Current Courses

Spring 2024

Asian Philosophies

PHIL 1502 | Dr. Trevor Pearce | MWF 10:10–11:00

Introduces students to a variety of Asian philosophies, concentrating on ancient texts and traditions. The first two thirds of the class will cover Chinese philosophy during the Warring States period (475–221 BCE), specifically Confucianism, Mohism, and Daoism. The last third of the class will cover a separate tradition within Indian philosophy: Buddhism, which emerged around the same time and famously argued that the self does not exist.

Philosophy of Humor

PHIL 1512 | Dr. Martin Shuster | MWF 11:15–12:05

We all like to laugh and find things amusing—but why? What makes something humorous? Why is offensive humor offensive? Can humor be unethical or wrong? What role can humor play in politics? This course will examine these questions and others in order to understand the function and importance of humor to human life.

Philosophy of Love and Sex

PHIL 1512 | Dr. Shannon Sullivan | MWF 9:05–9:55

Introduces students to the field of philosophy via the topic of love and sex. Topics may include monogamy, homosexuality, bisexuality, intersexuality, sexual perversion and normality, masturbation, rape, prostitution, gay marriage, and pornography.

Critical Thinking in Philosophy

PHIL 2100 | Dr. Tina Talsma | MWF 12:20–1:10

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. = PHIL 1105

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.

Healthcare Ethics

PHIL 2220 | Prof. Reginald Raymer | MWF 9:05–9:55

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 distribution of healthcare benefits.


PHIL 3009 | Dr. Michael Kelly | online asynchronous

Friedrich Nietzsche (1844–1900) is known for his genealogical method (tracing the origins of concepts and beliefs) and for his controversial ideas about morality, art, etc. Are his method and ideas relevant today? After focusing on original texts, we’ll examine some contemporary interpretations of Nietzsche.

History of Modern Political Philosophy

PHIL 3019 | Dr. Amber Knight | T/Th 11:30–12:45

Critical examination of the foundations of modern political thought from the sixteenth to the nineteenth century.

Hip Hop as Redescription

PHIL 3079 | Dr. Mark Sanders | T/Th 1:00-2:15

In this class we will philosophically examine hip hop culture—its origins and evolution. We will consider many aspects, ideas, and perspectives of and on hip hop, including beats, lyrics, race, authenticity, misogyny, homophobia, commercialism, and more.

American Philosophy

PHIL 3212 | Dr. Mark Sanders | T/Th 10:00-11:15

There are many strands to the history of America and philosophy in America. In this class we will attempt to intertwine some of these strands into as coherent a narrative as possible. Pragmatism is at the center of the narrative, but this narrative is one that is open to question, in true pragmatic fashion.

Virtue Epistemology

PHIL 3241 | Dr. Daniel Boisvert | W 2:30-5:15

One’s intellectual character is a function of how well one has developed a set of intellectual virtues, such as truthfulness, honesty, humility, courage, and others. But what, precisely, is an intellectual virtue? What more can we say about each of the specific intellectual virtues? How does each specific virtue help one to know?

Philosophy of Mind

PHIL 3242 | Dr. Tina Talsma | W 2:30-5:15

This course will serve as an introduction to the significant puzzles and theories in contemporary philosophy of mind. Particular emphasis will be placed on exploring the varying theories concerning the nature of the mind and the relationship it has with the brain/body. Additional topics may include free will or the nature of consciousness.

Feminist Philosophy

PHIL 3261 | Prof. Jennifer Byrd | T/Th 2:30–3:45

Cross-cultural and interdisciplinary survey of the main traditions of feminist theory in their historical context.

Philosophy of Technology

PHIL 3272 | Dr. Damien Williams | T/Th 2:30–3:45

This course will survey and critically assess several approaches to the philosophy of technology. We will investigate themes such as hybridity, cyborgs, nature, bodies, and the relationship between sciences and technologies. We will also spend time examining contemporary technologies such as AI and algorithmic systems.

Queer Theory

PHIL 4019 | Dr. Kent Brintnall | W 5:30-8:15

Queer Theory draws on and speaks to feminist theory, sexuality studies, critical race theory, psychoanalytic theory, disability studies, and trans theory. While often focusing on LGBTQIA experience, it is ultimately invested in understanding the cultural construction and operation of “queerness”—of otherness, marginalization, and exclusion.

Data Ethics

PHIL 4220 | Dr. Damien Williams | Th 5:30-8:15

This course will pursue some of the most substantial ethical concerns that arise with big data, with attention to the ways that policies and technological developments can either ameliorate or increase them. For example, one of the recurring philosophical questions of the course will be, “Is it better to govern by law or by algorithm/code?”

Senior Seminar

PHIL 4600 | Dr. Shannon Sullivan | MW 10:45-12:15

This course will give philosophy majors the opportunity to demonstrate proficiency and professionalism as competent researchers and capable communicators. As a guiding thread for this work, we will study different philosophical perspectives on nature, including Asian, Indigenous, and Euro-American philosophies. = PHIL 3620