Philosophy

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Armen T. Marsoobian
CHAIRPERSON
Engleman D 215A
(203) 392-6775 – Fax (203) 392-6779
marsoobiana1@SouthernCT.edu
Department Secretary: (203) 392-6777

Terrell W. Bynum, Professor
Eric Cavallero, Associate Professor
Ken W. Gatzke, Professor
Rex Gilliland, Associate Professor
Krystyna Gorniak-Kocikowska, Professor
Chelsea Harry, Assistant Professor
Heidi Lockwood, Associate Professor
Armen T. Marsoobian, Professor
David Pettigrew, Professor
Sarah Roe, Assistant Professor
Richard Volkman, Professor
Xiaomei Yang, Professor

MAJOR IN PHILOSOPHY

Bachelor of Arts degree, the major in philosophy includes courses in the history of philosophy, logic, recent or contemporary philosophy

The student's major may embody one of several possibilities; for example, a historical emphasis, an applied philosophy focus, a problems approach. Fulfilling whatever pattern a student selects will be under the guidance of a departmental adviser.

If prerequisites are lacking, permission to take a course may be requested of the department. Study of special topics related to the chosen pattern of courses or topics of interest not covered by course offerings may be accomplished by means of independent study (PHI 499).

Students may not count more than 6 credits toward the philosophy major from among the following courses: PHI 207, 208, 301, 302, 303, and 403. Students are strongly advised to complete a year of European history early in their program. For those contemplating graduate study in philosophy, a second foreign language is recommended.

MINOR IN PHILOSOPHY

The minor consists of 18 credits, selected with the advice of the department. Not more than 6 credits may be taken at the 100 level, and at least 6 credits must be taken at the 300 and/or 400 levels. PHI 296 and 306 are required. The philosophy seminar, which is optional for minors, may be taken only with the consent of the department. Students may count not more than three credits toward the minor from among the following courses: PHI 207, 208, 301, 302, 303, and 403.

MINOR IN RELIGIOUS STUDIES

(See Religious Studies)

PHILOSOPHY COURSES

Philosophy courses are offered according to a rotation scheme which may be obtained at the Philosophy Department office.

IDS 320 - Human Flourishing in the 21st Century

This interdisciplinary capstone focuses on two interrelated questions: what does it mean to live well in American in the 21st century? and; what is an individual's role and responsibility as a member of a larger community and environment? As a capstone project, students develop a thoughtful and coherent response to these questions, which they will then present as a poster presentation. The capstone project is a synthesis of four positions developed over the course of the semester as smaller unit projects dealing with the following interrelated themes: food, clothing and shelter, transportation, and population.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

JST 207 - The Religious Dimension of Human Existence

The origin, nature, forms, and social manifestations of religious experience; relation to other cultural institutions and expressions: analysis of diverse types of religious experiences.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

JST 301 - History of Jewish Thought

Thought Judaism from the Biblical period to the present: the Rabbinic tradition andTalmud; philosophical and mystical movements; modern American forms; Zionism; contemporary Jewish religious and ethical responses to modernity; ecumenical dialogue.

Prerequisite(s): LIT 300 or PHI 207.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2017

PHI 100 - Introduction to Philosophy

Introduction to the approach, questions, and schools of the philosophical tradition. Deals with such important philosophical matters as questions of knowledge, value, the individual in society.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 200 - Problems in Philosophy

Analysis of specific philosophical problems, such as the problem of knowledge, the nature of the real, value and obligation, religious belief, and the foundations of society. Selected readings on each topic from a variety of viewpoints.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHI 207 - The Religious Dimension of Human Existence

The origin, nature, forms, and social manifestations of religious experience; relation to other cultural institutions and expressions: analysis of diverse types of religious experiences.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 208 - Asian Religions

The religious dimension of cultures informed by the Hindu, Buddhist, Confucianist,Taoist and Shinto traditions, including historical development, similarities and differences, present encounters, and future prospects.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2013

PHI 211 - Asian Philosophy: India

Historical study of the religious and philosophical thought of India from the Vedic literature to representative contemporary philosophers, e.g. Aurobindo, Radhakrishnan, and Gandhi.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2017

PHI 212 - Asian Philosophy: China and Japan

Study of Chinese philosophy: Confucianism, Neo-Taoism, the later Mohists, the Yin-Yang school, Mahayana Buddhism, Ch’anism, modern Chinese philosophy. Shinto and Zen Buddhism in Japan.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 215 - Logic and Scientific Reasoning

Basic principles of logical and formal reasoning, analyses of argumentation, with a special emphasis on inductive and scientific reasoning.

