Philosophy
Home > Philosophy > Course Descriptions

Course Descriptions

PHI 2000/3000: Topics in Philosophy
This course explores a variety of topics in philosophy. Students may repeat the course whenever a new topic is offered.
3 credits

PHI/REL 2003: Philosophy of Religion
A consideration of the philosophical basis and implications of religious belief and theological formulations. Such questions as the existence of God, the problem of evil, religious experience and language, and the nature of faith are discussed. May be taken as REL 2003.
3 credits

PHI 2009/REL 2015: Religious Beliefs & Atheism
A study of classical atheism examining the philosophy of such thinkers as Feuerbach, Freud, Nietzsche, Russell, Sartre and Ayer. Religious responses to atheism and agnosticism from diverse points of view will also be discussed. May be taken as REL 2015.
3 credits

PHI 2011: Topics in 19th through 21st Century Philosophy
A survey of the work of key figures in 19th through 21st century philosophy. Topics such as the nature of truth, the range of human freedom and the validity of traditional ethics will be explored through the works of Nietzsche, James, Dewey, Wittgenstein, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Rorty, and Putnam, among others. Students should acquire a basic understanding of the Continental, American, and analytic traditions in recent philosophy.
3 credits

PHI/REL 2013: Philosophies of Being Human
A study of the way in which human beings and human nature have been defined through the ages from the early Greek philosophers and Hebrew thinkers to modern interpretations. Special emphasis will be given to practical implications of modern psychological, philosophical, and religious theory. May be taken as REL 2013.
3 credits

PHI 2021: Logic
Introduction to Logic is a study of informal reasoning and an introduction to symbolic logic. The course moves through a graduated series of skills, such as recognizing arguments, analyzing their structure, representing them in formal ways, and testing their validity.
3 credits

PHI 2031: Business Ethics
Students will study moral and ethical issues, which relate to problems in business. Topics to be covered include, but are not limited to, the responsibilities of business to employees and the responsibilities of employees to business and ethical issues in economic systems with primary emphasis on capitalism. Particular emphasis will be placed on the social responsibilities of business, including quality of products, truth in advertising, and environmental concerns. Case studies will be used extensively throughout the course.
3 credits

PHI 3007: Topics in Social and Political Philosophy
This course will explore key issues in sustaining a legitimate, healthy, well-ordered society. Students will focus on questions such as: What uses of power are legitimate in a social group? Can religious, social, and ideological diversity contribute to a healthy social group? How can trust be built and maintained in a social group? Timely issues will provide case studies for social-political theories.
3 credits

PHI 3009: Philosophy of Science
A systematic and critical study of the methodologies of the social and natural sciences, including an analysis of their presuppositions, sources, concepts, and aims. This course also examines problems about the intellectual and ethical limitations of science: to what extent does science give us objective knowledge and to what extent should research be restrained on ethical grounds? This course is recommended for students in the humanities and for students in the sciences who wish to reflect on the scientific enterprises.
3 credits

PHI 3011: Topics in Ancient Philosophy
A survey of the work of key figures in ancient philosophy. Topics such as the nature of truth and reality, the identification of the virtues and the role of friendship in a good life will be explored through the works of the Pre-Socratics, Plato, Aristotle, Epicurus and the Stoics. Students will acquire a basic understanding of key metaphysical, ethical and political debates that informed the Greek world.
3 credits

PHI 3012: Topics in Modern Philosophy
A survey of the work of key figures in modern philosophy. Topics such as the sources and extent of knowledge, language and its impact on knowledge, and the nature of ethics will be explored through the works of Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume and Kant. Students will acquire a basic understanding of the rationalist and empiricist traditions in modern philosophy.
3 credits

PHI/EDU 3013: Philosophy of Education
This course explores the fundamental question of the place of public education in a liberal democracy. The goal is for students to draw on important philosophical ideas to construct a carefully reasoned position on public education. Authors and arguments from a range of philosophical traditions will be applied to case studies of contemporary educational practices, policies, and proposed reforms. Skills of analysis will be developed through written and oral exercises. Meets the foundations requirement for all education programs.
3 credits

