Courses

Pitt-Johnstown Philosophy

PHIL 0013 Concepts Of Human Nature   3 credits

An introduction to some ways in which ethical and social thought has been influenced by different views of human nature. Readings are from such authors as Plato, Hobbes, Rousseau, Marx, and Freud.

Philosophy

PHIL 0083 Introduction To Philosophical Problems          3 credits

An introduction to some classical problems of philosophy. Topics vary, but might include skepticism, free will, the existence of God, and the justification of ethical beliefs.

PHIL 0120 Environmental Philosophy     3 credits

This course deals with moral and philosophical issues having to do with humanity's relationship to the environment and humanity's duties toward future generations and perhaps to nature itself. It will deal both with theory and with practice.

PHIL 0203 Philosophy In Literature          3 credits

This course examines of philosophical themes in literature from both east and west. A novel, a play, folk tales, and poetry will be discussed.

PHIL 0209 History Of Ancient Philosophy             3 credits

The aim of this course is to introduce students to some of the main achievements and leading ideas of ancient Greek philosophy up to classical times. Emphasis will be on understanding and evaluating the arguments and ideas of the Greek philosophical tradition.

PHIL 0213 History Of Modern Philosophy             3 credits

An introduction to the philosophical period from Descartes through Kant. Special attention is given to at least one rationalist, one empiricist, and Kant.

PHIL 0214 Bio-Ethics     3 credits

An introduction to the ethical problems in medical and biological research, such as, genetic research, transplant technology, use of human and animal subjects to name a few.  Ethical issues in medical practice are also discussed, such as privacy concerns, end of life/euthanasia issues and the distribution of scarce medical resources.

PHIL 0230 Philosophy And Film                                3 credits

This is an introductory aesthetics course dealing with philosophy and film.

PHIL 0303 Introduction To Ethics               3 credits

An examination of philosophical theories concerning good and evil, right and wrong, and virtue and vice, and their implications for some specific moral issues.

PHIL 0320 Social Philosophy       3 credits

An introduction to some traditional philosophical perspectives on the nature of society. Philosophers studied might include Plato, Hobbes, Marx, and twentieth-century social theorists.

PHIL 0333 Political Philosophy   3 credits

This introductory-level course studies several important views on the nature and justification of government, such as those of Plato, Hobbes, and Marx.

PHIL 0353 Philosophy And Public Issues                   3 credits

The aim of this introductory course is to encourage systematic and clear thought about issues of public importance by philosophic reflection that emphasizes the implications of different moral and political theories for these issues.

PHIL 0363 Morality And Medicine            3 credits

This introductory-level course examines various ethical problems arising in medicine, such as euthanasia, abortion, and the allocation of resources.

PHIL 0440 Minds And Machines                3 credits

This introductory level course is devoted to explicating and critically evaluating the thesis that the human mind, or at least its cognitive faculty, can be understood as a computing machine. Readings are primarily from contemporary authors, and include both scientists and philosophers.

PHIL 0474 Philosophy Of Religion            3 credits

This course includes a critical examination of the rationality of faith in the existence of God. Traditional arguments both for and against the existence of God are considered, along with pragmatic justifications of faith based on its beneficial consequences.

PHIL 0501 Introduction To Logic (QR)      3 credits

An introduction to the concepts and methods of modern deductive logic. Propositional logic is emphasized, but quantificational logic is touched upon. Prerequisite: MATH 0001 or 0031.

PHIL 0841 Science And Religion 3 credits

This introductory course addresses two questions: Does the scientific understanding of the world suffer from a kind of incompleteness that can be remedied by the supernaturalist religions? Or is there even a clash between contemporary science and such religion?

PHIL 0850 Philosophy And Liberal Democracy    3 credits

This course provides an introduction to several problems common to philosophers and politics and introduces students to the different theories, modes of argument, and techniques of analysis used by the two disciplines to understand them. It is intended to help students deepen their understanding of the dominant political stance of our society.

PHIL 0891 Topics In Philosophy (Various)             3 credits

This intensive but introductory-level seminar is reserved for special philosophical topics that do not fit standard course-catalog categories. Issues discussed vary from year to year, but tend to be narrowly focused and specialized.

PHIL 1157 Philosophy Of Language          3 credits

Discussion of various philosophical views of language and the relevance of the study of language to philosophical problems.

PHIL 1245 American Philosophy                    3 credits

This course will survey major themes in American philosophy, with a concentration on pragmatism. It will begin with a study of early thinkers like Thoreau and Emerson, though the majority of the course will be dedicated to the pragmatists Pierce, James and Dewey. The course will conclude with a look at one or more contemporary pragmatists, like Rorty.

PHIL 1370 Philosophy Of Art       3 credits

This advanced undergraduate course addresses philosophical problems that arise in connection with art, such as the nature of works of art, the comparison and contrast between representational and non-representational art, the definition of beauty, and special obligations concerning art works.

PHIL 1380 Business Ethics            3 credits

This advanced course considers a selection of ethical issues that arise in connection with business needs and practices, such as employer-employee relations, truth in advertising, responsibilities to consumers, fair and unfair competitive practices, environmental effects, contractual obligations, liability for damages, and governmental regulation.

PHIL 1461 Epistemology (Theory Of Knowledge)              3 credits

This course will focus on philosophical theories that attempt to answer the questions “What is knowledge?” and “How does one get knowledge?” It will examine how claims to know are justified and if such claims are even possible within both scientific and nonscientific contexts. Students will look at the attempts of classical and modern authors to offer analyses and justification of human knowledge over and against the claims of skepticism.

PHIL 1481 Metaphysics     3 credits

This advanced course considers a selection of central problems in metaphysics, such as the problems of realism, essentialism, free will, necessity and possibility, substance and property, persistence through time (including person identity), and the nature of truth.

PHIL 1501 Symbolic Logic (QR)   3 credits

This advanced course develops skills in formal and informal reasoning in predicate-quantifier logic and covers formal semantics for sentential logic, informal semantics for predicate-quantifier logic, and elementary syntactic metatheory. Prerequisite: MATH 0001 or 0031.

PHIL 1611 Introduction To Philosophy Of Science             3 credits

This is an advanced survey of the major problem areas in the philosophy of science. Topics vary somewhat, but generally include many of the following: the nature of explanation, the problem of induction and confirmation, concept formation, scientific methodology, verifiability and falsifiability, the observation theory distinction, scientific realism, law-like form, and theory change.

PHIL 1660 Paradox    3 credits

An examination of attempts to lay the foundations of logic and mathematics from the time of ancient Greece to the 20th Century and the paradoxes and contradictions that were encountered.  The anomalies of trans-finite number theory are also discussed along with the oddities of infinite sets.

PHIL 1891 Issues In Philosophy (Various)           3 credits

This intensive, advanced-level seminar is reserved for special philosophical topics that do not fit standard course-catalog categories. Issues discussed vary from year to year but tend to be narrowly focused and specialized.

PHIL 1904 Independent Study—Undergraduate                1–9 credits

This course is a way of offering University credit in philosophy for relevant experiences or work undertaken independently with little formal interaction with an instructor.