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Academic Programs in Philsophy
The Department of Philosophy offers a curriculum leading to a bachelor of arts or bachelor of science degree. Candidates for the degree must successfully complete the University requirement of a minimum of 124 hours of credit, including General Education course work, two years or the equivalent of a foreign language (if the student chooses to pursue the bachelor of arts degree), and the requirements for the major. A minor is not required for this degree.
The department sponsors a very active student organization, The Great Ideas Discussion Group. The department also has a Spring Lecture Series featuring presentations by faculty from around the country on a wide range of controversial topics. The college, in consultation with the departments, assigns each student a faculty academic advisor. Majors and minors in the Department of Philosophy are encouraged to maintain good contact with their advisor, and are expected to work with their advisor prior to registration each semester. Students who do so are more likely to meet their goals and achieve academic success.
Students can find their assigned advisor by consulting the college, the department, or their DARS.
Major and Minor Requirements
Philosophy Major (30 semester hours)
Required Philosophy: 105 or 405—3 hrs.; 330—3 hrs.; 333 or
401—3 hrs.; 335—3 hrs.
Elective Philosophy: 18 hours of electives, provided that no more than 6 hours of 100 or 200-level courses are used for the total 30 hours required for the major. Three hours may come from outside the department with the approval of the advisor and chairperson.
Philosophy Minor (18 semester hours)
Required Philosophy: 105—3 hrs.
Electives (15 hours): Nine hours of which must be at the 300/400 level. As an alternative to a standard minor, comprised of 18 hours of philosophy courses, students may select between
two options. These options will be selected by the student with the approval of the advisor or the chairperson from the following areas: (1) ethics or (2) cognitive science.
Required Philosophy: 105—3 hrs.
Electives (15 hours) (at least 6 hours must be in): 201—3 hrs.; 302—3 hrs.; 303—3 hrs.; 306—3 hrs.; 316—3 hrs.; 325—3 hrs.; 401—3 hrs.; 430—3 hrs. or 490—3 hrs.
Approved Electives (maximum of 9 hours from ): Journalism 350—3 hrs.; Military Science 401—3 hrs.; or any course in which more than half of the material is devoted to the study of normative ethical issues or theories, as demonstrated in a syllabus, subject to the approval of the Department of Philosophy advisor and Chairperson.
Cognitive Science Option
Required Philosophy: 105—3 hrs.
Electives (15 hours) (at least 6 hours must be in): 323—3 hrs.; 424—3 hrs.; 430—3 hrs. or 490—3 hrs.
Approved Electives (maximum of 9 hours from): Management Information Systems 110—3 hrs. or Computer Science 151—3 hrs.; Psychology 101—3 hrs., 201—3 hrs., 344—3 hrs.*, 356—3 hrs.*; or any course in which more than half of the material is devoted to the study of cognitive science or some specific area of philosophy of mind/psychology, as demonstrated in a syllabus, subject to the approval of the Department of Philosophy advisor and Chairperson.
*Psychology 101 and 201 are prerequisites for 344 and 356.
101: Introduction to Philosophy—3 hours
The nature of philosophy and some of its problems, such as: how we know, man and nature, the individual and society, religious belief, the nature of reality, the relation of philosophy to life. General Education Credits [GE89: C3; GE2000: Literary, Artistic, and Philosophical Studies-Elective]
105: Introduction to Logic—3 hours
Critical thinking, the principles of correct reasoning. The detection and avoidance of fallacies, active listening, distinguishing inferences from observations, recognizing assumptions, identifying and using deduction and induction. General Education Credits [GE89: A3; GE2000: Scientific and Mathematical Studies-Elective]
190: The Philosophy of Star Trek—3 hours
This course introduces some classical philosophical theories by using Star Trek episodes to illustrate such issues as ethics, the problem of other minds, the nature of time, and reality vs. illusion. General Education Credits [GE89: C3; GE2000: Literary, Artistic, and Philosophical Studies-Elective]
201: Ethics and the Good Life—3 hours
The nature of problems of right and wrong. Moral values and judgments; responsibility and freedom; the relativity of values, conscience, and happiness. General Education Credits [GE89: B3; GE2000 Social and Behavioral Studies-Foundational.]
204: Introduction to Aesthetics—3 hours
Representative theories of art. Special topics concerning aesthetic experience, defining art, and aesthetic value. General Education Credits [GE89: B1,C2; GE2000: Literary, Artistic, and Philosophical Studies-Elective]
221: Literature and Life—3 hours
Understanding how writers have imagined and represented human experiences through the study of recurrent themes in literature. General Education Credits [GE89: C3; GE2000: Literary, Artistic, and Philosophical Studies–Literature and Life]
253: Environmental Ethics—3 hours
Discussion and ethical consideration of such issues as animal liberation, respect for nature, the land ethic, ecological feminism, social ecology and Christian ecology, and practical applications regarding vegetarianism, global warming, radical environmental actions, and economic growth versus environmental quality. General Education Credits [GE2000: Literary, Artistic, and Philosophical Studies-Elective]
NOTE: One philosophy course or consent of the instructor is prerequisite
for any 300- or 400-level course except as noted below.
