For a complete list of courses and course descriptions please see the University Catalog.  For further questions please contact the department.


Fall 2020 Course Offerings

PHI 100 (0001-LEC), Class #45049, Contemporary Moral Problems (Topic focus: Technology, Business, and Climate Change Ethics), TTH, 9:30-10:45am, Shibles Hall 217, 3 cr.
Max Enrollment: 40, Instructor: Manuel Woersdoerfer

Course Description: Examines a variety of moral problems causing controversy in contemporary society.  Focuses on evaluating arguments for and against competing solutions to these problems.  Also discusses different philosophical strategies for thinking about moral obligations and relationships.  Topics surveyed include: corporate social responsibility, business and human rights, conflict minerals, palm oil and textile industries, gig economy, artificial intelligence, big data, autonomous vehicles, information privacy, social media, philosophy of technology, among others.  Gen Ed: Ethics, West Cult Trad, and Social Context & Inst.

PHI 102 (0001-LEC) Class #45052, Introduction to Philosophy, MWF, 10:00-10:50am, Stevens Hall 365, 3 cr.
Max Enrollment: 40, Instructor: Michael Howard
PHI 102 (0002-LEC) Class #45053, Introduction to Philosophy, TTH, 2:00-3:15pm, Stevens Hall 365, 3 cr.
Max Enrollment: 40, Instructor: Hao Hong
PHI 102 (0003-LEC) Class #45054, Introduction to Philosophy, MW, 2:00-3:15pm, Shibles Hall 217, 3 cr.
Max Enrollment: 40, Instructor: Derek Michaud
Course Description: This course is intended to introduce undergraduate students to the study of Western Philosophy.  Students should come away from the course with some familiarity with problems and individuals who have influenced the developments of Western philosophical thought.  The course will offer opportunities for students to engage with these problems and with the texts of important philosophers as a means to developing their own skills as thinkers.  While it is not possible even to summarize over 2500 years of Western philosophy, students will develop an understanding of the kinds of questions and ideas that concern philosophers, and begin to cultivate their own relationship to those questions and ideas. Gen Ed: Ethics, West Cult Trad.

PHI 103 (0001-LEC) Class #43032, Methods of Reasoning, TTH, 12:30-1:45pm, Little Hall 219, 3 cr.
Max Enrollment: 40, Instructor: Derek Michaud
Course Description: A study of principles used to distinguish correct from incorrect reasoning including the nature of thought, uses of language, recognition of arguments, informal fallacies, purposes and types of definition, deduction and induction.  Emphasis on understanding and mastering through practice some fundamental techniques for testing the soundness of many different kinds of reasoning.  Gen Ed: West Cult Trad.

PHI 104 (0001-LEC) Class #44513, Existentialism and Literature, TTH, 11:00-12:15pm, Barrows Hall 130, 3 cr.
Max Enrollment: 40, Instructor: Kirsten Jacobson
Course Description: Existentialism is a revolutionary movement in 20th century philosophy that studies the ways in which it is up to us to make our lives and our world meaningful. The texts we’ll read in this course will offer insightful and perspective-shifting studies of human nature in addition to challenging us to reflect personally on the values by which we live and, indeed, to ask ourselves whether we are honest with respect to how we live our lives. We will also consider works of contemporary literature that help to bring out these existentialist themes in particularly vivid and intimate ways through their content as well as their form of expression.  Gen Ed: Ethics, West Cult Trad, Art and Creative Expression.

PHI 105 (0001-LEC) Class #43034, Introduction to Religious Studies, TTH 9:30-10:45am, Stevens Hall 365, 3 cr.
Max Enrollment: 40, Instructor: Derek Michaud
Course Description: An analysis of religion as an expression of human culture past and present. Considers institutional and non-institutional manifestations of religion as conveyed through myth and symbol, religious experience, struggle for societal change, mysticism, and quests for the articulation of human values.  Inquiry by various disciplines will be considered, e.g., anthropology, psychology, sociology, history, philosophy, and theology.  Gen Ed: West Cult Trad, and Social Context & Inst.

PHI 210 (0001-LEC) Class #43611, History of Ancient Philosophy, MWF, 2:00-2:50pm, Maples 10, 3 cr.
Max Enrollment: 25, Instructor: Michael Howard
Course Description: An analysis of Hellenic philosophy with emphasis on Plato and Aristotle, including Presocratic philosophy, Platonism, Aristotelianism, Stoicism and Epicureanism.  Gen Ed: Ethics, West Cult Trad.

