Course Schedules and Descriptions

 

2012-2013

 

2012 1S PHIL 110 01 Intro Philosophical Questioning 11:10AM 12:00PM MWF J. Dow
2012 1S PHIL 150 01 Introduction to Logic 12:10PM 1:00PM MWF F. Ablondi
2012 1S PHIL 200 H1 SpFocus: Galileo As Philosopher 9:45AM 11:00AM TR F. Ablondi
2012 1S PHIL 285 01 Ancient Philosophy 8:10AM 9:00AM MWF C. Campolo
2012 1S PHIL 306 01 Nineteenth Century Philosophy 10:10AM 11:00AM MWF L. Schmidt
2012 1S PHIL 306 01 W Nineteenth Century Philosophy-WII       L. Schmidt
2012 1S PHIL 330 01 Ethical Theory 9:10AM 10:00AM MWF C. Campolo
2012 1S PHIL 490 N1 Topics: Self-consciousness 1:15PM 2:30PM TR J. Dow
2012 1S PHIL 490 N1 W Topics:Self-consciousness-WII       J. Dow
2012 1S PHIL 497 01 Philosophy: Senior Thesis 2:10PM 4:00PM W C. Campolo
2012 1S PHIL 497 01 W Senior Thesis-WL II       C. Campolo
2012 1S PHIL 497 99 IndSt: Wittgenstein       J. Dow
2012 1S PHIL 497 99 W Philosophy: Senior Thesis- WII       J. Dow
2012 2S PHIL 110 01 Intro Philosophical Questioning 9:45AM 11:00AM TR F. Ablondi
2012 2S PHIL 110 02 Intro Philosophical Questioning 12:10PM 1:00PM MWF T. Staff
2012 2S PHIL 150 01 Introduction to Logic 11:10AM 12:00PM MWF L. Schmidt
2012 2S PHIL 200 J1 SpFocus: Evolution of the Mind 10:10AM 11:00AM MWF J. Dow
2012 2S PHIL 225 01 Ethics and Medicine 8:10AM 9:00AM MWF C. Campolo
2012 2S PHIL 225 02 Ethics and Medicine 10:10AM 11:00AM MWF C. Campolo
2012 2S PHIL 270 01 Environmental Philosophy 9:45AM 11:00AM TR J. Dow
2012 2S PHIL 302 01 17th & 18th c. Philosophy 11:10AM 12:00PM MWF F. Ablondi
2012 2S PHIL 360 01 Social and Political Philosophy 9:10AM 10:00AM MWF C. Campolo
2012 2S PHIL 370 01 Philosophy of Religion 8:15AM 9:30AM TR P. Falls-Corbitt
2012 2S PHIL 385 01 Epistemology 12:10PM 1:00PM MWF J. Dow
2012 2S PHIL 389 01 Aesthetics & Contemporary Art 10:10AM 11:00AM MWF M. Tettlebaum
2012 2S PHIL 490 P1 Topics: Ethics & Children's Lit 2:10PM 4:00PM W C. Campolo
2012 2S PHIL 490 Q1 Topics: Continental Philosophy 1:10PM 2:00PM MWF L. Schmidt

2011-2012

 

2011 1S PHIL 110 01  Intro Philosophical Questioning  1:15PM  2:30PM  TR J. Dow
2011 1S PHIL 200 D1  SpFocus:Ethics in Twain  8:10AM  9:00AM  MWF C. Campolo
2011 1S PHIL 200 D2  SpF: Phil. of Artificial Intell.  10:10AM  11:00AM  MWF J. Dow
2011 1S PHIL 285 01  Ancient Philosophy  9:10AM  10:00AM  MWF C. Campolo
2011 1S PHIL 300 01  19th-Century Philosophy  11:10AM  12:00PM  MWF L. Schmidt
2011 1S PHIL 300 01 W  19th-Century Philosophy-WL II        L. Schmidt
2011 1S PHIL 480 01  Philosophy of Mind  12:10PM  1:00PM  MWF J. Dow
2011 1S PHIL 497 01  Philosophy: Senior Thesis  2:10PM  4:00PM  W C. Campolo
2011 1S PHIL 497 01 W  Senior Thesis-WL II        C. Campolo
2011 1S PHIL 498 01  Intern: Philosphy & Politics        C. Campolo
2011 2S PHIL 150 01  Introduction to Logic  11:10AM  12:00PM  MWF L. Schmidt
2011 2S PHIL 225 01  Ethics and Medicine  8:10AM  9:00AM  MWF C. Campolo
2011 2S PHIL 260 01  Philosophies of China & Japan  9:45AM  11:00AM  TR L. Schmidt
2011 2S PHIL 260 99  IndSt:Philosophies of China & Japan       L. Schmidt
2011 2S PHIL 267 01  Introduction to Gender Studies  9:10AM  10:00AM  MWF C. Campolo
2011 2S PHIL 285 01  Ancient Philosophy  2:45PM  4:00PM  TR C. Campolo
2011 2S PHIL 295 01  17th & 18th-Century Philosophy  11:10AM  12:00PM  MWF J. Dow
2011 2S PHIL 350 01  Philosophy of Science  12:10PM  1:00PM  MWF L. Schmidt
2011 2S PHIL 370 01  Philosophy of Religion  8:15AM  9:30AM  TR P. Falls-Corbitt
2011 2S PHIL 380 01  Metaphysics  1:10PM  2:00PM  MWF J. Dow
2011 2S PHIL 380 01 W  MetaphysicsWL II        J. Dow
2011 2S PHIL 389 01  Aesthetics & Contemporary Art  10:10AM  11:00AM  MWF M. Tettlebaum
2011 2S PHIL 490 L1  Topics: Ethics & Commerce  8:15AM  9:30AM  TR C. Campolo
2011 2S PHIL 490 M1  Top: Philosophy of Psychology  9:45AM  11:00AM  TR J. Dow
2011 2S PHIL 498 01  Intern: Criminal Justice        P. Falls-Corbitt
2011 3S PHIL 200 F1  SpFocus: Philosophy of Sport  9:00AM  12:00PM  MTWRF J. Dow

 

Fall 2010

PHIL 110 - Introduction to Philosophical Questioning (Simmons)

Description: In this class we will be looking at some of the "big questions" from the history of philosophy by reading key texts from the western philosophical tradition. In particular, we will consider the following: "What ought I to believe?", "What is the nature of reality?", "Is there a God?", "Is there meaning in postmodernism?" The course will be a mixture of lecture and discussion and involve several short papers and a final exam.

PHIL 225 - Ethics and Medicine (Campolo)

PHIL 267 - Introduction to Gender Studies (Resinski)

PHIL 285 - Ancient Philospohy (Campolo)

PHIL 300 - 19th Century Philosophy (Schmidt)

PHIL 385 - Epistemology (Ablondi)

PHIL 480 - Philosophy of Mind (Ablondi)

PHIL 490 - Senior Thesis (Campolo)

SEE ALSO - POLI 410 F1 - Topics: Heidegger and Arendt (Maslin-Wicks and Simmons)
***This course will count toward the Philosophy major*** 

Description: Martin Heidegger was in the process of writing Being and Time while Hannah Arendt studied with him in Germany.  After a brief affair, Heidegger embraced National Socialism; Arendt fled Germany and abandoned philosophy in favor of political theory.  In this course, students will be introduced to the work of both Martin Heidegger and Hannah Arendt and will bring their work into conversation with one another.  Moreover, it aims to bring philosophy and politics students into conversation with one another.  It hopes to improve philosophy students’ appreciation for politics by introducing them to the critical role political action plays for Arendt in the development of the self; while also improving politics students’ appreciation for philosophy by introducing them to the significant role ontology plays in the prospects of political engagement.

