Philosophy

College of Liberal & Creative Arts

Dean: Andrew Harris

Department of Philosophy

Humanities Building, Room 388
Phone: (415) 338–1596
Chair: Anita Silvers

Program Scope

The Department of Philosophy offers students a broad education in the history of thought, development of powerful reasoning skills, and opportunities to apply their insights and skills to areas of personal and professional interest.

An education in philosophy is beneficial in almost all parts of life. Generally speaking, philosophical education is eminently valuable for careers that call for analysis and evaluation of problems, smart solutions, critical and creative thinking and writing, and powerful advocacy of one's beliefs and values. Our degree programs develop students’ potential for independent thought and intellectual creativity. Philosophy students score extremely well on the admission tests required by various post-baccalaureate professional schools. A double major in philosophy complements and enhances other degrees, whether in the sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, or professional studies.

Students can choose a degree program that includes both general theories in the different philosophical fields and philosophy as applied in different areas of understanding (the B.A. in Philosophy), or a degree that intersects philosophy and religion with a focus on the diverse forms experiences of spirituality can take (the B.A. in Philosophy and Religion), or a program that emphasizes foundations of law, public policy and rights (the B.A. in Philosophy with an Emphasis in Philosophy and Law).   The department’s programs also recognize students’ diversity of interests by allowing a great deal of flexibility in choosing program content   

Students may double-major, combining the skills, perspectives, and knowledge acquired in the philosophy major with a pre-professional, social science, liberal arts, healthcare, human services, liberal studies, education, business, biological, pre-medicine, physical or computer science degree.  A double major in philosophy complements and enhances other degrees, whether in the sciences, social sciences, arts, humanities, or professional studies.

Graduate Program

The Master of Arts in Philosophy is designed for students wishing to extend their knowledge of, and competence in, philosophy; for students seeking a teaching career where the master’s degree is required; and for students who are planning to do further study elsewhere. The program is wide ranging and flexible, enabling students to concentrate on a number of different areas within philosophy.

Career Outlook

A principal reason for the study of philosophy and/or religion is the enrichment of one's own life and understanding. Fortunately, the study of philosophy also is an excellent preparation for a variety of post-baccalaureate professional studies and careers in law, medicine, public policy and strategic planning, the helping professions, computer-assisted enterprises, and innovative business and non-profit organizations.

The broader outlook and the ability to think critically about larger issues that are fostered by the systematic study of philosophy and religion are often highly valued by commercial firms in their management level personnel. Some students continue on to graduate work in philosophy or religious studies. SF State graduates now are teaching in colleges across the country. And opportunities to teach philosophy in K – 12 have increased as educators realize the importance of enhancing children’s critical thinking skills. The philosophy and religion program is a strong foundation for the helping professions, the ministry, and advanced studies in theology. The skills that are achieved by minoring in philosophy or philosophy and religion are an excellent complement to most university major programs.

Professors

Azadpur, Silvers, van Fraassen, Wilcox

Associate Professors

Hood, Landy, Montemayor, Peschard, Sowaal, Sveinsdóttir, Tiwald, Toh

Assistant Professor

Bursten

Lecturers

Balboa, Blackmon, Dupen, Fairweather, Kay, Kemtrup, Mutti, Nutting, Robertson, Sudduth

PHIL 101 Introduction to Philosophy (Units: 3)

Reflection on basic aspects of human experience, thought, and activity inspired by the writings of philosophers.

Course Attributes:

  • C3: Humanities: Literature

PHIL 105 Introduction to Philosophy and Religion (Units: 3)

The perennial quest for the sacred. Cosmological, psychological, and mystical teachings of the great Eastern and Western religious traditions.

Course Attributes:

  • C2: Humanities

PHIL 110 Introduction to Critical Thinking I (Units: 3)

Skills involved in understanding, criticizing, and constructing arguments--and providing foundation for further work not only in philosophy but in other fields as well.
(Note: In order for this course to satisfy General Education, students must earn a C- or CR or higher grade if taken fall 2014 or later.)

Course Attributes:

  • A3: Critical Thinking

PHIL 130 Political and Social Philosophy (Units: 3)

Liberal democratic theories of decision making and social policy: their place in the world today, their place in the history of social and political philosophy, and in radical and conservative political criticism.

