Spring 2022

PHIL 115-01A Philosophical Perpectives on Identity (CI, GE, IC)
Mon/Wed/Fri 8:00-8:55 a.m. with Charles Wright
CRN # 18538

Who am I? What makes me, me? Who gets to say who I am? How do personal qualities, relations with others, and social categories like race, gender, gender identity, ethnicity and class come together to form my personal and social identity? How does who I am inform what I know and don’t know? Does who I am give me specific responsibilities? If so, what are they? This course invites you to explore multiple dimensions of who you are using philosophical ideas and tools.

PHIL 115-02A Philosophical Perspective on Identity (CI, GE, IC)
Mon/Wed/Fri 10:20-11:15 a.m. with Charles Wright
CRN # 18539

Who am I? What makes me, me? Who gets to say who I am? How do personal qualities, relations with others, and social categories like race, gender, gender identity, ethnicity and class come together to form my personal and social identity? How does who I am inform what I know and don’t know? Does who I am give me specific responsibilities? If so, what are they? This course invites you to explore multiple dimensions of who you are using philosophical ideas and tools.

PHIL 123-01T Philosophy of Human Nature (HE, HM, Them Enc - Truth)
Mon/Wed/Fri 1:50-2:45 p.m. with Erica Stonestreet
CRN #15846

What are humans like?  What is the purpose of human life?  These basic questions can be answered from different points of view, and focused on different aspects of being human.  What does it mean to be a human animal?  Are we fundamentally selfish?  How should we live? 

​What is the role of reason in defining humanity?

What is a soul?  How can human life be meaningful?  This course is a survey designed to introduce philosophical ideas and modes of thought, with a central focus on problems arising from human nature. 

​Using a textbook that contains sources from "classic" European philosophy as well as ​from outside that tradition, we will analyze and criticize topics that fall under three major aspects of the human condition: body, mind, and spirit.  We’ll raise questions and discuss the implications of each topic for the meanings of our own lives, for how we ought to behave as individuals, and for how we should treat one another in order to build the best lives possible for ourselves.

PHIL 123-02T Philosophy of Human Nature (HE, HM, Them Enc - Truth)
Mon/Wed/Fri 11:30 a.m. - 12:25 p.m. with Erica Stonestreet
CRN # 18176

What are humans like?  What is the purpose of human life?  These basic questions can be answered from different points of view, and focused on different aspects of being human.  What does it mean to be a human animal?  Are we fundamentally selfish?  How should we live? 

​What is the role of reason in defining humanity?

What is a soul?  How can human life be meaningful?  This course is a survey designed to introduce philosophical ideas and modes of thought, with a central focus on problems arising from human nature. 

​Using a textbook that contains sources from "classic" European philosophy as well as ​from outside that tradition, we will analyze and criticize topics that fall under three major aspects of the human condition: body, mind, and spirit.  We’ll raise questions and discuss the implications of each topic for the meanings of our own lives, for how we ought to behave as individuals, and for how we should treat one another in order to build the best lives possible for ourselves.

PHIL 155-01A Philosophy of Race & Ethnicity (CI, GE, HM, IC)
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:45-2:05 p.m. with Emily Esch
CRN # 18540

This course explores philosophical questions surrounding race and ethnicity with special attention on how race and ethnicity relates to questions of citizenship in the United States. The course will examine both the historical evolution of racial concepts and contemporary debates around topics like racial disparities in wealth, immigration policies, and barriers to political participation. Questions to be explored might include: Is race biological or is it a social construct? What does it mean to have a racial identity? How has race and ethnicity influenced how we understand citizenship on the United States? What moral obligations might we have to rectify past wrongs?

PHIL 321-01J Moral Philosophy (ES, HE, Them Enc-Justice)
Tuesdays/Thursdays 12:45-2:05 p.m. with Tony Cunningham
CRN # 18541

This course will orbit around two fundamental questions: "How should I live?" and "What sort of person should I be?"  We'll examine traditional philosophical attempts to address these questions by thinkers like Aristotle, Thomas Hobbes, David Hume, John Stuart Mill, and Immanuel Kant.  We'll also use film and literature to explore these questions.  Ultimately, we'll aim at a thoughtful understanding of the plurality of possible answers to these questions.

PHIL 333-01T Ancient Philosophy (HM, HE, Them Enc-Truth)
Mon/Wed/Fri 9:10-10:05 a.m. with Dennis Beach, OSB
CRN # 12316

Raphael’s famous fresco The School of Athens accurately depicts the world of Ancient Philosophy studied in this course. The painting features a multitude of ancient philosophers and writers, mathematicians and scientists, thinkers and students, almost all of them involved in conversation, argumentation, writing or meditation in a beautiful public space. The foundation and focal point of the painting is the two central figures of Plato and Aristotle, who will also serve as the foundation and focal points for this course, which aims to help students become knowledgeable participants in the conversations about truth, reality, virtue and the good that shaped the beginnings of Western philosophy and continue to shape philosophical discourse today.

PHIL 377A-01J Feminist Ethics (ES, HE, Them Focus-Justice)
Tuesdays/Thursdays 1:05-2:25 p.m. with Jean Keller
CRN # 18590

This course will examine how women's experiences and philosophical reflection on those experiences offer important and necessary perspectives for the field of ethics. Topics may include the nature of feminism, justice and oppression; the role of care,  autonomy, reason and emotion in the moral life, and a consideration of how feminism has come to challenge basic premises and conceptual tools of traditional, western approaches to ethics. The course will also explore social/ethical issues stemming from the intersection of gender with race, ethnicity, culture, class, and/or sexuality, including recent work in reproductive justice.

PHIL 377B-01J Liberty, Equality & Race in American Political Thought (HM, HE, Them Focus-Justice)
Tuesdays/Thursdays 9:35-10:55 a.m. with Charles Wright
CRN # 18702

This class first introduces students to some of the philosophical foundations of the American Republic – in particular, the political philosophy of John Locke, James Madison & Alexander Hamilton.  We will learn about the conceptions of individual freedom and equality they believed to be essential for a good human life and that a well-ordered political society ought to secure for all citizens.  We will also examine troubling ethical ambiguities associated with their work – in particular, with their relation to American slavery and the dispossession of Indigenous peoples in the Americas.  Following this introduction to political philosophy, the class will then turn to the work of African American authors who offer strikingly different assessments of the ethical challenges and social harms created by the persisting legacies of racial inequity in the United States.

PHIL 379B-01T Theories of Knowledge (HM, HE, Them Focus-Truth)
Tuesdays/Thursdays 11:10 a.m. -12:30 p.m. with Emily Esch
CRN # 18757

Epistemology, or the study of knowledge, is the philosophical discipline which studies the nature of knowledge and how it is acquired. This course will focus on feminist epistemology and the ways in which gender influences our conceptions of knowledge, knowers, and our practices of knowledge acquisition and justification, with a special emphasis on the sciences. Central to the topics of the course will be an examination of epistemic questions around racial and gender oppression.

PHIL 388-01A Philosophy Capstone
Tuesdays/Thursdays 2:20-3:40 p.m. with Tony Cunnigham 
CRN 15952

This course will examine three major ways of approaching ethics: consequentialism, deontology, and character (virtue ethics).  A major portion of the course will be devoted to a group project, with participants making a careful case for the nature and value of five different virtues for a good community.