COLL Courses

(Note: Not all courses are available every semester. Please check the course schedule for the most updated listing of courses.)

PHIL 100 Critical Questions (COLL 100)
An exploration of significant questions and concepts, beliefs and creative visions, theories and discoveries in Philosophy for first-year students. Although topics vary, the courses also seek to improve students’ communication skills beyond the written word. Sample topics might include: freedom, mind, body, the human self, agency, knowledge, reality, and rationality.

PHIL 150 First-Year Seminar in Philosophy (COLL 150)
An exploration of a specific topic in Philosophy. A grade of C- or better fulfills the COLL 150 requirement. Although topics vary, the courses emphasize academic writing skills, reading and analysis of texts, and discussion.

PHIL 205 Meaning in Life (COLL 200)
We spend an extraordinary amount of energy in our lives chasing something that we call “meaning”: we seek out meaningful work, meaningful experiences, meaningful relationships, and we want, on the whole, to live meaningful lives. But what makes any of these things “meaningful” in the intended sense? In this class, we will explore this and related questions, focusing on how philosophy can help us articulate and understand the nature and value of meaning in life.  We will also draw upon the resources of social sciences to explore the fragility of meaning in life and the traits of character that might allow us to weather crises of meaning with equanimity and grace. (This course is anchored in the ALV domain, and also considers aspects of the CSI domain.)

PHIL 210 Critical Thinking (COLL 200)
A survey of formal and informal logical techniques with emphasis on their practical applications and historical significance. Among the techniques studied are syllogistic logic, informal fallacies and induction. (This course is anchored in the ALV domain, and also considers aspects of the NQR domain.)

PHIL 215 Right & Wrong in the Contemporary World (COLL 200)
A course focused on particular moral issues facing contemporary society and the ethical arguments provoked by them. Topics discussed in the course may include, among others, abortion, euthanasia, hate speech, capital punishment, surrogacy, genetic engineering, war and nuclear arms. (This course is anchored in the ALV domain, and also considers aspects of the CSI domain.)

PHIL 252 17th & 18th C. European Philosophy (COLL 200)
This course is a critical study of the ideas, culture, world-view, and values of the leading philosophers of early-modern Europe whose work shaped the history of Western thought:  Descartes, Hobbes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, and Kant. Our study is informed by the context of the Enlightenment and the Scientific Revolution. Possible topics include the nature and existence of God, the existence of a soul, personal identity, the mind-body connection, the reliability of sense perception, knowledge of the external world, the possibility of free will, the cause and justification of political systems, and the basis and content of morality. (This course is anchored in the ALV domain, and also considers aspects of the CSI domain.)

PHIL 303 Ethics (COLL 200)
An introduction to the problems of ethics and the nature of ethical reasoning. Included are historically important topics such as hedonism, egoism, utilitarianism and relativism, as well as contemporary moral issues such as abortion, euthanasia and civil disobedience. (This course is anchored in the ALV domain, and also considers aspects of the CSI domain.)

PHIL 305 Social and Political Philosophy (COLL 200)
A philosophical examination of major theories dealing with social and political issues such as governmental authority, individual rights, distributive justice, democracy and the importance of community. (This course is anchored in the ALV domain, and also considers aspects of the CSI domain.)

PHIL 325 Neuroscience and Ethics (COLL 200)
An introduction to the interdisciplinary field of neuroethics, which explores both what the sciences of the mind can tell us about the nature of morality and how we should ethically respond to neuroscientific advances. (This course is anchored in the ALV and NQR domains.) 

PHIL 350 Theory of Knowledge (COLL 200)
An examination of contemporary philosophical theories about such topics as the nature of knowledge, criteria for truth, perception, meaning, knowledge, validation of belief and skepticism.  (This course is anchored in the ALV domain, and also considers aspects of the CSI and NQR domains.)