Spring 2011

PHIL 110 - Introduction to Philosophical Questioning (Ablondi)

PHIL 150 - Introduction to Logic (Schmidt)

PHIL 200 B1 - Focus: The Philosophy of Sex (Campolo)

Description: A philosophical study of the phenomena, concepts, ethics, and significance of sex.  We will explore topics ranging from the ontological status of gender to feminist debates over the import of pornography and prostitution.  We will discuss, for example, the relationships we find in our world between sex and love, class, identity, violence, family, technology, health, and money.  We will explore a variety of philosophical theories about sex, from Plato onward. 

PHIL 200 C1 - Focus: Scottish Moral Philosophy (Ablondi)

Description: The study and critical evaluation of the ethical thought of some of the leading philosophers of eighteenth-century Scotland, including Francis Hutcheson, David Hume, and Adam Smith.

PHIL 215 - Ethics and Society (Campolo)

PHIL 240 - Existentialism (Simmons)

Description: This course will be an introduction to one of the most prominent and influential philosophical and literary movements of the twentieth century, Existentialism.  The course will roughly be divided between 19th century thinkers that stand as proto-existentialists (Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, and Dostoevsky) and 20th century thinkers that were related in one way or another to the existentialist trajectory (Heidegger, Sartre, De Beauvoir, Camus, and Beckett).  No philosophical background required. 

PHIL 270 - Environmental Philosophy (Simmons)

Description: This course will be a detailed look at the basic concerns in environmental philosophy.  Topics that will be included are: holistic ethics, deep ecology, ecocentrism, biocentrism, obligations to future generations, problems and promise of anthropocentrism, relationships between animal ethics and environmental ethics, and environmental pragmatism.  No philosophical background required.  

PHIL 295 - 17th and 18th Century Philosophy (Ablondi)

PHIL 315 - Ethics and Relations to Friend, Kin, and Community (Falls-Corbitt)

PHIL 350 - Philosophy of Science (Schmidt)

PHIL 389 - Aesthetics and Contemporary Art (Tettlebaum)

PHIL 490 C1 - Topics: Pragmatism (Schmidt)

Description: Through essays by Charles Sanders Peirce and William James classical American pragmatism will be introduced. The majority of the course will focus on John Dewey’s pragmatism. We will study Dewey’s Experience and Nature. To complement this reading we will look at some passages from The Quest for Certainty and Logic: The Theory of Inquiry. Of Experience and Nature Richard Rorty stated in Consequence of Pragmatism, “It is easier to think of the book as an explanation of why nobody needs a metaphysics, rather than as itself a metaphysics.”  Time permitting we will finish by looking at the Rorty’s sense of pragmatism.

PHIL 490 K1 - Topics: The Philosophy of Michael Oakeshott (Campolo)

Description: A close investigation into the political and moral philosophy of Michael Oakeshott, one of the most subtle and idiosyncratic philosophers of the Twentieth Century. 

 

Fall 2009

PHIL 110 - Introduction to Philosophical Questioning (Simmons)

Description: In this class we will be looking at some of the "big questions" from the history of philosophy by reading key texts from the western philosophical tradition. In particular, we will consider the following: "What ought I to believe?", "What is the nature of reality?", "Is there a God?", "Is there meaning in postmodernism?" The course will be a mixture of lecture and discussion and involve several short papers and a final exam.

PHIL 110 - Introduction to Philosophical Questioning (Ablondi)

Description: we will look at three (maybe four) related areas of philosophical inquiry concerning the self by examining contemporary texts (with a few exceptions): the mind and consciousness, identity of person over time, freedom of the will, and ethics. Students will learn about the debates on these topics, form their own answers to the questions considered, and gain some understanding as to how philosophy is done. In general, I do not intend to give lectures summarizing the assigned texts, but rather will highlight issues raised in the reading in order to generate class discussion.

