Philosophy Courses

Courses Updated!

Click on the semester links to view our course offerings through the fall. The descriptions below will always be current with the online course catalog. 

2014 - 2015 Courses 
summer | fall | spring
2013 - 2014 Courses 
summer | fall | spring
Catalog Descriptions
1000-level | 2000-level | 3000-level | 4000-level | 5000-level

1000-level

PHIL 1000: Introduction to Philosophy (3 cr.): An introductory study of basic philosophical concepts and problems.

PHIL 1050: Reasoning (3 cr.): A study of the methods of understanding, analyzing, and criticizing arguments. The emphasis will be on increasing one's practical skills as a critical thinker. The arguments will be of the sort encountered in day-to-day life, e.g, those found in advertisements, newspaper editorials, and political campaigns.

PHIL 1101: Introduction to Logic (3 cr.): An introduction to the study of the methods and principles used to distinguish good reasoning from bad reasoning. Following the study of informal logic, the focus will shift to formal deductive reasoning, including sentential logic.

PHIL 1200: Social Ethics (3 cr.): A study of representative issues of contemporary social concern, such as capital punishment, civil disobedience, abortion, violence, racial and sexual discrimination. Emphasis will be on clarifying the ethical and other philosophical assumptions underlying the issues and on careful analysis of arguments.



2000-level

PHIL 2096: Independent Work (1-3 cr.): Prerequisite: consent of department. Topic and requirements will vary. May be taken multiple times for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

PHIL 2201: Ethics (3 cr.): A study of concepts of right and wrong, good and evil, and their grounds.

PHIL 2215: Social and Political Philosophy (3 cr.): An introduction to theories and problems concerning the nature and justification, if any, of society, authority, and the state.

PHIL 2207: Philosophy of Law (3 cr.): A critical examination, at an introductory level, of questions concerning the nature and foundations of law, the relation of law and morality and law and society, and of key concepts such as responsibility and punishment.

PHIL 2222: Philosophy of Sex and Love (3 cr.): An investigation of the nature of sex and the nature of love, and of the conceptual relationship between them. The course draws on both classical and contemporary Philosophy, and addresses social and ethical issues about sexual behavior and love.

PHIL 2244: Engineering Ethics (1 cr.): This course will examine ethical issues arising in the professional and social-policy aspects of engineering. Coverage includes such topics as: codes of professional ethics, methods of moral problem solving, honesty, risk, responsibilities to employers and to the public, technology and the environment, and moral issues in management, research, and consulting.

PHIL 2311: History of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (3 cr.): A survey of Philosophy from the early Greeks through the middle ages including such philosophers as the Pre-Socratics, Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, Augustine, and Thomas Aquinas.

PHIL 2312: History of Modern Philosophy (3 cr.): A survey of Philosophy since the beginning of the 17th century, including such philosophers as Descartes, Spinoza, Leibniz, Locke, Berkeley, Hume, Kant, and Hegel.

PHIL 2314: American Philosophy (3 cr.): Readings in American Philosophy and its sources, including such thinkers as Edwards, Jefferson, Emerson, Peirce, James, Royce, Dewey, Santayana, and Whitehead.

PHIL 2411: Philosophy of Language (3 cr.): A critical survey and analysis of philosophical theories of meaning, reference, analyticity, synonymy, truth, and the relation of language to reality.

PHIL 2413: Contemporary Philosophy (3 cr.): A survey of selected important philosophical developments since 1900.

PHIL 2450: Philosophy of Mind (3 cr.): A critical survey and analysis of major problems in the Philosophy of mind: personal identity, the existence of other minds, the relationship of mind and body.

PHIL 2701: Religions of the East (3 cr.): A systematic analysis of the doctrine and practices of major religions outside the Judaeo-Christian tradition; such as Buddhism, Confucianism, Hinduism, Taoism, and others, including the influence of Islam. Particular attention will be given to the philosophical presuppositions of each religion.

PHIL 2702: Religions of the West (3 cr.): A systematic analysis of the doctrine and practice of the "religions of Abraham": Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. Particular attention will be given to the philosophical presuppositions of each religion.

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3000-level

PHIL 3001: Senior Honors Thesis (3 cr.): Prerequisite: consent of department and Director of the Honors Program. Must be taken 2 times for a maximum of 6 credit hours in order to graduate With Honors in Philosophy. Directed research leading to the writing of a Senior Honors Thesis. Credit for this course will not be counted toward the 30 hours of philosophy courses required for a major in philosophy. Successful completion of this course satisfies the PHIL 3030 requirement.

PHIL 3030: Individual Senior Seminar (1 cr.): Prerequisite: consent of department. Required of all philosophy majors during their senior year. Under the direction of a faculty member, the student prepares a senior qualifying paper which will be evaluated by the department as a whole. Successful completion of this course satisfies the general degree requirement for oral competency.

PHIL 3094: Directed Readings in Philosophy (3 cr.): Prerequisite: consent of department. May be taken 2 times for a maximum of 6 credit hours.

PHIL 3095: Special Topics in Philosophy (3 cr.): May be taken 2 times for a maximum of 6 credit hours. Topic varies.

