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Philosophy Course Descriptions

PHL 126 Persons and Values 3 hours
General Education option; Prerequisite: None; Offered every term.
This course is an introduction to philosophy by way of a critical examination of some classic problems that shape human experience, which may include issues concerning the nature of reality, human knowledge, the nature of the self, the nature of justice, and the nature of the good.

PHL 156: World Philosophical Traditions 3 hours
General Education option, Prerequisites: None
This course is an introduction to philosophical problems, methods, and strategies via major philosophical traditions from across the world’s cultures from antiquity to the present. Areas of focus may include India, East Asia (e.g. China, Japan, Korea, etc.), the Middle East, and Africa, as well as the Near East.

PHL 201 Western Philosophical Traditions I 3 hours
General Education option; Prerequisites: LS 105 and ENG 107 (or their equivalents)
The history of western philosophy, from the pre-Socratics to Copernicus is covered in this class. Special attention is paid to the ways in which ancient Greek philosophy sets the stage for Medieval and Renaissance philosophy.

PHL 202 Western Philosophical Traditions II 3 hours
General Education option; Prerequisites: LS 105 and ENG 107 (or their equivalents)
The second half of the western philosophy sequence covers the period extending from the Renaissance to the present. Special attention is paid to the mutual influence of emerging scientific thought and the philosophy of the periods covered.

PHL 225 Ethics 3 hours
General Education option; Prerequisites: LS 105 and ENG 107 (or their equivalents); Offered every term
Normative moral philosophy is studied in this class through a survey of the major positions and thinkers in the western philosophical tradition of ethics.

PHL 228 Ethics in the Health Professions 3 hours
Prerequisites: LS 105 and ENG 107 (or their equivalents)
This is a survey of basic ethical considerations in contemporary issues in the health care professions. Case studies highlight the legal and moral aspects of patients’ rights, care of the newborn, quality of life, geriatric care and transplant surgery.

PHL 235 Philosophy and the City 3 hours
General Education option; Prerequisites: LS 105 and ENG 107 (or their equivalents)
Philosophy was born, nurtured, and came of age in urban environments. From ancient Athens to contemporary Detroit, the tale of philosophy would be incomplete without an account of how cities have shaped philosophical thought, and how philosophical thought has influenced cities. In moral and political terms, the problems of philosophy have ever been city problems. In no other setting have problems of equality, justice, ethics, and identity formation been thrown into such sharp relief as in the world’s urban environments. This course will introduce students to philosophy through the lens of reflection about the nature and specific philosophical challenges of urban environments. Reciprocally, it will also introduce students to the practice of reflection about urban environments through the use of philosophical tools, concepts and methods.

PHL 276 Critical Thinking 3 hours
General Education option; Prerequisites: LS 105‚ ENG 107 or equivalent.
Critical thinking is a foundational course in natural language reasoning skills. Topics range from understanding, clarifying and evaluating claims, to assessing sources of evidence, to being able to recognize common pitfalls in one’s own reasoning as well as in that of others. The representation, classification, analysis, and evaluation of arguments using a variety of techniques is also covered.

PHL 291 Independent Study 1-3 hours
Prerequisites: PHL 126 or 276, ENG 108 or equivalent, and LS 105, permission of instructor and by arrangement with the department.
This is a directed readings course, to consist of a focused study of a student-selected topic in consultation with instructor.

PHL 325 Special Topics in Moral Philosophy 3 hours
Prerequisites: LS 105, ENG 108, and any one of PHL 126, 210, or 276.
This course is a focused study of a single, significant moral issue in contemporary life. Topics will vary as they will be drawn from the contemporary context.

PHL 370 Social and Political Philosophy 3 hours
Prerequisites: LS 105, ENG 108, and any one of PHL 126, 210, or 276. Writing intensive course.
This course comprises an in-depth study of both classic and contemporary problems in social and political philosophy, with emphasis on developing a comprehensive understanding of the concept of justice and of its application to contemporary issues. This course is cross-listed as POL 370.

PHL 382 Business and Professional Ethics 3 hours
Prerequisites: PHL 126‚ BUS 266‚ LS 105‚ ENG 108.
A descriptive survey of ethical theories and perspectives common to all professions is the subject of this course. Students will engage in reflection on contemporary ethical approaches through case studies and selected readings, and conduct analysis of some major dilemmas in business and other professions.

PHL 395 Directed Study 1-3 hours
Prerequisites: ENG 108, LS 105, any one of PHL 126, 210, or 276, and permission of instructor by arrangement with the department.
This is a directed research course, to consist of a focused study of a student-selected topic in consultation with instructor. PHL 396 Philosophy of Religion 3 hours Prerequisites: LS 105, ENG 108, and any one of PHL 126 or 276. Among the topics to be studied in this class are: the meaning of God and the logic of God-talk; arguments for and against the existence of God; the peculiarity of religious language; critical views of religion as myth and as worldview.

PHL 491 Independent Study 1-3 hours
Prerequisites: LS 105, and ENG 108, PHL 126, 210, or 276, normally at least 12 hours in philosophy, permission of the instructor by arrangement with the department.
This is an advanced research course focused on a student selected topic in consultation with instructor.

PHL 496 Senior Research Project 3-4 hours
Prerequisites: Philosophy major; by arrangement with the department; completion of 21 credit hours in philosophy, including all other major requirements.
This is the capstone course in the philosophy major. Students will study and generate independent and original work on a substantive philosophical issue, and formally present their findings to students and faculty in a departmental or interdepartmental setting.