Spring 2015 (Undergrad)

PHI 1000-001, 004 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 8:30-9:20, 9:30-10:20

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor: Amrit Heer

PHI 1000-002, 005 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 8:30-9:20, MWF 9:30-10:20

In this course, we will find our way through some very difficult texts ranging from 5th century B.C.E. to 2008, written by authors from Europe, North America, South America, and Asia.  Our topic will be knowledge, reality, and self, and we will ask some questions to the authors and to ourselves, such as: how to understand the role of knowledge in our life and in society? How to know the reality of the world and of society? Are we free, in what sense do we talk about freedom and liberty? How to understand ourselves as human beings who share a world?  

We are also going to focus on our skills of reading, writing, and thinking critically. Reading difficult texts means that it is more difficult to follow the argument or to grasp the meaning, but it is often very rewarding.  Writing to express your opinions in a clear and articulate manner is a skill that you will find useful in many things you do. Honing these skills not only helps you to do better in this course, but also contributes to your other endeavors in and out of university. 

Instructor:  Chris (Jingchao)  Ma

PHI 1000-003, 006 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 8:30-9:20, MWF 9:30-10:20

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor: Laura McMahon

PHI 1000-007, 010 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 10:30-11:20, MWF 11:30-12:20

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor:  Sirin Yilmaz

PHI 1000- 008, 015 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 10:30-11:20, MWF 12:30-1:20

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor:  Charles Prusik

PHI 1000-009, 012 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 10:30-11:20, MWF 11:30-12:20

Philosophy is a conversation that has been going on, in its Western version, since the time of the Greek philosophers. It is a conversation whose themes are radical: what is real; what is knowledge, its kinds, its limitations?; who are we, what’s it all about? The conversation continues as each generation takes up these questions in terms of its own life experience. While the answers are not definitive, the questions are compelling and persist. This course will look at, through selected philosophers, the course of the conversation and some of its major themes, as well as invite you to enter it through class participation, reading and writing. Requirements: two examinations; film paper; group presentation

Instructor:  Thomas Busch

PHI 1000-010, 013 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 11:30-12:20, 12:30-1:20

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person. Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skeptical perspectives.

Instructor:  Richard Strong

PHI 1000-011  Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 11:30-12:20

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor:  Katherine Filbert

PHI 1000-016 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 1:30-2:15

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor:  Chaone Mallory

PHI 1000-017 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 3:00-4:15

In most fields of study, people set out to acquire knowledge about the world.  But in philosophy, we take a step back and probe into knowledge itself – by asking questions about the sources of knowledge, its nature and limitations, and what methods we have for arriving at true knowledge.  Philosophers have thought hard about these questions, with the hope of thereby gaining a more reflective understanding of the nature of reality and the capacities of the knowing self.  To illustrate the virtues of philosophical inquiry, and how it differs from both science and religion, we will first look at a range of influential theories and arguments proposed by Plato, St. Anselm, St. Aquinas, Descartes, and Hume.  In the second half of the course, we turn to the emerging area of consciousness studies, in which philosophers collaborate with psychologists and brain scientists to examine puzzling topics such as how subjective experiences can arise from objective brain processes, the nature of free will, the unity of the self, dreams and meditation, and the possibility of machine consciousness.

 This course is an introduction to philosophy which focuses on the question: What can I know? I have designed the course with three main goals in mind.  On a personal level, it will encourage you to ask big questions, and give you the tools you need to explore big answers.  On an intellectual level, it will enhance your understanding of the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  On a practical level, this course will help refine your critical thinking skills, become more effective at communicating your ideas in a logically structured manner, and improve your ability to make sound decisions.