3 or 4 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 220 - Ethics: Know Thyself

Ethics is the study of what there is most reason to do or want, which inevitably assumes an account of who one is and what it means to be excellent at being who one is. We examine past and present philosophical attempts to understand what is right, good, and just, with special emphasis on how these accounts relate to the nature of the self and the embodied pursuit of the good life. Contemporary ethical issues are analyzed in light of this understanding.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 222 - The Creative Process

Examination of debates about the creative process and includes creative projects in a range of disciplines.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 242 - Death and the Meaning of Life

One of the few certainties about life is that it is going to end. But what should we make of that fact and how might it influence our thoughts about the meaning of life? This course explores the work of philosophers and philosophical thinkers who have grappled with questions related to our mortality. Is death an evil? If so, how and why? Would immortality be desirable? What does it mean to say that a person has died? Why do we lament our post-mortem non-existence but not our pre-natal non-existence? Students will reflect on how our response to the end of life informs our view of the meaning of life and will propose, design, and produce a creative work which offers a view of the meaning of life and is cognizant of the inevitability of death.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 270 - Philosophy of Education

Philosophical ideas about education as the expression of a culture; specific philosophical issues and problems relating to education, especially values.

Prerequisite(s): Sophomore status.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 296 - Ancient Philosophy: Pre-Socratics to Plotinus

Development of Western philosophy from its beginnings in Pre-Socratics. Main emphasis is on the works of Plato and Aristotle. Included are the Stoics, Epicureans, and Plotinus.

Prerequisite(s): LEP Critical Thinking and Inquiry.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 297 - Medieval and Renaissance Philosophy: Augustine to Machiavelli

Philosophical thought in the Middle Ages and the Humanist tradition of the Renaissance. Emphasis upon the thought of Augustine, Aquinas, Scotus, Ockham, and Machiavelli.

Prerequisite(s): PHI 296.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 298 - Special Topics in Philosophy

Reflection on recent developments, issues, and/or creative work in the field of philosophy.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2014

PHI 301 - History of Jewish Thought

Judaism from the Biblical period to the present: the Rabbinic tradition and Talmud; philosophical and mystical movements; modern American forms; Zionism; contemporary Jewish religious and ethical responses to modernity; ecumenical dialog.

Prerequisite(s): Tier 1: Critical Thinking

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2017

PHI 302 - History of Christian Thought

Major thinkers and movements in Eastern, Roman Catholic, and Protestant Christianity in the Early, Medieval, Reformation and Modern Periods; contemporary focus—the II Vatican Council, Ecumenism, and theologies of Liberation.

Prerequisite(s): Tier 1: Critical Thinking

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 303 - The History of Islamic Thought

Examination of Muslim beliefs and practices, origin of Islamic religious ideas in historical perspective: Muhammad, Quran, religious law, philosophy, theology, mystical sects, modern trends.

Prerequisite(s): Tier 1: Criticial Thinking

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHI 306 - The Age of Reason: Galileo to Kant

Beginnings of the modern tradition of philosophy; the great rationalists (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz); the empiricists (Locke, Berkeley, Hume); and the critical philosophy of Kant.

Prerequisite(s): PHI 296.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2016

PHI 307 - 19th Century Philosophy: Fichte to Bradley

Major currents of philosophy of this period; the German Idealist movement of Fichte, Schelling, and Hegel; Marxist Materialism; Schopenhauer, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Mill, Bradley.

Prerequisite(s): PHI 296.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2017

PHI 309 - Women and Religion:The Old and New Eve

Influence of religion on women’s image, role, and status in Western Culture; cross cultural comparison; contemporary liberation theology; new roles in church and synagogue; sex and marriage.

Prerequisite(s): Tier 1: Critical Thinking

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 310 - Women, Philosophy, and Science

Examines philsophical issues relating to women with an emphaisis on the philosophy of science. Surveys works of women philosophers from ancient to contemporary.

Prerequisite(s): Tier 1: Critical Thinking

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

PHI 315 - Art and Beauty

Topics include the nature of the work of art, communication in art, value judgments, natural beauty and the examination of philosophical theories of art.

Prerequisite(s): Tier 1: Critical Thinking

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 320 - Ethical and Social Implications of Science

Examination of patterns of human thinking for their ethical and social implications, especially as they form the foundations of human sciences, natural sciences, mathematics, logic, language, fine and useful arts, religion, history and education.

