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 2018 Upper Division and Graduate Sections
Class Name Description Hours
PHI 3300: Introduction to Epistemology - Dr. Jon Matheson Description: Epistemology is the study of knowledge and justified belief. In this course, we will critically examine numerous accounts of the nature and sources of knowledge and justified belief. In addition, we will look at epistemological puzzles concerning skepticism, the problem of induction, epistemic relativism, and the epistemic significance of disagreement. The philosophical questions to be discussed include: What is knowledge? Can we know anything worthwhile? Given that we do know things, how do we know them? Under what conditions is a belief rational? Is it rational to believe controversial propositions? Is there more than one standard of rationality? 3
PHI 3453: Philosophy of Psychology - Dr. Sarah Vincent Description: This course examines the philosophical and ethical issues raised by the theory and practice of psychology. Questions that may be considered are: What philosophical and ethical problems are raised by the very idea of a "mental life"? In what sense do different approaches to psychology embody different underlying philosophical assumptions about that nature of the mind? What different philosophical reasons are there for thinking that psychiatric treatment should be aimed at the mind, the brain, behavior, the self, the soul, or the whole person? What are the philosophical and ethical assumptions behind psychoanalysis? Is psychoanalysis a science, and does it matter if it is not? What philosophical and ethical questions are raised by the use of medication in psychiatric practice? 3
PHI 3633: Bioethics - Dr. David Kline 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 medical 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
PHI 3880: Philosophy of Film - Dr. David Fenner Philosophy of Film is a course in the aesthetics of film. The course is divided into four parts: (1) film aesthetics, focusing on aesthetics vocabulary and the aesthetic components of film; (2) film as art, focusing on art theory and the film artist; (3) film form, focusing on the mechanics and aesthetics of film form, on film genre, and on film theory; (4) film criticism, focusing on criticism, censorship, and critical film reviews. 3
PHI 3881: Philosophy of Music - Dr. Hans Herbert Koegler This course introduces students to the variety of philosophical perspectives that have enhanced our understanding of the phenomenon of music. The identity of "music" is explored in light of different cultural, social, and aesthetic contexts. We focus on the linguistic character of music as a symbol form, the source and nature of emotional experiences through music, the cultural and social contexts of music production and reception, and the normative question of how to evaluate musical products and performances. The course offers original insights into music, while teaching basic theoretical insights of linguistic, social-psychological, and cultural philosophy. 3
PHI 3930: Germany Today (FC) - Dr. Andrew Buchwalter An examination of social, political, cultural and intellectual trends in Germany since the end of World War II. Emphasis is on German democracy, the economic rebuilding, the burden of the Nazi and Stasi past, national identity, generational conflicts, ethnic tensions, right-wing radicalism, immigration policy, the role of intellectuals, Germany's place in Europe and the world, and its status as a "normal" nation. Particular attention is given to the 1989 collapse of East Germany, 1990 unification of the two Germanys, and the issues that have engaged Germany since unification. The course draws on resources from a range of disciplines, including art, literature, philosophy, history, sociology, political science, economics and especially postwar German cinema. In keeping with the goals of the Foreign Culture program, one special aim of the course is to compare and contrast the German experience with our own. 3
PHI 3931: Jewish & Islamic Philosophy - Dr. Paul Carelli Often medieval philosophy is presented in its Christian guise alone, giving the impression that the medieval philosophical tradition, influenced by the great thinkers of Greek antiquity, is exclusively a Latin tradition, with no substantive contribution by those who wrote in Arabic and Hebrew. We shall revise this view. After a few weeks reading and discussing selections from Plato and Aristotle, our focus will turn to a select group of philosophers who lived between the 10th-12th centuries, a roughly three hundred-year period that is a high point in medieval Jewish and Islamic philosophy-a time before Greek philosophy was rediscovered in Christian Europe. Philosophers to be studied in some detail are Solomon ibn Gabirol, Al-Farabi, Ibn Rushd, and Maimonides, and in addressing topics in the philosophy of language, metaphysics, epistemology, cosmology, philosophical psychology, and especially in philosophy of law, ethics, and political philosophy, we will see how these philosophers adapted Greek philosophical insights for their own specific purposes 3
PHI 3932: Race, Justice, Resistance - Dr. Erinn Gilson This course explores the ideas and theories underlying movements to end racial injustice. It considers how racism and racial injustices are perpetrated and perpetuated through laws and policies, political and economic structures and systems, ignorance and ideologies, and attitudes and beliefs, as well as major instances of racial injustice in the US today (such as mass incarceration, the school-to-prison pipeline, militarized policing, economic inequality, and voting rights). The focus, however, is ideas about transformation, liberation, and resistance to racial injustice: What various strategies and practices are used to seek change? What kinds of transformation are and should be sought? What would reparations for racial injustice involve? In what does liberation consist? What role do ideas and practices of solidarity, coalition, and intersectionality have in pursuing racial justice? 3
PHI4641: Business Ethics - Dr. Mitchell Haney 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
PHI 4930/5934 Philosophy for Children - Dr. Aaron Creller Does philosophy begin in wonder? At what age does "reason" take hold? Are children capable of thinking philosophically? If so, what kind of benefit could it have to make philosophy part of an already cramped curriculum? This class is an introduction to the theoretical and practical dimensions of Philosophy for Children (P4C), also known as the "philosophers' pedagogy." In exploring the theoretical resources that structure P4C communities, students will engage with the work of figures such as John Dewey, Jean Piaget, Lawerence Kohlberg, Matthew Lipman, Amber Strong-Makaiau, and Tom Jackson. In addition, students will learn to operationalize concepts such as "intellectual safety," "reflection," and community-based inquiry through facilitating their own inquiries in and out of the classroom. 3
PHI 6769 Ethics, Religion & Global Discourse - Dr. Andrew Buchwalter 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. 3
PHM3304: Political Philosophy - Dr. Hans Herbert Koegler 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 on classical theories and their relation to contemporary issues. 3
PHP3790: American Philosophy - Dr. Sarah Mattice Pragmatism is perhaps the most enduring and respected of the distinctly American philosophies, but traditions of philosophy in the Americas is much broader. In this course, we will examine the writings of major pragmatists, both historical and contemporary, but also others doing philosophy in the Americas. We may study American Transcendentalism in Thoreau, Emerson, and Whitman, We may study American pragmatism in James, Peirce, Dewey, as well as contemporary pragmaticists. We may look to philosophical traditions in American Indian thought, as well as those writing from Latin American perspectives. For each philosopher, our task will be to understand both what the philosopher's views are and how those views relate to other philosophical positions. The goal is to arrive at a broad understanding of just what it means to be doing American Philosophy. 3
PHH3500: Kant to Nietzsche - Dr. Andrew Buchwalter Prerequisite: One course in philosophy other than a foreign culture. An exploration of major philosophical developments which follow the French Revolution and culminate with the beginning of the 20th century. Special attention is given to the contemporary relevance of 19th century thought. Readings from Hegel, Marx, Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Dilthey and Nietzsche. 3