Philosophy

Spring 2019

Spring Schedule of Classes 2019

*for a complete listing of Philosophy courses visit the offical SMU catalog

1301. Elementary Logic 

An introductory course in symbolic logic. Logic provides a means for determining whether the purported conclusion of an argument really does follow from the premises. In symbolic logic, mechanical procedures are developed for determining whether a given argument is valid. The techniques and skills acquired through logic have important applications not only within other academic areas such as the sciences and humanities, but may be of use within various professional areas, including law.

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Quantitative Reasoning

001    9:30AM - 10:50AM    TR    HYER 204    Ehring
 002   11:00AM - 12:20PM    TR    HYER 100   Lockard 

 


1305. Introduction to Philosophy 
A general introduction to the central questions of philosophy; topics include the theory of knowledge, philosophy of religion, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, ethics and political philosophy. Typical questions might include: Can we know the world outside our minds? Is it rational to believe in a God who allows evil to exist? Do the laws of physics allow for human freedom? Is morality more than a matter of opinion? Can there be unequal wealth in a just society? Readings will include classical authors such as Plato, Descartes, Locke, Hume and Mill, as well as contemporary philosophers. The focus of the course will be on arguments for and against proposed solutions to key problems of philosophy.

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics


001 2:00PM - 2:50PM MWF HYER 200 Parker-Ryan
002 3:00PM - 3:50PM MWF HYER 107 Barnes
003 12:30PM - 1:50PM TR HYER 111 Chuard
004 3:30 PM - 4:50 PM TR HYER 111 Thompson


1306. Introduction to Philosophy – Mind, Machines, and Persons
A focused introduction to the central questions of philosophy, with an emphasis on the mind and the self. Typical questions might include the following: Does the soul exist? Is the mind the same thing as the brain? Can animals feel pain? Can they think? Can a computer think? Might the mind be a computer? What is consciousness? Can people understand experiences radically different from their own? What is the self? Can one survive the death of the body? The focus of the course is on arguments for and against proposed solutions to philosophical problems concerning mind, machines, and persons.

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics

 

001 11:00AM - 12:20PM TR HYER 111 Fisher

 


1316. Introduction to Ethics
An introduction to ethics, or moral philosophy, that focuses on questions in ethical theory. Examines topics such as: What makes our lives good or bad, better or worse? What makes our actions morally right or morally wrong? Is the distinction between doing harm and allowing harm a morally relevant one? Can our intentions affect the rightness/wrongness of our actions? When and why is it morally permissible for the state to punish someone for breaking the law?

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics

 

001 2:00PM-3:20PM
TR HYER 107 Robinson

 


1317. Business Ethics
Examines the moral dimensions of actions and practices in the business world. Students explore ethical theories and standards of evaluation for actions and practices generally, and discuss how these theories and standards apply to a variety of issues in business.


*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics

 

001 9:00AM - 9:50AM MWF HYER 200 Hiltz
002 10:00AM - 10:50AM MWF HYER 110 Hiltz
003 11:00AM - 11:50AM MWF HYER 110 Crabill
004 12:00PM - 12:50PM MWF HYER 110 Hiltz
005 3:00PM - 3:50PM MWF HYER 204 Crabill

 


1318. Contemporary Moral Problems
An introduction to philosophical ethics focusing on questions in applied ethics. Students begin by exploring ethical theories and philosophical methods. The majority of the course is devoted to applying those theories and methods to some of the most controversial and pressing issues confronting contemporary society.


*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics

 

001 9:00AM - 9:50PM MWF HYER 110 Crabill
002 1:00PM - 1:50PM MWF HYER 201 Crabill
003H 8:00AM - 9:20AM TR HYER 107 Daley
004 9:30AM - 10:50AM TR HYER 107 Liberman
005 11:00AM - 12:20PM TR HC SIMMONS HALL 117 Daley
006 3:30PM - 4:50PM TR HYER 204 Matey

 


1319. Technology, Society, and Value
Advances in technology are raising many ethical issues that require serious consideration. We will discuss issues surrounding such technologies and how they affect the views of warfare, privacy, human enhancement, and artificial intelligence.

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics
*Breadth: Technology and Mathematics

 001H   9:00AM - 9:50AM    MWF    HYER 107    Daley
 002C   9:00AM - 9:50AM    MWF    HYER 107    Daley 
 003   11:00AM - 11:50AM    MWF    HYER 111    Daley 

 



3310. Advanced Topics in Philosophy: Personal Identity
May be repeated for credit

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics 
*Depth: Humanities & Fine Arts
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Writing

001 12:30PM - 1:50PM TR FOSC 153 Ehring

 

3310. Advanced Topics in Philosophy: Philosophy of Economics
May be repeated for credit


*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics
*Depth: Humanities & Fine Arts

002 2:00PM - 3:20PM TR DALLAS 105 Lockard

 


3313. Knowledge and Skepticism
A systematic treatment of such topics as skepticism, analyses of factual knowledge, theories of epistemic justification, foundational versus coherence theories of knowledge, and the relationship between psychology and a philosophical account of knowledge.

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics
*Depth: Humanities & Fine Arts

001 12:30PM - 1:50PM TR HYER 200 Matey

 


3315. Philosophy of Mind 
A systematic treatment of the nature of consciousness, self, and person. Counts towards the cognitive science or neuroscience minor.

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics
*Depth: Humanities and Fine Arts
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Writing

001 12:30PM - 1:50PM TR HYER 100 Thompson

 


3321. Time, Space, and Metaphysics
Does time pass? Do the past and the future exist? Is space a thing? What are the laws of nature? This course introduces some central issues in the metaphysics of science.

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry (not Ethics based)
*Depth: Humanities & Fine Arts
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Information Literacy
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Oral Communication
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Writing

 

001 3:30PM - 4:50PM TR Hyer 106 Chuard

 


3352. History of Modern Philosophy
Survey course in the history of modern philosophy covering the modern period, from Descartes to Hume, including Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke, and Berkeley. Examines many seminal writings in philosophy on such key issues as rationalism and empiricism, the nature of external reality and one’s knowledge of it, the existence and nature of God, the relation between mind and body, causation, induction, and the nature of morality and moral action. Satisfies one part of the history requirement for philosophy majors; may be used to satisfy the history requirement for philosophy minors. Please note: this course is not offered in the Fall term.

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics
*Breadth: Historical Contexts
*Depth: History, Social & Behavioral Sciences
*Depth: Humanities & Fine Arts

 

001 2:00PM - 2:50PM MWF Hyer 110 Hiltz

 


3362. Creativity, Discovery, and Science
Considers central issues in the history and philosophy of science, with a special emphasis on the nature of creativity and discovery in scientific thought. General questions include the following: What is science, and what is the nature of scientific method? What is the nature of evidence and explanation in science? Addresses in detail the question of how new ideas such as theories and problem solutions are produced and assessed in scientific thinking. Is creativity essentially a random or blind process or is it rule-governed in some way? What is the nature of scientific discovery? Combines literature in the history and philosophy of science together with psychological literature on the nature of creativity to answer these and other questions. No previous coursework in science is required, but some science background equips students to appreciate the relevant issues.

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics
*Depth: Humanities & Fine Arts

 

001 3:30PM - 4:50PM TR HYER G1 Fisher

 


3372. Liberty
Investigates the topics of freedom and autonomy primarily from the standpoint of social and political philosophy. Students explore the nature of freedom and its role in a good society along with the nature of autonomy (self-governance) and its role in a good life. Also, the distinction between negative and positive liberty, the nature of coercion, the republican theory of freedom, the nature of personal autonomy, the value of freedom, and other topics. Grades are partially based on two short papers and one term paper.

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics
*Depth: Humanities & Fine Arts
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Information Literacy

001 10:00AM - 10:50AM MWF HYER 111 Barnes

 


3373. Philosophy of Criminal Law
By what right does society punish some people? What is the correct amount of punishment for a given crime? Why should the law excuse some people who are convicted of criminal acts? We examine the classical philosophical theories of retributivism and utilitarianism, as well as some contemporary writers who try to combine them. Each year the course also focuses on one important issue in the contemporary criminal justice system of the U.S. Recent topics have included the legalization of marijuana, convictions of innocent persons, 'stop-and-frisk' policing, and prosecutorial discretion.

*Breadth: Individuals, Institutions, and Cultures
*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics
*Depth: Humanities & Fine Arts
*Depth: History, Social & Behavioral Sciences
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Information Literacy
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Writing


001 2:00PM - 2:50PM MWF HYER 204 Sverdlik

 


3379. Environmental Ethics
Explores our obligations regarding the natural and built environment. The first part of the course considers the ethical framework that should be used to approach environmental questions. One central question is whether we should accord independent moral status to humans alone, or also to plants, animals, species, or whole ecosystems. The second part of the course will cover pressing contemporary issues including climate change, overpopulation, environmental racism, wilderness preservation, food ethics, extinction, and urban environments. 

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics
*Depth: Humanities & Fine Arts
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Oral Communication

001 12:00PM - 12:50PM MWF HYER 201 Kazez

 


3380. Ethics: Morality, Self-Interest, and Justice
Explores central and interrelated issues in normative ethical and political theory, with a particular emphasis on morality, self-interest, and justice. Topics vary, but the following are representative. Is enlightened self-interest the basis of moral duties and rights? Is a morally right action one that maximizes aggregate well-being (or self-interest), or are there moral duties or rights that prohibit the sacrifice of individuals or their interests for the sake of the greater good? Does individual well-being (or self-interest) consist in pleasure and freedom from pain? Do our subjective interests (our desires or preferences) determine what is ultimately best for us, or are there desire-independent prudential goods, such as pleasure, knowledge, or moral virtue? To what extent does justice permit inequality of income or wealth? Do individuals have pre-institutional (or "natural") rights that prohibit society and social institutions (including the state) from using certain means (e.g., taxes and transfers) to promote desirable goals, such as greater social welfare or less economic inequality?

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics
*Depth: Humanities & Fine Arts

001 9:30AM - 10:50AM TR HYER 111 Robinson