Graduate Courses

Philosophy & Religious Studies

CourseCredit Hours

PHH5505: Kant to Nietzsche

Prerequisite: Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics or Admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics or permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator This course examines the important intellectual developments that follow the French Revolution and the work of Immanuel Kant, leading throughout the writings of the Frierich Nietzsche. Nineteenth century or late modern philosophy represents a referendum on the values and assumptions not only of Enlightenment thought but modern reason itself. Focusing on the writings of Schiller, Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche, we explore how nineteenth century theorists sought to extend the project of modernity while acknowledging that modern reason can have consequences that undermine its objective to subject the natural and human worlds to rational control. In examining these writers' theories we also explore how their reflections may assist us in considering the problems and prospects out own age. Students in this graduate section will have special writing, reading, and presentation assignments; they will also participate in special sessions with the instructor.
3

PHI5605: Ethics

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. Ethics considers questions such as "How should I live?" and "How do I decide the right thing to do and why should I do it?" This course deals with those questions in the areas of moral metaphysics, meta-ethics and normative theories of moral conduct which come from the history of philosophy back to the time of Plato and Aristotle. Other theorists to be discussed include Immanuel Kant and John Stuart Mill, and may include figures such as Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, as well as contemporary theorists.
3

PHI5627: Ethics of Sex and Gender

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. This course will explore ethical dimensions of sex and gender and the gendered dimensions of ethical thought and practice. We will ask whether women and men approach moral problems differently and whether women's traditional concerns, such as child care, can enhance ethical theory. We will also consider how "feminist ethics" has been altered by the perspectives of women in different social locations. We also address practical ethical issues related to sex and gender, such as reproductive technologies, prostitution, and militarism. We will explore each of these topics from a variety of both masculine and feminine perspectives.
3

PHI5628: Business Ethics

Prerequisite:  Admittance to the MA program in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics. This course examines the theoretical foundations of business ethics as well as various ethical issues which arise on personal, corporate, national and global levels in the business world. The course will include: an examination of a philosophical context for business ethics; and exploration of relevant ethical and social-political theories; consideration and discussion of real-world business ethical issues. Readings and lectures will be complemented by class discussion and an ongoing focus on case studies.
3

PHI5634: Bioethics

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics or admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics or permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. This course employs tools of ethical theory to examine a number of moral issues arising in health care. Issues to be considered include the physician-patient relationship, informed consent, advance directives, euthanasia, and physician-assisted suicide, experimentation on human subjects, and access to health care. 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 medial contexts, legal decisions, and case studies, providing students with the opportunity to sharpen their analytic skills and develop a deeper understanding of some of the major bioethical issues currently being debated.
3

PHI5668: Ethics East and West

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. This course explores ethical theory and some contemporary ethical problems from the perspective of comparative philosophy. The focus will be on Asian approaches to ethics, and how differing views of nature and human nature alter the quest for what is good and for the good life. We will discuss the Hindu, Confucian, Taoist and Buddhist traditions, as well as contemporary Japanese theory.
3

PHI5675: Moral Conflict

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in practical philosophy and applied ethics or admission to the grad certif. in applied ethics or permission of the philosophy grad coordinator This course will examine both the philosophical and practical issues raised by (apparent) fact that values can come into conflict. We will examine potential tensions both within morality (between liberty and equality for instance) and between morality and other evaluative concerns (such as self-interest). Question to be considered include: do moral values necessarily harmonize with one another? Might the idea of all good things co-existing be conceptually incoherent? If one comes to think that moral values are inevitably in tension with one another, what philosophical and practical upshot should this have? How much, if at all, can moral theory help in resolving moral dilemmas? Does liberalism, as some have argued, embody the best form of socio-political response to the plural and conflicting nature of value?
3

PHI5677: Ethical Issues in Public Health

This course introduces students to moral issues in public health. Students will learn to recognize relevant moral issues and analyze them in light of basic ethical principles. Topics to be covered may include allocation of scarce health care resources, public vs. private health care funding, access to care, ethics and infectious disease control (STDs, HIV, TB), public health genetics (screening programs and individual testing/counseling), and research ethics in public health (e.g. experimenting on uninformed populations). Case analysis and group discussion will be emphasized.
3

PHI5691: Environmental Ethics

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. This course will cover intrinsic and instrumental value approaches to environmental ethics, alternative environmental ethical approaches, and special environmental ethical issues. The goal of the course is to familiarize students with all the major approaches to environmental ethics and with a few particularly philosophically interesting environmental ethical issues. Student will appreciate and understand the complexity and intricacy of the arguments involved in adopting one approach or position over another.
3

