Below are lists of previous course offerings starting with Spring 2019. If you require course information prior to 2018, please contact us

CU Denver Philosophy Department
2020 SPRING COURSE LISTINGS

 

 PHIL 1012- Introduction to Philosophy: Relationship of the Individual to the World    

Section 001 MW 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM D. Mehring

This introductory course will examine the position of five major philosophers (Plato, Epicurus, the Stoics, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche) on perennial philosophical conundrums (What is the good life? Is there life after bodily death?) In a manner that is both understandable and relevant. In addition to reading the philosophers’ writings, we will read Alain de Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy.

Section 002 TuTh 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM B. Lisle

This course explores some of the key figures and texts in the history of Western civilization. We will learn how to interpret and analyze central claims and arguments made by these key figures, so that each student will develop a general understanding of this particular history of ideas. The main topics we will cover include: (1) a broad inquiry into the nature of the human condition, (2) the inquiry into the nature of knowledge as it may be distinguished from mere opinion, and (3) the basic metaphysical question, “what is the nature of reality?” We begin our semester with an examination of key texts in the tradition of the Ancient Greeks and then work our way toward some of the more well-known philosophical projects of the last four centuries. We will discuss such fundamental questions as: how do we come to know the underlying causes of experience? What is the nature of reality as it exists independently of our partial perspectives? What is the structure and function of language, and to what degree does that structure determine thought? On what evidence can we base our most cherished beliefs about the world, ourselves, God, nature, justice, virtue, beauty and truth?

 Section 003 MW 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM B. Lisle

This course explores some of the key figures and texts in the history of Western civilization. We will learn how to interpret and analyze central claims and arguments made by these key figures, so that each student will develop a general understanding of this particular history of ideas. The main topics we will cover include: (1) a broad inquiry into the nature of the human condition, (2) the inquiry into the nature of knowledge as it may be distinguished from mere opinion, and (3) the basic metaphysical question, “what is the nature of reality?” We begin our semester with an examination of key texts in the tradition of the Ancient Greeks and then work our way toward some of the more well-known philosophical projects of the last four centuries. We will discuss such fundamental questions as: how do we come to know the underlying causes of experience? What is the nature of reality as it exists independently of our partial perspectives? What is the structure and function of language, and to what degree does that structure determine thought? On what evidence can we base our most cherished beliefs about the world, ourselves, God, nature, justice, virtue, beauty and truth?

 Section 004 TuTh 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM M. Tanzer

This course will examine fundamental philosophical issues, primarily, although not exclusively, in the theory of knowledge and in ethics. The first half of the course, focusing on the theory of knowledge, will examine the thought of Plato and of David Hume; while the second half of the course, focusing on ethics, will look at the ethical theories of John Stuart Mill and of Immanuel Kant. This section of the course will also look at how the ethical theories of Mill and Kant have been applied to the problem of animal rights, by Peter Singer and Tom Regan.

 Section 005 TuTh 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM G. Zamosc

Introduction to Philosophy: Relationship of the Individual to the World. Introductory course in philosophy that focuses on some of the central questions of philosophy, including theories of reality and the nature of knowledge and its limits. The knowledge of these areas is essential to the student for informed participation in the resolution of contemporary problems in today's society.

Section E01 Online D. Mehring

This introductory course will examine the position of five major philosophers (Plato, Epicurus, the Stoics, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche) on perennial philosophical conundrums (What is the good life? Is there life after bodily death?) In a manner that is both understandable and relevant. In addition to reading the philosophers’ writings, we will read Alain de Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy.

PHIL 1020- Introduction to Ethical Reasoning                                                                              

Section 001 MW 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM D. Mehring

In this course we will examine the major ethical theories that Philosophers have proposed for answering moral dilemmas: Ethical Egoism, Utilitarianism, Deontology, Stoicism, Feminist Ethics, and Virtue Ethics. But since, “Theory without practice is empty,” we will consider how these different theories are applied in real-life situations. Questions of honesty are regarded as of the utmost ethical importance. Yet, virtually none of us have been taught how to tell the truth “at the right time, in the right place, in the right way, for the right reason, to the right person.” Clearly, How one tells the truth as important as What the truth is. This course will consider the important questions of how to be a responsible truth-teller—and when to depart form the truth. We will examine such questions as when it is permissible (even necessary) to “slant” the truth? Under what conditions we need to (in the words of Mark Twain) “learn how to lie healingly and well.” In addition, each student will construct their own personal Code of Ethics or Mission Statement.

 Section 002 MW 3:30 PM - 4:45 PM B. Lisle

In this course we will examine specific ethical issues from a select set of philosophical perspectives. We will start by reading and discussing some of the more well-known ethical theories in Western philosophy. Then we’ll investigate specific ethical issues through the perspectives offered by these theories. We will survey key concepts and issues such as individual and group rights, political and interpersonal oppression, animal rights, abortion, euthanasia (or “mercy killing”), war, poverty, environmental degradation, self-deception, gender identity, and the general question regarding one’s moral obligation(s) to family, and to country or community, and perhaps to future generations.

