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Courses in the Philosophy Department provide students with a background in the history of philosophy, and assist them in developing competence in the analysis and evaluation of philosophical problems and arguments that arise in making choices about their own lives and in participating in the decisions on the future of our society.

Philosophy is concerned with the most fundamental questions that human beings can ask. What is the ultimate nature of the world? When are our beliefs justified? What can we know? Which actions are right and which are wrong? What is the best form of government? What is the good life? Is mind reducible to body? In addition, philosophy seeks to understand the bases of other areas of study, for example in philosophy of science, philosophy of language, philosophy of law, and philosophy of art.

The Philosophy Department welcomes both those who have an interest in continuing in philosophy and those who wish to use their philosophical training as a basis for other life pursuits. The study of philosophy has both intrinsic and instrumental value. The intrinsic value is the sense of satisfaction and self-discovery that comes from dealing in a careful and systematic way with basic questions. The instrumental value lies in the skill that the study of philosophy provides in critical thinking, a skill that helps a person to communicate better and to more effectively adapt to changing circumstances.

All courses toward a philosophy major or minor must be completed with a grade of C- or higher, and no C/NC courses are allowed.

disciplinary, 10 courses
At least six courses must be unique to the major. No more than three 100-level courses may be counted toward the major.

The following three courses:
PHIL 370 Ancient Philosophy
PHIL 372 Early Modern Philosophy
PHIL 460 Senior Seminar

At least two area courses (at least one of which must be at the 300-level):
Area 1: One of the following courses about knowledge/reality: 220, 237, 238, 260, 275, 342, 345, 350, 373, 374, 380, 390
Area 2: One of the following courses about values/normative theory: 230, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 250, 256, 310, 315, 330

Any five additional philosophy courses, at least two of which must be at the 200-level or higher.

disciplinary, 5 courses 
One of the following courses about knowledge/reality: 220, 237, 238, 260, 275, 342, 345, 350, 373, 374, 380, 390
One of the following courses about values/normative theory: 230, 232, 233, 234, 235, 236, 250, 310, 315, 330
One of the following historical courses: 370, 372, 373, 390
Any two additional philosophy courses

PHIL 100 Introduction to Philosophy How should I live my life? When is it acceptable to lie? Do I have a responsibility to help strangers? Is it always wrong to break the law? Can we prove God exists? What makes me, me? How do my race, class, and gender shape what I know? What distinguishes knowledge from mere opinion? This course provides an understanding of what philosophy is by addressing some of the key questions that philosophers examine, and by developing students' philosophical reasoning and sensitivity. (Staff, offered every semester)

PHIL 110 Puzzles and Paradoxes Puzzles can be both fun and frustrating.  In some places, working to solve them can also provide fascinating insights about our world.  Philosophical puzzles and paradoxes are like that.  This course will cover a variety of challenging puzzles about the nature of reality, morality, language and what we can know about the world.  Some of these puzzles have been solved, but many are not yet solved, and we can learn much from both of these. Even if you don't solve a particular puzzle completely, working toward the answer can help you with future problems by giving you a set of tools that you can use again and again to get other answers.  Puzzles and paradoxes make you a better thinker.  (And, for some, they are lots of fun too.)Reading and other materials:The exact readings used will depend on the professor who is teaching the course and on which puzzles that professor wants to cover during the semester.  There are textbooks that cover many of these puzzles, but we expect that a textbook would be supplemented by other readings.  A sample of the puzzles that we envision being appropriate for this course would include: metaphysical problems (Zeno's paradoxes, Sorites paradox, artificial persons, time travel, relativism); epistemological problems (liar paradox, surprise text paradox, preface paradox, grue paradox, Descartes' evil demon); ethical problems (free will & responsibility, psychological egoism, paradox of hedonism, the experience machine); political problems (prisoner's dilemma, Arrow's impossibility theorem); and problems in rational choice (Newcomb's paradox, Monty Hall problem, two envelope paradox, principle of insufficient reason & Bertrand's paradox).  Of course, this is not an exhaustive list, nor could it all be done in one semester.  However, we do envision the course including some problems from each area listed here.