Instructor: Georg Theiner

PHI 1000-018 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 4:30-5:45

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor: 

PHI 1000-019, 022 Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 8:30-9:45, 10:00-11:15

Dare to Know! Knowledge, Reality, Self is one of Villanova's core courses alongside ACS, Ethics, and Theology. By taking this Philosophy course, students participate in a conversation that has been occurring for millennia. In addition to learning a history of Western Philosophy, students will endeavor to (a) read and think critically, (b) write well, (c) excel in oral communication, and (d) apply new perspectives to one's own ideas and values. This course has four main units. In the first unit, students will consider what philosophy means, what is the nature of the present, what it means to critique, and what we might do to imagine a better future. Readings in this unit include Hannah Arendt, Immanuel Kant, and Bertrand Russell. The middle portion of the semester will involve a series of questions—how can I know, what is the nature of reality, and how am I that person that I am. By asking such questions, students engage in the ongoing quest for answers to some of humanity's most perennial problems. Readings in this unit include Plato, St. Augustine, Rene Descartes, and Baruch Spinoza. In the third unit, students will read William James, Martin Buber, and Frantz Fanon as three representatives of early-to-mid twentieth century responses to the so-called Western Tradition. The semester will conclude with a unit on contemporary responses to all that has been read and discussed previously in the semester. Readings for this last unit include Susan Bordo, Peggy McIntosh, Linda Martin Alcoff, and George Yancy.

Instructor: Mark Westmoreland

PHI 1000-021, 024 Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 8:30-9:45, 10:00-11:15

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor: Robert Leib

PHI 1000-023  Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 10:00-11:15

The inscription gnōthi seauton, “Know Thyself,” could once be found above the lintel at the oracle at Delphi. An interesting command, but what does the statement mean? If one were to know anything at all, wouldn’t one know oneself? This call to know, and to know oneself, stalks the Dialogues of Plato and, indeed, philosophers have pursued this line of inquiry for the past 2,500 years. It is the call to know what it is to be human, and what it is to be in a community. Moreover, it is a call to know how one ought to live. This semester, we will be addressing fundamental questions as to the nature of the human and her community, namely, how do we know what we know, about ourselves and about our relationships with others? In the first half of this course, we will read and analyze several Ancient and Medieval philosophical texts from Plato, Aristophanes, Cicero, and Augustine. Through these thinkers, we will examine the question, “How do we know what we know about ourselves?” In the second half of this course, we will focus on Modern and Contemporary philosophers such as Descartes, Žižek, Beauvoir, and Gruen, keeping in mind their Ancient and Medieval roots. In this section of the course we will consider the question, “How do we know what we know about our relationships with others?”

Instructor: Patricia Grosse

PHI 1000-025 Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 11:30-2:45

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor: 

PHI 1000-026 Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 1:00-2:15

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor: Helen Lang

PHI 1000-027, 101 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 1:30-2:45 R 6:00-9:30 FF

An exploration of philosophical responses to the questions of how we can know, what is real, and what is the nature of the human person.  Readings explore the dialogue on these questions between Catholic/Christian responses and secular and skepitcal perspectives.

Instructor:  Ryan Feigenbaum

PHI 1000-028 Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 4:00-5:14

In this course we will test answers to the question “How can I know?” both in the form of a healthy skepticism that knowledge is possible at all and in the form of a robust theory about the conditions for the possibility of knowing what we already believe to be true.

Instructor: John Carvalho

PHI 2010-001, 002  Logic & Critical Thinking

MWF 9:30-10:20, MW 1:30-2:45

The study of logic and critical thinking. Topics include: argument identification and analysis; formal and informal logic; fallacies; inductive argument; the role of argumentative structures in various philosophical traditions.

Instructor:  Brien Karas

PHI 2115-001, 002 Ethics for Healthcare Professionals

TR 10:00-11:15, 11:30-12:45

This course will expose us to contemporary philosophical problems in medicine and health care.  Through reading, critical reflection and classroom dialogue, you will learn to see yourself as part of a society that must take responsibility for its goals and uses of power concerning issues of life and death.  This course is geared toward future clinicians.  As such, we will pay close attention to the way that certain ethical dilemmas challenge health care professionals in particular.  This course will teach a method for ethics clinical case consulation.  Non-clinicians are welcome to take the course, but need to be aware of the professional focus of the readings and assignments. We will learn the philosophical basis from which to address and to discuss moral problems.  When relevant, we will explore the differences in approach to medical ethics between the philosophical and the theological.  Topics include: cultural competency, genetics, human experimentation, organ transplantation, physician-patient relationship, physician-nurse relationship, informed consent, end of life challenges, assisted-suicide, new reproductive technologies, and managed care

