Philosophy Course Offerings

Please see the section on "Course Description Symbols and Terms" in the University Catalog for an explanation of course description terminology and symbols, the course numbering system, and course credit units. All courses are lecture and discussion and employ letter grading unless otherwise stated. Some prerequisites may be waived with faculty permission. Many syllabi are available on the Chico Web.

Introduction to Philosophy
3.0 Fa/Spr

An introduction to philosophical thought and skills. Issues that traditionally have been of central importance in philosophical inquiry, such as the nature of knowledge, reality, and values, will be emphasized. This is an approved General Education course. (007155)

Introduction to Philosophy - Honors
3.0 Spring

Prerequisites: Acceptance into the Honors Program.

A special section of PHIL 101 open only to students with demonstrated academic talent. Interested students should consult with the University Honors Advisor. This is an approved General Education course. (007156)

Logic and Critical Thinking
3.0 Fa/Spr

A practical course in clear thinking and sound reasoning, which includes training in recognizing and avoiding the most commonly made mistakes in reasoning. This is an approved General Education course. (007151)

Logic and Critical Thinking - ESL
3.0 Fa/Spr

Prerequisites: For Students with English as a Second Language.

A special section of Logic and Critical Thinking open only to students with English as a Second Language. Interested students should consult with international evaluations. This is an approved General Education course. (007152)

Logic and Critical Thinking - Honors
3.0 Fa/Spr

Prerequisites: Acceptance into the Honors Program.

A special section of Logic and Critical Thinking open only to students with demonstrated academic talent. Interested students should consult with the University Honors Advisor. This is an approved General Education course. (007153)

Personal Values
3.0 Fa/Spr

An examination of various moral theories and their application to contemporary moral issues. The role of morality in everyday life will be explored. This is an approved General Education course. (007163)

Human Existence
3.0 Fa/Spr

Philosophical interpretations of the human condition as reflected in and affected by modern developments in the arts, science, society, and philosophy. The course covers modern approaches to freedom, consciousness, subjectivity, language, history, alienation, power, and creativity. This is an approved General Education course. (007167)

Philosophical Methods
3.0 Fall

The course provides students intensive training to think, read, and write as clearly and as philosophically as they can be trained to do. One important philosophical problem is used as the sample problem. Students write a short weekly essay and have class discussions of their essays as well as of the reading material. (015857)

History of Ancient Philosophy
3.0 Fa/Spr

Western philosophical thought from the pre-Socratics through Stoicism, including movements and figures such as Pythagoreanism, Plato, Aristotle, and Epicureanism. This is an approved General Education course. (007181)

Philosophy East and West
3.0 Fa/Spr

A philosophical analysis of major ideas in Chinese, Japanese, and Indian thought and their relationship to basic philosophical developments in the west. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved Global Cultures course. (007185)

Reason and Religion
3.0 Fa/Spr

Philosophical analysis of various approaches to the problems of religious belief, such as faith and knowledge, the existence and nature of God, immortality, and the problem of evil. This is an approved General Education course. (007201)

Philosophy of the Fine Arts
3.0 Inquire

The study of aesthetic values and judgments, emphasizing such topics as creativity and the art object, with reference to works of architecture, painting, sculpture, music, and literature. (007202)

Medieval Philosophy
3.0 Inquire

Origins and development of medieval philosophy, centering on its central themes as presented by thinkers such as Plotinus, St. Augustine, Proclus, John Scotus Erigena, Alfarabi, Avicenna, Averroes, Roger Bacon, St. Thomas Aquinas, Duns Scotus, and William of Ockham. (007184)

History of Modern Philosophy
3.0 Fall

Western philosophical thought from the Renaissance through Kant, including Bacon, Hobbes, Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, and Hume. (007182)

History of 19th Century Philosophy
3.0 Fa/Spr

Western philosophical thought from Kant through the twentieth century, including the phenomenological and analytic traditions in western philosophy. (007183)

Analytic Philosophy: Wittgenstein to Kripke
3.0 Spring

Study of central figures in analytic philosophy, including Wittgenstein, Quine, Davidson, and Kripke, emphasizing philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. (007203)

