Philosophy

The philosophy program is offered in the department of arts, languages and philosophy.

The study of philosophy emphasizes the understanding of ideas, the capacity to identify assumptions, and the ability to gain insights into problems and puzzles. Central to philosophy is the application of rigorous thinking to the fundamental issues of reality, knowledge, and value.

Because rigorous thinking is not restricted to any one academic area, philosophical interests are wide ranging. All types of questions are considered: do we have freewill or are all our actions caused? Does God exist and have a determinable nature? How do we tell the difference between what’s morally right and wrong? What is thinking and can animals or machines think? How does our nature influence our behavior and creative activity? What is the interrelationship between technological development and human values? etc.

Philosophy touches on nearly all fields of endeavor and a philosophical education is very flexible. With the help of advisors, students can design their curriculum to match their own special interests. Philosophy is also an excellent pre-professional degree.

Bachelor of Science
Philosophy

A minimum of 120 credit hours is required for a bachelor of science degree in philosophy, and a grade point average of 2.0 must be obtained.  These requirements for the B.S. are in addition to credit received for basic ROTC.

The B.S. in philosophy degree requires the following:

1. ENGLISH 1120 (entering students will normally take ENGLISH 1120 within their first year of study.) (3 hours)

2. Sciences.  A total of 24 hours in biological, physical (chemistry, geology, and physics), and mathematical (mathematics, statistics, computer science, and information science and technology) sciences is required.  A course from each of the biological and physical sciences is required.  Students have to take two math or statistics courses; both must be at the level of college algebra or higher.  At least one hour of lab coursework is required.  Students may count up to 12 hours of engineering courses, at the discretion of the major advisor.  Also, students may count up to 3 hours from the following list, but which may not be used to satisfy another requirement:  History of science and technology classes (HISTORY 2510, HISTORY 3510, and HISTORY 2530), PHILOS 4345, or PHILOS 3254  (24 hours)

3.  Social Sciences.  A total of 15 hours in social sciences is required.  At least one course from two of the four areas must be taken:  economics, sociology/anthropology, history/political science, and psychology.  Six (6) hours from the biological, physical, and mathematical science, as well as engineering, not already used for the science requirement, may be substituted for 3 hours of social sciences; this substitution is only permitted once, unless allowed at the discretion of the major advisor.  (15 hours)

4.  Humanities.  A total of 12 hours in humanities other than philosophy is required.  Courses may be taken in literature, foreign/modern languages, speech and media studies, art, music, or theater.  Three (3) hours from history not used for the social science requirement, and not HISTORY 1300 or HISTORY 1310, may be used to fulfill this requirement.  (12 hours)

5.  Two (2) Communication Intensive courses are required; waiving and substitutions are at the discretion of the student's advisor.

6.  Minor:  A minor will be selected from any discipline other than the major with approval of the major advisor.  A total of at least 15 hours is required for the minor, but may include courses which also satisfy other requirements.  At least nine hours must be beyond the introductory level.

7.  Basic ROTC may be elected in the freshman and sophomore years, but is not creditable toward the B.S. in philosophy degree.  Six credit hours of advanced ROTC may be credited toward this degree.

8.  Elective Credits:  In consultation with her/his advisor, each student will elect sufficient additional courses to complete a minimum of 120 credit hours which may include MATH 1120 or MATH 1140 and MATH 1160.

9.  Philosophy:  A total of at least 30 hours of philosophy courses is required.  This is to include PHILOS 1105, PHILOS 1115, and at least 12 hours at the 4000-level, although substitutions may be permitted at the discretion of the major advisor.  All philosophy work must accumulate to at least a 2.0 grade point average.

Ethics Minor

To qualify, all students must take 15 hours of course work from the following list of which at least 6 hours are from the 4000-level:

PHILOS 1105Introduction To Philosophy3
PHILOS 1115Introduction To Logic3
PHILOS 1130Introduction to Ethics3
PHILOS 1175Comparative Religious Philosophy3
PHILOS 3223Bioethics3
PHILOS 3225Engineering Ethics3
PHILOS 3235Business Ethics3
PHILOS 4335Philosophy Of Religion3
PHILOS 4340Social Ethics3
PHILOS 4350Environmental Ethics3
PHILOS 4360Foundations Of Political Conflict3
PHILOS 4368Law and Ethics in E-Commerce3

Philosophy Minor

  1. A student with a minor in philosophy must meet the following requirements:
    1. Twelve hours in Philosophy course beyond PHILOS 1105 (PHILOS 1105 is a prerequisite to a minor in philosophy).
    2. Six of the twelve hours must be completed in philosophy courses numbered 4000 or above.
  2. A student should declare his or her intention to minor in philosophy by his or her junior year.
  3. A member of the philosophy staff will act as the student’s minor advisor. The student and his or her minor advisor will plan a course of study to meet the specific interests and needs of the student.

Philosophy of Technology Minor

To qualify, all students must take 15 hours of course work in the following areas of philosophy, political science and history. Nine or more of these hours will need to be in philosophy.

Mandatory:
PHILOS 1115Introduction To Logic3
At least two of the following, one of which must be a philosophy class:
PHILOS 4345Philosophy Of Science3
PHILOS 4320Minds And Machines3
HISTORY 3550Architecture, Technology and Society; 1750 to Present3
Additional courses from:
PHILOS 1105Introduction To Philosophy3
BIO SCI 1163Biotechnology in Film3
PHILOS 3223Bioethics3
HISTORY 2510History of Technology3
HISTORY 3510Twentieth Century Technology And Society3

PHILOS 1105 Introduction To Philosophy (LEC 3.0)

An historical survey of the major approaches to philosophical problems, especially those of the nature of reality, human nature, and conduct. Prerequisite: Entrance requirements.

PHILOS 1110 Practical Reasoning (LEC 3.0)

An introduction to the study of non-formal reasoning. The course examines the subtle ways that the form in which information is presented can color the way that information is understood. Prerequisite: Entrance requirements.

PHILOS 1115 Introduction To Logic (LEC 3.0)

A study of the basic rules of both formal and symbolic logic, including types of argumentation, methods of reasoning, valid reasoning, inductive and deductive reasoning as used in the sciences and in communication in general. Prerequisite: Entrance requirements.

PHILOS 1130 Introduction to Ethics (LEC 3.0)

A complex and rich tradition in philosophical thought, Ethics - from the Ancient Greeks up into contemporary thought philosophers - returns again and again to discuss theories in proper behavior. No previous exposure to philosophy is required.

PHILOS 1175 Comparative Religious Philosophy (LEC 3.0)

A comparison of the philosophic ideas and foundations of the major Eastern and Western religions. Prerequisite: Entrance requirements.

PHILOS 2000 Special Problems (IND 0.0-6.0)

Problems or readings on specific subjects or projects in the department. Consent of instructor required.

PHILOS 2001 Special Topics (LEC 0.0-6.0)

This course is designed to give the department an opportunity to test a new course. Variable title.

PHILOS 3000 Special Problems (IND 0.0-6.0)

Problems or readings on specific subjects or projects in the department. Consent of instructor required.

PHILOS 3001 Special Topics (LAB 1.0 and LEC 3.0)

This course is designed to give the department an opportunity to test a new course. Variable title.

PHILOS 3204 Ancient Philosophy (LEC 3.0)

A study of selected philosophical works from the pre-Socratics to William of Occam. Prerequisites: An introductory (below 2000) level Philosophy course.

PHILOS 3205 Early Modern Philosophy (LEC 3.0)

Principal figures in the development of rationalism, empiricism, and skepticism in early modern Europe, from Descartes through Hume. Prerequisites: A previous class in philosophy is recommended.

PHILOS 3223 Bioethics (LEC 3.0)

This course covers several areas of ethical interest in biotechnology, medicine, and medical care. Topics may include stem-cell research, cloning, genetic engineering, reproductive issues, pharmaceutical ethics, privacy, physician-assisted suicide, patient rights, human and animal experimentation, and resource allocation. Prerequisite: Introductory level (below 2000) Philosophy course.

PHILOS 3225 Engineering Ethics (LEC 3.0)

Engineering ethics, examines major ethical issues facing engineers in the practice of their profession: the problem of professionalism and a code of ethics; the process of ethical decision-making in different working environments; the rights, duties, and conflicting responsibilities of engineers. Prerequisite: An introductory (below 2000) level philosophy course.

PHILOS 3235 Business Ethics (LEC 3.0)

Develop ethical concepts relevant to deciding the moral issues that arise in business. Topics include: Economic systems, government regulations, relations to external groups and environment, advertising, product safety and liability, worker safety and rights, rights and responsibilities of business professionals. Prerequisite: An introductory (below 2000) level philosophy course.

PHILOS 3254 Symbolic Logic in Argumentation (LEC 3.0)

An introduction to sentential and predicate logic. Focuses on various techniques used to examine logical relationships within an artificial symbolic language, such as truth tables, derivations, and models. Includes metatheoretic discussions of syntax and semantics, and soundness and completeness. Prerequisites: Comp Eng 2210, or Comp Sci 1200, or any 1000-level or higher Philosophy course. Philosophy 1115 is recommended.

PHILOS 3276 Thematics Studies in Film and Philosophy (LEC 3.0)

A study of special topics at the intersection of film and philosophy. Topics vary but may include films on the nature of reality, films on the problem of evil, films on concepts of consciousness and the self, and more. Prerequisites: Art 1185 or one philosophy course, or junior standing. (Co-listed with Art 3276).

