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.

Select a semester:

Philosophy Fall 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

Read More »

3 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.

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

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

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

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

Read More »

9 Sections Currently Scheduled »

300-Level Courses in PHIL

PHIL 301: History of Western Philosophy: Ancient (3 Credits)

Classical Greek philosophy, including pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Limited to three attempts.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

Read More »

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

Read More »

7 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

Read More »

2 Sections 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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 338: Philosophy, Race, and Gender (3 Credits)

Examines how concepts of gender, sexual difference, and race structure key philosophical ideas and put such ideas into question. Analyzes the ways in which patriarchal, colonial and racialized structures intersect to produce concepts of the human, the subject, and the ‘Other’. Explores alternative approaches to subjectivity, sexuality, the body, and knowledge drawn from feminist philosophy, queer theory, and philosophies of race and decoloniality. 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.

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 339: Recent Continental Philosophy (3 Credits)

Examines themes in continental philosophy from the late twentieth century to the present day. Particular themes will be explored through a variety of thinkers, such as Agamben, Cavarero, Deleuze, Derrida, Foucault, Irigaray, Kristeva, Lyotard, Nancy, Ranciere, or Stiegler, and approaches, such as postmodernist, poststructuralist, decolonial, or feminist. Possible themes will include temporality, alterity, language, history or technology. May be repeated within the degree for a maximum 9 credits.
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.

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 344: Ethical Issues in Global Health (3 Credits)

This course will consider ethical questions that arise in global health policy, practice and research. Limited to three attempts.
Recommended Prerequisite: Sophomore standing or higher.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading: This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 371: Philosophy of Natural Sciences (3 Credits)

One semester of logic recommended. Study of aims and methodology of science. Among the questions of concern are: What constitutes a good scientific explanation? What grounds are used for comparing rival theories? Is there a special method of scientific discovery? Limited to three attempts.
Recommended Prerequisite: 3 hours of philosophy or permission of instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 373: Theory of Knowledge (3 Credits)

Discussion of basic problems concerning the nature of knowledge, with study of the relation of knowledge to perception, belief, and language. Limited to three attempts.
Recommended Prerequisite: 3 hours of philosophy or Permission of Instructor.
Schedule Type: Lecture
Grading:
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

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

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.

Read More »

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.

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

Graduate

600-Level Courses in PHIL

PHIL 600: Proseminar in Philosophy (1 credit. Credits)

Introduces MA students to the areas and methods of philosophical scholarship. Notes: Graduate students outside of the philosophy program may take this course with permission of the department. 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 limited to students in the LA-MA-PHIL program.

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 Satisfactory/No Credit scale.

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 640: History of Ethical Theory (3 Credits)

Examines history of Western ethical theory from ancient Greece to the present day, including virtue theory, consequentialism, deontological theory and contemporary feminism. 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.

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

PHIL 658: Feminist Theory (3 Credits)

Analysis of the critique of patriarchy offered by contemporary continental feminist philosophers. Examines contemporary moral, political, and epistemological issues in feminist theory. May not be repeated for credit.
Recommended Prerequisite: Admission to graduate program or permission of instructor.
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.

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled

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

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.
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

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

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.
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

Read More »

1 Section Currently Scheduled