Philosophy Department

Consider Philosophy Fall 2017

PHI 105 Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy Through Its History - An introduction to philosophy through its history and development, i.e., through an examination of central texts in the history of philosophy, up to and including contemporary works. Specific readings may vary from semester to semester, but will always include some canonical works by classic Western philosophers (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, and Kant).  Prerequisite: a college writing course. Cr 3.
Section 01: 68945 TuTh 10:15 – 11:30 Payson Smith 301 8/28/17 – 12/15/17 Robert Louden
Section 02: 68946 TuTh  1:15 – 2:30 Luther Bonney 524  8/28/17 – 12/15/17 Robert Louden

PHI 106 Introduction to Philosophy: Why Philosophize? - This course centers about the exploration of a single question: what it means to think philosophically. In the context of this question, we will examine what are the sources of philosophical thought and whether philosophy can justify its claim to be the foundation of all reflective endeavor. Prerequisite: a college writing course. Cr 3.
Section 01: 68947 On-line  8/28/17 – 12/15/17 Kenneth Knight

PHI 215 Philosophy of Literature - While many cultures accord a vital role to stories, myths, and poetry in the cultivation of wisdom, traditional European philosophy has tended to marginalize them. This course seeks to investigate the historical roots for this separation between philosophy and literature in European thought. It will then consider the perspectives of several contemporary thinkers (e.g., Robert Coles, Michael Ende, Martha Nussbaum, and Martin Heidegger) who are convinced that literature plays an indispensable role in the pursuit of wisdom. Prerequisites: ENG 100, EYE course, or 100-level PHI course. Cr 3.
Section 01: 68948 Mo/We 1:15 – 2:30 Payson Smith 310  8/28/17 – 12/15/17 Jeremiah Conway

PHI 220 Philosophy of Art and Visual Culture - What makes a person creative? What do artists think about their art? How do critics evaluate a work? If art is created for a cultural ritual or healing, is it to be understood differently? How do the circumstances of a work's creation and reception influence its evaluation? How do a person's class, ethnicity, and gender influence the artwork and its reception. Philosophers in the field of Aesthetics attempt to answer questions which artists, art historians, anthropologists, and critics ask about art. The works of art and philosophy considered will be drawn from a wide variety of cultural contexts. Prerequisites: ENG 100, EYE course, or 100-level PHI course. Cr 3.
Section 01: 68949 On-line  8/28/17 – 10/20/17 Kathleen Wininger

PHI 275 The Nature of Compassion - Whether and how we respond to the suffering of others defines, in many ways, who we are as persons and communities. This course is an investigation into the emotion and compassion and its social role. Drawing upon a wide variety of sources such as Greek Tragedy, Buddhist scriptures, classical and contemporary philosophical thought, it will address philosophical defenders of the need to cultivate compassion (Rouseau, Schopenauer, and Adam Smith) as well as thinkers suspicious of this notion (Nietzsche, e.g.). The work of contemporary philosophers–Phillip Hallie and Martha Nussbaum–will also receive close attention. Students will have a chance to think through some important philosophical issues, such as the role of emotions in moral deliberation, the extent to which compassion can be both aided and obstructed by the use of language, and whether there are appropriate limits to compassion. Prerequisite: ENG 100, EYE course, or 100-level PHI course or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.
Section 01: 69979 Mo/We 10:15 – 11:30 Luther Bonney 410  8/28/17 – 12/15/17 Jeremiah Conway
Section 02: 69980 Mo/We   4:10 – 5:25  Luther Bonney 241   8/28/17 – 12/15/17 Jeremiah Conway

PHI 291 Death and Dying - This course offers an in-depth introduction to the philosophical puzzles concerning life and death. Some of the questions that we will explore include whether persons are purely physical or whether they have souls, what it means to die, what our attitude should be towards death, why death seems to be bad, and why some philosophers have thought that death isn’t bad. Students are introduced to these questions through a selection of historical and contemporary readings. Prerequisites: ENG 100, EYE course, or 100-level PHI course. Cr 3.
Section 01: 69511 Online  8/28/17 – 12/15/17 Yishai Cohen
Section 02: 72157 MoWe 2:45 - 4:00 Luther Bonney 302  8/28/17 – 12/15/17 Yishai Cohen

PHI 310 History of Ancient Philosophy - Philosophic thought from the pre-Socratics to the late Hellenistic period, with major emphasis on Plato and Aristotle. Prerequisites: ENG 100, EYE course, or 100-level PHI course. Cr 3.
Section 01: 71341 TuTh 2:45 – 4:00 Luther Bonney 510  8/28/17 – 12/15/17 Robert Louden

PHI 312 Morality in African Literature and Film - Intellectual, cinematic and literary movements will be examined through generations of thinkers in African national, cultural and geographical settings. The course will look at texts from West, East, and Southern Africa dealing with theory, fiction, and visual culture. Important recent controversies in gender and postcolonial philosophy are explored.  Prerequisites: ENG 100, EYE course, or 100-level PHI course. Cr 3.
Section 01: 69767 Th 4:10 – 6:40 Luther Bonney 241 8/28/17 – 12/15/17 Kathleen Wininger
Section 02: 69768 On-Line 8/28/17 – 10/20/17 Kathleen Wininger

PHI 400 Philosophy Topics Seminar: Philosophical Anthropology: Hard to be Human  - What does it mean to be human? The history of philosophy can be understood as a long rumination of this question, with multiple answers from “political animal” and “speaking animal” (Aristotle), to tool making or rational animal. As much as these definitions are foundational, even indispensable, after all, much of politics, ethics, even our conception of knowledge, depends on how we understand, and define humanity. As much as the question of anthropology is foundational, it is equally vexed. The various definitions of humanity, seem in retrospect, to be nothing more than the universalization of a particular culture’s values and ideals, inseparable from exclusions and divisions of humanity into races, genders, and classes. To put it bluntly, “human nature: can’t live with it, can’t live without it.” This course will be an investigation into the unavoidable and impossible question of human nature. Readings will include, Kant, Feuerbach, Marx, Balibar, Virno, Haraway. Topics will change from year to year and the course may be repeated for credit when topics vary. Prerequisites: Two (2) 300-level courses in philosophy, or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.
Section 01: 69513 We 7:00 – 9:30 PM Payson Smith 203 8/28/17 – 12/15/17 Jason Read

PHI 409 Research Seminar – A research seminar designed to provide senior level students an opportunity to participate in the research efforts of individual faculty and collaborate with each other in the design, methodology and completion of their tutorials. Prerequisites: advanced standing as a philosophy major and permission of the Department.
Section 01: 69621 On-line 8/28/17 – 10/20/17 Julien Murphy