in PhilosophyCredit Hours: 3

Varying with both the semester and the instructor, this course requires students to examine a single issue or question in philosophy. The topic in any given semester will be influenced by student recommendations and faculty interests. Possible topics: philosophy of sex and love, philosophy and technology, philosophy and race, and philosophy and film. Note: This course fulfills Objective 4c of the University Core Curriculum.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 2500 Symbolic LogicCredit Hours: 3

An introduction to the artificial language of sentential and predicate logic, which is designed to facilitate the symbolic representation of natural language (English) arguments. In addition to learning how to construct formal proofs for valid arguments, students learn the different logical properties that statements and sets of statements may have. The concepts of truth-functionality, validity, consistency, implication, and equivalence will be explored. Students will have a heightened appreciation of the logical functions of language. Note: This course fulfills Objective 4C of the University Core Curriculum.
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PHL 3010 Social and Political PhilosophyCredit Hours: 3

An examination of the issues surrounding the state and the political agents who live in such states. The course may be oriented either historically or topically and may cover: ancient Greek political theory as articulated by Aristotle and Plato, the social contract tradition of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Marxism, communitarianism, the nature of political obligation, justice, law, human rights, the nature and value of political liberty and equality, and the nature and value of patriotism. Prerequisite: PHL 1000. Note: This course fulfills Objective 4c or Objective 6b of the University Core Curriculum, and can earn Political Science credit in place of POL 3800: Elements of Political Thought.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 3020 Philosophy of ReligionCredit Hours: 3

A study of the philosophical issues raised by religious practice and religious belief. In addition to arguments for the existence of God, the course will include the following topics: the problem of evil and attempted solutions, the epistemological significance of religious belief, the relationship between religious belief and religious practice, and the role of religion in contemporary society. Note: This course fulfills Objective 4c of the University Core Curriculum.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 3030 Philosophy of GodCredit Hours: 3

A study of classical and contemporary contributions to the philosophical investigation of the existence and nature of God. The chief arguments for the existence of God and the critiques of these arguments will be carefully analyzed and evaluated. The chief arguments offered in support of atheism and agnosticism will also be carefully studied and appraised. Arguments affirming the divine attributes, omniscience, omnipotence, immutability, and infinite goodness, will be studied as well as atheistic or agnostic critiques based on human free agency and on the problem of evil. Consideration will be given to the question of the legitimacy of belief in God without proof of God's existence. Finally some attention will be given to reasonable responses to several recent books which seek to move the wider reading public from faith in God to atheism. Note: This course fulfills Objective 4c of the University Core Curriculum.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 3040 Aquinas: First University MasterpiecesCredit Hours: 3

An examination of the thought of St. Thomas Aquinas in light of two opposed world-views generated at the first universities and prevalent in his day: the Extreme Aristotelians and the Augustinian Platonists. The philosophical method, and the role St. Thomas assigns to philosophy in the pursuit of truth will be considered, as well as a few basic problems of God, creation, human nature, knowledge, and morality. Recent developments in Thomism also will be discussed. Note: This course fulfills Objective 4c of the University Core Curriculum.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 3050 AestheticsCredit Hours: 3

An examination of theories regarding the valuable/beautiful in our perceptual experience of both nature and works of fine art: the nature of the aesthetic, the different aesthetics which are characteristic of different cultures, societies, and individuals; the nature of art; the importance of anything being classified as art; the functions of the arts in society; the nature of artistic creation; the non-artist's understandings of, response to, and evaluation of works of art. Note: This course fulfills Objective 5c of the University Core Curriculum.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 3060 Ancient PhilosophyCredit Hours: 3

A study of the beginning and subsequent development of philosophy in the Greek world from the early sixth century B.C. to the third century A.D. Emphasis is given to questions concerning the nature of knowledge and reality. However, ethical ad political topics may be included. In the early period, Pre-Socratic thinkers are examined, such as Thales, Heraclitus, Parmenides and Protagoras. The following period, which is the major focus of the course, concentrates on Socrates, Plato and Aristotle. Next, some consideration will be given to the rise of Hellenistic philosophy. The course will conclude with some attention to Plotinus and the development of Neo-Platonism.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of C, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 3070 Medieval PhilosophyCredit Hours: 3

