Courses Offered

by the

Department of Philosophy

 
 

Philos 310. Ethics. 3(1)*. A critical study of several major moral theories and their application to contemporary moral problems with special emphasis on the moral problems of the profession of arms. Highlighted are the officer’s responsibilities to reason and act ethically; develop critical thinking skills; know civic, cultural, and international contexts in which the U.S. military operates; and learn influential normative theories about ethics and the foundations of character. Final exam. Prereq: None. Sem hrs: 3 fall or spring.

            In addition, this course/program is a primary contributor to the development and
            assessment of the following USAFA outcomes:


            Responsibilities: Ethical Reasoning and Action

            Skills: Critical Thinking

            Knowledge: Civic, Cultural, and International Environments; Ethics and the Foundation
            of Character


Philos 311. War, Morality, and the Military Profession. 3(1). An in-depth examination of the moral issues raised by the profession of arms. Presumes an understanding of moral theory, as a minimum: relativism, egoism, utilitarianism, and deontology. May be taken as a sequel to Philos 310, or substitutes for Philos 310 (with department approval) if the student has independently studied ethical theory. Final exam or final project. Prereq: Philos 310. Sem hrs: 3 fall or spring.

Philos 330. Introduction to the Philosophy of Science. 3(1). An analysis of the basic assumptions and principles of the sciences. Types of topics considered include the scientific method, scientific laws, theory construction, scientific explanation, probability, the relationship between the social sciences and the physical sciences, and the relationship between the sciences and the humanities, especially in the formation of values. Final exam or final project. Prereq: Completed or enrolled in Philos 310 or department approval. Sem hrs: 3 spring.

Philos 360. Applied Reasoning. 3(1). An introduction to basic deductive and inductive applied logic. Includes an analysis and evaluation of the notions of evidence and good arguments in fields such as law, medicine, science, engineering, behavioral and social sciences, and military studies. Students will be expected to concentrate on reasoning in a specific field of interest. Final exam or final project. Prereq: C1C, C2C, or C3C standing. Sem hrs: 3 fall.

Philos 370. Introduction to Symbolic Logic. 3(1). An advanced course in logic that examines propositional and predicate languages, model theory, quantifiers, proofs, identity theory and properties of logical systems. Final exam or final project. Prereq: Completed or enrolled in Comp Sci 110. Sem hrs: 3 fall or spring.

Philos 382. American Philosophy. 3(1). An examination of the philosophic background of Puritanism, the Revolutionary period, transcendentalism and pragmatism with special reference to the thought of major American philosophers such as Pierce, James, Royce, Santayana, Dewey. Final exam or final project. Prereq: Completed or enrolled in Philos 310. Sem hrs: 3 fall.

Philos 391. Ancient Western Philosophy. 3(1). A survey of selected philosophers and schools of thought from the 6th century BCE to the 3rd century CE. Major philosophers of this era include the Pre-Socratics, Plato, Antisthenes, Aristotle, Epicurus, Epictetus, Plotinus, and others. Major schools of thought include the Academics, Cynics, Peripatetics, Epicureans, and Stoics. Final exam or final project. Prereq: Completed or enrolled in Philos 310, or with instructor prior approval. Sem hrs: 3 fall, even-numbered years.

Philos 392. Western Medieval Philosophy. 3(1). A survey of selected philosophers and schools of thought from the 4th through the 16th centuries. Major philosophers of the era include Augustine, Boethius, Al Farabi, Avicenna, Anselm, Averroës, Maimonides, Aquinas, Duns Scotus, William of Ockham, and others. The period is characterized by attempts to reconcile classical philosophy with the revealed religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Final exam or final project. Prereq: Completed or enrolled in Philos 310, or with instructor prior approval. Sem hrs: 3 spring, odd-numbered years.

Philos 393. Modern Western Philosophy. 3(1). A survey of selected philosophers and schools of thought from the 17th through the 19th centuries. Major philosophers of this era include Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Locke, Leibniz, Hume, Kant, Hegel, Mill, Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche, and others. Major schools of thought include Rationalism, Empiricism, Skepticism, and German Idealism. Final exam or final project. Prereq: Completed or enrolled in Philos 310, or with instructor prior approval. Sem hrs: 3 fall, odd-numbered years.

Philos 394. Contemporary Topics in Philosophy. 3(1). An in-depth study of central themes and issues in philosophy examined through the work of contemporary philosophers (defined as those working from the 20th century through today). Topics may require a historical survey to provide context for examining contemporary developments. Final exam or final project. Prereq: Completed or enrolled in Philos 310, or with instructor prior approval. Sem hrs: 3 spring, even-numbered years.

Philos 395. Philosophy of Law. 3(1). This course will serve as an introduction to legal philosophy and its relations to moral reasoning. Emphasis on the nature of law, its authority, its relations to morals, the controversies over judicial decision-making, the justification of states interfering with the liberty of its individual citizens, the various different or competing senses of "justice," the question of responsibility and the justification of legal punishment. Final exam or final project. Prereq: Philos 310. Sem hrs: 3 spring.

Philos 401. Comparative Religion. 3(1). A philosophical survey of selected world religions, possibly including extinct religions now known only through texts and other artifacts. Faith traditions to be surveyed in every offering of this course include Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, Judaism, and Christianity. See course syllabus for additional traditions to be examined in a given semester. Final exam or final project. No prereq. Sem hrs: 3 fall.

Philos 402. Philosophy of Religion. 3(1). Topics to be considered include concepts of the divine, grounds for belief in a deity, theories of salvation, the problem of evil, the roles of revelation and reason in religion, problems of religious language, and the role of religion in moral theory. Final exam or final project. No prereq, but students may find Philos 401 a helpful foundation. Sem hrs: 3 spring.

Philos 410. Medical Ethics. 3(1). Ethics applied to biomedical issues using a seminar approach. Ethical problems considered will include informed consent, refusal of treatment, suicide, killing and letting die, paternalism, allocation of health care, patient confidentiality, codes of medical ethics and specific case analyses. Final exam or final project. Prereq: Completed or enrolled in Philos 310. Sem hrs: 3 fall.

Philos 421. Metaphysics. 3(1). This course focuses on the study of metaphysical issues such as free will and determinism, truth, existence, identity and change, necessity and contingency, essence and accident, substance and property, cause and effect, universals and particulars, as well as space and time. Final exam or final project. Prereq: Any course in the history of philosophy series (Philos 391, 392, 393, 394). Sem hrs: 3 fall.

Philos 422. Philosophy of Language. 3(1). Topics to be considered in this class include the nature of language, the relationship between language and thought, the relationship between language and action, the role of logic in language, the way(s) in which language connects to the non-linguistic world, the place of convention in language, the metaphysical status of meanings, and the possibility of a “private” language. Final exam or final project. Prereq: Any course in the history of philosophy series (Philos 391, 392, 393, or 394). Sem hrs: 3 spring.

Philos 495. Seminar in Philosophy. 3(1). Selected topics in philosophy. Final exam or final project. Prereq: C1C or C2C standing. Sem hrs: 3 fall or spring. Philos 499. Independent Study. 3(0). Philosophical research guided by an instructor. Topics and meetings arranged with the instructor. No final. Prereq: Department approval. Sem hrs: 3 fall or spring.

Philos 499A. Independent Study. 2(0). Sem hrs: 2 fall or spring.

Philos 499B. Independent Study. 1.5(0). Sem hrs: 1.5 fall or spring.

Philos 499C. Independent Study. 1(0). Sem hrs: 1 fall or spring.