Philosophy Philosophy Philosophy Philosophy Philosophy

College of Arts & Sciences

Philosophy

Questions?

Wioleta D. Polinska

630-637-5317

wdpolinska@noctrl.edu

Philosophy can be dangerous. The ancient Greek philosopher Socrates was sentenced to death for, among other things, corrupting the youth of Athens. We will not be corrupting you, but we will help you think about things you take for granted in your everyday life and explore their foundations.

Other areas of inquiry often ask "how" questions.  Students of philosophy usually ask "why" questions, questions that ask for reasons or justifications. These “why?” questions might be directed to such issues as the existence of God or ethical obligations toward strangers who live in other parts of the world. What do we mean by ‘God?’ Can we know God exists? What reasons can we give for the way we answer this question?

Similarly, do we have the same moral obligations to our best friend as we do to people who live in other parts of the world? What is the difference, if there is one, and how would we justify it? 

Our particular strengths are in the philosophical exploration of values (ethical, political, legal, economic, professional and theological) and in the history of philosophy from the ancient Greeks to the present. Join us in our quest! We can assure you that you’ll not meet Socrates’ fate.

Philosophy, B.A.

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Philosophy.

At least 30 credit hours in philosophy including:

  • PHL 100 - Introduction to Philosophy

    PHL 100 - Introduction to Philosophy

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of basic questions in philosophy, such as how we can know anything, whether God exists, how moral judgments can be justified, whether people have souls and whether people have free will.

    Core

    Humanities.
    IAI

    H4 900

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 230 - Logic

    PHL 230 - Logic

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of inductive and deductive reasoning, formal and informal fallacies and rules and procedures for evaluating arguments.

    Core

    Humanities.
    IAI

    H4 906

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 260 - Ancient and Medieval Philosophy

    PHL 260 - Ancient and Medieval Philosophy

    3.00 credit hours

    Part one of the History of Philosophy sequence; Ancient Greece through the 16th century.

    Core

    Humanities.
    IAI

    H4 901

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 270 - Early Modern Philosophy

    PHL 270 - Early Modern Philosophy

    3.00 credit hours

    Part two of the History of Philosophy sequence; the 17th and 18th centuries.

    Core

    Humanities.
    IAI

    H4 902

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 280 - Modern Philosophy

    PHL 280 - Modern Philosophy

    3.00 credit hours

    Part three of the History of Philosophy sequence; major philosophical developments of the 19th and 20th centuries.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One of PHL 100, PHL 260 or PHL 270.

    Core

    Humanities.
    IAI

    H4 902

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 490 - Philosophic Problems: Seminar

    PHL 490 - Philosophic Problems: Seminar

    3.00 credit hours

    Examination of a major philosopher or central problem in one of the areas of philosophy such as philosophy of mind, metaphysics, epistemology or value theory.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Philosophy major or minor; Junior or Senior standing.

    Schedule Of Classes

    • Of the remaining elective hours, at least one course must be at the 300- or 400-level.

One of the following:

  • PHL 110 - Ethics

    PHL 110 - Ethics

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of alternative bases for morality and the arguments by which moral claims are justified.

    Core

    Humanities.
    IAI

    H4 904

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 210 - Professional Ethics

    PHL 210 - Professional Ethics

    3.00 credit hours

    Professional ethics in selected career fields including law, business and biomedicine. Students may apply basic concepts to the career of their choice, relate their personal ethics to professional ethics and become better informed consumers of professional services. This course begins with an examination of the alternative bases for making moral judgments.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 220 - Aesthetics

    PHL 220 - Aesthetics

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of aesthetic experience, the norms which govern aesthetic judgment and the significance of the idea of beauty in our experience of art and nature.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

Note:

Students who complete the History of Ideas sequence may omit PHL 100 

Recommended Electives:

Students preparing for graduate study in philosophy:

  • PHL 310 - Ethical Theory

    PHL 310 - Ethical Theory

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of topics in contemporary and/or classical ethical theory. Course may focus on key figures in ethical theory or issues in normative ethics and metaethics. Topics have included virtue ethics, feminist ethics and relationships between normative ethical theory and social or natural sciences.

    Prerequisite(s)


    PHL 110.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 380 - Epistemology and Metaphysics

    PHL 380 - Epistemology and Metaphysics

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of such topics as theories of knowledge, truth and justification of belief, the problem of skepticism, the mind-body problem, the problem of universals and theories of being.

    Prerequisite(s)


    One of PHL 100, PHL 270 or PHL 280.

    Schedule Of Classes

    • History of Ideas and a foreign language.

