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Undergraduate Catalog 2013-2014


Approved Courses

The following list includes undergraduate courses that have been approved as of  June 2010.  Courses added after that date do not appear in this list.  Courses eliminated after that date may still appear.  Not every course is offered regularly.  Students should consult the Schedule of Classes at www.testudo.umd.edu  to ascertain which courses are actually offered during a given semester.

COURSE NUMBERING SYSTEM

Number   Eligibility
000-099   Non-credit course
100-199   Primarily freshman course
200-299   Primarily sophomore course
300-399   Junior, senior course not acceptable for credit toward graduate degrees
386-387   Campus-wide internship courses; refer to information describing Experiential Learning
400-499   Junior, senior course acceptable for credit toward some graduate degree
500-599   Professional School course (Dentistry, Architecture, Law, Medicine) or post-baccalaureate course
600-899   Course restricted to graduate students
799   Master Thesis credit
899   Doctoral Dissertation credit

Use the search box below to view the approved courses.

Courses in "PHIL-Philosophy"

PHIL - Philosophy

PHIL 100 Introduction to Philosophy (3) An introduction to the literature, problems, and methods of philosophy either through a study of some of the main figures in philosophic thought or through an examination of some of the central and recurring problems of philosophy.

PHIL 140 Contemporary Moral Issues (3) The uses of philosophical analysis in thinking clearly about such widely debated moral issues as abortion, euthanasia, homosexuality, pornography, reverse discrimination, the death penalty, business ethics, sexual equality, and economic justice.

PHIL 170 Introduction to Logic (3) Development of analytical reasoning skills through study of formal logics, reasoning systems, and fallacious inference patterns.

PHIL 209 Philosophical Issues (3) Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs. An examination of selected philosophical issues of general interest.

PHIL 230 Philosophy of the Arts (3) A survey of theoretical perspectives on the arts from Plato to the present, along with critical examination of specific works of art. Analysis of concepts central to thought about art, such as beauty, form, content, expression, representation, interpretation, creation, style, medium, realism, aesthetic experience, and aesthetic value.

PHIL 233 Philosophy in Literature (3) Reading and philosophical criticism of fiction, poetry, and drama, dealing with issues of moral, religious, and metaphysical significance.

PHIL 234 Fundamental Concepts of Judaism (3) Also offered as: JWST250, RELS250. Credit only granted for: JWST250, PHIL234, or RELS250. A conceptional introduction to Judaism, analyzing its fundamental concepts from both analytical and historical perspectives. Discussion of "normative" Judaism as well as other conceptions of Judaism. Topics include: God, the Jewish people, authority, ethics, the sacred and the profane, particularism and universalism.

PHIL 235 Authority, Faith, and Reason in Judaism (3) Also offered as: JWST251. Credit only granted for: JWST251 or PHIL235. A broad survey of the concepts of authority, faith, and reason in Jewish tradition from the Bible to the modern period, and their interrelationships.

PHIL 236 Philosophy of Religion (3) Also offered as: RELS236. Credit only granted for: PHIL236 or RELS236. A philosophical study of some of the main problems of religious thought: the nature of religious experience, the justification of religious belief, the conflicting claims of religion and science, and the relation between religion and morality.

PHIL 245 Political and Social Philosophy I (3) A critical examination of such classical political theories as those of Plato, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, Mill, Marx, and such contemporary theories as those of Hayek, Rawls, and recent Marxist thinkers.

PHIL 250 Philosophy of Science I (3) Main issues in the philosophy of science. Special attention to the ways scientific developments have influenced the philosophy of science and how philosophy of science has influenced scientific progress. Case studies of selected historical episodes in which science and philosophy have interacted significantly, focusing on the physical, biological, or social sciences.

PHIL 256 Philosophy of Biology I (3) Issues in the discovery and justification of biological theories and models. Focus on cases from twentieth century biology, such as the genetic revolution or evolutionary theory.

PHIL 261 Philosophy of the Environment (3) Credit only granted for: HONR218F or PHIL261. Formerly: HONR218F. An evaluation of different kinds of arguments for the claim that the natural environment should be preserved. Perspectives cut across the disciplines of philosophy (environmental ethics and philosophies of nature); economics (cost-benefit analysis); and biology (evolution, ecology, environmental studies).

PHIL 269 Special Topics in Study Abroad II (1-6) Repeatable to 15 credits if content differs. Special topics course taken as part of an approved study abroad program.

PHIL 280 Perspectives on the Mind: Philosophy and Cognitive Science (3) The role of representation and reasoning in cognition considered from the differing perspectives of the cognitive-science disciplines: linguistics, philosophy, neuroscience, psychology and computer science.

PHIL 282 Free Will & Determinism (3) A study of the main positions and arguments in the free will debate in contemporary analytic philosophy.

PHIL 308 Studies in Contemporary Philosophy (3) Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses. Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs. Problems, issues, and points of view of current interest in philosophy.

PHIL 310 Ancient Philosophy (3) Prerequisite: Must have completed 6 credits in philosophy or classics. A study of the origins and development of philosophy and science in ancient Greece, focusing on the pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle.