PHI/REL 3023: Asian Philosophies
How do ancient and contemporary Asian philosophers think about human nature, the natural environment, ethics, politics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and religious practices? This course explores Confucianism, Taoism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Zen, and Shintoism from the perspective of ancient texts and modern critical responses. These worldviews are further experienced via cultural traditions such as literature, film, poetry, music, calligraphy, visual arts, and architecture.
3 credits

PHI 3025/ENV 3026: Animal Ethics
What is the appropriate ethical relationship between humans and nonhuman animals? This course is a systematic study of animal ethics, a field that has emerged as a response to the profound impact of human practices on other species. Topics will include animal experimentation, hunting, bushmeat, livestock agriculture, landscape sustainability, biodiversity, companion animals, vegetarianism, activism, suffering, animal intelligence, animal cultures, animal emotions, animal rights law, and the tension between animal rights and environmental ethics.
3 credits

PHI 3030/WST 3030: Feminist Philosophy
This course is a survey of the perspectives and issues of feminist and gender theory in philosophy, including ethics, social-political theory, ecofeminism, metaphysics, religion, philosophy of science, aesthetics, and theories of knowledge. Topics will include historical and contemporary philosophic theories by and about women, as well as social and political issues concerning a plurality of gendered perspectives.
3 credits

PHI/ELA 3041: Ethical Theory
This course explores the complexity of moral situations and a wide range of responses through consideration of historical theories and contemporary empirical research. The central focus will be the ethical dimension of choices that impact ourselves and our natural and social environments, with an eye toward developing our own best theories and practices as we grapple with issues from love, sex, friendship, and happiness to poverty, social injustice, war, and environmental degradation.
3 credits

PHI 3045: Environmental Philosophy
An intensive exploration of selected environmental issues which will focus on contemporary philosophers. Topics such as wilderness preservation, environmental restoration, and the loss of biodiversity will receive detailed treatment, as students clarify their values and develop their own well-reasoned views.
3 credits

PHI 3090: Internship in Philosophy
This course offers members of the Philosophy major the opportunity to apply his/her knowledge and skills in a practical experience. Under the direction of an advisor, a student may arrange an internship that will make substantive use of coursework in the Philosophy program. Evaluative reports will be completed by both the student and his/her off-campus supervisor, and assessment of the student’s performance will be completed by the student’s advisor. Prerequisite: permission of the academic advisor and the Philosophy program Director.
1-3 credits

PHI 4000: Senior Seminar in Philosophy: Down the Rabbit Hole
This seminar is an in-depth adventure in philosophy, open to any junior or senior with at least two prior courses in philosophy. The topic will be one not recently covered in detail at GMC. Students will develop and assess their cumulative knowledge by plumbing the depths of a question that has puzzled philosophers from ancient times to the 21st century, such as: "What is the relationship between mind and body?" "Is reality ultimately One (a uni-verse), or Many (a multi-verse)?" "Is there such a thing as Truth?" "Are God and Goodness just ideas manufactured to keep us in line?" We will emphasize informal conversation and formal writing. A flexible syllabus and a substantial research project will let us challenge each other to deepen our philosophical understanding. Students are encouraged to save all philosophy course materials in expectation of this opportunity for intensive self-reflection.
3 credits

PHI 4011: Philosophy of Law
An analysis of the major philosophical issues concerned with legal concepts such as “liberty”, “justice”, “responsibility”, and “law” itself. The course will study historically significant treatments of these topics as well as current discussions of them.
3 credits

PHI 4090: Senior Thesis in Philosophy
This course involves individualized research with a member of the philosophy program. Each student will read a significant body of philosophical work and produce a thesis that will be evaluated by the philosophy faculty member and one faculty member outside of the philosophy program. The thesis work will culminate in a defense. Prerequisites: Senior standing and a proposal approved by the Program Director of Philosophy. Prerequisite: Senior standing and a proposal approved by the Program Director of Philosophy.
3 credits

PHI 4099: Honors Thesis in Philosophy
This course involves individualized research with a member of the philosophy program. Each student will read a significant body of philosophical work and produce an honors thesis that will be defended in a public presentation. Prerequisite: A successful petition to be considered for honors in philosophy.
3 credits

© 2014 Green Mountain College | One Brennan Circle | Poultney, Vermont 05764 | 800-776-6675 | MyGMC Login | Email Login