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Fall 2017 Courses
PHIL 101: Introduction to Philosophy
Loving Wisdom through an Examination of Sex and Love
#6505 (3 credits)
8:00 – 9:15 a.m. TR Dr. Rozelle-Stone
In this class, we will explore major philosophical questions and traditions through the topic of sex and love. We will give special attention to ancient and contemporary Western philosophical perspectives found in texts such as: Sappho’s love poetry fragments, Plato’s Symposium and Phaedrus, Simone de Beauvoir’s Second Sex, Michel Foucault’s History of Sexuality, and essays on religious lov3e from Simone Weil’s Waiting for God. Looking carefully at these writings on love, desire, and sex will provoke questions about human existence, the constitution of “reality,” constructions of personal and group identity, the institution of marriage, beauty and aesthetics, power and norms, tensions between reason and emotion, and conceptions of good, evil, and suffering.
PHIL 120: Introduction to Ethics
#6493 (3 credits)
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. TR 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 130: Introduction to Political Philosophy (through film).
#6495 (3 credits)
6:00 – 8:30 p.m. T Dr. Weinstein
Politics is on everyone’s minds, whether we want it to be or not. The election of President Trump is forcing us all to contemplate American values and to ask ourselves who we really are. This means asking about the nature of justice, whether government is good or bad (and whether it should be big or small), whether we can morally take away people’s rights, and whether we need authority to tell us what to do. In essence, we are asking whether people in a democracy really can govern themselves.
These are the central questions of political philosophy. Introduction to Political Philosophy will helps us examine them to better understand why our societies are organized the way they are and what alternatives we may have to make them better. We will read and discuss modern and classical readings, listen to podcasts, and engage one another online. We will also watch (mostly mainstream) films to examine how our political philosophies affect our day to day lives, and imagine alternatives. In the process, students will develop their own political philosophical positions and compare them to others’ in the class.
PHIL 250: Ethics in Engineering & Science
#6513 (3 credits)
Online courses have special course requirements and tuition rates. Tuition for this course is charged per credit hour regardless of the number of credits in which you are enrolled.
Find more about your online course at www.distance.und.edu. Credits for this course count toward financial aid, but they are not covered under the tuition cap and are not eligible for certain tuition waivers.
You are required to go to your MyUND Blackboard Site for course information during the 1st week of class. A UND e-mail account is required.
Online courses are conducted fully through Internet instruction. Courses may require exam to be supervised by a proctor. A moderate fee may be charged by some proctoring services and individual proctors.
PHIL 300: Ancient Philosophy
Language, Truth, and Power
#6528 (3 credits)
9:30 – 10:45 a.m. TR Dr. Stone
Ancient Greek philosophy arose as a direct response to an immediate social-political-medical crisis. Plagued by constant war, political corruption, widespread disease, and other seemingly inescapable conditions of human life, ancient Greek thinkers began to question the efficacy of religious thinking and other longstanding institutions of power. Rather than having blind faith in traditions and authority, they sought to apply the human capacity to reason in the service of answering life’s questions and arriving at better ways of living. Thus, the philosophers distinguished themselves from the Sophists—who advanced the art of persuasive speech in order to obtain power, influence, and wealth—in pursuit of truth, wisdom, ethics, education, and establishing a polity in which citizens could pursue ‘the good life.’ Students enrolled in this course will examine philosophical inquiries into language, truth and power by reading primary works by Protagoras, Gorgias, Plato, and Aristotle.
PHIL 312: American Philosophy
Education and the Democratic Spirit
#6529 (3 credits)
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. TR Dr. Rozelle-Stone
This seminar will consider some of the major figures of American philosophy through the theme of democracy and its relation to education. Some of the major questions will be: Can individualism be compatible with a democratic spirit? Are there ways of “educating” for a vibrant democracy? How do differences of race and class inform our understanding and enactment of democratic ways of life? When, if ever, can violence against the state be justified? How do we face the growing sense of political impotence and nihilism in our lives? How can we understand anti-intellectualism in the U.S., including its relation to democracy? Aside from reading texts by Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Dewey, William James, Jane Addams,
W.E.B. Du Bois, Malcolm X, Richard Hofstadter, and Cornel West, we will watch documentary films and interrogate democratic practices in the context of our university and broader community.
