Current Offerings


Twentieth-Century Philosophy

PHIL 5050.001 | Dr. Michael Kelly | (100% online, asynchronous learning)

The twentieth century was as rich in philosophy as it was in art, science, and history: phenomenology, existentialism, analytic philosophy, logical positivism, pragmatism, ordinary-language philosophy, feminism, critical theory, hermeneutics, critical race theory, deconstruction, queer theory, etc. One way to introduce you to as many of these types of philosophy as possible is to focus on texts that highlight the similarities as well as differences among them and to discuss issues that do the same. This course will complement many other courses in the department, including Knowledge & Reality, Ethical Theory, Modern Philosophy, and Social Political Philosophy, as well as Aesthetics, Feminism, Philosophy of Language, and others.

Truth and Power in Artificial Intelligence

PHIL 5050.002 | Dr. Gordon Hull | Wednesday 12:20–3:05PM (face-to-face)

Artificial intelligence (AI) is often touted as revolutionary in fields ranging from healthcare to transportation. However, AI algorithms are always deployed both as part of sociotechnical systems and into existing social and political contexts. For this reason, the actual effects of AI systems depend on a complex series of interactions, and often have little to do with simplistic promises of revolutionary change. Work in AI “ethics” thus needs to be supplemented by work on the political economy of AI as well as how it is implicated in relations of social knowledge and power. In this course we will study critical theoretical literature on AI systems to better understand these relations, with attention to specific AI deployments such as natural language processing and specific issues such as fairness

Queer Theory

PHIL 5050.090 | Dr. Kent Brintnall | Tuesday 5:30–8:15PM (face-to-face)

Introduction to key issues in queer theory, a field of studies that questions and redefines the identity politics of early lesbian and gay studies by investigating the socially constructed nature of identity and sexuality and critiquing normalizing ways of knowing and being.

Body Politics

PHIL 6050.091 | Dr. Christine Davis | Thursday 5:30–8:15PM (face-to-face)

Body politics—a term that reflects Foucault’s concept of biopower, Mbembe’s concept of necropolitics, Haraway’s concept of ‘making monstrous,’ Kind Watts’s concept of ‘zombification of bodies of color,’ and Butler’s concept of ‘ungrievability’—refers to the use of bodies as sites of power, or, conversely, of powerlessness. There are a myriad of ways we use our bodies to gain power: through beauty and body adornment, exercise and fitness routines, offering and withholding sex, and coercion and violence, for example. There are also a myriad of ways we use others’ bodies against them, to take power away from them: persuading them their bodies need the purchase of cosmetics, adornment, diets, and exercise programs to be good enough; racist, sexist, and ageist aggressions and microaggressions; laws against abortion, family planning, and certain sexual acts; refugee and immigration restrictions; racial lynchings; deaths of refugees and migrants at the border; hate crimes; and violence against black people, people of color, and LGBTQIA people. for example. This class will use critical theories to examine the practical implications of body politics. We will look at the ways in which bodies are illegitimized, Othered, marginalized, dismissed, and discarded.

Ethical Theory

PHIL 6110.001 | Dr. Eddy Souffrant | Tuesday 2:30-5:15PM (100% online, synchronous learning)

The course is an introductory course in Moral Philosophy. Some of you asked that this course be a combination of historical perspectives and contemporary theories. We shall thus try to familiarize ourselves with some of the trends in concepts and normative theories of Morality. We shall examine a version of the historical perspective of the field by way of the works of two ancient philosophers, two modern pillars of the field. I shall however introduce us to some contemporary writers to complement the historical work with in-class lectures. The works read in this class will survey in rough terms the major constituents of the area of morality. The course also aims to demonstrate how metaphysics, self-awareness/identity, our common nature, and universal/objective extrapolations combine with the social component that constitutes our humanity (our appurtenance to our various communities), to help inform the many moral theories we have inherited and have come to adopt. We shall also study the manner in which the theories (a) help our determination of the morality of acts, (b) would shape our moral character, and ultimately (c) guide our moral behaviors. The fundamental import of the course however, will be to identify the nature of the arguments that support the moral theories and the practice of Ethics. Our long-term objective will consist in enabling the student to distinguish between Deontological, Virtue, Intuitive, and Teleological theories.

Research Ethics in the Biological and Behaviorial Sciences

PHIL 6240.001 | Dr. Lisa Rasmussen | Thursday 1:00-3:45PM (face-to-face)

Designed to identify the fundamental elements that characterize not only methodologically grounded but also morally appropriate scientific research. Class discussion and readings focus on key issues in biological 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.

Feminist Theory and Its Applications

PHIL 6320.090 | Dr. Elisabeth Paquette | Wednesday 6:00-8:45PM (face-to-face)

This course examines rich intellectual engagements with sexuality and gender across the Caribbean, including their emergence in discourses of colonization, decolonization, and resistance. The course is organized around four themes: diaspora, language, creolization, and futurity. Specifically, we consider how conceptions of queer, or queering, are part of Caribbean resistance narratives. This course is organized around these various themes and concepts, rather than linguistic-specific regions (ex. French, English, Spanish).