Current Course Information

The following list represents the detailed course descriptions of our current offerings; for the full range of courses offered in the BA and MA programs in philosophy, please consult the Undergraduate Course Descriptions and Graduate Course Descriptions in the UNF catalog.

 

Spring 2015 Upper Division

PHH 3400 Modern Philosophy

CRN: 10274
TR 1050-1250 
Instructor: A. Creller 

 

 

The philosophers of the 17th and 18th centuries have helped shape philosophy as we now know it, and their work remains both a point of departure and source of provocation for much of contemporary philosophy. This course offers an introduction to the major philosophers of the period and the philosophical problems they addressed in an attempt better to understand the philosophical situation today. We will study selections from the works of those in the ‘rationalist’ tradition (Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz), as well as selections from the writings of those in the ‘empiricist’ tradition (Locke and Hume). Most importantly, the course will conclude with an in-depth study of the metaphysics of Immanuel Kant who was attempting simultaneously to resolve the problems of modernity and develop a new way of thinking about philosophy. As we study these works, we will focus on questions in metaphysics and epistemology, such as the nature of the mind and its relation to the body, the scope and limits of knowledge, the existence of God, and the apparent conflict between freedom and determinism. This course satisfies a core requirement for the major in Philosophy.

 

   

PHH 3811 The Philosophy of Zen Buddism

CRN: 12974
TR 1505-1620 
Instructor: S. Mattice 

 

Zen is the name of both a meditation practice which guides a way of life, and a school of traditional Buddhism which arose in China, developed in Japan and Korea, and is now being transplanted in the West. This course is an examination of the literary, philosophical and historical roots and teachings of Zen. How did it arise, how does it differ from other religious traditions, and how has it been represented and manipulated over the centuries? What challenges to philosophical thinking does it pose, and what have critical scholars today discovered about its teachings and practices? We will explore these questions beginning with a general introduction to Buddhism, then reading and discussing classical Zen texts along with some of the best current scholarship on Zen. This course will provide an opportunity for students to engage in critical and creative analysis and reflection. Previous background in philosophy or Buddhism is desirable but not necessary; what is expected is a willingness to engage in philosophical discussion.

 

PHH 3820 (FC) Chinese Philosophy

CRN: 12977
TR 1340-1455
Instructor: P. Carelli

 

This course will introduce students to the main philosophical texts, ideas, and trends in Chinese philosophy. Students will gain familiarity with major texts such as the Analects and the Zhuangzi, as well as key philosophical vocabulary such as dao, de, ren, ziran, li, qi, and xiao. After completing the course, students will have a grasp of the main schools of thought in China, including Confucianism, Daoism, Mohism, and Chinese Buddhism, and how these schools developed over time.

  

PHI 3130 Symbolic Logic

CRN: 12980
M 1500-1615 & On-Line
Instructor: J. Matheson

 

This course will introduce students to symbolic logic.  In logic we study the principles of correct reasoning as revealed through language.  In this course, students will understand both how and why good reasoning works.  Our focus will be on the principles of deductive reasoning (in contrast to inductive reasoning).  In symbolic logic we use artificial, formal languages to study deductive inferences.  In this course students will be introduced to and come to understand two such formal languages (sentential logic and predicate logic) in order to assess and construct good deductive arguments and test for other logical properties.  This course satisfies a core requirement for the major in Philosophy.

 

PHI 3641 Business Ethics

CRN: 10752
TR 1630-1745
Instructor: M. Haney

 

This course will prepare and engage students to answer the following questions: Do we need ethical organizations? What does it mean for an organization to be ethical? What tools, structures, and ethical values constitute the elements of an ethical organization? How do we evaluate organizations from an ethical perspective? What are the means of improving organizations from an ethical perspective?

