2020-21 Catalog


Philosophy Home Page

Don’t Prepare for One Career—Prepare for Any Career--Philosophy does more than prepare you for a single career - it gives you the skills and information necessary for a lifetime of work. In fact, studying philosophy promotes the proficiencies that are increasing necessary to a full and prosperous human life: Logical Argument, Critical Thinking, Creativity and A Fundamental Understanding Of What It Means To Be A Moral Agent. These skills are the cornerstones of all human endeavors and actively support the varied careers of the future worker, who, according to the Pew Research Center (2017), must “learn to deeply cultivate and exploit creativity, collaborative activity, abstract and systems thinking, complex communication and the ability to thrive in diverse environments.”

With a major or minor in philosophy, it will become “…second nature, for the student to view everything from the perspective of systematic inquiry, see individual things not in isolation but rather in their intellectual interconnection and place them in a larger context” (Friedrich Schleiermacher, 1808). Philosophical proficiencies will provide one with the expertise to navigate through the challenges of the present, but, in providing an understanding of the evolution of critical thought and its application to human beings as agents in the economic and socio-political world, also prepare students for challenges and lives not yet imagined.

Originally encompassing all fields of study, philosophy remains the foundational discipline of all the disciplines at the university and the core of a liberal arts education. At once both highly theoretical and profoundly practical, philosophical thinking is reflective and critical conceptual activity concerned with some of the most enduring and challenging of fundamental questions about the nature, meaning, and possibilities of human existence, the world, and the ways we think about them. What makes humans human? What is the best way to live?  What can we know?  What really exists? How can we think well?  What are goodness, truth, beauty, space, time, causation, language, consciousness, happiness, freedom, rationality, justice?  Philosophers are gripped by such questions and seek to address them through creatively critical thinking, reasoned analysis and argumentation, and thoughtful discussion, instead of making assumptions or accepting answers to them based on opinion or prejudice. The study of philosophy develops skills in careful and flexible thinking, critical analysis, sound reasoning and argumentation, objective evaluation, clear and persuasive writing, and the toleration of uncertainty.


The major program in philosophy is designed to provide a broad exposure to the major areas of philosophy as well as a strong grounding in the history of the western philosophical tradition. The program emphasizes the close reading and critical evaluation of classic texts from ancient times to the present, and students can expect to develop sophisticated analytic and expository skills that will enable them to engage in original, critical reflection on their own. The major program provides excellent preparation for graduate study in philosophy as well as a solid foundation for any career that places a premium upon clear, careful thinking, rigorous conceptual and analytical skills, and effective written and oral communication.

The major consists of a minimum of 40 credits in philosophy.  Independent study courses cannot be used to satisfy the requirement for advance courses (those at or above the 200 level) in either the major or the minor. Under special circumstances a student may petition the department for a one-course exception to this rule. 

Major Requirements

Thesis and Methods
PHIL 292Philosophical Methods2
or PHIL 301 Philosophical-Policy & Legal Design: Methods & Applications
PHIL 390Honors Thesis I2
PHIL 391Honors Thesis II4
Disciplinary Areas
Select one of the following:4
Symbolic Logic
Topics in Philosophical Logic
Mathematical Logic
Select one of the following:4
Ethics Seminar
Figures/Themes in Ethics
History of Philosophy
Select two of the following:8
Ancient Philosophy
Hellenistic Philosophy
Medieval Philosophy
Modern Philosophy
Nineteenth Century Philosophy
Contemporary Philosophy
Ancient Philosophy Seminar
Hellenistic Philosophy Seminar
Medieval Philosophy Seminar
Modern Philosophy Seminar
Nineteenth Century Philosophy Seminar
Contemporary Philosophy Seminar
Advanced Courses
Select 12 credits of courses at the 200-level or above 112
Additional Elective4
Total Credits40

Writing-Intensive Requirement

Majors are strongly encouraged to fulfill their junior writing-intensive requirement by taking a WI-designated philosophy course.

Senior Thesis

The senior thesis is a year-long independent project during which philosophy majors, with the consent and under the guidance of a philosophy faculty advisor, investigate a topic of special interest to them. The topic may be historical or non-historical, pure or applied, disciplinary or interdisciplinary; the only constraint is that the topic must be approved by the thesis advisor. Seniors take  PHIL 390 in the fall, devoting their energies to refining the topic, working through the bulk of the essential literature, and producing a paper on the thesis topic. PHIL 391 is taken in the spring semester of the senior year and is focused on investigating the topic more intensively, expanding, revising, and refining the fall paper into a substantial senior thesis.


