Lake Shore Campus:
Crown Center 3rd Floor
Water Tower Campus:
Lewis Towers 900
Professors Emeriti: R. Barry, F. Catania,
S. Cunningham, L. French, BVM, F.T. Hecht, S.J., P. Maxwell, M. Schaldenbrand,
, T. Sheehan, R. Westley, M. Vogel, S.J.
Arthur J. Schmitt Chair: A. Peperzak
Professors: J. Bannan, J. Blachowicz, T.
Carson, A. Gini, D. Ingram, P. Moser (chairperson) D. Ozar, D. Schweickart,
H. Seigfried D. Vaillancourt, V. Wike, T. Wren
Associate Professors: A. Collins, A. Cutrofello,
H. Malm, T. O’Brochta, J. Trout, K. Thompson, A. VanderNat, J. Ward, M.
Waymack, K. D. Yandell, F. Yartz
Assistant Professors: B. Dutton, P. Huntington,
T. Kline, H. Miller, J. Parks, J. Scott
Research Professor: L. Sweeney, S.J.
The programs and courses are designed to help students
develop the reflective ability and logical skills necessary for clear and
careful reasoning, to acquaint them with basic and perennial philosophical
questions and with classical and contemporary philosophical literature,
and to encourage them to develop their own critically informed responses.
CURRICULUM IN PHILOSOPHY
The Core requirement in Philosophy consists of
three courses, one in each of the following areas: 1) Philosophy of Human
Nature (PHIL 120); 2) Knowledge and Reality (PHIL 271-276); 3) Action and
Value (PHIL 281-285).
PHIL 120 is the prerequisite for all other Philosophy
courses. This course investigates such topics as human intelligence, the
relation of the human person to nature, freedom vs. determinism, and the
end or purpose of life (e.g. happiness, goodness, death, immortality).
The second Core area deals with questions of the nature of reality and
what we can know about reality. Is the world as we take it to be and what
is our evidence for this? What are the basic entities that make up the
real world, why do we take them to be fundamental? Is there a transcendent
reality? What are knowledge and truth? The third area addresses questions
regarding the nature of value, norms and obligations. What makes human
life worth living and according to what norms and values can human life
be evaluated? What is the process of arriving at moral decisions and in
what way, if any, are human beings free? How ought social, economic, and
political institutions of society be structured? What are the rights and
responsibilities of the individual and society relative to each other?
What is justice? Why be just?
FOR A MAJOR IN PHILOSOPHY
All majors are required to take at least twelve
courses in philosophy, of which at least nine are 300-level courses (or
eight, if 274 is taken). Each student’s major program must include 120;
one course from 271-273, 275 or 276; one course from 281-285; 274 or 301;
304; 309; and one course from 395-399. A 300-level ethics course may substitute
for the "281-285" requirement; similarly the "271-273, 275 or 276" requirement
may be satisfied by a 300-level course (not in a figure or historical period)
in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of religion, or philosophy of
science. For further details and permissible substitutions consult with
the director of the philosophy undergraduate program. Majors are required
to discuss and plan their selection of courses with the undergraduate program
director each semester prior to registration.
Requirements for the Honors Major in Philosophy:
In addition to the 12 courses in philosophy required for the major, the
honors major will take two additional 300-level courses, and do an oral
defense of an honors thesis. For further requirements and information see
the honors director in the Philosophy Department.
REQUIREMENTS FOR MAJOR IN PHILOSOPHY (B.A.)
|Philosophy (see requirements
|English 105 and 106
|Natural science core
|Social science core
|Electives to complete minimum
total of 128 credit hours
FOR A MINOR IN PHILOSOPHY
All minors are required to take at least six courses
in philosophy, including 120; one course from 271-276; one course from
281-285; and three additional courses, at least two being on the 300-level.
The department has suggested sequences for students preparing for careers
in law, business, medicine, or religion.
Students are encouraged to plan, in consultation
with designated members of the undergraduate committee, a program based
on their special interests.
for a Minor in Ethics and Moral Philosophy
For this minor a student must take six courses
in ethics. At least four of these six courses must be taken from the Philosophy
Department, and at least two of them must be at the 300-level.
