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Spring 2021 Advising Guide

 

We strongly encourage majors and minors to familiarize themselves with the all of the Department’s Advising Information.

The Department’s latest downloadable Spring 2021Advising Newsletter can be found here.

 

 

PHILOSOPHY COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

PHL 100/Introduction to Philosophy
A course that examines the fundamentals of philosophical argument, analysis and reasoning, as applied to a series of issues in logic, epistemology, metaphysics and ethics. Topics covered may include: logical validity, theories of knowledge and belief, the nature of mind, the nature of reality, arguments for the existence of God, and theories of right and wrong.
(LL: World Views & Ways of Knowing)

PHL 120/Introduction to Logic
A course on the basic principles and techniques of correct reasoning in ordinary life, philosophy, the liberal arts, and the law. Study of the formal systems of sentence logic and predicate logic. Translation of natural language statements and arguments and analysis and evaluation of deductive arguments through the construction of proofs. Focus particularly on the power and precision of the natural language with the aim of helping students increase their ability to think and write with creativity, precision and rigor.
(This course is recommended for pre-law students and satisfies a requirement for the Law and Society Interdisciplinary Concentration and for the Law, Politics, and Philosophy Interdisciplinary minor.) (LL: World Views & Ways of Knowing; Writing Intensive)

PHL 135/Contemporary Moral Issues
This course provides an introduction to ethics, one of the main branches of philosophy. It aims to
familiarize students with basic concepts and theories in ethics, and with how they may be applied to a range of contemporary moral issues. Topics addressed may include racism, sexism, abortion,euthanasia, cloning, capital punishment, our obligations to the disadvantaged, the treatment of nonhuman animals, just war, and the like. Students will be encouraged to learn from great thinkers of the past and of the present, to examine their own moral values and beliefs, and to take reasoned and informed stands on the issues treated.
(LL: World Views & Ways of Knowing)

PHL 205/History of Modern Philosophy
In this course we will address some of the most central (and exciting!) questions in philosophy through the work of some of the most important philosophers within the Western tradition. Drawing primarily on the work of the Rationalists Descartes, Leibniz, and Spinoza, and the Empiricists Locke, Berkeley, and Hume, together with the work of Kant, we will address three major issues: How can we have knowledge of the external world? Does God exist? Do humans possess free will? Since all three of these issues are live philosophical questions this course will not merely focus on providing an exegetical account of the views of the above philosophers whose work we will read.
(LL: World Views & Ways of Knowing; Writing Intensive)

PHL 255/Biomedical Ethics
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.
A course dealing with questions concerning the ethical and social policy dimensions of medicine,nursing and other health care professions. Topics examined include: the professional-patient relationship, abortion, euthanasia, research involving human subjects, justice in health care, and the ethical implications of possibilities such as eugenics, genetic engineering, and markets in transplant organs.
(LL: World Views & Ways of Knowing)

PHL 370/Topics in Philosophy: What you Don’t Know you Don’t Know: Skepticism, Certainty, and Theories of Knowledge.
Prerequisite: Senior status or junior status, and permission of instructor
In this course, we are going to take a close look at the concept of knowledge (or, as it is known in philosophy, doing epistemology). The concept of knowledge plays a massive role in human intellectual life. The human mind is an information processing entity, and one of the results is what we call “knowledge”. We think of instances of it as valuable, dangerous, arduous, expensive, useless, and a whole host of other things. So it seems like we can usefully explore this concept in order to understand it more thoroughly. What we know, what we know we know, what we don’t know we know, what we think we know but don’t, what we do know that we don’t know, and what we don’t know that we don’t know, all represent ways in which we navigate our world. What is knowledge? How can we define it? Does it differ from other states of minds like belief? How is it related to truth? How is it related to evidence? What criteria can we give of knowledge? Are there exceptions? What are some theories of knowledge? How do they compare/contrast? What are the kinds of things we think we know? Do we actually know those things? All of them? Some of them? None of them? We will explore this and more!

PHL 493/Senior Project
Prerequisite: Senior status or junior status
A writing project prepared under the advisement of a member of the philosophy faculty. Students must complete a carefully researched and written, in-depth work in philosophy on a topic of significance in philosophy, selected by the student in consultation with faculty and written under the close supervision of a faculty member who serves as advisor.

PHL 495/Senior Thesis Research
Prerequisite: Senior standing as a philosophy major and permission of instructor
Independent research under the guidance of a full-time faculty member on a mutually agreed-on topic. Students will be expected to define a topic suitable for a capstone thesis, conduct a series of appropriate literature reviews, and develop a writing plan.

PHL 496/Senior Thesis
Prerequisite: PHL 495 and permission of instructor
A substantial writing project prepared under the advisement of a member of the philosophy faculty. Students must complete a carefully researched and written, in-depth work in philosophy on a topic of significance in philosophy, selected by the student in consultation with faculty and written under the close supervision of a faculty adviser.

