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 2017 Upper Division

PHH 3400 Modern Philosophy 

CRN 12816

MW 1330-1445

Instructor: H. H. Koegler 

 

 

 

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 transcendental philosophy 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. This course fulfills 3 credits hours of the program's History of Philosophy (Modern Western) requirement.

 

 

    

 

PHH 3811 The Philosophy of Zen Buddhism

CRN 12818

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 that 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. Participation in meditation exercises is required. This course fulfills 3 credit hours of the program's  Diverse Method & Perspective requirement.

 

 

 

PHI 3130 Symbolic Logic 

CRN 11665

MW 1330-1445

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. This course fulfills the program's Logic requirement.

 

 

PHI 3400 The Philosophy of Science

CRN 12817

TR 1630-1745

Instructor: A. Creller  

 

 

 

This course will introduce students to key issues in the philosophy of science. The course begins with an attempt at defining “science” and exploring methodological concerns scientists must face, such as problems of induction, underdetermination of data, and the construction of models. From these concerns we will explore ways in which historicity influences scientific practice by examining the influence objectivity, values, and identity have on scientific practice. Does gender, race, or ethnicity matter when defining science? How do people become scientific experts? The course concludes by complicating the definition of science within the context of pluralism and secularity. This course fulfills 3 credit hours of the program's Knowledge & Reality requirement.

 

 

 

 PHI 3641 Business Ethics 

CRN 10602

TR 1630-1745

Instructor: M Haney 

 


 

Students will probe various moral questions arising within business's concerns with property, risk-benefit relationships, use of information, competition, and the like. Students will be prepared for this endeavor through focused study of several models of organizational ethics which impact market institutions, organizational structures, as well as individuals that comprise the essential elements of the world of business. This course contributes to satisfying requirements for the Studies in Applied Ethics major concentration and the Applied Ethics philosophy minor.  This course fulfills the 3 credit hours of the program's Value Theory requirement.  The course also fulfills the elective requirement in program's Studies in Applied Ethics.

 

  

PHI 3930 Islamic Philosophy & Practice

CRN 12820

MW 1500-1615

Instructor: A. Creller  

 

 

This course provides an introduction to the historical birth of Islam and some of the philosophical issues it addresses, both in its history and in contemporary times.  This course covers the revealing of the Qur’an and the development of sources of authority within the tradition as well as the way those resources are used to answer questions in Islamic law, theology, philosophy, and mysticism.  Through thinkers such as Ibn al-Arabi, al-Ghazali, and Ibn Rushd (Averroes), we will cover problems that remain pertinent into the medieval period and beyond: How does determinism influence ethical blame? How do universal laws and particular cases relate?  What is the proper relationship between reason, knowledge, and revelation? This course fulfills 3 credit hours of the program's History of Philosophy (Ancient Western) requirement.

 


 

PHI 3934 Science, Ethics & Other Minds

CRN 12822

TR 1215-1130

Instructor: S. Vincent

 

 

This course will explore intersections of cognitive science and ethics by considering contemporary research on othered minds. ‘Othered’ minds are those that historically have been regarded as alien and presently are seen as non-paradigmatic or profoundly different – in particular, the minds of animals, the disabled (including the mentally ill), and children. We will pair scientific research concerning disability/neurodiversity, nonhuman animal cognition, and human development with related questions in ethics (e.g., incarceration of the mentally ill, the appropriateness of zoos, and the autonomy of children). This course fulfills 3 credit hours of the program's Knowledge and Reality or Value Theory requirement.  This course also fulfills the elective in the program's Studies in Applied Ethics.

 


 

PHI 4930 Faith and Reason

CRN 12823

M 1800-2045

Instructor: J. Matheson 

 

 

 

This course will be an examination of cutting edge work in contemporary analytic philosophy of religion.  It will be organized around fundamental questions about the nature, rationality, and value of faith (religious faith in particular).  We will discuss questions such as: What exactly is faith? Can it be rational to have faith?  How is faith related to evidence, belief, doubt, hope, and love?  Is faith voluntary?  Is faith a virtue? This course fulfills 3 credit hours of the program's Knowledge & Reality requirement.