Course Attributes:

  • D1: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

PHIL 150 Contemporary Moral/Political Issues (Units: 3)

Theories of the good life, of ethics, of rights, and of justice, through the examination of contemporary moral issues: capital punishment, affirmative action, abortion, racial and sexual equality, privacy, pornography, and environmental protection.
(This course is offered as PHIL 150 and PLSI 150. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • C2: Humanities
  • Social Justice

PHIL 160 Introduction to Philosophy of the Arts (Units: 3)

Art appreciation and criticism including the nature of beauty, artistic genius, and art as sign or symbol.

Course Attributes:

  • C1: Arts

PHIL 205 Formal Logic I (Units: 3)

Contemporary treatment of structure of arguments by means of sentential logic and quantifiers; comparison of axiomatic, natural deductive, and tree-method approaches.

PHIL 210 Great Thinkers: East and West (Units: 3)

Enduring philosophical questions about human nature and the cosmos as seen through the eyes of mankind's greatest and most influential thinkers, Eastern and Western.

Course Attributes:

  • C2: Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

PHIL 230 American Political Philosophy (Units: 3)

Philosophical foundations of the values and practices of our law and society, from the nation's founders to philosophies of justice, equality, and rights today.

PHIL 301 Ancient Philosophy (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: PHIL 110, ENG 114, or equivalents.

Origins of Western philosophy in the Eastern Mediterranean region: from the presocratics to the Stoics, Epicureans, and Neo-Platonists, emphasizing Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle. Connections and contrasts between philosophy, natural science, myth, and religion.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

PHIL 302 Medieval Philosophy (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: PHIL 110, ENG 114, or equivalents.

Medieval philosophy to the Renaissance--Augustine, Boethius, Aquinas, and related authors. Individuals, universals, community; personality, freedom, and nature; theory of signs, symbols, analogical models; labor and intellectual work; private property, law, and the common good.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

PHIL 303 Modern Philosophy (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: PHIL 110, ENG 114, or equivalents.

Modern philosophy against the background of Protestantism, capitalism, the Enlightenment, and modern science to the end of the 19th century. Includes Descartes and continental Rationalism, British Empiricism, Kant; may include such topics as German and British idealism, positivism, and pragmatism.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

PHIL 315 Introduction to Global Peace Studies (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing; one lower-division composition course; or consent of instructor.

The field of peace studies and the integrative questions which must be answered to achieve a coherent perspective on world peace. National and international issues, the environment, philosophy, literature, arts, media, and education.
(This course is offered as GPS 315, I R 315, and PHIL 315. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

PHIL 320GW Philosophical Analysis - GWAR (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 214 or equivalent with a grade of C- or better, PHIL 110 or equivalent.

Analytic, interpretive, and expressive written communication skills essential for philosophical study. (ABC/NC grading only)

Course Attributes:

  • Graduation Writing Assessment

PHIL 321 Being and Knowing (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 214 or equivalent.

Introduction to some of the most important issues in metaphysics and epistemology through their treatment by classic and contemporary authors; e.g., mind and matter, thought, belief, perception, meaning, truth, knowledge, appearance, reality, freedom, and identity.

PHIL 330 Political Philosophy (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing, or consent of instructor, and one lower-division composition course.

The forms, purposes, and justification of political orders; theories of human nature, value, and history. Foundations of political philosophy in the thought of such writers as Plato, Hobbes, Mill, and Marx.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Social Justice

PHIL 335 Law and Society (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing; one lower-division composition course; or consent of instructor.

Relation between law and society, developed through the analysis of court cases centered on topics (capital versus labor, the individual versus the state) in their historical setting. Legal research.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Social Justice

PHIL 350 Philosophy of Science (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 214 or equivalent.

Philosophy of science with attention to contemporary formulations.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-B: Physical Life Science

PHIL 351 Philosophy of Risk (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Philosophical issues about risk assessment and risk management, with attention to their scientific and ethical dimensions. Philosophical analyses of cases such as climate change, energy consumption, water related environmental risks in California, allocation of scarce medical resources, and genetic testing.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-B: Physical Life Science
  • Environmental Sustainability

PHIL 355 Politics and Ethics of the Consumer Society (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Politics and ethics of consumption-oriented society; nature of industrial society; its structures, values, and consumption practices.
(This course is offered as PLSI 355 and PHIL 355. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Social Justice

PHIL 365 Science and Civilization (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing; one lower-division composition course; or consent of instructor.

