Students should choose electives in consultation with a departmental advisor to bring their Philosophy credits up to 20. In addition to the courses listed above, students can choose from these electives.
Have you ever wondered how people from different cultures think about important life questions differently from one country or culture to the next? How do different cultures understand life's meaning? How do different cultures understand the nature of death? How do people in different cultures make sense of their place in the world? How do they see their moral responsibilities to one another? Through philosophical readings from a wide variety of cultures, this course explores these and other questions of inter-cultural philosophical significance. You will leave the course with a greater understanding of how people from a variety of cultures attempt to answer these important life questions.
Full course description for Multicultural Introduction to Philosophy
Does human life have a meaning? If so, where or how can it be found? How should one live? What kind of people should we want to be? How does the nature of one's community and one's position in it affect one's answers to these questions? Do only certain kinds of communities offer opportunities for a good life? This course uses movies and philosophical essays from classical and contemporary sources to discuss these and other matters concerning life's meaning.
Full course description for Philosophy, Film and the Meaning of Life
This course introduces students to persistent questions concerning what it means to be human. Is there such a thing as human nature? If so, what is it? How have different cultures and different periods of history understood the nature of human nature? What are the moral and social consequences of accepting various answers to these questions? The course examines how these issues have been addressed within European, American, Asian, Indian and Middle Eastern philosophical traditions.
Full course description for Views of Human Nature
What do people mean when they talk about God and spirituality? What is worship or prayer or meditation and how are these related to religion or faith or wisdom? What is the relationship between mystery and belief in God, and evidence and argument? How can one value and respect religious beliefs that differ in fundamental ways from one's own?
What is the proper role of religion in government? What relationship does religion have to morality? How can God allow the innocent to suffer? This course examines these and other provocative questions with the aid and materials drawn from a variety of religions, practices, and perspectives.
Full course description for Philosophy, Spirituality, and Religious Diversity
This introductory course examines the two central concerns of practical philosophy: wisdom and justice. In contrast to theoretical philosophy which addresses the nature of reality and being, practical philosophy addresses the pursuit of wisdom and justice in personal, professional, and civic affairs. Students will have the opportunity to examine their own lives and goals from a variety of viewpoints in consideration of practical understanding and avenues for action in relation to local communities and regional or national concerns. Particular topics will include personal ethics, civic duties, relations between law and morality, racial and social justice, professional ethics, environmental ethics, practical reason, and philosophical counseling.
Full course description for Introduction to Practical Philosophy
What does it mean to be an ethical person? What thinking should guide a person's decisions about doing (or not doing) what is right or wrong? Can we know when something is right or wrong or this only a matter of personal feeling? Do the affluent have moral duties to help the poor of the world with their plight? This course explores these questions and others like them, using a variety of philosophical materials and approaches. It examines major moral theories and related moral dilemmas concerning, for example abortion, economic justice, war and morality, and the moral status of animals. This course also examines ideas about how race, class and gender may affect concepts of ethics.
Full course description for Ethical Inquiry
The specific topic of this course changes from semester to semester. Each time the course is offered, it considers a topic of current social importance and employs important work in social and moral philosophy to understand them. Topics have included reparations and responses to historical injustices; toleration of religious and other differences; immigration and the question of who should get in and why. Future topics may involve the legitimacy of torture; justice in the distribution of health care; markets and morals; same-sex marriage; the role, nature, and justifiability of patriotism; etc.
Full course description for Philosophy Now:
An examination of religious experience from a philosophical perspective. Questions such as: What must a belief or experience be like to count as religious? Should we expect religious beliefs to be supported by evidence or reasons or does faith operate in a different way? Are there good arguments for (or against) the existence of God? Of miracles? Of the immortality of the soul? Do religious accounts of events (of the creation of the world, for example) compete with scientific explanations? Or do they have a different function and a different kind of grounding? What relationship does religion have to morality? To politics?