PHILOS 3302 Medieval Philosophy (LEC 3.0)

A critical study of the important philosophies of the period from Augustine to the Renaissance. Although there is no formal prerequisite, it is recommended that students have taken at least one other philosophy course. Prerequisites: A previous class in philosophy is recommended.

PHILOS 4000 Special Problems (IND 0.0-6.0)

Problems or readings on specific subjects of projects in the department. Consent of instructor required.

PHILOS 4001 Special Topics (LEC 0.0-6.0)

This course is designed to give the department an opportunity to test a new course. Variable title.

PHILOS 4320 Minds And Machines (LEC 3.0)

The course will be centered on the topic of artificial intelligence and the problems raised by contemporary attempts to simulate human thinking and perception in machines. Special emphasis will be placed on recent developments in psychology, physiology, cybernetics and computer technology. Prerequisite: Any introductory (below 2000) level philosophy course.

PHILOS 4325 Epistemology: Knowledge and Justification (LEC 3.0)

An introduction to the field of epistemology, the study of the scope, the limits, the sources, and the nature of knowledge and justified belief. Includes analyses of knowledge and justification, skepticism, scientific knowledge, and naturalism, among other topics. Prerequisite: Any 1000 or higher level philosophy course. Philosophy 1105 recommended.

PHILOS 4333 American Philosophy (LEC 3.0)

A study of American philosophical development with emphasis upon the "Classical Age of American Philosophy", i.e., Pierce, James, Dewey, Royce, Santayana and Whitehead. Prerequisite: An introductory (below 2000) level Philosophy course.

PHILOS 4335 Philosophy Of Religion (LEC 3.0)

A consideration of the major presuppositions of western theism, such as the existence of god and the cognitive meaningfulness of religious language. Prerequisite: Any introductory (below 2000) level philosophy course.

PHILOS 4340 Social Ethics (LEC 3.0)

Discussion of ethical issues confronting society and the arguments offered for alternative laws and public policies. Topics might include: freedom of speech/action, government regulation, welfare, capital punishment, euthanasia, abortion, the environment, affirmative action, just wars, foreign aid, world hunger. Prerequisite: Any lower level ethics course.

PHILOS 4345 Philosophy Of Science (LEC 3.0)

An examination of the fundamental methods and assumptions of the sciences, with emphasis on scientific reasoning and theories. Prerequisite: Any introductory (below 2000) level philosophy course.

PHILOS 4350 Environmental Ethics (LEC 3.0)

Study of the complex moral issues concerning our relationship to the environment and the ethical foundations of our environmental responsibilities. Discussion topics include: conservation, preservation, resource development, pollution, toxic substances, future generations, endangered species, regulation, zoning, takings, etc. Prerequisite: Any introductory (below 2000) level philosophy course.

PHILOS 4354 Mathematical Logic I (LEC 3.0)

A mathematical introduction to logic with some applications. Functional and relational languages, satisfaction, soundness and completeness theorems, compactness theorems. Examples from Mathematics, Philosophy, Computer Science, and/or Computer Engineering. Prerequisite: Philos 1115 with junior standing or Math 5105 or Comp Sci 2500 or Comp Eng 2210. (Co-listed with Comp Eng 5803, Comp Sci 5203 and Math 5154).

PHILOS 4360 Foundations Of Political Conflict (LEC 3.0)

This course is designed as a survey of the philosophical foundation of major political systems. For example, communism, fascism, democracy. Materials will be drawn from relevant historical and/or contemporary sources. Prerequisite: Any introductory (below 2000) level Philosophy course.

PHILOS 4368 Law and Ethics in E-Commerce (LEC 3.0)

Provides the ethical framework to analyze the ethical, legal, and social issues that arise for citizens and computer professionals regarding the computerization of society. Topics include: free speech, privacy, intellectual property, product liability, and professional responsibility. (Co-listed with IS&T 5168).

PHILOS 4399 Topics in Philosophy (LEC 3.0)

An intensive course designed for students with a special interest in philosophy. The content of the course may vary and the course may be repeated for additional credit. Prerequisites: Any 1000-level or higher Philosophy course.

PHILOS 5000 Special Problems (IND 1.0-3.0)

Problems or readings on specific subjects or projects in the department. Consent of instructor required.

PHILOS 5001 Special Topics (IND 1.0-3.0)

This course is designed to give the department an opportunity to test a new course. Variable title.

Joel P Dittmer, Assistant Professor
PHD University of Missouri

Jonathan Andrew Finch, Lecturer
MA University of Miami

Darin Finke, Assistant Teaching Professor
PHD University of Missouri

Andrea Taylor, Lecturer
MA University of Oklahoma-Norman

Superscripts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 in the faculty listing refer to the following common footnotes:
1 Registered Professional Engineer
2 Registered Geologist
3 Certified Health Physicist
4 Registered Architect
5 Board Certified, American Academy of Environmental Engineers
6 LEED AP Certified

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