  

PHI 3930 Science of Objectivity

CRN: 12981
M 1200-1445
Instructor: A. Creller 

 

Despite the special place of the scientific method in academic study, the structure of science has changed much, even over the last century.  This course is an examination of the metaphysical and theoretical assumptions that frame the activity of the scientific community.  In particular, the texts covered in this class include the historical importance of key experiments in the history of science, as well as the role of objectivity, subjectivity, and the ideal scientist’s identity. A deeper understanding of what it means to be “scientific,” of how science generates knowledge, and of the ways scientific method effects the standards of good thought will come from our explorations into identity, objectivity, and methodology.

 

PHI 3930 Multicultural Bioethics

CRN: 12982
M 1800-2045
Instructor: A. Swota  

 

Demographics in the United States reveal an increasing amount of diversity. Few places demonstrate a need for understanding and accommodating this diversity more than in the clinical context. Too often the complex ethical issues faced in medicine are viewed through a lens shaped solely by Western values. This lens is insufficient against the backdrop of diversity found in the clinical setting. In this course we will analyze and examine some of the issues that have evolved out of recent and anticipated developments in medicine, highlighting both the differences and similarities different cultures bring to the table. We begin with an overview of the underpinnings of Western bioethics, then go on to look at other approaches to bioethics in general, and then move on to examining a number of moral issues arising in medicine from a variety of different perspectives.  Issues to be discussed include the physician-patient relationship, informed consent, truth-telling, advance directives, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, issues in maternal-fetal medicine, and health care for children. Throughout this course we will examine assumptions about rights, persons, and ethical principles at play in the medical arena. Readings will include discussions of ethical principles in medical contexts and legal decisions. In addition, case studies will be utilized to provide students with the opportunity to sharpen their analytic skills and develop a deeper understanding of some of the major bioethical issues from an international perspective.

  

PHI 3930 Understanding Religious Texts

CRN: 12985
TR 1215-1330 

Instructor: A. Creller 

 

Many religious debates, both across and within traditions, arise out of differences in interpretation of textual sources. This course is an introduction to hermeneutics, the field of study concerned with interpretation and understanding, and how it relates to the texts of religious traditions. Beginning with the growth of philosophical hermeneutics out of biblical hermeneutics, students will examine both the concepts and problems associated with reading and understanding a text through the frame of its author and the historical and cultural contexts in which it was written. After studying these concepts, students will approach the issues that arise from interpreting sacred texts in Christianity, Judaism, Islam, and Buddhism.  By the end of the course students will be versed in debates and differences surrounding the nature of a text and the requirements to be a valid interpreter within these religious traditions.

 

PHI 3930 Feminist Theory

CRN: 12987
T 1800-2045 

Instructor: E. Gilson

  

From Beyoncé, Emma Watson, Jennifer Lawrence, Lena Dunham, and Amy Poehler to Aziz Ansari, Donald McPherson, and Joseph Gordon Levitt; from Sheryl Sandberg and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to the Dalai Lama. All claim to be feminists. So, what does it mean to be a feminist? Is it just believing in the equality of women and men? Or is there more to it? What more could there be? Can men be feminists? What does being a feminist mean for one’s everyday life?  In this course, we explore feminist thought and activism, both historical and contemporary, aiming to gain a comprehensive view of what feminism was and is. The course opens by considering the recent publicity surrounding feminism, wherein those listed above declared their commitment to it while others dissented, rejecting feminism (e.g., “women against feminism”). Then we start at the beginning: the history of feminism as a way of challenging the oppression of women. We will explore the main categories of sex and gender, discussing what it means to be female and male, masculine and feminine, their binary division, and how sex and gender have been used to organize society. From there, we consider how people’s experiences are shaped by sex and gender, focusing on identity, bodily existence (embodiment), and inequality: we will analyze specific issues such as gender-related violence, pornography, marriage and the family, and body image. Throughout the course, we will pay close attention to the idea of “intersectionality” (how sex and gender intersect with race, class, ethnicity, and nationality, among other things, to position people socially and shape identity and experience) and how some feminist thinkers have criticized feminism itself for not paying sufficient attention to race, socio-economic class, sexual orientation, and other kinds of difference. We will also reflect on how and whether contemporary feminism can be a global and/or transnational movement, and the different forms feminism might take in different places.  

