Spring 2016 (Undergrad)

PHI 1000-001 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 8:30-9:20

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: Staff

PHI 1000-002, 005 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 skeptical perspectives.

Instructor: Bryant Rodemich

 

PHI 1000-003, 008 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF (8:30-9:20-- Transfer Students Only), 10:30-11:20

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:  Jessie Dern

PHI 1000-004, 006 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 9:30-10:20, 10:30-11:20

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: Christopher Drain

PHI 1000-007, 009 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 10:30-11:20, 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.

Books:

Descartes: Discourse on Method and Meditations on First Philosophy (Hackett)

James: Pragmatism (Hackett)

Camus: The Myth of Sisyphus and Other Essays (Vintage)

Bordo: Unbearable Weight: Feminism, Western Culture, and the Body (California)

Teilhard de Chardin: The Phenomenon of Man (Harper)

Outline: The conversation will be followed historically and thematically, offering historical context to the development and debate over recurring problems that serve to unify the conversation: the intelligibility of reality, sensible and intellectual knowledge, humanism, personal identity, freedom, the existence of God.

Foundations: Plato, Aristotle and Aquinas on the intelligibility of reality, degrees of knowledge, the place of humans in nature, the existence of God. (Handouts)(Time out: Beauvoir and a challenge to Aristotle on human identity.)

Challenges: The rise of modern science and its impact on the tradition. Measurement and reality; reductionism. Descartes’ dualistic response. Pragmatic and feminist critique of dualism. Perspectivism, levels of intelligibility, inseparability of culture and nature. Debate on the meaning/meaninglessness of life. (Readings)

 Instructor: Thomas Busch

PHI 1000-010, 014 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 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: Emre Gurer

PHI 1000-011, 012 Knowledge, Reality Self

MWF 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: Luis Salazar

 

PHI 1000, 013-015  Knowledge, Reality, Self

MWF 12:30-1:20, 1:30-2:20

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:  Charles Prusik

PHI 1000-016 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 8:00-9:15

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 skeptical perspectives.

Instructor: Nathan Houck

PHI 1000-017 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 1:30-2:45

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 skeptical perspectives.

Instructor: John Carvalho

PHI 1000-018, 020 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 3:00-4:15, (MW 4:30-5:45 --Transfer Students Only)

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:  Chris Ma

PHI 1000-019 Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 3:00-4:15

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 skeptical perspectives.

Instructor:  Richard Strong

PHI 1000-021, 023 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: Joshua Nunziato

PHI 1000-022, 025 Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 8:30-9:45, 4:00-5:15

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 skeptical perspectives.

Instructor: Maria Cuervo

PHI 1000-024 Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 4:00-5:15

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 skeptical perspectives.

Instructor: John Karas

PHI 1000-100 Knowledge, Reality, Self

W 6:10-8:50

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:  Katherine Filbert

PHI 1000-H01  HON: Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 4:30-5:45

Is life a puzzle to be solved, a story to be told, an equation to be squared, or a beauty to be uncovered? Perhaps it is none of these; perhaps it is all. This course speaks to the pain and the promise of nascent self-awareness. What does living have to do with coming to know? On the inside of this most basic and most persistent of questions, we take up philosophy.

Instructor:  James Wetzel

PHI 1000-H02  HON: Knowledge, Reality, Self

TR 11:30-12:45

Instructor: Georg Theiner

PHI 1000-H03  HON: Knowledge, Reality, Self

MW 3:00-4:15

Instructor: Farshid Baghai

PHI 2010-001, 002  Logic & Critical Thinking

MWF 9:30-10:20, 10:30-11:20

Instructor: Amrit Heer

 

PHI 2115-001, 002 Ethics for Health Care Professionals

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

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 2115-003 Ethics for Health Care Professionals

TR 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 consultation.  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 2115-004, 005, 201 Ethics for Health Care Professionals

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

This section of Health Care Ethics will deal with ethical issues embedded in clinical practice.  We will consider the ethical dimensions of clinical decision making, with special emphasis given to principles of biomedical ethics, the character of health care professionals, health-care-team interactions, interactions with patients and families, and narrative ethics. Specific topics will include issues surrounding death and dying, informed consent, truthfulness and confidentiality, abortion, reproductive technologies, research involving human subjects, and distribution of health care resources.

 Instructor:  James McCartney, O.S.A.

PHI 2117-H01 HON: The Good Doctor

TR 1:00-2:15

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 

TR 11:30-12:45

Instructor: Chaone Mallory

PHI 2180-001, 100 Computer Ethics

TR 2:30-3:45, T 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?)

