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Principal Course Distribution Requirement

Principal courses offer introductions to the breadth of disciplines in the College. They acquaint students with the subject matter in an area, with the types of questions that are asked about that subject matter, with the knowledge that has been developed and is now basic to the area, and with the methods and standards by which claims to truth are judged.

Students must complete courses in topical groups in three major divisions (humanities, natural sciences and mathematics, and social sciences). For the B.A., three courses are required from each division, with no more than one course from any topical group. The B.G.S. requires two courses from each division, with no more than one from any topical group. To fulfill the requirement, a course must be designated as a principal course according to the codes listed below.

These are the major divisions, their topical subgroups, and the codes that identify them:

Humanities

  • HT: Historical studies
  • HL: Literature and the arts
  • HR: Philosophy and religion

Natural Sciences and Mathematics

  • NB: Biological sciences
  • NE: Earth sciences
  • NM: Mathematical sciences
  • NP: Physical science

Social Sciences

  • SC: Culture and society
  • SI: Individual behavior
  • SF: Public affairs

No course may fulfill both a principal course distribution requirement and a non-Western culture or second-level mathematics course requirement. Laboratory science courses designated as principal courses may fulfill both the laboratory science requirement and one of the distribution requirements. No free-standing laboratory course may by itself fulfill either the laboratory science requirement or a principal course requirement. Students should begin taking principal courses early in their academic careers. An honors equivalent of a principal course may fulfill a principal course requirement.

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Non-Western Culture Requirement

A non-Western culture course acquaints students with the culture, society, and values of a non-Western people, for example, from Asia, the Pacific Islands, the Middle East, or Africa. Students must complete one approved non-Western culture course.

One approved non-Western culture course is required. Occasionally courses with varying topics fulfill the non-Western culture course requirement. See the Schedule of Classes for details. These courses are coded NW.

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Transfer and Earned Credit Course Codes

These codes are used to evaluate transfer credit and to determine which academic requirements a course meets.

  • H: Humanities
  • N: Natural Sciences and Mathematics
  • S: Social Sciences
  • W: World Civilization and Culture
  • U: Undesignated Elective Credit (course does not satisfy distribution requirement)

