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Philosophy

 

Information

Larry Herzberg, Chairperson

Department Office: Radford 315
Department Telephone: (920) 424-1366

Code 76 or PHIL

 

Faculty

Carlin
Herzberg
Kreider
Wagoner
Williams

 

Degrees

  • Undergraduate: A major in Philosophy can lead to the degree(s): Bachelor of Arts; Bachelor of Science.
  • Graduate: The Department does not offer a graduate program.
 

Summary of Fields of Study

  1. Goal(s)
  • See the department for a listing of their goal(s).
  • The Major(s)
  • The Department offers a single major, the Philosophy major.
  • The Minor
    • The Department offers one minor: 1) Philosophy – Liberal Arts.
 

Admission/Graduation Requirements

  • To be eligible for graduation, students must meet all requirements for the degree being sought in addition to earning a minimum grade point average of 2.00 in all courses required for the Philosophy major or minor. Refer to the following Sections for complete major/minor course requirements.
 

Required Core Courses

Philosophy

  • Philosophy 101 Elementary Logic 3 cr. or Philosophy 202 Symbolic Logic 3 crs.
  • Philosophy 105 Ethics 3 cr. or Philosophy 106 Honors: Ethics 3 cr.
 

The Major(s), with Emphases and/or Options

 

1. Philosophy Major

Recommended for students who seek either a traditional “liberal arts” education, or to prepare for further study in philosophy, law, business, or medicine.  Philosophy deals with fundamental issues that are largely unaddressed by the natural or social sciences, including ways of thinking about the nature of reality, issues regarding ethics and values, and various ways of forming and evaluating arguments.  It specializes in developing such intellectual skills as logical analysis, critical reasoning, and creative thinking. The word “philosophy” comes from the ancient Greek meaning love of wisdom.

  • Required Credits: 34 minimum
  • Required Courses: In addition to the Core Courses:
    • Philosophy 301 History of Ancient Philosophy
    • Philosophy 305 History of Modern Philosophy
    • Philosophy 475 Philosophy Capstone
  • Electives: (21 crs.) Seven courses consisting of at least one course from each category (Category A-Metaphysics/Epistemology; Category B-Value Theory)

        Category A:  Metaphysics/Epistemology

    • Philosophy 306  Philosophy of Emotion
    • Philosophy 309 Contemporary Philosophy
    • Philosophy 315 Philosophy of Science
    • Philosophy 316 Introduction to Cognitive Science
    • Philosophy 319 Theory of Knowledge
    • Philosophy 320 Metaphysics
    • Philosophy 322 Philosophy of Language
    • Philosophy 327 Philosophy of Mind
    • Philosophy 331 American Philosophy

Category B:  Value Theory

    • Philosophy 205 or Philosophy 206 Ethical Issues in a Diverse Society
    • Philosophy 215 Philosophy of Art
    • Philosophy 220 Business and Ethics
    • Philosophy 225 Philosophy of Love
    • Philosophy 230 Environmental Ethics
    • Philosophy 231 Biomedical Ethics
    • Philosophy 325 Social and Political Philosophy
    • Philosophy 329 Contemporary Ethical Problems
    • Philosophy 345 Philosophy of Law
 

The Minor(s)

 

1. Philosophy (Liberal Arts) Minor

  • Required Credits: 21 minimum
  • Required Courses: In addition to the Core Courses:
    • Philosophy 301 or Philosophy 305
  • Electives(12 crs.) Four courses consisting of at least one course from Category A and B above.
   
 
 

Course Offerings

 
Philosophy    101 3 (crs.)
Elementary Logic (XC)
 
Analysis of reasoning, deductive and inductive, designed to aid the development of critical thinking. Examples illustrating the use of logical and illogical reasoning drawn from selected exercises and current literature.
 
   
 
 
 
 

Philosophy    105

3 (crs.)

Ethics (XC)

Analysis of the principal theories of ethics and their practical application to problems concerning the individual and society. Proposed methods of justifying moral principles will be examined. Students cannot receive credit for both Philosophy 105 and 106 (the Honors version of the course).

 

 

Philosophy    105Q1

3 (crs.)

Ethics (XC)

Analysis of the principal theories of ethics and their practical application to problems concerning the individual and society. Proposed methods of justifying moral principles will be examined. Students cannot receive credit for both Philosophy 104 and 105.

 

 

Philosophy    105Q2

3 (crs.)

