Summer 2006 Courses

PHIL 100  INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY [3]
Charles Tanksley (Sect 1: MTWRF 1300-1515) July 13-August 7
This course is meant to provide a general introduction to philosophical methods and problems and will focus on key issues in ethics, metaphysics and epistemology. We will examine issues such as free will and moral responsibility. God's existence, the nature and possibility of knowledge and the best life. Readings will be drawn from both historical and contemporary sources and will likely include Plato, Descartes, Aquinas, Hume, Russell and others.

PHIL 160  FREE WILL AND DETERMINISM [3]
Ayca Boylu (Sect 1: MTWRF 1300 1515) June 13-July 7
The problem the course will address is one of the most difficult and controversial problems in the history of philosophy that has bearing on almost every area of philosophy (such as epistemology, philosophy of mind, ontology, metaphysics, ethics, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, philosophy of religion, etc.) The stance we take with respect to this problem significantly determines how we see the world, and how we see ourselves, and how we see our relationship to the world and others. The problem can be stated in one simple question: If the world is governed by deterministic laws, how can we be said to be free in our actions? In this course, students will together examine various philosophical answers to this deep and difficult issue with an eye towards how it affects our lives. We will try to determine whether or not any position can adequately take account of our ordinary beliefs about ourselves and the world. The course will also include a few films which are relevant to the topic.

PHIL 161  THE EXISTENCE OF GOD AND THE PROBLEM OF EVIL [3]
Brannon McDaniel (Sect 1: MTWRF 0800-1015) June 13-July 7
This course will provide students with an overview of central problems arising in philosophical discussions concerning God's existence and the problem of evil. Although there will be occasional historical references, the focus will tend towards contemporary discussion, dealing with (but not necessarily limited to) such issues as the distinction between moral evil and natural evil, the distinction between a theodicy and a defense, whether the existence of God as classically conceived is logically inconsistent with the existence of evil in the world, whether the existence of God is rendered merely improbable by evil, and whether God's existence entails that the existence of evil is necessary.


PHIL 162  ENVIRONMENTAL AND ANIMAL WELFARE ETHICS [3]
Elizabeth Fenton (Sect 1: MTWRF 1030-1245) July 13-August 7
This course will be an introduction to environmental and animal welfare ethics as a branch of ethics that attempts to expand the human range of moral concern to the natural world and non human animals. The course will examine how different philosophers have conceived of value in the natural world, and the implications of that value for the relationship of humans to their environment. We will evaluate arguments both for and against the expansion of the human range of moral concern, and ask whether, in the context of current environmental problems, such philosophical arguments can provide humans with guidance on addressing these problems.

PHIL 163  INTRODUCTION TO MORAL PHILOSOPHY [3]
Ty Landrum (Sect 1: MTWRF 1030-1245) June 13-July 7
Ty Landrum Moral philosophy wrangles with such perplexing questions as these: Must one be good? Is it rational to be good? How does one be good? What kind of life is best to live? What kind of person is best to be? What do we owe each other? What actions are right? What actions are wrong? How do we decide? Who is to say? None of these questions has any title to supremacy, yet the answer you give to any one will restrict the kind of answer you may give to at least some of the others. In contemporary theory, there are three major kinds of approach to this morass of questions: Virtue Ethics, Utilitarianism and Kantianism. Each approach chooses some unique question as its starting point but has plenty to say about the others. The purpose of this class is to introduce students to these three approaches, show students some of the strengths and weaknesses of each, and help students develop their abilities to think and discuss constructively about the perennial questions of moral philosophy. Our method, which is still the best going, is to read and discuss some classic work. In particular, we'll read work by Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Mill and some others.

PHIL 164  SKEPTICISM [3]
Evan Keeling (Sect 1: MTWRF 0800-1015) July 13- August 7
This course will adress the philosophical issue of skepticism from both ancient and modern sources. We will attempt such questions as: Is knowledge possible? And if so, how can we attain it and what is this knowledge of? Our enquiry will be focused on skepticism about the external world and, to a lesser degree, about reason. Some authors we will read are Sextus Empiricus, Descartes, Hume along with some contemporary figures.

PHIL 493,494  INDEPENDENT STUDY [3,3]
Nine weeks

PHIL 795  RESEARCH [3]
Nine weeks

PHIL 894  RESEARCH [3]
Nine Weeks



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