Bulletin--Philosophy Discipline

PHILOSOPHY


College of Humanities
(See Philosophy in the Academic Programs section for information on degrees)

Undergraduate Courses

101 Introduction to Philosophy (3) [GE]

A taste of what philosophy is and has been at various times and places. Reflection on basic aspects of human experience, thought, and activity inspired by the writings of philosophers. [CAN PHIL 2]

105 Introduction to Philosophy and Religion (3) [GE]

An overview and examination of the perennial quest for the sacred. Designed for beginning students, the course explores the basic cosmological, psychological, and mystical teachings of the great Eastern and Western religious traditions.

110 Introduction to Critical Thinking I (3) [GE]

Basic skills involved in understanding, criticizing and constructing arguments—skills crucial to clear critical or constructive reasoning—and thus providing foundation for further work not only in philosophy but in other fields as well.

125 Introduction to Existentialism (3)

An Existential approach to the philosophy of life. Emphasis on such ideas as the meaning or meaninglessness of life and death, human subjectivity, freedom, alienation, the absurd, self and identity. Readings include works by authors such as Sartre, Camus, Dostoevsky.

130 Political and Social Philosophy (3) [GE]

Liberal democratic theories of decision-making and social policy are considered in terms of their place in the world today, their place in the history of social and political philosophy, and in radical and conservative political criticism.

150 Contemporary Moral Issues (3) [GE]

An introduction to theories of the good life, of ethics, of rights, and of justice, through the examination of contemporary moral issues. [CAN PHIL 4]

160 Introduction to Philosophy of the Arts (3) [GE]

A philosophical approach to art appreciation and criticism including the nature of beauty, artistic genius and art as sign or symbol.

205 Formal Logic I (3)

Investigation of the contemporary treatment of structure of arguments by means of sentential logic and quantifiers; philosophical topics in these areas; comparison of axiomatic, natural deductive, and tree-method approaches.

210 Great Thinkers: East and West (3) [GE]

The enduring philosophical questions about human nature and the cosmos as seen through the eyes of mankind's greatest and most influential thinkers, Eastern and Western.

301 Ancient Philosophy (3) [GE]

Theories of the origin of philosophy in the eastern Mediterranean, Greek Classical and Hellenistic developments. Topics such as the role of philosophy vis-ŕ-vis religion, myth, science, and society; cosmic and atomic views of man and nature; materialism and critical wisdom.

302 Medieval Philosophy (3) [GE]

The medieval tradition to the Renaissance with emphasis on such problems as individuals, universals, community; personality and nature; human and divine freedom; theory of signs, symbols, analogical models; labor, private property, the common good, law, intellectual work.

303 Modern Philosophy (3) [GE]

The seventeenth century origins of modern philosophy against the background of the Renaissance, the rise of Protestantism, capitalism, technology and science; its differentiation into empiricism and rationalism; the Enlightenment; German idealism, the materialist, phenomenological and irrationalist reactions; ideology and analysis.

304 The Modern Revolution (3)

For course description, see HUM 460.

305 Formal Logic II (3)

Prerequisite: PHIL 205 or consent of instructor. Continued investigation of argument structures including relations and identity; philosophical topics in these areas; consistency and completeness of sentential logic; introduction to advanced topics such as modal logic, many-valued logic, etc.

320 Philosophical Analysis (3)

Prerequisite: one course in critical thinking or equivalent. Designed to help students develop the analytic interpretive and expressive skills essential to the study of philosophy. Required for all majors; open to non-majors on consent of instructor.

330 Political Philosophy (3) [GE]

The forms, purposes, and justification of political orders as related to theories of human nature, value and history. Emphasis on the foundations of political philosophy in the thought of such writers as Plato, Hobbes, Mill, and Marx.

335 Law and Society (3) [GE]

An introduction to the relation between law and society, developed through the analysis of court cases centered on topics (capital versus labor, the individual versus the state) in their historical setting. Assignments constitute an introduction to legal research.

350 Philosophy of Science: The Natural Sciences (3) [GE]

Major problems in the philosophy of the natural sciences with special attention to their contemporary formulations. Useful background: one or more courses in physics.

365 Science and Civilization (3)

The role of science in modern civilization. The ethical aspects of science, scientific conceptions of man, and the effects of science on the quality and direction of human existence.