All Philosophy courses

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An introductory examination, based primarily on writings of major philosophers, of such central philosophical problems as religious belief, the mind and its place in nature, freedom and determinism, morality, and the nature and kinds of human knowledge. LEC
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An introductory examination, based primarily on writings of major philosophers, of such central philosophical problems as religious belief, the mind and its place in nature, freedom and determinism, morality, and the nature and kinds of human knowledge. Prerequisite: Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by consent of department. LEC
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An introduction to the theory and practice of logical analysis. Special emphasis is placed upon the logical appraisal of everyday arguments. LEC
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An introductory study of the nature of morality and of philosophical bases for the assessment of actions, agents, and institutions. Special emphasis will be placed upon the views of such important philosophers as Aristotle, Hume, Kant, and Mill. Some attention will be paid to applications of moral theory to practice. LEC
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An introductory study of the nature of morality and of philosophical bases for the assessment of actions, agents, and institutions. Special emphasis will be placed upon the views of such important philosophers as Aristotle, Hume, Kant, and Mill. Some attention will be paid to applications of moral theory to practice. Prerequisite: Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by consent of department. LEC
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An introductory study, based primarily on classic philosophical texts, of such central issues as the justification of governmental authority, the social sources of power, the nature of a just distribution of social resources, competing conceptions of human nature, and the proper limits of governmental interference with individual liberty. LEC
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An introductory study, based primarily on classic philosophical texts, of such central issues as the justification of governmental authority, the social sources of power, the nature of a just distribution of social resources, competing conceptions of human nature, and the proper limits of governmental interference with individual liberty. Prerequisite: Open only to students in the University Honors Program or by consent of department. LEC
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This course is designed for the study of special topics in Philosophy. course work must be arranged through the Office of KU Study Abroad. May be repeated for credit if content varies. LEC
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An introduction to the theory and practice of elementary symbolic logic. Special emphasis will be placed upon the logical analysis of mathematical proof and upon a proof of the consistency of elementary logic. LEC
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A philosophical analysis of theoretical and ethical issues that arise in the practice of the life sciences. Discusses the conceptual foundation of the life sciences--evolutionary theory and genetics. Critically explores the use of statistical and non-human-animal models. Examines ethical issues including problems that arise in human and other animal experimentation, obligations to the environment, proper use of patents, and conflicts in professional duties. LEC
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This course will consider, from a philosophical perspective, some of the problems in religion which arise in the development of "Natural Theology" broadly conceived. (Same as REL 380.) LEC
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After a brief survey of techniques of moral argument and analysis, particular moral issues related to business will be discussed. These will include such topics as advertising, conflict of interest, personal and corporate responsibility, codes of conduct, private property, strikes, just wage, and the tension between moral ideals and business pressures. LEC
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An analysis of the nature and justification of standards of professional conduct. Issues of professional behavior that concern more than one profession such as fidelity to a client's interests, candor, confidentiality, obligations to human research subjects, obligations to uphold professional standards, professional strikes, and affirmative action will be discussed. LEC
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This course is a philosophical investigation of the nature and value of sports. Provides students with an overview of ethical theory and considers principled answers to questions about the values of sports and about how those values can be sustained or demeaned. Students debate a variety of live controversies in sports today such as drugs, cheating, sexism, racism, the role of sports in educational institutions, Title IX, commercialization, and violence. LEC
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After a brief survey of techniques of moral argument and analysis, particular moral issues related to medicine will be discussed. The justification and limits of some rules of professional conduct that deal with such matters as confidentiality, truth-telling, and protection of medical research subjects will be considered. Issues relating to death and dying in medicine such as abortion, euthanasia, and the refusal of life-saving medical therapy also will be discussed. LEC
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After surveying the nature of ethics and morality and learning some standard techniques of moral argumentation, we shall examine such topics as: property and ownership rights in computer programs and software; privacy in computer entry and records; responsibility for computer use and failure; the "big brother" syndrome made possible by extensive personal data banks; censorship and the world-wide web; computer illiteracy and social displacement; and ethical limits to computer research. Prerequisite: EECS 168 or permission of instructor. LEC
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After a brief survey of techniques of moral argument and analysis, particular moral issues related to the environment will be discussed. These will include such topics (one of which may be dealt with in depth) as animal rights, rights of future generations, wilderness preservation, population control, endangered species, and economics and public policy. Prerequisite: EVRN 148 or consent of instructor. LEC
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An examination of topics of philosophical interest that are important in the feminist movement such as the nature of sexism, the concept of sexual equality, the ethics of sexual behavior, the nature of love, feminist analyses of the value of marriage and family, the ethics of abortion, and justifications for preferential treatment of women. (Same as WGSS 381.) LEC
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A survey of the thought of the principal philosophers of ancient Greece, with emphasis on the pre-Socratics, Plato, and Aristotle. LEC
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A survey of the writings of such principal philosophers of the modern period as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Hobbes, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. LEC