PHIL 320 Modern Philosophy (3) Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses. A study of major philosophical issues of the 16th, 17th, and 18th centuries through an examination of such philosophers as Descartes, Newton, Hume, and Kant.

PHIL 324 Existentialism (3) Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses. A study of authors such as Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sarte, and Camus on issues of human morality, freedom, and suffering.

PHIL 328 Studies in the History of Philosophy (3) Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses. Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs. Problems, issues, and points of view in the history of philosophy.

PHIL 332 Philosophy of Beauty (3) Prerequisite: 3 courses in PHIL; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. Philosophical theories, historical and contemporary, of beauty, sublimity, and other aesthetic qualities, of aesthetic experience, and of aesthetic judgment.

PHIL 341 Ethical Theory (3) Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses. A critical examination of classical and contemporary systems of ethics, such as those of Aristotle, Kant, Mill, and Rawls.

PHIL 342 Moral Problems in Medicine (3) Prerequisite: PHIL100 or PHIL140; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. A critical examination of the moral dimensions of decision-making in health related contexts. Readings are drawn from philosophical, medical, and other sources.

PHIL 347 Philosophy of Law (3) Credit only granted for: PHIL347 or PHIL447. Formerly: PHIL447. Examination of fundamental concepts related to law, e.g. legal systems, law and morality, justice, legal reasoning, responsibility.

PHIL 354 Philosophy of Physics (3) Prerequisite: MATH220 or PHYS260; or students who have taken courses with comparable content may contact the department; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. Recommended: PHYS401 and PHYS270. Credit only granted for: PHIL354 or PHIL452. An introduction to current issues at the interface of physics and philosophy, associated with our current picture of the physical world as fundamentally quantum mechanical. Topics include the debate between Einstein and Bohr on the objectivity and completeness of the quantum description, nonlocality and Bell's theorem, realism and the measurement problem, irreversibility and the arrow of time.

PHIL 360 Philosophy of Language (3) Prerequisite: 2 courses in PHIL; and (PHIL170 or PHIL370). Or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. Also offered as: LING350. Credit only granted for: LING350 or PHIL360. An inquiry into the nature and function of language and other forms of symbolism.

PHIL 362 Theory of Knowledge (3) Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses; and PHIL170. Formerly: PHIL462. Some central topics in the theory of knowledge, such as perception, memory, knowledge, and belief, skepticism, other minds, truth, and the problems of induction.

PHIL 364 Metaphysics (3) Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses. Formerly: PHIL464. The study of some central metaphysical concepts and issues including the nature and validity of metaphysical thinking, universals, identity, substance, time, God, and reality.

PHIL 366 Philosophy of Mind (3) Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses. An introduction to core issues in the philosophy of mind, focusing especially on the basic metaphysical question of dualism versus physicalism.

PHIL 369 Special Topics in Study Abroad III (1-6) Repeatable to 15 credits if content differs. Special topics course taken as part of an approved study abroad program.

PHIL 370 Symbolic Logic (3) Prerequisite: PHIL170 or CMSC250; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. Credit only granted for: PHIL271, PHIL370, or PHIL371. A review of propositional and predicate logic and related topics and an introduction to the semantics and metatheory of first-order logic.

PHIL 386 Experiential Learning (3-6) Restriction: Permission of ARHU-Philosophy department; and junior standing or higher.

PHIL 407 Gay and Lesbian Philosophy (3) An examination in historical and social context of personal, cultural, and political aspects of gay and lesbian life, paying particular attention to conceptual, ontological, epistemological, and social justice issues.

PHIL 408 Topics in Contemporary Philosophy (3) Repeatable to 99 credits if content differs. An intensive examination of contemporary problems and issues. Source material will be selected from recent books and articles.

PHIL 412 The Philosophy of Plato (3) Prerequisite: 9 credits in PHIL courses. A critical study of selected dialogues.

PHIL 414 The Philosophy of Aristotle (3) Prerequisite: 3 courses in PHIL. A critical study of selected portions of Aristotle's writings.

PHIL 416 Medieval Philosophy (3) Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses. A study of philosophical thought from the fourth to the fourteenth centuries. Readings selected from Christian, Islamic, and Jewish thinkers.

PHIL 417 The Golden Age of Jewish Philosophy (3) Prerequisite: 3 credits in PHIL courses; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. Also offered as: JWST452. Credit only granted for: JWST452 or PHIL417. Jewish philosophy from Maimonides in the 12th century to the expulsion of the Jews from Spain at the end of the 15th century. Topics include the limitations of human knowledge, creation of the world, foreknowledge and free will, and the existence of God.

PHIL 424 The Philosophy of Spinoza (3) Prerequisite: 3 credits in PHIL courses; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. Restriction: Must not have completed JWST453. Also offered as: JWST453. Credit only granted for: JWST453 or PHIL424. An investigation of the metaphysical, ethical and political thought of the 17th century philosopher Benedict Spinoza.

