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Courses being offered in Spring 2020 which satisfy Arts and Sciences Group Requirements 

Group A 

PHIL100   Philosophies of Life  
PHIL102   Introduction to Philosophy  
PHIL201   Social and Political Philosophy  
PHIL202  Contemporary Moral Problems  
PHIL203   Ethics  
PHIL204   World Religions  
PHIL244   Philosophy of Art 
PHIL307   Black Thought & Philosophy  
PHIL309   Indian Religion and Philosophy  
PHIL315   Metaphysics  
PHIL320  Theory of Knowledge 
PHIL446   Philosophy of Law  
PHIL448   Environmental Ethics 

 Group B 

PHIL101   Great Western Philosophers  
PHIL210   Women and Religion 
PHIL300   Medieval Philosophy 
PHIL301   Ancient Philosophy 
PHIL303   Modern Philosophy  
PHIL305   20th Century Philosophy   

Group D 

PHIL205   Logic  

PHIL 207 Scientific Reasoning 

Courses that satisfy Arts and Sciences Second Writing Requirement 
PHIL465   Senior Seminar 

Courses that satisfy University Multicultural Requirement 
PHIL204   World Religions 
PHIL210   Women and Religion 
PHIL309   Indian Religion and Philosophy 
PHIL410   Psychology and Religion 