302: Medical Ethics—3 hours
Basic problems and theories in medical ethics and bioethics, including issues such as abortion, euthanasia, confidentiality, criteria for personhood and death, the rights and duties of patients and health care providers, and the role of value judgments in medicine.
303: Ethics and Animals—3 hours
Basic problems and theories related to the moral status of animals and actions and policies which involve them, including issues such as criteria for personhood; speciesism; the nature of interests and rights; and the use of animals for food, research, and other purposes.
306: Business Ethics—3 hours
Analysis of basic issues and perspectives in business ethics. Topics include: the relation of ethics to the law, economic justice, moral foundations of business systems, moral relativism and the multinational corporation, employee rights, the ethics of advertising, the environment, affirmative action, sexual harassment, diversity, and corporate social responsibility, among other topics.
313: Philosophy of Religion—3 hours
Basic problems and philosophically significant theories of religion, including such problems as the relation of faith and reason, the existence of God, and the meaning of religious language.
316: Political Philosophy—3 hours
Selected problems and theories in political philosophy. Readings will be taken from classical and contemporary sources, e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Machiavelli, Marx, Rawls, and Nozick, among others.
321: Literature and Public Life—3 hours
Examining literary and artistic responses to the issues that shape public life locally and globally. General Education Credits [GE89: C3; GE2000: Literary, Artistic, and Philosophical Studies-Literature and Life]
323: Philosophy of Psychology—3 hours
Alternative theories of the nature of the mind and mental processes. An introduction through classical and contemporary texts to the problems of dualism, materialism, consciousness, personhood, and intentionality.
325: Philosophy of Law—3 hours
Analysis of the basic theories of law including natural law theory, legal positivism, and legal realism. Philosophers to be discussed include Aquinas, Austin, Hart, and Dworkin, among others.
330: Ancient Philosophy—3 hours
The beginning of Greek philosophy as scientific speculation or religious development. The culmination of ancient philosophy in Plato and Aristotle.
333: Medieval Philosophy—3 hours
Development of philosophy in the Middle Ages, including Augustine and Aquinas. Prerequisite: 330
335: Modern Philosophy I—3 hours
Development of rationalism and empiricism in the early modern period, including Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant.
336: Modern Philosophy II—3 hours.
Development of German idealism in the later modern period, including Kant.
339: Eastern Philosophy—3 hours
Study and discussion of Oriental thought, including Hinduism, Buddhism, and Taoism.
343: Existentialism—3 hours
Discussion and analysis of the main philosophers in the existentialist tradition including readings from philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Camus, Sartre, Heidegger, and others.
344: Analytic Philosophy—3 hours
Major philosophers in the twentieth century development of philosophical analysis, such as Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, and Quine.
*401: Ethical Theory—3 hours
Concentrated studies in selected ethical theories. Problems may include the possibility and nature of ethical knowledge, the meaning of ``right’’ and ``good,’’ and the logic of ethical discourse.
*404: Aesthetic Theory—3 hours
Examination of the concepts involved in the interpretation and evaluation of works of art. The nature of aesthetic experience, the definition of art, creativity, and the value of art.
*405: Symbolic Logic—3 hours
An examination of several important branches of modern logic, including truth-functional logic and quantificational logic.
409: Philosophy of Science—3 hours
A philosophic examination of science, including such topics as causation, law, hypothesis, measurement, induction, and confirmation. Prerequisite: one philosophy course or consent of the instructor. General Education Credits [GE89: A3; GE2000: Scientific and Mathematical Studies-Elective]
*418: Metaphysics—3 hours
Alternative theories of the nature of reality and their component topics, such as mind and matter, substance, causality, universals, space and time, freedom and necessity, and related questions about the function and possibility of such theories.
*420: Theory of Knowledge—3 hours
Alternative theories of the origin, nature, and possibility of knowledge. An introduction through classical and contemporary texts to the problems of perception, experience, reasoning, logical inference, a priori knowledge, testability, and presupposition.
*424: Minds, Machines, and Cognition—3 hours
An in-depth survey of the emerging field of cognitive science and artificial intelligence with an emphasis on topics such as mental representation, the computational approach to the mind, and visual perception. The course examines answers to questions such as “Could a machine think or be conscious?” and “Can the human mind be understood as an information processing computer?”
*430: Seminar—3 hours
An intensive study of a problem, philosopher, period, or movement. May be repeated for credit with a change in course content.
*490: Independent Study of Philosophy—1-3 hours
Arranged literature and consultation on philosophic topics. May be repeated for credit with a change in the independent study project.
190: Introduction to Religion—3 hours
An introduction to the academic study of religion, involving definitions, methods of exploring the subject, and analyses of representative topics or problems. General Education Credits [GE89: C1,D1,E1; GE2000: Literary, Artistic, and Philosophical Studies-Elective]
250: World Religions—3 hours
The systems of thought, classical writings, and institutional expressions of Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam are surveyed. General Education Credits [GE89: D1,E2; GE2000: Multicultural Studies-International Cultures] *Open to graduate students. Graduate students are required to do additional work of a research nature.