Skip To Content Skip To Menu Skip To Footer

Philosophy Current Courses

Fall 2024

Course Code Title/Instructor Meets
PHIL 101-01 Introduction to Philosophy
Instructor: Jeff Engelhardt
Course Description:
An introduction to Western philosophy through an examination of problems arising in primary sources. How major philosophers in the tradition have treated such questions as the scope of human reason, the assumptions of scientific method, the nature of moral action, or the connections between faith and reason.
03:00 PM-04:15 PM, MR
EASTC 411
PHIL 102-01 Introduction to Ethics
Instructor: Jim Sias
Course Description:
An introduction to the philosophical study of morality, focusing on concepts of right and wrong, virtue and vice, and wellbeing. This course provides students the opportunity to hone their ethical reasoning skills by critically examining how some of historys most influential philosophers thought about issues in morality. Students will also develop more general skills, such as evaluating philosophical arguments, and expressing and defending their own ideas in writing.
10:30 AM-11:20 AM, MWF
STERN 103
PHIL 103-01 Logic
Instructor: Jeff Engelhardt
Course Description:
The study and practice of forms and methods of argumentation in ordinary and symbolic languages, focusing on elements of symbolic logic and critical reasoning, including analysis and assessment of arguments in English, symbolizing sentences and arguments, constructing formal proofs of validity in sentential and quantificational logic.Offered every semester, or every three out of four semesters.
10:30 AM-11:45 AM, TR
EASTC 411
PHIL 104-01 Practical Ethics
Instructor: Amy McKiernan
Course Description:
This course introduces students to contemporary debates in practical ethics. Course materials investigate how theoretical approaches to ethics apply to practical issues, including discussions of animal ethics, environmental ethics, reproductive ethics, civil disobedience, and the ethics of mass incarceration and the death penalty. This course is best suited for students interested in thinking about the relationship between ethical theory and practice, with an emphasis on how power, privilege, and responsibility intersect in our everyday lives.
09:30 AM-10:20 AM, MWF
DENNY 104
PHIL 104-02 Practical Ethics
Instructor: Emily Kelahan
Course Description:
This course introduces students to contemporary debates in practical ethics. Course materials investigate how theoretical approaches to ethics apply to practical issues, including discussions of animal ethics, environmental ethics, reproductive ethics, civil disobedience, and the ethics of mass incarceration and the death penalty. This course is best suited for students interested in thinking about the relationship between ethical theory and practice, with an emphasis on how power, privilege, and responsibility intersect in our everyday lives.
09:30 AM-10:20 AM, MWF
DENNY 212
PHIL 180-01 Political Philosophy
Instructor: Toby Reiner
Course Description:
Cross-listed with POSC 180-01. An introduction to the history of political thought, focused on such problems as the nature of justice, the meaning of freedom, the requirements of equality, the prevalence of moral dilemmas in political life, the question of whether we ought to obey the law, and the importance of power in politics. We will also discuss how these issues continue to resonate today.This course is cross-listed as POSC 180.
10:30 AM-11:20 AM, MWF
DENNY 317
PHIL 201-01 Ancient Philosophy
Instructor: Marc Mastrangelo
Course Description:
Cross-listed with CLST 200-01. This course is an introduction to central questions, claims and arguments in ancient philosophy, centering on the work of Plato and Aristotle. Potential questions include: What is the value of reason and knowledge? What is knowledge? Is it always better to be just than unjust? What constitutes a good human life? What kind of thing is a human being?Prerequisite: one prior course in philosophy or permission of the instructor.
01:30 PM-02:45 PM, TR
ALTHSE 207
PHIL 210-01 Philosophy of Feminism
Instructor: Emily Kelahan
Course Description:
Critical examination of key issues concerning the status and roles of women and of the developing theories which describe and explain gender-related phenomena and prescribe change for the future. Prerequisite: one prior course in philosophy or permission of the instructor.
09:00 AM-10:15 AM, TR
EASTC 411
PHIL 253-01 The Ethics of Punishment and Forgiveness
Instructor: Amy McKiernan
Course Description:
Explorations of specific figures, texts, and issues in historical and contemporary theory. Prerequisite: one prior course in philosophy or permission of the instructor.
03:00 PM-04:15 PM, MR
ALTHSE 109
PHIL 257-01 Moral Psychology
Instructor: Jim Sias
Course Description:
