Course Catalogue

For details of staffing, specific content, and reading lists, the student should consult the current course offerings posted by the Philosophy Department before registration each semester.


PHI 100- B: Concepts of the Person (II)

An historical introduction to philosophy through readings and discussion on topics such as human identity, human understanding, and human values.

3 credits

PHI 101- G: Historical Introduction to Western Philosophy (I)

An introduction to pivotal theories of the Western philosophic tradition. Readings may be drawn from ancient Greek, medieval, and modern classics of philosophy. Topics may include philosophic theories of politics, morality, logic, metaphysics, knowledge, anthropology, art, and religion.

3 credits

PHI 103- B: Philosophic Problems (II)

An introduction to philosophy through the analysis of one or more aspects of contemporary life such as technology, war, international relations, families and friendships, or race, class and gender. Avariety of texts are used.

3 credits

PHI 104- B: Moral Reasoning (II)

An introduction to philosophy through inquiry into the formation, justification, and evaluation of moral judgments. Students are introduced to the major theories and problems of ethics, such as utilitarianism, Kant's categorical imperative, ethical relativism, egoism, and classical conceptions of the good and virtue. Against this background students engage indiscussions of contemporary moral issues.

3 credits

PHI 105- G: Politics and Society (II)

A historical introduction to philosophy through an analysis of political theories, theories of action, and styles of political life. Main themes include the relation of the individual to the state, the scope of social responsibility, and the nature of human freedom.

3 credits

PHI 108- B: Logical and Critical Reasoning (II)

The principal aim of this course is to help a student acquire the skills of thinking, reading, and writing critically. The student develops a sensitivity to language and argumentation that is applicable to a wide range of situations and subject matters.

3 credits

PHI 109- B: Philosophy and Literature in Social Context (III)

The course explores the role of literature and philosophy in understanding and critically assessing personal experience and social life. The links among literary texts, philosophical issues, and political and social commitments are explored. Topics include the relations between language and experience, the role of philosophical thinking through literary texts, and the significance of literary expression in different cultural and historical situations. This course is offered as both HUM 109 and PHI 109.

3 credits

PHI 110- B: Arts and Ideas (III)

This course is an introduction to the historical and comparative study of the various arts in relation to the philosophical ideas that prevailed at the same time. At least four significantly different historical periods ofintense creative activity - such as ancient Greece, the Renaissance, the 18th or 19th century in the West, ancient China, T'ang or Sung Dynasties in China, the Heian or Muromachi periods in Japan, and the contemporary age -are studied in terms of the interconnections between philosophical theorizing and artistic practice.

3 credits

PHI 111- B: Introduction to Eastern Philosophy (I)

An introduction to different systems of Eastern philosophy and the main classical texts drawn from Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Confucianism, and Neo-Confucianism Efforts are made to recover the different modes of knowledge, language, identification, and liberation dealt with in these texts.

3 credits

 

PHI 220- C: Introduction to Symbolic Logic (II)

This first course in symbolic logic emphasizes the development of systematic techniques for assessing the validity of arguments: truth tables and truth values analysis, Venn diagrams, elementary quantification theory, and deduction in both the propositional calculus and quantification theory.

Prerequisite: Satisfaction of entry skill in mathematics requirement

Advisory Prerequisite: U2 standing or one course in philosophy

3 credits

PHI 247- G: Existentialism (I)

Readings in existential philosophy and literature with special emphasis on such themes as alienation, anxiety, nihilism, absurdity, the self, value, death, and immediacy. Existentialist categories are used to interpret contemporary lifestyles and culture.

Prerequisites: U2 standing; one course in philosophy

3 credits

PHI 264- D: Philosophy and the Arts (III)

A study of the arts focusing on the nature of the creative process, methods of interpretation, essential differences among the various arts, and the relation of performance to text.

Advisory Prerequisite: U2 standing or one PHI, ARH, MUS, or THR course

3 credits

PHI 277- G: Political Philosophy (II)

An inquiry into the function of philosophic principles in political thought and action, with readings drawn from such authors as Plato, Aristotle, Machiavelli, Spinoza, Hobbes, Locke, Kant, Hegel, Mill, and Dewey.

Prerequisite: U2 standing or one course in philosophy

Advisory Prerequisite: PHI 105

3 credits

PHI 284- G: Introduction to Feminist Theory

The social construction of gender and how this construction affects philosophical thought and practice. The course provides an introductory survey of current feminist issues and analyses. It also examines the meaning of feminism for philosophy by examining the effect of introducing a political analysis of gender into a discipline that is supposedly universal and neutral. This course is offered as both PHI 284 and WST 284.