PHIL 3101: Advanced Logic (3 cr.): A study of the semantics of formal languages, including proofs of the consistency and completeness of the propositional and first-order predicate logics. The course may also include discussion of such non-standard logics as multi-valued, modal, and deontic.

PHIL 3232: Medical Ethics (3 cr.): A critical exploration of basic moral issues in medical practice and research, such as: genetic engineering, abortion, euthanasia, paternalism, truth-telling, confidentiality, informed consent, distribution of resources, and experimentation on human and nonhuman subjects.

PHIL 3260: Philosophy and Film (3 cr.): This course is a critical study of the relation between philosophical concepts and the medium of film, which examines the unique manner in which film conveys concepts arguably too intricate for more traditional media. Through a survey of films whose content illustrate philosophical ideas, as well as a variety of philosophical sources, students learn about the palpable ways in which film can "bring to life" philosophical concepts like no other medium (as well as about how potential filmmakers might utilize philosophical ideas in the production of their own work).

PHIL 3301: The Philosophy of Plato (3 cr.): A close reading of the most famous and influential dialogues of the fourth-century B.C. Athenian Plato, the first great systematic thinker of Western Philosophy and the creator of some of the basic concepts of Western culture.

PHIL 3302: The Philosophy of Aristotle (3 cr.): Aristotle's ideas are examined through careful analysis of his main works with emphasis on his criticisms of the basic theories of his teacher, Plato, and Aristotle's influence on subsequent Western Philosophy, literature, and science.

PHIL 3331: Continental Rationalism and the 17th Century (3 cr.): Readings in Seventeenth Century thinkers such as Descartes, Spinoza, and Leibniz, whose speculations about the structure of existence helped form the theoretical framework of modern science. Their fundamental ideas about the nature and limits of human knowledge will be examined.

PHIL 3332: British Empiricism and the 18th Century (3 cr.): A study of the doctrines and arguments of Locke, Berkeley, and Hume who exerted a formative influence on the development of Philosophy, science, politics, and literature.

PHIL 3333: The Philosophy of Kant (3 cr.): A study of the main doctrines and arguments of Immanuel Kant, 18th Century philosopher who revolutionized ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and epistemology.

PHIL 3334: German Idealism and the 19th Century (3 cr.): A study of the most important ideas in continental philosophical speculation during the generations immediately after Kant; major figures include Hegel and his contemporaries, such as Fichte, Schelling, and Schopenhauer, whose metaphysical theories exerted considerable influence on the Romantic movement and on Marxism and other forms of socialism.

PHIL 3350: Darwin and the Evolution of Thought (3cr.): A critical study of the work of Charles Darwin and the philosophical importance of the theory of natural selection. This course examines both the historical influences on Darwin's thinking as well as the effects evolutionary theory has on our present understanding of human behavior and cognition. Its primary focus is on the implications Darwinian thinking has for traditional philosophical domains of philosophy (such as metaphysics, epistemology, philosophy of language and philosophy of mind), as well as for such common issues as sex, politics, religion, and art.

PHIL 3400: Metaphysics (3 cr.): An examination of fundamental issues and problems in metaphysics, such as the nature of reality, universals, personal identity, persistence through change, space, and time.

PHIL 3401: Theories of Knowledge (3 cr.): A philosophical investigation of the meaning, varieties, limits, and grounds of human knowledge.

PHIL 3415: Phenomenology and Continental Philosophy (3 cr.): An introduction to the doctrines, methods, and themes of phenomenology in the context of twentieth century continental Philosophy, with attention to the growing impact of phenomenology on American philosophers, social scientists, and literary critics. This course will involve a careful study of the work of important figures in the phenomenological movement such as Husserl, Heidegger, Sartre, Merleau-Ponty, Schutz, and others.

PHIL 3422: Analytic Philosophy (3 cr.): An examination of the methods and doctrines of the leading approach to Philosophy in the twentieth century in the English-speaking world. Such thinkers as Wittgenstein, Russell, Moore, Carnap, Austin, and Quine will be discussed.

PHIL 3431: Philosophy of the Social Sciences (3 cr.): A philosophical examination of theories, laws, explanations, and concepts in contemporary social sciences such as anthropology, psychology, sociology, economics, and psychoanalysis.

PHIL 3450: Philosophical Psychology (3 cr.): A critical inquiry into the philosophical aspects of concepts such as intentionality, thought, consciousness, motivation, emotion, and action.

PHIL 3480: Philosophy of Religion (3 cr.): A systematic study of such issues as implications of religious experience, attempted proof of the existence (or nonexistence) of God (or gods), the problem of divine foreknowledge, and the problem of evil.

PHIL 3500: The Philosophy of Wittgenstein (3 cr.): A close and critical examination of the works of Ludwig Wittgenstein, widely regarded as the most important philosopher of the 20th Century.

PHIL 3511: Existentialism (3 cr.): A careful examination of the views of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, and other thinkers associated with one of the 20th Century's most widely influential philosophies.

PHIL 3595: Academic Year Abroad: Special Topics in Philosophy (3 cr.): May be taken 2 times for a maximum of 6 credit hours. This course is only offered through UNO's Academic Year Abroad (AYA) in Innsbruck, Austria.

