Academic Catalog

Philosophy

Office: 5057 Woodward, 12th floor; 313-577-2474
Chairperson: Eric Hiddleston
Undergraduate Advisor: Royanne Smith
Director of Undergraduate Studies: Joshua Wilburn
https://clas.wayne.edu/philosophy

Courses in this department are designed with four aims:

  1. They contribute to the liberal education of any student, whatever their predominant interest, by emphasis on clear and cogent thought, by consideration of the interrelations of fact and value, by training in logic and the methodology of inquiry, and by a study and analysis of major philosophical outlooks.
  2. They supply a minor and cognate courses to students majoring in other Departments who wish to study their major subject in its wider philosophical implications.
  3. They give Departmental majors a wide and intensive training in philosophy. The major appeals to those who wish to take graduate work in philosophy and to those who wish a broad background from which to study and understand the emergence and conflict of ideas in relation to contemporary problems.
  4. They supply a relevant major and minor for students who plan a career in such fields as the law or the ministry.
 

FANSELOW, RYAN T.: Ph.D., M.A., University of Maryland; B.A., University of California, Riverside; Lecturer

HIDDLESTON, ERIC D.: Ph.D., M.A., Cornell University; B.A., University of Nebraska; Associate Professor and Interim Chair

KIM, KATHERINE: Ph.D., M.A., University of Washington; B.A., University of Southern California; Associate Professor

LOMBARD, LAWRENCE B.: Ph.D., Stanford University; A.B., Cornell University; Professor

MCKINSEY, T. MICHAEL: Ph.D., Indiana University; M.A., Kansas State University; B.A., Southern Methodist University; Professor Emeritus

RUSSELL, BRUCE A.: Ph.D., M.A., B.S., University of California, Davis; Professor

STIDD, SEAN C.: Ph.D, M.A., University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign; B.S., Harvey Mudd College; Senior Lecturer

STRABBING, JADA: Ph.D., Princenton University; B.A., University of Oxford; B.A., Kenyon College; Associate Professor

VINEBERG, SUSAN N.: Ph.D., B.A., University of California, Berkeley; Associate Professor

WILBURN, JOSHUA J.: Ph.D., Princeton University; B.A., University of Texas, Austin; Associate Professor

YANAL, ROBERT J.: Ph.D., M.A., University of Illinois at Chicago; B.A., University of Pittsburgh; Professor Emeritus

Introductory Courses

PHI 1010 Introduction to Philosophy Cr. 4

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Philosophy Letters

Survey of some major questions that have occupied philosophers throughout history, such as Does God exist? What is a good person? Do we have free will? Is the mind the same as the brain? What can we really know? Course will acquaint students with major figures both historical and contemporary. Offered Every Term.

PHI 1020 Honors Introduction to Philosophy Cr. 3-4

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Honors Section, Philosophy Letters

Survey of some major questions that have occupied philosophers throughout history, such as Does God exist? What is a good person? Do we have free will? What can we really know? Course will acquaint students with major figures both historical and contemporary. Offered Intermittently.

PHI 1050 Critical Thinking Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Critical Thinking Competency

Knowledge and skills relevant to the critical evaluation of claims and arguments. Topics will include: the formulation and identification of deductively and inductively warranted conclusions from available evidence; the assessment of the strengths of arguments; the assessment of consistency, inconsistency, implications, and equivalence among statements; the identification of fallacious patterns of inference; and the recognition of explanatory relations among statements. Offered Every Term.

PHI 1070 Reasoning and Decision Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Quantitative Experience Comp

Students develop quantitative reasoning skills such as statistical analysis and probabilistic reasoning. Offered Every Term.

PHI 1100 Contemporary Moral Issues Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Diversity Equity Incl Inquiry, Philosophy Letters

Critical discussion of contemporary moral issues including pornography, adultery, same-sex marriage, abortion, preferential treatment, obligations to the poor, capital punishment, terrorism, and others. Offered Every Term.

