Fall 2019

Fall 2019 Courses

Spring 2019 Office Hours


PHL 201 - Intro to Philosophy                                                                          Spencer Online, Hill TR 1400-1550
General introduction to philosophy; its practice and major areas of study. Topics typically include introductions to metaphysics (study of being), epistemology (study of knowledge), philosophy of language, morality, and critical thinking.

PHL 300U – Philosophical Methods & Concepts                                                                                  Weber Online
A survey of the major strategies of proof and disproof central to philosophical reasoning, and of the fundamental concepts and distinctions employed in current philosophical discourse. 

PHL 301U – Ancient Philosophy                                                                                             Elliott TR 1200-1350
Study of Ancient Greek philosophy with a primary focus on the philosophies of Plato and Aristotle. Key topics include form, matter, substance, and causation.

PHL 303 – Early Modern Philosophy                                                                                Coventry TR 1000-1150
History of Western philosophy during the Early Modern period (17th and 18th centuries) from Descartes to Kant. Topics include nature of knowledge and reality; theories of human nature.

PHL 306U - Science and Pseudoscience                                                                                    Seppalainen Online
An examination of basic issues in philosophy of science through an analysis of creation science, faith healing, UFO abduction stories, and other pseudosciences. Some of the questions addressed: What distinguishes science from pseudoscience? How are theories tested? When is evidence reliable? Must we invoke the supernatural to explain certain aspects of reality?

PHL 308U – Elementary Ethics                                                                         Hardy Online, Gillis MW 1400-1550
General introduction to ethical theories and topics such as whether there are objective moral distinctions, what makes right actions right and wrong acts wrong, and how we know (if we do) that actions are right or wrong, and how we know (if we do) that actions are right or wrong. Topics also include relativism, egoism, utilitarianism, and Kantianism (deontology).

PHL 309U – Business Ethics                                                                  Patrick Online, Hamington MW 1400-1550
Study of the ethical aspects of practices and organizational structures in the business world. The bulk of the course is devoted to specific contemporary topics, for example: the moral status of corporations; the concept of work place rights; responsibility in advertising; environmental constraints on business; affirmative action in hiring; the social roles of profit and private property; and the role of work in the life of the individual.

PHL 310U – Environmental Ethics                                                             Goldman MW 1400-1550, Cohen Online
Study of our moral responsibilities with respect to the environment (e.g., treatment of non-human animals, rights of animals, trees, rivers and possibly our planet) in light of some of the central environmental problems (e.g., population growth, global warming, and endangered species). 

PHL 311U - The Morality of Punishment                                                                                              Jokic Online
Nature and proper aims of punishment; moral considerations that bear on the justice and wisdom of punishment. Consideration will be given to the main theories of punishment: retributionism, utilitarianism, paternalism, and the view that punishment should be replaced by therapy.

PHL 313U – Life & Death Issues                                                                                             Cohen M 1840-2030
Study of moral problems dealing with life and death issues including abortion, euthanasia, the death penalty, starvation, and war. Also studies more general topics of life and death. Topics include the meaning of life, perspectives on death, natural death, suicide, and views of life in relation to possibilities of afterlife.

PHL 315 - Existentialism                                                                                                       Elliott TR 0800-0950
Introduction to a number of philosophers and literary figures gathered together under the name "existentialism". Authors include Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Rilke, Kafka, Ortega y Gasset, Jaspers, Heidegger, Sartre, and Camus. Topics include consciousness, (in)authenticity, alienation, death, anxiety, freedom, time, nihilism, historical meaning, and religion.

PHL 316U – Social & Political Philosophy                                                                                Elliott TR 1400-1550
Survey of main theories of social and political justice (utilitarianism, liberal, equalitarian, communitarian, and libertarian) through classic and modern representatives.

PHL 319U - Intro to Asian Philosophy                                                                                              Komito Online
A study of different systems of Asian philosophy through the main classical texts drawn from Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Topics include: the nature of reality, the self, causality, language, knowledge, and ethics.

PHL 320U – Critical Thinking                                                                  Hardy Online, Boghossian TR 1000-1150
Designed to improve reasoning and skills of critical assessment of information. Focuses on practical methods that are applied to case studies from public media such as editorials, essays, propaganda, advertisements, and newspaper reports of scientific studies.

