Fall 2020

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.
1030:TR   DIST
PHIL 102-01 Introduction to Ethics
Instructor: Jim Sias
Course Description:
Reading assignments and video lectures will be posted to the course website at the beginning of each week. Then well meet (synchronously, on Zoom) at our originally scheduled time on Friday mornings to discuss the weeks material.Since the end of the Cold War there has been a turn toward conflicts within states and violence perpetrated by non-state actors. This course is intended to explore the theories about the emergence of civil wars and violence by non-state actors, the nature of these conflicts, and the rebuilding of peace. The class will focus around three central questions: what is political violence? Why and how does one participate in violence? How do conflicts end? In answering each of these questions, the class will examine theoretical arguments for violence and non-violence in conflict, as well as critically engage with local and international responses. We will discuss civil war, revolution, terrorism, and other strategies of political violence, as well as how internal conflicts end. 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.
1030:WF   DIST
PHIL 103-01 Logic
Instructor: Susan Feldman
Course Description:
I plan on holding synchronous meetings at least once a week at the scheduled course times plus student group work meetings either at the scheduled time or in some cases, time shifted for students depending on time zones 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.
0900:TR   DIST
PHIL 104-01 Practical Ethics
Instructor: Amy McKiernan
Course Description:
We will have synchronous meetings for this course. The instructor will provide opportunities for 1-1 meetings during office hours on Zoom. 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.
0930:MWF   DIST
PHIL 180-01 Political Philosophy
Instructor: Harry Pohlman
Course Description:
Cross-listed with POSC 180-01.Class will be taught synchronously via zoom and will feature a combination of lecture, discussion, and team exercises. Student online attendance is required, although absences for legitimate reasons will be excused. Participation in discussions and team exercises is factored into the final grade. If, for any reason, students are generally unable to join remotely during the scheduled time period, they should consider taking a different class, one that fits their schedule and time zone. 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.
0900:TR   DIST
PHIL 180-02 Political Philosophy
Instructor: Toby Reiner
Course Description:
Cross-listed with POSC 180-02.Asynchronous presentations of content will be delivered via Moodle. Discussion sessions will meet synchronously in smaller groups during regular class time. Sessions will be recorded so students can review their own group discussion as well as others, ensuring equity. Students abroad or who are for any other reason unable to participate in synchronous sessions can review the recordings of those group discussions and also schedule one-on-one conversations with me. 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.
1130:MWF   DIST
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.
1030:TR   DIST
PHIL 204-01 American Philosophy
Instructor: Crispin Sartwell
Course Description:
We'll have one synchronous session (Tuesdays 1:30-2:45) each week, and around the time of the Friday class, I will post one or several video lectures. Office hours live by Zoom. Handouts and summaries of the readings will be circulated on Moodle. An introduction to major philosophical texts and themes originating in the United States in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This course will cover such thinkers as Emerson, James, Peirce, Dewey, and Santayana and themes such as naturalism, transcendentalism, in particular, pragmatism. Contemporary developments in the American philosophical tradition may also be included.Prerequisites: one prior course in philosophy or permission of the instructor.
1330:TF   DIST
PHIL 210-01 Philosophy of Feminism
Instructor: Susan Feldman
Course Description:
I plan to hold synchronous class meetings at the scheduled time (MWF 12:30) at least twice a week with group work scheduled either for the third weekly meeting at that time or in some cases, time shifted for students in a group depending on time zone 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.
1230:MWF   DIST
PHIL 256-01 Philosophy of Mind
Instructor: Jeff Engelhardt
Course Description:
This course investigates the nature of the mind and its relation to the brain, body, and the surrounding world. Analyses of these topics will draw on information from fields such as psychology, neuroscience, cognitive science, or computer science. Prerequisite: one previous course in philosophy, or permission of the instructor.
1500:MR   DIST
PHIL 261-01 Evil
Instructor: Jim Sias
Course Description:
Reading assignments and video lectures will be posted to the course website at the beginning of each week. Then well meet (synchronously, on Zoom) at our regularly scheduled time on Thursday afternoons to discuss the weeks material.Can people be evil? Can our actions be evil? If no, why not? And if yes, how so? These are the main questions well attempt to answer in this course. For the rst part of the course, well discuss various reasons for being skeptical of evil, i.e., for thinking theres no such thing. Then well treat evil as a topic in moral psychology, asking what kinds of psychological features purportedly evil people and actions have in common. And nally, well examine a number of philosophical theories of evil.
1330:R   DIST
PHIL 304-01 Philosophy of Language
Instructor: Crispin Sartwell
Course Description:
We'll have one synchronous session (9:00-10:15 on Tuesdays), and around the time of the Thursday class, I will post video lectures. Office hours by Zoom. Handouts and summaries of the readings will be circulated through Moodle. 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.
0900:TR   DIST
PHIL 391-01 Identity Ethics and Multiculturalism
Instructor: Toby Reiner
Course Description:
Cross-listed with POSC 390-03.Although this class is listed as in-person, students can still expect to have portions of the class taught remotely or to meet in smaller groups to accommodate social distancing needs. For those who would still like to take this class, but feel uncomfortable attending in person, I am happy to work with them to take the course remotely.Questions of social identity dominate contemporary politics, from the American Presidential election of 2016 through the Brexit vote and debates about migration to issues of gender, sexual orientation, and sexual identity. But why does identity matter politically and ethically? This class surveys the main recent responses to these questions, including the role of group membership in the construction of individual identity, the meaning and possibility of equality in culturally diverse societies, intersectionality and the tensions between different aspects of identity and the problem of internal minorities (minorities within minorities, such as women and children in cultural minorities), the notions of internalized oppression and double consciousness, and the limits of toleration.
1330:W   DIST
PHIL 401-01 Senior Seminar
Instructor: Amy McKiernan
Course Description:
We will have synchronous meetings for this course. The instructor will provide opportunities for 1-1 meetings during office hours on Zoom.
1330:W   DIST
PHIL 550-01 Senior Thesis-Title To Be Determined
Instructor: Susan Feldman
Course Description:
 
PHIL 550-02 The Ethics of Solitary Confinement
Instructor: Amy McKiernan
Course Description: