Department of Philosophy
Caldwell Hall, 240 East Cameron, CB# 3125; (919) 962-7291
MARC LANGE, Chair
The principal goal of the study of philosophy is to enable students to think more clearly, deeply, and appreciatively about themselves and their world. Study of philosophy enhances analytical, critical, and interpretive capacities that are applicable to any subject matter in almost any context. It provides many opportunities for expressing oneself, for reflecting on questions that human beings have pondered for millennia, for exchanging reasoned beliefs and engaging in focused debate, and for learning how to come to terms with problems for which there are no easy answers. A good philosophical education also helps to prepare students for responsible and intelligent participation in political and community affairs.
The most important outcome of philosophical study is the ability to engage in thinking that is at once disciplined and imaginatively creative. While such thinking lies at the heart of the philosophical enterprise, it is also needed for success in any complex intellectual or practical endeavor. Philosophy's attention to critical thought, rigorous argument, and articulate expression makes the philosophical curriculum absolutely central to a liberal education and valuable as a basis for further training in a variety of pursuits.
Examples of philosophical questions are
How should we understand truth, existence, validity, fact, value, free will?
What are the principles or presuppositions of science, language, political systems, religious and moral views?
What is the nature of a person, of space and time, of a work of art?
What is the wisdom of the past on these enduring questions? How can we learn from people such as Plato, Aristotle,
Descartes, and Kant?
Students are encouraged to view philosophy not as a specialized, esoteric discipline, but instead as an activity integral to a liberal arts education, helping students to think more cogently and appreciatively about themselves and their world.
PHIL 101, 110, or 112 is recommended as a first course for those interested in philosophical issues and their cultural significance and for those who wish to examine a broad range of philosophical topics, problems, or historical figures. Other good starting points are PHIL 155, which deals with logic and the analysis of argument; PHIL 160, which deals with moral thought and experience; and PHIL 150, which deals with the concepts, methods, and foundations of the biological and physical sciences.
PHIL 155 is recommended for all students who major or minor in philosophy.
Philosophy Major, B.A.
Nine PHIL courses, at least six of which are numbered above 199
The nine courses must include at least one course in three of the following four distribution areas:
History of philosophy: courses above 100 with a second digit of 1 or 2
Metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of mind, and philosophy of language: courses above 100 with a second digit of 3 or 4
Logic and philosophy of science: courses above 100 with a second digit of 5
Value theory: courses above 100 with a second digit of 6, 7, or 8
While first-year seminars may be used in the major core, they are numbered below 100, and their second digits do not correspond to the four distribution areas above.
Within the framework of the major, students can elect a prelaw concentration designed specifically for those planning on pursuing a career in law. Professors Corrado and Postema, both of whom also hold appointments in the School of Law, are available to advise those electing this concentration.
A minor in philosophy requires five philosophy courses, including at least one course in each of three of the four areas listed above. No more than three courses may be numbered 199 or below.
Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (PPE) Minor
The PPE minor requires five courses:
PHIL 384 Introduction to Philosophy, Politics, and Economics
PHIL 698 Capstone Course
One philosophy course chosen from PHIL 160, 163, 164, 165, 170, 272, 273, 280, 364, 370
One political science course chosen from PLCY 352H; POLI 130, 216, 271, 288, 401, 470, 472
One economics course chosen from ECON 101, 234, 267, 434, 454, 460, 510, 511
Detailed information is available on the program's Web site at ppe.unc.edu.
All majors and minors have a primary academic advisor in Steele Building. Students are strongly encouraged to meet regularly with their advisor and review their Tar Heel Tracker each semester. The department's director of undergraduate studies works with current and prospective majors by appointment (see "Contact Information" below). Departmental academic advising is particularly important for those majors who are considering going on to graduate school. Further information on courses, undergraduate research opportunities, the honors program, careers, and graduate schools may be obtained from the department's Web site.
Special Opportunities in Philosophy
Honors in Philosophy
Students majoring in philosophy who have at least a 3.3 grade point average and a 3.5 grade point average within the major may be eligible to write an honors thesis during their senior year. Students writing honors theses take two semesters of honors thesis coursework; PHIL 691H and 692H contribute toward fulfilling major requirements but cannot be applied toward a distribution area. Students registered for 692H will meet periodically as a group, organized by the director of undergraduate studies, to present and discuss their research in progress. Departmental approval is required. Interested students are encouraged to contact the director of undergraduate studies for more information.
