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Courses Being Offered Next Semester

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FALL 2017

Below you will find brief statements about the various Philosophy courses and sections available for the fall semester.  In a multi-section course, the sections sometimes have different instructors, topics, readings, and requirements.  If you have a question about a particular section, the best way to get the answer is to ask the instructor who will teach it.  Feel free to ask any Philosophy faculty member, stop by the Department Office at 24 Kent Way, or call 831-2359.

Courses being offered in fall 2017  that satisfy Arts and Sciences Group Requirements

Group A

PHIL 100         Philosophies of Life

PHIL 102         Introduction to Philosophy

PHIL 105         Critical Thinking

PHIL 201         Social and Political Philosophy

PHIL 202         Contemporary Moral Problems

PHIL 203         Ethics                          

PHIL 204         World Religions

PHIL 208         Introduction to Jewish Philosophy

PHIL 210         Women and Religion

PHIL 212         Markets, Ethics, and Law

PHIL 216         Introduction to Feminist Theory

PHIL 244         Philosophy of Art

PHIL 306         Philosophy of Science

PHIL 307         Black Thought & Philosophy

PHIL 310         Chinese Religion & Philosophy

PHIL 448         Environmental Ethics

Group B

PHIL 101         Great Western Philosophers

PHIL 301         Ancient Philosophy    

PHIL 303         Modern Philosophy

PHIL 312         Late Medieval Philosophy

Group C

PHIL 330         Philosophy of Mind

PHIL 389         TOPICS:  Women and Health Issues

Group D

PHIL 205         Logic

Courses that satisfy Arts and Sciences Second Writing Requirement

PHIL 465         Senior Seminar

Courses that satisfy University Multicultural Requirement

PHIL 204         World Religions

PHIL 208         Introduction to Jewish Philosophy

PHIL 210         Women and Religion

PHIL 216         Introduction to Feminist Theory

PHIL 307         Black Thought & Philosophy

PHIL 310         Chinese Religion & Philosophy



031- Registration Code for PHIL


PHIL 100 sec. 010      Philosophies of Life                                            MW 3:35-4:50 pm                     Jordan

Plato, Christianity, Marxism, Freud, and Naturalism are among the theories we will look at this semester.  The course is a survey of six theories concerning the nature of humanity.  There will be three tests.


PHIL 100 sec. 194, 195   Philosophies of Life                                        Online                                        Jordan

Plato, Christianity, Marxism, Freud, and Naturalism are among the theories we will look at this semester.  The course is a survey of six theories concerning the nature of humanity.  There will be three tests.


PHIL 101 sec. 010      Great Western Philosophers                          TR 2:00-3:15 pm                        Rogers

Western Philosophy began over two thousand years ago in Greece when people began to ask, "What is really real?" "How can I know anything?" and "What am I doing here, anyway?"  In Great Western Philosophers we take an introductory look, in chronological order, at some of the most important thinkers and ideas from ancient Greece to the present, including, for example, Aristotle on the Happy Life, Thomas Aquinas on God,  and Descartes on doubt and certainty. The course is divided into four sections with a multiple-choice test after each section, each counting 1/5 of grade. Daily clicker quizzes count for 1/5 of grade.


PHIL 101 sec. 192, 193, 194, 195  Great Western Philosophers          Online                                         Rogers

Western Philosophy began over two thousand years ago in Greece when people began to ask, "What is really real?" "How can I know anything?" and "What am I doing here, anyway?"  In Great Western Philosophers we take an introductory look, in chronological order, at some of the most important thinkers and ideas from ancient Greece to the present, including, for example, Aristotle on the Happy Life, Thomas Aquinas on God,  and Descartes on doubt and certainty. The course is divided into four sections with a multiple-choice test after each section, each counting 1/5 of grade. Daily clicker quizzes count for 1/5 of grade.


PHIL102-011               Introduction to Philosophy                             MWF 12:20-1:10 pm                     Cushing

In this class we'll examine several key philosophical concepts.  The class will be divided into units on Freedom, Mind and Knowledge, and Value. Readings will be a mix of classical and contemporary.  Emphasis throughout will be on constructing and evaluating arguments, and on thinking critically.


PHIL102-012                Introduction to Philosophy                                TR 11-12:15 pm                               Shabo

This course provides an introduction to the problems and methods of philosophy as an academic discipline.  We will focus on four traditional areas of philosophical debate, including the existence of God, the mind-body problem, knowledge and skepticism, and free will and determinism.  In each of the four areas, we will look closely at influential arguments and positions with a view to understanding and critically evaluating them.  Grading will be based on four in-class essay exams as well as class participation.

