Chair: Irene Liu
Professor: Thomas Brockelman, Karmen MacKendrick, Mario Saenz, Jonathan Schonsheck, Ludger Viefhues-Bailey
Associate Professor: Steven Affeldt, William Day, C.Tabor Fisher, Michael Kagan, Irene Liu
Assistant Professor: Cavin Robinson
Professor of Practice: Eugene B. Young
Visiting Assistant Professor: John Monteleone
Adjunct Faculty: Ryan Hubbard, Alex Krantz, Max Malikow, Charles F. Maxfield, Jeremy Pierce, Paul W. Prescott, Pamela A. Ryan, Michael J. Weaver
The aim of the study of philosophy at Le Moyne is to orient students in the development of critical and speculative thought, under conditions of intellectual and affective freedom, and with a sense of openness towards alternative visions of life-experience. The study of philosophy at Le Moyne is pluralistic in approach. As such, it allows majors and non-majors alike to focus on those philosophical themes that best respond to their individual concerns and vocational aspirations. These include graduate study in philosophy or related disciplines (e.g., religious studies; women’s studies; critical, literary and film theory; etc.), professional studies (in law, medicine or the ministry), and other career studies (in civil rights, ecology, etc.).
The core program of study in philosophy serves majors and non-majors alike, since questions proper to philosophy are common to everyone and should be thematically studied by every liberally educated person. The core program is intended to clarify philosophic questions about human life and reality generally and to help students develop a philosophic understanding of their world and a method for enlarging that understanding in the future. See core curriculum at the beginning of the Undergraduate Programs section for regulations concerning sequence of core courses.
Student Learning Outcomes in Philosophy
Students who graduate from this program will be able to:
PHL 110. Introduction to Philosophy. 3 Credit Hours.
As a writing instructional course, this course introduces students to the practice of philosophy and to some of the central questions, modes of inquiry, and forms of analysis and argumentation that distinguish philosophy from other ways of understanding ourselves and our world. Organized around the themes of "the human condition" and "the examined life", the course engages students in reflective dialogue about central concepts that define the human condition (e.g., knowledge and understanding, beauty and value, justice and community, transcendence and the divine, etc.). By linking rigorous analysis with engaged reflection on the concrete task of living an examined life, PHL 110 exemplifies the core value of Le Moyne's Jesuit educational mission of educating both the hearts and minds of our students.
Prerequisite: WRT 101 or permission of the department chair.
PHL 210. Moral Philosophy. 3 Credit Hours.
This course investigates the philosophical foundations of normative ethics in an effort to clarify the status of moral values in human life. Drawing upon classical as well as contemporary texts in moral theory, the course will consider issues such as: What does it means to be a moral being or a moral agent? Are moral values grounded in human nature, the natural order, the divine? What are the methods and possible limits of reasoning about moral values? Is moral philosophy (merely) descriptive of the practices and values of various groups or can it be prescriptive; can it, that is, tell us what we ought to do? How might we understand the historical development of moral theory and the diversity of systems of value? How might conflicts between these systems of thought be understood, assessed, and/or resolved? Sections capped at 30.
PHL 310. Informal Logic. 3 Credit Hours.
An introduction to critical thinking, this course focuses on developing skills in evaluating and constructing arguments. Fallacy detection and analysis will be of central gender and culture on argument, both as product and as process, will also be stressed.
PHL 311. Introduction to Formal Logic. 3 Credit Hours.
Students will have the opportunity of discovering and exploring the structure and interrelations of the various kinds of propositions that occur in deductive reasoning. Logic will be presented as applying to the actual world incidentally, but to possible types of order explicitly. Propositional logic, predicated logic, classes and relations will be part of its content. Quantified expressions will be studied. Some attention will also be given to the non-deductive processes of the scientific method and the analysis of probabilities. Throughout the course there will be a wide selection of problem-solving challenges.
PHL 320. Ancient and Medieval Philosophy. 3 Credit Hours.
This course is an introduction to ancient and medieval philosophy. The course covers a variety of topics, e.g. happiness, nature, knowledge, and God, through engagement with Plato, Aristotle, and other major philosophers of these periods. In addition to addressing philosophical topics of perennial interest, this course seeks to cultivate an appreciation of philosophical inquiry in its intellectual and historical context by considering developments such as the emergence of philosophy from traditional Greek wisdom, the challenge of the Sophists, the encounter between Greek philosophy and Christianity, etc.
