Fall 2014 Courses

PHIL 002 PHILOSOPHICAL QUESTIONS (4) PROF. N SCHMIDT

One way of understanding philosophy is not as a set of teachings to be mastered, but as the rational attempt to formulate, understand and answer fundamental questions. This course explores some of the most basic questions, including: What is the meaning of life? What is it to be a human person, to be a self? Is human nature fundamentally good or evil? How should we live our lives? What is happiness? What makes society just? Is knowledge possible? What is really real? Is there a God? Is there such a thing as free will or has the course of our lives been determined by fate, God, or biology? (HU)

PHIL 003 GLOBAL RELIGION, GLOBAL ETHICS (4) PROF. L STEFFEN

Introduction to philosophical and religious modes of moral thinking, with attention given to ethical issues as they arise cross-culturally in and through religious traditions. The course will reference the United Nations Millennium Goals to consider family life and the role of women, social justice, the environment, and ethical ideals. (HU)

PHIL 004 BELIEF, KNOWLEDGE, AND ACTION (4)  PROF. B HULSIZER

Through reading selected texts in philosophy, from the ancient period to the modern Enlightenment and Romantic reaction, we shall introduce ourselves to some of the central epistemological, ontological, ethical, and socio-political positions developed in relation to their historical and material contexts. A unifying theme will be the emergence and evolution of rational thought and its relation to belief, knowledge, and action. (HU)

PHIL 005 CONTEMPORARY MORAL PROBLEMS (4)  PROF. R. MAJEED

The examination of contemporary issues that raise questions about right and wrong, good and bad, both for individuals and for social policy, using the methods, theories, and concepts of moral philosophy. (HU)

PHIL 014 REASONING & CRITICAL THINKING (4) PROF. N SCHMIDT

Most intellectual endeavors involve reasoning. Whether in everyday discussions about right and wrong, friendly political disagreements, ordinary explanations of natural phenomena, and short letters to editors, or in sophisticated legal debates, national political campaigns, and intricate scientific theories, reasons are constantly invoked to support or criticize claims and points of view. This course develops skills needed to reason well, to analyze and critique others' reasoning (or lack thereof), to distinguish reasoning from mere rhetoric, and to become a savvy consumer of information. (HU)

PHIL 105 ETHICS (4)  PROF. R WEISS

Examination of right and wrong, good and bad, from classic sources such as Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Mill and Nietzsche. (HU)

PHIL 120 PHILOSOPHY IN FILM (4)  PROF. G REIHMAN (ONLINE)

This seminar course will explore a variety of themes, genres, and movements within cinema from a philosophical perspective. Regular screenings of films from silent era to present. Content may vary depending upon instructor. Course may be repeated for credit if the content varies substantially. (HU)

PHIL 128 PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE (4)  PROF. S GOLDMAN I

Introduction to the structure and methods of scientific investigation. The nature of explanation, confirmation, and falsification. Scientific progress: What is it? Would it be suffocated by obedience to completely rational methods? (HU)

PHIL 133 MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY (4)  PROF. M MENDELSON

Historical survey of selected texts and issues in western philosophy from the fourth to 14th centuries. Attention will be given to the relation between developments in medieval philosophy and major currents in ancient and modern thought. Figures may include Augustine, Eriugena, Anselm, Aquinas, Ockham, and Nicholas of Autrecourt. (HU)

PHIL/ASIA 140 EASTERN PHILOSOPHY (4)  PROF. R BLISS

Survey of selected texts and issues in the eastern philosophical traditions. Attention will be given to the development and interrelations of these traditions as well as a comparison of western and eastern treatments of selected issues. Areas of focus may include Confucianism, Taoism, and Zen Buddhism. (HU)

PHIL 224 TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION (4)  PROF. K HUSSAIN

Selected problems and issues in the philosophy of religion. Content varies. Prerequisite: One HU-designated course in Philosophy at 100-level or higher. (HU)

PHIL 231 FIGURES/THEMES IN ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY: SOCRATES' LIFE AND DEATH (4)  PROF. R WEISS

A close reading of the Platonic dialogues that deal with Socrates' trial and death--Euthyphro, Apology, Crito, Phaedo, and Gorgias--as a way of gaining insight into Socrates as man and as philosopher. Prerequisite: One HU-designated course in Philosophy at 100-level or higher. (HU)

PHIL 237 FIGURES/THEMES IN NINETEENTH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY: GERMAN IDEALISM(4)  PROF. M MENDELSON

Kant was a 19th Century philosophy revolutionary, but the revolution did not stop with him. Quite the reverse -- Kant's home, Königsberg, was only Lexington and Concord. This seminar will examine the seeds of that revolution in Kant and its full flowering in the work of those who took the revolution all the way to victory, or anyway to Hegel's majestic philosophical accomplishment. Without the German Idealists, there would be no Marx, no Existentialism. Authors investigated may include: Goethe, Fichte, Schelling, Schiller, and Hegel.Prerequisite: One HU-designated course in Philosophy at 100-level or higher. (HU)

PHIL/COGS 250 PHILOSOPHY OF MIND (4)  PROF. R MAJEED

An exploration of the nature of the mind and the classic mind-body problem. What is the mind? Is it different from the brain? How is mind related to body? Are the body and mind distinct substances (dualism); or is there only body (materialism); or only mind (idealism)? Other views to be considered include behaviorism (the view that behavior can be explained without recourse to mental states), and the view that the mind is a complex computer. Prerequisite: One HU-designated course in Philosophy at 100-level or higher. (HU)

PHIL/Math 303 MATHEMATICAL LOGIC (3-4)  PROF. LEE STANLEY

Detailed proofs for the basic mathematical results relating the syntax and semantics of first-order logic (predicate logic): the Soundness and Completeness (and Compactness) Theorems, followed by a brief exposition of the celebrated limitative results of Gödel, Turing, and Church on incompleteness and undecidability. The material is conceptually rigorous and mathematically mature; the necessary background is a certain degree of mathematical sophistication or a basic knowledge of symbolic logic. Prerequisite: Permission of the instructor. (MA)