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Undergraduate Course Descriptions

Introductory Courses

 

UCOR 132. Basic Philosophical Questions - 3 cr.

Philosophy, "the love of wisdom," is a discipline for discussing basic questions about ourselves and our world. Students read selected works by major figures throughout the history of philosophy; they are encouraged to think critically and to formulate their own answers to perennial philosophical questions. This course is required for all students in the university. It counts as the first course for the major and minor in philosophy.

UCOR 151. Philosophical Ethics - 3cr.

This course provides an introduction to some important ethical theories of past and present times.

UCOR 223. Meaning of Life - 3cr.

This course is a quest to decided what the meaning of our lives should be, in critical dialogue with the visions of a meaningful life given by great books of the ancient world.

UCOR 254. Healthcare Ethics - 3cr.

Ethical questions that arise in medical care and research will be examines. Topics might include: doctor / patient relations, informed consent, euthanasia, the definitions of health, person, and death.

PHIL 106. Logic - 3 cr.

Analysis of the requirements for valid reasoning, logical fallacies, types of definitions, and important informal aspects of arguments in ordinary discourse will be studied, in addition to the formal logic of inferences involving simple and compound statements. This course is taught at least once a year.

PHIL 108. Business Ethics - 3 cr.

Ethical questions which relate to business are examined in theory and in practice.

PHIL 109. Contemporary Moral Problems - 3 cr.

.This course includes a discussion of several moral theories, which are then applied to concrete case studies from various fields.

PHIL 116. Environmental Ethics - 3 cr.

This course examines several facets of the ethical demands that the environment, particularly now in the 21st century, places on us. Do we have a right to use non renewable sources of energy when renewable sources are available? As regards our relation to the environment, what are our responsibilities to future generations? Can an individual be faulted for misuse of resources, or are these uses determined only and sufficiently by market forces? Several key texts in environmental ethics will be examined to help address these questions.

 

Basic Courses

Basic courses are useful electives for general undergraduates. Prerequisite: at least one 100-level course in philosophy.

PHIL 200. Introduction to Phenomenology - 3 cr.

The phenomenological method originated by Husserl will be explored. Possible topics may included intentionality, the phenomenological reduction, meanings, and signs.

PHIL 201. Race Matters: Philosophy and Literary Perspectives - 3 cr.

Open to both philosophy and non-philosophy majors at all levels, this course raises significant and fascinating contemporary philosophical questions about the nature of race and racism: What does it mean to be "white"? What does it mean to be "black"? Is race a social construction? What is the meaning of racism and does it still exist? How does racism inform the works of many European philosophers? These questions and more are explored in the works of contemporary philosophers and literary figures.

PHIL 202. Film and Race - 3 cr.

This course offers a unique lens through which to examine the dynamics of racism and race. Our aim is to examine films from the 1930s, 1950s, and our contemporary era in an effort to understand the ways in which race and racism speak to the context of this filmmaking and the subtleties of race relations in the U.S.

PHIL 203. Philosophy of Religion - 3 cr.

This course is an introduction to the nature of religious experience. Topics might include: religious symbolism, belief, free will, and the existence of evil. Readings are chosen from both traditional and contemporary writers. Prerequisite: at least one 100 level course in philosophy.

PHIL 204. Philosophy and Literature- 3 cr.

This course explores philosophical themes in selected works of literature and studies the relation between recent continental philosophy and theories of literature and of literary criticism.

PHIL 205. Plato - 3 cr.

This course is a treatment of several important platonic dialogues stressing key themes of the dialogues.

PHIL 206. Philosophy and Film - 3 cr.

This course examines the art of cinema from a philosophical perspective.

PHIL 207. Philosophy of Animals - 3 cr.

This course examines the moral status of non-human animals in the western philosophical tradition. We will read such philosophers as Aristotle, Aquinas, Kant, Bentham, and Singer. The course also looks at the mercy perspective developed by Primatt and Scully.

PHIL 208. Existentialism - 3 cr.

We will work our way through a family of thinkers often labeled existentialists, such as Kiekegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus. Our study will be guided by means of a few shared themes: freedom, anguish, responsibility and meaning.

PHIL 209. African Philosophy - 3 cr.

This course explores how philosophers in Africa examine religion, culture, morality, wisdom, and social justice. It examines various kinds of sages and their views of God, culture, life and death, and humans and animals. This course uses philosophical texts, novels, visual arts, and film.

PHIL 210. Marx - 3 cr.

This course is a close reading of several primary works of Marx and his followers.

PHIL 211. Philosophy of the Environment - 3 cr.

This course offers a critical examination of a variety of current ways thinking about the environment, aimed at developing a satisfactory philosophical approach, especially from an ethical perspective.

PHIL 212. Political Philosophy - 3 cr.

Fundamental political questions are explored through readings from some classical but mainly from contemporary sources. The link between philosophy and practical political themes is emphasized as much as possible.

PHIL 214. Philosophy of Sex - 3 cr.

This course provides an introduction to some of the basic themes and texts, both traditional and contemporary, related to the philosophical study of sexuality.

PHIL 215. Philosophy and African American Literature - 3 cr.

This course explores various philosophical themes: agency, invisibility, double consciousness, and embodiment as these are developed in the works of Richard Wright Ralph Ellison, Toni Morrison, and others.

PHIL 216. Social Justice - 3 cr.

The course contains arguments encouraging non-violent, rational change through legislation. It aims at equipping citizens in a globalizing society to think critically for themselves about specific, timely issues. These include racial justice, economic justice, universal health care, and gender equality. As a service-learning course, students work with preselected community agencies related to social justice issues studied in the course.

PHIL 217. Philosophy in African Literature - 3 cr.

This course explores how African / Diasporic literary works challenge how we think about questions of what it means to be-in-the-world.

PHIL 218. African American Philosophy - 3 cr.

This course examines the works of past and contemporary African American philosophers and other Black thinkers of the Diaspora in an effort to understand the philosophical significance of the Black experience.

PHIL 219. Christian Philosophy  - 3 cr.

This course deals with such questions as: how does philosophy help to understand and defend Christian teaching? Do reason and faith compete with one another or complement one another or go on parallel tracks. Can you prove the existence of God using philosophy alone? Are humans naturally religious?

PHIL 220. Philosophy of Death and Living - 3 cr.

This course provides an introduction to traditional and contemporary themes and texts related to this topic. In asking how human beings can be happy in the face of death, it emphasizes the art of living.

PHIL 221. Epistemology - 3 cr.

This course discusses the theory of knowledge, suitable objects of knowledge, and how we go about gaining knowledge and possible limits of knowledge.

PHIL 222. Problems in Feminism - 3 cr.

In this course we address a variety of problems in feminist philosophy, from ethics, to politics, to metaphysics and ontology. A main focus will be to examine not only how feminism challenges certain presumptions in tradition disciplines but also some of the discussions arising within the different areas of feminism itself.

PHIL 224. African Political Philosophy - 3 cr.

In this course, we will critically analyze the meaning of fundamental concepts of political philosophy as perceived by great African thinkers from 1860 to the present.

PHIL 226. Critical Race - 3 cr.

This course explores the meaning of race, its historical emergence, and its current maintenance through power structures, normative and epistemological assumptions. The "critical" in Critical Race theory denotes the importance of resisting the calcification of race categories.

PHIL 227. Nietzsche - 3 cr.

This course surveys Nietzsche's thought, with samples from all his major works. Topics considered will include: Greek tragedy, philosophy, and their legacy for Western philosophy; the existence, endurance, and purpose of things in the world, as well as the world itself; human consciousness, rationality, and language; human individuality, selfhood, and self-knowledge; free-will and determinism; love, resentment, and other emotions; science and truth, religion and morality, meaning and nihilism; time and eternity; Jews and Germans, slaves and masters, war and democracy, women and marriage.

PHIL 228. Buddhist Philosophy - 3 cr.

Indian and Tibetan Buddhism - are these religions or philosophies? What is Enlightenment? What is the Middle Way? Who was Siddhartha? What is the Buddhist critique of "Spiritual Materialism"? Is there any way to link these ideas to Western religious and philosophical traditions? We'll answer these questions by looking at: 1) the history of Buddhism in India and its later adoption by the Tibetans in the Middle Ages (how the rich Tibetan tradition of scholarship and rituals develops and transforms the original Indian tradition); 2) the central tenets and philosophical ideas in the main branches of Indian and Tibetan Buddhism (including 21st C.): 3) the amazingly varied and richly imaginative Indian and Tibetan Buddhist art from a variety of periods; 4) how all of this relates to Western philosophical and religious traditions. Prerequisite: Basic Philosophical Questions

PHIL 255. Philosophy of Technology - 3 cr.

This course examines philosophically how our lives are shaped by technology and the relation of technology to science, art, and politics.

PHIL 256. Philosophy of Emotion - 3 cr.

This course will question the traditional view and place of emotions. We will examine both historical and contemporary writings on the emotions and will consider how philosophers, psychologists, cognitive scientists, have portrayed the relationship between emotion and reason, knowledge, morality, gender, embodiment and law.

PHIL 260. Philosophy of Law - 3 cr.

This course includes a study of major legal traditions. Other topics for discussion might be: justice, ethics and law, legal reasoning, and philosophical issues involved in evidence and procedure. Prerequisite: at least one 100 level course in philosophy.

PHIL 270. American Philosophy - 3 cr.

This course engages great texts in the American philosophical traditions of transcendentalism (Emerson, Thoreau), pragmatism (Peirce, James, Dewey, Rorty), and philosophy of freedom (Douglas, Chopin, DuBois, West). The aim is to understand critically and sympathetically the philosophical nature of what it means to be American.

PHIL 280. Asian Thought - 3 cr.

This course provides an introduction to Asian thought through the study of traditions such as Confucianism, Taoism, Buddhism, and Hinduism. Prerequisite: at least one 100 level course in philosophy.

PHIL 285. Introduction to Feminist Philosophy - 3 cr.

This course examines the way in which issues of gender and sexual differences reshape our understanding of selfhood and personal identity, and thereby have an impact on traditional philosophical views of political and ethical relationships, or the nature and scope of knowledge, and of the relationship between power and language.

PHIL 299. Love and Friendship

A philosophical consideration of love and friendship: the nature of love, its causes, its effects, its many manifestations, the mutual love found in friendship, the kinds of friendship, and the importance of friendship in human life.

Historical Courses

Historical courses are designed for majors, minors, and serious students of philosophy. Prerequisite: at least two 100-level or 200-level courses or instructor's permission.

PHIL 300W. Ancient Philosophy - 3 cr.

This course spans the beginning of philosophy in Greece, from the PreSocratics to Plotinus, with readings taken primarily from Plato and Aristotle.

PHIL 301W. Medieval Philosophy - 3 cr.

A sampling of Christian and Islamic thought from late antiquity through the thirteenth century, with emphasis on the continuity, the development, and the interplay of the Platonic and the Aristotelian traditions. Such themes as knowledge, the existence of God, the problem of evil, the relation between divine and natural causes, and the soul will receive special attention, always through primary sources.

PHIL 302W. Early Modern Philosophy - 3 cr.

A study in the major issues in modern philosophy from the end of the Renaissance, through the mid-18th century. Readings may include Montaigne, Galileo, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Pascal, Leibniz, Locke, Hume, Rousseau, and others.

PHIL 303W. Plato - 3 cr.

This course will survey the dialogues of Plato, attending primarily to their philosophical argumentation, but also to their dramatic composition and historical context.

PHIL 304W. Later Modern Philosophy - 3 cr.

A study of the period of philosophy initiated by Kant, this course deals with some of the crucial thinkers of the late 18th and 19th centuries such as Kant, Hegel, Feuerbach, Kierkegaard, Marx, Mill, and Nietzsche.

PHIL 305W. Contemporary Philosophy - 3 cr.

This course concentrates on philosophy from 1900 to the present and covers the methods of selected 20th century and 21st century movements, such as phenomenology, hermeneutics and deconstruction.

