Undergraduate Catalog

Philosophy

Chair: Jay Odenbaugh
Administrative Coordinator: Claire Kodachi

Philosophy is the critical examination of our most fundamental ideas about ourselves and the world. What is the nature and purpose of human life? How should we treat each other? What kind of society is best? What is our relation to nature? As individuals and as a culture, we have beliefs about these questions even if we don't talk about them. Our beliefs about them influence the way we live, personally and socially. Philosophy tries to make these beliefs evident and open to reconsideration, hoping thereby to improve human life and the chances for survival of all life on this planet.

To further those goals, philosophers often attempt to clarify and examine the basic assumptions and methods of other disciplines. Religion, the natural and social sciences, business, economics, literature, art, and education are examples of fields of study about which philosophical questions can be raised. 

Resources for Nonmajors

Because philosophy is a basic part of the liberal arts, every well-educated person should have studied it. All courses in philosophy are open to nonmajors, and very few have extensive prerequisites. However, some advanced courses may be of greater benefit to students who have done previous work in the department.

Student's majoring in other disciplines will find courses that probe the philosophical foundations of their major areas of study. These are courses pertaining to mathematics, biology, psychology, arts, politics, social theory, and the relations between science and religion.

The 100- and 200-level courses are all introductory courses designed for students beginning the study of philosophy. The 100-level entry-point courses introduce students to philosophy through its main issues, those concerning good reasoning, values, reality, and knowledge. The 200-level entry-point courses introduce students to philosophy through the consideration of philosophical questions about major human concerns that arise in religion, science, art and literature, and law. The 300-level courses in the history of philosophy demand substantial reading and are open to anyone who has taken one of the introductory courses. The 300-level courses in the themes in philosophy sequence build on students' previous work in the history of philosophy and in introductory courses and introduce them to current work in metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language, philosophy of mind, ethical theory, and the philosophy of science. The 400-level Philosophical Studies Program courses undertake more advanced study of great philosophers, past and present, and of philosophical fields, problems, and methods.

Philosophical Studies

The Philosophical Studies Program consists of advanced courses concerning great philosophers past and present, central problems, major fields of philosophy, and/or philosophical methods. Course content is determined from year to year by the faculty with student input. These courses may be taken more than once for credit unless on same specific topic. Consult the course listing for current offerings.

The Major Program

Students major in philosophy for many reasons, and the requirements are flexible enough to accommodate different kinds of interests in philosophy. Most majors are interested in philosophical questions for personal reasons—because they wish to explore questions about what is real and what is valuable, or questions about political ideals, in order to make sense of their lives. Some majors, however, hope to pursue philosophy as a profession. This means preparing for graduate work. Because of the many connections between philosophy and other disciplines, students often make philosophy part of a double major, combining it with areas such as political science, biology, psychology, religious studies, English, or economics. Philosophy is an excellent preparation for further study in almost any field. In fact, philosophy majors' scores on the GRE and LSAT are among the highest of any major.

The Philosophical Studies Program of 400-level courses is determined by the developing interests of the faculty and is responsive to student interests. These courses enable juniors and seniors to do more advanced work in seminar settings in which students contribute significantly to the work of the class. The topics include the study of major thinkers of the past and present and of philosophical fields, problems, and methods.

Every semester the department offers a series of colloquia in which students can hear and discuss papers of visiting philosophers, philosophy faculty, faculty from other departments at Lewis & Clark, and fellow philosophy students.

Students interested in majoring or minoring in philosophy should consult as soon as possible with a member of the department and work closely with a faculty advisor to plan a program. Those interested in graduate school should make a special effort to become familiar with traditional questions, philosophical themes, and major figures and movements.

Major Requirements

A minimum of 40 semester credits (10 courses), distributed as follows:

Minor Requirements

A minimum of 28 semester credits (seven courses), distributed as follows:

Honors

Students who are interested in graduating with honors in philosophy should consult with the department early in the fall semester of their junior year. Candidates who are accepted into the program spend one semester of the senior year writing a thesis on a basic issue in philosophy. A review committee, consisting of three members of the department and any other faculty member who may be involved, will read the final work and reach a final decision on its merit. Honors will be awarded only by the unanimous vote of the three members of the review committee from the Department of Philosophy. Students earn 4 semester credits for honors work.

Faculty

Rebecca Copenhaver. Professor of philosophy. Early modern philosophy, philosophy of mind, ethics. Ph.D. 2001, M.A. 1998 Cornell University. B.A. 1993 University of California at Santa Cruz.