Repeatable for 9 Credits

PHI 1110 Ethical Issues in Health Care Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Diversity Equity Incl Inquiry, Philosophy Letters

Survey of moral issues that arise in the practice of medicine and in pursuit of medical knowledge: abortion, euthanasia, experimentation on human subjects, informed consent, rights to health care, genetic engineering, the concepts of death, health and disease. Offered Every Term.

PHI 1120 Professional Ethics Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Philosophy Letters

Critical examination of moral issues in the workplace, including: discrimination and preferential treatment, sexual harassment, whistle-blowing, privacy and disclosure, corporate social responsibility. Offered Every Term.

PHI 1130 Environmental Ethics Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Philosophy Letters

Is the natural world something to be valued in itself, or is its value exhausted by the uses human beings derive from it? This course introduces students to some of the major views on the subject, anthropocentric (human-centered) and non-anthropocentric. Offered Yearly.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate level students.

PHI 1200 Life and Death Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Philosophy Letters

Central philosophical and religious questions about life and death, and the enterprise of answering these questions through reasoning and argument. What is it to be alive, and to die? Do we cease to exist when we die, or might we continue to exist in an afterlife following our deaths? Should we fear or regret the fact that we will die someday, or should we be indifferent to it? Why is killing wrong? Is it always wrong to prevent a life from beginning, or to help someone bring his or her own life to an end? What, if anything, makes a life meaningful? We will study the ways in which these questions are raised and answered in a selection of classic and contemporary works of philosophy and literature. Offered Yearly.

PHI 1500 Race, Sex, and Religion Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Diversity Equity Incl Inquiry

An examination of contemporary ethical issues and controversies involving race, sex, religion, and related topics such as gender identity, class, economic injustice, immigration, and sexual orientation. Offered Fall, Winter.

History of Philosophy

PHI 2100 Ancient Greek Philosophy Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Philosophy Letters

Introduction to the Western philosophical tradition from its origins in Ancient Greece. Readings from the pre-Socratics, Plato, and Aristotle. Offered Every Other Year.

PHI 2110 Philosophy of the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Philosophy Letters

A survey of philosophical views concerning knowledge, reality, scientific evidence, naturalism, and morality from some of the major European philosophers of the period of the Scientific Revolution and Enlightenment, such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Offered Every Other Year.

PHI 2140 Ancient Greek Medicine and Psychology Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry

An examination of early Greek psychology and medical practice and theory. Figures and schools of thought covered include Homer, Democritus, Empedocles, the cult of Ascleipus, the Hippocratics, Plato, and Aristotle. Offered Every Other Year.

PHI 2150 Chinese Philosophy Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Foreign Culture, Global Learning Inquiry

Main philosophical traditions from ancient to pre-modern China. Readings from Confucius, Mo Tzu (Mohism), Mencius, Hsun Tzu, Han Fei Tzu (Legalism) and Chu Hsi (Neo-Confucianism). Offered Winter.

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate level students.

PHI 2170 Islamic and Near Eastern Philosophy Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Global Learning Inquiry

An examination of major figures and movements in Islamic and Near Eastern philosophy. Offered Every Other Year.

Equivalent: NE 2170

PHI 3450 Existentialism Cr. 3

Examines major philosophical views and figures in the Existentialist tradition, such as Sartre, Camus, Heidegger, de Beauvoir, Buber, Ortega y Gassett, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche. Offered Every Other Year.

PHI 5400 The Presocratics and Sophists Cr. 4

Selected readings on topics in philosophers who preceded or were contemporaneous with Socrates (7th - 5th centuries B.C.E), such as Heraclitus, Parmenides, Zeno, Democritus. Offered Intermittently.

Prerequisites: PHI 2000-6XXX with a minimum grade of D-, CLA 1010 with a minimum grade of D-, or PS 1010-1030 with a minimum grade of D-

PHI 5410 Plato Cr. 4

Selected readings on topics in Plato. Offered Every Other Year.

Prerequisites: PHI 2000-6XXX with a minimum grade of D-, CLA 1010 with a minimum grade of D-, or PS 1010-1030 with a minimum grade of D-

PHI 5420 Aristotle Cr. 4

Selected readings on topics in Aristotle. Offered Every Other Year.

PHI 5450 British Empiricism Cr. 4

Topics concerning Locke, Berkeley or Hume. Offered Intermittently.

