Spring 2021 – Undergraduate and Graduate Philosophy Courses

Below are descriptions of the courses – both undergraduate and graduate – that the Department of Philosophy will offer in the Spring 2021 semester. Please don't hesitate to email the instructor if you would like further information! To see the complete list of courses ever offered by the Department, please visit http://catalog.missouri.edu/courseofferings/phil/

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PHIL 1000: The Big Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy

Lecture 01 (online) - MW 11-11:50 a.m. - Dr. Marta Heckel

  • Discussion 01A (online) - F 10-10:50 a.m. - Christian Culak
  • Discussion 01B (online) - F 12-12:50 a.m. - Christian Culak
  • Discussion 01C (online) - F 9-9:50 a.m. - Christian Culak

Lecture 02 (face-to-face) - MWF 9-9:50 a.m. - Selwyn Griffith

Lecture 03 (face-to-face) - MWF 11-11:50 a.m. - Selwyn Griffith

Lecture 04 (face-to-face) - TTh 11-12:15 p.m. - Argon Gruber

Lecture 05 (face-to-face) - TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m. - Argon Gruber

Lecture 06 (face-to-face) - MWF 9-9:50 a.m. - Jean Janasz

Lecture 07 (face-to-face) - MWF 10-10:50 a.m. - Jean Janasz

Lecture 08 (online) - MWF 11-11:50 a.m. - Tieying Zhou

Lecture 09 (online) - MWF 9-9:50 a.m. - Tieying Zhou

Lecture 10 (Online Self-Paced) - Chaunke Wei

  • Discussion 10A (Online Self-Paced) - Chaunke Wei

Credit Hours: 3

Introduction to traditional philosophical problems and methods of philosophical inquiry. Consideration given to different philosophical theories on the nature of reality, human beings, nature and God; knowledge and how it is acquired; values and social issues.

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PHIL 1000H: The Big Questions: An Introduction to Philosophy (Honors)

Lecture 01 (online) - TTh 2:00-3:15 p.m. - Dr. Marina Folescu 

 

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisite: Honors eligibility required

We live in relationship to the people, animals, and objects around us. Our nature partly determines who we are; but so do our cultural heritage and political environment. We can and do influence how others perceive us through our relationships and actions. The notions of personal and political freedom cannot be understood well unless we have a framework for understanding what we are, as mind-and-body unions, and what we owe to each other, as fellow citizens in a society. In this class, we will start at the beginning: we will dedicate most of the time to closely reading three of the most famous texts in the history of Western philosophy, all three written in the 17th century. First, to gain a better idea about what weare, we will carefully read René Descartes' Meditations, where he laid the foundations of dualism, a thesis that is still alive and well in contemporary psychology and philosophy of mind. In the second part of this class, we will be discussing John Locke’s Second Treatise of Government and A Letter Concerning Toleration, where he laid the foundations of the theory of social contract. This theory is aimed at explaining how it is that people congregate together in societies and what is the nature of their rights and obligations, as members of particular societies.

 

Lecture 02 (face-to-face) - MFW 2:00-2:50 p.m. - STAFF

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisite: Honors eligibility required

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PHIL 1100: The Difference Between Right and Wrong: An Introduction to Ethics

Lecture 01 (online) - MW 10-10:50 a.m. - Dr. Philip Robbins

  • Discussion 01A (face-to-face) - Th 9-9:50 a.m. - Arcangelo Quintaneiro
  • Discussion 01B (face-to-face) - Th 11-11:50 a.m. - Arcangelo Quintaneiro
  • Discussion 01C (face-to-face) - Th 12-12:50 p.m. - Arcangelo Quintaneiro

Lecture 02 (face-to-face) - MWF 9-9:50 a.m. - Dan McFarland

Lecture 03 (face-to-face) - MWF 10-10:50 a.m. - Dan McFarland

Lecture 04 (online) - MWF 11:00-11:50 a.m. - Aaron Sullivan

Lecture 05 (online) - MWF 12:00-12:50 p.m. - Aaron Sullivan

Lecture 07 - (Online Self-Paced) - Troy Hall

  • Discussion 07A - (Online Self-Paced) - Troy Hall

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.

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

Lecture 01 (online) - TTh 12:30-1:45 - Dr. Ben Hutchens

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: Honors eligibility required

Moral philosophers seek reasoned answers to questions about how we should live, what we should value, and the nature of morality. For example, is morality objective or relative to culture? Are we morally required to be vegetarians? What is social justice? Is abortion ever morally permissible? As an introduction to philosophical ethics, we shall charitably interpret and evaluate reasoned answers to these (and other) questions. We shall then work on developing our own reasoned answers through essay writing.

