A minor in philosophy consists of five philosophy courses, including PL 102M: Introduction to Logic, PL 104H: Introduction to Ethics (or another Ethics class approved by Faculty), and at least one course from the History of Philosophy sequence. An approved course of study must be developed in consultation with the Philosophy Discipline Coordinator.
PL 101H: Introduction to Philosophy
Analyze philosophical issues concerning human nature, our relationship to the world around us, and major philosophical issues of value and meaning. Study works of several great philosophers to help students develop their own views.
PL 102M: Introduction to Logic
Methods of critical and logical analysis of language and thought. Helps develop critical, analytical reasoning and linguistic precision.
PL 103G: Introduction to Eastern Philosophy
(Directed Study Available) Philosophical questions on the nature of reality, society, and self in East Asian philosophy with emphasis on metaphysics and ethics.
PL 104H: Introduction to Ethics
Various systems for judging good and bad, right and wrong. Definitions of the good life, ethical theories and their application to issues such as abortion, civil rights, war and peace, censorship, etc.
PL 201H: Philosophical Topics
Introduction to philosophical argumentation and writing by the study of texts in philosophy, central figures, or schools of thought. May be repeated once for credit if content changes.
PL 220H: Existentialism
A provocatively modern approach to many of the issues of the philosophical tradition; the existential foundations of art, religion, science and technology.
PL 230H: Philosophy of Religion
The conceptual aspects of religion: natural and supernatural, religious experience, sources of religious knowledge, faith and reason in the past and future. Offered alternate years.
PL 240H: Philosophy of Technology
Humans are the beings who reshape their environment. Is modern technology a refinement of tool-making, or something new? What has been the impact of technology on the essence of being human?
PL 243E: Environmental Ethics
A philosophical investigation of our relationship to the natural environment, and how these considerations affect our moral obligations to other people, as well as future generations.
PL 244H: Social and Political Philosophy
Major social and political theories that have been influential in the West. Contemporary political theory examined in light of classical tradition and historical movements. Offered alternate years.
PL 246H: Philosophy and Film
Simultaneously an introduction to the philosophy of film and an introduction to philosophy, this course will use an examination of mostly non-conventional films as a starting point for considering philosophical themes.
PL 250H: Mind and Body: Philosophical Explorations
What is mind? How is it related to matter? Examine ways that these and related questions have been addressed throughout the history of philosophy, and discover in the process what it means to think philosophically.
PL 263H: Aesthetics
Examine various answers to questions asked from ancient times by philosophers, artists and other thoughtful people about the nature of art, beauty, and the role of the arts and artists in society.
PL 300E: Nature and the Contemplative Tradition
Nature as explored by contemplative traditions within philosophy, mysticism, poetry, and nature writing as both competitors and alternatives to scientific rationality. Texts drawn from both ancient and modern sources, and from several cultural and religious traditions.
PL 303G: Individual/Society - Chinese Thought
Analyze ideas of human nature, the individual's relationship to social order, and ways individuals have expressed dissent from social norms in the Chinese tradition. Classical philosophy to current events and the debate on human rights.
PL 304H: Seminar in Chinese Thought: Taoism
Explore philosophical issues in Taoism in a historical and comparative framework. Emphasis on Taoist epistemology, ontology, ethics through study of classic texts, commentary tradition, and comparative works in Buddhist, classical Greek, and modern Western philosophy. Prerequisite: EA 201G, or PL 103G.
PL 310E: Ideas of Nature
Ancient Greek cosmology, Renaissance view of nature, modern conception of nature. What nature is, how is can be studied, how we should relate to it. Primary approach is critical, historical analysis of primary texts.
PL 311H: Major Philosophers
An intensive study of a single major philosopher. May be taken more than once for credit with focus on different philosophers.
PL 312H: American Philosophy
Major trends and emphases in American philosophy from the colonial period to the 20th century. Prerequisite: some background in the humanities or permission of instructor.
PL 314H: Philosophy of Love and Death
Experiencing love and facing our mortality compel us to ask fundamental questions concerning human existence. This course considers how ancient and modern philosophy construct our conceptions of intimacy, friendship, death, and the afterlife.
PL 321H: History of Philosophy: Greek and Roman
The rise of philosophy, 600 B.C. A.D. 100, with emphasis on natural philosophy. Pre-Socratics, Sophists, Stoics, Epicureans, Plato and Aristotle. Offered alternate years.
PL 322H: History of Philosophy: Medieval and Renaissance
Philosophical thought from ebb of Rome through rise of modern Europe, including developments in Jewish and/or Islamic, and Christian philosophy. Faith and reason, realism and nominalism, mysticism and rationalism, Platonism and Aristotelianism. Offered alternate years.
PL 323H: History of Philosophy: 17-18th Century
Descartes through Kant as response to the Scientific Revolution. Comparison of rationalism and empiricism.
PL 324H: History of Philosophy: 19th Century
Kant, German Idealism, Utilitarianism, social and scientific philosophy, existentialism, Hegel, Schopenhauer, Marx, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, others.
PL 325H: History of Science
Physical science from 600 B.C. A.D. 1700. Major discoveries and scientists, different approaches to science, the interrelationship between science and society.
PL 342H: 20th Century Philosophical Movements
Development of philosophical analysis and existentialism as the two main philosophical movements of the 20th century. May be taken more than once for credit with focus on different philosophers. Freshmen require permission of instructor.
PL 345H: Symbolic Logic
Advanced study of logic, with special emphasis on formal or symbolic logic, considered both as a tool for assessing arguments and as a subject matter for philosophical thought. Prerequisites: PL 102M, or permission of instructor.
PL 348H: Philosophical Theology
A philosophical study of the nature of God and the relation of God and world, based on readings from early Greek philosophy to the present. Prerequisite: some background in philosophy or religion.
PL 349G: Native American Thought
This course focuses on the nature of Native American thought; explores the differing assumptions, methods, and teachings connected with the pursuit of wisdom, with special attention to metaphysics and ethics.
PL 360H: Philosophy of Science
Recent controversies on the scientific explanation between formal logical analysis and the informal, heuristic approach. Analysis of laws and theories. Examples from the history of science. Offered alternate years.
PL 361H: Contemporary Ethical Theory
Major contemporary schools of thought in moral philosophy. Prerequisite: some background in philosophy, religious studies, psychology, literature or related disciplines.
PL 362H: Contemporary Political Philosophy
Major contemporary schools of thought in political philosophy. Prerequisite: some background in philosophy, political science, history, economics, American studies or literature.
PL 365: Philosophy of History
Does history have a meaning? Is it leading anywhere? Does history result in anything that is genuinely new? Or is it an "eternal recurrence of the same"? Especially useful for students of history, literature, religious studies, and philosophy. Prerequisite: some background in the humanities.
PL 367: Philosophy and Myth
Seminar course that examines relationship between mythic and rational consciousness in the context of current trends in the philosophy of the imagination.
PL 370H: Mysticism and Logic
Discursive rationality (ratio) versus a higher mode of knowing (noesis). Examine central concepts within philosophical tradition itself, as well as through a philosophical study of comparative mysticism, with special attention to its cognitive claims.
PL 403: Contemporary Philosophical Methodologies
Intensive investigation of contemporary approach to philosophical method, designed to help students practice philosophy in an original manner. May be taken more than once for credit in order to study different methodologies.
PL 498: History of Philosophy Seminar and Senior Comprehensive Exam
Study major philosophical movements with emphasis on the classical problems of philosophy. Completes the history of philosophy sequence. Senior comprehensive examinations on the history and terminology of philosophy, including an oral defense of the Senior Essay.
PL 499: Senior Thesis