RELIGION COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

REL 100/Basic Issues in Religion
The purpose of this course is to introduce students to: different ways of analyzing religion as part of human culture, different forms of religious expressions (such as rites), and different religious beliefs.
(LL: World Views & Ways of Knowing)

REL 110/World Religions
This course focuses on the exploration of the world’s major religious traditions. Students will examine and compare the essential teachings, and the historical and cultural context, of most or all of the following: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity, Islam, and one or more additional non-western traditions.
(LL: World Views & Ways of Knowing; Global)

REL 111/Buddhism & Buddhist Thought
This course will study the historical and philosophical development of Buddhism from its origin in India to its modern day practice in Japan and Tibet. It will explore the essential teachings and practice of Buddhism both in its early and modern form found in India, Sri Lanka, China, Japan and Tibet. It will examine both primary texts from various Buddhist traditions and secondary materials in order to gain a better appreciation for this religious tradition which has survived in Asia for centuries and is gaining popularity in the West in recent times.
(LL: World Views & Ways of Knowing; Global)

REL 113/Islam and Islamic Thought
Course examining Islam and some of the intellectual traditions that have flourished in conjunction with it. Students will study the historical origins and essential teachings of this religion and explore some of the literary and philosophical traditions that developed from or in close connection with Islam.
(LL: World Views & Ways of Knowing; Global

REL 121/Modern Judaism
This course will examine the fundamentals, history and development of the Jewish faith and way of life. The relationship between Jewish historical experience and the evolving theological responses to that experience will be traced. Primary texts, drawn primarily from the Jewish experience in the modern period, will be examined as illuminations of this relationship. The vocabulary of Jewish theological expression will be explored as it relates to the history of Jewish philosophical inquiry.
(LL: World Views & Ways of Knowing)

REL373/Women and Spirituality
This course focuses on the intersections of feminism and spirituality, examines the experiences of women in a variety of spiritual traditions, and examines how worldview is shaped by historical context. The question of how feminists connect to, critique, transform, and remember spiritual experience will be considered. The course explores several aspects of spirituality including language, ritual and creativity; it also considers what happens when feminists alter, shape, retell and interpret rituals and traditions. (LL: World Views & Ways of Knowing; Gender)

CLASSICAL STUDIES COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

CLS 250/Introduction to Greek Mythology
This course is an introduction to ancient Greek mythology through primary texts such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, Sophocles’ Ajax, et al. We shall focus on the Trojan War cycle of myths and its greatest heroes in order to understand how the ancient Greeks explored important aspects of their society through literature that ostensibly presents mythological events and characters. Attention is also given to visual representations of myth in sculpture and on vases and to differentiating the ancient Greek concept of “myth” from our own.
(LL: Literary, Visual & Performing Arts)

CLS 170/Topics: Warfare in Antiquity
(same as HIS 100.01)
This course is designed to explore goals, motives, and methods of warfare in the ancient world as well  as people’s thinking about war. By reading primary texts (and some secondary texts) and looking at images of ancient weaponry, you should be able to develop a complex understanding of the multifaceted phenomenon of ancient warfare, its causes and consequences, and its interaction with social, political, intellectual, and economic phenomena.
(LL: Social Change in Historical Perspectives)

 

LATIN COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

LAT 102/Latin II
This course is the first part of a two-semester introduction to the elements of classical Latin, and aims at allowing students to read classical Latin texts as quickly as possible. The focus of the course is the vocabulary, grammar, and syntax of classical Latin, but linguistic and cultural history will also be treated.
(LL: Language-Modern & Classical)

 

 

HONORS COURSE DESCRIPTIONS

HON 203/Issues in Philosophy
Study of several major philosophical issues such as: the nature of reality, the existence of God, free will, knowledge, and morality. Explores ways of rationally evaluating classical and contemporary arguments supporting different positions on those issues. Students learn to develop and defend their own views on the issues.

HON 270/Intro to Greek Mythology
This Honors course is an introduction to ancient Greek mythology through primary texts such as Homer’s Iliad and Odyssey, Aeschylus’ Agamemnon, Sophocles’ Ajax, et al. We shall focus on the Trojan War cycle of myths and its greatest heroes in order to understand how the ancient Greeks explored important aspects of their society through literature that ostensibly presents mythological events and characters. Attention is also given to visual representations of myth in sculpture and on vases and to differentiating the ancient Greek concept of “myth” from our own.
(LL: Literary, Visual & Performing Arts)

HON 355.01/Biomedical Ethics
A course dealing with questions concerning the ethical and social policy dimensions of medicine, nursing and other health care professions. Topics examined include: the professional-patient relationship, abortion, euthanasia, research involving human subjects, justice in health care, and the ethical implications of possibilities such as eugenics, genetic engineering, and markets in transplant organs.
(LL: World Views & Ways of Knowing)

 

 

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