Instructor:  Sarah-Vaughan Brakman

PHI 2115-003, 006 Ethics for Healthcare Professionals

TR 11:30-12:45,4:00-5:15

The purpose of this course is to help students become more effective in dealing with ethical questions in professional nursing, medical practice, and research. The course focuses on concrete and specific actions related to health care delivery. Some of the questions we will address are: Is abortion immoral? Are all reproductive technologies permissible? Is assisted suicide immoral? What if a patient or doctor asks you to do something against your conscience? What counts as informed consent? Should all advance directives be followed? What are the criteria for permissibly withdrawing life support? How do we allocate scarce healthcare resources? Additional time is spent on issues in research ethics. Research on human beings represents a paradigm example of using people. How can this be morally justified? By the end of the semester you should be able to answer each question and give comprehensive reasons for your answers.

Instructor: Stephen Napier

PHI 2115-004/005

TR 1:00-2:15, 2:30-3:45

Ethics for Health Care Professionals (Clinical Ethics) considers the goods, duties, and character of health care professionals and patients/clients and attempts to organize these into theories and principles. It also deals with the many ethical dilemmas raised by contemporary health care technology and practice, such as reproductive technologies, issues of death and dying, informed consent, patient privacy, and respect for persons and attempts to resolve or at least address them in a philosophically acceptable way.

Instructor:  James McCartney, O.S.A.

PHI 2117-001 The Good Doctor

TR 2:30-3:45

Medicine is an art as well as a science. The science is learned through study but the art must be learned through practice.  What are fundamental components of the art?  What are the habits of reasoning that lead to good diagnoses?  What are the virtues of the good doctor and what does it take to become one?  This course will focus on the culture of medicine, becoming acculturated as a doctor, and analysis of what dispositional attitudes are necessary for the moral practice of medicine.  The course will draw on resources from philosophy of medicine and moral theory, as well as sociological data and theory, along with first person medical narratives to explore the themes of the course.

Instructor:  Sarah-Vaughan Brakman

PHI 2121-001 Environmental Ethics

R 6:00-9:30 FF 3/9-4/30

Instructor:

 

PHI 2160-001 The Ethics of War

MWF 10:30-11:20

This course will look at some of the normative and practical issues of war.  We will address ethical issues facing citizens, combatants, states, and the international community.  Although just war theory will receive some primacy, other theoretical approaches to war will also be considered including realism and pacifism.  The course will look at ethical issues in war, terrorism and responses to terrorism, preventive war, genocide, crimes against humanity, military intervention, and security.  Students will be challenged to connect theoretical discussions to current events and encouraged to read both national and international news sources.

Instructor:  Sally Scholz

PHI 2180-001, 002 Computer Ethics

MW 2:30-3:45, 6:10-8:50

In this course, we consider the ways in which computers and allied technologies are changing or rendering uncertain our ideas about privacy, property, power, autonomy, responsibility, human culture and perhaps even human intelligence. We investigate the effects of technologically-driven change on the personal, professional, and civic behavior of individuals.  We also explore the effects of such change on social, legal, and political norms.  Specific cases studied include the Therac-25 accidents, the Challenger disaster, and problems with electronic voting.  We also discuss lessons learned from American and Soviet missile attack warning system failures, questions concerning the development and use of robotic weapons, and the role of information technologies in both planning and defending against terrorist acts.

We consider recent conflicts and emerging legal standards pertaining to privacy of personal information.  We will consider the subtle and not entirely intuitive link between surveillance and security of computer and communications systems. Classroom (and, possibly, panel) discussions treat ethical, social and legal aspects of software copyright, patent, and secrecy protection, as well as the controversy surrounding sharing of digital music and video files.  This year, our discussions will deal intensively with the controversies surrounding the prosecution of Aaron Swartz, and the revelations of Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden concerning the warrantless wiretapping of everyone’s communication (but not yours, right?)

We make extensive use of resources available on the World Wide Web (and reflect on some of the implications of their availability). In particular, the readings on the course syllabus are either available on the World Wide Web or distributed by the instructor with the permission of their authors.