Section 003 MW 5:00 PM - 6:15 PM A. Yost

What should I be dong with my life? What kind of person should I be? Which is better: justice or mercy? Does it matter whether what I do is right or wrong, or should I just focus on getting a job? These are ethical questions, and they are good ones. They’re the kind of questions we ask ourselves everyday, whether implicitly or explicitly, and the answers we come up with shape to our lives and give us meaning. In this course we’ll take a deep look at what it means to live “The Good Life.” We’ll explore answers through art, film, literature, poetry, music, and above all, discussion. We’ll cover some core philosophical ideas (like what it means to seek “the greatest good for the greatest number” or whether or it’s okay to lie) and examine how other, fundamentally important human experiences also raise ethical concerns, like love, science, beauty, and religion. We’ll stay grounded along the way and pay attention to how ethical theories hook up with practical living. Warning: this course is not for wallflowers. We’ll have a lot of conversation. We’ll be doing philosophy, not just studying it

Section 004 TuTh 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM D. Hildebrand

All who live in this world must choose what to do. Yet to live in the world we must live with people. When we make choices involving people we are engaged in ethical activity. Ethical debates arise from those situations where there is disagreement about: 1) how we should treat others and 2) the reasons (or arguments) for treating them in one-way rather than another. This course will examine specific ethical theories as they become relevant within issues we face everyday. Such issues may include abortion, environmental justice and the moral standing of animals, consumerism, and dilemmas posed by new technologies, such as smart phones. Whatever the issue, though, our goal is the same: to gain a better understanding by reading, thinking, and talking carefully and critically.

Section 005 TuTh 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM S. Walker

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with useful tools for solving ethical problems.  We will investigate major positions from the philosophic tradition of ethics from Plato to Sartre. We will work toward the understanding of moral terminology and the development of moral reasoning  through the examination of contrasting ethical theories. We will consider such issues as virtue, rights, and our obligations to others.

 Section E01 Online D. Mehring

In this course we will not only examine the major ethical theories (e.g., Utilitarian, Duty-based, Existentialist, etc.) But since “theory without practice is empty” we will consider how to apply these ethical theories in real-life situations. Questions of honesty are regarded as of the utmost ethical importance. Yet, virtually none of us have been taught how to tell the truth “at the right time, in the right place, in the right way, for the right reason, to the right person”. Clearly, how one tells the truth is as important as what the truth is. This course will focus on questions of how to be an effective truth-teller—and when to depart from the absolute truth. We will consider such questions such as when is it permissible (even necessary) to “slant” the truth? Under what conditions do we need to (in the words of Mark Twain) “learn how to lie healingly and well?”  

PHIL 2441- Logic, Language, and Scientific Reasoning 

Section 001 TuTh  9:30 AM - 10:45 AM G. Zamosc

Logic, Language and Scientific Reasoning. Intro course in argumentation, critical thinking and scientific reasoning. Covers rules of logical inference, informal fallacies, problem solving, and probabilistic reasoning. Enhances analytical and critical thinking skills tested on LSAT and MCAT, central to advancement in sciences, and broadly desired by employers.  

Section 002 MW 2:00 PM - 3:15 PM M. Pike

Effective reasoning and critical thinking are central to success in academic study, empirical investigation, and in daily life outside the university. This course aims to make you better at both! In this class, you will develop a better understanding of good reasoning (and how to avoid bad reasoning) by learning about argumentation, evidence evaluation, scientific investigation, and common mistake/fallacy identification. You will learn both informal and formal tools for logical reasoning, practice them on a range of arguments, and become better at finding the truth and persuading others.

Section 003 TuTh 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM M. Tanzer

The aim of this course is to learn how to construct precise, rational arguments, as well as to critique arguments put forth by others. Our assessment of the key elements that constitute proper argumentation will include the examination of the functions of the basic parts of an argument, the recognition of logical fallacies, and the understanding of the formal structure of arguments.

Section 004 MW 11:00 AM - 12:15 PM M. Pike

Effective reasoning and critical thinking are central to success in academic study, empirical investigation, and in daily life outside the university. This course aims to make you better at both! In this class, you will develop a better understanding of good reasoning (and how to avoid bad reasoning) by learning about argumentation, evidence evaluation, scientific investigation, and common mistake/fallacy identification. You will learn both informal and formal tools for logical reasoning, practice them on a range of arguments, and become better at finding the truth and persuading others.

Section E01 Online B. Hackett

This course teaches the basics of systematic reasoning and its relation to the sciences. We begin the semester by focusing on the logician’s notion of an argument. What, exactly, counts as an argument? What is the difference between a “true statement” and a “good/sound argument”? After discussing answers to questions like these, we learn two simple ways of objectively assessing the reasoning in simple, easily understood deductive arguments.  Next, we learn how to systematically represent the reasoning in less simple arguments, allowing us to accurately understand and effectively evaluate the ones that matter (e.g., concerning science, morality, religion, politics). Finally, we learn methods for conducting systematic inquiry in both the deductive and physical sciences. In an effort to encourage the mastery of learned skills, we practice techniques throughout the semester on various simple arguments. Since these methods are usefully applied to any academic inquiry, this course aims to be one of the most useful college courses you will take.

PHIL 3002- Ancient Greek Philosophy 

Section 001 MW 12:30 PM - 1:45 PM R. Metcalf

History of ancient Greek thought, including traditional myth, pre-Socratic fragments, Plato’s dialogues, and Aristotle’s systematic philosophy. 

 

PHIL 3022- Modern Philosophy 

Section 001 TuTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM C. Shelby

The period of Western philosophy commonly referred to as “modern” (roughly the end of the 16th century to the end of the 18th century) is often presented as a period narrowly focused on questions of epistemology: questions concerning the nature and extent of human knowledge. In our course we will examine some of these basic epistemological themes, while attempting to broaden that scope a bit by also surveying some of the metaphysical themes that modern thinkers inherit from classical and medieval philosophy. We will be reading and discussing texts by Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke, Hume, and Kant. Some of the basic questions we will be addressing are as follows: how does the strictly causal realm of matter in motion relate to the mental, subjective character of knowledge, and what can we claim about the nature of subjectivity within that relation? Similarly, can philosophy establish a foundation for knowledge that can save scientific inquiry from the challenges of skepticism? 

 

PHIL 3200- Social-Political Philosophy 

Section 001 TuTh 9:30AM - 10:45AM S. Walker

We will consider major issues in the history of political philosophy.  In particular we will discuss the two dominant political theories of the last 500 years, modern Liberalism and Socialism. In doing so we will consider the impact different conceptions of human nature have on both the choice of political philosophy the method for its development.  We will read such philosophers as Plato, Hobbes, Marx, Sartre, Nozick, Rawls, and Jagger.