PHIL 267 - Introduction to Gender Studies (Campolo)

Description:  We will explore the concept of “gender” and examine some of the many complex roles that it plays in our lives.  This course is part of the college’s interdisciplinary Gender Studies Program.

PHIL 285 - Ancient Philosophy (Campolo)

Description:  A philosophical tour through some of the earliest and most profound texts in our Western tradition. Highlights include Heraclitus on the flux of Being, Plato on the Being of Goodness, and Aristotle on the Good, the Bad, and those little fish that have both eyes on the same side of their heads.

PHIL 300 - Nineteenth Century Philosophy (Schmidt)

syllabusschedule

Description: This course will focus on the culmination of German Idealism in the philosophy of Hegel and on the reactions against Hegel as they developed in the nineteenth century.  We will begin with a careful examination of Hegel’s system by following his line of thought in the Phenomenology of Mind.  You will probably find Hegel rather difficult so plan some diligent working time, but also do not give up hope, since it will make sense in the end.  After Hegel we will turn to Karl Marx and his reinterpretation of Hegel. Then we will look at John S. Mill to investigate utilitarianism.  Next we will examine the American pragmatists in order to explore in some detail their reevaluation of philosophy and their synthesis of rationalism and empiricism.  To end we will broach Nietzsche’s philosophy.

PHIL 370 - Philosophy of Religion (Simmons)

Description: This course will be an in-depth look at the history, main issues, and contemporary debates of the philosophy of religion. Although we will be covering a lot of ground, the course will be divided into four focused thematic areas: 1) the problem of evil, 2) arguments for God, 3) faith and reason, 4) Reformed Epistemology and Deconstruction. We will be addressing both contemporary analytic and contemporary continental approaches to the philosophy of religion and throughout the semester wrestle with the question of whether philosophy of religion continues to be a viable field of specifically philosophical inquiry after the so-called “death of God.”

PHIL 480 - Philosophy of Mind (Ablondi)

Description: Students who complete this class will have a solid understanding of the leading philosophical theories on the ontological status of the mind, particularly their merits and their problems. We will spend the first ½ or so of the term looking at some of the foundational articles addressing this question. We will then turn to two (relatively) recent books on the topic.

PHIL 497 - Senior Thesis (Campolo)

Description:  This course is required for, and only open to, senior philosophy majors.  We will focus on the art and science of clear argumentative writing, and we will prepare for the beloved senior thesis.


Spring 2010

PHIL 110 - Introduction to Philosophical Questioning (Ablondi)

Description: we will look at three (maybe four) related areas of philosophical inquiry concerning the self by examining contemporary texts (with a few exceptions): the mind and consciousness, identity of person over time, freedom of the will, and ethics. Students will learn about the debates on these topics, form their own answers to the questions considered, and gain some understanding as to how philosophy is done. In general, I do not intend to give lectures summarizing the assigned texts, but rather will highlight issues raised in the reading in order to generate class discussion.

PHIL 150 - Logic (Schmidt)

PHIL 202 - Philosophy and Literature (Simmons)

Description: This course will ask the following questions - What is the difference, if there is one, between philosophy and literature?  Can a literary text be read "philosophically"?  What is a "philosophical" reading anyway?  While wrestling with such issues, the first part of the course will be devoted to reading literature as philosophy and in the second part of the course we will explore the philosophy of literature.  Possible readings will include works by Jacques Derrida, Kurt Vonnegut, Willilam Shakespeare, Chuck Palahniuk, Brad Land, Freidrich Schlegel, among others. 

PHIL 201 - Ethics in the Face of Poverty (Falls-Corbitt)

Description: Students will study, analyze and evaluate competing ethical theories as they apply to questions about the extent of our social obligations to those who are poor and lack ready access to vital social goods. Students’ understanding of these theories will be enhanced by their experience working with local non-governmental organizations seeking to provide for the economically and socially disadvantaged in our community. Each student will be required to complete 30 hours of service experience with such agencies. Class size is limited to 15.