Full course description for Faith and Reason: The Philosophy of Religion
In this course we use various philosophical approaches to explore the relations among persons, non-human animals and the worlds they inhabit separately and together. We will look closely at the grounds for claiming that we have obligations and duties in relation to non-human animals and the environment, as well as the ways in which these relations provide inspiration, companionship, solace and love.
Topics may include: environmental justice and the disposal of electronic waste; animals and factory farming; the real cost of cheap consumer goods; the historical evolution of the concept of environment protection, of a land ethic, and of the development of natural parks; human stewardship; the possibility that natural creatures have a value that is independent of human benefit and whether it makes sense to grant them legal standing; global climate change; the connections between feminism and environmental ethics; the population time bomb and current responses; green politics; the role…
Full course description for Environmental Philosophy
Do business firms have obligations besides making as much money as possible for their stockholders? What are their responsibilities, if any, to their employees, their customers, and the wider community? Is it enough to obey the law, or does the law sometimes allow people to do things that are wrong? Do employees have any right to privacy on the job? To 'living wages'? To 'decent' working conditions? Does a seller have any obligation to look out for the interests of the buyer? Isn't it necessary to put the best possible 'spin' on your product and let the buyer look out for him or herself? This course will examine questions like these in light of various theories of ethics and current theories of justice. In addition to considering how we might ideally like people to act, it will also consider the challenges to personal integrity and 'doing the right thing' posed by the real world of business and by the kind of large bureaucratic organizations that dominate it.
Full course description for Business Ethics
Is it ever right to try to hasten a patient's death? Should people ever be given medical treatment against their will? How should we decide who will get access to scarce medical resources (like organ transplants)? Do people have a right to get the care they need, even if they can't pay for it? This course will use ethical theories and theories of justice to explore these questions and others like them. It is intended to be helpful not only to (present or future) health care practitioners, but also to anyone who wants to think about these issues, which confront us in our roles as patients and as citizens whose voices can contribute to the shaping of health care policies.
Full course description for Medical Ethics
This course explores a range of moral issues raised by the introduction of new technologies for the production, distribution and use of information -- issues about privacy, surveillance and data-mining, freedom of speech, copyright, computer crime and abuse, justice in access to information, the political and social significance of the Internet, and so on. The course is intended to be helpful not only to information technology professionals, who will encounter some of these issues in connection with their work, but also to anyone who has an interest in the way information technology is changing our lives. Students will study moral theory, professional codes of ethics and a variety of case studies.
Full course description for Ethics in the Information Age
Evidence suggests that engaging in philosophical discussion enhances children's reasoning and critical skills. This course introduces strategies for encouraging elementary school children to think about their world in a serious and careful way, using stories, children's literature and children's everyday experiences, as well as materials developed at the Institute for the Advancement of Philosophy for Children. The course is designed for teachers wishing to integrate philosophical questions into their classes and parents who wish to play a more active role in the cognitive development of their children. Education students are encouraged to consider this training.
Full course description for Philosophy for Children
Does the fact that some in the world have more than they need in order to live and others have too little to survive show that the world is unjust? Do people in affluent countries have a moral obligation to help those in impoverished countries? Should material well-being be more equally distributed in a just world? Should people who contribute more get more? Do smart people, beautiful people, and hard-working people deserve to get more than those who are less so? Should the world's bounty be seen as belonging to all equally? These and other questions regarding the controversial issue of economic justice will be addressed through a variety of philosophical materials.
Full course description for Economic Justice: Who Gets What and Why?
Student-designed independent studies give Metropolitan State students the opportunity to plan their own study. This type of independent learning strategy can be useful because it allows students: to study a subject in more depth, at a more advanced level; to pursue a unique project that requires specialized study; to draw together several knowledge areas or interests into a specialized study; to test independent learning capabilities and skills; or to use special learning resources in the community, taking advantage of community education opportunities which, in themselves, would not yield a full college competence.
Students should contact their academic advisor for more information.
Full course description for Philosophy Student Designed Independent Studies