Students preparing for law school:

(Pre-law students are advised to consult the Pre-law section of the catalog and one of the pre-law advisors.)

  • PHL 210 - Professional Ethics

    PHL 210 - Professional Ethics

    3.00 credit hours

    Professional ethics in selected career fields including law, business and biomedicine. Students may apply basic concepts to the career of their choice, relate their personal ethics to professional ethics and become better informed consumers of professional services. This course begins with an examination of the alternative bases for making moral judgments.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 241 - Philosophy of Law

    PHL 241 - Philosophy of Law

    3.00 credit hours

    An introduction to the concept of law, including such topics as the nature of law, liberty and law, justice, legal responsibility, punishment and theories of legal interpretation.

    Prerequisite(s)


    PSC 103 or a philosophy course.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 341 - Classics of Political Philosophy

    PHL 341 - Classics of Political Philosophy

    3.00 credit hours

    A survey of the history of Western political thought.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Any 200-level political science course or two philosophy courses.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 343 - Economic and Social Justice

    PHL 343 - Economic and Social Justice

    3.00 credit hours

    A brief introduction to the concept of justice, followed by an examination of the alternative views of distributive justice. Alternatives include the various forms of liberalism (contractarianism, libertarianism and utilitarianism), Marxism, communitarianism, feminism and postmodernism.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Previous course in philosophy, economics, history, political science or sociology and anthropology.

    Schedule Of Classes

Philosophy Minor

For additional programs and courses in this department, see Philosophy.

At least 18 credit hours in philosophy including:

  • PHL 100 - Introduction to Philosophy

    PHL 100 - Introduction to Philosophy

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of basic questions in philosophy, such as how we can know anything, whether God exists, how moral judgments can be justified, whether people have souls and whether people have free will.

    Core

    Humanities.
    IAI

    H4 900

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 110 - Ethics

    PHL 110 - Ethics

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of alternative bases for morality and the arguments by which moral claims are justified.

    Core

    Humanities.
    IAI

    H4 904

    Schedule Of Classes

    • Three electives in philosophy, at least one course at the 300 or 400-level.

One of the following:

Recommended Electives:

Students preparing for law school:

  • PHL 210 - Professional Ethics

    PHL 210 - Professional Ethics

    3.00 credit hours

    Professional ethics in selected career fields including law, business and biomedicine. Students may apply basic concepts to the career of their choice, relate their personal ethics to professional ethics and become better informed consumers of professional services. This course begins with an examination of the alternative bases for making moral judgments.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 230 - Logic

    PHL 230 - Logic

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of inductive and deductive reasoning, formal and informal fallacies and rules and procedures for evaluating arguments.

    Core

    Humanities.
    IAI

    H4 906

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 241 - Philosophy of Law

    PHL 241 - Philosophy of Law

    3.00 credit hours

    An introduction to the concept of law, including such topics as the nature of law, liberty and law, justice, legal responsibility, punishment and theories of legal interpretation.

    Prerequisite(s)


    PSC 103 or a philosophy course.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 341 - Classics of Political Philosophy

    PHL 341 - Classics of Political Philosophy

    3.00 credit hours

    A survey of the history of Western political thought.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Any 200-level political science course or two philosophy courses.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 343 - Economic and Social Justice

    PHL 343 - Economic and Social Justice

    3.00 credit hours

    A brief introduction to the concept of justice, followed by an examination of the alternative views of distributive justice. Alternatives include the various forms of liberalism (contractarianism, libertarianism and utilitarianism), Marxism, communitarianism, feminism and postmodernism.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Previous course in philosophy, economics, history, political science or sociology and anthropology.

    Schedule Of Classes

Students with a major in the Arts and Letters Division:

  • PHL 220 - Aesthetics

    PHL 220 - Aesthetics

    3.00 credit hours

    An examination of aesthetic experience, the norms which govern aesthetic judgment and the significance of the idea of beauty in our experience of art and nature.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 235 - Existentialism

    PHL 235 - Existentialism

    3.00 credit hours

    An introduction to existentialism as a 19th and 20th century philosophical and literary movement. Authors discussed typically include Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Unamuno and Merleau-Ponty.

    Core

    Humanities.

    Schedule Of Classes

Students with a major in Political science:

  • PHL 341 - Classics of Political Philosophy

    PHL 341 - Classics of Political Philosophy

    3.00 credit hours

    A survey of the history of Western political thought.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Any 200-level political science course or two philosophy courses.

    Schedule Of Classes

  • PHL 343 - Economic and Social Justice

    PHL 343 - Economic and Social Justice

    3.00 credit hours

    A brief introduction to the concept of justice, followed by an examination of the alternative views of distributive justice. Alternatives include the various forms of liberalism (contractarianism, libertarianism and utilitarianism), Marxism, communitarianism, feminism and postmodernism.

    Prerequisite(s)


    Previous course in philosophy, economics, history, political science or sociology and anthropology.

    Schedule Of Classes

Students with a major in History:

NOTE: This page contains all of the regular course descriptions for this discipline or program. Academic credit for each course is noted in parenthesis after the course title. Prerequisites (if any) and the general education requirements, both Core and All-College Requirements (ACRs), which each course fulfills (if any) are noted following each course description. Not all courses are offered every year. Check Merlin, our searchable course schedule, to see which courses are being offered in upcoming terms.

PHL 100 Introduction to Philosophy (3.00)
An examination of basic questions in philosophy, such as how we can know anything, whether God exists, how moral judgments can be justified, whether people have souls, and whether people have free will. Core: Humanities; ACR: Religion & Ethics.

PHL 110 Ethics (3.00)
An examination of alternative bases for morality and the arguments by which moral claims are justified. Core: Humanities; ACR: Religion & Ethics.

PHL 210 Professional Ethics (3.00)
Professional ethics in selected career fields including law, business, and biomedicine. Students may apply basic concepts to the career of their choice, relate their personal ethics to professional ethics, and become better informed consumers of professional services. This course begins with an examination of the alternative bases for making moral judgments. Core: Humanities.

PHL 215 Bioethics (3.00)
After a brief overview of ethical theory and the philosophy of medicine, the moral dimensions of the following topics are considered: the health care professional-patient relationship (e.g., truth-telling, informed consent, and confidentiality), euthanasia and physician-assisted death, abortion and maternal-fetal conflicts, the new reproductive technologies, human genetics, research involving human and animal subjects, the allocation of health care resources, managed care, public health, and health care policy. The course is intended to be self-contained and the emphasis on the topics may change from year to year.

PHL 220 Aesthetics (3.00)
An examination of aesthetic experience, the norms which govern aesthetic judgment, and the significance of the idea of beauty in our experience of art and nature. Same as: ART 270. Core: Humanities.

PHL 225 Environmental Ethics (3.00)
After a brief examination of philosophical and ethical frameworks, the following will be considered: the history of environmental ethics; the problem of the moral status of nonhuman animals and other aspects of nature; the environment and the good life; ethical issues related to population growth, sustainability, diminishing/vanishing resources, and the use of cost/benefit analysis in environmental policy. Same as: ENV 225.

PHL 230 Logic (3.00)
An examination of inductive and deductive reasoning, formal and informal fallacies, and rules and procedures for evaluating arguments. Core: Humanities.

PHL 235 Existentialism (3.00)
An introduction to existentialism as a 19th and 20th century philosophical and literary movement. Authors discussed typically include Dostoevsky, Kierkegaard, Nietsche, Heidegger, Sartre, Unamuno, and Merleau-Ponty. Core: Humanities.

PHL 240 Philosophy and Literature (3.00)
An introduction to the relationship between philosophy and literature through an examination of ways in which philosophical ideas and methods can be used to analyze, understand, or criticize literature and critical writing about literature.

PHL 241 Philosophy of Law (3.00)
An introduction to the concept of law, including such topics as the nature of law, liberty and law, justice, legal responsibility, punishment, and theories of legal interpretation. Same as: PSC 241. Core: Humanities.

PHL 260 Ancient and Medieval Philosophy (3.00)
Part one of the History of Philosophy sequence; Ancient Greece through the 16th century. Core: Humanities; ACR: Religion & Ethics.

PHL 270 Early Modern Philosophy (3.00)
Part two of the History of Philosophy sequence; the 17th and 18th centuries. Core: Humanities.

PHL 280 Modern Philosophy (3.00)
Part three of the History of Philosophy sequence; major philosophical developments of the 19th and 20th centuries. Core: Humanities.

PHL 290 Philosophic Inquiry (3.00)
An examination of questions or issues of contemporary philosophic interest. Check course schedule for current topic.

PHL 297 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PHL 299 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PHL 310 Ethical Theory (3.00)
An examination of topics in contemporary and/or classical ethical theory. Course may focus on key figures in ethical theory or issues in normative ethics and metaethics. Topics have included virtue ethics, feminist ethics, and relationships between normative ethical theory and social or natural sciences.

PHL 320 Philosophy of History (3.00)
An investigation of the nature of history and the nature and limits of historical knowledge.