Continental Philosophy: Husserl, Heidegger and the Quest for Being
3.0 Fall

The phenomenological movement and its impact on philosophy, literature, and psychology, with attention to Husserl's views on mind, body, and intersubjectivity and Heidegger's ideas of being-in-the-world, authenticity, and death. (007204)

American Philosophy
3.0 Fa/Spr

A study of the major philosophic movements which have originated in the United States or had a significant impact on its institutions and culture. This is an approved General Education course. (007174)

Existentialism
3.0 Fall

An examination of existentialism from Kierkegaard and Nietzsche to Sartre, and de Beauvoir. An analysis of the basic forces, concepts, and figures which have shaped existentialism. This is an approved General Education course. Formerly PHIL 203. (007205)

Altruism: Theory and Practice
3.0 Fall

Prerequisites: Enrolling students must be in good standing in the Honors in GE Program. Open only to students working on Theme H: Honors

Ethics has traditionally been characterized as a process of bridging the gap between how we are and how we would ideally be. One example of a moral ideal is love of neighbor. Because we labor under the pull of self-interest, loving one's neighbor is not common. In the light of this truism, examples of altruism cry out for explanation. Is there even such a thing as an "altruistic" behavior? If genuine altruism does exist, what motivates it? This course explores answers to these questions by looking at philosophical, biological, economic and sociological accounts of selfless behavior. This is an approved General Education course. This course is also offered as PSYC 318H, and RELS 318H. (020767)

Ethics
3.0 Spring

An introduction to moral theory, including such figures as Plato, Aristotle, Kant, and Mill. Alternative views concerning fundamental moral questions will be explored. (007190)

Ethics and Human Happiness
3.0 Fa/Spr

An investigation of major contemporary theories of human happiness. Emphasis will be placed on analyzing the philosophical assumptions which they make about human nature, on evaluating the ethical content of these theories, and applying these theories to one's everyday life. This is an approved General Education course. (007191)

Science and Human Values
3.0 Spring

Prerequisites: BIOL 101 or BIOL 108.

Critically examines scientific and humanistic world views and sensibilities, directly applying these approaches to contemporary social and personal problems. This is an approved General Education course. This course is also offered as BIOL 322. (001148)

Science and Human Values - Honors
3.0 Fall

Prerequisites: Acceptance into the Honors Program, faculty permission.

Critically examines scientific and humanistic world views and sensibilities, directly applying these approaches to contemporary social and personal problems. This is an approved General Education course. This course is also offered as BIOL 322H. (001149)

Moral Issues in Parenting
3.0 Fa/Spr

A philosophical investigation of the moral and legal dimensions of parenting. This is an approved General Education course. (007212)

Philosophical Perspectives on Sex and Love
3.0 Inquire

An exploration of conceptual and ethical issues pertaining to intimate relationships, e.g., sexual equality, perversion, fidelity, the nature of love and friendship, marriage, and children. (007222)

Marxist Thought
3.0 Inquire

Origin and development in the nineteenth century of dialectical and historical materialism, emphasizing the implications of Marxist philosophy for an understanding of nature, knowledge, revolution; doctrinal evolution from Marx to Mao. This course is also offered as POLS 325. (007209)

Social Ethics
3.0 Fall

An examination of selected ethical issues confronting contemporary society, emphasizing legal and other institutional contexts in which these problems arise. Topics may include genetic engineering, animal rights, and preferential treatment. This is an approved General Education course. (007223)

Biomedical Ethics
3.0 Fa/Spr

An examination of moral issues arising in medical practice and biomedical research. Among the topics discussed are the responsibilities of health care professionals, the allocation of scarce medical resources, genetic engineering, and the harvesting of fetal tissue. This is an approved General Education course. (007225)

Business Ethics and Social Policy
3.0 Inquire

An examination of ethical issues that arise in business decisions and the formulation of social policy involving business, e.g. employee rights, consumer and environmental protection, advertising, and affirmative action. Moral theory and alternative conceptions of justice will also be discussed. (007226)

