Philosophy Department

Consider Philosophy Spring 2018

LSH 240 - Introducing the Humanities (God, Meaning, and Morality)
Professor Yishai Cohen
Section 01: 85437 -
Online Class
Section 02: 85438 - Monday 2:30PM – 5:00PM – Lewiston-Auburn 108
Description:
 Where does morality come from? Does human suffering threaten the very prospect of achieving a meaningful life? What is the relationship between meaning in life and spirituality? This course explores answers to questions such as these through philosophical and literary texts that aim to unpack human nature and our place in the cosmos.

PHI 105 - Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy Through Its History
Staff
Section 01: 83823 – Online
Description:
 This course is 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: ENG 100 and any EYE class (or either concurrent), a college writing course. Cr 3.

PHI 106 - Introduction to Philosophy: Why Philosophize?
Staff
Section 01: 83824 –We  - 7:00PM to 9:30 - Payson Smith 202
Description:
 The 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: ENG 100 and any EYE class (or either concurrent), a college writing course. Cr 3.

PHI 210 - Ethical Theories  
Professor Kathleen Wininger
Section 01: 83826 - Tuesday   4:10PM - 6:40PM - Luther Bonney 241
Description:
 From Socrates to Angela Davis philosophers have gone to jail for their beliefs. (In fact, one could easily teach a philosophy course entirely of books written from jail.)  In this course we will read canonical European moral theorists and a variety of shorter pieces from around the world.  Then we will ask:  Are all persons included in moral imperatives? What does freedom mean in times when expressing your ideas leads to imprisonment?  Are all persons human?   How do notions of home and exile relate to our ability to be happy, fulfilled or fully human?  Some of the original texts are by Aristotle, Jeremy Bentham, Immanuel Kant, Friedrich Nietzsche, Simone de Beauvoir, Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Franz Fanon, and Angela Davis. Prerequisite: Any EYE or PHI 100 course or permission of the instructor. Cr 3

PHI 215 - Philosophy of Literature
Staff
Section 01: 83827 – Tuesday  -7:00PM - 9:30PM - Luther Bonney 502
Description:
 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. Prerequisite: Any EYE or PHI 100 course or permission of the instructor.  Cr 3.

PHI 220/WGS 245 - Philosophy of Art and Visual Culture:
Philosophy Meets Art/Art Meets Philosophy
Professor Kathleen Wininger
Section 01: 83828 - 7 week online -
1st session January 22- March 2018
Description:
 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 does a person’s ethnicity, class, and gender influence the art work and its meaning.  The works of art and philosophy considered in this course will be drawn from a wide variety of cultural contexts; there is a European cultural narrative in philosophy from Plato to Kant to Merleau-Ponty to Owens, in art from Greek sculpture to Dada and we also examine theories which question that master narration from within and without. Prerequisite:  Any EYE or PHI 100 course or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

PHI 241 - Politics and Philosophy of Work
Professor Jason Read
Section 01: 85458 - Monday and Wednesday 11:45-1:00 - Payson Smith 206
Description:
 The question of work surfaces in many different contexts and in different senses. Children dream about what they “want to be when they grow-up,” adults ask each other “what do you do?” looking for an answer to each other’s identity in the work that they do. Working, and working hard, is presented to as a moral ideal attached to the virtues of discipline and character. Last but not least, work is a fundamental economic and social activity, producing and reproducing the necessities of existence. This course will examine the overlapping and conflicting existential, ethical, and political dimensions of work. In doing so we will pay particular attention to the transformations of work in the last several decades, the shift from Fordist industrial labor to an economy dominated by services, information, and work of care and communication. How does this transformation of the experience and content of work transform its philosophical, political, and ethical dimensions?   Readings will include:  Arendt, Aristotle, Dalla Costa, Hegel, Locke, Marx, Plato, Sennett, Smith, and Weeks.  We will also examine representations of work in film and popular culture. This course satisfies the Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility and Citizenship requirement for Gen Ed. Prerequisite: Any EYE or PHI 100 course or permission of the instructor. Cr 3.

PHI 291- Death and Dying
Staff
Section 01: 84413 – Online
Description:
 Recent success in life-prolonging techniques has resulted in the creation of new disagreements over the proper definition of death. Which definition of death is the most adequate? Some have argued that dying, not death, is the vitally important topic. Has the term death changed its meaning from time to time and place to place in human history? This course will deal with these and similar epistemological issues.  Prerequisites: ENG 100, EYE course, or 100-level PHI course. Cr 3.

PHI 330 - History of Early Modern Philosophy: Descartes to Kant
Professor Jason Read
Section 01: 84414 - Tuesday and Thursday 2:45-4:00 Luthery Bonney 241
Description:
 The period known as “Early Modern” in the history of philosophy (17th and 18th centuries) was a period of dramatic cultural and political change.  A crisis of authority affected religion, politics, culture, and knowledge.  To be ”modern” was to break with the past, with tradition as a source of authority, and to invent knew ways of knowing and existing.  This course will examine several of the most influential texts of this dynamic period (Descartes, Spinoza, Hume, and Kant).  In doing so we will situate these texts against the backdrop of their historical period, examining the scientific, political, and cultural context of the early modern period.  We will also investigate contemporary commentary and criticism of this period (Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Jaquet, and Sharp) in order to examine the manner in which the questions, concerns, and problems of “modernity” continue to shape the present. Prerequisite: Any EYE or PHI 100 course or permission of the instructor. Cr 3

PHI 350 - American Philosophy
Staff
Section 01: 84415 – Online
Description:
  The history and background of the origin of philosophical ideas in America; particular emphasis given to Peirce, James, Royce, Dewey. Prerequisites: ENG 100, EYE course, or 100-level PHI course. Cr 3.

PHI 405 - Major Figure Seminar in Philosophy (David Hume)
Professor Yishai Cohen
Section 01: 85507
- Tuesday and Thursday 11:45AM - 1:00PM - Payson Smith 207
Description:
 Does the order of the universe point towards the existence of a God? How do we determine what is possible and impossible? Do we have rational grounds for predicting what the future will be like? David Hume poses questions such as these in his groundbreaking works that have come to shape the history of western philosophy. This course covers two of Hume’s major works: Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion and An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding. Prerequisite for any 400-level seminar course is two (2) 300-level courses in philosophy or permission of the instructor. Cr. 3