Courses and Syllabi

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.

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Philosophy Spring 2019

Undergraduate

100-Level Courses in PHIL

PHIL 100: Introduction to Philosophy (3 Credits)

Introduction to the nature of philosophical reasoning and some of the main problems of philosophy. May not be repeated for credit.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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3 Sections Currently Scheduled

  • Section 002 — Davis Kuykendall — 01:30 PM to 02:45 PM MW — Music Theater Building (formerly Fine Arts Building) 1007
  • Section 001 — Davis Kuykendall — 10:30 AM to 11:45 AM MW — Robinson B228
  • Section 004 — Christopher Lee Venner — 04:30 PM to 05:45 PM MW — Buchanan Hall (formerly Mason Hall) D003

PHIL 112: Ethics and the Cybersociety (1 credit. Credits)

Examines ethical issues associated with new developments in information technology, including privacy rights, intellectual property rights, and the effect of information technology on society. May not be repeated for credit.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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3 Sections Currently Scheduled

PHIL 156: What Is Art? (3 Credits)

Introduction to philosophical reflection on the arts by looking at the critical issues in the history of aesthetics. Applies considerations to specific works and exploring these works in terms of their historical contexts and influences. Concentrates on one form of art or one period and always emphasizes questions of critical evaluation and art historical analysis. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Arts
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 173: Logic and Critical Thinking (3 Credits)

Basic concepts and techniques of deduction, emphasizing the modern treatment of such topics as quantification and rules of inference, with study of the classical treatment. Basic principles of induction, informal fallacies, and uses of logic in everyday life. May not be repeated for credit.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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2 Sections Currently Scheduled

200-Level Courses in PHIL

PHIL 243: Global Environmental Ethics (3 Credits)

Examines the global dimensions of environmental problems. Although environmental problems are global in reach, because different societies make different philosophical and ethical assumptions, they are understood in different ways. Examines several environmental problems, including climate change, population growth, and resource depletion, from a variety of scientific, policy, and cross-cultural perspectives. May not be repeated for credit.
Specialized Designation: Green Leaf Course
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

  • Section 001 — James C Olsen — 05:55 PM to 07:10 PM TR — Robinson B203

PHIL 253: Philosophy and Literature (3 Credits)

Examines differences and relations between literary and philosophical texts. Examines texts from a given period in the history of literature and philosophy. Topics include the presence of common issues in literary and philosophical writings, the influence of philosophical ideas on the production of literary texts and literary theory, and the development in literary texts of issues that are possible objects of philosophical inquiry. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Literature
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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8 Sections Currently Scheduled »

300-Level Courses in PHIL

PHIL 303: History of Western Philosophy: Modern (3 Credits)

Figures and problems of modern philosophy. Study of philosophers such as Descartes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, and Hegel. May not be repeated for credit.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 309: Bioethics (3 Credits)

Examines some major moral issues involved in practice and research in medicine and health care. Topics to be chosen from medical experimentation, definition of death, physician-assisted dying, genetics and human reproduction, distribution of scarce resources, fertility, and organ transplants. May not be repeated for credit.
Mason Core: Synthesis
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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5 Sections Currently Scheduled »

PHIL 311: Philosophy of Law (3 Credits)

Investigation of theories of natural law, legal positivism, and legal realism as they pertain to some of the central philosophical questions about law. May not be repeated for credit.
Recommended Prerequisite: 3 hours of PHIL or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

  • Section 001 — Shannon Fyfe — 12:00 PM to 01:15 PM TR — Innovation Hall 133

PHIL 325: Karl Marx's Social and Political Thought (3 Credits)

Study and evaluation of Marx's social and political ideas based on writings selected from several phases of his career. Examination of relation of Marx's thought to post-Marxian socialist theory and practice. May not be repeated for credit.
Recommended Prerequisite: 3 credits of philosophy, or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