PHIL 105 sec. 010      Critical Thinking                                            TR 2:00-3:15 pm                        Swanson     

No matter what field you work in, it is essential to be able to think clearly, assess evidence accurately, and communicate your ideas effectively. This course serves as an introduction to a range of philosophical tools designed to help us do just that. Topics covered will include deductive logic (truth-functional logic and basic predicate logic), scientific reasoning (induction, causal reasoning, probability, and statistics), and informal logic (argument mapping and logical fallacies). Throughout, emphasis will be placed on applications rather than general theory. To hone our skills, at the end of the course we will spend several weeks examining a current debate in applied ethics.


PHIL 201 sec. 010      Social and Political Philosophy                   MWF 1:25-2:15 pm                       Lee             

The course considers some important topics in contemporary political philosophy, including political responsibility, distributive justice, democracy, and political obligation. The issues we will consider include the problem of dirty hands, the problem of many hands, libertarianism, liberalism, democracy, epistocracy, political obligation, and civil disobedience. 


PHIL 202 sec. 010      Contemporary Moral Problems                    TR 12:30-1:45 pm                      Greene

"While my own opinions as to ethics do not satisfy me, other people's satisfy me still less," observed Bertrand Russell. Although ethical questions are of the first importance both in our personal lives and in public policy - often literally matters of life and death - they are often among the most confounding and divisive issues that we face. We will consider differing views on such topics as abortion, terrorism, sex and drugs (but not rock and roll). We will find that a distinctively philosophical approach to ethical challenges can promote productive discussion of controversial issues and can deepen our understanding of ethical views - our own and other people's.


PHIL 202 sec. 011          Contemporary Moral Problems                    TR 3:30-4:45 pm                                Pust

This course will survey and investigate various answers to philosophical questions regarding applied ethics.  We will begin with a consideration of some questions in moral theory: What does morality require of us?  Are there any moral absolutes?  Does morality depend upon religion?  We will then turn to discussion of the following topics:  suicide, euthanasia, abortion, the treatment of animals, capital punishment, sex, drug use and, finally, our moral obligations with respect to people in great need, future generations, and the natural environment.


PHIL203 sec. 010                    Ethics                                                  MWF 11:15-12:05 pm                 Koltonski

We will be concerned to see whether there is anything to be said in a principled way about right and wrong.  The bulk of the course will be an in-depth examination of two central traditions in post-Reformation Western moral philosophy, exemplified by John Stuart Mill and Immanuel Kant.  But first we will briefly consider moral relativism, a position that many find initially attractive.  At the end of the course, we will also look at contemporary discussions of the relation between the demands of morality and those personal obligations that spring from friendships.

PHIL 204 sec. 010      World Religions                                        MWF 10:10-11:00 am                                   Fox

In this course we will take a critical yet sympathetic view of a wide range of religious traditions, including Native American Religion, Hinduism, Buddhism, Daoism, Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.  This will require that we allow ourselves both to identify with and maintain our distance from each of the traditions covered.  We propose to explore textual and historical roots and fundamental concerns, and to look for similarities and differences.  We will not be experts on World Religions after taking this course, but we will be more sensitive to the kinds of issues at stake in the study of religion, and more familiar with the origins and evolutions of today's living religions, both Eastern and Western.


PHIL 205 sec. 010      Logic                                                              TR 3:30-4:45 pm                             Swanson

Logic provides the formal backbone for rigorous argumentation in philosophy, mathematics, science, and beyond. This course serves as an introduction to deductive logic, covering proof theory, semantics, and basic meta-theory for classical propositional and first-order predicate logic. Throughout, we will emphasize the connections between logic and philosophical debates about truth, meaning, a priori knowledge, conceptual analysis, and the foundations of mathematics.


PHIL 208 sec. 010      Introduction to Jewish Philosophy                 TR 11-12:15 pm                         Gurevitz

(Cross List: JWST 208-010)

Fundamental issues in philosophy of religion reflecting both general theological approaches to resolving the tension between philosophy and religion and the uniquely Jewish attempt to do so. Topics include: God, miracles, good and evil, divine commandments and free will.