 

PHI 3930 Science And Religion

CRN: 12989
F 1200-1445

Instructor: M. Treyz 

 

This course explores the relationship between science and religion. We will ask if there is any common ground between these two fields, how that mutual ground might be uncovered, and why it is necessary for us to plow this earth. We will begin our investigation with an historical introduction moving from Aristotle through Galileo and Darwin to the Scopes trials. We will then investigate a variety of positions from the perspective of scientists and theologians. Topics will include subjects as varied as the Big Bang theory and Intelligent Design, bio-ethics and chaos theory.

  

PHI 4930 Free Will

CRN: 12991
MW 1630-1745

Instructor: J. Matheson 

 

This course concerns the nature and existence of free will and moral responsibility.  It will focus on two broad questions: (Q1) What does it take to have free will (and moral responsibility)? and (Q2) Do we have what it takes to have free will (and moral responsibility)?  Regarding (Q1) we will examine contemporary accounts of free will and evaluate central arguments for and against each account.  In doing so, we will explore such questions as: Is free will compatible with determinism?  Must free actions be uncaused?  Do free choices require alternative possibilities?  Regarding (Q2) we will examine contemporary challenges to the existence of free will (and moral responsibility) coming from both science and philosophy.  In doing so, we will explore such questions as: Does contemporary neuroscience give us a reason to doubt that we have free will? Does contemporary social science give us a reason to doubt that we have free will?  Are our actions our own or merely the result of luck?

  

PHI 4935 Sem: Philosophy of Everyday Life

CRN: 12993
W 1200-1145 

Instructor: E. Gilson   

 

This course investigates the nature of the everyday by taking up some significant philosophical considerations of mundane practices. Although in philosophy we often focus on what might be considered exceptional, it is the practices, norms, and habits of everyday life that sustain and create social meaning and structure our world. With the aim of understanding how our sense of self, and the meanings and values central to that self, are formed, we consider the relationship between practices and techniques, their users or actors, the objects utilized or engaged, the spaces in which people live, and the ways these spaces and time itself is organized. Our overall aim is to gain understanding of the ethical, political, and existential impact and significance of everyday life. One concern will be the methodology needed to gain understanding and awareness of the significance of the everyday: what concepts, techniques, and themes best illuminate the ways in which we live and the meaning day-to-day practices hold for those who engage in them? what concepts and methods bridge the gap between the structural, social, historical, and general and the individual, personal, and particular? In particular, we will analyze the nature of habits and patterns, affective or emotional experience, bodily experience and understandings of embodiment, the phenomenon of choice, social structure, and the formative nature of human relationships. A section of PHI 4935 is a required course for philosophy majors.

 

 

Philosophy Courses – Spring 2015 – Upper Division 

 

Concentrations: 

General Philosophical Studies 

Major Requirements

PHI 3601/83014 - Ethics

PHH 3100/80504 - Ancient Greek Philosophy

PHI 3300/83009 - Intro to Epistemology

PHI 4935/82960 – Seminar:

Multi-Cultural Bioethics & Human Rights

Major Electives

PHI 3641/80260 - Business Ethics

PHI 3881/82951 - Philosophy of Music

PHI 3930/82953 - Philosophies of India

PHI 3930/82956 - Art and Politics

PHM 3304/83015 - Political Philosophy

PHP 3786/82962 - Existentialism

PHI 4930/82957 - Confucianism

PHH 3860/82949 – Japanese Philosophy

                                   Through Culture

 

Philosophy Advanced Studies 

Major Requirements

PHI 3601/83014 - Ethics

PHH 3100/80504 - Ancient Greek Philosophy

PHI 3300/83009 - Intro to Epistemology

PHI 4935/82960 – Seminar:

Multi-Cultural Bioethics & Human Rights

 

Major Electives

PHI 4930/82957 - Confucianism

PHI 4935/82960 – Seminar:

Multi-Cultural Bioethics & Human Rights

Select 1 additional 3000/4000 Course from

PHH/PHI/PHM/PHP

 

Literary & Cultural Studies 

Major Requirements

PHI 3601/83014 - Ethics

PHH 3100/80504 - Ancient Greek Philosophy

PHI 3300/83009 - Intro to Epistemology

PHI 4935/82960 – Seminar:

Multi-Cultural Bioethics & Human Rights

 

Major Electives

PHI 3881/82951 - Philosophy of Music

PHI 3930/82953 - Philosophies of India

PHI 3930/82956 - Art and Politics

PHP 3786/82962 - Existentialism

PHI 4930/82957 - Confucianism

PHH 3860/82949 – Japanese Philosophy

                                   Through Culture

Select 1 additional 3000/4000 Course from

PHH/PHI/PHM/PHP

 

Legal, Political, & Social Studies 

Major Requirements

PHI 3601/83014 - Ethics

PHH 3100/80504 - Ancient Greek Philosophy

PHI 3300/83009 - Intro to Epistemology

PHI 4935/82960 – Seminar:

Multi-Cultural Bioethics & Human Rights

 

Major Electives

PHI 3930/82956 - Art and Politics

PHM 3304/83015 - Political Philosophy

Select 1 additional 3000/4000 Course from

PHH/PHI/PHM/PHP

 

Studies In Applied Ethics 

Major Requirements

PHI 3601/83014 - Ethics

PHH 3100/80504 - Ancient Greek Philosophy

PHI 3300/83009 - Intro to Epistemology

PHI 4935/82960 – Seminar:

Multi-Cultural Bioethics & Human Rights

Major Electives

PHI 3641/80260 - Business Ethics

PHM 3304/83015 - Political Philosophy

PHI 4935/82960 – Seminar:

Multi-Cultural Bioethics & Human Rights

Select 1 additional 3000/4000 Course from

PHH/PHI/PHM/PHP

 

Historical & Comparative Studies 

PHI 3601/83014 - Ethics

PHH 3100/80504 - Ancient Greek Philosophy

PHI 3300/83009 - Intro to Epistemology

PHI 4935/82960 – Seminar:

Multi-Cultural Bioethics & Human Rights

Major Electives

PHI 3930/82953 - Philosophies of India

PHI 3930/82956 - Art and Politics

PHI 4930/82957 - Confucianism

PHH 3860/82949 – Japanese Philosophy

                                   Through Culture

Select 1 additional 3000/4000 Course from

PHH/PHI/PHM/PHP

 


Graduate Courses

Spring 2015

PHI 5628 Business Ethics

CRN: 10822 
TR 1630-1745
Instructor: M.Haney

 

This course will prepare and engage students to answer the following questions: Do we need ethical organizations? What does it mean for an organization to be ethical? What tools, structures, and ethical values constitute the elements of an ethical organization? How do we evaluate organizations from an ethical perspective? What are the means of improving organizations from an ethical perspective? 

 

PHI 5934 The Philosophy of Zen Buddism

CRN: 12975
TR 1505-1620 
Instructor: S. Mattice

 

Zen is the name of both a meditation practice which guides a way of life, and a school of traditional Buddhism which arose in China, developed in Japan and Korea, and is now being transplanted in the West. This course is an examination of the literary, philosophical and historical roots and teachings of Zen. How did it arise, how does it differ from other religious traditions, and how has it been represented and manipulated over the centuries? What challenges to philosophical thinking does it pose, and what have critical scholars today discovered about its teachings and practices? We will explore these questions beginning with a general introduction to Buddhism, then reading and discussing classical Zen texts along with some of the best current scholarship on Zen. This course will provide an opportunity for students to engage in critical and creative analysis and reflection. Previous background in philosophy or Buddhism is desirable but not necessary; what is expected is a willingness to engage in philosophical discussion.

 

PHI 5934 Multicultural Bioethics

CRN: 12983
M 1800-2045 
Instructor: A. Swota

 

Demographics in the United States reveal an increasing amount of diversity. Few places demonstrate a need for understanding and accommodating this diversity more than in the clinical context. Too often the complex ethical issues faced in medicine are viewed through a lens shaped solely by Western values. This lens is insufficient against the backdrop of diversity found in the clinical setting. In this course we will analyze and examine some of the issues that have evolved out of recent and anticipated developments in medicine, highlighting both the differences and similarities different cultures bring to the table. We begin with an overview of the underpinnings of Western bioethics, then go on to look at other approaches to bioethics in general, and then move on to examining a number of moral issues arising in medicine from a variety of different perspectives.  Issues to be discussed include the physician-patient relationship, informed consent, truth-telling, advance directives, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, issues in maternal-fetal medicine, and health care for children. Throughout this course we will examine assumptions about rights, persons, and ethical principles at play in the medical arena. Readings will include discussions of ethical principles in medical contexts and legal decisions. In addition, case studies will be utilized to provide students with the opportunity to sharpen their analytic skills and develop a deeper understanding of some of the major bioethical issues from an international perspective.

 

PHI 5934 Feminist Theory

CRN: 12988
T 1800-2045
Instructor: E. Gilson  

 

From Beyoncé, Emma Watson, Jennifer Lawrence, Lena Dunham, and Amy Poehler to Aziz Ansari, Donald McPherson, and Joseph Gordon Levitt; from Sheryl Sandberg and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie to the Dalai Lama. All claim to be feminists. So, what does it mean to be a feminist? Is it just believing in the equality of women and men? Or is there more to it? What more could there be? Can men be feminists? What does being a feminist mean for one’s everyday life?  In this course, we explore feminist thought and activism, both historical and contemporary, aiming to gain a comprehensive view of what feminism was and is. The course opens by considering the recent publicity surrounding feminism, wherein those listed above declared their commitment to it while others dissented, rejecting feminism (e.g., “women against feminism”). Then we start at the beginning: the history of feminism as a way of challenging the oppression of women. We will explore the main categories of sex and gender, discussing what it means to be female and male, masculine and feminine, their binary division, and how sex and gender have been used to organize society. From there, we consider how people’s experiences are shaped by sex and gender, focusing on identity, bodily existence (embodiment), and inequality: we will analyze specific issues such as gender-related violence, pornography, marriage and the family, and body image. Throughout the course, we will pay close attention to the idea of “intersectionality” (how sex and gender intersect with race, class, ethnicity, and nationality, among other things, to position people socially and shape identity and experience) and how some feminist thinkers have criticized feminism itself for not paying sufficient attention to race, socio-economic class, sexual orientation, and other kinds of difference. We will also reflect on how and whether contemporary feminism can be a global and/or transnational movement, and the different forms feminism might take in different places.  

PHI 6936 Free Will

CRN: 12992
MW 1630-1745
Instructor: K. Matheson  

 

This course concerns the nature and existence of free will and moral responsibility.  It will focus on two broad questions: (Q1) What does it take to have free will (and moral responsibility)? and (Q2) Do we have what it takes to have free will (and moral responsibility)?  Regarding (Q1) we will examine contemporary accounts of free will and evaluate central arguments for and against each account.  In doing so, we will explore such questions as: Is free will compatible with determinism?  Must free actions be uncaused?  Do free choices require alternative possibilities?  Regarding (Q2) we will examine contemporary challenges to the existence of free will (and moral responsibility) coming from both science and philosophy.  In doing so, we will explore such questions as: Does contemporary neuroscience give us a reason to doubt that we have free will? Does contemporary social science give us a reason to doubt that we have free will?  Are our actions our own or merely the result of luck?

 

PHI 6938 Themes Methods Applied Ethics

CRN: 13094
W 1800-2045
Instructor: M. Haney

 

Students will exam and critically reflect upon a range of disputed moral issues. In so doing, students will ask how, as well as whether, ethical theories are the best guide to resolving moral disagreements.  This course is required of all graduate students.