  • Section 001: Marx — Kurt Brandhorst — 10:30 AM to 11:45 AM TR — Robinson B368

PHIL 327: Contemporary Western Political Theory (3 Credits)

Exploration through lecture and discussion of recent developments in the Western tradition of political thought from the middle of the 19th century to today. Different sections focus on one or another of the various political theories that have been influential during this period such as liberal, libertarian, conservative, communitarian, Marxist, feminist, and postmodern thought. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. Equivalent to GOVT 327.
Recommended Prerequisite: GOVT 101 or three credits of philosophy.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 329: Philosophy after Auschwitz (3 Credits)

Examines the philosophical questions that arise in the wake of the Nazi concentration camps concerning genocide, political modernity, and conceptions of the human. Investigates how the logic of the camp made possible systematic genocidal violence against the Jews and other groups, and the ways in which that logic manifests in other forms and on other bodies before and after Auschwitz. Draws on writers and philosophers such as Primo Levi, Giorgio Agamben, Hannah Arendt, Maurice Blanchot, and/or Adriana Cavarero to analyze the ethical and political questions posed by the camps, and uses literature, film and art to engage with the complexities of bearing witness to horror and the unrepresentable. May not be repeated for credit.
Recommended Prerequisite: 3 hours of PHIL or Permission of Instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.
Additional Course Details: Title varies by section and/or semester

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

  • Section 001 — Kurt Brandhorst — 12:00 PM to 01:15 PM MW — Innovation Hall 133

PHIL 357: Philosophy of the Social Sciences (3 Credits)

Philosophical issues relating to competing methodologies for the social sciences. Analysis and critique of mainstream positivism and behaviorism; paradigm theory and scientific revolutions; interpretive understanding and hermeneutical science; phenomenology and the social construction of reality; ethnomethodology and situational meaning; analytic philosophy and action theory; the "idea" of a social science; sociology of knowledge and theory of ideology; and Western Marxism and critical theory. May not be repeated for credit.
Recommended Prerequisite: 3 credits of philosophy, or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 358: Ethics and Economics (3 Credits)

Examines issues at the intersection of ethics and economics. Looks at the different ways in which ethics and economics impact each other. May not be repeated for credit.
Recommended Prerequisite: 3 credits in philosophy or permission of the instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

  • Section 001 — Derek William Boyd — 01:30 PM to 02:45 PM MW — Innovation Hall 131

PHIL 376: Symbolic Logic (3 Credits)

Study of predicate calculi by means of a step-by-step construction of artificial languages. Topics include procedures for constructing a calculus, proof techniques, significant properties of predicate calculi, and procedures for recognizing phrases. May not be repeated for credit.
Recommended Prerequisite: PHIL 173 or MATH 110 or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

  • Section 001 — Dimiter Kirilov — 03:00 PM to 04:15 PM MW — Robinson B360

PHIL 393: Humanities College to Career (1 credit. Credits)

Focuses on career choices and effective self-presentation for soon-to-be graduating students with majors in the humanities. Explores how skills typically learned In humanities majors can be leveraged for a successful transition to post-graduation employment. Equivalent to ENGH 303, FRLN 309, HIST 385, UNIV 420.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

  • Section 001 — Lisa Koch — 10:30 AM to 11:45 AM R — Innovation Hall 323

400-Level Courses in PHIL

PHIL 411: Theories of Decision (3 Credits)

Examines from a philosophical perspective descriptive and normative theories of individual decision, with particular focus on the strengths and weaknesses of theories of rational choice, and attempts to incorporate insights from psychology into theories of decision. Explores theoretical developments and a variety of applications. May not be repeated for credit.
Recommended Prerequisite: Two previous courses in either Philosophy, Psychology, or Economics.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

  • Section 001 — Thomas Wilk — 03:00 PM to 04:15 PM TR — Planetary Hall (formerly Science & Tech I) 124

PHIL 421: Seminar (3 Credits)

Explores topics in current philosophical research in a seminar format. Topics vary. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 18 credits.
Mason Core: Capstone
Specialized Designation: Writing Intensive in the Major
Recommended Prerequisite: Nine credits in philosophy.
Schedule Type: Seminar
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 422: Honors Seminar (3 Credits)

Seminar for students enrolled in the honors program in philosophy. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 18 credits.
Mason Core: Capstone
Specialized Designation: Writing Intensive in the Major
Recommended Prerequisite: 9 credits in philosophy and acceptance to the honors program in philosophy.
Schedule Type: Seminar
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

Topics in PHIL

PHIL 327: Contemporary Western Political Theory (3 Credits)

Exploration through lecture and discussion of recent developments in the Western tradition of political thought from the middle of the 19th century to today. Different sections focus on one or another of the various political theories that have been influential during this period such as liberal, libertarian, conservative, communitarian, Marxist, feminist, and postmodern thought. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. Equivalent to GOVT 327.
Recommended Prerequisite: GOVT 101 or three credits of philosophy.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 422: Honors Seminar (3 Credits)

Seminar for students enrolled in the honors program in philosophy. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 18 credits.
Mason Core: Capstone
Specialized Designation: Writing Intensive in the Major
Recommended Prerequisite: 9 credits in philosophy and acceptance to the honors program in philosophy.
Schedule Type: Seminar
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

Graduate

600-Level Courses in PHIL

PHIL 683: Contemporary Philosophical Figures (3 Credits)

Examines major recent philosophical authors, texts, and topics, and their influence on philosophical thought. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 6 credits.
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate, Non-Degree or Senior Plus.

Enrollment is limited to Graduate, Non-Degree or Undergraduate level students.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Seminar
Grading:
This course is graded on the Graduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 694: Special Topics in Contemporary Philosophy (3 Credits)

Topics vary. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 9 credits.
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate, Non-Degree or Senior Plus.

Enrollment is limited to Graduate, Non-Degree or Undergraduate level students.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Seminar
Grading:
This course is graded on the Graduate Regular scale.
Additional Course Details: Title varies by section and/or semester

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

700-Level Courses in PHIL

PHIL 721: Advanced Seminar in Philosophy (3 Credits)

Close study of selected topics in current philosophical discourse. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term.
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment is limited to Graduate or Non-Degree level students.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Seminar
Grading:
This course is graded on the Graduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 799: Thesis (1-6 Credits)

Develop research and write an original thesis under the direction of their thesis director. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 6 credits.
Recommended Prerequisite: Completion of 24 credits, approval of thesis proposal, and permission of instructor (thesis director).
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment is limited to Graduate or Non-Degree level students.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Thesis
Grading:
This course is graded on the Satisfactory/No Credit scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

Topics in PHIL

PHIL 683: Contemporary Philosophical Figures (3 Credits)

Examines major recent philosophical authors, texts, and topics, and their influence on philosophical thought. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 6 credits.
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate, Non-Degree or Senior Plus.

Enrollment is limited to Graduate, Non-Degree or Undergraduate level students.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Seminar
Grading:
This course is graded on the Graduate Regular scale.

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 694: Special Topics in Contemporary Philosophy (3 Credits)

Topics vary. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term for a maximum 9 credits.
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment limited to students with a class of Advanced to Candidacy, Graduate, Non-Degree or Senior Plus.

Enrollment is limited to Graduate, Non-Degree or Undergraduate level students.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Seminar
Grading:
This course is graded on the Graduate Regular scale.
Additional Course Details: Title varies by section and/or semester

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 721: Advanced Seminar in Philosophy (3 Credits)

Close study of selected topics in current philosophical discourse. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term.
Registration Restrictions:

Enrollment is limited to Graduate or Non-Degree level students.

Students in a Non-Degree Undergraduate degree may not enroll.

Schedule Type: Seminar
Grading:
This course is graded on the Graduate Regular scale.

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled