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Fall 2016 Courses
PHIL 101: Introduction to Philosophy
#8420 (3 credits)
1:00 – 1:50 p.m.. M/W/F Dr. Poochigian
An introductory survey of the discipline of philosophy. Because of popular unfamiliarity with contemporary philosophy in the United States, special emphasis is on Twentieth and Twenty First Century developments. Focus concerns the problems of reasoning (logic), of being (metaphysics), of knowledge (epistemology), of science (philosophy of science), and other fundamental questions as time allows.
PHIL 101: Introduction to Philosophy
#8430 (3 credits) Beltz
This course is designed to provide students with a rich understanding of the ideas and issues that have guided human inquiry for the last six thousand years. Philosophy is an intellectual endeavor designed to ask significant questions about ourselves, the world around us, and the foundation of everyday existence. This course will provide a survey of the major themes and problems that generations of philosophers have struggled to find solutions to. How do I know what is right to do? How do I know that there is anything out in the world? How do I know what is beautiful? What does it mean to know something? This course will take a thematic approach to philosophy, focusing on the various areas of philosophic inquiry.
PHIL 110: Introduction To Logic
#8427 (3 credits)
10:00-10:50 a.m. M/W/F Beltz
This course provides an examination of principles of logical reasoning. Students will study a variety of theories underlying critical thinking. This theoretical understanding will be applied to practical reasoning; giving students tools to evaluate arguments, determine soundness and consistency, and helping students understand their own reasoning processes. This course will explore multiple forms of logic, including formal and informal logic, deductive and inductive logic.
PHIL 120 – Introduction to Ethics
#8436 (3 credits)
12:30 – 1:45 p.m. T/TH Dr. Stone
This course is an introduction to philosophical ethics. Students who enroll will study the ethical theories of Aristotle (Nicomachean Ethics), Kant (Groundwork of the Metaphysics of Morals), Mill (Utilitarianism), Nietzsche (Genealogy of Morals), and Hannah Arendt (Responsibility and Judgment).
PHIL 250: Ethics in Engineering and Science
#8429 (3 credits)
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. T/TH Beltz
This course provides an in depth investigation into the ethical concerns involved in engineering and scientific decision-making. Contemporary society places a significant amount of prestige in scientific and engineering experts. Professionals within these fields of expertise often lose sight of their role in protecting public safety and the public good. This course focuses on understanding the ethical responsibilities of professionals, the nature of moral decision making, and applying ethical frameworks to concrete situations. Drawing on case studies, ethical dilemmas, and real-world scenarios, this course examines the significance of honesty, competence, safety, teamwork, whistleblowing, confidentiality, consent, integrity, and imaginations in the professional lives of engineers and scientists. This course seeks to understand and apply the professional codes relevant to contemporary engineering and scientific practices
PHIL 253: Environmental Ethics
#8437 (3 credits)
9:00 – 9:50 a.m. M/W/F Beltz
This course centers on the way that ethics helps us to understand environmental issues. We examine a broad cross-section of environmental issues from a variety of traditional and contemporary ethical frameworks. Issues include sustainability, animal rights, energy consumption, habitat loss, biodiversity, land conservation, and pollution. Class members will explore such issues through case studies in a context of relevant ethical history and theory.
PHIL 301: Medieval Philosophy
#8438 (3 credits)
11:00 – 12:15 p.m. T/TH Dr. Stone
In this course students will be introduced to medieval philosophical thinking through philosophical-literary tales. Students will examine philosophical arguments for the existence of God, eschatology (death, judgment, and ‘the end times’), free-will/pre-destination, the nature of sin and morality, the function of prayer and philosophy, etc. Particular philosophers and works that will be studied include: Plotinus’s Enneads (selections); Augustine’s Confessions; Boethius’s The Consolation of Philosophy; Ibn Tufayl’s Hayy Ibn Yaqzan: A Philosophical Tale; Dante’s Divine Comedy (selections); and the sermons and treatises of Meister Eckhart.
PHIL 399: Philosophic Themes: Adam Smith
#8433 (3 credits)
12:30 – 1:45 p.m. T/TH Dr. Weinstein
We live in the world Adam Smith created. He invented modern capitalism, founded English as an academic discipline, was one of the first sociologists, and inspired romantic literature. He prepared the way for Kant and Marx, Darwin and Freud, Foucault and Kuhn. He was an early feminist, workers’ advocate, a philosopher of education, and a public policy wonk. He foreshadowed the assembly line and the professional academic. He is the patron saint of the Republican Party and a shining beacon for liberals who oppose them. The phrase “the invisible hand” is famous because he used it. In this class, we will read his two major works, The Theory of Moral Sentiments and The Wealth of Nations, and ask questions such as “What is the relationship between ethics and economics?”, “Can you understand another person’s perspective?” “Are emotion and reason incompatible?”, “Should there be public education?”, “Can science help identify what is morally right?”, “How do we balance religious liberty with pluralism?”, “How do we deal with religious fanatics?” “Is globalization worth pursuing?” and, of course, “Is capitalism a moral system?”
PHIL 420: Epistemology: What is Knowledge?
