Philosophy is devoted to providing a learning environment in which students broaden their perspectives, stretch their thinking, and learn to reason and communicate in a critical, clear, and consistent manner. Major areas of philosophical inquiry are explored with reference to both historical and contemporary thought. Together, students and faculty pursue answers to the perennial questions involved in the common search for meaning, truth, and values. Through dialogue, disciplined thinking and writing, and mutual concern and respect, an attempt is made to articulate God’s truth as it relates to these basic questions. Emphasis is placed on the integration of philosophy with other disciplines and the development of Christian perspectives.
A minor in philosophy is of special value for most disciplines in that it provides a framework for the integration of study and learning, as well as an emphasis on the basic tools of language and reasoning. Students with a major in philosophy often seek further study in theology, law, biblical studies, and history, in addition to graduate work in philosophy. Philosophy provides an excellent background for careers in the business world, government service, the legal profession, and medicine and related health fields, as well as in teaching or ministry. Not only does philosophy enhance professional credentials, it also aids students in becoming liberally educated people with a variety of interests to pursue throughout the rest of their lives.
Majors in Philosophy
Minor in Philosophy
PHI105 • Meaning, Persons, and God. 3 Credits.
Addresses some central questions of philosophy about the meaning of life, the nature of morality, and the existence of God. Takes students on a philosophical journey with a professor, explores answers proposed by great thinkers of the past and present, and helps students develop their own ideas.
PHI110 • Contemporary Moral Issues. 3 Credits.
A moral analysis of abortion, euthanasia, capital punishment, sexual morality, and self-interest. Ethical approaches of Plato, Hobbes, Butler, Bentham, Mill, Ross, Rawls, and Kant. Development of principles of love and justice, and the role of a Christian in society. Emphasis on moral decision making.
Offered: Fall, interim, spring.
PHI120 • Philosophy Through Film. 3 Credits.
Viewing and discussion of films that raise intriguing philosophical issues, combined with reading classical texts in philosophy in order to develop reflective, reasoned responses to some of life’s basic questions.
Offered: Spring, even # years.
PHI125M • Introduction to Logic. 3 Credits.
A study of standard forms of deductive and inductive logical reasoning, critical thinking, and informal fallacies. Covers rules for evaluating arguments and acquaints students with ways to distinguish good arguments from bad ones, with the goal of problem solving and making reasonable decisions about beliefs and actions.
PHI210L • The Modern Mind. 3 Credits.
Themes and movements that have shaped European and American culture in the last 200 years, drawing on significant works in philosophy, literature, and art. Reflection on the personal and cultural meanings of living in the modern age.
Prerequisites: GES130 and GES160 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Fall
PHI220L • Philosophies of Race and Gender in America. 3 Credits.
Investigates the impact of theories of race and gender on life and thought in contemporary America. Analyzes the philosophical concepts and arguments underlying the historical development of these theories. Critically evaluates the philosophical commitments inherent in the moral and religious language used in discussions of race and gender in America.
Prerequisites: GES130 and GES160 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Fall
PHI223L • Introduction to Gender Studies. 3 Credits.
Provides a philosophical grounding in the field of Gender Studies. Introduces a broad spectrum of theories and ideas about gender, and explores key debates within the field. Examines how theories of gender emerge as well as shape and influence individual lives and social contexts in America and beyond.
Prerequisites: GES130 and GES160 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Spring
PHI228L • Philosophies of Love and Sex. 3 Credits.
Examines different perspectives on the nature of love and sexuality. Defines and distinguishes features associated with different types of love and sexuality. Explores norms concerning both, and critically examines their role in contemporary American society.
Prerequisites: GES130 and GES160 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently); one completed PHI course recommended. Offered: Spring, Occasionally
PHI230U • Medieval Islamic Philosophy. 3 Credits.
From 800-1200 A.D., Arabic civilization was the world’s center of intellectual, cultural, and economic developments. A study of the philosophical and theological thought developed in the Arabic world during the medieval period, and its influence on later intellectual traditions, including the Western Christian tradition.
Prerequisites: GES130 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently). Offered: Spring
PHI235L • Film and the Modern Sensibility. 3 Credits.
An exploration of film as an art form and as an expression of the meanings of “modernism.” Why film is a uniquely modern art form is addressed, as well as those themes that identify the “modern sensibility.” Films such as Citizen Kane, Rashomon, Do the Right Thing, Beloved, Tender Mercies, Apocalypse Now, and others are viewed and analyzed.
Prerequisites: GES130 and GES160 (may be taken concurrently) or GES244 (may be taken concurrently); one completed PHI course recommended. Offered: Occasionally interim. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in English.
PHI251 • History of Philosophy I. 3 Credits.
Development of Western philosophy from its origin with the ancient Greeks to the time of the Renaissance, emphasizing the works of Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas.
Prerequisites: One philosophy course. Offered: Fall
PHI252 • History of Philosophy II. 3 Credits.
Philosophical traditions beginning with the rise of modern science, including the Continental rationalists, British empiricists, Kant, and Hegel, and tracing 19th century reactions to idealism and subsequent developments in Continental and Anglo-American philosophy in the 20th century.
Prerequisites: One philosophy course. Offered: Spring
PHI301 • Symbolic Logic. 4 Credits.
A study of symbolic logic including standard translations from arguments in natural language, methods of quantification and formal proofs of validity, and an introduction to modal logic. Focus on the application of symbolic logic to philosophical arguments.
Prerequisites: PHI125M or MAT241. Offered: Occasionally
PHI302 • Philosophy and Film. 4 Credits.
What can philosophy contribute to the critical discussion of film? How does film present philosophical arguments? Why is film a unique art form? Are the worlds of film real? In what ways do films have meaning? Questions such as these are considered in the context of classic and contemporary films, as well as recent philosophical discussions of film.
Prerequisites: FLM200 and one philosophy course, or consent of the instructor. Offered: Occasionally spring
PHI305G • Philosophy of Religion. 3 Credits.
Study of issues central to religious belief. Explores different approaches to the relation of faith and reason, the sources of religious knowledge, the nature of God, the problem of evil, religious diversity, and the afterlife.
Prerequisites: [GES130; GES160; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES244; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Spring
PHI310 • Aesthetics. 3 Credits.
Problems and perspectives concerning the nature of art and aesthetic experience. Questions such as “What is art?” “What is good art?” and “What good is art?” in the context of the visual arts, music, literature, and film. The relationships among aesthetic, moral, and religious values are explored.
Prerequisites: GES125. Offered: Fall
PHI315 • Kierkegaard and Existentialism. 4 Credits.
The meanings and influence of the works of Sören Kierkegaard, 19th century Danish philosopher. Topics may include Kierkegaard’s philosophical style, his views on the nature of the self and authentic existence, freedom and despair, religious faith, Kierkegaard as social critic, and the elaboration of these themes by other existentialists. Readings from Kierkegaard’s works and those of later existentialists.
Prerequisites: One philosophy course. Offered: Spring, odd # years
PHI316 • Consciousness: Psychology and Philosophy in Dialogue. 3 Credits.
A team-taught investigation of ancient, medieval, and modern philosophies of consciousness and the historical roots of contemporary psychology. Shows how philosophical and psychological theories of consciousness transcend disciplinary boundaries. Focuses on interaction between philosophy and psychology, emphasizing the origins of cognitive science in philosophy of mind and consciousness.
Prerequisites: PSY100 or one philosophy course. Offered: Occasionally. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in psychology.
PHI320 • Ethics: Theory and Practice. 4 Credits.
Principal ethical theories and their application to problems concerning the individual and society. Readings in classical and contemporary sources focus on questions such as the meaning and justification of moral judgments, ethical relativism, and the nature of moral reasoning.
Prerequisites: Two PHI courses or approval of instructor. Offered: Spring
PHI323 • Social and Political Philosophy. 4 Credits.
A study and analysis of various theories of human interaction and association. Address questions such as: What are the differences among a community, a society, and a state? What is the role of the individual in each of these associations? What makes a social organization just? .
Prerequisites: One philosophy course. Offered: Occasionally
PHI335K • Environmental Ethics. 3 Credits.
An examination of the intersection of science, society, and technology as they pertain to issues in environmental ethics. The course moves from theory by considering science, society, and technology philosophically to application by concluding with a major research project on an applied issue in environmental ethics involving scientific data and technological choice.
Prerequisites: Laboratory Science (D) Course; Mathematics (M) course. Offered: Fall, interim. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in environmental studies.
PHI340K • Philosophy of Science. 3 Credits.
Nature of scientific method and knowledge, with special attention given to current issues in the philosophy of science. Ways in which scientific explanations relate to religious and philosophical explanations. Both natural science and social science applications.
Prerequisites: Laboratory Science (D) course; Mathematics (M) course. One philosophy course recommended. Offered: Spring
PHI360 • Classics in Western Political Philosophy. 4 Credits.
Selected political theorists. Such writers as Plato, Aristotle, early Christian writers, Machiavelli, Luther, Calvin, Locke, Marx, and Niebuhr. Concentrates on primary sources.
Prerequisites: One course in political science, philosophy, or European history; junior standing. Offered: Spring, even # year. Special Notes: Carries cross-credit in political science and history.
PHI365 • Topics in Philosophy. 4 Credits.
Intensive analysis of a philosophical issue or a major philosophical figure to be announced prior to registration.
Prerequisites: One course in philosophy. Repeatable course Students may repeat the course for credit provided a different topic or philosopher is studied. Offered: Fall or spring
PHI375G • Asian Philosophy. 3 Credits.
Selected Asian philosophical streams drawn from Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Shintoism, and the contemporary Kyoto school. Readings from religious treatises, philosophical works, and literature, with examples from the arts to encourage an understanding of Eastern worldviews, especially Japan. Persons, ethics, and aesthetics.
Prerequisites: [GES130; GES160; Contemporary Western Life and Thought (L) course; World Cultures (U) course] or [GES244; World Cultures (U) course]. Offered: Fall
PHI390 • Epistemology and Metaphysics. 4 Credits.
Topics such as the nature and meaning of knowledge, the foundations and limits of knowledge and belief, the problem of universals, the mind-body relation, and the freedom-determinism debate. Traditional and contemporary perspectives.
Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy. Offered: Spring
PHI499 • Senior Seminar. 4 Credits.
A capstone course in which students and faculty consider contemporary issues in philosophy as well as the relationship between philosophy and Christian faith.
Prerequisites: Philosophy major or minor with senior standing, or consent of the instructor. Offered: Fall