Current Courses

FALL 2021


Philosophy of Death and Dying

PHIL 1001 | Dr. Ruth Groenhout | MWF 10:10-11:00

Introduces students to the field of philosophy via the theme of death and dying. Examines the meaning(s) of death and dying and how one’s attitude toward death could be connected to living a good life. Includes both historical (e.g., Plato, Tolstoy, Camus, and Beauvoir) and contemporary perspectives in bioethics on death and dying. Topics in bioethics may include: euthanasia, physician assisted suicide, brain death, and end-of-life care such as hospice and palliative care.


Introduction to Philosophy

PHIL 1101 | Dr. Mark Sanders | T/Th 10:00-11:15

Exploration of some of the basic problems that have shaped the history of philosophy (truth, knowledge, justice, beauty, etc.) and remain relevant to students today on personal and professional levels.  Readings will range from classical to contemporary texts by a variety of philosophers representing diverse perspectives on these problems.


Introduction to Philosophy (W)

PHIL 1102 | multiple sections

Exploration of some of the basic problems that have shaped the history of philosophy (truth, knowledge, justice, beauty, etc.) and remain relevant to students today on personal and professional levels.  Readings will range from classical to contemporary texts by a variety of philosophers representing diverse perspectives on these problems.


Critical Thinking (W)

PHIL 1105 | multiple sections

Fundamental skills of clear thinking that help students reason better during communication, problem-solving, and design, particularly as these integrate scientific/engineering efforts with social needs and values. Focuses on clarifying goals, identifying constraints, and generating and evaluating ideas or solutions.


Deductive Logic

PHIL 2105 | multiple sections

Principles of deductive logic, both classical and symbolic, with emphasis on the use of formal logic in analysis of ordinary language discourse.


Existentialism

PHIL 3140 | Dr. Robin James | M 5:30-8:15

Existentialist tradition in philosophy and literature including such issues as: authenticity, absurdity and the meaning of life, freedom and morality, anguish, death, and atheism.


Healthcare Ethics

PHIL 3230 | Dr. Lisa Rasmussen | MWF 11:15-12:05

Major ethical dilemmas within medical science and biology are examined to assist students to identify, analyze, and decide ethical issues in such a way that they can defend their positions to themselves and others. Issues include reproductive and genetic technology, death and dying, patient rights, and justice in distribution of healthcare benefits and burdens.


Advanced Logic

PHIL 3510 | Dr. Daniel Boisvert | online ansynchronous

Advanced systems of logic, with emphasis upon symbolic logic and formal systematic characteristics such as axiomatics and proof techniques.


Philosophy of Religion

PHIL 3530 | Dr. Tina Talsma | MWF 12:20-1:10

Philosophical implications of religious experience including the definitions, development, and diverse forms of the problems of belief and reason in modern thought.


Senior Seminar (W, O)

PHIL 3620 | Dr. Shannon Sullivan | T/Th 10:00-11:15

This course will give philosophy majors the opportunity to demonstrate proficiency and professionalism as a competent researcher and a capable communicator. As a guiding thread for this work, we will study different philosophical perspectives on the theme of nature, including various Asian, Indigenous, and Western philosophies. The course also will provide students the experience of explicitly thinking about and “translating” how philosophical skills relate to life in general and to possible career paths outside of academia.


Social and Political Philosophy

PHIL 3810 | Dr. Eddy Souffrant | W 2:30-5:15

Examination of basic concepts involved in understanding the nature and structure of political and social formations. Issues may include topics such as justice, human rights, the nature of political power, and the relations between individuals and political/social institutions. Readings from historical and/or contemporary sources, and may include figures such as Plato, Hobbes, Marx, Rawls, Arendt, Foucault and Butler.


Philosophy of Education

PHIL 3940 | Dr. Mark Sanders| T/Th 1:00-2:15

This class will explore the philosophy of education theories of John Dewey and approaches to education that take into account the problems faced by America’s schools, including the effect of race, class, and gender on school culture. It will also look specifically at the role that philosophy can and should play in education. Class members will work in groups to put together a Philosophy lesson plan and go to a high school class to lead the class through the lesson plan.


Caribbean Philosophy

PHIL 4190 | Dr. Eddy Souffrant| M 2:30-5:15

We shall consider the nature of Caribbean Philosophy and explore its critical and expansive aspects with the works of Cesaire, Conde, Fanon, Glissant, Price-Mars, Scott, Trouillot, Wynter.


Aesthetics

PHIL 4390 | Dr. Michael Kelly| online asynchronous

‘Aesthetics’ is as old as philosophy, though its modern disciplinary form emerged in the 18th century. After discussing some classical modern texts, we’ll focus on Black Aesthetics, which has a long history but which has taken on a new vibrancy and relevance in the last few years. What is Black Aesthetics, a question that philosophers, artists, and others answer in many different, mostly complementary ways? Black Aesthetics entails a critique of modern aesthetics because of the racism (colonialism and sexism) in its conceptual foundations. Is it also a new form or mode of doing aesthetics? Might this new form also be an invitation and a challenge to the rest of contemporary aesthetics to rethink what it’s doing and thinking? We’ll read Hume, Kant, Gikandi, Douglass, Du Bois, Davis, Morrison, Baraka, Lorde, Taylor, and more.


Religious Experience

PHIL 4590 | Dr. William Sherman| M 5:30-8:15

How are we to understand accounts of extraordinary dreams, visions of angels, out of body sensations, and other religious experiences that may seem bizarre and impossible? This question has motivated a number of philosophers and scholars of religion, and the concept of “religious experience” has been central to a debate about how we define and think about religion. This course will introduce us to a number of approaches to religious experience: William James’s pragmatism, phenomenology from Merleau-Ponty to Sara Ahmed, literary approaches, neuroscientific explanations, and historical critiques of the very notion of experience. Along the way, we will encounter a wide array of narratives of religious experiences, ranging from medieval mystical visions to contemporary sightings of UFOs.