PHL 321. Descartes to Kant. 3 Credit Hours.
This course examines, in historical context, the philosophical ideas ingredient to the emergence of the modern world. Attention will be paid to theories that undergird major developments of the early modern period, e.g. in science, politics religion, or art. Themes covered may include, for example, the increasing emphasis on epistemology (rationalism & empiricism) at the expense of metaphysics, the subjectivist birth of the modern idea of the self, and the modern transformation of approaches to moral and ethical questions. Texts will be drawn from (among others) works of Descartes, Locke, Hume, Rousseau and Kant.
PHL 322. Kant Through Contemporary Thought. 3 Credit Hours.
This course is a survey of Western philosophy from the nineteenth century until today. It begins with the rise of German idealism (Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel) and its nineteenth century critics, for example, the "dialectics of suspicion" concerning the transcendental subject as elaborated by Marx, Kierkegaard, and Nietzsche, or the utilitarian tradition. Depending on student or faculty interest, the course may continue with a study of existentialism and phenomenology ( for example, the analysis of lived experience and intersubjectivity), logical positivism and analytic philosophy (for example, the linguistic turn, or philosophical reflections on science and scientific method), and/or critical theory, poststructuralism and postmodernism (e.g., critiques of positivism and metanarratives, as well as the introduction of the relational subject).
PHL 324. Philosophies of Judaism. 3 Credit Hours.
An examination of a variety of Jewish philosophical tendencies as responses to fundamental crises and challenges. The course will focus on several paradigmatic philosophies of Judaism in terms of the following: (a) the human person (philosophical anthropology); (b) revelation and obligation; (c) theology; and (d) Jewish identity and existence. The influence and importance of gender and culture in the development of these philosophies will also be stressed.
Cross-listed Courses: REL 383
PHL 325. Asian Philosophy. 3 Credit Hours.
An examination of the main philosophical traditions of India and the Far East: Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism and Confucianism. This course will focus upon mysticism as a primary determinant of Eastern thought and will seek to place these philosophies in their historical and cultural setting.
Cross-listed Courses: PGS 335
PHL 326. U.S. Latina Thought. 3 Credit Hours.
U.S. Third World women in general and Latinas in particular have raised important philosophical questions that have enriched philosophical and feminist considerations about the nature of the self, reality, knowledge and politics. This course will involve a close reading of a number of philosophical and literary texts by U.S. Latinas from a number of different social locations.
PHL 327. Phil in the United States. 3 Credit Hours.
This course examines the development of philosophical thought in the United States from the colonial period to the middle of the twentieth century. The main emphasis falls upon the rise of pragmatic philosophy, as exemplified in the writings of Charles Sanders Pierce, William James and John Dewey. Other traditions such as Puritanism and Transcendentalism are considered, along with readings dealing with race and gender issues.
PHL 329. Freud and Philosophy. 3 Credit Hours.
An investigation of Freud's contributions to philosophy. The course will be divided between an intensive examination of texts from the founder of psychoanalysis (The Interpretation of Dreams, Beyond the Pleasure Principle, Moses and Monotheism, etc.) and readings of philosophical interpretations and evaluations of Freud. Topics covered may include the therapeutic claims of psychoanalysis, Freud and politics, psychoanalysis and the arts (literature, etc.) and psychoanalysis and feminist theory.
PHL 340. Philosophy of Art. 3 Credit Hours.
Why do we call some things beautiful and others not? And why do we often disagree? Is "This is beautiful" never more than an opinion, or can it be true? If it can't be true, then are works of art meaningless? If they aren't meaningless, how do we know what they mean? This course will examine these and related questions through careful reading and discussion of classic and contemporary writings in the philosophy of art. Visual artists, musicians, dancers, actors, and creative writers should find it especially valuable, as will anyone who likes to think about art. Fulfills Core Requirement(s):Visual and Performing Arts (VPA).
PHL 341. Philosophy and Literature. 3 Credit Hours.
This course will explore the various literary and philosophical dimensions of the imagination in order to appreciate how poets, novelists and philosophers have interpreted the world we live in through the ages. Representative works from the English Renaissance to the present will be analyzed and discussed.
