Philosophy

Courses

The Philosophy Department is proud to offer a broad range of courses, from Ancient Philosophy to Sexual Ethics, Phenomenology to Chinese Philosophy, and much more. Given the research specializations of our faculty, the Department has especially strong course offerings in political philosophy, philosophy of science, and the history of philosophy.

The Philosophy Major and Minor include required historical and topical courses, but afford students a large degree of freedom to explore the field. Interested students have the option to focus their study by following one of three paths —the Social Justice and Pre-Law Path, the Health and Sciences Path, or the History of Philosophy Path. As a cluster of courses linked by a general theme, each path allows students to develop their philosophical interests. Students are not required to choose a path to complete the major or minor, and additional courses outside each path may be required. In the lists below, the notation (REQ) indicates that a path course also fulfills a requirement for the major.

If you have any questions about philosophy course options or degree programs, we encourage you to talk to the Department’s 2016-2017 Academic Advisor, Dr. Julie Yoo.

Social Justice and Pre-Law Path

Download the Social Justice and Pre-Law Path Worksheet (.doc)  

PHIL 201. Ancient Philosophy (3) 

Prerequisite: EPT score of 151 or higher, or credit in Developmental Writing 098, or completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. Critical examination of selected topics in ancient Western philosophic thought, with attention to the pervasive influence of Plato and Aristotle. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 202. Modern Philosophy (3) 

Prerequisite: EPT score of 151 or higher, or credit in Developmental Writing 098, or completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. Critical examination of topics in modern philosophic thought selected from the writings of such figures as Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume and Kant. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 200. Critical Reasoning (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing; GE Mathematics or MATH 210. Not open to students who have completed PHIL 100. Examination of the relationship between logic and language. Accelerated introduction to the concepts essential to the identification, analysis and evaluation of arguments, with attention to deduction, induction and common fallacies. Emphasis on the application of these concepts. (Available for General Education, Critical Thinking.)

PHIL 230. Introduction to Formal Logic (3) 

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing; GE Mathematics or MATH 210. Introduction to modern deductive logic, including propositional logic and theory of quantification. (Available for General Education, Basic Skills Critical Thinking.) 

PHIL 365. Social and Political Philosophy (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. A survey of classical and contemporary theoretical approaches in social and political philosophy. Covers such theories as anarchy, absolutism, liberalism, libertarianism, communism, communitarianism and socialism, as well as topics concerning justice, liberty, equality, pluralism and democracy. Also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 350. Epistemology (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. An investigation into ways of acquiring knowledge and into traditional epistemological problems. Attention will be given to major positions, such as empiricism and rationalism, foundationalism and coherentism, and skepticism, and to theories of knowledge, such as reliabilism and contextualism. The course also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 348. Philosophy and Feminism (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Philosophical analysis of the concept woman in contemporary U.S. culture and other central concepts in feminist thought, including the nature of oppression, equality and justice, and relationships between sex, gender and sexuality. A critical study of philosophical issues in feminism. Regular written assignments will be required. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.)

PHIL 305. Business Ethics and Public Policy (3) 

Prerequisite: Completion of the lower division writing requirement. Application of the insights and methods of moral philosophy to a practical examination of contemporary moral problems and normative issues of public policy concerning the conduct and responsibilities of individuals and firms in business and the organization and role of business and economic institutions in society. Regular written assignments are required. (Available for General Education, Lifelong Learning.)

PHIL 390. Philosophy of Law (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Philosophical questions arising from the analysis and evaluation of concepts and theories connected with law, including law and morality, justice, freedom and responsibility, and the nature of judicial reasoning. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 396A-Z. Selected Topics in Philosophy (3-4)

Selected topics in philosophy, with course content to be determined.

PHIL 406. Philosophy of Sex, Gender, Sexuality (3)

Prerequisites: PHIL 303 or 348, or QS 301 or 302. An examination of issues in philosophy of sex, gender or sexuality, with emphasis on non-normative sex, gender or sexuality.

PHIL 446. Advanced Social and Political Philosophy (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 360 or 365. An advanced analysis and evaluation of selected topics in social and political philosophy, such as the nature of justice, equality, liberty, political rights and the law.

PHIL 460. Advanced Ethical Theory (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 360 or 365. An investigation of advanced topics in ethical theory, such as moral responsibility, justice, human rights, intrinsic values and the justification of punishment.

PHIL 497. Senior Research Seminar (3)

Preparatory: Senior standing; At least 21 units in Philosophy courses. Extended research project on a topic of the student’s choice. Collaborative learning is required. Team projects are encouraged. Focus is on formulating a thesis and pursuing appropriate means of developing it in a research project. Class meetings focus on research methodologies and on students’ discussions of their projects.