 

PHIL 3500- Ideology and Culture: Racism and Sexism  

Section 001 MW 11:00AM - 12:15PM D. Reeves

This course offers a critical analysis of the intersecting categories of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Our analysis will include implicit biases that are embedded in society as a neutral point of view and which often make it difficult to identify racism and sexism. Topics may include the social construction of difference, heterosexism and class privledge, questions of identity, discrimination in everyday life, the economics of race, class and gender and race and gender issues in U.S. law.

Section 002 TuTh 11:00AM - 12:15PM S. Tyson

In this course, we will explore how racism and sexism have been and continue to be integral to dominant ideologies and cultural formations in the US. We will not only engage with some of the most important theoretical work on these topics, but will we also reflect on the formation of our own lives, practices, beliefs, and values. That self and group reflection will also bring us into contact with the limits of such work and what those limits mean for ideological and cultural change.

 Section 003 MW 2:00PM - 3:15PM D. Reeves

This course offers a critical analysis of the intersecting categories of race, class, gender, and sexuality. Our analysis will include implicit biases that are embedded in society as a neutral point of view and which often make it difficult to identify racism and sexism. Topics may include the social construction of difference, heterosexism and class privledge, questions of identity, discrimination in everyday life, the economics of race, class and gender and race and gender issues in U.S. law.

Section E01 Online B. Jeong
In this course, we will approach the question of ideology, racism and sexism in terms of subjectivity. We will begin with the basic questions concerning the idea of the self. Then we explore the view of the self as a social construct, the idea that the self is defined in its relation to ‘the Other.’ As we think about how our identities are formed by the differences in gender and race, we will examine our own assumptions, beliefs and practices. Personal and collective reflections produced in this class should allow us to understand how power works and shapes who we are. This course fulfills the CU Denver Cultural Diversity Requirement.

PHIL 4000/5000- 19th and 20th Century Philosophy 

Section 001 M 5:00PM - 7:50PM B. Jeong
This course examines the notions of time and temporality in twentieth-century philosophy. In the first segment of the semester, we discuss some of the key topics in the philosophy of time such as habit, memory, repetition and duration. The second segment looks at the politics of time while thinking critically about temporal logics of heteropatriarchal, capitalist, racist, colonial systems. 

 PHIL 4350/5350- Philosophy of Science 

Section 001 MW 3:30PM - 4:45PM M. Pike

This course examines some of the central philosophical questions concerning the nature of scientific investigation, such as the logical relation of evidence to hypothesis, the objective adjudication of competing hypotheses, the logical function of modeling in empirical inquiry, the criterion for a classificatory system to underwrite induction and explanation, the explanatory relationships between the differing sciences, as well as the theoretical and pragmatic function of scientific law and its relationship to explanation.

PHIL 4600/5600- Philosophy of Religion

Section 001 Tu 5:00PM - 7:50PM R. Metcalf

A close study of some classics in the history of philosophy of religion, including Plato's Euthyphro and Republic (selections), Lucretius' On the Nature of Things, Spinoza's Theological-Political Treatise, Hume's Dialogues Concerning Natural Religion, James' The Varieties of Religious Experience, Freud's The Future of an Illusion, and Dewey's A Common Faith.  The course culminates with a fieldwork project that integrates readings from the course and observations of a faith community of the student's choosing.

PHIL 4812/5812 Section 001- Prisons, Punishment, and Social Justice 

Section 001 TuTh 2:00PM - 3:15PM S. Tyson

What is the role of prisons in the US? Are they necessary? Are they effective? Are there alternative ways to address harm? In this course, we will explore theories of punishment and theories of redressing harm that do not rely on punishment. We will use the critical tools of philosophy to think about what prisons do, how they shape the world we live in, and what alternatives might be.

PHIL 4833/5833- Existentialism 

Section 001 TuTh 12:30PM - 1:45PM B. Lisle

The lasting appeal of Existentialism as a literary, philosophical and artistic movement has much to do with its overall approach to basic human questions, such as: how to live in a seemingly absurd world full of incomprehensible forces and events. For example, when one lives during a time of war, it becomes tempting to conclude that life is absurd, that justice is an impossible ideal, and that beauty is only a temporary distraction. This course is an investigation of some of the central themes in the Existentialist tradition, including some of the most famous late 19th and early 20th Century writers in that tradition. We will be focusing on the writings of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche, Heidegger, Sartre, and Beauvoir.

CU Denver Philosophy Department
2019 FALL COURSE LISTINGS

PHIL 1012- Introduction to Philosophy: Relationship of the Individual to the World              

Section 002 MW 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM D. Mehring

This introductory course will examine the position of five major philosophers (Plato, Epicurus, the Stoics, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche) on perennial philosophical conundrums (What is the good life? Is there life after bodily death?) In a manner that is both understandable and relevant. In addition to reading the philosophers’ writings, we will read Alain de Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy.

Section 003 MW 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM  D. Mehring

See Section 002

Section 004 TuTh 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM B. Lisle

This course explores some of the key figures and texts in the history of Western civilization. We will learn how to interpret and analyze central claims and arguments made by these key figures, so that each student will develop a general understanding of this particular history of ideas. The main topics we will cover include: (1) a broad inquiry into the nature of the human condition, (2) the inquiry into the nature of knowledge as it may be distinguished from mere opinion, and (3) the basic metaphysical question, “what is the nature of reality?” We begin our semester with an examination of key texts in the tradition of the Ancient Greeks and then work our way toward some of the more well-known philosophical projects of the last four centuries. We will discuss such fundamental questions as: how do we come to know the underlying causes of experience? What is the nature of reality as it exists independently of our partial perspectives? What is the structure and function of language, and to what degree does that structure determine thought? On what evidence can we base our most cherished beliefs about the world, ourselves, God, nature, justice, virtue, beauty and truth?

