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Course Descriptions

PH 200 Introduction to Philosophy
An introduction to some of the major issues concerning fundamental problems of human existence including an understanding of the core areas: logic, epistemology, metaphysics, and ethics. Students will learn to recognize and evaluate logical arguments in the texts of central, primary figures. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: PH-1. (3)

PH 300 Modern Logic
A systematic study of the formal nature of deduction. The course includes an introduction to quantification theory, relational propositions, set theory, and propositional calculus. Required for all philosophy majors. Prerequisites: EN 102 and PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: PH-2. (3)

PH 301 Social and Political Philosophy
A consideration of current problems for social and individual ethical behavior. The course considers specific conflicting values related to human freedom and responsibility; the individual and society; political and civil rights; and the family and society. The course aims to involve the students both individually and collectively in the experience of problem solving. Prerequisites: EN 102 and PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: ETH, PH-2. (3)

PH 305 Business Ethics
Examines the ethical foundations of business and the role of ethical judgment in business decisions. The course reviews theoretical foundations and examines case study applications. Prerequisites: EN 102 and PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: ETH, PH-2. (3)

PH 309 Ethical Theory
An investigation into the moral dimensions of human life. The course explores the specific theoretical issues that shape the formation of ethical systems. Students will examine foundations for objective moral standards and human rights. Prerequisites: EN 102 and PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: PH-E. (3)

PH 315 Metaphysics and Epistemology
An examination of philosophical arguments for determining the existence and nature of  reality and the scope of knowledge that supports the claims. The study examines arguments from the classical, medieval, modern, and contemporary periods. Prerequisites: EN 102 and PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: PH-2, WI. (3)

PH 325 Ancient Philosophy
Covers the span of philosophy in the Western tradition from the pre-Socratic (500 B.C.) to the Roman and Hellenistic philosophers (500 A.D.). Key issues in ethics, politics, natural philosophy, and metaphysics are explored principally through the writings of Plato and Aristotle as well as other figures in the Stoic and Epicurean traditions. Prerequisites: EN 102 and PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: DSINQ, PH-2. (3)

PH 326 Medieval Philosophy
Examines the perceptions of the Middle Ages through a concentration upon the intellectual themes expressed in philosophical, theological, and literary texts. The relationship between faith and reason is presented as the fundamental problem of the period and is considered in a variety of contexts including the relation between divine and human love, and the function of the earthly city vis-à-vis the heavenly city. Prerequisites: EN 102 and PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: DSINQ, PH-2. (3)

PH 327 Modern Philosophy
Studies the changes in philosophy during the 17th century that gave rise to the new science. Topics include problems in epistemology and metaphysics that led science to a mechanistic world view. Prerequisites: EN 102 and PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: DSINQ, PH-2. (3)

PH 328 Contemporary Philosophy: 19th-21st

Examines a wide variety of philosophical schools: pragmatism, idealism, existentialism, phenomenology, and the analytic approach. The focus is upon contemporary changes in logic, ethics, epistemology, and metaphysics. This course may be offered as a Writing-Intensive (WI) course in select semesters. Students should check the section designation and title prior to enrollment. Prerequisites: EN 102 and PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: DSINQ, PH-2. (3)

PH 345 Philosophy of Religion

A description and evaluation of the major ideas and beliefs in Western civilization that are relevant to the religious dimension of human existence. The course develops from the classical influences on early Christian perspectives to modern and contemporary views. Comparison between traditional and the present leads to an evaluation of religious values. Prerequisites: EN 102 and PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: WI, PH-2. (3)

PH 350 Philosophy of Science
Provides the analytic tools needed to evaluate the structure of scientific explanations. The principal focus is upon the contribution of the Logical Empiricists and the recent criticism of  them. Examples are drawn primarily from physics and biology. Prerequisites: EN 102 and PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: PH-2, WI (3)

PH 355 Existentialism and Phenomenology
An introduction to some of the major issues concerning fundamental problems of human existence through the vehicle of fictive narrative philosophy. Students will learn how to present and evaluate claims in traditional logical form and in the guise of fictive narrative philosophy. Students will learn to recognize texts of central, primary figures. Prerequisites: EN 102 and PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: PH-2, WI. (3)


PH 360 Philosophy and Literature
An introduction to some of the major issues concerning fundamental problems of human existence through the vehicle of fictive narrative philosophy. Students will learn how to present and evaluate claims in traditional logical form and in the guise of fictive narrative philosophy. Students will learn to recognize texts of central, primary figures. Prerequisites: EN 102 and PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: PH-2, WI.(3)

PH 370 Philosophy of Art
A study of the philosophical puzzles about art. Students will think critically about the significance of art for our lives. What is art? Can we define art? How does a work of art represent something? Why are we interested in specific artistic media and genres? Are judgments about art merely expressions of taste? What is good and bad taste? Are there better and worse ways to experience art? How do works of art affect our emotions? What is the artists role in culture? Should art serve social, political, or moral purposes? Readings include classic philosophical texts and contemporary articles. Prerequisites: EN 102 and PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: PH-2, WI. (3)

PH 400 Internship
Students may register for 3 to 6 credits in an internship with a research or service agency in the Washington metropolitan area. The intern will be monitored by a supervising faculty member and a representative of the cooperating agency. Prerequisites: senior status and a GPA of 2.0 in major courses. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: EXP. (3-6)

PH 405 Philosophy of Law
An examination of issues dealing with natural law, obligation to obey the law, liberty, justice, responsibility, and punishment. Contemporary legal interpretations are examined using tools from moral, social, and political philosophy. Prerequisites: EN 102 and PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: WI. (3)

PH 406 Moral Psychology
This course deals with problems in moral psychology and action theory. Students will read and discuss contemporary and historical texts on issues such as freedom, temptation, seduction, weakness of the will, and self-deception. Prerequisite: 300-level Philosophy Course. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: WI. (3)

PH 415A Area Studies: Asian Philosophy

Provides an opportunity for students to learn non-Western philosophies. Subjects vary among Chinese, Indian, Islamic, and Japanese philosophies, and the format ranges from comparative survey to contemporary issues. Prerequisite: PH 200. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: WI. (3)

PH 421 Project
An investigation of a selected topic in the emphasis discipline. The project is intended to demonstrate ability to conduct independent research and present the results in writing of commendable quality. Prerequisite: faculty and dean approval. (3)

PH 422 Senior Seminar
The focus of the senior seminar is the student research paper that demonstrates skill in researching and writing on topics in philosophy or religion. This course may be offered as a Writing-Intensive (WI) course in select semesters. Students should check the section designation and title prior to enrollment. Prerequisite: senior status. (3)

PH 425 Philosophy of Biology
Examines central concepts and problems from the life sciences through classic texts as well as articles on contemporary debates in the philosophy of biology. Topics may include the nature of biological explanation, the structure of the Darwinian theory of evolution, adaptation and the appearance of design in nature, the concept of species, biological theories of human behavior and culture, and the relations of biology to ethics and religious belief. Prerequisite: 300-level Philosophy course. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: WI. (3)

PH 440 Philosophy of Mind

This course focuses on the question of the place of mind in nature and in the world: What is the mark of the mental? What does it mean to be conscious? What is an emotion? How do thoughts have meaning? Can we ever really know the mind of another person? Could a computer ever really think? Do animals have minds? The aim is to clarify what one is asking with such questions in order to begin to formulate answers. Prerequisite: 300-level Philosophy course. Liberal Arts Core/University Requirements Designation: WI. (3)