Departmental honors in philosophy are awarded to graduating seniors who satisfy the following two criteria:

  1. at the start of their final semester, their overall GPA is 3.25 or higher and their GPA in philosophy is 3.5 or higher, and
  2. their senior thesis receives an A from the thesis advisor and then is judged by the whole department faculty to be well-researched, well-argued, well-organized, well-written, and to exhibit original philosophical thinking.
  3. Meeting the deadline is part of the honors process, so that while a late thesis would be retroactively considered for graduation, it would not be considered for honors. The sole exception is for a student that through no fault of their own within extenuating circumstances was unable to finish on time. This student may petition the Department explaining their situation.

Majors planning to pursue graduate study in philosophy are strongly encouraged to strive for Honors and to include the following courses in their programs:

PHIL 105Ethics4
PHIL 114Symbolic Logic4
PHIL 131Ancient Philosophy4
PHIL 135Modern Philosophy4
And at least one of the following:4
Reflecting on Reality
Philosophy of Mind
Total Credits20

THE MINOR PROGRAM in Philosophy, Law & public Policy

Seldom in history have the philosophical foundations of law and public policy been more critically important. This minor is based on the idea that while law is codified policy, policy is persuasive philosophical-moral argument. Consequently, it begins from the premise that both a knowledge of established law, and those policy arguments that instigate transformation, require an understanding of the philosophical essence that gives a policy or law its authority. This makes the philosophical study of public affairs the most practical of endeavors. The new minor seeks, in a compact set of courses, to provide the student with the methodological and critical skills that are the core of philosophical understanding. In addition, the student will learn how to contextualize these skills through primary historical-philosophical sources, applying them to the analysis of those philosophical imperatives that currently drive the law, as well as the synthesis of legal-policy arguments for change.

Requirements: For those majoring in Philosophy, no more than one course can be counted toward both the major and this minor.

Core Course (select one)4
Philosophical-Policy & Legal Design: Methods & Applications
International Law & Philosophical-Policy Design
International Environmental Law & Philosophical-Policy Design
Comparative Environmental Law & Philosophical-Policy Design
Special Topics In Philosophy, Law & Public Policy
100-level courses (select two) 18
Philosophy Of Law
Social & Political Philosophy
Race, Racism, and Philosophy
Philosophy of Economics
One additional Philosophy course at the 200-level or above. 24
Total Credits16


Minor programs are planned in conjunction with the departmental advisor who will help the student plan a program compatible with his or her interests. Minor programs may be, but do not have to be, focused in a particular area such as ethics or the history of philosophy or philosophy of mind.

The minor in philosophy consists of a minimum of 16 credits:

At least one course at the 200-level or above4
At least two courses taught by a member of the Philosophy Department8
Independent studies may be taken to satisfy the minor requirements.4
Total Credits16


PHIL 002 Philosophical Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy 4 Credits

One way of understanding philosophy is as the rational attempt to formulate, understand, and answer fundamental questions. This course explores basic philosophical questions such as: What is the meaning of life? What is it to be a human person? Is human nature fundamentally good or evil? How should we live our lives? What makes a society just? Is knowledge possible? What is really real? Is there a God? Do we have free will? Course not open to seniors.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 003 (ETH 003, REL 003) Global Religion, Global Ethics 4 Credits

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. Particular focus varies but may include one or more of the following: abortion and reproductive health, the death penalty, religiously motivated violence, and problems of personal disorder (heavy drinking, anorexia, vengeance).
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 004 Belief, Knowledge, and Action: An Introduction to Philosophy 4 Credits

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 thus will be the emergence and evolution of rational thought and its relation to belief, knowledge, and action. Course not open to seniors.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 005 (ETH 005) Contemporary Moral Problems: An Introduction to Philosophy 4 Credits

An 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. Course not open to seniors.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 006 (ETH 006) Conduct and Character: An Introduction to Philosophy 4 Credits

How should we live our lives? How should we act? What kinds of persons should we be? What should we care about? These are among the central questions of philosophy because they are among the most central questions of human existence. This explores answers that have been proposed by thinkers throughout history and across cultures. Course not open to seniors.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 007 Emerson, Thoreau, and Beyond: An Introduction to Philosophy 4 Credits