PHI 212 (0001-LEC) Class #45770, Hegel & 19th Century Philosophy, MWF, 1:00-1:50pm, Maples 17, 3 cr.
Max Enrollment: 25, Instructor: Michael Swacha
Course Description: In this course, we will explore the philosophy of Hegel and related 19th century philosophies, and we will give particular attention to the nature and production of self-consciousness, the tension between idealism and materialism, and the nature of history and historical movement—all aspects of 19th century philosophy that continue to inform our current moment and the dominant perspective of “the west” in interesting ways. We will therefore also touch on the political, economic, ethical, and cultural implications of these philosophical investigations, and on related philosophical/cultural/political movements such as romanticism and transcendentalism. In addition to reading selections from Hegel’s work (particularly The Phenomenology of Spirit and The Philosophy of History), we will explore the related work of Kant, Marx, and Nietzsche, as well as brief selections by other contemporaries.  Gen Ed: Western Cultural Tradition and Social Contexts and Institutions.

PHI 230 (0001-LEC) Class #43612, Ethics, TTH 2:00-3:15pm, Little Hall 219, 3 cr.
Max Enrollment: 40, Instructor: Derek Michaud
Course Description: Readings and discussions of works by Aristotle, Mill, Kant, Nietzsche and other moral philosophers.  In each case, the nature of the system, its summum bonum and defense is examined, criticized, and tested for its applicability to personal and public ethical predicaments.  Gen Ed: Ethics, West Cult Trad, and Social Context & Inst.

PHI 232 (0001-LEC), Class #87451, Environmental Ethics, T, 11:00-1:50pm, Hitchner Hall 203, 3 cr.
Max Enrollment: 40, Instructor: Don Beith
Course Description: A critical survey of major contemporary discussions of human relationships to nature and the causes of the environmental crisis.  Special attention will be given to building an ethical vocabulary for interpreting the place of humans in relation to the non-human.  Gen Ed: Ethics, Population & the Environment, and Social Context & Inst.

PHI 235 (0990-WEB), Class #50457, Biomedical Ethics, 3 cr.
Max Enrollment: 48, Instructor: Don Beith
Course Description: This course investigates physician, nursing, and hospital codes of conduct, the physician/patient relationship, concepts of health/disease, procreation/abortion decisions, genetics/reproductive technologies, health resources/social justice allocations, and other ethical dimensions of medical practice. Gen Ed: Ethics, West Cult Trad, and Social Context & Inst.

PHI 250 (0001-LEC), Class #43632, Formal Logic, TTH, 9:30-10:45am, Maples 10, 3 cr.
Max Enrollment: 30, Instructor: Hao Hong
Course Description: An introductory course in modern symbolic logic.  Techniques of deductive inference, including decision procedures and axiomatization, are studied in developing the propositional and predicative logics.  Some attention is given to metalogic and the philosophy of logic.  Gen Ed: Quantitative Literacy, West Cult Trad.

PHI 344 (0001-LEC), Class #43824, Theories of Justice, TTH, 2:00-3:15pm, Maples 17, 3 cr.
Max Enrollment: 20, Instructor: Michael Howard
Course Description: A critical study of recent theories of social justice including utilitarian, social contract, entitlement, communitarian, feminist and postmodern approaches, and spanning the political spectrum from libertarianism to socialism. Topics include distribution of wealth and power, affirmative action, censorship and pornography and international justice.  Gen Ed: Ethics, Western Cultural Tradition and Writing Intensive.

PHI 431 (0001-LEC), Class #45772, Advanced Topics: Philosophy of Art, W, 4:00-6:50pm, Maples 17, 3 cr.
Max Enrollment: 20, Instructor: Kirsten Jacobson
Course Description: This course will study issues relating to the nature of art, its political and cultural significance, and its place in human life. Though the specific topic area is not yet fixed, readings will be drawn from within the fields of philosophy as well as art criticism; we will also work closely with artworks and writings by artists. The course will be valuable both for students in philosophy and for students working in art history or fine art; it does not require previous study of the philosophy of art or any practical experience in artistic fields. The course will proceed largely by means of seminar-style discussions and will also feature student presentations. Gen Ed: Artistic and Creative Expression.

For questions or permission, please contact The Philosophy Department at 207-581-3866 or email Jen Bowen at jennifer.bowen@maine.edu