Graduate Philosophy Course Catalog

PHIL 5050. Topics in Philosophy. (1-3) In-depth treatment of selected problems and issues in philosophy. May be repeated for additional credit as topics vary. (Prerequisite: Permission of the department.) (Regularly)

PHIL 6050. Topics in Philosophy. (1-3) In-depth treatment of selected problems and issues in philosophy. May be repeated for additional credit as topics vary. (Prerequisite: Permission of the department.) (Regularly)

PHIL 6110. Ethical Theory. (3) Examination of major normative and meta theories that undergird our practical judgments about morally right actions and morally good persons, organizations, or policies. This examination may include central problems and issues concerning morality’s: requirements (e.g. utility, duty, virtue, care), authority (e.g. absolutism, relativism, pluralism, multiculturalism), scope (e.g. deceased or future human beings, animals, environment), justification (e.g. rationality, intuition), source (e.g. reason, sentiment, disagreement), and nature (e.g. realism/antirealism, objectivity/subjectivity). (Yearly)

PHIL 6120. Philosophical Methods & Analysis. (3) Explores the distinctive and various methods within philosophy (logical, phenomenological, feminist, conceptual, linguistic, deconstructive, and others), their uses in particular contexts (including links to other disciplines), and how methodology shapes philosophy (including its social impact). One aim is to clarify “applied philosophy” by examining its methods. Students will analyze, evaluate, reconstruct, and originate arguments, judgments, and decisions. They will do so in connection with both texts shared among all the students in the class and the particular interests of individual students. Each student will develop a paper over the course of the semester to bring these issues together. (Yearly)

PHIL 6190. Supervised Teaching. (1) Offers an opportunity to work closely with a faculty member and to engage in supervised teaching as a form of applied philosophy exploring pedagogical practices, theories, issues, and educational research within the philosophy classroom. Normally connected with a graduate assistantship. (Prerequisite: Permission of the department.)

PHIL 6220. Health Law and Ethics. (3) This course interprets and uses the main normative principles of bioethics (autonomy, non-maleficence, beneficence and justice) to guide the practice of healthcare professionals and policymakers. It also increases understanding, interpretation, and monitoring of the impact of legal, regulatory, and political environments on healthcare organizations. Topics include medical malpractice, Medicare and Medicaid law, informed consent, privacy and confidentiality, reproductive freedom, death and dying, pain and suffering, allocation of scarce medical resources, developments in genetics, and regenerative medicine. (Regularly)

PHIL 6240. Research Ethics in the Biomedical and Behavioral Sciences. (3) This course is designed to identify the fundamental elements that characterize not only methodologically grounded but also morally appropriate scientific research. Class discussion and readings will focus on key issues in biomedical and behavioral research including informed consent, privacy and confidentiality, risk-benefit assessments, mechanisms for protecting animal and human research subjects, international research, vulnerable populations, conflicts of interest and data management, publication ethics, intellectual property issues and the politics of research. (Regularly)

PHIL 6250. Ethics of Public Policy. (3) This course examines the conceptual tools available in the development of policies, regulations and guidelines that are responsive to normative standards of character and conduct. The course will include discussion of ethical and political theory, as well as its intersection with policy-making at topics such as equity, efficiency, security, and liberty. Issues may include how specific policies express moral commitments and choices, how some policies favor certain values over others, as well as on issues such as whistle-blowing, “dirty hands” (doing wrong to do right), “many hands” (hiding accountability in bureaucracy) and professional incompetence. (Regularly)

PHIL 6260. Ethics and International Affairs (3) The relations between nation states and other trans-national organizations are often assumed to be governed by realist power relations, and outside the scope of ethical deliberation. In this course we will examine what sorts of ethical norms can or should be brought to bear on international relations. Possible topic areas include both theoretical issues such as the applicability of ethical theory to the behavior of trans-cultural and international issues, the appropriateness of “Western” ethical norms to the discussion; as well as more specific topics such as global hunger, uneven development more generally, arms proliferation, and environmental security. (Regularly)

PHIL 6320. Feminist Theory and Its Applications. (3) This course will cover feminist critiques of the philosophical canon, feminist approaches to philosophical problems (e.g., feminist ethics, feminist epistemology), and philosophical studies of topics related to gender, sexuality, and the intersection of these categories with race and class. Students will have the opportunity to investigate how feminist philosophy bears on their individual projects and areas of interest. (Regularly)

PHIL 6330. Race and Philosophy. (3) In this course, students will both study the role of race in the history of philosophy and examine, from a philosophical perspective, contemporary discourses of race and racism. Critical race theory and postcolonial theory will be studied, as well as their intersection with feminism, queer theory, among other critical political philosophies. (Occasionally)

PHIL 6340. Philosophy of Mind. (3) Examines questions concerning the relationship between body and mind, the existence of other minds, the nature of consciousness, and the architecture of cognition. Approaches to these questions include traditional philosophical sources (emphasizing metaphysics and epistemology) and more recent developments in cognitive science (including the computational model of mind, mental representation, connectionist systems, and artificial intelligence). Also addressed are ethical and social issues involved in the design and implementation of intelligent systems. Inquiries bear on issue such as free will and determinism, emotion and reasoning, and the nature of rationality. (Occasionally)

PHIL 6410. Internship in Ethics and Applied Philosophy. (3) On-site work in ethics and applied philosophy. Site and workload to be determined in consultation with a business, agency, organization or association and one faculty-internship advisor. Provides practical and professional training experience under conditions that the university cannot duplicate. (On demand)

PHIL 6800. Independent Study. (1-3) Directed individual study of a philosophical topic of special interest to the student. May be repeated for up to three hours credit maximum toward the Certificate in Applied Ethics and the M.A. in Ethics and Applied Philosophy programs. (Prerequisite: Permission of the department.)

PHIL 6999. Master’s Research Paper. (3) In this course, students will begin with a previously submitted course paper and spend the semester revising it. The goal is for each student to produce a polished, professional paper worthy of submission to a philosophical journal. Additional reading and research on the topic will be conducted, and multiple steps of revision and presentation of work in progress will be included. (Pre-requisite: Completion of 15 credit hours in Philosophy graduate courses prior to enrollment; permission of the department.) (Yearly)