Courses Next Semester

Fall 2019 – Undergraduate and Graduate Philosophy Courses

Below are descriptions of the courses--both undergraduate and graduate--that the Department of Philosophy will offer in the Fall 2019 semester.  Please don't hesitate to email the instructor if you would like further information about the course!

PHIL 1000: The Big Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy, Dr. Claire Horisk

LST 01 MoWe 11:00AM - 11:50AM NAKA HALL 102-AUD

Credit Hours: 3

The central goal of the course is to learn critical thinking skills that are used by philosophers and that will be useful throughout your college career and your life after college. We will learn these skills by considering a number of philosophical questions from different areas of philosophy, so that we meet a second goal, learning that philosophy is a living discipline with active researchers who consider a broad range of issues. For example, these questions include: Do you know that the objects and events you experience are real, or might we be living in virtual reality? What should you believe, particularly when the source of knowledge is what other people tell you? Does the internet raise new problems about knowledge? What does the moral principle “do the greatest good for the greatest number” omit about morality? How is your mind related to your body? Do you understand what you think and feel better than you understand what other people think and feel? What does it mean to say that a group of people is oppressed?

Although many of these problems have their roots in the history of philosophy, and we will learn about the work of some notable historical figures, especially Descartes, most of the readings for the course were written by living philosophers specifically for an undergraduate audience.

PHIL 1000: The Big Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy

LST 02 MWF 10:00AM - 10:50AM AGRICULTURE BLDG 2-10  Beth Baker

LST 03 MWF 9:00AM - 9:50AM STRICK 219 Beth Baker

LST 04 TTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM STRICK 114  -TBA

LST 07 - Online Self Paced - Doug Moore

Philosophy is often called the mother of all the sciences, and it is at the center of a liberal arts education, asking “big” questions about the world and the human experience of the world, and cultivating critical thinking skills that will be useful throughout your college education and your working life. This course introduces central questions and techniques in philosophy. The questions we will address include:

• Does the natural world provide proof that God exists?

• Do we know that any physical things exist?

• What is the relationship between the mind and the body?

The goal of the course is to learn how to think like a philosopher about those questions. The questions we address in this course are so difficult that we can't give direct answers to them. We will learn to think philosophically about the answers to these questions by breaking up the questions into smaller parts – for example, to find out whether we know that any physical things exist, we might first think about what counts as knowing something. We will use philosophical skills and techniques to help us assess and give reasons for different views. We will give reasons for and against different answers to these questions, setting aside both our pre-conceptions and our feelings about these issues.

PHIL 1000H: The Big Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy (Honors), Dr. Alex Radulescu

MoWe 9:30AM - 10:45AM  STRICK 304

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisite: Honors eligibility required

This class is about the Declaration of Independence. This is a very interesting document, and many people have written about it, both within academia and without. Even if you disagree about its importance (and many do), it certainly has been influential in American history. Ours will be a philosophical approach: we’ll be interested in what the text says, and whether there are any good arguments for or against the claims it seems to make. Consider this most famous sentence of the Declaration: “We hold these truths to be self-evident,that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienableRights that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” The texts we will bereading are all, to some extent, about ideas that can be found here. René Descartes’s Meditations talk about what we can be properly said to know, and the relation between that, science, and God. John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government was read by Jefferson, and many ideas in it are echoed in the Declaration (and many are not). Locke’s A Letter Concerning Toleration discusses the relation between religion and state. John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty talks about the notion of liberty. Consider this class an introduction to both philosophy and the Declaration of Independence.

PHIL 1100: The Difference Between Right and Wrong: An Introduction to Ethics, Dr. Kenneth Boyce.

LST 01 MoWe 1:00PM - 1:50PM  MIDDLEBUSH HALL 12

Credit Hours: 3

What makes things right or wrong? Are there facts about what is right and wrong, or is morality just a matter of opinion? What does it take to be a good person? What does it look like to live a good life? How should we think about issues surrounding our duties to the poor, animal rights, just warfare, human sexuality, abortion, and many other controversial topics? In this class we will explore these and other questions from a philosophical perspective.

LST 02 MoWeFr 9:00AM - 9:50AM ARTS & SCIENCE BLDG 233 -Sukhvinder Shahi

LST 03 TuTh 8:00AM - 9:15AM STRICKLAND HALL 221 -TBA

LST 05 Self Paced Online - Troy Hall

PHIL 1100H: The Difference Between Right and Wrong: An Introduction to Ethics (Honors), 

LST 01 MoWe 12:30PM - 1:30PM STRICKLAND HALL 109

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Honors eligibility required

What makes things right or wrong? Are there facts about what is right and wrong, or is morality just a matter of opinion? What does it take to be a good person? What does it look like to live a good life? How should we think about issues surrounding our duties to the poor, animal rights, just warfare, human sexuality, abortion, and many other controversial topics? In this class we will explore these and other questions from a philosophical perspective.
 