PHL 342. Philosophy & the Theatre: Ancient Greek. 3 Credit Hours.
This course offers one a study of the intimate weave between the development of ancient Greek philosophy and that of ancient Greek theatre. Through careful analysis of both philosophic and theatrical texts, one is afforded a richer and more sophisticated sense of the genealogical/conceptual/cultural interdependence of both genres of wisdom literature. Set within a phenomenological resurrection of the political and religious realities that nurtured to life such philosophical artistry, the study will walk through the great pillars of classical theatre, tragedians and comic playwrights both, as well as those of classical philosophy (Plato and Aristotle).
Cross-listed Courses: THR 342
PHL 343. Phil & Theatre: Transition to Modernity. 3 Credit Hours.
A philosophical exploration into the nature of theatre, this course would attempt to elucidate the richly theatrical dimensions of daily life. A careful interweaving of selections from the theatre (both classical and modern) and selections from the philosophical literature, will afford students the opportunity to enhance their appreciation of the artistry of the theatre as well as the theatrical artistry of life. The thesis which underlies the study is that meaningful life requires the presense (in one's life) of the fictive (i.e., the theatrical). Central to the development of this thesis will be the philosophical theory of the "as if" of Hans Vaihinger. Fulfills core Visual and Performing Arts requirement. (VPA).
PHL 344. Art and Politics. 3 Credit Hours.
This course uses art manifestos and a variety of current works in both art and philosophy to examine and question the relation between art and politics. We will ask whether this relationship is necessary, desirable, or detrimental to art, or for that matter, politics. Fulfills Core Requirement(s):Visual and Performing Arts (VPA).
PHL 345. Issues in Medical Ethics. 3 Credit Hours.
Using a practical, context-specific approach that is sensitive to the philosophical, scientific, social, legal and economic dimensions that shape and define the field of bioethics, this course is devoted to a detailed study of ethical issues debated in the health professions. Specific topics will vary, but may include some of the following: death and dying, the medicines, choices in reproduction, presymptomatic testing for genetic disease, AIDS and social justice, allocation of medical resources and access to health care. Open only to students in the Physician Assistant Program.
PHL 346. Ethics and the Nurse. 3 Credit Hours.
Using a practical, context-specific approach that is sensitive to the philosophical, scientific, social, legal and economic dimensions that shape and define the field of bioethics, this course is devoted to a detailed study of ethical issues in nursing. Specific topics will vary. Open only to students in the Bachelor's of Science in Nursing program.
Fulfills Core Requirement(s): Interdisciplinary Studies (IDS).
PHL 347. Ethics & Health Professions. 3 Credit Hours.
This course examines the origins and use of ethical theories in the clinical, professional, organizational, and political-economic fields of action in health care. Specific issues presented in the context of case studies illuminate the several fields. These issues include assisted suicide, professional codes of ethics, the ethics of "cost-cutting," and justice with respect to care.
PHL 348. Social & Polit Phil:Historical. 3 Credit Hours.
This course investigates central issues in social and political philosophy from ancient times through the 19th century. Specific issues may vary, but will include some of the following: attempts to design the ideal state, attempts to provide a moral justification for the actions of states (the problem of power vs. authority), philosophical foundations of individual property rights, principles limiting the scope of legitimate governmental actions, principles of just revolution.
PHL 349. Social & Pol Phl: Contemporary. 3 Credit Hours.
An examination of methodological and substantive issues in contemporary social and political philosophy. Methodological issues center around the question: "What sort(s) of arguments (if any) justify the existence of states?" Substantive issues center around the questions: "What state functions are morally permissible? Morally obligatory?" Some current social issues are examined in light of the theories discussed; e.g., moral limits (if any) on political dissent, income redistribution, covert non-compliance with laws. (A,C).
Prerequisite: PHL 301 or 302 or 303.
PHL 350. Philosophy of Law. 3 Credit Hours.
This is not a course in the study of law. It is a course designed to afford students who have an interest in the law (not necessarily professional) an opportunity to reflect on the philosophical presuppositions of the law and the philosophical problems that arise within the general domain of jurisprudence. Based on readings (historical and contemporary) written by both philosophers and jurists, the course typically addresses general theories of law, law and morality, judicial reasoning and crime and punishment. Students should expect to do a great deal of linguistic analysis as well as some case study.
