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Philosophy

Study in philosophy is an essential ingredient of a liberal arts education. The Department of Philosophy offers a full curriculum on four levels: introductory courses (101-110), history of philosophy courses (125-150, 245, 250), intermediate and advanced courses with concentration on particular sub-fields of philosophy (200-250), and topical and historical seminars (301-370). The philosophy major meets the needs and interests of the following students: a) those who plan graduate study and teaching in the field; b) those who intend to go to law school; c) those who seek preparation for work in government, business, social service, journalism, or any field in which critical thinking is valued; and d) those who wish to approach a liberal arts education through a concentrated study of philosophy. The major also combines easily with other majors.

Introductory Courses
. Courses 101-110 offer the student a choice of emphases in an initial study of methods, problems, and theories in philosophy. None of these courses duplicates courses of higher number; and with the exception of 106 no student may receive College credit for more than one of them. Some other courses are also open to students with no previous work in philosophy. These other courses are not intended to serve as introductory courses in philosophy, but they may still be taken by students without previous philosophical training who have a special interest in their topics. These include two survey courses in the history of philosophy (Ancient Philosophy, 125, and Modern Philosophy, 135), the course in Deductive Logic, 200, and Analysis of Reasoning, 201, as well as certain other advanced courses.

Entry-Level Course Sequence Suggestions
. The Department suggests any of its introductory courses as an appropriate first course in philosophy. (Other philosophy courses that are open without prerequisite may also serve this purpose, though they are not intended as introductory courses.) From any of these first courses, students may, with occasional exceptions, proceed to any of the Department's advanced offerings. For purposes of the major it is desirable, though not mandatory, that the course in deductive logic, 200, or that in the analysis of reasoning, 201, should be completed early in one's philosophical studies. Students interested in majoring in philosophy should consult with the chairperson, or any member of the Department, concerning course sequence planning. It is possible to complete the philosophy major even though it is not started until the junior year.

Major
. When declaring a major in philosophy a student may choose any faculty member in the Department to serve as major advisor. The selection of courses for the major is to be made in consultation with the major advisor.
The major consists of at least thirty credit hours of course work in the Department of Philosophy, including the following course requirements:
1. Three courses in the history of philosophy, including at least one Philosophical Classics course.
2. Deductive Logic (200) or the Analysis of Reasoning (201). (Equivalent course work may substitute for this, with the approval of the major advisor.) (Students intending graduate study in philosophy are advised to take Deductive Logic (200).
3. Ethics (204) or Social and Political Philosophy (226). (A relevant Philosophical Classics course or Seminar may substitute for this, with the approval of the major advisor,
4. Theory of Knowledge (206) or Philosophy of Science (222). (A relevant Philosophical Classics course or Seminar may substitute for this, with the approval of the major advisor.)
5. Metaphysics (208) or Philosophy of Mind (228). (A relevant Philosophical Classics course or Seminar may substitute for this, with the approval of the major advisor.)
6. The balance of the thirty credit hours of work in the Department of Philosophy consists of electives chosen by the student in consultation with the major advisor.

Minor
. Students may earn a minor in philosophy upon completion of a program of study approved by a minor advisor in the Department. A minor involves fifteen credit hours of work in philosophy. No more than one of these courses may be from the introductory courses, 101-110. Each student's program is developed individually in consultation with their minor advisor. Examples of subject-areas appropriate for a minor in philosophy are (i) Logic and Language, (ii) Theory of Value, (iii) History of Philosophy, (iv) Metaphysics and Theory of Knowledge, and (v)
Philosophy and Science. Students majoring in philosophy may not minor in philosophy.Courses in philosophy also count toward the Cognitive Sciences Concentration.

Honors
. The Department offers an honors program to qualified senior majors. The Program involves intensive study and writing under faculty supervision for an academic year. It culminates in the preparation of a lengthy written thesis, and a defense of the thesis before departmental faculty and, typically, an external examiner from another college or university. Questions should be directed to the Department's Director of the Honors Program.

Winter Term
. The following faculty are willing to sponsor Winter Term projects as indicated. Mr. Ganson: history of philosophy, history and philosophy of psychology, metaphysics, theory of knowledge. Ms. Ganson: theory of knowledge, philosophy of science, philosophy of language, logic. Mr. MacKay: 20th Century analytical philosophy, history of ethics, contemporary ethical theory, philosophy of language, social choice theory. Mr. McInerney: philosophy of mind and philosophical issues in cognitive science; Metaphysics; 19th and 20th Century Philosophers, e.g., Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Foucault.

