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Angelo State University
Department of Political Science and Philosophy

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Philosophy Course Descriptions (PHIL)

  • 1301/PHIL 1301 Introduction to Philosophy (3-0). Problems in interpretation of the nature of knowledge, reality, and value.

    2305 Critical Reasoning and Logic (3-0). This course explores how values and beliefs are manifested in the language we use. By learning to evaluate problems in reasoning and the solutions to them, students become more aware of linguistic strategies and the impact of those strategies in our human experience. This course helps to assess rationally real life situations in order to avoid common mistakes and assumptions in our culture as well as in other cultures.

    2306/PHIL 2306 Introduction to Ethics (3-0). This course offers an introduction to moral thought. It explores topics such as moral objectivism and relativism, what makes an action morally good or bad, and the connection between morality and happiness. In this course students learn to apply ethical systems to current moral debates.

    3310 History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (3-0). A study of some of the most significant contributions to philosophical thought from the pre-Socratics to Aquinas. This course covers from the 6th century B.C. to the 14th century.

    3311 History of Modern Philosophy (3-0). A study of key philosophical figures whose thoughts contributed to the development of philosophy from the 15th century to the 19th century.

    3312 Introduction to Metaphysics (3-0). This introductory course will consider the traditional problems of metaphysics: personal identity, time, space, causation, freewill, universals and particulars, as well as more recent philosophical concerns such as “vagueness.” The course will look at some of the most important of the philosophers who contributed to this literature, including the Empiricists Locke, Berkeley, and Hume, as well as the rationalists Descartes, Leibniz and Spinoza, up to and including more recent contemporary literature on these problems.

    3313 Philosophy of Religion (3-0). This course examines some fundamental issues concerning the nature of religious belief, the relation between faith and reason, the arguments for and against the existence of God, and the problem of evil.

    3315 Philosophy of Art (3-0). This course will take students through a history of the Philosophy of Art from Hegel’s introductory lectures on aesthetics to Theodor Adorno’s reflections on modern music.

    4311 Philosophy of Science and Technology (3-0). This course reflects on the nature of the scientific enterprise and its technological ramifications. It covers topics in the philosophy of science, including the difference between science and non-science, the nature of the scientific method, the ontological status of theoretical entities or the role of values in science. It also addresses the relation between science and technology and some fundamental topics in the philosophy of technology.

    4312 Philosophy of Mind (3-0). This course explores traditional and contemporary views on the nature of mind. It covers topics such as the mindbody problem, causation of mental entities, the fitting of consciousness in a physical world, intentionality, and computational approaches to mind. Thought experiments involving robots, zombies, Martians, or brains in vats will help us reflect on our nature as beings with mental lives.

    4330 Great Philosophical Figures (3-0). This course covers in depth the works of one or two prominent figures in the history of philosophy. This is a variable topic course. May be repeated once for credit when topic varies.

    *4331 Classical Political Philosophy (3-0). A study of Greek, Roman, and medieval thinkers from Socrates to Machiavelli. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Political Science 4331.)

    *4332 Modern Political Philosophy (3-0). A study of modern political thought from Hobbs to Nietzsche. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Political Science 4332.)

    *4333 Contemporary Political Philosophy (3-0). A study contemporary political thinkers from the beginning of the 20th Century to the present. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Political Science 4333.)

    *4334 Existentialist Approaches to Political Violence: Kierkegaard to Sartre (3-0). A survey of debate concerning political violence from the middle of the nineteenth century to the present. (Credit may not be earned for this course and Political Science 4334.)

    4360 Topics in Contemporary Philosophy (3-0). A study of key philosophical figures whose thoughts contributed to the development of philosophy from the beginning of the 20th century.

    4391 Research. Students may take this course as Directed Readings in Philosophy or as a Research Senior Thesis. This second option is strongly recommended for students intending to apply for Graduate Studies in Philosophy. May be repeated for a total of 6 semester hours credit.

    4395 Capstone Seminar (3-0). Students will develop a portfolio from papers and writing samples that best represent their achievements in the discipline. The portfolio should include an introduction justifying the selection of the content material and a critical analysis of the progress made in the degree program.

    *These courses are cross-listed with political science courses.

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