PHIL 210 sec. 010      Women and Religion                                      TR 9:30-10:45 am                    Naccarelli

(Cross List: WOMS 210-010)

Explores the relationship between sacred text and women's religious and societal roles within Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism and Buddhism during diverse historical moments. Examine the experience of women operating within the confines of their various traditions as well as consider those who pushed the boundaries of their faith communities. Utilize a variety of feminist approaches to the study of religion.


PHIL212 sec. 010         Markets, Ethics, and Law                          MWF 1:25-2:15 pm                       Koltonski

This course concerns the extent to which markets shape not only our economic relations but also our social and political relations and even our self-conceptions. First, we will examine contract law—both the legal theory and case law—to see how laws (and the courts) shape and enable markets. We will then explore the ways in which classical political economy was very concerned not only with the economic benefits of markets but also with their social and political effects. Finally, we will examine contemporary moral arguments against markets in women's sexual and reproductive labor, in child labor, and in human organs, among others.

PHIL 216 sec. 010      Introduction to Feminist Theory                    TR 3:30-4:45 pm                        Laberge

(Cross List: WOMS 216-010)

This course explores the various theoretical explanations for and solutions to gender inequality. The development of feminist theory will be presented as an intellectual history placing each theoretical framework in conversation with the others covered during the course of the semester. Students will become familiar with a variety of feminist theories including: liberal, Marxist, socialist, transnational, radical, homosexual, multicultural, psychoanalytic, cultural, standpoint, social construction, multiethnic/racial, postmodern, and queer. Our understanding of these theoretical perspectives will be aided by the inclusion of current case studies and class debates.


PHIL244 sec. 010       Philosophy of Art                                           MWF 1:25-2:15 pm                     Cushing

An introduction to main philosophical problems concerning the nature, interpretation, and evaluation of art. Some of the main questions we will consider will be: What makes something an artwork? How can we know what an artwork means? What does art add to our lives?  


PHIL 301 sec. 010      Ancient Philosophy                                      MWF 10:10-11:00am                    Draper

The course is divided into six topics: the significance of being mortal, the possibility and nature of change, the ideal society, the fundamental nature of reality, the nature of the mind, and the rationality of being moral.  We will consider the attempts of various ancient Greek philosophers to address these issues, with an emphasis on Plato, Aristotle and Epicurus.  Special attention will be given to Plato's Republic, widely recognized as one of the greatest works in Western literature.


PHIL 303 sec. 010

                  sec. 080      Modern Philosophy                                        TR 12:30-1:45 pm                               Shabo

This course is a study of works of the major philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries, including Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. In reading these works, we will come to understand some of their main positions and arguments in metaphysics and epistemology. In addition, we will come to appreciate how their discussions have shaped our contemporary understanding of such core philosophical problems as the nature of minds, what the physical world is like and what we can know about it, causation, and personal identity.


PHIL 306 sec. 010      Philosophy of Science                                     T/R 11-12:15 pm                       Swanson

As one of the hallmark examples of rational inquiry, science is an important case study for philosophical issues in epistemology and metaphysics. This course surveys central debates in philosophy of science with the aim of achieving a better understanding of the scope and limits of scientific knowledge. Topics covered vary from year to year and will be drawn from general philosophy of science (e.g. scientific realism and antirealism, reduction and emergence, laws, causation, explanation) as well as philosophy of physics, biology, and the social sciences (e.g. the arrow of time, the quantum measurement problem, genetic coding and information, modularity of mind, evolutionary game theory).


PHIL 307 sec. 010      Black Thought and Philosophy                      TR 2:00-3:15 pm                   Richardson

(Cross List: BAMS 307-010)

Readings and discussions of Black philosophies, ideologies and concepts as reflected in the thought of significant Black figures.


PHIL 310 sec. 010

                   sec. 080      Chinese Religion and Philosophy               MWF 12:20-1:10 pm                             Fox

In this course we will read and discuss the works of several important thinkers in the Chinese philosophical traditions, including the Confucians, Daoists, Mohists, Buddhists, Neo-Daoists, and Neo-Confucians. We will be interested in both the content and the methodology of Chinese philosophy. It is important to remember that this is a 300-level philosophy course, and although no prior experience in philosophy is required and no knowledge of the Chinese language is necessary, still the class will be demanding and will require that you think deeply about the materials. The Honors section will run concurrently with and meet at the same time as the non-Honors section, but will read and write about more in-depth works on topics that run concurrently with the syllabus of the regular section, and so we will meet additionally once every other Wednesday after class for an hour to discuss the additional material. This means that students with extremely restrictive schedules might not be able to participate. The grading will differ from the regular section in that class participation will count for a higher percentage of the final grade, and this will cover the work done in the smaller group.