369 Philosophical Issues in Sexuality (3) [GE]

A philosophical exploration of legal, moral, and conceptual issues concerning human sexuality. Topics include rape, pornography, abortion, prostitution, homosexuality, marriage, promiscuity, perversion, sexual politics, sex and religion, and the language of sex, among others. (Also offered as HMSX 369.)

370 Derrida and Deconstruction (3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent. Introduction to the works of Jacques Derrida, an influential postmodern theorist and founder of the Deconstructive movement in criticism, philosophy, and social science. Through a close study of Derrida's writings, the course also serves as an introduction to Deconstruction. (Also offered as HUM 370.)

375 Peace Law and Human Rights in the U.S. (3)

For course description, see GPS 375.

380 Philosophy of Law (3) [GE]

The relationship of law and morality. The basis for legal accountability. Who should be accountable? For what? Why?

382 Women and Philosophy: Selected Topics (3)

Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Topics may include types of women's philosophy, philosophical approaches to questions involving the nature of women and women's social roles, effects of traditional philosophy on women's images. May be repeated when topics vary.

383 Ethics in Medicine (3) [GE]

Explores ethical issues in medicine and nursing-treating dying patients, right to health care, nurse/physician conflicts, health and basic values, freedom under new technology and medical bureaucracy. Uses philosophical approaches to understand and to help resolve these problems.

395 Ethical Issues in Science and Technology (3) [GE]

Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Ethical issues arising from or intrinsic to the process of scientific research and development or from the implementation or commercialization of new technologies. May be repeated for a total of nine units of credit when topics vary.

401 Plato (3)

Major works of Plato. Useful background: one course in philosophy.

402 Aristotle (3)

Major works of Aristotle. Useful background: one course in philosophy.

409 Martin Heidegger (3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent. For course description, see HUM 409.

410 Topics in the History of Philosophy (3)

Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Periods, movements, or individual thinkers in the history of philosophy. May be repeated for credit when topic varies. Useful background: one course in philosophy.

411 Philosophy and E.T. Intelligence (3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent. Arguments for ETI. The philosophical implications if the ETI thesis is true. New twists in theory of knowledge, philosophy of mind, ethics in the ETI context. May count for philosophy of mind option in philosophy major. Paired with PHIL 711. Students who have completed PHIL 411 may not take PHIL 711 later for credit.

415 Social and Political Philosophy (3)

Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Consideration of a conceptual or historical topic in political philosophy such as distributive justice or modern political theory. May be repeated for credit when topic varies. Useful background: a course in political philosophy.

420 Marxism and Its Critics (3) [GE]

Prerequisites: ENG 114 or equivalent. Provides an introduction to the philosophy of Karl Marx, emphasizing his Humanism and his contribution to epistemology.. A survey also of the philosophical controversies occasioned by his work from the late 19th century to the present. (Also offered as HUM 472.)

425 Topics in Existentialism and Phenomenology (3) [GE]

Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Selected topics and works from contemporary schools and movements in continental philosophy such as the philosophy of Kierkegaard, Sartre, Husserl, and Merleau-Ponty. May be repeated when topic varies.

430 Topics in Contemporary Philosophy (3)

Topics to be specified in Class Schedule. Recent or contemporary philosophical development. Useful background: one course in philosophy. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

435 Human Rights in Global Perspective (3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent. Introduction to the law and philosophy of human rights; covers the philosophical issues and controversies about rights, their historical development, major problems in implementing rights, and the international human rights movement.

440 Ethics at Work I (3) [GE]

Together with BUS 440, this course deals with ethical issues in work, professions, and business. Focus on making ethics work in real settings, not on treating ethics as a vague ideal.

445 Sex and Morality (3) [GE]

Provides students with a sound grasp of ethical theory and its applications to sexual conduct, therapy, and research. Students learn the fundamentals of moral augmentation and sharpen their abilities to deal intelligently with complicated, morality-laden issues associated with sexuality. (Also offered as HMSX 469.)

450 Ethics (3)

Prerequisite: one course in philosophy or consent of instructor. Major problems in ethical theory with special attention to their contemporary formulations.

455 Sex and the Law (3) [GE]

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent. Philosophical investigation of legal issues pertaining to sexuality. Discussion of broader questions such as legal enforcement of morals and of specific cases and statutes regarding marriage, sex discrimination, abortion, rape, homosexuality, pornography, pedophilia, and other sex related activities. (Also offered as HMSX 569.)