The literary power of Emerson and Thoreau, of Frederick Douglass, Margaret Fuller and Walt Whitman, is widely recognized, but their philosophical vocation is still repressed. This introduction to philosophy will be through the doors offered by these American authors and their impact on other prominent thinkers. Course not open to seniors.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 008 Intro: Ethics In Global Perspectives 4 Credits

Examination of the moral perspectives of a variety of different ethical outlooks, including Euro-American, Hindu, Buddhist, Confucian, African, and Islamic traditions, and of serious moral problems arising from globalization, including the increasing gap between the rich so-called First World nations and the poor so-called Third World nations, global environmental degradation, war and terrorism.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 010 (ASIA 010, REL 010) Intro to Buddhism: Love Death and Freedom 4 Credits

This course will introduce students to Buddhist practices, philosophical systems, and cultural forms, from Buddhism's Indian origins to its spread in East Asia and Tibet. Students will explore how Buddhists have approached the problem of death, the possibility of freedom, and the forms of social and individual love and concern. Course materials include poetry, biographies, philosophical writings, art and film.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 014 Reasoning and Critical Thinking 4 Credits

Most intellectual endeavors involve reasoning. Whether in everyday discussion 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, complex treatises, and intricate scientific theories, reasons are constantly invoked to support or criticize points of view. This course develops skills needed to reason well, to analyze and critique others’ reasoning, to distinguish reasoning from mere rhetoric, and to become a savvy consumer of information.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 015 Friendship: An Introduction to Philosophy 4 Credits

Because of the importance of friendship to be happy and fulfilled human life, philosophers, from ancient times to the present have devoted considerable attention to it. In this , we shall read and discuss a variety of philosophical conceptions of friendship and its value. Among the philosophical classics to be considered are works by Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Augustine, Aquinas, Montaigne, Kant, Thoreau, and Kierkegaard. We shall also consider several contemporary treatments of the subject. Course not open to seniors.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 016 Free Will and Responsibility: An Introduction to Philosophy 4 Credits

Do we choose who we become as we mature, or is who we become foreordained? Are we born with a unique self, or is the self produced by our interaction with external forces? Are we free agents who can be held responsible for our actions, or is free will an illusion? This course explores these questions and the implications of answers for moral, political, and social values. Course not open to seniors.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 020 The Examined Life in Film and Literature: An Introduction to Philosophy 4 Credits

Socrates claimed the "the unexamined life is not worth living" and Western philosophers have for 2400 years agreed. But there are other ways of examining the human condition philosophically than in the writings of philosophers. This course uses works of literature and film that address issues that Western philosophers have addressed and continue to address: the natures of truth, justice, the good, reality, the self, happiness, the meaningfulness of life. Course not open to seniors.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 023 Artists on Art and Life: An Introduction to Philosophy 4 Credits

One of the peculiarities of the philosophical study of art, Aesthetics, is that philosophers ignore the writings of artists on art. This introduction to philosophy does not. Aestheticians spend much of their time writing about what art is. Artists are more interested in what art does and how art does it, and those questions, and artists and their works, will be the focus of this course. Course not open to seniors.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 024 God, Good, and Evil: An Introduction to Philosophy 4 Credits

How is God related to good and evil? If the world is not perfectly good or is even evil, how can it be that God is both all-good (omnibenevolent) and all-powerful (omnipotent)? We can solve the problem of God and evil by saying that God is not all good or not all powerful. But what if we don't want to relinquish God's goodness or power? We'll explore what great philosophers and religious thinkers have proposed. Course not open to seniors.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 100 (GS 100, POLS 100) Introduction to Political Thought 4 Credits

A critical examination of political ideologies: Liberalism, Marxism, Fascism, and Islamism.

