This course will introduce students to philosophical inquiry and major problems philosophers think about (including the nature of existence and the difficulty of saying whether any knowledge is certain). Students will be encouraged to question their basic beliefs and recognize their philosophical assumptions. No definite conclusions will be reached.
This course will introduce students to both the methods and issues connected with thinking about morality and ethical systems. Moral skepticism will also be examined. The aim of this class is to allow students to be more aware of their own ethical modes of thinking and the diversity of ways morality enters into human lives.
A study of Eastern religions (Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, and Taoism). The emphasis of the course is to develop knowledge of these belief systems and how they deal with philosophical and spiritual questions.
This course is a study of Western religions including Judaism, Christianity and Islam. The emphasis of this course is to develop knowledge of these belief systems and how they deal with philosophical and spiritual questions.
Investigation of the principles of deductive and inductive reasoning. The course includes Aristotelian logic, propositional and symbolic logic, validity, invalidity, and proofs. Since this course can be taken to fulfill the Mathematical-Logical Reasoning general education requirement, students should expect a Math-like course, with exercises, and exams.
This course will examine some of the basic questions in the field of philosophy of religion: Does God exist? Can God's existence or nonexistence be rationally proven? Can people be religious in light of the discoveries of science? What does it mean to be religious or nonreligious? Students will be encouraged to draw from their own experience and beliefs to critically think about the issues in this class.
In this course we will examine issues in political philosophy through discussion of a range of primary western and non-western historical texts from ancient, medieval, and modern political writers. In the process of this examination of the historical development of political philosophy, a variety of topics will be explored such as: diverse theories of human nature and their implications for the role of government, the dynamics of power, the ideals of duty, justice, liberty and equality, and justifications for private property, profit, and civil disobedience.
This course is designed to expose students to the fascinating world religions that have evolved throughout human history. It will look at what factors draw human beings to establish religious institutions and communities, and what inspires individuals to adopt a spiritual identity and life practice, (or to veer away from them). It will examine significant influences and commonalities in indigenous and native religions around the world, then focus on the history and development of widely-practiced religions, such as Hinduism, Buddhism, and Islam. Central stories, religious texts, and ethical systems within these religions will be studied. Less-practiced religions and variations in practice and belief within specific religions will also be considered. Particular attention will be brought to how various religious beliefs and practices are expressed. Important objectives of this course are increasing awareness of diverse faith systems, globally as well as locally, to gain further understanding of their world views and examine how these impact their followers reactions to contemporary political and societal issues.
This course studies methods of problem solving, utilizing principles that distinguish good reasoning from poor reasoning. Students will evaluate claims and arguments in natural language, applying the concepts of validity, truth, induction, deduction, and relevance. Students will develop clear thinking, and recognize, criticize and avoid common fallacies. Conceptual analysis will be applied to areas of practical reasoning, to human values, to develop science and media literacy, and to further student self-awareness.
Foundational theories of moral evaluation and organizational principles will first be introduced. The course will encourage assessment, analysis, and argument regarding the substantial ethical issues facing modern-day institutions. These organizations may include the fields of education, corporations and non-profits, health care, politics, marketing, the media, and others. The obligations of their members and administrators to those impacted, (students, customers, patients), as well as social responsibility to the community will be questioned. A citizens rights focus will be utilized to explore questions of justice and equality within these organizations. Additional organizational issues, such as mission, messaging, organizational culture, and the impact of cultural diversity will be considered. The challenges of personal integrity and opportunities of leadership will also be closely examined, utilizing ancient philosophical literature from Aristotle to modern day thinkers. Using classic philosophical methods to question the practices and policies of contemporary organizations, we will place a strong emphasis on ethical analysis.
Environmental Philosophy is concerned with developing rational and moral theories of dealing with our environmental concerns and discussing ways of putting them into practice. Using a variety of specific philosophical perspectives, we will examine the effects of population growth, ecosystem destruction, species extinction, pollution, climate change, resource extraction, agriculture, etc. on humans and the environment. We will develop ways of understanding relationships between humans and the environment and ways of acting on our responsibilities to the natural world and its inhabitants.
This course acquaints the student with the major philosophical and ethical dilemmas arising from conflicts within and between societies, with an effort to promote critical awareness and communication around peace and global justice. From a range of philosophical perspectives, students will consider global conflicts, such as those arising from war, nationalism, immigration, environmental crises, discrimination, terrorism, and global poverty. Students will seek to understand such concepts as justice, tolerance, self-determination, equality, fairness, and governance, in an effort to draw conclusions about causes of and solutions to global crises. Students will consider personal and societal strategies for conflict resolution and nonviolent change.
This course looks at the underlying assumptions that affect beliefs, practices, and policies in contemporary health care.Emphasis will be placed on understanding of the ethical principles and theories related to health care. A wide variety of health care issues and the challenges they present will be studied. Critical thinking skills will be emphasized in determining the best course of action for making ethical decisions in the health care field.
This course takes an in-depth look at food, which is both very familiar and necessary for our existence. We already think about food in terms of what we like, what we can afford, and how much of it we should consume. But here we will make an ethical examination of all things related to food, exploring what we are eating, where it comes from, how we grow and process it, and how it is distributed and regulated. Several areas of consideration concern the environment, from growing methods, animal production, and waste processing to the impact of this activity on natural habitats and native lands. And we will look at the commercial aspect of food production, such as the creation of genetically modified food, and how food is transported, manu-factured, packaged, priced, and marketed. Well analyze the role of govern-ment in areas such as policy-making, food regulation, and consumer safety. In all of these areas, well address the important ethical questions: Are we creating harm by our acts of food production and the demands of our eating habits? Do we have a duty to assure that marginalized populations and those suffering from food insecurity have fair access to and ability to procure safe, healthful, real food? Should our government be accountable for providing food education to its citizens? And what of our personal accountability as consumers of food are there any moral imperatives we should follow? As each of us, both culturally and individually have a relationship with food, these are matters of significance. Can we show that it is more noble to choose organic produce? Does a vegetarian diet address the ethical concerns around eating animals to a proper extent? And what is the value of being truly aware of the impacts of food production, both locally and globally? Discussion topics could also branch out in the direction of the medias impact on perceived body image, the phenomenon of food obsession, the growing world-wide obesity problem, etc. This course will be focused on the critical evaluation of these issues to determine where moral issues present themselves and to work through how we might address those in our role as responsible citizens. We can consider how local groups address food insecurity in our community by community gardens, food banks, and community meals. We will be mindful of the diverse perspectives on food various world cultures hold in their lives. Considering the social, environmental, cultural, and ethical impacts of our food choices will help us understand how they may express our moral values.
This course will provide flexibility in offering an in-depth review of topics of immediate importance and topical interest. These topics will go beyond the introductory courses in examining specific aspects of the subject matter.