Section 005 TuTh 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM B. Lisle

See Section 004

Section 006 TuTh 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM M. Tanzer

This course will examine fundamental philosophical issues, primarily, although not exclusively, in the theory of knowledge and in ethics. The first half of the course, focusing on the theory of knowledge, will examine the thought of Plato and of David Hume; while the second half of the course, focusing on ethics, will look at the ethical theories of John Stuart Mill and of Immanuel Kant. This section of the course will also look at how the ethical theories of Mill and Kant have been applied to the problem of animal rights, by Peter Singer and Tom Regan.

Section 007 TuTh 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM                B. Lisle

See Section 004

Section E01 Online                                D. Mehring

See Section 002

PHIL 1020- Introduction to Ethical Reasoning                                                                  

Section 002 MW 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM              R. Metcalf

This course introduces students to ethical reasoning through the careful study of classical and contemporary philosophical texts, along with some films, such as 'Crimes and Misdemeanors,' and 'Fog of War.'  The course concludes with a study of Frans de Waal's recent book, The Bonobo and the Atheist, on which students will give in-class presentations.

Section 005 TuTh 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM              S. Walker

The purpose of this course is to provide the student with useful tools for solving ethical problems. We will investigate major positions from the philosophic tradition of ethics from Plato to Sartre. We will work toward the understanding of moral terminology and the development of moral reasoning through the examination of contrasting ethical theories. We will consider such issues as virtue, rights, and our obligations to others.

Section 006 TuTh 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM              D. Reeves

This course will provide a journey into moral reflection. Its aim is to invite students to subject their own views about ethics to critical examination. We will work towards three goals. The first is to explore several moral issues that raise questions about ethics and justice in today’s diverse and complex society. We will ask how a just society might distribute the things we prize – income and wealth, duties and rights, powers and opportunities, offices and honors in the right way; how ought each person be awarded her or his due. The second goal will be to understand and evaluate the role of philosophy and critical thinking in addressing issues such as financial bailouts, affirmative action and the death penalty. We will ponder three central ideals or ways of thinking about ethical issues: virtue, freedom and welfare. The third goal is for students to engage in constructive discussion of the issues presented. A subset of this goal will to exposed students to diverse views while exploring and developing their own positions.

Section 007 MW 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM              G. Zamosc

Studies some of the traditional problems in ethics that tend to be focused on individual morality within the larger context of social and political philosophy. Some specific contemporary moral and social problems may be addressed, such as AIDS, abortion, famine, and individual rights versus the collective rights of society.

Section E01 Online 2:00pm-3:15pm              D. Mehring

See Section 001

PHIL 2441- Logic, Language, and Scientific Reasoning 

Section 001 MW 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM J. Golub

Intro course in argumentation, critical thinking and scientific reasoning. Covers rules of logical inference, informal fallacies, problem solving, and probabilistic reasoning. Enhances analytical and critical thinking skills tested on LSAT and MCAT, central to advancement in sciences, and broadly desired by employers.

Section 002 MW 5:00 PM – 6:15 PM J. Golub

See Section 001

Section 003 TuTh 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM  M. Pike

Introductory course that considers the significance of logical form and language use in argumentation and persuasion. Topics covered include definition, types of discourse, informal fallacies, traditional syllogisms, rules of logical inference, and problem-solving similar to that found on the L.S.A.T.

Section 004 TuTh 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM   M. Pike

See Section 003

Section E01 Online B. Hackett

This course teaches the basics of systematic reasoning and its relation to the sciences. We begin the semester, in Unit I, by focusing on the logician's notion of an argument.  What, exactly, counts as an argument?  What is the difference between a true statement and a valid argument?  After discussing the answers to these (and other) questions, we distinguish two modes of reasoning (deductive and inductive), and learn two simple ways of testing deductive arguments for validity. Next, in Unit II, we learn how to carefully identify, clarify, and reconstruct important arguments so that their reasoning can be faithfully represented, accurately understood, and effectively evaluated.  Finally, in Unit III, we learn methods for conducting systematic inquiry in both the deductive and physical sciences.  In an effort to encourage the mastery of learned skills, we practice argument evaluation techniques throughout the semester on actual (often very simple) English arguments.  Since these methods may be usefully applied to any academic inquiry, this course aims to be one of the most useful college courses you will take.

PHIL 2550- Investigating Nature 

Section 001 TuTh 3:30 PM – 4:45 PM    M. Pike

This course is designed to introduce students to Philosophy of Science. (No background in philosophy is required.) Philosophy of Science is concerned with how best to use observation and experiment to learn about the world, whether we are investigating fundamental physical structures, the complex operations of biological organisms, or the social dynamics of human groups. Drawing on both historical and contemporary works, we will seek to understand, among other topics, what makes scientific inquiry distinct from other forms of human learning, what accounts for the credibility and objectivity of scientific claims, the influence of psycho-social biases on observation and theory formation, as well as whether accepting a scientific theory, explanation or hypothesis means that we think it is true.

PHIL 3002- Ancient Greek

001 MW 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM R. Metcalf

This course introduces students to ancient Greek philosophy through a survey of its most important thinkers, beginning with the Presocratics, and concluding with Plato and Aristotle. By the end of the course students will be able to 1) transliterate Greek philosophical concepts and explain their significance, 2) identify the authors of influential and memorable passages in Greek philosophical texts, and 3) analyze the different philosophical positions of Greek thinkers and explain their relative merits.

