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.

 

Fall 2014 Upper Division

 

PHH 3100 Ancient Greek Philosophy

CRN: 80504
TR 1630-1745 
Instructor: P. Carelli 

 

 

In this course we study the origins of the largest philosophical questions in ancient Greece. Beginning with an overview of the social/historical context in which these questions arose, we will go on to examine the thought of Socrates, Plato, and 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 3100 is a course required of all philosophy majors.

 

  

PHH 3860 Japanese Philosophy Through Culture

CRN: 82949
MW 1630-1745 
Instructor: S. Mattice

 

 

This course is an introduction to Japanese philosophy and culture. We will explore Shinto, the indigenous world-view and practices of Japan; Japanese Buddhism, including Zen, Pure Land, and Nichiren; bushido, or the samurai spirit; distinctive contributions of Japanese thinkers to neo-Confucianism; and Japanese aesthetics. As we do so, we will problematize the western distinctions between philosophy and religion, and consider problems of orientalism. We will also discuss Japanese responses to the Buddhist problem of original enlightenment, think through the role of ritualized activities in Japanese culture, and learn what the hierarchical nature of Japanese language can tell us about life in Japan.

 


PHI 3300 Introduction to Epistemology

CRN: 83009
TR 1340-1455
Instructor: J. Matheson

 

 

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, and relativism.  This course requires some prior exposure to philosophy and some familiarity with basic philosophical concepts.  Prerequisite: one course in philosophy.  PHI 3300 Introduction to Epistemology (or as alternative PHI 3500 Introduction to Metaphysics) is a course required of all philosophy majors.

 

 

PHI 3601 Ethics

CRN: 83014
M 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 required of all philosophy majors.

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PHI 3641 Business Ethics

CRN: 802660
MW 1630-1745
Instructor: M. Haney

 

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?

 

PHI 3881 Philosophy of Music

CRN: 82240
R 1800-2045
Instructor: H. Koegler 

 

 

This philosophy course will explore music from a variety of angles, including aesthetic, interpretive, cultural, social, and normative dimensions. The philosophical approach to music implies discussing the relationship between music and other forms of art, its unique nature as a "language of sounds," and its claim to be an autonomous art-form. We will thus be in a position to explore in depth how music is related to emotional experience, how music can be an expression of cultural experiences and meanings, and how we can evaluate music. Discussions are based on a wide variety of musical forms, including Jazz, classical music, pop, etc. The course should be of interest to everyone eager to understand the phenomenon of music.

 

 

PHI 3930 Philosophies of India

CRN: 82953
TR 1050-1205
Instructor: P. Carelli 

 


 

This course will follow the development of Indian Philosophies from the early Vedic culture of the Indus Valley civilization through the Upanishadic and epic traditions, heterodox traditions of materialism, Jainism, and Buddhism, and orthodox responses of Mimamsa, Samkhya, Yoga, Vaishesika, and Nyaya. This historical survey will be followed by a careful reading of Nagarjuna’s Middle Way, the Bhagavad Gita, and the Yoga Sutra. Finally, we will look at modern developments in Indian philosophy, including the thought of Gandhi. Among the questions this course will consider are the following: What is the self? What is the relationship between the self, the personality, and the mind? What really exists and how can I know about it? What is the goal, purpose, meaning of human life? What is the role of philosophy in the Indian intellectual and religious tradition? How do the presuppositions, goals, methods, and values of the Indian philosophical tradition differ from other traditions?

 

 

PHI 3930 Arts and Politics

CRN: 82956
Distance-Learning
Instructor: M. Skees 

  

 

This course introduces Frankfurt School Critical Theory through various writings on aesthetics and cultural criticism by Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer, Theodor Adorno, Herbert Marcuse, and Jürgen Habermas. Some of the topics we will address will include:  the relation between aesthetics and political theory;  the relation between art and political action; relation between form and content; the notion of aesthetic autonomy; the notion of artistic autonomy, etc. The course includes background readings in Karl Marx, Max Weber, and Georg Lukács. The course presupposes some knowledge of Marx’s work and the philosophical tradition.  This course ends with a look to contemporary critical theorists who are strongly influenced by Frankfurt School Critical Theory, adhering to the spirit—if not the letter—of a vital philosophical tradition in normative disciplines of social and political philosophy. 