Ethics (XC)

Analysis of the principal theories of ethics and their practical application to problems concerning the individual and society. Proposed methods of justifying moral principles will be examined.  Students cannot receive credit for both Philosophy 104 and 105.

 

 

Philosophy    106

3 (crs.)

Honors: Ethics (XC)

Studies the two principal questions of ethics: What is good? and What is the right thing to do? The answers to these two questions which have been given by serious thinkers in the past will be examined and evaluated, and applications will be made to present-day matters. Prerequisites: Enrolled in good standing with The Honors College with prior or concurrent enrollment in HNRS 175. Students cannot earn credit in both an honors course and a non-honors course of the same title.

 

 

Philosophy    109

3 (crs.)

Introduction to Philosophy (XC)

A survey of some of the perennial problems of the human enterprise; the nature of reality, of truth, of knowledge, of beauty, of ideal political and social relationships, and of the good life; solutions to these problems offered by the best known Greek, medieval, and modern philosophers.

 

 

Philosophy    109Q2

3 (crs.)

Introduction to Philosophy (XC)

A survey of some of the perennial problems of the human enterprise; the nature of reality, of truth, of knowledge, of beauty, of ideal political and social relationships, and of the good life; solutions to these problems offered by the best known Greek, medieval, and modern philosophers.

 

 

Philosophy    110

3 (crs.)

Honors: Introduction to Philosophy (XC)

An introduction to philosophical study of perennial problems of knowledge, truth, reality, value, religion, the fine arts, ideal social and political arrangements, and the good life. Solutions to these problems offered by some of the best known figures in the history of philosophy. Prerequisites: Enrolled in good standing with The Honors College with prior or concurrent enrollment in HNRS 175. Students cannot earn credit in both an honors course and a non-honors course of the same title.

 

 

Philosophy    120Q1

3 (crs.)

Philosophy of Human Nature (XC)

A critical examination of different perspectives on human nature, human flourishing, and the relation between human beings and nonhuman life forms, the environment, and nature generally.

 

 

Philosophy    202

3 (crs.)

Symbolic Logic (XC)

An examination of the formal characteristics of deductive inference and deductive systems. Particular attention will be given to truth functions, general quantification theory and the scope and limits of formal logic (including cultural, historical, and philosophical contexts and developments).

 

 

Philosophy    205

3 (crs.)

Ethical Issues in a Diverse Society (ES)(XC)

This course examines a number of moral issues that are currently debated in our society. Among those examined are ones that arise from opposing views of social justice and from difference in cultural and racial perspectives. The role of various ethical theories in clarifying these controversial moral issues is studied. Prerequisite: None.

 

 

Philosophy    206

3 (crs.)

Honors: Ethical Issues in a Diverse Society (XC) (ES)

This Honors course examines a number of moral issues that are currently debated in our society. Among those examined are ones that arise from opposing views of social justice and from differences in cultural and racial perspectives. The role of various ethical theories in clarifying these controversial moral issues is studied. Prerequisites: Prior or concurrent enrollment in Honors 175 and Honors College standing.

 

 

Philosophy    207

3 (crs.)

Philosophy of Religion (XC)

A critical examination of such problems as the nature of religion, the existence of evil, the existence of God; the nature of religious knowledge, and the relation of reason to religious faith.

 

 

Philosophy    210Q3

3 (crs.)

Ethics and Community (XC)

Everyone has opinions about right and wrong; good and bad. At the very least we all want people to be good to us. But what does this mean exactly? This course addresses age-old questions about right and wrong, with an emphasis on community: What is the relationship between individual morality and the ability for a community to thrive? What duties might a community have to its members that are separate from the duties of individuals? Do different cultures have different moral duties or are we all bound by the same moral principles, whatever the local conventions happen to be? What is the origin of morality?

 

 

Philosophy    211

3 (crs.)

Philosophy in India (XC)

A scrutiny of Indian philosophic systems and arguments from the Upanishads, Buddhism, Jainism, and Materialism to Gandhi and Radhakrishnan. Satisfies General Education requirement of 3 units (crs.) in non-Western studies.

 

 

Philosophy    215

3 (crs.)

Philosophy of Art (XC)

The major philosophies of artistic experience, creation, and criticism. Particular attention to the devising of standards of evaluating works of art.

 

 

Philosophy    220

3 (crs.)

Business and Ethics

An examination of the ethical problems facing different aspects of American business such as the morality of a market economy, the social responsibility of corporations, honesty of advertising, and the ethical obligations toward employees.