John M. Fritzman. Associate professor of philosophy. 19th- and 20th-century continental philosophy, ethics, feminist theory, social and political philosophy. Ph.D. 1991 Purdue University. B.A. 1977 Eastern Mennonite University.

Joel A. Martinez. Associate professor of philosophy. Ethical theory, normative ethics, ancient philosophy, logic. Ph.D. 2006 University of Arizona. B.A. 1997 New Mexico State University.

Jay Odenbaugh. Associate professor of philosophy, chair of the Department of Philosophy. Ethics, philosophy and the environment, philosophy of science, metaphysics, logic. Ph.D. 2001 University of Calgary. M.A. 1996 Southern Illinois University at Carbondale. B.A. 1994 Belmont University.

Nicholas D. Smith. James F. Miller Professor of Humanities. Ancient Greek philosophy and literature, epistemology, philosophy of religion, ethics. Ph.D. 1975 Stanford University. B.A. 1971 University of Rochester.

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PHIL 101 Logic

Faculty: Martinez, Odenbaugh.
Content: Analyses of arguments with an emphasis on formal analysis. Propositional and predicate calculus, deductive techniques, and translation into symbolic notation.
Prerequisites: None.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 102 Introduction to Philosophy

Faculty: Copenhaver, Fritzman, Martinez, Odenbaugh, Smith.
Content: Introduction to problems and fields of philosophy through the study of major philosophers' works and other philosophical texts. Specific content varies with instructor.
Prerequisites: None.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 103 Ethics

Faculty: Copenhaver, Fritzman, Martinez, Odenbaugh.
Content: Fundamental issues in moral philosophy and their application to contemporary life.
Prerequisites: None.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 201 Philosophy of Religion

Faculty: Martinez, Odenbaugh, Smith.
Content: Issues in classical and contemporary philosophical examinations of religion such as arguments for the existence of God, religious experience, religious faith, the problem of evil.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required, unless section number is preceded by an "F."
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 203 Philosophy of Art and Beauty

Faculty: Fritzman.
Content: Theorizing about art. Puzzles in art that suggest the need to theorize; traditional discussions of art in Plato and Aristotle and critiques of them (Hume, Kant, Nietzsche, Collingwood); critical perspectives on these discussions (Danto). Specific discussions of individual arts: literature, drama, film, music, dance, the plastic arts.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required, unless section number is preceded by an "F."
Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 207 Indian Philosophy

Faculty: Fritzman.
Content: Survey of India's classical philosophies as well as introductions to the Vedas, the Upanishads, Carvaka, Jainism, Buddhism, and recent Indian philosophers.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required, unless section number is preceded by an "F."
Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 214 Philosophy of Law

Faculty: Fritzman.
Content: Major theories of law and jurisprudence, with emphasis on implications for the relationship between law and morality, principles of criminal and tort law, civil disobedience, punishment and excuses, and freedom of expression.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required, unless section number is preceded by an "F."
Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 215 Philosophy and the Environment

Faculty: Odenbaugh.
Content: Investigation of philosophical questions about our relationship to the environment. Topics include the value of individual organisms, species, ecosystems; the concepts of wildness and wilderness; aesthetics of natural environments; and the relationship between ecological science and environmental policy.
Prerequisites: None.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required, unless section number is preceded by an "F."
Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 250 Philosophical Methods

Faculty: Philosophy Faculty.
Content: Some of the main methods, concepts, distinctions, and areas of systematic philosophical inquiry. Including basic tools for argument, such as validity, soundness, probability and thought experiments, basic tools for assessment, such as the rule of excluded middle, category mistakes and conceivability, and basic tools for conceptual distinctions, such as a priori versus a posteriori and analytic versus synthetic. Includes methods, such as the history of philosophy, naturalized philosophy, conceptual analysis, and phenomenology, as well as areas of systemic philosophical approach, such as empiricism, rationalism, naturalism, realism, idealism, internalism, externalism, and nominalism.
Prerequisites: PHIL 101.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required, unless section number is preceded by an "F."
Usually offered: Annually, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 301 Ancient Western Philosophy

Faculty: Philosophy Faculty.
Content: The birth of philosophy against the background of mythic thought; its development from Socrates to the mature systems of Plato and Aristotle; their continuation and transformation in examples of Hellenistic thought.
Prerequisites: Any 100- or 200-level philosophy course or consent of instructor.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, fall semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 302 Early Modern Philosophy

