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Morris Bulletin / Division Structure and Course Descriptions

Philosophy (Phil)

This discipline is in the Division of the Humanities. Philosophy courses help students develop their thinking, analytical, and communication skills, and their comprehension of the scope and development of human ideas.

Objectives—The philosophy program is designed to offer students the opportunity to study systematically the works of significant figures in philosophy; investigate the fundamental problems and systems of thought that frame philosophical inquiry; and develop the logical, analytical, and conversational skills necessary for stimulating and fruitful philosophical inquiry. The philosophy program not only serves as an integral part of students' active pursuit of a broad liberal arts education, but also as an environment within which they may receive a rich, well-rounded education in philosophy.

Requirements for a Major include Phil 1201, 1213, 1215, 3141, 3641, 3642; four courses selected from 3211, 3212, 3220, 3230, 3260, 3320, 3340, 3600, 3610, 3630, 3660; and 3850. Students should complete 1201 and 1213 as early as their schedules allow. Courses with grades of D are not acceptable to meet the major requirements.

Requirements for a Minor include Phil 1201, 1213, 1215, 3141, 3641, 3642, and two courses selected from 3211, 3212, 3220, 3230, 3260, 3320, 3340, 3600, 3610, 3630, 3660. Students should complete 1201 and 1213 as early as their schedules allow. Courses with grades of D are not acceptable to meet the minor requirements.

Course Descriptions

Phil 1170s. Philosophy of Religion. (E4; 5 cr; offered 1999)

Philosophy's contribution to our thinking about religious questions. Topics include faith vs. reason, the rationality of belief in God, the nature of miracles and of revelation. Topics announced in advance.

Phil 1180w. Philosophy of Art. (E6; 5 cr; offered when feasible)

Philosophical issues that arise in the evaluation of works of art. Consideration of historically important theories about the nature of art, art criticism, and response to works of art.

Phil 1190s. Philosophy of Science. (5 cr; offered 1998)

Investigation of basic concepts in science and the logic of scientific inquiry (e.g., law, theory, causality, probability, confirmation and disconfirmation, proof and scientific change).

Phil 1201f,w. The Problems of Philosophy. (W, E1; 5 cr; offered fall 1997, winter 1998, fall 1998)

Philosophy and the techniques of philosophical writing and conversation. Examines some fundamental problems in philosophy, which are explored further in upper division offerings.

Phil 1213f,w. Logic I. (C2, E10; 5 cr; offered winter 1998, fall 1998, winter 1999)

Formal or deductive logic. Emphasis on basic concepts of logical argumentation, traditional (Aristotelian) logic, and modern (symbolic) logic.

Phil 1215f,s. Philosophical Skills. (5 cr; offered fall 1997, spring 1998, spring 1999)

Philosophical writing and argumentation. Emphasis on aspects of argumentation that do not lend themselves to the formal treatment found in deductive logic; avoidance in philosophical writing of such pitfalls as equivocation, question-begging, and circularity; and exposure to such modal properties as possible truth, possible falsity, contingency, noncontingency, necessary truth, and necessary falsity.

Phil 1230w. Ethics. (W, E1; 5 cr; offered 1998, 1999)

Normative ethical theory. Examines important moral problems, debates, and arguments in light of those methods and/or standards of moral assessment employed by normative ethical theorists.

Phil 1232f. Causing Death and Saving Lives. (E1; 5 cr; offered when feasible)

Examines the pre-eminent value placed on human life throughout the course of Western history; focus on practical moral problems raised by the acceptance of the idea of respect for life. Abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, warfare.

Phil 1250f, 1260f, 1270f. The History of Ideas.

Survey of the development of major philosophical, scientific, artistic, literary, social, and political ideas in the Western intellectual tradition. Courses need not be taken in sequence.
Phil 1250f. The Ancient World. (W, E2; 5 cr; offered when feasible)
Focus on the pre-Socratic thinkers, a selection of Greek dramas, Plato, Aristotle, and the decline of the Greek tradition.
Phil 1260f. The Middle Ages and the Renaissance. (W, E2; 5 cr; offered when feasible)
Topics selected from the writings of persons such as St. Augustine, Boethius, St. Anselm, St. Bonaventure, St. Thomas Aquinas, Machiavelli, Scotus, Ockham, Suarez, Nicholas of Cusa, da Vinci, Michelangelo, Copernicus, and Galileo. A segment of the course deals with the expression of ideas in the music of the Middle Ages and Renaissance.
Phil 1270f. The Modern World. (W, E2; 5 cr; offered when feasible)
Development of ideas from Descartes' Discourse on Method and Newton's Principia to the early 20th century.