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An introduction to the principal figures in the philosophical tradition that forms the background to contemporary investigations in analytic philosophy of language. Particular attention will be paid to Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, and Quine. Prerequisite: PHIL 310 or equivalent, or PHIL 310 may be taken concurrently. LEC
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Examines the data and methodologies of the disciplines that comprise Cognitive Science, an inter-disciplinary approach to studying the mind and brain. Topics may include: consciousness, artificial intelligence, linguistics, education and instruction, neural networks, philosophy, psychology, anthropology, evolutionary theory, cognitive neuroscience, human-computer interaction, and robotics. (Same as LING 418, PSYC 418, and SPLH 418.) Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. LEC
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This course is required, in addition to regular major requirements, of those students wishing to work for departmental honors in Philosophy. Students wishing to enroll should first speak with the departmental adviser for majors. Prerequisite: Open to senior majors in Philosophy by consent of instructor. IND
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(Topic, instructor, and specific prerequisite to be announced in Schedule of Classes.) A study of particular philosophical problems or thinkers not covered by other courses. The course may be offered concurrently by different instructors under different subtitles, and may, with the consent of the chair, be taken more than once if content varies. LEC
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A discussion of philosophical issues such as the relation between love, autonomy, and friendship; heterosexual and homosexual relationships; marriage and adultery; rape and sexual harassment; prostitution; and pornography. LEC
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A survey of the principal modes of Chinese thought from their origins through the imperial period. Not open to students with credit in EALC 132. (Same as EALC 642 and HWC 524.) Prerequisite: Eastern Civilization course, or a course in Asian history, or a distribution course in Philosophy. LEC
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A study of the doctrines of Greek philosophy before Plato. Emphasis on the Pre-Socratic philosophers, with some attention paid to the Sophists and the Hippocratic corpus. (Same as GRK 508.) Prerequisite: PHIL 384, or GRK 301, or GRK 302, or GRK 303, or GRK 310, or GRK 312, or permission of instructor. LEC
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An examination of important representative theories of the justness of an economic system, with particular attention paid to such institutions as private property, a market economy, means and relationships of production, and principles of distribution to individuals. The theorists under consideration include Locke, Adam Smith, Marx and Engels, contemporary utilitarians, Rawls, and Nozick. Prerequisite: A course in ethics or an introductory course in economics or in business. LEC
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The development of philosophy in the 19th century. Special attention will be paid to such major figures as Hegel, Kierkegaard, Marx, Nietzsche, and Mill. Prerequisite: PHIL 386. LEC
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A study of the thought of Soren Kierkegaard through examination of some of his major writings. Some attention is given to his influence on the development of existentialist philosophies. Prerequisite: PHIL 384 or PHIL 386. LEC
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A study of Nietzsche's major writings and ideas, with some attention to his philosophical influence. Prerequisite: PHIL 384 or PHIL 386 or permission of instructor. LEC
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A philosophical study of the classical texts of Marxism and of their contemporary development. Prerequisite: A course in philosophy or a course in political science. LEC
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A study of the main themes and leading philosophers of the existentialist movement. Prerequisite: Two courses in philosophy. LEC
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A study of the main themes and leading philosophers of the phenomenological movement. Prerequisite: PHIL 386. LEC
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A study of selected topics in 20th century European philosophy, such as hermeneutics, critical theory, and poststructuralism. Figures to be studied could include Heidegger, Gadamer, Adorno, Habermas, and Foucault. Prerequisite: PHIL 386. LEC
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Individual reading on topics not covered in course work. Prerequisite: Consent of instructor. IND
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A survey of the major works of Plato, with attention both to Plato's distinctive arguments and positions in the major areas of philosophy and to the distinctive literary form in which Plato presents his thinking. Prerequisite: PHIL 384. LEC
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A survey of the major works of Aristotle, with the aim of understanding Aristotle's distinctive formulations of central philosophical questions, the arguments he presents for his answers to those questions, and the systematic interconnections between his positions in the different areas of philosophy. Prerequisite: PHIL 384. LEC
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Survey of Stoicism, Epicureanism, and Scepticism from their beginnings through the second century AD. Prerequisite: PHIL 384 and another course in philosophy. LEC
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Propositional calculus, predicate calculus, consistency, decidability of formal systems, the paradoxes and number concept will be covered. LEC
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This course is a workshop in any of a variety of topics in symbolic logic of special importance to contemporary analytic philosophy, such as modal logic, tense logic, axiomatic set theory, Goedel's theorems, model theory, etc. May be repeated for credit as topics vary. Prerequisite: PHIL 310. LEC
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An examination of conceptual and foundational issues in the natural sciences. Topics may include the methodology of science (the nature and status of laws, the precise way in which experiment contributes to theory) and puzzles concerning the content of science (the status of space and time, the problematic nature of quantum mechanics). Prerequisite: PHIL 310 or PHIL 610, or permission of instructor. LEC
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A critical examination of the methods, concepts, and practices of the social sciences. Topics to be considered may include: theories of explanation, methodological individualism vs. holism, objectivity, the role of rationality, myth and the unconscious in the explanation of behavior, and the value neutrality of science. Prerequisite: One previous course in philosophy, or permission of instructor. LEC
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A systematic treatment of logical theory. Different types of logic will be studied along with their philosophical assumptions, motivations, implications, and uses. Prerequisite: PHIL 310 or PHIL 610. LEC