PHIL 3030-Philosophies of Happiness

Section 001 F 11:00 AM – 2:30 PM D. Mehring

Immanuel Kant's revolutionary thought represents one of the most important developments in the history of Western philosophy. As a result, all subsequent philosophical thought has had to take Kant's transcendental idealism, and its radical reconceptualization of the subject/object distinction, into account. This course will consist of a detailed examination of Kant's ontology, epistemology and ethics.

PHIL 3280- War and Morality

Section 001 TuTh 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM S. Walker

War continues to exist, in part, due to our inability to come to terms with it adequately. Some claim certain wars to be just. Others have argued that war itself opens the door to a condition so extraordinary that it negates the possibility of any legitimate philosophical or ethical evaluation. In this course we will attempt to identify and analyze some of the major moral issues of war. When is a war just, and when is it not? Are there moral means of conducting war? What are morally acceptable rules of engagement? What if anything justifies violating them? How does one evaluate terrorism as a means of conducting war? Given the topic of this course we will likely generate more questions than answers. Readings will include, among others, works by St Augustine, Hobbes, Walzer, Nagle, Sartre, Milne, Gandhi and Buber.

PHIL 3500- Ideology and Culture: Racism and Sexism

Section 001 MW 9:30 AM – 10:45 AM B. Lisle

This course explores, in detail, the way ideology functions within culture. Particular attention will be placed on the way ideological forces work to foster and maintain racist and sexist forms of thought and behavior. We will begin by analyzing the nature and scope of ideological forces as cultural forces, and then we will explore various ways certain contemporary thinkers claim it may be possible to resist or eliminate racist and sexist thinking within an individual and collectively. One basic question we will be asking: to what extent can one escape ideologically founded thinking? Is it possible, in other words, for one to gain a self-critical relation to one’s own culture, especially since cultural traditions seem to mask themselves within the guise of common sense or conventional wisdom?

Section 002 MW 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM B. Lisle

See Section 001

Section 003 TuTh 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM B. Jeong

In this course, we will approach the question of ideology, racism and sexism in terms of subjectivity. We will begin with basic questions concerning the notion of the self. Then we explore the view of the self as a social construct, the idea that the self is defined in its relation to ‘others.’ As we consider the processes by which gender and racial differences form our identities, we will examine our own assumptions, beliefs and practices. Personal and collective reflections produced in this class should allow us to understand how power works and shapes fundamentally who we are. 

Section E01 Online B. Goodrich

How is it that a particular social perspective, serving particular interests, can be propagated throughout a culture and become accepted, internalized, even by those it harms most? In this course we'll examine several accounts of what ideologies are, how they are developed and maintained, and what functions they serve in their societies. These accounts will range from Marx's classic theory to more recent theories, influenced by recent psychological studies.  Throughout the course we'll also explore a few case studies of the ideologies of sexism and racism, and possible ways to combat them with more helpful strategies.

PHIL 3760- Kant

001 TuTh 11:00 AM – 12:15 PM M. Tanzer

Immanuel Kant's revolutionary thought represents one of the most important developments in the history of Western philosophy. As a result, all subsequent philosophical thought has had to take Kant's transcendental idealism, and its radical reconceptualization of the subject/object distinction, into account. This course will consist of a detailed examination of Kant's ontology, epistemology and ethics.

PHIL 4220/5220- Aesthetics Philosophy of Art

Section 001 Tuesday 5:00 PM – 7:50 PM D. Hildebrand

This course presents an introduction to the philosophy of art and aesthetics. In part, this means familiarization with a variety of methods but it also means considering all sides of the communication that is art: the creative process of artists, the object-events created (or "artworks"), and the audience's ability to experience, interpret, and evaluate art. In the course of this survey, a variety of problem-areas related to art will be considered: for example, what is a work of art? What is taste or beauty and who determines and justifies those standards? How is meaning conveyed by works of art and what methods of interpretation best reveal meaning? What is an aesthetic experience and why is it special? What are the social, political, and philosophical roles of art products and art criticism in contemporary society? Our attempts to grapple with these theories and problems will utilize as much actual art as possible through multimedia technology and, hopefully, field trips to local art sites.

PHIL 4242/5242- Bioethics

Section 001 MW 2:00 PM – 3:15 PM   G. Smith

Examines some of the major moral issues confronting the nation’s health care system. The class will search for solutions to such problems as financing health care for those unable to do so on their own, determining the extent of a patient’s right to both refuse and demand certain types of medical treatment, and allocating scarce medical resources such as lifesaving vital organs. The springboard for examining these issues will be the doctor or patient relationship framed by the moral principles of respect for persons and beneficence.

PHIL 4812/5812- Latin American Philosophy

Section 001 MW 12:30 PM – 1:45 PM G. Zamosc

This course aims at introducing students to the topic of Latin American Philosophy or Latin American thought. One explicit aim of the course is to explore the issue of whether or not there even is such a thing as “Latin American” philosophy or thought; that is, the problem of whether there is either some distinctive way of doing philosophy or a set of philosophical issues belonging to an original tradition that stands on its own or sets itself apart from other traditions in philosophy and thereby merits the special appellative “Latin American Philosophy”. In examining this question we will focus on subjects like whether Latin American Philosophy incorporates indigenous ideas that date even to pre-Columbian times; whether philosophy in Latin America emphasizes social and political struggles against European and American domination; whether Latin American thought borrows European and Anglo-American philosophical ideas in order to forge a peculiar point of view or whether is succumbs to a universalism that makes Latin American philosophy “invisible” by actually preventing the development of an inner and outer dialogue of the sort needed to construct distinct and stable philosophical communities; whether Latin American philosophy reflects a special preoccupation with Latin American “identity” or the development of an ethnic perspective; and so on. Although we might not be able to definitively answer what, if anything, characterizes Latin American philosophy, by the end of this class, students will have a good grasp of this subject, a greater appreciation of the complexity of Latin American thought, and adequate familiarity with the literature on this topic.