 

 

PHI 4930 Confucianism

CRN: 82957
T 18000-2045 

Instructor: s. Mattice 

 

 

This course will explore the thought and influence of one of the most influential people of all time— 孔子 (Confucius). Much of what we see today as distinctive contributions of East Asia to world culture comes from a Confucian approach to the world. We will begin in ancient China with the great Confucian classics, and then proceed historically through movements and developments in Confucian thought, from the Analects and the Mengzi to Dong Zhongshu, Zhu Xi, and New-Confucianism as it exists today. We will examine questions of how to categorize Confucianism—philosophy, religion, both, neither? We will also explore the “Asian Values” controversy and discuss the rise of Confucianism in contemporary China, including various Confucian responses to problems such as human rights, environmental ethics, and bioethics. Students will benefit from having some background in non-western philosophy or religion.

 

 

  

PHI 4935 Sem: Multi-Cultural Bioethics & Human Rights

CRN: 82960
MW 1200-1315 

Instructor: A. Swota 

 


Demographics in the United States reveal an increasing amount of diversity. Few places demonstrate a need for understanding and accommodating this diversity more than in the clinical context. Too often the complex ethical issues faced in medicine are viewed through a lens shaped solely by Western values. This lens is insufficient against the backdrop of diversity found in the clinical setting. In this course we will analyze and examine some of the issues that have evolved out of recent and anticipated developments in medicine, highlighting both the differences and similarities different cultures bring to the table. We begin with an overview of the underpinnings of Western bioethics, then go on to look at other approaches to bioethics in general, and then move on to examining a number of moral issues arising in medicine from a variety of different perspectives.  Issues to be discussed include the physician-patient relationship, informed consent, truth-telling, advance directives, euthanasia and physician-assisted suicide, issues in maternal-fetal medicine, and health care for children. 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 and legal decisions. In addition, case studies will be utilized to provide students with the opportunity to sharpen their analytic skills and develop a deeper understanding of some of the major bioethical issues from an international perspective.  This course satisfies a core requirement for the major in Philosophy.

 

 

PHM 3304 Political Philosophy

CRN: 83015
MW 1500-1615 

Instructor: J. Nale 

  

 

 

The history of political theory often focuses on the role of sovereign power and its role as the foundation of civil society. Traditionally, this idea of power focuses the role of a king, monarch, or president because political power is located in a single individual and civil society is subject to his or her power to punish. However, this conception of political power, made most famous in the social contract theories of Hobbes and Locke, has been critiqued over the last several decades by philosophers who have developed theories and histories of political power based on a ‘microphysics of power’. This hypothesis denies that political power is localized and concentrated in a single individual but rather that power is dispersed throughout society in myriad ways. This class explores this hypothesis by looking at the key political texts of Nietzsche, Foucault, Deleuze and other philosophers working in this tradition. We will begin with an historical overview of various theories of society, politics and power before spending the latter part of the semester immersed in some of the canonical political texts of the twentieth century. In addition to the central theme of politics and power, we will encounter new definitions of the subject, race, gender, history, resistance, oppression and rights. 

 


 

PHP 3786 Existentialism

CRN: 82962
TR 1505-1620 

Instructor: E. Gilson 

 

 

 

This course introduces students to the main themes and concepts of existential philosophy. Existentialism names an eclectic group of literary and philosophical figures from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries who are united by their concern with the nature and meaning of human existence. Existentialist inquiry begins from the perspective of the human individual, and addresses the experiences, emotions, events, and values that define human existence. Major themes to be discussed include: the meaning and purpose of human existence; the role of faith, beauty, freedom, and responsibility in that existence; the human relationship to religion and God; human attitudes to and avoidance of death; and the possibility of living authentically and ethically. We will read philosophical works from thinkers such as Camus, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, and de Beauvoir, as well as literary works. Exploring existentialist ideas will challenge students to wonder about both their own lives and the nature of human existence.

 

 

 


Graduate Courses

Fall 2014 

PHI 5605 Ethics

CRN: 80524 
M 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 required of all students in the M.A. program in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics. 

 

 

PHI 5628 Business Ethics

CRN: 10920 
TR 1630-1745
Instructor: M.Haney

 

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?