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PHIL 1150: Introductory Bioethics

Lecture 01 (face-to-face) - MWF 9-9:50 a.m. - Travis Holmes

Lecture 02 (face-to-face) - MWF 11-11:50 a.m. - Travis Holmes

Lecture 03 (online) - MWF 10-10:50 a.m. - Doug Moore

Lecture 04 (online) - MWF 12-12:50 p.m. - Doug Moore

Lecture 05 (face-to-face) - MWF 12-12:50 p.m. - Tian Zhang

Lecture 06 (online) - Chaunke Wei

Lecture 07 (face-to-face) - MWF 10-10:50 a.m. - Tian Zhang

Lecture 08 (online) - MWF 11-11:50 a.m. - Dr. Jon Marc Asper

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.

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PHIL 1200: How to Think: Logic and Reasoning for Everyday Life

Lecture 01 (online) - MW 12-12:50 p.m. - Dr. Philip Robbins

  • Discussion 01A (face-to-face) - Th 9-9:50 p.m. - Se Yong Bae
  • Discussion 01B (face-to-face) - Th 10-10:50 a.m. - Se Yong Bae
  • Discussion 01C (face-to-face) - Th 11-11:50 a.m. - Se Yong Bae

Philip Robbins - This course provides the tools you need to reason better when deciding what to believe and what to do. It draws from several fields: cognitive psychology, behavioral economics, logic, probability, and decision theory. We will consider empirical evidence about ‘heuristics and biases’ — spontaneous judgments that can be predictably irrational. And we will study what good deductive, causal, and probabilistic reasoning looks like. But the goal of the course is entirely practical: to develop effective reasoning skills with clear applications in your personal and professional lives. The course is open to students from all areas of the University interested in improving their reasoning ability and their ability to construct and recognize compelling arguments. These skills may be helpful in a wide variety of university subjects and extra-academic pursuits, indeed, in everyday life more generally.

 

Lecture 02 (face-to-face) - MWF 12-12:50 p.m. - Fernando Alvear

Lecture 03 (face-to-face) - MWF 10-10:50 a.m. - Fernando Alvear

 

Lecture 04 (online) - TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m. - Tianqin Ren

Lecture 05 (online) - TTh 12:30-11:45 p.m. - Tianqin Ren

 

Lecture 09 (Online Self-Paced) - Dr. Troy Hall

  • Discussion 09A - (Online Self-Paced) - Dr. Troy Hall

Credit Hours: 3

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PHIL 1200H: How to Think: Logic and Reasoning for Everyday Life (Honors)

Lecture 01 (face-to-face) - MWF 12-12:50 p.m. - Dr. Jeffrey Freelin

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisite: Honors eligibility required

Logic is the study of the rules of clear reasoning; that is, of properly deriving conclusions from evidence.  Thus, logic is a process by which we can come to true beliefs. The success of liberal democracies like that of the United States depends in large part on the populace’s believing the truth; believing true propositions allows us to set and realize our goals, and allows us to autonomously decide governmental policy.  Propaganda can prevent people from believing the truth in various ways by publicly misleading or deceiving citizens.  Propaganda operates by appealing to emotions in ways in which rational debate is sidelined or short-circuited; propaganda works in part by re-defining reality itself in ways that serve particular interests (as opposed to serving the common good).  In this class, we will first study the basis of logic (both formal and informal), including analyses of language, definitions, logical fallacies, and the standards for judging both inductive and deductive reasoning.  We will follow this with a study of the nature and methods of propaganda, and the dangers that propaganda poses to modern democracies.

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PHIL 2150: Philosophy of Race

Lecture 01 (face-to-face) - TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m. - Mr. Drew Woodson

Credit Hours: 3

This course surveys developments in the philosophy of race. We will examine the ordinary conception of race and consider criticisms of it. Theorists in the field generally hold the ordinary notion of race in disrepute. The line of inquiry then becomes “What does ‘race’ denote?” and “Why?” In response, we will disambiguate race from closely associated concepts such as ethnicity, culture, nation, and class as part of a sustained investigation into the relationship between race and racism. Toward the end of the course, we will more directly reflect on implications of the inequality race seems to track with a focus on mass incarceration and reparations.

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PHIL 2300: Philosophy and Human Nature

Lecture 04 (face-to-face) - TTh 2:00-3:15 p.m. - Dr. Christopher Gadsden

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: sophomore standing

Philosophical exploration and examination of theories of human nature with reference to relevant developments in such sciences as biology, psychology, and economics.

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PHIL 2410: Philosophies of War and Peace

Lecture 01 (online) - Sukhvinder Shahi

  • Discussion 01A (online) - Sukhvinder Shahi

Lecture 02 (online) - Sukhvinder Shahi

  • Discussion 02A (online) - Sukhvinder Shahi 

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.

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PHIL 2410W: Philosophies of War and Peace - Writing Intensive

Lecture 01 (online) - Sukhvinder Shahi

  • Discussion 01A (online) - Sukhvinder Shahi

Lecture 02 (online) - Sukhvinder Shahi

  • Discussion 02A (online) - Sukhvinder Shahi

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.

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PHIL 2430: Contemporary Moral Issues

Lecture 01 (online) - MWF 2-2:50 p.m. - Dr. Jon Marc Asper

Lecture 02 (online) - MWF 1-1:50 p.m. - Dr. Jon Marc Asper

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: sophomore standing

Review of the major contemporary ethical theories and their contribution to the resolution of major social issues such as euthanasia, suicide, abortion, capital punishment, violence and war. Emphasis on nature, interests, and rights of persons.

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PHIL 2440: Medical Ethics

Lecture 01 (online) - MW 9-9:50 a.m. - Dr. Troy Hall

  • Discussion 01A (face-to-face) - F 9-9:50 a.m. - Alok Tiwari
  • Discussion 01B (face-to-face) - F 10-10:50 a.m. - Alok Tiwari
  • Discussion 01C (face-to-face) - F 9-9:50 a.m. - Xihe Ouyang
  • Discussion 01D (face-to-face) - F 12-12:50 p.m. - Alok Tiwari
  • Discussion 01E (face-to-face) - F 11-11:50 a.m. - Xihe Ouyang
  • Discussion 01F (face-to-face) - F 8-8:50 a.m. - Xihe Ouyang
  • Discussion 01G (face-to-face) - F 11-11:50 a.m. - Joel Vall Thomas
  • Discussion 01H (face-to-face) - F 10-10:50 a.m. - Joel Vall Thomas
  • Discussion 01J (face-to-face) - F 12-12:50 p.m. - Joel Vall Thomas

Lecture 02 (online) - TTh 11-12:15 a.m. - Dr. Ben Hutchens

Credit Hours: 3

Dr. Troy Hall - This extremely popular course considers issues of patient autonomy, consent, healthcare rights, abortion, euthanasia, and animal and human research from an agenda-free 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 College of Arts and Science Green Chalk award-winning teacher Dr. Troy Hall.

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PHIL 2700: Elementary Logic

Lecture 01 (online) - MWF 10-10:50 a.m. - Dr. Alexandru Radulescu

Credit Hours: 3

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

Introduces a symbolic language for representing the structure of arguments. Presents precise rules for demonstrating the validity of arguments. Covers natural deduction for sentence and predicate logic. Develops skill in constructing derivations. Math Reasoning Proficiency Course.

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PHIL 2900: Environmental Ethics

Lecture 01 (online) - MW 1-1:50 p.m. - Dr. Troy Hall

  • Discussion 01A (online) - F 12-12:50 p.m. - Zeynab Rabii
  • Discussion 01B (online) - F 9-9:50 a.m. - Zeynab Rabii
  • Discussion 01C (online) - F 10-10:50 a.m. - Zeynab Rabii

Credit Hours: 3

Recommended: PHIL 1100

This popular course counts as a Diversity Intensive Course. 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 College of Arts and Science Green Chalk award-winning teacher Dr. Troy Hall.

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PHIL 3200: Modern Philosophy

Lecture 01 (online) - TTh 11-12:15 p.m. - Dr. Marina Folescu

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: sophomore standing

Recommended: One course in Philosophy

Surveys critical and speculative thinking of modern period from Descartes to Kant in relation to scientific, religious and social movements.
 

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PHIL 3600: 20th Century Philosophy

Lecture 01 (online) - MWF 1-1:50 p.m. - Dr. Alexandru Radulescu

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: sophomore standing

Recommended: One course in Philosophy

The course will be a survey of some of the notable philosophers/thinkers whose contributions have been made in the twentieth century.
 

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PHIL 4130/7130: Probability & Induction

Lecture 01 (face-to-face) - MWF 12-12:50 p.m. - Dr. André Ariew

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: sophomore standing and PHIL 2700

This course studies probability, its various interpretations, and its basic principles. It identifies forms of reasoning that establish the probability of a conclusion. The methods of reasoning it treats are at the heart of science and practical affairs.