 

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Introductory Courses

No student may receive college credit for more than one Introductory Course

101. Problems of Philosophy 3 hours
3HU
An introduction to philosophy through study and discussion of topics such as the nature and existence of God, the grounds and limits of human knowledge, minds and their place in nature, freedom and determinism, and the nature of morality. Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 1 PHIL-101-01 MWF 1:30-2:20 Ms. Ganson
PHIL-101-02 MWF 3:30-4:20 Ms. Ganson
PHIL-101.03 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Ms. Ganson

102. Introduction to Philosophy 3 hours
3HU
An introduction to philosophy through the study of some important philosophical works. Examples of such works are: Plato's Republic, Descartes' Meditations, Hume's Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding and Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, and Kant's Prolegomena to Any Future Metaphysics and Grounding for the Metaphysics of Morals. Exams and papers required.
Sem 1 PHIL-102-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Mr. MacKay Limit: 33
Sem 2 PHIL-102-01 MWF 12:00-12:50 Mr. Ganson Limit: 30
PHIL-102-02 MWF 3:30-4:20 Mr. Ganson Limit: 30

105. Philosophy and Values
3HU, WR
This course introduces students to basic views of the nature of persons and the meaning of human life, explores their bearing on our ideas of human knowledge and conceptions of value in moral and other contexts, and provides an opportunity for students to develop and cultivate the forms of critical thought required for the rational appraisal of human beliefs. Classical and contemporary readings.
Sem 1 PHIL-105-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Staff Limit: 30
PHIL-105-02 MWF 4:30-5:20 Staff Limit: 30
Sem 2 PHIL-105-01 TuTh 9:35-10:50 Staff Limit: 30

109. Morality, Meaningful Life, Problematic Self 3 hours
3HU,WR
An inquiry into the meaning of life from consideration of basic accounts of moral value. The inquiry will explore constitutional and circumstantial differences in the makeup of the self from person to person, and consider how these differences bear on issues of meaningful life.
Alternative basic attitudes (e.g., pessimism, optimism, resignation, nihilism) characterizing different accounts of the meaning of life will be assessed. The inquiry will be supported by readings (classical and contemporary) from philosophy, literature, and drama. Discussion and writing emphasized. No prerequisite. Enrollment Limit: 15 first-year students.
Sem 1 PHIL-109-01 TuTh 11:00-12:15 Mr. Care

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Historical Courses

125. Ancient Philosophy 3 hours
3HU
A study of Ancient Greek philosophy, including the thought of Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Hellenistic and Medieval philosophers may also be included. Texts include primary sources in translation. This is not an introductory course, but it may be taken without previous study in philosophy by those with special interest in the topic.
Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 1 PHIL-125-01 MWF 10:00-10:50 Mr. Ganson

135. Modern Philosophy 3 hours
3HU
A study of philosophy in the 17th and 18th centuries, concentrating on Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Texts include primary sources, with translations as required. This course is not an introductory course, but may be taken by students without previous study in philosophy with a special interest in the topic. Exams and papers required. Enrollment Limit: 33.
Sem 2 PHIL-135-01 MWF 11:00-11:50 Mr. MacKay

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Advanced Courses

200. Deductive Logic 3 hours
3HU
A study of symbolic logic, understood primarily as a formal tool for exploring the structure of valid reasoning in a natural language such as English. The course will cover both sentential and predicate logic, and will include a brush with metatheory. Strongly recommended for students considering graduate work in philosophy. Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 1 PHIL-200-01 MWF 1:30-2:20 Mr. Jones

201. The Analysis of Reasoning 3 hours
3HU
A study of methods for analyzing and evaluating arguments as they appear in legal, scientific, and moral contexts, as well as everyday life. The course will include an introduction to the formal study of logic, and inductive and probabilistic reasoning.
Sem 2 PHIL-201-01 MWF 10:00-10:50 Ms. Ganson

204. Ethics 3 hours
3HU
A study of some of the main issues in moral philosophy, emphasizing ethical theory rather than applied ethics. Writings from among the following thinkers will be included: Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Butler, Hume, Kant, Sidgwick Mill, G.E. Moore, and Charles Stevenson. Papers required. Prerequisites: Three hours in Philosophy. Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 1 PHIL-204-01 TuTh 9:35-10:50 Mr. MacKay

206. Theory of Knowledge 3 hours
3HU, WR
In this course we will be addressing questions concerning the nature of knowledge, rationality, justification, and truth. Special topics include skepticism, relativism and feminist epistemology. Prerequisites: Three hours in Philosophy. Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 2 PHIL-206-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Ms. Ganson

208. Metaphysics 3 hours
3HU, WR
A survey of some central issues in metaphysics, such as: Is truth always relative to a conceptual scheme? Are there such things as numbers, and if so, what sorts of things are they? What does it mean to say that something is possible, or is necessarily so? How is it that objects persist over time and through changes? Do objects have their parts necessarily? Readings will be from a variety of sources; requirements will be in the form of papers. Prerequisite: three hours in philosophy.
Sem 1 PHIL-208-01 TuTh 7:00-8:15 pm Mr. Jones

210. Existentialism 3 hours
3HU, WR
The course will investigate certain issues that are distinctive of existentialist philosophers. The meaning of life, the relevance of death and of being finite, the relation of reflection to immediate involvement in the world, the nature of the self and of individual freedom, and the nature and possibilities of relations with other people (such as love, sex, and friendship) will all be considered. Prerequisites: Three hours in Philosophy. Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 2 PHIL-210-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Mr. McInerney

220. Philosophy of Language 3 hours
3HU
A philosophical study of language. Topics include: theories of meaning, problems of reference, the theory of speech acts, conversational implicatures, the nature of language. Offered in alternate years. Papers required. Prerequisites: Three hours in Philosophy. Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 2 PHIL-220-01 TuTh 1:30-2:45 Mr. MacKay

222. Philosophy of Science 3 hours
3HU, WR
Next offered 2002-2003.

223. Topics in the Philosophy of Science: Philosophy of Biology 3 hours
3HU, WR
Next offered 2002-2003.

226. Social and Political Philosophy 3 hours
3HU
An examination of normative concepts that pertain to the nature of political authority and the political obligations of citizens. Topics include conceptions of justice, liberty, equality, rights, utility, social contract, rule of law. Classical and contemporary readings. Prerequisites: Three hours in Philosophy. Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem2 PHIL-226-01 MWF 1:30-2:20 Staff

228. Philosophy of Mind 3 hours
3HU, WR
Next offered 2002-2003.

234. Topics In Applied Ethics 3 hours
3HU
Sem 1 PHIL-234-01 TuTh 3:00-4:15 Staff

245. Nineteenth-Century Philosophy 3 hours
3HU, WR
A study of major themes and figures in philosophy from Kant to Nietzsche, based on primary sources in translation. Special attention will be devoted to Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Mill, and Nietzsche, and to the question of the relative priority of individuality and sociality. Prerequisites: Three hours in Philosophy. Enrollment Limit: 30.
Sem 1 PHIL-245-01 MWF 2:30-3:20 Mr. McInerney

250. Twentieth-Century Continental Philosophy 3 hours
3HU, WR
Next offered 2002-2003.
 

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Special Topics Courses

302. Philosophical Classics: Aristotle 3 hours
3HU
A examination of Aristotle's philosophy, with special emphasis on his views concerning the nature of reality, the soul, and morality. Texts include Aristotle's works in translation, as well as interpretative and critical commentaries. Papers and presentations. Enrollment Limit: 15.
Sem 2 PHIL-302-01 TuTh 7:00-8:15 pm Mr. Ganson

348. Seminar: Naturalism, Rationality, and Morality 3 hours
3HU,WR
Starting with Nietzsche's writings, widely shared societal standards of rationality and morality have been challenged by natural and social scientific claims about the makeup and workings of people. This course examines the relevance of current information from scientific psychology, neuroscience, biology, and social science for various accounts of rationality and morality. Prerequisites: Three hours in Philosophy. Enrollment Limit: 15.
Sem 2 PHIL-348-01 TuTh 9:35-10:50 Mr. McInerney


Private Reading and Independent Research

Any student who is interested in undertaking a Private Reading course or an Independent Research course (401) with a member of the Department should make arrangements with the departmental member prior to registering for the course.

401. Independent Research 2-5 hours
2-5HU
Consent of instructor required. Projects sponsored by Ms. Ganson, Mr. Ganson, Mr. Jones, Mr. Love, Mr. MacKay, and Mr. McInerney.

411. Honors Research 3-6 hours
3-6HU
Consent of instructor required. Projects sponsored by Ms. Ganson, Mr. Ganson, Mr. Jones, Mr. MacKay, and Mr. McInerney.

995. Private Reading 1-3 hours
1-3HU
Consent of instructor required. Projects sponsored by Ms. Ganson, Mr. Ganson, Mr. Jones, Mr. Love, Mr. MacKay, and Mr. McInerney.

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