Health and Sciences Path

Download the Health and Sciences Path Worksheet (.doc)

PHIL 201. Ancient Philosophy (3) 

Prerequisite: EPT score of 151 or higher, or credit in Developmental Writing 098, or completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. Critical examination of selected topics in ancient Western philosophic thought, with attention to the pervasive influence of Plato and Aristotle. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 202. Modern Philosophy (3) 

Prerequisite: EPT score of 151 or higher, or credit in Developmental Writing 098, or completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. Critical examination of topics in modern philosophic thought selected from the writings of such figures as Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume and Kant. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 200. Critical Reasoning (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing; GE Mathematics or MATH 210. Not open to students who have completed PHIL 100. Examination of the relationship between logic and language. Accelerated introduction to the concepts essential to the identification, analysis and evaluation of arguments, with attention to deduction, induction and common fallacies. Emphasis on the application of these concepts. (Available for General Education, Critical Thinking.)

PHIL 230. Introduction to Formal Logic (3) 

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing; GE Mathematics or MATH 210. Introduction to modern deductive logic, including propositional logic and theory of quantification. (Available for General Education, Basic Skills Critical Thinking.) 

PHIL 360. Ethical Theory (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. A survey of classical and contemporary theoretical approaches to moral philosophy. Covers such theories as utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics, ethical relativism and divine command. Also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required

PHIL 350. Epistemology (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. An investigation into ways of acquiring knowledge and into traditional epistemological problems. Attention will be given to major positions, such as empiricism and rationalism, foundationalism and coherentism, and skepticism, and to theories of knowledge, such as reliabilism and contextualism. The course also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 355. Philosophy of Mind (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. An examination of traditional and contemporary views concerning the mind, such as the nature of consciousness and intentionality, the prospects and limitations of artificial intelligence and psychological explanation, the nature of mental causation, and the relationship between mind and body. Also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 348. Philosophy and Feminism (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Philosophical analysis of the concept woman in contemporary U.S. culture and other central concepts in feminist thought, including the nature of oppression, equality and justice, and relationships between sex, gender and sexuality. A critical study of philosophical issues in feminism. Regular written assignments will be required. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.)

PHIL 325. Philosophy and Biology (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. The course addresses philosophical issues central to biological sciences, including the creation/evolution debate and other social implications of contemporary biological theories. It also introduces basic concepts in philosophy of science, such as demarcation, scientific explanation and the scientific method, which are necessary for examining the above issues. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 330. Philosophy of Science (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Analysis of the concepts reality, knowledge, mind and theory that attempts to answer the question: What is the character of the scientific picture of human beings and nature? (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 396A-Z. Selected Topics in Philosophy (3-4)

Selected topics in philosophy, with course content to be determined.


PHIL 495. Advanced Philosophy of the Sciences (3)

Prerequisite: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 330, 350, 352 or 355. An advanced study of 1 or more key issues in the philosophy of science or philosophical issues in the special sciences, such as explanation, causality, laws and theories, theory evaluation, realism and anti-realism, and relations between the physical and social sciences.

PHIL 406. Philosophy of Sex, Gender, Sexuality (3)

Prerequisites: PHIL 303 or 348, or QS 301 or 302. An examination of issues in philosophy of sex, gender or sexuality, with emphasis on non-normative sex, gender or sexuality.

PHIL 425. Seminar in Philosophy of Biology (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy including PHIL 325, 330, 350 or 355. An advanced study of key concepts and issues in philosophy of biology, including adaptation, complexity and self-organization, fitness, function, species, unit of selection and evolutionary development. Examination of the nature of biological sciences and its relation to other sciences and theories. Regular writing assignments required.

PHIL 450. Advanced Epistemology and Metaphysics (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 350, 352 or 355. An advanced study of selected topics in epistemology, such as internalism and externalism, rationalism and empiricism, theories of knowledge and skepticism.

PHIL 210. Reasoning in the Sciences (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing; GE Mathematics or MATH 210. Concepts, methods, and limitations involved in the systematic procedures of empirical inquiry in the sciences and in ordinary thought, such as probability, measurement, causal relations, statistical inference, and the concepts of law and theory. (Available for General Education, Critical Thinking.)

PHIL 225. Evolutionary Reasoning (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. This course introduces basic concepts and skills of critical reasoning and scientific reasoning in the context of reasoning about evolution.  These include argument identification, argument analysis, and argument evaluation. Key ideas in evolutionary thinking are also introduced. This course  emphasizes the attainment of skills applied in evolutionary reasoning.  (Available for General Education, Critical Thinking.)


PHIL 497. Senior Research Seminar (3)

Preparatory: Senior standing; At least 21 units in Philosophy courses. Extended research project on a topic of the student’s choice. Collaborative learning is required. Team projects are encouraged. Focus is on formulating a thesis and pursuing appropriate means of developing it in a research project. Class meetings focus on research methodologies and on students’ discussions of their projects.

