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Upcoming Courses

Go Farther in Fall 2020

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. Most Detroit Mercy undergraduates will take 2-3 philosophy courses before graduation and are therefore well-positioned to complete the 6 courses required for a philosophy minor. All of the courses below earn core credit.

PHL1500: Critical Thinking (Koukal)

This is a logic course entirely devoted to teaching the student how to think critically so they can care for themselves through the exercise of reason in everyday life. The course stresses elementary argument forms; deductive and inductive reasoning; the analysis and assessment of arguments; the relationship between truth and validity; informal fallacies; legal and moral reasoning; and different types of hypothetical reasoning (scientific, superstitious, conspiratorial). New Core IT2 Critical Thinking, Old Core Objective 4C.

PHL2400: Asian Religions (Hu)

A survey of those religious traditions usually labeled "Eastern," namely, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, Chinese and Japanese religions and the various forms of Buddhism. A brief history, the major scriptures and the beliefs and rituals of each religious tradition are covered. Current developments, especially the presence of some of these religions in the Western world are also explored. New Core D3 PHL/RELS elective, Old Core Objective 4C.

PHL3010: Social and Political Philosophy (Koukal)

This special thematic version of this course will frankly address the foremost political crisis of our times: the dangers that emerging authoritarianism pose to the constitutional order and the rule of law. It will draw not only on the founding documents of American democracy but will also explore its philosophical foundations, before moving on to examine various studies of 20th century authoritarianism and recent US political history. All of this material will then be deployed to understand our present political moment. New Core D3 PHL/RELS elective, Old Core Objective 4C.

PHL3410: Philosophy of the Human Person (Flores)

A study of the nature of the human person based on writings of such philosophers as Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, Aquinas, Descartes, Hume, Kierkegaard, Weil, Stein and Wojtyla. The focus of the course is on the human as a being who, from the beginning of his/her life, is oriented to self-possession in consciousness and freedom and who moves toward the perfection of human existence only by seeking wisdom and by loving response to others. The chief questions include these: Are human beings spiritual as well as material? Do human beings have the power to make genuinely free choices? What is a person? What is the self? Does the human self-survive bodily death? Does human fulfillment entail a living relation to God? What is the point of human life? Special emphasis is given to the intrinsic dignity of the human as a being who is open to ultimate questions of being, meaning, purpose, order and value and who can choose to live for the sake of the true and the good. New Core D3 PHL/RELS elective, Old Core Objective 4C.

PHL4240: Philosophy of Law (Oljar)

This course introduces the student to one of the central questions in analytic jurisprudence: what is law? How is law distinct from and/or related to morality? What makes a set of rules or commands a legal system instead of some other kind of system? The three main answers to this question have been the natural law theory, legal positivism and the `third theory' of law proposed by Ronald Dworkin. The course will also focus on the related question in legal philosophy regarding the objectivity and distinctiveness of legal reasoning; in this context, we will consider the American Legal Realists, the Critical Legal Studies movement and feminist jurisprudence. The material for this course is highly abstract and theoretical. New Core D3 PHL/RELS elective, Old Core Objective 4C.

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