Philosophy Course Descriptions

PHI 124 INVITATION TO PHILOSOPHY

Campus: St. Joseph's College,Brooklyn Campus St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus

This course introduces students to the problems, methods and aims specific to philosophy. It seeks to accomplish this through discussion of a variety of traditional and contemporary examples of philosophical literature that will challenge students to think critically about their values, their claims to knowledge and their beliefs about reality. Individual instructors may follow either a historical or a problematic approach to this course. Additionally, the course encourages awareness of the relation between philosophy and other disciplines of the core curriculum. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits. Fall and spring.

PHI 154 (CLA 154) SOURCES OF GREAT WESTERN IDEAS

Campus: St. Joseph's College,Brooklyn Campus St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus

This course undertakes a study of the classical origins of Western philosophy in Greece and Rome with a special emphasis on its relevance to modern times. Readings may include literature, drama, poetry, as well as the classic Greek philosophical texts in an examination of such foundation concepts as nature, self, soul and virtue. Course may be credited to philosophy or to the classics. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits. Fall and spring.

PHI 157 (CLA/HIS 157) Self and Society in Ancient Greece and Rome

Campus: St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus
This course will explore the origins of the concepts of self and society in Western culture in the history and philosophy of classical Greece and Rome. In addition to independent readings in historical and philosophical literature, this class includes an intensive study abroad component. The class will meet as a seminar during the spring term, include an active online course experience and complete its investigation through readings and discussion at the sites in Greece and Rome in a two week trip at the end of May. This course is targeted for freshmen (first-year students) as a special opportunity for interdisciplinary study coupled with a study abroad experience. 

PHI 160 INTRODUCTION TO ETHICS

Campus: St. Joseph's College,Brooklyn Campus St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus

What are the sources of morality? What makes an action right or wrong? What constitutes the good life? This course will explore these questions and examine related issues such as absolutism vs. relativism, objectivism vs. subjectivism, rules vs. outcomes. General theories will be applied to specific ethical dilemmas through discussion. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits. Fall and spring.

PHI 230 PHILOSOPHY IN THE DEVELOPING THINKER

Campus: St. Joseph's College,Brooklyn Campus St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus

This course will examine the questions, attitudes, beliefs and language of the developing child that reflect philosophical problems and concepts that contribute to the child’s knowledge of self and the world. Recommended: any philosophy course except PHI 123. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits. Fall. (Replaced by PHI 231.)

PHI 231 Philosophy of childhood

Campus: St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus
This course will examine the questions, attitudes, beliefs and language of the developing child that reflect philosophical problems and conceptions which contribute to the child’s knowledge of self and the world. It will also construct and examine a philosophy of childhood as the struggle to expand our notions of being human by acknowledging the experiences of children. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits. Fall and spring.

PHI 235 Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art

Campus: St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus
This course will examine issues and problems in aesthetics and philosophy of art. Topics such as the definition of art, the nature of creativity and the role of critical judgment will be explored through readings and discussion. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits. Fall and spring.

PHI 237 The Philosophy of God

Campus: St. Joseph's College,Brooklyn Campus St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus
This course will explore philosophical concepts of deity and historical arguments for and against the existence of God within the tradition of Western philosophical literature. How have philosophers approached this question and how does philosophy differ from faith or theology? Philosophers as diverse as Plato, Aristotle, Anselm, Thomas Aquinas, Descartes, Spinoza, Kant, Whitehead, Hartshorne, Russell, Sartre have all addressed the qustion of whether there is such a being as God. Through readings and discussions, we will examine the arguments for and against the existence of a God as traditionally conceived.

PHI 254 MEDIEVAL PHILOSOPHY

Campus: St. Joseph's College,Brooklyn Campus St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus

How can I reconcile my religious beliefs with what I know about the world? Can we know about God apart from faith? What is the nature of the human being and his/her place in the universe? These and other questions filled the hearts and minds of the philosophers of medieval times who viewed faith and reason as partners in human experience. This course will examine the thought of Augustine, Anslem, Bonaventura, Aquinas and others as they reflect upon humanity’s place in the universe. The Jewish and Arabian philosophers of this period will also be discussed. Recommended: either PHI 124, 154 or department approval. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits. Fall.

PHI 255 MODERN PHILOSOPHY

Campus: St. Joseph's College,Brooklyn Campus St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus

Modern politics, science and technology directly challenged the older and established traditions of the ancients and medieval. Each raised anxiety concerning what can be known with certainty about ourselves and the world and even things divine. What is the best way to live? And are we, as moderns, better off or not? Enlightened or not? These and other questions will be examined through a study of Machiavelli, Bacon, Descartes, Hobbes, Hume, Locke, Kant and Hegel. Recommended: either PHI 124, 154 or department approval. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits. Fall.