Advisory Prerequisite: U2 standing or one PHI or WST course

3 credits

 

PHI 300- I: Ancient Philosophy (I)

Advanced studies in selected Greek thinkers from the pre-Socratics to the classical Athenian philosophers and the Hellenistic schools.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

Advisory Prerequisite: PHI 200 or 206 or 208

3 credits

PHI 304- I: Medieval Philosophy (I)

Study of the writings of major thinkers from Augustine to William of Ockham.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

Advisory Prerequisite: PHI 200

3 credits

PHI 306- I: Modern Philosophy (I)

Advanced studies in selected thinkers such as Descartes, Vico, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

Advisory Prerequisite: One of the following: PHI 200, 206, 208, 247, or 300

3 credits

PHI 308- I: 19th-Century Philosophy (I)

Study of major figures in 19th-century thought, such as Hegel, Schopenhauer, Marx, Mill, Nietzsche, Kierkegaard, Spencer, and Comte.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

Advisory Prerequisite: One of the following: PHI 200, 206, 208, 247, 300, or 306

3 credits

PHI 310- K: American Philosophy (I)

A study of selected major figures in the history of American philosophy, e.g., Jefferson, Emerson, Edwards, James, Peirce, Dewey, Whitehead, and Santayana. American history is viewed through the lens of American philosophies such as pragmatism and transcendentalism.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

Advisory Prerequisites: One of the following: PHI 200, 206, 208, 247, 300, 306, or 308

3 credits

PHI 312- I: Topics in Contemporary European Thought (I)

Topics in major developments in contemporary European philosophy from 1900 to the present. Semester supplements to this Bulletin contain specific description when course is offered. May be repeated as the topic changes.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

Advisory Prereq: One of the following: PHI 200, 206, 208, 247, 300, 304, 306, 309, or 310

3 credits

PHI 320- G: Metaphysics (II)

An inquiry into the first principles of science, art, and action as these are treated by representative classical and modern authors.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

3 credits

PHI 325- G: Contemporary Philosophies of Language (II)

A discussion of current topics in the philosophy of language, semiotics, and literary theory.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

3 credits

PHI 330: Advanced Symbolic Logic (II)

A study of such topics as a natural deduction system of quantification theory including consistency and completeness proofs; axiomatic formal systems and associated concepts of consistency, completeness, and decidability; elementary modal logic; and introductory set theory.

Prerequisite: PHI 220

3 credits

PHI 332- G: Theories of Knowledge (II)

A study of a variety of conceptions of the structure and content of knowledge as found in classical and contemporary epistemologies. Fundamental methods and principles of philosophical inquiry are applied to questions about the ways in which concepts and theories are generated in the physical and social sciences and to questions about knowledge of what is of value, knowledge in philosophy, and knowledge in the arts.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

Advisory Prerequisite: PSY 103

3 credits

PHI 335- G: Philosophy of Time (II)

An inquiry into the nature of time as it is treated by philosophers of classical and modern times.

Prerequisites: One course in philosophy or physics

3 credits

PHI 336- G: Philosophy of Religion (II)

A philosophical analysis of basic concepts, principles, and problems of religious thought. Topics may include faith and knowledge, religion and morality, divine attributes, arguments for and against the existence of God, and the problem of evil.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy or one course in religious studies

3 credits

PHI 340- J: Philosophical Traditions of East Asia (I)

A study of influences and confluences among major currents of thought in East Asia, surveying the major debates that shaped the great intellectual traditions of China and their transformation as they were assimilated in Korea and Japan. Particular attention is given to the rise of Neo-Confucian orthodoxy in East Asia and the philosophical and political reasons its basic concepts were challenged during the Ming, late Choson and Tokugawa periods.

Prerequisites: PHI 111 or RLS 240 or 246 or 260; one other course in philosophy

3 credits

PHI 344- J: Japanese Thought and Philosophy (I)

An examination of major texts in Japan's religious, poetic-artistic, and philosophical traditions down to modern times. Topics may include Tendai, Shingon, Pure Land, and Zen Buddhism; the cultural forms of Shinto religiosity; aesthetic concepts such as miyabi; Tokugawa Neo-Confucianism and its impact on modern Japan; philosophical aspects of the modern Japanese novel; the Kyoto school of Buddhism.