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PHIL 4200/7200: Metaphysics

Lecture 01 (online) - TTh 9:30-10:45 a.m. - Dr. Kenneth Boyce

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: sophomore standing

Recommended: Previous work in PHIL 1000, PHIL 3000, or PHIL 3200

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.

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PHIL 4300/7300: Epistemology (tentative)

Lecture 01 - TTh 12:30-1:45 p.m. - Tentative

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: sophomore standing

Recommended: Previous work in PHIL 1000, PHIL 3000, or PHIL 3200

An examination of contemporary philosophical theories concerning the nature, sources and limits of knowledge and justified belief.

 

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Phil 4600/7600: Political & Social Philosophy

Lecture 01 (face-to-face) - MWF 11-11:50 a.m. - Dr. Robert Johnson

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: sophomore standing

Recommended: two courses in Philosophy

Contemporary and/or historical theories of justice and the state. Utilitarianism, Liberalism, Libertarianism, Marxism, Communitarianism and Feminism may be among the views covered.

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PHIL 4800: Asian Philosophy

Lecture 02 (Online Self-Paced) - Dr. Bina Gupta 

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: sophomore standing

Recommended: One course in Philosophy

This course constitutes a historical-critical analysis of the selected philosophies of India and China. The primary emphasis will be placed upon the historical development of Asian philosophies within the classical period. It will explore a broad range of philosophical issues discussed in the Vedas and Upanishads, Advaita Vedanta, the Bhagavad Gita, Theravada Buddhism, the Confucian Analects, and the Tao Te Ching. 

My approach will be both historical and critical: (1) the attempt will be made to understand each philosophical school in its integrity, to enter into the fundamental doctrines of each school, with an open mind in order to grasp the system as a philosophical whole; (2) each system will be subject to rigorous philosophical criticism, first, of an internal sort, in order to reveal fundamental inconsistencies between the different assumptions of the system, and secondly, of an external sort, which discloses the limitations of a given system when judged by reference to the phases of human experience and knowledge to which it fails to do justice.

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PHIL 4850: Special Readings in Philosophy

Credit Hours: 1-3

Prerequisites: Sophomore standing

Regular individual meetings with an instructor as part of studying a sequence of readings, comparable in difficulty and number to readings assigned in a regularly-offered 4000-level course. Only by special arrangement with an instructor.

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PHIL 4950W: Senior Seminar in Philosophy

Lecture 01 (face-to-face) - MWF 10-10:50 a.m. - Dr. André Ariew

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: senior Philosophy major

A capstone course required of and only open to senior Philosophy majors. Course content will vary, depending on the professor teaching the course.

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PHIL 4998: Honors I in Philosophy

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: junior standing

Individual study with a mentor. Work toward a thesis for students aiming at Departmental Honors.

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PHIL 4999: Honors II in Philosophy

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: junior standing

Individual study with a mentor. Work toward a thesis for students aiming at Departmental Honors.

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PHIL 8090/9090: Research in Philosophy

Credit Hours: 1-99

Individual study with a mentor. Requires departmental consent.

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PHIL 9001: Topics in Philosophy

Credit Hours: 1-99

Prerequisites: instructor's consent

Organized study of selected topics. Need departmental consent for repetition.

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PHIL 9050: Plato

Lecture 01 (face-to-face) - W 3:30-5:50 p.m. - Dr. Marta Heckel

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: graduate Philosophy student

Advanced studies in Plato; emphasis on recent scholarship.
 

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PHIL 9510: Decision Theory

Lecture 01 (face-to-face) - M 1:00-3:20 p.m. - Dr. Paul Weirich

Credit Hour: 3

Prerequisites: PHIL 4110; graduate Philosophy student

Principles for making rational decisions, including principles of expected utility theory, game theory, and social choice theory. A survey of basic ideas and an introduction to selected research topics.

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PHIL 9710: Philosophy of Mind & Psychology

Lecture 01 (face-to-face) - T 3:30-5:50 p.m. - Dr. Andrew Melnyk

Credit Hours: 3

Prerequisites: graduate Philosophy student

Survey of important recent work in contemporary philosophy of mind and psychology. Graduate seminar.

Contact

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Andrew Melnyk
MelnykA@missouri.edu
416 Strickland Hall
(573) 884-0906

Director of Graduate Studies

Kenneth Boyce
BoyceKA@missouri.edu
430 Strickland Hall
(573) 882-2871