PHIL 101 Ancient Political Heritage 4 Credits

Important Political thinkers from the pre-Socratics to early, modern political theorists like Machiavelli.
Attribute/Distribution: SS

PHIL 105 (ETH 105) Ethics 4 Credits

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

PHIL 106 (ETH 106, HMS 106, REL 106) Bioethics and the Law 4 Credits

Students in this course will learn something about the foundations and (nontechnical) workings of the American system of justice, and will combine that understanding with a focus on various topics in bioethics, from the "right to die" to gene-patenting. A key point will be the understanding that, as science and medicine continually move forward, there are always new challenges to existing legal understanding. How should the law respond to new questions, e.g. inheritance rights of posthumously conceived children?
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 114 (MATH 114) Symbolic Logic 4 Credits

A first course in logical theory, introducing the notions of logical consequence and proof, as well as related concepts such as consistency and contingency. Formal systems taught may include: term logic, sentence logic, and predicate logic.
Attribute/Distribution: MA

PHIL 116 (ETH 116, HMS 116, REL 116) Bioethics 4 Credits

Moral issues that arise in the context of health care and related biomedical fields in the United States today, examined in the light of the nature and foundation of moral rights and obligations. Topics include: confidentiality, informed consent, euthanasia, medical research and experimentation, genetics, and the distribution of health care.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 117 (AAS 117) Race, Racism, and Philosophy 4 Credits

An introduction to the philosophy born of struggle against racism and white supremacy. We will read the work of philosophers, mostly European, who quietly made modern racism possible by inventing the category of race, but we will concentrate on the work of philosophers, mostly of African descent, who for 200 years have struggled to force a philosophical critique of the category of race and the practice of white supremacy.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 120 (FILM 120) Philosophy and Film 4 Credits

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.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 121 Philosophy and Literature 4 Credits

Exploration of philosophical themes through the study of literature and film. Authors may include: Homer, Euripides, Dante, Rimbaud, Sterne, George Eliot, Valery, Joyce, Melville, T.S. Eliot, Rilke, Proust, Musil, Stevens, Cummings, Camus, Sartre, Beckett, Morrison, Barthelme.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 122 Philosophy Of Law 4 Credits

Analysis of the conceptual foundations of our legal system. Special attention devoted to the nature of law and legal obligation, liberty and privacy in constitutional litigation, justice and contractual obligation, theories of punishment in criminal law, and the nature and scope of responsibility in criminal law.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 123 Aesthetics 4 Credits

Theories, classical and modern, of the nature of beauty and the aesthetic experience. Practical criticism of some works of art, and examination of analogies between arts, and between art and nature.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 124 (REL 124) Philosophy Of Religion 4 Credits

Critical examination, from a philosophical perspective, of some fundamental problems of religion, the nature of religious experience and belief, reason and revelation, the existence and nature of God, the problem of evil, and religious truth.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 125 Social & Political Philosophy 4 Credits

Examination of visions of good social life and values that should shape society so that people are able to live good lives together. Issues covered may include the nature of freedom, how the facts of gender, race, class, ethnic, and cultural differences should be taken into account in social and political relations, the limits of religious tolerance, war, world hunger.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 127 Existentialism 4 Credits

Investigation of the historical development of existentialism from its origins in the 19th century (Kierkegaard, Nietzsche) through its marriage to phenomenology in the early 20th (Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty), and out the other side as a vigorous dimension of much literary, psychological, and artistic work produced in the last 50 years.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 128 Philosophy Of Science 4 Credits

Science obviously works, and newer theories surely are better than the theories they replace, but why does science work, how does it work, and in what sense is it progressive? Is science a revelation of reality, or an account of evolving human experience? Are scientists rational? Is scientific reasoning logical? This course surveys the wide range of 20th century responses to these surprisingly elusive, and surprisingly still open, questions.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 129 (JST 129, REL 129) Jewish Philosophy 4 Credits

Consideration of how major Jewish thinkers from the first to 21st centuries confronted questions at the intersection of religion and philosophy: the existence and nature of God, free will, evil, divine providence, miracles, creation, revelation, and religious obligation.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 131 (CLSS 131) Ancient Philosophy 4 Credits

Historical survey of selected texts and issues in the classical world, from the pre-Socratics through Aristotle, with emphasis on the origins of the western philosophical traditions in ethics, metaphysics, and epistemology.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 132 (CLSS 132) Hellenistic Philosophy 4 Credits

Historical survey of selected texts and issues in post-Aristotelian Greek and Roman philosophy from the fourth century B.C. to the third century A.D. Areas of focus may include epicureanism, stoicism, academic and pyrrohnian scepticism, and neoplatonism.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 133 Medieval Philosophy 4 Credits

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.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 135 Modern Philosophy 4 Credits