PHIL 250 - Philosophies of India (Schmidt)

PHIL 215 - Ethics and Society (Campolo)

Description:  This course explores the ethical dimensions of some features of our social, political, and cultural landscape. We will learn about how the philosophers in our tradition have addressed some of the same issues and questions.  We will reflect upon, and practice, moral argumentation.  A good time will be had by all.

PHIL 225 - Ethics and Medicine (Campolo)

Description:  We will explore some of the many ethical issues and questions that arise whenever and wherever our lives intersect with medical theories and practices.  Issues to be discussed may include: reproductive technologies, abortion, informed consent, advanced directives, access to health care, stem cell research, and so on.

PHIL 270 - Environmental Philosophy (Schmidt)

Phil 270 - Aesthetics and Contemporary Art (Tettlebaum)

PHIL 295 - Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Philosophy (Ablondi)

Description: The goal for this is that students become familiar with the major thinkers and important philosophical debates which took place during what was arguably the most productive and significant time period (roughly 1600-1800) in Western philosophy.

PHIL 310 - Feminist Thought (Campolo)

Description:  We will investigate the philosophical claims and commitments at work in the theories and practices of feminists.  This course is part of the college’s interdisciplinary Gender Studies Program.  It is appropriate for upper-level students.  

PHIL 370 - Metaphysics (Ablondi)

Description: We will study the metaphysics of Minor Entitles, considering as our examples shadows, sounds, and boundaries.

PHIL 490.01 - The Postmodern God (Simmons)

Description: This course will be a seminar focused on contemporary continental philosophy of religion.  We will investigate whether God-talk is legitimate within postmodern phenomenology.  Figures that we will read include: Jacques Derrida, Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas, Michel Henry, Jean-Luc Marion, Merold Westphal, John Caputo, and Gianni Vattimo.

PHIL 490.02 - Kierkegaard (Simmons)

Description: In this seminar we will rigorously consider the thought of the 19th century Danish philosopher - Soren Kierkegaard.  We will read works from all portions of his authorship including Either/Or, Fear and Trembling, Practice in Christianity, Sickness Unto Death, Philosophical Fragments, Concluding Unscientific Postscript, and the Edifying Discourses.

Spring 2009

PHIL 110 - Introduction to Philosophical Questioning (Ablondi)

PHIL 110 - Introduction to Philosophical Questioning (Simmons)

Syllabus

Description: This class will be devoted to asking the big questions and participating in the philosophical conversation that runs from Socrates to Derrida and beyond. We will be wrestling with the following four issues: “What Ought I To Believe?” “What is the Nature of Reality?” “Is There a God?” and “Is There Meaning and Morality After the Death of God?” These questions will allow us to consider issues in all of the major areas of philosophical inquiry: metaphysics, epistemology, value-theory (ethics and aesthetics), philosophy of religion, and logic. We will be exclusively reading primary texts which will allow us to follow debates as they progress through the history of philosophy.

PHIL 110 - Introduction to Philosophical Questioning (Tettlebaum)

Syllabus

This section of Introduction to Philosophical Questioning will focus on the concept of identity—i.e. what makes me who I am, what makes you who you are. The primary question guiding our inquiry, however, will not be “What is identity?”, but rather, in more Kantian fashion, “What must I need to know in order to approach the question of identity in the first place?” In asking, “Who am I?”, in other words, we are inquiring into the nature of the subject position that makes an “I” possible in the first place. By understanding the conditions that make identity possible, we will be better able to understand what identity is.
At the end of each unit, we will have the opportunity to move from these more abstract to more concrete considerations of identity, as we examine the representation of particular identities in various types of artworks—drama, fiction, film, and music. Implicit in our examination will be the question of how to move from general concepts to particular examples. Course participants will have the opportunity to explore this question for themselves as they complete a final project, in which they will tackle the question of how to represent their own identities.

PHIL 201 - Focus: Ethics in the Face of Poverty (Falls-Corbitt)

Syllabus

Description: Students will study, analyze and evaluate competing ethical theories as they apply to questions about the extent of our social obligations to those who are poor and lack ready access to vital social goods. Students’ understanding of these theories will be enhanced by their experience working with local non-governmental organizations seeking to provide for the economically and socially disadvantaged in our community. Each student will be required to complete 30 hours of service experience with such agencies. Class size is limited to 15.

PHIL 240 - Existentialism (Schmidt)

Syllabus
Course Schedule

Description: Existentialism is a “movement” in philosophy that became popular after World War II, although some of the first existentialists wrote at the end of the Nineteenth Century. The philosophers of this movement are not of one mind concerning what existentialism is nor did they all use this term to indicate their own thought. One broad definition of existentialism would be that it concerns a search for the meaning of human life and of the situation of humans in the world. In this sense it is a subject philosophy has always dealt with. Perhaps what is new is that the essence of human being is not pre-given and must be discovered or created.

PHIL 260 - Philosophies of China and Japan (Schmidt)

Syllabus
Course Schedule

Description: The purpose of this class is to develop an initial understanding of the philosophies of Confucianism, Taoism, and Buddhism (including Zen) as they developed and flourished in China and influenced Japan. We will be particularly interested in examining the philosophical import of these traditions, although the separation of theory and practice, philosophy and religion, is not as distinct in East Asia as it is in the West. This course will not attempt a cultural history nor an examination of religious practices. We will aim towards an understanding of the central concepts and their interrelations, the arguments used to support the main tenets, and the systematic coherence of these schools of thought.

PHIL 295 - Seventeenth and Eighteenth Century Philosophy (Ablondi)

Syllabus

Description: The goal for this class is that students become familiar with the major thinkers and important philosophical debates which took place during what was arguably the most productive and significant time period (roughly 1600-1800) in Western philosophy. Texts: Descartes, Discourse on Method; Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding; Berkeley, A Treatise Concerning the Principles of Human Knowledge; Hume, An Enquiry Concerning Human Understanding; Reid, Inquiry and Essays; Kant, The Critique of Pure Reason.

PHIL 330 - Ethical Theory (Simmons)

Syllabus

Description: This course will be a general introduction to the major writings in Western moral philosophy. We will consider both normative and metaethical questions by following a broadly historical trajectory of primary texts as follows: Aristotle, Epictetus, Mill, Kant, Nietzsche, MacIntyre. These texts will allow us to consider such ethical perspectives as deontology, virtue theory, stoicism, consequentialism, and existentialism. Throughout the semester we will also be reading supplementary essays in contemporary ethical theory by leading figures in analytic ethics: Shaw, Vallentyne, Norcross, Hursthouse, Driver, Kerstein, Blackburn, Audi, Lance and Little.

PHIL 350 - Philosophy of Science (Schmidt)

Syllabus
Course Schedule

Description: In this course we will examine the standard description of the methodology of scientific investigation by reading Carl Hempel’s The Philosophy of Natural Science. Next, we will examine Sir Karl Popper’s theory of falsification, which challenges the inductive scientific methodology presented in Hempel, by reading his The Logic of Scientific Discovery. We end with Thomas Kuhn’s challenge to these views of science and the concept of scientific progress through an examination of his The Structure of Scientific Revolutions. To provide a context for the methodological discussions, this year we will examine the theory of evolution and a contemporary debate therein by reading Kim Sterelny’s Dawkins vs. Gould: Survival of the Fittest.

PHIL 360 - Social/Political Philosophy: Rawls and His Critics (Simmons)

Syllabus

Description: John Rawls is arguably the most influential political philosopher of the twentieth century. As Robert Nozick wrote in 1974, “Political philosophers now must either work within Rawls’s theory, or explain why not.” Or, as Thomas Nagel claims, when it comes to political philosophy John Rawls “changed the subject.” In light of Rawls’s undeniable importance to contemporary debates, this class will be an in depth look at his philosophy and at some of the more prominent criticisms of it. We will consider Rawls’s substantial notion of contemporary liberalism expressed in the phrase “Justice as Fairness” by looking at key sections of A Theory of Justice and also Political Liberalism. In addition to getting clear on the basic components of Rawlsian political philosophy, we will also consider some of Rawls’s most stringent critics. In the end, we will critically wrestle with the continued promise and problems that contemporary debates in political philosophy face as inheritors of the Rawlsian legacy.

PHIL 490 - Spinoza (Ablondi)

Syllabus

Description: The goal of this course is to give students a deep understanding of one of the greatest philosophers in the Western tradition. We will spend most of the semester on Spinoza’s masterpiece, the Ethics, a work that, despite its title, presents us with Spinoza’s metaphysical and psychology as well as his ethical thought. If there is time, we will also look at his religious and political thought, as presented in the TTP.

Fall 2008

PHIL 110 - Introduction to Philosophical Questioning (Campolo)

PHIL 150 - Introduction to Logic (Ablondi)

PHIL 215 - Ethics and Society (Simmons)

Description: What is the good? How ought we live? What is justice? These questions are as old as human sociality. In this course we will be exploring these, and other related questions, in order to come to grips with what it means to be an individual in relation to other individuals. We will be looking at the history of ethical and political philosophy and reading core primary texts in each of these areas. Figures that we will focus on are: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Kant, Rawls, and Habermas.

PHIL 285 - Plato and Aristotle (Campolo)

Description: A philosophical tour through some of the earliest and most profound texts in our Western tradition. Highlights include Heraclitus on the flux of Being, Plato on the Being of Goodness, and Aristotle on the Good, the Bad, and those little fish that have both eyes on the same side of their heads.

PHIL 300 - Nineteenth Century Philosophy (Schmidt)

PHIL 385 - Epistemology (Ablondi)

PHIL 490 - Postmodernism: Truth, God, and the Other (Simmons)

Description: ‘Postmodernism’ is a term that is often deployed, but rarely adequately understood. Many times postmodernism gets characterized as a negative movement away from the truth, certainty, and rationality that characterized much of modern philosophy. Although there is much that is correct about this description, it is often deployed as a means of dismissing postmodernity out of hand rather than taking it seriously as a valuable contribution to contemporary philosophy. In this class we will consider the way that postmodernism has become a prominent strain in contemporary philosophical discourse – in particular as found in the two related movements in contemporary continental philosophy: phenomenology and deconstruction. In the attempt to narrow the focus our analytical lens on a manageable set of issues, our conversations will be guided by three overarching questions: In light of the death of God and the overcoming of metaphysics, how are we to understand claims to “truth”?; Statements about God?; And ethical relations to others? With these three questions in mind, this course will critically engage the work of three figures: Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Levinas, and Jacques Derrida. In the final few weeks of the course, we will bring these three figures into conversation other mainstream debates in contemporary philosophy in order to see how it is that postmodernism does represent a significant challenge to much in the history of philosophy and particular methodological approaches, but at the same time attempts to critically appropriate that history and offer alternative ways forward.

PHIL 497 - Senior Thesis (Campolo)

Spring 2008

PHIL 110 01 - Introduction to Philosophical Questioning (Ablondi)

Description: We will look at three connected areas of philosophical inquiry by examining contemporary texts. Students will learn about the debates on these topics, form their own answers to the questions considered, and gain some understanding as to how philosophy is done. In general, I do not intend to give lectures summarizing the assigned texts, but rather will highlight issues raised in the reading in order to generate class discussion.