PHL 324U – Intro to Formal Logic I                                                              Hiller Online, Weber MWF 0900-1005 
A course in basic formal logic. Major topics include the method of deduction for showing propositional arguments valid and the method of counter-example for showing such arguments invalid. Truth table methods, tests for consistency, and syllogistic arguments are optional topics.

PHL 331U - Philosophy of Education                                                                                 Mueller MW 1015-1205
Exploration of the nature, aims, and value of education by situating it in its historical and contemporary philosophical context and perspectives. 

PHL 350U - Morality and World Politics                                                                                               Jokic Online
Examination of moral principles and judgments relevant for appraising the key tools of foreign policy. Included are issues of military, humantiarian, and covert intervention, economic sanctions, developmental assistance, human rights, demoncracy, and transitional justice. 

PHL 355U - Morality and Healthcare                                                                                       Gillis TR 1400-1550
Examination of issues in health care such as euthanasia, abortion, allocation of transplantable organs, rationing health care, and treatment of imparied newborns.

PHL 365U - Atheism                                                                                                     Boghossian TR 1200-1350
Examination of atheist philosophy including secularism in ethics and politics, naturalism in epistemology and metaphysics, and contemporary naturalistic accounts of religion and faith-based beliefs.

PHL 367U - Philosophy of Sports                                                                                          Gillis MW 1015-1205
An examination of the central conceptual, ethical, and existential issues concerning sports. Topics include the nature and role of sports in human flourishing, theories of embodiment, and the morality of sports as an institution and culture including human competition and violence.

PHL 369U – Philosophy of Sex & Love                                                   Spencer Online, Blakemore TR 1640-1830
An examination of some of the central philosophical issues emerging from a reflection of sex and love. Topics include: conceptual or ontological ones such as the possible essence of heterosexuality, homosexuality, and asexuality; ethical ones such as the morality or immorality of different expressions of sex and love such as sadomasochism, polygamy, and philandering; existential ones such as the role of sexuality and romantic love in our self-conception and a good life; epistemological ones such as the nature of our experiences of sexuality and love and the possible influence that conceptual sources have on them.

PHL 375U - Food Ethics                                                                                                             Sharpsteen Online
An introduction to ethical issues surrounding food choices including fairness of food markets, the moral status of animals, obligations to the hungry, the influence of our food choices on the environment, and contemporary issues in food and technology, race, feminism, and colonialism.

PHL 399 - Philosophy of Race                                                                                           Mueller MW 1400-1550
This course is a seminar focused on the philosophical discussion of race and racism. The course focuses on the metaphysics and ontologies of race, the phenomenology of raced identity and inter-subjectuve experience, and the political and ethical implications of race as a social defined category of differentiation. Specific focus will be devoted to the way in which race functions in the context of the United States.

PHL 423/523 - Metaphysics                                                                                                  Hiller TR 1200-1350
Study of major systems of ontology (e.g., idealism, materialism) and traditional metaphysical issues (e.g., determinism, freedom, properties) including debates over the feasibility of the discipline of metaphysics itself (e.g., positivism and scientific realism).

PHL 432/532 - Philosophy of Mind                                                                                          Seppalainen Online
Study of the debates over the nature of mental states and our knowledge of them. Main topics are dualism and various forms of materialism, behaviorism, mind-body identity theories, and functionalism and eliminativism.

PHL 451/551 - Classical Figures: Husserl                                                                                 Hill TR 1000-1150
A close reading of a selection of Edmund Husserl's philosophical writings, with an eye towards his influence on Martin Heidegger.

PHL 451/551 - Classical Figures: Free Will                                                                        Berman MW 1400-1550
Information coming soon!

PHL 471/571 - Topics in Philosophy of Science: Emotions and Passions                          Coventry TR 1400-1550
Information coming soon!

UNST 421 - Capstone: Philosophy for Children (P4C)                                                           Sager MW 1015-1205
Students in this Capstone create philosophy activities that they carry out with children in Portland, and assist with the Oregon High School Ethics Bowl. It teaches students the best practices for P4C, grants classroom experience by allowing students to lead discussions with youth at the Ivy School and Metro Montessori Middle School as well as research and develop P4C lesson plans, activities, and materials. It also grants great opportunities to develop and discuss current ethical issues with High School students and develop leadership skills by organizing the Oregon High School Ethics Bowl.