Western Kentucky University

Philosophy Courses

Philosophy Courses

 

PHIL 101 ENDURING QUESTIONS: TRUTH AND RELATIVISM. 3 HOURS.

The study of central positions and arguments concerning the nature and character of Truth: Is there such a thing as Truth? What is real? If there is Truth and reality, how can we know them?

PHIL 102 ENDURING QUESTIONS: THE GOOD AND THE BEAUTIFUL. 3 HOURS.

The study of fundamental questions in moral theory and aesthetics: What is good? What is beauty? On what grounds do we base moral and aesthetic judgments? How are the good and the beautiful related, and how are they different?

PHIL 103 ENDURING QUESTIONS: THE COMMITTED LIFE. 3 HOURS.

The philosophical study of individual and collective commitment to ideals and values in a pluralistic society.

PHIL 201 LOVE AND FRIENDSHIP. 3 HOURS.

A study of the four classical forms of love'affection, eros, friendship, and charity'and of the cultural influences which shape and mold our understanding and experience of love. (every year)

PHIL 202 RACIAL JUSTICE. 3 HOURS. (Cross listed: Rels 202 Racial Justice)

An examination of (1) the major perspective that came together to form the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s; (2) the accomplishments and failures of that movement; and (3) the issues of racial justice that remain today.

PHIL 207 PHILOSOPHY AND POPULAR CULTURE. 3 HOURS.

An examination of the multiple ways that philosophical inquiry can further the study of popular culture. This will include philosophical accounts of the nature and meaning of popular culture as well as the use of various philosophical approaches to interpret specific elements of popular culture such as film, television, music, and sports.

PHIL 212 PHILOSOPHY AND GENDER THEORY. 3 HOURS. 

Introductory study of philosophical works as they relate to gender theory, queer theory, and feminism.

PHIL 215 SYMBOLIC LOGIC. 3 HOURS.

An introductory course in logic which presents the different uses of language and teaches students (1) to evaluate the logical status of statements and the consistency and validity of arguments using both natural and formal language techniques, and (2) to identify informal fallacies. Typically, a student who earns an 'A' or 'B' in 115 may go on to take 415, with the permission of the instructor of 415.

PHIL 299 PHILOSOPHICAL WRITING WORKSHOP. 1 HOUR. 

Prerequisite: One philosophy course or concurrent registration in a philosophy course.

A workshop designed to help students develop their writing skills and forms of argumentation in a philosophical context.

PHIL 305 AESTHETICS. 3 HOURS.

A survey of outstanding philosophies of art and a study of the principles of art criticism.

PHIL 310 SCIENCE, RELIGION AND CONTEMPORARY LIFE. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: Junior level status or permission of instructor.

An exploration of the philosophical problems associated with attempts to integrate religious understanding into a cultural environment shaped by recent developments in both natural and social scientific knowledge.

PHIL 315 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or religious studies.

A systematic study of such problems as the nature and existence of God, the relation of faith and reason, human nature and destiny, immortality, evil, and the problem of religious language. Cross-listed RELS 315.

PHIL 320 ETHICS. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or junior status.

An introduction to ethical issues using classical and contemporary texts. Among issues that may be treated are justice, rights, responsibilities, punishment, and obligations regarding the environment. (every semester)

PHIL 321 MORALITY AND BUSINESS. 3 HOURS.

An introduction to the study of moral choice in the business world. Topics include ethical foundations of business practice in general and criteria for evaluating the moral dimensions of issues such as relations with consumers, environmental impact, quality of work life, hiring, advertising, price setting, and corporate governance. (every year)

PHIL 322 BIOMEDICAL ETHICS. 3 HOURS.

A philosophical analysis of ethical problems generated by current biomedical practice and research, including euthanasia, abortion, truth telling, reproductive techniques, organ transplantation, experimentation, allocation, and more. (every year)

PHIL 323 SOCIAL ETHICS. 3 HOURS. (Cross listed: RELS 323 Social Ethics)

Prerequisites: One course in Religious Studies or Philosophy or junior status.

Perspectives and issues involved in the public pursuit of justice in a religiously and philosophically diverse society. One short field trip.

PHIL 324 WAR AND PEACE. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One philosophy course or permission of instructor.

A philosophical examination of classical and contemporary arguments concerning the use of organized violence to settle human disputes. Topics include just war theories, pacifism and nonviolence, deterrence, militarism, and peacemaking.

PHIL 329 CONCEPTS OF GOD, GOOD, AND EVIL. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: Junior level status or permission of instructor.

An exploration of the basic problems associated with the conceptual relationships among various concepts of God, good and evil, incorporating non-religious and non-western approaches.

PHIL 330 PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

Critical examination of the concepts, presuppositions, and methods of the natural and social sciences. Fundamental concepts such as space, time, matter, and causality are examined.