PHIL 4812/5812- Decolonial Thought

Section 002 Thursday 5:00 PM – 7:50 PM B. Jeong

This course examines the condition of coloniality and European white supremacy under which contemporary philosophical research is being conducted. We will be thinking through the ‘Decolonial Turn,’ a significant shift in knowledge production prompted by the non-Western critique of colonial-capitalist logics of race and gender. We will also be reading critically some canonical works in philosophy from the viewpoint of coloniality in order to develop collectively a conceptual framework of decolonial thinking.

 

Summer Intensive May 20 – May 31

Course Number Title Section Days Times Instructor Description
PHIL 1012 Introduction to Philosophy: Relationship of the Individual to the World

002

MTuWTh 9:30AM-3:30PM C. Shelby Why are we here? What are we, ultimately? What makes life good? What’s really real? Is there a God? Can we know the answers to any of these things? These are just a few of the significant questions that have occupied humanity for at least the past couple of millennia, and they are just a few of the ones we will address this semester, as we make a first foray into the often strange and often misunderstood field of philosophy. From the ancients to the moderns to the cutting edge neuroscientific philosophers, we will read together and attempt to understand the thought of some of the most famous minds that history has to offer.

Maymester May 20 – June 6

Course Number Title Section Days Times Instructor Description
PHIL 4040 Skepticism M01 MTuWTh 11:30AM-3:30PM R. Metcalf This course will introduce students to the long tradition of philosophical skepticism, from its ancient precursors (Xenophanes, Democritus, Socrates) and proponents (Pyrrho, Cicero, Sextus Empiricus) to its modern expression in thinkers like Montaigne, Descartes and Hume. Attention will also be given to a number of 20th century thinkers who have influenced the contemporary debate over skepticism: e.g., G.E. Moore, J.L. Austin, Thomas Nagel, Richard Rorty,
and others.

Summer June 10 – August 3

Course Number Title Section Days Times Instructor Description
PHIL 1012 Introduction to Philosophy: Relationship of the Individual to the World 001 TuTh 10:30AM-1PM M. Tanzer This course will examine fundamental philosophical issues, primarily, although not exclusively, in the theory of knowledge and in ethics. The first half of the course, focusing on the theory of knowledge, will examine the thought of Plato and of David Hume; while the second half of the course, focusing on ethics, will look at the ethical theories of John Stuart Mill and of Immanuel Kant. This section of the course will also look at how the ethical theories of Mill and Kant have been applied to the problem of animal rights, by Peter Singer and Tom Regan

Online June 10 – August 3

Course Number Title Section Days Times Instructor Description
PHIL 1020 Introduction to Ethical Reasoning

E01

E02

    D. Mehring In this course we will not only examine the major ethical theories (e.g., Utilitarian, Duty-based, Existentialist, etc.) But since “theory without practice is empty” we will consider how to apply these ethical theories in real-life situations. Questions of honesty are regarded as of the utmost ethical importance. Yet, virtually none of us have been taught how to tell the truth “at the right time, in the right place, in the right way, for the right reason, to the right person”. Clearly, how one tells the truth is as important as what the truth is. This course will focus on questions of how to be an effective truth-teller—and when to depart from the absolute truth. We will consider such questions such as when is it permissible (even necessary) to “slant” the truth? Under what conditions do we need to (in the words of Mark Twain) “learn how to lie healingly and well?”
PHIL 2441 Logic, Language, and Scientific Reasoning E01     B. Hackett This course teaches the basics of systematic reasoning and its relation to the sciences. We begin the semester, in Unit I, by focusing on the logician's notion of an argument. What, exactly, counts as an argument? What is the difference between a true statement and a valid argument? After discussing the answers to these (and other) questions, we distinguish two modes of reasoning (deductive and inductive), and learn two simple ways of testing deductive arguments for validity. Next, in Unit II, we learn how to carefully identify, clarify, and reconstruct important arguments so that their reasoning can be faithfully represented, accurately understood, and effectively evaluated. Finally, in Unit III, we learn methods for conducting systematic inquiry in both the deductive and physical sciences. In an effort to encourage the mastery of learned skills, we practice argument evaluation techniques throughout the semester on actual (often very simple) English arguments. Since these methods may be usefully applied to any academic inquiry, this course aims to be one of the most useful college courses you will take.

 

CU Denver Philosophy Department
2019 SPRING COURSE LISTINGS

PHIL 1012- Introduction to Philosophy: Relationship of the Individual to the World

Section 001 MW 9:30am-10:45am G. Zamosc
This course aims at helping students develop their skills at interpreting texts, critical thinking, and argumentation, while introducing them to
a series of fundamental problems in philosophy. Among the topics we will study are: (1) Knowledge and skepticism about the external world;
(2) free will and moral responsibility; (3) arguments for the existence of God; and, time permitting, (4) the problem of personal identity.

Section 002 TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm S. Walker
Introductory course in philosophy that focuses on some of the central questions of philosophy, including theories of reality and the nature of
knowledge and its limits. The knowledge of these areas is essential to the student for informed participation in the resolution of
contemporary problems in today’s society.

Section 003 MW 11:00am-12:15pm D. Mehring
This introductory course will examine the position of five major philosophers (Plato, Epicurus, the Stoics, Schopenhauer, and Nietzsche) on
perennial philosophical conundrums (What is the good life? Is there life after bodily death?) In a manner that is both understandable and
relevant. In addition to reading the philosophers’ writings, we will read Alain de Botton’s The Consolations of Philosophy.

Section 004 TuTh 12:30pm-1:45pm S. Finnegan
Introductory course in philosophy that focuses on some of the central questions of philosophy, including theories of reality and the nature of
knowledge and its limits. The knowledge of these areas is essential to the student for informed participation in the resolution of
contemporary problems in today’s society.