As many as two ethics courses can be taken outside
of the Philosophy Department. Philosophy majors cannot receive the minor
in Ethics and Moral Philosophy. However, Philosophy majors who satisfy
the requirements for the Minor in Ethics and Moral Philosophy will upon
graduation receive the degree "A Major in Philosophy with a Concentration
All sections of the following courses count for
the Minor in Ethics and Moral Philosophy:
Communication 217, Ethics and Communication
Criminal Justice 350, Philosophical Foundations
of Criminal Justice
Philosophy 281, Action and Value: Ethics
Philosophy 282, Action and Value: Society
Philosophy 283, Action and Value: Business
Philosophy 284, Action and Value: Medicine
Philosophy 285, Action and Value: Selected Topics
Philosophy 321, Ethics and Society
Philosophy 323, Philosophy of Law
Philosophy 324, Topics in Ethics
Political Science 341, Political Ethics and Public
Theology 192, Moral Problems
Theology 194, Business and Christian Theology
Theology 340, Foundations of Christian Morality
Theology 342, Perspectives on Life and Death
Theology 344, Theology and Ecology
In addition to the courses listed above, individual
sections of courses that are not in this list but that are taught as ethics
classes can count toward the minor on a case by case basis. For example,
some sections of topics courses, such as PHIL 389 and PHIL 398, can count
toward the minor, provided such courses are ethics courses. In addition,
two or more sections of one topics in ethics course, such as PHIL 324,
can count toward the minor if those sections are different ethics courses.
A student can incorporate ethics courses taken
for the Core Curriculum into this minor. A student needs take only three
additional courses required for the Core. For example, if a student took
the following three courses for Core requirements, PHIL 281 (or another
280s course) and THEO 192 and THEO 194, then the student would need to
take three additional ethics courses from Philosophy (two of them at the
300 level) in order to receive the Minor in Ethics and Moral Philosophy.
This feature can be useful in planning the courses for one’s minor.
COURSES OF INSTRUCTION
120. Philosophy of Human Nature.
An introduction to philosophical thinking through
the question: What does it mean to be human? As a first course in philosophy,
it is an introduction to what philosophy is and to works of major philosophers.
As a treatment of the meaning of human nature, the course considers the
human person as physical being, as knower, as responsible agent, as a person
in relation to other persons, to society, to God, and to the end, or purpose,
of human life.
271. Knowledge and Reality: Religion. (RCS
An inquiry into religious belief with respect
to the truth it discloses. Typical subjects include: the reality of God
or other objects of religious belief, the justification of such belief,
the logic of religious belief in relation to that of other kinds of belief,
the nature of religious experience.
272. Knowledge and Reality: Metaphysics.
This course will take up basic questions about
reality and inquire into fundamental principles by which the nature of
reality can be coherently explained. An analysis of issues such as: the
nature of being and existence; the principles in terms of which anything
(e.g., physical and non-physical things, God) is said to be real; and the
nature of the relations between things (e.g., space and time, mechanical
and goal-directed causality).
273. Knowledge and Reality: Science.
Examines the nature of scientific knowledge and
the principles used to acquire it. Episodes in the history of the natural
and social sciences will illustrate scientific principles and practices.
As part of this analysis, we will examine the philosophical foundations
of inductive reasoning, explanation, observation, causation, and evidence.
We will give special attention to scientific issues that have distinctive
social and ethical impact, and will discuss general metaphilosophical issues,
such as the role of philosophy in clarifying and commenting on science.
274. Knowledge and Reality: Logic.
A detailed study of the rules of valid judging
and reasoning, both deductive and inductive and from both the traditional
and symbolic point of view. Central to the course is logical analysis,
in particular a study of the consistency and logical consequences of a
given set of statements. The issues of evidence, truth, and explanation
will be discussed, and some time will be spent on applying logical analysis
to concrete problems concerning our knowledge of reality.
275. Knowledge and Reality: Truth.
This course is an inquiry into the foundations
of knowledge and the nature of truth. It examines traditional and contemporary
approaches to truth, and theories about the relationship between knowledge
and reality. Some of the topics are the status of knowledge and facts,
doubt, evidence, the problems of the verification and justification of
knowledge, and particular problems regarding the truth of certain types
of statements, such as moral statements and statements about the future.