PHI 260 AN INQUIRY INTO CROSS CULTURAL GUIDES FOR LIVING

Campus: St. Joseph's College,Brooklyn Campus St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus

This course will examine a selection of culturally and historically diverse manuals written as guides for achieving the good life. Our goal will be to examine and critique these foundational works about human nature and the achievement of happiness so as to reflect upon the universal elements that link them to together and render them meaningful to citizens of the 21st century. As part of the process, we will explore contemporary examples and also examine the postmodern skepticism concerning the very concept of guides for living. Recommended: PHI 124, 154, 160 or department approval. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits. Spring.

PHI 335 Aesthetics and Ethics of Myth

Campus: St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus
Plato claimed that myth and philosophy are closely related and many 20th century intellectuals such as Levi-Strauss, Freud and Joseph Campbell have likewise argued for the importance of a mythological epistemology. This course will explore the aesthetic and ethical implications of a range of myths from European traditions as diverse as the Greek and Roman myths, the Icelandic sagas and some of the early medieval poetic lays. We will extend our study into the myths of non-Western cultures as we seek to investigate how mythic thinking informs our broader understanding of truth, beauty and goodness. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits. Fall and spring.     

PHI 345 Social and political Philosophy

Campus: St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus
This course will examine one of the central questions of philosophy and social theory, namely how we, as human beings, should live together. In addition to examining basic questions concerning community and human nature in the works of philosophers stretching from Plato, Aristotle, Rousseau, Kant and Marx to Foucault, Habermas, Rawls and Young, this class will also address specific political and social issues such as the rights of the individual in relation to the power of the state and society; the nature and legitimacy of political authority and democracy; the significance of power, economics, justice and equality in social life; and the role of class, race and gender in politics. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits. Fall and spring.

PHI 360 Philosophy and Moral Education

Campus: St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus
This course will explore issues surrounding the concept of ethical education. What models for ethical education currently exist? Upon what psychological and philosophical foundations are these models constructed? What are the moral issues faced by educators today in the classroom? We will explore three main approaches to ethical education: character education, the cognitive developmental model and “philosophy for children” model. Recommended prerequisite: PHI 160. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits. Fall and spring.

PHI 362 Environmental Ethics

Campus: St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus
In recent years the philosophical discipline of ethics has engaged in an intense focus on a number of specific areas of applied ethics. With growing concern for the health of the biological ecosystem and our increasing knowledge of animal consciousness, philosophers have questioned the extent of our ethical obligation. Do we have moral duties and responsibilities to the physical world around us? Are non-human animals members of the moral realm? Should our concern about the health of the environment be grounded in a concern for nature itself or its impact on human life? Topics include examining the place of humans within the world, questioning whether the value of the natural world is intrinsic or extrinsic and exploring our relationships with other animal species. This course will invite participants to examine multiple perspectives on these issues. Recommended prerequisite: PHI 160. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits. Fall and spring.

PHI 356 Contemporary Philosophy

Campus: St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus
Are there any foundations for our claims about truth and value? Is science the only reliable path to knowledge? How are things given to consciousness? What sense, if any can be made of the array of conflicting interpretations in and of literature, philosophy, religion, and art? How can I live authentically as a person? Does Philosophy have a future? These and other questions will be examined through a study of contemporary thought including analytic philosophy, pragmatism, phenomenology, existentialism, hermeneutics, structuralism, and deconstructionism. Prerequisite: either PHI 124, 154, or department approval. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits. Fall and spring.

PHI 365 Philosophy in the Pre-College Curriculum

Campus: St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus
This course will offer an examination of global programs and approaches which introduce philosophy into the pre-college curriculum (preschool through high school). We will it explore the range of options available- goals of philosophy in the classroom, materials, methods and outcomes of philosophical inquiry in the pre-college classroom. Particular attention will be paid as to how these might fit into the American educational system. 3 hours a week, 1 semester, 3 credits. Fall and spring. 

PHI 370 Philosophical Topics

Campus: St. Joseph's College, Long Island Campus

This 300-level course will offer students the opportunity to explore a particular topic in philosophy or a philosopher in a sustained study. Examples might include: the mind-body problem, Process Philosophy, Thomas Aquinas, Wittgenstein, political philosophy and works of Plato. This course is offered based on demand and is not regularly scheduled.

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