2007–2008 Philosophy Courses

Religious Studies Courses

PHIL

100/100D

Introduction to Philosophy, LE

(3)

Introduction to the methods and goals of philosophical inquiry. Approaches may include examining some of the principal themes, works, figures, or topics in the Western philosophical tradition and/or philosophical examination of contemporary issues. Questions emphasize issues such as truth, value, human nature, knowledge, decision making, justice, and rationality. Students learn to refine and justify their own positions orally and in writing. Some sections are offered as part of a Learning Community or as a Diversity section.

 

PHIL

102

Critical Thinking, LE

(4)

Teaches the skills involved in clear thinking and intelligent reading applicable to all studies. Includes identification of fallacies in argumentation, a short treatment of deductive logic, and exercises in textual interpretation necessary for approaching the diverse genre of an educated person. An emphasis is placed on sound decision-making in life. This course is a prerequisite for all upper division philosophy courses.

 

PHIL

201

History of Philosophy I

(4)

A treatment of ancient and medieval philosophy. Prerequisite: PHIL 102. Taught as a sequence in alternate years.

 

PHIL

202

History of Philosophy II

(4)

A treatment of modern and contemporary philosophy. Prerequisite: PHIL 102. Taught as a sequence in alternate years.

 

PHIL

206/206D

Introduction to Ethics, LE

(3)

Moral philosophy from ancient to recent times. Explores problems involving value judgments, personal freedom and moral responsibility, and the application of philosophy to personal decision making and to current issues in such areas as law, business, and biomedicine. Students learn to refine and justify their own views orally and in writing. Some sections are offered as part of a Learning Community or as a Diversity section.

 

PHIL 300 Special Topics in Philosophy (1–4)
Significant philosophical topics or themes are explored in certain sub-disciplines of philosophy. Examples of such courses are: The Ethics of Violence, Philosophy of Language, Advanced Topics in Logic, Existentialism and Phenomenology, Aesthetics, Philosophy of Literature. Prerequisite: PHIL 102. May be taken more than once for credit.
 
PHIL 302 Great Philosophers (4)
A concentrated study of one or two related philosophers and the major themes of their important works. Prerequisite: PHIL 102.
 
PHIL 303 Formal Logic (4)
Introduction to modern sentential and predicate logic. The nature of deductive and inductive argument, truth, validity and soundness, and the relationship between formal expression and natural language, with an emphasis on the application of formal logic to the analysis of arguments in ordinary language. Prerequisite: PHIL 102.
 
PHIL 307 Environmental Ethics (4)
An examination of moral issues resulting from human use of the natural environment. Focuses on future responsibility as it results from action in the present, an examination of traditional secular and religious conceptions of morality which may have contributed to the “environmental crisis,” and a consideration of alternative views such as zoocentrism, biocentrism, ecocentrism, ecofeminism, the “land ethic,” and ecojustice. Prerequisite: PHIL 102.
 
PHIL 311 Philosophy of Religion (4)
Philosophical issues in religion, including the nature of God, religious belief, the problem of evil, the prospect of immortality, and religious experience and its interpretation. Particular attention paid to the relationship between science on the one hand and monotheistic religions and theologies on the other. Prerequisite: PHIL 102. Same as REL 311.
 
PHIL 312 Applied Ethics (4)
Analysis of specific contemporary issues via amoral lens. In some cases the course will focus on a specific field such as medicine, business, or sexual ethics; in other cases the course will focus on a range of fields or issues. Depending on the focus, this course may be taken more than once for credit. Prerequisites: PHIL 100 or PHIL 102.
 
PHIL 330 Feminist Issues in Philosophy (4)
Examines feminist theory, feminist criticism or feminist approaches to philosophical inquiry. Prerequisites: PHIL 100 or PHIL 102.
 
PHIL 350 Epistemology/Metaphysics (4)
Close study of fundamental issues in Epistemology, including knowledge as justified true belief and Gettier counterexamples; evidentialism and foundationalism in response to Gettier; and classical and contemporary conceptions of Skepticism. Close study of fundamental issues in Metaphysics, including ontology and language; realism, truth and the practice of science; and 19th and 20th century rejections of traditional Metaphysics. Prerequisites: PHIL 100 or PHIL 102. Recommended: PHIL 303.
 
PHIL 370 Philosophy and Literature (4)
Explores the interplay between philosophy and literature through close readings of genre-flexible texts. Prerequisites: PHIL 100 or PHIL 102.
 
PHIL 390 Thesis Research Preseminar in Philosophy (4)
A required seminar for senior philosophy majors, focusing on research, analysis, and writing techniques aimed at a particular topic or question in philosophy, in preparation for the production of a senior thesis in PHIL 490. Prerequisite: Philosophy major or consent of instructor. Majors and minors should take this class during the fall semester of their senior year. Same as REL 490. Prerequisite: Students must have senior standing or must have fulfilled all program requirements and have instructor approval.
 
PHIL 401 Directed Studies (1–4)
A tutorial-based course used only for student-initiated proposals for intensive individual study of topics not otherwise offered in the Philosophy Program. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and school dean.
 
PHIL 440 Internship (1–8)
Offers students the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster or permission of instructor), minimum 2.5 GPA, completion of the Career Resource Center Internship Workshop, and consent of program director and Career Center Internship Coordinator.
 
PHIL 490 Research Seminar in Philosophy (4)
A required seminar for Philosophy majors, continuing the work begun in PHIL 390. Prerequisite: PHIL 390. We could be more specific to relate to program goals: Students produce a substantial piece of original scholarship in Philosophy. Majors should take this class during the spring semester of their senior year. Cross-listed with REL 490. Prerequisite: Students must have senior standing or must have fulfilled all program requirements and have instructor approval.

Religious Studies Courses

REL

101

Religions of the World, LE

(3)

Survey of the origin, history, beliefs, and practices of the world’s major religions. Some sections offered as a Diversity section.

 

REL

300

Special Topics in Religious Studies

(1–4)

Exploration of significant and relevant religious issues. Topics vary each semester. Recent topics include Theories of Religion and Women’s Power and Spirituality. May be taken more than once for credit. Prerequisite: specific courses offered may have a prerequisite. Please see course schedule listings.

 

REL

311

Philosophy of Religion

(4)

Philosophical issues in religion, including the nature of God, religious belief, the problem of evil, the prospect of immortality, and religious experience and its interpretation. Prerequisite: PHIL 102. Same as PHIL 311.

 

REL

312

The Bible: Jewish and Christian Scriptural Traditions

(4)

A general course including an exploration of the Bible as a source of literary, philosophic, and religious themes. The historical sources of the Bible together with the breadth of its influence on Western civilization are examined.

 

REL

401

Directed Studies

(1–4)

A tutorial-based course used only for student-initiated proposals for intensive individual study of topics not otherwise offered in the Religion Program. Prerequisite: consent of instructor and school dean.

 

REL 440 Internship (1–8)
Offers students the opportunity to integrate classroom knowledge with practical experience. Prerequisites: junior or senior standing (for transfer students, at least 15 hours completed at Westminster or permission of instructor), minimum 2.5 GPA, completion of the Career Resource Center Internship Workshop, and consent of program director and Career Center Internship Coordinator.
 
REL 490 Research Seminar in Religious Studies (4)
Required research seminar for Senior Religion minors, combining research on, and analysis of, a specific problem or topic in the critical study of Religion. The results of the student’s research and analysis will be presented in the form of a senior thesis. Same as PHIL 390, offered Fall semester only. Religion minors sign up for this required course in the Fall semester.