Fall 2019

FYS 100RRR – Philosophy of War
M & W – 5:00-6:15 – Tribble A307
Clark Thompson

This course studies the implications of moral theory for the determination of when war is morally permissible and of how war is to be conducted if it is to be waged in a morally acceptable way.  Our questions include the following: To what extent is military action justified when used to address humanitarian crises, to promote liberal or democratic values, or to combat oppression by foreign countries of their own citizens? Can a meaningful distinction be drawn between combatants and noncombatants? Should a defense of superior orders shield military subordinates from accountability for illegal acts they commit in war? To what extent are citizens in a democracy responsible for their state’s decision to go to war?

PHI 111A (95749) – Basic Problems of Philosophy (Freshman Only)
T & TR – 9:30-10:45 – Tribble A306
Christian Miller

This course will be concerned with some of the most challenging and interesting questions in all of human experience. For example, we will consider some of the arguments for the existence of God, whether God would allow evil to exist, whether faith is compatible with reason, whether there is an objective morality, whether we should be moral at the expense of self-interest, whether the death penalty is morally permissible, and what we should do about famine. In each case, we will examine particular questions not only with an aim at arriving at the truth, but also with an aim at determining what relevance these questions have to our ordinary lives.  The text will be Joel Feinberg and Russ Shafer-Landau, Reason and Responsibility (Wadsworth Press, most recent edition) and our readings will be drawn from both classic and contemporary sources.

PHI 111D (95753) – Basic Problems of Philosophy
T & TR – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble Hall A306
Francisco Gallegos

This course aims to introduce students to the discipline of philosophy. Philosophy is the activity of wrestling with life’s Big Questions, such as questions about the fundamental nature of reality, knowledge, morality, and meaning. Students will grapple with these questions as they relate to a wide variety of topics—including death, God, power, privilege, oppression, race, gender, education, happiness, and love—and become acquainted with the work of fascinating historical and contemporary philosophers. Throughout the semester, students will have an opportunity to discover, refine, and articulate their own core philosophical views and practice engaging constructively with the philosophical views of others.

PHI 111B (95751) – Basic Problems of Philosophy
M, W, & F – 10:00-10:50 – Tribble Hall DeTamble (A110)
Justin Jennings

 Examines the basic concepts of several representative philosophers, including their accounts of the nature of knowledge, persons, God, mind, and matter.

PHI 111C (95752) – Basic Problems of Philosophy
M, W, & F – 11:00-11:50 – Tribble Hall A304
Jonathan Barker

 Examines the basic concepts of several representative philosophers, including their accounts of the nature of knowledge, persons, God, mind, and matter.

PHI 111E (95759) – Basic Problems of Philosophy
M, W, & F – 2:00-2:50 – Tribble Hall A306
Adrian Bardon

 Examines the basic concepts of several representative philosophers, including their accounts of the nature of knowledge, persons, God, mind, and matter.

PHI 111F (97393) – Basic Problems of Philosophy (Freshmen Only)
M, W, & F – 2:00-2:50 – Greene Hall B313
Jonathan Barker

 Examines the basic concepts of several representative philosophers, including their accounts of the nature of knowledge, persons, God, mind, and matter.

PHI 111G (97394) – Basic Problems of Philosophy
M, W, & F – 1:00-1:50 – Greene 311
Justin Jennings

 Examines the basic concepts of several representative philosophers, including their accounts of the nature of knowledge, persons, God, mind, and matter.

PHI 111H (97395) – Basic Problems of Philosophy
M, W, & F – 3:00-3:50 – Tribble Hall A102
Jonathan Barker

Examines the basic concepts of several representative philosophers, including their accounts of the nature of knowledge, persons, God, mind, and matter.

PHI 114A (96398) – Philosophy of Human Nature
W & F – 9:30-10:45 – Tribble Hall A306
Patrick Toner

Is there such a thing as human nature?  If so, what is it like?  In this class, we examine some of the many answers that have been given to those questions.  Those answers come from east and west, from the past and from the present, from religious figures and from scientists.  We’ll evaluate all of them as philosophers.  Our course texts will be Twelve Theories of Human Nature by Stevenson et al and The Abolition of Man by CS Lewis.

PHI 161C (95766) – Intro to Bioethics
M & W – 2:00-3:15 p.m. – Greene Hall 308
Ana Iltis

A study of ethical issues that arise in health care and the life sciences. Topics to be explored include questions about death and organ donation, regenerative medicine, genetic testing and research, and the allocation of health care resources, among others.

PHI 161 – Intro to Bioethics
Section A (95750) -T & TR – 9:30-10:45 – Tribble Hall A304
Section B (95754) – T & TR – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble Hall A304
Adam Kadlac

The theme of this course will be “Happiness, Health, and Society.” Among the questions we will consider: Is happiness a purely psychological phenomenon? How is health related to happiness? How have advances in medical technology changed our understanding of the good life? What role should physicians play in promoting the happiness of their patients? And what obligations do we have to promote the health and/or happiness of others?

PHI 161D (97035) – Intro to Bioethics
T & TR – 12:30-1:45 – Tribble Hall A304
Nick Colgrove

A study of ethical issues that arise in health care and the life sciences such as informed concent, experimentation on human subjects, truth-telling, confidentiality, abortion, and the allocation of scarce medical resources.

