*WINTER SESSION*12/28/2023 – 1/12/2023**

PHI 212- Environmental Ethics (47073), ONLINE
*Meets the ethical inquiry requirement*

a line drawing of a polar bear on melting ice surrounded by water.

This course analyzes the relations between human beings and the environment in terms of the concepts of justice, the good, and human responsibilities. It attempts to provide a new cosmological model for adjudicating between conflicting rights and duties. Issues discussed include animal rights, environmental protection, ecological harmony. Julien Murphy; jmurphy@maine.edu

*Spring 2024* (1/16/2024 – 4/26/2024 EXCEPT WHERE NOTED)

PHI 105 – Introduction to Philosophy: Philosophy Through Its History
*Meets cultural interpretation requirement *

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. 

0001-LEC #4023 M/W 2:00PM – 3:15 Portland Campus

Kenneth L. Knight; kenneth.knightjr@maine.edu

0002-LEC #41611 Online

Joseph Arel; joseph.arel@maine.edu

PHI 205 – Logic 001-Lec (40719) M/W 12:30 – 1:45 PM, Portland Campus
*Meets the quantitative reasoning requirement*

a white rabbit in a brown coat enters a cave in this animated picture

Techniques to distinguish good from bad reasoning through the study of formal and informal logic including fallacies, inductive and deductive arguments, truth tables, evidence, and rules of implication. Cr 3. Yishai Cohen, yishai.cohen@maine.edu

PHI 220 – Philosophy of Art and Visual Culture (41612), Online,
*Meets the Culture, Power, & Equity/ Diversity, Ethical Inquiry, or International requirements*

Kumkum Fernando from “Reborn” series

What is Art? What makes a photograph on the wall at the Museum of Modern Art different from the one on the front page of the Daily News? What makes a landscape painting more (or less!) interesting than a snapshot? Our commonsense understanding of art tells us that artworks are in some way special. Art is often beautiful. It is sometimes provocative and controversial. But it is notoriously difficult to identify just what it is that makes artworks unique. In fact, it is sometimes difficult to understand why particular artworks are considered art at all. Philosophy of Art is a branch of philosophy concerned with answers to just these types of questions.

We will explore representational, expressionist, formalist, aesthetic, institutional and historical theories of art. We will examine key problems in the philosophy of dance, music, film, and neuroaesthetics. We will explore the role knowledge of art history and culture plays in our artistic practices as well as the myriad ways art and related media shape and so reflect the values of the cultures that produce it. Finally, most would agree that art must be experienced to be understood. We will spend of the semester focused on concrete examples of artworks across a range of media from a range of different cultures that illustrate the puzzles we will explore

Requirements: eight weekly online reading quizzes, two four page papers on assigned topics (students will be provided a choice among several prompts), an online midterm, an online final exam, and occasional online art projects to help illustrate and explore key concepts (no background, experience, or natural skill in studio arts is required for these projects). The goal of all of these assignments is to encourage the student to think through philosophical issues on their own. William Seeley; william.seeley@maine.edu

PHI 241 – Philosophy & Politics of Work (42472), TuTh 2:00PM – 3:15 PM, Portland
*Meets the Ethical Inquiry requirement

Multiethnic training group discussing their task.

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, Boggs, Federici Hegel, Locke, Marx, 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 Core Curriculum. Cr 3. Jason Read; jason.read@maine.edu

PHI 245 – Africa, Social Justice, and Exile, Section 0001, (42473), Online
*Meets the Culture, Power, & Equity/ Diversity; Ethical Inquiry; or International requirement.

sculpture of boat holding balls with African Prints entitled Road to Exhile; by artist Barthélémy Toguo
Road to exile by Barthélémy Toguo (Mixed Media 2008)

Any critical encounter with our current moment must acknowledge the role that the processes of colonization and decolonization have played in the production of the present.  The histories of colonization and decolonization continue to shape the world, and their complex and often antagonistic legacies continue to frame our ways of narrating the past and imagining the future. One such legacy, the experience of exile, continues to play a central role. in the formation of the contemporary cultural landscape.

This semester we will examine why people have been forced to leave Africa and what makes it difficult for them to return in order to discover whether philosophical approaches to the experience of exile give us a deeper appreciation of the problems and possibilities contained within the present.  Reading may include works by Aimé Césaire, Frantz Fanon, Léopold Sédar Senghor, Kwame Nkrumah, Adom Getachew, and others. Kenneth Knight; kenneth.knightjr@maine.edu

PHI  275 -The Nature of Compassion, Section 0001 (41614), Online
*Meets the Ethical Inquiry requirement

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, Schopenhauer, 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: Any EYE or PHI 100 course or permission of the instructor. Cr 3. Sandra Dutkowsky; sandra.dutkowsky@maine.edu

PHI 285 -Biology, Technology and Ethics, Section 0001, (41200), Online
*Meets the Ethical Inquiry Requirement

An examination of key ethical controversies in biology and bioethics including questions about the influence of medical technologies on our concepts of health, disease, & illness, issues that define the growing field of neuroethics, and ethical questions surrounding regenerative medicine, crispr, synthetic biology, genomics, and reproductive technologies.  William Seeley,william.seeley@maine.edu

PHI 291 – Death and Dying (40672), Online
*Meets the ethical inquiry, social responsibility, and citizenship requirement

dried flowers

The literature relating to death and philosophy is vast and complex. In this class, we will explore readings relating to the nature of death (ourselves and others), the goodness/badness of death, and the ethics of death and technology.