Prerequisite(s): Tier 1: Critical Thinking

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

PHI 321 - Philosophy of Science

Structures and methods of mathematics, physics, biology, psychology, and the social sciences analyzed in light of the writings of classical and modern philosophers and of recent American, British, and Continental philosophers and scientists.

Prerequisite(s): Tier 1: Critical Thinking

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 323 - Ethical Individualism

Ethical individualism is an orientation in ethics according to which living rightly an dliving well come together in one's honest efforts to realize her own highest conception of who she is and who she might become as the concreate ultimate particular judged by practical wisdom. This conception of ethics, descernible in Plato, Aristotle, and the Stoics and most clearly exemplified in the 19th century works of Emerson, Nietzsche, and Mill is explored in a course that enjoins each student to ask, "Who am I?"

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 324 - Computer Ethics

Application of moral theories to ethical problems created, aggravated or transformed by computer technology. Topics include: privacy, computer crime, replacement of human decision-making.

Prerequisite(s): Tier 1: Critical Thinking

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 325 - Bio-Ethics of the Life Sciences

Moral and social issues arising from present practices, research and technology in medicine and biology; genetics, interventions in human birth, human experimentation, abortion, health-care delivery, euthanasia, life prolongation, etc.

Prerequisite(s): Tier 1: Critical Thinking

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 327 - Moral Problems in the Law

Examination of the moral and philosophical problems in the law such as privacy, due process, and the death penalty.

Prerequisite(s): Tier 1: Critical Thinking

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

PHI 331 - Philosophy of Media

Philosophical investigation of the nature and role of media in communication, the presuppositions of their creation and use, their implications for ethics and the concept of personhood.

Prerequisite(s): Tier 1: Critical Thinking

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2014

PHI 351 - Philosophy of Language

Investigation of various theories of language in terms of a set of concepts internal to language and for which any theory must provide an account.

Prerequisite(s): Tier 1: Critical Thinking

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2015

PHI 355 - Philosophy of Religion

A conceptual investigation of religion within several major problem areas, e.g., the definition of religion; theories of religion; knowledge and belief; theism, non-theism and atheism; the religious versus the secular; the logic of religious language; morality and religion.

Prerequisite(s): Tier 1: Critical Thinking

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2016

PHI 375 - Philosophies of Social and Political Change

Analysis of the philosophic assumptions of prominent advocates of social and political change and their impact on contemporary political and social dialogue. Included are Locke, Plato, Marx, Dewey, Marcuse, Skinner, Tillich, and Augustine.

Prerequisite(s): Tier 1: Critical Thinking

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2017

PHI 398 - Special Topics in Philosophy

Reflection on recent developments, issues, and/or creative work in the field of PHI.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 403 - Contemporary Challenges to Religion

Major critiques of Western religion and Jewish-Christian responses to the challenges of science, Marxism, psycho-analysis, secularization, new religions and contemporary world problems.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credits in religious studies.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2013

PHI 408 - Phenomenology and Existentialism

Parallel themes of existentialism are introduced, concomitantly, in Dostoyevsky’s “Underground Man” and in Kierkegaard and Nietzsche. Continuing the theme of the Cartesian cogito, first raised by Husserl, analysis of Heidegger’s investigations into Being, Sartre’s writings on the contingency of human freedom.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credits in PHI at 200-level or higher.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2017

PHI 420 - American Philosophy

Major themes of the pragmatists: the logic of discovery, adaptation of scientific method and of social Darwinism, historical relations to Hume and British empiricism, to Kant, Hegel and Continental rationalism. Included are Peirce, James, and Dewey.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credits in PHI at the 200-level or higher.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2017

PHI 425 - Metaphysics

Inquires into being as such, whether material or immaterial, actual or possible, real or mental, and seeks to discover its most general principles, properties, and structure. Representative theories and problems examined.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credits in PHI at the 200-level or higher.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2013

PHI 480 - 20th Century Analytic Philosophy

Philosophies embraced by “The Analytic Movement” are examined: for example, those of Moore, Russell, Ayer, and Wittgenstein.

Prerequisite(s): 3 credits in PHI at the 200-level or higher.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Fall 2015

PHI 490 - Philosophy Seminar

Research and in-depth analysis of selected philosophical problems. Independent study and seminar work on the basis of student interest. Required for senior majors, open to minors. May be taken twice.

Prerequisite(s): 12 credits in PHI.

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2017

PHI 497 - Philosophy Internship

3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: not yet offered

PHI 499 - Independent Study

Prerequisite(s): 12 credits in PHI or departmental permission.

1 to 3 credit(s).

Last Term Offered: Spring 2017