Southwestern

Engaging Minds, Transforming Lives

Philosophy

Curriculum

Below you will find a list of our current or recent offerings. See the course catalog for descriptions and updated information.

 

  • 18-124 POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
    An introduction to topics at the intersection of philosophy and politics, including historical and contemporary philosophical defenses and critiques of social and political orders, and analysis of political and social theories and concepts. (H)
  • 18-114 MEDIA AND ETHICS
    A survey of value questions arising in conjunction with and portrayed by communications media. Topics may include the discourse practices and influence of the various media upon cultural identity and self-understanding; value assumptions in news selection and programming, advertising and entertainment media; media portrayal of minorities and gender; violence and the media; propaganda and public relations agendas and the media; and the issues of free speech, free press and other rights discourses in the media. Also Communication Studies 75-164. (H)
  • 18-174 AESTHETICS
    An introduction to the philosophical discourses of the 18th and 19th centuries that attempted to comprehend and grapple with the historical emergence of art-making and art-experience as an apparently unique and autonomous domain of human understanding, value and practice. Various 20th-century efforts to clarify and problematize the relationships between art, politics, technology and popular culture will also be discussed. (H)
  • 18-184 THEORIES OF RACE
    An introduction and survey of contemporary race theory, with emphases on intersections with gender, class, nationalism and imperialism. Specific focus on the ways race has been constructed as a category of identity across various cultures, academic disciplines and historical periods. Also Feminist Studies 04-184. (H)
  • 18-194 FEMINIST PHILOSOPHY
    An historically informed introduction to key texts in feminist theory. Our approach to the issues and debates will be interdisciplinary and readings will be drawn from a range of disciplines such as philosophy, anthropology, sociology, psychoanalysis, cultural studies. Also Feminist Studies 04-124. (H) (SJ)
  • 18-224 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION
    An examination of some of the principal philosophical problems involved in the practices of religion. Attention will center on the nature and practice of religious knowledge in relation to other ways of knowing, and on religious language and the role of religious narratives as central to understanding both historical and contemporary religiosity. Also Religion 19-514. (H) (R)
  • 18-234 PSYCHOANALYSIS
    An introduction to the central notions and development of psychoanalytic theory, with a specific emphasis on the works of Freud and Lacan and on the issues of gender or "sexual difference" in psychoanalysis and the relation between social/symbolic norms and the human psyche.
  • 18-244 PRE-COLUMBIAN PHILOSOPHIES
    This course focuses on the metaphysical, epistemological, ethical and political dimensions of Mesoamerican and Andean world views beginning in pre-colonial times. It also studies the role of ritual and semasiographic writing systems in the formation of these world views. The approach to these themes includes a critical and comparative engagement with Western Philosophy.
  • 18-274 ETHICS
    An interrogation of issues surrounding moral deliberation, commitment and choice. Attention will be given to historical ethical theories, to their implications for moral discourse and decision, and to related issues such as personal identity, justice, human freedom and the intersection of moral/ethical questions with class, race and gender. (H)
  • 18-284 LATIN AMERICAN PHILOSOPHY
    An introduction to the complex history of Latin American philosophy, including European and indigenous traditions of thought as well as their hybrids. Key issues will be the interpretation and criticism of notions of history and progress, race and ethnicity, colonialism and knowledge production, the philosophical status of indigenous knowledges, and the relation between philosophy and territory. (H)
  • 18-294 ENVIRONMENTAL PHILOSOPHY
    See Environmental Studies 49-294. (H)
  • 18-314 THEORIES OF CLASS
    This course will consider both the advent of the concept of class as a key to social analysis, as well as its apparent decline as a meaningful term. The guiding consideration for the course will be the extent to which class distinctions and structures remain central to the analysis and understanding of society, as well as the way in which class differs from and intersects with social structures of race and gender. Also Feminist Studies 04-274. (H) (SJ)
