Academic Catalog

Philosophy (PHI)

PHI 101. Moral Problems. (3 Units)

The role of morals as motivations and goals in our lives. General knowledge of what values are and how they influence us on individual and societal levels. Students will construct solutions to moral problems, for example, problems of justice.

PHI 102. Humanity, Nature & God. (3 Units)

Critical examination of perennial philosophical issues such as the nature of philosophy, the existence of God, free will, truth. Both Western and non-Western perspectives are discussed. Gives student general understanding of his/her societal context. Essays as well as exams.

PHI 120. Critical Reasoning. (3 Units)

Introduction to methods of critical thinking including the nature of arguments, formal and informal fallacies, deductive and inductive arguments. Provides student with critical skills in both academic and non-academic context. A-C-/NC grading.

PHI 200. Basic Studies Philosophy. (2.7 Units)

PHI 201. The Good Life. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: ENG 110 is recommended. Explores philosophical approaches to the art of living. Readings will focus on ancient Greek and Roman philosophy as a way of life, along with a selection of religious and non-Western philosophies of the good life.

PHI 202. The Devil You Don't Know. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: ENG 110 is recommended. The development of the idea of the Devil and related ideas such as sin, evil, temptation, and the nature of the human. Investigates the Devil in scripture, philosophy, literature, and film. Includes Jewish, Christian and Muslim sources.

PHI 220. Modern Formal Logic. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: PHI 120 recommended. A continuation of PHI 120 for students interested in further study of such logical concepts as Justification and Validity, and introduces Truth-functional Operations and Elementary Quantification Theory.

PHI 300. Proseminar. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: 6 units in LD Philosophy or department consent. An introduction to philosophical methods, research and dialogue in order to improve students' skills at writing and analysis. Topics to be covered will address some central area or areas of philosophy and will vary from year to year.

PHI 301. Ancient Greek and Roman Philosophy. (3 Units)

A critical study of the foundations of Western civilization as found in ancient Greek and Roman thought.

PHI 302. Medieval Philosophies: Jewish, Christian and Muslim. (3 Units)

PHI 303. Modern Philosophy: Descartes To Kant. (3 Units)

Western thought as manifest through the evolution of the philosophical systems of Rationalism, Empiricism and Critical Philosophy.

PHI 304. 19th Century Philosophy: Hegel To Nietzsche. (3 Units)

A study of nineteenth century European philosophy focusing on thinkers such as Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marx and Nietzsche.

PHI 305. Contemporary Philosophy. (3 Units)

Study of contemporary American and European philosophical concepts, movements, or key figures. Specific topic indicated in class schedule. Repeatable for credit.

PHI 308. Existentialism. (3 Units)

Prerequisites: PHI 101 or PHI 102 is recommended. Examines key existential philosophers, such as Kierkengaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Marcel, Sartre, de Beauvoir, and Camus. Also explored are existentialist themes in the history of philosophy, literature, poetry, and film such as Dostoyevsky, Rilke, Bergman, Kurosawa, and Woody Allen.

PHI 316. Ethical Theories. (3 Units)

A critical inquiry into the groundwork of ethics by exploring such basic questions in ethics as the nature of good, the criteria for right action, the language of moral discourse, ontology and morality, and religion and ethics.

PHI 321. The Nature of Beauty: Aesthetics. (3 Units)

A critical examination of our beliefs about the nature of beauty in the context of art, music, literature and film. Topics include artistic creativity, aesthetic experience, criticism and evaluation. Specific topic indicated in class schedule. Repeatable course.

PHI 331. Social & Political Philosophy. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: PHI 300 is highly recommended. Historical and contemporary theories on the scope and legitimacy of political authority: discussion of various contract theories of the state and of the relationships between rights of individuals and rights of states. Repeatable course.

PHI 340. Environmental Ethics. (3 Units)

Inquiry into philosophical theories and methods that assess how humanity should relate to Earth, how we view ourselves ecologically, whether consumption practices are logical and moral. Topics include deep ecology, Eco-feminism, anthropocentric v. non-anthropocentric Ethics, animal rights and sustainability.

PHI 350. Theories of Cognition. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: PHI 120 or equivalent. PHI 300 is highly recommended. This course will approach the question of mind from disciplines in humanities, sciences, and social sciences. Several standpoints such as: classical philosophy, cognitive science, neurology, computer science and artificial intelligence, cognitive ethology, and evolutional linguistics will be discussed.