Philosophy Outreach Program
The Philosophy Outreach Program provides students with many exciting opportunities to put their philosophical education to use in their communities. Outreach volunteers teach philosophy to students in local elementary and secondary schools, lead discussions with senior citizens in retirement communities, and participate in a variety of topical public events. For more information, please contact Outreach Coordinator Steven Swartzer at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the Web site at www.philosophy.unc.edu/outreach.
Undergraduate Philosophy Club
This group meets weekly to discuss topics of interest and the work of current faculty members. The club sponsors an annual undergraduate philosophy symposium. Detailed information is available on the program's Web site at philosophy.unc.edu/undergraduate-program/philosophy-club.
Phi Sigma Tau
The Eta Chapter of the international honor society in philosophy is open to students who have completed a minimum of three semesters, have completed at least two philosophy courses, have a minimum 3.7 grade point average in their philosophy courses, and have a cumulative 3.2 grade point average.
The Department of Philosophy enjoys close relations with a number of departments in Australia, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom and is willing and able to work closely with the Study Abroad Office to arrange opportunities for study in these and other countries.
There are opportunities for students to work closely with faculty members in the Department of Philosophy on individual research projects. This usually takes the form of an honors thesis project. It may also be done as a directed readings course.
The Department of Philosophy sponsors a series of talks given by distinguished philosophers from around the world, as well as work-in-progress talks by faculty and graduate students. All students are welcome to attend all of these talks. The schedule can be found online at philosophy.unc.edu/events/category/department-talk.
The Philosophy Club and Phi Sigma Tau coordinate a student conference of selected papers. The one-day conference is set in the format of a professional conference during which students have an opportunity to present their research.
Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl
The Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl provides students with a unique opportunity to practice applying the moral theories and argumentation principles learned in their ethics classes. The team sent to the Ethics Bowl competition will be selected from those registered in the course. For more information contact Professor Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, Interim Director, Parr Center for Ethics, CB# 3125, 207A Caldwell Hall, (919) 627-1403, email@example.com.
Graduate School and Career Opportunities
A major in philosophy offers excellent preparation for many careers in which clear thinking and analytical ability are valued. Some majors choose to pursue graduate work in philosophy in preparation for college or university teaching (Ph.D. normally required), but the philosophy major also provides the form of rigorous and systematic intellectual training that is of crucial importance in law, medicine, business, and other fields.
Simon Blackburn, Bernard Boxill, Thomas E. Hill Jr., Marc Lange, William G. Lycan, Alan Nelson, Gerald J. Postema, C.D.C. Reeve, Geoffrey Sayre-McCord, Susan Wolf.
Thomas Hofweber, Douglas MacLean, Ram Neta, L.A. Paul, John T. Roberts.
Distinguished Associate Professor
James Lesher, Rebecca Walker.
Research Assistant Professors
Jonathan Anomaly, Barry Maguire, Christopher Melenovsky.
Edward M. Galligan, Douglas C. Long, Stanley Munsat, Michael D. Resnik, Robert D. Vance.
Professor John Roberts, Director of Undergraduate Studies, CB# 3125, 102B Caldwell Hall, (919) 962-4885, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Courses numbered below 199 have no prerequisites. These serve as suitable first courses in philosophy for many students, as do some courses below 299, in particular PHIL 230, 266, and 280. Courses numbered 101 to 120 are general survey courses. Courses numbered 130 to 290 are oriented toward particular problems or topics. Courses numbered 210 to 229 concern the history of philosophy. Courses numbered 300 to 399 are designed for advanced undergraduates and majors and carry a prerequisite of one course in philosophy. (Some may carry additional prerequisites.) Courses between 400 and 699 are for advanced undergraduates as well as graduate students. Detailed information on upcoming courses is available on the department's Web site.
Please note that not all courses are offered on a regular basis. For information on which courses are most likely to be offered in a given year or semester, please contact the department's director of undergraduate studies.
PHIL 51 First-Year Seminar: Who Was Socrates? (3). Socrates is the quintessential philosophera man for all seasons, a foundational figure of the West.
PHIL 52 First-Year Seminar: Reason and Religion at the Dawn of Modern Science (3). Students will read some of the most important philosophical reflections of the 17th and 18th centuries.
PHIL 53 First-Year Seminar: Theories in Human Nature (3). Students will explore a variety of issues that arise when human beings begin to reflect on our own natures and will be introduced to main theories that have been developed.
PHIL 54 First-Year Seminar: Thinking about Time (3). What is time? Do the past and the future exist, or only the present? Is the "flow of time" an objective feature of reality?
PHIL 55 First-Year Seminar: Paradoxes (3). Paradoxes have been a driving force in philosophy since the fourth century BCE. They force us to rethink old ideas and conceptions.
PHIL 56 First-Year Seminar: Abortion (3). A general philosophical discussion of the value of life, the evil in death, and the wrongness of killing.
PHIL 57 First-Year Seminar: Race and Affirmative Action (3). The goal of the course is to get a mature and correct understanding of race, racism, and affirmative action.
PHIL 58 First-Year Seminar: From Vengeance to Mercy: Dealing with Evil (3). This course will explore the ethical dimensions of the responses to evil that we have developed over history. Revenge, retribution, reparation; hatred, resentment, forgiveness; punishment, pardon, mercy.
PHIL 63 First-Year Seminar: Mind, Brain, and Consciousness (3). What are minds and how are they related to bodies?
PHIL 65 First-Year Seminar: Philosophy through Mathematics (3). This seminar introduces several of the central problems in philosophy through reflection on the nature of mathematics.
PHIL 66 First-Year Seminar: Ethics: Theoretical and Practical (3). This seminar examines theoretical issues, relativism, utilitarianism, deontological ethics, and virtue ethics.
PHIL 67 First-Year Seminar: Issues in a World Society: Sports and Competition (3). This seminar examines ethical issues in sports, including Title IX, gender equity, racism, sexism, cheating, violence, and drug use.
PHIL 68 First-Year Seminar: Moral Life (3). This course will explore the meaning of basic moral concepts as they are understood in philosophy, science, and art.
PHIL 75 First-Year Seminar: Evil (3). What is evil? Who, if anyone, is responsible for it? How different are evil people from the rest of us? How should we respond to them? The course will explore the nature of evil through philosophy, nonfiction, fiction, and film.
PHIL 76 First-Year Seminar: Is Free Will an Illusion? (3). This course will examine whether our belief in freedom of action is compatible with the modern picture of ourselves.
PHIL 77 First-Year Seminar: Moral Weakness and Conscience (3). Is man's reason a powerful thing: if one had knowledge or belief about something that should be done, would that be enough to position one to do it?
PHIL 78 First-Year Seminar: Death as a Problem for Philosophy: Metaphysical and Ethical (3). This course explores both old and new questions regarding death. It will examine the presuppositions and cogency of the classical religious-philosophical conception of death.
PHIL 79 First-Year Seminar: Words That Bind: The Structure of Constitutions (3). In this seminar we will examine a number of constitutions and try to determine what makes a constitution better or worse, and when it makes sense to borrow constitutional principles from other countries. We will also try our hand at designing a constitution.
PHIL 85 First-Year Seminar: Reason, Religion, and Reality in the Copernican Revolution (3). The arguments by which Galileo and his contemporaries defended the Copernican model of the solar system puzzle philosophers even today.
PHIL 89 First-Year Seminar: Special Topics (3). Special topics course. Content will vary each semester.
PHIL 101 Introduction to Philosophy: Main Problems (3). An introduction to philosophy focusing on a few central problems, for example: free will, the basis of morality, the nature and limits of knowledge, and the existence of God.
PHIL 105 Critical Thinking (3). A course on how to identify, analyze, and evaluate arguments by other people and how to construct arguments. Topics include argument reconstruction, informal logic, fallacies, introductory formal logic, probabilistic reasoning.
PHIL 110 Introduction to Philosophy: Great Works (3). An introduction to philosophy focusing on several great books from the history of Western philosophy. See course description at the department's Web site for which books will be covered each semester.
PHIL 112 Making Sense of Ourselves (3). An examination of some of the most influential attempts to understand human beings, their lives, and their moral and political values. Authors include Plato, Aristotle, St. Matthew, Nietzsche, and Rand.
PHIL 134 Philosophy of Western Religion (RELI 126) (3). A philosophical inquiry into the problems of religious experience and belief, as expressed in philosophic, religious, and literary documents from traditional and contemporary sources.
PHIL 145 Language and Communication (LING 145) (3). An examination of the differences between natural human languages and other communication systems. Includes a philosophical inquiry into how languages relate to the world and the mind.
