Find out more about philosophy courses

For each course, the first description is the general description from the course catalog. For many of the courses, additional descriptions are provided—they come from recent syllabi. (The descriptions, by the way, reflect the content of the courses, not the course requirements.) When you enroll in a course, there’s no guarantee that it will perfectly fit one of the descriptions from the relevant syllabi. Even so, those descriptions should give you a feel for what the course is about, what sort of readings it includes, and so on.

Introductory courses

  • PHIL-P 110 Introduction to Philosophy (3 cr.) An introduction to the methods and problems of philosophy and to important figures in the history of philosophy. Concerns such topics as the nature of reality, the meaning of life, and the existence of God. Readings from classical and contemporary sources, e.g., Plato, Descartes, Nietzsche, and Sartre.
  • PHIL-P 120 Ethics (3 cr.) An introductory course in ethics. Typically examines virtues, vices, and character; theories of right and wrong; visions of the good life; and contemporary moral issues.
  • PHIL-P 162 Logic (3 cr.) A study of the principles of logic. The course covers a variety of traditional topics, selected for their practical value, within formal and informal logic. Among the topics typically covered are fallacies, syllogisms, causal hypotheses, logic diagrams, argument analysis, and truth-functional reasoning.
  • PHIL-P 208 Causality and Evidence (3 cr.) A study of the principles of evidence-based reasoning with a strong emphasis on induction and causality. Among the topics covered are observing vs. intervening, causal graphs, underdetermination, confounders, d-separation, and causal path analysis.
  • PHIL-P 240 Business and Morality: Ethics (3 cr.) Fundamental issues of moral philosophy in a business context.  Application of moral theory to issues such as ethics of investment, assessment of corporations, duties of vocation.
  • PHIL-P 265 Introduction to Symbolic Logic (3 cr.) A study of the most important and widely applicable parts of modern symbolic logic: propositional logic and predicate logic.
  • PHIL-P 280 Philosophical Problems: (variable title) (3 cr.) Concentrated treatment of an important philosophical problem. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

