Courses

PL 101H: Introduction to Philosophy
Analyze philosophical issues concerning human nature, our relationship to the world around us, and major philosophical issues of value and meaning. Study works of several great philosophers to help students develop their own views.

PL 102M: Introduction to Logic
Methods of critical and logical analysis of language and thought. Helps develop critical, analytical reasoning and linguistic precision.

PL 103G: Introduction to Eastern Philosophy
(Directed Study Available) Philosophical questions on the nature of reality, society, and self in East Asian philosophy with emphasis on metaphysics and ethics.

PL 104H: Introduction to Ethics
Various systems for judging good and bad, right and wrong. Definitions of the good life, ethical theories and their application to issues such as abortion, civil rights, war and peace, censorship, etc.

PL 201H: Philosophical Topics
Introduction to philosophical argumentation and writing by the study of texts in philosophy, central figures, or schools of thought. May be repeated once for credit if content changes.

PL 204H: Animal Ethics
Animal Ethics examines our responsibilities to other species, the intrinsic value of nature, the historical roots of anthropocentrism, and the ethics of the use of animals to further the ends of human beings.

PL 210M: Introduction to Symbolic Logic
An introduction to the study of symbolic logic, with special emphasis on formal methods of proof and the philosophical issues underlying formal reasoning.

PL 214H: Philosophy of Love and Death

PL 220H: Existentialism
A provocatively modern approach to many of the issues of the philosophical tradition; the existential foundations of art, religion, science and technology.

PL 232H: History of Philosophy: Early Modern
Descartes through Kant as response to the Scientific Revolution. Comparison of rationalism and empiricism.

PL 235H: History of Philosophy: Ancient
The rise of philosophy, 600 B.C. A.D. 100, with emphasis on natural philosophy. Pre-Socratics, Sophists, Stoics, Epicureans, Plato and Aristotle. Offered alternate years.

PL 240H: Philosophy of Technology
Humans are the beings who reshape their environment. Is modern technology a refinement of tool-making, or something new? What has been the impact of technology on the essence of being human?

PL 243E: Environmental Ethics
A philosophical investigation of our relationship to the natural environment, and how these considerations affect our moral obligations to other people, as well as future generations.

PL 244H: Social and Political Philosophy
Major social and political theories that have been influential in the West. Contemporary political theory examined in light of classical tradition and historical movements. Offered alternate years.

PL 245A: Philosophy and Visual Art
How do we perceive art? This interdisciplinary course brings together art history and theory, the philosophies of art and mind, and the cognitive science of seeing, to investigate the representational aspects of visual art.

PL 246H: Philosophy and Film
Simultaneously an introduction to the philosophy of film and an introduction to philosophy, this course will use an examination of mostly non-conventional films as a starting point for considering philosophical themes.

PL 250H: Mind and Body: Philosophical Explorations
What is mind? How is it related to matter? Examine ways that these and related questions have been addressed throughout the history of philosophy, and discover in the process what it means to think philosophically.

PL 260H: Philosophy of Science
Explores philosophical questions relating to the goals, practices, and objects of science, with special attention to the life sciences. Students will examine canonical philosophical writings about science alongside recent empirical and theoretical works.

PL 263H: Aesthetics
Examine various answers to questions asked from ancient times by philosophers, artists and other thoughtful people about the nature of art, beauty, and the role of the arts and artists in society.

PL 267: Star Wars and Philosophy
Seminar course that examines relationship between mythic and rational consciousness in the context of current trends in the philosophy of imagination, with a special focus on the mythical dimensions of the Star Wars series.

PL 282H: Philosophical Problems
Explores classic philosophical problems such as the nature of truth, free will, personal identity, God's existence, the mind-body problem, ethical obligations, the meaning of life, giving an overview of the major fields of philosophy.

PL 309: Topics in Philosophy of Mind
Explores recent issues in philosophy of mind and cognitive science, such as how to make sense of conscious experience, and how to interpret our relationship with the world around us. Prior experience with philosophy recommended.

PL 310E: Ideas of Nature
Ancient Greek cosmology, Renaissance view of nature, modern conception of nature. What nature is, how is can be studied, how we should relate to it. Primary approach is critical, historical analysis of primary texts.

PL 311H: Major Philosophers
An intensive study of a single major philosopher. May be taken more than once for credit with focus on different philosophers.

PL 312H: American Philosophy
Major trends and emphases in American philosophy from the colonial period to the 20th century. Prerequisite: some background in the humanities or permission of instructor.

PL 322H: History of Philosophy: Medieval and Renaissance
Philosophical thought from ebb of Rome through rise of modern Europe, including developments in Jewish and/or Islamic, and Christian philosophy. Faith and reason, realism and nominalism, mysticism and rationalism, Platonism and Aristotelianism. Prerequisites: PL 232H, PL 235H, or permission of instructor.

PL 324H: History of Philosophy: 19th Century
Development of philosophical analysis and existentialism as the two main philosophical movements of the 20th Century. Prerequisites: PL 232H, PL 235H, or permission of instructor.

PL 342H: History of Philosophy: 20th Century
Development of philosophical analysis and existentialism as the two main philosophical movements of the 20th century. Prerequisites: PL 232H, PL 235H, or permission of instructor.

PL 344A: Philosophy and Visual Art
How do we perceive art? This interdisciplinary course brings together art history and theory, the philosophies of art and mind, and the cognitive science of seeing, to investigate the representational aspects of visual art.

PL 349G: Native American Thought
This course focuses on the nature of Native American thought; explores the differing assumptions, methods, and teachings connected with the pursuit of wisdom, with special attention to metaphysics and ethics.

PL 361H: Contemporary Ethical Theory
Major contemporary schools of thought in moral philosophy. Prerequisite: some background in philosophy, religious studies, psychology, literature or related disciplines.

PL 362H: Contemporary Political Philosophy
Major contemporary schools of thought in political philosophy. Prerequisite: some background in philosophy, political science, history, economics, American studies or literature.

PL 403: Contemporary Philosophical Methodologies
Intensive investigation of contemporary approach to philosophical method, designed to help students practice philosophy in an original manner. May be taken more than once for credit in order to study different methodologies.

PL 498: Philosophy Senior Seminar
A seminar course focused on reading and discussion of major classic and contemporary philosophical texts. All available philosophy faculty, and all philosophy majors, are invited to participate. Seniors (or those taking the course for credit as the capstone course in the philosophy major) will be expected to prepare and contribute weekly seminar papers, and to revise and defend their Senior Essay at the conclusion of the course. Prerequisite: students must have completed the Junior Review.

PL 499: Senior Thesis