Historical survey of selected texts and issues in 17th and 18th century European philosophy with particular emphasis on developments in epistemology and metaphysics. Attention will be given to the relation of the “modern period” to developments in late medieval philosophy and the rise of the experimental sciences. Figures may include Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Hume, and Kant.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 137 Nineteenth Century Philosophy 4 Credits

Historical survey of selected texts and issues in 19th century philosophy. Areas of focus may include post-Kantian idealism; period-specific critiques of religion, politics, and morality; theories of history; the origins of utilitarianism, pragmatism, existentialism, and mathematical logic; etc. Figures may include Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Mill, Peirce, Frege, Nietzsche, James, etc.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 139 Contemporary Philosophy 4 Credits

Philosophical thought from the late 19th century to the present; pragmatism, linguistic analysis, existentialism, and Marxism. Truth and knowledge, values and moral judgment, meaning, the place of the individual in the physical world and society, and the impact of the scientific method upon all of these.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 140 (ASIA 140) Eastern Philosophy 4 Credits

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.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 141 (REL 141) Islamic Philosophy 4 Credits

An introduction to Islamic philosophy examining various subjects including its contribution to science, mathematics, theology, philosophy, logic, jurisprudence and how it has influenced philosophical thought from its roots in the Greek intellectual tradition, through its affects on European thoughts during the Middle Ages and beyond.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 142 (ASIA 142) Zen and Art of the Everyday 4 Credits

The Japanese conception of beauty is strikingly different to our own: it is associated with impermanence, imperfection, and austerity. Moreover, attention to beauty pervades even everyday activities in Japan, such as wrapping purchases at the dollar store or putting out garbage. This course explores principles that guide the Japanese aesthetic sensibility with an eye to its expression in Japanese literature, film, and traditional arts, such as the tea ceremony and gardening.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 145 Philosophy and Technology 4 Credits

This course is an exploration of questions of metaphysics and morality in the digital age. Are new technologies changing our views of metaphysics (what's real) and morality (what's right)? Can classical and contemporary philosophical theories help us think more clearly and make better choices when faced with new technologies? To help answer these questions, students will read a variety of philosophical works that invite critical reflection on a broad array of topics at the intersection of philosophy and technology.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 146 (WGSS 146) Philosophy of Sex and Gender 4 Credits

An examination of concepts, values, and assumptions relevant to gender and sex(uality) in our diverse society, investigating how they affect our lives in both concrete and symbolic ways. Intersections among gender, sex(uality), race, class, religion, ethnicity, etc., will be explored. Special attention will be paid to how gendered assumptions color our understandings of experiences of embodiment and emotion, reasoning and decision-making, knowledge production, and public and private relationships and activities.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 150 Philosophy of Education 4 Credits

A historical survey of major views on the meaning and function of education, this course will address questions such as, What is the role of education in individual human development? What are the goals of education? What are the ideal approaches to meet those goals? What is the relationship between one's view of learning and one's view of teaching? What is the relationship between educational institutions and the state? Does everyone need the same type of education?
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 155 Philosophical Foundations of International Law 4 Credits

What philosophical principles lay at the essence of such contemporary international legal dilemmas as terrorism, humanitarian intervention, refugee displacement and global warming? Can changing the principles used to understand these dilemmas affect prospects of peace, human rights and the cooperation of states? Building on the pillars of international law (its sources, the recognition and responsibility of states, and the law of jurisdiction and immunity), we'll examine the evolution of the idea of a 'law of nations' from Aquinas to Kant.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 171 Independent Study 1-4 Credits

Individual philosophical investigation of an author, book, or topic, designed in collaboration with a philosophy professor. Tutorial meetings, substantial written work. Consent of faculty instructor required.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 172 Philosophy of Economics 4 Credits

This course examines economic relations from a philosophical perspective. Topics include theories of property, labor, class, and markets in the history of philosophy as well as contemporary economic debates about distributive justice, commodification, gender, race, environmental sustainability, and the function of debt.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 180 Special Topics 1-4 Credits

Selected topics of philosophy not included in other courses.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 192 (ASIA 192, REL 192) Lehigh in Japan: Kyoto I 3 Credits

This is one of 2 courses that will be part of an intensive international summer school course to take start Summer 2016 in Kyoto University. Students will study aspects of Western and Japanese philosophical thought in a small group led by local and international speakers. Participants in the class will also be local and international. Students will be expected to attend all classes for a number of hours over a period of two weeks.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 193 (ASIA 193, REL 193) Lehigh in Japan: Kyoto II 3 Credits

