Burt Hopkins,PhDChair206.firstname.lastname@example.orgKate ReynoldsAdministrative Assistant206.email@example.com
PHIL 302 Medieval Philosophy3:40-5:45 MW Cory
This course addresses the main themes of medieval philosophy, by a careful reading of primary texts ranging from the 4th to the 14th century. We will pay special attention to three issues that highlight the unique philosophical contributions of medieval thinkers, and which continue to stimulate philosophical discussion today: (1) The problem of universals in the medieval debate over realism and nominalism; (2) Questions concerning human nature, the soul, and the relation between individuals and society; (3) Different approaches to the problem of faith and reason that emerged in Christian, Islamic, and Jewish medieval philosophy. The course mainly focuses on the writings of Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, but we will also have the opportunity to examine key texts of other significant medieval philosophers from a variety of traditions, including Averroes (Ibn Rushd), Avicenna (Ibn Sina), Boethius of Dacia, Bonaventure, Scotus, and Ockham.
PHIL 362 - Existentialism 3:40-5:45 MWRisser
Existentialism is a philosophy in which the questions of concern are the questions of existence or life. These questions of existence are always the questions of human existence. Existentialism is thus a philosophy that is concerned with the human condition in its various dimensions. The most prominent of these dimensions of the human condition explored by the existentialists are: the experience of freedom and contingency; the experience of authenticity and the meaning of individualism, the experience of alienation, the experience of death, the experience of life as despair, the experience of life as hope.
In this course we will look at a wide range of existentialists from the 19th century (Soren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche) and the 20th century (Jean-Paul Sartre, Albert Camus, Gabriel Marcel, Paul Tillich, and Martin Buber)
PHIL 420 - Virtue Ethics 3:45-5:50 T, Th Carl
Among the three dominant contemporary approaches in moral theory, Virtue Ethics is both the oldest and the newest. While much of the emphasis in 19th and 20th century moral philosophy centered on utilitarian and deontological theories, G.E.M. Anscombe's essay "Modern Moral Philosophy" (1958) heralded the renaissance of the Greek, and particularly the Aristotelian, notion of the virtues. This course begins with a brief review of the historical development of major conceptions of the virtues and vices, but most of the course focuses on contemporary readings by the neo-Aristotelians, Alasdair MacIntyre, Rosalind Hursthouse and Martha Nussbaum. We will also consider some examples of important moral virtues, such as justice and humility, and some applications of virtue ethics to particular moral problems, such as abortion.
The course will be conducted as a seminar. Course requirements include close reading of the texts, active participation in discussion, formal presentations to the class, several short writing assignments, and preparation of a major paper.
Alasdair MacIntyre, After Virtue, 3rd edition, University of Notre Dame Press, 2007.
Rosalind Hursthouse, On Virtue Ethics, Oxford University Press, 2002.
Roger Crisp and Michael Slote, Virtue Ethics, Oxford University Press, 1997.
PHIL 430-Advanced Logic2:05-3:20 MWFRellihan
This course will explore a number of topics in advanced logic. We'll begin where the introductory course (PHIL 260) leaves off by undertaking a thorough study of quantified predicate logic. At this point students will have a complete picture of classical logic and we'll begin to study a number of philosophically interesting nonclassical logics. The nonclassical logics we'll explore fall into two classes: (1) those that are extensions of classical logic and (2) those that deviate from classical logic by rejecting one or more of its fundamental principles. Next we'll consider a pair of philosophically important paradoxes-the paradox of the liar and the sorites paradox-and consider the implications these paradoxes have for our understanding of truth. Finally, we'll take a brief foray through decision theory, which investigates the principles of rational choice. Throughout the course emphasis will be placed on the philosophical implications of the logical systems we are studying. Grades will be determined on the basis of homework and exams. PHIL 260: Introduction to Logic is a prerequisite.
PHIL 485-Kierkegaard 1:30-3:35 T, Th Kidder, Paul
This course will take a comprehensive approach to the thought of Soren Kierkegaard, one of the most fascinating figures in the Western philosophical tradition. Writing in the mid-nineteenth century, this Danish philosopher is famous not only for the depth of his insights but for the literary flair of his writings. He developed a unique form of publication, inventing fictional authors, writing books in their names, and sometimes creating debates among them. His works range from the comical, to the darkly meditative, to the deeply religious. He is credited with formulating the notion of "existence" that formed the core idea of the existentialist movement in the twentieth century. Many of his writings reflect upon the nature of Christianity, but they influenced thinkers of many orientations, including atheists. A central focus of the course will be the work that is considered Kierkegaard's major philosophical achievement, _The Concluding Unscientific Postscript_, but we will also sample a wide variety of his other writings.