Regular Graduate Course Offerings
PHIL 5001 Introduction to Plato (3)
Study of Plato's developing thought, starting with the materials he inherited from poetic and philosophical forerunners, and analyzing how his original ethical-political interests compelled him to confront epistemological, metaphysical, and theological concerns. Course will focus mainly, but not exclusively, on early and middle dialogues.
PHIL 5002 19th-Century Philosophy (3)
Post-Kantian developments in philosophy from Hegel to Nietzsche.
PHIL 5003 Natural Law Ethics (3)
A study of the natural law tradition in ethics: its origins in classical philosophy, its integration with Christian thought in the Middle Ages, and its application to selected contemporary problems.
PHIL 5005 Classical Modern Philosophy (3)
A study of the history of philosophy from Descartes to Kant.
PHIL 5009 Introduction to Aristotle (3)
An introduction to the thought of Aristotle through the study of the De Anima and the Metaphysics.
PHIL 5010 Introduction to St Thomas (3)
Historical, textual study of main themes in his world-vision.
PHIL 5012 Introduction to St Augustine (3)
Survey of major themes in Augustine: nature of the will, problem of time, moral psychology, political theory. There will be a special focus throughout the course on the relation between faith and reason. The course will use primary texts in translation, including On the Freedom of the Will, Confessions, On the Trinity, City of God.
PHIL 5014 Modern Ethical Theories (3)
Exploration of contemporary ethical theories in the analytic tradition: intuitionism, emotivism, prescriptivism, and descriptivism.
PHIL 5015 Lonergan (3)
An interpretive and critical examination of Lonergan's Insight.
PHIL 5016 Contemporary Continental Philosophy (3)
A critical survey of contemporary continental philosophy.
PHIL 5098 Seminar: Philosophical Integration I (3)
This course supports the student in constructing an adequately grounded and coherent personal synthesis of the five systematic areas of philosophy, i.e., metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of the human person, philosophy of God, and ethics. Appropriate course work in each of these areas, as well as in the history of philosophy, is presupposed. For students in the MAPR program.
PHIL 5099 - Seminar: Philosophical Integration II (3)
A continuation of PHIL 5098, Seminar: Philosophical Integration I.
PHIL 5100 Logic I (3)
An introduction to symbolic logic.
PHIL 5301 Environmental Philosophy and Ethics (3)
An examination of perennial philosophical questions relating to environmental ethics.
PHIL 6168 Moral Phenomenology (3)
An exploration of ethical theory in the phenomenological tradition.
PHIL 6251 American Pragmatism (3)
A survey of the central themes and figures of American Pragmatism from Peirce to the present.
PHIL 6252 American Philosophy (3)
A survey of the central themes and figures of American philosophy from transcendentalism to naturalism---Emerson, Royce, Peirce, James, and Dewey.
PHIL 6256 Process Philosophy (3)
This course will cover a range of figures and schools which have suggested process-oriented alternatives to the classical metaphysics of substance. Texts from the history of philosophy which can be considered conceptual precursors of process thought (Heraclitus, later Plato, Aristotle, Hegel, etc.) will be read as preparation for a fuller comprehension of the significance of figures such as Bergson, Whitehead, and Hartshorne. More contemporary thinkers (Neville, Buchler, Dewey, etc.) will frame the discussion of the present and future contribution of the process tradition to the process of metaphysics.
PHIL 6354 Skepticism and Knowledge (3)
A close look at several skeptical arguments. A major theme will be that almost no classic skeptical argument is incoherent or self-refuting. On the contrary, many of the arguments are quite plausible. To be avoided, they require the epistemologist to take substantial and controversial positions, and to this extent skepticism may be seen as a driving force of positive epistemology.
PHIL 6359 Nominalism (3)
Analysis of the works of the most prominent medieval nominalists (in particular, Ockham, Buridan, Albert of Saxony and Peter of Ailly) contrasted with some late-medieval realists (Cajetan, Soto and Suarez). The course shows that nominalism is not so much a distinctive ontological position as a distinctive way of construing the fundamental relationships between words, concepts and things.
