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Philosophy (PHIL prefix)

Following certain course descriptions are the designations: F, Sp, Su. These indicate the semesters fall, spring, summer in which the course is normally offered and are intended as an aid to students planning their programs of study. Upper-level courses are offered at least once every two years.


PHIL 200 Introduction to Philosophy (3) The nature of philosophy and its problems. No prereq. F, Sp, Su

PHIL 201 Introduction to Ethics (3) An in-depth study of issues in practical or applied ethics. No prereq. F, Sp, Su

PHIL 205 Introduction to Logic (3) Forms of inference in terms of the traditional logic. No prereq. Sp

PHIL 251 Introduction to the Study of Religions (3) This is an introductory survey course designed to expose students to the scholarly methods, disciplines, and topics involved in the academic study of religions. No prereq. F, Sp

PHIL 301 Theoretical Ethics (3) An in-depth study of traditional and contemporary meta-ethical and normative theories. Prereq: one philosophy course or consent of instructor.

PHIL 304 Philosophy of Art (3) Representative theories of the nature and evaluation of art. Prereq: one philosophy course or consent of instructor.

PHIL 305 Introduction to Symbolic Logic (3) An examination of the principles and methods of the several branches of symbolic logic. No prereq.

PHIL 312 Professional Ethics (3) Provides participants with the foundation for understanding and applying ethical standards and analysis in professional careers, including but not limited to business, engineering, law, mass media, and medicine. The course will survey contemporary ethical theories and explore the ethical codes, standards, and practices specific to the student's chosen career. Prereq: juniors or senior standing and permission of instructor.

PHIL 344 Contemporary Philosophy (3) A study of the philosophical thought of important 20th century figures, such as Russell, Wittgenstein, Quine, and Heidegger. Prereq: one philosophy course or consent of instructor.

PHIL 350 History of Philosophy I (3) A study of the history and development of philosophical ideas from ancient Greece to the close of the Middle Ages, including Plato and Aristotle. Prereq: one philosophy course or consent of instructor. F

PHIL 351 History of Philosophy II (3) A study of the history of early modern philosophy including such major philosophers as Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Hume and Kant. Prereq: one philosophy course or consent of instructor. Sp

PHIL 361 Special Problems in Philosophy (3) (Repeatable with a change in course content.) A study of some selected problem, movement, or philosopher in the field of philosophy. Prereq: one philosophy course or consent of instructor.

PHIL 362 Interdisciplinary Problems (3) (Repeatable with a change in course content.) An interdisciplinary study of some problem or concept in which the perspective of philosophy is involved. No prereq.

PHIL 363 Bioethics (3) A critical survey of the ethical issues generated by research and practice in the fields of biology and medicine. Prereq: one philosophy course or consent of instructor.

PHIL 364 Gender and Philosophy (3) A survey of concepts essential to feminist social and political philosophy, including sexism, oppression, discrimination, patriarchy, and equality, with critical application of these concepts to current gender-related issues and to students’ own experiences as men and as women. Prereq: one philosophy course or consent of instructor.

PHIL 365 Sexual Ethics (3) An examination of various philosophical issues in sexual ethics, including the role of sexuality in human life, its relation to love and to marriage, the meaning and value of sexual freedom, the moral status of homosexuality, the meaning of sexual consent, and sexual objectification and co modification. Prereq: one philosophy course or consent of instructor.

PHIL 366 Environmental Ethics (3) This course examines the history and nature of how human relationships to ecosystems create moral obligations to act responsibly with respect to future generations of humans, non-human animals, and the ecosystems of the planet itself. It analyzes the historical roots of current environmental problems as well as more recent theories of environmental ethics such as the land ethic, ecofeminism, and deep ecology. Topics may include but are not limited to: global warming, overpopulation, endangered species, sustainable agricultural practices, genetic engineering, and corporate accountability. Prereq: one prior course in philosophy or instructor approval.

PHIL 377 Introduction to Cognitive Science (3) Cognitive Science is the interdisciplinary science of the human mind and cognition. Students will explore elementary neuroscience, perception and learning, robotics/artificial intelligence, neural networks, and other efforts to model human intelligence using machines. Insights are drawn from several fields, including artificial intelligence, linguistics, neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, and robotics. This course fulfills a requirement for the cognitive science minor. Prereq: Sophomore standing or consent of instructor.

PHIL 413 Philosophy of Religion (3) Basic problems and philosophically significant theories of religion, including such problems as the relation of faith and reason, and the existence of God. Prereq: one philosophy course or consent of instructor.

PHIL 415 History of Rhetoric (3) An understanding and comparison of various movements in the history of rhetoric, with particular emphasis on the relationship between rhetorical strategy and one’s image of men and on historical events which have influenced rhetoric. The course aims to increase the scope of students’ understanding of rhetoric and help them apply this knowledge to their own writing and their evaluation of the writing of others. Cross-listed with English. Prereq: ENG 201 and junior status.

PHIL 418 Metaphysics (3) Alternative theories of the nature of ultimate reality and related questions about the nature, function, and possibility of such theories. Prereq: one philosophy course or consent of instructor.

PHIL 420 Theory of Knowledge (3) Alternative theories of the origin, nature, and possibility of knowledge. Prereq: one philosophy course or consent of instructor.

PHIL 425 Philosophy of Mind (3) Covers topics in the traditional philosophy of mind, e.g., the mind/body problem and more contemporary issues such as intentionality, mental representation, and folk psychology. Prereq: one course in philosophy or consent of instructor.

PHIL 435 Philosophy of Science (3) An examination of the nature of scientific knowledge and the relation of science to culture. Prereq: one philosophy course or consent of instructor.

PHIL 441 Political and Legal Philosophy (3) An examination of some central issues in political and legal philosophy, e.g., free speech, racial and sexual equality, constitutional interpretation and the relationship between law and morality. Prereq: one philosophy course or consent of instructor.

PHIL 499 Independent Study in Philosophy (1-3) A course intended for individual research in a specific area of philosophy. Topics arranged to meet the specific interest of the student and faculty member involved. Course topic should not be covered in a regularly scheduled course. Offering is at the discretion and approval of a full-time faculty member who serves as supervisor of the research. May be repeated once for a maximum of six hours of credit. Prereq: PHIL 200 or PHIL 201, junior standing and permission of instructor.

Political Science courses that may be counted as Philosophy electives: