Philosophy Courses Offered at UofA
PHILOSOPHY COURSES OFFERED AT UofA
3600:101 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY 3 credits
Introduction to philosophic problems and attitudes through acquaintance with thoughts on
some leading thinkers of Western tradition.
120 INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS 3 credits
Introduction to problems of moral conduct through readings from the tradition and class discussions;
nature of “good,” “right,” “ought” and “freedom.”
125 THEORY AND EVIDENCE 3 credits
An investigation of the concept of evidence and the criteria for the evaluation of theories in
various areas of study including the natural sciences, the social sciences and philosophy.
The role of scientific information in the formation and justification of value judgments.
170 INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC 3 credits
Introduction to logic and critical thinking. Includes such topics as meaning, informal fallacies,
propositional logic, predicate and syllogistic logic and nature of induction.
211 HISTORY OF ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY 3 credits
History and development of ancient Greek philosophy from pre-Socrates to Aristotle.
Readings of primary sources in translation.
312 HISTORY OF MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY 3 credits
History of Western philosophy from end of Roman Empire to Renaissance. Major philosophers
studied include St. Augustine, St. Anselm, Peter Abelard, St. Thomas Aquinas, Duns
Scotus and William of Ockham. Readings from primary sources.
313 HISTORY OF MODERN PHILOSOPHY 3 credits
Analysis of major philosophical issues of 17th and 18th centuries from Descartes through
Kant. Readings of primary sources in translation.
323 ADVANCED TOPICS IN ETHICS 3 credits
(May be repeated with change of topic for a total of nine credits) An examination of selected
topics in applied ethics and ethical theory, such as the ethics of cloning, evolutionary
ethics, history of ethics and ethical issues from the Human Genome Project. Specific topics
will be announced in the course schedule.
324 SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY 3 credits
An examination of the normative justification of social, political institutions and practices.
Analysis of concepts such as rights, justice, equality, political obligation from historical as
well as contemporary points of view. Application to particular social issues covered.
327 LAW AND MORALITY 3 credits
Nature of law examined from the perspective of the law’s alleged obligation to be ethical
and promote justice.
329 PHILOSOPHIES OF INTERNATIONAL LAW 3 credits
Inquiry into the theories of utility of international law and the philosophical controversies
surround them, e.g., international legal norms vs. international relations.
331 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION 3 credits
Discussion, analysis of problems of theology, nature of religious experience; God’s nature,
existence; immortality, sin, faith, reason; holy revelation and redemption.
333 PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE AND RELIGION 3 credits
Survey of conflict, independence, and integration models of science and religion. Topics
include: origin and nature of the universe, life, mind, value, meaning, science, religion.
340 EASTERN PHILOSOPHY 3 credits
Examination and evaluation of philosophical traditions from India, China and Japan, including
Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism.
350 PHILOSOPHY OF ART 3 credits
An examination of theories of the nature of art and the grounds of aesthetic evaluation.
Analysis of such concepts as representation, form, content, expression, institution, convention,
meaning and truth as they apply in the context of the arts.
355 PHILOSOPHY OF FEMINISM 3 credits
Introduction to feminist critiques of, and alternatives to, traditional western philosophy,
including topics in ethics, metaphysics, epistemology, and religion.
361 BIOMEDICAL ETHICS 3 credits
The identification, analysis and evaluation of ethical issues arising most critically in the biomedical
setting, e.g., abortion, termination of treatment, definition of death, IVF, AIDS.
362 BUSINESS ETHICS 3 credits
Basic moral theories, moral principles and the decision-making process, applied to issues in
363 POLICE ETHICS 3 credits
Basic moral concepts and their application to the criminal justice system. Concerned with
such issues as punishment, the use of force and conflict resolution.
364 COMPUTER ETHICS 3 credits
A critical examination of ethical issues arising in connection with computers and information
technology, e.g., computer hacking, electronic privacy, and the regulation of Internet content.
365 ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS 3 credits
Examination of the moral relationships among human beings, other species, and their shared
environment. Ethical aspects of agriculture, global warming, extinction, and wilderness.
371 PHILOSOPHY OF MIND 3 credits
Nature of mind and the relationship between mind and body. Specific topics such as the
limits of human reason, personal identity, the role of human thought in action and whether
machines can think are also considered.