The study of the philosophy of death typically leads to a discussion of the meaning of life. Therefore, we will review some essays relating to that idea as well.

Finally, we will take an interdisciplinary approach and read some literary pieces that deal with these philosophical issues. Sandra Dutkowsky; sandra.dutkowsky@maine.edu

PHI 295 – Medicine, Madness, & Disease (41615), Online
*Meets Ethical Inquiry Requirement *7 weeks* 3/4/2024 – 4/26/2024

Recent advances in modern medicine and medical technology challenge traditional notions of health, sanity, and the social order. The course will examine some of the controversial ethical dilemmas that patients, families, and health care providers confront, such as informed consent, truth-telling, prenatal screening, abortion, involuntary commitment for the mentally ill, drug testing, and patient rights. Julien Murphy; jmurphy@maine.edu

PHI 360-Existentialism (42475); Online
*Meets Cultural Interpretation Requirement, *7 weeks* 01/16/2024 – 03/01/2024 *

This course examines recent work in feminist political and social philosophy by American and European feminist philosophers related to the intersections of gender, race, class, and sexuality. We will explore the unique contributions of philosophy to feminist theory. Cr 3. Julien Murphy, jmurphy@maine.edu

PHI 370 -Analytic Philosophy (42476) TuTh 12:30PM – 1:45PM, Portland Campus
*Meets the Cultural Interpretation requirement.

An historical approach to twentieth-century linguistic philosophy. This course will begin with logical atomism, continue through the era of logical positivism, and end with ordinary language analysis. Extensive reading of primary sources and major commentators. Yishai Cohen; yishai.cohen@maine.edu

PHI 399-Happiness and the Good Live, (41617); Online
*Meets Ethical Inquiry Requirement; * 7 week course, 03/04/24 – 04/26/24*

Is happiness the goal of a good life? What is happiness? Is it attainable? Is it overrated? What is the relationship between happiness and morality?  Can we be virtuous and yet, unhappy? Does happiness require money or good fortune? We will examine historical  views from ancient and modern philosophers and explore theories and exercises from the new field of happiness studies to design an approach for a good life. Julien Murphy, jmurphy@maine.edu

LSH 240 – Introducing the Humanities (41230); Online

What is human dignity?  How can it be cultivated and preserved?  For centuries, the fields of human inquiry collectively known as the “humanities” have tried to develop answers to these and related questions.  This semester we will explore  some of the ways in which the humanities – focusing on classics, literature, philosophy, history, and art – have tried to make sense of the idea of human dignity. Cr 3. Kenneth Knight; kenneth.knightjr@maine.edu

LSH 340 – Introducing the Humanities (41230);  LSH 340 -Writing and Reading the Human: Writing and Reading the Humanities; Online
*Meets Writing, Reading & Inquiry

The disciplines that make up the humanities, English, History, Philosophy, to name a few, are distinguished less by the object of their study, humanity, than their methods. They are all in some sense tied to the question of reading, documents, narratives, arguments, and constructing their own arguments and narratives. This course is an examination into the specific ways of reading and writing in the humanities, examining both the disciplinary demands of different areas of humanistic inquiry, history, literature, and philosophy, and the way in which writing and reading functions as a not only a common point of reference for the different disciplines making up the humanities, but also part of their common project to make sense of human beings as beings that are both written, shaped by cultural and political scripts, and writers, making their own meaning and history. After a consideration of  Eric Hayot’s Humanist Reason: A History, An Argument, A Plan as an introduction, we will focus on the border as an object of inquiry. We will read Greg Grandin’s The End of the Myth: From the Frontier to the Border Wall in the Mind of America for a history of the idea of the border, John Lanchaster’s The Wall for a literary exploration of the divisions that borders create, and then examine philosophical discussions of borders, nations, and citizenship, exploring how reading and writing literature, history, and philosophy can expand our understanding of ourselves and the world. Jason Read; jason.read@maine.edu

LSH 440 – Capstone in the Humanities: Freedom & Responsibility (41232); Online

This course probes the relationship between humanism and the humanities in the 21st century, the recent crisis of the humanities in higher education, and new directions in digital and global humanities. Prerequisites: LSH 240, Junior or Senior Status, Liberal Studies Humanities major or Elementary Education major with liberal studies concentration. Yishai Cohen; yishai.cohen@maine.edu