PHIL 120 Critical Thinking & Argumentative Analysis This course is designed to improve a person's ability to think critically. While any course in philosophy does this, this course explicitly examines the principles of good reasoning. Emphasis is placed on the evaluation, the understanding, and the formulation of arguments. Instruction is given in the detection and correction of fallacies of reasoning and in the writing of argumentative essays. (Offered annually)

PHIL 151 Continuing Issues: Crime & Punishment This course explores the relationship between moral responsibility and criminal responsibility. It looks at some perennial problems in ethical theory, such as: What makes an act wrong? When is a person morally responsible for their actions? When is punishment an appropriate response to behavior that violates social norms? It also looks at some problems in legal theory and in public policy, such as: What sorts of acts ought to be criminal? When is a person legally responsible for her actions? Why should insanity be a defense to criminal charges? The following general question links all these problems: Which forms of behavior control are morally justifiable responses to which forms of social deviance? (Brophy, offered annually)

PHIL 152 Continuing Issues: Philosophy & Feminism This course examines both the ways in which philosophical concepts and methodologies have influenced contemporary thinking about gender and the ways in which feminist viewpoints have challenged many traditional philosophical ideas. Among the topics discussed are: marriage, sexuality, prostitution, human trafficking, affirmative action, and the connections between feminism and other liberation movements. (K. Frost-Arnold, offered alternate years)

PHIL 154 Continuing Issues: Environmental Ethics This course explores the ethical and philosophical issues that arise when we consider the relation between humans and the natural environment - issues made urgent by our current environmental crisis. Among questions examined are: Is the value of nature intrinsic or only instrumental? Do humans have obligations toward nonhuman animals? Why are animal species worth preserving? Is it individual animals or ecosystems that should be of moral concern? What can feminism tell us about our treatment of nature? Are economic efficiency and cost/benefit analysis adequate criteria for assessing our relation to the environment? (King, offered annually)

PHIL 155 Continuing Issues: Morality and War This course explores the phenomenon of war from a moral point of view. Among the questions considered are: When, if ever, is it morally justified to fight a war? What, if any, are the moral limits on how one may fight a war? Among the topics considered are: just war theory, pacifism, realism, humanitarian intervention, civil war, terrorism, and nuclear deterrence. (Lee, offered annually)

PHIL 156 Biomedical Ethics This course examines ethical issues that arise in the practice of medicine, in the delivery of health care, and in biomedical research. Ethical issues arise in all areas of human activity, but they arise in medicine with special urgency. Some reasons for this are the special nature of the physician/patient relationship, the importance of the matters of life and death involved, the difficulty in distributing health care in a just manner, and the many recent technological advances in medical treatment that exacerbate all of these problems. Among the issues considered are informed consent, patient autonomy, confidentiality and privacy, genetic intervention, medical experimentation, reproductive control, allocation of scarce medical resources, and justice in health care delivery. (Staff, offered annually)

PHIL 157 Ethical Inquiry: A Multicultural Approach This course considers some specific ethical issues from global and multicultural perspectives. Topics include issues such as human rights, gender roles and morality, world hunger and poverty, euthanasia, and racial and ethnic discrimination. In addition to examining these issues using a variety of Western philosophical traditions, students consider approaches that come from Chinese, African, Indian, Native American, feminist, Buddhist, and other non-Western perspectives. (Oberbrunner, offered alternate years)

PHIL 158 Debating Public Policy Effectively advocating for one's plan of action, when it's opposed, is what makes the difference between just a cool idea and an implemented policy. However, respectfully and persuasively selling one's ideas requires knowledge and skills that most people lack. This course develops students' theoretical knowledge of policy analysis tools and their practical skills (especially oral communication skills) to improve their advocacy. Students work in teams to develop public policy positions on current political, moral, and legal issues - domestic and international. Teams then formally debate these positions while other students vote on them. Strong emphasis is placed on anticipating problems with one's own public policy positions. Students learn about the general structure and tools of advocacy and opposition, as well as particular issues of current concern. The primary goal of this course is not to teach you how to debate. Debate is just the primary medium of the assignments about public policy analysis. (Barnes, offered alternate years)

PHIL 159 Continuing Issues: Global Justice This course examines a set of ethical issues arising from the relations among nations and their peoples in the light of increasing global interdependence. What does global justice require of us? What is the moral significance of national borders? Are we justified in treating our compatriots as more important morally than those in other nations? What are the obligations of those of us in wealthy nations to the hundreds of millions on our planet in extreme poverty, especially when some of this poverty is the result of our own activities? Are our obligations to those in other lands negative only (not to harm), or are they also positive (to provide needed help)? In seeking to answer these questions, the course examines realist, statist, and cosmopolitan normative theories of international relations. (Lee, offered occasionally)

PHIL 162 Ethics Civic Engagement How can I participate in my community in an ethical manner, and what can we, as a community, do to promote responsible civic engagement?  Students will study traditional ethical theories and learn how to apply them to the many complex ethical questions facing individuals who engage in volunteering, service, civic engagement, and community activism.   We will also address contemporary analyses of the ethical challenges posed by social inqualities of gender, race, sexuality, and class.  Topics explored in this course include: professionalism, confidentiality, respect for autonomy, conflict of interest, appreciation of difference, trust and honesty.  Students will learn ethical and non-oppressive strategies for engaging with both local and international communities.  This course is a service-learning course with a civic engagement component. Readings and other materials: Rachels, James. "The Elements of Moral Philosophy."  NY: McGraw Hill, 20047. Potter, Nancy Nyquist.  "How Can I Be Trusted?"  Rowman & Littlefield, 2002. O'Neil, Onora.  "A Question of Trust."  NY: Cambridge, 2002- Chapdelaine, Andrea et al. "Service-Learning Code of Ethics."  Boston: Anker, 2005- Mortenson, Greg.  "Three Cups of Tea: One Man's Missions to Promote Peace ... One School at a Time." Penguin, 2007. Selections from Bailey, Alison & Cuomo Chris (Eds.)  "The Feminist Philosophy Reader."  NY: McGraw Hill, 2007. Selections from Adams, Maurianne et al. (Eds.)  "Readings from Diversity and Social Justice."  NY: Routledge, 2000. (K. Frost-Arnold, offered alternate years)

PHIL 205 Ideas of Self This class examines the nature and identity of persons.  As a person, I am different from other animals.  The same goes for you.  But what is it that makes us different?  In addition, I am the same person as I was when I was a baby, but what is it that makes me the same person over time?  Is it having the same body?  Would I be able to inhabit a different body?  Is it my mind?  Would I survive having all of my memories erased?  What makes me me?  Last, what kinds of things shape my unique identity and outlook on life?  Am I fated to believe certain things due to my culture, economic status, or religion?  In sum, this class focuses on three main issues: what it means to be a person; what makes me the same person over time; and what constitutes my self-identity.?

PHIL 208 The Scientific Revoution The present-day scientific view of the world has not always existed: it began in a particular time and place. This course studies the birth of the modern conception of the natural world in seventeenth century Europe, an event often called the "Scientific Revolution."  We begin with an overview of ancient Greek ideas in philosophy, medicine, and cosmology.  Then, the main portion of the course will focus on the profound intellectual transformations in Europe during the 17th century, when our knowledge of the natural world first became "modern."  We will aim to understand the scientific revolutionaries on their own terms and for their own sake, but we will also study how their ideas relate to earlier and later periods.  Finally, we look at the most influential theory of scientific revolutions, that of Thomas Kuhn, and compare it (and its successors) to the historical data. (G. Frost-Arnold, offered occasionally)

PHIL 215 Aristotle Aristotle is one of the most important philosophers of the Western tradition. His works include treatises on logic, metaphysics, physics, psychology, ethics, and biology. Medieval philosophers depend on his argumentation and concepts to ground their systems of thought, and the early modem philosophers are steeped in his philosophy, often dedicating their lives to respond to it. This course is a survey in Aristotle's works that explores for the power of his philosophical positions and his role in the history of philosophy, with particular emphasis on being and knowing, i.e. metaphysics and epistemology. Typical readings include Aristotle's Categories, Posterior Analytics, Physics, De anirna, IVicomachean Ethics, Politics, and Metaphysics. Prerequisite: PHIL 100. (Offered every other year)

