PHIL 301 Intermediate Deductive Logic

The development of a formal system of logic with relations and multiple quantifiers, identity and definite descriptions. Other topics may include non-classical logics, modal logic (the logic of possibility and necessity), set theory, or results concerning the scope and limits of logical systems.



PHIL 116

PHIL 302 Abortion, Philosophy, and Law

Students will explore abortion from theoretical and legal perspectives. They will investigate various underlying theoretical issues and the factual and legal aspects if abortion. Students will combine these concepts and explore the moral status of abortion.


PHIL 303 Crime and Punishment

The course investigates the criminal justice system and the limits of state coercion. May the state coerce persons only to prevent some persons from harming others? May it do so to protect persons from harming themselves or to protect society's moral fabric? The class will then examine the justification of punishment. Is punishment justified because it reforms offenders, because offenders deserve punishment, or because punishment deters other potential defenders? Finally, the class explores contemporary moral issues such as whether the state should criminalize recreational drug use, hate crimes, or blackmail.


PHIL 310 Business Ethics

Careful examination of moral issues arising in business contexts such as the duty to tell the truth, the profit motive, the relationship between private ownership and the public interest, the rights and duties of employees and employers, the responsibilities and liabilities of businesses to consumers, the respective roles of business and government, and business trends and social responsibility.


PHIL 312 Current Moral Issues and Principles

An examination of moral issues of significance today such as abortion, euthanasia, sexual ethics, affirmative action, animal rights, torture, and war. In exploring answers to these issues the course includes an introduction to moral principles produced by traditional theories such as natural law, utilitarianism, Kantianism, and the social contract tradition.


PHIL 313 Sex and Love

Addresses three specific areas of sex and love, and includes cross-cultural components. First, sexual ethics: Which kinds of sexual activity are morally permissible under what sort of circumstances? Must morally permissible sex be based on love? What is good sex? Second, the politics of sex: Are versions of proper sexuality used as mechanisms to oppress women and homosexuals? Third, the ideals of love: What are the different kinds of love? Why should persons be concerned with analyzing love?


PHIL 317 Philosophy of Science

An examination of the basic concepts and methods of the sciences through the study of topics such as the nature of scientific explanation, the status of laws of nature, the relation between observation and theory, and methods of confirming or refuting hypotheses. Other topics might include causality, scientific realism, scientific revolutions, evolution and natural functions, and the distinction between science and pseudo-science.


PHIL 330 Libertarianism

Libertarianism holds that the only proper function of the state is to protect its citizens from acts of force, fraud, or theft. The class will explore libertarianism and evaluate the arguments for and against it. The class will examine such issues as: whether the state has authority over persons, whether distributive justice allows the state to redistribute wealth, whether rights are inviolable, whether and to what extent property rights should be respected, and whether antidiscrimination laws are justified.


PHIL 331 Eastern Thought

A survey of classic eastern philosophies and religions, including classical Chinese schools (Confucianism, Daoism), some varieties of Hinduism (Advaita Vedanta, Visistadvaita Vedanta), and some varieties of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism. Topics include human nature, enlightenment, the nature of ultimate reality, reincarnation, karma, moral transformation of individuals and societies, supernatural beings, knowledge, truth, and idealism. Prerequisite: must have completed INDS 120 or at least one 3 credit Philosophy class.


PHIL 337 Religious Pluralism

Religions differ. What should we make of this fact of religious diversity? Theories of religious pluralism hold that in some sense or other, all religions are the same. In this course we?ÇÖll explore four major religious traditions, and will then explore theories of religious pluralism, as well as critical responses to and theoretical alternatives to them.


PHIL 338 Marxist Thought

Examines the central themes of the tradition: its view of history, economics, the nature of political struggle, the status of law and morality, and the effects of material living conditions on forms of thought. The relevance of Marxism to revolutionary political movements is explored in the works of thinkers such as Lenin, Stalin, Trotsky, Luxemburg, Gramsci, and Marcuse.


PHIL 345 The Meaning of Life

The course addresses the most fundamental questions of human existence in theistic, humanistic, and practical dimensions. Does life as a whole have inherent meaning? Does human life in particular have inherent meaning? If there is no God does that imply that life has no inherent meaning? Even if life has no inherent meaning, can life have meaning created by those who live it? If there is no inherent meaning of life, why do people exist? Does mortality rob human life of any significance it might have?


PHIL 346 Human Happiness

A critical evaluation of major theories of happiness. If people are rational and actively loving, what should people teach their children about more durable forms of life satisfaction? What is success? What is happiness? Is happiness the greatest good? Are all meaningful lives happy? Are all happy lives meaningful lives? What are the sources or conditions of happiness? What is the relationship between heroic, meaningful, and happy lives?


PHIL 351 Metaphysics

An examination of the fundamental categories of reality, such as existence, substance, property, identity, space, time, event, causation, necessity, essence, free will and mind. The philosophical questions in which these categories play a role will also be discussed; e.g., Is free will possible in a deterministic world? and How can something change its properties over time and still remain the very same thing? Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in philosophy.


PHIL 353 Theory of Knowledge

Inquiry into the nature of human knowledge and related concepts such as truth, belief and epistemic justification. Knowledge from experience and a priori knowledge. The course addresses theories of justification such as foundationalism, coherentism and reliabilism. It also confronts problems posed by Skepticism for the scope of human knowledge, especially knowledge about the external world. Prerequisite: 3 credit hours in philosophy.


PHIL 362 Philosophy of Law

The course explores the nature of law and judicial decision-making. Is law simply a union of rules, a social practice, or an attempt to apply justice to interpersonal disputes? The course also examines the content and interpretation of statues. Should the interpretation take into account the statute's plain meaning? The intent of the legislature that voted for it? Considerations of justice? The class will then discuss the role of judges in interpreting both statutes and common law (judge-made law).


PHIL 364 Justice, Law, and Economics

The civil law system adjudicates contractual disputes and disputes involving claims to compensation for injury. The course begins with a discussion of the justification of the system. The class will investigate whether the system is justified by a concern for economic efficiency, justice or both. The class will look at economic rules that relate to the civil laws, such as the rules relating to breach of contract, automobile accidents, liability for defective products, and pollution control. The class will also explore whether justice allows economic factors to be considered.


PHIL 369 Topics in Philosophy

Special topics in philosophy. Variable-content course which may be taken more than once for credit. An in-depth study beyond the standard curriculum.