PHIL 6356 Topics in Epistemology (3)
The course explores in seminar format current topics in epistemology, such as: theories of knowledge, theories of epistemic evaluation, reliabilism, naturalized epistemology, skepticism, foundationalism, contextualism, moral knowledge, religious knowledge, reformed epistemology, methodology.
PHIL 6451 Philosophy of the Person (3)
Role of experience for the human individual. Limitations of space and time on ideal experience. Divisions of consciousness: mere states, instinctual, psychical, and intentional states. Importance and relevance of intentionality to all major problems dealing with the human individual. Cognitive acts, responses. The question of freedom of the will; different ways to be enslaved. the soul, its nature and possible immortality.
PHIL 6452 Philosophy of Mind (3)
A study of major approaches to defining the nature of mind and dealing with the mind-body problem. Emphasis will be on contemporary Anglo-American literature.
PHIL 6456 The Phenomenal Mind (3)
A study of "conceivability arguments" that provide doubts about the adequacy of contemporary physicalism in explaining consciousness reductively. Readings from, among others,David Chalmers and Joseph Levine.
PHIL 6457 The Mind-Body Problem (3)
A consideration of some of the difficulties involved in integrating the image of ourselves as free, rational beings with the image of ourselves as complex biochemical systems and of whether these difficulties can be overcome using the resources available to the currently dominant philosophical theories.
PHIL 6458 Mind-Body Problem in Historical Context (3)
A study of the historical background to the mind-body problem and of contemporary discussions in the light of this background.
PHIL 6552 Philosophy of Science (3)
Probability, confirmation, induction, the "mental" and the "physical," space, time, emergence, explanation in the biological sciences.
PHIL 6600 Philosophy of Art (3)
Beauty and the nature of aesthetic experience. What Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Hegel, and Heidegger had to say about art and beauty. The artist in the world of today's communications media.
PHIL 6654 Thomistic Ethics (3)
A study of important topics in Thomistic ethics, including: happiness at the end of human life; the nature of moral responsibility; the distinction between the voluntary and the involuntary in human action; the will and its acts; freedom of choice; moral intentionality; the passions and emotions; habits and virtues; natural law, human law, eternal law, divine law; and various theological topics such as the supernatural virtues, divine law, grace, the gifts of the Holy Spirit.
PHIL 6659 Virtue Ethics (3)
An analysis and discussion of virtue ethics theory.
PHIL 6805 Topics in the Philosophy of Religion (3)
This course will introduce and discuss a range of topics in the philosophy of religion. Topics to be considered will include: the propriety and possibility of natural theology; arguments for God's existence; the problem of evil; the attributes of God; life after death.
PHIL 6806 Postmodern Philosophy of Religion (3)
A study of the religious import of postmodern philosophy. Readings in such authors as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, Foucault, Rorty, and Marion.
PHIL 6807 Wittgenstein and the Philosophy of Religion (3)
An investigation of the variety of responses by philosophers of religion to the work of Wittgenstein.
PHIL 6808 Lonergan's Philosophy of God (3)
An inquiry into the philosophy of God and religion in Lonergan.
PHIL 7004 The Philosophy of Plato (3)
Study of such dialogues as the Meno, Gorgias, Symposium, Republic, and Theaetetus to see how Plato works out the various problems of Greek culture on a higher philosophical level. Dealing with problems of human excellence, meaning, and knowledge, the dialogues reveal the unity of Plato's philosophy--culminating in the central theme of the transcendent world of Forms.
PHIL 7005 Aristotle (3)
A developmental study of Aristotle's principal texts.
PHIL 7009 Plato: Being and Becoming (3)
Analysis of the form and content of Plato's ontology, with special emphasis on the Republic and Timaeus.
PHIL 7010 Plotinus the Platonist (3)
This course will investigate how Plotinus is both a traditional Platonist, as well as an innovator in metaphysics and epistemology.