This course is intensively reading, writing, discussing, and (at the discretion of the participant) thinking enriched. 

Philosophy 2180 is officially designated as Writing Enriched.

Enrollment in Philosophy 2180 is open to all students.

The course is required of Computing Sciences and Information Sciences majors.

Instructor:  William Fleischman

PHI 2400-001 Social and Political Philosophy

MW 1:30-2:45

Instructor:  Gabriel Rockhill

PHI 2430-001 Eco-Feminism

MW 4:30-5:45

Instructor:  Chaone Mallory

PHI 2450-001 Catholic Social Thought

MWF 11:30-12:20

Instructor:  Daniel Regan

PHI 2650-001 Philosophy of Sport

TR 2:30-3:45

 

Instructor:  John Doody

PHI 2920-001 Asian Philosophies

MWF 12:30-1:20

This course will explore and engage some of the most important philosophical ideas of South and East Asia, as well as the comparative methods needed to approach philosophical systems that are culturally, linguistically, and conceptually different from those that are common to Western thought. The first half of this course will begin by tracing the developments and debates of the orthodox schools of Hindu philosophy concerning the nature of the self and the nature of reality. We will then turn to the responses to these philosophical debates that emerge in Jainism and early Buddhist thought, as well as developments in early Mahayana Buddhism. The second half of the course will consists in examining the philosophical debates over human excellence and social flourishing in relation to the understanding of Dao—‘the way’—in Confucianism, Mohism, and Daoism, as well as the influence of these philosophical systems on Zen Buddhism. Lastly, we will consider the “Westernization” of “Eastern” philosophical concepts prevalent in our contemporary culture.

 This course satisfies Diversity Requirement: 3

Instructor:  Katherine Filber

PHI 2990-001 Adoption Ethics

TR 2:30-3:45

This course will examine philosophical and selected theological resources for addressing ethical questions entailed by adoption.  We will consider how ethical theories and/or theologies of adoption influence our moral evaluation of biological kinship and how these challenge traditional ethics of sex, marriage, and family.  The course will engage a variety of  ethical resources to examine different types of adoption—domestic, international, foster, trans-racial, embryo, open vs. closed—and the ethical issues which each type raises.  We will evaluate the ethics of different avenues for relinquishing or terminating parental rights, such as safe haven laws and putative father registries.  Finally, we will examine portrayals of adoption and members of the adoption triad (birthparents, adoptee, adoptive parent(s)) in the media.  In addition to philosophical texts, we will draw on material from psychology, sociology, theology, and law where it is relevant.

Instructor:  Sarah-Vaughan Brakman

PHI 2990-001 Irish Thought and Philosophy

MW 3:00-4:45

Willliam Desmond

PHI 2990-002 Philosophy of the Emotions

TR 1:00-2:15

In this course we will examine how emotions contribute to our sense of self, the social nature of various emotions, and more generally the connections between emotions, thought, desire, and action. We will consider what it means to talk about “collective emotions” and “public emotions” given the way that emotions are usually understood as private and primarily individual. Drawing on psychoanalysis, feminism, and critical theory, we will explore passion, love, hope, fear, sentimentality, melancholy, and cultural memory.

Instructor:  Yannik Thiem

 PHI 3020-001 History of Ancient Philosophy

TR 11:30-12:45

This is a course that will focus on the origins of Western thinking.  We will begin with the earliest writings in ancient Greece. We will study Thales, Anaximander, Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides and Democritus as examples of early Greek thinking.  We will then turn to Plato and a study of two of his major works, The Republic, still considered one of the great classics of literature and political philosophy in the West and The Symposium, his famous dialogue on love.  Finally we will study parts of Aristotle’s Physics, Metaphysics and Ethics, works that still today are formative for our culture.  The theme of the course will be the importance of original thinking and the foundational importance of Greek culture for the Western tradition and culture.