PHIL 331 ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

A study of Anglo-American/Analytic philosophy in the 20th century focusing on the works of representative figures like Carnap, Frege, Moore, Russell, Quine, and Wittgenstein.

PHIL 332 PHILOSOPHY OF MIND: MINDS AND MACHINES. 3 HOURS

Prerequisite: One philosophy course or consent of instructor.

A study of the nature of mind, cognitive states, and consciousness. Topics may include the nature of the mental system, mind-brain identity, computer consciousness, and visual system's role in decision-making and intentionality.

PHIL 333 MARX & CRITICAL THEORY. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

A study of 19th and 20th century critical social thought focusing on Marxism and the Frankfurt School.

PHIL 341 PLATO AND ARISTOTLE. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

The study of primary texts to assess and compare the contributions of Plato and Aristotle and related figures to issues in metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, and political philosophy.

PHIL 342 SKEPTICS, STOICS, AND EPICUREANS. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

A selective study to assess and compare the views of Stoics, Skeptics, Epicureans, and others on issues that include reality, knowledge, natural law, well-being, and soul.

PHIL 343 MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

A selective study to assess and compare the contributions of medieval thinkers such as Peter Abelard, Roger Bacon, and William Ockham to issues including language, knowledge and science, reality and God, virtues and conscience, well-being, and political order.

PHIL 344 EARLY MODERN MORAL PHILOSOPHY. 3 HOURS. 

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

A selective study of moral problems and movements in early modern European philosophy between the Reformation and the late eighteenth century.

PHIL 345 DESCARTES AND HUME. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

A comparative treatment of the major works and doctrines of Descartes and Hume and their importance for subsequent philosophical developments.

PHIL 346 KANT & IDEALISM. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

A focused study of the philosophy of Kant and reaction to that philosophy by such figures as Hegel, Schelling, Fichte or Kierkegaard.

PHIL 347 LEIBNIZ & LOCKE. 3 HOURS.

 Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

A comparative treatment of the major works and doctrines of Leibniz and Locke and their importance for subsequent philosophical developments. 

PHIL 348 20TH CENTURY PHILOSOPHY. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

A study of one or more of the philosophical movements of the 20th century.

PHIL 350 ETHICAL THEORY. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

A study of the major normative systems in the history of ethics, and of selected problems in contemporary metaethics, including moral reasoning, skepticism, rights, and theories of justice. (every year)

PHIL 401 READINGS IN PHILOSOPHY. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

An intensive study of selected philosophic classics or readings in a selected area of philosophy. May be repeated for different topics. (at least once a year)

PHIL 404 METAPHYSICS AND EPISTEMOLOGY. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: Junior status and PHIL 115.

Selective study of topics about reality and knowledge, such as existence, appearance and reality, causality, persons, certainty, theory and evidence, explanation and understanding, and justification.

PHIL 415 ADVANCED LOGIC. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: PHIL 115 or equivalent.

Advanced topics in First Order Logic and topics in the Philosophy of Logic. 

PHIL 426 PHILOSOPHY AND OLD AGE. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: Junior level or above; or permission of instructor.

Examination of philosophical themes bearing on old age, such as: meaning, memory, selfhood, autonomy, im/mortality, euthanasia, filial obligation, intergenerational justice, authority, dignity, virtue/vice, beauty.

PHIL 427 PHILOSOPHY OF LAW. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

A study of theories on the nature and origin of law, basic legal concepts (obligation, right, equality, liberty, justice), legal moralism, church and state, civil disobedience, and other topics. 

PHIL 432 PHILOSOPHY AND EARLY MODERN SCIENCE. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

A study of the links as between Natural Philosophy, Jurisprudence, and the rise of Experimentalism in the seventeenth century.

PHIL 433 HISTORY OF THE PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor.

A treatment of the philosophical analyses of problems in science, such as Realism, Instrumentalism, Hypothetico-Deductivism, Models, Empiricism, Experimental Design, and Scientific Change or Progress, studies in historical context.

PHIL 496 SENIOR SEMINAR. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: Senior standing and major in philosophy or consent of the instructor. 

A capstone course designed for senior philosophy majors. Students will complete projects that demonstrate research, writing, and analytical skills. Content areas of the seminar will vary by semester and instructor.

PHIL 499 RESEARCH IN PHILOSOPHY. 3 HOURS.

Prerequisite: Open only to philosophy majors with at least a 3.0 grade point average in their senior year.

Directed study and research in one area of philosophy. The research will culminate in an acceptable thesis. (on demand)

Note: documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view,
download Adobe Acrobat Reader.

Note: documents in Excel format (XLS) require Microsoft Viewer,
download excel.

Note: documents in Word format (DOC) require Microsoft Viewer,
download word.

Note: documents in Powerpoint format (PPT) require Microsoft Viewer,
download powerpoint.

Note: documents in Quicktime Movie format [MOV] require Apple Quicktime,
download quicktime.

 
 Last Modified 8/18/14