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Courses for fall 2018

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PHILOSOPHY COURSES

FALL 2018

 

On the following pages 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 be teaching it.  (For your convenience, the phone numbers and email addresses of the instructors are listed below.)  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.

 

Adams        831-6706

                    fa@udel.edu

Hanley           831-0559

                       hanley@udel.edu

Pust              831-8208

                     jpust@udel.edu

Cushing      831-0609

                    jcushing@udel.edu

Jordan            831-8207

                       jjjordan@udel.edu

Swanson       831-0488

                     nswanson@udel.edu

Fox             831-8077     

                   afox@udel.edu

 Lee,  Hsin-wen 831-3929

                       hwl@udel.edu

 

Greene        831-0448

                    mkgreene@udel.edu

Powers          831-3229

                        tpowers@udel.edu

 

 

Courses that satisfy Arts and Sciences Group Requirements

Group A

PHIL 100         Philosophies of Life

PHIL 102         Introduction to Philosophy

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 216         Introduction to Feminist Theory

PHIL 306         Philosophy of Science

PHIL 307         Black Thought & Philosophy

PHIL 310         Chinese Religion & Philosophy

 

Group B

PHIL 301         Ancient Philosophy     

 

Group C

PHIL 330         Philosophy of Mind

 

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

 

PHIL – 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 102 sec. 010       Introduction to Philosophy                           TR 11-12:15 pm                              Pust

An examination of such central philosophical problems as ethics, theories of knowledge, the nature of reality, philosophy of religion and political philosophy.

 

PHIL102 sec. 011        Introduction to Philosophy                            MWF 1:25-2:15 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.

 

PHIL 201 sec. 010       Social and Political Philosophy                   MWF 12:20-1:10 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.

 

PHIL203 sec. 010          Ethics                                                               MWF 1:25-2:15 pm                             Lee

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.

 

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                            Harris

(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 11:00-12:15 pm                     Laberge

(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.

 

PHIL 210 sec. 011       Women and Religion                                   TR 12:30-1:45 pm                       Laberge

(Cross List: WOMS 210-011)

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.

 

PHIL 216 sec. 010       Introduction to Feminist Theory              TR 9:30-10:45 am                     Naccarelli

(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.

 

PHIL 301 sec. 010       Ancient Philosophy                                         MWF 2:30-3:20 pm                     Cushing

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 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 313 sec. 010       Killing and Letting Die                                 TR 11-12:15 pm                          Greene

Doctors are generally forbidden to actively cause the death of terminally ill patients who are in great pain and want to die. However, they are allowed to withhold treatment from such patients, knowing this will hasten death. Both practices share the morally salient feature that they result in avoidable earlier death. Why is killing condemned but letting die allowed? We will explore this and the acts /omissions asymmetry more generally. It seems that there are cases in which moral attitudes diverge despite equivalence of ethically relevant features. Are such asymmetries real or only apparent? What do they mean for the ethical systems in which they arise?

 

PHIL322-010                Existentialism                                                MWF 1:25-2:15 pm                   Fichtelberg

Study of the origins and development of existential philosophy. Emphasis on the fundamental insight into the nature of man that separates the existentialists from the rest of the Western philosophical tradition. Sources include Pascal, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche and Sartre.

 

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.

 

PHIL 465 sec. 010      

    sec. 080          Senior Seminar:  Causation                                    TR – 5-6:15 pm                          Swanson

This writing intensive seminar will focus on the metaphysics of causation and causal explanation in the philosophy of science, mind, and action


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

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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Courses for fall 2018
  • Department of Philosophy
  • 24 Kent Way
  • University of Delaware
  • Newark, DE 19716, USA
  • Phone: 302-831-2359
  • philosophy@udel.edu