Philosophy (PHIL)


PHIL 101. Introduction to Philosophy. 3 Credits.

An introductory survey of the discipline of philosophy. Students will join the thoughtful search, in which philosophers have engaged through reading and discussion since ancient days, into the problems of reality (metaphysics), of truth and meaning (logic and philosophy of language), of moral standards (ethics), of knowledge (epistemology), of beauty (aesthetics), and other fundamental questions. F,S.

PHIL 110. Introduction to Logic. 3 Credits.

A theoretical and practical introduction to the principles of reasoning--formal and informal, deductive and inductive. Students will study language and patterns of reasoning as vehicles for and obstacles to critical thinking. The central characteristics of deduction and validity; the role of hypotheses, inductive reasoning, probability estimates in scientific and quasi-scientific investigations and other models of critical thinking and their limits will be covered. F,S.

PHIL 120. Introduction to Ethics. 3 Credits.

This course investigates the nature of the Good Life, of moral principles, and the application of moral systems to contemporary debate. These may include questions about the morality of war, capital punishment, sexual behavior, welfare, and so forth. F,S.

PHIL 130. Introduction to Political Philosophy. 3 Credits.

An exploration of the central themes in politcal theory. Students will study topics such as justification of the state, liberty, justice, equality, rights, democratic participation. The course will include readings from classic and contemporary philosophers, emphasizing the connection between the theoretical issues addressed and contemporary political debates. On demand.

PHIL 221. Symbolic Logic. 3 Credits.

The modern deductive logic of propositions and functions (including relations); logistic systems. Students majoring in mathematics or computer science will be especially welcome in this course. Offered Fall every 3 years.

PHIL 250. Ethics in Engineering and Science. 3 Credits.

This course centers on the ethical issues of particular concern to both citizens and professionals involved in engineering and related technical/scientific fields. We review ethical history and ethical theory in all class discussions. The major focus of the course, however, is on ethical dilemmas, case studies, and codes relevant to contemporary engineering and scientific practice. Issues surveyed include: ethical responsibility of theorists and of applied scientists, risk and negligence in technological enterprises, the limits of knowledge/safety/quality, an update of the two cultures debate. F,S.

PHIL 251. Ethics in Health Care. 3 Credits.

Some ethical problems and ethical guidelines are of particular concern to citizens and to professionals interested in health care fields. Examples are informed consent, abortion, euthanasia, organ transplant policies, professional standards versus patient rights, assisted suicide, ethics of testing/screening, health care policy and reform. Class members will explore such issues through case studies in a context of relevant ethical history and theory. Junior/senior standing encouraged. S.

PHIL 252. Ethics in Business and Public Administration. 3 Credits.

Ethical issues occurring in business and public administration. Basic values promoted or inhibited by people and institutions in these areas will be investigated. Case studies will also be used within a context of ethical theory and history, to explore more defined problems such as unsafe products, employee rights, the relation between business life and personal life, and many more. F, even years.

PHIL 253. Environmental Ethics. 3 Credits.

The course centers on the way that ethics helps us to understand environmental issues. We examine a broad cross-section of environmental issues from a variety of traditional and contemporary ethical frameworks. Issues include sustainability, animal rights, energy consumption, habitat loss, biodiversity, land conservation, and pollution. Class members will explore such issues through case studies in a context of relevant ethical history and theory. Offered Fall every 3 years.

PHIL 300. Ancient Philosophy. 3 Credits.

The ancient Greeks and Romans laid the foundations for even the most contemporary philosophy, and their ideas have had a continuing influence on all Western thought from their time to our own. This course attempts to examine those ideas and the reasons for their persistent relevance. F, even years.

PHIL 301. Medieval Philosophy. 3 Credits.

Philosophy in Western Europe from the end of the Roman Empire to the early 15th Century as reflected in the writings of such thinkers as Boethius, Augustine, Abelard, Aquinas and Ockham. S, odd years.

PHIL 302. Renaissance and Enlightenment. 3 Credits.

Philosophy from the time of Petrarch (c. 1350) to that of the American Revolution as seen in the writings of such philosophers as Bruno, Bacon, Descartes, Spinoza and Hume. This is the period that sees the origins of modern thought. The implications of the work of the philosophers had an important role in shaping contemporary society, including the arts, literature, science, politics, and economics. F, odd years.