Prerequisites: PHI 2000-6XXX with a minimum grade of D-, CLA 1010 with a minimum grade of D-, or PS 1010-1030 with a minimum grade of D-

PHI 5460 Kant Cr. 4

Selected topics or readings in Kant's philosophy. Offered Every Other Year.

Prerequisites: PHI 2000-6XXX with a minimum grade of D-, CLA 1010 with a minimum grade of D-, or PS 1010-1030 with a minimum grade of D-

Theory of Value

PHI 2320 Introduction to Ethics Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Philosophy Letters

An introduction to some classical and modern views concerning such questions as: What determines the rightness and wrongness of actions? What is the nature of moral reasoning? What constitutes a moral life? Offered Every Term.

PHI 2330 Introduction to Social and Political Philosophy Cr. 3

Introduction to the basic issues of political philosophy, such as the nature of the state, the ways of justifying its power and authority over its citizens; a philosophical analysis of central concepts like those of freedom, justice, and equality. Selected readings from some of the following: Plato, Aristotle, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Marx, and Rawls. Offered Every Other Year.

PHI 2360 Feminist Philosophy Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Diversity Equity Incl Inquiry

An examination of work by feminist philosophers. Offered Winter.

Equivalent: GSW 2360

PHI 2390 Philosophy of Human Rights Cr. 3

Addresses central issues in the philosophy of human rights, including questions about the foundation, content, and application of human rights. Examines different approaches to the foundation of human rights and considers whether human rights have one unique foundation or plural foundations. Offered Every Other Year.

PHI 3270 Foundations of Law Cr. 3

The legal system we live under commands, forbids, punishes, and defines responsibilities and harm. Common-sense morality: what is it, and what is its relation to law? Statutory interpretation: do judges create new law? Punishment: why do we have it, and what rights do the accused have? What is the legal concept of harm and responsibility? Offered Every Other Year.

Prerequisites: PHI 2000-6XXX with a minimum grade of D-, CLA 1010 with a minimum grade of D-, or PS 1010-1030 with a minimum grade of D-

PHI 3700 Philosophy of Art Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Philosophy Letters

What are art works? Why are they so moving? What is the nature of the experience they offer? This course introduces the student to some of the schools of thought on these issues. It also attempts to deal with the specific natures of the various artistic media, such as: drama, literature, film, painting, photography, music and opera. Offered Every Term.

PHI 5240 Social and Political Philosophy Cr. 4

Selected topics and readings from major social and political philosophers. Possible readings include Hobbes, Locke, J.S. Mill, Rawls, Simmons, Pateman, Frederick Douglass, and Charles Mills. Offered Every Other Year.

Prerequisites: PHI 2000-ZZZZ with a minimum grade of C (may be taken concurrently)

PHI 5250 Justice and Rights in Health Care Cr. 4

This course is centered around the general question: What does justice require of a society in terms of providing health care to its members? It examines classic philosophical theories of justice including egalitarianism, libertarianism, and Rawls’ justice as fairness, before turning to the implications of these theories for health care access. Questions include: Does justice require providing universal health care? Is it compatible with offering different health care plans to different persons, or does justice require everyone have the same health care? How do issues of fairness in health care access relate to various forms of oppression in society, such as racism, classism, and sexism? Offered Fall.

Prerequisites: PHI 2000-ZZZZ with a minimum grade of C (may be taken concurrently)

PHI 5260 Philosophy of Sex and Gender Cr. 3

Explores ethical and conceptual issues surrounding sex, gender, and sexual orientation. Specific topics include conceptual analysis of sex, gender, and sexual orientation; sexual perversion, natural law, consent, marriage, adultery, “casual” sex, polygamy and polyamory, prostitution, and pornography. Offered Every Other Year.

PHI 5270 Philosophy of Law Cr. 4

Intensive investigation and discussion of special topics or particular authors in the philosophy of law. Possible readings include Austin, Hart, Fuller, Finnis, Martin Luther King, Jr., R. Dworkin, Scalia, J.S. Mill, and Shiffrin. Offered Every Other Year.