Cross-listed Courses: LGS 350
PHL 352. Critical Theory & Technological Society. 3 Credit Hours.
An examination of modernity, rationality and technological society through the lens of the twentieth century critical theory movement (also known as the Frankfurt School). Emphasis will be upon (a) critical theory's relation to Hegelian and Marxist theories, (b) its reflections on the rise of positivism and "scientism" in epistemology, and (c) the distinction between instrumental reason and communicative rationality. Figures studied may include Adorno, Horkheimer, Benjamin, Marcuse and Habermas.
PHL 353. Latin American Social Philosophy. 3 Credit Hours.
This course will study some of the major philosophical trends in Latin America in the light of both the search for cultural identity and the discovery of difference in the heart of sameness. Therefore, it will also consider those philosophies of social change which (a) provide a critique of hegemonic ideologies, (b) try to rediscover the submerged validity of pre-conquest and non-Western world views and (c) seek a dialogical integration of the diversity of voices in Latin America.
Cross-listed Courses: PGS 353
PHL 357. The Social Production of Space. 3 Credit Hours.
This course is an introduction to the work done in philosophy, geography and cultural studies that addresses the social production of space. In contrast to modern conceptions of space as a pre-given, homogenous and infinite grid of possible locations, the idea of a social production of space leads to a conceptualization of space as deeply textured, often conflicted, and historically produced and reproduced. Key concepts to be covered are: abstract space, time-space compression, the decorporealization of space, the impact of everyday practices on spatial production, multiple spaces, raced spaces and spaces of resistance.
Cross-listed Courses: GWS 323
PHL 358. Philosophy of Race. 3 Credit Hours.
This course is designed to familiarize the student with the historical discourse and contemporary debates concerning race, racial identity, and racism in philosophy. The discipline of philosophy has traditionally viewed the philosophical enter- prise as an investigation into a universal human condition. To this extent, the philosophical salience of race and thinkers whose main concern was to understand race and racism has been obscured within the tradition. This course will examine the history of the concept of the race, discussions of race and race consciousness, as well as the formation and viability, or lack thereof, of racial identities. These discussions bring to the forefront the need for a critical perspective on how we understand race and racialized identities today.
PHL 362. Theory of Knowledge. 3 Credit Hours.
The adequate appreciation and mastery of any intellectual discipline demands that the individual have a firm grasp of scope, operation, structure and limitations of human knowledge. This course intends to provide the student with a grasp of what knowledge is, how it is acquired, how it is evaluated, what distinguishes valid from invalid knowledge, evidence, theory construction, etc. Special attention is given to the theory of cognitive paradigms, i.e., the position that different theoretical models generate different sets of facts and different descriptions of reality. The course is recommended for philosophy and psychology majors and should be of particular interest to students majoring in the natural or social sciences.
PHL 363. Analytic Philosophy. 3 Credit Hours.
A presentation and examination of selected texts in the analytic tradition from J. S. Mill and Frege to Kripke. Focus is on topics such as reference, naming, predication, necessity and truth with an emphasis on their import for questions concerning the meaning of existence. (C,E).
PHL 364. Philosophy of Science. 3 Credit Hours.
This is a meta-mathematical/meta-scientific course in philosophical analysis. The concepts to be investigated are drawn from the fields of mathematics, physics and cosmology (e.g., number, shape, gravity, force, energy, matter, space, time, infinity, singularity). Focused attention will be given to the traditional "paradoxes" associated with the attempt to understand these concepts as well as to the more contemporary "anomalies" brought to light in the investigations of physics and astrophysics. (E).
Cross-listed Courses: GWS 355
PHL 369. The Experience of Time. 3 Credit Hours.
Is time something "out there" - a part of nature and the universe - or is it something felt, so that we cannot imagine time passing without someone or something (a god) to experience it? The ancient physicists pictured time as a measure of motion or change. That picture raised for early Christian theologians the question whether time was created with the universe, and if so, whether God could do anything before there was time in which to do it. In our era, some philosophers have argued that time, properly understood, is unreal. But we might wonder whether such arguments can touch our experience of time. We speak of time as tyrannical, always moving forward, and finite for each of us. But it also moves fast or slowly, is full or empty. We travel through time thanks to the gift or curse of memory. And music can shape time beyond what physics can account for. This seminar will explore, through discussion of classical and contemporary readings in philosophy and literature, music and film, a range of attempts to understand our concept and experience of time.