  • 18-324 PHILOSOPHY OF THE SELF
    An exploration of the emergence of this modern concept—the self—and its psychological, anthropological, political and epistemological contours. Readings may be drawn from a variety of disciplines. Also Feminist Studies 04-364. (H) .
  • 18-374 FEMINIST ETHICS
    This course traces the history and development of feminist ethics while considering its central issues and overall project. Areas of concentration might include discussions of human rights and social justice, transnational perspective in ethical theories and biomedical ethics. Also Feminist Studies 04-374. (H)
  • 18-404 TOPICS IN POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY
    A sustained and deeper examination of specific figures or themes in the history or the contemporary practice of political philosophy. Prerequisite: Philosophy 18-104,or Political Science 32-234, or permission of instructor. (H)
  • 18-414 PHILOSOPHY AND LITERATURE
    An examination of the reciprocity between philosophy and literature. The study of both philosophy as articulating issues and problems presented in the themes and aesthetic character of literary works, and literature as exposing themes (i.e. epistemological, metaphysical and ethical themes) that demand philosophical scrutiny. The issues discussed may include the historical relation and differences between literary and philosophical works and questions concerning meaning and representation. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy (18-454 or 18-464 recommended). (H)
  • 18-454 METAPHYSICS
    Metaphysics is the area of philosophy that traditionally addresses pivotal questions concerning both nature and what, if anything, may lie beyond it: being and becoming, space and time, chaos and order, and the number and structures of realities. This course addresses some of the many metaphysical systems that have been proposed and the acquisition and nature of metaphysical knowledge, as well as criticisms of part or all of the metaphysical endeavor. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy. (H)
  • 18-464 LANGUAGE AND KNOWLEDGE
    An examination of the many ways in which philosophers have addressed the questions of language and knowledge. Central topics may include: the nature and limits of language; the kinds and limits of knowledge; the "linguistic turn" in 20th-century philosophy and its aftereffects; translation and interpretation; the geopolitics of knowledge. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy. (H)
  • 18-474 TOPICS IN AESTHETICS
    A continuation and deeper examination of specific aspects of the history of aesthetics and/or of contemporary art and art theory. Possible topics include theories and practices of contemporary art; film theory; or the relation between art and social movements. Prerequisite: Philosophy 18-174, or permission of instructor. (H)
  • 18-484 TOPICS IN THEORIES OF RACE
    A continuation and deeper examination of specific aspects of contemporary race theory. Prerequisite: Philosophy 18-184, or 18-104 or History 16-334, or permission of instructor. (H)
  • 18-494 TOPICS IN FEMINIST PHILOSOPHY
    A sustained and deeper examination of the crucial texts and topics of feminist theory with a special emphasis on the debates and dialogues between Anglo-American and European approaches. The course will critically engage feminist methodologies and will analyze the production of feminist political discourses. Also Feminist Studies 04-594. Prerequisite: Philosophy 18-174 or 18-394, or one upper-level course in Feminist Studies. (H)
  • 18-602 READING PHILOSOPHY
    A guided effort to focus and improve advanced students’ capacities for engaged, thoughtful, critical and independent reading of philosophical forms of argumentation and analysis. Writing assignments and discussions will be focused on the detailed articulation and understanding of one or two important texts. Offered every spring. Prerequisite: Two Philosophy courses. (WA)
  • 18-614 HISTORY OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY: ANCIENT
    A survey of Greek philosophy from its inception through Neo-Platonism, emphasizing the unique expositional practices employed by the early Greek thinkers to express philosophical thought and questioning concerning epistemology, metaphysics and ethics explored through a selection of primary texts. Also Classics 07-334. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy. (H)
  • 18-624 HISTORY OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY: MODERN