PHIL 306W. Medieval Women Philosophers - 3 cr.

We will look at how the question of gender identity shaped the philosophical work of women and men in the Middle Ages by reading some of the most significant work of medieval women philosophers.

PHIL 307W. Philosophy of Science - 3 cr.

Have you ever looked in a microscope and wondered how science might be different if you could see that tiny object under the lens with your naked eye? Or wondered whether atomic properties that we assume exist for the sake of experimentation and calculation are really real? These and other questions will be addressed in this course, a study of the most central theoretical issues in the philosophy of science, including, but not limited to, the following: How do we know whether the microscopic things that scientists manipulate are really real? Does it matter for scientific practice whether science's objects are real or not? Do scientific instruments, such as microscopes, prevent scientists from ever seeing their objects as they really are? Is there such a thing as 'how things really are' in science; that is, can there be scientific truth? How does science evolve? Does gender affect scientific practice? To consider these questions we will draw on authors such as Hacking, Harding, Kuhn, Lakatos, and Popper, as well as examples from the history of science.

PHIL 311W. Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art - 3 cr.

This course explores a branch of philosophy concerned with questions of art and beauty, art theory, and art criticism, aesthetic judgments and the sublime. Selected readings are from the writings of Plato, Plotinus, Kant, Hegel, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Adorno.

PHIL 312W. Philosophy of the Body - 3 cr.

How can we carry out a philosophical analysis of the body? In other words, how can different embodies experiences, including those based on gender, enter into philosophy? How does the meaning ascribed to the body affect the subjectivity of those who are embodies in different ways? Readings will include at least some of the following: Husserl, Merleau-Ponty, Foucault, Irigarary, Butler, Bordo, and Iris Young.

PHIL 319W. Metaphysics - 3 cr.

Attempts to understand what kinds of things there are in the world through, in classical metaphysics, the question of Being and related concepts of existence, thing, property, event, matter, mind, space, time, and causality. Included is also a critique of classical metaphysics in the modern and post modern eras and attempts at post-metaphysical thinking.

PHIL 322W. Philosophical Roots of Psychology - 3 cr.

Rationalism, empiricism, phenomenology, and genealogy / psychoanalysis are four important approaches to understanding the psyche. We will examine each of these approaches, considering their philosophical roots first and then their psychological incarnations. Once we grasp the philosophical roots of these approaches, we will be in a better position to understand and evaluate their psychological counterparts.

PHIL 323W. Aristotle - 3 cr.

A survey if Aristotle's major writings, from his logical and epistemological works through his physics and metaphysics, psychology and ethics, then finally his politics and poetics. Students will acquire not just an understanding of Aristotle's particular philosophical concepts and arguments, but also an appreciation of his whole philosophical system.

PHIL 325W/425. Concentrated Philosophical Readings - 3 cr.

This is a private tutorial arranged with an individual professor. It is intended for a student who needs to concentrate on a philosophical topic which is not offered in a regular course.

PHIL 332W. Aesthetics - 3 cr.

This course is a study of beauty and how art works are assessed.

PHIL 350W. Elements of Thomistic Thought -3 cr.

An introduction to the philosophical thought of St. Thomas Aquinas through his own writings, especially those on the relation between faith and reason, the existence and attributes of God, knowledge, and language. Students will learn how to interpret his works in light of their sources, historical context, and literary forms.

PHIL 351W. Nietzsche and Freud - 3 cr.

A survey of the major writings of Nietzsche and Freud, showing their remarkable similarity, and thus demonstrating the porous border between philosophy and psychology. Topics discussed include: human nature and motivation, consciousness and unconsciousness, reason and emotion, narcissism and love, guilt and morality, artistic creation and religious belief, freedom and the best life.

PHIL 352W. Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy - 3 cr.

This course investigates Contemporary Social and Political Philosophy in light of what we can call the age of diversity and its attempt to reconcile unity and difference.

PHIL 366W. de Beauvoir and Cixous - 3 cr.

This course looks at texts from both of these philosophers. We examine their contribution to philosophy, feminist philosophy, and feminism in general.

Advanced Courses

Advanced Courses are designed for majors, minors, and other serious students of philosophy. Prerequisites: at least one 100 or 200-level course and two 300-level courses or instructor's permission. Many 400-level courses are also 500-level graduate courses. A list of specific courses taught is available each semester at preregistration. The following are a small sample from courses taught recently.

PHIL 400W. Plato's Later Dialogues - 3 cr.

One or several of the prominent "later" Platonic dialogues will be examined. The dialogue will be considered in terms of its setting and argumentation. It will be considered how the dialogue fits with other dialogues.

PHIL 401W. Plato's Early Dialogues - 3 cr.

The dialogues often call "early" will be studied to explore what occurs in Socratic elenchus. Do these dialogues refer to forms or do they suffer from not doing so?

PHIL 402W. Confucianism and Zen

We will explore philosophy as a practice rather than a theory, by investigating these two living philosophical practices. We will then look at the historical Confucians who borrowed from Zen Buddhism even as they criticized it.

PHIL 404W. Plato's Republic - 3 cr.

This course concentrates on Plato's text, with a consideration of various interpretations.

PHIL 406W. Aristotle: Politics - 3 cr.

This key part of Aristotle's practical science will be studied in detail. How the various parts of the text fit together will be considered and the extent to which Aristotle manages to achieve a science that goes beyond his own time and the Greek polis.

PHIL 407W. Aristotle: Metaphysics - 3 cr.

This course considers how Aristotle develops his first philosophy. The unity of the text is a major concern and also the coherence of the position developed. In addition there is interest in the viability of the Aristotelian approach to being as being.

PHIL 408W. Confucianism: Philosophy of Change - 3 cr.

The Confucians regarded the Book of Changes as a central text. We will look at basic texts from the Confucian tradition, and then pursue a close reading of a Confucian commentary on the Book of Changes. Our goal is not only to understand Confucian thought, but also to understand change.

PHIL 409W. Aristotle: De Anima - 3 cr.

This course traces Aristotle's account of the soul and its various capacities. The credibility of Aristotle's "philosophy of mind" has been challenged. To what extent does he manage to develop viable positions?

PHIL 410W. Plato's Middle Dialogues - 3 cr.

The course treats those dialogues that set out the theory of forms in glowing imagery. How do the forms fit within these dialogues and how coherent is their entrance into the central questions of these dialogues.

PHIL 411W. - Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics - 3 cr.

This course considers the opening great part of Aristotle's practical science. Does he manage to develop a consistent and compelling account of the best life? To what extent is his position a continuing live possibility?

PHIL 412W. Aristotle: Physics - 3 cr.

This course provides a close reading of the treatise that begins Aristotle's natural science. Here he deals with what nature is, whether it works for an end, what are motion, place, void, time, and so on. He also argues for a first mover.

PHIL 414W. Idealism and German Idealism - 3 cr.

This seminar discusses the concepts of idealism and German idealism, the latter in respect to the former against the background of the history of the Western philosophical tradition.

PHIL 415W. Plotinus - 3 cr.

Plotinus is one of the most important philosophers of all times, but one of the least studied in our own. Why? This neglect is largely an accident of the way knowledge has been divided by our university curricula. The period of late antiquity in which he wrote has traditionally fallen into the cracks between classical and medieval specialties-too late for the one, too early for the other. But scholars are now giving this period its due, just as historians of philosophy are coming to recognize the power of its pre-eminent thinker. Plotinus reasoned deeply about dozens of topics, and we shall consider at least the following: God and the effort to become divine; the intellect, forms, and their intimate relationship; knowledge, selfhood, and self-knowledge; the soul, embodiment, and matter; evil, purification, and virtue; logic, being, and the transcendence of both; imagination, memory, and love; freedom and necessity; unity and difference; time and eternity; oblivion.

PHIL 416W. Aristotle's Politics and Rhetoric - 3 cr.

The Rhetoric tackles the question whether there can be an art of reined speaking. Though it seems part of productive science, in many places it links with practical science. The course also treats Aristotle's philosophical approach to politics.

PHIL 417W. Seminar: Descartes / Spinoza / Leibniz - 3 cr.

This seminar engages the tradition of Continental Rationalism, with specific attention to the writings of Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz. Rather than narrowly focusing on their contributions to epistemology, the course connects seventeenth century theory of knowledge to metaphysics, ethical and political thought, and early modern science.

PHIL 418W. Art and Truth - 3 cr.

This seminar studies the post-Platonic Western aesthetic tradition centering on the theme of art and truth initially raised by Plato.

PHIL 419W. Metaphysics - 3 cr.

Attempts to understand what kinds of things there are in the world through, in classical metaphysics, the question of Being and related concepts of existence, thing, property, event, matter, mind, space, time, and causality. Included is also a critique of classical metaphysics in the modern and post modern eras and attempts at post-metaphysical thinking.

PHIL 420. The Philosophy of Saint Augustine - 3 cr.

This course covers the early works of Augustine, focusing on his appropriation of Platonic and Stoic sources. We will also look at his later reinterpretation of his early life works like the Confessions.

PHIL 421W. Epicureans, Stoics, Skeptics - 3 cr.

After a brief introduction to the Greek originals of these three schools, this course considers how the following Roman philosophers adapted them: Cicero, Lucretius, Seneca, Epictetus, Marcus Aurelius, and Sextus Empiricus. Evaluating their relative merits, both for their times and our own, this course also considers their influence upon modern thought.

PHIL 422W. Saint Thomas Aquinas: Treatise on Man - 3 cr.

An introduction to the philosophical psychology of Aquinas through close reading of the Treatise on Man (Summa theologiae 1.75 - 102), complemented by passages from his commentary on Aristotle's On the Soul.

PHIL 423W. Aristotle - 3 cr.

This course offers a survey of Aristotle's philosophy through selections of all his major works.

PHIL 424W. Plato's Parmenides / Aristotle's Metaphysics - 3 cr.

These are arguably the leading theoretical works of each author. They will each be examines in detail and brought in relation to each other inasmuch as Aristotle develops his position with constant attention to Plato's.

PHIL 425W. Concentrated Readings in Philosophy - 3 cr.

Offers the opportunity for students and faculty to conduct in-depth study of a topic not covered, or covered only briefly, in other departmental courses.  Special permission required.

PHIL 426W. Phenomenology and Epistemology - 3 cr.

This course examines the overlap and the divergence of epistemology and phenomenology. What is the interplay of appearance and knowledge? What methods are available to us for knowledge?

PHIL 427W. St. Thomas Aquinas - The Soul - 3 cr.

An introduction to the philosophical psychology of Saint Thomas Aquinas through a close reading of the Treatise on Man in his Summa theologiae (part 1, questions 75-102), complemented by passages from his commentary on Aristotle's On the Soul. We will give some attention to medieval psychological views with which Thomas takes issue.

PHIL 430W. Critique of Pure Reason - 3 cr.

This course is a close reading and conceptual analysis of Immanuel Kant's The Critique of Pure Reason.

PHIL 431W. Heidegger's Contribution to Philosophy - 3 cr.

This course touches on several of Heidegger's works with an eye toward how they were taken up by other philosophers in contemporary philosophy. In addition, we look to Heidegger's own analyses of certain works in the history of philosophy.

PHIL 432W. Kant - Critique of Judgment - 3 cr.

A careful analysis of the Kantian theory of aesthetics in the third and last Critique. This course considers the relation of the Kantian theory of aesthetics to other main aspects of the critical philosophy.

PHIL 433W. Hegel - Seminar Phenomenology of Spirit - 3 cr.

This course provides a line by line reading of parts of Hegel's first and arguably most important treatise.

PHIL 435W. Philosophy of Emotion - 3 cr.

This course will question the traditional view and place of emotions. We will examine both historical and contemporary writings on the emotions and will consider how philosophers, psychologists, cognitive scientists, feminists, and legal theorists, have portrayed the relationship between emotion and reason, knowledge, morality, gender, embodiment, and law.

PHIL 438W. Kant's Moral Theory - 3 cr.

Kant's de-ontological approach is widely influential in modern moral theory. This course draws on readings drawn both from the Critique of Practical Reason and the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals in presenting main aspects of Kant's view.

PHIL 440W. Heidegger's Later Philosophy - 3 cr.

This course focuses on Heidegger's later works, after his "turn". We touch on several of these later texts, addressing them in themselves and in how they identify a shift from Heidegger's earlier works.

PHIL 442W. Foundations of Moral Philosophy - 3 cr.

This course, often offered in conjunction with the Health Care Ethics program, offers a broad survey of the history of ethics, with particular emphasis on the writings of Aristotle, Kant, and Mill, as well as a number of other historical and contemporary ethical thinkers. The course includes an analysis of key ethical theories, such as consequentialism, nonconsequentialism, and virtue theory.

PHIL 443W. Hegel's Logic - 3 cr.

This course examines both the Greater and the Encyclopedia Logics of Hegel. Emphasis is on a close reading of the text that focuses on the development of the argument, and they key concepts that are used to build the various movements in the argument.

PHIL 444W. Nietzsche - 3 cr.

This course examines the writings and key insights of the influential 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. It also examines the extraordinary impact his work has had on subsequent philosophers, ranging from Heidegger and Adorno.

PHIL 449W. African American Philosophy - 3 cr.

This course examines the works of past and contemporary African American philosophers and other Black thinkers of Diaspora in an effort to understand the philosophical significance of the Black experience.

PHIL 450W. Islamic Philosophy - 3 cr.

An introduction to major philosophers from the classical period of Islamic thought through their own writings. Among the thinkers whose works we will sample are Alkindi, Alfarabi, Avicenna, Algazel, and Averroes. We will give special attention, as did they, to the relation between philosophy and prophecy and that between philosophy and theology, to divine and natural causality, and to the nature and destiny of the soul.

PHIL 451W. Nietzsche and Freud - 3 cr.

A survey of the major writings of Nietzsche and Freud, showing their remarkable similarity, and thus demonstrating the porous border between philosophy and psychology. Topics discussed include: human nature and motivation, consciousness and unconsciousness, reason and emotion, narcissism and love, guilt and morality, artistic creation and religious belief, freedom and the best life.

PHIL 453W. Husserl: Inner Time Consciousness - 3 cr.

This course includes careful readings from Husserl's texts on inner time-consciousness: Part B of On the Phenomenology of the Consciousness of Internal Time, analysis of Active and Passive Syntheses, and possibly some manuscripts (untranslated). A prior understanding of the basics of Husserl's phenomenology and method (the basic premises gained from a reading of Ideas I) will be extremely helpful to participants, and a basic understanding of German will also be a plus.

PHIL 454W. Philosophy of Time - 3 cr.

This course addresses some of the more influential philosophical analyses of time and temporality in the history of philosophy, including those from Aristotle's Physics and Augustine's Confessions. We may also look at more contemporary philosophers such as Husserl and Heidegger.

PHIL 456W. Foucault - 3 cr.

This course investigates the geneological stage of the Philosophy of Michel Foucault, in particular his notions of archaeological structure, geneological critique, power, subjectivity and ethics.

PHIL 458W. Plato's Phaedo - 3 cr.

This course is a close examination of Plato's dialogue on the self and immortality of the soul.

PHIL 459. Plato's Timaeus and Cratylus - 3 cr.

This course is a close investigation of these two important dialogues. The Timaeus was very historically important since it was how Plato was known for centuries. The Cratylus has recently received much attention since it concerns the correctness of names, and therefore it seems to be a philosophy of language.

PHIL 460W. Introduction to Phenomenology - 3 cr.

This course touches on the works of several contemporary phenomenologists, such as Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, and de Beauvoir. We look to how phenomenology has been taken up in other areas of contemporary philosophy as well as the historical roots of this movement.

PHIL 462W. Adorno - 3 cr.

Theodor Adorno, a member of the Frankfurt school of critical theory, wrote voluminously on a number of topics, such as music, literature, history, morality, culture, and dialectics. This course  provides a survey of his most important works, with particular emphasis on Dialectic of Enlightenment, Minimal Moralia, and Negative Dialectics. Some investigation of his writings are music and will also be offered.

PHIL 466W. de Beauvoir and Cixous - 3 cr.

This course looks at texts from both of these philosophers, both in comparison with one another and as philosophical works in themselves. We examine their contribution to philosophy, feminist philosophy, and feminism in general.

PHIL 467W. Race Matters / Philosophy and Literature Perspective - 3 cr.

This course "asks are we a post-racial society", while theorizing the meaning of the concept of race/racism and seeking clarification of the meaning of race through various works of literature (fiction, autobiography, etc.)

PHIL 469W. Critical Race Theory - 3 cr.

This course explores the meaning of race, its historical emergence, and its current maintenance through power structures, normative and epistemological assumptions. The "critical" in Critical Race theory denotes the importance of resisting the calcification of race categories.

PHIL 471W. Ricoeur, Symbolism of Evil - 3 cr.

Ricoeur wrote extensively on the philosophy of religion. This course takes up arguably his most important writing on the problem of evil. Special emphasis is placed on a close textual reading of the argument.

PHIL 472W. Heidegger's Being and Time - 3 cr.

This course will focus on a careful reading of both divisions of Heidegger's Being and Time. The goals of the course are to gain a good comprehension of this early work by Heidegger, to be able to treat it on an expository as well as on a critical level, to understand the context of this in relation to the history of philosophy, and to build the beginnings of a conversation with Heiggerian philosophy.

PHIL 474W. Sartre: Being and Nothingness - 3 cr.

This course will focus on a careful reading of Jean-Paul Sartre's Being and Nothingness. We will read much of this text closely, concentrating on Sartre's methodology, goals, and philosophical accomplishments. The goals of the course will be to gain a fairly detailed understanding of this work in itself, to consider it with regard to its philosophical roots, and to address the influence it has had on important projects that followed it.

PHIL 475W. The Later Heidegger - 3 cr.

This course focuses on Heidegger's later works, after his "turn". We look at these texts philosophically as well as beyond the realm of philosophy.

PHIL 476W. Husserl - 3 cr.

This course touches on several works by Husserl, looking at the phenomenological method for itself, as well as how it is applied in such areas as the body, time-consciousness, logical meaning constitution, and inter-subjectivity.

PHIL 487W. Plato's Parmenides and Phaedrus - 3 cr.

This course is a close study of two of Plato's most important dialogues. The Parmenides raises difficulties about the theory of forms and the Phaedrus deals with direction of the soul.

PHIL 488W. Critical Whiteness Studies - 3 cr.

This course explores what it means to be white, white privilege, white domination, white invisibility, and whiteness as normative. We explore the important works by critical whiteness theorists and how they have come to think about whiteness and how they have proposed ways of challenging its social, political, and epistemological hegemonic status.

PHIL 492W. The Philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir - 3 cr.

This course attempts to elucidate the philosophy of Simone de Beauvoir, which might be called a situated phenomenological existentialism, by a careful analysis of selected essays, novels, and autobiographical accounts. The class concentrates on the Ethics of Ambiguity, the Second Sex, and She Came to Stay.

PHIL 493W. Marx and Critical Theory - 3 cr.

This course surveys both the early and the late writings of Karl Marx, and the subsequent influence they had on the development of economic, political, and philosophical thinking in many corners of the world. Particular emphasis will be on the impact it had on the so called Frankfurt School of Critical Theory in Germany. An analysis of the texts Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, and Jurgen Habermas will be included.

PHIL 495W. Phenomenology of Race - 3 cr.

In this course we will examine the lived experience of race in relationship to key phenomenological concepts (embodiment and intersubjectivity).

PHIL 498W. Philosophy of God - 3 cr.

This course introduces students to selected traditional and contemporary texts and basic themes in types of religious experience, such as Babylonian, Greek, and Judeo-Christian. It delineates such questions as: What is the Holy? What is the status of arguments for the existence of God? Why is there human suffering if God is good and all-powerful?