276. Knowledge and Reality: Selected Topics.
The questions defining the area of knowledge and
reality are studied by examining one specific topic such as art, language,
the mind, etc.
281. Action and Value: Ethics.
The course examines norms for human action: their
nature, possibility; and foundations; alternative theories of morality
and value; the role of values and norms in the process of making moral
decisions and their application in practice.
282. Action and Value: Society.
This course examines the norms or principles that
establish and justify societies and determine the rights and responsibilities
of a society in relation to its own members, of the members in relation
to each other and to society as a whole, and of a society in relation to
other societies. The course considers the application of these principles
to such issues as justice, human rights, political and social institutions,
and world community.
283. Action and Value: Business.
Ethical dimensions of business are investigated
from a philosophical perspective. The course aims at integrating readings
of philosophical ethics with business case studies. Fundamental issues
such as freedom, responsibility, rights, and justice are discussed as they
relate to actual business situations.
284. Action and Value: Medicine.
This is a course on the role of moral reasoning
in the healthcare setting. Typical issues include: the meaning of such
basic concepts as health and disease, truth-telling in medical practice
and informed consent in experimental settings, the criteria for distributing
medical resources and the issues of a right to health care, and questions
about authority, responsibility and professional autonomy in the making
of healthcare decisions.
285. Action and Value: Selected Topics.
The questions defining the area of action and
value are studied by examining a specific topic such as technology, economics,
301. Symbolic Logic.
An introduction to the use of symbolic logic as
a tool emphasizing the arts of formalization and proof construction, introducing
the students to the terminology and chief concepts of logic.
304. History of Ancient Philosophy. (CLST
Origins of philosophical problems among the Greeks
and the main types of philosophical answers; extensive readings in the
pre-Socratic fragments and records, in Plato, and in Aristotle.
305. Augustine to Abelard. (CATH305) (MTSU
Major thinkers of the 4th to the 12th century,
including at least some of the following: Augustine, Pseudo-Dionysius,
Scotus, Erigena, Boethius, Avicenna, Averroës, Moses Maimonides, Anselm,
306. 19th Century Philosophy.
The development of post-Kantian philosophy from
idealism toward phenomenology. Readings of sources and critical evaluations.
307. 13th and 14th Century Philosophy. (CATH
Major thinkers of the 13th and 14th centuries,
including at least some of the following: Albertus Magnus, Thomas Aquinas,
Dun Scotus, William of Ockham, Roger Bacon.
309. Classical Modern Philosophy.
Study of selected modern philosophers with an
evaluation of their principles. Typical authors include Descartes, Spinoza,
Leibniz, Locke, Hume, Berkeley, Kant.
310. Issues in Philosophy of Human Nature.
Intensive consideration of such issues as freedom,
determinism, language, love, person, the interpersonal, time, society,
truth, aesthetics, life, consciousness, mind-body, meaning, immortality,
311. Issues in Metaphysics.
Typical issues include transcendence, being, existence
in its individual and communal dimensions, causality, relations, analogy,
purpose, the possibility of metaphysics, and the relations of metaphysics
to other disciplines.
312. Problems in Philosophy of God.
Classical and contemporary approaches to knowledge
of the existence of God: divine names, attributes, providence and evil,
providence and human freedom.
319. Studies in Philosophy and Literature.
A study of selected works of literature and a
discussion of philosophical issues in relation to these works. Issues such
as the nature of literary work, the relations of philosophical and literary
language, and methods of interpretation may be studied.
320. The Philosophy of St. Augustine. (CATH
320) (MSTU 346)
Survey of principal works; detailed consideration
of the Confessions; Augustine’s influence.
321. Ethics and Society.
Rights, duties, and virtues of the human as an
individual and as a member of society; the basic human societies of the
family and the state; social justice; international society; war and world
322. Philosophical Perspectives on Women. (WOST
Some of the issues discussed may be: the ontology
of woman, i.e., the nature of womanhood and its position in the community
of humankind; representations of women by "western" philosophers, perhaps
in comparison with eastern thought; the nature of self-respect and its
relation to women; views on women’s oppression; affirmative action programs;
the relation between sexism and racism; and the relative importance of
race, class, and sex in discussion of women’s status.