PHIL 7011 Aristotle: Nature and Change (3)
A study of Aristotle's conception of nature and his analysis of alteration and substantial generation through an examination of the Physics, Metaphysics, On Generation and Corruption, Generation of Animals, and other relevant treatises.
PHIL 7012 Aristotle: Soul and Life (3)
An analysis of philosophical issues addressed in Aristotle's De Anima, Generation of Animals, and related treatises.
PHIL 7013 Late Plato (3)
A careful examination of Plato's epistemological and metaphysical investigations in the late dialogues, e.g., the Theaetetus, Parmenides, Sophist, Statesman, Philebus. Thorough acquaintance with the early and middle dialogues is required.
PHIL 7014 Stoic Ethics: Old and New (3)
An examination of the Stoic’s ethics, by their own account the focal point of their whole philosophy. Our emphasis will be on the ancient Athenian and Roman discussions, but we will also consider efforts to establish the relevance of the Stoics for contemporary moral philosophy.
PHIL 7040 Aquinas on Mind (3)
This course will provide a survey of some major issues in Aquinas’ philosophy of mind and metaphysics, exploring the intriguing theoretical alternative Aquinas’ position seems to offer “between” dualism and materialism, based on his hylomorphist metaphysics.
PHIL 7046 Aquinas and Contemporary Philosophy of Religion (3)
A study of Aquinas and some major contemporary authors on a selected range of questions in philosophy of religion.
PHIL 7048 Bonaventure and Aquinas (3)
An examination of the theses distinctive of Bonaventure and the early Franciscan (i.e., pre-Scotistic) school. The distinctiveness of these theses will emerge by comparing and contrasting Bonaventure and Aquinas on a number of different issues.
PHIL 7050 St Augustine (3)
Influences on the development of the thought of Augustine.
PHIL 7064 Aquinas's De Veritate (3)
Extensive reading from all three volumes of St. Thomas's De Veritate.
PHIL 7065 The Five Ways of Aquinas (3)
A study of Summa Theologiae Ia, 2, on the existence of God.
PHIL 7066 Aquinas: Set Texts (3)
An examination of selected texts from Thomas Aquinas's Summa Theologiae or Summa Contra Gentiles, and a consideration of the philosophical issues which they raise.
PHIL 7067 Late Medieval Philosophy (3)
The course provides a comparative study of key philosophical issues, such as the problem of universals. The course will study salient texts from several philosophers: Scotus, Ockham, Suarez
PHIL 7068 Aquinas' Theory of Human Action and Morality (3)
A study of Aquinas' theory of human action both as free action and as morally good or bad action. The course will focus on Summa Theologiae I-II, supplemented by selections from contemporary Thomists.
PHIL 7069 Late Medieval Philosophy (3)
An extended argument to show that when medieval metaphysical notions are reconstructed against their proper theoretical background, they provide a comprehensive framework for discussing major, contemporary philosophical concerns.
PHIL 7072 Duns Scotus and Later Medieval Philosophy (3)
An introduction to the thought of John Duns Scotus (1266-1308). The main focus will be on metaphysics and philosophical theology, but some aspects of Scotus’s theory of cognition and ethics will also be considered.
PHIL 7073 Late Medieval Moral Theories (3)
An examination of the transformation of moral thought in the period spanning from the end of the thirteenth century to about 1350, with an eye on later developments. We shall focus on some key selections from the works of the foremost philosophers and theologians of the fourteenth century, especially John Duns Scotus (1265/66-1308) and William Ockham (1288-1347).
PHIL 7105 The Rationalists (3)
An historico-critical examination of the origin and development of the 17th-century Rationalist tradition. Special attention will be given to the texts of either Descartes or Leibniz and their respective role in constituting this tradition.
PHIL 7106 Kant I: Critique of Pure Reason (3)
The aim of this course is to achieve an appreciation of, and some facility with, the problems and mode of philosophizing that dictate the arguments in Kant's Kritik der reinen Vernunft. Accordingly, the course is organized along thematic lines that, while corresponding to specific passages and sections of the Kritik, provide a route through the text as a whole. After an initial introduction to the structure and context of the work as a whole, the course will focus primarily on the positive doctrines of Kant's critical or transcendental philosophy as presented in the Transcendental Aesthetic and the Transcendental Analytic of the Transcendental Logic.
PHIL 7107 Kant II: Kant's Moral Philosophy (3)
A study of Kant's major ethical writings, including the Groundwork Of The Metaphysics Of Morals, the Critique of Practical Reason, and The Metaphysics of Morals. (Please note that PHIL 7106 is not a prerequisite for this course.)
PHIL 7109 Descartes (3)
An analysis of the Regulae, Discourse on Method, Meditations, Principles, and Passions of the Soul.
PHIL 7111 Locke, Hume and Reid (3)
A critical investigation into the metaphysics and epistemology of Locke, Hume, and Reid, as well as an exploration of their relevance to contemporary debates.
PHIL 7112 Descartes and Montaigne (3)
An examination of the contrasting moral philosophies of these two figures at the beginning of the modern era, with a look back to their ancient roots (especially Skepticism and Stoicism), as well as a look forward to their relevance for contemporary discussions (for example, moral theory, moral luck, and moral emotions).
PHIL 7113 Cartesianism (3)
The course studies the reception of the philosophy of Descartes, as it branches into distinctive schools. Two schools in particular are studied: the mechanistic (e.g., La Mettrie) and the occasionalist (e.g., Malebranche). Contemporary critics (Maritain, Ryle) and supporters (Husserl, Marion) are studied as part of the perduring controversy over Cartesianism.
PHIL 7114 Presocratic Philosophy (3)
A close reading of Pythagoras, Heraclitus, Parmenides, and other pre-Socratic philosophers.
PHIL 7130 Kant and Fichte on Knowing (3)
An investigation of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason and Fichte's Wissenschaftslehre.
PHIL 7131 Between Kant and Hegel (3)
An attempt to bridge the apparent gap between Kant and the German Idealists, and to show that the movement from Kant to German Idealism is not discontinuous at all, but rather a natural unfolding of the critical tensions and difficulties implicit in the Kantian system itself.
PHIL 7149 Hegel's Phenomenology (3)
A reading of Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit in the context of his other writings and in conversation with various other philosophers.
PHIL 7152 Hegel (3)
Selected readings from Phenomenology of Spirit, Philosophy of Right, preface to Philosophy of History. Aimed at development of main themes of Hegel's thought, especially its historical dimensions and its relation to subsequent Marxist development.
PHIL 7153 Husserl’s Later Thought (3)
An investigation of Husserl's later philosophy by way of a careful reading of selected texts from the 1920s and 1930s.
PHIL 7159 Kierkegaard (3)
Sources, development, influence of Kierkegaard's thought.
PHIL 7160 Marx (3)
Objective investigation of Marxism as a philosophy.
PHIL 7161 Nietzsche (3)
Detailed investigation of principal Nietzschean themes.
PHIL 7164 Nietzsche and 20th-Century Thought (3)
An investigation of Nietzsche's thought from his early On the Birth of Tragedy to the works of his twilight period, ending with Ecce Homo and the Antichrist. Nietzsche’s influence on recent French thought will be traced through the use of commentaries by Deleuze, Derrida, and Kaufman as well as Heidegger’s critical Nietzsche courses and essays.
PHIL 7165 Hegel and the State (3)
A study of Hegel’s Philosophy of Right in relation to such political theories as Locke’s, Rousseau’s and Marx’s.
PHIL 7166 German Idealism (3)
An examination of the German idealist critique of Kant, with emphasis on Fichte.
PHIL 7167 Kierkegaard and Levinas (3)
A comparative study with special attention to the critique of speculation and ontology, transcendence, alterity, revelation, responsibility, politics and history—all in relation to their respective ethics.
PHIL 7169 The Idea of Transcendental Phenomenology (3)
An investigation of the meaning, nature, and possibility of transcendental philosophy. In particular, the course will focus on distinguishing transcendental philosophy both externally from a metaphysical approach to consciousness and internally by distinguishing the transcendental philosophies of Kant, Husserl, and Heidegger (of the 1920s). The course will also explore competing conceptions of transcendental philosophy found in 19th-century neo-Kantianism and contemporary analytic philosophy.
PHIL 7206 Early Heidegger (3)
A close textual study of Being and Time. Themes: the question of being and the destruction of the history of ontology; being-in-the-world; care; truth; being towards death; temporality; historicity; the phenomenological method; the influence of Aristotle, Kierkegaard, and Husserl; transition to the "later Heidegger."
PHIL 7207 Later Heidegger (3)
A study of the “turning” (Kehre) from the early to the later writings. Topics include overcoming the history of metaphysics; the problem of humanism; the significance of early Greek thinking; the critique of technology; poetry, language, and thought; the end of philosophy; the event (Ereignis) of appropriation; and the epochs of Being.
PHIL 7210 Whitehead (3)
An analysis of the development of the philosophy of organism in Whitehead's earlier works and its full expression in Process and Reality.
PHIL 7216 Logical Investigations (3)
A close reading of the text of Husserl’s first and enduring classic with the aim of understanding its nature both as a philosophy of logic and as a breakthrough to phenomenology.
PHIL 7226 Habermas: Critical Theory (3)
Historical, critical, and philosophical reflection on Habermas's Theory of Communicative Action I & II. Issues considered will be the nature of communicative action, the interpretation and critique of modernity, the distinction of life world, the colonization of life world by system in late capitalism and state socialism, and the critique of instrumental reason.
PHIL 7227 Maritain and Neo-Thomism (3)
This course will take up one of the most important books of the Thomistic revival of the Twentieth Century, Jacques Maritain’s 1932 Degrees of Knowledge. We will consider this volume for its contribution to epistemology in general and for its crucial role in the development of Neothomism. The course will also involve considerable study of certain medieval texts that were crucial to Maritain’s project (especially works by Aquinas and John of St. Thomas).
PHIL 7229 Derrida (3)
A study of major texts of Jacques Derrida dealing with such themes as writing, différance, and deconstruction, as well as his relation to traditional and contemporary figures.
PHIL 7230 Levinas (3)
A study of Levinas’s phenomenology of the other against the background of Husserl, Marcel, Buber, and Sartre. Attention will be paid to his critique of metaphysics.
PHIL 7231 Foucault (3)
A study of the development and concerns of Michel Foucault's thought, including his early existentialist-phenomenological, middle structuralist, and later genealogical approaches. both his programmatic, methodological writings and his concrete studies of medicine, psychiatry, prisons, sexuality, schools, and the family will be examined.
PHIL 7233 French Poststructuralism (3)
A seminar on the major works of Foucault and Derrida. Themes discussed include the relation of these thinkers to structuralism, to Heidegger, and to Husserl; the end of philosophy; the death of the subject; the linguistic turn; ethics and politics; religion; art; madness; power; technology; media; capitalism; sexuality; and war.
PHIL 7234 Husserl’s Later Logic (3)
A careful reading of Husserl’s Formal and Transcendental Logic with special attention to Husserl’s discussion of the apophantic and mathematical traditions in logic, of their underlying unity, and of transcendental grounding of judgments and the logical.
PHIL 7251 Peirce (and the Problem of Universals) (3)
An introduction to Peirce’s general philosophical project by way of an investigation of selected concepts and problems.
PHIL 7252 William James (3)
A study of the pragmatism of William James, its origins, its implications for epistemology, morals, and religion, and its influence on American thought and culture.
PHIL 7253 Dewey (3) Green
An examination of the major works of John Dewey with a view to grasping the broad lines of his thought and assessing its contemporary relevance.