History of Philosophy Path

Download the History of Philosophy Path Worksheet (.doc)

PHIL 201. Ancient Philosophy (3) 

Prerequisite: EPT score of 151 or higher, or credit in Developmental Writing 098, or completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. Critical examination of selected topics in ancient Western philosophic thought, with attention to the pervasive influence of Plato and Aristotle. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 202. Modern Philosophy (3) 

Prerequisite: EPT score of 151 or higher, or credit in Developmental Writing 098, or completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. Critical examination of topics in modern philosophic thought selected from the writings of such figures as Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume and Kant. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 200. Critical Reasoning (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing; GE Mathematics or MATH 210. Not open to students who have completed PHIL 100. Examination of the relationship between logic and language. Accelerated introduction to the concepts essential to the identification, analysis and evaluation of arguments, with attention to deduction, induction and common fallacies. Emphasis on the application of these concepts. (Available for General Education, Critical Thinking.)

PHIL 230. Introduction to Formal Logic (3) 

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing; GE Mathematics or MATH 210. Introduction to modern deductive logic, including propositional logic and theory of quantification. (Available for General Education, Basic Skills Critical Thinking.) 

PHIL 365. Social and Political Philosophy (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. A survey of classical and contemporary theoretical approaches in social and political philosophy. Covers such theories as anarchy, absolutism, liberalism, libertarianism, communism, communitarianism and socialism, as well as topics concerning justice, liberty, equality, pluralism and democracy. Also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 350. Epistemology (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. An investigation into ways of acquiring knowledge and into traditional epistemological problems. Attention will be given to major positions, such as empiricism and rationalism, foundationalism and coherentism, and skepticism, and to theories of knowledge, such as reliabilism and contextualism. The course also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 352. Metaphysics (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. An examination of traditional and contemporary views concerning major issues in metaphysics, such as continued existence through change, universals and particulars, realism, causation, necessity and possibility, possible worlds and time and space. Also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 355. Philosophy of Mind (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. An examination of traditional and contemporary views concerning the mind, such as the nature of consciousness and intentionality, the prospects and limitations of artificial intelligence and psychological explanation, the nature of mental causation, and the relationship between mind and body. Also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 341. Kierkegaard and Nietzsche (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Examination of some of the main issues in the thought of Kierkegaard and the thought of Nietzsche, such as subjective and objective truth, the logic of faith, the category of transvaluation and the death of God.

PHIL 342. Existentialism (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. Study of representative works of the major existentialists, with the aim of discovering the fundamental tenets of existentialism. Emphasis placed on existentialism’s influence on and relevance to contemporary thought. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 396A-Z. Selected Topics in Philosophy (3-4)

Selected topics in philosophy, with course content to be determined.

PHIL 401. Advanced Ancient Philosophy (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 201. Recommended Preparatory: PHIL 350, 352, 355, 360, or 365. A detailed study of selected works by Ancient philosophers, with an emphasis on Plato and Aristotle.

PHIL 402. Advanced Modern Philosophy (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 202; Recommended Preparatory: PHIL 350, 352, 355, 360 or 365. A detailed study of selected works by modern philosophers from Descartes to Mill.

PHIL 403. Contemporary Philosophy (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 350, 352, 355, 360 or 365. An examination of selected contemporary philosophical writings.

PHIL 439. Phenomenology (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 350, 352 or 355. A study of the phenomenological approach to such issues as the nature of consciousness, the role of intentionality and meaning in experience, and our experiential relations to others and the world around us. The focus will usually be on one or more historically significant phenomenologists, such as Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Sartre.

PHIL 497. Senior Research Seminar (3)

Preparatory: Senior standing; At least 21 units in Philosophy courses. Extended research project on a topic of the student’s choice. Collaborative learning is required. Team projects are encouraged. Focus is on formulating a thesis and pursuing appropriate means of developing it in a research project. Class meetings focus on research methodologies and on students’ discussions of their projects.

All Philosophy Courses (By Course Number)

Download the Philosophy Major Worksheet (.doc)

PHIL 100. General Logic (4)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing; GE Mathematics or MATH 210. Not open to students who have completed PHIL 200. Study of deductive and inductive inferences. Attention to formal and informal fallacies and the relations of logic and language. Emphasis on critical thinking and the attainment of skill in it. (Available for General Education, Critical Thinking.)

PHIL 150. Introduction to Philosophical Thought (3)

Prerequisite: EPT score of 151 or higher, or credit in Developmental Writing 098, or completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. Introduction to philosophy emphasizing the concepts of knowledge, reality and mind, with attention to such topics as skepticism, dogmatism, common sense, materialism, mind-body dualism, the existence of God and free will. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 160. Introduction to Philosophy: Society and Values (3)

Prerequisite: EPT score of 151 or higher, or credit in Developmental Writing 098, or completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. Introduction to philosophy emphasizing questions concerned with evaluations of human conduct, social institutions and works of art. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 165. Today’s Moral Issues (3)

Prerequisite: EPT score of 151 or higher, or EPT and a credit in 098. Philosophical examination of a range of today’s moral issues, such as abortion, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, the environment, war and world hunger. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.) (IC)

PHIL 170. Philosophy and Popular Culture (3)

In this course, students will examine philosophical themes within popular culture, and will use philosophy to investigate how they relate to popular culture. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 180. Human Nature and the Meaning of Life (3)

Examines a variety of theories of human nature. Students in the course will discuss how those theories answer questions like: “What are we? Why are we here; what is the meaning of life?” Students in the course will come to understand these theories, learn to critically examine them, and try to determine what implications the theories have for our conception of ourselves and for our conception of a good or happy or meaningful life. (Available for General Education, Lifelong Learning.)

