What we're teching this term

To register for a course, or just to get the dates and times, visit the Schedule of Courses. Courses numbered 100 to 299 = lower-division; 300 to 499 = upper-division; 500 to 799 = undergraduate/graduate.

PHIL 100.  Meaning of Philosophy   (3).

General education humanities introductory course. Exploration of the meaning of philosophic activity through an examination of several basic interpretations of the distinguishing intentions, characteristic procedures and essential functions of the philosophic endeavor. Introduces some of the fundamental problems and possible values of philosophy. Develops a broad understanding of the meaning of philosophy as a diverse and self-critical historical enterprise. 

PHIL 105.  Critical Reasoning   (3).

General education humanities introductory course. Helps students become better at reasoning. Focuses on different patterns of reasoning common in college-level studies and in everyday life. Some patterns are treated in concrete and content-specific ways, and others are treated in highly abstract ways. Students also learn to be critical by different kinds of standards. For example, students learn about how much precision to demand when reasoning about different kinds of topics, and how to evaluate considerations in terms of relevance. Ultimately, students learn how to strengthen their own capacities for reasoning and how to recognize and correct errors in their own thinking and in other people's reasoning.

PHIL 125.  Introductory Logic   (3).

General education humanities introductory course. Deals with the uses of logical concepts and techniques to evaluate and criticize reasoning. Studies some elementary systems of formal logic. Arguments evaluated are drawn from such diverse fields as law, science, politics, religion and advertising. 

PHIL 144.  Moral Issues   (3).

General education humanities introductory course. Introduction to philosophical thought about ethics. Discusses a number of contemporary moral issues and considers various philosophical approaches to their solutions. Course includes diversity content. 

HNRS 305J.  Minds and Machines   (3). 

General education humanities and fine arts advanced issues and perspectives course. People have constructed machines designed to imitate living creatures in some way long before there were electronic computers. When is a machine’s behavior appropriately called "intelligent?" Must it be capable of using a language? Must a machine be capable of learning in order to be regarded as intelligent? Must it be able to communicate with humans? What criteria are appropriate for judging that an animal's behavior is intelligent; should the same criteria be used for machine intelligence? What lessons about machine intelligence should be taken from debates over recent studies of intelligence in animals with nervous systems very different from humans (e.g., corvids, cephalopods)? Students consider these and other, related questions. Course takes a historical and interdisciplinary approach, drawing on works in philosophy, literature, science and history of science.

PHIL 306.  Business Ethics   (3).

General education humanities and fine arts advanced issues and perspectives course. A critical examination of representative moral issues that arise in the context of business. Focuses on topics such as the nature of professionalism, the social responsibility of business, regulation, employee rights and obligations, sexual harassment, economic justice, environmental impact, the limits of property rights, and conflicting international mores and practices. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite: PHIL 105 with a grade of C or better. 

PHIL 325.  Formal Logic   (3).

Studies systems of formal logic including sentential and predicate logic. Emphasizes the uses of these systems in the analysis of arguments. Prerequisite: PHIL 125.

PHIL 327.  Bioethics   (3).

General education humanities and fine arts advanced further study course. Examines ethical issues related to health care such as truth-telling to patients, confidentiality, euthanasia, abortion, prenatal obligations and distribution of health care. Course includes diversity content. 

PHIL 345.  Philosophy of Sex & Love   (3).

Examines the ethical, metaphysical and conceptual dimensions of sex and love. Includes the nature of sex, sexual perversion, homosexuality, pornography, sadomasochism, the nature and varieties of love, the features of love, and the relationship between love and sex. Uses selections from writings of both historical and recent authors. 

Want to know a little more from the professor about what you'll be learning?

PHIL 354.  Ethics and Computers   (3).

General education humanities and fine arts advanced issues and perspectives course. Ethics with application to the ethical issues which may arise from the use of computers, including the moral responsibility of computer professionals for the effect their work has on persons and society; the moral obligations of a computer professional to clients, employer and society; the conceptual and ethical issues surrounding the control and ownership of software; and the justifiability of regulation of the design, use and marketing of computer technology. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite: junior standing or departmental consent.

PHIL 360.  Ethical Theory   (3).

General education humanities and fine arts advanced further study course. Studies selected topics in ethics. Investigates issues such as the meaning and justification of moral judgments, the nature of morality, the relations between normative categories and the concept of justice, and the problem of revolution in moral schemes. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy. 

Want to know a little more from the professor about what you'll be studying?

PHIL 385.  Engineering Ethics   (3).

General education humanities and fine arts advanced issues and perspectives course. Examines representative ethical issues that arise in engineering. Topics include: professional responsibility and integrity, whistle-blowing, conflict of interest, ethical issues in engineering consulting and research, engineering and environmental issues, and engineering in a global context. Course includes diversity content. Prerequisite: junior or senior standing. 

PHIL 450.  Truth & Reality   (3).

A survey of philosophical theories of truth, including the correspondence, pragmatic and deflationary theories. Topics to be covered include skepticism, realism and anti-realism, and social constructionism. Reading may include selections from figures such as James, Peirce, Deway, Wittgenstein, Russell, Tarski, Quine, Davidson, Austin, Strawson, Field, Hacking and Horwich. 

PHIL 530.  Ethics of Space Exploration   (3).

General education humanities and fine arts advanced further study course. Surveys various philosophical and ethical questions raised by the exploration of the space environment and in space policy discussions. Topics may include, for example: rationales for space exploration, space resource exploitation, and space settlement; planetary protection and preservation of the space environment; duties to extraterrestrial microbial life; and regulation and policy for space exploration. Prerequisites: at least one course in philosophy.

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PHIL 540.  Theory of Knowledge   (3).

A critical examination of the nature of knowledge and of the philosophical problems concerning skepticism, knowledge of the self, material objects, other minds, the past, present and future, universals, and necessary truths. Includes selections from both historical and recent writings. Prerequisite: one course in philosophy. 

PHIL 555.  Philosophy of the Social Sciences   (3).

Studies such topics as the relation of social sciences with natural sciences and philosophy, methodological problems peculiar to social sciences, the nature of sound explanation concepts and constructs, and the roles of mathematics and formal theories in social sciences. 

PHIL 699.  Directed Readings   (1-3).

For the student interested in doing independent study and research in a special area of interest. Repeatable for credit. Prerequisite: departmental and instructor consent.


What else do we teach? Our active courses are listed in the WSU Catalog