Courses

Introductory Courses

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Introductory Courses, whether issues-oriented or historically-oriented, do not presuppose any prior acquaintance with philosophy. They may be taken in any order. For more advising information, consult the Philosophy Department website. PHL-051. Ethics Bowl Practicum. For students who want to participate in the Union College Ethics Bowl Team. This practicum provides students the opportunity to further develop their ethical reasoning, critical thinking, and communication skills by participating in the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl Program and the Bioethics Bowl. Ethics Bowls are case...

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Issues-oriented Courses

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PHL-100. Introduction to Philosophy An introduction to some of the most enduring questions of philosophy: Does God exist? Might the external world be an illusion? Is science rational? What is the relationship between the mind and the body? What is it to be moral, and why should one bother? PHL-105. Introduction to Ethics An introduction to traditional normative ethical theories, which attempt to provide a rationally defensible account of morally right and wrong conduct and morally good and bad character, and consideration of the challenges posed to these theories by ethical relativism and...

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Historically-oriented Courses

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PHL-150. Ancient Philosophy An examination of issues debated by ancient Greek and Roman philosophers that became central to western philosophy, including the nature of reality, the criteria for knowledge, the difference between good and pleasure, and the principles of political justice. Discussion of readings from the PreSocratics, Plato, Aristotle, the Epicureans and the Stoics. PHL-233. Reason, Science, and Humanity We will examine some of philosophy’s “Greatest Hits” from some of the 17th and 18th centuries’ greatest thinkers: Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant.  We will...

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Intermediate Courses

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Intermediate Courses do not presuppose any prior acquaintance with philosophy. They may be taken in any order; and are pitched at a level that is more appropriate for second and higher year students than for first year students. However, in some cases an order for taking intermediate courses is recommended (for this and other advising information, consult the Philosophy Department website). PHL-265. Minds and Machines Is it possible to build a computer that effectively simulates human intelligence?  If we did so, would the computer really be intelligent, or would it merely seem to be?  Would...

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Advanced Courses

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Advanced courses may be taken in any order, although in some cases certain orders will be recommended. Unlike Introductory and Intermediate courses, most advanced courses presuppose that the student has already taken at least two philosophy courses. Although first and second year students will be allowed to take advanced courses, these courses are pitched at a level that is more appropriate for third and fourth year students. PHL-408/418. New Directions in Philosophy (Fall, Winter; Zaibert). Preparation for bi-weekly talks by visiting philosophers and development of writing skills. This...

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