PHIL 303. Kant and the Nineteenth Century. 3 Credits.

Philosophy from the "Age of Reason" through the Industrial Revolution as reflected in the writings of Kant and other philosophers such as Hegel, Mill, Marx, and Nietzsche. S, even years.

PHIL 312. American Philosophy. 3 Credits.

A survey of major figures and movements in American philosophy. Offered Fall every 3 years.

PHIL 321. Analytic Philosophy. 3 Credits.

Contemporary developments in Philosophy since the beginning of the 20th century. Offered Spring every 3 years.

PHIL 331. Continental Philosophy. 3 Credits.

This course will investigate philosophical trends in Continental Philosophy, such as: Phenomenology, Existentialism, Critical Theory, Feminism, Hemeneutics, Structuralism, Post-structuralism, Postmodernism, Deconstructionism, Postcolonialism, and Psychoanalysis. Students will study primary works of philosophy by such thinkers as: Adorno, Agamben, Arendt, Baudrillard, Butler, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Gadamer, Habermas, Kristeva, Levinas, Marion, Nancy, Ricoeur, and Zizek. Offered Fall every 3 years.

PHIL 342. Ethical Theory. 3 Credits.

This course examines the theoretical foundation of a variety of ethical systems. It expands the core traditional ethical theories by considering contemporary elaborations on Virtue Ethics, Deontological Ethics (Kantianism), utilitarianism and other dominant theories. Students are strongly advised to have taken PHIL 120 before enrolling in this course. S.

PHIL 355. Social and Political Philosophy. 3 Credits.

This course examines core issues in society and governance: the nature of justice, the limits of freedom, the role of religion, family and pluralism in the modern community, are a few examples of possible topics. Students in the course may examine both classical and contemporary theories of political society. Offered Fall every 3 years (2008).

PHIL 360. Feminist Philosophy. 3 Credits.

This course will investigate theories and major ideas of feminist philosophers, past and present. The course may be approached as an historical examination of the different "waves" of feminism, or it may be approached topically, as for example: women and the body, the feminine and the spirit, feminist art, feminist responses to violence, etc. Central figures in feminist philosophy who may be studies include: Charlotte Perkins Gilman, Mary Wollstonecraft, Simone de Beauvoir, Susan Bordo, Catharine MacKinnon, Luce Irigary, bell hooks, and Chandra Talpade Mohanty. Offered Fall every 3 years.

PHIL 383. Asian Philosophy. 3 Credits.

Study of major philosophical systems of India, China and/or Japan. On demand.

PHIL 399. Philosophic Themes. 1-3 Credits.

This course provides an opportunity for detailed examination of important philosophic themes. Topics will vary depending on faculty and student interests. Investigations into philosophy of religion, foundations of logic, African American philosophic schools, political correctness, and many others are possible. May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. Repeatable to 6 credits. On demand.

PHIL 400. Philosophy of Language. 3 Credits.

An examination of the nature of language concerning issues of meaning, reference, language use, linguistic structure, and difference from other symbol systems. Offered Spring every 3 years.

PHIL 410. Metaphysics: What Is Real?. 3 Credits.

A study of the basic categories by which things are understood. Topics include such issues as appearance and reality, substance, particular and general, space and time, and personal identity. Offered Spring every 3 years.

PHIL 415. Philosophy of Mind. 3 Credits.

A consideration of philosophical problems arising from the methodology of the behavioral sciences. Of special relevance to students majoring in Psychology, Political Science, Economics, Anthropology or Sociology. Offered Fall every 3 years.

PHIL 420. Epistemology: What is Knowledge?. 3 Credits.

Inquiry into the nature and limits of knowledge as distinguished from belief; types of knowledge; the role of reason and sense experience in empirical knowledge. Offered Fall every 3 years.

PHIL 425. Metaethics - Is Ethics Possible?. 3 Credits.

A study of traditional problems in ethical theory including the foundations of ethical philosophy, the nature of the good, ethical relativity, free will versus determinism. Although case studies and contemporary examples will appear in discussions, the central focus of the course will be historical and theoretical. Offered Fall every 3 years.

PHIL 430. Philosophy of Science and Technology. 3 Credits.

A study of the philosophic aspects of science and technology. Problems include, what makes a theory scientific?, is there a scientific "method?", can one believe in science and religion at the same time?, how can we tell whether a technological enterprise is a reasonable risk or a negligent gamble?, how should a technological advance be controlled? Offered Spring every 3 years.