Role of science in modern civilization. Ethical aspects of science, scientific conceptions, and effects of science on the quality and direction of human existence.

PHIL 369 Philosophical Issues in Sexuality (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing; one lower-division composition course; or consent of instructor.

Legal, moral, and conceptual issues concerning human sexuality. Rape, pornography, abortion, prostitution, homosexuality, marriage, promiscuity, perversion, sexual politics, sex and religion, and the language of sex.
(This course is offered as PHIL 369 and SXS 369. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Social Justice

PHIL 375 Peace Law and Human Rights in the U.S. (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing; one lower division composition course; or consent of instructor.

Law of peace from the local to the international level; international treaties, covenants, statutes of Congress, legislatures, and city councils, criminal indictments, court affidavits, judges opinions, jury instructions, and relevant articles.
(This course is offered as GPS 375 and PHIL 375. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-D: Social Sciences
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

PHIL 378 Philosophy of Criminal Law (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing; one lower-division composition course; or consent of instructor.

Philosophical examination of concepts and principles that are central to our criminal law, including investigation of whether there is a role for moral rationales.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Social Justice

PHIL 379 Philosophy of Constitutional Interpretation (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing or consent of instructor; one lower-division composition course.

Study and critique the most influential attempts to devise philosophical justification of or motivation for particular theories of constitutional interpretation.

PHIL 380 Philosophy of Law (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing, or consent of instructor and one lower-division composition course.

Relationship of law and morality. Basis for legal accountability. Who should be accountable? For what? Why?

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Social Justice

PHIL 383 Ethics in Medicine (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing; one lower-division composition course; or consent of instructor.

Ethical issues in medicine and nursing: treating dying patients, right to health care, nurse/physician conflicts, health and basic values, freedom under new technology, and medical bureaucracy. Uses philosophical approaches to understand and to help resolve these problems. [CSL may be available]

Course Attributes:

  • E1: Lifelong Learning Develop
  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Social Justice

PHIL 384 Philosophy of Research Ethics (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Principles, practice and philosophical foundations of research ethics, from the perspectives of researchers, subjects of research, and institutional research review board members. Includes focus on ethical research design.

Course Attributes:

  • E1: Lifelong Learning Develop
  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

PHIL 392 Philosophy of Animals (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Examination of different methodologies and results from scientific studies of non-human animals. Analysis of one or more philosophical debates that address the differences and similarities between humans and animals. Critical analysis of the use of animals as experimental, physiological, psychological, or social models. Topic to be specified in Class Schedule. May be repeated for a total of 6 units.

PHIL 395 Ethical Issues: Science and Technology (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Ethical issues arising from or intrinsic to the process of scientific research and development or from the implementation or commercialization of new technologies.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-B: Physical Life Science
  • Social Justice

PHIL 410 Topics in the History of Philosophy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: First-year composition or equivalent.

Exploration and critique of one or more topics of historical significance in philosophy. Topics to be specified in the class schedule. May be repeated when topics vary.

PHIL 415 The Hebrew Bible (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 214 or equivalent.

The Hebrew Bible in English translation from historical, literary, and religious points of view; culture and religion of ancient Israel and the ancient Near East.
(This course is offered as JS 415 and PHIL 415. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

PHIL 425 Existentialism (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

An examination of the principal philosophical aims and theories of the Existential movement.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

PHIL 430 Topics in Contemporary Philosophy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: First year composition or equivalent.

Study of one or more philosophical topics that currently stimulate excitement and debate in the field. Topics to be specified in the class schedule. May be repeated when topics vary.

PHIL 432 Nietzsche and Postmodernism (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 214.