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An examination of varying conceptions of the role and status of mathematical arguments. Topics may include realism/anti-realism, the consequences of Goedel's Incompleteness Theorems, the role of mathematics in the sciences, and an examination of such historical thinkers as Plato, Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Goedel, and Hilbert. Prerequisite: PHIL 310 or PHIL 610, or permission of instructor. LEC
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An examination of the nature of language using the methods of analytic philosophy. Topics may include meaning, truth, reference, language and thought, and the nature of linguistic rules. Prerequisite: PHIL 388 or permission of instructor. LEC
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An examination of the nature of knowledge. Topics may include the concept of knowledge, knowledge of the external world, induction, theories of justification, and scientific knowledge. Prerequisite: PHIL 384 and PHIL 386, PHIL 388 (which may be taken concurrently), or permission of instructor. LEC
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An examination of some of the central issues in metaphysics. Topics may include causation, the mind-body problem, free will and determinism, modality, natural kinds, the nature of properties, and personal identity. Prerequisite: PHIL 384 and PHIL 386, PHIL 388 (which may be taken concurrently), or permission of instructor. LEC
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An examination of the nature of mind using the methods of analytic philosophy. Topics may include consciousness, perception, propositional attitudes, thought and language, action and intention, mind and body, the prospects for scientific psychology, and personal identity. Prerequisite: PHIL 388 or permission of instructor. LEC
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A study of some of the central themes and problems in aesthetics, such as the beautiful and the sublime in nature and the arts. Prerequisite: Two courses in philosophy or graduate standing. LEC
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This course is an introduction to the philosophical issues surrounding individual decision theory, game theory, and social choice theory. This includes issues of scientific theory selection, the nature of preference, the uses of games to model social interaction, and the ethical and political implications of Arrow's impossibility theorem. Formal techniques of modeling and proof, akin to those used in logic and mathematics, will be used in much of the course. Prerequisite: Two courses in economics, a philosophy course numbered 500 or above, or consent of instructor. LEC
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A systematic analysis of the concepts of politics, with reference to representative political theories. Prerequisite: A course in philosophy and a course in political science. LEC
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An examination of some major moral philosophers and some important issues in ethical theory since the beginning of the twentieth century. Topics covered typically include intuitionism, emotivism, utilitarianism, virtue ethics, and the relationship between morality and rationality. Prerequisite: PHIL 160 or PHIL 161 or two courses in philosophy. LEC
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This course addresses the role (if any) that gender plays in constructing ethical theories. Topics include the impact of culture, affect, and the body on our understanding of gender differences and the importance of these differences for ethics. Prerequisite: PHIL 160 or PHIL 161, or two previous philosophy courses. LEC
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An interpretive and critical examination of central texts in the history of moral philosophy, which may include works by Aristotle, Hume, Kant, and J.S. Mill. Prerequisite: PHIL 160 or PHIL 161 or two previous philosophy courses. LEC
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An examination of the concept of law and of legal reasoning. In addition, the course may consider such topics as natural law, legal excuses, the relations between law and morality, civil disobedience, civil liberties, the concept of property. Prerequisite: Two courses in philosophy or one course in philosophy and one course in law or consent of instructor. LEC
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After a brief survey of techniques of moral argument and analysis especially as they pertain to the moral impermissibility of murder, particular moral and conceptual issues relating to death and dying in medical contexts will be addressed. Topics such as abortion, infanticide, suicide, euthanasia, the definition of death, and the right to refuse life-saving medical therapy will be included. Prerequisite: Two courses in biology or consent of instructor. LEC
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After a brief survey of techniques of moral argument and analysis, particular moral issues related to the obligations of health care professionals and the rights of patients will be discussed. These will include such matters as confidentiality, truth-telling, informed consent, the ethics of research on human subjects, psychosurgery, the rights of the mentally ill, and the rights of the mentally retarded. Prerequisite: Two courses in biology or consent of instructor. LEC
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A study of philosophical, theological and literary monuments designed to acquaint the student with the main cultural forces that have shaped Russian thought and manners. From the origins to Napoleonic times. (Same as SLAV 684.) LEC
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A continuation of SLAV 684 from the age of Pushkin to the present. (Same as SLAV 686.) LEC
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Intensive supervised training in the techniques of research. Required of every graduate student seeking an advanced degree in the first or second semester of enrollment. Passing this tutorial constitutes partial fulfillment of the Ph.D. FLORS requirements. Consent of instructor required for repeating the course. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. RSH
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Prerequisite: PHIL 508 or PHIL 605 or PHIL 607 or PHIL 608 or permission of instructor. LEC
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Prerequisite: PHIL 508 or PHIL 605 or PHIL 607 or PHIL 608 or permission of instructor. LEC
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This course may be offered by different instructors under different subtitles, and may be taken more than once if the subject matter varies sufficiently. Topic, instructor, and specific prerequisites to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. Prerequisite: 500-600 level course as specified or permission of instructor. LEC
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Prerequisite: PHIL 648 or PHIL 650 or PHIL 654 or permission of instructor. LEC
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Prerequisite: PHIL 648 or PHIL 650 or PHIL 654 or permission of instructor. LEC
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Prerequisite: PHIL 560 or 500-600 level course as specified or permission of instructor. LEC
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Gottlob Frege was the founder of the analytic movement in philosophy, having done seminal work in logic, the philosophy of language, and the philosophy of mathematics. This course will focus on his primary texts as well as his influence on present-day studies. Prerequisite: PHIL 628 or PHIL 630 or PHIL 638 or permission of instructor. LEC
