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Philosophy and Religion Course Descriptions

PHR 1005 Logic
3 credits
Basic formal logic with applications to law, philosophy, and social policy. Prerequisite: WRT 1030 or the equivalent. Distribution Requirement: BSS.

PHR 1006 Ethics
3 credits
A study of moral theory and its history. Moral issues, including abortion, preferential treatment, sexual morality, privacy, and capital punishment are considered. Distribution Requirement: GN.

PHR 2010 History of Philosophy I
3 credits
Philosophical issues arising in Greek thought during the Fifth and Fourth Centuries. Distribution Requirement: EU. Offered alternate years.

PHR 2020 History of Philosophy II
3 credits
Philosophical issues arising in Europe, from the Sixteenth Century through the Eighteenth Century. Prerequisite: None, but PHR 2010 would be helpful. Distribution Requirement: EU. Offered alternate years.

PHR 2025 Reason, Revolt, and the Death of God
3 credits
This course examines philosophical issues arising in Europe during the Nineteenth Century. Figures covered may include the following: Immanuel Kant, G.W.F. Hegel, Arthur Schopenhauer, John Stuart Mill, Soren Kierkegaard, and Friedrich Nietzsche. Topics covered may include: Epistemological questions (what can I know? How can I know it?), metaphysical questions (What is the nature of reality), ethical questions (What is the nature of duty? Are there ethical norms that everyone must follow? If so, how do we come to know these? How do we understand the history of ethics?), religious questions (What is the nature of faith? What does Nietzsche mean when he claims that God is dead?), and aesthetic questions (What is the nature of art? What role does art play in society?) Distribution Requirement: EU. Offered alternate years.

PHR 2030 Biblical Religion I: Old Testament
3 credits
The development of the important doctrines of Judaism in the context of their historical development from the Exodus to the Roman occupation and in relation to the cultural influences of Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Canaan. Distribution Requirement: GN.

PHR 2040 Biblical Religion II: New Testament
3 credits
Origins and development of Christianity in the historical crisis of the First Century A.D. The historical problem of the life and teaching of Jesus. Influences of Judaism and Hellenism in the early formation of Christian thought. Distribution Requirement: GN.

PHR-AMS 2060 Pragmatism and Classical American Philosophy
3 credits
This course provides a survey of nineteenth and Twentieth Century American philosophical thought. We will discuss texts by thinkers such as Emerson, Thoreau, Royce, James, Peirce, Dewey, Mead, Rorty, McDermott and West. Distribution Requirement: US. Offered Term I and Term II.

PHR 2085 Social and Political Philosophy
3 credits
Classic sources and contemporary cases treating justice, freedom, rights, equality, and power. Prerequisite: At least one course in philosophy or political science. Distribution Requirement: GN. Offered as needed.

PHR 2130 World Religions I: Hinduism, Buddhism
3 credits
A study of the development of Indian religious thought and the systems of Hindu and Buddhist thought and practice. In addition to the early Theravada Buddhism of India, the development of the Mahayana in China and Japan, including Zen Buddhism, is studied. Distribution Requirement: NW. Offered as needed.

PHR 2140 World Religions II: Chinese Religions and Islam
3 credits
An examination of the origins, development, and influences of Confucianism and Taoism in ancient China and later, and of Islam in the Arabic World. Distribution Requirement: NW.

PHR 3010 Contemporary Philosophy
3 credits
Philosophical issues arising in Europe and the United States in the latter half of the Twentieth Century and the beginning of the Twenty-First Century. Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or religion, or permission of instructor. Fulfills W-Course Requirement. Offered as needed.

PHR 3050 Philosophy of Religion
3 credits
Classic issues in interpreting the meaning of religion: faith and reason, existence of God, philosophical-scientific truth and religious truth, natural and supernatural. Prerequisite: Prior coursework in Philosophy, Religion, English, or Classics. Offered as needed.

PHR 3070 Philosophy of the Natural and Social Sciences
3 credits
A consideration of the nature of scientific theories, the possibility of objectivity, the dynamics of scientific change, the moral limitations on scientific inquiry; treatment of classic and historical case studies. Prerequisite: At least one course in philosophy or permission of instructor. Offered as needed.

PHR-SOC 3100 The Frankfurt School
3 credits
This course surveys key writings of members the Frankfurt School including Walter Benjamin, Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, and J├╝rgen Habrmas. Together, these philosophers sought to provide a philosophical critique of various key modern institutions such capitalism, government, media, entertainment, and religion) from the standpoint of Marxism.Offered Terms I and II.

PHR 3110 Aesthetics
3 credits
This course examines the nature of philosophical aesthetics. This means that we will be wrestling with questions such as the following: What can philosophy tell us about the nature of art? What is art? What is the relationship between artistic beauty and natural beauty? What is a genius? Is this an outmoded concept that had relevance in the Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century art world, but no longer? What role does art play in society? What role should art play in society? Throughout this course, we will continuously test the theoretical/critical/philosophical discourse about art by actually looking at and evaluating works of art. We may discuss texts by authors such as Immanuel Kant, Charles Baudelaire, Friedrich Nietzsche, Clement Greenberg, Arthur Danto, and Alexander Nehamas. Offered as needed.

PHR 3140 Existentialism
3 credits
The relation of the individual to society as central to the Twentieth Century crisis. The quest for an authentic human existence in the most important existential thinkers of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Prerequisite: At least one course in philosophy. Offered as needed.

PHR-ENG-LAL 3319 History of Literary Criticism and Theory
3 credits
An introduction to the history of literary theory and criticism, beginning with the classical approaches of Plato and Aristotle. Also includes an introduction to modern literary theory, covering several of the more influential approaches to reading and thinking about literature. Prerequisite: Any of ENG 2020, ENG 2021, ENG 2022, ENG 2042, ENG 2043 or ENG 2044.

PHR-ENG 3320 Ethics and Literature in the Twentieth Century
3 credits
A study of the impact of works by several British and American writers on moral philosophy in the Twentieth Century. Prerequisites: One course in PHR at 1000 level, any of ENG 2020, ENG 2021, ENG 2022, ENG 2042, ENG 2043 or 2044. Fulfills W-Course Requirement. Offered as needed.

PHR-WMS 3333 Feminist Philosophy
3 credits
This course serves as an introduction to feminist thought as it relates to perennial philosophical questions. This course will be an historical and topical introduction, but we will focus on recent feminist thought in the United States and Europe. We will situate these questions through an historical examination of authors representing perspective of Liberal Feminism, Radical Feminism, Multiculturalism, and Postmodernism. Prerequisites: WMS 1000 or one PHR course or the permission of the instructor. Offered in Term I and Term II.

PHR 4590 Seminar in Philosophy and Religion
3 credits
An intensive treatment of a major thinker, text, movement, or problem. Prerequisite: At least one course in PHR or permission of instructor. Fulfills W-Course Requirement. Offered as needed.