Instructor: William Fleischman

PHI 2400-001 Social & Political Philosophy

MW 1:30-2:45

The first section of the course is dedicated to analyzing the historical emergence and evolution of three major political configurations that have marked the history of the Euro-American world:  cosmological political culture, ecclesiastical political culture, and contractual political culture.  This macroscopic overview of the history of political cultures will allow us to highlight the specificity of the contractual political culture that emerged during the Enlightenment.  We will focus most notably on the links between a series of unique characteristics of modern politics:  the development of the bourgeois public sphere, the appearance of modern democracy and social contract theory, the “birth” of public opinion, the formation of the nation-state, the transformation of the notion of revolution, the gradual displacement of the limits of political visibility (which opened up to workers, women, foreigners, and other so-called “minorities”), and the emergence of a battery of new concepts for thinking politics, including the modern concepts of race, culture, civilization, ideology, popular sovereignty, and terrorism. 

The second section of the class will adopt a microscopic perspective by concentrating on the specificity of our own contemporary socio-political ethos and how it may or may not distinguish itself from modern contractual political culture.  We will examine most notably changes in the what (redistributive justice versus cultural justice), the when (revolutionary versus post-revolutionary politics), and the where (the nation-state versus globalization) of politics.  This will allow us to investigate some of the underlying themes in contemporary debates regarding political liberalism, pragmatism, communitarianism, multiculturalism, radical social transformation, minority rights, gender and racial equality, terrorism, environmentalism, freedom of information, and globalization.

Instructor: Gabriel Rockhill

PHI 2410-001, 100 Philosophy of Sex and Love

TR 4:00-5:15, (R - 6:00-9:30 - Fast Forward IV)

 Instructor:  Chaone Mallory

PHI 2450-001 Catholic Social Thought

TR 1:00-2:15

Catholic Social Teaching (CST) represents a sustained critique of the stories that have shaped, and continue to shape, our culture.  Individualism, the free market and the inevitability of technological progress are “stories” that we use to give meaning to human existence and to provide guidance as to how to live our lives.  CST, rooted in the Christian narrative and developed over the last 135 years, offers a different story, with a different account of what it means to be human and of what we ought to be doing with our lives.  In this class we will examine central principles of CST (e.g. human dignity, the common good, preferential option for the poor, subsidiarity). We will examine the narrative that is so dominant in our culture, and put it in conversation with CST.  We will read primary texts, secondary reflection, and evaluate contemporary social and economic challenges in order to demonstrate the richness of the CST tradition and its potential for finding a more promising way toward a society that embodies “justice for all.”

Instructor:  Mark Doorley

PHI 2550-001 Technology & Society

MW 4:30-5:45

Instructor: Richard Charles Strong

PHI 2650-H01 Philosophy of Sport

TR 2:30-3:45

Instructor: John Doody

PHI 2760-001 Philosophy & Literature

TR 2:30-3:45

Instructor: Helen Lang

PHI 2993-001 Internship

TBA

Instructor: Sally Scholz

PHI 3040-001 History of Early Modern Philosophy

TR 1:00-2:15

Philosophy 3040 is an intensive study of six key figures in seventeenth and eighteenth century European philosophy: Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hume, and Kant.  We will emphasize the variety of views and liveliness of debate in the period.  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; and Kant proposes to resolve the debate between rationalism and empiricism with what he calls a transcendental, critical philosophy.  Looking at topics in social and political philosophy, we will examine Hobbes’ and Spinoza’s respective accounts of human nature and political organization, and we will conclude the semester with Kant’s famous essay on history.  Philosophy 3040 has no formal prerequisites beyond Philosophy 1050.  Background in ancient and/or medieval philosophy is extremely useful.  

Instructor: Julie Klein

PHI 3050-001 Kant & 19th Century Philosophy

MW 1:30-2:45

In this course, we study Kant, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marx, and Nietzsche. In particular, we examine how these philosophers grapple with reason as both a source of human power and human predicament. The ways they do this offer insights that remain crucial for making sense of our world, our selves, and others. Kant shows how the power of human reason to ask why questions – a power that is essential for any form of inquiry – can entangle reason in “questions which it can neither dismiss nor answer.” Hegel reveals how reason acquires its power primarily through “negating” itself, i.e., relating to itself “negatively.” Kierkegaard demonstrates how the abstracting power of reason inclines to make us devoid of any passion and character, and makes our age “the age of advertisement” and “immediate publicity.” Marx describes how the “rational organization of economy” in capitalist societies increases economic efficiency and wealth while impoverishing human relations. Nietzsche depicts how our rational pursuit of ideals through “self-denial” tends to lead the human psyche and human culture into a deep crisis regarding the meaning and value of life.   

Instructor:  Farshid Baghai

 

PHI 3992-100 TOP: Philosophy for Theology II

W 7:30-9:00 - Restricted to students in Augustinian Novitiate Program

Instructor: James McCartney, O.S.A.

