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Current Courses

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Courses being offered in Fall 2020 which 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 216          Introduction to Feminist Theory
PHIL 241          Ethical Issues in Healthcare
PHIL 306          Philosophy of Science
PHIL 307          Black Thought & Philosophy
PHIL 310          Chinese Religion & Philosophy

Group B

PHIL 101          Great Western Philosophers

PHIL 301          Ancient Philosophy

PHIL 303          Modern Philosophy      

Group C

PHIL 330          Philosophy of Mind
Group D

PHIL 205          Logic

Courses that satisfy Arts and Sciences Second Writing Requirement

PHIL 444          Medical Ethics
PHIL 465          Senior Seminar

Courses that satisfy University Multicultural Requirement

PHIL 204          World Religions
PHIL 208          Introduction to Jewish Philosophy
PHIL 216          Introduction to Feminist Theory
PHIL 307          Black Thought & Philosophy
PHIL 310          Chinese Religion & Philosophy




On the following pages you will find brief descriptions about the various Philosophy courses and sections available for the
spring 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.  (For your convenience, the instructors names are linked to their profile which list contact information and office hours.)  If that person is unavailable, feel free to ask any Philosophy faculty member, stop by the Department Office at 24 Kent Way, or call 831-2359. 



 

 

Philosophies of LifeMW 3:35-4:50Jordan, Jeffrey J.jjjordan<p>​<strong>Plato, Christianity, Marxism, Freud, and Naturalism</strong> 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.</p>
Philosophies of LifeTR 12:30-1:45 pmFox, Alan Davidafox<p>​Survey of selected past and present philosophies that people strive to live by, typically including individualistic, group-oriented, religious and nonreligious positions.<br></p>
Philosophy of LifeOnlineJordan, Jeffrey J.jjjordan<p>​<strong>Plato, Christianity, Marxism, Freud, and Naturalism</strong> 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.<br></p>
Great Western PhilosophersTR 2:00-3:15Rogers, Katherinkrogers<p>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.<br></p>
Great Western PhilosophersOnlineRogers, Katherinkrogers<p>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. </p>
Introduction to PhilosophyTR 11:00-12:15 pmShabo, Sethsshabo<p>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. </p>
Critical ThinkingTR 2:00-3:15 pmSwanson, Noelnswanson<p>​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.<br></p>
Social and Political PhilosophyMWF 12:20-1:10 PMKoltonski, Danieldkoltons<p>This course provides an introduction to Western political philosophy via an examination of three core values that have governed political debate since the Reformation: freedom, equality and community. We will consider them individually: ‘What is it to be a free individual?’ ‘Why is equality important?’ We will consider political debates that rely on them: ‘Is capitalism justified because it allows people to exercise their freedom in the marketplace?’ ‘Or is it unjustified because it deprives some of their freedom?’ ‘Does the demand for social equality require some sort of economic egalitarianism?’ ‘Does respect for freedom require that individuals have a robust right to free expression?’ And, finally, we will consider whether realizing one of them either requires or precludes realizing another: ‘Does allowing persons economic freedom prevent us from realizing a society of equals?’ ‘Or can we only be truly free when we live among equals?’ </p>
Social and Political PhilosophyMWF 11:15-12:05 PMLee, Hsin-wenhwl<p>​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.  <br></p>
Contemporary Moral ProblemsTR 12:30-1:45 pmPust, Joeljpust<p>​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. <br></p>
Contemporary Moral ProblemsMWF 1:25-2:15 pmHanley, Richardhanley<p>In conducting our ordinary lives, we often need answers to ethical questions.  Some of the most serious are literally matters of life and death.  These force us to ask questions like:  is it ever okay to kill another member of the human species?  Is it always okay to kill things which are not members of the human species?  We shall consider issues like abortion, infanticide, contraception, euthanasia, capital punishment, warfare, and the welfare of future generations, animals, the environment, and of those less fortunate than ourselves.  Along the way, we'll construct a picture of a plausible ethical theory, engaging questions like, "Are there any objectively correct answers in ethics?" and "Does ethics depend upon religion?"  Students will emerge from the course in a position to make a worthwhile contribution to the discussion of ethical issues in our society.<br></p>
Contemporary Moral ProblemsMWF 12:20-1:10 PMLee, Hsin-wenhwl<p>The moral issues we will consider include abortion, genetic enhancement, euthanasia, the death penalty, recreational use of drugs, sexual intimacy and marriage, motherhood and the workplace, freedom of speech, global justice, war and terrorism, animal rights and environmental ethics. Students will learn relevant arguments from both sides. The aim is to help students to develop and defend their own views.  </p>