PHIL 200. Critical Reasoning (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing; GE Mathematics or MATH 210. Not open to students who have completed PHIL 100. Examination of the relationship between logic and language. Accelerated introduction to the concepts essential to the identification, analysis and evaluation of arguments, with attention to deduction, induction and common fallacies. Emphasis on the application of these concepts. (Available for General Education, Critical Thinking.)

PHIL 201. Ancient Philosophy (3)

Prerequisite: EPT score of 151 or higher, or credit in Developmental Writing 098, or completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. Critical examination of selected topics in ancient Western philosophic thought, with attention to the pervasive influence of Plato and Aristotle. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 202. Modern Philosophy (3)

Prerequisite: EPT score of 151 or higher, or credit in Developmental Writing 098, or completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. Critical examination of topics in modern philosophic thought selected from the writings of such figures as Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume and Kant. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 210. Reasoning in the Sciences (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing; GE Mathematics or MATH 210. Concepts, methods, and limitations involved in the systematic procedures of empirical inquiry in the sciences and in ordinary thought, such as probability, measurement, causal relations, statistical inference, and the concepts of law and theory. (Available for General Education, Critical Thinking.)

PHIL 225. Evolutionary Reasoning (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. This course introduces basic concepts and skills of critical reasoning and scientific reasoning in the context of reasoning about evolution.  These include argument identification, argument analysis, and argument evaluation. Key ideas in evolutionary thinking are also introduced. This course  emphasizes the attainment of skills applied in evolutionary reasoning.  (Available for General Education, Critical Thinking.)

PHIL 230. Introduction to Formal Logic (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing; GE Mathematics or MATH 210. Introduction to modern deductive logic, including propositional logic and theory of quantification. (Available for General Education, Critical Thinking.)

PHIL 296A-Z. Experimental Topics in Philosophy (3-4)

Selected topics in philosophy, with course content to be determined.

PHIL 303. Sexual Ethics (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of Lower Division writing requirement. Examination of some of the moral issues in sexual conduct.

PHIL 305. Business Ethics and Public Policy (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Application of the insights and methods of moral philosophy to a practical examination of contemporary moral problems and normative issues of public policy concerning the conduct and responsibilities of individuals and firms in business and the organization and role of business and economic institutions in society. Regular written assignments are required. (Available for General Education, Lifelong Learning.)

PHIL 310. Philosophical Problems (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. Introduction for upper-division students to such central philosophic problems as knowledge, truth, reality, and mind. Regular written assignments will be required. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 313. Philosophy of Film and Literature (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Investigation of philosophical concepts and problems relating to and expressed through film and literature. Regular written assignments will be required.

 

PHIL 325. Philosophy and Biology (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. The course addresses philosophical issues central to biological sciences, including the creation/evolution debate and other social implications of contemporary biological theories. It also introduces basic concepts in philosophy of science, such as demarcation, scientific explanation and the scientific method, which are necessary for examining the above issues. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 330. Philosophy of Science (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Analysis of the concepts reality, knowledge, mind and theory that attempts to answer the question: What is the character of the scientific picture of human beings and nature? (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

PHIL 333. American Indian Philosophy (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the lower-division writing requirement.A survey of American Indian philosophy from issues arising out of Oral Traditions, to early colonial Indigenous impacts on American Democracy and Pragmatism, to recent work on knowledge, value, and being as well as applied issues such as sovereignty and the environment. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.)

PHIL 338. Philosophy of Religion (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Examination of the conceptual problems religious claims pose and arguments regarding knowledge of God, evil, miracles, death and survival, religious experience, religion and morals, faith and reason. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 341. Kierkegaard and Nietzsche (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Examination of some of the main issues in the thought of Kierkegaard and the thought of Nietzsche, such as subjective and objective truth, the logic of faith, the category of transvaluation and the death of God.

PHIL 342. Existentialism (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. Study of representative works of the major existentialists, with the aim of discovering the fundamental tenets of existentialism. Emphasis placed on existentialism’s influence on and relevance to contemporary thought. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 343. Indian Philosophy (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Survey of Indian philosophy from the Vedic period to the modern era, with attention to relationships between India’s philosophies, history and culture. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.)