PHIL 331: Continental Philosophy (aka Contemporary European Philosophy)
#11419 (3 credits)
2:00 – 3:15 p.m. TR Dr. Stone
“How did this happen?” In the wake of WWII, European philosophers scrutinized the social, political, and technological conditions that resulted in the total moral collapse of the Holocaust. This section of Continental Philosophy—aka Contemporary European Philosophy—will focus upon the topic of totalitarianism. More specifically, this course will center on Hannah Arendt’s seminal study, The Origins of Totalitarianism. In addition, students will read critical examinations of power, nationalism, and fascism by other major Continental philosophers such as Giorgio Agamben (Homo Sacer), Benedict Anderson (Imagined Communities), Michel Foucault (Society Must Be Defended) and Carl Schmitt (Political Theology). Through close study of these philosophical works, supplemented by Milton Meyer’s ethnographic analysis They thought They
Were Free and Sinclair Lewis’s novel It Can’t Happen Here, seminar participants will explore if and how similar totalitarian movements can be prevented in the future.
450: Philosophy, Economics, and Politics
#6530 (3 credits)
12:30 – 1:45 p.m. TR Dr. Weinstein
America is a capitalist society; the world is one giant market. Is this good or bad, and how does it inform what we want out of life? Should we be mad that others have more than us or should we just be happy if we have enough? And what is enough anyway? These questions reveal that discussing politics alone just doesn’t give us the perspective we need to understand how the world interrelates. We need philosophy and economics as well, or none of it will make very much sense.
This course focuses on the intersection between philosophy, politics, and economics. In it, we will follow a t-shirt on its global journey from the cotton fields of Texas to charitable organizations in Africa. We will ask how we measure the wealth of a society and whether economic standards like GDP really tell us anything about how people live. We will ask about the moral limits of the free market and whether democracy and capitalism are truly inherently connected. We will look at pundits’ claims about what it means to be poor and compare them to similar claims made by the most influential political economists, Adam Smith and Karl Marx. In the end, students will understand that economics and politics really are philosophy, they are just much less explicit about their assumptions.
RELS 100: Introduction to Religious Inquiry
#6490 (3 credits)
11:00 - 11:50 a.m. MWF 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
#6493 (3 credits)
9:30 – 10:45 a.m. TR 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
#xxxx (3 credits)
3:00 – 5:30 p.m. W Dr. Miller
Charles Darwin’s On the Origin of Species came to America in 1860 and in so doing ignited a conflict between evolution and creationism in this country that continues to this day. Whether one focuses on the famous “Scopes Monkey Trial” of 1925, or the more recent 2014 debate between Bill Nye, the “Science Guy,” and Ken Ham, the founder of the Creation Museum, the evidence points to a battle between opposing forces that is both highly public and deeply entrenched. In this course, we will critically examine the history of this conflict in the United States, focusing particular attention on issues of culture, science, religion, law, and education.
RELS 245: Death and Dying
#17040 (3 credits)
11:00 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. TR Dr. Lawrence
This course will offer students the opportunity to examine various perspectives on death and dying in our own and other cultures with a view to coping with the problems of mortality and immortality. Resources on medical, psychological, philosophical and religious aspects of the meaning of death will be utilized to assist students in their own personal confrontations with the reality of death and dying. The first part of the class will provide an introduction to the main areas that make up the field of Thanatology or Death Studies. The second will further examine and engage the approaches to the issues of death and dying found in contemporary world religions. There are no prerequisites for this class, and it satisfies the UND Essential Studies Requirement for Global Diversity.
RELS 309: Theism, Atheism, and Secularism
#6503 (3 credits)
9:00 – 9:50 a.m. MWF Dr. Miller
Most courses that focus on this topic are primarily interested in examining the philosophical roots of atheism, want to engage with the polemics of the “new atheists,” or seek to explore the religious arguments against atheism and in favor of theism. These approaches to the issue can be both interesting and beneficial. Our concern, however, will be not with the arguments for or against atheism (or religion, for that matter). Rather, since (atheist, agnostic, and/or humanist) non-theism has become a significant part of our contemporary reality, we will be interested in what positive role non-theism has had and can potentially have in our world. These contributions (both real and potential) are the focus on this course.
RELS 380: Buddhism
#11421 (3 credits)
2:00 – 3:15 p.m. TR 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.