Instructor:  Walter Brogan

 

PHI 3040-001 History of Early Modern Philosophy

MW 3:00-4:15

Philosophy 3040 is an intensive study of six key figures in seventeenth and eighteenth century European philosophy: Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, and Kant.  The philosophical scene in this period is diverse and contentious.  Looking at topics in metaphysics and epistemology, we will see that Descartes’ substance dualism is contested by Hobbes and Spinoza. Spinoza and Leibniz, while sometimes similar, disagree profoundly about the origins and order of the world. Hume rejects the entire project of Cartesian-Leibnizian rationalism in favor of empiricism.  Kant proposes to resolve the debate between rationalism and empiricism with what he calls a transcendental or critical philosophy.  We will pay equal attention to topics in social and political philosophy, focusing particularly on Hobbes, Spinoza, and Kant in this regard. Philosophy 3040 has no formal prerequisites beyond Knowledge, Self, and Reality.  Some background in ancient and/or medieval philosophy is extremely useful. 

Instructor:  Julie Klein

PHI 5000-001 The Extended Mind

MW 4:30-5:45

The powerful grip of Descartes’ dualistic thesis that minds are essentially immaterial, non-extended substances can still be felt in many corners of our intellectual landscape. It seems natural to conceive of mental states and activities as purely ‘inner’ phenomena that are intimately tied to what’s going on inside the head, but only contingently related to our bodies, other people, and the world around us. In this course, we consider a loosely knit family of theoretical frameworks which aim to repudiate the Cartesian legacy, insofar as they advocate that we study human agency, mind, and cognition as embodied, embedded, extended, and enacted (‘4e’) phenomena. In particular, we take as our focal point the ‘extended mind’ thesis, which asserts that our minds are ‘hybrid’ entities dynamically assembled from continuous and dense interactions between brains, bodies, and environmental structures such as symbols, tools, artifacts, cultural practices, norms, group structures, or social institutions.

In the first part of the course, we will read Andy Clark’s (2008) flagship presentation of the ‘extended mind’ thesis, and discuss several philosophical and scientific antecedents of this idea. In the second part of the course, we shall look at Lambros Malafouris’ (2013) ingenious attempt to weave evidence from anthropology and cognitive archeology into theories of ‘4e’-cognition, by proposing a cross-disciplinary framework (‘material engagement theory’) for investigating the different ways in which things have become cognitive extensions of the human body. In the third and final part of the course, when we turn to Steve Fuller’s wide-ranging assessment of the past, present, and future of ‘cognitive enhancement’ technologies, we will run up against the perennial question of what it means to be human.

Selected readings:

Clark, A. (2008). Supersizing the Mind: Embodiment, Action, and Cognitive Extension. New York: Oxford University Press.

Fuller, S. (2011). Humanity 2.0: What it Means to be Human Past, Present and Future. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Malafouris, L. (2013). How Things Shape the Mind: A Theory of Material Engagement. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

Instructor:  Georg Theiner

PHI 5000-001 Irish Thought

MW 3:00-5:45 FF 1/12/15-2/27/15

Ireland is well known for its poets and writers but what of its thinkers? In the past Ireland has also been called “the island of saints and scholars” but again what of its thinkers? Thomas Duddy’s recent book A History of Irish Thought (2002) offers us helpful resources to address this question. This course will explore some of the main thinkers in the Irish tradition. It will consider whether there is a distinctive style (or perhaps styles) of Irish thought, whether there is a plurality of traditions that yet exhibit distinctive marks. The relation of reason (science) and religion is a major concern in Irish tradition(s). So also is the importance of poetry for the Irish mind. Thinkers to be considered will include Scotus Eriugena, John Toland, George Berkeley, Edmund Burke. We will also look at the explorations of thought in some writers of literature, figures such as Jonathan Swift, James Joyce, William Butler Yeats, Samuel Beckett and Seamus Heaney.  The course will conclude with a consideration of some recent Irish thinkers in the 20th century, including Iris Murdoch, William Desmond, and Richard Kearney. Themes to be explored in selected texts include: (e)migrant thought; intimate/local knowing and universal reason; exile and home; the condition of “being between”; broken tradition(s); losing a language and finding a voice; the sacred and thought; Irish poetry and reflection; laughter/comedy and Irish thought.

Instructor: William Desmond