The following list represents detailed course descriptions of our current offerings; for the full range of graduate courses offered in MA in Practical Philosophy & Applied Ethics, as well as the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics, please consult the Graduate Course Descriptions in the UNF catalog.
PHI 5605 Ethics
Instructor: M. Haney
What is morality? What is its basis? What norms or principles should guide our actions? This course offers a detailed investigation of these fundamental questions. We will examine theories about the source of morality (topics from the area known as metaethics) and theories concerning how we ought to structure our moral thought and action (topics from the area known as normative theory). We will be concerned throughout to see how metaethical and normative questions interrelate: what are the arguments, for example, for thinking that moral norms derive from different cultural ways of life, and what effect should agreement with such arguments have on one’s moral outlook? The fact that this is primarily a course in abstract theory does not mean that we will not devote time to the discussion of real life moral problems and dilemmas. Indeed, one major goal of the course will be the exploration of the relationship between ethical theory and everyday life. PHI 5605 is a course required of all students in the M.A. in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics.
Instructor: P. Carelli
Central for both cognitive scientists and philosophers in the Western Tradition are questions about the nature and reality of self. These questions are also given a prominent position in the Indian and Tibetan traditions. This course explores these questions using the numerous resources of these diverse traditions. We will read articles by leading scholars of the Indian and Tibetan philosophical traditions along with leading Western philosophers of mind and phenomenologists to explore issues about consciousness and selfhood from these multiple perspectives and to develop argumentative resources of these traditions to address issues about the self in the context of contemporary philosophy and cognitive science.
Instructor: H. H. Koegler
This course provides an advanced introduction to the most important themes and thinkers in social philosophy. It thereby serves the function of grounding graduate work in Practical Philosophy. It is cross-listed with PHM Social Philosophy. Special graduate section will deepen and expand readings and discussions in social and political theory. In contrast to metaphysics, rationalism, and empiricism, social and political philosophers argue that basic aspects of our cognitive and ethical experience are socially constituted. Rationality, agency, freedom—and even truth and meaning—are seen as grounded in social processes and dependent on social institutions. This course will reconstruct the viability of this approach by framing the discussion around a theory of human agency in contemporary society. This will involve the analysis of (1) social ontology and the importance of capitalism, (2) social power and its impact on culture and self, and (3) agency and freedom under conditions of social constraints. The discussion includes the most influential social philosophers such as Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Habermas, Foucault, Bourdieu, and Mead, among others. This graduate course systematically addresses the issue of agency and structure as well as the social construction of experience and reality.
Instructor: A. Buchwalter
Today nearly all political orders legitimize themselves by claiming to be democracies. Little agreement exists, however, as to what precisely democracy is. This course examines classical, modern, and contemporary theories to clarify and assess the nature and meaning of democracy. Our deliberations will focus on many of the polarities that characterize the discourse on democracy: e.g., libertarian versus egalitarian, liberal versus republican, popular versus elite, institutional versus plebiscitary, direct versus representative, electoral versus participatory, majoritarian versus constitutional, and market-based versus deliberative. We also examine themes in democratic theory with reference to matters of contemporary social concern, including campaign financing, group representation, postmodernism, feminism, race theory, multiculturalism, corporate multinationalism, social media, the place of democracy in a global setting, and the meaning of democracy in non-Western contexts. A central concern of the course is to determine what meaning popular self-rule—as democracy was originally defined by the Greeks 2,500 years ago—can have in our increasingly complex, economically driven, institutionally structured, electronically mediated, globally interconnected, and culturally differentiated societies. Graduate students will be assigned supplemental readings and will participate in occasional graduate-student-only special sessions.
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