Courses of Interest for Fall 2017
Important Note: Did you know that in the normal course of study at University of Detroit Mercy most students will take two to three philosophy courses? This makes most Detroit Mercy students prime candidates for an 18-credit philosophy minor or a strong second 30-hour major that complements any course of study.
PHL 1500 Critical Thinking (Koukal)
A basic course in logic concerned with the improvement of reasoning in everyday life, this course stresses elementary argument forms, deductive and inductive reasoning, the analysis and assessment of arguments, the relationship between truth and validity, informal fallacies, and the recognition of good arguments. Although this course may include some elements of formal symbolic logic, the emphasis is on the study of arguments as expressed in a natural language such as English.
PHL 3020 Philosophy of Religion (Presbey)
A study of the philosophical issues raised by religious practice and religious belief. In addition to arguments for the existence of God, the course will include the following topics: the problem of evil and attempted solutions, the epistemological significance of religious belief, the relationship between religious belief and religious practice, and the role of religion in contemporary society. Note: This course fulfills Objective 4c of the University Core Curriculum.
PHL 3050 Aesthetics (Presbey)
An examination of theories regarding the valuable/beautiful in our perceptual experience of both nature and works of fine art: the nature of the aesthetic, the different aesthetics which are characteristic of different cultures, societies, and individuals; the nature of art; the importance of anything being classified as art; the functions of the arts in society; the nature of artistic creation; the non-artist's understandings of, response to, and evaluation of works of art. Note: This course fulfills Objective 5c of the University Core Curriculum.
PHL 3080 Early Modern Philosophy (Oljar)
This course is an examination of the major philosophical views of the Continental Rationalists (Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz), the British Empiricists (Locke, Berkeley, Hobbes, and Hume), and Kant. The period begins with the publication of Descartes's Meditations on First Philosophy in 1641 and culminates in the publication of the 2nd edition of Kant's Critique of Pure Reason in 1787. The course will reflect the strong emphasis in this period on epistemological questions, as philosophers grappled with the implications of modern science for human knowledge, but may also include discussion of the moral and political views of these thinkers, such as the different social contract theories of political obligation found in Hobbes and Locke, or the emphasis on metaphysical questions in Spinoza and Leibniz. Note: This course fulfills Objective 4c of the University Core Curriculum.
PHL 3200 Contemporary Ethical Theory (Leever)
A more philosophically advanced, sophisticated, and in-depth treatment of moral theory and specific ethical questions. Possible topics include: contemporary utilitarianism, contemporary Kantian ethics, virtue theory, the social contract theory of morality, recent feminist critiques of traditional moral theory, the nature of moral or practical reasons and their relation to motivation, the justification of morality, and moral psychology. Note: This course fulfills Objective 6a of the University Core Curriculum.