Sam Houston State University Undergraduate Catalog 2006-2008
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Philosophy Course Descriptions

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PHL 261 Introduction to Philosophy. [PHIL 1301] A general examination of the fields and issues of philosophy as discussed by both classical and modern philosophers. Philosophical problems discussed include the existence of God, the nature of knowledge and truth, the issue of human free will, and theories of moral judgment. Credit 3.

PHL 262 Critical Thinking. [PHIL 2303] Designed to improve students’ ability to think critically. The course covers the fundamentals of deductive reasoning, the identification of common fallacies, and an introduction to inductive reasoning, as well as sensitizing the students to some of the ways information is distorted, e.g., by advertising and news management. Credit 3.

PHL 263 Contemporary Moral Issues. [PHIL 2306] A study of major moral issues in contemporary society. Includes topics such as abortion, euthanasia, censorship, capital punishment, and other issues that confront today’s society. Credit 3.

PHL 362 Introduction to Contemporary Logic. Introduces the student to the principles of ordered though t and to the terminology and rules of symbolic logic. Discusses the logic of statements and the logic of predicates, quantifiers, and identity. Credit 3.

PHL 364 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. A survey of philosophical thought from the time of the pre-Socratics to about 1500. Includes the study of the work of Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, the Hellenistic schools, and medieval philosophy through the late scholastic period. The artistic, scientific, ethical, political and general cultural ramifications of the major systems of thought are noted. Credit 3.

PHL 365 Modern Philosophy. A survey of philosophical thought from about 1500 through the twentieth century. The course will examine the philosophical significance of the rise of modern science, the classical philosophies of rationalism, empiricism, the philosophy of Kant, and the development of these philosophies through the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Credit 3.

PHL 366 Aesthetics. An inquiry into the nature and meaning of art. Analysis of aesthetic experience, the relation of art to value, and an examination of aesthetic theories concerning representation, form and expression. This course satisfies 3 semester hours of the fine arts requirement for the BA degree program. Credit 3.

PHL 367 Philosophy of Religion. An examination of the nature and meaning of religion and religious expression. Philosophical and scientific critiques of religious faith and experience are considered. The nature of faith and reason, the question of the existence and nature of God, and the relation of religion and value are typical course topics. Credit 3.

PHL 371 Philosophy of Self-Awareness. An examination of the major themes of existentialism and its impact on contemporary society. Existential works from literature, psychology, psychoanalysis, and religion are included. Examines the existential concepts of anxiety, fear, guilt, meaninglessness, death, and authentic and inauthentic existence. Taught with PSY 371. Credit 3.

PHL 372 Philosophy of Science. A survey of topics in philosophy of science including the logic of explanations in the physical and social sciences, the relations of science to the realm of values, and a look at the “mind-body problem”. Credit 3.

PHL 460 Philosophy of Biology. A seminar course investigating philosophical questions concerning the development and application of evolutionary theory. This course addresses issues relating to concepts such as adaptation, speciation, the comparative method, levels of selection, and phylogenetic reconstruction. Credit 3.

PHL 463 Ethical Theories. This course will cover classical views about the foundation of ethics such as divine commands, cultural relativism, subjectivism, egoism, utilitarianism, Kantianism, and virtue ethics. Significant attention will also be given to a variety of contemporary approaches to understanding ethics.

PHL 471 Death and Dying. An examination of the philosophical reflections on death and dying from the literature of philosophy, psychology, theology, medicine and other contemporary sources. Course includes discussions of the nature of grief, sorrow, anxiety, fear, and suicide as related to death, and the social implications of death for the individual, family, friends, and community. Credit 3.

PHL 480 Seminar in Philosophy. Affords students a chance for in-depth study of a particular topic or area in philosophy not covered fully in the other course offerings and a chance for participation in a course conducted on a seminar basis. As the topics vary, the course may be repeated for credit. Credit 3.

PHL 485 Readings in Philosophy. This course is designed especially for advanced students who are capable of independent study. The particular program of study for the course must be discussed in advance with the prospective instructor. Admission to the course requires permission of the instructor. Credit 3.

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