A second component of the Philosophy summer school in Kyoto will involve a series of excursions to galleries, museums, temples, shrines, stores, and restaurants. Students can expect to develop their understanding of both Japanese aesthetics and the way in which the philosophical systems present in Japan have influenced the Japanese aesthetic sensibility. Students will be required to submit a series of shorter pieces of writing and a final project.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 205 (ETH 205) Contemporary Ethics 4 Credits

Examination of significant questions addressed by contemporary moral philosophers. Topics vary, but might include: What is a good person? What kind of life is worth living? What moral issues are raised by gender, race, and class? Is morality relative or absolute? Is morality all that important?
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Prerequisites: PHIL 105
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 206 (ETH 206) Figures/Themes in Ethics 4 Credits

This seminar course will involve in-depth focus on a major figure in ethics (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Mill, etc.) or on a theme such as relativism, free will, the intersection of religion and ethics, or war.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 214 (MATH 214) Topics in Philosophical Logic 4 Credits

Topics may include the many systems of non-classical logic, truth theory, the impact of incompleteness and undecidability results on philosophy, the foundational projects of various philosopher/mathematicians, or the work of an important figure in the history of philosophical logic. Consent of instructor required.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: MA

PHIL 216 (ETH 216, HMS 216, REL 216) Research Ethics 4 Credits

Research with human and animal subjects carries with it a host of ethical and legal obligations. Topics include the history of human subjects research; ethical use of placebo studies; the ethics of research in developing countries; whether there is an ethical obligation to volunteer to be a research subject.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 217 Race & Philosophy Seminar 4 Credits

An investigation of a significant figure in the philosophy of race (e.g. David Walker, W.E.B. DuBois, Alain Locke, Marcus Garvey, Jean-Paul Sartre, Franz Fanon, Cornel West) and/or an investigation of a significant theme in the philosophy of race (Racial Exploitation, Colonialism, Negritude, Afrocentrism, Black Nationalism, African Philosophy, Black Athena). Content Varies.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 220 Epistemology 4 Credits

Recent work in theories of knowledge. Questions addressed include: What is knowledge? How does it differ from mere opinion and belief? If you can’t know whether you are dreaming, how can you know you have two hands? Can we know anything at all? Does knowledge require answers to all possible doubts or only reasonable doubts? How should we determine the horizon of the reasonable—psychologically or philosophically?
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 221 Reflecting on Reality 4 Credits

Metaphysics, the study of the basic structure of reality, seeks both to determine at a fundamental level what exists and what it means for something to be real, and to understand the nature of what exists, for example, whether what exists is mind-independent or depends on human thought, and whether different concepts, categories, or perspectives used to describe reality generate different realities. Topics might include social constructionism, universals and properties, identity and individuation, causation, necessity and possibility, realism and antirealism.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 223 Figures/Themes In Aesthetics 4 Credits

An investigation of a significant figure in aesthetics (e.g., Burke, Kant, Hegel, Benjamin, Adorno, Goodman, Kivy, Derrida, Deleuze) and/or an investigation of a significant theme in aesthetics (e.g., sensuality, representation, politics, expressionism, cinematic gore, minimalism, architecture, postmodernism). Content varies.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 224 (REL 224) Topics in the Philosophy of Religion 4 Credits

Selected problems and issues in the philosophy of religion.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 226 (WGSS 226) Feminism and Philosophy 4 Credits

Analysis of the nature, sources, and consequences of the oppression and exploitation of women and justification of strategies for liberation. Topics include women’s nature and human nature, sexism, femininity, sexuality, reproduction, mothering. Must have completed one HU designated course in philosophy, or one course in Women, Gender, and Sexuality Studies.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 228 Topics in the Philosophy of Science 4 Credits

Themes in the natural, life and social sciences.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 231 (CLSS 231) Figures and Themes in Ancient Philosophy 4 Credits

This seminar course will involve in-depth focus upon a major ancient thinker (e.g. Plato, Aristotle, Sextus Empiricus, Plotinus, etc.) or the classical treatment of a particular theme (e.g.,“human nature,” “the good life,” ethical or political theory, etc.). Content varies. May be repeated for credit if content differs from previous.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 232 (CLSS 232) Figures/Themes in Hellenistic Philosophy 4 Credits