 

PHI 4930 Art, Society & Politics

CRN 12826

T 1800-2045

Instructor: H. H. Koegler   

 

 

The course deals with art and its relation to both society and politics. Special focus is on the unique role of modern art—or art under the condition of modernity—in which art is separated from its function of religious representation and becomes ‘autonomous’ in the so-called ‘artworld.’ This sets art free for entirely new political functions. Similarly, the social basis of art and aesthetics experience (reception and production) becomes reflexive and get reevaluated. The course reconstructs this new place and function of art in modern society and politics by addressing idealist aesthetics (Kant, Schiller, Hegel), the use of concrete examples of art-politics interactions in film (Eisenstein in the Soviet Union, Riefenstahl in Hitler’s Germany), and by building a rich discussion with contemporary theorists of art and politics (Benjamin, Adorno, Danto, Bourdieu, and Ranciere). The ultimate goal is to reconstruct the aesthetic truth and value of modern art, including most recent movements like performance and politically engaged art, by drawing on currently developed ideas towards a dialogical aesthetics. This course fulfills 3 credit hours of the program's Value Theory requirement.  This course also fulfills the elective in the program's Legal-Political-Social Studies or Studies in Applied Ethics.

 

PHI 4930 Confucian & Stoic Role Ethics

CRN 12828

T 1800-2045

Instructor: P. Carelli    

 

 

Role ethics seeks to find guidance in how to live through the various relationships one has in the family and society at large, rather than in a depersonalized rational principle or individual set of virtues. For nearly two decades Roger T. Ames has argued that the ethical teachings of Confucius in the Analects must be understood in terms of just such relationality. More recently, Brian E. Johnson has made the case that the stoic Epictetus offers a view of ethics based upon roles in the Discourses. In this course we will give a careful reading of both these ancient works and their modern commentators, focusing on both the similarities of differences between the two traditions.​ This course fulfills 3 credit hours of the program's Diverse Methods and Perspective requirement.

 

PHM 3362  Global Justice

CRN 12835

TR 1630-1745

Instructor: A. Buchwalter  

 

 

 

This course examines issues of justice associated with the phenomenon of globalization. Questions include the following: What are universal human rights and how are they compatible with the diversity of cultural practices and traditions worldwide? What is economic globalization and how should global free trade be squared with global fair trade? What are the obligations on the part of the global community and in particular members of affluent countries to address world-wide hunger, poverty, and disease? What duties do we have to the global environment? How should we address global climate change? How, if at all, is war justified in a globalized world and how can humanitarian military intervention in the internal affairs of another country justifiable? How open should the borders of nations be to immigrants, refugees, and the increasing flow of individuals fleeing famine and persecution?  How should we address gender discrimination and the presence of patriarchal attitudes and practices throughout the world?  Should we understand ourselves first and foremost as citizens of the world or as members of bounded communities?  In addressing these questions, we examine assumptions we hold individually and as members both of particular societies and the global community. This course fulfills 3 credit hours of the program's Value Theory requirement.  This course also fulfills the elective in the program's Legal-Political-Social Studies or Studies in Applied Ethics.

 

  

PHM 4340 Contemporary Political Philosophy

CRN 12780

TR 1340-1455

Instructor: A. Buchwalter    

 

 

 

This course explores the extraordinarily rich and varied developments in political philosophy that have occurred over the past fifty years. Our aim is to scrutinize the nature and objectives of contemporary political thought, and to determine how it both surmounts and further develops the concerns of traditional political philosophy. We examine such novel trends as communitarianism, feminism, multiculturalism, postmodernism, postcolonialism, and discourse theory, a well as contemporary reformulations of classic positions, including utilitarianism, libertarianism, liberalism, egalitarianism, and republicanism.  Focus is on concepts like rights, liberty, justice, equality, democracy, sovereignty, identity politics, and the fate of the nation-state, especially in a global context.  The course offers a unique appreciation of the debates defining the differences among current political theorists even as it clarifies elements of contemporary political life itself.  This course in an approved elective in the Legal, Political & Social Studies and Studies in Applied Ethics major concentrations.  It fulfills requirements of the Law and Philosophy minor.  This course fulfills 3 credit hours of the program's Value Theory requirement.  This course also fulfills the elective in the program's Legal-Political-Social Studies or Studies in Applied Ethics.

 

 

Graduate Courses

Spring 2017

PHI 5934 Faith and Reason

CRN 12824

M 1800-2045

Instructor: J. Matheson

  

This course will be an examination of cutting edge work in contemporary analytic philosophy of religion.  It will be organized around fundamental questions about the nature, rationality, and value of faith (religious faith in particular).  We will discuss questions such as: What exactly is faith? Can it be rational to have faith?  How is faith related to evidence, belief, doubt, hope, and love?  Is faith voluntary?  Is faith a virtue?

 

 

PHI 5934 Art, Society and Politics

CRN 12827

T 1800-2045

Instructor: H. H. Koegler


 

The course deals with art and its relation to both society and politics. Special focus is on the unique role of modern art—or art under the condition of modernity—in which art is separated from its function of religious representation and becomes ‘autonomous’ in the so-called ‘artworld.’ This sets art free for entirely new political functions. Similarly, the social basis of art and aesthetics experience (reception and production) becomes reflexive and get reevaluated. The course reconstructs this new place and function of art in modern society and politics by addressing idealist aesthetics (Kant, Schiller, Hegel), the use of concrete examples of art-politics interactions in film (Eisenstein in the Soviet Union, Riefenstahl in Hitler’s Germany), and by building a rich discussion with contemporary theorists of art and politics (Benjamin, Adorno, Danto, Bourdieu, and Ranciere). The ultimate goal is to reconstruct the aesthetic truth and value of modern art, including most recent movements like performance and politically engaged art, by drawing on currently developed ideas towards a dialogical aesthetics.

 

 

PHI 6769 Ethics, Religion & Global Discourse

CRN 11959

W 1800-2045

Instructor: B. Denison 


 

This course examines critical themes at the intersection of religion and global politics. It will explore how particular constructions of “religion” and “religious freedom” authorizes national and international legal and governmental practice. These questions will be examined through a variety of contexts, with an emphasis on local communities’ relationship to national and international governing bodies. Topics will include religion and the rise of the nation-state; the politics of religious establishment and religious freedom; the formation of modern vocabularies of religious exclusion; and the role of religions in the neoliberal experience.

PHI 6938 Proseminar II 

CRN 12819

T 1800-2045

Instructor: P. Carelli 

 

 

 

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 Role ethics seeks to find guidance in how to live through the various relationships one has in the family and society at large, rather than in a depersonalized rational principle or individual set of virtues. For nearly two decades Roger T. Ames has argued that the ethical teachings of Confucius in the Analects must be understood in terms of just such relationality. More recently, Brian E. Johnson has made the case that the stoic Epictetus offers a view of ethics based upon roles in the Discourses. In this course we will give a careful reading of both these ancient works and their modern commentators, focusing on both the similarities of differences between the two traditions.​

 

 

 

PHM 5366 Global Justice

CRN 12836

TR 1630-1745

Instructor: A. Buchwalter  

    

 

 

This course examines issues of justice associated with the phenomenon of globalization. Questions include the following: What are universal human rights and how are they compatible with the diversity of cultural practices and traditions worldwide? What is economic globalization and how should global free trade be squared with global fair trade? What are the obligations on the part of the global community and in particular members of affluent countries to address world-wide hunger, poverty, and disease? What duties do we have to the global environment? How should we address global climate change? How, if at all, is war justified in a globalized world and how can humanitarian military intervention in the internal affairs of another country justifiable? How open should the borders of nations be to immigrants, refugees, and the increasing flow of individuals fleeing famine and persecution?  How should we address gender discrimination and the presence of patriarchal attitudes and practices throughout the world?  Should we understand ourselves first and foremost as citizens of the world or as members of bounded communities?  In addressing these questions, we examine assumptions we hold individually and as members both of particular societies and the global community.​ Students in this graduate section will have special writing, reading, and presentation assignments; hey will also participate in some special sessions with the instructor.