392 INTERNSHIP IN PHILOSOPHY 1-3 credits
(May be repeated for a maximum of six credits) Prerequisite: 2.7 GPA and permission of
instructor. Placement in appropriate public or private sector organization. Written assignments
411/511 PLATO 3 credits
Prerequisite: 211 or permission of instructor. Detailed study of the origin and development
of Plato’s theory of forms and the related theories of knowledge, ethics and politics.
414/514 AQUINAS 3 credits
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, or permission of instructor. An in-depth examination
of the philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas covering his contributions in metaphysics,
epistemology, ethics, political theory, and philosophical theology.
415/515 AUGUSTINE 3 credits
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy, or permission of instructor. An in-depth examination
of the philosophy of St. Augustine covering his contributions in metaphysics, epistemology,
ethics, political theory, and philosophical theology.
418/518 20TH CENTURY ANALYTIC PHILOSOPHY 3 credits
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor. Study of ideal and ordinary
language movements in 20th century British and American philosophy. Deals with
such figures as Russell, Carnap, Ayer, Moore, Wittgenstein, Ryle and Austen.
421/521 PHILOSOPHY OF LAW 3 credits
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor. Identification and critical
evaluation of classic and contemporary theories and assumptions of law, including legal reasoning,
justice, natural law, punishment, etc.
424/524 EXISTENTIALISM 3 credits
Prerequisites: one course in philosophy or permission of instructor. In-depth inquiry into the
thought of Kierkegaard, Jaspers, Heidegger, Sartre, Tillich and other existentialists with
their concern for the human condition.
426/526 PHENOMENOLOGY 3 credits
Prerequisites: one philosophy course or permission of instructor. Inquiry into methodology of
Husserl and Heidegger and their influence upon Western European and American thought.
432/532 ARISTOTLE 3 credits
Prerequisites: 211 or permission of instructor. Detailed study of Aristotle’s metaphysics,
philosophy of nature, philosophy of mankind and ethics.
434/534 KANT 3 credits
Prerequisite: 313 or permission of instructor. Study of Kantian system of thought and its
relation to history of philosophy. Includes thorough investigation of one or more of Kant’s
461/561 NEUROETHICS 3 credits
Prerequisites: 120 or 361 or permission of instructor. Discussion and evaluation of contemporary
theories of moral agency arising from developments in neuroscience.
462/562 THEORY OF KNOWLEDGE 3 credits
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor. Examination of nature of
knowledge; theories of perception, conception and truth, problem of induction and relation
of language to knowledge.
464/564 PHILOSOPHY OF SCIENCE 3 credits
Prerequisites: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor. Nature of scientific
inquiry, types of explanation, laws and causality, theoretical concepts and reality. Also considers
critics of hypothetical-deductive view of science, e.g., Hanson and Kuhn.
471/571 METAPHYSICS 3 credits
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor. Theories about ultimate
nature and ultimate explanation of reality. Uses readings from classical and contemporary
480/580 SEMINAR IN PHILOSOPHY 3 credits
(May be repeated, for additional credit with change of topic) Prerequisite: one course in philosophy
or permission of instructor. Varying philosophical topics not covered in regular course offerings.
481/581 PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE 3 credits
Prerequisites: One course in philosophy or permission of instructor. Contemporary philosophies
about nature of language and its relation to reality and human thinking. Includes discussion
of views of linguists such as Chomsky.
490 SENIOR HONORS PROJECT IN PHILOSOPHY 3 credits
Prerequisite: senior standing in Honors College or senior honors standing as philosophy
major and permission of Philosophy Department Honors preceptor. Research leading to
completion of senior honors thesis involving original work under faculty supervision.
497 INDIVIDUAL STUDY IN PHILOSOPHY 1-3 credits
(May be repeated for a total of six credits) Prerequisites: completion of required courses of
philosophy major or permission of instructor and department head. Directed independent
study of philosopher, philosophy or philosophical problem under guidance of selected faculty
member. Subject matter determined by selected faculty member in consultation with
student. Graduate credit requires significant additional work which may include additional
665 ETHICS OF SCIENCE 3 credits
Examination of the foundational issues surrounding ethics and science as well as consideration
of applied ethical issues of scientists, science, new technologies, and society.