Examines the most radical implications of Nietzsche's critique of western humanism. Close reading of major writings by Nietzsche and selected "postmodern" readings of Nietzsche.
(This course is offered as HUM 432 and PHIL 432. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

PHIL 434 Arendt and Heidegger (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

Hannah Arendt, a student of Heidegger, is renowned in her own right as philosopher and political theorist. In a comparative study explore the relationship of their ideas, and question the extent to which she was disciple or critic.
(This course is offered as HUM 434, JS 414, and PHIL 434. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

PHIL 435 Human Rights in Global Perspective (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Law and philosophy of human rights; philosophical issues and controversies about rights, historical development, major problems in implementing rights, and the international human rights movement.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

PHIL 436 Islamic Political Philosophy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

There is a long and rich tradition of political philosophy in the Islamic cultures of the Middle East. A comprehensive introduction to Islamic political philosophy.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

PHIL 445 Sex and Morality (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing, or consent of instructor and one lower-division composition course.

Ethical theory and its applications to sexual conduct, therapy, and research. Fundamentals of moral augmentation; complicated, morality-laden issues associated with sexuality.
(This course is offered as PHIL 445 and SXS 469. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • E1: Lifelong Learning Develop
  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

PHIL 450 Ethics (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Sophomore or higher standing; one lower-division composition course; or consent of instructor.

Major problems in ethical theory with attention to their contemporary formulations.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Social Justice

PHIL 451 Feminist Moral Issues (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Moral or ethical issues of concern to the contemporary women's movement. These include abortion ("pro-choice" vs. "pro-life"), pornography and censorship, hetero- and homosexuality, marriage, motherhood, and affirmative action ("reverse discrimination").

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Am. Ethnic & Racial Minorities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

PHIL 452 Nature of Morality (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing, or consent of instructor and one lower-division composition course.

Exploration of historically significant philosophical conceptions of the nature of morality.

PHIL 455 Sex and the Law (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Philosophical investigation of legal issues pertaining to sexuality. Legal enforcement of morals and of specific cases and statutes regarding marriage, sex discrimination, abortion, rape, homosexuality, pornography, pedophilia, and other sex related activities.
(This course is offered as PHIL 455 and SXS 569. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Social Justice

PHIL 460 Philosophy of Art (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing, or consent of instructor and one lower-division composition course.

Problems in aesthetics; contemporary formulations.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

PHIL 464 Philosophy and Film (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Philosophical concepts as treated in films, and philosophical issues raised by the nature of film. Philosophical concepts in ethics, epistemology, metaphysics, and aesthetics.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

PHIL 470 Environmental Ethics (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Completion of GE Areas A and B4 requirements [formerly GE Segment I].

Exploration of how different philosophers, religions, and cultures understand our relationships to the environment. Applying ethical paradigms to the analysis of environmental problems and proposals for solutions.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Social Justice

PHIL 494 Philosophy and Personal Development (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

For many philosophers, East and West, philosophy's basic task is to change our orientation to the world and, thus, how we live our lives. This course is devoted to studying and exploring different philosophical methods of personal development and enrichment.

Course Attributes:

  • E1: Lifelong Learning Develop
  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

PHIL 500 Philosophy of Religion (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing, or consent of instructor and one lower-division composition course.

The nature and function of fundamental religious concepts and claims.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

PHIL 501 Judaism, Christianity, and Islam (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Beliefs, practices, social organization, and history of the three monotheistic religious traditions; importance of these traditions for European and Middle Eastern civilizations.
(This course is offered as JS 501, PHIL 501, and HUM 501. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

PHIL 502 World Religions (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing, or consent of instructor and one lower-division composition course.

Major religions of mankind, their history and teachings: Hinduism, Buddhism, Confucianism, Taoism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

PHIL 509 The Buddhist Tradition (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

An introduction to the basic teachings of Buddhism and the major Buddhist traditions in Asia. Among the topics to be discussed are ignorance, paths to enlightenment, meditation, morality, faith, and wisdom.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

PHIL 511 Chinese Philosophy and Religion (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing, or consent of instructor and one lower-division composition course.