PHIL 1150: Introductory Bioethics, Mr. Eric Rowse

LST 01 MoWeFr 9:00AM - 9:50AM STRICKLAND HALL 105

LST 03 Internet - Doug Moore

Credit Hours: 3

This course approaches moral problems in biomedical and scientific research from a philosophical perspective. First, we'll familiarize ourselves with ethics and political philosophy. Then we'll study the ethical issues that arise in connection with a series of issues, including research involving human and animal subjects, eugenics, the human genome project, cloning and stem cell research. By thinking about these issues, we learn how to think critically about particular moral quandaries, as well as to uncover and examine some of our deepest moral commitments.

PHIL 1200: How to Think: Logic and Reasoning for Everday Life, Dr. Philip Robbins

LST 01 MoWe 10:00AM - 10:50AM NAKA HALL 102-AUD

Credit Hours: 3

This course is designed to teach you what philosophers have been developing for the last two thousand years: the rules of reasoning. By mastering these rules, you will acquire the ability to systematically distinguish valid from invalid arguments and assess the strength of inferences on the basis of available evidence. You will learn how to think about probability and how to make good decisions when you are uncertain about the possible outcomes of different courses of action. Mastering these rules of reasoning will help you sharpen your judgment and decision-making skills for use both in and out of the classroom. You will learn how to apply the rules and skills to a wide range of issues, from questions about the existence of God to questions about the interpretation of medical test results. The rules can be applied to every major and every career, from business, law, and medicine to science, agriculture, and journalism.

Other sections of the course:

LST 02 MoWeFr 10:00AM - 10:50AM STRICKLAND HALL 305

LST 03 MoWeFr 9:00AM - 9:50AM STRICKLAND HALL 223

LST 04 TuTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM STRICKLAND HALL 305

LST 05 TuTh 9:30AM - 10:45AM  STRICKLAND HALL 320

PHIL 1200H: How to Think: Logic and Reasoning for Everday Life (Honors), Dr. Andrew Melnyk

LST 01 TuTh 12:30PM - 1:45PM STRICKLAND HALL 112

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisite: Honors eligibility required

The topic of this course is arguments, i.e., bits of reasoning. An argument’s job is to provide some reason to think that something is the case. Arguments are useful to us not only in getting other people to think certain things, but also in discovering in the first place what we ought to think. By the end of this course, you should be able, having read a passage containing an argument in a book or article,

· to explain precisely how the reasoning in the passage is supposed to work; and

· to assess how strong a reason to believe its conclusion its premises provide.

· to construct successful arguments of your own.

The course therefore aims to improve the way you reason, rather than to fill your heads with more facts. Knowing facts is indispensable for assessing arguments, but this course will not much increase your factual knowledge.

PHIL 2200: Philosophy and Intellectual Revolution, Dr. Don Sievert

LST 01 TuTh 2:00PM - 3:15PM STRICK 119

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: sophomore standing

The course will examine two intellectual revolutions:  Lincoln’s reconceiving the nation as one, unitedstates, and not north vs. south, free vs. slave-holding states, and the Freudian revolution in which humans are conceived as subjects who are very much part of nature and to which laws of nature are applicable.  Primary texts will be Lincoln’s speeches while President and writings by Freud, van der Kolk and Phillips.  You will exit the course knowing how Lincoln tried to avoid the Civil War, then led war efforts and attempted to remove one of the greatest ideological divides among Americans, and knowing the kind of revolution Freud started more than a century ago and how it looks to contemporary thinkers in his field.  In both revolutions, fundamental questions about the nature of humans and their interactions with one another and with society are under scrutiny and discussion.

PHIL 2410: Philosophies of War and Peace, Mr. Ethan Howe

Internet Class

Credit Hours: 3

This course addresses moral issues about the recourse to war by the nation and the individual's obligations to participate, and the nature of peace, both social and personal. Special attention is paid to the Vietnam War and the nuclear age.

PHIL 2410: Philosophies of War and Peace, Mr. Ethan Howe

Internet Class

Credit Hours: 3

This course addresses moral issues about the recourse to war by the nation and the individual's obligations to participate, and the nature of peace, both social and personal. Special attention is paid to the Vietnam War and the nuclear age.

PHIL 2410W: Philosophies of War and Peace, Mr. Ethan Howe

Internet Class

Credit Hours: 3

This course addresses moral issues about the recourse to war by the nation and the individual's obligations to participate, and the nature of peace, both social and personal. Special attention is paid to the Vietnam War and the nuclear age.

