FYS 100 KK (25032) – God
T & R – 11-12:15 – Tribble Hall A207
Is it rational to believe in the existence of God, understood as an all-knowing, all-powerful, and all-loving being? Do features of the natural world entitle us to believe in the existence of such a being? How are we to understand the claims that God is omnipotent and perfectly good? Can we reconcile human freedom with divine foreknowledge, and the existence of evil with God’s perfect goodness? Are divine commands the source of the moral rightness of acts? These are some of the questions which we will consider in a setting which will aim to be fair to both sides and encourage lots of discussion.
FYS 100 KKK (25033) – Philosophy Goes to the Movies!
T & R – 3:30-4:45 p.m. – Tribble Hall A307
Many excellent films have been built around interesting philosophical issues. This course uses film, in conjunction with targeted readings, to inspire discussion and debate of a variety of philosophical questions on the subjects of moral responsibility, memory and personal identity, artificial intelligence, genetic manipulation, the environment, drugs, abortion, religious belief, racial justice, economic justice, and immigration. Students will do individual short essays and work in groups to lead discussion.
PHI 111 – Basic Problems of Philosophy
Section A (24909) – T & R – 9:30-10:45 a.m. – Tribble Hall A306
Section C (24924) – T & R – 12:30-1:45 p.m. – Tribble Hall A306
This course introduces some classical philosophical texts, focusing on their enduring arguments and ideas. In approaching them, one aim is to appreciate the importance and relevance of philosophical reflection upon them to our ordinary lives. Themes we’ll encounter include mind and body, knowledge and skepticism, reason and faith, God and evil, personal identity, and free will. A related aim in wrestling with these texts is to learn how to evaluate philosophical ideas critically, while articulating and defending your own.
PHI 111B (24913) – Basic Problems of Philosophy
T & R – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble Hall A306
This course introduces 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, faith, power, privilege, oppression, race, gender, education, happiness, and love—and become acquainted with the work of diverse 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 114A (24910) – Philosophy of Human Nature
W & F – 9:30-10:45 – Tribble Hall A306
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 115 – Intro to Philosophy of Religion
Section A (24921)- M & W – 12:30-1:45 p.m. – Tribble Hall A306
Section B (24931) – M & W – 2:00-3:15 p.m. – Tribble Hall A306
Intro to Philosophy of Religion: We shall examine philosophical arguments concerning the existence and nature of God to see how far reason supports various beliefs about God. Among the topics we shall explore are: Is it rational to believe in the existence of God, understood as an all-knowing, all-powerful, and perfectly good being? Do features of the natural world entitle us to believe in the existence of such a being? Would it be wrong to believe in God in the absence of sufficient evidence for His existence? How are we to understand the claims that God is omniscient, omnipotent, and perfectly good? Can we reconcile human freedom with divine foreknowledge, and the existence of evil with God’s perfect goodness? Is hell consistent with God’s justice? Are divine commands the source of the moral rightness of acts?
PHI 161B (24933) – Intro to Bioethics
M & W – 2:00-3:15 p.m. – Tribble Hall A304
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 161A (24932) – Intro to Bioethics
T & R – 2:00-3:15 p.m. – Tribble Hall A306
An introduction to the history, issues, problems, concepts and arguments of contemporary medical ethics, as presented in John Moskop’s Ethics and Health Care: An Introduction in the first half of the semester will be followed by student selected topics suggested by the introduction. These topics include patient-provider relationships, issues at the beginning and end of life, as well as problems arising in public health and biomedical research.
PHI 164 – Contemporary Moral Problems
Section A – W & F – 9:15 – 10:30 a.m. – Downtown 1616
Section C – W & F – 11:15 – 12:30 – Downtown 1616
Contemporary Moral Problems: In this course we will discuss several moral issues of contemporary concern including: truth-telling (in public and private life), privacy, abortion, and capital punishment. We will also think about the relationship between our modern market economy and other social values. (Note: These sections meet at Wake Downtown.)
PHI 164B (24912) – Contemporary Moral Problem
MWF – 11:00-11:50 – Tribble Hall A306
Study of pressing ethical issues in contemporary life, such as abortion, euthanasia, animal rights, affirmative action, marriage, cloning, pornography, and capital punishment.
PHI 235A (24915) – Main Streams of Chinese Philosophy
T & R – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble Hall A307
The course is an introduction to the main schools of thought in Chinese philosophy. We begin our study with the Pre-Qin Hundred Schools in Ancient China focusing on Confucianism, Daoism, Moism, and Legalism. The second part of the course will trace the introduction of Buddhism in China to its development into several schools including Chan (Zen) Buddhism. We will finish with a sampling of the two leading schools of Neo-Confucianism in the Song and Ming Dynasties – School of Principle (Lixue) and School of Mind (Xinxue) – to appreciate the impact of Daoism and Buddhism on the development of Confucianism through the ages. A major theme of the course is how the various schools understand dao (the way or the path) as a metaphysical-ethical principle and its implications for self-cultivation, virtue, social relations, government, knowledge and a number of other issues.