 

 

Philosophy    225

3 (crs.)

Philosophy of Love (XC)

An examination of philosophical views of the nature and definition of love and its role and importance in human life.

 

 

Philosophy    226

3 (crs.)

Philosophy in Literature

An examination of important philosophical problems found in selected novels and plays.  Works by such authors as Dostoevsky, Sartre, and Voltaire are studied.

 

 

Philosophy    230

3 (crs.)

Environmental Ethics (XC)

A survey of topics in environmental ethics. Topics may include: wilderness conservation, endangered species, hunting/agriculture, minerals/pollution, population, climate change, and others.

 

 

Philosophy    231

3 (crs.)

Biomedical Ethics (XC)

An examination of ethical issues in various aspects of the life sciences and public health care such as medicine, eugenics, birth control, behavior control, experiment and consent, health care delivery, death and dying, etc.

 

 

Philosophy    291

1 – 3 (crs.)

Selected Topics in Philosophy

Selected topics in Philosophy.

 

 

Philosophy    299

1 – 3 (crs.)

Intermediate Independent Study

Supervised undergraduate reading and research. See Independent Study under Course and Academic Advisement Policies information for general course description, general prerequisites, and proper contract form requirements.

 

 

Philosophy    301

3 (crs.)

History of Ancient Western Philosophy

Major ancient philosophers from the Ionians to St. Augustine. The relevance of their thought to contemporary philosophical problems. Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    303

3 (crs.)

Topics in the History of Philosophy

The content of this course varies by semester. It focuses on at least one of the most influential philosophers and/or philosophical concerns from a given period. Students may take it repeatedly for credit, except in the unlikely event that they have taken it before on the same topic (the satisfaction of this condition to be determined by the instructor). Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    305

3 (crs.)

History of Modern Western Philosophy

Major Western philosophers from the Renaissance to the close of the nineteenth century. Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    306

3 (crs.)

The Philosophy of Emotion

A survey of influential philosophical views of emotion.  Topics include “feeling-center” versus “cognitivist” theories of emotion, the relationship between emotion and other sorts of mental state, how types of emotion differ from one another, the evaluation of emotional states in terms of reasonableness or appropriateness, and the value of emotion in a human life.  Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    309

3 (crs.)

Contemporary Philosophy

A critical examination of some of the important philosophical movements of the last hundred years, such as pragmatism, logical atomism, logical positivism, linguistic analysis, and existentialism. Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    312

3 (crs.)

Existentialism and Other Movements in Continental Philosophy

A philosophical examination of the major themes in existentialist and other European movements such as phenomenology, structuralism, and critical theory, with readings from central figures such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Jaspers, Derrida, Habermas, and Foucault. Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    315

3 (crs.)

Philosophy of Science

The nature and function of science.  The scientific method and the growth of several important scientific theories. Philosophical issues involved in the basic concepts and procedures of science and the problems created by the growth of science.  Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    316

3 (crs.)

Introduction to Cognitive Science

Cognitive Science is an interdisciplinary study of the nature of human thought. Philosophical, psychological, linguistic, and artificial intelligence approaches to reasoning, perception and cognition are examined. Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    319

3 (crs.)

Theory of Knowledge

A study of recent and important theories of knowledge. Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    320

3 (crs.)

Metaphysics

An examination of fundamental ideas about what and how things exist, including possibility, causation, space, time , the mind-body relation, determinism, free will, personal identity, and so on. Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    322

3 (crs.)

Philosophy of Language

A philosophical scrutiny of the nature and functions of language, theories of meaning, private languages, and linguistic relativity with emphasis on the writings of such influential linguistic philosophers as Wittgenstein, Ryle, Austin and others.  Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    325

3 (crs.)

Social and Political Philosophy

Philosophical analyses of key concepts and issues related to the nature and proper governance of human societies. Such issues as the purpose of society, economic and social justice, political freedom, and the basis of law, rights, and authority will be examined. Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    327

3 (crs.)

Philosophy of Mind

A study of the nature of the mind and its philosophical implications: What is the relationship between mind and body? What is the relevance of scientific investigations for philosophical questions about ‘mental’ phenomena?  How is the study of mind and consciousness essential to philosophy itself since the time of Plato? Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    329

3 (crs.)

Contemporary Ethical Problems

An intensive and rigorous analysis of one or more of the central issues in ethical theory, or of one or more of the central moral philosophers of the contemporary period. This is essentially a continuation of Philosophy 105 at a more advanced level.  Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    331

3 (crs.)