PHIL 110 02 - Introduction to Philosophical Questioning (Falls-Corbitt)

PHIL 110 03 - Introduction to Philosophical Questioning (Simmons)

Description: This class will be devoted to asking the big questions and participating in the philosophical conversation that runs from Socrates to Derrida and beyond. We will be following a broadly historical trajectory and considering issues in all of the major areas of philosophical inquiry: metaphysics, epistemology, value-theory (ethics and aesthetics), philosophy of religion, and logic. We will be exclusively reading primary texts which will allow us to follow debates as they progress through the history of philosophy.

PHIL 120 01 - Critical Thinking (Campolo)

PHIL 215 01 - Ethics and Society (Simmons)

Description: What is the good? How ought we live? What is justice? These questions are as old as human sociality. In this course we will be exploring these, and other related questions, in order to come to grips with what it means to be an individual in relation to other individuals. We will be looking at the history of ethical and political philosophy and reading core primary texts in each of these areas. Figures that we will focus on are: Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Hobbes, Locke, Kant, Rawls, and Habermas. For the final few weeks in the semester we will move from theory to practice and interrogate issues surrounding the ethics of war. We will look at two classic literary texts that deal with the ethical, ontological, and political stakes of warfare: Homer’s Iliad and Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse-Five.

PHIL 225 01 - Ethics and Medicine (Campolo)

PHIL 250 01 - Philosophies of India (Schmidt)

Description: Our purpose is to examine and discuss the major classical, orthodox and heterodox philosophical systems of the Indian subcontinent. The major philosophical ideas and the arguments supporting them will be examined in detail. Radhakrishnan’s A Sourcebook in Indian Philosophy contains the translations of the major texts. This year Richard King’s Indian Philosophy: An Introduction to Hindu and Buddhist Thought will provide the basic narrative. Dr. King will be visiting the class as well as presenting a lecture to the campus.

PHIL 270 01 - Environmental Philosophy (Schmidt)

Description: Environmental philosophy introduces the undergraduate student to some of the debates in contemporary environmental philosophy. No previous experience in philosophy or environmental studies is presupposed, but is welcomed in our discussions. Classes will be seminars where active participation is expected. This year particular emphasis toward the end of the course will be placed on a comparison of Heidegger’s and Dewey’s philosophies as they could be developed into environmental philosophies. They will be compared to Naess’ deep ecology as a reigning paradigm of a contemporary environmental philosophy.

PHIL 295 01 - 17th and 18th Century Philosophy (Ablondi)

Description: The goal for this class is that students become familiar with the major thinkers and important philosophical debates which took place during what was arguably the most productive and significant time period (roughly 1600-1800) in Western philosophy.

PHIL 370 01 - Philosophy of Religion (Simmons)

Description: This course will be an in-depth look at the history, main issues, and contemporary debates of the philosophy of religion. Although we will be covering a lot of ground, the course will be divided into four focused thematic areas: 1) the problem of evil, 2) arguments for God, 3) faith and reason, 4) Reformed Epistemology and Deconstruction. We will be addressing both contemporary analytic and contemporary continental approaches to the philosophy of religion and throughout the semester wrestle with the question of whether philosophy of religion continues to be a viable field of specifically philosophical inquiry after the so-called “death of God.”

PHIL 380 01 - Metaphysics (Ablondi)

Description: Cautious realists believe that there is a world (or some part of it) that exists as it does independently of human perception of it. More ambitious realists would add that we can know something—something True with a capital ‘T’—about this world. Anti-realists, as the name would lead one to believe, reject these views. In this class, we will look at several works by philosophers on both sides of this debate. By May, we should have an answer for you to take home with you.

PHIL 490 01 - Ordinary Language Philosophy (Campolo)

PHIL 490 02 - Pragmatism (Schmidt)

Description: We will examine in some depth the classic pragmatists: Peirce, James, and Dewey. At the end of the semester we will ask to what extent Rorty can be considered a pragmatist as well as considering briefly several others who might be considered new pragmatists. The themes and readings of this course will follow what I learned last summer while attending the NEH Seminar “Pragmatism: A Living Tradition” under the direction of Russell B. Goodman at the University of New Mexico.