Major philosophical and religious traditions of China. Topics include the I Ching, Confucianism, Taoism, and Chinese Buddhism.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

PHIL 514 Kabbalah and Mysticism in the Jewish Tradition (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

The spiritual life and various ways in which Jews have sought spiritual resources from Jewish tradition. Topics include: Kabbalah, Jewish renewal, feminist spirituality, grieving the Holocaust.
(This course is offered as JS 410 and PHIL 514. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

PHIL 516 Islamic Philosophy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Examines three interrelated issues: the purpose of philosophy, the good life, and the limits of human reason. Also examined is Islamic philosophy's confrontation with the Islamic traditions of theology, jurisprudence, and mysticism.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

PHIL 517 Islamic Mysticism (Units: 3)

An examination of the mystical teachings of Sufism. This is not a survey course but a concentrated effort to approach some of the central Sufi ideas about humanity, God, and the structure of reality.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

PHIL 520 Philosophy and Mysticism (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Examination of how "higher" or "mystical" states of consciousness have informed philosophy historically, and exploration of the implications of these views for epistemology, metaphysics, ethics and personal well-being.

Course Attributes:

  • E1: Lifelong Learning Develop
  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives
  • Social Justice

PHIL 525 The Nature of Religious Experience (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Nature of religious experience drawn from different religions and academic disciplines within the humanities and social sciences; investigation of the meaning of religious commitment in a secular world.
(This course is offered as PHIL 525 and RELS 300. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • E1: Lifelong Learning Develop
  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities
  • Global Perspectives

PHIL 530 Selected Religious Thinkers (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Understanding and assessment of the views of one or more highly influential religious thinker(s).  Thinker(s) to be specified in the class schedule.  May be repeated when different thinkers are studied.

PHIL 540 Selected Issues in Religious Thought (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Study of one or more issues in religious thought that have been influential historically or currently stimulate debate. Issues to be specified in the class schedule. May be repeated when issues vary.

PHIL 552 Judaism: Religion and Text (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

The manner and process of external/internal influences that move Jewish thought; the matters with which the rabbis and particular Jewish philosophers have concerned themselves.
(This course is offered as JS 425 and PHIL 552. Students may not repeat the course under an alternate prefix.)

Course Attributes:

  • UD-C: Arts and/or Humanities

PHIL 605 Metaphysics (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor.

Metaphysical problems such as those of substance, cause, space, time, and God.

PHIL 610 Theory of Knowledge (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor, useful background: PHIL 300.

Theories of knowledge with attention to their contemporary formulations.

PHIL 611 Philosophy of Perception (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Philosophical problems in relation to perception with specific attention to contemporary formulations: role of sensations, nature of perceptual content, embodiment of perceptual experience.

PHIL 620 Philosophy of Mind (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Conceptions of the mental and of its relation to the physical, with attention to their contemporary formulations.

PHIL 621 Minds, Brains and Computers (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Contemporary theories of the mind as a brain process and as a computational process. Foundations and approaches in the cognitive neurosciences.

Course Attributes:

  • UD-B: Physical Life Science

PHIL 630 Philosophy of Language (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: ENG 114 or equivalent.

Philosophical problems associated with language and symbolism with attention to their contemporary formulations.

PHIL 640 Actions and Practical Reasoning (Units: 3)

Prerequisites: Sophomore or higher standing, or consent of instructor and one lower-division composition course.

Practical reasoning is about how to act. What is the nature of actions, and how are they different from mere behavior? What is the nature of practical reasoning and how is it related to motivation?

PHIL 680 Field Project in Philosophy (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisite: Upper division standing or consent of instructor, may be taken with PHIL 699.

Supervised community or university service project related to the student's philosophical studies. Must be arranged through an undergraduate adviser and with an approved agency. (CR/NC grading only)

PHIL 681 Publishing Philosophy (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisite: Philosophy majors and minors or consent of instructor.

Supervised experience in various components of publishing philosophy journals and books; may focus on publishing journal articles/book chapters, editing volumes/special journal issues, book review editing, or publishing translations. May be repeated for a total of 6 units. (Credit/No Credit grading only)

PHIL 685 Projects in the Teaching of Philosophy (Units: 1-4)

Prerequisite: Completion of course in which the student will assist with a minimum grade of B.

Training in teaching philosophy is provided both by discussion of pedagogy with the instructor of a target course and by mentoring and other appropriate activities. (Students may earn a maximum of 4 units toward the baccalaureate degree for any course(s) numbered 685 regardless of discipline.)