Prerequisites: PHL 101 or 110, PHL 201 or 210.
PHL 380. Great Livng Philosophers: Stanley Cavell. 3 Credit Hours.
Special Topics: What do movies, music, Shakespeare, Beckett, Thoreau, Emerson, Fred Astaire, psychoanalysis, Poe, Wittgenstein, and the killing of animals for food share in common?They are topics and occasions for Stanley Cavell's exceptional and uniquely American approach to doing philosophy, which he will bring to Le Moyne in the Spring of 2010. Harvard professor for over three decades and winner of a MacArthur "genius" grant, Cavell has rewritten the way philosophy is done in the Anglo-American tradition. He has influenced or transformed thinking in no fewer than four academic disciplines: 20th century analytic philosophy; film theory; Shakespeare studies; and American studies. To understand the unity of these interests, we will read and discuss Cavell's work across the many fields it traverses. We will consider his claim, for example, that Shakespeare's tragedies respond to the same threat of skepticism that moves Descartes, and that Hollywood movies inherit the American transcendentalism of Emerson and Thoreau. Most importantly for our understanding, we will question Professor Cavell himself about aspects of his work when he visits our class, and speaks to the Le Moyne community, at the end of the semester.
PHL 383. Goodness, Truth and Beauty. 3 Credit Hours.
Special Topics: What is wisdom? Philosophy is supposed to seek it. It isn't knowledge, because knowledgeable people often are unwise. Nor is it goodness, because-though closer perhaps to being wise-goodness is no substiture for understanding. Nor can wisdom simply be the beautiful being of love: love so often falls afoul of badness or delusion. In this course, we explore the object of philosophy by focusing on practical, theoretical, and relational reason, and by seeing whether a dynamic picture of their interrelation in a life gives us a structure for becoming wiser.
PHL 390. Independent Study. 3-6 Credit Hours.
Independent Study is intended for any student wanting a program of study in philosophy for which there is no existing couse in the department. A student who wishes to pursue an independent study project for academic credit must submit, prior to registration, a proposed plan of study that includes the topic to be studied and goal to be achieved, the methodology to be followed, schedule of supervision, end product, evaluation procedure and number of credits sought. The proposal must be approved by the supervising faculty member, the department chair and the academic vice president and dean. It will be kept on file in the dean of arts and science's office.
PHL 400. Self Knowledge,Cosmopolis&Transcendence. 3 Credit Hours.
This course pays close attention to our own historicity. Each participant will make a conscious attempt to be authentic in responding to the question, who am I, and to engage the question of the meaning of their own identity and exsistence in relation to the cosmos, transcendence, and society. The selected readings and pedagogy employed will serve as a maieutic- midwife- in the Socratic sense; inspiring the student to articulate who he or she is, and how she ought to live with others, care for the earth, and collaborate in originating creative healing social and environmental structures. In this connection we will engage the significance and implications of the following phenomenon:"to equip an animal with intelligence constitutes not only the possibility of culture and of science but also the possibility of every abomination that has occurred in the course of human history.".
Cross-listed Courses: PGS 409
PHL 401. Senior Sem: Phil & Politics, East & West. 3 Credit Hours.
What is the relation between free thought and the society where it originates and is expressed? Is that relation necessarily hostile? Is this hostility a Western phenomena, or is it found in the Eastern traditions as well? Can philosophy and politics ever get along? This seminar is a cross-cultural, comparative study of the relation between philosophy and the political. It is aimed in two directions: "horizontally" - that is, we will read comparatively the founding thinkers in Chinese philosophy (Confucius and his disciples) and their U.S. "disciples" (Emerson, Thoreau) - and "vertically" - that is we will compare the use of Emerson's thought in contemporary U.S. culture with the use of Confucian teaching in contemporary Chinese culture. The seminar will help you decide whether East and West are incommensurable culturally, or whether they share the quarrel between free thought and society - that is, whether it is free thought and society that are fundamentally incommensurable.
Cross-listed Courses: PGS 422
PHL 402. Romance, Myth and Logos. 3 Credit Hours.