PHI 4140-001 Philosophy of Contemporary Music

MW  4:30-5:45

In this course, we will define music as contemporary if it is popular with performers and audiences who are young and/or in touch with what is culturally current. Since nothing becomes popular without support from broad institutional forces, we will study the way contemporary music forms a soundtrack for the social and economic powers, practices and beliefs that, in turn, make that music popular. The properly philosophical aspect of our study will involve defining what is musical about popular music.  The cultural theoretical aspect of our study will involve defining how pop, rock, hip hop, dance, punk, funk, soul and jazz music contribute to the institutional forces which support it. In both studies we will privilege space over time, ethnography over history, imagination over the Law and simulation over autonomy. We will identify the significance of contemporary music in terms of its dependence on commodity fetishism, its politics of resistance (somehow deeply rooted in nostalgia), its covert racism and sexism, and in the reservoir of alcohol and drugs that fuels its cultural industrial production. We will also discuss issues associated with file-sharing and the intimidating practices of the RIAA.

 Instructor:  John Carvalho

PHI 4825-001 Existentialism

TR 11:30-12:45

Existentialism covers the following themes: Time. Aloneness. Dread. Being. Pointlessness. Authenticity. Consciousness. Avoiding self-deception. Concrete moment-by-moment awareness. Imagination. Alienation from the world and from ourselves. Integrity. Death (your death, my death, death of the world, the death of God). Freedom.  Nothingness. The impotence or limits of reason. The collapse of illusions on which we have built our lives. The inadequacy of objective truth. The absurd power of chance. Guilt. Choice. The preposterous silly messiness of bodies.

Existentialism was a dominant philosophical and literary movement in the late 19th and 20th century.  It led a revolt against excessive abstraction in philosophy and in human life in general. Existentialists try to counter the leveling down of individual human life by philosophical systems that promote homogenization and appeal to codes of universal morality and rationality, mass society, and modern science. Existentialists see in the mainstream of contemporary society a threat to human freedom, a threat to the individual’s distinctive identity and to her ability to express herself in a way that truly reflects her own inwardness.  We will study some of the key figures of this movement: Soren Kierkegaard, Friedrich Nietzsche, Jean-Paul Sartre, Simone de Beauvoir, Martin Heidegger, Albert Camus.

Instructor: Walter Brogan

PHI 4990-001 Independent Study & Research

TBA - Permission of Chair Required

Instructor: Sally Scholz

PHI 5000-H01 HON: The Extended Mind

TR 4:00-5:15

To many people, it seems natural to conceive of the mind as a kind of ‘sandwich’ (Hurley) with cognition as the inner filling, wedged between action and perception. According to this model, mental states and activities are intimately tied to what’s going on inside the head, but only indirectly related to our bodies, our interactions with other people, and the world around us. In this course, we consider a loosely knit family of alternative approaches which study human agency 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 that emerge from the dynamic interplay between brains, bodies, and environmental resources such as symbols, tools, artifacts, cultural practices, norms, group structures, and social institutions.

In the first part of the course, we take our cue from Andy Clark’s (2008) flagship presentation of the ‘extended mind’ thesis. We compare and contrast Clark’s thesis with related developments, and explore its implications for our conception of education and human knowledge. In the second part, we examine Lambros Malafouris’ (2013) attempt to weave evidence from anthropology and cognitive archeology into the fold of 4E-cognition, by proposing a cross-disciplinary framework for studying the distinctively human predisposition to reconfigure our bodies and our senses by using tools and material culture. In the third part of the course, we turn to Steve Fuller’s (2010, 2013, 2014) wide-ranging assessment of how the convergence of artificial intelligence with nano-, bio-, and information technologies may impact the future of humanity (‘Humanity 2.0’). Fuller argues that these developments bring to the forefront perennial questions about what it means to be human, and considers the ethical, social, political, theological, and philosophical dimensions of the decisions we will have to face.

Instructor:  Georg Theiner

PHI 6000-001 Research Seminar

TBA - Permission of Chair Required

Instructor: Sally Scholz

New Team-Taught Course

HON 4300-001 PHI/ENG: Socrates Gone Wilde: Philosophy and Literature in Dialogue

TR 2:30-3:45

We intend to conduct our class of Villanova honor students according to the Literae Humaniores model of the Oxford Honour School, putting Plato and the Republic into conversation with a modern author – Oscar Wilde, himself a graduate of “Greats” at Oxford and famous for his lifetime engagement with Plato. To accomplish this, we will use a tutorial format supplemented by lectures and discussion.

The course will emphasize close reading of multiple philosophical and literary concepts.  We hope the students will gain a better understanding of Plato’s Republic and Symposium, and that they will see them as a set of living questions rather than historical documents. By reading Wilde’s novel and his essays through the lens of Plato, we also hope that the students will see how Plato can be used to frame modern discussions of morals, virtue, justice, art, education, and the soul.  We also intend for the students to weigh the implied critique of certain Platonic ideas in Wilde’s works, and to consider whether Wilde’s rethinking of Plato is ultimately a critique of himself or of Plato.

Instructors: Walter Brogan (Philosophy) and Marylu Hill (ACS/ Graduate Liberal Studies)