PHL 341 Classics of Political Philosophy (3.00)
A survey of the history of Western political thought. Same as: PSC 341.

PHL 343 Economic and Social Justice (3.00)
A brief introduction to the concept of justice, followed by an examination of the alternative views of distributive justice. Alternatives include the various forms of liberalism (contractarianism, libertarianism and utilitarianism), Marxism, communitarianism, feminism, and postmodernism. Same as: PSC 343.

PHL 344 Religion and the Political Order (3.00)
A historical survey of primary texts engaging the intersection of religion and political theory as well as the relationship between political leadership and religious/ethical visions. Emphasis is placed upon Western political philosophers shaped within the traditions of Judaism, Christianity, and/or Islam as well as upon the themes of theocracy, civil religion, and secularization. Thinkers studied may include Plato, early Christian authors, Eusebius, John Chrysostom, Augustine, Al-Farabi, Maimonides, Averroes, Aquinas, Marsilius of Padua, Reformation authors, Hobbes, Locke, Rousseau, or De Tocqueville. Same as: REL 344. ACR: Leadership, Ethics, & Values.

PHL 360 Philosophy of Religion (3.00)
An examination of the basic issues in the philosophy of religion, including the relation of faith and reason, the problem of the existence and nature of God, and the nature and significance of religious experience. Same as: REL 360. ACR: Religion & Ethics.

PHL 361 Science and Religion: Conflict Or Diaglogue? (3.00)
This course examines the contemporary dialogue between science and religion in relation to different Western and Asian religious traditions. The course considers the implications of recent scientific theories for understanding and assessing the belief systems of various theistic and nontheistic religions. Same as: REL 361. ACR: Intercultural.

PHL 370 Philosophy of Science (3.00)
An inquiry into the nature of scientific evidence, laws, explanations, and theories, as well as the nature of the relationship between the natural and social sciences.

PHL 380 Epistemology and Metaphysics (3.00)
An examination of such topics as theories of knowledge, truth, and justification of belief, the problem of skepticism, the mind-body problem, the problem of universals, and theories of being.

PHL 397 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PHL 399 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PHL 490 Philosophic Problems: Seminar (3.00)
Examination of a major philosopher or central problem in one of the areas of philosophy such as philosophy or mind, metaphysics, epistemology, or value theory.

PHL 497 Internship (0.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

PHL 499 Independent Study (1.00-9.00)
Instructor consent required.

Robert Lehe

Professor of Philosophy
PHL
630-637-5338
Greg Lynch

Assistant Professor of Philosophy
PHL
5337
Shaheen Moosa

Assistant Professor of Philosophy
PHL

Faculty Emeriti

David H. Fisher
Professor of Philosophy, Emeritus
B.A., Carleton College, 1965; M.A., Columbia University-Union Theological Seminary, 1967; M.A., 1973, Ph.D., 1976, Vanderbilt University
dhfisher@noctrl.edu

Timothy P. Morris
Professor of Philosophy Emeritus
B.A., University of Iowa, 1973; A.M., 1976, Ph.D., 1984, University of Chicago
tpmorris@noctrl.edu

Extra-curricular and professional activities that will enrich your philosophy education.

Maybe you’ll pursue philosophy simply for its own sake, through a major or a minor, but you might also take philosophy to support other professional options. Some of our graduates have gone on to graduate school in philosophy, while others have found it to be invaluable preparation for careers in law, medicine and other professions.

As you take up your education in philosophy, you might want to

  • choose an Independent Study course, where you pick a topic of your own in consultation with a member of the philosophy faculty and pursue it in a one-on-one tutorial arrangement with that faculty member
  • select a course topic of interest to you that isn’t offered on a regular basis and pursue it, as a Directed Study course, in a tutorial arrangement with a member of the faculty
  • put together an internship proposal for an employer in the Chicagoland area that’s related to some area of philosophy and/or to some professional or career path you’re following
  • apply for a Richter Independent Study Fellowship, which allows you to engage in a sustained research project that may involve travel within the United States or abroad. You’ll work with a faculty member in advance to craft a proposal that will be read and evaluated by a committee outside the department. This is an excellent opportunity to connect, in a meaningful way, the classroom with real life experiences!
  • get involved in the College Scholars program, the College’s honors program. Specifically, you want to participate in the History of Ideas curriculum, a program in which you’ll read classical texts in the Western intellectual tradition, texts coming from philosophy, religious studies, history, the arts, the social sciences, and some of the natural sciences. This program supplements the study of philosophy very nicely no matter what you decide to do in terms of your career or professional path, and it’s been shown to be very helpful in certain professional or career paths.

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