An investigation of philosophical issues at the intersection of ethics and psychology. For example, is there any empirical basis to beliefs about free will and moral responsibility? What are emotions, and what role do they have to play in our moral lives? How can so many intelligent and open-minded people reach such radically different moral conclusions? Are there really such things as traits of virtue and vice? These are among the issues well explore in this course.Prerequisite: One PHIL course, or permission of instructor.
01:30 PM-02:45 PM, MR
EASTC 301
PHIL 258-01 Philosophy of Data
Instructor: Chauncey Maher
Course Description:
Cross-listed with DATA 198-01. This an introduction to philosophical issues arising in data science. Students will discuss, read and write about some important ethical issues that arise in the practice of data sciences, such as discrimination, privacy, consent, trust, and justice. To help clarify those issues, students will also learn about some connected issues in the epistemology and metaphysics of data science, such as the nature of statistical inference and of algorithms. Prerequisites: MATH 121 or DATA/COMP/MATH 180 or ECON 298. This course is cross-listed as DATA 198. Offered every semester.
01:30 PM-02:45 PM, MR
DENNY 203
PHIL 258-02 Philosophy of Data
Instructor: Chauncey Maher
Course Description:
Cross-listed with DATA 198-02. This an introduction to philosophical issues arising in data science. Students will discuss, read and write about some important ethical issues that arise in the practice of data sciences, such as discrimination, privacy, consent, trust, and justice. To help clarify those issues, students will also learn about some connected issues in the epistemology and metaphysics of data science, such as the nature of statistical inference and of algorithms. Prerequisites: MATH 121 or DATA/COMP/MATH 180 or ECON 298. This course is cross-listed as DATA 198. Offered every semester.
09:00 AM-10:15 AM, TR
DENNY 110
PHIL 261-01 The Start of the Anthropocene? Environment and Sustainability in Enlightenment France
Instructor: Hanna Roman
Course Description:
Cross-listed with FREN 364-01, SUST 200-01 and ENST 302-01. Taught in English with a French language option. The beginning of the era of radical climate change, termed the 'Anthropocene', is often attributed to changes in culture, philosophy, economy, and technology in eighteenth-century Europe. What did questions of sustainability, climate, environment, and climate change look like in the eighteenth century? How did they impact modern-day assumptions of the natural environment and the human role within it? We will examine these sustainability-themed topics through the lens of the literature, science, and philosophy of Enlightenment France, during which new ways of perceiving and treating natural environments emerged. The Enlightenment movement was both a time of reason and progress as well as prejudice and destruction of both natural and human environments. We will reflect upon which aspects of eighteenth-century natural thought are still relevant and useful to our contemporary understandings of sustainability and which have become harmful to the future of our species and planet.
09:00 AM-10:15 AM, TR
BOSLER 313
PHIL 302-01 Ethical Theory
Instructor: Amy McKiernan
Course Description:
This seminar will explore major issues or texts in classical or contemporary moral philosophy. Prerequisites: three prior courses in philosophy, at least two at the 200 level, or permission of the instructor. Offered at least once every two years.

PHIL 304-01 Philosophy of Language
Instructor: Chauncey Maher
Course Description:
What is the meaning of a word? How is it related to the thing or things it picks out? Can we provide a systematic account of the meaning of every sentence of a natural language (such as English, Japanese or Hebrew)? What is the relationship between what words mean and what we get across with them? In what sense, if at all, do we follow rules when we use language? This course is a seminar in which we will consider these sorts of questions among others. Prerequisites: three prior courses in philosophy, including 103 (Logic) and two at the 200 level, or permission of the instructor. Offered every two years.
10:30 AM-11:45 AM, TR
EASTC 108
PHIL 401-01 Senior Seminar
Instructor: Jeff Engelhardt
Course Description:
A seminar focusing in depth on a selected philosophical topic, author or text with special emphasis on student philosophical writing and voice. Prerequisites: three prior courses in philosophy, at least one at the 300-level, or permission of the instructor.
01:30 PM-04:30 PM, W
EASTC 303
PHIL 500-01 Philosophy with Children
Instructor: Amy McKiernan
Course Description:

PHIL 550-01 The Ethics of Confinement
Instructor: Amy McKiernan
Course Description: