Spring 2020

Spring Schedule of Classes 2020

*for a complete listing of Philosophy courses visit the official 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


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 9:30AM - 10:50AM TR HYER 111 Barnes
002 12:30PM - 1:50PM TR HYER 100 Chuard


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 12:30PM - 1:50PM TR HYER 111 Thompson
002 3:30PM - 4:50PM 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


001H 11:00AM - 12:20PM TR DALL 152 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 Crabill
002 10:00AM - 10:50AM MWF HYER 111 Crabill
003 9:00AM - 9:50AM MWF HYER 110 Daley
004 10:00AM - 10:50AM MWF HYER 110 Daley


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 2:00PM - 2:50PM MWF HYER 204 Hiltz
002 3:00PM - 3:50PM MWF HYER 204 Hiltz
003 11:00AM - 12:20PM TR HYER 100 Liberman
004 3:30PM - 4:50PM TR HYER 100 Matey
005   2:00PM - 2:50PM   MWF   HYER 110   Parker-Ryan
006    5:00PM - 7:50PM   W   HYER 110   Gollop


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 8:00AM - 9:20AM TR HYER 107 Daley
002 9:30AM - 10:50AM TR HYER 107 Daley
003 12:00PM - 12:50PM MWF HYER 110 Parker-Ryan
004H 1:00PM - 1:50PM MWF HYER 201 Crabill
005C 1:00PM - 1:50PM MWF HYER 201 Crabill
006 2:00PM - 2:50PM MWF HYER 200 Crabill
007   11:00AM - 11:50AM   MWF   HYER 111   Parker-Ryan


3310. Advanced Topics in Philosophy: The Future of Humanity
May be repeated for credit.

*Depth: Humanities and Fine Arts

001 12:30PM - 1:50PM TR HYER G01 Fisher


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

*Depth: Humanities and Fine Arts

001 2:00PM - 3:20PM TR DALL 105 Howell


3319. Identity, Persons, and Other Objects
Persons and individuals like you and me raise a host of central philosophical questions. You are, we assume, the very same person you were three minutes ago, distinct from all the other individuals on the surface of the planet. But how is that so, and how is it even possible? Persons, just like tables, chairs, and other particular objects, seem to retain their identity through time despite the changes the go through: they persist and survive change. Does this mean each particular person (and each particular table) has a very specific essence it keeps throughout its life? What exactly constitutes a person? And what do we mean by identity anyway, in this context? And what of the powerful arguments suggesting that persons (and other objects) cease to exist whenever they go through the most trivial change, or that the existence of persons and other objects is a mere illusion? This course will consist in a systematic survey of some of the central answers to some of these and other related questions.

*Depth: Humanities and Fine Arts

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


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.

*Depth: Humanities and Fine Arts
*Proficiences and Experiences: Information Literacy
*Proficiences and Experiences: Oral Communication
*Proficiences and Experiences: Writing

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


3323. Philosophy of Psychology and Neuroscience
What sorts of explanations do cognitive psychologists and neuroscientists seek about cognitive functions and the nature of our minds? What assumptions, and what evidence, do such explanations rest upon? Counts towards the cognitive science or neuroscience minor.

*Depth: Humanities and Fine Arts
*Foundation: Ways of Knowing
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Information Literacy
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Oral Communication
*Proficiencies and Experiences: Writing

001 12:30PM - 1:50PM TR HYER 110 Matey


3352. History of Western Philosophy - Modern
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.
*Depth: Humanities and Fine Arts
*Depth: History, Social and Behavioral Sciences


001 11:00AM - 11:50AM MWF HYER 110 Hiltz

3371. Social and Political Philosophy
Explores central questions in social and political philosophy. Topics vary, but the following are representative. What forms of government are most reasonable and morally defensible? What is justice, and how might it be embodied in a system of government? Are there such things as natural rights? What is the basis for saying that we have rights to freedom of speech and religion? What would constitute a just or fair distribution of the benefits and burdens of social cooperation? Do citizens in a modern, democratic state have a moral obligation to obey its laws? When, if ever, is it legitimate for a state to go to war?

*Depth: Humanities and Fine Arts

001 9:00AM - 9:50AM MWF HYER 107 Hiltz


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.

*Depth: Humanities and Fine Arts
*Proficiences and Experiences: Information Literacy

001 3:30PM - 4:50PM TR HYER 106 Barnes


3375. Topics in Moral Philosophy: Ethics of Pleasure and Pain

A topics offering that seeks to take advantage of the wide variety of issues that can be fruitfully explored in a course in moral philosophy. May be repeated for credit. Recently offered topics include the meaning of life, neuroethics, Plato’s ethical thought, practical rationality, and procreation & parenthood.

*Depth: Humanities and Fine Arts

002 2:00PM - 3:20PM TR HYER 107 Robinson and Thompson



3376. Bioethics
An examination of ethical questions arising within medical practice, medical research, and the life sciences.

*Depth: Humanities & Fine Arts

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


3382. The Ethics of Sport
A course on the nature and value of sport and ethical issues that arise for athletes, spectators, and others involved in the practice of sport.

001 1:00PM - 1:50PM MWF HYER 111 Kazez