460 Philosophy of Art (3) [GE]

Major problems in aesthetics with special attention to their contemporary formulations. Useful background: one course in philosophy.

465 Philosophy in Literature (3)

Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Selected literary works embodying or expressive of a philosophy or philosophical point of view. Works studied are drawn from antiquity, the middle ages, or modern times, and may emphasize poetry, prose, or drama.

471 Aristotle (3)

A study of the main works of Aristotle with special emphasis on the Physics, the place of Aristotelian philosophy in the Western tradition, and the relation of Aristotle's philosophy to its predecessors. Paired with PHIL 771. Students who have completed PHIL 471 may not take PHIL 771 later for credit.

472 Marx the Humanist (3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent. Intensive study of the writings of Karl Marx which significantly influence later thinking about culture. Emphasis is on Marx's humanist ideas, humanist interpretations of Marx, and on the implications of his ideas for a critical understanding of cultural artifacts. (Also offered as HUM 472.)

473 Socrates/Plato (3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent. Plato's imaginative recreation of Socrates in the early dialogues. Literary features of plot, characterization, symbol, and irony in relation to the argumentative structures of analogy, induction, and elenchus or Socratic refutation. Paired with PHIL 773. Students who have completed PHIL 473 may not take PHIL 773 later for credit.

475 Selected Problems in Philosophy (3)

Prerequisites: two courses in Philosophy or other disciplines directly relevant to the topic being studied. Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Seminar in problems chosen from various branches of philosophy. May be repeated when different problems are studied.

500 Philosophy of Religion (3)

The nature and function of fundamental religious concepts and claims. Useful background: PHIL 300.

502 World Religions (3) [GE]

The major religions of mankind, their history and teachings: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Useful background: one course in philosophy.

504 History of Christian Thought I (3)

Philosophical issues involved in the development of Western religious thought from St. Paul to St. Augustine. Useful background: one course in philosophy.

508 Indian Philosophy and Religion (3)

Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Topics include: Upanishads, Sankhya-Yoga; Buddhism, Jainism; Vedanta, Later Buddhism. Useful background: PHIL 500. May be repeated when different traditions are studied.

510 Far Eastern Philosophy and Religion (3) [GE]

Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Confucianist, Taoist-Buddhist. May be repeated when different traditions are studied.

515 Semitic Religious Thought (3) [GE]

Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Judaism, Islam. Useful background: PHIL 500. May be repeated when different traditions are studied.

520 Modern Religious Thought (3) [GE]

The philosophical issues involved in modern theological thought.

525 The Nature of Religious Experience (3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent. Examination of the nature of religious experience drawn from several different religions and various academic disciplines within the humanities and social sciences; investigation of the meaning of religious commitment in a secular world. (Also offered as RELS 300.)

530 Selected Religious Thinkers (3)

Author or work to be specified in Class Schedule. A major religious writer or work, Eastern or Western. Useful background: one course in philosophy and religion. May be repeated on advisement.

540 Selected Issues in Religious Thought (3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent. Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Selected issues or topics in religious thought. May be repeated for credit when topics vary.

545 Religion and the Law (3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent. Philosophical and ethical investigation of legal issues pertaining to religion. Includes major federal and state court decisions regarding religious conflicts among individuals, religions, and governments.

605 Metaphysics (3)

Major metaphysical problems such as those of substance, cause, space, time, and God.

610 Theory of Knowledge (3)

Major problems in the theory of knowledge with special attention to their contemporary formulations. Useful background: PHIL 300.

620 Philosophy of Mind (3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent. Major problems arising from conception of the mental and theories of its relation to the physical, with special attention to their contemporary formulations. Paired with PHIL 820. Students who have completed PHIL 620 may not take PHIL 820 later for credit.

630 Philosophy of Language (3)

Major philosophic problems of language and symbolism with special attention to the contemporary formulation of these problems. Paired with PHIL 830. Students who have completed PHIL 630 may not take PHIL 830 later for credit.

670 Philosophy of Logic (3)

Prerequisite: PHIL 205. The fundamental concepts in the most important areas of modern symbolic logic, the relations between these fields and the philosophical issues raised by basic questions in these disciplines.

680 Field Project in Philosophy (1-3)

Supervised community or university service project related to the student's philosophical studies. Must be arranged through an undergraduate adviser and with an approved agency. May be taken with PHIL 699. CR/NC only.

