Fall 2017

FYS 100 – Sports and Society
T & TH – 9:30-10:45 – Tribble Hall A305(CRN: ????)
T & TH – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble Hall A304 (CRN: ???)

Adam Kadlac

This course takes a critical approach to sports and examines the roles sports play in our lives, both as participants and as spectators.  Among the questions to be considered are the following: What is the value of participating in sports?  Does being a sports fan really make our lives better?  Are the resources we devote to sports as a society better devoted to other things?  Is the ideal of the student-athlete outdated?  Throughout the class, we will also consider how issues of race and gender affect our responses to these and related questions.

 FYS 100 – Good and Evil in Tolkien’s the Lord of the Rings (CRN: 94995)
W & F – 9:30-10:45 a.m. – – Tribble Hall A307
Patrick Toner

The Lord of the Rings is one of the most popular books ever written, but what is it really about?  Is it just fantasy literature?  What is its connection to the great epics?  What is its connection to fairy stories?  What does it have to teach us?  Is it great literature?  Should we care?  What does the Ring of Power symbolize?  We will study the book particularly in its relation to Tolkien’s Catholicism and with some consideration given to his near-contemporary GK Chesterton, and his friend CS Lewis.  Students must re-read the book prior to the start of the semester.

 FYS 100 – Deception (CRN: 94996)
M & W – 5:00-6:15 p.m. – Tribble Hall A201 or A307
Clark Thompson

Is there a moral duty to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth?  Do we have a moral duty to tell the truth to a would-be murderer who asks us whether his intended victim is hiding in our house?  Do salespeople have a duty to disclose to customer’s shortcomings in products?  Is it permissible for a physician to lie to his patient about the patient’s prognosis?  Is it permissible for a political leader in a democracy to spin facts to his constituents?  Could love or loyalty morally require us to tell a lie?  Is it possible to deceive oneself?  Is it true that in trying to deceive others, a person can end up deceiving himself?  Types of deception to be discussed include lies, half-truths, equivocations, spin, bluffing, and puffing.

PHI 111 – Basic Problems of Philosophy
T & TH – 12:30 – 1:45 p.m. – Tribble Hall A304 (CRN: 94745)
T & TH – 2:00-3:15 p.m. – Tribble Hall A304 (CRN: 94747) (INCOMING FRESHMEN) ONLY)
Ty Goldschmidt

This course covers big philosophical questions about:

  • God: Is there any evidence for or against the existence of God?
  • Knowledge: How do you know that you’re not in the matrix?
  • Body and soul: Are we purely material beings or do we have souls?
  • Abortion: Is abortion morally permissible? Is it ever obligatory?

And other topics besides. We’ll look at weird medieval puzzles and pressing contemporary problems, and have a lot of fun and friendly debate.

PHI 111 – Basic Problems of Philosophy
W & F – 9:30-10:45 a.m. – Tribble Hall A306 (CRN: 93583)
W & F – 12:30-1:45   – Tribble Hall A306 (CRN: 93586)
Ralph Kennedy

A study of perennial issues at the heart of philosophy, such as the nature and extent of our knowledge of the world, the role of evidence in justifying belief, the nature of causality, self-knowledge, personal identity, the nature and possibility of free will, and the nature of morality

PHI 111 – Basic Problems of Philosophy
T & R – 12:30-1:45 p.m. – Tribble Hall A306 (CRN: 93585)
Stavroula Glezakos

In this class, we will read works by both classical and contemporary philosophers on questions such as: Is it possible to know anything for certain? Do we possess free will? How is the human mind related to the human body? Is morality relative? How ought we to live? We will consider these questions with the aim of developing the ability to think rigorously and critically, and to gain insight into our own (and others’) views and values.

PHI 111 – Basic Problems of Philosophy
T & R – 9:30-10:45 a.m.  – Tribble Hall A304 (CRN: 94999)
T & R – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble Hall A306 (CRN: 95000)
Justin Jennings

How should we live? Who has authority? What is good? What is just? What is real? Who are we? How can we know? In this course, we address these questions by reading the principal works of the historically most significant thinkers of Western philosophy.

PHI 115 – Intro to Philosophy of Religion
T & R – 3:30-4:45 p.m. – Tribble Hall A306 (CRN: 94528)
Adrian Bardon

Should we believe in the existence of a deity? Are there reasons to believe even without proof? Can the existence of evil be reconciled with divine goodness? Can there be morality without God? Can free will be reconciled with divine foreknowledge? Is life after death metaphysically possible? Does the theory of evolution conflict with the idea that life is the product of design? Is faith inherently irrational? Is religion, on balance, a good or bad thing for humanity? We shall consider classic and contemporary pro and con answers to all these questions.

