Course Descriptions

Philosophy (PHL) Courses

PHL 101 Introduction to Philosophy (3-0) 3 credits

Philosophy is the art and science of reasoning and the critical exploration of ideas. As a result, philosophy is primarily concerned with various questions which are inspired by reflection about and inquiry into the fundamental nature of things, including individuals' reflection on and about their place in the universe, themselves, and their relations to the members of their community. In this course, students will explore and examine some of the questions, concerns, problems, and intellectual schools or traditions which constitute the nature of philosophy. A number of these matters are explored through many of the various branches of the discipline, such as logic, metaphysics, epistemology, ethics, aesthetics, social and political philosophy, among others. This course carries SUNY General Education Humanities credit.  View Course Syllabus Adobe Acrobat, PDF

PHL 103 Ethics (3-0) 3 credits

This course offers an introduction to Ethics. The primary ethical question is, “What is the best life, and how can I live it?” In reply to the primary ethical question this course evaluates the two foundational approaches to ethics, teleology (consequentialism) and deontology. Teleological approaches justify a behavior by judging the consequence which it produces; the ends justify the means. Deontological approaches begin by understanding the moral essence of the ethical agent and unpack the implications thereof; the means justify the ends. Understanding the difference in these emphases is central to meta-ethics. There exist eight distinct ethical theories found within the Western Philosophy. Those theories are as follows: egoism, hedonism, naturalism (Virtue Theory), utilitarianism, Kantianism, relativism, contractualism and theologism (Divine Command Theory). The first four of these theories (egoism, hedonism, naturalism and utilitarianism) are teleological approaches. The second four (Kantianism, relativism, contractualism and theologism) are deontological approaches.  View Course Syllabus Adobe Acrobat, PDF

PHL 105 Philosophy of Religion (3-0) 3 credits

The purpose of this course is to examine from a critical, philosophical perspective the various beliefs and practices of religion; problems associated with classical theism; the uniqueness of religious language; arguments for and against immortality; the challenge modern science poses to religion; and the notions of salvation, liberation, etc. As such, this course is to investigate religion in a way that is historically informed, theologically sophisticated, and philosophically challenging.  View Course Syllabus Adobe Acrobat, PDF

PHL 205 Philosophy, Sex, and Gender (3-0) 3 credits

This course will study how concepts of sex and gender inform our understanding of self-identity and sexual difference. The course will explore how conventional categories of gender (e.g., heteronormativity and androcentrism) shape/situate women and sexual minorities as 'other'. The course examines a number of theories about the conceptual regulations of gender identity, especially those drawn from foundationalism and essentialism and feminist challenges to these theories. The course also explores the intelligibility of possibilities for gender identity other than those that are conventionally reinforced. Prerequisite: ENG 101 and either PHL 100 or PHL 103. This course carries SUNY General Education Humanities credit.  View Course Syllabus Adobe Acrobat, PDF