PHIL 7256 Mind, Signs, and Ontology (3)
An examination of Peirce’s developed philosophy of signs in its logical, epistemological, and metaphysical aspects in the context of some of the main medieval and classical approaches to signs and signification.
PHIL 7352 Epistemology of Moral Belief (3)
A critical examination of the cognitive status of moral belief. The course will begin with a survey of basic epistemological considerations. These will then be used to evaluate whether, to what extent, and in what respects, knowledge is possible in morality. Topics to be considered include: ethical relativism and absolutism; cognitive and noncognitive theories of ethics; and moral dilemmas.
PHIL 7357 The Epistemology of Disagreement (3)
An investigation of the interesting epistemological consequences of disagreement, especially philosophical disagreement.
PHIL 7455 Freedom and Responsibility (3)
An examination of arguments for and against the reality of human freedom. The course will pay special attention to treatments of the subject coming from contemporary English-speaking philosophers.
PHIL 7456 Heidegger and the Political (3)
A consideration of the political dimension of Heidegger’s thought, emphasizing the challenges that have grown up in the wake of his thinking, from Agamben and Badiou to Zizek, Levinas, and Derrida.
PHIL 7540 The Philosophy of Technology (3)
An examination of the questioning of technology in its essence and the currently received approach to the problem of technology and its applications in practice.
PHIL 7554 Galileo and Descartes (3)
A study of the respective responses of Galileo and Descartes to the Copernican theory.
PHIL 7558 Galileo, Bacon, and Descartes (3)
An examination of the respective models of a science of nature in Galileo, Bacon, Descartes, Newton, and Leibniz.
PHIL 7658 Personal Autonomy (3)
An examination of the rich and growing literature on personal autonomy that derives from Harry Frankfurt's hierarchical accounts of autonomy in terms of the “higher-order will.”
PHIL 7659 Contemporary Problems in Moral Philosophy (3)
An examination of issues under current discussion in the contemporary literature of moral philosophy, including methodological, epistemological, axiological, or moral-psychological developments.
PHIL 7662 Moral Intentionality (3)
An investigation of the structures of moral experience and of things taken in their moral significance and, in particular, the nature of both evaluative and volitional experience. While the course will be primarily concerned with developing a phenomenological account of moral intentionality, we shall also investigate the historical background against which such theories were developed.
PHGA7664 Continental Philosophy of Literature (3)
The philosophical analysis of literature within the context of German and French philosophies from the late 18th to the late 20th centuries. We shall focus on three sets of issues and their interrelation: hermeneutics, or the philosophy of interpretation, and its claims concerning the meaning of literary works; the question of authorship or authorial intention; and claims about the “death of the author” in the wake of structuralism, and responses to such claims
PHIL 7671 Contemporary Virtue Ethics (3)
An examination of recent work in virtue ethics.
PHIL 7753 Foucault and Habermas (3)
An exploration in general of the relationship between rationality and social critique in Foucault and Habermas. Some of the themes to be considered are the relationship between truth and power, the legitimacy of equating rationality and science, the question concerning the foundations for critique, the meaning of modernity and the Enlightenment.
PHIL 7757 Justice and the Other (3)
An exploration of justice, difference, and otherness.
PHIL 7762 Community and Democracy (3)
This course will explore the prospects for critical and transformative philosophy of the diverse democratic community by focusing on ideals of community and democracy, as well as on strategies for their progressive realization developed by John Dewey and contemporary American pragmatists, feminists, and cultural pluralists. Also to be considered are alternatives presented by left communitarians like Sandel and Walzer, and by right communitarians like MacIntyre and Taylor.
PHIL 7857 Topics in Contemporary Metaphysics (3)
An investigation of certain fundamental puzzles having to do with the nature of existence, vagueness, and physical composition (the relation between a physical thing and the stuff that composes it).
PHIL8001 Seminar in Philosophical Education (3)