An examination of the various syntheses of philosophy and religious faith between the fourth and fourteenth centuries. Within this period, the Neo-Platonic and the Aristotelian traditions are examined through the writings of major Jewish, Islamic and Christian philosophers, such as Maimonides, Avicenna, Averroes, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. Although the focus is on metaphysics and logic, ethical and political questions may be included.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of C, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 3080 Early Modern PhilosophyCredit Hours: 3

This course is an examination of the major philosophical views of the Continental Rationalists (Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz), the British Empiricists (Locke, Berkeley, Hobbes, and Hume), and Kant. The period begins with the publication of Descartes's Meditations on First Philosophy in 1641 and culminates in the publication of the 2nd edition of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason in 1787. The course will reflect the strong emphasis in this period on epistemological questions, as philosophers grappled with the implications of modern science for human knowledge, but may also include discussion of the moral and political views of these thinkers, such as the different social contract theories of political obligation found in Hobbes and Locke, or the emphasis on metaphysical questions in Spinoza and Leibniz.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 3081 Philosophy of FeminismCredit Hours: 3

The course presents some key feminist critiques of the male philosophical canon, and then explores contributions of feminist philosophers to clarify key concepts such as the conceptions of gender, the body, sexual orientation, justice and care. Feminist philosophical approaches will be applied to current problems such as racism, environmental destruction, war and violence, and human rights violations. Debates within feminist scholarship will be followed, with students learning to articulate their own positions on a range of issues. The course surveys feminist challenges in North America, Asia, Islamic societies, Latin America and Africa.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 3120 Contemporary Moral IssuesCredit Hours: 3

This course requires a rigorous consideration of contemporary moral problems from a philosophical perspective. Some of the topics covered include: abortion, euthanasia, animal rights, capital punishment, drug legalization, same-sex marriage, and affirmative action. The best philosophical literature on these topics is complex and theoretical; thus, this is not an appropriate first or second course in philosophy. Note: This course fulfills Objective 4c of the University Core Curriculum.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 3200 Contemporary Ethical TheoryCredit Hours: 3

A more philosophically advanced, sophisticated, and in-depth treatment of moral theory and specific ethical questions. Possible topics include: contemporary utilitarianism, contemporary Kantian ethics, virtue theory, the social contract theory of morality, recent feminist critiques of traditional moral theory, the nature of moral or practical reasons and their relation to motivation, the justification of morality, and moral psychology. Note: This course fulfills Objective 6a of the University Core Curriculum.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently) AND
PHL 2010 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 3410 Philosophy of the Human PersonCredit Hours: 3

A study of the nature of the human person based on writings of such philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kierkegaard, Weil, Stein, and Wojtyla. The focus of the course is on the human as a being who, from the beginning of his/her life, is oriented to self-possession in consciousness and freedom, and who moves toward the perfection of human existence only by seeking wisdom and by loving response to others. The chief questions include these: Are human beings spiritual as well as material? Do human beings have the power to make genuinely free choices? What is a person? What is the self? Does the human self survive bodily death? Does human fulfillment entail a living relation to God? What is the point of human life? Special emphasis is given to the intrinsic dignity of the human as a being who is open to ultimate questions of being, meaning, purpose, order, and value and who can choose to live for the sake of the true and the good. This course fulfills Objective 4C of the University Core Curriculum.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 3560 Peace and Social JusticeCredit Hours: 3

An exploration of the philosophical insights of key peace and justice activists such as Mohandas K. Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr., as well as insights by academic philosophers who address peace and justice issues. The course will discuss concepts such as justice, human dignity, freedom, equality, and the common good. Applied topics covered include the moral challenges of inequalities in our society (poverty, racism, sexism etc.), problems of violence and war, and the quest for peace. Note: This course fulfills Objective 6b of the University Core Curriculum.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 3650 African Philosophy and CultureCredit Hours: 3