PHIL 312 sec. 010         Late Medieval Philosophy                           TR 3:30-4:45 pm                            Rogers

The course covers what many consider to be the "Golden Age" of Christian, Jewish, and Islamic philosophy. We begin with the rediscovery of Aristotle by the Islamic philosophers (10th-12th centuries) and end with William of Ockham (of Ockham's Razor fame) in the 14 century.  The figures we study include Averroes, Maimonides and Thomas Aquinas, among others. Topics include how to reconcile science and religion, the nature of causation, what makes an action right, how to talk about God, the importance of free will and more. Requirements: Three tests, each counting for 1/6 of grade; 2 short papers, each counting 1/6 of grade; and quizzes on daily readings, all together counting for 1/6 of grade.


PHIL 320 sec. 010            Theory of Knowledge                                      TR 2:00-3:15 pm                           Pust (Cross List:  CGSC 320-010)

This course is a thorough survey of contemporary analytic epistemology (the theory of knowledge and justified belief).  We will begin with a consideration of various attempts to define knowledge.  Following that, we will examine contemporary theories of justified belief such as foundationalism, coherentism and reliabilism.  This course will conclude with an investigation of responses to skepticism about the external world.  Readings will be mostly from recent journal articles.  This course will be a mixture of lecture and discussion.  Students will be expected to be prepared for active and informed discussion of the readings. 


PHIL 330 sec. 010

                  sec. 080     Philosophy of Mind                                         TR 9:30-10:45 am                         Adams

(Cross List: CGSC 330-010 and 080)

What is the mind?  What is the relation of the mind to the body?  How does the mind work?  For example, how do thoughts come to be about the world around us?  How do your thoughts come to be about or mean the University of Delaware?  And how do thoughts cause behavior?  You enrolled at the University of Delaware because you wanted to come here.  How do wants (desires) cause things in virtue of their contents or meanings?  We are quite familiar with the fact that our thoughts do control our behavior.  And our thoughts certainly seem to do this because of what they mean or are about.  How does this all work?  Philosophers, linguists, psychologists, computer scientists, and neuroscientists, among others, have asked these sorts of questions.  We will surely attempt to answer questions about the nature of the mind and how it acquires its contents (or meanings).  We begin with a historical survey of approaches to the mind.  We will then look at current debates about the nature of the mind.  Along the way we will consider related issues of whether nonhuman animals can think and whether a machine (computer) could be made that can think, among other issues.  We will consider various theories about how the mind represents the world and current debates about the best way to model the workings of the mind.  The course will not presuppose familiarity with the literature on these topics, but will be self-contained--the first part of the course will build a background for the remainder of the course.  The format for the course will be lecture and discussion.  Students will be active participants in daily discussion of materials.  Grades will be determined on the basis of a combination of quizzes, papers and participation.


PHIL367 sec. 010            Logic for Law                                                   MWF 1:25-2:15 pm                        Hanley

Course will focus on the formal logic that underlies the law, and it will also prepare students for the logical structure of the problems on the Law School Admissions Test.


PHIL389 sec. 010            TOPICS:  Women and Health Issues             TR 2:00-3:15 pm                        Turkel

(Cross List: WOMS 389-010)

Varying special topics related to women's health. Topics may include, but are not limited to: the relationship between women, health and development; theoretical contributions of feminism to thinking about relationship between gender and health; women's health conditions in various parts of the world.


PHIL/UAPP 448 and PHIL 648 sec. 010 Environmental Ethics      TR 12:30-1:45 pm                          Powers

Ethical problems associated with environmental protection, local, national, and international. Relations to social and political movements. Seminar format.


PHIL 465 sec. 010     

                   sec. 080          Senior Seminar:  Global Justice                  MW 3:35-4:50 pm                          Lee

In this seminar we will consider important issues in global justice. Topics discussed in this seminar include patriotism, nationalism, cosmopolitanism, human rights, immigration, economic development, global inequality and poverty. 


PHIL 613 sec. 010      RAISE:   Research Ethics                              T 4:00-6:00 pm                           Greene

The RAISE (Responsibility and Integrity in Science and Engineering) seminar provides graduate instruction on research ethics and professional practice.  The seminar prepares participants as future leaders of professional integrity in their fields.  Issues include attribution of authorship, data falsification, conflicts of interest, plagiarism, and whistleblowing.




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  • Department of Philosophy
  • 24 Kent Way
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2359