Spring 2022 Courses

All 100 and 200-level philosophy courses satisfy the Gen Ed Humanities requirement -- except PHIL 120, which satisfies the Mathematics requirement. We offer both a major and a minor in philosophy plus a concentration in Politics, Philosophy, and Law. More information can be found at philosophy.cofc.edu.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MAJOR IN PHILOSOPHY:

33 semester hours in philosophy which must include 120; 201; 202; and 450 (or PPLW 400). Of the remaining 21 hours, at least 3 hours must be taken in value theory courses; 12 hours must be taken at or above the 200 level; and least nine hours must be taken at or above the 300 level.

REQUIREMENTS FOR THE MINOR IN PHILOSOPHY

18 semester hours in philosophy which must include a course in the history of philosophy (201, 202, 304, 305, 306, 307, or 310), and one course at or above the 300 level.

Philosophy majors who are interested in independent study options (including Internships, Bachelor’s Essays, and Teaching Apprenticeships) should consult with the department chair or their advisor. A maximum of six hours these courses may be taken to satisfy the requirement of nine elective hours at or above the 300-level.

CRN

SUBJECT

COURSE TITLE

INSTRUCTOR

DAYS/TIME

CRN 20437

PHIL 101.01

Introduction to Philosophy

Grantham

MWF 10:00-10:50

CRN 20438

PHIL 101.02

Introduction to Philosophy

Nadelhoffer

Online/synchronous
TR 10:50-12:05

CRN 20439

PHIL 101.03

Introduction to Philosophy

Neufeld

TR 12:15-1:30

CRN 21479

PHIL 101.04

Introduction to Philosophy

Kingston

TR 12:15-1:30

CRN 22118

PHIL 101.05

Introduction to Philosophy

Kingston

TR 1:40-2:55

CRN 23211

PHIL 115.01

Critical Thinking

Hemmenway

MWF 11:00-11:50

CRN 20714

PHIL 120.01

Symbolic Logic

Krasnoff

MWF 11:00-11:50

CRN 20937

PHIL 120.02

Symbolic Logic

Krasnoff

MWF 12:00-12:50

CRN 23212

PHIL 150.01

Nature, Technology and Society

Boyle

MWF 9:00-9:50

CRN 21312

PHIL 155.01

Environmental Ethics

Baker

MWF 9:00-9:50

CRN 21865

PHIL 155.02

Environmental Ethics

Baker

MWF 10:00-10:50

CRN 23213

PHIL 165.01

Philosophy of Sex and Gender

Hough

MW 2:00-3:15

CRN 23217

PHIL 165.02

Philosophy of Sex and Gender

Hough

MW 3:25-4:40

CRN 22116

PHIL 170.01

Biomedical Ethics

Phillips

TR 9:25-10:40

CRN 22117

PHIL 170.02

Biomedical Ethics

Phillips

MWF 10:50-12:05

CRN 23214

PHIL 198.01

Topics in Philosophy: Philosophy and Science Fiction

Phillips

MW 2:00-3:15

CRN 20440

PHIL 202.01

History of Modern Philosophy

Boyle

MWF 12:00-12:50

CRN 23215

PHIL 203.01

Philosophy of Human Nature

Hemmenway

MW 3:25-4:40

CRN 2334

PHIL 207.01

Ethics

Baker

MWF 1:00-1:50

CRN 23218

PHIL 234.01

Eastern Philosophy

Coseru

TR 10:50-12:05

CRN 21311

PHIL 270.01

Philosophy of Law

Neufeld

TR 9:25-10:40

CRN 23216

PHIL 270.02

Philosophy of Law

Nadelhoffer

Online/synchronous
TR 1:40-2:55

CRN 23283

PHIL 298.01

Special Topics: Socrates

Flores

TR 10:50-12:05

CRN 23219

PHIL 330.01

Philosophy of Mind

Coseru

TR 1:40-255

CRN 20441

PHIL 450.01

Senior Seminar: Trust

Kingston

W 2:00-4:45

PHIL 101: Introduction to Philosophy

Prof. Grantham

CRN 20437 (MWF 10:00-10:50) NO PREREQUISITE

This course offers a general introduction to philosophy. The course begins with a careful reading of Plato’s dialogue, Meno. We then turn to four enduring philosophical issues: (1) Religion: Are there good grounds to think that God does (or does not) exist? If the evidence doesn’t decide the case, is it reasonable to believe “based on faith”? (2) Knowledge: What is “knowledge”? Can we know anything with certainty? If we lack certainty, can we still have objective knowledge? (3) Metaphysics of Free Will: If minds are nothing but collections of mindless particles governed by deterministic laws, is free will possible? (4) Equality & Justice: Does wealth inequality violate our principles/ideals of equality and justice? We will explore classic philosophical texts and discuss how philosophical arguments remain relevant today.

PHIL 101: Introduction to Philosophy

Prof. Nadelhoffer

CRN 20438 (TR 10:50-12:05 Online/synchronous) NO PREREQUISITE

This course is designed to provide students with a general introduction to some of the perennial questions of philosophy. During the semester we will examine four issues: Does God exist? What is the relationship between the mind and the brain? What is the nature of free will? What is the nature of morality? My goal will be to familiarize students with some of the most well-known answers to these questions from classical and contemporary philosophy and to help students develop well-informed answers of their own.

PHIL 101: Introduction to Philosophy

Prof. Neufeld

CRN 20439 (TR 12:15-1:30) NO PREREQUISITE

Using historic and contemporary texts, we will consider a number of philosophical questions that come up in TV shows, movies, politics, and real life and whose answers turn out to matter quite a lot. We will also leave room for at least two topics that the class will choose.

I know it’s sunny outside right now—I’m looking out my window. Sometimes, though, I think I know something, and it turns out I really don’t. I often meet other people who are convinced they are right about important things, but I know they are not. But do I really know? What is it to know something?

I used to be very different than I am now. As I age, I will change even more. I will even replace parts of me with machine parts (bad knees). How much of me could I replace before I became someone else? What AM I, really?

Other questions we might ask: What is moral responsibility? Do I have moral obligations toward non-humans (animals, environments)? How are conspiracy theories different from normal theories? Why do I say “There’s no judging taste” when I will definitely say you are wrong if you judge my dad to be a better singer than Beyoncé?

PHIL 101: Introduction to Philosophy

Prof. Kingston

CRN 21479 (TR 12:15-1:30)

CRN 22118 (TR 1:40-2:55) NO PREREQUISITE

Philosophy applies the analytic and logical rigor of science to questions that are difficult or impossible to quantify or experiment on. In this course you will practice skills of critical thinking, clear expression, and charitable disagreement by working on deep questions. The course will contain topics in several of the main areas of philosophy: metaphysics (what is there?); epistemology (what do we really know?); ethics (what are right and wrong actions? good and bad things?) and political philosophy (how should we get along together?). Exact topics in metaphysics and epistemology will depend in part on student input.

PHIL 115: Critical Thinking

Prof. Hemmenway

CRN 23211 (MWF 11:00-11:50) NO PREREQUISITE

Being a free human being means being able to think for yourself; think about what you believe, what is important, what you deem prudent to do, what you understand is moral to do, etc.  Some of the tools an independent thinker needs are critical thinking skills, for example, the ability to evaluate somebody else’s claims about the world.  This course teaches you about some of those skills and gives you practice in evaluating the reasoning of others so that you can come to your own conclusions.  These skills should also enable you to present a stronger case to others for what you believe.

PHIL 120: Symbolic Logic

Prof. Krasnoff

CRN 20714 (MWF 11:00–11:50)

CRN 20937 (MWF 12:00–12:50) NO PREREQUISITE

Analysis of arguments using the tools of propositional and predict logic. Since Socrates, Western philosophy has demanded that we argue for our beliefs on the basis of reasons. Logic is the branch of philosophy that asks: what makes an argument rationally convincing? We will develop a formal, mathematical language that will allow us to translate an important set of arguments from ordinary English, and some proof techniques for the mathematical language that will allow us to determine with precision whether those arguments are valid, and thus should be accepted if their premises are true.

PHIL 150: Nature, Technology, and Society

Prof. Boyle

CRN 23212 (MWF 9:00-9:50) NO PREREQUISITE

In this course, we will examine various philosophical problems arising from the interaction of science and technology with human life and the natural world. We will consider broad questions about the very concepts of nature and technology; more specific questions about technology and human nature, technology and race, and technology and wilderness; and ethical issues raised by the development of relatively new technologies (such as lab-based food sources, genetic engineering, autonomous robots, or geoengineering to address climate change). We will also read and discuss some texts from the history of philosophy that help provide some context for our contemporary debates.