Prerequisites: PHI 111 or RLS 240 or 246 or 260; one other course in philosophy

3 credits

PHI 347- G: Hermeneutics and Deconstruction (II)

An exploration of the major assumptions, commitments, methods, and strategies of hermeneutics and deconstruction. The course examines how these two recent schools of thought have developed out of the contemporary philosophical scene and how they have had such a significant impact on literary theory, art criticism, text theory, social theory, and the history of philosophy. Readings include selections from the writing of Heidegger, Gadamer, Jauss, Ricoeur, Derrida, Kristeva, Lyotard, Kofman, Irigaray, and others.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

Advisory Prerequisite: PHI 247, 264, 306, 308, or 312

3 credits

PHI 353- G: Philosophy of Mind (II)

Analysis of the major problems in the philosophy of mind, e.g., the mind-body problem, the problem of identity through time, the relation between thoughts and sensations, the problem of the knowledge of other minds.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

Advisory Prerequisite: PSY 103

3 credits

PHI 363- G: Philosophy of the Social Sciences (III)

A study of the philosophical foundations of the social sciences, applying principles and methods of philosophical analysis to questions concerning the structures of social reality, the methodological and epistemological status of the social sciences, and the criteria for evidence and theory formation in the social sciences.

Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; completion of D.E.C. category F

Advisory Prerequisite: PHI 105, 206, 249, or 277

3 credits

PHI 364- H: Philosophy of Technology (III)

A systematic study of the interrelations of human beings and their social institutions with the surrounding world of nature and of technological artifacts. The impact of technological culture on human beliefs and perceptions of the world is explored. This course is interdisciplinary in scope, with readings from philosophy, anthropology, literature, history, environmental studies, and other areas where technology is of concern.

Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; completion of D.E.C. category E

3 credits

PHI 366- G: Philosophy and the Environment (III)

Philosophical questions raised by human relations with the natural world, ranging from basic concepts such as nature, ecology, the earth, and wilderness, to the ethical, economic, political, and religious dimensions of current environmental problems, including the question of whether there are values inherent in nature itself beyond those determined by human interests alone.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy, or one course in philosophy and completion of D.E.C. category E

3 credits

PHI 368- H: Philosophy of Science (III)

A course in the philosophy of science using both historical and contemporary materials. Methodological issues discussed include scientific explanation and prediction, the structure of theories, the nature of scientific revolutions, and the role of laws in science.

Philosophic problems in understanding specific sciences and their relation to each other are also considered, as are their relations to other areas of philosophic concern, such as metaphysics.

Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; completion of D.E.C. category E

Advisory Prerequisites: PHI 206

3 credits

PHI 369: Philosophy of Mathematics (III)

An investigation of philosophical issues that arise in mathematics. Topics include foundational issues within mathematics (logicism, formalism, intuitionism, and platonism, as well as recent theories of mathematical naturalism); the nature and existence of mathematical objects; the nature of mathematical truth; the concept of set; reinterpretations of the history of mathematics.

Prerequisites: One course in philosophy; completion of D.E.C. category C

Advisory Prerequisites: PHI 206 and 220

3 credits

PHI 370- G: Philosophical Psychology (III)

An examination of philosophical issues and some psychological theories concerning the nature of the person and the sources of the self. The course includes such topics as the dimensions of the person, the nature of conscious life, the scope of human cognition, and gender identity.

Prerequisites: One course in philosophy

Advisory Prerequisite: PHI 100 or 103 or 104

3 credits

PHI 372- G: Ethical Inquiry (II)

An intensive study of the methodological principles governing the formation of ethical theories and ethical judgments through an investigation of selected ethical problems.

Advisory Prerequisites: PHI 108, 200, 206, 208, 300, 304, 306, 308, 309, or 366

3 credits

PHI 374- G: Philosophy in Relation to Other Disciplines (III)

The study of philosophy as it affects and is affected by other disciplines such as anthropology, science, sociology, the history of ideas, theology, and psychology. Semester Supplements to this Bulletin contain description when course is offered. May be repeated as the topic changes.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

3 credits

PHI 375- G: Philosophy of Law (III)

An examination of the concept of law and the nature of legal reasoning. The course explores the relationship of law to other central philosophical and social ideas such as freedom, rights, morality, authority, welfare, property, justice, equality, and constitutionalism.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

3 credits

PHI 376- G: Philosophy and Medicine (III)

An investigation of the role that philosophical concepts play in medical thinking and practice. The course focuses on the philosophical foundations of concepts of health and disease; concepts of right, responsibility, and justice relevant to medical practice; promise keeping and truth-telling in the doctor-patient relationship; and specific moral problems that arise in medical practice.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

Advisory Prerequisite: HIS 237 or 238 or SOC/HMC 200 or HMC 331

3 credits

PHI 377: Contemporary Political Philosophy (II)

A critical examination of selected issues in contemporary political philosophy, for example, the nature and justification of basic rights, the legitimization of political authority, and the various relations between ideals of social justice and democratic rule. Readings represent contemporary views such as libertarianism, liberalism, socialism, communitarianism, and feminism, and include selections by authors such as Rawls, Nozick, Dworkin, Walzer, Habermas, and Pateman.