PHI5808: Aesthetics

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. This course will examine questions such as What is art? What is beauty? What is the nature of the aesthetic experience? What is an aesthetic object? What is the role of the creativity in making and judging art? Can a work of art have more than one meaning? What is the role of the art critic? and Can art be immoral? We will examine the theories of philosophers and members of the art community from the time of Plato to the present day.
3

PHI5886: Ethics and Literature

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. This course explores the ways in which ethical theory and literature inform one another. We will consider how ethical perspectives are illustrated in works of fiction, and whether fiction itself can be a form of moral philosophy. Students should gain an understanding of several moral theories, develop an appreciation of the importance of fictional narrative to ethical life and theory, and of the potential value of moral philosophy to literary criticism.
3

PHI5934: Selected Topics

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator.
Description: This course addresses variable topics in practical philosophy and applied ethics.
Repeatability: This course may be repeated for up to 9 credits.
3

PHI6125: Ancient Greek Ethics

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. In this course we study the origins of Western ethical thought in ancient Greece. Beginning with Aristotle, we will go on to examine the work of the Hellenistic philosophers, who more fully developed several distinctive schools of ethical thought and behavior. While these philosophers are interesting in themselves, they are also important because they formulated the basis of contemporary ethics, both in the questions asked and in the solutions offered.
3

PHI6225: Philosophy of Language

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics or Admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics or permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator The course explores the lasting significance of the linguistics turn in philosophy, including its different philosophical perspectives in analytic philosophy, speech act theory, semiotics and poststructuralism, and philosophical hermeneutics. Central questions include: What is the role of language for human consciousness and experience? How is linguistics meaning constituted, and what are its essential components? What is the basic structure of language, and how does it affect our access to reality? What is the relation between language and truth? What is the role of language and linguistic meaning for the constitution of culture, society, and politics? The course clarifies concepts like consciousness, meaning, reflexivity, truth, reference, normatively, and social practices through the philosophy of language. The course's approach to language is highly relevant for central issues in the graduate program concerning practical philosophy, including intercultural values and norms, the relation between moral agency and social contexts, and the normative grounds of a critique of power. Graduate students will be required to demonstrate graduate-level proficiency in research.
3

PHI6405: Philosophy of Science

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. This course is a philosophical exploration or nature and the foundations of both the natural and the social sciences. Topics will include the structure of scientific explanation, the nature of theories, the possibility of scientific revolution, the idea of a science of human behavior and the relationship between science and human values.
3

PHI6425: Philosophy of the Social Sciences

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. This course is an examination of the nature, foundations, and aims of the social sciences. Attention is given to differing accounts of human action, the nature of social explanation, the structure of comparative social analysis, and the conditions for societal evaluation. Special consideration is given to the relationship of the social sciences to the humanities and the natural sciences.
3

PHI6769: Ethics, Religion and Global Discourse


Description: In this course students will examine intersections and interactions between ethics, religion, and global discourse. The course will explore a variety of theoretical approaches for studying ethical perspectives and practices and the role of religions within global communities.
3

PHI6907: Directed Independent Study

Prerequisite:  Graduate Status; permission of instructor, graduate coordinator, and department chairperson. This course is an investigation of a topic in philosophy at the advanced level. The course may be repeated for 6 credits under different topics.
3

PHI6936: Advanced Selected Topics

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. This course addresses variable topics in practical philosophy and applied ethics.
3

PHI6937: Proseminar I: Themes and Methods in Practical Philosophy

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. This course establishes conceptual links between social knowledge and its ethical application. Goals include a solid grounding in the most advanced moral, social, political, and cultural philosophies, with emphasis on relating general theoretical insights to concrete ethical issues and framing pressing practical problems in both a normative and a holistic manner.
3

PHI6938: Proseminar II: Themes and Methods in Applied Ethics

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. This course offers an advanced study of the methods of applying ethical theory to range of actual issues encountered in the professions, such as physician assisted suicide, cloning, health care reform, human subject research, faith-based initiatives, and corporate responsibility. It addresses the normative dimension of applied ethics and the cognitive unity of applied ethics as a field.
3

PHI6942: Internship in Applied Ethics

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics or admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics or permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator.
Description: This course focuses on: (1) documented hours of work experience with ethics committees, compliance boards, or other appropriate opportunities; (2) a written report of the problems encountered and the solutions offered, with particular emphasis on the student's contributions; and (3) an oral defense of the report before a departmental committee.
Repeatability: This course may be repeated up to 15 credits with permission of the graduate coordinator.
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PHI6951: Portfolio Preparation

Prerequisite:  Admission to the M.A. in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics or permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator
Description:  A student in this course will be expected to (1) assemble a portfolio of course papers composed during his or her tenure in the MA program; (2) prepare a portfolio essay addressing themes common to the portfolio papers; and (3) participate in an oral defense of the portfolio and portfolio essay before a departmental committee. All work will be conducted under the supervision of a portfolio advisor.
Repeatability: This course may be repeated for up to 9 credits with permission of the graduate coordinator.
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PHI6971: Thesis

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics or admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics or permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator.
Description: This course focuses on research and writing. It may be repeated for up to 15 credit hours with permission from the graduate coordinator.
v. 1-9

PHM5056: Ethical Issues in Death and Dying

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in practical philosophy and applied ethics or admission to the grad certificate in applied ethics or permission of the philosophy grad coord. In this course, we take a philosophical approach to death and dying in order to understand and analyze some of the ethical, medical, psychological, and legal issues surrounding death and dying. Topics to be covered include whether life is always preferable to death, deciding how much control we should have over our own deaths, how much control (if any) advance directives should have in directing end-of-life treatment plans, how much money should be spend on expensive treatments which provide little benefit, the right of hospitals to decide when life prolonging treatment is futile, the moral obligation of doctors to tell their patients their prognosis, different criteria for determining death, and whether one is allowed to bring about or assist in the death of another.
3

PHM5105: Social Philosophy

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. This course is an analysis and evaluation of different accounts of society, social order, and human sociation. Readings come from classical social philosophers and contemporary social theorists.
3

PHM5305: Political Philosophy

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. This course is an examination of central concepts in political thought, including rights, laws, justice, liberty, obligation, political sovereignty, legitimate authority and the nature of political community. Emphasis is placed on classical theories and their relation to contemporary issues.
3

PHM5365: Philosophy of Democracy

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. This course is a philosophical exploration of the nature of democracy. Principal consideration is given to ancient Greek, classical modern and contemporary accounts of democratic theory. Themes in democratic theory are also examined as they pertain to notions such as constitutionalism, group representation, worker self management, media politics, multiculturalism, feminism, and globalism.
3

PHM5366: Global Justice

Prerequisite: Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics or Admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics or permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator This course examines the phenomenon of globalization from a moral and ethical perspective. Questions include the following: What are universal human rights and how are they compatible with the diversity of cultural practices and traditions worldwide? What duties do we have to the global environment? What obligations, if any, do members of affluent countries have to address world hunger and poverty? What are the forms of governance appropriate to a globalized world? Is humanitarian military intervention in the internal affair of another country justifiable? Should we understand ourselves first and foremost as citizens of the world or as members of bounded communities? Students in this graduate section will have special writing, reading, and presentation assignments; they will also participate in special session with the instructor.
3

PHM5405: Philosophy of Law

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. The focus of this course is on such concepts as justice, rights, civil liberties, authority, responsibility and punishment. Attention is also given to the relation of law to psychiatry and to morality.
3

PHM6345: Contemporary Political Philosophy

Prerequisite:  Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics OR admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics OR permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. This course examines main trends in recent and current political philosophy. Emphasis is on contemporary philosophical treatments of concepts like rights, liberty, justice, equality, democracy, power, the state, and the political itself. These concepts are explored while examining (a) new theoretical developments like communitarianism, feminism, poststructuralism, hermeneutics, discourse and difference theory, and (b) current reformulations of such classical positions as utilitarianism, liberalism, socialism, and republicanism.
3

PHP5794: Pragmatism

Pre-req: Admission to the MA in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics or admission to the Graduate Certificate in Applied Ethics or permission of the Philosophy Graduate Coordinator. Pragmatism is perhaps the most enduring and respected of the distinctly American philosophies. Controversial since its beginnings in the latter half of the 19th Century, many contemporary philosophers still embrace it today, in spite of its persistent critics. In this course, we will examine the writings of major pragmatists, both historical and contemporary. Among the philosophers whose views we will examine are James, Peirce, and Dewey. For each philosopher, our task will be to understand both what the philosopher's views are and how those views relate to the views of other pragmatists. The goal is to arrive at a broad understanding of just what it means to be a pragmatist. In addition, we will critically evaluate each individual's views, and the views of pragmatists more generally.
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