On the following pages you will find brief statements 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>
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><p> </p><br>
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 12:30-1:45 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>
Introduction to PhilosophyTR 2:00-3:15 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>
Introduction to PhilosophyTR 11:00-12:15 pmCushing, Jeremy jcushing<p>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. <br></p>
Social and Political PhilosophyTR 11:00-12:15 Koltonski, 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>
Contemporary Moral ProblemsTR 12:30-1:45Lee, 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>
EthicsTR 2:00-3:15Lee, Hsin-wenhwl<p>In this introductory-level course to Ethics, we will explore some important topics in the study of morality, including cultural relativism, subjectivism, the relation between morality and religion, ethical egoism, the social contract theory, the utilitarian approach, the Kantian approach, the feminist approach, and virtue ethics.  </p>
EthicsTR 9:30-10:45Koltonski, 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>
LogicTR 3:30-4:45Swanson, Noelnswanson<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. </p>
Scientific ReasoningTR 11:00-12:15Swanson, Noelnswanson<p>Critical survey of basic concepts and forms of inductive reasoning. Applications to the physical, social and biomedical sciences. Topics include: interpretations of probability, probabilistic fallacies, methods of statistical induction, logic of hypothesis testing, judging correlations, criteria of causation, experimental design and definitions of confirmation. </p>
Women and ReligionMWF 2:30-3:20<p>​Laberge   (Cross List:  WOMS 210-010) </p><p>Examines the impact of Near Eastern and Judeo-Christian scriptures on women in the family and society especially focusing on women’s roles as mystics and leaders within and outside of institutional religion.  Also covers recent feminist approaches to religion. </p>
Philosophy of ArtTR 12:30-1:45Cushing, Jeremy jcushing<p>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?   </p>
Medieval PhilosophyTR 3:30-4:45Rogers, Katherinkrogers<p>Medieval Philosophy deals with the synthesis of Greek philosophy and biblical religion.  We start with some background in Ancient Greek philosophy and Plotinus, the Neoplatonist who had a profound impact on later thought. Major figures include Christian philosophers, Augustine, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus and William of Ockham; Islamic philosophers, Avicenna, Alghazali, and Averroes; and Jewish philosopher, Maimonides,   Though the material is presented chronologically, the key question throughout will be whether or not the ideas we study are philosophically viable today.  Topics will include: Proving God, Evil, Freedom, Causation, Knowledge,  The Good Life, Universals, Time, and more.  There will be three essay tests, two short papers, and quizzes on assigned reading.   </p>
Ancient PhilosophyTR 2:00-3:15Draper, Kailakai<p>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. </p>
Modern PhilosophyTR 11:00-12:15Shabo, 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>
Twentieth Century PhilosophyTR 2:00-3:15Swanson, Noelnswanson<p>Major philosophical movements from the 20th century to the present. Includes logical empiricism and the recent criticism of this movement. </p>
Black Thought and PhilosophyMWF 10:10–11:00<p>​Smith  (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>
Indian Religion & PhilosophyMWF 2:30-3:20Fox, Alan Davidafox<p><strong>(Satisfies University multicultural course requirement) </strong><br><strong> sec. 080Honors: Indian Religion & Philosophy MWF 2:30-3:20 pm </strong><br><strong>(Honors section requires permission from Honors Program) </strong><br><strong>(Satisfies University multicultural course requirement) </strong></p><p>This course will cover the philosophical and religious traditions in the Indian culture, including the Vedic tradition, Jainism, and the various philosophical schools of Hinduism.  Special emphasis will be placed on Buddhism and Advaita Vedanta.  We will also cover various more recent developments in Indian thought, including Sikhism and the works of modern thinkers such as Gandhi, Ramakrishna, and Aurobindo. <br></p><p>The Honors section of Indian Religion and Philosophy will operate as a subsection of PHIL 309 sec. 010.  This means that besides the regular work load for the course, students will be expected to meet for an additional discussion every other Wednesday immediately following the regular class throughout the semester.  This means that students with extremely complex or restricted schedules may not be able to take part.  We will read additional, more in-depth and sophisticated materials, and will spend more time working with traditional texts.  Increased emphasis will be placed on class participation, in both the regular and the additional honors section meetings.  Class is limited to ten students.   </p>
MetaphysicsMWF 2:30-3:20Hanley, Richardhanley<p>Metaphysics is the study of how and what things really are.  Modern analytic metaphysics has been especially concerned with modality (the nature of necessity and possibility), personal identity, the mindbody problem, the nature of time, causation, and freedom of the will; and has been characterized by a fine attention to language and logic.  We shall touch on all these concerns, with the focus on modality, an area which in the 1980s saw the publication of two revolutionary works, by Saul Kripke and David Lewis. </p>
Honors: Time TravelMWF 1:25-2:15Hanley, Richardhanley<p><strong>(Honors section requires permission from Honors Program) </strong></p><p>The notions of time travel, and of a multiverse, are staples of science fiction that have gained respectability in recent physics and philosophy. We shall examine them in connection with traditional philosophical issues concerning the nature of time, space, change, causation, God, human beings, free will and personal identity. </p>
Theory of KnowledgeMWF 11:15-12:05Pust, Joeljpust<p>                                            <strong>(Cross List:  CGSC 320-010) </strong></p><p>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.   </p>
Religion and PsychologyMWF 1:25-2:15Fox, Alan Davidafox<div style="text-align:center;"></div><p style="text-align:center;"><strong>(Cross List PSYC410-010,080)</strong></p><p>Explore religion from various psychological points of view, on the one hand, and psychology from various religious points of view. Examine authors which blur the distinctions between these three approaches. We will not be attempting to reduce religious experience to one or another normal or abnormal psychological state. Explore how religious experiences can be viewed as real experiences for which one should be able to provide a psychological account. </p>
Medical EthicsMW 3:35-4:50Hanley, Richardhanley<p>Seminar focuses on such topics as experimentation with human subjects, professional practice, and moral problems in health care. RESTRICTIONS: For students of BMEG.  This course does not satisfy A&S 2nd writing requirement. </p>
Philosophy of LawMWF 12:30-1:45Draper, 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>
Senior SeminarMW 5:00-6:15Jordan, Jeffrey J.jjjordan<p>Human malice and misery raise the question, why is there evil?  Western Philosophy has understood evil in two related but distinct ways.  The first understands evil as the human propensity to bring about pain and suffering, while the second understands evil as the pain and suffering of innocents.  We might approach these two understandings by distinguishing between moral evil (pain and suffering brought about by the choices and actions of moral agents) and natural evil (pain and suffering which does not result from the choices or actions of moral agents – events such as tsunamis, diseases, or earthquakes).   The issue of evil is particularly acute for theism – why is there evil if an omnipotent, omniscient, and morally perfect being exists?  In this course, we will explore the problem of evil.   </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