PHIL 220 Semiotics This is an introductory course to semiotics, the doctrine of sign in all forms and shapes. Signs are processes of interpretation. Anything (object, idea, feeling, action) can become a sign by being interpreted. But interpretation is itself a sign in need of being interpreted, and so semiotics quickly becomes a labyrinth in which the concept of the sign becomes more, rather than less, problematic, as the inquiry into its nature proceeds. A wide variety of approaches to semiotics are presented, and applications to literature, art, architecture, dance, history, anthropology, film studies, women studies, photography, sociology, psychology, and biology are encouraged. (Baer, offered annually)

PHIL 230 Aesthetics This course addresses a variety of philosophical issues relating to the arts, focusing on questions such as these: What is the nature of artistic creativity? What is the purpose of the arts? Is there a way for us to determine aesthetic value? Is there truth in art? How are emotions related to the arts? What role should art critics play? How are interpretations and evaluations of art influenced by factors such as culture, time period, race, gender, class? What role do the arts have in non-Western cultures? Are there aesthetic experiences outside of the arts? The course concludes by examining specific art forms chosen according to student interests. (Oberbrunner, offered annually)

PHIL 232 Liberty & Community This is a basic course in political philosophy. The focus is on striking a balance in a political order between the freedom of the individual and the requirements of community. The central question is whether the state is merely instrumental to the fostering of individuality or is intrinsically valuable because of the community it represents. A related question is whether social relations are best understood as created by contract among persons or as in some sense constitutive of our personhood. What is at issue is the adequacy of liberalism. (Lee, offered alternate years)

PHIL 233 Cosmopolitanism & Global Ethics Cosmopolitanism, deriving from the greek 'cosmos' (world) and 'polites' (citizen), is the study of citizenship beyond the boundaries of nation-states. In this course, we will study theories of world-citizenship and the relationship of citizenship to global ethical questions. We will look, in particular, at two sorts of composition: ethical and political. Ethical cosmopolitanism concerns the ethical obligations we have to individuals with whom we do not share a nation-state. Political cosmopolitanism concerns development of global institutions to govern political or economic policies and laws that have global impact. Of primary importance in this course Is the question of whether citizenship creates special moral and political obligations. We will consider the idea of world citizenship with regard to international organizations and global governance, human rights, immigration, economic inequality, and gender justice.

PHIL 234 Theories of Morality We'll examine the three dominant theoretical approaches to answering the fundamental practical question of what makes actions right and wrong. In the process, we'll also investigate questions like: What makes someone a good person? What makes something immoral? What is the relationship between rights and obligations? What makes the world a better place? (Barnes, offered alternate years)

PHIL 235 Morality & Self-Interest How should we act? Morality and individual self interest are often thought to give conflicting answers to this question. This course examines basic issues in moral theory by focusing on the question of whether acting in one's own interests is incompatible with acting as morality requires, as it often appears to be. Do morality and self-interest diverge or converge? We study these issues through historical works by philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Mill, and Nietzsche. The course is a service-learning course with a community service component. (Lee, offered alternate years)

PHIL 236 Philosophy of Law Study of the law raises many problems for which philosophy provides solutions. At the same time, the law provides valuable source material bearing on many traditional issues in philosophy. This course studies these problems and issues by examining both philosophical writings on the law and legal opinions. Tort and contract law are examined, as well as criminal and constitutional law. Some of the questions to be considered are: What is law? What is the relation between law and morality? To what extent is the state justified in interfering with a person's liberty? When are persons responsible for their actions? What is justice? When is a person liable for harm caused to others? When is morally justified to punish a person? (Lee, offered alternate years)

PHIL 237 Philosophy of Religion After reviewing some world religions, this course examines philosophically a variety fundamental questions about religion. Can we honor both the global diversity of religions and our common humanity? Can rational thought help us? The Western tradition, both classical and contemporary, includes a fascinating set of arguments to prove God's existence. Are they successful? Students address the Problem of Evil, a perennial question about why there is so much human suffering. Is religion patriarchal? What are some different ways of understanding the nature of divinity? Can we understand personal immortality? What is the relationship between religion and science? Students look at several perspectives on religious truth and ways of knowing it. (Oberbrunner, offered occasionally)