Environmental Ethics
3.0 Fa/Spr

An examination of a variety of approaches to the development of an environmental ethic, including "shallow" and "deep" environmentalism, the balance of nature argument, and the Gaia hypothesis. This is an approved General Education course. (007229)

Center for Applied and Professional Ethics (CAPE) Forum
1.0 Fa/Spr

An introduction to current ethical issues facing individuals, institutions, and society. Students attend regularly scheduled CAPE forums, symposia, and seminars and do appropriate reading and writing in conjunction with sessions. This course is also offered as RELS 331. (007236)

Criminal Justice Ethics
3.0 Fa/Spr

An investigation of contemporary moral issues involved in police work and corrections, such as deadly force, entrapment, undercover work, corruption, and prisoners' rights. (007269)

Ethics and Environmental Sciences
3.0 Inquire

Discussion of the ethical issues that arise in the environmental sciences. Emphasis placed on examination of kinds of ethical dilemmas facing environmental scientists and policy makers, on development of tools for analyzing and resolving such dilemmas, and on views that have influenced attitudes about the environment and environmental ethics. Attention given to religious, philosophical, historical, and cultural origins of moral values and various approaches to moral deliberation and moral reasoning. This course is also offered as RELS 334. (007272)

Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl
3.0 Fall

Prerequisites: PHIL 320 or 321 or 326.

Preparation for the Regional Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (RIEB) competition that includes review of moral theory, introduction to skills in moral problem solving, application of theory to moral dilemmas across a wide range of personal, social, and professional environments, and oral presentation of solutions to moral dilemmas. Require travel to and participation in the RIEB (one weekend during semester). (020605)

American Indian Environmental Philosophies
3.0 Fa/Spr

An exploration of traditional and contemporary American Indian thought regarding people in relationship to the human and nonhuman worlds, with focus on land ethic, animal ethics, sustainability. This is an approved General Education course. This is an approved US Diversity course. (020644)

Social and Political Philosophy
3.0 Fa/Spr

A philosophical examination of the nature and function of the human community and the political state, and of the implications for individual life of alternative conceptions of society and politics. (007198)

Justice and Human Rights
3.0 Fa/Spr

A systematic investigation of the historical origins of the concept of justice and its application to domestic and international issues involving human rights. Special attention is given to the related issues of power and social control. This is an approved General Education course. (007211)

Roots of War and Prospects for Peace
3.0 Fa/Spr

A critical examination of diverse philosophical views regarding the causes of war and the prospects for peace. This is an approved General Education course. (007224)

Comparative Peace Studies
3.0 Fa/Spr

An interdisciplinary cross-cultural survey of prospects for peace. Focuses on non-violent modes of conflict resolution. Major philosophical and social scientific ideas from both the pacifist and non-pacifist traditions are examined in depth. This is an approved General Education course. (007228)

Theoretical Perspectives on Gender
3.0 Inquire

Examines the various theories put forth to explain the differences between men and women, including scientific, social scientific, and humanistic explanations. Emphasis on feminist perspectives. This course is also offered as MCGS 345. (003822)

Theory of Knowledge (Epistemology)
3.0 Fall

Philosophical studies of the sources, nature, and criteria of knowledge; alternative approaches to problems of perception, meaning, and truth. (007188)

Metaphysics
3.0 Spring

An examination of basic metaphysical problems, such as free will, the mind-body problem, life after death, and some of the systems of thought that attempt to deal with them. (007189)

Philosophy of Mind
3.0 Inquire

An examination of the nature of the mind, including such issues as the mind-body problem and the relationship of consciousness to human action. (007208)

History of Mind
3.0 Fall

This course examines the history of two competing approaches to psychology, and it evaluates their philosophical and scientific merits. Implications for contemporary debates in psychology are discussed. This is an approved General Education course. This course is also offered as PSYC 363. (007213)

Machines, Brains, and Minds
3.0 Fa/Spr

Prerequisites: Junior standing, faculty permission.