696 Directed Reading in Philosophy and Religion (3)

Prerequisites: senior standing and consent of instructor. Independent reading, study, and writing in the student's special project area of philosophy and religion.

699 Special Study (1-3)

Prerequisite: consent of instructor. An advanced study of selected philosophical problems under the direction of instructor. May be repeated for credit.

Graduate Courses

Prerequisites for each of the graduate courses in philosophy: two semester courses in the history of philosophy, a course in ethics, a course in symbolic logic, and an advanced course in epistemology or philosophy of science.

711 Philosophy and E.T. Intelligence (3)

An examination of the arguments for ETI and an investigation of the philosophical implications if the ETI thesis is true. Traditional philosophical problems in theory of knowledge, philosophy of mind, and ethics receive new twists in the ETI context. Paired with PHIL 411. Students who have completed PHIL 411 may not take PHIL 711 for credit.

717 Projects in the Teaching of Philosophy (1-3)

Individual projects under faculty supervision undertaken in conjunction with teaching assignments in undergraduate courses. Research and reports of research on the aims and methods of teaching philosophy to undergraduates. May be repeated for a maximum of six units.

730 Seminar in the Philosophy of Religion (3)

Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Selected problems in philosophy of religion. May be repeated for credit when different problems are studied.

735 Seminar in Comparative Religious Thought (3)

Examination of the philosophical issues involved in the comparative study of Eastern and Western scriptural sources.

750 Seminar in the Theory of Value (3)

Problems in value theory with emphasis on ethics.

770 Seminar in a Classical Author (3)

Author to be specified in Class Schedule. The works of a single major philosopher. May be repeated for credit when different works are studied.

771 Aristotle (3)

For course description, see PHIL 471. PHIL 771 requires more advanced analyses of material. Paired with PHIL 471. Students who have completed PHIL 471 may not take PHIL 771 for credit.

772 Seminar in a Classical School (3)

Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. The works of a major philosophical school. May be repeated for credit when different schools are studied.

773 Socrates/Plato (3)

For course description, see PHIL 473. Paired with PHIL 473. Students who have completed PHIL 473 may not take PHIL 773 later for credit.

775 Seminar in the History of Philosophy (3)

The history of philosophy: ancient, medieval, modern.

777 Seminar in Teaching Critical Thinking (3)

Development of informal logic as a discipline; teaching theories, methods, and materials; the assessment of critical thinking skills, and the study of recent contributions to and controversies in the field.

805 Seminar in Metaphysics (3)

Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Selected problems in metaphysics. May be repeated for credit when different problems are studied.

810 Seminar in the Theory of Knowledge (3)

Problems in epistemology.

820 Philosophy of Mind (3)

For course description, see PHIL 620. Paired with PHIL 620. Students who have completed PHIL 620 may not take PHIL 820 later for credit.

830 Philosophy of Language (3)

Major philosophic problems of language and symbolism with special attention to the contemporary formulation of these problems. Paired with PHIL 630. Students who have completed PHIL 630 may not take PHIL 830 for credit.

850 Seminar in the Philosophy of Science (3)

Problems of philosophy of science.

855 Seminar in Philosophy of the Social Sciences (3)

An examination of some of the logical and philosophical issues central to scientific attempts to explain human social behavior. The specific issues considered depend upon the controversies current at the time the course is offered.

865 First Person in Poetry and Philosophy (3)

For course description, see CW 865.

890 Seminar on Current Issues in Philosophy (3)

Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. Current developments in the various areas of philosophy, as provided through surveys by various faculty members, of major trends, issues, and controversies in their area of specialization and research. May be repeated for credit when topic varies.

896 Directed Reading in Fundamental Philosophical Texts (3)

Directed reading in depth and detail of fundamental philosophical texts. Six to eight texts plus secondary sources are studied. Course culminates in a written examination after end of semester but before beginning of subsequent semester.

898 Master's Thesis (3)

Prerequisite: advancement to candidacy for the Master of Arts in Philosophy. Graduate Approved Program and Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement forms must be approved by the Graduate Division before registration.

899 Special Study (1-3)

Prerequisites: consent of the graduate major adviser and the supervising faculty member. Study is planned, developed, and completed under the direction of a member of the faculty. Open only to graduate students who have demonstrated ability to do independent work. Enrollment by petition.


Course Disciplines Listing, Bulletin 1994-96 Table of Contents, SFSU Home Page

last modified June 27, 1995


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