PHI 280A (24935) – Topics: Hellenistic Philosophy: Stoics, Skeptics, and Epicureans
M & W – 2:00-3:15 – Tribble Hall A307
The Hellenistic Age, traditionally dated from the death of Alexander in 323 BCE to the birth of Augustus’ Roman Empire in 31 BCE, gave the world three of its most innovative and influential schools of philosophy: Epicureanism, Skepticism, and Stoicism. This course investigates the central features of their thought. We will focus on Hellenistic theories of mind, free will, moral psychology, wisdom, happiness, friendship, death, and politics.
PHI 342A (24937)/642 (25001) – Topics in Modern Philosophy
M & W – 5:00-6:15 p.m. – Tribble Hall A307
Topics in Modern Philosophy. A broad survey of the writings of David Hume. Areas covered will include Hume’s work in epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of religion, moral philosophy, political philosophy, and aesthetics.
PHI 361A (24929)/685 AG (24926) – Topics in Ethics
W & F – 12:30-1:45 p.m. – Tribble Hall A307
This class will start with a study of some of the now-standard arguments for and against vegetarianism/veganism. Then we’ll ask what follows if we suppose that meat eating is morally permissible. Wouldn’t we still have some obligations to animals? If so, what? How would this change how we farm? We will also think about genetically modified organisms, the ethics of hunting, food’s environmental impact and perhaps other such matters. I expect there to be two papers and a final exam.
The reading list is not complete at this point, but we might read from any of: Peter Singer, Tom Regan, Rosalind Hursthouse, Jose Ortega y Gasset, Roger Scruton, Paul Thompson, Mary Midgley, Lori Gruen, Wendell Berry and others.
PHI 362A (24927)/662 (24928) – Social and Political Philosophy
T & R – 12:30-1:45 – Tribble Hall A307
This course examines the work of diverse contemporary and historical philosophers on topics such as the state, citizenship, liberty, justice, and the common good. Special attention will be paid to the influence of emotions and structures of privilege and oppression—including those related to race, gender, class, sexual orientation, and religion—on the formation and disintegration of communities. Students will engage with the course material in a wide variety of modalities, including formal and informal writing assignments, field research, group projects, and in-class presentations.
PHI 370A (24922)/670AG (24923) – Philosophy and Christianity
T & R – 9:30-10:45 a.m. – Tribble Hall A307
This course will examine central claims of the Christian creeds from a philosophical perspective. In particular, we will consider in detail most if not all of the following topics: the trinity, original sin, incarnation, atonement, grace, resurrection and life everlasting, and heaven and hell. Our readings will draw from medieval as well as contemporary analytic authors, with a focus on work by the latter. Examples of medieval authors include Augustine, Anselm, and Aquinas. Examples of contemporary authors include Peter van Inwagen, Trenton Merricks, Philip Quinn, Richard Swinburne, Eleonore Stump, Robert Adams, and Lynne Rudder Baker. Right now I envision 2-3 short papers and a final exam.
PHI 375A (24936/675AG (24939) – Philosophy of Language
R – 2-4:30 p.m. Tribble A301
Philosophy of language seeks to understand the way that we use language to refer to things in world, express our thoughts, and communicate with others. In this seminar, we will engage in a rigorous examination of foundational philosophical works on the nature of meaning, reference, communication, truth, fiction, metaphor, and offensive language.
PHI 378A (24934) – Philosophy of Space and Time
T & R – 2:00-3:15 p.m. – Tribble Hall A307
An examination of philosophical approaches to space and time from the Presocratic period to the present. Issues discussed include the reality of the passage of time, paradoxes of change and motion, puzzles about time-awareness, the status of space and time as entities in their own right, spacetime and relativity, time and freedom of the will, and the possibility of time-travel.
PHI 385A (24916)/685AG (24917)– Seminar: Existentialism
T & R – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble Hall A304
The course will focus on the relationship between thought and lived experience. How should the two be combined in a life? Are there aspects of the world inaccessible to us when we merely think about or observe things that are accessible to the present, involved, first-personal, acting subject? What is the right relationship between theory, whether philosophical, scientific, literary, or theological, and practice or experience? What is gained and what is lost in our capacity for reflection? Is there something essential to being there? Can thinking involve us in certain dangers? Are these dangers nonetheless necessary? We will investigate these and other questions through the study of extended selections from the major works of a few principal thinkers often classed as “existentialists”, namely, Søren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, and Martin Buber.
PHI 385B (24925)/685BG (24926)– Seminar: Phenomenology
M & W – 12:30 – 1:45 p.m. – Tribble Hall A207
Phenomenology is widely considered to have been among the most influential philosophical movements of the twentieth century. But the tradition continues. This course will introduce you to some of the most current work being done today by phenomenologists in France. Topics we’ll explore include art, embodiment, language, time, love, death, technological nihilism, and God.