This seminar course will involve an in-depth focus upon a major movement in Hellenistic Philosophy (roughly 4th century B.C.E. to the 2nd Century C.E.) such as Epicureanism, Stoicism, Ancient Scepticism, or Neoplatonism, or the Hellenistic treatment of a particular theme (e.g. freedom from anxiety, the nature of the Cosmos and our place within it, or human nature). Content varies.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 233 Figures/Themes in Medieval Philosophy 4 Credits

This seminar course will involve in-depth focus upon a major medieval thinker (e.g. Augustine, Boethius, Maimonides, Bonaventure, Dante, etc.) or the medieval treatment of a particular theme (e.g. the relation of “will” and “intellect,” the “problem of universals,” ethical or political theory, etc.). Content varies.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 235 Figures/Themes in Modern Philosophy 4 Credits

This seminar course will involve in-depth focus upon a major 17th or 18th century thinker (e.g. Descartes, Leibniz, Berkeley, Kant, etc.) or the modern treatment of a particular theme (e.g. the nature of “ideas,” the roles of experience, reason, and revelation, ethical or political theory, etc.). Content varies.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 237 Figures/Themes in Nineteenth Century Philosophy 4 Credits

This seminar course will involve in-depth focus upon a major 19th century thinker (e.g. Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Mill, Peirce, Frege, Nietzsche, James, etc.) or the 19th century treatment of a particular theme (e.g. the end of history, revolution, nihilism, authenticity, origins of mathematical logic, infinity, etc.). Content varies.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 239 Figures/Themes in Contemporary Philosophy 4 Credits

This seminar course will involve in-depth focus upon a major contemporary thinker (e.g. Russell, Whitehead, Husserl, Heidegger, Wittgenstein, Quine, Habermas, Rawls, Rorty, Derrida, Davidson, Foucault, Deleuze, Irigaray, etc.) or the contemporary treatment of a particular theme (e.g. logical positivism, naturalism, non-foundationalism, existential phenomenology, return to virtue, neopragmatism, hermeneutics, post-structuralism, postmodernism, neokantian political theory, the politics of identity, etc.). Content varies.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 240 (ASIA 240) Figures/Themes in Eastern Philosophy 4 Credits

This seminar course will involve in-depth focus upon a major figure in Eastern thought or upon the Eastern treatment of a particular theme or set of themes. Content varies.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 250 (COGS 250) Philosophy of Mind 4 Credits

An exploration of the mind-body problem. 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.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 260 Making Sense of Words 4 Credits

Issues in the philosophy of language, including analysis of the nature of the relation between the words we use and the world in which we live. We will aim to understand how words make sense and how we make sense of ourselves and the world through words. We will examine such central notions as truth, meaning, and reference, as understood in historically influential philosophical theories of language.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 265 Philosophy of Mathematics 4 Credits

A survey of the main philosophical views on the nature of mathematics and mathematical knowledge, including the classical debate between the logicist, formalist, and intuitionist schools, and the recent debate between realism and antirealism. Some of the material makes use of logical theory.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 271 Independent Study 1-4 Credits

Individual philosophical investigation of an author, book, or topic designed in collaboration with a philosophy professor. Tutorial meetings; substantial written work. Must have completed one HU- designated course in philosophy. Consent of faculty instructor required.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.

PHIL 292 Philosophical Methods 2 Credits

Methods of and approaches to philosophical research, reasoning, and writing, as preparation for senior thesis. Open only to junior philosophy majors. Department permission required.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 300 Apprentice Teaching 1-4 Credits

Attribute/Distribution: ND

PHIL 301 (ES 301) Philosophical-Policy & Legal Design: Methods & Applications 4 Credits

A basic class on the idea of policy design, as opposed to standard economic analysis of public policy and its application to various domestic and international areas of law, including environmental law. The course will introduce Philosophical-Policy Methods, or the protocol employing integrated philosophical systems to justify specific policy-legal design arguments, through the use of a variety of distinct policy paradigms.

