Philosophy (PHI)

PHI 101 INTRODUCTION TO PHILOSOPHY

3, 3/0; HU14

Introduction to the literature and problems of philosophy. Offered every semester.

PHI 102 INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS

3, 3/0; HU14

Various views of how we ought to live and how society should be organized, considered in the context of discussions about the "good" life and the "good" society. Offered every semester.

PHI 103 INTRODUCTION TO LOGIC

3, 3/0

Introduction to practical reasoning and argumentation relevant to everyday life; recognition, classification, evaluation, and construction of everyday arguments. Offered alternate years.

PHI 107 INTRODUCTION TO MATHEMATICAL LOGIC

3, 3/0; MQ14

Prerequisite: Basic proficiency in mathematics as specified by the requirements for the Mathematics and Quantitative Reasoning component of Intellectual Foundations. Introduction to two types of mathematical models for assessing the correctness of reasoning. Venn diagrams discussed as geometric mathematical models for assessing categorical syllogisms. Sentential logic and monadic predicate logic discussed as systems of algebraic mathematical models for assessing the reasoning associated with these systems. Offered alternate years.

PHI 110 THE MEANING OF LIFE

3, 3/0; HU14

Exploration of a number of fundamental philosophical questions that make their way into everyday life, specifically related to the question, "What is the meaning of (my) life?" or its Socratic equivalent, "How ought I to live?" Critical analysis of classical and contemporary works-philosophical and autobiographical-to develop clearer, more informed, and better-reasoned views about the questions, if not the answers. Offered alternate years.

PHI 111 ETHICS FOR SCIENTISTS

3, 3/0; HU14

Introduction to philosophical ethics with special emphasis on issues pertaining to science. Ethical theories and ethical implications of scientific discoveries. Evolution and ethics, human nature, the fact-value distinction. May include selected topics in applied ethics, e.g. personhood, environmental ethics, bioethics. Offered annually.

PHI 189 TOPIC COURSE

1-3, 0/0

See the Undergraduate Course Catalog.

PHI 204 PHILOSOPHY OF RELIGION

3, 3/0

Critical analysis of the philosophical assumptions that support religious belief. Focus on problems arising from philosophical assumptions such as the existence of God, omnipotence, omniscience, foreknowledge, and the existence of evil. Offered alternate years.

PHI 207 PHILOSOPHY IN LITERATURE

3, 3/0

The relationship of philosophy to literature through a consideration of the nature of language, the methods of language analysis, the relation of knowledge to fiction, and the function of myth and metaphor in presenting philosophical ideas. Offered alternate years.

Equivalent Course: PHI 207W

PHI 210 EXISTENTIALISM

3, 3/0

The problem of the meaning and value of life considered in a context of various philosophical and literary works of religious and nonreligious existentialists, including Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, and Sartre. Offered alternate years.

Equivalent Course: PHI 210W

PHI 221 PHILOSOPHY AND YOGA

3, 3/0

Introduction to Indian philosophy through the study of the theory in and the practice of yoga. Examination of the eight limbs of yoga, as well as the practice of yoga as a whole, including the more familiar part popular in the U.S. Description of and examination of the other seven limbs. Philosophical issues such as the nature of the self, the nature of reality, the correct forms of knowledge, and what it means to be good, among others, from the perspective of this tradition. Offered annually.

PHI 300 PROBLEMS OF PHILOSOPHY

3, 3/0

Selected problems in epistemology, metaphysics, ethics, and certain movements in contemporary philosophy. Offered occasionally.

Equivalent Course: PHI 300W

PHI 301 HISTORY OF POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY

3, 3/0; WC14

Prerequisite: Upper-division status or one course in philosophy. Examination of moral presuppositions and justifications of forms of government and economic systems, as well as interrelations between government and economics. Offered occasionally.

Equivalent Course: PHI 301W

PHI 302 PHILOSOPHY OF ART AND BEAUTY

3, 3/0

Prerequisite: Upper-division status or one course in philosophy. The basic concepts presupposed in any critical examination of the arts, including painting, literature, and music. Offered occasionally.

Equivalent Course: PHI 302W

PHI 304 PHILOSOPHY OF LAW

3, 3/0

Prerequisite: Upper-division status or one course in philosophy. The nature and justification of legal institutions; emphasis on the problem of legal punishment and on the legal enforcement of morality. Offered occasionally.

Equivalent Course: PHI 304W

PHI 305 PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE

3, 3/0

Prerequisite: Upper-division status or one course in philosophy. Recent works by analytical philosophers in the foundations of language; meaning, reference, and necessity. Offered occasionally.

PHI 307 SYMBOLIC LOGIC

3, 3/0

Prerequisites: PHI 107 or Instructor Permission. First-order logic with identity and its uses in evaluating ordinary language arguments. Syntax, semantics, and system of natural deduction. Offered occasionally.

PHI 308 PHILOSOPHY OF LOVE AND SEX

3, 3/0

Prerequisites: Upper-division status or one course in philosophy. Classic and contemporary philosophic theories of the nature, value, and purpose of human love and sexuality; discussions of Plato, Aquinas, Ortega, Sartre, and Kierkegaard; value judgments implicit in the concepts of "supervision," "good sex," and "true love," as well as problems encountered in finding clear definitions for such terms; considers certain moral arguments found in such areas as abortion and marital intercourse. Offered occasionally.

