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.

Summer B 2016 Upper Division

 

PHI 3632 Ethics of Sex and Gender 

CRN 51093

Distance Learning

Instructor: E. Gilson


This course explores ethical questions related to sex and gender difference. The course begins by asking how sex and gender inform the ways we think about and deal with ethical issues. Questions that will be addressed include whether there are distinctively different feminine and masculine ways of approaching ethical issues, whether traditional ethics might be gender-biased, and whether focusing on sex and gender brings to light different kinds of ethical concerns. We will consider human moral development and what role gender plays in it, paying particular attention to ethical concepts such as care, justice, love, and to the role of emotion and reason in ethical thinking. Then we will turn to ethical issues in which sex and gender are especially important, including militarism, sexual violence, pornography, and prostitution.  

 

 

   

Fall 2016 Upper Division

PHH 3100 Ancient Greek Philosophy 

CRN 80433

MW 1500-1615

Instructor: P. Carelli 

 

 

 

In this course we study the origins of the largest philosophical questions in the ancient Greek world. Beginning with an overview of the social/historical context in which these questions arose, we will go on to examine the development of the proto-scientific cosmologies, standards of reasoning, and metaphysical speculations of philosophers before Socrates. We will then move on to consider the humanistic revolution brought on by Socrates and the Sophists. Finally, we will consider the major ethical, epistemological, and metaphysical views in Plato's developed philosophy along with the critical interpretations of those views given by his student Aristotle. We’ll ask about the kind of life human beings ought to lead, the nature of justice and morality, the basic constituents of the world, and the nature and limits of human knowledge. Once we understand the views of the Greek philosophers, and their arguments for these views, we’ll need to decide whether or not to accept them ourselves as guides to leading our own lives.

 

    

 

PHH 3820 (FC) Chinese Philosophy

CRN 83033

MW 1330-1445

Instructor: S. Mattice 


 

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 3601 Ethics 

CRN 81796

T 1800-2045

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 3601 is a course recommended to all philosophy majors.  This course contributes to satisfying requirements for the Studies in Applied Ethics major concentration and the Applied Ethics philosophy minor

 

 

PHI 3640 Environmental Ethics 

CRN 83036

TR 1215-1330

Instructor: A. Buchwalter  

 

 

 

This course explores ethical questions as they bear on the relationship of human beings to the non-human world.  We ask such questions as to whether we do have moral obligations toward non-human entities in the environment, or toward the environment itself, and if so what are they?  When making decisions about human activities that affect the environment, ought we to take into account the consequences for the non-human world?  Is causing pain to animals, or killing them -- for food, science, or sport -- wrong?  Do animals have rights?  What about trees, or lakes?  What about endangered species? Are human beings part of nature, alienated from it, masters of it?  What should be the right relation between society and nature?  Does thinking about the natural environment force us to abandon traditional ethical and political categories (like “rights” or even “society” and “democracy”)? What are our obligations in the face of global climate change?  Do humans today have a moral responsibility to future generations to ensure a livable world, should responsibilities for mitigating or adapting to climate change be shared equally among all nations, and what responsibilities do we have individually to address the effects of climate change?  This course contributes to satisfying requirements for the Studies in Applied Ethics major concentration and the Applied Ethics philosophy minor.

 

 

 

 PHI 3641 Business Ethics 

CRN 80214

TR 1630-1745

Instructor: A. Creller  

 


 

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? This course contributes to satisfying requirements for the Studies in Applied Ethics major concentration and the Applied Ethics philosophy minor.  

 

  

PHI 3700 Philosophy of Religion 

CRN 83038

TR 1340-1455

Instructor: J. Matheson  

 

 

This course will examine several debates within the philosophy of religion.  We will focus on two broad questions.  Q1: What would God be like?   Q2: Is it rational to believe in God?  Under Q1 we will examine such puzzles as: Can God create a stone too heavy for God to lift?  Can God know the future free actions of people?  Can God be perfect and still be free?  What is God’s relation to morality?  Under Q2 we will examine such puzzles as: Does the existence of evil show that God does not exist?  Does religious disagreement or science show that God doesn’t exist?  Do religious experiences make it reasonable to believe that God exists?  Does the existence and intricacy of the universe make it reasonable to believe that God exists?

 


 

PHI 3930 Philosophical Methods 

CRN 82216

MW 1200-1315

Instructor: S. Mattice

 

 

This course is an investigation of various central methods in philosophical inquiry. The course covers analytic, continental European, comparative/non-Western, and historical perspectives. Attention is paid to developing students’ abilities to interpret philosophical material, construct and evaluate arguments, and write philosophical essays. Specific topics will vary by instructor. The Fall 2016 theme is "metaphor", and we will explore a variety of metaphors for philosophical activity, across traditions, as well as contemporary accounts of metaphor from fields such as cognitive linguistics.  This course is required for the philosophy major and minor.

 


 

PHI 4930 Self and No-Self

CRN 83040

M 1800-2045

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. 

 

PHM 3050 Death and Dying

CRN 83049

MW 1630-1745

Instructor: A. Swota   

 

 

According to many, death is one of the greatest evils that confront human beings. But what exactly is death and why do we fear it? In this course, we take an interdisciplinary approach to death and dying in order to understand some of the ethical, medical, 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 cost should play a role in deciding whether expensive treatments which provide little benefit are offered to patients, the moral obligation of doctors to disclose information to their patients, different criteria for determining death, and whether one is allowed to bring about or assist in the death of another. The main objectives of the course are to introduce students to some of the central issues in the philosophy of death and dying, to encourage open communication about death and dying, and to foster appreciation of the experiences and needs of the dying, and to help students recognize some of the many vexing ethical issues that arise in health care at the end-of-life.  This course contributes to satisfying requirements for the Studies in Applied Ethics major concentration and the Applied Ethics philosophy minor.

 

 

PHM 3100 Social Philosophy

CRN 83050

W 1800-2045

Instructor: H. H. Koegler    

 

 

 

This course is an advanced introduction to the most important themes and thinkers in social philosophy. In contrast to metaphysics, rationalism, and empiricism, social 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 core of the most influential social philosophers such as Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Habermas, Foucault, Bourdieu, and Mead, among others.

 

  

PHM 3361 Philosophy of Democracy

CRN 83128

R 1800-2045

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.  This course contributes to satisfying requirements for the Legal, Political, and Social Studies major concentration and the Law and Philosophy minor. 

 

 

Graduate Courses

Summer B 2016 Upper Division

 

PHI 5627 Ethics of Sex and Gender 

CRN 51319

Distance Learning

Instructor: E. Gilson

 

This course explores ethical questions related to sex and gender difference. The course begins by asking how sex and gender inform the ways we think about and deal with ethical issues. Questions that will be addressed include whether there are distinctively different feminine and masculine ways of approaching ethical issues, whether traditional ethics might be gender-biased, and whether focusing on sex and gender brings to light different kinds of ethical concerns. We will consider human moral development and what role gender plays in it, paying particular attention to ethical concepts such as care, justice, love, and to the role of emotion and reason in ethical thinking. Then we will turn to ethical issues in which sex and gender are especially important, including militarism, sexual violence, pornography, and prostitution.  

 

 

 

Fall 2016

PHI 5605 Ethics

CRN 80452

T 1800-2045

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.

 

 

PHI 5934 Self and Non-Self

CRN 83041

M 1800-2045

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. 

 

 

 

PHI 56937 Proseminar 1: Methods in Practical Philosophy

CRN 8434

W 1800-2045

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.

 

 

 

PHM 5365 Philosophy of Democracy

CRN 83129

R 1800-2045

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.