PHIL 344. Chinese Philosophy (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Survey of Chinese philosophy from Confucius to the People’s Republic, with attention to relationships between China’s philosophies, history and culture. Regular written assignments required. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.)

PHIL 348. Philosophy and Feminism (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Philosophical analysis of the concept woman in contemporary U.S. culture and other central concepts in feminist thought, including the nature of oppression, equality and justice, and relationships between sex, gender and sexuality. A critical study of philosophical issues in feminism. Regular written assignments will be required. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.)

PHIL 349. Contemporary Social and Political Issues (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Philosophical examination of the concepts, values and arguments relevant to understanding and evaluating practical social and political issues central to current public debates concerning such matters as civil and political rights, social and economic inequality, the environment, biotechnology, economic policy and global trade, and the national defense. Regular written assignments will be required. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.) (IC)

PHIL 350. Epistemology (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. An investigation into ways of acquiring knowledge and into traditional epistemological problems. Attention will be given to major positions, such as empiricism and rationalism, foundationalism and coherentism, and skepticism, and to theories of knowledge, such as reliabilism and contextualism. The course also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 352. Metaphysics (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. An examination of traditional and contemporary views concerning major issues in metaphysics, such as continued existence through change, universals and particulars, realism, causation, necessity and possibility, possible worlds and time and space. Also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 355. Philosophy of Mind (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. An examination of traditional and contemporary views concerning the mind, such as the nature of consciousness and intentionality, the prospects and limitations of artificial intelligence and psychological explanation, the nature of mental causation, and the relationship between mind and body. Also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 360. Ethical Theory (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. A survey of classical and contemporary theoretical approaches to moral philosophy. Covers such theories as utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics, ethical relativism and divine command. Also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 365. Social and Political Philosophy (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. A survey of classical and contemporary theoretical approaches in social and political philosophy. Covers such theories as anarchy, absolutism, liberalism, libertarianism, communism, communitarianism and socialism, as well as topics concerning justice, liberty, equality, pluralism and democracy. Also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 380. Aesthetics (3)

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. An examination of issues in aesthetics, such as the nature of art, the paradox of fiction, the role of censorship, the idea of ineffability, the concepts of beauty and genius, and the relationship of art to morality, cognition, aesthetic experience and theory.

PHIL 390. Philosophy of Law (3)

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Philosophical questions arising from the analysis and evaluation of concepts and theories connected with law, including law and morality, justice, freedom and responsibility, and the nature of judicial reasoning. Regular written assignments will be required.

PHIL 396A-Z. Selected Topics in Philosophy (3-4)

Selected topics in philosophy, with course content to be determined.

PHIL 401. Advanced Ancient Philosophy (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 201. Recommended Preparatory: PHIL 350, 352, 355, 360, or 365. A detailed study of selected works by Ancient philosophers, with an emphasis on Plato and Aristotle.

PHIL 402. Advanced Modern Philosophy (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 202; Recommended Preparatory: PHIL 350, 352, 355, 360 or 365. A detailed study of selected works by modern philosophers from Descartes to Mill.

PHIL 403. Contemporary Philosophy (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 350, 352, 355, 360 or 365. An examination of selected contemporary philosophical writings.

PHIL 406. Philosophy of Sex, Gender, Sexuality (3)

Prerequisites: PHIL 303 or 348, or QS 301 or 302. An examination of issues in philosophy of sex, gender or sexuality, with emphasis on non-normative sex, gender or sexuality.

PHIL 431. Philosophical Topics in Logic (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 230. Recommended Preparatory: PHIL 350, 352, 355, 360 or 365. An examination of philosophical issues in logic, such as the nature of and choices between logical systems and the relation of logic to traditional philosophical issues.

PHIL 425. Seminar in Philosophy of Biology (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy including PHIL 325, 330, 350 or 355. An advanced study of key concepts and issues in philosophy of biology, including adaptation, complexity and self-organization, fitness, function, species, unit of selection and evolutionary development. Examination of the nature of biological sciences and its relation to other sciences and theories. Regular writing assignments required.

PHIL 439. Phenomenology (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 350, 352 or 355. A study of the phenomenological approach to such issues as the nature of consciousness, the role of intentionality and meaning in experience, and our experiential relations to others and the world around us. The focus will usually be on one or more historically significant phenomenologists, such as Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Sartre.

PHIL 445. Philosophy of Language (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy including PHIL 350, 352 or 355. An examination of selected topics concerning the nature of language, such as sense and reference, theories of meaning, pragmatics and speech acts, meaning skepticism, the analytic/synthetic distinction and metaphor.

PHIL 446. Advanced Social and Political Philosophy (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 360 or 365. An advanced analysis and evaluation of selected topics in social and political philosophy, such as the nature of justice, equality, liberty, political rights and the law.

PHIL 450. Advanced Epistemology and Metaphysics (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 350, 352 or 355. An advanced study of selected topics in epistemology, such as internalism and externalism, rationalism and empiricism, theories of knowledge and skepticism.

PHIL 452. Advanced Metaphysics (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 350, 352 or 355. An advanced study of selected topics in metaphysics, such as continued existence through change, universal and particular, realism, causation, necessity and possibility, possible worlds and time and space.

PHIL 455. Advanced Philosophy of Mind (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy including 350, 352 or 355. Recommended Preparatory: PHIL 355. An advanced study of selected topics concerning the mind and its relations to reality, such as the nature of consciousness, intentionality, mental causation, psychological explanation, artificial intelligence and the mind/body problem.

PHIL 460. Advanced Ethical Theory (3)

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 360 or 365. An investigation of advanced topics in ethical theory, such as moral responsibility, justice, human rights, intrinsic values and the justification of punishment.

PHIL 495. Advanced Philosophy of the Sciences (3)

Prerequisite: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 330, 350, 352 or 355. An advanced study of 1 or more key issues in the philosophy of science or philosophical issues in the special sciences, such as explanation, causality, laws and theories, theory evaluation, realism and anti-realism, and relations between the physical and social sciences.

PHIL 496A-Z. Selected Topics in Philosophy (3-4)

Selected topics in philosophy, with course content to be determined.

PHIL 497. Senior Research Seminar (3)

Preparatory: Senior standing; At least 21 units in Philosophy courses. Extended research project on a topic of the student’s choice. Collaborative learning is required. Team projects are encouraged. Focus is on formulating a thesis and pursuing appropriate means of developing it in a research project. Class meetings focus on research methodologies and on students’ discussions of their projects.

PHIL 499A-C. Independent Study (1-3)

Course may be repeated for credit.

All Philosophy Courses (By Topic)

Download the Philosophy Major Worksheet (.doc)

I. General Introductory Courses

a. 150: Introduction to Philosophical Thought [GE]

Prerequisite: EPT score of 151 or higher, or credit in Developmental Writing 098, or completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. Introduction to philosophy emphasizing the concepts of knowledge, reality and mind, with attention to such topics as skepticism, dogmatism, common sense, materialism, mind-body dualism, the existence of God and free will. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

b. 165: Today’s Moral Issues [GE]

Prerequisite: EPT score of 151 or higher, or EPT and a credit in 098. Philosophical examination of a range of today’s moral issues, such as abortion, euthanasia, physician-assisted suicide, the environment, war and world hunger. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.) (IC)

c. 170: Philosophy and Popular Culture [GE]

In this course, students will examine philosophical themes within popular culture, and will use philosophy to investigate how they relate to popular culture. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

d. 180: Human Nature and the Meaning of Life [GE]

Examines a variety of theories of human nature. Students in the course will discuss how those theories answer questions like: “What are we? Why are we here; what is the meaning of life?” Students in the course will come to understand these theories, learn to critically examine them, and try to determine what implications the theories have for our conception of ourselves and for our conception of a good or happy or meaningful life. (Available for General Education, Lifelong Learning.)

e. 310: Philosophical Problems [GE]

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. Introduction for upper-division students to such central philosophic problems as knowledge, truth, reality, and mind. Regular written assignments will be required. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

II. Logic and Critical Reasoning Courses

a. 100: General Logic [4] [GE]

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing; GE Mathematics or MATH 210. Not open to students who have completed PHIL 200. Study of deductive and inductive inferences. Attention to formal and informal fallacies and the relations of logic and language. Emphasis on critical thinking and the attainment of skill in it. (Available for General Education, Critical Thinking.)

b. 200: Critical Reasoning [GE]

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing; GE Mathematics or MATH 210. Not open to students who have completed PHIL 100. Examination of the relationship between logic and language. Accelerated introduction to the concepts essential to the identification, analysis and evaluation of arguments, with attention to deduction, induction and common fallacies. Emphasis on the application of these concepts. (Available for General Education, Critical Thinking.)

c. 230: Introduction to Formal Logic [GE]

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing; GE Mathematics or MATH 210. Introduction to modern deductive logic, including propositional logic and theory of quantification. (Available for General Education, Critical Thinking.)

d. 431: Philosophical Topics in Logic

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 230. Recommended Preparatory: PHIL 350, 352, 355, 360 or 365. An examination of philosophical issues in logic, such as the nature of and choices between logical systems and the relation of logic to traditional philosophical issues.

III. Core Analytic Courses

a. 350: Epistemology [3]

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. An investigation into ways of acquiring knowledge and into traditional epistemological problems. Attention will be given to major positions, such as empiricism and rationalism, foundationalism and coherentism, and skepticism, and to theories of knowledge, such as reliabilism and contextualism. The course also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

i. 450: Advanced Epistemology

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 350, 352 or 355. An advanced study of selected topics in epistemology, such as internalism and externalism, rationalism and empiricism, theories of knowledge and skepticism.

b. 352: Metaphysics [3]

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. An examination of traditional and contemporary views concerning major issues in metaphysics, such as continued existence through change, universals and particulars, realism, causation, necessity and possibility, possible worlds and time and space. Also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

i. 452: Advanced Metaphysics

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 350, 352 or 355. An advanced study of selected topics in metaphysics, such as continued existence through change, universal and particular, realism, causation, necessity and possibility, possible worlds and time and space.

c. 355: Philosophy of Mind [3]

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. An examination of traditional and contemporary views concerning the mind, such as the nature of consciousness and intentionality, the prospects and limitations of artificial intelligence and psychological explanation, the nature of mental causation, and the relationship between mind and body. Also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

i. 455: Advanced Philosophy of Mind

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy including 350, 352 or 355. Recommended Preparatory: PHIL 355. An advanced study of selected topics concerning the mind and its relations to reality, such as the nature of consciousness, intentionality, mental causation, psychological explanation, artificial intelligence and the mind/body problem.

d. 445: Philosophy of Language

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy including PHIL 350, 352 or 355. An examination of selected topics concerning the nature of language, such as sense and reference, theories of meaning, pragmatics and speech acts, meaning skepticism, the analytic/synthetic distinction and metaphor.

IV. Core Continental Courses

a. 342: Existentialism

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. Study of representative works of the major existentialists, with the aim of discovering the fundamental tenets of existentialism. Emphasis placed on existentialism’s influence on and relevance to contemporary thought. Regular written assignments will be required.

b. 396: Contemporary Continental Philosophy

Selected topics in philosophy, with course content to be determined.

c. 439: Phenomenology

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 350, 352 or 355. A study of the phenomenological approach to such issues as the nature of consciousness, the role of intentionality and meaning in experience, and our experiential relations to others and the world around us. The focus will usually be on one or more historically significant phenomenologists, such as Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Sartre.

V. Historical Courses

a. 201: Ancient Philosophy [GE]

Prerequisite: EPT score of 151 or higher, or credit in Developmental Writing 098, or completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. Critical examination of selected topics in ancient Western philosophic thought, with attention to the pervasive influence of Plato and Aristotle. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

i. 401: Advanced Ancient

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 201. Recommended Preparatory: PHIL 350, 352, 355, 360, or 365. A detailed study of selected works by Ancient philosophers, with an emphasis on Plato and Aristotle.

 

b. 202: Modern Philosophy [GE]

Prerequisite: EPT score of 151 or higher, or credit in Developmental Writing 098, or completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. Critical examination of topics in modern philosophic thought selected from the writings of such figures as Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, Berkeley, Hume and Kant. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

i. 402: Advanced Modern

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 202; Recommended Preparatory: PHIL 350, 352, 355, 360 or 365. A detailed study of selected works by modern philosophers from Descartes to Mill.

c. 341: Kierkegaard and Nietzsche

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Examination of some of the main issues in the thought of Kierkegaard and the thought of Nietzsche, such as subjective and objective truth, the logic of faith, the category of transvaluation and the death of God.

d. 403: Contemporary Philosophy

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 350, 352, 355, 360 or 365. An examination of selected contemporary philosophical writings.

VI. Ethics, Applied Ethics, and Philosophy of Religion Courses

a. 360: Ethical Theory [3]

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. A survey of classical and contemporary theoretical approaches to moral philosophy. Covers such theories as utilitarianism, deontology, virtue ethics, ethical relativism and divine command. Also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required. 

i. 460: Advanced Ethical Theory

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 360 or 365. An investigation of advanced topics in ethical theory, such as moral responsibility, justice, human rights, intrinsic values and the justification of punishment.

b. 303: Sexual Ethics

Prerequisite: Completion of Lower Division writing requirement. Examination of some of the moral issues in sexual conduct.

c. 305: Business Ethics and Public Policy [GE]

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Application of the insights and methods of moral philosophy to a practical examination of contemporary moral problems and normative issues of public policy concerning the conduct and responsibilities of individuals and firms in business and the organization and role of business and economic institutions in society. Regular written assignments are required. (Available for General Education, Lifelong Learning.)

d. 338: Philosophy of Religion

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Examination of the conceptual problems religious claims pose and arguments regarding knowledge of God, evil, miracles, death and survival, religious experience, religion and morals, faith and reason. Regular written assignments will be required.

e. 390: Philosophy of Law

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Philosophical questions arising from the analysis and evaluation of concepts and theories connected with law, including law and morality, justice, freedom and responsibility, and the nature of judicial reasoning. Regular written assignments will be required.

f. 396: Bioethics

Selected topics in philosophy, with course content to be determined. 