This course is offered as both PHI 377 and POL 377.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

Advisory Prerequisites: PHI 105 or 277 or 375; one upper-division political science course

3 credits

PHI 378- K: Philosophical Topics in Asian American History (III)

Analysis and interpretation of Asian and American literature, film, law, and history to understand the experiences of Asians in the Americas and to re-conceptualize the concepts of power, race, class, gender, and ethnicity from the era of the early immigration period through the present day, placed within a broad historical context, including consideration of social, political, economic, and cultural history and institutions. Semester supplements to this Bulletin contain specific description when course is offered. May be repeated as the topic changes.

Prerequisite: U3 or U4 standing

Advisory Prerequisite: One course in philosophy

3 credits

PHI 379- K: Philosophy of Race (III)

Examination of our assumptions about race and the impact of those assumptions on issues concerning gender, class, and sexuality throughout American history. Readings include critical race theory, feminist theory, and critical legal theory. Students examine racial issues from a philosophical perspective and consider the ways in which representations of race may reinforce patterns of power and privilege. This course is offered as both AFH 379 and PHI 379.

Prerequisite: U3 or U4 standing

Advisory Prerequisite: One course in philosophy

3 credits

PHI 380- G: Literature and Philosophy (III)

An intensive study of the methods and principles of the philosophical analysis of literature and the relations between literature and philosophy. Primary texts are selected to demonstrate the precise nature of the relationship. Semester Supplements to this Bulletin contain description when course is offered. May be repeated as the topic changes.

Prerequisites: One philosophy course; one literature course

Advisory Prerequisite: PHI 109 or 110

3 credits

PHI 381- G: Aesthetics (II)

An intensive study of methods and principles specific to the philosophical analysis of art through selected classical texts in aesthetics (e.g., Plato's Phaedrus, Aristotle's Poetics, Kant's Critique of Judgment, and Nietzsche's The Birth of Tragedy). Discussions focus on such problems as the ontology of the work of art, its epistemological significance, the relation between fact and fiction, criteria of interpretation, or the political import of art. Readings in the classical texts may be supplemented by selections from contemporary authors.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy; completion of D.E.C. category D course

Advisory Prerequisites: PHI 109 or 110; PHI 264

3 credits

PHI 382- H: The Quantum Moment: Quantum Mechanics in Philosophy, Culture, and Life

This course explores the implications and influence, real and alleged, of quantum mechanics on fields other than physics. What does quantum mechanics mean, if anything, for philosophy, ethics, and social behavior? At the same time, we shall look into how social and cultural influences may have affected the way that quantum mechanics was formulated, and how it has evolved. We shall review the early history of quantum mechanics, and discuss some of the important debates at the founding of quantum mechanics. Students will not be expected to learn the mathematics in depth, only the introduction provided by the instructors aimed at non-science students. Besides readings, the course will also involve plays, films, and guest speakers. Students will

be expected to work on a final project, to be presented in class. This course is offered as both PHI 382 and PHY 382.

Prerequisite: 100-level PHY or PHI course and U3 or U4 standing

3 credits

PHI 383- G: Philosophical Issues of Race and Gender (III)

Issues of race and gender and how the notion that racism and sexism are analogous forms of oppression aids and detracts from consideration of these issues. Examination of the dynamics of race and gender in various contexts such as activism, art, law, literature, the media, medicine, and philosophy. This course is offered as both PHI 383 and WST 383.

Prerequisite: U3 or U4 standing

Advisory Prerequisite: One PHI or WST course

3 credits

PHI 384- G: Advanced Topics in Feminist Philosophy (III)

An intensive philosophical study of selected topics of feminist concern. Topics are selected to further the understanding of what effect feminism has upon traditional areas of philosophy as well as providing a detailed understanding of particular feminist theories. Semester supplements to this Bulletin contain specific description when course is offered. May be repeated as the topic changes. This course is offered as both PHI 384 and WST 384.

Prerequisites: One PHI course; one WST course

Advisory Prerequisites: PHI/WST 284; one other PHI or WST course

3 credits

PHI 386- J: Topics in Asian Philosophy

Designed for upper-division students, this course presents in-depth study of a specific topic in an Asian philosophical tradition.

Students are expected to demonstrate knowledge through mastery of native terms and concepts from that tradition. Semester supplements to this bulletin contain specific descriptions when course is offered. May be repeated as the topic changes. This course is offered as both AAS 386 and PHI 386.