PHI 164 – Contemporary Moral Problems
Section A (95755) – M, W, & F – 10:00-10:50 – Tribble Hall A304
Section B (97002) – M, W, & F – 11:00-11:50 – Tribble Hall A306 (Freshman Only)
Emily Austin

Study of pressing ethical issues in contemporary life, such as abortion, euthanasia, eating animals, international aid, war, pornography, immigration, and criminal justice.

PHI 165 – Intro to Philosophy of Law
Section A (97036) – M & W – 12:30-1:45 – Tribble A304
Section B (97037) – M & W – 2:00-3:15 – Tribble A304
Clark Thompson

An examination of prominent legal principles and cases.  Topics include the rule of law, judicial review, constitutional interpretation, the right to privacy, criminal liability, punishment, abortion, pornography, and the use of criminal law to enforce morality.

PHI 232A (95762) – Ancient Greek Philosophy
M & W – 2:00-3:15 – Tribble A307
Emily Austin

Study of the central figures in early Greek philosophy, beginning with the Presocratics, focusing primarily on Plato and Aristotle, and concluding with a brief survey of some Hellenistic philosophers.

PHI 241A (97025) – Modern
M, W, & F – 12:00-12:50 – Tribble A306
Justin Jennings

Study of the works of influential 17th and 18th-century European philosophers such as Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant, with a concentration on theories of knowledge, metaphysics, science, and religion.

PHI 360A (95757)/660AG (96508) – Ethics
T & TR – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble A307
Christian Miller

Ethics is concerned with the way we should live our lives and the type of person we should become.  This course will focus, not on applied topics in ethics like famine relief, abortion, or the death penalty, but rather on ethical theory itself.  We will look at such questions as: Which actions are right and which are wrong?  Which outcomes should we promote?  What kind of character should we attempt to cultivate? Our approach will be both historical and contemporary, and will focus on the four major ethical traditions:

Divine Command Theory, where the commands of a loving and just God are central to ethical theorizing.  Authors will include Robert Adams and Philip Quinn.

Kantian Deontology, where categorical imperatives and respect for others are central to ethical theorizing.  Authors will include Kant, Christine Korsgaard, and Fred Feldman.

Utilitarianism, where maximizing good outcomes is central to ethical theorizing.  Authors will include Mill, Michael Stocker, and Robert Nozick.

Virtue Ethics, where virtuous character traits are central to ethical theorizing.  Authors will include Aristotle, Rosalind Hursthouse, and Robert Louden.

I envision requiring 4 moderately sized papers and no exams.

PHI 364A (97005) – Freedom, Action, and Responsibility
W & F – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble A307
Adam Kadlac

The first part of this class will provide an overview of some key positions in contemporary discussions of free will with a particular focus on what conceptions of freedom are required to preserve moral responsibility.  The second part of the class will consist of a close reading of Dirk Pereboom’s Free Will, Agency, and Meaning in Life.  Assessments will include at least one exam and papers.

PHI 369A (97006) = Philosophy and Psychology
M, W, & F – 1:00-1:50 – Tribble A307
Adrian Bardon

A broad examination of the philosophy and psychology of bias, motivated reasoning, self-deception, and denial. We will discuss the roles of ideology, personality, and identity in science denial, in political economy, in racism, and in religious belief.

PHI 372A (97010/672AG (97011) – Philosophy of Religion
W & F – 12:30-1:45 – Tribble Hall A104
Patrick Toner

What is religion? Are the gods dead? Is God dead? Is religious belief a symptom of an underlying human weakness or biological process, or could it be a response to the sacred? Must believers rely on something less than knowledge? Are philosophical proofs the way to knowledge of God? What sort of problem is the problem of evil and what is its significance? How are religious beliefs like and unlike metaphysical, moral, and modern scientific beliefs?

PHI 374A (97007)/674AG (97009) – Philosophy of Mind
T & TR – 3:30-4:45 – Tribble A307
Ralph Kennedy

An introduction to three central topics in the philosophy of mind: the mind-body problem, the nature of consciousness, and the nature of intentionality. Some sample questions: You and I are conscious, but what about our various cousins such as chimpanzees and fish and wasps and worms? Are they conscious? Can they think? How could we know? Someday there may be robots outwardly indistinguishable from human beings. Could destroying such a robot be wrong, as murder is wrong? Our thoughts can be about almost anything, but how is this possible? How does an event going on in a brain manage to be about the Vietnam War, the square root of 2, the Big Bang, or whatever? Stay tuned.

PHI 385A (97070)/685AG (97008) – Seminar: Philosophy of Emotions
T & TR – 2:00-3:15 – Tribble A307
Francisco Gallegos

Would life be meaningful if we did not experience emotions? When do emotions help us to see things clearly and act in morally righteous ways, and when do they do the opposite? And how are patterns of privilege and oppression reflected in societal attitudes toward emotions in general and the emotions of particular groups (e.g., men, women, white folks, and people of color)? This course examines the nature of emotions and their relationship to meaning, knowledge, morality, and justice. Students will become acquainted with the work of diverse historical and contemporary philosophers who have addressed these topics, and they will have the opportunity to conduct collaborative, cutting-edge research on the topic of affective injustice, exploring the ways that a person’s emotional agency can be undermined by unjust social conditions.