Whether through a poem, a philosophical reflection, a piece of music or work of art, whether through falling in love, the power and challenge of one's life's vocation or a meandering boat ride up the Merrimac River, each of us has experienced the sublime state of meaningfulness. Some may have also experienced, in the evaporation of such meaning, the specter of meaninglessness. This course brings the tools of philosophical analysis to bear upon the phenomenon of meaning or meaningfulness. Through careful phenomenological study of the richly variated "family" of meaning-structures, each participant is provided with an opportunity for a critical understanding of the nature of humankind's engagement with meaningfulness. The course is predicated upon a presumed intimacy between our concern with meaning and the phenomenon romance. Thus, the distinctive but intertwined roles of mythos and logos in the creation of romance will serve as thematic threads into the investigation of meaning. The purpose of this experience is to afford each participant a greater appreciation of the birth and death of meaning, the manner in which it sustains us and the full-blown range of its opportunity.
PHL 404. On Education. 3 Credit Hours.
You may have been in education most of your life, yet what is education? Let's consider the nature of education, especially how to cultivate your humanity, to develop you as a whole, human being. How can education produce wisdom, maturity, or growing throughout life? Joining the history of educational thinking with contemporary questions, the course gives you the opportunity to reflect on your schooling and to find ways to learn throughout life.
PHL 407. Ethics, Art and Literature. 3 Credit Hours.
Investigations into questions concerning the relations between philosophical theories of ethics and actual works of art, including novels, paintings, plays, poetry and films, have recently been increasing. This course explores the thesis that philosophical theories of ethics, which state their case at a high level of generality, must be complemented and/or completed by detailed, individual case studies. It challenges students to bring human actions, their own and others, into relief through casting the lights of rival theories of ethics upon them. It works to reveal the differing social consequences of the adoption and/or truth of this or that theory of ethics for everyday life. Selected works of art are studied to determine what is gained and what is sacrificed in particular lives by putting trust in this or that theory. Finally, the course explores various philosophical questions concerning the expression of values in art and in literature. Electives in philosophy may be taken upon completion of PHL 201 unless otherwise noted. Fulfills Core requirement(s): VPA.
PHL 408. Philosophy and Revolution. 3 Credit Hours.
This course will examines some of the connections that have been made between philosophical discourse and radical transformative practices in politics, culture, the economy and society. It will consider whether and how philosophical discourse contributes to the enlightenment necessary for revolutionary and liberatory transformations of the established order, or, alternatively, whether and how it becomes an obstacle to those transformations. Some of the ideas studied will include Plato's conception of philosophy as liberation from the imprisonment of the cave, modern and post-modern conceptions of social revolution and its likelihood, desirability, relation to human liberation and, finally, contemporary treatments of the relation between revolution, on the one hand, and neocolonialism, violence, patriarchal society, racial oppression and class exploitation, on the other hand.
PHL 409. Philosophy, Faith and Mystic Union. 3 Credit Hours.
This seminar explores the concept of divinity developed in a contemporary project in philosophical theology. It then moves on to a consideration of the notion of religious faith as expressed by various authors in a biblical tradition. Finally, it investigates what it means to directly experience God by analyzing the several states of mystic union articulated by some of the great mystics.
PHL 410. Health, Society and the Law. 3 Credit Hours.
The historical development of western ideas of health, disease and illness will be studied from the perspective not only of philosophy, but also of medicine and psychiatry, psychology, religion, sociology, economics and the law. The seminar will explore the development of concepts of mental illness, dementia and mental "retardation", as well as the definition of sexual preferences and "perversions" as diseases, and the role of international groups, such as the World Health Organization, in the social construction of definitions of human health. Prerequisites or corequisites: PHL 101, 201, 302.
PHL 412. Philosophy and Architecture. 3 Credit Hours.
This course will examine philosophical issues raised by the practice of architecture-the relationship between space and place, the concept of "home," the boundary between "art" and "science," the demand that art reflect "our time," and the nature of the city. Beginning from some basic background in the history and language of architecture, the seminar will examine how philosophical questions arise from the everyday concerns of the architect. The course is taught concurrently with a seminar in the architecture school at Syracuse University and will involve weekly interaction with architecture students. Fulfills core Visual and Performing Arts requirement. (VPA).
PHL 413. Movies, Remarriage and Unknownness. 4 Credit Hours.