PHIL 2440: Medical Ethics, Dr. Troy Hall

LST 01  MoWe 12:00PM - 12:50PM Ellis Library (Ellis Aud)  Dr. Troy Hall (College of Arts and Science Green Chalk Award Winner)

LST 02 MoWeFr 12:00PM - 12:50PM  Mr. Aaron Sullivan

Credit Hours: 3

This extremely popular course considers issues of patient autonomy, consent, healthcare rights, abortion, euthanasia, and animal and human research from an agenda-free ethical perspective. It is also perfect as a first philosophy or ethics course, as fundamental ethical theories are explained before integrating them with medical cases. Many students have reported that taking this course was a positive transformative experience for them at Mizzou. Taught by William B. Bondeson and College of Arts and Science Green Chalk teaching award-winner Troy Hall.

Prerequisites: sophomore standing

 

PHIL 2500:Philosophy of Gender, Dr. Claire Horisk

LST 01 MoWe 3:30PM - 4:20PM STRICK 223

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: sophomore standing 

This course provides an overview of philosophy of feminism, with particular focus on the questions of what it means to say that a group or category is socially constructed as opposed to natural, of why a socially constructed category might appear to be a natural category, and of what it means to say that a group or category is oppressed or privileged. We will also discuss ways of understanding what counts as social inequality, with particular reference to Rawls’s conception of fairness.

As a case study we will examine in particular the evidence that gender is socially constructed, through considering a series of topics including the interaction between the workplace and the family, sexual harassment, pornography, sexual violence, reproductive rights, and body image; but we will at times discuss the social construction of other categories especially with regard to how social inequality in one dimension might be affected by social inequality in a different dimension such as race or ethnicity. We will consider whether there are genders that are privileged or oppressed. Finally, we will consider how conceptions of gender as socially constructed might affect ethics, language, science, and epistemology.

This course satisfies the Diversity Intensive requirement for the College of Arts and Science by exploring fundamental questions about how social groups are formed and maintained, and about how institutions, policies, and societal expectations can work together to create and enforce social inequality. The course focuses in particular on gender and social inequality, but also addresses broader questions about what evidence might help us distinguish between natural and socially constructed groups.

PHIL 2700: Elementary Logic, Dr. Marina Folescu

LST 01 TuTh 10:00AM - 10:50AM SWITZLER HALL 101

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: sophomore standing and grade of C or better in MATH1100 or MATH 1120

Do you love solving puzzles like Sudoku? Then this is a great course for you. We will learn how to solve logical puzzles, by learning a formal logical language and formal methods of evaluating arguments. Having logical abilities is great for anyone who needs to reason --- and that is all of us --- and is an especially useful skill to have if you are interested in law, business, or linguistics. Logic also serves as a fundamental basis for computer science and artificial intelligence. Math Reasoning Proficiency Course.

PHIL 2820: Minds, Brains, and Machine ,Dr. Philip Robbins

LST 01 MoWeFr 12:30PM - 1:20PM  ARTS & SCIENCE BLDG 233  

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing is required, Recommended: PSYCH 1000

(same as PSYCH 2820 and LINGST 2820). Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of the mind. After an overview of the foundations of cognitive science as a whole, we will see what particular sectors of it have to say about mental capacities such as vision, language, categorization, and social cognition.

PHIL 2900: Environmental Ethics,Dr. Troy Hall 

LST 01MoWe 2:00PM - 2:50PM STRICKLAND HALL 105 Dr. Troy Hall (College of Arts and Science Green Chalk Award Winner)

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing is required

Truly a course for everyone, Environmental Ethics explores our relationship to each other and the natural world. A perfect first philosophy course or ethics course, cutting edge contemporary topics such as animal ethics, sustainability, environmental justice and racism, ecofeminism, deep ecology, and eco-terrorism are covered in an agenda-free way. Taught by William B. Bondeson and College of Arts and Science Green Chalk teaching award-winner Troy Hall. Diversity Intensive Course.

PHIL 3000: Ancient Western Philosophy, Dr. Robert Johnson

LST 01 TuTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM STRICK 223

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing is required Recommended: one course in Philosoph

(same as CL_HUM 3025). Philosophical thought on nature, knowledge, the gods, human life and society, from Thales to Augustine. Emphasis on Plato and Aristotle. The relevance of the ancients to contemporary life.

PHIL 4110/7110: Advanced Logic, Dr. Alex Radulescu

LST 01 MoWe 12:30PM - 1:20PM STRICK 325

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing and PHIL 2700
Recommended: one other course in Philosophy

(same as LINGST 4110; cross-leveled with PHIL 7110). Presents the method of truth trees for sentence and predicate logic. Examines proofs concerning the decidability, soundness, and completeness of formal systems. Emphasizes the theory of formal systems. Math Reasoning Proficiency Course.