American Philosophy

This course will examine critically the allegedly distinctive American philosophy of Pragmatism from C.S. Peirce, William James, and John Dewey through revisions and criticisms by some contemporary American philosophers.  Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    335

3 (crs.)

The Philosophy of Sex

An examination of recent philosophical views of human sexual desire and sexual activity. Questions to be addressed include: what makes a desire, activity, or pleasure sexual? How should we understand the distinction between “natural” and “unnatural” sexual activities? What constitutes consent, and how does consent relate to the moral status of sexual activities? What is sexual objectification, and what should its moral status be? What are gender and sexual orientation, and in what ways, if any, are they related? In the end, should we be pessimistic or optimistic about human sexuality? Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    340

3 (crs.)

Climate Justice (GS)

This course addresses climate change from a global perspective, using the tools of ethics (broadly construed to include some philosophy, psychology, politics, gender studies, literature, and religion). By the end of the course, students should be able to discuss, analyze, and evaluate the claims of justice, duty, and effective action as they relate to climate change and its effects around the world.

 

 

Philosophy    345

3 (crs.)

Philosophy of Law

An examination of philosophical issues centering on law–to include topics such as the origin and nature of law, truth and legal interpretation, the role of evidence in legal determinations, the moral justification of legal punishment and coercion, fairness and the law, and the relations between moral and legal rights and duties. Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or Junior standing, or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    350

3 (crs.)

Computing Ethics

This course focuses on ethical issues involved in computing in the age of the internet, including privacy, plagiarism, intellectual property rights, piracy, security, confidentiality and many other issues. We will use several moral theories to investigate these issues, and carefully analyze a professional code of ethics from a variety of perspectives. We will also discuss the logical structure of ethical arguments and positions, the quality and integrity of decisions and inferences based on data, and how important cases have shaped the legality, if not the morality, of computing in the age of the internet. Case studies will be used to further investigate these issues. Prerequisite: One prior philosophy course, or permission of the instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    426

1 – 3 (crs.)

Selected Topics in Philosophy

The intensive study of a topic not covered in the curriculum. Information about a Selected Topics course announced in the Timetable can be obtained at the Department of Philosophy office. This course may be repeated with different content.

 

 

Philosophy    446

1 – 3 (crs.)

Independent Study

See Independent Study under Course and Academic Advisement Policies information for general course description, general prerequisites, and proper contract form requirements.

 

 

Philosophy    456

1 – 3 (crs.)

Related Readings

See Related Readings under Course and Academic Advisement Policies information for general course description, general prerequisites, and proper contract form requirements.

 

 

Philosophy    474

1 – 6 (crs.)

Honors: Thesis

Honors thesis projects include any advanced independent endeavor in the student’s major field of study e.g. a written thesis, scientific experiment or research project, or creative arts exhibit or production. Proposals (attached to Independent Study contract) must show clear promise of honors level work and be approved by a faculty sponsor. Course title for transcript will be Honors Thesis. Completed projects will be announced and presented to interested students and faculty. Prerequisite: The Honors College and junior standing.  Maximum of 6 units (crs.).

 

 

Philosophy    475

1 (crs.)

Philosophy Capstone

The Philosophy Capstone is a 1-credit course that must be taken in conjunction with any 3-credit 300- or 400- level philosophy course of the student’s choosing. The two courses must be taken at the same time, in either the Fall or Spring semester. The student will write a 10-15 page research paper consistent with the 300- or 400-level course’s content, and discuss that research with other Capstone students at the end of the academic year. Special arrangements will be made for students taking the course in the Fall, if they will be graduating that same term. Prerequisites: 21 credits in Philosophy or consent of instructor.

 

 

Philosophy    485

0 (crs.)

Applied Ethics Certificate Capstone

This course is required for completion of the Applied Ethics Certificate in Philosophy. It may be taken only after all of the certificate’s prerequistes have been satisfied, or else during the semester in which those prerequisites will be satisfied. In this course you are to write a “reflection essay”, graded on a pass/fail basis, that summarizes, compares, and analyzes what you have learned about ethical reasoning and its applications in the three or more practical domains you have studied. Prerequisites: Phil 105 or 106, and any three of the following: Phil 205 or 206, Phil 220, Phil 230, Phil 231, Phil 335, Phil 350. This course may be taken concurrently with one of those electives.