3 credits

PHI 390: Topics in Philosophy

Semester supplements to this Bulletin contain specific description when course is offered. May be repeated as the topic changes.

Prerequisites: Two courses in philosophy

1-3 credits

 

PHI 400- G: Individual Systems of the Great Philosophers (I)

A detailed study of the works of a single great philosopher. Semester Supplements to this Bulletin contain description when course is offered. May be repeated as the topic changes.

Prerequisite: One of the following: PHI 300, 304, 306, 308, 309, 310, or 312

3 credits

PHI 401- G: Individual Systems of the Great Philosophers (I)

A detailed study of the works of a single great philosopher. Semester Supplements to this Bulletin contain description when course is offered. May be repeated as the topic changes.

Prerequisite: One of the following: PHI 300, 304, 306, 308, 309, 310, or 312

3 credits

PHI 402- G: Analysis of Philosophic Texts (I)

Detailed analysis of a major philosophic text. Semester Supplements to this Bulletin contain description when course is offered. May be repeated as the topic changes.

Prerequisite: One of the following: PHI 300, 304, 306, 308, 309, 310, or 312

3 credits

PHI 420: Advanced Topics in Philosophy (I, II, III)

An advanced course treating a specialized issue or topic in philosophy or in philosophy and another discipline. The content of the course is announced before the start of the term. Semester supplements to this Bulletin contain specific description when course is offered. May be repeated as the topic changes.

Prerequisite: U4 standing or five courses in philosophy

3 credits

PHI 435: Senior Seminar

An intensive study of an issue, topic, figure, or historical period in philosophy intended to provide both a culminating experience and final integration for senior philosophy majors. This seminar emphasizes careful reading, rigorous discussion, and extensive writing at an advanced level. The content of the seminar is announced before the start of the term, and students are consulted on the content as it proceeds.

Prerequisites: U4 standing; six courses in philosophy; satisfaction of upper-division writing requirement for the philosophy major

3 credits

PHI 475: Undergraduate Teaching Practicum I

Work with a faculty member as an assistant in one of the faculty member's regularly scheduled courses. The student is required to attend all the classes, do all the regularly assigned work, and meet with the faculty member at regularly scheduled times to discuss the intellectual and pedagogical matters relating to the course.

Prerequisites: Prior preparation in subject field; need to have already taken the course for a letter grade with the faculty member; no more than one undergraduate teaching practicum course per semester; permission of instructor and director; U3 or U4 standing in philosophy major

3 credits, S/U grading

PHI 476: Undergraduate Teaching Practicum II

Work with a faculty member as an assistant in one of the faculty member's regularly scheduled courses. Students assume greater responsibility in such areas as leading discussions and analyzing results of tests that have already been graded. Students may not serve as teaching assistants in the same course twice.

Prerequisites: PHI 475; prior preparation in subject field; need to have already taken the course for a letter grade with the faculty member; no more than one undergraduate teaching practicum course per semester; permission of instructor and director, U4 standing in philosophy major

3 credits, S/U grading

PHI 487: Readings and Research in

Philosophy (II)

Advanced-level inquiry with individualized instruction in one particular philosophical style of reasoning. Consult undergraduate advisor for specific details. May be repeated.

Prerequisites: U4 standing in philosophy major; permission of department

0-6 credits

PHI 489: Readings and Research in the History of Philosophy (I)

Advanced-level inquiry with individualized instruction in the great philosophies of the past. Consult undergraduate advisor for specific details. May be repeated.

Prerequisites: U4 standing in philosophy major; permission of department

0-6 credits

PHI 490: Readings and Research in Philosophical Investigations of Other Disciplines (III)

Advanced-level inquiry with individualized instruction in the application of philosophical tools to one of the special disciplines. Consult undergraduate advisor for specific details. May be repeated.

Prerequisites: U4 standing in philosophy major; permission of department

0-6 credits

PHI 495: Philosophy Honors Thesis

A one-semester project for philosophy majors who are candidates for the degree with honors. The project involves independent study and the writing of a senior thesis under the close supervision of an appropriate faculty member in conjunction with two other courses at the 300 level or higher, concentrated on related aspects of a central problem. The project must be approved before the start of the student's senior year. On completion, the thesis is reviewed by the advisor and one other member of the Philosophy faculty and by a faculty member from outside the Department. The honors thesis is then the focus of an oral examination. Honors are awarded upon passage of the examination.

Prerequisites: U4 standing in philosophy major; permission of department

3 credits

Department of Philosophy      Harriman Hall 213, Stony Brook, NY 11794     Phone: (631) 632-7570
Login to Edit