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 2021

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

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4 Sections Currently Scheduled »

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

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1 Section 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 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

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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

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3 Sections Currently Scheduled

200-Level Courses in PHIL

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

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11 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

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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

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6 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

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 323: Classical Western Political Theory (3 Credits)

Exploration through lecture and discussion of developments in the Western tradition of political thought from the time of the Greek city-state to late medieval Christendom, focusing on such topics as the nature and purpose of politics, the relationship between the individual and the state, the political significance of religion and tradition, and the concept of natural law. Equivalent to GOVT 323.
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 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. Limited to three attempts.
Specialized Designation: Topic Varies
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 337: Twentieth-Century Continental Thought: Phenomenology (3 Credits)

Examines the phenomenological way of doing philosophy, its findings in regard to the "life-world," questions of "first philosophy," and the subject matter of the social sciences, as well as critical difficulties in its development. Texts by Husserl, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, Sartre, Schutz, and Derrida. 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 343: Topics in Environmental Philosophy (3 Credits)

An in-depth examination of selected environmental issues from a philosophical perspective. Such issues might include the value of nature, the moral status of animals, duties to protect wilderness areas, economics and environmental protection, environmental justice, and environmental aesthetics. Limited to three attempts.
Specialized Designation: Green Leaf Related Course, Topic Varies
Schedule Type: Seminar
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

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

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

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

400-Level Courses in PHIL

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

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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 429: Advanced Topics in Social and Political Philosophy (3 Credits)

Examines key social and political issues drawing on a range of philosophical thinkers, texts and approaches. Possible topics include: migration and immigration, biopolitics, climate change, health inequity, decision theory, democracy and citizenship, slavery and reparations, mass incarceration, or human rights. Emphasizes the ability to put philosophical concepts and theories to work to address questions and problems of social, political or global significance. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 9 credits.
Specialized Designation: Topic Varies
Recommended Prerequisite: PHIL/GOVT 323, or PHIL/GOVT 324, or PHIL/GOVT 327, 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

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

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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 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 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.
Specialized Designation: Topic Varies
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

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4 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

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1 Section Currently Scheduled

Topics in PHIL

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.
Specialized Designation: Topic Varies
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

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4 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

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled