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 2020

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. Limited to three attempts.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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3 Sections Currently Scheduled

  • - 003 — Christopher Lee Venner — 09:00 AM to 10:15 AM TR — Art & Design Building L008
  • - 004 — 12:00 PM to 01:15 PM TR — Robinson Hall B368
  • - 002 — Rose M Cherubin — 01:30 PM to 02:45 PM MW — Lecture Hall 3

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. Limited to three attempts.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 151: Introduction to Ethics (3 Credits)

Considers some perennial issues in ethical theory. Limited to three attempts.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

  • - 001 — Charles A Barclay — 10:30 AM to 11:45 AM MW — Krug Hall 210

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 explores 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. Limited to three attempts.
Mason Core: Arts
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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2 Sections 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. Limited to three attempts.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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3 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. Limited to three attempts.
Specialized Designation: Green Leaf Related Course
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

  • - 001 — Andrew Light — 01:30 PM to 02:45 PM TR — East Building 122

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. Limited to three attempts.
Mason Core: Literature
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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7 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. Limited to three attempts.
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. Limited to three attempts.
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. Limited to three attempts.
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

  • - 003 — 03:00 PM to 04:15 PM MW — Planetary Hall (formerly Science & Tech I) 127

PHIL 335: Nineteenth-Century Philosophy (3 Credits)

Development of German Romanticism and Idealism during a brilliant period in the history of the West rivaled only by ancient Greece. Kant, Fichte, Hegel, Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche mount a revolt against the rationalism and scientism of the modern world. Limited to three attempts.
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

PHIL 336: Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Existentialism (3 Credits)

Examination of existential philosophy from its 19th-century origins to its 20th-century expressions. Philosophers studied include Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Sartre, De Beauvoir, and Buber. Limited to three attempts.
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

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. Limited to three attempts.
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. Limited to three attempts.
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

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

PHIL 374: Philosophy of Mind (3 Credits)

Investigation of such theories as dualism, behaviorism, and materialism as they pertain to some of the central philosophical questions about mind. Limited to three attempts.
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

  • - 001 — Andrew H Peterson — 12:00 PM to 01:15 PM MW — Innovation Hall 209

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. Limited to three attempts.
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

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

  • - 001 — Lisa Koch — 03:00 PM to 04:15 PM M — Music Theater Building (formerly Fine Arts Building) 1008

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. Limited to three attempts.
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

  • - 001 — Thomas Wilk — 03:00 PM to 04:15 PM TR — Robinson Hall B368

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 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 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

PHIL 460: Senior Seminar in Philosophy, Politics, and Economics (3 Credits)

Covers issues in the philosophy, economics, and political science of institutions, information, and collective action. Through case studies of existing legal and political institutions, applies the insights to problems in politics, policy making, social-choice theory, and social, moral, and political philosophy. (Specific content varies). Notes: Serves as the capstone course for the PPE program. Equivalent to ECON 460, GOVT 469.
Recommended Prerequisite: PHIL 358 and ECON 412 or permission of instructor.
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 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 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

Graduate

600-Level Courses in PHIL

PHIL 616: Phenomenology (3 Credits)

This major approach in philosophy is studied in regard to its basic features, the tasks to which it has been set by major contributors, certain findings of phenomenology in practice, as well as crucial problems that develop as phenomenology proceeds and how they are addressed by phenomenologists. May not be repeated for credit.
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: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Graduate Regular scale.

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

  • - 001 — Wayne J Froman — 04:30 PM to 07:10 PM M — David King Hall 2054

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.

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2 Sections 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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

2 Sections 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