#8439 (3 credits)
2:00 – 3:15 p.m. T/R Dr. Poochigian
Inquiry into the nature and limits of knowledge as distinguished from belief: types of knowledge; the role of reason and sense experience in empirical knowledge.
PHIL 442: Phenomenology
#8440 (3 credits)
9:30 – 10:45 a.m. T/TH Dr. Rozelle-Stone
Phenomenology is a method of discovering the world that we have ceased to notice because of calcified assumptions. That is, phenomenology disrupts us from our habitual and inattentive ways of sensing and interpreting the world and promises to restore its richness, surprise, and complexity. It attempts to describe not just the “objects” that we encounter (whether that be people, animals, tools, etc.), but also and more importantly, the perceiving and experiencing itself—i.e., how our subjectivities shape the reception of those phenomena. In this seminar, we will not only read works from contemporary phenomenologists, but we will also do phenomenological experiments throughout the semester. For example, we will visit an art museum and employ phenomenology in learning how to see with “fresh eyes.” We will think about experiences of loving, listening to music, waiting, encountering “wildness” in nature, dying, and more. As Dermot Moran wrote, “phenomenology wants to be present at the birth of the world for us,” and this seminar aims to be a midwife in that delivery.
PHIL 460: Philosophy of Law
#8421 (3 credits)
2:00 – 2:50 p.m. M/W/F Dr. Poochigian
An investigation of the nature of both law and legal reasoning. Study of the nature of law focuses on theories of natural law, legal positivism, and legal realism. Legal reasoning concerns justified interpretation of precedent and statute within the common law tradition. Additional topics dealt with as time allow encompass such issues as the justification of punishment and enforcement of morality.
A & S 599: Adam Smith-Graduate Section
#18049 (3 credits)
12:30 – 1:45 p.m. T/TH Dr. Weinstein
This is the graduate section of PHIL 399 and the two groups will be together in the classroom. See the description above. Graduate students will read more of Smith’s work than the undergrads, including his Lectures on Rhetoric and Belle Lettres and His History of Astronomy (which is very cool!). Graduate students will be able to develop papers that align Smith’s work with their own interests, regardless of their department of origin. Because of Smith’s interdisciplinary focus, the course is recommended for students in graduate programs in English, History, Sociology, Psychology, Applied Economics, Public Administration, Social Entrepreneurship, and Education (especially Education Leadership, Higher Education, Foundations and Research).
RELS 100: Introduction to Religious Inquiry
#8395 (3 credits)
11:00 – 11:50 a.m. M/W/F Dr. Miller
Religion is an important and powerful force in our world today. Regardless of whether or not we consider ourselves to be religious, we live in a global community where religion and ideas about religion affect the lives of most people on a regular basis. But what is this thing called “religion” and how might we approach a study of the topic from an academic perspective? In this course, you will be introduced to the key concepts and methods used in religious studies, so that you might be equipped to investigate “religion” and to understand better how it functions within our contemporary world.
RELS 102: Religions of Asia
#8398 (3 credits)
9:30 – 10:45 a.m. T/TH Dr. Lawrence
An introduction to the characteristic beliefs and practices of selected religions that developed in Asia: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism and Shinto. We will devote special attention to scriptures and other classic literature of the traditions. Students will gain an appreciation of the vitality and enduring significance of each of the religions as a way of life for large numbers of people. There are no prerequisites for this class, and it satisfies the UND Essential Studies Requirement for Global Diversity.
RELS 120: Religion in America
#8408 (3 credits)
9:00 – 9:50 a.m. M/W/F Dr. Miller
A study of contemporary religious life in America and its historical origins. Emphasis is placed on the unique features of American religions and the interaction of various religious groups.
RELS 300: Jesus in gospel and history
#8410 (3 credits)
3:00 – 5:30 p.m. W Dr. Miller
What is the relationship of the cultural icon “Jesus” – as represented in contemporary movies, popular music, action figures, trendy fiction, and other artifacts from our society – with the “Jesus” depicted in the ancient gospels – those found in the Bible, as well as the many non-canonical texts? In this course, we will reflect on this question, by focusing critical attention on several contemporary “Jesus” movies and novels drawn from American popular culture. Our goal will be to understand better the ways individuals and interpretive communities create meanings for texts that both reflect and create the cultural worlds they inhabit.
RELS 355: Islam
#8417 (3 credits)
9:30 – 10:45 a.m. T/TH Dr. Stone
This course will provide a scholarly introduction to the Islamic religious tradition. Students who enroll will study: the formative historical background of the tradition; foundational texts such as the Qur’an and Hadith; theological and philosophical developments; Islamic pluralism; contemporary Islamic experience; and methodological considerations in the study of Islam.
RELS 380: Buddhism
#8411 (3 credits)
2:00 – 3:15 p.m. T/TH Dr. Lawrence
This class begins with the study of Buddhist beliefs and practices documented in the earliest scriptures, and proceeds to examine how they were transformed and developed in later traditions of Theravada and Mahayana Buddhism that flourished throughout Asia. We will also consider the recent spread of Buddhism to the West and the challenges Buddhism has faced in the contemporary period. The goal is to leave the students with a greater appreciation for the enduring importance of Buddhist religion and philosophy in world civilization. There are no prerequisites for this class, and it satisfies the UND Essential Studies Requirement for Global Diversity.