PHI 5280 History of Ethics Cr. 4

A survey and discussion of historically important moral philosophers from Plato to Mill. Offered Every Other Year.

Prerequisites: PHI 2000-6XXX with a minimum grade of D-, CLA 1010 with a minimum grade of D-, or PS 1010-1030 with a minimum grade of D-

PHI 5290 Free Will and Moral Responsibility Cr. 4

Exploration of the nature of, and relationship between, free will and moral responsibility. Questions include: What is free will? Is free will required for moral responsibility? Are freedom and responsibility compatible with determinism (the claim that the initial state of the universe plus the physical laws of nature determine everything that happens)? Does our practice of holding one another responsible reveal the nature of moral responsibility? Offered Fall.

Prerequisites: PHI 2000-ZZZZ with a minimum grade of C (may be taken concurrently)

PHI 5300 Foundations of Ethics Cr. 4

Twentieth century moral philosophers in the analytic tradition, with focus on debates in moral realism, moral epistemology, and the ""Why be moral?"" question; includes such philosophers as Moore, Stevenson, Foot, Mackie, Blackburn, Gibbard, Parfit, Korsgaard, and Railton. Offered Every Other Year.

Prerequisites: PHI 2000-6XXX with a minimum grade of D-, CLA 1010 with a minimum grade of D-, or PS 1010-1030 with a minimum grade of D-

PHI 5330 Ethics, Law, and Health Cr. 4

Provides a foundational understanding of how to use the tools of philosophy (especially ethics) to critically assess complex issues concerning public health, medical care, health law, and health policy. Covers foundations of normative ethical theory and of legal theory, and uses that understanding to address ethical and legal questions about discrete practical issues dealing with health. Offered Yearly.

Prerequisites: PHI 2000-ZZZZ with a minimum grade of C (may be taken concurrently)

Philosophical Problems

PHI 2400 Introduction to the Philosophy of Religion Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Philosophy Letters

Religious beliefs provide subject matter for philosophical study; for example, Are the traditional arguments for the existence of God credible? Does the existence of evil conflict with a belief in God's omnipotence and omnibenevolence? What is the value of religious experience? Offered Intermittently.

PHI 2550 Introduction to Philosophy of Science Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Philosophy Letters

Distinguishing science from non-science; how scientific knowledge is established; what constitutes scientific progress; whether science is cumulative; the place of science in the enterprise of knowledge and rational belief. Offered Every Other Year.

PHI 2650 Philosophy of Psychology Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry

Central examples of these questions and proposed answers: Could we build an intelligent computer? Is our mind just a piece of software that our brain is running? Is there a ""language of thought""? Are we much less rational than we think? How can we understand each other's minds? Can there be laws in psychology? What is consciousness, and can it be studied scientifically? We will address these and other questions via the work of philosophers, psychologists and cognitive scientists. Offered Winter.

Equivalent: PSY 2650

PHI 3500 Theory of Knowledge Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Philosophy Letters

The distinction between knowledge and belief is germane to every field of inquiry. What is the difference between knowledge and belief? Do we know anything at all? If so, how? Are we ever in a position of being certain about beliefs pertaining to an objective world? Is our belief in an objective world based on our subjective experiences? Offered Every Term.

PHI 3550 Metaphysics Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Philosophy Letters

Survey and examination of some of the enduring questions of metaphysics concerning the nature of reality. Topics include: the nature of physical objects, abstract entities, the concepts of time and change, the relation between mind and body, causation, the nature of metaphysics. Offered Yearly.

PHI 3600 Space, Time, and the Philosophy of Physics Cr. 3

Survey of some principal problems concerning the concepts of space and time and their relation to physical theories. Topics include: our knowledge of the geometric features of the world, the existence of space and time, time without change, the passage of time, the philosophical foundations and implications of Einstein's Special Theory of Relativity, and the explanation of motion and the General Theory of Relativity. No prior knowledge of modern physics will be presupposed. Offered Every Other Year.

Prerequisites: PHI 2000-6XXX with a minimum grade of D-

PHI 5210 Philosophy of Race and Racism Cr. 4

An examination of philosophical approaches to the study of race and racism, including the metaphysics of race and and the epistemology of racism and ignorance. Offered Every Other Fall.

