2014-2015 Undergraduate Catalog

Philosophy

The Philosophy Department conceives of philosophy as an enterprise of both the mind and the spirit. The faculty are committed to providing the student with the knowledge and skills necessary to become a philosophically literate person. At the same time, our focus is on the integration of this knowledge with each student’s process of moral, spiritual and intellectual growth.

The philosophy faculty at CLU are trained in a variety of areas:

  • ethics
  • existentialism
  • analytic philosophy
  • philosophy of mind
  • history of philosophy
  • Greek philosophy
  • epistemology
  • metaphysics
  • phenomenology
  • logic and the philosophy of science

Philosophy is an excellent major (or double major) for students who are prelaw or who are considering graduate degrees in philosophy, religion, theology or bioethics. Finally, for those who are primarily seeking an education to advance their personal growth and the means to integrate various disciplines, philosophical education is irreplaceable.

An undergraduate philosophy education also offers many career and educational opportunities to students whose ambitions lie elsewhere. Hospitals, church vocations, government agencies and business corporations seek out people with a philosophical education, as well as knowledge of applied ethics, because of their training in clear and focused thinking and their sensitivity to a wide range of ethical dilemmas.

 

Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy

32 credits minimum, 20 credits upper division.

PHIL 435Faith and Reason4
Four Upper Division Philosophy Courses16
Three Philosophy Courses (Lower or Upper Division)12
Total Hours32

 

Minor in Philosophy

16 credits minimum, 12 credits upper division.

 

Three Upper Division Philosophy Courses12
One Philosophy Course (Lower or Upper Division)4
Total Hours16

 

Courses

Lower Division

PHIL 115. Humanities Tutorial. (4).

The year-long Humanities Tutorial begins with an in-depth, one-semester study of the origins of Western culture in Greek literature and philosophy. The second semester continues with a study of contemporary themes and concerns both in Western and Non-Western thought. In addition to providing practice in the skills of analysis, argument, and critical and reflective interpretation, the course aims to familiarize students with the intellectual ideal of illuminating the new by understanding the old. (cross-listed with ENGL 115 and HNRS 115).

PHIL 200. Problems. (4).

Studies the meaning of philosophy as the "examined life," with an introduction to the concepts and major problems of philosophy.

PHIL 220. Logic. (4).

A study of the basic methods of clear thinking and argument, including both deductive and inductive reasoning. Special emphasis is placed on critical analysis of arguments.

PHIL 260. Topics in World Philosophy. (4).

A study of representative philosophical traditions of Greece and China, with a focus on the awareness of global diversity, interdependence and relevance. (cross-listed with ENGL 260).

PHIL 282. Selected Topics. (4).

Upper Division

PHIL 300. Ethics. (4).

The study of what makes for a well-lived life in terms of character, conduct and relationships with others. Special attention is given to the connection between ethics and leadership.

PHIL 310. Metaphysics. (4).

The general inquiry into the nature of the real. Topics include the role of language in thought, the nature of truth, necessity and possibility, being and essence.

PHIL 311/312. History of Philosophy. (4,4).

First semester through medieval times; second semester from Descartes through Nietzsche.

PHIL 315. Social Ethics. (4).

The analysis of contemporary social issues such as abortion, capital punishment, affirmative action, multiculturalism, the environment, euthanasia and world hunger from a moral and philosophical perspective.

PHIL 320. Philosophy of Religion. (4).

Studies the evidence for belief in God and includes an examination of religious experience, the relation of religion and science, and the alternatives to theism.

PHIL 321. Ancient Political Thought. (4).

Presents the scope and nature of political ideas, philosophy and discussion in the Western ancient political tradition and focuses on the major philosophers from Plato to St. Thomas Aquinas and the major streams of ideas and philosophy flowing from them. (cross-listed with POLS 321).

PHIL 340. Philosophy of Science. (4).

A study of science from a philosophical perspective, covering the basic procedures of scientific research, the key features of scientific progress, and some ethical issues related to scientific research, in particular the uses of animals and humans as research subjects. Recommended for both natural science and social science majors interested in exploring the philosophical implications of the scientific enterprise.

PHIL 345. Bioethics. (4).

A study of moral issues raised by the recent development of biological and medical sciences, including those related to reproductive technologies, human genetics, euthanasia, organ donations, health-care policies, and human/animal experimentation. The course focuses on the complexities that often surround moral choices in biological and medical sciences.

PHIL 350. Technology and Value. (4).

A study of moral issues raised by the recent development of technology, including those related to computers, genetic engineering and the environment. The course examines how current technological achievements profoundly change our social, cultural and moral life and how they create moral dilemmas for our society at the same time.

PHIL 355. Chinese Philosophy and Culture. (4).

A study of the development of Chinese philosophy and culture from the ancient to the contemporary period. The major philosophical traditions in China - Confucianism, Daoism and Buddhism - are covered. Key features of Chinese culture, reflecting the experiences and perspectives of both native Chinese and Chinese Americans, are examined.

PHIL 400. Contemporary Philosophy. (4).

Each year different philosophies and problems are studied, including analytic philosophy, existentialism, post-modernism, pragmatism and philosophy of mind and brain.

PHIL 414. Philosophy of Art. (4).

The study of the aesthetic experience and the work of art. Includes the various theories and their expression, function and criticism. (cross-listed with ART 414).

PHIL 435. Faith and Reason. (4).

Team-taught by professors of philosophy and religion, the course is an integrated and interdisciplinary exploration of the perennial tensions and cross-fertilizations between faith and reason. Authors read include St. Augustine, St. Thomas, Meister Eckhart, Luther, Descartes, Hume, Kierkegaard, Newman and Rudolf Otto. The course meets the capstone requirement for philosophy and religion majors. Open to juniors and seniors from all disciplines. Sophomores must get permission of instructor. (cross-listed with REL 435 and HNRS 435) (spring).

PHIL 445. Philosophy of Education. (3).

The analysis of educational principles and policies from the perspective of major philosophical schools and their associated ideologies. The course aims to clarify the connections between theory and practice as they relate to teaching and learning. Not available to freshmen.

PHIL 482. Selected Topics. (1-4).

PHIL 490. Independent Study. (1-4).

PHIL 492. Internship. (2-4).

PHIL 496. Directed Research. (1-3).

PHIL 497. Departmental Honors. (4).

Faculty

Professors

Chen

Tierney

Associate professor

Bersley