PHIL 238 Philosophy of Natural Science We take up several questions central to the philosophy of science: What distinguishes science from non-science? What is inductive reasoning? When is data evidence for a theory? What is a law of nature? How does a scientific community modify theories or reject one theory and replace it with another? What role, if any, do values play in the scientific enterprise? (G. Frost-Arnold, offered alternate years)

PHIL 240 Symbolic Logic This course is an introduction to the techniques and theories of formal logic. Topics include translation between English and artificial languages; formal techniques and procedures (natural deduction and truth tables); the concepts of validity, soundness, completeness, and consistency; along the way, we will discuss philosophical questions about logical truth and logical knowledge. (G. Frost-Arnold, offered alternate years)

PHIL 243 Philosophy of Sex and Love Sex and love are among some of the most ordinary human (and animal) experiences.  Yet, we often neglect to consider them philosophically.  This neglect stems in part from longstanding dualisms of mind/body and reason/feeling.  This class focuses almost exclusively on bodies and feelings: in doing so it prioritizes what has often been philosophically neglected or rejected. Once we do that, puzzles arise nearly everywhere we look.  Most basically: What is sex itself?  Are sex and sexuality constituent or accidental features of identity?  Are some sex acts morally wrong?  What does it mean to love someone; it is a feeling, an action, or a metaphysical union? Should you commit yourself to someone else, what would it mean to do so?  This class will provide a survey of metaphysical, epistemological, ethical, social, and political concerns about sex and love. We will focus on four main themes: being sexed and sexual, sexual orientations, power and sexualized violence, and marriage, commitment, and non-committal sex.  Topically, we will discuss philosophical dimensions of : sex acts and sexual desires, masturbation, sexualized violence, sexual identities, queer subjectivities, marriage, non-monogamy, pornography, public sex, and sex work.

PHIL 250 Feminism: Ethics & Knowledge This course examines various feminist critiques of traditional approaches to ethics and to knowledge. The first half of the course addresses moral issues. Are traditional moral theories adequate for addressing the problems that women face? Do women tend to think about morality differently than men do? What is "feminist ethics?" What moral obligations does it assign to individuals? What are its implications for governments and social policy? The second half of the course discusses issues in science and epistemology (i.e., theory of knowledge). Historically, how has science contributed to the subordination of women? Are social and political considerations relevant to science? Is it possible for science to be "objective?" What can be done to make science less biased? (K. Frost-Arnold, offered alternate years)

PHIL 256 Health Care Policy A government's laws and policies exert a great deal of influence on individuals' health and on how they interact with their health care system.  You might be allowed to choose your own doctor or your choices might be restricted.  The system might permit doctors to help terminally ill people to end their own lives, or it may even empower others to make such a choice.  Public policies might encourage or prohibit research to find ways to improve humans by altering their genes.  The government could help everyone get health insurance or they could even take over the whole health care system.  These kinds of public policy decisions would have major economic, political and person ramifications.  The goal of this course is to investigate and understand these choices in health care policy, focusing on the ethical principles that are the foundation of any justification of such policies.

PHIL 260 Mind and Language One fascinating feature of language and mind is that both are able to carry information: sentences and beliefs have content or meaning.  In other words, sentences and beliefs are about something.  This course investigates several questions involving linguistic and mental content.  How do words and mental states acquire their content?  What is the meaning of a word or sentence?  For example, is the meaning of a proper name (e.g. 'Thomas Jefferson') simply the entity bearing that name, or must its meaning be more complex?  What is the relationship between mental content and linguistic expressions: that is, do features of the language we speak determine which thoughts we can have, or vice versa? (G. Frost-Arnold, offered occasionally)

PHIL 271 Medieval Philosophy This course is a survey on common themes in Medieval philosophy. It explores on issues elaborated in the works of major Christian, Muslim, and Jewish philosophers. Among these issues include Being and its modalities, Perfect Being and the world, free and pre-determination, universals and particulars, and causality. It especially discusses the interplay between Platonic, Aristotelian and Neoplatonic views on the one hand and religious teachings on the other, as expressed in the works of medieval philosophers such as Augustine, Sa'adia, Ibn Sina, Maimonides, Averroes, Aquinas, and Ibn Tufayl.