PHI 116 – Meaning and Happiness
T & R – 2:00-3:15 p.m. – Tribble Hall A306 (CRN: 94525)
Julian Young

Beginning with Plato (c. 400 BCE) and ending with Foucault (died 1984) the course will look at the views of Western philosophers who have discussed the question of how to live a happy, meaningful life. Particular attention will be paid to ‘post-death-of-God’ philosophers (e.g. Schopenhauer, Nietzsche, Marx, Sartre, Camus, Heidegger) who reject the traditional Christian answer to the question of meaning and seek to provide an alternative. Since these philosophers all (a) argue for their positions and (b) disagree with each other, we shall improve our skills in critical thinking in seeing with whom we agree (if anyone) and with whom we disagree. At the end of the course we should have an outline grasp of the history of Western philosophy.

PHI 161 – Intro to Bioethics
M & W – 2:00-3:15 p.m. – Tribble Hall A306 (CRN: 93668)
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 164 – Contemporary Moral Problems (INCOMING FRESHMEN ONLY)
M, W, & F – 10:00-10:50 – Tribble Hall A304 (CRN: 93584)
M, W, & F – 11:00-11:50 – Tribble Hall A306 (CRN93602)
Emily Austin


PHI 164 – Contemporary Moral Problem
T & TH – 9:30-10:45 a.m. – Tribble Hall A306 (CRN: 94741)
Tyron Goldschmidt

 In this course, we’ll debate about contemporary and controversial ethical questions:

  • Is the death penalty permissible? Is it wrong? Is it every obligatory?
  • Is abortion permissible? Is it wrong? Is it ever obligatory?
  • What about euthanasia? Our treatment of animals? Drugs? Pornography?

And a few other questions besides. We’ll have a lot of fun and friendly debate.

PHI 165 – Intro to Philosophy of Law
M, W, & F – 12:00-12:50 p.m.- Tribble Hall A304 (CRN: 93608)
M, W, & F – 1:00-1:50 – Tribble Hall A304 (CRN: 94529)
Clark Thompson

An examination of prominent legal principles and cases.  Topics include the rule of law, judicial review, constitutional interpretation, the right to privacy, the requirements for criminal liability, the use of criminal law to enforce morality, whether there should be a legal duty of rescue, punishment, abortion, and pornography.

PHI 232 – Ancient Greek
T & TH – 9:30-10:45 a.m. – Tribble Hall A307 (CRN: 93660)
Emily Austin


PHI 280 – Topics: Democracy
W & F – 11:00-12:15 p.m. – Tribble Hall A307 (CRN: 94538)
Adam Kadlac

Most Americans claim to be in favor of democracy, not only in our own country, but as a form of government that we hope will expand around the world.  But what, exactly, are we in favor of when we are in favor of democracy?  And what, if anything, justifies the value that we attribute to it?  This course will examine these questions by looking at different conceptions of the democratic ideal as well as different justifications for its pursuit.  Special attention will be paid to what a successful democracy requires of its citizens and, in particular, what challenges currently face the American experiment in democratic governance.

 PHI 342 (CRN: 95001)/642AG (CRN: 95002) – Kant’s Ethical Theory
T & TH – 3:30-4:45 p.m. – Tribble Hall A307
Justin Jennings

In this course, we read the three main texts of Kant’s moral and political philosophy in their near-entirety: the Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals, the Critique of Practical Reason, and The Metaphysics of Morals. In so doing, we will address the nature of value, the origins of property, the ultimate goal of rational action, the nature of justice, the structure of the self, the possibility of reconciling free will and determinism, and the extent of the right to revolution, among other questions.

 PHI 363 – Philosophy of Law
T & TH – 12:30-1:45 p.m. – Tribble Hall A307 (CRN: 93630)
Win-chiat Lee

Inquiry into the nature of law and its relation to morality. Classroom discussions of readings from the works of classical and modern authors focus on issues of contemporary concern involving questions of legal reasoning and interpretation, legal principles, personal liberty, rights, responsibility, justice, and punishment.

 PHI 377 – Metaphysics
W & F – 12:30-1:45 p.m. Tribble Hall A307 (CRN: 94539)
Patrick Toner

We’ll be studying the perennial questions of metaphysics.  Does God exist?  Is everything, ultimately, One?  Does the physical exist in addition to the mental?  Does the mental exist in addition to the physical?  Might we human beings survive our deaths?  What kinds of things are we, fundamentally?  And what does it matter?  We’ll be reading little bits from the history of philosophy, but our main source will be the textbook in metaphysics by our greatest living metaphysician, Peter van Inwagen.

PHI 378 – Philosophy of Space and Time
T & R – 2:00-3:15 p.m. – Tribble Hall A307 (CRN: 93638)
Adrian Bardon

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 379 – Feminist Philosophy
T & TH – 11:00-12:15 – Tribble Hall A307 (CRN: 94530)
Stavroula Glezakos

In this course, we will examine feminist challenges to the traditional categories and methods of mainstream western philosophy, along with responses that have been offered to those challenges. We will also consider topics that have been of particular interest to feminist philosophers, including the categories of sex and gender, the structure of family and society, and whether certain words and ways of using language are harmful and/or offensive (and, if so, what (if anything) ought to be done about it).