Phil 3141s. Logic II. (5 cr; prereq 1213 or #; offered 1998, 1999)

Advanced study of symbolic logic. Review of propositional calculus and truth tables. Deductive method, predicate logic, the logic of relations, introduction to set theory, metalogical problems.

Phil 3211f. Ethical Theory I. (W; 5 cr; prereq 1201 or 1213 or 1215 or 1230 or #; offered 1997)

Explores fundamental issues in ethical theory (e.g., the foundation and nature of morality, the nature of moral agency, the respective natures and roles of reason and emotion in morality) through critical examination of important works of major classical and modern ethical theorists (e.g., Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant).

Phil 3212w. Ethical Theory II. (W; 5 cr; prereq 1201 or 1213 or 1215 or 1230 or #; offered 1998)

Examines important problems in contemporary ethical theory (e.g., the fact-value distinction, objectivity in ethics, moral reasoning, the meaning of moral language) using important works of contemporary ethical theorists.

Phil 3220w. Metaphysics. (W; 5 cr; prereq 1201 or 1213 or 1215 or #; offered 1999)

Classic and contemporary work in metaphysics. The problem of freedom and determinism, the mind-body problem, the nature of personal identity, the notion of a possible world, the distinction between necessary and contingent propositions, the nature of abstract entities.

Phil 3230f. The Theory of Knowledge. (W; 5 cr; prereq 1201 or 1213 or 1215 or #; offered 1998)

Historical and contemporary approaches to the theory of knowledge. The nature of a priori knowledge, the analysis of perception, the analysis of "epistemic concepts": knowledge, belief, justification. Topics announced in advance.

Phil 3253s. Professional Ethics. (E4; 5 cr; offered 1998, 1999)

Moral issues and problems raised in conjunction with a person's professional environment. Conflicts of interests and loyalties, "whistle-blowing," and corporate responsibility as it may bear on commercial advertising, community development, and the environment.

Phil 3260w. Political Philosophy. (W; 5 cr; prereq 1201 or 1213 or 1215 or #; offered 1999)

Explores fundamental issues in political theory (e.g., the nature of the state, political authority, social justice and the common good, natural and civil rights) using important works of major political theorists (e.g., Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Marx).

Phil 3320w. Philosophy of Language. (W; 5 cr; prereq 1201 or 1213 or 1215 or #; offered 1998)

Traditional problems and contemporary discussions in the philosophy of language. The concept of truth, reference, and meaning; the distinction between analytic and synthetic statements; the notion of a rule for the correct employment of a word. Readings from philosophers such as Russell, Strawson, Quine, Putnam, Goodman, Wittgenstein, and Kripke.

Phil 3340f. Contemporary Anglo-American Philosophy. (W; 5 cr; prereq 1201 or 1213 or 1215 or #; offered 1997)

Examines the thought of philosophers who are central figures in Anglo-American philosophy.

Phil 3600f. Philosophical Studies Seminar. (5 cr; repeatable; prereq 1201 or 1213 or 1215 or #; offered 1997)

Intensive investigation of a particular philosophical problem or area. Topics announced in advance.

Phil 3610s. The Philosophy of Kant. (5 cr; repeatable; prereq 1201 or 1213 or 1215 or #; offered 1998)

Selected problems and topics in the philosophical works of Immanuel Kant. Topics announced in advance.

Phil 3630f. Philosophy of Law. (W; 5 cr; prereq 1201 or 1213 or 1215 or #; offered 1998)

Important theoretical and normative issues in philosophy of law. Relationship between morality and the law; nature of judicial reasoning; justification of punishment; plea bargaining; legal responsibility; civil disobedience.

Phil 3641w. History of Philosophy I: Problems. (5 cr; offered 1998)

Selected problems.

Phil 3642w. History of Philosophy II: Systems. (5 cr; offered 1999)

Selected systems.

Phil 3660s. History of Philosophy Seminar. (5 cr; prereq 10 cr phil [excluding 3253] or #; offered 1999)

Methods used in tracing the development of ideas, systems, and influences in the history of philosophy.

Phil 3850f,w,s. Senior Philosophical Thesis. (5 cr; prereq phil major, #)

Development of a significant paper on an approved topic under the direction of one or more philosophy faculty members. Presented for faculty evaluation on completion.

Phil 3950f, 3951w, 3952s. Directed Study. (1-5 cr per qtr; prereq #)

Phil 3960Hf, 3961Hw, 3962Hs. Senior Honors Project. (1-5 cr per qtr; prereq participation in Honors Program, #)

A substantial scholarly or creative work (at the undergraduate level) within the discipline. Successful completion of the senior honors project is one of the requirements for graduating from UMM "with honors."

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