This course investigates ideas about the self in the western philosophical tradition, including work in contemporary philosophy. Issues may include freedom and responsibility, otherness, the relationship between mind and body, the relationship between humans and animals, the impact of trauma, suffering or oppression on self- identity, and the existence or non-existence of the soul. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) (Distribution: Humanities-a) (Exclusion: Any version of PHIL 1611 previously offered with a different title) Tuesday and Thursday 1:00 to 2:20PM Sir James Dunn Building 113.
This course explores competing philosophical explanations of scientific theory and practice. Based on historical and contemporary cases, it compares philosophical theories including logical positivism, scientific realism, scientific pluralism, sociology of scientific knowledge, and the most recent critiques from social constructivism and feminism. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) Tuesday and Thursday 4:00 to 5:20PM Hart Hall 101.
An introduction to the history and philosophical problems of ethics in the western tradition. This will acquaint the student with a number of received traditions based on metaphysical, religious, rational, and pragmatic grounds, as well as introduce certain fundamental perennial problems of moral decision-making. (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) Monday Wednesday and Friday 11:30 to 12:20PM Sir James Dunn Building 108.
After reviewing traditional attitudes toward the environment, this course will explore recent attempts to apply ethical analysis to such problems as pollution and conservation. We will pay particular attention to the ways in which problems of preservation challenge us to extend our traditional norms and values. To what extent, for example, does growing sensitivity to our natural environment require of us a new environmental ethic and oblige us to recognize animal rights? (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) Monday and Wednesday 4:30 to 5:50PM Avard Dixon 111.
A study of selected primary sources in the Indian philosophical tradition, from the Vedas and Upanishads to the recent work of thinkers like S. Radhakrishnan. Topics usually include the nature of reality, moral obligation, Divinity, selfhood and freedom, the philosophy of love, and various social and political issues. [Note 1: This course is cross-listed as RELG 3891 and may therefore count as three credits in either discipline.] (Format: Lecture 3 Hours) Monday and Wednesday 3:00 to 4:20PM Avard Dixon 111.
This course explores the practical philosophy of Immanuel Kant, one of the most famous philosophers in the history of philosophy, and a figure with a profound influence on contemporary ethics and political theory. The course will examine Kant’s practical philosophy, ranging from his moral philosophy to his writings in areas such as politics, law, history, and anthropology. The course will provide students with an understanding of Kant’s attempts to create a universalist ethics based on rational apprehension of the moral law, while also situating his work within its larger historical context. Tuesday and Thursday 10:00 to 11:20AM Hart Hall 319.

This course will consider Gandhi’s philosophical, political and economic views in an attempt to grasp the unity of his thought. The first part of the course is lecture-driven in which the broad sweep of his ideas is laid out in the context of the relevant aspects of his biography. The second part of the course will be presentation-driven investigations that delve deeper into the broad areas we initially consider. Topics may include: the nature of truth, the relation between philosophy and religion, the viability of caste and the problem of untouchability, the relation to Western thinkers such as Mill and Socrates (under Philosophy); his understanding of self-rule (svaraj) and secularism, the practice of non-violence (under Politics); industrialization and the distribution of wealth, work and self-worth, economics and environmentalism (under Economics). Students are encouraged to take PHIL 3891 (Indian Philosophy) concurrently with the seminar (if they have not already done so in the past) as it will greatly enhance their understanding of Gandhi’s views. (Format: Seminar 3 hours)
Prereq: Permission of the Department.
Note: The Department encourages students to take this concurrently with PHIL 3891 Indian Philosophy, if they have not already taken it.