    An inquiry into some of the principal texts, issues and debates in European philosophy from the 16th to the 18th century, including thinkers such as Montaigne, Galileo, Descartes, Hobbes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Hume and Kant. Topics will range across the emergence of modern science, the rise of epistemology as first philosophy, rationalism, materialism, empiricism and the construction of secular models of politics. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy. (H)
  • 18-634 HISTORY OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY: 19th CENTURY
    An inquiry into the most influential philosophical movements of 19th-century Europe, including such authors as Hegel, Marx and Nietzsche. Topics will range across idealism, historicism, materialism, the limits of reason and the emergence of language as a philosophical problem. Prerequisite: One course in Philosophy. (H)
  • 18-644 HISTORY OF WESTERN PHILOSOPHY: 20th CENTURY
    A study of the diverse fields and movements of the 20th century with an emphasis on Continental philosophy and intersections with philosophy beyond the western tradition. Topics may focus upon the role of language in philosophical inquiry, phenomenology, feminist theory, social and political philosophy, hermeneutics, existentialism, and critical theory. Prerequisite: One 600-level Philosophy course. (H)
  • 18-654 CRITICAL HISTORIES OF PHILOSOPHY
    An engagement with some alternative model or models for constructing or narrating the history of philosophy, distinct from (or even opposed to) a sequential approach. These may include the study of themes, questions or problematics across different periods of western philosophy, engagements with the "contemporaneity" of past philosophies, and/or critical interrogations between different philosophical traditions, and between philosophy and other disciplines. Prerequisite: One 600-level Philosophy course. (H)
  • 18-714 HISTORICAL STUDIES
    Advanced seminar. Investigation of a specific figure, period or movement in the history of philosophy—content will vary from year to year. May be repeated with change in topic. This course is intended for students who have taken 600-level courses in Philosophy or relevant upper-level courses in disciplines related to the topic. (H)
  • 18-724 CENTRAL TOPICS IN PHILOSOPHY
    Advanced seminar. A critical survey of some major area of contemporary philosophical concern—epistemology, metaphysics, philosophy of mind, philosophy of language, etc. May be repeated with change in topic. This course is intended for students who have taken 600-level courses in Philosophy or relevant upper-level courses in disciplines related to the topic. (H)
  • 18-914 COLLOQUIUM IN PHILOSOPHY
    Required of majors in Philosophy, normally in their final year. Offered every fall. Prerequisite: Philosophy 18-602. (H) (WA)
  • 18-001 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 18-002 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 18-003 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 18-004 SELECTED TOPICS
    May be repeated with change in topic.
  • 18-301 SELECTED TOPICS
    Lectures and readings on subjects of special interest. Subjects to be announced. May be repeated with change in topic. (H)
  • 18-302 SELECTED TOPICS
    Lectures and readings on subjects of special interest. Subjects to be announced. May be repeated with change in topic. (H)
  • 18-303 SELECTED TOPICS
    Lectures and readings on subjects of special interest. Subjects to be announced. May be repeated with change in topic. (H)
  • 18-304 SELECTED TOPICS
    Lectures and readings on subjects of special interest. Subjects to be announced. May be repeated with change in topic. (H)
  • 18-901 TUTORIAL
  • 18-902 TUTORIAL
  • 18-903 TUTORIAL
  • 18-904 TUTORIAL
  • 18-941 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 18-942 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 18-943 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 18-944 ACADEMIC INTERNSHIP
    Must be taken Pass/D/F.
  • 18-951 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    Readings selected to broaden the student’s acquaintance with areas of philosophy or topics of special interest. May be repeated with changed content.
  • 18-952 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    Readings selected to broaden the student’s acquaintance with areas of philosophy or topics of special interest. May be repeated with changed content.
  • 18-953 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    Readings selected to broaden the student’s acquaintance with areas of philosophy or topics of special interest. May be repeated with changed content.
  • 18-954 INDEPENDENT STUDY
    Readings selected to broaden the student’s acquaintance with areas of philosophy or topics of special interest. May be repeated with changed content.
  • 18-984 HONORS
    By invitation only.
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