PHIL 4200/7200: Metaphysics, Dr. Kenny Boyce

LST 01 MoWe 9:30AM - 10:20AM STRICKLAND HALL 313

Metaphysics studies what there is and how things are, most generally speaking. Topics may include realism versus nominalism, substance and attribute, facts, modality, identity and causality.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: sophomore standing
Recommended: Previous work in PHIL 1000, PHIL 3000 or PHIL 3200

PHIL 4420/7420: Philosophy of Biology, Dr. Marta Heckel

LST 01 TTh 11:00 -12:15 pm STRICK 310

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: sophomore standing
Recommended: two course in Philosophy

A survey of philosophical problems arising from consideration of evolutionary theory and the biological sciences. Topics may include reductionism, sociobiology, biological laws, and epistemic problems relating to evolutionary theory.

PHIL 4500/7500: Theories of Ethics, Dr.Robert Johnson

LST 01 TuTh 2:00PM - 2:50PM STRICKLAND HALL 314

Normative and meta-ethical theories. Topics may include the rationality and objectivity of morality, the meaning of moral language, the differences between deontological, utilitarian and virtue theories.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: sophomore standing
Recommended: two courses in Philosophy

PHIL 4600/7600: Political and Social Philosophy, Dr. Peter Vallentyne

LST 01  MoWe 2:00PM - 3:15PM  ARTS & SCIENCE BLDG 302

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: sophomore standing
Recommended: two courses in Philosophy

We will read Gavin Kerr’s recent book The Property-Owning Democracy: Freedom and Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century, which defends a version of left-libertarianism. This is libertarian in that it defends a form of self-ownership (and the associated notion of freedom/liberty), and it is a leftist positon in that it argues that natural resource wealth (land, oil, water, etc.) belongs to everyone in some strongly egalitarian sense. We will examine issues such as capitalism vs. socialism, classical liberalism vs. contemporary liberalism, liberty vs. equality, and the notion of a property-owning democracy. Prerequisites: sophomore standing. Recommended: two courses in Philosophy.

PHIL 4620/7620: Marxism, Andrew Woodson

A philosophical examination of (a) the notion of critique as seen in Marx's early and middle writings, and (b) specific topics by such authors as Lenin, Lukacs and Plekhanov.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: Sophomore standing
Recommended: two courses in Philosophy

PHIL 4800/7800: Asian Philosophy

Self-Paced Online

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: sophomore standing
Recommended: one course in Philosophy

This course traces the origins of Indian and Chinese philosophical world views. Included are the major ideas in Hindu, Jaina, and Buddhist thought in India, and Taoism and Confucianism in China. Emphasis is placed on the diverse, assimilative, and pragmatic nature of Indian thought and its impact on contemporary Asian philosophy.

PHIL 4998: Honors I in Philosophy, TBA

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: junior standing

Work toward a thesis for students aiming at Departmental Honors.

PHIL 4999: Honors II in Philosophy, TBA

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: junior standing

Work toward a thesis for students aiming at Departmental Honors

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PHIL 8100: Protoseminar in Philosophy, Dr. Andrew Melnyk

LST 01 Tu 3:30PM - 5:50PM  STRICK 429

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisite: Graduate philosophy students only

The goal of this course is to train graduate students entering the department in the most important skills necessary for joining the philosophy profession, and then functioning within it.  We will focus in particular on the writing of philosophy papers suitable for presentation at professional conferences or publication in refereed journals.  The goal of the course will be achieved through (i) weekly written assignments on which students will receive abundant feedback from their instructor and from their peers (in class) and (ii) a substantial term paper, to be revised in light of the instructor’s written comments

PHIL 8210: Teaching of Philosophy I,Dr. Philip Robbins

LST 01 We 3:30PM - 5:50PM STRICKLAND 429

Seminar meetings on course design, teaching methods, the evaluation of teaching, grading, instructor obligations, and teaching aids. Some individualized instruction, including help preparing for and assessing the effectiveness of practice teaching.

Credit Hour: 1
Prerequisites: graduate philosophy students

PHIL 8300: Dissertation Seminar, Dr. Vallentyne

LST 01 Mo 3:30PM - 5:50PM, Strickland 429

The course will address writing and time management for Ph.D. students writing a dissertation. Also discussed will be preparation for the academic job market in philosophy, especially the development of an application dossier. Graded on S/U basis only.

Credit Hour: 1
Prerequisites: Philosophy Ph.D. student
 

PHIL 9830: Philosophy of Science, Dr. Paul Weirich

LST 01 Th 3:30PM - 5:50PM  STRICK 429

Examines central issues in general philosophy of science concerning the scientific method and the role in it of observation, the nature of rational theory-choice, progress, and the status of theories postulating unobservables.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: graduate Philosophy student