Poster with Fall 2024 Philosophy Course Offerings

PHIL 101 – Introduction to Philosophy

Staff: MoWeFr 10:00AM-10:50AM

(Humanistic Approaches)

Representative philosophical topics, such as mind and body, the grounds of knowledge, the existence of God, moral obligation, political equality, and human freedom, are discussed in connection with contemporary philosophers and figures in the history of philosophy.


PHIL 104 – Existentialism 

Prof. Tubert: TuTh 2:00PM-3:20PM

Existentialism describes an influential set of views that gained prominence in Europe following World War II, stressing radical human freedom and possibility, as well as concomitant responsibility and anxiety, in a world bereft of transcendent significance. This course examines the nineteenth-century philosophical roots of such views, their leading twentieth-century philosophical and theological expression, and a few of their most compelling incarnations in literature.


PHIL 107 – Philosophy of Disability 

Prof. Protasi: MoWeFr 11:00AM-11:50AM

(Bioethics; Science, Technology, Health, and Society)

In this course students first read about the experience of disabled people and the history of the disability rights movement in the US, and how the approach to disability has evolved through time. Then, students devote some time thinking about the nature of disability; two families of approaches to disability are discussed (the biomedical model and the social model) with particular attention to philosophical accounts. The course transitions toward more applied questions, such as: What is the relation between disability and well-being? Is disability intrinsically bad? How is disability analogous to other social identities, and how does ableism differ from other forms of oppression, if it does? Is genetic screening and selective abortion on the basis of disability morally permissible? How does mental disability differ from physical disability? Finally, students work on a group project that answer the question: How can we build a world that includes disability?


PHIL 210 – Ancient Greek Philosophy

Prof. Protasi: TuTh 9:30AM-10:50AM

(Humanistic Approaches; Greek, Latin, and Ancient Mediterranean Studies)

A survey of the origins of Western philosophy in Ancient Greece, beginning with the Presocratics and covering Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, and Hellenistic philosophy. In this course students are introduced to the answers some of the most influential ancient philosophers have given to the question: “How can we be happy?” In addition to learning what these philosophers thought, students are stimulated to think about these questions from their own modern perspective, and reflect on the extent to which their modern viewpoint differs. Finally, but not least importantly, students learn to read and interpret texts that were written millennia ago. In the process, they encounter argumentative techniques that are still as current as the theses defended through them.


PHIL 230 – Philosophy of Mind  

Prof. Tiehen: TuTh 11:00AM-12:20PM   

(Bioethics; Consciousness, Creativity and Meaning; Neuroscience; Science, Technology, Health, and Society)

This course introduces central issues in the philosophy of mind, especially the relation between mind and body - the brain, in particular - and the nature of consciousness. Other topics may include the possibility of artificial intelligence, the nature of psychological explanation, self-knowledge, psychopathology and psychopharmacology, psychoanalysis, and the concept of a person. Course materials reflect scientific developments in such fields as psychology, neurobiology, medicine, linguistics, and computer engineering.


PHIL 232 – Philosophy of Science  

Prof. Tiehen: TuTh 3:30PM-4:50PM   

(Science, Technology, Health, and Society; Interdisciplinary Humanities)

This course consists of a philosophical examination of science. The course examines attempts to describe what is distinctive about science, including views concerning scientific methodology. The course also examines the character of scientific change, asking how one should understand the history of science. This examination leads to a discussion of the nature of scientific knowledge, including whether scientific entities should be considered real and what role values play in the development of science. Issues that arise from particular sciences also may be discussed.


PHIL 286 – Ethics, Data, and Artificial Intelligence

Staff: TuTh 2:00PM-3:20PM

(Neuroscience; Science, Technology, Health, and Society)

This course focuses on social, economic, legal, and ethical issues that arise from the collection, analysis, and use of large data sets, especially when these processes are automated or embedded within artificial intelligence systems. The course explores the design of ethical algorithms by considering questions like the following: what kinds of biases are ethically problematic and how can they be avoided? What are the effects of automation on jobs and inequality: What are the privacy considerations that arise when collecting and using data? What is the ethical significance of transparency in automation? Who owns data sets and who has the right to access information: who is responsible for actions that result from artificial intelligence systems? In thinking about these complex questions, students consider specific case studies of controversial uses of data and algorithms in fields such as medicine, biotechnology, military, advertising, social media, finance, transportation, and criminal justice, among others. In addition to relevant ethical theories, students are introduced to philosophical, legal, and scientific theories that play a central role in debates regarding the ethics of data and artificial intelligence. Readings are drawn from a number of classic and contemporary texts in philosophy, science and technology studies, law, public policy, and the emerging fields of “data ethics” and “robot ethics”.


PHIL 312 – Latin American and Latinx Philosophy

Prof. Tubert: MoWe 2:00PM-3:20PM

(Latin American Studies; Latina/o Studies; Interdisciplinary Humanities; Consciousness, Creativity and Meaning)

This course introduces students to philosophy from Latin America — broadly construed to include Indigenous philosophy — and to Latinx philosophy in the United States. The course focuses on issues of identity in Latin American and Latinx Philosophy including: 1) Latin American philosophers’ self-conscious discussion about whether there is such a thing as a Latin American Philosophy; 2) alternative conceptions of self, other, and community in selected indigenous conceptions of the world; 3) discussions about gender, race, class, and ethnic and political identity in Latin American anti-colonial and independence philosophy, liberation philosophy, and Latinx philosophy in the United States.


PHIL 340 – Philosophy of Cognitive Science

Prof. Liao: MoWe 3:30PM-4:50PM                                                       

(Neuroscience; Science, Technology, Health, and Society)

Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of the mind, which involves the cooperation of philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, linguistics, anthropology, computer science, and more. This course reviews the foundational methodological questions of cognitive science from a philosophical perspective. To do so, the course offers a historical overview of the development of cognitive science, from classical representationalist responses to behaviorism to contemporary anti-representationalist approaches—with a special focus on embodied, embedded, enactive, and extended (4E) cognition.


PHIL 360 – Aesthetics

Prof. Protasi: TuTh 12:30PM-1:50PM                                                       

(Interdisciplinary Humanities)

Aesthetics This course is a critical examination of the problems that arise in trying to understand the creation, nature, interpretation, evaluation, and appreciation of works of art. Art is viewed in its relation to other aspects of culture such as morality, economics, and ecology. A variety of classical and contemporary perspectives are examined.


PHIL 499 – Ethics Bowl 

Prof. Tubert: MoWe 5:00PM-6:20PM

(Experiential Learning; 0.25 activity unit)

This course provides students with a unique opportunity to practice applying ethical theories to controversial ethical problems. An Ethics Bowl is a collaborative yet competitive event in which teams analyze a series of wide-ranging ethical dilemmas. Throughout the semester, students research and discuss case studies dealing with complex ethical issues in a number of practical contexts and possibly compete in an Ethics Bowl. Cases concern ethical problems on wide ranging topics, such as personal relationships (e.g. dating, friendship), professional ethics (e.g. cases in engineering, law, medicine), social and political ethics (e.g. free speech, gun control, health care, discrimination), technology (e.g. autonomous cars, carebots), and global issues (e.g. the impact of globalization, global warming, biodiversity). Permission of the instructor required, email Prof. Tubert at for permission to register.