An examination of the emergence of artificial mind in machines, with special attention to related issues in the philosophy of mind and cognitive science. This is an approved General Education course. This course is also offered as CSCI 380. (002312)

Philosophy of Psychology
3.0 Inquire

A study of the philosophical origins of psychology and the philosophical presuppositions and implications of various schools of contemporary psychological thought. (007206)

Philosophy of Science
3.0 Fa/Spr

An examination of the philosophical issues raised by scientific inquiry. Topics may include the logical empiricist view of science, confirmation, and induction, scientific explanation, and the implications of reductivism. This is an approved General Education course. (007193)

Philosophy of Social Science
3.0 Inquire

Examination of selected current issues regarding the methods, scope, concepts, and presuppositions of the social and behavioral sciences. (007192)

Intermediate Logic
3.0 Fall

In this course students will learn classical propositional and predicate logic. The syntax, semantics and deductive systems of a few formal systems will be studied. (007196)

Philosophy in Literature
3.0 Inquire

Critical reading and discussion of selected literary works, with special emphasis on the clarification and analysis of the philosophical ideas they entail. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (007214)

Sartre and Camus
3.0 Inquire

Intensive reading and discussion of the writing of Satre & Camus. (007309)

Philosophy and Film
3.0 Fa/Spr

Critical examination of selected cinematographic works, with special emphasis on the clarification and analysis of the philosophical ideas they entail. 2.0 hours discussion, 3.0 hours laboratory. This is an approved General Education course. Special fee required; see the Class Schedule. (007248)

Aesthetics
3.0 Spring

A philosophical study of the nature and significance of art, with references to relevant works. The course considers such themes as the beautiful, the sublime, comedy, tragedy and the social psychological dimensions of art as well as the periods of Romanticism, Modernism, Postmodernism. (020624)

Critical Theory of Information
3.0 Spring

An examination of theories relevant to the analysis of context and content of oral and written texts. (007283)

Philosophy of Judaism
3.0 EvnSp

This course explores the major philosophical trends and traditions affecting Jewish life. Hellenistic and rabbinical philosophy, Philo to Maimonides, Spinoza to Moses Mendelsohn and the Enlightenment, and Hebrew-Yiddish renaissance to modern Zionism will be examined. This course is also offered as MJIS 386. (005861)

Special Topics in Philosophy
1.0-3.0 Fa/Spr

Investigation of special topics in philosophy. Open to upper-division students only. Variable content. (007267)

Special Problems
1.0-3.0 Fa/Spr

This course is an independent study of special problems offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. Credit/no credit grading only. (007268)

Seminar in Special Issues
3.0 Inquire

Intensive reading and discussion of a particular topic in Philosophy; variable content. (007296)

Seminar in Major Philosophical Figures
3.0 Inquire

Intensive reading and discussion of the writings of major philosophical figures. (007303)

Tutorial in Philosophy
3.0 Inquire

Prerequisites: Upper-division standing.

Individually directed projects in philosophy. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (007327)

Contemporary Moral Theory
3.0 Fall

Prerequisites: ENGL 130 (or its equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher.

An analysis of twentieth-century ethical theory. This is a writing proficiency, WP, course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. Formerly PHIL 333. (007270)

Seminar in Special Issues in Social and Political Philosophy
3.0 Spring

Prerequisites: ENGL 130 (or its equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher.

Intensive reading and discussion of special issues in social and political philosophy. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. This is a writing proficiency, WP, course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (007319)

Origins of Western Political Thought
3.0 Inquire

The classical roots of western political philosophy and their relationship to contemporary political theory. This course is also offered as POLS 434. (007279)

National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl
3.0 Spring

Prerequisites: PHIL 335 or faculty permission

Preparation for the National Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl (NIEB) competition that includes refining skills in moral problem solving, application of theory to moral dilemmas across a wide range of personal , social, and professional environments, and oral presentation of solutions to moral dilemmas. Requires travel to and participation in the NIEB (5-day block during semester). (020606)

Liberal and Conservative Traditions
3.0 Fall

The philosophical framework of political and social change, with emphasis on the French Revolution and on the emergence of liberal ideology as a basis of contemporary radical and liberal political philosophy. This course is also offered as POLS 436. (007280)

