Fall 2023

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. 

bust of Plato in marble

0001-LEC #20353

Tu/Thr 2:00PM – 3:15 Portland Campus

Kenneth L. Knight

0002-LEC #20354

Online Class

 Kenneth L. Knight

PHI 201 – Public Philosophy

001-Lec (21743) ONLINE  *Meets the requirement for engaged learning and ethical inquiry*

a group of Q anon supporters from the back gathered to protest
A group of Q-anon followers protest.

What does philosophical reflection look like when it steps out of the ivory tower and into the public sphere? What role does philosophical reflection play in democracy? How can the increasingly connected world of social media, podcasts, and blogs be used to develop and engage philosophical thinking? After a brief discussion of the role of the public and democracy, this course will turn to three works of philosophy aimed at the public, Martin Hägglund’s This Life: Secular Faith and Spiritual Freedom, Kate Manne’s Entitled: How Male Privilege Hurts Women, and Andres Malm’s How to Blow Up a Pipeline, we will look at the way these books have been discussed and debated in public formats, including Hägglund’s lecture at USM in October (which will be recorded for students who cannot attend). Jason Read; jason.read@maine.edu

PHI 205 (20866) Logic -MW, 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM, Portland, *Meets the quantitative reasoning requirement*
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. Yishai Cohen, yishai.cohen@maine.edu

PHI 211 – Media Ethics, (014471) TuTH, 11:00-12:15 PM, Portland
*Meets the ethical inquiry requirement

In the information age, media play an increasingly large role in our lives. Our notion of living in a global society is largely shaped by media. What is responsible journalism? Does violent programming contribute to violence in America? What are professional ethics and how should they guide media practitioners? We will discuss these questions by examining key ethical values in media such as: privacy, confidentiality, truth telling, conflicts of interest, and social responsibility. We will also explore some fundamental issues in ethical theory such as: Why be ethical? What is ethics? How do ethical theories differ? What are the best ways to evaluate and apply ethical theories to media controversies today? The course is designed for majors in philosophy, media studies, and communication as well as other interested students. Cr 3. william.seeley@maine.edu

PHI 212- Environmental Ethics (20355), **7-WEEK CLASS, 10/23/2023 – 12/08/2023**
*Meets the ethical inquiry requirement*

View of a hill with wild flowers growing

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

PHI 221 – Philosophy of Film (23466), MoWe 2:00PM – 3:15PM , Portland

Photo of poster from Midsommar Film

How can philosophy help us understand film and how can film illustrate philosophy? In this course we will look at different films to examine and interrogate different ideas in the history of philosophy. We will look at the way Hitchcock’s films illustrate the mysteries of intersubjectivity and desire; what Bladerunner can tell us about who we are as human beings; how Fight Club can be used to examine alienation; what Get Out can tell us about racism; and finally, what feminism can tell us about contemporary horror such as It Follows and Midsommar. Jason Read; jason.read@maine.edu

PHI 230 – Philosophy of Religion (23408), TuTh 12:30PM – 1:45PM, Portland

Analysis of the nature of religious experience, knowledge, and language. Special attention given to problems, classical and contemporary, exhibited in religious experience and relevant to areas of common concern in the sciences, humanities, and philosophy. Cr 3. Yishai Cohen, yishai.cohen@maine.edu

PHI 235 – Philosophy, Social Media, & Security Section 0001, (23408), Online
*Meets the Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship Requirement

AI generated portrait of a husky in the style of Rembrandt
AI-generated husky in the style of Rembrandt.
The course examines the moral and communicative dimensions of social interaction in a digital context that presumes adequate security. The focus is how social media transforms traditional ethical issues such as: truth, trust, privacy, autonomy and security. Cr 3.

Julien Murphy, jmurphy@maine.edu

PHI 285 -Biology, Technology and Ethics, Section 0001, (21402), Online
*Meets the Ethical Inquiry, Social Responsibility, and Citizenship 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, Section 0001, (20819), Online & Section 0002, (20820), 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

a photo of a coin operated binocular facing a blue sky with an American Flag.

PHI 350 – American Philosophy, Section 0001, (20821), Online

History and background of the origin of philosophical ideas in America; particular emphasis given to Peirce, James, Royce, Dewey. Cr 3. Kenneth Knight, kenneth.knightjr@maine.edu

PHI 355 – Contemporary Feminism *7 week Course, 8/28/2023 – 10/13/2023 * Section 0001, #21742, Online
*Meets the Culture, Power, & Equity/ Diversity Requirement

Protesting sign says "Each Time a Woman stands up for herself she stands for all women"

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

LSH 240 – Introducing the Humanities

The Self and Other in Mental Health-Using texts from philosophy, literature, psychology, and history, this course will examine the nature of and discourse around mental health by focusing on the dynamic nature of the self and its relationships with others.

Section 0001, #21444, Online, Joseph Arel: joseph.arel@maine.edu

LSH 440 – Capstone in the Humanities

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. Cr 3.

Section 0001, #21445, Online, Yishai Cohen: Yishai Cohen