PHIL 441. Existentialism. 3 Credits.

An examination of the nature of human existence and its relationship to freedom. This course investigates the consequences of one's choices and their effects on identity, ethics, and on other people. By examining the works of such philosophers as Kierkegaard, Sartre, Camus, de Beauvoir, and others, students will investigate the ways in which human beings construct their own identities and develop their own ethical and political standards. Offered Spring every 3 years (2010).

PHIL 442. Phenomenology. 3 Credits.

This course will introduce students to the theory and practice of phenomenology. Founded by the 20th century thinker, Edmund Husserl, phenomenology is a method that attempts to describe lived human experiences. Students will therefore do phenomenology as part of their study of the subject by undertaking exercises in the method of phenomenological description. Central figures in phenomenology who may be studied include: Franz Bretano, Edmund Husserl, Martin Heidegger, Emmanuel Lavinas, Maurice Merleau-Ponty, and Paul Ricoeur. The course may also take a topical approach, investigating the experiences of gratitude, foregiveness, fear, desire, or hospitality, for example. Offered Fall every 3 years.

PHIL 443. Aesthetics. 3 Credits.

This course will investigate the philosophical foundations of art (understood in its widest sense, including, for example, music and writing). It will ask whether definitions of art or beauty are possible, what the relationship between form and substance is in art, whether or not art should be valued as a product or process, as well as other such questions. The course will rely upon classical and modern texts, as well as a variety of examples from the history of the arts. Offered Spring every 3 years.

PHIL 450. Philosophy, Economics, and Politics. 3 Credits.

This course provides an introduction to the discipline sometimes called "political economy" and illustrates its connection to political philosophy in general. It focuses on the relationship between political and economic structures, with a special emphasis on the nature and problems of liberal capitalist democracies. Students will read classic and contemporary thinkers, and primary and secondary sources. Offered Spring every 3 years.

PHIL 451. Citizenship and Political Participation. 3 Credits.

This course provides an in-depth study of the nature of citizenship, with special emphasis on how citizens deliberate collectively and individually. It focuses on questions of rationality, political activism, political education, and cosmopolitanism. Students will read classic and contemporary thinkers, and primary and secondary sources. Offered Spring every 3 years.

PHIL 460. Philosophy of Law. 3 Credits.

An investigation of the nature of both law and legal reasoning. Study of the nature of law focuses on theories of natural law, legal positivism, and legal realism. Legal reasoning concerns justified interpretation of precedent and statute within the common law tradition. Additional topics dealt with as time allows, encompass such issues as the justification of punishment and enforcement of morality. F.

PHIL 480. Public Philosophy. 3 Credits.

Public philosophy is the process of engaging in philosophical reflection with non-philosophers. This course provides the opportunity for students to take existing work in academic philosophy and "translate" it into more accessible media. Students will write magazine articles, blog entries, opinion pieces suitable for newspapers, and engage in other activities that help philosophy expand past its home at the university. Prerequisite: 75 total credit hours. F.

PHIL 491. Seminar in Philosophy. 3-6 Credits.

A consideration of selected philosophical problems or classic texts of mutual interest to departmental faculty and more advanced students. Previous work in philosophy or related disciplines is recommended. Prerequisites: Junior or senior standing and consent of instructor. On demand.

PHIL 494. Independent Study in Philosophy. 1-3 Credits.

Supervised tutorial on an individual basis. Typically, a student will work independently to a considerable extent. In other cases, the course may take the form of regularly scheduled meetings. May be repeated to 8 credits. Prerequisite: Instructor consent. Repeatable to 24 credits. F,S.

PHIL 497. Projects in Philosophy. 1-3 Credits.

Projects in Philosophy is a course that allows students to engage in non-traditional, non-classroom based projects in philosophy. Projects may include internships, practicums, research or teaching assistantships, community engagement activities, or other projects that may differ from semester to semester. Students may enroll in this course with permission of instructor, but some projects (e.g. , internships) may be selective and subject to an application process. Repeatable up to 12 credits. Prerequisite: Instructor consent. Repeatable to 12 credits. On demand.

Office of the Registrar

Tel: 701.777.2711
Fax: 701.777.2696

Twamley Hall Room 201
264 Centennial Drive Stop 8382
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8382