Course Descriptions - Summer 2008

Philosophy 101, Introduction to Philosophy: Selected Topics and Issues (HU)
LEC 351, TR, 11:00am-2:18pm, TBA
Instructor: Jonathan Lang
6 Weeks – 6/23/08 - 8/2/08

We will look at a representative selection of topics from the history of philosophy and current philosophical debates: ethics, social and political philosophy, the scope and nature of our knowledge of the world, the nature of the self and mind.

Philosophy 250, Philosophy of Religion (HU)
LEC 311, MTWR, 9:00am-11:40am, CRT 309
Instructor: William Bristow
4 Weeks – 5/27/08 - 6/21/08

Major questions we will address in this course are: What is our concept of God? Can the proposition that God exists be proved on the basis of unaided reason? Or does reason in fact support atheism? What is religious faith? Must one have religious faith in order to be moral? Or, alternatively, is there an irresolvable tension between the demands of morality and the demands of religious faith? Is the existence of evil compatible with the existence of an all-powerful, benevolent creator God?

Philosophy 211, Elementary Logic (HU)
LEC 311, MWR, 1:30pm-3:43pm, TBA
Instructor: Richard Tierney
LEC 311 meets for 6 weeks – 5/27/08 - 7/5/08
LEC 372, TR, 6:00-9:18pm, CRT 309
Instructor: Michael Liston
LEC 372 meets for 6 weeks – 7/7/08 - 8/16/08

The Island of Knights and Knaves is a place where only Knights and Knaves live. A Knight is a person who always tells the truth. Knaves, on the other hand, never tell the truth. Harry, who lives on the island, says: "If I am a Knight, then I'll eat my hat." Did you know that you can prove from the above information that Harry will eat his hat? Did you know: 1) Given that Sarah loves either Jim or Tom and that if she loves Jim then she loves Tom, you can prove that she loves Tom? 2) that if everyone loves a lover and there is even one lover in the world, then everyone loves everyone? Learn how to solve these and other puzzles in Philosophy 211, where we will study formal deductive logic -- the science of what follows from what.

The concepts and techniques encountered in the study of deductive logic are of central importance to any analysis of argument and inference. They reflect fundamental patterns of proof found in science and mathematics, they underlie the programs that enable computers to "reason" logically, and they provide tools for characterizing the formal structures of language. This is an introductory course intended for students who have had no previous work in logic.