Contemporary Political Thought
3.0 Inquire

An extended discussion of the nature of anarchy, corporatism, oligarchy, classical liberalism, radical liberalism, democratic socialism, communism, and fascism, with a continued focus on these political cultures and their ideological expressions in contemporary politics. This course is also offered as POLS 437. (007281)

Jurisprudence: Philosophy of Law
3.0 Fa/Spr

The philosophical nature and origins of law. Topics to be examined include theories of law, justice, the relationship of law to morality, natural law, responsibility, punishment, and other basic concepts. Approach is both theoretical and via case studies. This course is also offered as POLS 438. (007282)

Ethics in Government
3.0 Inquire

Prerequisites: Faculty permission.

A discussion course which explores a variety of ethical decision-making procedures via a case-study approach in order to help students develop critical decision-making skills useful in dealing with ethical issues likely to confront the public manager. This course is also offered as POLS 469. (007287)

Advanced Logic
3.0 Spring

Prerequisites: PHIL 380, faculty permission.

Systematic treatment of truth functions and quantifiers; introduction to mathematical logic. Topics include syntax, semantics, and metatheory for the propositional and predicate calculi, elementary set theory. Russell's paradox, infinite sets. (007195)

Internship
1.0-3.0 Fa/Spr

Prerequisites: Junior standing or above and either 9 units of philosophy or have declared philosophy as a major or minor, faculty permission.

This course is an internship offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. Internships in Philosophy: (a) assisting instructors in lower-division courses; (b) assisting the department in preparation of Philosophy Forums, or department-sponsored discussions, debates, and multimedia presentations; (c) working outside the academic program in government, community, or business, in tasks appropriate for philosophy students; or (d) assisting faculty in research. A maximum of 6 units may be counted toward the major or minor in philosophy. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 15.0 units. (007293)

Internship in Teaching Philosophy
3.0 Fa/Spr

Prerequisites: Upper-division standing and faculty permission.

Supervised collaborative training in teaching, normally completed in two consecutive semesters. Focus in the first semester is on developing class plans and instructional communication skills. Focus in the second semester is on creating syllabi and developing competence in assessment. Registration is by arrangement with a supervising faculty member. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 15.0 units. (007294)

Senior Honors Research Paper
3.0 Fa/Spr

Prerequisites: ENGL 130 (or its equivalent) with a grade of C- or higher, acceptance into Honors in Philosophy, faculty permission.

To provide opportunity for the student accepted for "Honors in the Major" to prepare and write a thesis on a topic germane to interests developed during the first three years of work in Philosophy. Research and writing will be done under supervision by a staff advisor and for the total of 6 units in consecutive semesters. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. This is a writing proficiency, WP, course; a grade of C- or better certifies writing proficiency for majors. (007332)

Project in Applied Philosophy
1.0-6.0 Fa/Spr

This course is a culminating project in the Certificate in Teaching Critical Thinking and is offered for 1.0-6.0 units. It focuses on communication and application of critical thinking techniques in professional and commercial contexts. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 18.0 units. (007320)

Internship in Teaching Philosophy
3.0 Fa/Spr

Prerequisites: Graduate standing and faculty permission.

Supervised collaborative training in teaching, normally completed in two consecutive semesters. Focus in the first semester is on developing class plans and instructional communication skills. Focus in the second semester is on creating syllabi and developing competence in assessment. Registration is by arrangement with a supervising faculty member. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (007333)

Project in Applied Philosophy
1.0-6.0 Fa/Spr

This course is a culminating project in the Certificate in Teaching Critical Thinking and is offered for 1.0-6.0 units. It focuses on communication and application of critical thinking techniques in professional and commercial contexts. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. 9.0 hours supervision. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 18.0 units. (007334)

Independent Study
1.0-3.0 Fa/Spr

Prerequisites: Open only to students pursuing a Master of Arts Degree with a special major, faculty permission.

This course is a graduate-level independent study offered for 1.0-3.0 units. You must register directly with a supervising faculty member. You may take this course more than once for a maximum of 6.0 units. (007341)