PHIL 275 GOD This course examines both the nature of God and the foundation of rational belief in God. The traditional understanding of God, at least according to the Abrahamic religions, is a being that is omnipotent, omniscient, and omnibenevolent. However, each of these properties introduces classical philosophical problems. The puzzle of omnipotence challenges the idea that omnipotence is even a coherent notion. The dilemma of freedom and foreknowledge implies that God's omniscience is incompatible with human freedom. Last, the problem of evil gives reason to doubt that God is truly omnibenevolent. In sum, the class explores the following majors questions: does God exist? What is God like? How do we know what God is like? Do we have good evidence for belief in God? If not, can we still have rational belief in God?

PHIL 312 Language and Power Language plays a central role in our interactions with others in the world: it helps us to convey our thoughts and to create important connections with others. It can also be a powerful mechanism through which to derogate, marginalize, or subordinate people. This course will examine how language draws on exerts, and reinforces social power. We'll make use of classic ideas from philosophy of language to address contemporary concerns about social discourse. We'll start by examining famous arguments in support of freedom of speech. One of the central questions of the course is how these arguments work when we understand speech not merely as a way to convey information, but as an action which itself can have a significant impact on others. Much of the course will focus on the real impact of hate speech, pornography, and use of derogatory terms. We'll examine the role of social authority and the ways in which discourse can be distorted by features of the participants' identities. Then, we'll look at what sorts of inferences are licensed both by derogatory terms and by seemingly innocuous language used in daily life. Finally, we'll discuss whether, how, and when resistance to harmful speech is possible.

PHIL 315 Seminar: Social Justice Justice is demanded by people and for people all around us. Many claim that they or others are being treated unjustly, but to recognize which of these demands we should acknowledge, we need to understand what justice is. Our focus in this seminar will be on social justice, the justice of how individuals are treated by society, rather then how we treat each other as private persons. One of the main topics considered is distributive justice. The first part of this seminar will be dominated by a discussion of the work of John Rawls, the most significant English-language political philosopher of the 20th century. Then we consider other theoretical approaches to social justice, such as strict egalitarianism, libertarianism, resource and welfare based approaches, and feminist and capabilities approaches. We will also consider social just on a global scale. (Lee, offered annually)

PHIL 321 Environmental Theory & Policy What is the value of wilderness?  Does wilderness only have value because human beings find it beautiful or useful or fun? Or, is it possible to locate a form of value that wilderness has which is independent of human purposes? We will examine both the pragmatics and theory of policy and use these as a lens for a critical look at the questions of value that we began the course with.

PHIL 330 History of Moral Theory Contemporary philosophers looking at the history of ethics generally see 4 primary types of moral theories: virtue theory, contractarianism, deontology and consequentialism. This course will take a close look at the classic texts that are seen as the primary origins of these theories, written by Aristotle, Hobbes, Kant and Mill.  We will also read contemporary criticisms and refinements of these theories.

PHIL 342 Experiencing & Knowing Why should we believe What others tell us?  How do we know the external world Exists? How reliable are the inductive methods of science? How can we tell when we have achieved knowledge? What is the scope of human knowledge? What are its limits? This course examines some 20th century discussions of these and similar questions that have long intrigued thinkers wishing to understand the capacities of the human mind. (K. Frost-Arnold, offered alternate years)

PHIL 345 Power, Privilege, & Knowledge How is power used to shape the knowledge produced in a society? How does my race or gender influence my knowledge and ignorance? These are key questions in social epistemology, which is the study of the social dynamics of knowledge. In this course, students explore the historical beginnings of social epistemology in the work of Marx, Foucault and Goldman. Drawing on this history, students conduct a sophisticated study of contemporary work by feminists and philosophers of race. Among the topics discussed are: the corporatization of science, knowledge of the female orgasm, white ignorance, and strategies for becoming a responsible knower in a world of power and privilege. (K. Frost-Arnold, offered alternate years)

PHIL 350 Theories of Reality This course will focus on questions such as the following: What is real? Is the material world the only reality? Are properties, like being round, or being rational, as real as things? Is mind, awareness, consciousness, a different sort of reality? Are people simply complex machines? Are human beings free to create their own futures? With respect to physical reality, we will consider issues such as causality, space, time, and substance. For persons, we will examine the relationship between mind and body, the idea of personal identity, and the nature of human free will and responsibility. Both classical and contemporary perspectives will be considered. (Oberbrunner, offered annually)

PHIL 355 Philosophy of Time We seemingly experience the phenomenon of time every day.  But what exactly is it?  One of the greatest philosophers of time, C. D. Broad, declared that the problem of understanding time is "the hardest knot in the whole of philosophy."  This course is an attempt to begin to unravel this knot.  The topics are divided into two main sections reflecting the two main issues in the philosophy of time: the ontology of time and the properties of time.  The ontology of time concerns, first and foremost, whether time is real, and, if so, whether only the present exists or whether the past and the future exist along with the present.  The second section of the course concerns the consideration of the particular properties of time that give rise to several well-known questions involving time:  How does time pass? What gives time its direction?  Can we time travel into the past or future?  These questions seem simple, but as one attempts to seek answers, it becomes clear that no obvious answers are to be found.  Thus, this class ultimately serves not  only as a philosophical introduction to the basic issues concerning time but also offers to students an illustration of how to structure and think through abstract issues.

PHIL 370 Ancient Philosophy This course is a survey of the Origins of Western philosophy. The course focuses on ancient Greek views of the nature of reality, morality, and knowledge. The great philosophers of the Classical period are studied in detail. The emphasis throughout this course is on understanding, analyzing, and evaluating the arguments and theories of these philosphers. Typical readings include: Plato, Euthyphro, Meno, Symposium, and Republic; Aristotle, Categories, Nichomachean Ethics, and Politics. (King, offered annually)

PHIL 372 Early Modern Philosophy This course is an introduction to the principal works and central theories of the early modern period (1600-1750). The philosophical thought of this period was closely tied to the newly developing sciences and also to profound changes in religion, politics, and morality. Accompanying the transformation of thinking in all of these areas was a renewed interest in skeptical theories from ancient sources, and what emerged was the beginning of uniquely modern approaches to philosophy. Each year this course focuses on a handful of texts from this period, to be selected from the works of Montaigne, Bacon, Galileo, Descartes, Hobbes, Arnauld, Gassendi, Mersenne, Leibniz, Spinoza, Boyle, Butler, Malebranche, Pascal, Newton, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. (Brophy, offered annually)

PHIL 373 Kant Kant's critical and transcendental investigations of the limits of the ability of the human mind to resolve issues of what we can know and how we should act have been enormously influential for all subsequent philosophical inquiry. This course is devoted to understanding the problems Kant faced, the answers he advanced, and the difficult and intriguing arguments he provided to support his views. Because understanding Kant's empirical realism and transcendental idealism is incomplete without critical scrutiny of his argument, objections are introduced and discussed. (Baer, offered annually)

PHIL 460 Senior Seminar This course has variable content. Each year a central philosophical issue or the work of an important philosophical figure is examined. (Offered annually)

PHIL 450 Independent Study

PHIL 456 1/2 Credit Independent Study

PHIL 495 Honors

Courses Offered Occasionally*:
PHIL 125 Oral Argumentation and Debate
PHIL 150 Philosophy and Contemporary Issues: Justice and Equality
PHIL 160 Philosophy of Medicine
PHIL 205 Ideas of Self
PHIL 225 Versions of Verity
PHIL 271 Medieval Philosophy
PHIL 374 German Idealism
PHIL 380 Experience and Consciousness: Introduction to Phenomenology
PHIL 381 Existentialism

*Frequency as determined by student demand and faculty availability

Preparing Students to Lead Lives of Consequence.