PHIL 155: Environmental Ethics

Prof. Baker

CRN 21312 (MWF 9:00-9:50)

CRN 21865 (MWF 10:00-10:50) NO PREREQUISITE

In this course you will become comfortable and familiar with the questions being addressed by environmental ethicists. The questions they try to answer, sound, at first, rather abstract. What sort of value should be accorded the natural environment? How should we understand ourselves in relation to our environment? What do we owe the environment? But the debates over these issues are lively, and whether we realize it or not, we already act in accordance to some answers to these questions (and not others.) In this class, we will consider carefully, like philosophers, whether we are valuing the environment properly, whether we understand our place in nature rightly, and whether we are doing what we ought for the preservation of the environment. Along the way we will develop analytical skills that should be useful beyond the topic of environmental ethics.

PHIL 165: Philosophy of Sex and Gender

Prof. Hough

CRN 23213 (MW 2:00-3:15)

CRN 23217 (MW 3:25-4:40) NO PREREQUISITE

Do women and men have distinct ‘natures’? What indeed is a woman, or a man? What kinds of philosophical assumptions govern our thinking about sex and gender? In the first half of the course we will review various accounts of women and men in the history of philosophy (including Plato, Aristotle, Hume, Kant, Schopenhauer and Nietzsche). We

will then read some essays in recent gender philosophy and consider the philosophical shape of these potent issues (such as pornography, the nature of consent, masculine identity, and transgender rights).

PHIL 170: Biomedical Ethics

Prof. Phillips

CRN 22116 (TR 9:25-10:40)

CRN 22117 (TR 10:50–12:05) NO PREREQUISITE

In this course, we will discuss central topics in biomedical ethics. Using the tools of logic and reasoning, as well as ethical frameworks and principles from philosophers such as Kant and Mill, students will explore the complex ethical issues relating to medical practice and research. Topics include issues relating to informed consent, genetic engineering, healthcare rationing, abortion, assisted suicide, and discrimination in medicine and research.

PHIL 198: Special Topics: Philosophy and Science Fiction

Prof. Phillips

CRN 23214 (MW 2:00-3:15) NO PREREQUISITE

The science fiction genre is full of works that explore important philosophical questions through stories. In this class we will examine some of these philosophical questions through science fiction short stories and films, as well as works by philosophers. Some of the topics we’ll cover include what it is to have a mind, the nature of personal identity over time, whether we have free will, the moral significance of AI, the possibility of time travel, and the nature and significance of gender.

PHIL 202: History of Modern Philosophy

Prof. Boyle

CRN 20440 (MWF 12:00-12:50) PREREQUISITE: One course in philosophy

The early modern period (the 17th and 18th centuries) saw the rise of modern science, when medieval and Aristotelian conceptions of knowledge, nature, and humans’ place in the world began to be rejected. In this course we will read, discuss, and critically evaluate works by such philosophers as René Descartes, Princess Elisabeth of Bohemia, Margaret Cavendish, Baruch Spinoza, John Locke, David Hume, Mary Shepherd, and Immanuel Kant, all of whom sought to find new understandings of the world, our place in it, and our knowledge of it.

PHIL 203: Philosophy of Human Nature

Prof. Hemmenway

CRN 23215(TR 10:50-12:05) NO PREREQUISITE

Our consideration this semester of the question, what is human nature? will first involve a survey that looks at a couple of religious figures (e.g., Confucius and Augustine) but mostly passages from the philosophers Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Hume, Kant, Marx, Sartre, and Kierkegaard. We will then circle back and read Plato’s Phaedrus in its entirety for Socrates’ view of what makes humans human in light of our thoughtful and erotic relation to the divine.

PHIL 207: Ethics

Prof. Baker

CRN 23334 (MWF 1:00-1:50) NO PREREQUISITE

In this course we will learn ethical theory. Ethical theory is designed to help us sort through ethical issues, including questions about what to do, how to be motivated, and how to fairly judge others. With a focus on virtue ethics, we will look to its origins in Plato, Aristotle, Kongzi (Confucius), Mengzi (Mencius) and the Stoics (Epictetus, Seneca) and the Epicureans. We will learn the work of contemporary virtue ethicists such as Julia Annas, Rosalind Hursthouse, and Larry Becker. We will contrast a theoretical approach to virtue to more popular understanding of ethics. And we will look to

support for its claims in contemporary behavioral science. This course is a great opportunity to become confident about "ethics" can mean.

PHIL 234: Eastern Philosophy

Prof. Coseru

CRN 23218 (TR 10:50-12:05) NO PREREQUISITE

Eastern philosophers have grappled with the same problems as Western philosophers: What really exists? Who or what am I? What can I know? This course examines answers to these questions, drawing mainly from the Buddhist philosophical tradition, and their relevance to contemporary debates in Western philosophy. We will focus our inquiry on four topics: personal identity, causation, the external world, and self-knowledge. The course has two aims: first, to figure out whether and how to establish a productive conversation between these two philosophical traditions; second, to help you develop an appreciation for the value of cross-cultural or intercultural philosophical reflection in our increasingly global world.

PHIL 270: Philosophy of Law

Prof. Neufeld

CRN 21311 (TR 9:25-10:40) NO PREREQUISITE

This class examines a few fundamental philosophical questions about law.

What is law? How do you know what the laws are in any jurisdiction? Since not all laws are written down, what kind of thing are you looking for when you want to identify a law (as opposed to a custom, a moral rule, a bit of etiquette).

How does legal reasoning work? Are answers to legal questions determined just by what statutes say? Or do judges need to look to other, non-textual reasons (political, moral, economic)? Is judicial reasoning really independent or is it affected by other factors? If so, what then?

What kind of authority does law have? Is it just a kind of moral authority? What if morality and law conflict? Do I have an obligation to obey an unjust law? At least one topic will be democratically determined by class interest

We will look at texts from thinkers like Aquinas, Kimberlé Crenshaw, Ronald Dworkin, HLA Hart, Oliver Wendall Holmes, Martha Nussbaum, Richard Posner, Joseph Raz, and Patricia Williams.

PHIL 270: Philosophy of Law

Prof. Nadelhoffer

CRN 23216 (TR 1:40-2:55 Online/synchronous) NO PREREQUISITE

This course is an introduction to some perennial issues in the philosophy of law. Students will be familiarized with works from both classical and contemporary legal, moral, and political theorists. The course will be focused primarily on the following questions: What is the actus reus and "mens rea" requirements for criminal responsibility? What does it mean to have a legal excuse? What are the goals and limits of criminal sanctions? Is the death penalty morally and legally permissible? What is the relationship between free will and the law? Finally, what role, if any, should recent advances in neuroscience and genetics have in determinations of criminal responsibility? This final topic will help highlight both the practical side of the philosophy of law and the importance of interdisciplinarity when it comes to legal theorizing.

PHIL 298: Special Topics: Socrates

Prof. Flores

CRN 23283 (TR 1:40-2:55) NO PREREQUISITE

This course examines the primary literary and historical sources for the Athenian philosopher Socrates (469-399 BCE). Since Socrates himself did not write anything, we’ll discuss how we know what we know about him, and how we can reconstruct aspects of his life and contribution of Greek philosophy and political thought via contemporary sources. Reading will include philosophic dialogues of Plato, philosophic and historical texts of Xenophon, and the comedies of Aristophanes.

PHIL 330: Philosophy of Mind

Prof. Coseru

CRN 23219 (TR 1:40-2:55) PREREQUISITE: Two courses in philosophy or departmental permission

Rocks probably don’t have minds, but research shows that plants are at least sentient. Do animals have minds? Do computers? In virtue of what does something have a mind? What is the mind? Our main concern in this course is the nature of mind and the relation between our minds and the physical world. We will reflect on whether having a mind is just a matter of having a brain, on the nature of mental states such as sensations, thoughts, and feelings, on the connection between mental states and behavior, and on the nature and character of consciousness.

PHIL 450: Senior Seminar: Trust

Prof. Kingston

CRN 20441 (W 2:00-4:45) PREQUISITE: Senior standing and departmental permission

This course takes a philosophical perspective on the practices of trusting and mistrusting in society. We will look at what it means to trust or mistrust, the psychology of trust, and under what conditions it is rational or appropriate to trust. We will explore the similarities and differences between practices of trusting humans on the one hand, and non-human actors such as groups and institutions on the other. We will finish with a practical question: under what conditions (if any) should the public trust organizations with a bad ethical track record which claim to have changed for the better?