PHIL 150 Philosophy of Science (3). What is distinctive about the kind of knowledge called "science"? What is scientific explanation? How are scientific theories related to empirical evidence?
PHIL 154 Philosophy of the Social Sciences (3). How do social sciences explain human actions? Are there social facts over and above facts about various individuals? Do values enter into social science?
PHIL 155 Introduction to Mathematical Logic (3). Introduces the theory of deductive reasoning, using a symbolic language to represent and evaluate patterns of reasoning. Covers sentential logic and first-order predicate logic.
PHIL 157 Logic and Decision Theory (3). A broader discussion of practical reasoning, including inductive and deductive logic, which provides a good introduction to decision and game theory that is important for the social sciences, especially economics.
PHIL 160 Introduction to Ethics (3). Exploration of different philosophical perspectives about right and wrong, personal character, justice, moral reasoning, and moral conflicts. Readings drawn from classic or contemporary sources. Critical discussion emphasized.
PHIL 163 Practical Ethics (3). Topics may include war, medical ethics, media ethics, sexual ethics, business ethics, racism, sexism, capital punishment, and the environment.
PHIL 164 Morality and Business (3). An examination of business ethics and the types of ethical dilemmas people may face in business practices.
PHIL 165 Bioethics (3). An examination of ethical issues in the life sciences and technologies, medicine, public health and/or human interaction with nonhuman animals or the living environment.
PHIL 170 Social Ethics and Political Thought (3). An examination of major issues in political philosophy, e.g., liberty, individual rights, social responsibility, legal authority, civil authority, civil disobedience. Readings include classical and contemporary writings.
PHIL 180 Philosophy of Comedy (3). A course on philosophical issues related to laughter and humor. Historical and contemporary philosophical theories of humor; connections between traditional issues in aesthetics and humor; moral questions about humor, such as what is involved in a joke being racist/sexist/homophobic; and connections between jokes and various epistemological fallacies.
PHIL 185 Introduction to Aesthetics (3). The nature of art and artworks and their aesthetic appraisal.
PHIL 210 Ancient Greek Philosophy (3). The emergence of philosophy in Greece during the sixth century BCE and its development during the classical period. The major figures studied are the Pre-Socratic philosophers, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.
PHIL 213 Asian Philosophy (3). An examination of some of the philosophical traditions of Asia. Possible topics include Advaita Vedanta, Nyaya-Vaisheshika, Madhyamaka Buddhism, neo-Confucianism, Mohism, and philosophical Taoism.
PHIL 215 Medieval Philosophy (3). A survey of medieval philosophy from Augustine through Ockham. Topics: God and the world, faith and reason, knowledge and reality, the problem of universals. Additional main authors: Anselm, Aquinas, Duns Scotus.
PHIL 220 Modern Philosophy: Descartes to Hume (3). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. The writings of Descartes, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Leibniz, and Hume on such questions as, Can we know that the things we see and touch are real and not a dream?
PHIL 224 Existential Philosophy (3). A survey of European philosophers in the phenomenological and existentialist traditions. Philosophers studied may include Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Camus.
PHIL 228 American Philosophy (3). An exploration of the distinctively American approaches to philosophy from Jonathan Edwards to the present.
PHIL 229 20th-Century Western Philosophy (3). An introductory survey of British and continental philosophy in the 20th century.
PHIL 230 Experience and Reality (3). Topics in metaphysics, such as, Is your mind different from your brain? Is time travel possible? What are cause and effect? What makes you today and yesterday the same person?
PHIL 261 Ethics in Practice (3). Required preparation, one previous PHIL ethics course. Permission of the instructor. Ethics Bowl provides a unique experiential opportunity for students to apply theory to practical global issues. Students will prepare cases to present locally and at Ethics Bowl competition.
PHIL 266 Ethics of Sports (3). An analysis of the moral significance of sports, the nature of sport and competition, and issues such as racism, gender equity, violence, and performance-enhancing drugs.
PHIL 272 The Ethics of Peace, War, and Defense (POLI 272, PWAD 272) (3). An analysis of ethical issues that arise in peace, war, and defense, e.g., the legitimacy of states, just war theory, terrorism, weapons of mass destruction.
PHIL 273 Philosophical Perspectives on Justice (3). This course will focus on justice and the common good, applying theoretical justifications to contemporary social and economic issues. Readings will include classical and contemporary literature on the nature of justice and rights.
PHIL 274 African American Political Philosophy (3). Race, identity, discrimination, multiculturalism, affirmative action, and slave reparations in the writings of Walker, Delany, Douglass, Cooper, DuBois, King, and Malcolm X.
PHIL 275 Moral and Philosophical Issues of Gender in Society (WMST 275) (3). A survey of feminist perspectives on topics such as the meaning of oppression, sexism and racism, sex roles and stereotypes, ideals of female beauty, women in the workplace, pornography, rape.
PHIL 280 Morality and Law (3). Explores issues in legal philosophy such as, What is law? Does it serve justice or undermine it? Can punishment be justified? When is a person responsible?
PHIL 282 Human Rights: Philosophical Interrogations (3). The philosophy of human rights addresses questions about the existence, content, nature, universality, justification, and legal status of human rights. The strong claims made on behalf of human rights frequently provoke skeptical doubts and countering philosophical defenses. These will be addressed through classical and contemporary history of philosophy.
PHIL 285 Moral and Philosophical Issues in Education (3). A critical examination of the moral and philosophical issues in education: What does it mean to be well educated? What is a liberal education?
PHIL 292 Introducing and Integrating Philosophy into Primary and Secondary Schools (3). Prerequisite, two previous PHIL courses.This course combines on-campus structured learning with substantial on-site field work incorporating philosophy into the primary and/or secondary school curriculum. Philosophy subjects and school partners will vary by semester.
PHIL 330 Metaphysics (3). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. An examination of general theories of the nature of reality. What kinds of things exist? What are space, time, and causation? Are abstract entities (such as numbers) real?
PHIL 335 Theory of Knowledge (3). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. What is knowledge and how does it relate to belief, justification, and truth? What makes beliefs reasonable or irrational? Can skepticism be defeated?
PHIL 340 Philosophy of Mind (3). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. The mind-body problem, the nature of thinking, the puzzles of consciousness, and the qualitative character of felt experience.
PHIL 345 Reference and Meaning (3). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. Survey of major topics in contemporary philosophy of language. Topics may include truth and meaning, speech acts, reference, descriptions, names, and demonstratives.
PHIL 351 Philosophy of Physics (3). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. Topics may include the nature of space and time, the ontological status of fields and energy, or causation and locality in quantum physics.
PHIL 352 Philosophy of Biology (3). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. Philosophical issues raised by biological theories, which may include the logical structure of evolutionary theory, fitness, taxonomy, the notion of a living thing, reductionism, evolutionary explanations, or teleology.
PHIL 353 Philosophy of Cognitive Science (3). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. Philosophical questions raised by linguistics, computer science, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience. Topics may include the innateness of language, artificial intelligence, and the neural correlates of consciousness.
PHIL 354 Quantum Mechanics, Weirdness, and Reality (PHYS 354) (3). See PHYS 354 for description.
PHIL 355 Intermediate Mathematical Logic (3). Prerequisite, PHIL 155. Quantificational logic with identity; basic meta-theory; modal logic.
PHIL 357 Induction, Probability, and Confirmation (3). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. Current accounts of evidence and observation, the confirmation of scientific theories, the logic of inductive reasoning, and the metaphysics and epistemology of chance.
PHIL 360 History of Ethics (3). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. PHIL 160 recommended. Major developments in the history of moral philosophy, from Plato to Nietzsche.
PHIL 362 Contemporary Ethical Theory (3). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. Using 20th- and 21st-century texts, this course explores some general questions about morality in depth. For example, Is there moral truth? Are any moral rules absolute? Why be moral?
PHIL 364 Ethics and Economics (PLCY 364) (3). Recommended preparation, at least one course in ethics (PHIL 160, 163, or 170) or one course in economics. Issues at the intersection of ethics and economics, including value; the relation between values and preferences; rationality; the relevance to economics of rights, justice, and the value of human life.
PHIL 368 Environmental Ethics (ENEC 368) (3). The meaning of environmental values and their relation to other values; the ethical status of animals, species, wilderness, and ecosystems; the built environment; environmental justice; ecofeminism; obligations to future generations.
PHIL 370 Political Philosophy (3). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. Advanced discussion of competing philosophical approaches to questions of justice, authority, freedom, rights, and the like, including libertarianism, liberalism, communitarianism, Marxism, and feminism.
PHIL 381 Philosophy and Film (3). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. An examination of how philosophical issues are explored in the medium of film.