PHIL 691 Reading Circle (Unit: 1)

Prerequisite: Satisfaction of the Graduation Writing Assessment Requirement (GWAR), 12 units of upper division philosophy courses, and consent of instructor.

Close reading of an important and difficult philosophical text, with attention to issues of interpretation.

PHIL 694 Philosophical Logic Workshop (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: PHIL 205 or consent of instructor.

Focus on puzzles and paradoxes raised in seminal philosophical papers in the twentieth century and their impact on analytic philosophy, with reference to the history of modern logic.

PHIL 695 Advanced Logic Workshop (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Introduction to Symbolic Logic or consent of instructor.

Logic (theory and applications) beyond propositional/predicate calculus, such as sets and sequences, completeness, decidability and adequacy, incompleteness, many-valued logics, intentional logic, induction, conditionals, proof, contradiction, or validity.

PHIL 696 Directed Reading: Learning Outcomes (Unit: 1)

Prerequisite: Senior standing and consent of instructor.

Individualized course enables students, together with the faculty, to assess their learning outcomes. Students submit early and recent essays from previous classes and reflective essay on development of their own skills and knowledge. (CR/NC grading only)

PHIL 699 Independent Study (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisite: Consent of instructor.

An advanced study of a selected philosophical problem under the direction of instructor. May be repeated.

PHIL 700 Seminar in Selected Problems (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Articulate, explore and assess proposed resolutions of one or more fundamental philosophical problem(s).  Problem(s) to be specified in the class schedule. May be repeated when different problems are studied.

PHIL 702 Philosophy of Culture, Language and Society (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Philosophy or consent of instructor.

Philosophical examination of culture, language, and society, drawing on both continental and analytic traditions. Ontology and ideology as explored by, for example, Kant, Hegel, Adorno, Althusser, Austin, Butler, Foucault, Habermas, Horkheimer, Searle, and others.

PHIL 715 Seminar in Philosophical Writing (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Admission to the graduate program in philosophy.

Advanced analytic, interpretive, and expressive skills essential to the writing, reading, and study of philosophy. Cannot be used to satisfy the "four-seminar" requirement.

PHIL 717 Projects in the Teaching of Philosophy (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisites: Two semester courses in the history of philosophy, a course in ethics, a course in symbolic logic, and an advanced course in epistemology or philosophy of science.

Individual projects under faculty supervision undertaken in conjunction with teaching assignments in undergraduate courses. Research and reports of research on the aims and methods of teaching philosophy to undergraduates. May be repeated for a total of 6 units.

PHIL 718 Teaching Philosophy (Unit: 1)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Workshops and individual conferences prepare students to teach Philosophy in the Graduate Teaching Associate program. May be repeated. (May not be applied to the Philosophy M.A. degree.) (CR/NC only)

PHIL 720 Professional Development for Philosophers (Unit: 1)

Prerequisite: Approved ATC, restricted to Philosophy graduate students.

Survey of professional development strategies, including preparing applications to Ph.D. programs, standardized test preparation, professional engagement through conferences and publications, and applying philosophical skills to a variety of workplaces. (CR/NC only)

PHIL 725 Philosophical Foundations of Law (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

What is the nature of law? How is law different from mere coercion, and from morality? What place if any do moral considerations have in the workings of a legal system?

PHIL 760 Seminar in Philosophy of Art (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Problems and theories in contemporary philosophy of art, or aesthetics.

PHIL 770 Seminar in a Classical Author (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Understanding and assessment of the philosophical positions of one, or a pair of, highly influential philosopher(s).  Philosopher(s) to be specified in the class schedule.  May be repeated when different philosophers are studied.

PHIL 772 Seminar in a Classical School (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Exploration and critique of one or more influential method(s) or school(s) of philosophical thought.  Method(s) or school(s) to be specified in the class schedule.  May be repeated when different methods or schools are studied.