PHIL 303 (MATH 303) Mathematical Logic 3,4 Credits

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. Consent of instructor required.
Prerequisites: (PHIL 114)
Attribute/Distribution: MA

PHIL 333 (ES 333) International Environmental Law & Philosophical-Policy Design 4 Credits

This course studies international law and the natural environment assuming that the superficial legal structure and policy dilemmas of globally regulating the natural world are the result of the more essential philosophical ideas and concepts that have created both the international legal system and humanity’s evolving interrelationship with nature. Learning the current structure of the international-environmental legal system we shall comparatively apply theory to practice to both explain existing law and justifying policy change.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 342 (ES 342) International Law & Philosophical-Policy Design 4 Credits

Using the techniques of Philosophical-Policy and Legal Design we will examine the evolution of those fundamental ideas from the 16th to the 19th centuries that have shaped our current understanding of international law. To assess both what law is, and what it ought to be, we will contrast narrow theories of international law with more comprehensive philosophical arguments that place the evolution of legal practice within a more universal concern for practical reason and human nature.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 343 (ES 343) Comparative Environmental Law & Philosophical-Policy Design 4 Credits

Globalization is changing our perception of environmental policy as a strictly “domestic” issue. Those interested in humanity’s future interaction with nature need to understand not only the comparative practice of law and policy but the various philosophical principles that inform distinct approaches to environmental regulation within different political systems. We will explore both the components of the generic legal system and the range of alternatives for environmental law and policy design as practiced in various parts of the world.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 347 (AMST 347, REL 347) American Religious Thinkers 3-4 Credits

An examination of the writings of key figures in the history of American religious thought (such as Edwards, Emerson, Bushnell, Peirce, James, Royce, Dewey and the Niebuhrs). Attention will be directed both to the historical reception of these writings and to their contemporary significance.

PHIL 350 Special Topics In Philosophy, Law & Public Policy 4 Credits

Themes, Techniques and Methods for the integration of Philosophy, Law and Public Policy. Considered from the standpoint of various core themes. These will change from offering to offering and may include, Healthcare, Bioethics, Race, Violence, The Market As An Allocation-Distribution Mechanism, Various Models of The State, and the juxtaposition between Constitutionalism and Democracy. May be repeated for credit as topic varies.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 364 (POLS 364) Issues In Contemporary Political Philosophy 3-4 Credits

Selected topics in contemporary political philosophy, such as the Frankfurt school, existentialism, legitimation, authenticity, participatory democracy, and the alleged decline of political philosophy.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: SS

PHIL 367 (POLS 367) American Political Thought 3-4 Credits

Critical examination of American political thought from the founding of the Republic to the present. Writings from Madison, Hamilton, and Jefferson to Emma Goldman, Mary Daly, Malcolm X, Henry Kariel, and others will be discussed.
Attribute/Distribution: SS

PHIL 371 Advanced Independent Study 1-4 Credits

Individual philosophical investigation of an author, book, or topic designed in collaboration with a philosophy professor. Tutorial meetings; substantial written work. Must have completed one HU designated philosophy course at 200-level or higher, and have consent of instructor.
Repeat Status: Course may be repeated.
Attribute/Distribution: ND

PHIL 390 Honors Thesis I 4 Credits

The first part of two semesters of intensive research and writing supervised by the philosophy faculty thesis advisor in anticipation of completing a senior thesis in philosophy. Individual tutorials; substantial written work. Senior standing as a philosophy major and permission of the philosophy faculty thesis advisor required.
Attribute/Distribution: HU

PHIL 391 Honors Thesis II 4 Credits

Continuation and completion of PHIL 390 under the guidance of the thesis advisor. Consent of thesis advisor required.
Prerequisites: PHIL 390
Attribute/Distribution: HU

Professors. Gordon C. F. Bearn, PhD (Yale University); Mark H. Bickhard, PhD (University of Chicago); John Martin Gillroy, PhD (University of Cambridge); Roslyn E. Weiss, PhD (Columbia University); Aladdin M. Yaqub, PhD (University of Wisconsin)

Associate Professor. Chad Kautzer, PhD (State University of NY at Stony Brook)

Assistant Professors. Ricki L. Bliss, PhD (University of Melbourne); Filippo Gabrio Edoardo Casati, PhD (University of St Andrews); Patrick Connolly, PhD (University of North Carolina Chapel Hill)

Emeriti. Robert F. Barnes, Jr., PhD (University of California, Berkeley); Robin S. Dillon, PhD (University of Pittsburgh); Steven L. Goldman, PhD (Boston University); J. Ralph Lindgren, PhD (Marquette University); Norman P. Melchert, PhD (University of Pennsylvania)

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