PHIL 384 Introduction to Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (ECON 384, POLI 384) (3). One course in economics strongly recommended. This interdisciplinary gateway course provides an introduction to subjects and quantitative techniques used to analyze problems in philosophy, political science, and economics.
PHIL 390 Seminar in Selected Topics (3). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. Intensive exploration and discussion of selected topics in philosophy.
PHIL 396 Directed Readings (13). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. Permission of the instructor. See the director of undergraduate studies of the department.
PHIL 397 Colloquium for Philosophy Majors (3). Prerequisite, one previous PHIL course. Students will present papers on selected topics for critical discussion. Recommended for philosophy majors in their junior year.
PHIL 411 Aristotle (3). An examination of some representative works of Aristotle, with reference to common emphases and basic problems, together with an analysis of their philosophic content.
PHIL 412 Plato (3). An examination of some representative works in the context of contemporary scholarship.
PHIL 415 Medieval Philosophy (3). An intensive study of some medieval philosophical author (e.g., Aquinas, Scotus, or Ockham) or topic (e.g., arguments for the existence of God, universals, knowledge of individuals).
PHIL 421 Rationalism (3). An in-depth study of the Continental rationalist philosophers Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz.
PHIL 422 Empiricism (3). An in-depth study of the British empiricist philosophers, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume.
PHIL 423 Kant (3). An intensive introduction to Kant's accounts of space, time, concepts, perception, substance, causation, and the thinking self through a careful study of his masterwork, The Critique of Pure Reason.
PHIL 427 Hegel (3). In-depth study of Hegel's systematic philosophy emphasizing its roots in Kant's critical philosophy. Primary focus on Phenomenology of Spirit, supplemented by selections from the Encyclopedia and Philosophy of Right.
PHIL 428 History of American Philosophy (3). An in-depth study of American contributions to philosophy, including for example the transcendentalists, the pragmatists, Quine, Rorty, and others.
PHIL 432 The Beginnings of Analytic Philosophy (3). Two courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155 strongly recommended. Frege, Russell, Moore, and Wittgenstein among others are considered.
PHIL 433 Current Issues in Analytic Philosophy (3). Two courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155 strongly recommended. Recent work in epistemology and metaphysics.
PHIL 440 Philosophy of Mind (3). At least two courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155, including PHIL 340, strongly recommended. An examination of dualism, behaviorism, the identity theory, and forms of functionalism with special focus on the problems of mental aboutness and the problems of consciousness.
PHIL 445 Philosophy of Language (LING 445) (3). At least two courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155, including PHIL 345, strongly recommended. A study of important contemporary contributions in philosophy of language. Topics include meaning, reference, and truth.
PHIL 450 Philosophy of Natural Sciences (3). An in-depth survey of general issues in contemporary philosophy of natural science intended for advanced philosophy students. Topics include confirmation, explanation, theory-choice, realism, reduction.
PHIL 451 Philosophy of Physics (3). Topics may include the nature of space and time, the ontological status of fields and energy, or causation and locality in quantum physics.
PHIL 452 Philosophy of Biology (3). The logical structure of evolutionary theory, fitness, taxonomy, the notion of a living thing, reductionism, evolutionary explanations, teleology.
PHIL 453 Philosophy of Psychology (3). Topics may include reasoning, the relationship between language and thought, concepts, moral cognition, and emotions.
PHIL 454 Philosophy, History, and the Social Sciences (3). The nature of historical explanation, structural and functional explanation, the weighing of historical testimony, the concept of meaning, normative judgments, and predictions in the social sciences.
PHIL 455 Symbolic Logic (LING 455) (3). Introduction for graduates and advanced undergraduates not taking the PHIL 155356 sequence.
PHIL 456 Advanced Symbolic Logic (3). Prerequisite, PHIL 455. Presupposes propositional and quantificational logic as a basis of further deductive development with special attention to selected topics: alternative systems, modal and deontic logic, inductive logic, the grammar of formalized languages, paradoxes, and foundations of mathematics.
PHIL 457 Set Theory and Logic (3). Prerequisite, PHIL 455. Permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite. Natural and real numbers. Infinite cardinal and ordinal numbers. Alternative axiom systems and their consistency problems.
PHIL 459 Philosophy of Mathematics (3). Philosophical problems concerning logic and the foundation of mathematics.