Section 005 TuTh 2:00pm-3:15pm M. Tanzer
This course will examine fundamental philosophical issues, primarily, although not exclusively, in the theory of knowledge and in ethics. The
first half of the course, focusing on the theory of knowledge, will examine the thought of Plato and of David Hume; while the second half of
the course, focusing on ethics, will look at the ethical theories of John Stuart Mill and of Immanuel Kant. This section of the course will also
look at how the ethical theories of Mill and Kant have been applied to the problem of animal rights, by Peter Singer and Tom Regan.

Section E01 Online D. Mehring
See Section 003

PHIL 1020- Introduction to Ethical Reasoning

Section 001 TuTh 9:30am-10:45am D. Reeves
This course will provide a journey into moral reflection. Its aim is to invite students to subject their own views about ethics to critical
examination. We will work towards three goals. The first is to explore several moral issues that raise questions about ethics and justice in
today’s diverse and complex society. We will ask how a just society might distribute the things we prize – income and wealth, duties and
rights, powers and opportunities, offices and honors in the right way; how ought each person be awarded her or his due. The second goal will
be to understand and evaluate the role of philosophy and critical thinking in addressing issues such as financial bailouts, affirmative action
and the death penalty. We will ponder three central ideals or ways of thinking about ethical issues: virtue, freedom and welfare. The third
goal is for students to engage in constructive discussion of the issues presented. A subset of this goal will to exposed students to diverse
views while exploring and developing their own positions.

Section 002 MW 12:30pm-1:45pm M. Wilding
Studies some of the traditional problems in ethics that tend to be focused on individual morality within the larger context of social and
political philosophy. Some specific contemporary moral and social problems may be addressed, such as AIDS, abortion, famine, and individual
rights versus the collective rights of society.

Section 003 MW 2:00pm-3:15pm D. Mehring
In this course we will not only examine the major ethical theories (e.g., Utilitarian, Duty-based, Existentialist, etc.) But since “theory without
practice is empty” we will consider how to apply these ethical theories in real-life situations. Questions of honesty are regarded as of the
utmost ethical importance. Yet, virtually none of us have been taught how to tell the truth “at the right time, in the right place, in the right
way, for the right reason, to the right person”. Clearly, how one tells the truth is as important as what the truth is. This course will focus on
questions of how to be an effective truth-teller—and when to depart from the absolute truth. We will consider such questions such as when is it permissible (even necessary) to “slant” the truth? Under what conditions do we need to (in the words of Mark Twain) “learn how to lie healingly and well?”

Section 004 TuTh 12:30pm-1:45pm D. Reeves
See Section 001

Section 005 TuTh 2:00pm-3:15pm S. Walker
The purpose of this course is to provide the student with useful tools for solving ethical problems. We will investigate major positions from
the philosophic tradition of ethics from Plato to Sartre. We will work toward the understanding of moral terminology and the development of
moral reasoning through the examination of contrasting ethical theories. We will consider such issues as virtue, rights, and our obligations to
others.

Section E01 Online D. Mehring
See Section 003

PHIL 2441- Logic, Language, and Scientific Reasoning

Section 001 MW 9:30am-10:45am M. Bauer
This course concentrates on enhancing students’ capacity to reason well. The aim, in short, is for you to be sharper and smarter when you
finish this course! Students will learn to distinguish argumentative from non-argumentative passages in ordinary language, to analyze the
form of an argument, as well as how to recognize and avoid argumentative errors and mistakes. Students will also learn how to employ
several techniques for determining the acceptability of an argument. Further, students will be introduced to the basic structure of scientific
inquiry, including standards of evidence, the argumentative function of hypothetical construction and experimentation, as well as the limits
of scientific conclusions. Students will learn as well why the structure of scientific inquiry makes it a distinctively powerful form of inquiry into
the natural world.

Section 002 TuTh 3:30pm-4:45pm M. Bauer
This course concentrates on enhancing students’ capacity to reason well. The aim, in short, is for you to be sharper and smarter when you
finish this course! Students will learn to distinguish argumentative from non-argumentative passages in ordinary language, to analyze the
form of an argument, as well as how to recognize and avoid argumentative errors and mistakes. Students will also learn how to employ
several techniques for determining the acceptability of an argument. Further, students will be introduced to the basic structure of scientific
inquiry, including standards of evidence, the argumentative function of hypothetical construction and experimentation, as well as the limits
of scientific conclusions. Students will learn as well why the structure of scientific inquiry makes it a distinctively powerful form of inquiry into
the natural world

Section E01 Online B. Hackett
This course teaches the basics of systematic reasoning and its relation to the sciences. We begin the semester by focusing on the logician's
notion of an argument. What, exactly, counts as an argument? What is the difference between a true statement and a “good” argument?
After discussing the answers to these (& other) questions, we distinguish two modes of reasoning (deductive & inductive), & learn two simple
ways of objectively assessing the reasoning in deductive arguments. Next, we learn how to systematically represent the reasoning in any
important argument so that each can be accurately understood & effectively evaluated. Finally, we learn methods for conducting systematic
inquiry in both the deductive & physical sciences. In an effort to encourage the mastery of learned skills, we practice techniques throughout
the semester on actual, simple arguments. Since these methods may be usefully applied to any academic inquiry, this course aims to be one
of the most useful college courses you will take.

Section E02 Online B. Hackett
See Section E01

PHIL 3002- Ancient Greek Philosophy

Section 001 MW 12:30pm-1:45pm R. Metcalf
A study of the history of Greek thought, from Homer, Hesiod and the earliest Presocratic philosophers, through Plato and Aristotle, and into
the Hellenistic age, with careful attention given to the Greek philosophical vocabulary and to problems of interpretation.