Advanced courses

  • PHIL-P 307 Classical Philosophy (3 cr.) A study of the significant texts of ancient Greek and Roman philosophy, including the Presocratic, Plato, Aristotle, and the Hellenistic Thinkers.
  • PHIL-P 314 Modern Philosophy (3 cr.) A study of Western philosophy from the rise of modern science through the Enlightenment. Covers such philosophers as Bacon, Descartes, Berkeley, Hume, Leibniz, and Kant.
  • PHIL-P 316 Twentieth-Century Philosophy: (variable title) (3 cr.) A study of one or more twentieth-century approaches to philosophy, e.g., pragmatism, analytic philosophy, phenomenology, existentialism, postmodernism, and neo-Marxism. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
  • PHIL-P 317 Nineteenth-Century Philosophy (3 cr.) A historical survey of philosophy in the nineteenth century from Hegel to Nietzsche, including utilitarianism, positivism, and philosophies of evolution.
  • PHIL-P 322 Philosophy of Human Nature (3 cr.) Theories of human nature and their philosophical implications.
  • PHIL-P 323 Society and State in the Modern World (3 cr.) Topics, issues, and key figures in modern political philosophy, e.g., distributive justice, state authority, and the political thought of Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Marx, and Rawls.
  • PHIL-P 325 Social Philosophy: (variable title) (3 cr.) Concentrated study of one or more topics in social philosophy, e.g., human rights, political violence, civil disobedience, and legal paternalism.  May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
  • PHIL-P 326 Ethical Theory (3 cr.) A variable title courses. Advanced consideration of one or more ethical theories or theoretical issues about the nature and status of ethics.
  • PHIL-P 328 Philosophies of India (3 cr.) Historical and critical-analytic survey of the major traditions of Indian philosophy. Attention to early philosophizing and the emergence of classical schools in Hindu, Buddhist, and Jain traditions. Attention also to contemporary thought in India and its influence on the West.
  • PHIL-P 329 Philosophy of Religion (3 cr.) Philosophical views regarding such topics as the meaning and purpose of religion, religious experience, religious knowledge, and the existence and nature of God.
  • PHIL-P 331 Philosophy of Science (3 cr.) An introductory study of theories about the nature, purpose, and limitations of science.
  • PHIL-P 334 Buddhist Philosophy (3 cr.) An examination of the basic philosophical concepts of early Buddhism and their subsequent development in India, Japan, and Tibet. Implications of the Buddhist view of reality for knowledge, the self, and ethical responsibility will be explored.
  • PHIL-P 335 Phenomenology and Existentialism (3 cr.) Selective survey of central themes in phenomenology and existentialism. Readings from such philosophers as Buber, Camus, Heidegger, Husserl, Jaspers, Kierkegaard, Marcel, Nietzsche, Beauvoir, and Sartre.
  • PHIL-P 348 Philosophy and Literature (3 cr.) A study of philosophical issues raised by and in literature. Special emphasis on reading works of literature as texts of philosophical interest.
  • PHIL-P 349 Philosophies of China (3 cr.) A study of Chinese philosophical traditions, typically including Confucianism, Taoism, Legalism, and Chinese Buddhism.
  • PHIL-P 355 Philosophy of Film (3 cr.) Philosophic topics, themes, and issues raised by and in film. Special emphasis on viewing film as a visual text with philosophical import.
  • PHIL-P 356 American Indian Philosophies (3 cr.) An examination of the philosophical views, themes, and implications of North American Indian traditions, with applications to variety of cross-cultural and philosophical issues.
  • PHIL-P 360 Introduction to Philosophy of Mind (3 cr.) Selected topics from among the following: the nature of mental phenomena (e.g. thinking, volition, perception, emotion); the mind-body problem (e.g. dualism, behaviorism, functionalism), connections to cognitive science issues in psychology; linguistics, and artificial intelligence; computational theories of mind.
  • PHIL-P 365 Intermediate Symbolic Logic (3 cr.) P: PHIL-P 265. Topics in metalogic, set theory, and modal logic.
  • PHIL-P 367 Philosophy of Art (3 cr.) A study of fundamental concepts and theories of aesthetics and a philosophical exploration of major artistic movements and genres.
  • PHIL-P 368 Philosophy of Language (3 cr.) Philosophical study of the nature and functions of language. Covers such topics as meaning and truth, theories of reference, linguistic relativity, and speech acts.
  • PHIL-P 369 Epistemology (3 cr.) Knowledge and justified belief: their nature, structure, sources, and limits.
  • PHIL-P 371 Philosophy of Religion (3 cr.) Philosophical views regarding such topics as the meaning and purpose of religion, religious experience, religious knowledge, and the existence and nature of God.
  • PHIL-P 374 Early Chinese Philosophy (3 cr.) Origins of Chinese philosophical traditions in the classical schools of Confucianism, Taoism, Mohism, and Legalism. Explores contrasting agendas of early Chinese and Western traditions
  • PHIL-P 375 Philosophy of Law (3 cr.) Selective survey of philosophical problems concerning law and the legal system. Includes such topics as the nature and validity of law, morality and law, legal obligation, judicial decision, rights, justice, responsibility, and punishment.
  • PHIL-P 381 Religion and Human Experience (3 cr.) An attempt to understand religious experience considering interpretations and insights from various fields, e.g., anthropology, psychology, value theory, and sociology of knowledge.
  • PHIL-P 382 Philosophy of History (3 cr.) An analysis of some of the philosophical problems implicit in the study of history, such as the possibility of historical objectivity, and a survey of influential interpretations of history from Augustine to Heidegger.
  • PHIL-P 383 Topics in Philosophy: (variable title) (3 cr.) Advanced treatment of a special topic. PUL will vary with topic. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
  • PHIL-P 385 Metaphysics (3 cr.) A study of several of the principal problems of metaphysics, such as identity through time, the self, the mind-body problem, freedom and determinism, fate, causation, the problem of universals, and the existence of God.
  • PHIL-P 393 Biomedical Ethics (3 cr.) A philosophical consideration of ethical problems that arise in current biomedical practice, e.g., regarding abortion, euthanasia, determination of death, consent to treatment, and professional responsibilities in connection with research, experimentation, and health care delivery.
  • PHIL-P 394 Feminist Philosophy (3 cr.) A study of one or more philosophical topics in feminist thought. Examples: feminist ethics; feminist critiques of science; and feminist perspectives on motherhood, sexuality, and reproductive technology.
  • PHIL-P 414 Philosophy and Culture (3 cr.) In-depth consideration of a topic involving the interrelationship between philosophy and culture.  May be repeated for credit.
  • PHIL-P 418 Seminar in the History of Philosophy: (variable title) (3 cr.) Intensive study of a philosopher or philosophical school of enduring importance.  May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
  • PHIL-P 448 Seminar in American Philosophy (3 cr.) An intensive study of a major American thinker, such as Edwards, Royce, James, Peirce, Dewey, Whitehead or Santayana, or of a leading theme, such as community, experience, or education.  May be repeated for credit.
  • PHIL-P 458 American Philosophy (3 cr.) A study of the philosophical tradition in the United States, emphasizing major thinkers such as Emerson, Peirce, James, Royce, Dewey, Santayana, and C. I. Lewis.
  • PHIL-P 468 Seminar in the Philosophy of Mind (3 cr.) An in-depth study of some problems of current concern in the philosophy of mind.  May be repeated for credit when topics vary.
  • PHIL-P 488 Research in Philosophy I (1-4 cr.) P: 9 credit hours of philosophy and consent of instructor. Independent research in philosophical theory approved by and reported to any member of the department.  May be repeated for credit, but no more than 6 credit hours may be counted toward the major.
  • PHIL-P 489 Research in Philosophy II (1-4 cr.) P: 9 credit hours of philosophy and consent of instructor. Independent research in applied philosophy approved by and reported to any member of the department.  May be repeated for credit, but no more than 3 credit hours may be counted toward the major.

For more information

For specific courses offered in a specific semester see the Schedule of Classes at Student Central.

If you need additional information on the list of courses, please contact your advisor.

Academic Advisors

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