EthicsMWF 1:25-2:15 pmKoltonski, Danieldkoltons<p>​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.<br></p>
EthicsMWF 2:30-3:20 PMKoltonski, Danieldkoltons<p>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.  </p>
World ReligionsMWF 10:10-11:00Fox, Alan Davidafox<p>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. </p>
LogicMWF 12:20-1:10 PMDraper, Kailakai<p>Elementary symbolic logic of truth-functions and quantification.  This course covers deductive reasoning:  patterns of argument that are logically conclusive by virtue of their form alone.  A formal language is developed for expressing the structure of arguments involving connectives like "and", "or", and quantifiers like "all", "some", "no".  When translated into this formal language, arguments in ordinary English can be proved valid or invalid, and sentences can be evaluated as logically true, logically false, or contingent.<br></p>
Introduction to Jewish Philosophy MW 3:35-4:50 pm<p>​Hein (Cross List:  JWST208-010)<br></p><p>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.</p>
Introduction to Feminist TheoryTR 12:30-1:45 pm<p>​Laberge (Cross List:  WOMS216-010)</p><p>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.<br></p>
Ethical Issues in HealthcareTR 9:30-10:45 amGreene, Markmkgreene<p>Informed discussion of the ethics of healthcare must acknowledge the constraints of political and economic reality. In this course we will make an interdisciplinary examination of competing considerations of ethics, justice, and practical policy in the provision of healthcare. Among the questions addressed will be: What are the aims of healthcare and how can success be measured? Is there a right to healthcare? Who should pay? How should scarce resources be distributed? (See also PHIL 444 for a class with a more clinical focus.)  More info on class website: classes.vole.org/241.<br></p>
Ancient PhilosophyTR 3:30-4:45 pmRogers, Katherinkrogers
Modern PhilosophyTR 12:30-1:45 pmShabo, Sethsshabo<p>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. </p>
Philosophy of ScienceTR 11-12:15 pmSwanson, Noelnswanson<p>​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).<br></p>
Black Thought and PhilosophyTR 2:00-3:15 pm<p>Richardson (Cross List: AFRA 307-010) </p><p>Readings and discussions of Black philosophies, ideologies and concepts as reflected in the thought of significant Black figures. </p>
Chinese Religion and PhilosophyMWF 12:20-1:10 pmFox, Alan Davidafox<p>​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.<br></p>
Philosophy of Mind MWF 2:30-3:20 pmCushing, Jeremy jcushing<p>"This is a course on the nature of the mind. We will begin with the mind-body problem and proceed to spend a lot of our time examining ways in which recent thinkers have attempted to reconcile the mind with physicalism. We will also consider separately special topics such as the nature of consciousness and our access to our own minds."<br></p>
Meaning and Language UseTR 12:30-1:45 pm<p>​Tomioka (Cross List:  CGSC and LING)</p><p>Introduction to theories of meaning based on the notion of truth and their application to language use. PREREQ: LING101.<br></p>
Medical EthicsTR 8:00-9:15 amGreene, Markmkgreene<p><strong><em>(Satisfies A&S second writing requirement)</em></strong></p><p>An examination of some of the most controversial issues in medical ethics.  Through discussion of specific, highly influential cases, this seminar will join ongoing debates on the ethics of euthanasia, human experimentation, reproductive rights, human cloning, genetic engineering, mental disease and other topics.  (See also PHIL/CSCC 241 for a class with a more policy focus.)  More info on class website: classes.vole.org/444.</p>
Philosophy of LawMWF 2:30-3:20 PMDraper, Kailakai<p>This course examines fundamental issues in the philosophy of law, including the nature and content of law, its relation to morality, theories of legal interpretation, and the obligation to obey the law, as well as philosophical issues and problems associated with punishment and responsibility, liberty, and legal ethics.  <br></p>
Environmental EthicsTR 3:30-4:45Powers, Thomas M.tpowers<p><strong>(Cross List:  UAPP 448-010) </strong></p><p>Ethical problems associated with environmental protection, local, national, and international. Relations to social and political movements. Seminar format. </p>
Environmental EthicsTR 3:30-4:45 pmPowers, Thomas M.tpowers<p>​(Cross List:  UAPP 448-010)</p><p>Ethical problems associated with environmental protection, local, national, and international. Relations to social and political movements. Seminar format<br></p>
Senior SeminarTR 11:00-12:15 pmGreene, Markmkgreene<p>VALUE THEORY <strong><em>(Satisfies A&S second writing requirement)</em></strong></p><p>When Plato said, "To the vulgar pleasure seems to be the good, but to the more refined, understanding." he was stating part of his value theory: philosophers are better than frat boys. We will examine the central role of value theory in ethics, economics, and social choice. We will compare competing accounts of who and what matters, and consider whether there are rational limits on people's values.  More info on class website:  classes.vole.org/46520f<br></p>
RAISE: Research EthicsT 4:00-6:00 pmPowers, Thomas M.tpowers<p>​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.<br></p>

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