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Prerequisite: PHIL 560 or PHIL 562 or PHIL 570 or PHIL 582 or PHIL 590 or PHIL 592 or permission of instructor. LEC
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Prerequisite: PHIL 638 or PHIL 650 or PHIL 654 or permission of instructor. LEC
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This course may be offered by different instructors under different subtitles, and may be taken more than once if the subject matter varies sufficiently. Topic, instructor, and specific prerequisite to be announced in Schedule of Classes. Prerequisite: 500-600 level as specified or permission of instructor. LEC
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A systematic study of the major work of W. V. Quine and its influence on subsequent analytic philosophy. Topics will include Quine's theory of meaning, philosophical logic, and philosophy of science. Prerequisite: PHIL 638 or PHIL 648 or PHIL 650 or PHIL 654 or permission of instructor. LEC
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An examination of Donald Davidson's seminal work in philosophy of language and philosophy of mind. Among the topics to be considered will be meaning, truth, interpretation, action, and propositional attitudes. Prerequisite: PHIL 638 or PHIL 654 or permission of instructor. LEC
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This course may be offered under different subtitles, and may be taken more than once if the subject matter varies sufficiently. Topic and instructor and specific prerequisite to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. Prerequisite: PHIL 620 or PHIL 622 or PHIL 648 or PHIL 650 or permission of instructor. LEC
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This course may be offered under different subtitles, and may be taken more than once if the subject matter varies sufficiently. Topic and instructor and specific prerequisite to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. Prerequisite: PHIL 610 or PHIL 628 or PHIL 630 or permission of instructor. LEC
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This course may be offered under different subtitles and may be taken more than once if the subject matter varies sufficiently. Prerequisite: PHIL 638 or permission of instructor. LEC
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This course may be offered under different subtitles, and may be taken more than once if the subject matter varies sufficiently. Topic and instructor and specific prerequisite to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. Prerequisite: PHIL 650 or permission of instructor. LEC
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This course may be offered under different subtitles, and may be taken more than once if the subject matter varies sufficiently. Topic and instructor and specific prerequisite to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. Prerequisite: PHIL 648 or permission of instructor. LEC
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This course may be offered under different subtitles, and may be taken more than once if the subject matter varies sufficiently. Topic and instructor and specific prerequisite to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. Prerequisite: PHIL 654 or permission of instructor. LEC
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This course may be offered under different subtitles, and may be taken more than once if the subject matter varies sufficiently. Topic and instructor and specific prerequisite to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. Prerequisite: PHIL 670 or PHIL 672 or permission of instructor. LEC
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This course may be offered under different subtitles, and may be taken more than once if the subject matter varies sufficiently. Topic and instructor and specific prerequisite to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. Prerequisite: PHIL 555 or PHIL 666 or PHIL 668 or PHIL 674 or permission of instructor. LEC
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Explores various topics at the intersection of law and philosophy. Content varies but may include: What is freedom and what role should government play in a free society? What is equality and what is the best way to achieve it? What is the relationship between law and social justice? What is the source and value of human rights? Should social and economic rights be legally guaranteed? How should government redress historical injustices such as slavery, apartheid, and the Holocaust? Students must complete a substantial seminar paper. (Same as LAW 962.) LEC
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This course may be offered under different subtitles, such as professional ethics or some issue in business ethics (e.g., corporate responsibility) or in medical ethics (e.g., the definition of death); it may be taken more than once if the subject matter varies sufficiently. Topic, instructor, and specific prerequisite to be announced in Schedule of Classes. Prerequisite: PHIL 670 or PHIL 672 or 500-600 level course as specified or permission of instructor. LEC
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This course may be offered under different subtitles, such as philosophy of a particular social science (e.g., economics, psychology) or a particular issue in the social sciences (e.g., ideology, reductionism), and may be taken more than once if the subject matter varies sufficiently. Topic and instructor and specific prerequisite to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. Prerequisite: PHIL 622 or permission of instructor. LEC
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This course may be offered under different subtitles, and may be taken more than once if the subject matter varies sufficiently. Topics, instructor, and specific prerequisites to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. LEC
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Six hours of credit will be awarded upon completion of the master's thesis, but no more than six hours of credit may be obtained in this course altogether. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. THE
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Intensive research in philosophy. This course may be taken through individual arrangement, or in connection with small research seminars which are offered occasionally. Students may only enroll for three hours in any given semester. May be repeated if content varies significantly. Prerequisite: Twelve hours of graduate work. RSH
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Independent research on any topic that a graduate student and a faculty member shall agree on. It shall result in a tightly focused 20-30 page paper. The student's written work will be repeatedly evaluated over the semester by the director, and the final product must be defended in an oral examination conducted by a three-member faculty committee (including the director). Prerequisite: Students must be admitted to the Ph.D. program and have successfully completed the Ph.D. core courses requirement. RSH
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This course may be taken more than once, but not for more than twelve hours of credit in any one semester. Graded on a satisfactory/unsatisfactory basis. THE
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