Philosophy (PHL)


PHL 110. Logic. 3 Credits.

The overall aim of this class is for each student to grasp the relationship of language to logic. Subject matter includes the nature of critical thinking; the structure of definitions; the structure of arguments; the difference between valid and invalid, or strong and weak reasoning; methods for analyzing and evaluating arguments; common argumentative fallacies; basic symbolic logic. Practical consideration is given to overcoming thinking errors; developing ethical thought; applying effective critical thinking skills to local, national, and global issues. Prerequisites: ENG 101(or co-requisite).

PHL 201. Introduction To Philosophical Issues. 3 Credits.

This is an introduction to the nature and practice of philosophical reflection on such questions as the meaning of awareness in defining self, the nature of reality, the problem of knowledge, the development of moral standards, the existence of God, and people's place in the universe. Emphasis is on discussion of case studies dealing with such issues as "How do we come to know the real world?", "What makes an action right or wrong?", "Are we a spirit within a body or a body within a spirit?", and "Do we have free will, or are all our actions determined?" Readings include historical and modern selections in philosophy and literature from both Western and Eastern traditions. Prerequisites: ENG 098, FYE 101 RDG 098, or placement.

PHL 209. Symbolic Logic. 3 Credits.

This course is an introduction to symbolic logic. The emphasis of the course will be on problem-solving. We will first study truth-functional, propositional logic and then move on to quantificational logic. Topics will include: (1) symbolization from English to a formal symbolic language; (2) relevant distinctions between the syntax and semantics of that language; and (3) truth-tables, derivations and proofs. Prerequisites: MAT 092 (or placement); ENG 101.

PHL 210. Levels Of Being. 3 Credits.

An exploration through discussion, reading, and limited practice of the dimensions of physical, mental, and spiritual being from philosophical, psychological, and religious perspectives. Readings are drawn from humanistic and transpersonal psychology, quantum physics, mystical Christianity, Eastern and Western philosophy, and include such investigators of the human spirit as Einstein, Heisenberg, Jung, Maslow, Lao Tzu, Guatama, and St. John of the Cross. Prerequisite: ENG 101. Spring.

PHL 220. Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy. 3 Credits.

Social and political philosophy is concerned with basic questions about community, public life, and social organization. This course will address issues such as the rights of the individual in relation to the power of the state and society; the nature and legitimacy of political authority and democracy; the significance of power, economics, justice and equality in social life; and the duties and responsibilities of citizens. We will also consider the philosophical meanings of liberalism, republicanism, individualism, capitalism, fascism, feminism, conservatism, communism, communitarianism, libertarianism, anarchism, environmentalism, and socialism, as well as the role of class, race, and gender in politics. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (or corequisite). Fall.

PHL 235. The Philosophy of Nature, Science, and Mathematics. 3 Credits.

This course is meant to introduce the student to three interrelated areas of Philosophy: the Philosophy of Science, the Philosophy of Mathematics, and Environmental Ethics. The overall aim is to investigate the relationship between humanity and nature. This investigation focuses on three major themes: (1) how humans define, think, model, and interpret nature, (2) how humans relate to, interact with, and fit into the natural world, and (3) how humans change nature. The course will include the following topics: (a) historical paradigm shifts in science, and the methodological consequences of these shifts; (b) the formal languages of the sciences and the different interpretations of these languages; (c) the ethical and environmental issues arising from the success of scientific understanding; (d)the critical assessment of new paradigms that might better explain the relationship between humanity and nature. Prerequisites: ENG 101. Offered occasionally.

PHL 250. Ethics. 3 Credits.

Introduction to philosophy through consideration of classic and contemporary theories of morality and the best life. Topics may include the concepts of freedom, happiness, justice, dignity, virtue, right/wrong, good/bad, alienation, loneliness, obligation, responsibility, rights and duties, as well as the structure of morality. Readings include selections in philosophy from both Western and Eastern traditions. Special attention is given to the fundamentals of critical analysis. Prerequisite: ENG 101 (or co-requisite).