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Courses & Requirements

Requirements for the Philosophy Minor

The minimum number of courses for the minor is five, at least one of which must be at the 300 or 400 level.

Metaphysics and Epistemology

Select 1 course from the following:

PHI-210: Epistemology (4.00)

Study of major issues in contemporary theories of knowledge.

PHI-217: Philosophy of Mind (4.00)

The mind-body problem and basic metaphysical issues related to whether human persons can survive bodily death.

Course requisites: Any 100-level PHI course except PHI-103.

PHI-225: Metaphysics (4.00)

Study of philosophical theories about the fundamental nature of reality.

Course requisites: Any 100-level PHI course except PHI-103.

PHI-230: Philosophy of Science (4.00)

PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE--An introduction to basic issues in the philosophy of science: induction, law likeness, realism and instrumentalism, confirmation and explanation.

Course requisites: Any 100-level PHI course except PHI-103.

PHI-303: Intermediate Logic (4.00)

This course introduces students to logical meta-theory. After reviewing the semantics and proof theory for First-Order Logic (FOL) and Classical Propositional Logic (CPL) as well as some basic set-theoretic concepts, we proceed to investigate the various meta-logical properties of FOL and CPL, such as soundness, completeness, and decidability. We will also explore the concept of computability via Finite State Automata and Turing Machines. From there, we turn to the meta-theory of nonclassical logics such as Modal Logic, Intuitionistic Logic, Relevant Logic(s), Fuzzy Logic, Deontic Logic(s) and Nonmonotonic Logic(s). Students will also be trained to use the typesetting markup language LaTex.

Course requisites: PHI-103 or MAT-204


Select 1 course from the following:

PHI-212: Moral Philosophy (4.00)

An introduction to some of the West's most significant and influential ethical theories through original texts. Works of Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, and Mill will be discussed.

Course requisites: Any 100-level PHI or POL course except PHI-103.

PHI-318: Ethics (4.00)

A contemporary philosophical exploration of major issues in and approached to ethics - including metaethics (which concerns the nature of morality and moral discourse) and normative ethical theory (which concerns how we ought to live).

Course requisites: One 200-level PHI course or permission of instructor.

PHI-396: Topics in Ethics (4.00)

TOPICS IN ETHICS--A semester-long exploration of the work of a particular philosopher (such as Kant) a particular approach to ethics (such as contemporary virtue theory), or a theoretical problem or debate (such as criticism of morality or moral theory).Prerequisite: one 200-level course in philosophy.

Description for "ETHICAL ISSUES IN THE CREATION AND TERMINATION OF LIFE"--This course will address a constellation of theoretical and practical questions related to human interventions in life and death. Among the topics we will address are: When, if ever, is killing humans morally justified? For example, is capital punishment defensible? What moral obligations do we have to prevent humans from dying? Are we obligated, for example, to save people around the globe from starvation? How do we define the beginning and end of human life? For example, is someone who is in a persistent vegetative state a human life? Is a fetus a human life? What sorts of moral constraints apply to reproductive technologies? Is it moral, for example, to use in vitro fertilization to select the sex of one's child?

Description for "HUMAN RIGHTS"--This course is a philosophical exploration of human rights, with a focus on their nature and basis. Among the questions we will ask are: What are human rights? More specifically, are human rights identical with, or grounded in, what moral philosophers have long called 'natural rights'; or are they a relatively recent political invention, with only loose connections to that older idea? Is there some special capacity or dignity in virtue of which human beings have these rights? What are the criteria for determining whether a purported human right really is a human right?

Description for "MORAL PSYCHOLOGY, THE VIRTUES, AND THE HUMAN GOOD"-- Students will develop an understanding of debates in contemporary moral philosophy and moral psychology, learn about the relationship between ethics and psychology, and read famous thinkers from the history of moral philosophy, with a particular focus on "virtue ethics." Most importantly, students will be asked to consider the ethical implications of our emotional lives and to reconsider what it means to do moral philosophy.

Course requisites: One 200-level PHI course or permission of instructor.

History of Philosophy

Select 1 course from the following:

PHI-206: Ancient Philosophy (4.00)

History of Ancient Philosophy. The thought of the major figures in Western philosophy from the pre-Socratic era to the Hellenistic Age.

Course requisites: Any 100-level PHI course except PHI-103.

PHI-208: Medieval Philosophy (4.00)

The major philosophical issues and figures of the medieval period. Particular attention to St. Augustine, St. Anselm, St. Thomas Aquinas and William of Occam.

Course requisites: Any 100-level PHI course except PHI-103.

PHI-209: Modern Philosophy (4.00)

Metaphysics and epistemology of the central philosophers of the modern period: Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant.

Course requisites: Any 100-level PHI course except PHI-103.

PHI-321: Plato and Aristotle (4.00)

Advanced study of selected topics in Plato and Aristotle. Cross-listed with CLA-321.

Course requisites: Any 200-level PHI course or permission of instructor.

PHI-333: Existentialism (4.00)

Advanced study of various existential challenges and alternatives to traditional philosophical views in metaphysics, epistemology and ethics. Readings from Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, and other existential philosophers and novelists. Cross-listed with REL-333.

Course requisites: Any Philosophy course or permission of instructor.

Additional Philosophy Courses

Two additional philosophy courses.

Depending on topic, PHI-295 and PHI-35 may count toward a specific requirement within the minor.  Students may count POL-207, Modern Political Thought, toward the minor in philosophy.  Only one course outside of the philosophy department may count toward a minor in philosophy.

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