PHIL 3022- Modern Philosophy

Section 001 TuTh 2:00pm-3:15pm C. Shelby
The period of Western philosophy commonly referred to as “modern” (roughly the end of the 16th century to the end of the 18th century) is
often presented as a period narrowly focused on questions of epistemology: questions concerning the nature and extent of human knowledge. In our course we will examine some of these basic epistemological themes, while attempting to broaden that scope a bit by also
surveying some of the metaphysical themes that modern thinkers inherit from classical and medieval philosophy. We will be reading and
discussing texts by Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Locke, Hume, and Kant. Some of the basic questions we will be addressing are as follows: how
does the strictly causal realm of matter in motion relate to the mental, subjective character of knowledge, and what can we claim about the
nature of subjectivity within that relation? Similarly, can philosophy establish a foundation for knowledge that can save scientific inquiry from
the challenges of skepticism?

PHIL 3440- Symbolic Logic

Section 001 MW 2:00pm-3:15pm M. Bauer
This course is an introduction to formal or symbolic logic. In formalizing logic, we aim to construct “mechanistic” models for different types of
reasoning systems. The techniques involved in formalizing rationality play a role in a diverse set of fields, e.g., cognitive psychology,
philosophy, linguistics, mathematics, computer science, artificial intelligence research, and genetics. The logics covered include propositional,
predicate, modal, and tense as well as their two-valued and some multi-valued variants. The aim of the course is for you to become proficient
in those logics by semester’s end.

PHIL 3500- Ideology and Culture: Racism and Sexism

Section 001 TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm B. Lisle
This course explores, in detail, the way ideology functions within culture. Particular attention will be placed on the way ideological forces
work to foster and maintain racist and sexist forms of thought and behavior. We will begin by analyzing the nature and scope of ideological
forces as cultural forces, and then we will explore various ways certain contemporary thinkers claim it may be possible to resist or eliminate
racist and sexist thinking within an individual and collectively. One basic question we will be asking: to what extent can one escape
ideologically founded thinking? Is it possible, in other words, for one to gain a self-critical relation to one’s own culture, especially since
cultural traditions seem to mask themselves within the guise of common sense or conventional wisdom?

Section 002 TuTh 9:30am-10:45am B. Lisle
See Section 001

Section 003 MW 2:00pm-3:15pm B. Lisle
See Section 001

Section E01 Online B. Jeong
In this course, we will approach the question of ideology, racism and sexism in terms of subjectivity. We will begin with the basic questions
concerning the idea of the self. Then we explore the view of the self as a social construct, the idea that the self is defined in its relation to ‘the
Other.’ As we think about how our identities are formed by the differences in gender and race, we will examine our own assumptions, beliefs
and practices. Personal and collective reflections produced in this class should allow us to understand how power works and shapes who we
are. This course fulfills the CU Denver Cultural Diversity Requirement.

PHIL 4780/5780- Heidegger

Section 001 TuTh 11:00am-12:15pm M. Tanzer
This course will examine some key writings of Martin Heidegger, one of the most important philosophers of the 20th Century. We will begin
with a study of Heidegger’s Being and Time, which is representative of his early phenomenological pursuit of the meaning of being. We will
then study the Introduction to Metaphysics, which exhibits the later Heidegger’s renewed approach to the being-question. Issues
emphasized will include Heidegger’s critique of the subject/object distinction, his conceptions of finitude and death, and his interpretation of
ancient Greek thought, all in the context of his inquiry into the nature of being.

PHIL 4790/5790- Nietzsche

Section 001 MW 12:30pm-1:45pm G. Zamosc
In this course we will examine the thought of Friedrich Nietzsche through some of his most important and influential works. Some of the
texts we will read include: The Birth of Tragedy, The Untimely Meditations, Beyond Good and Evil, and The Genealogy of Morals. One explicit
aim of the class will be to explore whether and how Nietzsche’s thought changed during the course of his intellectual development. Another
goal will be to try to understand not just Nietzsche’s various criticisms of the philosophical tradition but his positive contributions to it as well:
that is, the ideals and values he sought to promote.

PHIL 4810/5810- Aristotle

Section 001 W 5:00pm-7:50pm R. Metcalf

This course on Aristotle comprises two parts: first, a close study of the Nicomachean Ethics; and second, a study of the Politics and Rhetoric,
in light of the Ethics. Students will gain some exposure to scholarly work on Aristotle, and they will have the opportunity to present their own
work to their peers.

PHIL 4833/5833- Existentialism

Section 001 TuTh 12:30pm-1:45pm B. Lisle
The lasting appeal of Existentialism as a literary, philosophical and artistic movement has much to do with its overall approach to basic
human questions, such as: how to live in a seemingly absurd world full of incomprehensible forces and events. For example, when one lives
during a time of war, it becomes tempting to conclude that life is absurd, that justice is an impossible ideal, and that beauty is only a
temporary distraction. This course is an investigation of some of the central themes in the Existentialist tradition, including some of the most
famous late 19th and early 20th Century writers in that tradition. We will be focusing on the philosophical writings of Kierkegaard, Nietzsche,
Heidegger, Sartre, and de Beauvoir (if time permits).

PHIL 4920/5920- Philosophy of Media and Technology

Section 001 Tu 5:00pm-7:50pm D. Hildebrand
As we are constantly reminded, we live in an ever-accelerating “Information Age,” an era of rapidly shifting images and voluminous data. This
is an age of apps, algorithms, and robots where social media and identity become increasingly difficult to disentangle. What is "knowledge"
and "truth" in such an environment? What is "wisdom"? What is morality in this shifting technological era? And what challenges are posed to
democracy? To pursue these questions, this course will present philosophical accounts of visual literacy and criticism, the changes imposed
by media and new automatic technologies (such as robots) and — most important — how we might relate these changes to the permanent
human question to live meaningful lives. Philosophers may include Heidegger, Dewey, Postman, Turkle, Verbeek, Dreyfus, Latour, Borgmann,
Benjamin, Dennett and others.