Courses

Fall Schedule of Classes 2020

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



 

1300. Introduction to Critical Thinking
Learning to analyze, evaluate, and present information in order to better assess one’s own beliefs and to persuade others more effectively.

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

001 2:00PM - 2:50PM MWF HYER 201 Hiltz

 


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 200   Ehring
002   11:00AM - 12:20PM   TR   DALL 116   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 3:00PM - 3:50PM MWF FOSC 158 Barnes
002 2:00PM - 3:20PM TR FOSC 133 Chuard
003   2:00PM - 3:20PM    TR    HYER 102   Lockard

 


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 107 Fisher
002 12:30PM - 1:50PM TR FOSC 123 Thompson

 


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 FOSC 155 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 11:00AM - 11:50AM MWF FOSC 158 Crabill
002 11:00AM - 11:50AM MWF FOSC 123 Hiltz
003 12:00PM - 12:50PM MWF FOSC 158 Crabill
004 12:00PM - 12:50PM MWF HYER 111 Hiltz

 


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 - 9:50AM MWF HYER 110 Daley
002 11:00AM - 11:50AM MWF FOSC 152 Daley
003 3:00PM - 3:50PM MWF HYER 201 Hiltz
004 12:30PM - 1:50PM TR HYER 200 Liberman
005   12:30PM - 1:50PM   TR   DALL 306   Matey
006    2:00PM - 2:50PM   MWF   HYER 110   Parker-Ryan

 


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

001 2:00PM - 2:50PM MWF HYER 111 Crabill
002 3:00PM - 3:50PM MWF HYER 102 Crabill
003H 8:00AM - 9:20AM TR HYER 110 Daley
004C 8:00AM - 9:20AM TR HYER 110 Daley
005 9:30AM - 10:50AM TR HYER 102 Daley
006 12:00PM - 12:50PM MWF HYER 204 Parker-Ryan
007   1:00PM - 1:50PM   MWF   HYER 107   Parker-Ryan

 


3305. Philosophy and Gender
Considers whether or not there are differences between the sexes and whether or not Western science, philosophy, and ethics have been dominated by male thinking. Also, current issues such as pornography, censorship, rape, and reproductive technologies. Students examine writings by feminist philosophers and their critics.

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

001 3:30PM - 4:50PM TR HYER 204 Matey

 

 


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

*Depth: Humanities and Fine Arts

001 9:30AM - 10:50AM TR DALL 156 Liberman

 


3314. Metaphysics 
Some of the most central and traditional questions in philosophy are metaphysical: Do objects really exist? What are they? And what are persons: do we persist over time, can we survive change? Are we really free, or are all our actions determined by the laws of nature? Are our minds simply reducible to our brains? Are there such things as souls? How about the properties of things - objects have sizes and shapes, we have nationalities and genders, but what are these properties exactly? Can we know anything about the ultimate structure of reality? Does it include God? Is science the only way to discover what really exists and how things really are? This course offers a systematic approach to these questions and others.

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

001 12:30PM - 1:50PM TR HYER 106 Ehring

 


3316. Minds, Brains, and Robotics
Topics may include neural networks, artificial intelligence, perception and action, consciousness, robotics, dynamical systems, embodied cognition, game theory, and the evolution of cognition. Prerequisites: Two courses in fields related to cognitive science (philosophy, computer science, computer engineering, psychology, linguistics, biology, or anthropology). Counts towards the cognitive science or neuroscience minor.

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

001 2:00PM - 3:20PM TR HYER G01 Fisher

 


3317. Philosophy of Perception
We see penguins (and other things), we hear trumpets (and other things), we smell fresh bread (and other things), taste mustard, touch water, etc. Perceptual experiences like these raise many central philosophical questions. Do they represent reality in an accurate way? Can they provide knowledge about our environment? Is there a special kind of consciousness such experiences instantiate, and if so what is it? This course addresses a host of questions about the nature of our perceptual experiences and surveys some of the answers, including some of the more significant results obtain by the cognitive neurosciences. Counts towards the cognitive science minor.

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

001 3:30PM - 4:50PM TR HYER 111 Thompson

 


3324. Consciousness
How do recent empirical findings in cognitive psychology and neuroscience advance our understanding of the nature of consciousness? What philosophical issues do such findings and their explanations raise? Counts towards the cognitive science minor.

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics
*Depth: Humanities and Fine Arts
*Foundation: Ways of Knowing
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Information Literacy
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Oral Communication
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Writing

001 11:00AM - 12:20PM TR HYER 106 Chuard

 


3351. History of Western Philosophy - Ancient
 A study of the major philosophers from Thales to Plotinus, including Plato and Aristotle. Please note: this course is only offered in the Fall term.

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

 

001    10:00AM - 10:50AM   MWF   DALL 357    Barnes

 

 

3374. Philosophy of Law
This course explores some central and interrelated issues in philosophy of law, or jurisprudence, with a particular emphasis on the role that morality plays in our understanding of law and in the interpretation and application of the law. Here are some of the questions we will consider: When and why does the content of law - what the law is - depend on the content of morality - on what is right and wrong, just and unjust, fair and unfair, etc.? When and how does interpreting and applying laws (statutes, precedents, etc.) involve making value judgments, including moral judgments? Does the United States Constitution enact the “original understanding” of freedom of speech, due process of law, equal protection of the laws, and so on? Or does it, instead, direct us to apply our own, perhaps quite different, understandings of these concepts? (The latter view is called “the moral reading” of the Constitution.) Is there a moral obligation to obey the law? When and why is punishing those who break the law morally justified? Satisfies elective requirements in the following majors and minors: philosophy, ethics, human rights, and law and legal reasoning. 

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

001 11:00AM - 12:20PM TR DALL 357 Robinson

 

 

 


3377. Animal Rights
Explores the nature of nonhuman animals, their moral status, and the way we treat them. First we will consider questions about the minds of animals. Are animals conscious? Can they think about the future? Are they self-aware? Exploring those questions will prepare us for our second set of topics about the moral status of animals. Do animals have rights like humans do? Do we have moral obligations to animals? Is there a difference between the moral status of animals that fall into different categories (pets, domesticated animals, and wild animals)? Third, we will examine the way animals are used for food, for entertainment, and in biomedical research. What laws already protect animals and what changes are needed?

*Breadth: Philosophical and Religious Inquiry and Ethics
*Depth: Humanities and Fine Arts
*Foundation: Ways of Knowing

001 12:00PM - 12:50PM MWF HYER 102 Kazez