PHI 6936 Philosophy of Music

CRN: 82952
R 1800-2045 
Instructor: H. Koegler

 

 

This philosophy course will explore music from a variety of angles, including aesthetic, interpretive, cultural, social, and normative dimensions. The philosophical approach to music implies discussing the relationship between music and other forms of art, its unique nature as a "language of sounds," and its claim to be an autonomous art-form. We will thus be in a position to explore in depth how music is related to emotional experience, how music can be an expression of cultural experiences and meanings, and how we can evaluate music. Discussions are based on a wide variety of musical forms, including Jazz, classical music, pop, etc. The course should be of interest to everyone eager to understand the phenomenon of music. The course will explore issues of social power, agency, and self-expression with regard to music as a cultural medium.

 

 

PHI 6936 Confucianism

CRN: 82958
T 1800-2045 
Instructor: S. Mattice

 

 

This course will explore the thought and influence of one of the most influential people of all time— 孔子 (Confucius). Much of what we see today as distinctive contributions of East Asia to world culture comes from a Confucian approach to the world. We will begin in ancient China with the great Confucian classics, and then proceed historically through movements and developments in Confucian thought, from the Analects and the Mengzi to Dong Zhongshu, Zhu Xi, and New-Confucianism as it exists today. We will examine questions of how to categorize Confucianism—philosophy, religion, both, neither? We will also explore the “Asian Values” controversy and discuss the rise of Confucianism in contemporary China, including various Confucian responses to problems such as human rights, environmental ethics, and bioethics. Students will benefit from having some background in non-western philosophy or religion.

 

 

PHI 6936 Existentialism

CRN: 82961
TR 1505-1620 
Instructor: E. Gilson

 

 

 

This course introduces students to the main themes and concepts of existential philosophy. Existentialism names an eclectic group of literary and philosophical figures from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries who are united by their concern with the nature and meaning of human existence. Existentialist inquiry begins from the perspective of the human individual, and addresses the experiences, emotions, events, and values that define human existence. Major themes to be discussed include: the meaning and purpose of human existence; the role of faith, beauty, freedom, and responsibility in that existence; the human relationship to religion and God; human attitudes to and avoidance of death; and the possibility of living authentically and ethically. We will read philosophical works from thinkers such as Camus, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, and de Beauvoir, as well as literary works. Exploring existentialist ideas will challenge students to wonder about both their own lives and the nature of human existence.

 


PHI 6937 Themes Methods Practical Philosophy

CRN: 80505
W 1800-2045 
Instructor: E. Gilson

 

 

This course is an advanced-level introduction to practical philosophy. It addresses issues in social and political philosophy from both historical and contemporary perspectives, including theories about culture, gender, race, and human difference in general. The course surveys theoretical perspectives on politics and civil society, and key concepts in social and political thought (such as justice, equality, fairness,  freedom, difference, community, recognition), and also considers how these concepts and theoretical frameworks can be applied to contemporary issues in politics, society, and culture. The course seeks to enhance advanced-level philosophical writing skills through regular writing and a substantial research project. The course is conducted as a seminar and so necessitates vibrant student participation.  PHI 6937 is required of all students in the M.A. program in Practical Philosophy and Applied Ethics.

 

  

PHM 5305 Political Philosophy

CRN: 83016
MW 1500-1615

 Instructor: J. Nale 

 

 

The history of political theory often focuses on the role of sovereign power and its role as the foundation of civil society. Traditionally, this idea of power focuses the role of a king, monarch, or president because political power is located in a single individual and civil society is subject to his or her power to punish. However, this conception of political power, made most famous in the social contract theories of Hobbes and Locke, has been critiqued over the last several decades by philosophers who have developed theories and histories of political power based on a ‘microphysics of power’. This hypothesis denies that political power is localized and concentrated in a single individual but rather that power is dispersed throughout society in myriad ways. This class explores this hypothesis by looking at the key political texts of Nietzsche, Foucault, Deleuze and other philosophers working in this tradition. We will begin with an historical overview of various theories of society, politics and power before spending the latter part of the semester immersed in some of the canonical political texts of the twentieth century. In addition to the central theme of politics and power, we will encounter new definitions of the subject, race, gender, history, resistance, oppression and rights.