Content: Development of modern ideas in the historical context of 17th- and 18th-century Europe: reason, mind, perception, nature, the individual, scientific knowledge. Reading, discussing, and writing about the works of Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Reid, Kant.
Prerequisites: Any 100- or 200-level philosophy course or consent of instructor.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 303 19th-Century Philosophy

Content: German Idealism: Kant, Fichte, Schelling, Hegel, as well as the reactions of philosophers such as Kierkegaard, Schopenhauer, Marx, Nietzsche.
Prerequisites: Any 100- or 200-level philosophy course or consent of instructor.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 307 Recent Continental Philosophy

Content: Key movements such as psychoanalysis, phenomenology, hermeneutics and existentialism, structuralism, Marxism, poststructuralism and deconstruction, critical theory.
Prerequisites: Any 100- or 200-level philosophy course or consent of instructor.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 310 Metaphysics

Faculty: Copenhaver, Odenbaugh.
Content: Personal identity, time, free will, composition, persistence, universals, particulars, possibility, necessity, realism, antirealism.
Prerequisites: PHIL 101. PHIL 250. PHIL 102 or one course in the history of philosophy sequence (PHIL 301 through PHIL 307) recommended.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 311 Epistemology

Faculty: Smith.
Content: Naturalistic, evolutionary, and social epistemology; moral epistemology; religious epistemology; theories of truth, of explanation, of experience and perception; relationships between theory and observation.
Prerequisites: PHIL 101. PHIL 250. PHIL 102 or one course in the history of philosophy sequence (PHIL 301 through PHIL 307) recommended.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 312 Philosophy of Language

Faculty: Copenhaver.
Content: Philosophical issues concerning truth, meaning, and language in the writings of 20th century thinkers such as Frege, Russell, Grice, Putnam, Quine, Searle, Kripke.
Prerequisites: PHIL 101. PHIL 250. PHIL 102 or one course in the history of philosophy sequence (PHIL 301 through PHIL 307) recommended.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 313 Philosophy of Mind

Faculty: Copenhaver.
Content: The mind-body problem, mental causation, consciousness, intentionality, the content of experience, internalism and externalism about content, perception.
Prerequisites: PHIL 101. PHIL 250. PHIL 102 or one course in the history of philosophy sequence (PHIL 301 through PHIL 307) recommended.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 314 Ethical Theory

Faculty: Martinez.
Content: The main systematic approaches to issues in moral philosophy. Meta-ethics: meaning of moral terms, relativism, subjectivism, ethics and science, social contract theory. Normative ethics: deontological duties, utilitarianism, virtue and character, egoism, rights, natural law, justice, blameworthiness, excuses.
Prerequisites: PHIL 102 or PHIL 103. PHIL 250 or consent of the instructor.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years, spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 315 Philosophy of Science

Faculty: Odenbaugh.
Content: Issues concerning scientific knowledge and its epistemological and ontological implications from the perspective of history and practice of the natural sciences, such as explanation, testing, observation and theory, scientific change and progress, scientific realism, instrumentalism.
Prerequisites: PHIL 101 and PHIL 250. PHIL 102 or one course in the history of philosophy sequence (PHIL 301 through PHIL 307) recommended.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Alternate Years.
Semester credits: 4.

Philosophical Studies

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PHIL 451 Philosophical Studies: History of Philosophy

Faculty: Copenhaver, Fritzman, Martinez, Smith.
Content: Advanced study of movements and philosophers discussed in 300-level history of philosophy courses. May be repeated with change of topic.
Prerequisites: PHIL 101. PHIL 250. One 300-level philosophy course or consent of instructor.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 452 Philosophical Studies: Topics in Value Theory

Faculty: Martinez, Odenbaugh, Smith.
Content: Advanced study of classical and current philosophical issues and problems in value theory, including the philosophy of art and beauty, ethics and morality, philosophy of religion, social and political thought, and the philosophy of law. May be repeated with change of topic.
Prerequisites: PHIL 101. PHIL 250. One 300-level philosophy course or consent of instructor.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.

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PHIL 453 Philosophical Studies: Advanced Themes in Philosophy

Faculty: Copenhaver, Fritzman, Martinez, Odenbaugh, Smith.
Content: Advanced study of topics covered in 300-level themes in philosophy courses, in areas other than value theory. May be repeated with change of topic.
Prerequisites: PHIL 101. PHIL 250. One 300-level philosophy course or consent of instructor.
Restrictions: Sophomore standing required.
Usually offered: Annually, fall and spring semester.
Semester credits: 4.


 

Faculty