The course is an introduction to the emerging field of sub-Saharan African philosophy, and includes the study of ethnophilosophy (description and criticism of communal world views of some African peoples); sage philosophy (views of African thinkers regarded as wise by their communities); liberation philosophy, and professional academic African philosophy. Note: This course fulfills Objective 5d of the University Core Curriculum.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 4060 MetaphysicsCredit Hours: 3

Metaphysics is that branch of philosophy which investigates the nature of reality in general. It studies being precisely as being. For some philosophers, this means that metaphysics seeks to understand the fundamental explanatory principles of being as well as the most general categories of being and the relations that hold among them. Other philosophers see metaphysics as concerned with the characterization of the fundamental conceptual scheme by which we understand the universe. In either case, metaphysics considers such topics as the nature of universals and of concrete particulars; necessity and possibility; time and change; causality and truth; and finite and infinite being. This course considers the contributions of both classical and contemporary philosophers to the investigation of such topics.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of C, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 4070 EpistemologyCredit Hours: 3

An investigation of the nature, sources, and limits of human knowledge. Topics may include: the traditional philosophical conception of knowledge as justified true belief, the nature and objectivity of truth, skepticism about the external world, and the role and limits of science as a means of obtaining knowledge. In addition to considering classical and contemporary Western philosophical views on these topics, the course may also include criticism of the Western tradition itself. Note: This course fulfills Objective 4c of the University Core Curriculum.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of C, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 4091 ExistentialismCredit Hours: 3

Existentialism is an important school of thought in the continental tradition of western philosophy. Though the work of Kierkegaard and Nietzsche in the late 19th century anticipated many elements of this style of thinking, the movement hit its stride in the mid-20th century under such figures as Heidegger, Sartre, de Beauvoir and Camus, among others. Existentialism approaches traditional philosophical problems in a radically novel way and continues to be influential, not only in philosophy but also in literature, drama, and art. The main objective of this course is to explore the central themes of this important philosophical movement through the careful reading and critical discussion of selected texts, so that students will more fully appreciate the relevance of these themes to their own lives.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of C, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 4150 Advanced Topics in PhilosophyCredit Hours: 3

The content of the course will vary with the instructor and the semester in which it is offered, but in all cases it will involve a more sophisticated and in-depth treatment of a major figure in philosophy, and/or a major theme or issue. Note: This course fulfills Objective 4c of the University Core Curriculum.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of C, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 4240 Philosophy of LawCredit Hours: 3

This course introduces the student to one of the central questions in analytic jurisprudence: what is law? How is law distinct from and/or related to morality? What makes a set of rules or commands a legal system instead of some other kind of system? The three main answers to this question have been the natural law theory, legal positivism, and the `third theory' of law proposed by Ronald Dworkin. The course will also focus on the related question in legal philosophy regarding the objectivity and distinctiveness of legal reasoning; in this context, we will consider the American Legal Realists, the Critical Legal Studies movement, and feminist jurisprudence. The material for this course is highly abstract and theoretical. Note: This course fulfills Objective 4c of the University Core Curriculum.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of C, May not be taken concurrently) AND
PHL 2010 (Minimum Grade of C, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 4400 Contemporary PhilosophyCredit Hours: 3

An investigation of some of the major 19th and 20th century developments within American, Continental and Analytic philosophy. Particular movements studied may include Hegel and Marx, phenomenology, existentialism, postmodernism, and deconstruction within the Continental tradition; pragmatism, naturalism, transcendentalism, and African American philosophies as they developed in America; process philosophy; and analytic philosophy as developed by G.E. Moore, Bertrand Russell (Britain) and Wittgenstein and the Logical Positivists (Austria/Vienna Circle) currently dominant in Great Britain, North America, Australia, and Scandinavia.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of C, May not be taken concurrently)

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PHL 4950 Directed StudiesCredit Hours: 1 TO 3

Directed readings and research in a field of the student's special interest. Note: This course fulfills Objective 4c of the University Core Curriculum, providing it is taken for three credits.

Prerequisites:
PHL 1000 (Minimum Grade of D, May not be taken concurrently)

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