PHIL 426 Twentieth Century Analytic Philosophy (3) Restriction: Permission of ARHU-Philosophy department; and senior standing. Credit only granted for: PHIL326 or PHIL426. Formerly: PHIL326. Major issues in twentieth century analytic philosophy examined through such philosophers as Frege, Russell, Carnap, Moore and Wittgenstein.

PHIL 428 Topics in the History of Philosophy (3) Prerequisite: PHIL310 and PHIL320; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. Repeatable to 99 credits if content differs.

PHIL 431 Aesthetic Theory (3) Prerequisite: 9 credits in PHIL courses; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. Study of the theory of the aesthetic as a mode of apprehending the world and of the theory of criticism, its conceptual tools and intellectual presuppositions.

PHIL 440 Contemporary Ethical Theory (3) Prerequisite: PHIL341; or permission of instructor. Contemporary work on fundamental problems in ethical theory, such as whether there are moral truths, whether and how our moral claims can be justified, what exactly makes an act right or wrong, the nature of moral language, and the role of reason and emotion in moral judgment.

PHIL 445 Contemporary Political Philosophy (3) Restriction: Must have completed 3 credits in philosophy or political theory; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. And sophomore standing or higher. Major trends in contemporary political philosophy: liberal, libertarian, communitarian, socialist, feminist.

PHIL 446 Law, Morality, and War (3) Prerequisite: GVPT401 and PHIL341; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. Also offered as: GVPT403. An exploration of fundamental moral and legal issues concerning war.

PHIL 454 Philosophy of Space and Time (3) Prerequisite: 6 credits in PHIL courses. A non-technical investigation of philosophical issues in the foundations of physics. Topics may include traditional philosophical problems of space and time, metaphysical issues about the nature of particles and fields, and philosophical problems associated with the introduction of probability into physics, such as the problem of irreversibility in thermodynamics and the problem of objectivity in quantum theory.

PHIL 456 Philosophy of Biology II (3) Prerequisite: PHIL256 or PHIL250; or must be Life Science major; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. Questions about concepts, reasoning, explanation, etc., in biology, and their relations to those of other areas of science. Case studies of selected aspects of the history of biology, especially in the twentieth century.

PHIL 458 Topics in the Philosophy of Science (3) Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs. A detailed examination of a particular topic or problem in philosophy of science.

PHIL 469 Study Abroad Special Topics IV (1-6) Repeatable to 15 credits if content differs. Special topics course taken as part of an approved study abroad program.

PHIL 470 Logical Theory (3) Prerequisite: PHIL370; or permission of instructor. This course will treat a selection of the most important topics in modern logic: alternative proof-theoretic presentations of logical systems, completeness proofs for classical propositional and first-order logic, some basic computability theory, basic limitative results (such as Godel's incompleteness theorems), and some results concerning second-order logic. The primary focus of the course is a study of these fundamental topics, but we will also discuss some of the philosophical issues they raise.

PHIL 478 Topics in Philosophical Logic (3) Prerequisite: PHIL370; or permission of instructor. Recommended: PHIL470. Repeatable to 9 credits if content differs. Methods and results of philosophical logic, the application of logical techniques to the study of concepts or problems of philosophical interest. Content will vary, either treating a particular logical area in detail--such as modal logic, conditional logic, deontic logic, intuitionistic or relevance logic, theories of truth and paradox--or surveying a number of these different areas.

PHIL 481 Philosophy of Psychology: Representation (3) Prerequisite: PHIL366 or PHIL280; and 6 credits in PHIL courses. Semantics and representations within computational framework: intentionality, explicit vs. implicit representation, syntax vs. semantics of thought, connectionist approaches, images, classical vs. prototype theories of concepts.

PHIL 482 Philosophy of Psychology: Subjectivity (3) Prerequisite: PHIL366 or PHIL280; and 6 credits in PHIL courses. The nature of subjectivity: problems of "point of view," the "qualities" or "feel" of things, emotions, consciousness - whether these phenomena can be captured by a computational theory of mind.

PHIL 484 Philosophy of Action (3) Reading in philosophy of action on topics such as: the nature and causes of action, practical reasons and rationality, self-control, weakness of will, freedom of action, free will, emotions and other sources of motivation.

PHIL 485 Philosophy of Neuroscience (3) Prerequisite: PHIL256, PHIL366, PHIL280, or PHIL250; and 6 credits in PHIL courses. Or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. Philosophical and methodological issues relating to brain science, including: the place of neuroscience in cognitive science, the nature of mental representation and processing in brains, bounded-resonance models in neuroanatomy and neurophysiology.

PHIL 488 Topics in Philosophy of Cognitive Studies (3) Prerequisite: 3 credits in PHIL courses; or permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. Repeatable to 9 credits if content differs. Examination of a particular topic or problem in philosophy of cognitive studies.

PHIL 489 Undergraduate Seminar in Philosophy (3-6) Restriction: Permission of ARHU-Philosophy department. Repeatable to 6 credits if content differs. An intensive examination of a philosophical topic or topics.

PHIL 498 Topical Investigations (1-3)

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