Upcoming Courses

Courses of Interest for Winter 2019

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 2500 Symbolic Logic (Oljar)

An introduction to the artificial language of sentential and predicate logic, which is designed to facilitate the symbolic representation of natural language (English) arguments. In addition to learning how to construct formal proofs for valid arguments, students learn the different logical properties that statements and sets of statements may have. The concepts of truth-functionality, validity, consistency, implication, and equivalence will be explored. Students will have a heightened appreciation of the logical functions of language.

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.

PHL 3070 Medieval Philosophy (Flores)

An examination of the various syntheses of philosophy and religious faith between the fourth and fourteenth centuries. Within this period, the Neo-Platonic and the Aristotelian traditions are examined through the writings of major Jewish, Islamic and Christian philosophers, such as Maimonides, Avicenna, Averroes, Augustine and Thomas Aquinas. Although the focus is on metaphysics and logic, ethical and political questions may be included.

PHL 3101 Philosophy, Visuality, and the New Media (Koukal)

Is seeing really believing?  Is our naïve confidence in our sense of sight really warranted?  Do our eyes faithfully report reality?  Or are we duped by appearances that are only faint semblances of reality?  Such questions are very relevant, as we move through a world suffused by shifting images.  We look at things, even while we are looked at.  Sometimes we even go out of our way make spectacles of ourselves.  Yet how often do we question this perceptual faith in any profound way?  Like all classes in philosophy, this course will stress the method of philosophical thinking and critical reflection, but apply them to a single, age-old philosophical theme: the distinction between appearance and reality. The tension between surface appearances and a deeper, underlying reality informs much of the western philosophical tradition from Plato to Baudrillard, and touches on important metaphysical and ethical questions about what we can know about ourselves, the world, and the relationship between the two. Besides exploring various philosophical treatments of this theme, you should also expect to investigate it through popular films as well as to inquire into how photography, television, the new surveillance regime, new media technologies, and the mass media in general come to bear on this question. Indeed, coming to a sophisticated understanding of the interplay of appearance and reality in today's world is essential to finding your way through it in an intelligible manner.

PHL 4150 Latino/a History and Philosophy (Presbey)

This course covers the history and philosophy of Latinos in the North American territory that is now part of the U.S.  We begin with the Spanish colonization of Florida, as well as northern Mexico and California. We cover the period when these lands were annexed to the United States, and the status and treatment of Spanish-speaking Americans. We survey the arrival of immigrants from Mexico, Puerto Rico, Central America, Colombia, Cuba, Panama, and the Dominican Republic, and how they were received by Anglo Americans and other immigrant groups. We’ll study how Cesar Chavez organized immigrant farmworkers (exploring his philosophy of social change), as well as movements for immigration reform, and recent Sanctuary responses to current immigration crises. We’ll also study contemporary philosophers’ analyses of race, ethnicity and nationality, especially as it pertains to Latinos in the U.S. The question of belonging, the model of the “melting pot” and its critics will be central topics.