A survey of perennial issues and problems of philosophy addressed from historical or contemporary perspectives. Such problems may include: freedom and determinism, personal identity, the existence of God, right and wrong, reason and sensation, problems of knowledge, etc.
Contemporary moral issues in the light of traditional and contemporary philosophical analysis. Racial discrimination, violence, poverty and affluence, changing moral standards, the values of a business society, and the rights, responsibilities and problems of the individual with respect to his society
Effective Reasoning is a general introduction to the principles of reasoning and logical analysis. The main focus of this course will be on the nature of arguments, the critical evaluation of arguments, and the evaluation of theories.
The principles of reasoning, both deductive and inductive, immediate inference, the syllogism, fallacies, doctrine of probability and experimental method. The course acquaints the student with the conditions of valid thought and scientific inquiry.
A survey of the history of philosophy, focusing on Plato, Aristotle, St.Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Nietzsche, Wittgenstein, Russell, Dewey. Variable content. This course may be repeated for credit, as long as the content is varied.
Philosophical reflection upon African-American social experience, African-American intellectual history, modern and contemporary oppositional discourse. Caribbean presence, Pan-Africanism, African heritage, value systems, aesthetics, political theology.
(Also WRT 229) This course surveys the highlights of the Western rhetorical tradition and what they can teach us about how we communicate in contemporary society. Generally speaking, rhetoricians study verbal and nonverbal language and communication. Certainly, language affects everything we do: how we think, learn, identify ourselves, and interact with others. According to American rhetorician Kenneth Burke (18971993), language “reflects, deflects, and selects” reality. In this course, we will look carefully at how this occurs and how the Western rhetorical tradition has influenced our current knowledge of what language does. Rhetoric is perhaps one of the oldest disciplines. What we know of its history has been shaped by Western rhetoricians over the ages-from the ancient Greeks, (Isocrates, Plato and Aristotle), to the Romans, (Quintilian and Cicero), through Medieval Times, (St Augustine) to the Renaissance (Petrus Ramus and Erasmus) and Enlightenment (Sir Francis Bacon and John Locke), and beyond to the 20th and 21st Centuries. This tradition constitutes a Western historical narrative that has shaped what we think rhetoric is and what it does, and is by no means Gospel. Other rhetorics are interrupting this dominant narrative about what the rhetorical tradition is. The field of rhetoric is much too broad to survey, even superficially, in one semester. Consequently, the lens (or to borrow a term from Burke, the terministic screen) we will use to examine the field will focus on the theories of those rhetoricians who have been most influential in a Western tradition.
Moral problems confronted by both the professional and the lay person in health-care institutions and in biological research. Abortion and infanticide, eugenics, euthanasia and suicide, allocation of scarce resources, experimentation, and general criticisms directed at the medical establishment.
Moral issues in business arising from the actions and decisions in production, advertising, marketing, etc. Justification of profit and private property, truth-telling and social responsibility, privacy, the role of the law in competition and trade, and the morality of worker-owner relations. Problems and perspectives raised by the advent of globalization in international enterprise.
(Also AFS/ENG 248) Broad review of the literary period known as the Harlem Renaissance or the New Negro Movement. An examination of poetry, fiction, critical essays, art andmusic for social and aesthetic values projected in the artistic production of the day.Highlighting the transnational, transethnic texture of African/American social consciousness. Prerequisite: WRT 107 with a final grade of C- or better.
(Also AFS/ENG 259) Contemporary African-American Thought explores the intellectual contributions of prominent African-American writers and philosophers from the late twentieth century to the present. Through literary analysis, discussion, and participation in a class conference, students investigate the cultual, political, aesthetic, and philosophic dilemmas of the African Americans in the cotemporary age.
A study of classical, modern and contemporary theory about social well being. Political obligation, social justice, privacy, collective good, international rights, sovereignty, power.
The meaning of faith and revelation, reason and faith, types of religious knowledge, proofs for the existence of God, and comparative philosophical study of native American and/or non-western religions.
An examination of the basic presuppositions and methods of physical and/or social sciences, including a historical presentation of major scientific theories in the appropriate areas.
Classical theories on the nature of consciousness, on the possible being and nature of the soul, on the relation of mind and matter. Readings include Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Gilbert Ryle followed by selected contemporary theories. Dual purpose to appreciate the great contributions of the classics and to establish a knowledge base for understanding theories of consciousness
An analysis of the work of art, of aesthetic experience and judgements of aesthetic value in which representative art works and philosophies of art are studied. May have an historical or contemporary problems orientation.
Study of classical theories of knowledge, including Plato, Aristotle, Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant. Treatment of primary texts both for the sake of themselves as great moments in western thought and for the sake of establishing a knowledge base for understanding contemporary problems of knowledge.
An in-depth study of a major figure, movement, or issue in philosophy. Ethics and metaethics; quantification and axiomatic logic, medieval philosophy; 19th century philosophy; recent and contemporary philosophy; Eastern philosophy, etc.
Please contact your instructor for specific topic.
Field experience in the Humanities allowing majors to gain hands-on experience in such professional settings as the publishing industry, museums, and the ministry. Open to juniors and seniors majoring in, Philosophy
An independent study in a topic chosen in consultation with the philosophy faculty. An extended paper will be developed under the mentorship of a faculty member in philosophy and defended before the entire Humanities Division. Open only to philosophy majors.