VII. Social and Political Courses

a. 365: Social and Political Philosophy [3]

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. A survey of classical and contemporary theoretical approaches in social and political philosophy. Covers such theories as anarchy, absolutism, liberalism, libertarianism, communism, communitarianism and socialism, as well as topics concerning justice, liberty, equality, pluralism and democracy. Also will include regular sessions on philosophical writing and methodology. Regular written assignments will be required.

i. 349: Contemporary Social and Political Issues [GE]

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Philosophical examination of the concepts, values and arguments relevant to understanding and evaluating practical social and political issues central to current public debates concerning such matters as civil and political rights, social and economic inequality, the environment, biotechnology, economic policy and global trade, and the national defense. Regular written assignments will be required. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.) (IC)

ii. 446: Advanced Social and Political Philosophy

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy ,including PHIL 360 or 365. An advanced analysis and evaluation of selected topics in social and political philosophy, such as the nature of justice, equality, liberty, political rights and the law.

b. 348: Philosophy and Feminism [GE]

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Philosophical analysis of the concept woman in contemporary U.S. culture and other central concepts in feminist thought, including the nature of oppression, equality and justice, and relationships between sex, gender and sexuality. A critical study of philosophical issues in feminism. Regular written assignments will be required. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.

c. 406: Philosophy of Sex, Gender, and Sexuality

Prerequisites: PHIL 303 or 348, or QS 301 or 302. An examination of issues in philosophy of sex, gender or sexuality, with emphasis on non-normative sex, gender or sexuality.

VIII. Aesthetics Courses

a. 313: Philosophy of Film and Literature

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Investigation of philosophical concepts and problems relating to and expressed through film and literature. Regular written assignments will be required.

b. 380: Philosophy of Art

Prerequisites: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement; 3 units of Philosophy. An examination of issues in aesthetics, such as the nature of art, the paradox of fiction, the role of censorship, the idea of ineffability, the concepts of beauty and genius, and the relationship of art to morality, cognition, aesthetic experience and theory.

IX. Comparative and Non-Western Philosophy Courses

a. AIS 333: American Indian Philosophy [GE]

Prerequisite: Completion of the lower division writing requirement. A survey of American Indian philosophy from issues arising out of Oral Traditions, to early colonial Indigenous impacts on American Democracy and Pragmatism, to recent work on knowledge, value, and being as well as applied issues such as sovereignty and the environment. (Cross-listed with AIS 333.) (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.)

b. 343: Indian Philosophy [GE]

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Survey of Indian philosophy from the Vedic period to the modern era, with attention to relationships between India’s philosophies, history and culture. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.)

c. 344: Chinese Philosophy

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Survey of Chinese philosophy from Confucius to the People’s Republic, with attention to relationships between China’s philosophies, history and culture. Regular written assignments required. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.)

X. Philosophy of Science Courses

a. 210: Reasoning in the Sciences [GE]

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing; GE Mathematics or MATH 210. Concepts, methods, and limitations involved in the systematic procedures of empirical inquiry in the sciences and in ordinary thought, such as probability, measurement, causal relations, statistical inference, and the concepts of law and theory. (Available for General Education, Critical Thinking.)

b. 225: Evolutionary Reasoning [GE]

Prerequisites: Completion of GE Analytical Reading/Expository Writing. This course introduces basic concepts and skills of critical reasoning and scientific reasoning in the context of reasoning about evolution.  These include argument identification, argument analysis, and argument evaluation. Key ideas in evolutionary thinking are also introduced. This course  emphasizes the attainment of skills applied in evolutionary reasoning.  (Available for General Education, Critical Thinking.)

c. 325: Philosophy of Biology [GE]

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. The course addresses philosophical issues central to biological sciences, including the creation/evolution debate and other social implications of contemporary biological theories. It also introduces basic concepts in philosophy of science, such as demarcation, scientific explanation and the scientific method, which are necessary for examining the above issues. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

i. 425: Seminar in Philosophy of Biology

Prerequisites: 6 units of Philosophy including PHIL 325, 330, 350 or 355. An advanced study of key concepts and issues in philosophy of biology, including adaptation, complexity and self-organization, fitness, function, species, unit of selection and evolutionary development. Examination of the nature of biological sciences and its relation to other sciences and theories. Regular writing assignments required.

d. 330: Philosophy of Science [GE]

Prerequisite: Completion of the Lower Division writing requirement. Analysis of the concepts reality, knowledge, mind and theory that attempts to answer the question: What is the character of the scientific picture of human beings and nature? (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities.)

i. 495: Advanced Philosophy of Science

Prerequisite: 6 units of Philosophy, including PHIL 330, 350, 352 or 355. An advanced study of 1 or more key issues in the philosophy of science or philosophical issues in the special sciences, such as explanation, causality, laws and theories, theory evaluation, realism and anti-realism, and relations between the physical and social sciences.

XI. Senior Seminars

a. 497: Senior Research Seminar

Preparatory: Senior standing; At least 21 units in Philosophy courses. Extended research project on a topic of the student’s choice. Collaborative learning is required. Team projects are encouraged. Focus is on formulating a thesis and pursuing appropriate means of developing it in a research project. Class meetings focus on research methodologies and on students’ discussions of their projects.