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ACADEMIC PROGRAMS IN PHILOSOPHY
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
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. 3 hours may come
from outside the department with the approval of the advisor
Philosophy Minor (18 semester hours)
Required Philosophy: 105—3 hrs.
Electives (15 hours): 9 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
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
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
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,
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
*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
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
*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
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
*Open to graduate students. Graduate students are required to do additional
work of a research nature.