323. Philosophy of Law.
Relation of law and philosophy; philosophical
presuppositions of laws; law as social control; theories of origin and
purpose of law; current legal problems involving value judgments.
324. Topics in Ethics.
Issues selected from all fields of moral theory
326. Political Philosophy.
An examination of the major issues of political
philosophy. Various theories of political society will be studied with
a view to explaining the chief characteristics of political society and
their relationships to important aspects of the human character.
327. Topics in Political Philosophy.
This course will concentrate on a specific issue
in political philosophy. Typical topics include civil disobedience, war
and peace, theories of political revolution, theories of utopia, and punishment
and criminal justice.
330. Theory of Knowledge.
Major philosophical positions; analysis of knowledge;
truth; error; probability; different ways of knowing; influence of history
333. Language: Theories Ancient and Modern.
Different theories, mainly by linguists and philosophers,
on the nature, role, and structure of human language, from the ancient
world to the present. Relations of these theories to larger cultural and
historical contexts, and especially to literary methods.
335. Asian Philosophy. (ASIA
335) (INTS 334) (RCS 335)
A study of fundamental tenets of major Eastern
philosophies (Chinese, Japanese, Indian) in comparison to Western tradition.
Course may vary in emphasis on particular philosophies and themes.
340. Philosophy of St. Thomas Aquinas. (MSTU
Background in the life, works, sources, scholarship,
and controversies of St. Thomas; the structural principles of his thought,
as shown in extensive readings from his work.
350. Directed Reading.
Independent research according to program developed
jointly by the student and a faculty director. Open to majors and to non-majors
with the permission of the chairperson.
360. Contemporary European Philosophy.
Readings and discussion of contemporary French
and German philosophers.
370. Introduction to American Philosophy.
Study of American philosophers with an evaluation
of their principles. Philosophers likely to be considered are Edwards,
Emerson, Peirce, James, Royce, Mead, Dewey.
381. Philosophy of Science.
Reading and discussion of selected texts from
classical and contemporary philosophers and scientists. The theories and
nature of scientific methods; the metaphysical foundation of science.
382. Philosophy of Social Science.
Study of philosophical problems involved in and
topics emerging from the practice of contemporary behavioral sciences:
theory, fact and value, causality, relativism, functionalism, statistical
generalization, social planning.
383. Philosophy of Psychology.
A philosophical analysis of significant theoretical
positions in psychology, addressing foundational issues that arise, for
example, in methodology, perception, motivation, learning, and personality
theory. It will approach these issues through the writings of acknowledged
authorities, discussing them in relation to such philosophical interests
as the nature of knowledge and of science, personal identity, and the prospects
of freedom, responsibility, and human communication.
384. Topics in Philosophy and Science.
The emphasis varies with each offering. For example,
historical periods (e.g., the Scientific Revolution of the 17th-18th centuries);
influences of the sciences on classical philosophical positions (e.g.,
Kant, Positivism); or analysis of special concepts in the physical and
biological sciences (e.g., space and time, matter, cosmology, evolution).
387. Philosophy of Mind.
Critical study of issues such as the classical
mind-body problem and related problems; possibility and nature of personal
identity; solipsism and knowledge of other minds; function of mental and
conduct concepts like belief, consciousness, perception, thinking, sensations,
and brain processes.
389. Contemporary Issues.
390. Independent Study for Majors.
Prerequisite: philosophy major.
In-depth independent research developed jointly
by the student and a faculty director. The topic should be one with which
the student has some familiarity so that the research can be an examination
of it in-depth.
391. Topics in Philosophy of Religion.
Analysis of religious concepts; their philosophical
significance. Types of religions and their philosophical implications.
394. Philosophy of Marxism.
A study of the philosophical dimensions of the
thought of Karl Marx, his 19th century precursors and 20th century interpreters.
395. Seminar in Ancient Philosophy.
396. Seminar in Medieval Philosophy. (CATH
396) (MSTU 350)
397. Seminar in Classical Modern Philosophy.
398. Seminar in Contemporary Philosophy.
399. Integrative Seminar.
Analysis and discussion of special problems found
in the various areas of philosophical thought aimed at synthesizing the
student’s previous philosophic experience.
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