Department of Philosophy Courses

PHIL 140: The Examined Life (3)

*Offered each semester 
*NOTE: students may NOT receive course credit for both PHIL 140 and PHIL 150
This course is an introduction to philosophy by way of questions concerning what it means to live a human life. The course seeks to engage students in the activity of philosophical reflection through close reading, analysis and interpretation of primary texts that address ethical or political issues. For first-year students only.

PHIL 150: The Examined Life (3)

*Offered fall, spring and summer terms
*NOTE: students may NOT receive course credit for both PHIL 140 and PHIL 150
This course is an introduction to philosophy by way of questions concerning what it means to live a human life. The course seeks to engage students in the activity of philosophical reflection through close reading, analysis and interpretation of primary texts that address ethical or political issues. For sophomores and above.

PHIL 200: Ethics (3)

This course is an introduction to some of the central philosophical approaches to ethical and moral issues.

PHIL 202: Special Topics in Philosophy (3)

This course is offered on an occasional basis devoted to a select philosophical topic.

PHIL 204: Philosophy of History (3)

This course focuses on philosophical approaches to history as a dimension of human thought and experience.

PHIL 210: Logic and Argument (3)

*Offered each spring semester
This course is an introduction to reasoning, including traditional and modern approaches, formal and informal logic and basic canons of argument.

PHIL 240: Philosophy of Nature (3)  

*This course fulfills a requirement in the Environmental Studies Program
This course explores traditional and critical philosophical approaches to the status of natural objects, including such possible questions as whether human beings hold a special place amongst entities in the natural environment. In approaching questions about the meaning and significance of the natural world, this course may explore some of the following: building and design, agriculture, art and literature and spiritual traditions.

PHIL 241: Philosophy and Sustainability (3)

*This course fulfills a requirement in the Environmental Studies Program
The course will analyze various and competing strategies of environmentalism and reflect philosophically on the relationship between human action and the natural world. The course will address a range of issues, including cultural habits of consumption, the force of terms such as "environmental crisis," the marketing of environmental movements, the roles of race, class and gender in environmental exploitation, and the comparative environmental, economic and social effects of small to large-scale environmental lifestyle changes.

PHIL 242: Philosophy in the Yellowstone (3)

*This course fulfills a requirement in the Environmental Studies Program
This course introduces students to the philosophical foundations of the role of wilderness in human culture through a close study of environmental policy disputes in the Yellowstone ecosystem.

PHIL 246: Philosophy of Education (3)

This course offers an examination of the nature, purposes, and methods of education, with education understood broadly as communication that forms people's habits, attitudes and beliefs. The course will consist largely of study of philosophical and sociological theories about education.

PHIL 250: Philosophy and Psychoanalysis (3)

This course focuses on selected topics in the relationship between philosophy and psychoanalysis. Special emphasis will be given to the work of Sigmund Freud.

PHIL 253: Philosophy and Culture (3)

This course examines the concept of culture, various current cultural phenomena and practices. It also examines the nature, role and limits of the philosophical critique of culture.

PHIL 254: Philosophy and Race (3)

This course examines questions of racial identity and racial injustice from a philosophical perspective. Issues examined may include, among others, philosophical assumptions behind concepts of race; how concepts of race have changed throughout history; and the relationship between race and other categories of identity, such as ethnicity, class, gender and sexuality.

PHIL 255: Feminist Philosophy (3)

*This course fulfills a requirement in the Women and Gender Studies Program
This course focuses on ethical and political theories in feminist philosophy and intersecting concerns in other areas of feminist philosophy and gender theory (e.g., feminist epistemology, feminist critiques of the tradition of Western ontology, eco-feminism, metaphysics and phenomenology of gender, etc.). 

PHIL 265: Political Philosophy (3)

This course is an introduction to some of the central philosophical approaches to questions about the state, the character of the good society, the relation between authority and power, and theories of rights and obligation. 

PHIL 266: Philosophy and Economics (3)

This course focuses on historical and contemporary philosophical discussions about issues such as the ethical and political advantages and disadvantages of market institutions and the scientific and epistemological status of economic theories.

PHIL 271: Philosophy and Literature (3)

This course involves reading and discussing works of literature in light of the philosophical traditions that influence or are contested in these works. Issues for discussion may also include questions of interpretation, criticism and translation, as well as the significance of philosophy to the literary writings of one or more authors. 