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4000-level

PHIL 4027: The Philosophy of Heidegger (3 cr.): This course will examine fundamental issues in the Philosophy of Martin Heidegger, the influential 20th century German thinker whose 1927 book, Being and Time, laid the foundation for existentialism, and whose later work helped shape "postmodernist" discourse. The nature of his thought, and the basis of his multifaceted influence on metaphysics, phenomenology, aesthetics, literary theory, religion, social science, and other areas will be examined.

PHIL 4042: Philosophy of Comedy (3 cr.): An exploration of key modes of comic thought (absurdity, the funny, humor, jokes, laughter, stand-up comedy, and so on) through the analysis of classic and contemporary philosophical theories and the examination of diverse examples.

PHIL 4200: Health Promotion Ethics (3 cr.): (EDHS 4200 and PHIL 4200 are cross-listed) This course will examine ethical issues arising in the professional and social-policy aspects of health promotion. Coverage includes such topics as: "fact," "value," and "knowledge" regarding health; moral codes in health promotion; concepts of efficiency, fairness, autonomy, and privacy in health contexts; and special moral problems concerning sex, drugs, food, pain, aging, death, health on the job, and generational equality.

PHIL 4201: Advanced Ethics (3 cr.): A systematic study of major positions, problems, and concepts in ethical theory, as represented in classical and contemporary works.

PHIL 4205: Environmental Ethics (3 cr.): A philosophical study of theories and problems concerning the moral relationship between human beings and the non-human world, including animals and ecosystems.

PHIL 4215: Advanced Social and Political Philosophy (3 cr.): A systematic study of major positions, problems, and concepts in social-political theory, as represented in classical and contemporary works.

PHIL 4250: Philosophy of Art (3 cr.): A critical inquiry into the nature of artistic production, performance, enjoyment, and evaluation. What is the nature of art? What feature(s) must "something" possess to be an artwork? Must art capture beauty, represent something, convey or evoke emotion, give pleasure, reveal truth, or transform the mundane? What is the "aesthetic" experience? What constitutes "good" art? These and other questions will be explored through discussion of relevant readings and examples.

PHIL 4430: Philosophy of the Natural Sciences (3 cr.): An examination in detail of the outstanding problems, positions, and achievements within contemporary Philosophy of science. Attention will be given to issues arising from both the physical and the biological sciences.

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5000-level

PHIL 5027: The Philosophy of Heidegger (3 cr.): This course will examine fundamental issues in the Philosophy of Martin Heidegger, the influential 20th century German thinker whose 1927 book, Being and Time, laid the foundation for existentialism, and whose later work helped shape "postmodernist" discourse. The nature of his thought, and the basis of his multifaceted influence on metaphysics, phenomenology, aesthetics, literary theory, religion, social science, and other areas will be examined.

PHIL 5042: Philosophy of Comedy (3 cr.): An exploration of key modes of comic thought (absurdity, the funny, humor, jokes, laughter, stand-up comedy, and so on) through the analysis of classic and contemporary philosophical theories and the examination of diverse examples.

PHIL 5200: Health Promotion Ethics (3 cr.): (EDHS 4200 and PHIL 4200 are cross-listed) This course will examine ethical issues arising in the professional and social-policy aspects of health promotion. Coverage includes such topics as: "fact," "value," and "knowledge" regarding health; moral codes in health promotion; concepts of efficiency, fairness, autonomy, and privacy in health contexts; and special moral problems concerning sex, drugs, food, pain, aging, death, health on the job, and generational equality.

PHIL 5205: Environmental Ethics (3 cr.): A philosophical study of theories and problems concerning the moral relationship between human beings and the non-human world, including animals and ecosystems.

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Distance Learning CoursesTop 10

Because the department offers an online B.A. in Philosophy, we offer a variety of distance learning courses, including some of the most popular courses in Philosophy at  iTunes U. (The image was taken 10/25/13. Note that #1, #5, #7, #8, and #9 are from this department). The following is a list of such courses that have been offered previously or are in development:

  • PHIL 1000: Introduction to Philosophy (iTunes U)
  • PHIL 1101: Introduction to Logic (iTunes U) Spring 2015
  • PHIL 2201: Ethics (iTunes U)
  • PHIL 2207: Philosophy of Law (iTunes U)
  • PHIL 2312: History of Modern Philosophy (iTunes U)
  • PHIL 2313: History of Ancient & Medieval Philosophy (iTunes U) Spring 2015
  • PHIL 2450: Philosophy of Mind (iTunes U)
  • PHIL 3030: Individual Senior Seminar (teleconference)
  • PHIL 3095: Special Topics in Philosophy: Nietzsche (compressed video)
  • PHIL 3232: Medical Ethics (iTunes U) 
  • PHIL 3350: Darwin and the Evolution of Thought (iTunes U)
  • PHIL 3480: Philosophy of Religion (iTunes U) 
  • PHIL 4027: The Philosophy of Heidegger (iTunes U)
  • PHIL 4205: Environmental Ethics (iTunes U)
  • PHIL 4430: Philosophy of the Natural Sciences (iTunes U) 
 
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