Prerequisites: PHI 2000-6XXX with a minimum grade of D-

PHI 5230 Philosophy of Science Cr. 4

Intensive investigation and discussion of special topics or particular authors in the philosophy of science. Offered Yearly.

Prerequisites: 1 of (PHI 2400, PHI 5630, PHI 5640, PHI 2550, PHI 3500, PHI 3600, PHI 5230, PHI 5500, PHI 5530, PHI 5550, or PHI 5570)

PHI 5500 Topics in Metaphysics Cr. 4

Intensive investigation and discussion of special topics or particular authors in metaphysics. Offered Yearly.

PHI 5530 Topics in Epistemology Cr. 4

Intensive investigation and discussion of special topics or particular authors in the theory of knowledge. Offered Intermittently.

PHI 5550 Philosophy of Mind Cr. 4

Intensive investigation and discussion of special topics or particular authors concerned with the nature and status of the mental and theories about the mental. Offered Every Other Year.

PHI 5570 Philosophy of Language Cr. 4

Intensive investigation and discussion of philosophical problems concerning meaning, truth, and the nature of language. Offered Every Other Year.

Prerequisites: 1 of (PHI 2400, PHI 5630, PHI 5640, PHI 2550, PHI 3500, PHI 3600, PHI 5230, PHI 5500, PHI 5530, PHI 5550, or PHI 5570)

Equivalent: LIN 5570

PHI 5630 Twentieth Century Analytic Philosophy I Cr. 4

Major works, movements, and writers in the analytic tradition in the twentieth century up to the 1940s, such as Frege, Russell, Moore, the early Wittgenstein, Carnap, Ayer. Offered Intermittently.

Prerequisites: 1 of (PHI 2400, PHI 5630, PHI 5640, PHI 2550, PHI 3500, PHI 3600, PHI 5230, PHI 5500, PHI 5530, PHI 5550, or PHI 5570)

Logic

PHI 2850 Introductory Symbolic Logic Cr. 3

The logic of propositions; the general logic of predicates and relations. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: LIN 1850

PHI 2860 Honors Introductory Symbolic Logic Cr. 3

See PHI 1850. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: LIN 1860

PHI 5050 Advanced Symbolic Logic Cr. 4

Formal, extensive treatment of first-order predicate logic with emphasis on the notions of a formal logical language and truth in a model; the logic of identity; definite descriptions; brief introductions to set theory and the metatheory of propositional and first-order logic; some additional advanced topics to be selected by the instructor. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: LIN 5050

PHI 5350 Logical Systems I Cr. 4

Metaresults concerning formal systems of sentential and first-order logics; soundness, completeness; independence of axioms; introduction to recursive functions; formalization of elementary arithmetic; discussion of Godel's incompleteness theorem and Church's Theorem. Offered Every Other Year.

Prerequisites: MAT 5600 with a minimum grade of C-, PHI 2850 with a minimum grade of C-, PHI 2860 with a minimum grade of C-, PHI 5050 with a minimum grade of C-, or MAT 5420 with a minimum grade of C-

Equivalent: MAT 5350

Special Courses

PHI 3800 Topics in Philosophy Cr. 3

Topics to be announced in Schedule of Classes . Offered Intermittently.

Repeatable for 6 Credits

PHI 4890 Honors Thesis Cr. 3

Directed research project that culminates in the student's honors thesis. Offered Winter.

Restriction(s): Enrollment limited to students in the Honors College.

PHI 4995 Research Training Cr. 1-4

Students engage in an independent research project and learn research methods in Philosophy under the supervision of a faculty member. Offered Every Term.

Repeatable for 4 Credits

PHI 5800 Special Topics in Philosophy Cr. 2-4

Topics and prerequisites to be announced in Schedule of Classes . Offered Intermittently.

Repeatable for 8 Credits

PHI 6990 Directed Reading Cr. 1-6

Intensive investigation by student on topic chosen by student in consultation with instructor. Offered Every Term.

Repeatable for 12 Credits

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