PHI 351. Death and Dying. (3 Units)

Introduction to psychological, medical, cultural, and ethical aspects of death and dying. A cross-cultural approach to perceptions of death and dying, how and why they have changed over time, how various authors, poets, and artists represent death and dying.

PHI 352. Myth as Reality. (3 Units)

Explores the nature of myth, its relationship to ritual, dream, and folktale, and its manifestations in literature and the individual. Although the course will have a primary literary focus, it will draw on the disciplines of philosophy, religious studies, anthropology, and psychology.

PHI 353. Age of Revolt. (3 Units)

Investigation of the spirit of revolt in the historical period of the Spanish Conquest; the American, French, Haitian, Russian and Algerian revolutions; Black Power and Zapatista: through history, philosophy and the arts.

PHI 365. Mind, World and Language. (3 Units)

A critical examination of the relation between knowledge and reality, with a particular interest in the role of language. Readings include a variety of historical and contemporary perspectives, such ans analytic philosophy, pragmatism, and phenomenology.

PHI 370. Philos of Africa & Diaspora. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: PHI 300 is highly recommended. A critical study of African and afrocentric philosophies, including Bantu, Akan, and Yoruba traditions. African American philosophers such as Alain Locke and other third world African peoples are also covered in depth. Topics include personhood, time, causality, value theory, black aesthetics, and black feminist epistemologies.

PHI 371. African World Religions. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: PHI 300 is recommended A critical study of traditional religious experience and expression among peoples of the African continent including the Akan, Yoruba and Ibo as well as manifestations of Christianity and Islam as expressed both in Africa and in the Americas .

PHI 378. Philosophy of Religion. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: PHI 300. A critical, comprehensive study of the nature and value of religion. Includes such issues as the relationship between Religion, Philosophy, Theology, and Science; the existence of a deity, revelation(s), faith, the problem of evil, scriptural myths, and religious experience and language.

PHI 379. Contemporary Moral Issues. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: PHI 300 is highly recommended. Philosophical inquiry into basic moral problems relevant today such as morality versus non-morality, human responsibility, individual versus societal values, morality versus legality, ethnic identity versus social conformity, abortion versus right to life, and the euthanasia decision. Repeatable for Credit.

PHI 383. Comparative Religions. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: PHI 300 is highly recommended. A study of the relationship of the various religious perspectives of the world, their rituals, their influence on society and their philosophical implications.

PHI 384. Philosophies of India, China and Japan. (3 Units)

The evolution and meaning of various non- Western traditions will be discussed. Selected topics will include Hinduism, Buddhism, Zen Buddhism, Shintoism, Confucianism. Emphasis on significance in India, China and Japan . Repeatable course.

PHI 386. Analytical Methods of Biblical Study. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: PHI 300 is highly recommended. The Bible in light of modern scholarship; principles and methods of its interpretation. Emphasis is given to the Pentateuch, the Gospels, and other key portions for their philosophical and theological views.

PHI 480. Religion and Violence. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: PHI 383 is recommended. A critical examination of fundamentalist movements in various religious traditions. Explores the intrinsic relationship among four key variables: religion, secularization, fundamentalism, and the consequences of religious fundamentalization. Finally, we will ask whether fundamentalist principles legitimate new forms of religious violence.

PHI 490. Seminar. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: PHI 300. A critical analysis and interpretation of a major philosophical or religious system or issue in respect to its presuppositions, task, method, problems and solutions. Repeatable course. Course is writing intensive. Three hours of seminar per week.

PHI 494. Independent Study. (1-3 Units)

Prerequisite: PHI 300 is highly recommended. Study of a particular philosophical or religious problem, individually or as a team or group, under the direction of a faculty member. Only three units may be used for Philosophy major and minor requirements.

PHI 495. Special Topics:. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: PHI 300 is highly recommended. An intensive study of a concept, movement or individual in Philosophy. Intended for students with senior standing and having fulfilled major requirements. Specific topic listed in class schedule. Repeatable course. Three hours of seminar per week.

PHI 580. Religion and Violence. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: PHI 383 is recommended. A critical examination of fundamentalist movements in various religious traditions. Explores the intrinsic relationship among four key variables: religion, secularization, fundamentalism, and the consequences of religious fundamentalization. Finally, we will ask whether fundamentalist principles legitimate new forms of religious violence.

PHI 595. Special Topics:. (3 Units)

Prerequisite: PHI 300 is highly recommended. An intensive study of a concept, movement or individual in Philosophy. Intended for students with senior or graduate standing. Specific topic listed in class schedule. Repeatable course. Three hours of seminar per week.