PHIL 781 Leading Philosophers in Philosophical Conversation (Unit: 1)

Prerequisites: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Focus on the current work of a leading philosopher who will visit class. Students engage in conversation with the philosopher, develop critiques of work, present their critiques to philosopher, who responds to each at length. Each offering will feature a different guest philosopher. May be repeated for a total of 3 units. (CR/NC only)

PHIL 795 Early Modern Philosophy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Analysis of two or more early modern philosophers, ranging from the canonical (e.g. Descartes, Leibniz, Locke, Hume) to the newly recovered (e.g. Astell, Reid). Attention to one or more particular themes: individuation, perception, science, faith, morality, women, and similar topics.

PHIL 796 Late Modern Philosophy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Analysis of two or more Late Modern philosophers. Readings from Early Modern philosophers and post-Kantians may also be included. Attention to one or more particular themes: mental representation, individuation, perception, science, and similar topics.

PHIL 805 Seminar in Metaphysics (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

How to do metaphysics. Approach or topic to be specified in the class schedule. May be repeated when different approaches to or topics in metaphysics are studied.

PHIL 810 Seminar in the Theory of Knowledge (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Problems in epistemology.

PHIL 811 Seminar in Philosophy of Perception (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Fundamental issues in the philosophy of perception, such as nature and cognitive function of perceptual content. Investigation of mutual relevance of philosophical debates on perception and studies in the cognitive sciences.

PHIL 820 Seminar in the Philosophy of Mind (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

In-depth study of important issues in the philosophy of mind, such as intentionality, mind/body relation, consciousness, thought, and perception.

PHIL 830 Seminar in Philosophy of Language (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Philosophical problems associated with language and symbolism, with in-depth study of recent advances in the field.

PHIL 850 Seminar in the Philosophy of Science (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Problems of philosophy of science.

PHIL 851 Feminist Ethics and Political Philosophy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Central themes, developments, and debates in feminist ethics and political philosophy and their critiques of the mainstream canon. Relationship between feminist philosophy and current issues.

PHIL 852 Twentieth Century Metaethics (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Comprehensive introduction to and exploration of the history of metaethics in the twentieth century. Foundation for understanding current cutting edge philosophical work on metaethics.

PHIL 856 Normative Ethics (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Examination of recent attempts to improve consequentialist and Kantian ethics. Consideration of the so-called anti-theory stance in ethics, according to which systematic ethical theorizing is counter-productive and should be avoided.

PHIL 857 Philosophy of Action (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

What happens when a person acts? How is action different from mere behavior? Does the difference lie in the degree to which a person exercises control or autonomy over his behavior? How is autonomy related to normative reasoning?

PHIL 858 Contemporary Political Philosophy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Investigation of salient issues in contemporary political philosophy.

PHIL 881 Advanced Philosophy Publishing (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in Philosophy or consent of instructor.

Supervised experience in various components of publishing philosophy journals and books; may focus on publishing journal articles/book chapters, editing volumes/special journal issues, book review editing, or publishing translations. May be repeated for a total of 6 units. (CR/NC only)

PHIL 890 Seminar In Current Issues in Philosophy (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Study of one or more philosophical issue(s) that currently stimulate excitement and debate in the field.  Issue(s) to be specified in the class schedule.  May be repeated when different issues are studied.

PHIL 891 Graduate Reading Circle (Unit: 1)

Prerequisite: 6 units of graduate level Philosophy courses and consent of instructor.

Close reading of an important and difficult philosophical text, which pays attention to place of text in history of philosophy and to issues of interpretation. May be repeated for a total of 3 units. (CR/NC grading only)

PHIL 896 Directed Reading in Fundamental Philosophical Texts (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Graduate standing or consent of instructor.

Directed reading in depth and detail of fundamental philosophical texts. Course culminates in a written examination after end of semester but before beginning of subsequent semester.

PHIL 898 Master's Thesis (Units: 3)

Prerequisite: Advancement to candidacy (ATC) for the Master of Arts in Philosophy. Consent of instructor and approval of Advancement to Candidacy (ATC) and Culminating Experience (CE) forms by Graduate Studies. ATC and Proposal for Culminating Experience Requirement forms must be approved by the Graduate Division before registration. (CR/NC only)

PHIL 899 Independent Study (Units: 1-3)

Prerequisite: Consent of the graduate major adviser and the supervising faculty member.

Study is planned, developed, and completed under the direction of a member of the faculty. Open only to graduate students who have demonstrated ability to do independent work. Enrollment by petition. May be repeated.