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Philosophy - Fall 2014

PHIL 103R 01.  Ethics and Identity
4.00 credits
Reed, Don

Prerequisite: 
This is an introductory level course in ethics and social identity, exploring the ways our ideals and principles are related to our places and identities within concrete social systems. Students will learn about current psychological studies of morality, including findings about what tends to make us happy and what we need to do to be happy. We consider especially the role of friendship and companionship. We examine how a drive for “success” may tend to compromise one’s happiness rather than lead to it, because of how it can affect our relationships and our satisfaction with our lives. Students watch several movies outside of class, which serve as extended examples for our class discussions, and study primary texts in the history of ethics by Aristotle, Hume, Kant, and Mill. Evaluations are based on daily quizzes, periodic short tests, and a final exam.

 

PHIL 103R 02.  Ethics and Identity
4.00 credits
Reed, Don

Prerequisite: FYS Only – Advising Section Linked on Tues from Noon – 1:00 p.m.
This is an introductory level course in ethics and social identity, exploring the ways our ideals and principles are related to our places and identities within concrete social systems. Students will learn about current psychological studies of morality, including findings about what tends to make us happy and what we need to do to be happy. We consider especially the role of friendship and companionship. We examine how a drive for “success” may tend to compromise one’s happiness rather than lead to it, because of how it can affect our relationships and our satisfaction with our lives. Students watch several movies outside of class, which serve as extended examples for our class discussions, and study primary texts in the history of ethics by Aristotle, Hume, Kant, and Mill. Evaluations are based on daily quizzes, periodic short tests, and a final exam.

 

PHIL 110R 1M Logic and Critical Reasoning
4 credits
Bailey, Julius

Prerequisite:  Math placement of 22
An introduction to traditional and symbolic logic that typically includes : (1) informal fallacies, (2) syllogistic logic, and (3) elementary sentential and predicate logic.  Students are required to construct proofs using a variety of formal methods. There will be a critical thinking element that will evaluate and engage in critiques of  love, music, and popular culture.  Math reasoning intensive. 

 

Phil 207 01/02  Science in Social Context
4:00 credits
McHugh, Nancy

Prerequisite: None
In Science in Social Context we will study the social and nonsocial influences on scientific practice as well as how science shapes society and the environment. Among the questions we will pursue are: What is the nature of scientific practice? Who does science? What is more powerful, nature or nurture? What is the relationship race, gender, sexuality and class to scientific practice? Is there an evolutionary basis of ethics? Is there a scientific explanation for love? Should we defend of the environment? Should we engage in cloning? What is the connection between science, funding, and the falsification of data?
You will be assessed through in-class quizzes, out of class assignments and projects, and exams.

 

PHIL 209A 01/02.  Philosophy and Art of Hip-Hop Culture
4.00 credits
Bailey, J.

This course will look at the content and forms of Hip Hop Expression as well as the assessment of performance, lyrics and images placed upon, and embodied by, its audience.  This course will be taught thematically, focusing particularly to the fundamental human questions such as: The search for God, love and knowledge; the historical concerns of cultural authenticity, race and sexuality; language as artistic expression and meaning; Chiefly we are looking at Hip Hop as a Cultural Socratic Art-Form, namely the historic look at Hip-Hop’s ability to question, inform and engage in the search for purpose within a democracy through its drama, music, and cultural forms.

 

PHIL 310 1W.  Ancient and Medieval Philosophy
4.00 credits
Reed

Prerequisite:  One prior course in PHIL or permission of instructor.
This course is an introduction to the historical method of philosophical reflection and an introduction to the philosophers of a particular period and a particular tradition (ancient Greek to medieval European).  As part of the first goal, we will observe the historical nature of philosophical thinking, i.e., the way it develops historically, not by accident but by its very nature.  We will trace one tradition of answers to questions variously answered by four particular notions (which themselves are reformulated over and over again):  (1) the notion that abstractions (like geometrical figures and the periodic table of elements) are the true objects of knowledge; (2) the notion that it is sometimes very difficult if not impossible to do what you know is good and not to do what you know is bad; (3) the notion that to be real and to be excellent are the same, i.e., that being and goodness are identical; and (4) the notion that the soul is immortal and lives on after the body decays and ceases.  Students will take a mid-term and a final exam and write four papers.  Writing intensive.

 

PHIL 312 1W.  Contemporary Philosophy
4.00 credits
Bailey, Julius

Prerequisite:  PHIL  311 or permission of instructor.
By taking this class, students should 1) gain a basic understanding of philosophical movements in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries; 2) gain a greater understanding of the ideas that shaped contemporary philosophy and the context in which those ideas developed; 3) gain a greater appreciation of the diverse world around them and a greater understanding of the extent to which the past shapes the present; 4) improve their written and oral communication skills, gain greater perspective and hone their critical and analytical skills (such as the ability to distinguish between fact and interpretation); and finally 5) nurture intellectual curiosity and skepticism and enjoy having a supportive audience with which to share ideas. Students will be expected to write weekly reaction papers, and four essays of varying lengths (from 4 pages to 10 pages) throughout the semester. Writing intensive

 

Philosophy 380 1W The Many Faces of Justice
4 credits
McHugh, Nancy

In The Many Faces of Justice we will begin studying different models of criminal and social justice.  This course will be taught as an Inside-Out class. Inside-Out classes consist typically of 12-15 outside students, college students living on the outside, and 12-15 inside students, college students who are incarcerated and living on the inside a prison. Inside and outside students sit side by side in a circle in the classroom, engaged in all of the same readings, all of the same papers, all equally graded. This is the fifth Inside-Out course at Wittenberg. Each one has been a fantastic learning experience for the students and me. You will be studying the theories and practice of justice with people who have experienced the justice system first hand. We will travel as a group weekly to have class at London Correctional Institute.

Among topics that will be studied are restorative practices, the death penalty, the lives of victims and communities after crimes, the role of race and economic class in criminal justice, lives of women who are detained and the role of masculinity in the prison system. We will be attentive the roles of race, class, gender, sexuality and disability within these different models and social systems. Among the course readings are: John Rawl’s A Theory of Justice, Iris Marion Young’s Justice and the Politics of Difference, Amartya Sen’s The Idea of Justice, Michelle Alexander’s The New Jim Crow, Sister Helen Prejean’s The Death of Innocents, Michel Foucault’s Discipline and Punish and Dennis Sullivan and Larry Tiffts’ Handbook of Restorative Justice: A Global Perspective. You will be assessed in this course through writing assignments, including a final seminar paper, and through a final class project.

 

PHIL400 Philosophy Capstone
1 credit
McHugh, Nancy

Prerequisites:  Completion of  PHIL312 and at least Junior Standing
Philosophy Capstone serves as companion 1-credit hour. Students fulfill Phil 400, Philosophy Capstone, by completing a major research project through mentorship and supervision with the faculty member teaching the companion course, i.e., Phil 380. The course may be repeated for credit.

 

PHIL 490 00.  Independent Study
1.00-4.00 credits
Staff
Prerequisite:  Permission only.

 

PHIL 491 00.   Internship
2.00-12.0 credits
Staff
Prerequisite:  Permission only.

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