Summer 2021 Courses

101 Introduction to Philosophy

June 14– August 8
Online 8:55am – 11:35am MW
Instructor: Dylan Beschoner

In this class, we will ask and (attempt to) answer some of the most pressing questions in philosophy using philosophical standards of argumentation. Some of the questions we will be pursuing in this class include: “What is justice?”; “How can we achieve it?”; “How should we live our lives?”; “How should we treat other people?”; “How should we treat animals?”; “Is there a God?”; “Under what conditions are you the same person who was born approximately 20 years ago?”; “What is race?”; “What is gender?”; “Are there even objective answers to these questions?”; “If so, how can we know them?”; “What is knowledge?”; “Can we know anything at all?”; “Is the mind distinct from the brain?”; “Could you be living in a computer simulation?”; and “Does it matter if you are?”.  This course is an introductory level survey of philosophy. We will read contemporary and historical sources. The class is designed to expose students to philosophy and some of its history, and to equip students with the skills needed to comprehend and evaluate arguments for competing views according to philosophical standards. These skills will be useful inside and outside the philosophy classroom. They will make you a better advocate for the issues that you care about. The course will also help you decide what you think about difficult questions in the first place. You will get as much out of this class as you are prepared to put into it, so come prepared to engage critically and to discuss your point of view about important questions. Prerequisites: Open to Freshmen and Sophomores who have had no previous philosophy courses other than 210, 211, 253 or 254. Not open to Juniors.

210 Reason in Communications (Fulfills QR-A)

June 14 – August 8
Online Asynchronous
Instructor: Farid Masrour

Interested in improving your skills in recognizing, evaluating, and engaging in reasoning with the added bonus of satisfying a QR-A requirement? If so, this course is for you. Throughout the course you will learn to recognize and analyze reasoning as it occurs in everyday discourse, to recognize and analyze the effect of rhetorical devices, and to follow basic logical principles and avoid common logical fallacies. We will pay special attention to reasoning in mass communication media. The course is entirely online. So, you can take it in an environment of your choice and with a timetable that fits your schedule.

211 Elementary Logic (Fulfills QR-B)

May 17 – June 13
Online 1:10 – 3:50pm MTWR
Instructor: John Mackay

This course is an introduction to formal logic, the study of valid reasoning. We will study methods for proving that an argument is either valid or invalid. Validity, as we will understand it, depends on the form of arguments rather than on their content; we will therefore work with a formal, symbolic language in which the form of sentences is made explicit. We will study both truth–functional and quantificational logic and use a deductive proof procedure for each.

241 Introduction to Ethics

July 12 – August 8
Online 1:00-2:30pm MTWR
Instructor: Hayley Clatterbuck

In this course, we will ask fundamental ethical questions—how ought we treat one another? what makes for a good human life? what rights do I have? how should I think about controversial moral problems? —examine answers that philosophers have given, and develop the tools to answer these questions ourselves. Course requirements will be met through a combination of synchronous meetings and asynchronous lectures. We will meet for synchronous online discussion Monday-Thursday from 1-2:30. Asynchronous lectures will be posted online.

243 Ethics in Business

May 17 – July 11
Online 1:10 – 3:50pm TR
Instructor: Camila Flowerman

This class will cover the ethical dimensions of businesses and commercial activities. The topics we will consider include corporate social responsibility, corporate culture, the meaning and value of work, marketing ethics, the environmental responsibilities of firms, international business and globalization, and more. We will also discuss more general questions about firms as social entities, including the nature of collective responsibility and shared agency. Prerequisites: Sophomore Status.

341-001 Contemporary Moral Issues (Fulfills COMM-B)

May 17 – June 13
Online Asynchronous
Instructor: Peter Vranas

Under what circumstances, if any, is abortion morally permissible? Should the death penalty be abolished? What causes terrorism, and is it ever morally permissible to torture terrorists? This course teaches students how to think systematically about these fascinating questions. The emphasis is not on defending particular answers, but is instead on providing students with the tools they need to reach their own answers.