PHIL 273: Philosophy of Religion (3)

This course is an introduction to some of the central philosophical approaches to the concept of the divine, the nature of religion, the existence of evil, the relation between faith and reason, etc. 

PHIL 274: Phenomenology and Existentialism (3)

This course introduces students to two closely-related 19th and 20th-century movements in philosophy: phenomenology and existentialism. Students will examine the how writers such as Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Husserl, Heidegger, Camus, Sartre, Beauvoir and Merleau-Ponty approach questions about human freedom and the nature of truth and meaning.

PHIL 276: Philosophy and Poetry (3)

By analyzing primary texts in the history of philosophy and poetic writing, this course will focus on questions such as: whether poetry provides access to cognitive experiences inaccessible by other means; whether a firm conceptual distinction can be drawn between philosophical and poetic thinking; and whether, as Plato argued, poetic writing undermines human rationality.

PHIL 280: Chinese Philosophy (3)

*This course fulfills a foreign culture/language requirement
This course is an introduction to Classical Confucianism, Classical Taoism and Zen Buddhism. 

PHIL 285: Philosophy of Human Nature (3)

This course is an introduction to philosophical questions about the nature of human beings.

PHIL 290: Introduction to the Philosophy of Science (3)

This course is an introduction to some of the central issues and approaches in the philosophy of science.

PHIL 291: History and Philosophy of Science (3)

This course focuses on the philosophical and historical influences that have shaped our modern understanding of science. The course will engage students in the interdisciplinary study (involving history, philosophy and disciplines in the natural sciences) of the intellectual foundations of modern science.

PHIL 293: Philosophy of Mind (3)

This course focuses on historical and contemporary philosophical discussions of the mind-body problem, the nature of mental states, mental causation, consciousness, our knowledge of other minds and intentionality.

PHIL 294: Philosophy and Cognition (3)

This course introduces students to the study of human cognition emphasizing the role of philosophy in the interdisciplinary-study of human cognition. The course examines philosophical and other disciplinary approaches to the study of learning & memory, perception, self-awareness, language and meaning and other aspects of cognition.

PHIL 295: Metaphysics (3)

An introduction to some of the central philosophical approaches to questions about what is ultimately real, the distinction between reality and appearance and the nature of space and time.

PHIL 304: Ancient Philosophy (3)

This course focuses on selected topics in Greek and Roman philosophy from the Presocratics to Plotinus.

PHIL 305: Medieval Philosophy (3)

This course focuses on selected topics in Christian, Jewish and Islamic philosophy from Augustine to the Renaissance. 

PHIL 306: Early Modern Philosophy (3)

This course focuses on selected topics in modern philosophy from Descartes to Hume.

PHIL 307: Late Modern Philosophy (3)

*NOTE: It is recommended that students take PHIL 306 before enrolling in this course
This course focuses on selected topics in modern philosophy from Kant to the late-19th century. 

PHIL 308: Contemporary Philosophy (3)

*NOTE: It is recommended that students take PHIL 306 before enrolling in this course
This course focuses on selected topics in philosophy from the 20th-century to the present. 

PHIL 374: Studies in Ancient Philosophy (3)

This course is an extended and intensive study of a topic, figure or text in ancient philosophy.

PHIL 375: Studies in Medieval Philosophy (3)

This course is an extended and intensive study of a topic, figure or text in medieval philosophy.

PHIL 376: Studies in Early Modern Philosophy (3)

This course is an extended and intensive study of a topic, figure or text in early modern philosophy.

PHIL 377: Studies in Late Modern Philosophy (3)

This course is an extended and intensive study of a topic, figure or text in late modern philosophy.

PHIL 378: Studies in Contemporary Philosophy (3)

This course is an extended and intensive study of a topic, figure or text in philosophy from the 20th-century to the present. 

PHIL 390: Senior Seminar (1)

*Offered each spring semester
This course is a scholarly treatment of a philosophical question in the form of a paper based on one or more primary texts and with reference to selected secondary sources. The Senior Seminar will be taken under the supervision of a faculty member and will normally be taken in the spring semester of the student's senior year. (Only students majoring in philosophy may enroll.)

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