PHIL 460 History of Moral Philosophy (3). Two courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155, including PHIL 360, strongly recommended. Examination of classic texts of Plato, Aristotle, Aquinas, Hobbes, Butler, Hume, Kant, and Mill. Selections may vary from year to year.
PHIL 462 Contemporary Moral Philosophy (3). Required preparation, two courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155, including PHIL 362. Advanced discussion of moral issues such as fact and value, reason and morality, the nature of morality.
PHIL 463 Contemporary Moral and Social Problems (3). Two courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155 strongly recommended. A detailed examination of one or more of the following contemporary issues: environmental ethics, animal rights, abortion, euthanasia, pornography, racism, sexism, public versus private morality.
PHIL 465 Justice in Health Care (3). One course in philosophy strongly recommended. Medical students welcome. The course will focus on the question of how scarce health care resources ought to be distributed in order to meet the demands of justice.
PHIL 468 Risk and Society (3). Prerequisite, PHIL 155. One additional course in philosophy strongly recommended. The course examines attitudes toward risk and how they affect our preferences for different public policies in the areas of environmental protection, technology regulation, and workplace and product safety.
PHIL 470 Political Philosophy from Hobbes to Rousseau (3). Two courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155, including PHIL 170 or 370, strongly recommended. Explores the foundations of justice and authority in the idea of contract or covenant, the nature of law, rights, liberty, and democracy in the work of Hobbes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau.
PHIL 471 Hegel, Marx, and the Philosophical Critique of Society (3). An examination of central issues in social and political philosophy as they figure in the work of Hegel, Marx, Nietzsche, and others.
PHIL 473 American Political Philosophy (3). One course in philosophy other than PHIL 155 strongly recommended. Juniors and seniors only. The issue of unity and diversity in America is analyzed through the writings of Jefferson, the Federalists and Anti-Federalists, Calhoun, MacKinnon, DuBois, and Rawls.
PHIL 474 Foundations of Modern Political Philosophy (3). Prerequisite, PHIL 170. This course traces the emergence and development of central themes of modern political philosophy from the 13th through the 17th century.
PHIL 475 Philosophical Issues in Gender, Race, and Class (WMST 475) (3). Prerequisite, PHIL 275 or WMST 101. Examines in greater depth and complexity one or more of the issues addressed in PHIL 275, investigating issues of gender, race, and class within the dominant theories of philosophy.
PHIL 476 Recent Developments in Political Philosophy (3). Two courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155, including PHIL 370, strongly recommended. Investigation of major contemporary contributors (Rawls, Nozick, Dworkin, Cohen, Waldron, Arrow) to philosophical debate concerning justice, equality, liberty, democracy, public reason, or rights versus community.
PHIL 480 Philosophy of Law (3). An exploration of whether and under what conditions the state has the right to control crime by punishment of past crimes and preventive detention to prevent future crimes.
PHIL 482 Philosophy and Literature (CMPL 482) (3). Philosophical readings of literary texts, including novels, plays, and poems.
PHIL 485 Philosophy of Art (3). Competing theories of art and art criticism. The relationship between art and emotional expression, the formal character of art, and standards of taste.
PHIL 491 Health Care, Science, and Philosophy (3). Interdisciplinary course to develop critical thinking capacities through philosophical study of the nature of scientific presuppositions and concepts, including events, causality, and determinism, with specific application to health care issues.
PHIL 494 Existentialism and Phenomenology (3). A study of one or two major systematic works by Sartre, Heidegger, or Merleau-Ponty.
PHIL 496 Advanced Directed Studies (13). Permission of the director of undergraduate studies. Advanced independent work in philosophy.
PHIL 562 Ethics, Responsibility, and Justice (1). Ethics explores obligations to act in the interest of others as well as ourselves. Justice explores the ways people should organize and govern themselves. Course addresses such questions as, What principles govern our relationships with other people? What do we owe others and ourselves? How should we treat other people?
PHIL 691H Courses for Honors (3). Permission of the director of undergraduate studies. See the director of undergraduate studies of the department.
PHIL 692H Courses for Honors (3). Permission of the director of undergraduate studies. See the director of undergraduate studies of the department.
PHIL 698 Philosophy, Politics, and Economics II: Capstone Course (ECON 698, POLI 698) (3). Prerequisite, PHIL 384. Permission of the department. This capstone course advances PHIL 384, focusing on such theoretical and philosophical issues as the analysis of rights or distributive justice and the institutional implications of moral forms.