Philosophy

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  • CAS PH 100: Introduction to Philosophy
    Introduces the nature of philosophical activity through careful study of major philosophical topics. Topics include happiness, knowledge, and God's existence. How is knowledge acquired? What reasons are there for supposing that God exists? Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 110: Great Philosophers
    An introduction to philosophy through a reading of great figures in western thought. The list may include Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Roussesau, Nietzsche, Russell. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 150: Introduction to Ethics
    What is morality? What does morality require of us in our daily lives? We look both at theories that specify what morality requires of us and at specific moral issues to which these theories apply. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 155: Politics and Philosophy
    An introduction to major themes and questions in political philosophy. Includes a study of classical and modern texts, as well as an exploration of contemporary political issues. Carries CAS humanities division credit.
  • CAS PH 159: Philosophy and Film
    An introduction to philosophy via reflecting on philosophical issues connected with film as a medium. Topics include general aesthetics, representation, emotion and narrative, genre, fictionalism, and whether film can be immoral. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 160: Reasoning and Argumentation
    A systematic study of the principles of both deductive and informal reasoning, calculated to enhance students' actual reasoning skills, with an emphasis on reasoning and argumentation in ordinary discourse. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 170: Philosophy of Science and Pseudoscience
    How do legitimate science and quackery differ? We distinguish legitimate scientific debates from arguments by dubious sources. We explore how science progresses, and how non-experts can evaluate surprising arguments that claim to be "scientific." Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 239: Philosophy of Emotion
    We feel emotions throughout our lives, yet they remain mysterious. What is an "emotion"? How do emotions differ from moods, attitudes, or dispositions? Are some more basic than others? Can they be assessed ethically? Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. Cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course by the same name numbered CAS PH 439.
  • CAS PH 241: Philosophy of Personality
    Consideration of the nature of self-understanding and self-realization. Psychological and philosophical perspectives on pattern, growth, and maturity in personality. Attention to philosophical issues regarding emotion in the healthy personality; rationality, freedom, and responsibilty. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 242: Philosophy of Human Nature
    Consideration of how questions about human nature receive philosophical formulation through analyzing depth, courage, authority, intensity, possibility, transcendence, tradition, adventure, unity, sex, struggle, and peace. Discussion of past and recent work in philosophical anthropology. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 245: Philosophy and Religion
    Investigates the meaning and purpose of human life, the significance of God or an Absolute, the role of contemplation and action in the spiritual quest, relationships between philosophy and religious thought, East and West. Also offered as CAS RN 245.
  • CAS PH 246: Indian Philosophy
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: one philosophy course or sophomore standing.
    Indian philosophy in a comparative context, with special emphasis on Hindu nondualism. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 247: Introduction to Chinese Philosophy
    An introduction to the Chinese philosophical tradition, including a study of classical Confucianism, Buddhism, Taoism, Mohism, Legalism, and modern developments. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 248: Existentialism
    Explores existentialism in contemporary philosophy. Topics include the grounds for belief and value; depth, superficiality, and the intense life; commitment and open-mindedness; boredom, anxiety, and adventure; and existentialism as a philosophy of the possible. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 251: Medical Ethics
    Explores moral philosophical issues that arise in connection with medicine and emerging biotechnologies. Examines topics such as the right to healthcare, research ethics, euthanasia, abortion, concepts of death and disease, and assisted reproductive technologies. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 253: Social Philosophy
    A survey of philosophical and sociological analyses of modern Western society, including Rousseau, Marx, Weber, and a number of contemporary writers. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 256: Philosophy of Gender and Sexuality
    Analyzes notions of gender and sexuality. Questions include: Are gender and sexual identity natural, or are they social constructions? How are they related to love and desire? Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. Also offered as CAS PO 396.
  • CAS PH 259: Philosophy of the Arts
    What makes something beautiful? How do different arts (music, dance, painting, sculpture, architecture, film, drama) relate to our aesthetic experience of the world? Explores several philosophical theories of art through specific examples of artwork. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 261: Puzzles and Paradoxes
    Our basic beliefs, when scrutinized, can yield absurd conclusions. For example, using seemingly uncontroversial beliefs, we can conclude that motion is impossible and that everyone is bald. This course examines many puzzles and paradoxes. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • CAS PH 265: Minds and Machines
    Examines efforts of artificial intelligence to model the human mind and explain human thought. Explores the historical and mathematical origins of such efforts, and the psychological and philosophical assumptions on which they depend. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.