Equivalent Course: PHI 308W

PHI 309 KNOWLEDGE AND JUSTIFICATION

3, 3/0

Prerequisites: One PHI course or Instructor Permission. Investigation of knowledge and justification; topics may include perception, memory, consciousness, reason, and testimony as sources of knowledge and justification, the nature, structure, and scope of knowledge and justification, and skepticism. Offered occasionally.

PHI 310 HISTORY OF ETHICS

3, 3/0; WC14

Prerequisite: Upper-division status or one course in philosophy. Historical study of the writings of great Western philosophers as they examine ethical questions about self-interest, freedom, duty, and happiness in regard to the moral life. Includes Plato, Aristotle, Kant, Mill, and Hume. Offered annually.

Equivalent Course: PHI 310W

PHI 312 PHILOSOPHY OF MIND

3, 3/0

Prerequisites: One PHI course or Instructor Permission. Investigation of the mind-body problem; Cartesian dualism, logical behaviorism, the identity theory, functionalism, eliminative materialism, property dualism, qualia, and intentionality. Offered alternate years.

PHI 314 CONTEMPORARY ETHICS

3, 3/0

Prerequisite: Upper-division status or one course in philosophy. Historical and analytical study of important developments in twentieth-century ethical theory; naturalism, noncognitivism, prescriptivism, rationalism; the ideas of Rawls, Nozick, Gauthier, and Gewirth. Offered occasionally.

Equivalent Course: PHI 314W

PHI 317 ANCIENT PHILOSOPHY

3, 3/0; WIIF

Prerequisites: Upper-division status or one course in PHI. Readings in selected primary texts (in translation) of significant philosophers of Ancient Greece and Rome. Particular emphasis on Plato and Aristotle and their contribution to the intellectual development of Western thought. Offered fall only.

PHI 318 MODERN PHILOSOPHY

3, 3/0

Prerequisites: PHI 317.
 Readings in selected primary texts from modern philosophers such as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant; focus on the original visionary contribution of each thinker to the intellectual development of Western thought; learning to read a philosophical work. Offered spring only.

Equivalent Course: PHI 318W

PHI 324 ZEN BUDDHISM

3, 3/0; WIIF

Prerequisite: Upper-division status or one course in philosophy. Zen as a paradoxical method by which suffering of existence is transformed into everyday enlightenment; contemporary practices of Zen and its historical origins in Buddha's "complete and unexcelled" enlightenment and in Lao-tzu's living in harmony with the Tao. Offered occasionally.

Equivalent Course: PHI 324W

PHI 332 MYSTICISM

3, 0/0

See the Undergraduate Course Catalog.

PHI 333 PHILOSOPHY OF NATURAL SCIENCES

3, 3/0

Prerequisites: CWP 102. The structure and nature of science. Epistemological and ontological implications of scientific theories (e.g. quantum mechanics, evolutionary biology). The role of evidence, confirmation, falsification in science. Offered occasionally.

PHI 334 PHILOSOPHY OF SOCIAL SCIENCES

3, 3/0

Prerequisites: CWP 102. The structure and nature of the social sciences. Epistemological and ontological implications of social scientific theories. Analysis of socially constructed facts and institutions. Rational-choice and decision-theory models of explanation. Offered occasionally.

PHI 347 WESTERN THOUGHT: HOMER TO ALEXANDER

3, 3/0; WC14

Prerequisites: CWP 101 and CWP 102. The development of Hellenic and Hellenistic thought and its influence on the modern world. Examination of tensions between naturalistic, conventional, and religious worldviews. Special emphasis on the role such tensions played in the development of philosophy. Offered alternate years.

PHI 351 ETHICS BOWL

3, 3/0

Prerequisite: One PHI course or instructor permission. Preparation for a competition in which students are judged on their ability to deploy intricate ethical reasoning in addressing case studies from practical and professional ethics. Students develop well-informed opinions about ethically complex, everyday scenarios, orally present these opinions and supporting arguments, and provide critical oral responses to the opinions and arguments of other students and judges. Some students compete in the regional and/or national Intercollegiate Ethics Bowl, others in the Buffalo State Ethics Bowl. Offered occasionally.

PHI 389 TOPIC COURSE

3, 0/0

See the Undergraduate Course Catalog.

PHI 401 PROBLEMS IN PHILOSOPHY SEMINAR

3, 3/0; WIIF

Prerequisites: CWP 102, and upper-division status or one PHI course. Intensive analysis of selected topics in philosophy. Offered annually.

Equivalent Course: PHI 401W

PHI 402 SEMINAR IN HISTORY OF PHILOSOPHY

3, 3/0; WIIF

Prerequisites: CWP 102, PHI 317, and PHI 318. Intensive study of particular figures or periods in the history of philosophy. Offered occasionally.

Equivalent Course: PHI 402W

PHI 495 SPECIAL PROJECT

1-3, 0/0

Offered occasionally.

PHI 498 HONORS RESEARCH

1-3, 0/0

Offered occasionally.

PHI 499 INDEPENDENT STUDY

3-12, 0/0

Offered occasionally.