This course will explore the familiar human cycle of disappointment and desire for change in oneself through examining a series of classic Hollywood and recent foreign films, in conjunction with readings in philosophy and literature. The films are concerned with marriage - marriage as a possibility to be reinvented with one's spouse, or alternatively as a possibility to be foregone in favor of some other, more private ideal. The work of the course will draw from philosophical and literary texts (chiefly by Stanley Cavell, but including works by Emerson, Locke, Nietzsche, Freud, Henry James, Shakespeare, and others) as well as from classic and recent Hollywood and foreign films (Moonstruck, Philadelphia Story, Now Voyager, Breaking the Waves, and others).
PHL 414. Existentialism: G. Marcel. 3 Credit Hours.
This seminar integrates Philosophy and Drama by concentrating on the plays and philosophical essays of French Existential thinker Gabriel Marcel. Marcel inquired into the meaning of life by appeal to the dramatic imagination; and his philosophical reflection clarified questions and themes that his theater first brought to light - e.g. I-Thou, interpersonal relationships, commitment, belonging, being and having, creative fidelity and hope vs. despair.
PHL 415. Theol/Philosoph of Liberation. 3 Credit Hours.
This seminar will provide the opportunity for students to examine philosophical and religious traditions of social and political liberation in the Americas. Special consideration will be given to reflections on gender, race and class in theology and religion. The convergence of theory and social praxis in ecclesial base communities, as well as the politicization of Latin American philosophical thought in the midtwentieth century as a response to the Cuban Revolution challenge to liberation philosophy and theology will be studied. Prerequisites or corequisites: REL 200, REL 300, PHL 101, PHL 201, PHL 301. This seminar may be taken as either philosophy or religious studies. In either case, it will fulfill the core senior PHL/REL seminar requirement.
Cross-listed Courses: REL 415
PHL 416. Between Experience and Knowledge. 3 Credit Hours.
When anyone is questioned about the origin of her knowledge, she must refer to her experience. This course explores more precisely just what the tie is between one's experiences and one's knowledge. For despite the familiarity of this association, the bond between experience and knowledge remains elusive. Through some enjoyable exercises in literary analysis and historical/autobiographical works, we will address three different relationships between experience and knowledge: scientific, social/cultural/historical, and phenomenological.
PHL 417. Located Knowledges. 3 Credit Hours.
This course will be an exploration of the ethical and epistemological consequences of social location. Is your understanding of the world and your ability to move responsibly in it impacted by your race, gender, class, or sexuality? As you finish your final year at Le Moyne, we will reflect on how you have been prepared to promote justice in a diverse society.
Cross-listed Courses: GWS 418
PHL 419. Philosophy and the Environment. 3 Credit Hours.
A selection of integrative seminars designed to investigate the presuppositions, structures and images that underlie the human attempt to understand and participate in the world. Each seminar will focus on a theme of general scope and significance and, in so doing, will enable students to come to a reflective understanding of their own assumptions and values in the context of what they have encountered in their previous years of study. Emphasis will be placed on student discussion and active integration of material through written work and class presentations.
PHL 420. Advanced Argumentative Writing. 3 Credit Hours.
The purpose of this seminar is to guide students through the difficult process of bringing a philosophical argument to life. Over the course of the semester, students will work on refining and presenting a piece of philosophical writing [approximately 15-20 pages]. Students will review the rudiments of philosophical prose, and they will be guided through the proces of revising, getting feedback, and revising yet again. They will practice presenting their work to others, as well as giving feedback on the work of others. Thus, students will learn what it means to work independently in a community of other philosophers. DOES NOT FULFILL OLD CORE REL/PHL SEMINAR REQUIREMENT.
PHL 480. Why Do Humans Write?. 3 Credit Hours.
Special Topics: This course explores the ways various human needs have shaped the medium of writing and, in turn, been shaped by it. Examining ancient and medieval writing systems and modern multimedia, we will ask how various modes of writing have changed how we understand what it means to be human.
PHL 490. Research in Philosophy. 3-6 Credit Hours.
An upper-class philosophy major who wishes to write a substantial philosophical essay on a topic already studied in a philosophy elective should submit a proposal to this effect prior to registration. The proposal, indicating the topic to be researched, the number of credits sought and the schedule of supervision, must be approved by the research director, the department chair and the academic dean. The proposal will be kept on file in the academic dean's office. (F).